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!~

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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.


February 25, 2015

From an Ex-Prodigal to a Prodigal

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken

(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
We each have our own crosses in life to carry, the weight of those crosses for those of us who have gone through (or who are currently experiencing) a prodigal period in our walk depends on what point of the lesson we are at.  The earlier one is in their prodigal lesson, the heavier that cross may be because the Holy Spirit is probably doing His job - convicting you of what needs changing within your life; and while His voice may be soft and steady, you know right from wrong.  I know that for me (at that time), I had lost my peace.   I never understood why in the book of Genesis Adam and Eve hid from God after eating from the tree He had commanded them not to eat.  It never made any sense to me because God is omnipotent.  You can’t HIDE from God.  He is ALL seeing and ALL knowing.  So while I went through a significant prodigal period in my walk, I would talk to God about it.  I recognized that it was wrong, I admitted it. I did not excuse my disobedience.  My disobedience was one that I literally fell into, but there is no excuse for any prodigal situation we allow ourselves to get into, because the decision has always been one that we choose to make.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
The obvious choice is to not give into whatever the temptation is,  I gave into the temptation and the cross that I had to carry, was one of willful disobedience that robbed me of my peace with God.  And no matter how much I tried to go around it – it was something that weighed heavily on my heart.  You see, I had fallen in love with God at the age of 21.  I fell head over heels in love with Him.  He became my all in all.  When I had learned that Jesus died on the cross for forgiveness of my sins, and rose from the dead and that ALL I needed to do was to make Him Lord of my life and my personal Savior, my life drastically changed.  He made Himself REAL to me. It was not from anyone else telling me to do it, not that I was being “forced” to attend a certain church.  It was  a simple prayer – “Lord, I ask you to come into my life and be my Lord and Savior.  If You are REAL I need You to make Yourself real to me.”  And dear reader – HE DID.  (If you haven’t tried it already – you should, and don’t be surprised when God knocks the socks off your feet because He makes Himself REAL to you! – Don’t trust my words, try the prayer I prayed and leave it at that!).  My life DRASTICALLY changed.  All of a sudden when I picked up the Bible I had a new understanding of what I was reading.  I fell in love with God.  I wanted MORE of Him and I could not get enough…
In fact, I remember the first time I heard His voice,  it was steady and gentle.  I was a sophomore in college engaged to someone.  I was a new Christian, I was into theatre -  you see I planned on becoming an actress, I had known since the age of three what it was I wanted to become, an actress and everything I did was in a very passionate way.  When I came to Christ, I took a Sharpie pen to my jean jacket and wrote in large black ink – “JOHN 3:16” on it.  I wanted the WHOLE world to know!  (I have never been one to do anything halfway). At that time, I was engaged to someone who was trying to make it in the music business and was not a Christian.  God asked me, “Who do you love more? ME or him?”  There was no doubt in my head who that was – I broke off the engagement.  (Remember God sees everything in full and we only see in part, so I’m quite sure that He knew that this was a relationship that would not work out or was not the “Best” that He had in store for me).  I never regretted the fact that I chose Him. I wanted ALL that He had in store for me.
Just like we go through stages growing up physically, we go through stages maturing spiritually once we become a Christian.  It has been interesting to me talking to Christians who accepted Christ in their hearts at an early age because there is a lot of “poop" that they don’t experience because of that early conversion.  Yet many of them feel they “missed out” on all the “fun” they think those of us who didn’t have an early conversion have had.  I find it ironic that “the grass seem greener on the opposite side of the fence.” Because I felt (as someone who didn’t know about Jesus or come to Christ at an early age), envious of them who had; because to me, it seems as though I would have avoided a lot of heart ache, tough times and other worldly things I had gone through if only I had known about what Christ had done for me and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior at an early age.
Still, the plans of the righteous are ordained by God.  He allowed the scales to fall off my eyes at the time He felt I was best prepared for them to do so and for that I am thankful.  No matter if you come to Christ at an early age or at an older one, we are still in this world and the temptations (which have always remained the same and not changed) affect all of us at one point in our walk or another.  It is where we are in our spiritual maturity that determines whether or not we give into those temptations or we do as Jesus did and tell satan “to get behind me!”
