Tag Archives: Dreams

If You’re Feeling Empty

Sometimes, the times when you feel the most alone, are the times when God is freeing you up of false support systems so that you can fully come to sense His presence, His power, His love for you, above all else.

This past year I’ve seen the truth of this in a whole new way. At first it felt rather bleak, when things, dreams, and people got whittled out of my life. Then it got quiet. Distractions were few. God was persistent in letting me know there are few people who genuinely have your back and also have the power to lead you forward anyhow, so He repeatedly hinted that it might be best for me to get used to this new cozy relationship He wanted to have with me. So I finally responded with, “Okay, let’s do this then, God.” I didn’t have much left to lose, and I wasn’t expecting a lot. Maybe a bit of insight or some needed wisdom.

But then God blew me away this past year, in how He Himself made up for every lost and every broken thing in my life. 

Maybe you’re at a point of loss right now. The closed doors you’ve experienced in relationships or opportunities have been devastating, and you might be wondering where God is, in all that.

That’s what happened to Naomi, in the book of Ruth. Widowed and grieving over the loss of her two sons, she finds herself returning to her home town, with one daughter in law who refuses to leave her side– a daughter in law named Ruth, who had suffered loss too, but had not lost faith in the God of Israel that she had come to trust in.

And when Naomi utters how broken she feels and how she thinks God’s hand has gone out against her, she was speaking that all the while that Love was leading her home to Bethlehem, house of bread– and the place where important, life changing, prophetic fulfillment was about to take place in her life. Where a great filling up was about to take place, and literally spill over in generations to come.

You may feel empty right now, but God wants you to know, He’s looking to FILL you up….to overflowing. You don’t even have to be able to see how God could do such a thing. You just need to know that He CAN and that He WILL. Just open your eyes, and open your heart to Him as well. You may be in a scarcity mindset, but God operates so opposite of that. He’s waiting for you to take just a step closer to Him, open your eyes a little wider,  and discover that He knows how to redeem every last and every lost thing in your life.

“Do you not perceive it?  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

Something beautiful is about to rise from the ashes of your past.

Because Your Redeemer LIVES.

 

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A Message of Hope From the Manger

The farmhouse is only half decorated.  We put up a lot of twinkle lights: on the fireplace mantel, sprawled across the buffet, outside on the front porch, and on the Christmas tree, but that’s the bulk of my decorating. Twinkling lights everywhere kind of make up for the lack of other decorations, in my mind. (Also a fire crackling in the fireplace. And hot cocoa in pretty mugs. That’s perfect decorating, right there.)

Oh, and I also got a wreath from Trader Joe’s and put it on the smokehouse outside (which everyone thinks is an outhouse building, when they first drive into the farm.) While we were at Trader Joe’s, the cashier saw my daughter and I in deliberation over a new brand of cookies. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get them.

He opened the canister and  said, “Go ahead, try them out first.” The two senior ladies checking out behind me heard the cashier’s words and came over to peek at the cookies. I motioned them to join in and we had an impromptu tea party, right then and there, courtesy of Trader Joe’s. Honestly, the generosity and cheerfulness of the place was so heart warming. My daughter and I walked out of there, wheeling our full cart, and singing “Joy to the World, the Lord has Come” at the top of our voice.

I so love Christmas. But I’m already eagerly anticipating New Year’s Day, the day of fresh beginnings and new resolutions.

It’s actually because of what we celebrate on Christmas Day, that I do look forward to what comes next. It’s not just the birth of the Savior, but His overcoming life He lived- and lives through us today- that we celebrate. And emulate.

And here’s His trajectory:

From the humble manger—> to influencing the whole wide world.

So don’t despise the day of small beginnings, Zachary 4:10 tells us. You can add to that,  Don’t despise the day of:

  • humble beginnings
  • insignificant beginnings
  • troubled beginnings

Do you know the opposite of the word despise? It’s

Those are all the words we need to apply to our humble beginning, our shaky start we made to any dream we felt called to. And it’s never too late to get back in the saddle of any dream we had set aside, out of discouragement, and start moving forward with it again.

If we don’t despise Jesus’ birth in the lowly manger (but instead we respect and cherish that scene), then we shouldn’t despise ourselves or our own humble, meager beginning…of anything.

That start of your dream? That shaky beginning you made when you went back to school? That relationship you wanted to build on the solid ground of integrity and love? Don’t despise it. Don’t disparage yourself or hang your head down in shame. Don’t kick yourself, or let anyone else kick you, if you’re down or not on track– because you’re not out of the running, friend. It’s not too late.

It’s time to accept your past, cherish that dream you have, that calling to help and give back, that desire to love again. And respect yourself, your humble beginning; and respect the process that is at work.

We go from strength to strength, Scripture tells us. From the manger, then out to impact a whole wide world.

I’ve got a big dream– with a humble, seemingly insignificant beginning. And you do too.

Pick that broken dream back up and get on with what you know you want your life to be about.  Forget how much you stumbled about in the beginning, how you missed connections or lost your way.

Move forward with God leading you, from the place of the manger scene, and out to the whole wide world.