Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Stop Choosing What Isn’t Choosing Ypu

Whether it's that person that has consistently shown you that you are not a priority in their life, or that job, sin, or object that you keep chasing but God has made it so clear just isn't supposed to be in your life, sometimes we need to stop choosing them or it, and trust God has something far better beyond it. 

I get it, it's not easy admitting we are choosing someone and they aren't choosing us back. We hold on to what we think might be ahead if they suddenly saw things like we do, instead of letting go and trusting God that if they ARE supposed to be in our life? Well, GOD will get a hold of them and show them that, too. It's not easy to admit that this habit, sin, job, or even hobby, has gotten out of hand, and we are no longer enjoying it like we once did, but are getting consumed by it, unable to let go of it, and no longer satisfied in it. None of it is easy. None of it FEELS right to let go of, especially when everything in our misguided heart, tells us that we shouldn’t. But usually when our minds or hearts have been consumed with any one person or thing, we have often moved into a space that has become borderline unhealthy, and friend? Oh, how God wants to free you and release you from it. The idol that has taken root and over your mind and heart. Because sometimes, without knowing it, we've gotten sucked in, and we don't even realize that we are exhausting and distracting ourselves chasing and choosing someone, and they aren't choosing us back back. Or chasing something, and it isn't choosing us back.

I don't know who needs to see this, but I get it. Sometimes I get distracted. I might get in default mode where I find myself looking to someone or something to choose me, instead of bringing it to the One who already chose me. And remembering in Him, I have everything I need. And if there is something or someone that I keep choosing, and they aren’t choosing me back, and I am not seeing it? It means I need to run back into the arms of the One who gave His life for me, and choose Him above everything. And trust that what or who HE has for me, He will bring to me. And who and what He wants for me, will choose me and be so GOOD for me. ❤️

Monday, January 30, 2023

Only Jesus Satisfies

Some people find this out early in life, some find it out later , and some of us find it out and simply start to forget. But that longing for something more, that looking for something to just make us feel complete and whole, or fill the void, just cannot be filled the way it was designed to be filled, unless it by Jesus Himself. God designed us that way, friends. He designed for us to be complete in HIM, so that we would never have to be apart from Him, and that through Him, we could do ALL the things He planned for us to do, and live a life of freedom, purpose, hope, and peace in Him.

Even as Christians I think we can forget how much we need Him. How much our spirits LONG for Him to fill that emptiness on some of those hard days. Because this world, relationships, even goals and so many GOOD things, can actually begin to make us believe that THEY are what we are chasing, and those are what will satisfy us, until we eventually begin to run on fumes and realize we’re feeling pretty empty.  It can be so easy to turn to other things when we are feeling this way, or lonely, or struggling with emotions, busyness, worry, or whatever it may be, but friends, let this be a reminder for those of us who know, and a nudge for maybe those who might be searching without even realizing it. Stop trying. Stop running. Stop trying to do life on self will, and run to things that will only leave you longing for more. Because Jesus is the only thing and Person who can fill AND satisfy. He is the only drink we can have and have our thirst be fully quenched. He is who God Himself, SENT.

If you’re human, you’ve tried the other things, and if you’re a Christian, you’ve found what truly satisfies. Maybe this is for the person who needed a reminder. Maybe it’s for the person who needed to hear it for the first time. Wherever you are, go to him, friend. Quit running. Quit doing life alone. Invite Him in. And let Him fill you from within. Again, again, and again. ❤️

Sarah Jean Armstrong 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Recognizing Hidden Anger

Anger can be overt – screaming, yelling, rage, throwing things, physical abusive, or it can be very covert– slow simmering suppressed anger beneath that surfaces occasionally.

While hidden anger is usually rooted in past childhood hurts, what lies underneath is ready to erupt at any moment much like a volcano..

For instance when someone does or says something wrong, the one with hidden and suppressed anger often overreacts, an innocent mistake may unleash a magnitude of anger out of proportion with the simple mistake.

If you have hidden anger, you may find yourself at one extreme or another – hopelessness to extreme hostility and yet be completely unaware why you are experiencing these feelings and may even be clueless to the severity of your outbursts of anger towards others and how they are being hurt emotionally in the wake of your anger.

