Tag Archive | Hidden Joy

Wendy Blight Visits…..

I am thrilled to have Wendy Blight stop by for a visit on my blog today.  There are not enough words to describe the special place she holds in my heart.  Her book Hidden Joy literally changed my life.  If you have deep hurts that are causing you to live with bitterness, anger and maybe even hatred in heart, I encourage you to read her book.  Wendy has a special message today:

Veronica, thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog today.  But even more, thank you for being such a blessing in my life.  You have a beautiful servant’s heart, and I am so thankful to call you friend.

As I prayed about what to write, the Lord laid on my heart a woman who feels unworthy, unimportant, average, and most of all without purpose. At one time, that woman was me.   What is my purpose God? How could you ever use me?

But as I journeyed with God through some painful years, years I believed would never have any value in my life, He taught me very powerful Truths.

For those of you sitting in the place I just described, this post is for you.  May you never forget God created you with a special purpose.  He says in His Word…

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.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
~Psalm 139:13-16

God says in Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, 
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.

Sometimes we hear a voice whispering in our ear:  You are unworthy. God could never use you. But Jesus tells us in His Word that words like these have one source and one source only.  They are spoken by the evil one, the one Jesus identified as “the father of lies” in whom there is no truth.  He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy all that is God’s and all that is good.

You, sweet friend, are God’s child.  As His child, you are good.  Satan’s goal is to keep you from believing this and prevent you from being the wonderful creation God created you to be.

Please, please do not listen to him. Instead of believing lies, believe TRUTH from the One Who says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Hear Truth from God’s Word today:

You are LOVED

with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

You are PRECIOUS and VALUABLE

your name engraved on the palm of His hand. (Isaiah 49:16)

You are WORTHY

for He gave the life of His only Son, Jesus Christ, for you. (John 3:16)

You are FORGIVEN

you need only repent of your sin. (Acts 3:19)

You are REDEEMED

the old is gone and the new has come…in Christ you are a new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You are SAVED FOR A PURPOSE

one which He specially created for you. (Ephesians 2:10)

Will you believe with me today that God created you for a great PURPOSE…one that only you can fulfill?

If you don’t know that today, promise me you’ll spend time in these verses and ask Your Father in heaven to make them very real to you! As I close this post, I am going to pray for each one of you that God brings here today…pray that this is a day you will have an amazing God moment…where you KNOW that you KNOW He is working in your midst, listening to the cry of your heart. He desires to heal your hurt and bring you back to wholeness.

I am praying for you!

And if you have a story or truth you would like to share on this topic, please leave a comment today.  From the comments left, I will choose a winner to receive a signed copy of my book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner:  The Transforming Power of God’s Story.

Veronica, thank you again for allowing me to be your guest.  I pray the Lord uses the words He laid on my heart to bless and encourage someone today!

Blessings,

Wendy
www.wendyblight.com

__________________________________________________________

Thank you so much Wendy for guest posting today.  For all the visitors here today, check back later in the month for a follow-up to this post from me.  God’s timing is always perfect.  At the exact moment that Wendy sent this to me, God had just whispered to me my own special purpose.

Hidden Joy IS life changing, grounded in scripture, written by someone who knows exactly what it means to be fearful and have shattered dreams.  Wendy’s journey to healing shows that God redeem any shattered dream and making it so much more.  I don’t just believe in it, I am living proof, so I too will be giving away a copy of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner:  The Transforming Power of God’s Story.  Leave a comment for Wendy and she will pick TWO winners to receive a signed book!  Thank you all for visiting today.

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Listening for the Lord…..

This morning as I awoke the word “grace” was on my heart, as I read my Bible for different Scriptures on grace, another word came to me “intimacy.”  I was directed to a Scripture that was perfect (as always the LORD is) ~ Song of Songs 4:15.  After reading the Scripture and notes I was more in awe of the LORD.

