5 Tips for When You’re the New Girl

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As we drove to church, Averee was only an arm’s length away in the backseat, yet it felt like she was miles away. Biting her nails, she stared out the window with wide eyes. I could tell she was nervous. When the church building was in sight, she suddenly planted her face in her hands. “I don’t think I can do this you guys,” she proclaimed through quiet sobs. John and I looked at each other in horror.

5 Tips for When You're the New GirlWe were minutes from arriving, and she would soon after board a bus with over 100 teen-agers that she barely knew and head to California for Spring Break on a ministry trip. I wanted to say, “oh, okay, well then let’s just go home.” Because I knew exactly how she felt. It’s scary being the new girl, especially as a teen-ager. I didn’t want her to go through all of the awkwardness, and I certainly didn’t want her to go through the pain of possible rejection. I wanted to keep her safe. Yet, I knew that wasn’t the best thing for her. She needed to get out of her comfort zone.  So, I quickly said, “Honey, you’re going to be fine. We knew this would be hard, but you’re going to be fine. You can do this, babe.” She shook her head in understanding as she sat straight up and started drying her tears. She knew. She knew that she was going to be fine, but it didn’t mean it would be easy.

We moved to Colorado last year and had only been going to this church for 8 weeks and she was already signed up for a Spring Break youth retreat. She barely knew any one, and she was going in blind. Wow. What a strong girl.

Being the new girl is hard, at any age. Here are 5 tips to help navigate. #saltandlightlinkup… Click To Tweet

Being the new girl is hard, no matter our age. This is why I love today’s feature from my dear friend, Tiffany from Simply for One. I love her heart and I know that you will too! Please take a moment to check out this amazing post as Tiffany gives us 5 tips for when you’re the new girl.

It's Thursday and that means #saltandlightlinkup! Join us! Click To Tweet

When Life is Falling Apart

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Today I’m absolutely elated to introduce you to my friend Micah. I met Micah not too long ago and I can’t tell you the blessing she’s been to me. She is launching her first book in September, and I’m currently in the process of reading it, and oh, friends, you’re going to want in on this!

There are moments in life that are so devastating there are no words to utter. You see people surrounding you and their lips are moving, but the words cannot be absorbed due to the burden that consumes your mind. You try to move forward with a normal routine, but the world seems to move in slow motion as problems persist, paralyzing your best efforts to press on. Life can hurt deeply. It can scar the tender parts of your heart and make you feel like your life is completely drenched in a sea of problems that cannot be remedied.

There is someone who anchors us and He holds all Power to overcome every problem we face.… Click To Tweet

The truth is, there is a remedy. There is someone who anchors us and He holds all Power to overcome every problem we face. But, accessing His Power sometimes seems impossible. Living anchored, grounded, and full of His power feels out of reach. Life is manageable when bills are paid, kids are healthy, marriage is working, church is delightful, and work is enjoyable. When test results reveal serious illness or when a marriage is sitting on the edge of disaster, the stability of life lingers with unknown possibilities, and we quickly forget the anchor that once held us securely. Unexpected bills, heartbreaking conversations, and a life of heavy burdens unload themselves into a world that seems to be shattering right before our eyes. I know this to be true because just like you, I have a list of desperate moments when I needed much more than the world offers.

No one ever plans it this way, but there are people all around us holding shattered pieces of life, wanting What to do when your life is falling apart.desperately to put the pieces together again. We convince ourselves that if our problems would go away, we could get on with our lives and live a powerful life of fulfillment. But problems continue and we can’t seem to get out of the cycle of each current pulling us deeper and deeper into the problems we would rather avoid. Sometimes it feels as if the anchor of our soul has been ripped from the deepest depth of our heart and our ship of life is lost at sea. The waters rise and the trials, troubles, and struggles take center stage filling us with a void of power.

What is a desperate, hurting soul to do when life is filled to the brim with problems? Cling to the power and presence of God. If you know Him, He’s already with you. Right there, in the midst of the unpredictable, He knows every single detail of your life. He is an anchor that does not budge. When everything in life is in disarray, God’s presence is constant, firm, secure.

