Blessed: My testimony

I believe in sharing my testimony because I know it was hearing many testimonies that got my attention….I pray sharing all my ‘dirty laundry’ it will only serve to show how good God is and to reveal His grace. His love is unconditional and unending. 
…Okay, so here goes…
I was adopted at 6 months old by two wonderful parents and raised in a Christian home. I began to make poor decisions in my teenage years by having premarital sex and drinking and smoking pot; I guess to fit in with society. I moved from a small town in SC to the big city of Atlanta, Ga. when I was 19 years old. I continued to have sex with my boyfriends and partying which led to cocaine which really began in high school. I always said that I was just a social user. I went to college back in SC at age 22 and still continued to party. At age 29, in 1993 I got married and I had two awesome and wonderful children, a boy and then a girl. This relationship did not make it long. In 2001 we divorced and I had two small children to rear on my own. My ex cheated on me and six months later he married his third wife. We never committed ourselves to God, to put Him first in all things and I know this was where we went wrong in the first place. 
During the ten years or more of raising my children, I acquired my own home and car and career and was doing well, but always struggling to make ends meet. My ex did not help and did not even see his children much at all. I dated and lived with a man for seven years after my divorce hoping to fill that void in my kid’s life. I was wrong. He was not a good example for them to follow and for that matter neither was I. We partied and continued to progress in that partying until about 7 years later, we broke up and I was devastated yet again by a man. I made the worse decisions ever after he left. I began to experiment with cocaine and tried it in every way possible and got hooked. Within six months, my life was over. I lost my home, my kids, my career, my car, and my freedom! I was in a county jail and was headed hopefully I prayed to rehab and not to prison. But in the lowest point of my life is where I not only found God, but got to know Him and truly was saved.
I have had many trials and much turmoil and so much to deal with since leaving rehab and jail; from a disturbed young man stalking me constantly, trying to get visitation with me kids and then fighting for custody, walking away from friends as well hurting and disappointing my family from the poor choices I had made prior. I was homeless a few times and jobless for months. I lost my mother after the divorce in 2002 and my father in 2009. I have had more than my fair share of bad luck and yet somehow I always seemed to survive and get through those times. I know without my faith and trusting God I would not be where I am now. I am now unemployed yet again but I am grateful and faithful because I know my God is always working even when we can’t see it! We don’t see the other side of the mountain we are climbing but God does! I trust Him to provide and find a way where there seems to be no way.  In 2012 I filed all the necessary paperwork to regain custody of my children and I regained custody all because of God and His grace, His Love and His Mercy. 
Never give in, give out or give up~ For with God all things are possible! I am delivered and I’ve got almost eleven years now clean. But more than that, I’m free now. I’m not perfect lol but I’m on my way to completion with Jesus. God is still working in my life each and every day. He puts people in my life that I help and ones that help me. I am never surprised by his love and blessings. God has placed a confidence (Godfidence) and love in myself that I have never had before so “Thank you God” for the many ‘True Blue Christians’ you have put in my life and for all the blessings you bestow on me daily. I have not come this far without lots of prayers and the help and love of my true friends and family and I thank you Father for those special people in my life and the joy and strength He provides daily. 
I’m now happily married to the strongest man of God I’ve ever known. I’m blessed beyond my dreams… all because of Jesus! I live to please Him and sgare what he’s done in my life with anyone and everyone. If I do that and follow God’s instructions…I will be more than good!! And so will you!

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I bring my requests to God and wait expectantly!

Prayer is more than asking. Prayer is more than praising. Prayer is more than thanking. Prayer is more than requesting or interceding or kneeling or humbling ourselves. Prayer is expecting that God wants us there, expecting that God hears us, and expecting that God will meet us in our prayer time and do what is best for us and those we love. 

“Listen to my voice in the morning Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3

David’s plea to the Lord was a daily act of faith. Every morning he talked to God and made his requests known to Him. He then waited on God and expected Him to listen to his prayers and answer them. We often treat God as a magician. We tell Him what we want and expect Him to respond immediately, like magic! We don’t wait patiently on Him. Other times we pray to God and don’t even expect Him to hear or answer our prayer. Then we get discouraged and stop asking altogether. We lose our faith in God. Both extremes are wrong. We are to ask God to meet our needs and wait expectantly as David did. 

