Lessons I’m learning from: allowing God to have control.

‘ Maybe it’s OK if I’m not okay, cause the one who holds the universe is holding onto me. Maybe it’s all right if I’m not all right, cause the one who hold the stars is holding my whole life.’ ( ‘Maybe It’s okay’, We are Messengers)

I wanted to wrap up the May blogs by looking at surrendering all, the past two weeks we have looked at our purpose and worth found in God. In finding our purpose and worth, it now comes down to surrendering our old selves and allowing the Lord to transform us and lead us. Which was always his will for our life. Psalm 32v8 ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.’ I am learning daily what it means to allow God to have control, I am learning it is about being patient. God is not in a rush, I am the sort of person that likes to get everything done quickly, that is not God’s way. Even this morning, when I woke up my mind was full of everything that I needed to do. I felt like I was being told to walk into town, grab a coffee and read for a while. There was a lot of me that was reluctant to do that, it was a Saturday morning and town would be busy. I did it, I ended up in a different coffee shop than I was used to. The coffee shop was calm and peaceful, I could have sat there all day and read. I received a blessing from doing that, I could have had a morning full of work but instead I got enjoy some peace. It refreshed my mind and made coming back to do work more enjoyable. For some that may sound silly but it was what I needed. I got to enjoy God’s beauty as well. I walk along a lot of main roads to get into town, I came across these wonderful roses and the smell was incredible. It lifted my spirits a little more.

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Another way that God has been teaching me to let him have control is through a book, that is ‘Uninvited’ by Lysa Terkeurst. If you are following me on Instagram, I am constantly sharing the content from that book because the Lord has spoken such freedom through her words. I believe it was a gift from God, that came at his timing for this season in my life. It challenges my view on where I let my identity lie and what I am choosing to fill my life with. I want to share a quote from the book, that I have been meditating on.

‘We run a at breakneck pace to try and achieve what God simply wants us to slow down enough to receive. He really does have it all worked out. The gaps are filled. The heartache is eased. The provision is ready. The needs are met. The questions are answered. The problems are solved.’ (Lysa TerKeurst, ‘Uninvited’, p36)

I am constantly trying to have control, running after worldly motivations to try and find purpose and life. I have got it so wrong. If I am not coming first to God with everything that I am and have. Then I am running after meaningless things. It is when I slow down and I allow God to direct me, that my life feels more at peace and the way that I am pursuing seems more meaningful. It is me learning to trust in God’s timing, God really does have it all figured out and always has. When I take my eyes of his way, I become like Peter when he became overwhelmed by the storm and began to sink in his circumstances. While the Lord will meet me there just like he did Peter, I believe he asks the same question. ‘Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”, (Matthew 14v31). I have to come realise that the God I believe in is in full control. Where doubts and fears come, they are not mightier than who God is. That may be a truth I have to constantly speak over my life but I know that through my weaknesses God will always be greater. Zephaniah 3v17 ‘The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.’.

The lyrics I began my blog with, are beautiful. It shows how much God is in control. He holds all of creation and yet God holds me tight. I am not overlooked or alone. I am learning that the more I allow God in, the life that I believed to be dull he shows me all the colours that have always been there. I want to share more of the lyrics with you because, God never wastes anything. When life looks an utter mess, God is fully in that situation. It can be so hard to believe, from the ashes God can bring absolute beauty. ‘And if all of my shame hadn’t drove me to hide in the shadows. Then I wouldn’t know the beauty of being free.’ There is such grace and freedom when we allow God to take control. I am learning each day, that it is not easy. Pride and selfishness get in the way, I want to look like I have it altogether. I can truthfully say, when I let the Lord lead, my life is more fruitful and joyful. Even on the days when I say to the Lord ‘I have no idea what is going on’, I know a peace over my life. I know that life will not always be easy but I trust that whatever may happen, that God holds it in its entirety. That nothing can take away the joy of knowing that when God is in control, even the hardest circumstances can not overcome him.

I am still learning what it looks like to surrender and to allow God to have full control. I am thankful for the blessings that I already know and am willing to be obedient to what the Lord has next.