You are a garden fountain, a well of living water, as refreshing as the streams from the Lebanon mountains. ~ Song of Songs 4:15

Notes:  Solomon’s bride was as refreshing to him as a fountain.  Could your spouse say the same about you?  Sometimes the familiarity that comes with marriage causes us to forget the overwhelming feelings of love and bliss we shared at the beginning.  Many marriages could use a course in refreshing.  Do you refresh your spouse, or are you a burden of complaints, sorrows and problems?  Partners in marriage should continually work at refreshing each other by an encouraging word, an unexpected gift, a change of pace, a surprise call or note, or even withholding of a discussion of some problem until a proper time.  Your spouse needs you to be a haven of refreshment because the rest of the world usually isn’t.

When I read that I instantly thought of all the times I have been a burden to Larry after he has worked a long hard day and probably needed me to be his refreshing haven.  All the times he needed me and I turned him away, consumed with what I needed and my own selfishness.  And for the first time I saw a glimpse of how awesome and wonderful the intimacy of marriage is – how it’s a very awesome and amazing gift from the LORD.  Only we tow can give this gift to each other.  For the first time I saw this area of marriage as a true blessing and not something to be endured.  I saw God’s hand in continued healing for me in this area ~ even though the Hidden Joy study has been over for almost 3 weeks my healing is continuing as I come to Him everyday and allow Him to lead me.  My prayer:

Dear LORD allow me to be my husband’s safe haven.  Continue to show me how amazing this gift of yours is to our marriage.  Make our marriage stronger than ever before through You.  Help us to grow closer to you as a married couple and as individuals so that we always give You glory.  Strengthen us LORD and change our hearts that when we need a safe haven our spouse is able to be that for us.  That as we run into the arms and love of each other we are feeling Your arms wrap around us as well.  That what we are giving to each, we are also giving to You.  Remind us that 2nd to You our marriage is the most important thing we have.  In Jesus’ Name I pray ~ Amen!

It was an amazing time with the LORD this morning.  He opened my heart, eyes and ears in a new way so that I can continue to heal but also so I can live fully.  So I was equally in awe when I picked up my Jesus Calling devotion and read this morning’s devotion.  But let me backtrack a little. 

When I woke up with the word “grace” on my heart. I thought this was in relation to my son and the issues he is facing.  I still believe that ~ I am thinking God is leading me to offer my son my grace instead of my usual “if you would listen to me, things for you would be better” (because God could say the same to us).  All I know is that my son is broken – his relationship with all of us has taken a downward spiral and he needs a lot of support.  What has happened in the incident of this week is just a part of his issues I believe. I believe there is so much more to this – not with the incident but with what my son is feeling and the things he is thinking.  Right I think he blames us (or at least me) instead of focusing on how his actions got him to this point.  He refuses our phone calls, he is angry when speaking to us, he has no interest in the most important thing in his life until now – his cat!  I think he is hitting rock bottom or close enough – so I really thought this morning was about my son and how to help him through.  But now I think the LORD is showing me things are going to get worse before they get better.  The LORD is telling me “you will need to find a safe haven to refresh yourself, you need to strength your bond with your husband so that you two together can weather this storm.”  And that’s as it should be because I can no longer even attempt to control my son and whatever decisions he makes – good or bad – I give over to the LORD, asking the LORD to have mercy on him and his choices.  This morning’s devotion that blew me away:

I am a God who heals.  I heal broken bodies, broken minds, broken hearts, broken lives, and broken relationships.  My very Presence has immense healing powers you cannot live close to Me without experiencing some degree of healing.  However, it is also true that you have not because you ask not.  You receive the healing that flows naturally from My Presence, whether you seek it or not.  But there is more – much more – available to those who ask.

The first step in receiving healing is to live ever so close to Me.  The benefits of this practice are too numerous to list.  As you grow more and more intimate with Me, I reveal My will to you more directly.  When the time is right, I prompt you to ask for healing of some brokenness in you or another person.  The healing may be instantaneous, or it may be a process.  That is up to Me.  Your part is to trust Me fully and to thank Me for the restoration that has begun.

I rarely heal all the brokenness in a person’s life.  Even My servant Paul was told “My grace is sufficient for you,” when he sought healing for the thorn in his flesh.  Nonetheless, much healing is available to those whose lives are intimately interwoven with Mine.  Ask, and you will receive.