When everything in life is in disarray, God’s presence is constant, firm, secure. #anchoredinbook… Click To Tweet

“But you shall cling to the Lord your God, just as you have done to this day.” (Joshua 23:8)

What to do when your life is falling apart. Excerpt from Anchored In, by Micah MaddoxOur deepest moments of life are often the ones that draw us into the presence of God more authentically than ever before, or they push us so far away that we cannot see, hear, or remember what it feels like to be close to Him. When it seems like God is far away and the water of life continues to billow overhead, it’s normal to try to achieve nearness to God by doing more for Him or by striving to ignite the inner strength we know we hold. The problem is that power is not something we can muster up when we think we need a fresh dose of the Holy Spirit. It goes much deeper than a crisis prayer at the moment of an emergency. We must know that God’s Power is present every moment of our life.

The Holy Spirit does not blow in like the north wind on a fall day shaking every leaf of our lives to the ground wondering if we will be able to withstand the storm. He indwells every believer at the moment we choose to accept Jesus Christ into our lives, and consistently remains present and accessible no matter what our lives look or feel like. When the wind of life rushes in and we are shaken, we have what it takes within our own bodies to stand firm, be grounded, anchored, and tethered to the greatest power ever known. The biggest problem we face is not a lack of God’s power, it’s realizing where real power comes from. It’s not from you and it’s not from me. It’s from the Holy Spirit of God within each and every believer.

The biggest problem we face is not a lack of God’s power, it’s realizing where real power comes… Click To Tweet

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)

Until we fully and completely accept the fact that real power comes from God and God alone, we will never really experience it. The power that we desperately desire is distinctly divine. Sometimes we get glimpses of it from a book, a sermon, or a song, but if we want to experience it every day, there is only one way.

God’s Power is present in people that pursue it.

God’s Power is present in people that pursue it. #anchoredinbook @mrsmicahmaddox Click To Tweet

(Excerpt taken from Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World by Micah Maddox)

You can learn more about Micah and her new book Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World at micahmaddox.com.

To pre-order Micah’s book, click here.

Micah Maddox is a women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, writer, blogger, and author of Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World. She is passionate about helping women find purpose, peace, and calm in our chaotic world. As a pastor’s wife and mother of three, she contributes her time to MOPS and her local church – including serving as a women’s ministry leader.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/micahmaddoxencouragement/

 

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What Can Prayer do in Marriage?

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I’ll be honest, I have no clue how married couples survive without God in their lives. Marriage is hard enough with God, so without Him? Geesh. I can’t fathom. For most of my marriage, John and I have relied on God for truth, wisdom, and direction. He has gone before us and He has sustained us. And during the most traumatic time of our marriage, He was there, even when we did not feel Him.

God is right there with you throughout the hard times of marriage. #marriage #fiercelyhis… Click To Tweet

I got an email not too long ago from someone who had just read my story. She told me how she didn’t believe in God, until after she read my story because there was no way that a couple could survive what we survived if there wasn’t a God. Tears fell from my eyes as I thought to myself, there it is, God, …there it is. This is why I share.

3 Important Benefits of Prayer in MarriageHow is your marriage?

No, really. How is it? If it’s hard right now, please know that you’re not alone. 

God never promised us an easy life, but He did promise us that He’d be there with us every step of the way. If you’re struggling in your marriage please know that He’s right there.

One of the tools we’ve been given to fight through the hard times is prayer. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, friends. God doesn’t care where or how you pray, He just cares that you do. 

Prayer changes things.

It’s an invaluable weapon that we have to fight the darkness. I mean it’s right there you guys, all we have to do is open our mouths and talk to God as if we’re talking to a friend. It’s really that easy. This is why I’m loving today’s feature from Sue @ Mama of Three Boys. There are 3 huge benefits you gain simply by praying for your marriage. Hop on over to Sue’s page before linking up.

