Guilt Kills, Love Heals.

Guilt has got to be the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with.

As a perfectionist it attacks me at random moments and over the stupidest things. And it’s not just a momentary flash or like my conscious reminding me not to do something. It is total condemnation. It makes me feel like a horrible human being, like I am not good enough to be a light and like I am unlovable.

Worst of all it makes me feel like there is no chance of escape.

Beyond that it clings to me for far too long. And it’s stupid because I know none of the things I am thinking are true with Jesus Christ as my mighty, faithful Savior.

Guilt – whether it’s something I said, something I did or something I thought – immobilizes me.

It makes me absolutely unable to be happy. It makes me afraid of the future and afraid of each moment. It taunts me with the possibility of messing up yet again. It makes me hide and it stops me from doing anything worthwhile whilst it remains inside me.

Is all this leading up to telling me how to get rid of guilt? – you ask.

I honestly don’t know how to get rid of guilt. It sticks to me like glue. My personality is prone to it and as a thinker and a writer I analyze it.

I was going to write something fun about where I want to travel now that I am an adult, but I just couldn’t bring myself to it. I am sitting here, right now, trying to figure out the answer to that question and I’ve realized something terrifying.

Maybe it’s just one of those questions I will never know the answer to – or maybe I won’t know it for a good while yet.

It’s like asking why bad things happen when God is good and whether or not the man you marry is really the right one. I guess you never know until you live through it. Or maybe you just never learn those kind of answers. Maybe our human minds just aren’t big enough to handle all that that entails.

Life is full of twists and turns and I hate that. I don’t like not knowing the plan. I don’t like being confused or unsure or not having an answer to a burning question. I despise it. I absolutely despise it.

So of course God decides to have a sense of humor.

He answers my questions only the moment I need them – like not a second too soon situations. His constant response to all my prayers and all the passages in the bible that he highlights for me tell me to wait on Him.

In fact, at Storm Student Conference this year He really convicted me about the state of my heart. He showed me that while, yes, I was giving Him my time and my voice I was not giving Him my heart, my desires or my emotions.

He called me to let Him have my biggest dream (to get married) and not just to let Him do what He will when He will, but to forget about it until He makes a move!

FORGET ABOUT IT!?!

Gosh! What is He thinking?

Golly Bob it, you guys! How am I – the romantic, the matchmaker, the woman who wants nothing more than to be a wife and mother – supposed take a back seat so far back that I cant even see the stage of my own love story? (You know I am really asking so if you have insight that would be wonderful. ;))

I was feeling pretty good about the progress God and I were making on this until yesterday.

Yesterday was like an explosion of “well crap, today sucked.”

Actually the day was pretty great. How distracted I allowed myself to be and how I decided to spend my time? Not so much.

So now it is Wednesday night and I am thousands of words behind on my newest book, I have wasted opportunities to share God with my fellow Christians and I have allowed myself to fall into the depth of despair with loving this guy again.

I love him, but it really sucks, ya know?

I guess what I am trying to figure out is how to do what God would have me do in this time and still be the woman He created – myself, but focused.

I know my mission, I know I have other dreams besides getting married and I know God loves me so I am fabulously excited, but at the same time there is that nag in the back of my head that reminds me how stupid I have been for at least the past two years if not the past four when it comes to guarding my heart and keeping it sacred for my Father in Heaven.

I feel like a fool and I don’t know how to get over it. Guilt is making me feel empty after all I have gone through in this area. I look back over the past four years and I hear in my head, “wasted time”, while my heart shows me all the fruit that has grown up in me because of it.

I have learned so much during this time, you guys, and I hope you can take my honesty and my idiocy and grow from it. That is the point, right?

This is my random me quote of the season – the stupid love – is – in – the – air summer season – “Life is a great big, stupid, beautiful adventure.”

Well guys, I hope you take that and fly with it. I hope you don’t make the love mistakes I have made (quick hint – its not just the hands you must watch, it’s the heart.) I hope all of you will go out into the rest of your lives and do something giant for God that blows your mind! Be strong and of good courage. Don’t quit and most of all when you screw up every single thing in your life remember: God is bigger than it all.

I think that is the only way we can get past the guilt when it hits. Remember how big God is compared, how good He is to save and then get up and do what you were meant to be doing all along.

Don’t waste another second, okay?

I’m not.

Love,

Deanna ❤

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This is Not a Bad Captivity.

Today at church my pastor said something that really struck home with me and my current fight in life. He said, “At the base of everything else there can be only one sin that creates not only a war between yourself and those around you, but a war within your own soul. It is this: you lust after and desire something so much that you would fight to the ends of the earth to get it. You would even go so far as to fight God.”

