Heavenly Perspective

Written by Madison Aichele

Photo by Kamal Bilal on Unsplash

Madison Aichele is fellow hope*writer whose reflections and poetry beckon you to pause and consider the deeper things of the heart. Hope that you take a moment to stop and ponder and invite God to bring some heavenly perspective to whatever you may be facing right now! And if you would like to check out more of Madison’s writing…

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When I look back at this season, what will I see?

When my limited view gives way to the larger picture, what will I think?

Will I mourn what’s missing? Or pick out what I wish had been different?

Or will I see things were never as barren as I might have believed?

I’ve opened my hands and watched dreams float away, but I’ve also felt the faithful whisper of my Father tell me it’ll be ok.

And maybe I’ll look back and see that all this time, things were growing as they should be.

That maybe what felt like uprooting deeply held beliefs about my life and how I hoped things would be, really opened up space to see things in their entirety.

This season isn’t empty. This season isn’t wasted. It’s wide open, yet full of promise.

Maybe you’re there, too? In the space before the pieces make sense.

I stand with you. You’re not alone in wondering how things could change or make sense in time.

But the same whisper that’s carrying me is being offered to you. The peace of knowing that divine orchestration doesn’t require understanding, even effort.

It requires trust. And faith that a heavenly perspective sees far more clearly than we can.

The Certainty of God’s Promise

Written by Heather Broughman

For those of us that are holding onto God’s promises, I pray that your hope is stirred today! And that in reading this you would be filled with fresh AWE + WONDER over the heart of God for His people, including me and YOU!!! (This is an excerpt from my book of a chapter titled, “Hope Against Hope.”)

I can only imagine how foolish Abraham must have felt in his old age still carrying around this promise from the Lord that he would be the father of Nations . Although he had an illegitimate child named Ishmael, his wife Sarah had not yet borne him a child. I wonder if throughout the years he, like so many of us, had shared with his friends and family about the promises that the Lord had made him. Had he told all of them that the Lord was going to make him a father of Nations? Can you imagine what his friends and family must have thought or even said year after year as Sara got older and older. 

If he had given in to the temptation to just believe what his circumstances and maybe even some of his friends and family were telling him, he would have given up. Because in the natural, the impossibility for him and Sarah to have a child of their own increased with every year that passed. But here’s the most important part of the story, even after his and Sarah’s attempt at making the promise happen in their own strength and making a mess of things, and beyond what their physical circumstances might say, Abraham didn’t give up. His hope was firmly anchored in the Lord and Him alone. He had made a determination in his heart that God is who He says He is and if God said that He would be faithful to keep His word, then to Abraham, it was settled, God would be faithful, and He would keep His word. 

The passage goes on to state that Abraham was persuaded that God would keep his promise to him. Not just partially persuaded or somewhat convinced, but FULLY persuaded that God had the power to keep His word. No wonder his faith is attributed to him as righteousness! 

A friend recently drew my attention to Hebrews 6. This chapter again references God’s promise to Abraham. Starting in verse 13 and moving through the end of the chapter, it talks about the certainty of God’s promise. As I read through the passage, verse 18 caused me to pause and ponder. It made mention of there being two unchangeable things that solidified the certainty of His promise. Not fully understanding what was being said, I decided to do some studying and what I discovered wowed and amazed me! In true God fashion, He doesn’t just stop at giving ONE measure of certainty to His promise, but He doubles down and gives TWO! In verse 16, it’s mentioned that when people were to swear by a name greater than their own, that whatever they promised was a done deal and put an end to all arguments. What they said would be done, end of story. So God, operating under this same principle when making promises, swears by the name above all other names, His own! And like oaths made by other people in this manner, God leaves no room for argument. If He said it, it is as good as done! In swearing by His own name, He puts an end to all argument, whatever He has truly said will come to pass! And if that’s not enough of a guarantee, God adds another measure of security to His promises by way of His very own nature. It is impossible for God to lie. If He doesn’t follow through on His promise, then He’d be a liar, and that is NOT who God is! The fulfillment of God’s promises to us may not always look like what we think it should or even happen when we think it should, but God has gone above and beyond to make sure we know that if He said it, then it’s done! No arguments and no lies!  

