It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


December 12, 2014

Grieving God

I would be remiss in writing from an “ex-prodigal” point of view on a Prodigal blog without bringing up this point, if you are an ex-prodigal there may be a lot of “aftermath” from your prodigal experience that you have to heal from or deal with in order to move forward.
The story about the prodigal son in the Bible doesn’t contain the details of how the Prodigal dealt with the aftermath of his experience.  Denying it occurred is not one that is healing or healthy.  Although the Father came running down the pathway to meet his son “half way” and forgave him and wrapped his arms around him in forgiveness, the fact of the matter is the son had grieved the father.
The sin of whatever our prodigal experiences have been has at one point, grieved Your Heavenly Father.  I am learning that when we put someone or something ahead of or in the place of God we not only need to ask for forgiveness (which He immediately gives us) we need to take time to restore our relationship with Him.  I’ve only just come into the realization of this.  Think about it because it makes sense…
You fell head over heels in love with someone (outside the will of God) or perhaps it was something else - some life style or addiction or developed sinful habit that  you gave your heart, your energy, your time, your devotion; time that you use to give to God (you fill in the blank because you know what the prodigal situation in your life is/was).  Your focus was taken off of God and put on that particular situation. You walked away from the Father.  You hurt Him.  You grieved Him. You did that which He commanded you not to do.  And now you have returned.  You have repented. You have realized the error of your ways.  Perhaps, like me you came back in a totally broken state.  Your heart a mess.  Your thoughts a mess.  All that you thought was real, blown completely away. Shattered. The person you trusted most, betrayed you.  You came back to your Father in a broken, shattered state. Numb, fragmented and feeling as though you were dying inside.  Your Father saw you coming down that pathway, returning home.  He saw your bowed head, your slumped shoulders, the dragging of your feet as you were weighed down with the weight of the world and your sin.  In spite of the pain and disappointment you caused your Father, He rejoiced at the sight of you!  He actually ran out the doors of His home and came RUNNING down the pathway to meet you and wrapped His arms around you.  Broken you.  The one who had disobeyed him. The one who had walked away from Him.  The one who had hurt Him.  He willingly forgave you.  For me, that humbled me beyond any words.  I had taken my heart from Him, gone against His word and gave my heart completely to someone else.  Someone who God knew would crush it. And they did. I allowed it to be crushed by my own willingness to give it to them so the fault was completely mine for going against what God’s Word told me to do. True repentance is taking responsibility for your own actions.  You can't take responsibility for anyone else's BUT your own.
Ex-prodigal, I write these words to you because it is important for you to know that restoration, and healing take time. Just because God has forgiven you (and He has!) you need to work on restoring your relationship with Him.  This is something that we need to acknowledge. I had not thought about it this way before, but the revelation hit me hard this week. I hurt God by my prodigal actions. He has forgiven me, but I need to heal and I need to rebuild my relationship with Him.  YOU DO TOO.  Maybe your prodigal experience was different than mine (it probably was) but whatever it was, you allowed it to occur.  You took your eyes off of God and onto something else.  Perhaps it is something you are still struggling with.  Allow yourself the time for restoration.  Allow yourself time to spend with your Father.  It is a personal relationship you have with Him.  It’s not only about repentance (which is recognizing that you did sin against God and turning from that sin) but it is about restoration.  When we have returned from a prodigal experience we have to allow ourselves time with God to restore that relationship.  We HURT God.  We grieved Him.  There are many places in the Bible that tell about times when God’s people grieved Him.
“The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” (Genesis 6:5-6)
“And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)
Jesus was fully man and fully God. I had forgotten about that… We can hurt or grieve God through our actions.  Therefore, I have realized that it takes time to restore a loving relationship with Him.  YES, He has forgiven you.  Yes, your sins are thrown in the sea of forgetfulness.
“Come now and let us reason together, says the LORD, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
"For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:11-12)
It is important that during your return you spend time in the Word of God and time alone with Him. This is the point I am at in my walk on my own return. Careful self-examination, healing and a rebuilding that relationship with Him is crucial and very important.  I had thought that if I just repented I could move forward, but the truth is – because my heart was shattered in the process of my own disobedience, in order to move forward I need to look back and I need to allow God to pick up each of those shattered pieces and to heal me so that I can move forward in the plans He has for my life.  I am not a very patient person, I never have been but this is something that God will not allow me to rush on.  Don’t be surprised dear Ex-Prodigal (or prodigal who is making his/her journey back home).  If this is where you are too.
There are things that God needs to heal.  However long you were in that prodigal state may require more healing and time before the Lord.  Restoration takes time.  He is able.  He is willing.  As hard as it is, you need to be too. And in the process of all this reflection, healing and prayer, do not allow ol'slewfoot to beat you up about your prodigal time.  You HAVE been forgiven.  Now you need to spend time healing in your relationship with your Father.  So that He can rebuild you, encourage you, love you up mighty much and allow YOU to fall deeper in love with Him.  This will eventually cause a new maturity in your walk and your commitment with Him.

Here is the good news, if you look throughout your Bible, you can see that most of the people God uses abundantly are those who at one time or another in their walk, experienced a prodigal time in their journey.   Think about it:

Abraham lied, Sarah laughed at God's promises.
Moses was a murderer, so was Paul
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
David had an affair and was a murderer
Jonah ran from God
Rahab was a prostitute
Peter denied Christ
The disciples fell asleep while praying

To name just a few... The point is - God uses ordinary people to carry out His extraordinary plan.  His grace is sufficient.  In fact, once you come to the realization that it is NOTHING BUT His forgiveness, His love, His mercy AND His Grace you are well on the road to healing. 

“Lord, I am so sorry for grieving you. I didn't think of it that way.  You have feelings as I do.  I hurt you, when I sinned against your Word and commands.  I grieved you.  I am genuinely sorry.  I know you have forgiven me, now I ask you to restore me. Restore our relationship.  Renew our relationship.  As I gave you my heart when I accepted you as my Lord and Savior I take back my heart from wherever/whoever I gave it to and give it again to YOU. Forgive me, heal me, help me. Thank you for never having left me – even though I had walked away from you.  Renew our relationship and draw me nearer to You.  I love you Lord.  I give you my will, my heart and my hurt.  I give you ALL I am. Please take all the shattered pieces of me and mold them back into one piece, stronger and able to love you more.  I am not able to do this on my own.  The pieces are too many, but you created my heart in the first place. Please put all the pieces back together as only you know how. I love you Father – I renounce ALL that led me away from You and pray that You would guide my steps again from this way forward.  I can do nothing in and of my own self.  Be with me, guide me, heal me, help me, use me.  In the name of your Son, the one who willingly gave His life for mine.  I pray.  In Jesus precious name. AMEN.”

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