Pouring Out and Leaving Our Worries and Stress at the Feet of the Lord

“Grace” was my Word for the year in 2021. And truly, God’s grace was so generous and free and still is. When I went through dark valleys, I had a difficult time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but God still graciously brought me through. In hindsight, I can now envision Him holding my hand and leading me or carrying me, even when I had no strength to lift my eyes and focus on His love and grace.

Focusing on the depth of meaning in that word did help me to open my eyes more to grace moments I so easily overlook. However, this year I decided not to focus on a specific word but rather on a renewed thought process.

In the past months, when I start thinking I must get this or that done, when I get anxious and overwhelmed about all that’s going on in this world and my heart aches for those who are hurting, I hear God whispering, “Just rest, My child.” I feel He is calling me to put less pressure on myself. To take one day at a time, and even one step at a time, and to keep my focus on Jesus. To lay low and rest in Him and His unchangeable goodness and unfailing love. Just to take a deep breath, confide in Him, and do the next right thing. To stop stressing out if I post less here, am unable to keep up with other things in life, or cannot change situations out of my control. To just “be” who I am in Christ, give all my anxious thoughts over to Him, and to seek to be more like Him in my every thought, word, and action.

“So here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
    Leave all your cares and anxieties
at the feet of the Lord, and
measureless grace will strengthen you.”
Psalm 55:22 TPT

“Pour out all your worries and stress
upon Him and leave them there,
for He always tenderly cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7 TPT

I have read about some chosen words for the year, and I am looking forward to hearing what lessons God has taught you. But whether you have chosen a word or not, my prayer for all of us is that God will anchor us more and more in His unfailing love and bottomless grace for us.

Still
by Hillary Scott

“I believe that You are God alone
But sometimes I still try to take control
Cause I get scared when I can’t see the end
And all You want from me is to let go

You’re parting waters
Making a way for me
You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see
You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak
All You need for me to be is still…”

Only God’s Truth Can Fill Up What Bullies Take Away

“You see, we have a bucket inside of us,” She spread her little fingers across her heart. “When someone is mean to us, it empties our bucket. But if they say they are sorry or if they say something nice, it puts something back into our buckets.”

“Oh, I see… So if I say ‘Kamryn, I love you. You are so special,’ will that overflow your bucket?” Her face beamed as if to say, “Yes! You got it, Grandma!”

This story my grand-daughter heard nearly four years ago in Pre-Kindergarten concerning bullying really touched my heart. So simple, yet so profound. Scoop by scoop, condemning remarks can empty us of our security in who we really are. We can start basing our value on what others say instead of who God says we are.

We can become our own bully when we believe the lies cast on us by others or by Satan: What is wrong with me? I’m so ugly. I’m so dumb. I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve to be happy. I’m not worth it. I’m unlovable. I’m not strong enough. I can never do it as well as he/she can, so why even try?  And on and on… Shovelfuls of the “me God created us to be” go flying out of our buckets until there is nothing left to give.

Do you beat yourself up a lot? I’ll admit I do. I have a hard time liking myself. I wonder if it’s prideful or selfish to be kind to myself. But I am learning inch by inch that it’s not only ok to love ourselves, but it’s what God wants. This is not about self-adoration or narcissism. It’s about appreciating the unique person God created us to be.

“When you wound yourself with your words,
it’s the same to God as if you were doing it to someone else in your life.
Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves.
That means all of the ‘one another’ statements in Scripture
(i.e. be kind to one another, encourage one another)
apply in our relationship with ourselves too.”
Holley Gerth

So how can we be kind to ourselves? By filling our emptied buckets with God’s Truth. A solid, secure Truth that no one can steal from us. A Truth that will more than fill up what self-criticism or others’ bullying comments have robbed from us.

Every word of God proves true.
    He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.”

Proverbs 30:5

God’s Truth for our emptied, wounded hearts:

💞 I am wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

💞 I am His masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10)

💞 I am redeemed with the blood of Jesus. (Isaiah 43:1)

💞 There is no condemnation for me when I belong to Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

💞 I am precious and honored. (Isaiah 43:4)

💞 I am His royalty, a crown of splendor in His hand. (Isaiah 62:3)

💞 I am His own special treasure. (Malachi 3:17)

💞 Nothing will ever be able to separate me from the love of God. (Romans 8:37-39)

💞 Because of His faithful love and mercy, I will never perish. (Lamentations 3:22)

💞 He will restore my ruins. He will rebuild what is broken. (Isaiah 44:26)

💞 He fills my emptiness with good things. (Psalm 107:9)

💞 I can do all things through Jesus who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

We can’t always control the inward and outward bullies in our lives, but we can learn to be better equipped to handle them, both past and present. We can allow Jesus to fill our emptiness with His Truth, His healing, and His love. Then we will be able to base our identity, not in those negative voices, but in Jesus, who emptied Himself so our emptiness can be filled with Him. In Him, we are redeemed. In Him, we are secure. In Him, we are free.

“Beautiful”
by MercyMe

Accepting Yourself As You Are

Wonderfully-Made-by-Holley-Gerth.com_

When I took a break from blogging, I wrote down notes and questions to reflect on. I discovered one recurring problem I have is not accepting myself as I am. The deep truth is I don’t see myself through Jesus’ eyes.

I’m realizing how often I’m apologizing to myself or others in my thoughts about who I am or what I do or don’t do. I’m trying to come to grips with believing I have a makeup exactly as God wants, and I need to accept myself just the way I am.

I am an introvert. I think I was always introspective as a child already. I get nervous in crowds. Socializing wears me out, even more so with the weight of chronic illness. I am not a good conversationalist. I feel insecure and often get tongue-tied when it comes to what I really want to say. I don’t think of it until later what I should have asked or said. Afterwards I rehash what I said or didn’t say, over-analyze, and worry that I may have said something wrong. {It’s hard to know what comes from my personality and what resulted from abusive situations. But healing takes time, and at the bottom of it all, I’m still an introvert, and I have to realize that’s ok.}

I beat myself up for not being “better” at socializing. I compare myself with the social butterflies who can so easily talk with people, and I fall short. Why can’t I talk more easily like they can? Why do I always have to feel so nervous? Why won’t the words come?

I sometimes do better one on one, but even then I have to keep reminding myself to “Just be you, and look to Jesus.” And I do believe that when I can see myself through His eyes, I am less stressed. If I can see myself as His beloved the load becomes lighter.

Do you accept yourself as you are? Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert?

Here are some important truths we all need to remind ourselves of, no matter what personality we have:

  1. “I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:14a HCSB) We are marvelously made by God. He created each of us with unique personalities and gave each of us purposes in life that can never be carried out by any other human being. He doesn’t want any of us to act like someone else other than who we are or beat ourselves up for being who we are.
  2. “For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor Him, for He is your lord.” (Psalm 45:11 NLT) We may think of ourselves as “ugly,” but God only sees us as beautiful. He even delights in us and cherishes us.
  3. “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT) We already are pre-approved. We don’t have to do anything to make ourselves more special or enough in Jesus’ eyes. Through His grace, we are enough. We are special just to be loved by Him. That love will never ebb or flow according to what we do or don’t do.
  4. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17) All our sins, mistakes, and old insecurities can fall away through Christ. He wants us to see ourselves as newly created in Him – accepted, redeemed, and loved unconditionally.
  5. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” ( Romans 15:7) Jesus welcomes us, receives us, and accepts us just as we are, no matter what personality we have. He wants us to accept ourselves just as we are. And others just as they are.

“Beautiful”
by MercyMe

May we accept ourselves just as we are
and as marvelously made by God!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews