Simplifying Christianity

We humans tend to complicate every aspect of our lives, especially God.  We want the best worship experience and an emotional message on Sundays.  We overthink God by our works.  All our lives most of us are told that you must be in church and studies to have God in our lives, which in fact, is not true.  Hear me out, I am not saying that church is not important.  I am saying God is more than a church service and group studies.  He is simply about relationship.  He does not want us so busy trying to figure out who He is that we have no time to personally have a relationship with Him.

For the last year, I have been going to one church to another trying to find the perfect setting — is the worship spiritual enough or is the message convicting to bring me to the altar.  I was looking for emotion rather than God Himself.  I was so insecure that I needed to be convicted to speak to God for forgiveness.  And when restlessness and discontentment came over me, I moved on to another church.  Through all the confusion, I caused more chaos in my life.  I caused more disappointment of what the church should be — to my preference.

A few months ago, I decided to temporarily stop attending church and have church at home.  Every Sunday morning and Wednesday night I would listen to a podcast from my iPad and worship God in my own living room. I spent daily in prayer.  In just a month, God showed Himself to me with simplicity and love.  It is not required to do works to find God’s love; He is love, and He only desires relationship with me.  When I complicated God, I was miserable.  The standards I put on myself only made me feel more inadequate.  It was only when I simplified the way I approached God is when I found the true God.  A God who is not demanding but unconditionally loving.  A God who is all comfort not judgmental.  A God who makes me whole when I feel incomplete.  God is complex in so many ways, but when it comes to a relationship with Him, it’s simple: Love God with all her heart and live a life abundantly in His love.  Love God and be a Disciple.  Simple as that.

We need to stop representing a demanding God who is false and scary.  We need to start showing others that God is all about the heart.  He is all about love.  We do not need an emotional message on Sunday to convict us of our sin, but a message of truth.  We do not need to a worship service to sound like a professional concert, but to worship God in purity.  We don’t need an in-depth message every week to tell us who God is; we need to experience God ourselves through group Bible Studies and an individual prayer life.  If we want a relationship with God, we need to pursue Him at church, at home, in our workplace, and with our family and friends.  God is everywhere!

When you seek God in simplicity, you will find His joy and His peace.  When you pursue Him with all your heart, you will find the true God that you have been looking for.  It starts with you — not the church or others — YOU!

Life…Disappointment…Hope

Life…
It’s exhausting at times
It’s hard at times
It’s lonely at times

Disappointment…
Tells you it’s not worth getting back up
All hope is lost
Convinces you to not even try again

Hope…
Renews your mind
Gives you the courage to stand strong even when you are tired
Reminds you that you are stronger than you appear

My life has been a roller coaster in the last ten years.  There has been much heartache and hurt.  I have been hopping to one church to another to only find more hurt and rejection.  Since December I have been in three different churches to only have the same results.   I started to question my faith, and what I believed.  Last Sunday I was singing a song about God’s goodness, and I wondered if I believed the words that I was singing.  I was so discouraged and tired that I wanted to quit church completely.  I left in tears wondering if church was even for me.  I told myself that, “I was a Christian, and I am supposed to be in church.”

In that moment, I realized I was going to church because that is what you do as a Christian.  I was going out of duty  and not out of passion for God.  I decided to re-evaluate my heart and to see whether or not my faith was wavering.  I found that yes I was tired to church, but my faith was strong in the Lord.  I have just attend churches that was not allowing God to lead.  I was seeking the wrong kind of churches.  And, deep inside, I did not want to quit church, because I was defeated.  I felt more alone than ever and church is about fellowship and God’s love.

Life was never meant to do alone.  So…I looked searched online for churches in my area.  I came across one that really drew me in, and I attended this Sunday.  Not only do I have a Women’s Bible Study to attend on Wednesday, I have two coffee meetings in the next few weeks with some women I met at the church.  I felt like I belonged and that I was welcome.  No one pushed me to do anything I did not want to do.  I felt home for the first time in a decade.  My disappointment turned into hope.  My loneliness turned into meeting other Christian women who understood my hurt.  Yes, I am tired, but I am strong.   The devil wants to keep kicking me to the ground in defeat, but the Lord wants me to stay strong in Him.  As long as I keep my eyes focused on Jesus, I will have the strength to find hope again in church.  Not because I am supposed to attend church every week, but because I want to attend church and worship God with other Christians.  I want to attend church, because my heart longs for fellowship with other believers.  My flesh may be weak, but Spiritually I am strong.

