After reading Tara's post I am certain MANY will identify with her story. Just this morning in my time with Father...this was the verse
"Comfort, oh comfort my people," says your God. Isaiah 40:1
We pray you let down the wall of protection and allow God a tiny hole where His comfort can find its way in...that His heart medicine can begin to heal your deep place today... maybe it is still a secret deep place...it's a beginning. xo
Here's Tara's story
The word that I am focusing on in my life this year is hope.
It doesn't come easy for me.
I can hope like everything for others.
...just not for myself.
When I was nineteen years old,
I had a memory of some abuse that took place in my life, when I was about four, at the hands of a neighbor.
I remember feeling as if I would drown in my own sorrows
as I began the journey of working through it.
I had only months before come to know God in a real and personal way.
I was experiencing his love and grace in ways I had never experienced before.
And now, with these memories, I began to wonder where he was when it all took place.
I spent the next seven years in God' word learning truth that sustained me.
I found peace in knowing that we live in a fallen world and people make horrible choices.
...choices that affect others.
I also found peace in admitting that I was one of those people living in this fallen world.
I am broken and totally capable of wrong choices that affect others.
This truth helped me to move through forgiveness in my heart for the hurt that I was experiencing.
I also found comfort and peace in knowing that
God is with the brokenhearted
and the crushed in spirit.
...that meant he was with me in all of it.
I don't have many clear memories from my early childhood,
but I remember knowing that God loved me and that He was with me.
Over the years, I have had seasons, mostly short lived, when I came face to face again
with that same question...
where is God in the midst of trials and suffering.
I think whenever life unfolds in a way that we don't expect or plan for,
our deepest insecurities rise to the surface..they're triggered.
I know that God desires to use those moments to draw out the areas of our hearts
that we haven't entrusted to him.
When we moved to Orlando a couple of years ago, life slowed down.
We went from serving in a busy church ministry to college ministry
and we no longer lived near family and friends.
It's amazing what can surface in your heart when life brings about any amount of change.
God has done such a beautiful work in me over the past two decades that I've walked with him.
He has restored so much of the brokenness.
He has made beauty out of ashes.
He has brought joy in the middle of mourning.
He has renewed my mind and filled it with his truth.
His truth has brought life to places in me that seemed dead.
But, this particular hurt in my heart is deep.
And the truth is, we have a very real enemy that seeks to destroy us.
Somewhere in the middle of clinging to God's word for my peace, I believed the enemy's lie.
...that God can do a great work in me and he can bring much healing, but that he can't go that deep.
Last week, I was having a particularly hard week when God led me to
Genesis chapter sixteen, and I knew that He was speaking to me.
In this chapter, Abram and his wife had not had children.
His wife, Sarai told him to lay with her maidservant and build their family through her.
Never mind that God had already promised them in chapter fifteen
that their offspring would be as many as the stars.
So, Abram lays with Hagar and she conceives a child whose name became Ishmael.
Hagar began to despise her mistress, Sarai.
Sarai mistreated Hagar so she fled from her.
This happens in life doesn't it.
Someone makes a choice that affects us and hurts us.
but then we are encouraged in verse seven
"The angel of the Lord found Hagar..."
The Lord found her near a spring in the desert.
She didn't have to search for God.
He found her and spoke to her.
In verse thirteen it says...
"She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me,"
for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."
I'm so grateful that he is birthing genuine Hope in my heart, and I pray that he is for you, too.
He sees us.
He finds us right where we are.
We are not forgotten.
He can reach into those deepest places, and he can heal us completely.
But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love for me!
Find rest,O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all ti mes, O people;
Pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Beautiful Photo Credits: GardenView Cottage Tumblr
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We are glad you stopped by and pray that 2011 be a simply abundant year to be savored. FULL of captives set free...giving Him glory...and stopping to help others who are in chains with grace and love. We hope we can become a woven net of flesh underneath you.
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