“Wow” Me with Your Testimony [Twitter Post 5.2017]

“Wow” Me with Your Testimony [Twitter Post 5.2017]

Our stories of sensationalism don’t equip us to tell of God’s goodness. God’s sensational goodness equips us to go and tell. We were created and called to do just this. We ought to get real serious about finding the sensationalism in the pure saving of our souls… regardless of how it came to us.
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If we want to be used by God, we may have to die to the desire of being known by others. He’s made us for this, though.

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Humility isn’t Maturing of Age [Twitter Post 5.2017]

Humility isn’t Maturing of Age [Twitter Post 5.2017]

Humility isn’t always a maturing of age but soul. Just as maturing in age doesn’t automatically make you humble neither does humility automatically come with age. “Not giving a care what others think” is freeing, I’m sure, but not necessarily humility. 

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Humility is knowing your full worth and value in Christ and knowing you can’t do one ounce of it without Him. There can be pure humility in one who acknowledges their God given gifts and their need for Christ in it. In fact, may I suggest, it’s time for the believer to rise up and stand firm then in what God has gifted us! (Ephesians 6)

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Does God’s Goodness Always Feel Good?

I want the goodness of God to always feel good, but is this realistic?

When loss is the uninvited guest of our home, we feel something about it. The loss seems to invite feelings of grief, mourning, aching that crush the core of the one living in the loss.

It seems to be in these times we ache for answers to help us understand the purpose of the pain. “How can God be good when this is so painful?”, we say aloud or keep it tucked away in the secret parts of our heart so no one knows you are questioning the goodness of God.

God created us to have feelings and it doesn’t make us weak to express them. We hurt so we cry. We are excited so we laugh. We are happy so we smile. We are tired so we sleep (or are grumpy all day… if you’re anything like me). We are stressed so we drink wine. We lose a loved one so we grieve.

Yet when feelings become the dictator of our life, we can quickly lose heart. How do you respond when met with all of these feelings? Do you cast your cares on the Lord (Psalm 55:22 NIV)? Do you trust the Lord with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5 NIV)? Do you let God’s love drive out your fear (1 John 4:18)? How you respond in the face of your feelings can be the regluing or undoing of you.

God’s goodness does not always feel good. The book of Job clearly exposes this reality. I wonder how many people walk around feeling wounded by God because they have allowed their feelings to be the dictator of their life.

Ten years ago, I would have confidently exclaimed God’s goodness and it would have felt good to say. I would even provide you with evidence of his goodness in my life, but the reality is this evidence was based on circumstances that felt good. My feelings dictated my belief about God’s goodness.

On June 24, 2011, my feelings became the most unreliable source of truth for me. I was met with the devastation that would forever change how I did life with the Lord. What appeared to be evidence of God’s abandonment was just the beginning of the stripping of a belief system that was faulty. He was soon going to cloth me with one that was true from the source of truth, my Jesus.

God’s goodness has not always felt good but, I can firmly say, He has always worked the pain for my good. It has been the saving of my soul that has been worth it all. With an aching in my gut and a tears welling in my eyes, I can testify that He has been worth it. It’s been through the  tragedies- that resulted from June 24- I have been gifted with some of the most intimate times with God, in turn deepening my faith.

Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV) This Scripture does not say, “And we know that all things are good for us.” We can trust that He is going to work all things for our good even when it is not good for us.

Death is not good for us! Dear one, if death was good for us there would be no need for Jesus to come and die and be resurrected to save us from death. He died on that cross because death is not good for us. Death is terrible and excruciatingly painful and not what God intended when he created this world (Genesis 1-3 NIV).

If you are walking the road of losing a loved one, lean into Jesus. He knows this is not what is good for you but he will work it for your good. Abide in Him and you will produce lasting fruit and much of it, even though you feel as if you might die from grief (John 15).

If you are walking alongside someone who is grieving, will you share this truth with them? This may be the breath of fresh air they are longing for. This may be their break from the idealism of the well meaning that is suffocating them. They just may need someone to come and sit with them and say, “this is terrible”. Your friend can be in excruciating pain and still trust God is going to work this out for her good. I’m so grateful for the testimony of Katherine and Jay Wolf in their book Hope Heals,

No amount of catharsis or perspective finding will change the fact that our situation is terribly sad and deeply broken. I can give God the glory, and it can still hurt. I used to cry myself to sleep every night. But I have learned, above all other lessons, that healing for each person is spiritual. We will be fully restored in heaven, but we are actually healed on earth right now. My experience has caused me to redefine healing and to discover a hope that heals the most broken places: our souls (page 18).

Are you struggling because you desperately want God’s goodness to always feel good?

I did too.