This wraps up May and I pray that these blogs have been a blessing in your life. All that the Lord has being doing in my life, he can do in yours and so much more. Remember that you are never beyond God’s grace, may you find hope and peace in his presence. I pray that your life will go from strength to strength as you walk more intimately with the Lord. You are loved and cherished. Have a wonderful week and I pray that you will keep on learning. Love Victoria. xx

Lessons I’m learning from: Worth (The worth that God speaks over our life.)

Ephesians 2v10 ‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’

I wanted to continue on the topic from last week, God using all things for his good. This week I want to look at our worth, the lessons that I have been learning from the worth that God speaks over my life and your life. I have been taught to challenge my perspective on where I believe my worth lies. I have blogs that speak about labels that I have put on myself and how I believe people perceive me. I truly believe that in God working all things for his good, that he takes our broken view of our worth and and renews it. God pours life and purpose into each and every one of us, when we trust him and surrender all to him.

In the pursuit to find our worth, we can fill our lives with a lot of unnecessary fillers. I know within my own life I did that and am still learning not to do that. My understanding of worth, was to fit in. I did not want to stand out, therefore drawing unnecessary attention to myself. I followed what everyone else was doing. I would pursue the same material goods that other people had, I would try to be socially acceptable to everyone else so I would drink and keep what I really thought to myself. Truthfully, I believed I had worth because I was being accepted by other people. Even at this time I had a faith in Jesus, I was allowing it to take a backseat because I was seeking the worlds approval over who I truly was. I can truly tell you,that seeking to be accepted by the world never made me happy. Sure there were highs from it, I felt like I was always pretending and I was never good enough. That did shatter my worth as person, I could never keep up to how everyone else was.

My worth is something that I have been learning more about as I have grown in my faith. I am thankful for God’s grace and the life that I now have through Jesus. I am thankful that I am not in that same place anymore, that my life is being transformed. Romans 5v8 ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’. God loved us, when we were so unworthy of love. The love of God has transformed my life, God met me in the darkest places of my life and gave them light and hope. When I felt so unworthy, I was reminded daily of how loved I was. Through reading the gospels, my heart rejoiced at the love and the grace that Jesus had for those people who were outcasts from society. Regardless of their faults, he poured his love into them. Jesus renewed their purpose and life, in that they could do no nothing but share what Jesus had done within their lives. Through generations and generations, God has been pouring worth into each and every one of us. Even when we feel unworthy, that God would even want to know us, his plans are far better than ours. Isaiah 55v8 ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.’. We need to trust God that what God has called us too, he will equip us to get through it.

Throughout the Bible we see how God transforms peoples lives. The one person I always keep in mind is Paul. As Saul he persecuted the church and he was full of hate for the early believers. He made it his mission to destroy them. Jesus came into his life and utterly transformed it. From a man who persecuted the early church to a man who helped the early church grow. He spread the gospel and used his life to serve and to save many. He became God’s willing servant, a life once filled with hate was now filled with love and care. His intentions were questioned, people still feared him when he began his ministry. Never once did Paul turn back and believe that he was not good enough because of his past. His hope and his trust remained in Jesus, due to his faithfulness it enabled many people to come to know Jesus for themselves.

The lesson I have been learning this week about worth, is to know my worth I must first grow in wisdom. God has a marvellous way of working, this week I began reading proverbs and it is timely. The value of wisdom, is to pursue wisdom that gives life and is not based on human validation. Proverbs 2v10-11 ‘For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.’ We need to find our worth, in who God says we are. That comes from reading the Bible and seeking God’s words over our lives. If you have not read the Bible in a long time, start at the gospels and read the worth that Jesus speaks over peoples lives. Allow Jesus to speak the same truths into your lives. For our worth will always be diminished by the world, it will always want more of us and it will destroy us. As with Jesus, we start at a place where we are unworthy. Through the grace and love of God,  he gives life and purpose that renews our worth. We are all sinners, saved by grace. However, God loves us and asks us to put our hope and trust in him. Our worth is renewed by God, we become sons and daughters of the King of Kings. We need to keep actively seeking who we are in the eyes of God, holding onto those truths.

Within your life, allow God to work all things for his good. You are loved and cherished and never beyond grace. Have a wonderful week. Love Victoria. xx

Lessons I’m learning from: God using all things for his good.