Join us at#SaltandLightLinkup for tons of inspiration! Click To Tweet

Why Your Friend Needs You Now More than Ever.

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Giving your friend space: 6 Ways Your Friend Needs You Now More Than Ever

I felt the phone vibrate in my purse. It was one short vibrate which meant it was a text.

“I’m praying for you today,” then a purple heart emoji.

A sweet text from my friend. I felt so much gratitude in my heart for her text yet there was nothing really that I wanted to say back to her so I tapped the home button and put the phone back in my purse. I didn’t really want any contact with the outside world. I wanted to be left to myself. I just wanted to “be.”

I was going through a really hard time. The part of my personality that is introverted screams loud when I’m going through hard times. I tend to sort of step back from everyone and slip on the facade.

3 Ways the Enemy Attacks

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3 ways the enemy attacks during hard timesThe enemy is on the prowl, hoping to attack and devour you. He hates you, he hates your family, and he wants nothing more than for you to fail. It seems grim, I know. But it is grim, it’s real, and it’s the truth.

You need to be armed and know how the enemy attacks! #saltandlightlinkup Click To Tweet

I do believe now more than ever, that God is building up a generation of women who know how to fight. Women who aren’t afraid to fight and women who know how to fight.

When we’re going through hard times, we can be an easy target. But we have no choice but to overcome so that we can find peace and healing. In order to do that, we have to recognize ways that the enemy attacks. I love today’s feature because she arms us with 3 ways that he attacks. Please hop over to her website before heading over to the link up!

Join me today for #SaltandLightLinkup! Click To Tweet

Furious Grace

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We were about 3 years into the restoration of our marriage when something came over me and it was like I was in an ocean and waves were desperately trying to consume me. They were surely trying to drown me, but not in the way that you think. 

Grace like waves.

It was as oddly typical morning. I woke up at the usual 5:30 am, made my coffee and had my Jesus time. The girls woke up and got ready for school without arguments and we rushed out the door on time, back packs and sack lunches in tow without any real bumps or hurdles. The day ahead seemed normal with plans of dropping the girls off at school, doing a quick 45-minute workout, then heading home to do laundry.

A normal Thursday. Thank God.

With the smell of warm pop-tarts still lingering in the air, I reached over and plugged my phone into the USB port, tapped iTunes and started playing Hillsong.

We were all three sort of in our own little world. The girls were in the back, heads down, eyes fixed on their phones as they were scrolling away looking for new posts on their Twitter & Instagram feed. I was thinking of my upcoming workout and trying to think of every excuse possible as to why I needed to skip the gym that day when my favorite worship song began playing. There’s a certain part within the lyrics that wreck me every time.

“For you chose to take the sinner’s crown
As you placed your crown on me.” – Aftermath, Hillsong United

And that’s when the waves started consuming, drowning me. But instead of taking my breath away in death, they were trying to give me life with perfect Love.  I was reminded of the grace that Jesus has for us, if only we will accept it.

There's only one kind of perfect love, and His name is Jesus. Click To Tweet

It was perfect Grace.

Furious GraceThe waves were the Holy Spirit, and it was one of the sweetest moments in an ordinary day that I’ve ever felt. Sobs that I desperately tried to imprison escaped and His presence flooded my car. The full-on ugly cry was showing itself in all of its glory. Only I wasn’t making a sound. I couldn’t because I didn’t want my girls to see.

Ever tried the ugly cry with no whimpers or whines? It’s not pretty, folks.

As I fumbled around looking for my sunglasses in the front seat, I heard a sweet voice say, “Mom, are you okay? What’s wrong?” I awkwardly looked up and her big brown eyes caught mine in the rear view mirror.

Where are those dang sunglasses?

I wanted to say, “it’s fine honey, go back to your social media scrolling.” How funny is it that when we need their attention, they can’t get their heads out of their phones, but when we don’t need it they’re all ears and eyes. Geesh. For the love.

The irony in that is hilarious.

I finally found my sunglasses and with as straight a face as I could muster I quickly smashed them against my face.