Life happens, but it does not mean you have to live in defeat.  Get up, Dust yourself off, and Stand strong.  Hope for what’s to come!

 

After The Rain…

Rain….

It’s necessary for growth.

It allows the old to pass away, and the new to come.

There is beauty where it once was dead.

Life is all about going through a storm so we can see the rainbow on the other side.  Imagine yourself in a garden with plants wilted and weeds grown up in the beds.  The caretaker failed to remove the weeds and water the garden.  It is overgrown and little by little the plants die away.  What once was a beautiful garden turned into shriveled brown leaves falling lifeless to the ground with no hope for renewal.

The only way to grow is to work through the weeds in our lives and to remove what hinders us from God.  As we toil through the soil to determine what to remove and what to keep, we dig up the truths of our lives.  When we reach the root and see it had potential for growth, we just sit there quietly in defeat and wonder why we did not see the potential sooner.  Why didn’t we just go through the painful process of pulling the weeds so we could see our potential?  Why didn’t we water the plants to see them grow and bloom into something beautiful?  Instead of facing the storm and waiting for growth, we ran in fear because of the unknown.  We missed seeing the rainbow, because we never walked through the rain.

Ten years ago I ran from a difficult situation.  I never properly allowed God to heal my heart, and I still struggle today with those insecurities and emotions from my past.  The weeds in my life became overgrown and never tended to in a decade.  New life was never planted.  I tried to bury my past by laying more soil on top of the hurt–the root of the problem.  Recently, I have had to remove the soil to get to the root.  I had to expose the most shameful part of my life to eventually find healing through God.  I am currently vulnerable and transparent for all to see.

As the plant grows bigger and stronger, the root spans in all directions as it goes deeper into the soil.  Imagine the root being every situation you have not dealt with in your life.  It has twists and turns.  The root intertwines with each other. It becomes so powerful that you cannot uproot the plant without force.  It is embedded so deep that it is a struggle to rip it out of the ground.  Life is painful when we grab something by it’s roots and force it to the surface.  But there is good news — when we finally deal with the root of our problems and let the root of destruction die, we will see new growth happening in our lives.  We blossom into something beautiful.

We allow God to mend our hearts as he continues to water the new seeds in our lives.  As the seeds grow in the soil, God enriches it with nutrients.  He sprinkles miracle grow over the plant for a better chance at life.  He brings the rain so we can stand strong and tall.  We have to endure heartache through the rain so we can become a beautiful flower for all to see.  Our roots have to be strong and healthy so we can withstand the winds.  And, after the rain, there is a rainbow full of promises.  The promises of another day.  The promises for what’s to come.

A rainbow represents new life.
It represents a hopeful future.
It represents a testimony of what was.
It represents the new you!

If you want a renewal in your life, uproot what you have not dealt with and find your rainbow.  If you want a life full of promises, remove the weeds.  If you want to see growth in your life, be consumed in God’s enrichment.

This Is Us

For all the This Is Us fans, this blog is for you.  For those who are not familiar with the show, it is an American television drama series that revolves around an everyday family who has three children, two are twins.  Episodes show flashbacks from the past (1980-1998) to present day (2016-2018).  The show is based off of Jack and Rebecca Pearson and their three children (Kevin, Kate, and Randall).  We know from the beginning that Jack died when the children were 17 years old.  The show begins with the children as adults at age 36.  They are all in different stages of their lives.  Kevin is struggling as an actor.  Kate struggles with weight issues, self-image, and love.  Randall is a successful business man and family man who struggles with perfection and joy.  Rebecca, after losing her husband, remarries her past husband’s best friend.  The Pearson family is no different than our lives.  We struggle with loss, love, self-image, family, children, and careers.  We laugh together, cry together, love one another, and, most of all, support each other.  This series is us — in every way!

We can learn from the Pearson family on how to strengthen our love for one another, how to support each other in all things, and how to laugh together in the good times.  The characters all have different personalities who make life work together.  Their lives are as mundane as ours.  The characters are real and relevant for all of us.  Rebecca Pearson tries to be the best mother and wife she can be, and, yet, she was not perfect in any way.  Jack Pearson was perceived as the perfect father, but, yet, he fell back to his old ways and became an recurring alcoholic.  Kevin was known as the high school football star, and then became a famous actor.  He quit his job out of frustration and became an alcoholic and drug addict.  Kate struggles with her weight and self-image so much so that it almost ruined meeting the love of her life.  Randall, from the outside, looked like he had the perfect life — great career, wife, children, and a nice home.  He quit his job after having a nervous breakdown and found himself finding his purpose again.

