You are not intimidated.

Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
    but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Proverbs 29:25

I pray this sets someone free.  

It happened two Sunday’s ago. I walked in a little late to Sunday School and sat quietly in the empty chair directly in front of my friend Tope, the teacher. The four of us took turns reading through Proverbs 29. I had read the chapter before church and verse 25 stood out to me every time I read it.

When we finished reading, Tope sat back in her chair and asked us in her rich accent, “What do we see here?” When she looked at me, I read verse 25 out loud again and explained, “This verse really resonates with me.” As we discussed the verse, Tope said, “Yes, our fear of man can make them be like an idol in our life.”

I am not sure if I said it out loud or whispered it, “I am not afraid of him.” 

As they moved on to other verses, I stared at the Bible App on my phone, and started reading verse 25 in other translations. 

I was thinking, “I am not afraid of him, but I am still so afraid..why am I so afraid?” when I came across verse 25 in The Passion Translation:  

Fear and intimidation is a trap that holds you back.
But when you place your confidence in the Lord,
you will be seated in the high place.

Proverbs 29:25 TPT

My heart started pounding, and I saw mini-movies and screenshots flash in my mind of the ways he convinced me to NEVER TELL about the abuse. 

Can you imagine the amount of cruel intimidation it takes to ensure a child keeps a painful secret? As a child, I didn’t really understand all that was happening to me, but I completely understood that if I ever told, the most awful and dreadful things would happen. And, it would be all my fault because I told. I had to keep the secret.  

I could faintly hear them discussing another verse in Proverbs, because I was still staring at my phone and the word intimidation.

I thought about what it was like to live and grow up in fear. Bullied. Terrified. As an adult looking back to that small child inside of me, I felt deep anger and incredible sadness at the same time.    

Tope circled back to me and said, “Michelle, what are you thinking?”  

I shook my head and quietly said, “It is too soon,” because I felt very small and vulnerable. Yet, I also knew I was in a safe place with sisters in Christ, so I continued…

“When you said our fear of man can make them an idol in our life… I am not afraid of him.  On the day I confronted him, he walked in like a Goliath but he left small.  It’s not that I am afraid of him, but I am so very afraid. Look at this verse in The Passion Translation.”

As I read it, my eyes filled with tears and with a shaky voice I said, “Intimidation is a trap that holds you back. He bullied me constantly to keep me quiet. I never told.”

As I continued to break down and share more, they moved closer to me. Tope stood behind me and prayed over me. 

We were going to be late for church.  

A part of me felt like I needed to apologize to them, but I also knew I had experienced relief and deliverance once again and I was so thankful. There are layers and layers on this healing journey, and I’ve learned it is always worth it to keep going deeper and experience more healing and freedom.    

This spirit of intimidation has wreaked havoc in my life for years. It has held me back and made me feel trapped. 

Have you been bullied? Intimidated? Filled with fear? Manipulated into silence?  

It’s a trap, designed to hold you back. 

I’m praying you are able to see how you were intimidated and bullied.

I’m praying you are able to grieve the deep pain from it.

I’m praying you have a safe place to process how it impacted you. 

I’m praying you are delivered from the trap. 

You are not intimidated. 

Your confidence is in the Lord. 

You are safe.  

JOY in the WAITING

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My word for 2018 was JOY so I bought a necklace with the word “joy” on it to remind me that no situation, person or event could steal my joy. I wanted to remember each day that Jesus was the source of my joy.

Some days I lived and understood that better than others, but there was a moment where I truly experienced indescribable joy. If joy could cover me from head to toe and penetrate every fiber of my being, this was it. 

I didn’t win the lottery or slap my knee with a deep belly laugh.  In fact, if you were with me that day, you wouldn’t have noticed anything different about me.  You would have missed the absolute dance fest party I was having on the inside.  I was in a room full of women and girls and I wanted to stand up and scream at the top of my lungs – “NOW This is JOY!”

I experienced true joy when I completely let go and surrendered a situation to God and waited for Him to come through for me.  

I came across a poem my daughter had written, and it broke my heart. I felt the pain in every word and I ached even more because I had no idea she was struggling or hurting! I knew she had written these words, but I didn’t know what to do with them.   

At first I thought maybe I should just go and wake her up! I wanted to ask her who in the world said these mean things to her? What made her believe these awful lies about herself? I wanted her to see and believe the truth.

I wanted to fix this, but I felt like God was telling me to wait.  

I couldn’t sleep so I just laid there praying throughout the night. Even as I prayed, I would think of ways to handle it and even offered my suggestions to God, but I sensed Him saying, “Wait. You just wait.” 

I could not stop thinking about it because it triggers me to think about protecting my daughter. I struggle with thinking I have to control keeping her from harm. With waiting, I had no idea how it would turn out. What if waiting didn’t work? I finally texted two friends to join me in prayer.

“Wait, you just wait.” I kept hearing it, and I knew I simply had to wait and trust that He was working behind the scenes and would answer my cry for “Help!”

He answered in ways I never could have imagined in His perfect timing.  