“Nothing, sweetie, it’s just that sometimes when I think about Jesus, it makes me so thankful and grateful that I can’t help but cry.” It felt like such a simple excuse for an answer but I didn’t know how else to describe it.

Shrugging her shoulders and satisfied with my answer, she went back to her scrolling. “Oh, okay.”

And that was it. She didn’t inquire or ask anything further.

God’s grace is like a tsunami, and the only way to experience it is to allow the tidal waves to carry you to places you never thought you’d go.

God’s grace and forgiveness is vast.  And while I’ve lived most of my life knowing all of this, I can’t fathom the truth of it all; and if I am honest, doubt can creep into my heart and wreak havoc there if I allow it.

When this happens doubt and shame more often than not turn into clarity and praise and it’s as if I’m taken to a different level in my walk with Jesus.

And isn’t this what it’s all about?

Dirty foot prints and nail-scarred hands.

Around the same time, it happened at church. I remember like it was yesterday. I hope I never forget. I was standing in the middle of the pew with my husband and my two daughters during the praise and worship part of service. I felt an enormous amount of gratitude, thankful to be standing beside my family. The worship pastor started singing “How He Loves” by David Crowder:

“And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way…
He loves me, oh how He loves me…”

I started weeping as each word, each breath of life began to overtake my soul. The arms of Jesus were holding me tight, reminding me of His love for me. I couldn’t breathe and the violent tears would not stop flowing. I suddenly realized I had two choices. I could either stand there shaking with the full on ugly cry (and we both know how that turns out) and threaten to draw attention to myself, or I walk out.

Choosing the latter, I walked into the bathroom, shut myself in a stall and lost myself in a rush of tears and emotion as I slowly sank down to the dirty bathroom floor. My hands covered my face as the tears splashed against the floor and looking down, I noticed a shoe print.

Rebelling against every clean-freak thought in my head, I took my hand and started to wipe away the dirt. The dirty shoe print was there, and then it wasn’t. It was gone. I wiped it away and it was erased, forever, never to be seen again.

In that moment my sin, my shame was the dirty shoe print, and Jesus took his beautiful nail scarred hands and tenderly wiped it away.

Oh, Jesus…

What grace He has for us if we will only accept it.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

I will never understand God’s grace and forgiveness. I don’t understand why He went through so much pain for me, and I pray I always take this posture at the feet of my Jesus who sacrificed so incredibly much to save my soul.

Do you get it, friend? Do you understand how much God loves you? No? I don’t either…

Although I don’t understand it, I do believe it.

And isn’t that the beauty of it?

Lord, please don’t let those overwhelmed-by-grace feelings ever leave me. Never let me forget your grace.

Never let me forget your furious grace.

Because where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more.

God’s furious grace and love is bigger than all of our sin. #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

God’s grace is furious and it is bigger than all of our sin. Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?

Furious Grace

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Moving Past Overwhelm

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I was tired and weary and just wanted to go back to bed. It was the morning of all mornings. It was jean’s day at the girls’ school. This meant that they got to wear jeans and a t-shirt. But, it couldn’t be just any t-shirt, it had to be one with the school’s logo; and it was a big deal because all of the other days they had to wear a uniform.

I was in the kitchen making sack lunches when my youngest marched in. “Mom, where’s my t-shirt?” It then dawned on me…I had been so busy with other things that I forgot to wash their t-shirts from last week. Why, oh why didn’t I buy more than one t-shirt?

It was a busy season. From volunteering at school, to sports, to helping with a large event at church, overwhelmed doesn’t seem to describe the feelings that were building after each heartbeat in my chest.

I ran to the laundry room, dug both of their t-shirts out of the dirty pile and threw them in the dryer. Surely this would have to do. We were going to be late again. Awesome. One more reminder of my short-comings.

I had said “yes” to too many things.  And even though as women we’re supposed to be the queen of the multitask, sometimes we just can’t do it all.