As seen in This Is Us,  we relate to many of these characters’ insecurities.  We are born into a family who is imperfect which causes us to have insecurities.  Some of the insecurities follow us into adulthood.  Most of us lived with loving parents who cared for us and provided for our needs.  And, yet, something was still missing.  Maybe a sibling was shown more love than you.  Maybe a parent was hard on you in an area you struggled in.  Maybe a parent reacted to a situation badly that may have scarred you for life.  Maybe a spoken word hurt you deeply, and you never recovered from that moment.  As a result of these insecurities, we struggle with finding purpose in our lives.  We struggle with our appearance.  We struggle with loving others and receiving love.  The list could go on and on.

Just like this series, the characters get back up and dust themselves off.  Life does not end with that moment.  In the midst of their tears and chaos, they find the strength to move forward.  At the end of the road, they find joy again where there once was sorrow.  You can do the same.  If you do not have a family who supports you, you are not alone.  God is always there to pick you up and dust you off to start again.  He will never leave you defeated and alone.  He will carry you through your journey and heal you from your wounds.  God will cry with you and will hold you until you stand on your own.  He will create a support system for you during a time of difficulty.  Our lives may feel like a roller coaster at times (ups and downs), but God will overwhelm us with His peace, if we only come to Him for help.

“Beautifully Broken”

Recently, I started reading a book called, “The End of Me” written by Kyle Idleman.  So far, it has been an incredible book about the beauty of being broken in the presence of God.  Jesus becomes real in our lives when we are broken for Him.  It is when we come to the end of ourselves that God shows up to pick up the pieces of our lives to put them back together one-by-one.  In Luke 9:24, it states that “whoever loses life will find it.”

In this book, the author portrays a beautiful picture of what brokenness really looks like.  In Luke 7, Jesus is having dinner with a religious leader, Simon.  Simon has disregarded all tradition by not greeting Jesus with a kiss on the hand, washing his feet, and anointing his head with oil.  Simon is rich and the people feared him so he intentionally did not honor Jesus as his guest in his home.  Simon wanted to be the master of his home, not Jesus.  At one point in the middle of dinner, a sinful woman enters Simon’s home uninvited.  She heard through the crowds Jesus was in town and was having dinner with Simon and other religious leaders.  While everyone else looked at her with judgment, Jesus looked at her with unconditional love.  She did not focus on the disgruntled faces around her and allowed Jesus’ love to overwhelm her.  You see, Jesus saw “her as beautifully broken” while the others saw her as tainted and untouchable (“The End of Me”).

The woman kept her eyes focused on Jesus and knelt at Jesus’ feet.   She began to weep uncontrollably and, with her tears, she cleaned His feet.  She let down her hair and dried His feet.  She then took an entire bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet.  In this moment, “she offers all that she has, because He has changed all that she is” (“The End of Me”).  A prostitute, known for our profession, “has become a living embodiment of cleansing” (“The End of Me”).  Jesus tells her that her sins are forgiven (Luke 7:48).  Her brokenness is recognized, and she is made whole again.  What an incredible imagery of being made whole in Christ in just one moment.

“Brokenness often overflows with hidden beauty.  It is redemptive by design” (author unknown).  The moment Jesus forgave the woman from all her sins, it was redemption.  She was not ashamed of her past; she boldly walked into a religious leader’s home to have a moment with Jesus.  This Biblical story reminds us to never be ashamed to bear our scars in the church or around our family and friends.  Our past tells a story of redemption–of who we were and who we are today.

If you look closer in the story of Luke 7, we see that Simon is carrying around brokenness as well.  He is so arrogant about his status that he refused to greet his guests with traditions.  He does not respect who Jesus is and only invited Jesus to dinner out of obligation.  Instead of receiving a blessing from Jesus, he received a rebuke from Him.  The sinful woman knew that she was broken and needed Jesus’ forgiveness, but Simon, on the other hand, did not recognize his brokenness.

Romans 3:23 states that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  The truth is, we are all broken people who need Jesus.  We can complete this sentence: “We are the people who _________________________________________” (“The End of Me”).  Who have debt, ignored the hurting, looked down on others, etc.  We are the kind of people who wants to avoid being honest with ourselves.  “Most of us have some conception, in our heart to hearts, that a lot of the pieces never seem to be mended.  But we will go to great lengths to avoid the full, honest embrace of our condition” (“The End of Me”).  “The only solution for being broken is brokenness.  Brokenness is the way to wholeness.” (“The End of Me”).

