top of page

Updated: May 25



My friend knew the side roads and short cuts in the city. "It's easy", she'd say while running down the directions to my next stop. Unfortunately it didn't take long for Charlie Brown's teacher to completely take over the conversation. To counteract my confusion, I'd scribble the directions on whatever was available. (This was pre Google Maps.)

But inevitably what was supposed to take thirty minutes morphed into almost a two hour adventure. I wasn't just lost. I was lost lost!


You see at some point, the directions from my friend, who was a native of the city, looked as if they were taking me the wrong way. Sooo.... I, the one who's directionally challenged, chose a different route.


 

If I'm honest, I'm guilty of doing the same with God. He's given precise instructions yet I've created my own. Surely God wouldn’t lead us on a path that caused pain or blatantly bypassed our plans. Would He? In reality, often times than not, God calls us to do hard things. He beckons us to walk out assignments we’d rather run away from.


 
In reality, often times than not, God calls us to do hard things. He beckons us to walk out assignments we’d rather run away from.
 

Jonah found himself in a similar situation. The people of Nineveh were known for their extreme corruption and violence. In his opinion they didn’t deserve saving. As a matter of fact, the Ninevites were so cruel, Jonah wanted them to be punished. But, God had a redemption strategy that required Jonah’s cooperation.


Unfortunately things went a little off course when Jonah decided to ditch God's plan. Instead of going to Nineveh, he boarded a ship destined to Tarshish, which was approximately 2,500 miles in the opposite direction.


 


There are times when we have the privilege of choice. But even then, choosing outside the will and purpose of God alters everything. Instead of gaining freedom, we set ourselves on a dangerous and sometimes deadly course. As it relates to Jonah, God’s directions weren’t options. They were commands the Prophet chose to disobey.


I don’t think Jonah imagined God would respond to his disobedience by sending a storm that resulted in him being thrown overboard. And I’m pretty sure he didn’t anticipate God appointing a great fish to swallow him up. - Jonah 1:4-17

The truth of the matter is, we can’t foresee or dictate the consequences of resisting God.


Yet despite Jonah’s wayward behavior, God was determined to get his attention. And, He did. Three days in the belly of a fish is a pretty big eye opener!


 
The truth of the matter is, we can’t foresee or dictate the consequences of resisting God.
 

After traveling way too long, it was obvious I had no idea where I was going. Stopping and asking for help was the only solution. Are you a member of the “Chose My Own Way”crew? Since it's just the two of us, let's talk. How's it working out? Do you feel lost? Are you exhausted and frustrated? Do you need help finding the right path?


You know the enemy wants us to think we've gone so far in the wrong direction that we could never get back. But that, my friend, is so not true! God is waiting for us to turn in His direction.


While Jonah was in the fish he prayed, remembered and repented. - Jonah 2

The change in his heart posture led to a course correction. The same can be true for us.


As our hearts soften towards the things of God, our feet will move in His direction. Why not start today by charting a new path? Just know, in spite of how it looks, God’s ways lead to hope, joy, peace and purpose. And I’m fully convinced there’s only one way …. and that’s His way.


Your Sister Friend,


72 views0 comments


Sometimes we gain perspectives and wisdom from the length of our journey. And then there are hardships that teach us lessons we never knew we needed to learn. For Grandmama, I think it was a combination of both.


By the time I was in my twenties she was half way through her eighties. Her pilgrimage included multiple mountain top and valley experiences. As a result, she possessed a quiet strength coupled with a knowing that even if things weren't well, they would be.


"....even if things weren't well, they would be."


Grandmama sat in the passenger seat with her arms gently crossed underneath her chest. It was a portrait of contentment and ease. I, on the other hand, was a worried mess. We were traveling back to my new home and thoughts of the long winding road were getting the best of me. I knew something that fear previously wouldn't allow me to admit. But after we buckled up, I blurted it out,"I don't drive that well."

"We'll be fine" she countered back, "I think you're a good driver.

 

Her response reminds me of the Angel's words in Judges 6:12 to Gideon, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." It was an odd greeting given Gideon's circumstances.


You see, Israel's disobedience landed them in the hands of the Midianites. Even though their oppressors didn't inhabit the land, the strategy they used was crippling. The Midianites allowed the Israelites to work and plant their fields. And just when the harvest was ripe, they invaded and completely destroyed everything, including the livestock. This went on for seven years.