A few weeks later, we were at our Mother/Daughter Bible Study and I was surprised to see her raise her hand and offer to share what she had learned from the lesson.  She said, “I am not sure if this makes sense, but sometimes I feel like a Lego in a bubble. My bubble is school, church, family, friends, and soccer.  As long as that bubble is going well, then I am safe inside… but I can’t always depend on that bubble, because eventually if one of them falls apart then the bubble is gone and the lego will fall. Instead, I need to let God be my bubble. He is what keeps me safe and secure.  He holds me together.  

I sat there beaming as I listened to her share her heart and perspective. The whole time, I was thanking God for helping me to wait because He did far more in her heart than I could have ever accomplished on my own. I could hardly wait to text my two friends to tell them how God answered!

 “Waiting” is hard for me. My silent screams for help went on throughout my childhood and no one stopped the abuse. A very big part of me believes I have to control my circumstances, or else there will be disaster. For me, “being in charge” is not just a title. It truly feels like life or death at times.  

But Jesus is showing me something new. He is teaching me that I can let go of that “need to be in control” and trust Him. He is showing me there is joy in the waiting.  My word for 2019 is wait, and I am learning to practice it with joy. I am learning to let go, and wait.   

Waiting on God is not easy, but it changes everything.

Are you in a season of waiting? Do you struggle with wanting to take matters into your own hands when you sense God is asking you to wait? I would love to pray for you as you wait and I’d love to hear how God moves. Please feel free to comment below or email me at journeypink@gmail.com.  Psalm 27:14 encourages my heart as I wait. What verse encourages you?

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord.
Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!

Psalm 27:14 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Praying (and Waiting) for a Miracle

I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.  John 13:19 NIV

I wrote down my ‘miracle’ prayer requests on the orange index card and took a quick picture with my phone. I brought it to the altar and put it in the basket filled with prayers for miracles. That was in September of 2015. Part of my prayer request was answered just a few weeks later. I was ecstatic and praising God. It filled me with hope and I believed that He was going to answer the rest of my prayer on that card.

He hasn’t answered the other part of my prayer, yet.

I have been weary of even praying for it at times so I simply stop thinking about it. Why bother when it is so tender, painful and heartbreaking?  I’ve also found myself full of doubt thinking, “It is impossible. It will never happen.”

Other times, I have stood in the shower praying as the water washed away my tears. With every word, I was believing with everything in me that HE WILL DO IT. It is going to happen. I just know it!

And then, He still doesn’t answer that prayer.

I know it lines up with His Word.
I know it is the desire of His heart.
I know He put that desire in me to pray for it.
He has proven time and time again that He is faithful and He will do it.
Nothing is too big for Him.

Oh me of little faith and even less patience.

Not too long ago, I decided that maybe God could use my help. I decided I was just going to push a few buttons to get the ball rolling and take matters into my own hands.

Luckily, just before I pushed the first button, I stopped.

I sensed in my spirit to let go (again) and trust. He didn’t ask me to even move much less push any buttons. My flesh wanted “now”.

The One who put the stars in the sky doesn’t need me to set anything in motion.

He needs me to trust Him, and to obey.
He needs me to believe Him, and to pray.
He needs me to give it to Him, and let Him work it out.
He needs me to wait, and watch Him once again move mountains.
He has shown me before that He will do it, and He was faithful.

Miracle after miracle, I have seen Him work. I know He is I Am.

I believe.

And yet, my flesh makes me forget that His miracles are way bigger than me. In fact, they are not about me at all. He is working on more that I can ever comprehend or imagine. Other hearts are involved besides mine. Hearts matter to Him.

My heart will wait.
My heart will trust.
My heart will believe.
My heart will have faith.

He is a heart changing, miracle-working, mountain mover.

Psalm 27:14  The Passion Translation (TPT)

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord.
Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!

Are you praying for a miracle?

Maybe you have been praying for it for a while now. Maybe it is a prodigal child, or your marriage. Maybe it is your job, your health or even your finances. Maybe it is for healing, salvation, or forgiveness.  Perhaps you have grown weary and tired in the waiting. Everything about your circumstances screams it will never happen! It is impossible.

But with God, all things are possible.

He will do it, in His way, in His timing, and for His glory.

Write it down, and date it.

As you are waiting, if you find yourself full of doubt, fill yourself with His Word. Recall His faithfulness and cling to His promises. Thank him in advance for His answer to your prayer. Praise Him. Rejoice with every glimmer of hope as you wait for your miracle.

He is faithful.

Psalm 40:5 The Passion Translation (TPT)

O Lord, our God, no one can compare with you.
Such wonderful works and miracles are all found with you!
And you think of us all the time
with your countless expressions of love—
far exceeding our expectations!

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A Daughter’s Dream, A Mother’s Prayer

Prayer

Something changed in me the day I stood in the sterile cold surroundings of the trauma unit with a bright light shining on my daughter.  To be honest, something changed in all of us. Trauma changes things, good and bad. It’s ripple effects are far-reaching.

My heart cried wordless groans for nearly two hours, the longest two hours of my life. I will never forget the joy I felt when she finally opened her eyes and spoke clearly for a cup of water. I was thirsty too, but it was a desperate thirst for prayer, hope, and healing.

What made me feel absolutely powerless, pointed me to the absolute greatest power.  

When I knew I had no control, I leaned heavily on the One who Is in control.  

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