The God Who Sees

Written by David Berry

Photo by Heather Broughman

David Berry is a seasoned minister with a great heart for people. Today I have the honor of sharing his reflections on the story of Hagar. If you have felt forgotten or unseen, then I pray you let the truth that David shares wash over you heart and mind today!

In Genesis 16:13, Hagar is found feeling worthless and unwanted. Not from any fault or failure of her own. To be honest, she was extremely mistreated by a godly couple. There is a great lesson there, but I want to focus on something Hagar came to realize.

When Hagar is found by an angel of the Lord she is running from those who mistreated her. In the midst of this interaction Hagar discovers this revelation about God. She calls God “El Roi,” which means “the God who sees me.” This is profound and potentially life-changing. Let that sink in. He is the God who sees you.

Listen, you may feel distant from God today, but I can promise you that He is always close and He is always watching. He doesn’t watch you as a parent looking to catch their child doing something wrong. He watches with a love that is deeper than I can comprehend. He watches because He cares for you and wants to be close to you. God sees you.

God sees you in your pain. He sees you in your anguish. God sees you in your wandering and running. He sees you in your doubt and discouragement. God sees you. He sees YOU.

Now, stop and listen for more revelation that will alter the trajectory of your life. He sees you and wants to speak with you. Give Him a little more attention today than normal. Today could be the start of a new life, not just a new year. A new life with HIM.

Action Required

Written by Heather Broughman

Has God asked you to take a leap of faith? Maybe His request seems a bit risky? If that’s you, I pray that this word will encourage you and spur you on to action today!  

The wall would never have been rebuilt if Nehemiah hadn’t prayed and then started the work. The wall of Jericho would not have fallen had the Israelites had not obeyed and marched around it as the Lord instructed. The whole human race would have been wiped out had Noah not acted on God’s command to build the ark 

Hebrews 11 uses the phrase, “By faith…” several times followed by an act of obedience. It says, “By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went even though he did not know where he was going.” Every example of faith includes an action, a step of obedience. In fact, James 2:26 states that, “…faith without works is dead.”

There may be some of you out there that the Lord has given you a promise but it’s attached to an act of faith that seems risky, I have experienced that time and time again! However instead of taking action, you’ve been paralyzed by fear – fear of the unknown, fear of disappointment, fear of failure. Fear is real, and when we give into it, it binds us up and keeps us from making a move. But here’s the thing, when we obey in faith, we position ourselves for blessing and reward. We set ourselves up to see God meet us in miraculous and glorious ways! Faith filled obedience requires courage. However, courage doesn’t mean that we’re not afraid, it just means that we have put fear in its proper place. 

So, what is that thing that the Lord has called you to do in this season? Or what is that promise that hasn’t yet been fulfilled, but the Lord says, “BELIEVE?” Let’s get after it…by FAITH!!! If that’s you and you want someone to partner in prayer with you, shoot me a message by clicking on the link below, and I’ll be happy to pray with and for you!

Winding Road

Photograph by Jonathan Lesher

Edited in Prisma app with Daryl Feril

Jonathan Lesher is an incredible photographer who offers a unique perspective! Beside being a talented photographer, Jonathan is also a BMW enthusiast who loves running, coffee, and cooking breakfast. Would you like to view more photos by Jonathan? Click on the link below.

Jonathan says, “When I took this picture I was reminded of the song Expiate by the band ERRA, a formidable quote that I often dwell on when I’m confused or facing a perplexing situation, “Fixated on the rear view when I can’t see ahead, For me to view a reflection without corruption, So a past won’t dictate a present” ~ERRA. Lighthouses always look ahead steady and consistent, never wavering, just like the purposes God has for me – despite my past failures.”