I have won and I have lost. I got it right sometimes and sometimes I did not. Life’s been a journey. I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret. Oh and You have been my God through all of it.’ (Colton Dixon, ‘Through all of it’)

This has been the lesson that God has been teaching me throughout this week. I have been struggling with allowing myself to move on from the past, dealing with a lot of regret over things that I could have done better. I have been allowing myself to dwell in the events of the past that I have no control over being able to change. I have been allowing the past to become a prison of my own making. This is where God has intervened to draw me out of this pit I had put myself into. I hope that what I have learned will bless you if you are going through this same season in your life.

Life is messy, even with the best intentions we get things wrong. In growing up we chose to do things that we think we need to do to be accepted and appreciated in life. What I have been struggling with is that I could have done life better. I could have loved better, worked harder and not been conformed to the ways others wanted me to be. There are events in my life that are tarnished with regret and failure and I wish I could have changed what the outcome would have been. The truth that God has been speaking over me, is that no opportunity is ever wasted when I invited God in. This has been the message that has been pursuing my heart and mind throughout all I have done this week. It has been in my devotional, my daily bible reading, the songs that I have listened to and the conversations that I have had. It is a truth that I have set in my heart to hold dear to and to believe in. Where the past may be that which is tinged with regret, it is not my present and it is not my future. God’s love and grace speaks freedom and renewed purpose into my life and that has been a blessing. Romans 8v1 ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.’

To know forgiveness over my life is also about learning to forgive myself. I will beat myself up about my past. That does not help at all. I have been learning to take those thoughts captive and to let them go. To no longer mull over them until I am in tears. For there is purpose in the day I have and that does not need to be filled with the mistakes of the past. Psalm 103v12 ‘He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.’.

Another problem that I have been dealing with is that I feel that where I am in life is not enough. I have talked about this in my blog on comparison, in continuation, I struggle when people ask me ‘What do you want to do with your life?’. Truthfully I have no idea, that worries me as a 23 year old that I have no idea of the path that I want to pursue. Again, God has been speaking peace over my life in over this fear that I have. Romans 8v28 ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ It is teaching me to have faith in the situation that I am in, not to become content but to actively seek God in all things in my life. One of those areas is work, it is a place that I can sometimes feel disconnected from God. I have began to pray over each day, that he would love through me and I would show grace and kindness to the people that I serve. There is such power in those prayers, as I said once you invite God into a situation he will utterly transform it. The conversations that I have been able to have with people has been encouraging. To even know the peace that God gives when situations are pressurised has enabled me to have an optimistic view on my job. It is tiring, it is not something I want to do forever. In learning to serve and to care for people even when I feel dissatisfied is a blessing. No opportunity is ever wasted in our life when we have a willingness to do God’s will. Until God leads me to the next place, I will choose to be faithful in the place I have been put.

One of the verses that is a constant reminder is that which is found in Genesis 50v20, ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’. This verse reminds me, that God is in full control. Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery, a malicious act that was done due to their jealousy. Through being sold, Joseph ended up in Egypt which was a land unknown to him but God was with him through it all. Joseph found favour in the eyes of many and even when he was imprisoned due to false accusations his hope did not diminish. God used Joseph and the gift he had of dream interpretation, to tell all of Egypt about an upcoming famine. Which enabled them to prepare the land to be well stocked for the many years of famine that where coming. Which not only saved their nation but the other nations surrounding them. God truly does work all things for his good, that can be hard to believe when we look at the word today. God’s love and faithfulness is still abundant through the many people who go out and work to do good, even in the darkest and hardest of circumstances. God is a good God, who has always had a better purpose if only we would turn our eyes to him and trust him to lead us.

While I may still struggle with what my purpose is, I am learning to to trust God. That wherever I may end up in life, it is never a wasted opportunity. Whether that be sharing kindness, supporting someone, or, a season of growth. God will be there and has always been there. Where my past may try to haunt me, God speaks his peace and truth over my life and that frees me from those chains. I know that in life I will make mistakes, for I am human. It is no longer about harbouring them as my identity but allowing myself to be set free from them. God can transform any situation for his good, for he is God the creator and perfecter of all. None of our lives are beyond God’s grace. For even in our failures there will always be hope and grace.

