Wow what a wonderful time of life. To have fresh new dreams as we help launch CrossWinds is so completely awesome and we are so grateful. To have a specific path God has made clear to us. To have something that Brandon and I can be passionate about together as we let God work through us is just the best. We have missed that since we journeyed away from our own business we had together. I am so so so thankful for this season right now!
I have sooo much going on in my head & heart that I could write about -- but I'm just SOO full I don't even know where to start. So I'm just going to copy on here and email I wrote to my dear new friend Erin Blair.
It seems to me that God plants themes in my life - and everywhere I turn - I receive insights & lessons on these themes from soo many different sources and it all flows perfectly together. I LOVE when He does that!!!!!!
Right now the themes are LOVE (agape love) and the HOLY SPIRIT.
For as long as I can remember I have had issues with guilt and self-condemnation and therefore out of that was very legalistic about many things --- but God has been tearing all that away.
He is not asking me to give up anything right now except myself (this was in reference to the Daniel Fast Erin Blair is doing)... which sounds like a lot... but right now He's just molding my heart and mind. He is teaching me that He wants me to do things NOT because I am guilted into doing them... not to make myself feel better about me... not because *I* need love....but because He is THAT worthy of everything in me and everything I can give. He desires me to desire Him. He desires me to crave to spend time with Him just because of who He is and all He's done!
For so long - I read, prayed, gave up ____ because I felt the need to please Him. I needed His approval & love & acceptance........ and He finally smacked me gently in the heart one night at 11 pm last week when I couldn't sleep and He showed me verse after verse that I already HAVE his approval. His love unconditionally.... His acceptance... there was NOTHING I had to do to earn His approval or make Him proud of me. Verse after verse He freed me from guilt and freed me from worrying about ME. He kept showing me I was blameless. I was loved. He showed me that it was over --- I was reconciled to Him. That He had taken away my guilty conscience - Hebrews. That those that look to Him are never covered in shame, Psalms. I woke up the next morning (this was last week) feeling lighter & more free than any day I can remember --- EVER!!! For the first time in years I didn't have a nightmare.
I realized that anytime I was 'doing' (I'm not a typical 'works' person -- but doing to me was reading Bible, spending time with Him, praying)... I was just doing it because I was striving for Him to be proud of me. My focus was on me. I wasn't honoring Him.... but He changed me... now within a few days everything is so different. He took away the rituals. Took away the legalism. Now I want to spend time with Him because He is so worthy of it.
He is teaching me what it means to truly LOVE. but I couldn't manufacture/ create that sort of love. I couldn't make myself love Him enough to desire to spend time with Him. that's where the Holy Spirit came in! Listening to talks on the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan and then reading out of Love Dare --- within 24 hours they both had the EXACT same message --- that HE is the one who gives me the ability to LOVE --- selflessly. It is impossible to have agape love and desire God so much without the Spirit. The Spirit is who lets that love flow.
The spirit is who we tap into when we show that agape love. It's His outpouring that allows that love to be possible for us.
So it's like the one thing I was striving for - when I stopped striving and let Him love and help me --- then I was given back a million fold what I was striving for.... sort of like, you can't get it -- until you give up trying for it. What you sow you shall reep type of thing?? Give up self - get self back?
Anyway -- that is confusing --- but my point is --
I was trying to do things by myself.... rather than letting the Spirit do His thing. It was an impossible feat so obviously the devil had a great hold on me as I beat myself up with guilt.
Thank you GOD for the HOly Spirit!! This great Comforter. YOU in me who helps me love and helps me "die to self".......
and NOW the time with Him is just so much more authentic. I'm not looking to please Him - by being or doing things a certain way in my time with Him. He just gets my heart - good and bad. and there it is! :) I'm just with Him because I LOVE Him, LOVE being with Him.
Once again -- as you keep doing God - you have peeled back another layer of wrong thinking/actions I had and I thank you so much for it! Thank you for my friends.. Erin, Minnow, Kathy, Shelby and my CrossWinds family who poured love & mercy & hope into me helping me take steps toward you!!!
Thank you for this season in my life. Thank you for this great love you have for me --- so that I could get over myself!! I believe in your love! Help me God keep my eyes on YOU. I believe I am free and that I am blameless in your eyes. I am safe & secure so I do not have to worry about me! I love you!!