As I reflect on this photo and Jonathan’s words, I can’t help but think of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” It’s a promise made to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Much like the lighthouse, the Word of God shines a light leading us home to a life in Christ Jesus. It’s when we are in Christ Jesus, where we abide in Him and He in us, that past truly no longer dictates our present or our future because we are found in Him as new creations.

In case you need the reminder today, read these out loud:

  • I am forgiven. 1 John 1:9
  • I am loved. 1 John 4:19
  • I am set free. Romans 6:18
  • I am a child of God. 1 John 3:1
  • God sees me. Isaiah 66:1-2
  • I am not forsaken. Psalm 94:14
  • I am worth dying for. Romans 5:7-9

The Dialogue of Pray

Written by Heather Broughman

Photo by Aaron Burden

Prayer is not simply a one way conversation. There is more! Here is some encouragement and tips to grow your prayer life and hear the voice of God!

Imagine with me that you are standing in front of a closed door, and on the other side of that door is God. You open the door, poke your head through, and tell Him “thank you,” repent, and ask Him for what you need, but before He can respond, you retreat. You close the door while He’s still outside, and that’s all, you’re done. Oftentimes this is what our prayer life looks like. A one way conversation where we’re doing the talking but never really quite inviting Him in. Sure, we take our request before Him, but He’s never given the opportunity to respond  or to speak back. While we may be informing Him of our needs, we never really quite invite him into our situations. Maybe we think that’s all there is. That prayer is this one way conversation, but there’s more! 

When was the last time you read the book of Habakkuk? It’s short. Only three chapters total, but it has a lot to teach us about dialoging in prayer. Here’s what I love about Habakkuk, the guy knew how to ask a question! “How long must I ask for help before You hear me, God?” “When are you going to save us?” “Why do you not do anything about the injustice in our land?” He didn’t just tell God about the situations at hand, but rather humbly inquired of the Lord. Habakkuk’s petitions and questions are recorded for us to see. But you know what else is recorded? God’s answers. 

Habakkuk knew he didn’t have all the answers. He knew that there were gaps in his understanding of the situations and circumstances that he and his people faced. So instead of opening the door and rattling off his prayer list, he asked God questions, flinging the door wide and inviting Him in.

Sometimes I think we forget that God can and wants to speak to us. Perhaps the fact that we have permission to humbly inquire of the Lord slips our minds and we don’t even think to ask Him a question, let alone wait for Him to respond. But time and time again God’s Word tells us to call on Him and He will answer. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me and I will answer you.” In Psalm 17:6, the writer states, “I have called upon You, for You will answer me.” Isaiah 30:19 declares, “He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.” Prayer was meant to be a two-way conversation. By asking God questions, we are inviting Him into our situations instead of merely keeping Him on the perimeters of them. 

So what’s keeping you from inviting God into your circumstances? The book of Habakkuk demonstrates that God will respond. What questions do you need to ask Him? No question is too big or small for God to handle. He is not put off by the questions we ask Him, but instead I believe He rejoices that we are giving Him an open door to step into our circumstances with us!  Ask your questions and then wait. Give God space and time to speak; perhaps through a picture or maybe a verse of Scripture. A thought or idea may come to mind. Test it against the Bible and see if the thought lines up with God’s Word. 

Here are a few tips on hearing the voice of God: 

  1. READ THE BIBLE. There is no better way to get to know God or His voice than to read His Word. 
  2. BE PATIENT. If you’re new to hearing God’s voice or haven’t stopped to listen for a while. Take the pressure off and give yourself some time to listen. Some people listen better while sitting still and others hear better when outside or walking. Find out what works for you. 
  3. FLUSH ANXIETY + FEAR. Anxiety and fear have a way of muffling God’s voice. Stop and give them to the Lord and ask for His peace instead. Then take a couple of deep breaths and see TIP 2 again. 
  4. START SIMPLE. Start with a simple question like, “Lord, what do You want to say to me today?” It’s a great place to start, and by asking the question, you’ve just invited Him in. 