APPLICATION

When was the last time you recognized your brokenness and knelt at Jesus’ feet overwhelmed by His love for you?  Are you avoiding the brokenness that keeps on pulling you down and telling you lies about yourself?  It’s time to bear your scars and be real with God and others about your past or present life.  It’s time for you to be whole again through Christ.

PRAYER

“God, take my broken pieces and remold them into what seems best for you” (“The End of Me”).  Lord, help me to be vulnerable and bear my scars so I can be mended and whole again.  In Your Name, Amen!

Women’s Insecurities – Week Five

As I bring this series to a close, I felt like it was appropriate to post a declaration instead of a lengthy blog.  It only seems appropriate after we talked about the causes of rejection and how to overcome it though Christ that we declare God’s power over our lives.  Remember that “rejection never has the final say.  Rejection may be a delay or distraction or even a devastation for a season.  But it’s never a final destination.  [We are] destined for a love that can’t ever be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken.  With You, Jesus, [we are] forever safe. [We are] forever accepted. [We are] forever held.  Completely loved and always invited in” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

DECLARATION:  (Written by Lysa TerKeurst in her book, Uninvited)

Whatever rejection has stolen from you, I declare that the deepest desperation you’ve experienced will lead to God’s greatest revelation in your life.

I declare that the Lord will give you relief from your unbelief.

He will restore you, redeem you, and write His story–His glorious story onto the pages of your life.

It will happen.

Doubt and defeat have no place in the sacred sanctuary of your heart.

Bitterness, resentment, and anger have no place in a life as beautiful as yours.

PRAYER:  (Written by Lysa TerKeurst in her book, Uninvited)

From now on when misguided voices or the enemy himself tries to put you down with lies or pull you away from the truth or push you into anything that could derail your destiny, I pray that you will sense the mighty hands and heart of God…

  • Lift you up with truth.
  • Draw you close with His loving tenderness.
  • And shame Satan back to hell with His resurrecting power.

Women’s Insecurities – Week Four

In the last three weeks, we have talked about being honest with ourselves and explaining the common areas that women struggle with on a day-to-day basis.  We have also talked about self-rejection from our past as well as rejection from others.  This week we are focusing on how to deal with rejection and use it to better ourselves rather than allow it to bring us down.

Studies show that rejection affects the physical pathways in our brain (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection is a deep rooted issue that people face every day, and it stirs up our emotions to make us think negative about ourselves or to something.  It can be defined as not “just an emotional feeling, [but] a message that alters what you believe about yourself” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection has the power to change who we are as an individual.  It can change the way think about a situation.  It is a physical pain that reminds us of loss and feeling unwanted.  “Rejection can make [us] question [God’s] goodness” in our lives (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

If we don’t want rejection to ruin our lives, we need to have a new perspective on how we handle rejection.  In the Spiritual realm, we can think of it as a blessing.  Lysa TerKeurst stated that “today’s disappointment is making room for tomorrow’s appointment” (Uninvited).  We do not always understand why God says no to our prayers or requests when we want it so badly, but we do not want to miss God’s opportunities by always remembering the disappointments of our past.  We never move past the disappointment if we always ask “why” questions rather than “what” questions.  “‘What’ questions increase our ability to become more self-aware, while ‘why’ questions only focus on things out of control (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  When we ask “why” we see what we lack rather than what is ahead of us.

So…”What’s a brokenhearted person to do?” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  How do we overcome rejection?  We “praise, seek, and look to God” for comfort.  We “experience, learn from, and draw near to God” in every situation (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection does not label us, and it is not a permanent condition.  It does not keep us from succeeding in our future; It just means we had a setback.  “If we give [rejection] the power to define us, it will haunt us long-term.  But if we only allow it enough power to refine us, the hurt will give way to healing” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  TerKeurst also states to “not let [rejection] destroy [us but to] use it in good ways to make [us] stronger” (Uninvited).  We need to use it to empower us to become better.  “Don’t let today’s reaction become tomorrow’s regret” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  What this statement is saying is do not allow your emotions to get in the way of wisdom.

Our past rejections do not have to define our future.  It is our choice to change rejection for the good.  Maybe God wanted you to take another path than the one you prayed about.  Maybe God allowed you to experience a hurtful situation so you could understand compassion towards others.  “The enemy loves to take our rejection and twist it into a raw, irrational fear that God really doesn’t have a good plan for us” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Do not believe that lie, because “God is always at work” in our lives.  “He is a present, loving Father, aware of our deepest hurts and even our deeper needs” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

Even if you don’t hear His voice, He is there!
Even though you don’t feel His touch, He is there!
Even if you lost your faith, He is there!