Overwhelmed? Here's the very best solution ever! #saltandlightlinkup Click To Tweet

We know all too well what overwhelm is like, don’t we? This is why I love today’s feature. Aimee, from Middle Mercies offers a practical and really cool solution to calm overwhelm.  Please check out Aimee’s post before heading over to the link-up!

I love the TONS of inspiration I'm getting at #saltandlightlinkup today! Click To Tweet

5 Steps to Fighting Fear

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This is the last week (#8) of Summer Sizzle, which features sweet Valerie, from Cord of 6. Valerie is such a gifted writer and her sweet persona shines through her writing.  I’ve been so honored to have such gifted writers during this series!

If you missed any of these wonderful posts, here’s a recap:

Week 1 featured Deb- How Do We Know We’ve Had a Change of Heart?

Week 2 featured Melanie- What Do We Do When Our Daughters Hurt?

Week 3 featured Alison- When You Don’t Want to Submit in Marriage.

Week 4 featured Carmen- How I Encourage My Husband.

Week 5 featured Dawn- How to Show Grace to Others

Week 6 featured Marva- How to Really Have it All.

Week 7 featured Lori- Dear Friend, You are More than Enough.

How to fight fear.

I never knew I’d have to fight so hard in order to put my faith into action. My faith, my belief in God is strong. But when Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6:12 to fight the good fight of faith, he uses action words like “flee,”pursue,”fight,”take hold.”

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 

We can fight the good fight of faith by fleeing temptation, pursuing godliness and sharing the Lord with others.

Ever since I became a Christian at seven years old, I’ve had a strong desire to live a godly life.

But, my biggest battle has been taking hold of God’s promises and allowing those truths to move from my head to believing them in the deep places of my heart.

That’s what I have to fight for. 

We can know the truth that God loves us but believing it is another thing entirely.

And so even though I fully understand that I’m saved by faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9) sometimes I still feel this pressing feeling that somehow, I’m not enough.

I’m just not enough.

And so I’ve tried to prove myself to myself….by not messing up.

Afraid of failing.
Taking risks.
Afraid of not being liked.

A few months ago, we had a tree that was in our front yard cut down. For months, the grass looked the same with just a big patch of dirt where the tree used to be.

But recently I went outside and thought the grass was covered in weeds. It looked like tiny trees were shooting up all over the lawn! New growth sprouted from the roots of the tree.

Fear is kind of like that. If we don’t take care of the root issue, it will continue to spread its roots and sprout up into areas of our lives where we don’t want it to be.

I believe one of the root issues of fear is doubting God’s immense love for us in our hearts.

When God’s love takes hold of our hearts, our lives change.

Until we truly accept His love, our fears are just going to shoot up from the ground and spread.

So how do we get God’s love to reach our hearts?

Sometimes, to help it along, we have to just get up and prepare for battle. Put our armor on.

And fight.

Once we start fighting the good fight of faith, we’ll begin to personally experience God’s grace and power through our weakness.

When we experience God’s power and peace working inside us, His love then becomes real and tangible.

When we start to experience that, we’ll not only feel the love we know to be true, but we’ll also get a taste of freedom from that ever-gripping fear.

That’s because the Bible says that the truth shall set us free. And the living, loving, ever-present, omnipotent, perfect presence of God is that very truth that sets us free.

So what does it take to fight fear? It means we take action to do everything we can to allow the truth of God’s word to take hold of our hearts.

5 Steps to Fighting Fear | Fight fear

5 Steps to Fighting Fear:

  • Determination

Once we’ve made a choice to change, we need to have the determination it takes to put that decision into action.

  • Prayer

The Bible says if we draw near to God, he will draw near to us. He promises to answer us when we call to him. Turn your fears and worries into prayers to overcome them. He calms our anxious thoughts with His truth and peace. Praise Him ahead of time for his answers. Praising Him is trusting in His love by believing He will answer you.

  • Scripture memory

They say in order to form a habit it takes 30 days. Take your fearful thoughts and replace them with the truth of God’s word. Make it a habit and do it every day. We need to train our minds to think differently. That happens by replacing fear with the truth.