How to Fight for God’s Dreams and Goals for Your Life

Written by Sarah Rosa Oyela

Sarah is a gifted and multifaceted writer! She writes beautiful devotionals that both encourage and challenge, incredible prose and poetry, and even song lyrics! This is one of her devotionals deals with learning to let God battle for you! I love Sarah’s devotionals and so will you!

CHECK OUT MORE OF SARAH ROSA OYELA’S WRITING:

She had a dream. (No, like, a literal dream, while she slept.)

In the dream, she was giving birth – was about to give birth – and there was a man there to help her deliver the baby.

When she awoke from the dream, she knew this was a spiritual birth. She would give birth to something spiritual. She would give birth to something that would help others to be born anew into life with God. And the man, she understood, would be her husband. Her future husband would help her with whatever this spiritual birth was.

Later, when her husband proved to be stubborn and planned to put her away, and when all the rest of the world seemed to be against her, accused her of being a rebel, being crazy, and just outright abandoned her and left her in the cold, she held fast to Christ. She clung to God and his word and his promises.

She knew that when God puts a dream in your life, by the Holy Spirit – a dream, for your life with Christ, for your marriage, for your children, for your family, for your career, for your neighbors, for your health – she knew that when he puts these dreams in your life, that he pushes them through to actualization. When a dream, a vision, is actually from God, he will see it through.

And she didn’t doubt it for one minute that God’s dream and vision for her life was success in his will – success in his ways. She didn’t doubt it, and she knew she had to fight for it.

She learned to fight for it by letting God fight for her, while she remained calm. God reminded her, “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:14).

Which didn’t mean that she never said anything, never did anything, never talked to others, never got help, never prayed with others and never had others pray. She just learned how to do it all calmly, and by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Which sometimes did mean that she didn’t do or say anything, but allowed space for the Holy Spirit to work in other ways.

And eventually her husband did come around, (and other people in her life came around, too) and success budded and began to bloom.

And this all by way of God’s work and his fighting for her – fighting for his dream – and fighting for everyone’s success, so that they could all know him as Jesus Christ, the God who saves from sins, and makes them new and alive in him.

Prayer: God, help me to know that when you start a work in my life, you will carry it on until the day of completion and success. Help me to remain calm, cling to you and do and say only what you lead me to do and say by your spirit. Amen.

Preparing For The Promise

Written by Heather Broughman

This picture was taken on my 2nd missions trip to France.

This is an adapted excerpt from my upcoming book. Things that the Lord has taught me and is still teaching me about trusting His wisdom and His timing! I pray that as you read this the Lord will minister something much greater and deeper that the mere words on this page!

I will never forget the night that the Lord started to shift my perspective on passive vs active waiting. It was a season where I was feeling extremely frustrated in the waiting and like the scripture where it talks about hope deferred makes the heart sick, I felt like my heart was sick with an aching to see God move on my behalf. I had gone over to visit my cousin, Dannell, and we ended up having one of our much treasured heart to hearts. That night, as I shared how discouraged I was feeling, she reminded me of the movie, Facing The Giants. There’s a scene where Coach Taylor confesses to this gentleman, Mr. Bridges, that he’s been struggling, but he goes on to say that he has also been praying. And although he’s been praying, he just doesn’t see God working in his situation. Mr. Bridges turns to him and begins to tell him a story of two farmers who were in desperate need of rain. They were in a season of drought, and both of them prayed for rain, but only one of them actually went out and prepared his field for it. Mr. Bridges then poses the question, “which farmer do you think trusted God for the rain?” Obviously it’s the one that prepared his field to receive the rain. And then he asks the question, “which one are you?” 