It feels like a crushing blow when this truth is met with your inescapable reality that life- no matter how many years pass, new life that grows, exciting experiences that arise- is now filtered through the lens of loss. But this is where hope comes in, dear one. We can look forward with the hope that someday God’s goodness will always feel good because all will be made right (Revelation 21 NIV). As you wait expectantly for that day, you can experience healing of the most broken place right now: your soul.

 

If this post resonated with you, journey over to Newness through the Pain.

Facing Your Freedom [Free Download]

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6)

Let’s face it, when it comes to freedom in Christ, we trade our joy for doubt, our tenacity for fear, or (dare I say) our calling for a self-invoked punishment as if we are putting ourselves in timeout until we learn to “behave”. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of defeated living. As women of God, we were made for fire and I want “this little light of mine” to burn wild and free.
This particular piece of writing had me captivated as I was curating it while sitting with my legs curled close to my 20-week baby bump and my left pointer finger twirling a strand of hair as I sat, prayed, pondered and wrote. You see, this piece represents what A Woman Named Free was birthed from, raw and unrestrained life of Maria Bowersock.
I typically do not write poems, so I thought it would benefit you to have some instruction on how to read this piece. (pst…I may be breaking all the rules of poem writing by doing this, so … )
This particular poem starts with statements that I wrestled with at one point or another. I was sure these fierce times in life would slaughter me and yet because of Jesus, I safely stand. The poem then guides you through the time of my life where my feelings collided with Scripture and produce something miraculous; the moment in my life where something wildly beautiful happens. From here, you will walk with me down the road of intimacy as I talk to my Heavenly Father.
Most of these types of writings I ponder up with Him and keep them in the secret hideaway of my heart. Other times, the message relentlessly burns to my bones and needs to be released from my hideaway… {download and read by clicking below}

 

 

 

Facing Your Freedom [Free Download]

Name Calling: a wrestle with the devil

Name Calling: a wrestle with the devil
I understand not everyone has a story that has led them down a path of destruction, and I’m thankful for those people! I, however, am not that person. My life was a true definition of “mess”. The effects of this bondage left sever damage. I mean, after all, the enemy is out to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) and I tasted just how real that was. This is an excerpt taken from Beth Moore’s book, When Godly People do Ungodly Things, and is a glimpse into what it’s like to be “had” by the devil.
These writing are meant to be filtered through scripture not a replacement of scripture. God’s word is true and the source of all truth.

 

My name is Had. You may know me, but you may not know my new name. You may have no idea what I’ve been through because I do my best to look the same. I am scared to death of you. I used to be just like you. I once held my head up high without propping it on my hymnal. 

I was well respected back then, and I even respected myself. I was wholeheartedly devoted to God, and if the truth be known, somewhere deep inside I was sometimes the slightest bit proud of my devotion. Then I’d repent … because I knew that was wrong. I didn’t want to be wrong. Not ever. 

People looked up to me. And life looked good from up there. I felt good about who I was. That was before I was Had. Strangely, I no longer remember my old name. I just remember I liked it. I liked who I was. I wish I could go back. I wish I’d just wake up. But I fear I’m wide awake. I have had a nightmare. And the nightmare was me. Had. 

If I could really talk to you and you could really listen, I’d tell you I have no idea how all this happened. Honestly, I was just like you. I didn’t plan to be Had. I didn’t want to be Had. One day I hadn’t, then the next day I had. 

Oh, I know now where I went wrong. I have rewound the nightmare a though sand times, stopping it right at the point where I departed the trail of good sense. The way ahead didn’t look wrong. It just looked different. Strange, he didn’t look like the devil in the original scene. But every time I replayed it, he dropped another piece of his masquerade. When he finally took off his mask, he was laughing at me. Nothing seems funny anymore. I will never laugh again as long as he is laughing. 

If only I could go back. I would see it this time! I would walk around the trap camouflaged by the brush, and I would not be Had. I would be Proud. Was that my old name? Proud? I can’t even remember who I was anymore. I thought I was Good. Not Proud. But I don’t know anymore. 

Would you believe I never heard the trap shut? Too many voices were shouting in my head. I just knew I got stuck somewhere unfamiliar, and soon I didn’t like the scenery anymore. I wanted to go home. My ankle didn’t even hurt at first. Not until the infection set in. Then I thought I would die…

The infection is gone. He (God) put something on it and cleaned it up instantly. As he inspected my shattered ankle, I kept waiting for Him to say, “You deserved this, you know. You’ve been Had.” Because I did and I know and I have. He hasn’t said it yet. I don’t know whether He will or not. I don’t know how much to trust Him yet. I’ve never know Him from this side. My leg still hurts. God says it will heal with time. But I fear I will always walk with a limp. 

You see, I wrestled with the devil and he gave me a new name. Had. 

*This is not the ending of this story, or yours.

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