I realized earlier in the month that I had been fighting very hard for a man that I have loved for more than four years. I discovered that even though my love for him may have been a beautiful, pure love that there was a such thing as loving him to much.

There were times that I actually did fight with God over why we weren’t together and whether or not I should tell him about my feelings, but typically my idolatry – for idolatry it was – took the form of thinking about him too much and having that yearning that darkened even good days.

Ever since I realized that I decided that my continuing to live that way was not only wrong, but that it was hurting me and holding me back from the great life I could be having as a single. I knew God didn’t have me single for no reason. I knew that I had a purpose in my years as a single that I could chase with a Christ-like passion, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. I kept feeling like I had a dream and I was trapped, unable to get to it.

Then on May  18th my pastor’s wife said,  “Being single is not a disease that you one day over come. Being single is not a cage that you someday escape.”

In my spirit I heard something that God had been saying to me for weeks now. He said, “This is not a bad captivity.”

It was in Jeremiah 29 that I first had this revelation from God. Jeremiah 29 is a letter written to those that God sent into captivity in Babylon.

He starts straight away by saying I am here with you in this time and I know where you are. I want you to build houses here. Rest here and bare fruit here. Be content and rest. Increase and grow even in captivity. Be like the Israelites. They grew even greater than their enemies. Seek the peace of your captivity because I have caught you there. Pray for My peace because in this captivity there is safety and peace.

Do not listen to the people around you who tell you this is a bad place or tell you things that make you dissatisfied. Do not listen to your heart and your dreams because when you are in a place your flesh does not like they will deceive you even if the place is good for your spirit and for the world. Don’t let yourself be tricked. Rest in this captivity.

After a time – a certain time that I know and that will not change – I will bring you out of this captivity and you can go where your heart feels at home. I have good plans for you and this time of captivity is part of it. This is for your good and will not harm you. This is to give you the future I have planned and to fill you with unending hope should trials come when you leave the captivity. Know this and you will call me. I will hear you. You will seek me because you know with head knowledge that I love you. You will seek to really know my love and you will find that you do know it. That in fact you know it better than ever before. If it weren’t for this captivity in my arms you never would have had the time to seek me in that way.

You will find me and I will free you. There are people out there who refuse to be taken captive by me and will not look for me. Because of this – and because they tempt you to do the same – they will find themselves unprotected, restless and full of troubles. Their ways are not my ways. Even in hardship you are safe because you live in the place I tell you to. I can keep you from getting sick if you live in the city I tell you to live in. I know which cities will be struck with disease and which will not and so why would you try to live in the place you think best? My instructions to go here or not go there are to protect you. If you do not listen what else can I do?

Listen to my voice. It is your peace in this captivity. You are held captive by me, but not by force. Find joy in the fact that I want you safe and so close. I know what you have done in the past and I know where you are. I am witness to your tears and have whitened all your wrongs.

Let me take you captive. Do not think that you know everything. No man should think higher than he ought. You are not a prophet. You do not know the future or even really know who you are. Take comfort. I know who you are. I know the path. I planned the path. Trust me all the way. Everything is for your good.

For this purpose you will be here for awhile: build a house, take a break, bare fruit by knowing me. I just want you to take time to know me. This is not a bad captivity.

I accepted those verses completely and I was seeking and searching trying to understand Gods purpose for me here. I was asking him, “What house do I build? What fruit do I bare?”, but most of all I was asking, “How do I rest in complete peace and contentment?”

I was trusting. I was growing. I was slowly letting go in my thoughts and my emotions, but there were many times – days even – when I was not content. I felt a pit in the center of my heart and no matter how much I prayed or wrote or worked it would not leave me.

Last night while I cried myself to sleep God said, “Deanna. It is so so easy for you to think of things to do to fill the void for a time, but I am trying to make you a dwelling place.”

I racked my brain to think of what that could mean. I thought of a bunch of different places I could dwell and grow and learn, but none of them held a passion or an excitement to move for my Savior. He wanted me to find a work that was deeper than writing or helping or dreaming. He wanted to show me that even though I was not a married woman that I had a place and I could live my dream.

God made me exactly who I am for exactly where I am right now.

I have discovered that life is all about the right now.

I don’t have to wait to use my talents.
I don’t have to wait to find joy, peace, contentment and fulfillment in my life.
I don’t have to wait to live my dreams.

Today in service they were taking questions through text and this is what I said,
“I have wanted to be married my whole life. Over the last four years I have prayed about it intensely and really grown in my beliefs concerning family and marriage. I know that God’s plan is the best plan. I recently turned 18 and had this fantasy that I would have a boyfriend for my birthday lol and be on my way to my life long dream of being a wife and mother. That obviously hasn’t happened. My question is how does a single whose dream is to raise a family find contentment and purpose in being single and stop being unhappy wishing for what they do not have?”