May you have a blessed week. You are loved and cherished. Love Victoria. xx

Lessons I’m learning from : Psalm 139 (Having a heart of surrender.)

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The past two weeks we have been looking at God being a God who breaks down barriers. This week I want to continue on this topic. Being broken to be reshaped is a process that I am going through at the moment. It is God bringing down all these ideas and limits that my perception had put on him. Allowing me to walk in a greater freedom in my faith and to grow in a deeper relationship with God and people. One of the ways that God has been doing this, is through scripture.  I share with you the lessons that I am learning and how they are reshaping my life and faith.

I spent the past week meditating on Psalm 139 and it was an incredible insight into how close God is to me and how much purpose he has poured into me. Psalm 139v10 ‘Even there your hand shall lead me , your right hand shall hold me’ (ESV). No place is impossible for God to reach, no height nor depth can overcome who God is. Even when we feel so isolated and hopeless, we feel no one can reach the place that we are in. God is there and he is holding us through it all. That truth is hard to grasp because our perspective is limited but to have the faith in that promise, God is truly in all things and through all things it gives the hope to press on. There are areas in my life, which I attempt to shut God out of. They are places that are tinged with darkness and struggle or they are places that I feel that he would not want to be. To be reminded that there is no place that I can go where I will be able to escape from God’s presence. It is allowing me to surrender and to allow him in, as he always wanted to be. Once God is allowed into a situation, that which was hopeless becomes hopeful.

The truth of God being in all situations is proclaimed in v 12 ‘even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you’. This Psalm continues to teach that what we believe is our limit, to God is no boundary. In our darkest night, God still sees the beauty and hope that will flow from that situation. God does not give up on me or you, we should not give up on ourselves. There is nothing that God cannot turn around for his good. The Psalm teaches us to put our hope and trust in God, he makes the impossible possible.

v16′… in your book were written, every one of them. the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them’.  I am learning to accept the truth that God holds all my days and that has always been his way. The good, the bad, the messy; God already had them all. There are many days when I go to bed having had a rough day, when I can find beauty in being able to thank God for it being over, and for him getting me through it. This verse struck a chord because of the care and purpose God has poured into me, and into you. Every day that I will live has already been recorded even before I was on this earth. That is a crazy thought but it brings peace because none of my days are out of God’s control. He holds them all. God holds me in his thoughts and his love is continuously pouring into me.

v18’…I awake and I am still with you.’ God’s presence is present, he never leaves me, no matter how much my mind would like to tell me otherwise. To know that God is with me consistently, it makes me want to spend time with him more. God is so interested in me and my life, I want to know what he sees me and to have faith to trust that the life he has given me will be purposeful. That has allowed me to let go of the things that I used to hold onto as safety nets because they always took more out of me than I was willing to give. Where as God pours love, grace and peace into my life in abundance and I am thankful for that. In a world that would tear us apart, God holds us and makes us victorious in accordance with his will. In growing it enabled me to let go of people who were having a negative effect on my life and I was most likely doing the same thing to them. When there are two people who are completely different in views and in life choices, someone is always going to have to give in to save that. Where people have been removed from my life, God has replaced them with people who in relationship we encourage and support each other as we go through life.

Final thoughts (there is so much goodness and life is Psalm 139) is that of surrendering. The whole Psalm 139 focuses on how intimately God knows us, how we are purposefully made and our life choices. The final verses proclaim v23-24 ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’. It is that willingness to give it all to God, for me it is allowing him to transform what I thought was living, into the life that he always wanted me to live. For God to know my heart, gives me peace. Knowing that when things may fail in life, my heart will continue to trust and hope in God. Finally in allowing God into the darker aspects of my life – the sorrow and my sinful ways – wanting him to transform it for his good. I want to have a closer walk with God, through Jesus that has all become possible.  As I learn to surrender more and more of my life to God I spend more of my time in his presence. As I open up all areas of my life to God, I pray that I will know a greater hope and a greater peace within my life. I pray that you would allow God to speak through scripture and allow him to transform your life into what it was always meant to be. For it is a life full of hope and grace.

May you have a blessed week. May you continue to learn and grow in grace. Love Victoria. xx

For any prayer requests or messages my Instagram is @torijoy24