The difference between passive and active waiting is in preparing to receive the promise. God loves us! And while His heart is to give His children good gifts, He also wants to make sure that we are ready to steward those gifts well. Think about it. Why would He ever want to bring us something that we’re not prepared to receive? In His great wisdom and foresight, He knows that what intends to be a good gift could become catastrophic if the recipient is not prepared to receive it. Can you imagine what the unprepared farmer must have felt when the rain finally came? Maybe intense turmoil and possibly even regret. 

When we choose to actively wait, this space or waiting room that we’ve created for God to move now becomes a place where God cultivates in us His character. Where He prepares us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to receive the promises that He has made to us and the fulfillment of the dreams that we have dreamt with Him. It’s a place where He grows us in maturity, and makes sure our foundations are solidly built in Him. Where we learn to trust His wisdom above our own. And even when we’ve done all that we know to do to prepare, sometimes God, in His lovingkindness, will do a deeper work of uprooting things in our hearts that are not of Him. Things such as perfectionism, shame, pride, control issues; anything that may grow like weeds in a garden choking the life out of that which the Lord has planted in us. 

Active by definition means to engage. I want to be clear and say that active waiting is different from striving. Striving is when we try to do things on our own and with our own strength. Active waiting is when we engage with God, and instead of trying to accomplish things on our own, we partner with Him as co-laborers. These are two very different things that produce two very different outcomes. 

If we truly believe that we are not alone in the waiting, but that God is with us, then why ignore Him? Let’s choose to engage Him, to turn our full attention upon Him as we wait and contend for Him to move. And even when we find ourselves in a place of frustration and disappointment, let’s choose to be like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 and pour our hearts out to God. Inviting Him into our situation instead of shutting Him out. We may not know God’s timeline or even what preparation or deeper work we still need, but He most certainly does! And even when things don’t turn out as we had hoped or imagined, remember that He is with us, He is for us, and His plans always turn out far greater than we could ever dream! He’s never failed us, and He won’t start now!

Strength Training

By Kaniel Geeslin

This is my friend, Kaniel’s, testimony of going from being stuck in striving to gaining ground through God’s grace and empowerment! With a couple of valuable “Bonus Tips” along the way. Want to read more of Kaniel’s deep ponderings and reflections?

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“You just need to believe in yourself.” Sounds familiar, right? This message crops up in countless story mediums of today. Believe in yourself, they say, and you will find the power from within to carry on, conquer, find your place, belong, get the bad guys, win the game. I’m here to share a story – my story – that contradicts this modern-day mantra. What I’ve witnessed about life is quite the opposite: how powerless I am to change anything about it!  Life is not about me or about what I can accomplish. Life is so much more than what I can produce or muster in my strength. The sooner I realize how powerless I am, the better. I certainly would have saved myself many setbacks had I grasped that reality sooner. Real power is found outside ourselves; and the exciting truth is that we all can lay hold of it.

Mine is a simple story. I have been overweight for the vast majority of my life. In fact, to this day I will eat most anything except Kraft macaroni and cheese. Yeah, go figure.  That foodie in me, combined with my less-than-efficient digestive system and my inclination to choose less active pastimes, resulted in me becoming a portly youth by the age of 8. To be honest, I was never particularly self-conscious. We all know how mean kids can be. They would make fun of me and call me “fat” when they were mad, but that never seemed to faze me. My family affirmed me. They made me feel beautiful (bonus parenting tip: never underestimate the power of verbal affirmation in your child’s life!). No, the mean kids didn’t bother me. What did bother me was my inability to win a footrace. I didn’t like my limitations. I could never jump very high. I couldn’t catch my cousins playing capture the flag.  I would be the first kid to get winded in freeze tag. There were things I simply could not do because my body was just too heavy. That bothered me very much.