Pretty powerful, isn’t it?  All the key words placed on my heart this morning were in the love letter from God!!!  He hears, He knows, He is guiding me, leading me and has me safe in His hands.  He has been leading me here to this time and place for almost a year.  Looking back I can see it:  my desire to truly know Him as my LORD and Savior, placing godly girlfriends in my life to support me, encourage me but more importantly to remind me to laugh (thank you to my special group of friends – you know who you are but you will never realize the impact you have made).  My participation in the Hidden Joy study and the wonderful friends that I made through that study – thank you to you girlfriends, you too will never know the impact you have made, even though we have never meet I feel a special connection with each one of you ladies.  My healing through the Hidden Joy study to once and for all heal from my sexual abuse; thereby allowing my marriage to heal and strengthen, to see my husband as my safe haven when, not if, but when the storms come.

And seeing all of that I know without a shadow of doubt, with full trust and faith He will bring us through this too – no matter the outcome.  My only request is that my son have a  close and personal relationship with Jesus, serving Him with his life when this is all said and done.  I pray too that our family grows closer and stronger to each and Him through the trials we are about to face.  I won’t ask that this be removed from us – I just ask that we grow in love and respect for each other.  It is through the trials, that we grow, that we seek Jesus and that we come out stronger.  His death on the Cross is proof of that.  Hold us close dear Jesus, strengthen us and show us Your mercy.  In Jesus’ Name I ask.  Amen!

Bible Study ~ Hidden Joy ~ Final Week

Hard to believe but we are entering our final week (Week 11) of our Bible Study.  I am sad to see the study come to an end, however, I am focusing on the positives of the study.  I have made some wonderful connections with some of the women from the study, I have worked on the study everyday ~ without giving up!!!!  And there has been growth, healing and a renewed relationship with the LORD.  It has totally exceeded my expectations. 

I will write more on this final week as I get some time.  Right now it’s pretty busy around here:  working full time, last week that my daughter is home from college, shopping for school, packing for school and then the day when she moves back into the dorms. 

You can always visit Melissa Taylor’s blog  as usual.

Bible Study ~ Hidden Joy ~ Day 61

Today we are to answer questions for Chapter 10.  Melissa Taylor’s blog.

2.  The great news is that God desires to use human beings with all their faults, doubts, and flaws to accomplish His might work on this earth.  Read Exodus 3-4:14.  In this story, God is calling Moses.

  • 2a.  How does Moses respond? 
    • Tells God he wasn’t capable and no one would listen to him.
  • 2b.  How does God respond to Moses?
    • That He would be with him and would give him the words to say.
  • 2c.  In your own life, what keeps you from doing all God may be calling you to do?  Be honest. Write out your doubts, imperfections, fears and struggles.
    • A lot of times I am fearful of the unknown, I don’t like change or feeling like I have no control.  I wonder if God can really use me since I am plain and ordinary – I can’t even tell a simple story without getting sidetracked and taking too long to tell it.  I have very little self-confidence.  I get overwhelmed easily and am at times very forgetful.

3.  Read Jeremiah 1.  Here is a man doubting his ability.

  • 3a.  How does Jeremiah respond to God?
    • Jeremiah tells God “I am a youth, I do not know how to speak”
  • 3b.  What does God promise Jeremiah?
    • Do not be afraid!
    • I am with you.
    • The LORD touched his mouth and said “Behold I have put My words into your mouth.
    • Showed Jeremiah repeatedly how He was always with Jeremiah.

Will finish up later, off to work for the time being.  Have a great day and remember count your blessings!

 

Bible Study ~ Hidden Joy ~ Day 56

Questions for Chapter 8:

1.  Has there been a person whom you have clearly seen Christ?  Yes!!!

  • 1a.  What was it that drew you to that person? 
    • The peace and love that radiated in her.
  • 1b.  List the characteristics that distinguish that person from other people you know: 
    • Always makes people feel special, truly listens to others, unrushed when visiting with people, sees the good in everyone, never thinks of herself ~ it’s always what she can do for other people, never judges….the list goes on.