APPLICATION

Yes, rejection hurts, but we can overcome it through Jesus Christ.  We are all overcomers through Him.  We do not have to live in defeat by our own insecurities.  Rejection is only a temporary setback to make us stronger.  Our past hurts and failures do not have to hinder our future.  We get up, dust ourselves off, and walk towards Jesus.  Jesus is our Healer and our Comforter.  He is the One who guides us towards our future with confidence and self-worth.

I encourage all of us to remove the labels in our lives and let God redefine who we are through His promises and love.  We live in victory when we live for Christ!  Our success comes from Him.  It does not come from our past.  It does not come from the devil.  It only comes from God.

Women’s Insecurities – Week Three

We all face rejection in our day-to-day life.  Some are more deeply rooted than others, but all rejection hurts.  Rejection causes many insecurities that last within in us for years.  It causes trust issues with ourselves and others.  It causes us to overreact in situations when someone or something triggers our insecurities.  Lysa TerKeurst says it best in her book, Uninvited, by stating, “If we react with more emotion than is appropriate for an isolated incident, it’s probably not so isolated.  The escalated emotion of this situation is probably an indication of painful ties to the past.”

There is a character in the Bible who had deeply rooted issues that started with rejection.  David, even though he became the King of Israel, had insecurities by how his father treated him.  When David was young, he was rejected by his father by not being included in the most important day of their families lives.  While David was tending the sheep, a prophet named Samuel arrived at their home to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be king.  Jesse had eight sons, including David.  Jesse presented seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel did not choose any of them.  Samuel asked if “these were all the sons [Jesse] had” and Jesse responded by saying, “there is still the youngest” which was referring to David (1 Samuel 16:11).  Immediately when Samuel saw David, he anointed him as the Lord said to do.  He “took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers” (1 Samuel 16:13).  This rejection continued to haunt David for many years to come.  We will see this in chapter 25 in 1 Samuel.

In chapter 25, David was rejected by Nabal and reacted irrationally over the situation.  David sent ten servants to Carmel to ask Nabal to prepare a meal in honor of his name (1 Samuel 25:5-8).  Nabal reacted by saying, “Who is this David?  Who is this son of Jesse?…Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered…and give it to men coming from who knows where?” (1 Samuel 25:10-11).  When the men told David what Nabal said, David threatened to kill Nabal and all the men in the household (1 Samuel 25:12-17).  David overreacted and was about to do something that would not only harm himself emotionally but kill innocent people.  His anger did not stem from this single incident alone.  Nabal reopened a wound from David’s childhood when his father rejected him from the family’s anointing (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  The grudge was so deep that David was willing to kill to make someone pay for his hurt.  Nabal’s wife saved her husband and household by preparing the meal for David and making him feel welcome.

David felt like he belonged for the first time since his father’s rejection.  His father “inflicted a mark on his heart that read, ‘you don’t belong'” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  David achieved remarkable things in his lifetime, but “no amount of outside achievement fixes inside hurts” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  “Those hurts have to be soothed by replacing the lies with truth” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Nabal’s wife reassured David that he was important, valuable, and secure.  She asked him to forgive her husband of his actions and that he is secure in the Lord.  She reminded David about his achievements and success.

This is a powerful story of rejection turning into a place of belonging.  At some point in our lives, we can all relate to David’s insecurities.  His fear of never belonging.  David allowed his past to work against him.  When we hold onto our past hurts, it causes us to hold a grudge against someone or something.  We tend to overreact when a wound is reopened, and, as a result, we hurt others because of our insecurities.  “Let your past rejection experiences work for you instead of against you” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

APPLICATION

What kind of rejections have you bottled up inside that continue to haunt you on a daily basis?  What causes you to react irrationally when someone or something triggers the insecurities in your life?  Rejection reminds us that we don’t belong.  It is a lie from the devil that tells us we are not good enough or smart enough.  The truth is, we belong to God.  We have always belonged to God, because He created us.  We are His children!  He is our Truth!

So…what do you need to hear today to belong?  Do you need to hear that you have worth? Or valued? Or Important? Or loved?  What is it?!  David almost killed innocent people because of past rejection.  Rejection is powerful and destructible.  It not only ruins our lives but those around us.  I pray you find time with God this week to ask for His healing touch on the things that have hurt you in the past or even current issues.  I pray you find your security in Christ and not of this world.  And, finally, I pray you let go of the hurtful situations that hinder you each and every day and surrender it to God.