When I transitioned to my teen years, I began to feel self-conscious of my weight. At 14, I went on a diet for the very first time. It was a low carb plan that cut out sugar, grains, starches, and dairy. I lost a lot of weight…fast! I quickly became light on my feet, dropped a few pants sizes, and felt fabulous. But it was not a healthy way to lose weight. When I hit high school, I jumped full force into rigorous academics. During the week, most of my days were spent sitting at my desk or at a computer. My eating plan fell by the wayside. Instead of establishing healthy eating habits and a consistent exercise routine, I had merely tricked my body into burning its fats as quickly as possible. So, as soon as I stopped eating low carb, I began to gain back all the weight I had lost. It came back slowly, but more permanently. That was my first and last diet. 

At that time I didn’t know much about healthy eating, but I was smart enough to realize that this very American way of dieting was unhealthy. It was like slapping a band aid on a gaping wound. It was a quick fix, something merely effective for the moment. My heart desired a permanent change.

As the years went by, I never really found time to start eating right. Isn’t that always the excuse? “I don’t have time for the meal prep; I won’t be able to drive to the gym every day; I never seem to find time to exercise at home; etc.” Lack of time was definitely my excuse. And it’s a legitimate reason why so many Americans get stuck in an unhealthy cycle. Our lives are full to bursting with busyness. I call it busyness intentionally. We are so busy about things that are neither lasting nor purposeful. Driving here and there, doing this and that, we fill up the schedule with nothingness. We engage in short, pleasant conversations that fit right into our social life time slots, but rarely go deep enough to cause us to stop and really examine ourselves, or, heaven forbid, cause us any measure of discomfort (bonus relationship tip: if you never experience discomfort in conversation, you’re probably not doing it right). I knew that if I wanted to see a difference in my physical wellness, I needed to make time. But every attempt was thwarted. I’d get sick with a virus, twist my ankle on my first run, or injure my back slipping down the stairs.  I’d experience random knee pain, struggle with plantar fasciitis, and suffer from chronic cramping in my calves. Every one of these scenarios literally happened, and coincided with my decision to begin an exercise plan.  Time and time again I was defeated. The obstacles hindered me from moving forward.

Despite the setbacks, I implemented tactics to change my eating habits. Buying my own groceries and purchasing lots of fruits and veggies proved somewhat successful. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not get into a consistent rhythm. My healthy eating was patchy at best, and every exercise kick lasted no longer than three weeks. One question resounded loudly: Why? Why was it so hard for me to succeed at what I put my hand to? 

My struggle was real, and it bled into every area of my life – my relationships, my education, my personal goals. I wrestled. I wanted breakthrough. As with every burden on my heart, I brought my question before the Lord. “Why, Lord? Why is it so hard for me to succeed?” Funny thing about God! He seldom answers when we think he should.

While my mind and heart pondered these thoughts, the Lord was speaking very clearly to other areas of my life. For me, these past two years have been a lesson in heart knowledge. My heart has experienced Jesus. I have felt his love. I have known him with an assurance that surpasses mere “head” knowledge. Two years ago, when he told me to remain in Tennessee, I knew he was speaking with more certainty than I have ever known before.  When I try to explain the dynamics of that encounter, I can only say that his was not an audible voice. It was more than audible. It was as if he commandeered my understanding. He led me thought by thought, until his full revelation was complete. The result was a confidence and power that I had never possessed until that moment. It was a confidence we experience only when we encounter – truly encounter – the one true God.

Fast forward to one rainy night when the Lord revealed a pivotal portion of his plan. It was soggy, cool, and dark in my neighborhood. Before my run, I prayed, “Lord, help me to finish for your glory.” The previous week I had struggled to finish a full cycle on my running app. As I ran, every breath I drew burned. I could taste blood from the broken capillaries in my lungs. But on this night, things changed. I barely felt the pain. My legs, though limp and dead, continued moving. With each step I gained strength. Oh, I am all too familiar with the feeling of pushing through with all you have. I know what it’s like to suddenly find that last burst of energy hiding deep inside yourself. I’m familiar with the superhero quality of the body’s adrenaline. But that’s not what was happening this time. I was not producing this strength. Its source was not coming from within. It was coming from something external to myself. I literally felt the power of the Holy Spirit carrying me through. Every step. Every breath. Tears of gratitude flowed. They poured down my cheeks as I realized this was his answer. He answered the question that had burdened my heart for so long. Why was it so hard to succeed at what I put my hand to? The answer: “Because all of it had been done in your own strength, Kaniel.”