2.  Read the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42.

  • 2a.  Describe the personality of each sister
    • Martha is a perfectionist and never enjoys the moment b/c she is always trying to make it perfect
    • Mary is a listener and one who enjoys the moment IN the moment
  • 2b.  Do you identify with one of the women more than the other?
    • Martha, but I so want to be like Mary

3.  Jesus says “Martha, Martha….you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her”

  • 3a.  Martha simply wanted Jesus to tell Mary to help in the kitchen. Instead of giving her what she wanted, Jesus gently rebuked Martha. If you were Martha how would Jesus’ words have made you feel?
    • Defensive, hurt and angry
  • 3b.  As you read His words how did they make you feel?  What did they speak to your heart about your life’s priorities?
    • I felt sad for Martha to be honest.  I felt like because Martha was more responsible (probably raised to be more responsible) she got “stuck” with the work.  In reality maybe she wanted to sit with Jesus but who would have prepared the food then? 
    • That life’s commitments don’t need to be center of my thoughts, Jesus and people should be the center of my thoughts.  The commitments will be carried out but only if I do them in love for Jesus and the people around me.

4. Jesus told Mary that her dilemma and her behavior toward Mary were caused by the fact that she was “worried and upset about many things.”  What are signs in your life that you are in a state of anxiety or worry?  How does it affect you physically?  Spiritually?

    • Signs:  I am on edge, I snap at people, I have no patience with anyone or anything, I complain about everything, I begin to procrastinate
    • Physically:  I don’t sleep well, I isolate myself, I get migraines, I have neck and should pain
    • Spiritually:  I don’t spend time with God, I skip Mass, God becomes the last thing I think about ~ if I think of Him at all
  • 4a.   Read Proverbs 3:5-6 and Philippians 4:6-7.  What do these passages tell you to with your concerns? What is God’s promised result?
    • Proverbs:  to trust in the LORD with all your heart and not to lean on our understanding.  To acknowledge the LORD and He will make our paths straight.
    • Philippians:  to go to the LORD and pray about EVERYTHING so that His peace that makes no sense to us will be with us, we are to guard our hearts and minds!!!
    • Read Matthew 6:25-34.  Respond to this passage by personalizing the verses for yourself.  Do the same for Matthew 6:31-34.

5.  What do you think Jesus mean when He said, “Only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better?”

  • I am not sure, I have pondered this for years…..

6.  Jesus did not want Martha to change who she was; He simply wanted her to make a change in her priorities.  Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus before she did anything else.  WE all face distractions or barriers to our quiet time with God.  Put a check by the one(s) with which you struggle:

  • Busyness
  • trials/hardships:  feeling like you cannot count on God due to your circumstances
  • Pride:  not feeling like you need quiet time
  • Tiredness/weariness:  cannot get up early (sometimes)
  • Depression (sometimes)
  • Unworthiness:  feeling that God has more important things to do

7.  Examine your priorities.  Where does time at the feet of Jesus come into your daily activities?

  • I sit with Jesus first thing in the morning, at my lunch hour and I try to make some time in the evenings before falling asleep.
  • I come to Him through out the day too when I feel I need to lift up prayers for others or myself.

8.  Respond to what you have learned in this chapter.  Commit yourself to working toward having a heart that “chooses what is better”  a heart that will seek first the Kingdom of God.

  • 8a.  Find a time of day when you can be alone with God.  Find a quiet place, sit down, and commit to spend time with God in that place.
  • 8b.  Decide what you will do with that time.  Here are some ideas: Open your Bible and begin to read God’s Word for yourself; spend time praying, not only for your needs but also for God to reveal Himself to you; or find a devotional book and read it, asking God to speak to you.
  • 8c.  As you begin these steps, write in a notebook/journal your prayers and/or thoughts about what you are learning.

Let’s pray together:

Lord, please draw me to Your Word daily.  Your Word says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  Father, as I commit to spend time with You, help me to hear Your voice.  I commit my thoughts to You and ask that You would fill me with Your Truth as I seek You each day.  help me to tune out anything that conflicts with the Truth You desire to speak to me.  Give me ears to hear and let Your Word dwell in me richly.  Give me discernment to understand all You have to say to me.  I ask this in the name of Your son, Jesus.  Amen.

 

Bible Study ~ Hidden Joy ~ Day 56

This week’s Scripture:  ~Be still and know that I am God~

I have finally read all of Chapter 8 and am working on answering the questions for the Chapter.  I have journaled some of the chapter but not as much as I usually do ~ just don’t have that much time anymore 😦

Pg 109 ~ Now that God had delivered me from captivity, I had the desire to get out and live!  Yet I had no direction…no idea what to do with my new life.