I have been a Christian now for 28 years.  When I look back, I see all the different periods of growth and change that has occurred in my life, spiritually.  The deepest lessons I have learned have been within the last five years, the time that I allowed myself to be in a prodigal situation.   A time of excruciating spiritual pain that because of my disobedience and my straying from what God had told me to do; the cross in my life became overwhelming.  My love for the Lord versed my willful disobedience to His Word. I became bound by the poor decisions I had made and even though it was something that I just happened to ‘fall in to” – the decision to get right with God warred against the prodigal situation I had allowed myself to fall in.  I was in serious anguish, which is a sign of bondage.  All through that time, I would speak to God (because once again He sees everything, so I saw no sense in hiding anything from Him).  Quite honestly, in my head I already knew how things were going to turn out – but my heart refused to accept it.  I stayed in that prodigal state for FIVE years.  Five excruciating years that I knew I wasn’t right with God, but couldn’t get out of the situation I was in bondage to on my own accord.  Finally, everything came to a head and the choice was taken out of my hands.  Gone was the pain of being disobedient to God, fresh was the pain that what I had wanted I would no longer have.  God allowed the situation to be taken right out of my hands because He knew I was not strong enough to do it myself.  In looking back now, I can honestly say that the pain of no longer being in a prodigal situation (although it hurt and is one that I am still healing from, it was not an overnight situation!) is a lot less painful than that in not being right with God.  I will also say that getting back on the pathway that God has for my life has been one where I learned a valuable lesson – personally – and that is that, you cannot be a ‘good enough” Christian.  Our Righteousness is (and quite always has been) filthy rags.
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)
I think before experiencing a prodigal experience in my walk with God, I somehow felt as though I was a “good Christian girl.” WRONG.  What I realized, the most powerful lesson that I fully, personally understand that I have gained in my walk; Is that it TRULY, TRULY is NOTHING but HIS grace HIS love, HIS forgiveness and HIS mercy and the precious blood of Jesus that allows me to experience a relationship with Him.  It has made me a stronger Christian.  It has made me a humble Christian.  It has made me less judgmental of others.  Unless YOU Have walked in someone else’s shoes – you have no right, no way of judging them.  You simply DON’T know the fullness of their situations or what they have gone through.  It is between THEM and God.
I can’t say I’m “glad” I allowed myself to become a prodigal.  The ramifications of my allowing myself to have become one are still vibrating throughout my life.  It has changed my life.  It has changed ME.  I am not happy I chose the “hard road” to allow myself to be open to those changes.  But I WILL say that God can take any “mess” we make and turn it into a “message” that glorifies HIM.  And quite honestly, isn’t that what our lives should do? Glorify Him?  It has made me wiser and more determine to live for Christ and to really *think* about the decisions I make before I make them.  My life is not my own and I realize that the best I wanted for ME is nowhere near the best that God has.
It is ALL about trust.  It is ALL about growth and it is ALL about life.  The truth of the matter is that as long as we have breath in our bodies, we will be growing and learning and changing – until the day comes when we are able to stand before Him.  Thank God that Jesus is already well familiar with all the temptations we face in life, because even though they may come as a surprise to us, they do not to Him. 
When I turned my prodigal situation – my cross over to Jesus, He took it upon Himself and told me that I did not need to carry it anymore. He had my situation covered in His precious blood, is there a situation that you need to give over to Him?  Isn’t that cross you are carrying feeling mighty heavy?  As I said before – nothing surprises Him, He sees all.  TALK to HIM.  Tell HIM. Be open and honest and share with Him what you are thinking, feeling, experiencing.  He knows your thoughts before you even think them:
“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  (Psalm 139:2-14)
A prodigal experience is not one that is to be permanent.  It is a lesson and hopefully we learn from it so that it is not one that we have  to repeat.  Personally, I have also found that God allows us to go through situations so that later on – we can extend the right hand of fellowship to someone behind us, who is going through what we have gone through and help them to know they are not alone. YOU are NOT alone.

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