Unresolved anger causes deep wounds in your relationships with God and others. It hurts little ones who are caught in the aftermath of a parent’s anger. Children learn that anger is an acceptable way to deal with conflict, and often take this modeled behavior into adulthood negatively impacting relationships at all levels.

This powerful emotion robs your heart of peace, joy and steals contentment from your spirit.

It’s never too late to get to the root of anger and allow God to heal your heart. A willingness to admit you have hidden anger is the first step to freedom. God is faithful to heal and restore those who come to Him for healing.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Pray Then Release It!

I know this isn’t always easy. Trust me, I know. But when we can finally realize that God has our best interest in mind, and that, He sees everything and is always doing something in whatever we are walking through, we can finally let go of trying to figure things out, worrying about the future, and the stress of trying to guess what’s next. We can let Him be God. And, friend?He wants to be. For you, and for me. So open your tiny hands, let go of what you are holding on to, and let His big hands grab hold of yours and lead you to the place He is trying to. Because He will.

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” (Psalm 28:7)

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

God of All Comfort

As Christians, we don’t have to be so afraid of the pain and discomfort of this world. As Christians, we know that it’s here. We know that, because of sin, it’s a part of this life; God has told us it is.

But, knowing this is not what rids us of fear, it’s knowing (with our hearts) Him who knows what comes after—THAT is was takes away fear. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

God is the “Father of compassion and God of all comfort”. He is the Author of our hope!

As we take our eyes off of us and settle them onto Him, the big picture comes back. His compassion overflows and His comfort fills our hearts; and, ultimately, through us, seeps out onto the hearts of others.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

God Knows and Loves You Still

I think so often we can believe that God is disappointed in us when it's taking us longer to get things right, or taking us longer to sort through things in life. Instead of running to Him with what we are feeling, we tend to run from Him. Or just, try to distract us with anything BUT Him. But friend, let this be a reminder that God is not ever surprised by what we do, or caught off guard by where we are at in life. Or what we are feeling in life. No, God is the only One who completely understands WHY we are the way we are, and WHY we struggle in this life. Isn't that a comfort? That you have someone who really gets it? That you don't have to hide anything, or be ashamed of anything, because He knows EVERYTHING? No one else gets you like He does. No one else looks at you with complete understanding, compassion, and grace, like He does. This is all the more reason to turn TO Him when you feel like you want to give up, or you're feeling like you've let yourself and Him down. To quit running from the only One who can truly help when you are feeling so down, and to finally allow Him into some of the wreckage, disappointment, and hurt in your heart that you've been harboring and that’s been holding you down. Maybe it has to do with Him. Maybe it has to do with that one person. Whatever it is, what we struggle with today is a direct result of what we endured all the yesterdays. And what we can't overcome today, is often because we have forgotten just how much we need Jesus, everyday. It all starts with us though. It takes having a desire to be free of this world. To want to change what's not working. To stop the hiding. And to start living out true faith in Jesus, faith that makes life worth living!

Don't let the enemy keep you down in your struggles one day longer, making you feel like you're all alone, and that Jesus is tired of you trying and failing. He loves you, and hasn't given up on you. That is what satan wants you to believe, and what will keep you from thriving! No, be done with the old, and tell God you are ready for the new. And BELIEVE He is with you, He is in you, and He has all the power in the world to completely restore you.

 “And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭5‬:‭34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Monday, January 16, 2023

Forgiveness Is Not Letting Others Off the Hook

It doesn’t mean it’s easy, and often, we won’t even FEEL like we want to forgive them. But it’s what frees us. It’s what releases us of the burden and allows us to move on. And if our hearts are ever struggling with letting go of the hurt, the anger, or how badly we were wronged, we need to remember the cross. We need to remember that Jesus took all that WE have done, do, and will continue to do, to the cross, so WE could be forgiven. And we didn’t deserve it either, friends. We still don’t.