  • I can so relate to that, now that I have less “kid” responsibility I want to do things but I feel so scattered and unsure what to do.  I start and stop things.  No direction sums it up for me!

Pg 110 ~ Beth Moore challenged us to pray daily for God “to show us more of Him”  Wendy’s prayer:  “Lord, make it my deepest desire to seek You daily, and may my seeking You grow stronger as You reveal Yourself to me.”

Pg 112 ~ Every time I need an answer, I go to God’s Word.

Pg 114 ~ The more I sought God, the more I experienced Him.  The more I experienced Him, the more I trusted Him.

Pg 115 ~ In my relationship with God I craved quiet time with Him in the beginning and could not wait to hear what He had to say to me.  But as my daily commitments increased, my quiet time decreased….satan was again at work, but this time he camouflaged his activity.  He distracted me with responsibilities, which in and of themselves are not bad things.  But they clearly interfered with my relationship with God.

  • I have noticed this in my life as well.  I can go along good and then my schedule gets messed up somehow and before I know it it’s been months or years since I really spent serious time with God.

Pg 116 ~ The key to escaping an insane schedule is to learn God’s plan for our lives.  How do we discover this plan?  It requires a listening heart.

Pg 118 ~ Incredulous at how easily I lost control, I began to weep.  How could this have happened?  How could I have let it get this far?  I knew exactly how ~ I was tired, exhausted and running on empty…I had not been filling my heart with the things of God.  It was completely empty, so when I needed strength outside myself, it was not there.

  • Oh my life on a daily basis, I dont’ know why I never put the two together and realized this.  I feel like I have been running on empty for years and feel like I can’t handle one more thing or living on empty anymore.  I realize now why I have been saying for so long “I feel empty inside, I feel dead inside” it’s because I have been emptied and I never thought to refill myself at the source – GOD!!!!

Pg 118 ~ God was teaching me that I needed to come to Him before I reached this place of frustration and exhaustion.  I had been spending every day operating in reactionary mode.  I reacted to circumstances around me based on my emotions, on how I felt in the moment.  The minute someone set me off, I lost it!!  When we allow ourselves to live like this, we hurt those we love most.  The time we spend with God is paramount in determining the level of peace and contentment in our hearts.

  • Oh how that is a mimic of how I had been living (and somewhat am living now, although this is getting better) – reactionary mode!  I don’t know how many countless days I am already tired when I wake up because of living this way.  How many days I am in a good mood but as soon as someone at home smarts off to me or talks in a way that I don’t find nice, the good mood is gone and out comes the monster!!!

Pg 120 ~ When we have a busy day, we rationalize. “I don’t have time to go to Bible study, to pray or have my quiet time.”  In reality, it is on our busy days that we need God even more.

  • I have discovered this recently.  Going back to full time, I have less time to do all that needs to get done but the one thing I make sure of now is that I get up at 4:00 am and take my quiet time!!!

Pg 121 ~ Plan your date with God, commit to it, and protect that time at all costs.  It is tempting to reschedule or cancel quiet time until a more convenient time but that time will never come.

  • That’s why I have mine first thing in the morning.  This morning I was very tired, only had 4 hours of sleep and it would have been easy to roll over and sleep until 6 or so but I said to myself “the LORD will be faithful if I am faithful and He will be merciful knowing how tired I am, He will get me through the day”  and He did (this was actually from yesterday Friday…..)

Bible Study ~ Hidden Joy ~ Day 55

~ Be still and know I am God”

That was our Scripture we were to memorize this week. It happens to be my favorite Scripture.  So much power behind those seven short words.  But that Scripture can calm me so fast, can make things clearer to me and can help me slow down.  Still behind on my Bible Study because I have been spending my mornings with God’s Word and letting Him lead me instead of doing the HJ study work, going to try to get caught up on that this weekend.  Plus last night I went with my daughter to see the final Harry Potter movie…..that was our favorite thing to do as she was growing up, waiting for the next movie to come and go see it as soon as it was released.  This time we were both sad to see it end so we waited a whole week before going to see it. 

Check out Melissa’s blog today for more on our Scripture……