  • Surround yourself with a community of other believers.

Battles are not meant to be fought alone.

In Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5

Carry each other’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:1

God shows His love for us through other believers!
  • Action

What are you afraid of? Why?

Are you afraid of the unknown? Sudden disaster and loss? Failure? Rejection?

We have the power of God on our side. He is our strength.

We will always have His love!

Romans 8:28 tells us that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God! We don’t have to earn it. We don’t have to be enough. And we can never lose it!

We can make mistakes. We can fail. We can be disliked by others.

But God’s love, His perfect love prevails. He forgives us for every sin. He knows we’re not perfect, and that’s why Jesus went to the cross!

Striving to be perfect and striving to be like Christ are two different things. We strive for perfection in order to make ourselves feel better.

We strive to be holy because the love of God spurs us on to want to share His love with others by reflecting His image.

We should continue to fight against our sin nature but we must rest in the fact that Jesus is enough!

We can let the love of God pour over us and can take hold of his grace. Nothing we do could ever make us good enough because sin has tainted even our best efforts.

And that’s ok because the blood of Christ makes us perfectly clean before God. And now we can approach the throne with confidence. That’s his love pouring over us.

Friends, let’s take hold of it together!

And then one day, we’ll be able to say, just like Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7  

How about you?  Has the depth of God’s love reached your heart?

Valerie Murray is a wife of 21 years and a busy mom to 4 energetic children. She writes at ValerieMurray.com about keeping faith and family strong through Christ. Her heart’s desire is to offer hope to others and declare the glory of God in her life through her writing. Her mission is to offer encouragement to struggling marriages, overwhelmed moms and people striving to face their fears and know their worth. Coffee, chocolate and a good movie always makes her happy! You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Instagram & Google+.

Six Summer Books

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I’m loving today’s feature! Why? Because I love to read, and I’ve never really posted about book suggestions so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. I love Laura’s picks, too. Please check it out before heading over to the link-up.

Here are 6 reads for the rest of your summer! Enjoy!

Dear Friend, You are More than Enough

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Hi friends, I know you’ll love today’s post from one of my favorites. Lori is one of the most encouraging friends I know. Lean in, and be encouraged!

Some memories are so vivid.

Almost as if God locks them into our minds so that in His time, the memory will give us a reflection of His ongoing work.

I had been an athlete all my life, but after a career-ending injury my senior year, I kept my mind busy and my spirit intact by helping out the coaches with office responsibilities during my study hall hours.

It was already a very difficult season of life for me. My dreams of playing ball in college were shattered. In those days, an ACL complete tear was an unlikely rehabilitation. Especially for a girl.

One morning it all seemed to come crashing around me.

Alone in the locker room, I completed the tasks the coaches had given me. The room was flooded by dingy lighting and held together by cement floors. The room was decorated with gray lockers and wooden benches I had sat on thousands of times as I changed in and out of my uniforms. Additionally, there was an echoing sound even in the silence.

My young tender heart was broken. Exploding really. Focused on the fact that my boyfriend of almost two years had broken up with me.

No future in basketball.

No future with the boy.

I was only 17 years old. Life ahead of me. The world mine to explore.

But I had a gaping hole in my heart and no idea how to fill it...

Despite my success and confidence as a student and an athlete, the overwhelming feelings of not enough triumphed. The hole in my heart threatened to consume me. All that I held as my marks of value were now gone. And with them went my worth.

Particularly, that aching young girl didn’t yet know that there is only One who can fill all the holes and define her worth.

There is only one person who can define your worth. @lori_schumaker Click To Tweet

She didn’t yet know only the One greatest love in all the world could fill the gaping hole in her heart.

The only One capable of lasting forever.

She didn’t know it was a God-sized hole.

More than enough- How God is the only one who can fill the hole in your heart.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. –Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

Today, as I reflect upon my past, I think about the story of The Woman at the Well found in John 4:1-42.