I know it can be hard when we forget that. When our eyes have become more focused on what’s been done to us instead of what Jesus did for us. And if you are having a hard time, it’s just a sign you’ve maybe forgotten. But remember, friend. Remember YOU are forgiven, and it will help you to let go. Remember what God did to release you of your sin, and it will help enable you to let go. You’re not letting them off the hook, friend. Just taking them off of yours, and putting them on His. So you can be free. ❤️

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

Friday, January 13, 2023

Fiery Trials

Oh gosh, friends. As much as we don’t like trials. As hard as someone of the things we face are, they are truly where we see Jesus, if we look for Him in them. And this is something I am really trying to get better my myself, because so often, I just want to run right through them and get to the other side, being grateful to God FROM the other side. But gosh, I am finding when I take time to pause. When I take time to embrace the unknowns, and rest in the big arms of the One who does, I can see Him so much more clearly. I more am sensitive to what He is saying. And I can feel the breathe of Him that much more closely.

Trials refine us. Trials grow us. Trials strengthen us. I think that is why I love being around older women of the Lord so much, older women who are so seasoned in their faith. Because their faith has been seasoned and tested by the Lord, and it truly shows in every way. By the way they live. Worship. Or pray, you name it. You can tell they have encountered Jesus in many trials throughout their life. You can tell that in them, they found their Jesus. And they radically transformed their relationship with Him.

So whatever your trial is today, whatever you are finding yourself. Look up. Take a breathe, a moment, to just, look around, and try to find just what God is doing in it. And then look over, and see Jesus in it. He is doing a work, my friend. In your heart, and in your life. And the finished product when He is done will be worth every second of it. He is there. πŸ’•

Sarah Jean Armstrong 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Where Do You Put Your Identity?

Friends, I cannot tell you how many people (Christians and non-Christians) I have talked to who have spent so much of their life, making it about that one thing. That ONE thing is what drove them. That ONE thing is something they would refuse to give up. That ONE thing they lived for, every day. Until one day, it was taken, and it changed everything. Or until one day, they felt God asking them to give it up, because it had become between Him and them, and to do it took EVERYTHING.

Being all about what we love and are good at isn’t bad. In fact, the very gifts that make us great at these things our FROM God, and He wants us to use them! But for HIM. We have to be very careful when our love for the gifts start to drown out the Giver Himself. Or the life or the lifestyle we are living is something we put our identity in more than Christ Himself.

Do you recognize, that without Jesus, you wouldn't be who you are? That those gifts you have, are from Him? That what makes you "you", is not you at all, but HIM? What is your identity in? Yourself and what YOU do? Or Jesus, and what HE has done for you? Because friends, after talking to the people I mentioned earlier who had it reversed, they now realize that their identity started to become more about what they DID. And they can look back now and recognize where priorities in their life started to shift.

We are not our jobs, the lifestyle we choose to live out, or the roles we have. No, if you are a follower of Jesus, your identity is in HIM, and your purpose is HIM! An heir to His Kingdom. THAT is who you are! That, is why you are here, dear friend! And THAT cannot ever be taken away from you. Everything else can, and when it does, it will feel like you lost “you” when it happens if your identity is in it. You will feel like your purpose was stripped right out of your hands as a result of it.

So, let this be a reminder to us all. That our identity and purpose in this life isn't about us, and what we can do IN it, but Jesus, what He did, and what HE wants to do through it. He gave you the gifts for a reason. You’re YOU for a reason. You have your gifts for a reason. And the reason is Him. πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ’•

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Don’t Let Anger Rule You

I mean, right? How often does someone say something or do something and you get so angry, but deep down, you're actually just really hurt? So hurt that they would do that. So hurt that they COULD do or say that.

Friends, anger is a secondary emotion, and so there is always a primary emotion going on behind it. Anger is just the symptom of something else we are feeling. Many of us have learned to turn to anger in order to protect ourselves from or cover up vulnerable feelings. We don't like feeling the pain of being hurt, so our way of dealing with it, our "drug", is anger, so we don't have to feel it. It numbs the pain. And distracts us from why we are angry in the first place. But friends, when we do this, it only ends up hurting ourselves. Anger takes such a major toll not only on our body, mind, and spirit, but also, on our relationship with the other person. We say things we regret later. We do things we wish we wouldn't have done. And always wish we would have handled things better. And this cycle usually happens over and over.