When the Angel encountered Gideon, he was threshing wheat in a winepress. Wind was essential to the process, so under normal conditions this task was done in an open space. But since the enemy was lurking, Gideon found refuge in an unlikely place.


The Angel's words were far from Gideon's reality. It appeared as if Israel's suffering was hidden from God. And by Gideon's own admission, he didn't fit the bill of a mighty warrior. - Judges 6:15


But God had plans for Gideon. And when the Lord's Angel spoke, he awakened the warrior resting inside. The Angel didn't speak to Gideon's current condition. He spoke to who he was destined to become.


"The Angel didn't speak to Gideon's current condition. He spoke to who he was destined to become."


For an hour an half I clinched the steering wheel, not so gracefully, navigating the curves. Gideon struggled with doubt and lost soldiers he thought he needed to defeat his enemies. Thankfully challenges don't dictate outcomes.


Over the years I've traveled those country roads countless times. Eventually I realized what Grandmama knew all along.


Gideon was afraid but, he pushed past his fears and leaned into the presence of God. With only 300 soldiers, he defeated an army of 135,000 because, "the Spirit of the Lord clothed him with power." - Judges 6:34 NLT


 

Are you feeling unqualified or ill equipped for a task? Does your calling seem impossible? Do you have difficulty seeing yourself the way God sees you? Just know things often appear completely different from what God promises. Focusing on what we see has a way of pulling us off course.


But, meditating on God's Word provides an anchor for the soul. His truth reminds us that we are treasured. We're strong because of His strength. We are chosen and forgiven. We are loved. And we are His. That's who we are. That's who you are.


Your Sister Friend,














51 views0 comments

Our Bayley loved bandaids. We put them on fresh "boo-boos", old "boo-boos", and none existence ones too. And if her dolls had an accident that may or may not have been caused by their little human friend, we put a few on them as well.


The boxes were full of Hello Kitty and Disney Princess goodness. I like to think of them as medicinal Cracker Jack boxes!


It made perfect sense to our toddler to place the bandaids all over her body. And since they were inexpensive pleasures, I bought a lot. The bandaids covered minor injuries and made Bayley feel better about what previously caused tears.

 

There are numerous things that thrive when covered. And there are others that require exposure in order to be healed or in Lazarus's case .... come alive.

 

“Lord, the one you love is sick.” - John 11:3

This was the message Mary and Martha sent to Jesus concerning their brother Lazarus. The scripture intentionally describes their relationship. He "loved Martha, her sister and Lazarus." - John 11:5


We could easily overlook the power in this verse. But let's sit with it for a moment. Three people with three personalities and struggles received the same unconditional love. That's good news! It means we don't have to mimic Martha, compete with Mary or compare ourselves to Lazarus. Jesus loves us for who we are.



".....we don't have to mimic Martha, compete with

Mary or compare ourselves to Lazarus."



Just a few verses later, the conversation takes an unexpected turn. "... he stayed where he was two more days". - John 11:6

Jesus waited. And by the time he arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days.


As Mary and Martha met Jesus, they echoed the same desperate cry, "if you had been here our brother would not have died." - John 11:21


To be honest, similar sentiments escape my mind and slide right out of my mouth. Thankfully, Jesus isn't put off by such honesty. And even more so, he already knew the Father's plan to "awake Lazarus from his sleep." - John 11:11


However, the resurrection required participation. The mourners and bystanders had to roll away the stone. And so do we.

 

Like our Bayley covering herself with bandaids, we become masters at masking. We hide our trials and traumas, as if pushing them in the recesses of our minds will cause them to disappear. They don't.


Instead they linger and decay. They "stinketh." - John 11:39. And what we thought was buried leaks on top of new places, things and relationships. It's a slippery slope that leads to disappointment.

 

"How can I heal what you won't let me touch?" That was a question the Father asked during a particularly challenging season. It hit hard. A whole Selah moment. I was hiding what he was willing to heal.

 


 

You don't have to answer out loud but, how many memories and traumas have you buried? Are you willing to show the Father where you laid them? Exposing our pain to him is a safe place and even though it doesn't feel like it, the uncovering brings freedom. When the stone was rolled away, Lazarus emerged from his grave healed and restored.



"God is our safe place and strength." - Psalm 46:1 -NLV


We're all presented with the same options. Either we hide and retreat into the shadows or we roll away the stone and embrace our healing.


Hide or heal. The choice is yours. But, hopefully you'll join me for a life lived out loud in the sun.


Your Sister Friend,



158 views1 comment
bottom of page