YIKES! Change Found Me

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Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Happy HOT summer my friends. Boy, the change in weather occurred recently-it was 109 degrees this past weekend. I wasn’t ready for it nor the fact that it came with 20-30 mph wind gusts. It made me want to skip over the next three months and go straight to fall.

But this isn’t the only change that found me over the past week. I went from a headache to a full-blown sinus infection in less than 24 hours. Having a fever during the intensive heat was draining and once again I found myself wanting to skip over the next few days and go straight to feeling better!

And then…a change I knew would come sooner or later yet, for some reason I didn’t think it would heavily impact me. In less than a week, I have a new direction in my employment along with several others in my department. Change-I normally like it! Can I just skip to September 1st and know the end results of all of this?

Yes, I like change and I am an advocate for change. I find freshness and excitement in learning and experiencing new things. However, I want to be the agent of change and I would prefer it be on my terms! My first reaction when change finds me—well, let’s just say over time it seems to get better.

As I sit here mentally preparing for a job interview, God’s wisdom washes over me. He reminds me that none of this surprises Him. He allowed some overnight changes for a reason. The LORD gently reminds me that He is in control and my future is secure in His hands. No change on earth will alter His great love for me nor the overwhelming attributes of His character. I have a steadfast Father who has my back!

What about you? How do you handle change? When you journey from mountain top to valley low to long straight plains and repeat again and again, do you ever want to skip over the waiting, healing, unknowns, transitioning, etc.? Do you have a hope outlook or a doom and gloom perspective when unwanted change comes?

God really shared His perspective for me in all of this.

Change found Jesus Christ. He went from a perfect man to a shredded form of life in a matter of a few days. The weight of the world was placed on His shoulders. His earthly life was taken in the most painful manner and given a resting place in a tomb. Life on earth was turned upside down and a new covenant was established. Yet, it came with brokenness and blood. A change that made a way for all of humanity to be saved if they would only believe. Change found him because God loved us.

Through it all, God stayed steadfast. The LORD kept His promises, and He gave the world a Savior, the Messiah, a fulfillment of prophesy and full depth of love. Where would we all be if it wasn’t for the change? And Christ submitted to the call of change.

Romans 8:6: The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Perspective of God towards me – Relax! Change has found you for a reason. Don’t skip the experience and take each step in full confidence that I have worked out your pathway. You don’t need to be afraid, upset, or nervous in the days ahead. Live each moment with hope in ME. I will not change, and I will be beside you always. Now, go face that interview!

When does the Refining stop?

Hello sweet friends. I have missed chatting and sharing with you recently. My current life trials and struggles have been trying, yet I know my Father has gone before me and prepared a pathway for His plans. The recent events of losing a biological father and a precious sister have left me with a layered mountain of emotions along with memories of the dark valley lasting five years which began in 2013 when my brother passed.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Those difficult years produced a ministry-Refining! God knew the process I needed to endure to produce a great work in me and through me. He made sure the world would see this ministry as a reflection of His glory and that I could not take credit for any of it. The only part I played was humbling surrendering to His authority and giving up control over my life.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

Being refined hurts! Yes, it burns every life dimension. It molds you into something beyond your imagination. And–it doesn’t happen overnight. The days, weeks, and years are grueling. There are times when the overwhelming burdens feel like a life-sucking, unbearable weight you cannot endure. Yet, the Lord promises He is with you and He will carry the load for you.

knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:3

God knows the exact precision of time in the fire. (Don’t I wish I knew His timeframe!) Although we all wish for this to be a once in a lifetime occurrence, the refining process can happen often. The ebb and flow of the Father’s purification requires great faith in His miraculous outcome. Frankly, it is a personal choice. A decision no matter the pain and cost to remain under His authority.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 Timothy 3:1

Let me share a story with you from the following source: http://www.ribessj.org/the_silver_refiner.pdf

GOD SITS AS A SILVER REFINER AND PURIFIER
(Malachi 3:3)
The Story

A Bible lover was puzzled by this Bible statement. He called a silversmith and made an
appointment with him to watch him at work. He didn’t mention anything about the reason
for his interest, beyond his curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As the silversmith, was at his work, he kept holding a piece of silver over the fire and let
it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle,
of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
For a while, our man thought why God should hold us in such a hot spot; then, he
remember again Malachi’s verse that says: ‘God sits as a refiner and purifier of silver,
and asked the silversmith whether it was required that he sat there in front of the fire all
the time.