 

Being Transparent

Last night, during a book study at church, God told me to tell the group a specific story about my past. This is not a story I tell to many and telling it to a group of people at one time was a bit scary. Instead of being obedient to God, I figdeted in my seat quietly. I kept on asking, “Why this story, God? Any other story but this one.” He reminded me of what I said two weeks ago in the study. I said that I was working on my past to make it a testimony. Last night, God gave me the opportunity to tell my story, and I left church with a misopportunity. God kept telling me that someone needs to hear your story tonight, but fear got in the way of telling it.

The truth is, we should never be afraid to share our past with others, because we are living in victory today by overcoming it. We should never be ashamed of who we were, because what happened in the past shaped our today. We need to realize our story matters, and it encourages others. I need to put into practice what I preach.

Below is the link to my story.  A story full of regret, past hurts, and being unlovable.  A story that is powerful and can encourage others if I allow it to be talked about in group settings.  The second link is to encourage you to write your story on my page, and let it encourage those who read it.  Your story matters!  Our story matters!

https://aprilcoon.wordpress.com/my-testimony/

https://aprilcoon.wordpress.com/readers-testimonies/

The Real Me

Today, I will talk about something that is personal and that I struggle with every day.  I struggle with forgiving my past to step into the future.  Before I can have new beginnings, I must be at peace with my past.  I realize I cannot run away from my past, because it will cripple me for life.  I cannot ignore it, because it will always come back to haunt me.

We must understand that our past shapes who we are today, but it does not define us.  We can either allow the experience to help us grow as an individual and with God or let it destroy our lives.  It is a process to forgive ourselves and learn from our mistakes.

The last three months I tried to bury my hurt and shame by making changes in my life.  Some were good and healthy changes that I needed make to better myself.  Other changes hindered me from moving forward.  I am part of a new church since May, and I love how it feels like family.  The church has helped me to grow Spiritually and individually.  A few nights ago, I realized I have not allow myself to be vulnerable in the church and with my church family.  I put on a front that my life was perfect while inside of me was screaming for the truth to come out.  If I want to be a follower of Christ, I have to be transparent even when I’m struggling.

Casting Crowns has a new song called, “One Step Away.”  I heard it the first time on Facebook when a friend of mine posted a YouTube video on his page.  The song brought me to tears, and I cried for hours praying for God’s help.  The lyrics are below.  Please read each line slowly.  The meaning of this song is life-changing.

What if you could go back and relive one day of your life all over again
And unmake the mistake that left you a million miles away
From the you, you once knew
Now yesterday’s shame keeps saying that you’ll never get back on track
But what if I told you…

You’re one step away from surrender
One step away from coming home, coming home
One step from arms wide open
His love has never let you go
You’re not alone
You’re one step away

It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone
Mercy says you don’t have to keep running down the road you’re on
Love’s never met a lost cause
Your shame, lay it down
Leave your ghosts in the past ‘cause you know that you can’t go back
But you can turn around
You’ve never been more than…

One step away from surrender
One step away from coming home, coming home
One step from arms wide open
His love has never let you go
You’re not alone (not alone)
You’re one step away
One step away

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Come now, and take up your new name
Your best life up ahead now
You’re one step away
[x3]

So come on home, come on home
One step from arms wide open
His love has never let you go
You’re not alone (you’re not alone)
You’re one step away

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Take up, take up your new name
[x2]

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Come now, take up your new name
Your best life up ahead now
One step away

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Come now, and take up your new name
Your best life up ahead now
You’re just one step away

REFLECTION:

We cannot relive yesterday, but we can live for today.  Our past mistakes do not hinder us from coming to God for forgiveness and mercy.  It is never too late to come to our heavenly Father!  Let me say that again: It is never too late to come to our heavenly Father!  Are you one step away from surrendering to God?  If so, embrace Him and “lay down the old chains.”  God will give you a new name and a new purpose for your life!

PRAYER:

God is asking you to “bring [Him] all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn’t have.  Fear and anxiety still plaque you.  Do not hide from your fear or pretend it isn’t there.  Anxiety that you hide in the recesses of your heart will give birth to fear of fear: a monstrous mutation.  Bring your anxieties out into the Light of [God’s] Presence, where [God and you] can deal with them together” (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace In His Presence by Sarah Young).

I pray you put your trust in God and allow Him to work through your past and emotions together.  You are never alone when God is in your heart!