I asked that question feeling empty and lost.

I left service today feeling not only full, but empowered to live my life!

She said, “There are children all over the world who are helpless and abandoned. They would love to have a mother like you!”

I realized in that moment that while I may not be a physical mother to anyone yet that I am (and have the potential to be) a spiritual mom to many, many young men and women. I have my siblings, the darling babies in the nursery, the wild kids of promise park, and those coming up behind me in yx.

I have a place in the family of God.

God gave me the gift to encourage, nurture, listen, pray and love fiercely not just so I could one day be a mother and a wife. He gave me those gifts to bless everyone that walks into my world. God has given me the grace to raise up young men and women for him – right now.

My encouragement to you is this:

You don’t have to wait for a certain season of your life to bare fruit. Step out, realize the Grace and Power of God in your life and bare fruit even when the world calls you a captive.

We are in the world, but not of it.

The world and what it deems to be “normal” is not of any importance to us.

You purpose in life is to use your gifts to glorify your Father in Heaven and you can do that in an earth shattering, opinion destroying, life altering way when you do it with God.

There is a time to live and a time to die.

There is a time to be single and a time to be married.

Stop waiting and live while you still have the chance.

Brass Hearts.

Brass Hearts tremble clamorously

The tune flow up less graciously

than the orchestra you can see

I always prefer our Brass Hearts.

*****

For they are tumultuously real

Brass Hearts tremble clamorously

It’s a song only we can hear

And I wouldn’t ask another.

*****

Because the orchestra can play

All the winter long and even on

Brass Hearts tremble clamorously

And keeps us singing joyfully.

*****

Suffers long, kind, and so good

believes all things and never fails

Though prophecies may fall, forever

Brass Hearts tremble clamorously.

– Deanna ❤

*****

brasshearts

Why Love?

Have you ever wondered why love is something everyone in the world wants? Have you ever wondered why romantic love is so intoxicating? Have you ever wondered why love makes you feel warm inside and makes you want to be better? Have you ever wondered why the world has made an idol out of love?

I have wondered all these things and for the longest time I could come up with only one simple, and truthfully unsatisfying, answer: We all have a hole in our heart that only God can fit.

That answer is true and we all need to take our time and realize how true it is but today when i was listening to a very old Believers Voice Of Victory broadcast on knowing God i found a answer that every christian should know.

Why is marriage so beautiful and why does it compare to our relationship with Christ? Why is it so bubbly and passionate and wonderful? Because every time we love as God loved us we find ourselves right in the middle of knowing God. Deeply, truly, surely. Why is love such a huge part of what God came to give us and show us? Because its the only way to know him!

Many, many people who read 1 john 4:7 take an instant guilt trip – myself included. We say things like I must not know God because I always fly off the handle whenever so and so does such and such. Im a horrible christian. How could I study my bible and go to church so much and still not know God?

That’s NOT what that verse is trying to say! Gods trying to tell us “Hey you know that feeling you get in your stomach – those flutters you call butterflies? That’s me talking to you. You know those moments that you sacrifice what you want because you care so deeply about the other person and you feel warm inside? Thats my smile. You know those moments when your angry but you choose to back away and you begin to feel calm again? That’s my arms holding you up above it all. Everything you do in love brings you closer to me and brings upon you another revelation of me.”

God calls us to Love others so we can know Him. He wants us to so deeply love others so that we can never find anything but His love! God puts that desire for romantic love within us because it is the most beautiful opportunity to KNOW HIM.

What is it to really know God? The hebrew word ginosko means to convey a divine connection with God, completely understanding God and being so intimate with God that you are One with Him! So when God tells us to be still and KNOW Him He is saying reconnect with me, remember who I am, understand my character and how it applies to you, come so near to me that we are one and all your worries and burdens melt away.

Knowing God isnt passive. Knowing God shouldnt be something that we can do sitting around nor should it be something we can do without words of it passing our lips. Think of how your crush makes you feel. You should feel that ten times more with KNOWING God. You know how whenever you see that one person you feel like you might burst if you dont find your best friend and have a giggle fest right away? God wants it to be the same with Him. He wants to be the one Person who makes you want to wake up every morning. He wants to be what makes you smile. He wants to make you jump up and down and shout His name and His goodness. He wants to make those butterflies flutter in your stomach. He wants to make you giggle and blush. He wants to give you that warm feeling on the inside.

Why did God create romantic love here on earth? It certainly isnt the reason we all used to think. Its not the drug or idol the world makes it out to be. Nor is it only serious and dangerous like us christians might imagine it. God made attraction and romance and love because He wanted us to see and feel tangibly, in the physical world, WHO HE IS.

Love, Deanna ❤