The woman was a Samaritan. Pretty much hated by the Jews. Married five times and was now living with a man to whom she wasn’t married. I think of her countenance at that point in her life. Exhausted? Disillusioned? Angry? Bitter? Lost faith?

Additionally, she didn’t have a lot going for her to fill her with hope or worth.

I’m guessing she was probably living life with a great big gaping hole in her heart. But because we know she was sneaking out to get the water in the heat of the day so as to not have to deal with the judgment of society, I think it is safe to say that all her attempts to fill her heart with men left her heart painfully empty.

Our story begins as Jesus approaches her at the well, requesting a drink. With surprise and a hint of a defensive attitude, she wondered what this Jew was doing speaking to her, a Samaritan woman?

Lacking trust she slings a question at him,

“You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

I think in that moment, Jesus must have smiled on the inside thinking “Perfect question!”, because this is what He said,

“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” –John 4:10-14 (NLT)

Certainly, the story tells us she wanted that water, but she had questions. Lots of them. Just like any of us who have faced difficult times. Similarly, we doubt, question, and need convincing.

Jesus pointed out He knew her past and her current life choices. He saw her not just as another number or statistic, but for who she was in the deepest parts of her soul.

And despite her choices, He offered life and forgiveness.

It didn’t matter how many times she had gotten it wrong. Or that she was looking in all the wrong places to fill that God-sized hole in her heart. The mess she had made of life didn’t matter. Nor did what others thought.

His redemption was bigger than all of it.

Right then and right there it was new life. Her heart filled. Her worth defined. She knew she had met the only One who could fill that gaping hole in her heart.

So she ran! She didn’t even bring her water jar with her. She left it behind and ran to tell everyone the good news. I think that what she felt by the filling up of her heart, was so incredible that she could think of nothing other than sharing this opportunity with all the empty souls she knew.

Nothing else mattered anymore.

I believe it was a new day for the Woman at the Well. There was no more listening to the enemy’s lies. You see, the King of Kings had entered Samaria, tired and weary from traveling in the hot midday sun so that He could speak to this one woman desperately trying to hide from the world. Here in the most unlikely of places, He met her.

He found her and gave her hope. He filled the God-sized hole in her heart. And that says that she is more than enough. That her worth is priceless.

And so are you, my sweet friends. Jesus will come to find you.

Moreover, He sees you, knows you, and still loves you. He will find you in the dead heat of the day. In an out-of-the-way, uncared for town among people who do not know or love Him. In the midst of your yuck, He will lift you from the mire and set you firmly on the rock.

You are more than enough. Believe it. Claim it.

He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay. With a gentle hand, He pulled me out to set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again. -Psalm 40:2 (The Voice)

That young me crying on the locker room floor?

Oh, how I wish I could tell her more about Jesus. Even though she knew about Him and believed in, revered, and honored Him, there was so much she did not grasp.

Although she didn’t understand His love. She didn’t understand that He called her wonderful and valuable.

And you? How well do you know Him? Do you stop short of embracing His redeeming love?

If so, now is the time to say, “No more.” Let’s make this a defining moment and say …

“Today I receive that I am a wonderful and valued child of God. I am loved beyond measure. My value is not defined by my past nor my future mistakes. I recognize the open arms of Christ. The King of Kings is here to meet me right where I am and call me His cherished, loved, and priceless child. He is here to fill the God-sized hole in my heart.”

 

My dear friends, I pray that if you haven’t come to a place of knowing Who fills that hole your heart, I pray you say these words today and claim them as truth over your life. I would be honored to pray with you and share in your journey as you begin to realize just how wonderful you are!

Bio -Lori is an encourager at heart. She has spent her life learning of the hope and victory available when we embrace our identity in Christ. Today, when she isn’t busy being a wife and Mom to her three children, she teaches, ministers, coaches, speaks, and writes to share that hope with others. Wherever you find yourself today – walking through the difficult, needing to get unstuck to follow your purpose, or simply experiencing a season of beautiful chaos, Lori’s blog found at www.lorischumaker.com is a place where you can get a virtual hug from someone who truly understands. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

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