Last year – almost 12 months to the day – I remember (my friend) Ashton speaking the word “fit” over me. We were at Youth Camp, and I had come up for the evening to help serve. During the evening worship session, he came over and shared this word: “fit.” He interpreted it as “finding my fit”; he felt very strongly about that and encouraged me to pray diligently for the Lord to reveal his fit for me. I prayed fervently, but heard no reply that week. Funny enough, that moment marked the first step on my journey to health and fitness, although I didn’t even realize it! I remember the Lord prompting me to text Ashton (who is a personal trainer and nutritionist) later that night to add, “Speaking of fit, I need you to help me get fit.”

Believe me when I say that those words would have never come out of my mouth had the Lord not been doing a great work in my heart already. Those words required a humility which I had never known. They required vulnerability. Those words revealed my new-found uninhibited faith in God’s plan, and my trust in the people he had intentionally placed in my path. 

It was not my own strength that enabled me to reach out to Ashton. Similarly, it has not been by my own strength that I’ve made huge strides since. My friend Ashton has given me manageable steps to teach me how to exchange bad habits for good ones. He has been crucial to God’s plan for my physical well-being. More than providing useful knowledge, encouragement, and accountability, he has imparted Holy Spirit inspired wisdom. Every Tuesday we begin our training with prayer. Every rep, every bead of sweat, is offered unto the glory of my King. To say I am grateful to have a trainer who shares my same convictions would be an understatement. No. I am blessed. Anyone who knew me growing up knows full well that I would have been beyond embarrassed even to work out alongside another person. It’s amazing what can happen when we are fully surrendered to the Lord. When we totally yield to his will, anything is possible. He moves the mountains erected by our own limited understanding. He makes the seemingly impossible possible. He does so when we say, as Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours be done.” In his divine mercy, the Lord has brought me to a place of utter dependence on him. He has silenced the demons, the voices that dupe me, the ones that convince me that I can succeed on my own. It is what Sheldon Vanauken calls a “severe mercy” of the Lord.  He allowed me to suffer all the heartache and all the failures of my striving in order to press me to the point of glad surrender. I’ve relinquished my own ideas. I’ve not lost power, but gained it. I had to stop striving and allow him to move.

I truly believe Ashton’s prophetic word had two meanings. The Lord wanted access to more areas of my heart, and from that point he has taught me some very important truths. First, that our lives are not our own. We belong to our Maker. Second, that our bodies are not our own. They belong to our Maker. We have a responsibility to steward well that which he has so graciously given us.   

This simple story testifies to the truth. It is found in these words, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). In order to have a full life, to experience real, authentic power, we have to get rid of all the junk that clutters our heart. Everything in this world that fills us hinders God from filling us. He alone must fill and empower us. Everyone has access to him. And although his power is offered freely, it costs us everything. It requires all that we have.

30 Days of Hope + Encouragement

Written by Heather Broughman

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

Welcome to the blog! I’m so glad you’re here! We’re going to kick things off with 30 Days of Hope + Encouragement! We’ll have a new post each day that will hopefully uplift and inspire you! Not only will I be sharing some of own thoughts and reflections, but I am THRILLED to have the honor of also sharing pieces from some VERY TALENTED Artists, Photographers, and Writers!

So from Jan. 15th – Feb. 15th, stop by and check out our daily posts. Take a look around the site. And please make sure to show some love and appreciation to the creatives who have so graciously allowed me to share their work with you!

With love,

Heather B.

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