When we wait on the Lord we put our faith, hope, and trust in Him. This act blesses God. He then gives us the grace we need to wait until His answer manifests. We must learn to wait patiently because His timetable is not ours. He knows what’s best for us and that includes the right time. When His timing comes, He will give us a solution better than any we would have thought of on our own.

Take time each morning to stop before His throne, to fill up in His presence, to allow God to pour His life and love into you for the day ahead. That way no matter what happens you will be okay. You will have sufficient fuel to get you through the day. Let God fill you afresh and anew every morning. Take it from me. Running on empty is no way to live. God has a better plan for you. It begins with Him. So, why not BEGIN with Him and then wait expectantly for Him to answer.

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God is Good Regardless of Bad Circumstances!

All of life is a choice of who you will believe. Life is a battle between believing the truth or swallowing lies. And because the nature of our hearts is to doubt the truth and believe deceptions, it takes a deliberate effort to embrace God’s truth as non-negotiable. If we don’t keep our minds in the truth of the Scriptures on a daily basis, we become easy marks for our constant foe, the devil, who is both “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) and “the father of lies.” Deception. It is the devil’s specialty. The Bible says, “He deceives the whole world”  (Revelation 12:19).  And he deceives the whole world through lies. Has he deceived you? “He is a liar, and the father of lies.” John 8:4. I pray today you have a wonderful day as you keep truth in believing the truth of God’s goodness.

I hear from people often who have been deceived by the devil into thinking that (1) God is not good, (2) God does not really love them, and (3) God cannot really be trusted.  Those are perhaps Satan’s three greatest lies … and so many people, Christians included, subconsciously believe them, to one degree or another. Why is that? All of us have a strong tendency to evaluate God’s goodness, love, and plan for our lives based on current circumstances. If things are going well for us, we tend to see God in a positive, biblical light. But, if things suddenly go south (we encounter job loss, health loss, marriage and family trouble), we start to question the goodness of God and the promises in His Word.

 

Circumstances are a faulty means for evaluating God and His character.  Job’s wife fell into that trap.  As she viewed all of the tragedy that had befallen her and Job, she surmised that God wasn’t good, He didn’t love them, and He was not worthy of their trust. Her circumstance-driven response to Job was “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Sadly, many follow her advice as they cannot seem to reconcile their trials and hardships on one hand with a good and loving God on the other. The devil steps in at that moment to say, “The reason this equation doesn’t compute in your mind is because God is not good, loving and kind. The pain of your trials is real and undeniable, but the goodness of God is obviously a cruel, sadistic joke.  Better to just curse God and die.”   

 

The truth of the matter is this: God is good, regardless of bad circumstances.  God loves you and I, regardless of the storms that may pour into our lives.  God has a good plan for us, regardless of what it might look like right now.

 

God knows what He is doing, quit judging the product before it is finished. Trust God and His Word. The cross of Jesus Christ is God’s permanent reminder to you and me that He is good, He loves us, and He can be trusted (Romans 8:32). And what’s more …He works all things together for good by His amazing grace (Romans 8:28).

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Let the Lord be your guide in all that you do!

God is looking for us to put our hope and trust in Him today, ALL day long, not just tomorrow or when we are in need of Him. He’s challenging us to see all the moments of our lives as being filled with meaning. Each moment is filled with the presence of God, but sometimes we are so stuck on vision and dreams that we skim right by them. I encourage you to start your days differently. Start each day by praying, asking God to give you a clear understanding of each moment. It’s okay to still plan and dream about the future, of course, but concentrate more on each moment, as well! 

 “Show me the right path O Lord, point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me. for you are the God who saves me, All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:4-5

God is the only one who can guide us. We must seek His guidance and direction in all things. Another words when we need guidance in our lives we should say God show me Your way in how I should approach this. Too often we we want to take our approach to how we should handle a situation and then want God to fix our mess. Doesn’t that just seem a little backwards? Now granted we may get in situations and need His help, but first and foremost we need to be seeking His guidance, His directions.


It is not enough that we know His ways,but that He instructs us.How does He do that? He instructs us by His Word. Friends God is our schoolmaster. He teaches me daily and I’m glad to learn daily. I realize that I don’t ever get to a point where I have it figured out and can say I can walk on my own. Instead I know that everyday I depend on God to help me get through by leading me. We must totally rely on God to guide us. For this guidance we need to be lead by His Word which is the truth and to seek His guidance in our lives and seeking His will for our lives.