The man answered yes and added: “Not only I have to sit here holding the silver in my
hands , but I have to keep my eyes on the silver all the time it is in the fire, until is
fully purified, If the silver were to be left a moment too long in the flames, it would be
destroyed”.

Our Bible lover was silent for a moment. Then, he asked the silversmith, “How do you
know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled and answered, ‘”Oh, that’s easy –when
I see my image reflected in it”
(Adapted from a story of unknown authorship)

Lessons from the story:
* In moments of trial. God holds you in his hands and intently looks at you.
* When you feel the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eyes on you.
* He keeps watching you until He sees His image reflected in you.

SO, in this season I will cling fast to the fact that God is embracing me from head to toe and intentionally looking upon me as His daughter He loves dearly. When the grief hits, the earthly dealings overwhelm, and there seems to be no end to the mess left behind, I will see God all around me. He sees me and knows my pain. His loving gaze upon my life will fill me with His joy and He will give me strength beyond compare. I will continue to draw close to Him as He shapes me into His image. The Lord has BIG PLANS for His ministry through all of this. I cannot wait to see what is yet to come. But for now—I must endure the flames and understand the purpose of this trial.

Our family would love your prayers during our days ahead. Please know you each play a large role in our grief process and we are extremely grateful for you. If you would like to add to the memorial of my sister, Shawn Colleen Welborn, we would request a donation to be made to the American Cancer Society or your local Breast Cancer Center in her honor.

Big Hugs, lots of Love, and sincere Prayers…until we meet again.

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

Jeremiah 24:7

Poetry: Broken Pieces

Refining Retreat Station

Poetry was my first emotional release in written form when I was in junior high. I had an English teacher who really pushed me to create poetry. She validated worth in my life and established a healthy outlet to cope with circumstances in life. Through her prompting and encouragement, I found direction, hope, and courage. I walked away from her class with a love for poetry, a list of higher goals , and a mindset to take bold chances.

My teacher was an example of perseverance. The world would probably label her as broken. Her body was weak from multiple sclerosis, She could barely walk with leg braces and her hands were severely affected. Her classroom was on the second floor. I would watch her go up and down the two flights of stairs daily. The struggle was real yet she exhibited endurance with each step. There was no doubt that she had inner strength from a higher source. She displayed it every single day.

Music, art, and poetry are still part of my therapy today. These modes of expression seem to touch the depths of my soul and fill me with delight. I am able to connect with the emotional aspect of each song, painting, and poem. I am especially moved when God’s promises are immersed within the message.

We all have struggles and dark clouds that sometimes hang overhead. These trials can leave us feeling less than we are and far from what we were meant to be. It requires us to seek healthy coping mechanisms in order to go forward. Although the modes of therapy vary for each of us, the true source of complete healing comes from our Lord and Savior. I encourage you to find your outlet.

Want to know my personal struggles and mistakes? How did I cope? What helped me from throwing in the towel? This poem is a good summary…Enjoy!

Broken Pieces

If you are broken by life trials
and weary from life’s defeats.
If you have been badly battered
and have no joy or peace.
Give God your broken pieces
so He will mold them back in place.
He can make them better than before
with a touch of His sweet grace.
If your dreams have been shattered
after much struggle and pain.
Even if your life seems hopeless
God can restore you again.
God can take broken pieces
and He can make them whole.
It matters not how badly broken
God has the power to restore.
So we are never without hope
no matter the shape we are in.
God can take our fragmented lives
and put them together again.
So if you’re broken beyond measure
and you don’t know what to do.
God specializes in broken things
so His glory can shine through.

–Lenora McWhorter

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