Let me encourage you to let the Lord be your guide in all that you do. He will never lead you astray and will always be with you every step of the way. Be encouraged to know even when the journey gets rough that He will provide comfort even in those times. In fact I love how the Apostle Paul put it the joy we can even find in our suffering( Colossians 1:24 ). Not that we look forward to getting hurt, but that we endure for Christ’s sake. This pain is for God’s glory despite how difficult it may seem, it works for our good. Once again my brothers and sisters be encouraged and seek God for His guidance.

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Difficult Times!

When we hit situations and circumstances which we find somewhat difficult and at times almost impossible to handle, it can be hard to embrace the truth and significance of the below verse. Often only with hindsight are we able to see that the experience, which if given the choice we would not have gone anywhere near, was indeed part of God’s plan and purpose for us. 

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28 (my fav)

Perhaps, nowhere in Scripture is this better illustrated than in the experiences of Joseph. Despised, rejected and abandoned by his family, falsely accused and imprisoned by his employer, forgotten by others and yet throughout all this we read ‘and the Lord was with Joseph’. Finally at the end of the story when Joseph, as ruler in Egypt under Pharaoh, reveals himself to his brothers and forgives them for how they had treated him declares ‘But don`t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives’ (Genesis 45:5).

There are many other notable examples of those whose faith was severely tested, in some cases almost to the point of death. Paul, for instance, gives a whole catalogue of his experiences which must have tested his faith (2 Corinthians 11:16-33) and yet he is able to say elsewhere ‘We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken’ (2 Corinthians 4:8).

Jesus didn’t promise us an easy road- just the opposite in fact (Matthew 24:9 -12) but He did promise never to leave us. In these days He is looking for those whose faith is strong enough to enable them to face the `lions` as Daniel did and to walk through the `fiery furnace` like Shadrach and his friends. How`s your faith today?

Let`s take heart from the words we read in 1 Peter 1:6-7. `So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

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No need to Doubt

I pray that everyone reading this has made the step of faith in trusting in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and have surrendered your hearts and minds to His will. And that you pray to God and read His word on a daily basis, and trust in Him even in times of difficulty. Yet at time we are tempted to doubt Him. If that is where you are today I hope this message will speak to your heart. 

 

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6

But as followers of Christ we are past doubting His existence because we know we’ve been changed from darkness to light. We are past doubting that His word is true because we’ve experienced His refreshing grace. We are past doubting that the Holy Spirit is real and He gives us power to overcome. 

Yet, the temptation to doubt God’s goodness is always front and center. This is because we know we can’t control God and that He has plans that are beyond our human understanding. We can try to figure things out, but the uncertainty of this world and our future always lies before us.

However, we still don’t have to doubt. What we can do is remember what God has done for us in the past. We can remember how He delivered people from the Bible because He’s the same God now as He was back in the Bible times. He never changes. He’s not man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19). And He gives us power through the Holy Spirit to believe in the impossible.

God is worthy of our trust even when everything seems to go south. He is a good God. He does what is best for us. He can make the impossible happen.

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God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our own!

I think we all will admit that we often don’t understand why bad things happen. Even so, God has a purpose for everything He does or permits. My faith is rooted in the biblical principle that says the Lord is sovereign (Psalm. 22:28). He is in absolute control of this universe, the natural and political climate of this earth, and my life and yours. When we are in the midst of a trial, it is hard to resist crying out, “God, Why is this happening?” Sometimes we get the answer and sometimes we don’t. What we can be sure of is that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. He has a purpose for even our most painful experiences. 

 “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans. 8:28).

 

Seeing in advance how the Lord will work evil or hurt for our benefit is very difficult, if not impossible. Our limited human perspective doesn’t allow us to grasp His greater plan. However, we can confirm the truth of this biblical promise because the Father’s good handiwork appears all through our pain, hardship, and loss. I know personally I have experienced Him turn mourning into gladness and have seen Him reap bountiful blessings and benefits from my difficult times.

As believers, we must accept that God won’t always make sense to us. Isaiah teaches that His ways and thoughts are higher than our own (Isaiah. 55:9). He sees the beautifully completed big picture. We can rely on the fact that God is in control, no matter how wildly off-kilter our world seems to spin.

No matter how carefully we orchestrate the details, life will always hold the unexpected. Our confidence doesn’t come in being able to plan for such times, but in trusting the One who commands the stars and who superintends good times and bad. Those who do, find the same peace Job discovered in the midst of his trials when he declared, “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” Job 2:10

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