Let this be a reminder to all of us, to not let anger get the best of us, and ask ourselves when we feel it rising, what are we REALLY feeling that is resulting in this anger? Is what this person did hitting something that goes much deeper? Why do we want to turn to anger? And once we know, let us take a brave step and ask God to help us be honest with ourselves and Him, and the other person. Because let me tell you, people are often so surprised and usually immediately soften when someone comes to them with an honest and open heart about what they are truly feeling. But they will usually get on the offense, harden, and close right up if you come at them when you are angry. One way of handling our pain leads to life and pleases God. The other, kills us slowly inside and separates us from God. Let's not allow it to anymore, and seek God to heal our hearts and how we deal with our pain, forevermore! Because He will. It just takes us inviting Him in to our pain and opening the door. ❤️

Monday, January 9, 2023

Forgive Even When They’re Not Sorry

I think one of the hardest parts of healing is acknowledging how bad it hurt in the first place. And that, the pain is still there. So often we are taught that in order to heal from things, we need to just let it be, move on, and that time heals everything, and sometimes, it can and it does. But when there is severe heartbreak, severe pain or trauma in someone's life, it usually won't just go away, but will lay dormant, until one day it resurfaces, affecting so many areas of our lives and relationships. We NEED to feel to heal. We NEED to let the pain out of our hearts, with or without an apology, so we can allow forgiveness and the stregnth of God to come in and restore those wounded parts of our hearts.

We were never meant to carry the pain, and many of us have become so numb to it that we don’t even realize how heavy the weight has gotten and that we still are. We were never meant to carry the wounds that someone ELSE'S pain caused when THEY hurt us. We were never meant to carry the guilt, shame, or past of what others have done to us. We have to remember that most often, people’s pain in their own lives is what caused them to act out. THEIR pain, sin, and wounds, is what caused THEM to carry their hurts out, and be thrown on us, and apology or not, we don't have to live under the weight and hurt of what they did any longer. We get to CHOOSE to take the steps to heal, move on, and allow the love of God to heal us and make us stronger! I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but you might never get the sorry from them you feel your soul needs. You might not ever hear the words you have been praying to hear so desperately, but friend, you can trust that your God will one day deal with them justly. You can trust your God sees YOUR strength to let go and forgive today, and HE will reward YOU greatly, and continue to love you until your heart is healed completely.

You were called by God to live FREE, friend, and I pray you truly believe and receive that today, and you allow your heart to begin to truly heal so you can. Even from the things that they never apologized for. ❤️

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Stay Away from What Broke You

And to stay away from what broke you, you must stay near to the One who saved you. 

Because the moment we start wandering, is the moment our foundation will start trembling, and before we know it, we will be right back to the ground, shattered and hurting.

It can be so easy to want to entertain the thoughts of what or who we once knew. To who or what once worked. To forget how bad things were back then and think about doing life on our own terms again. To even think, that it, or that person, or doing what WE want rather than what God wants, will solve our problems or fill the void of what we may be feeling.

But it won’t. It’s a lie. And you gotta play the tape and remind yourself of the truth. Jesus is the void and who we are lacking in when those feelings set in again. And if it broke you before, it WILL break you again, and longing for it or them means your spirit is really in need of more of HIM.

So go to HIM, friend. Stay near to HIM. Because you’re free now, and going back is not anywhere you want to be again.❤️

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Just Wait

And all the heartache and issues that will come from it won’t EVER be worth it. There’s a reason things haven’t happened yet, and trying to accomplish IT on our own, will only leave us more broken than ever before, and more separated from God than we could have ever known. Just, wait. Because it’s just not worth it to go about it without Him or on our own.

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Monday, January 2, 2023

We Can’t Always Trust Our Heart

I think  we have all been in a situation where we thought we knew without a doubt that our heart was leading us the right way. Things felt so right. The situation, or that person, just felt so right. Until, it wasn't. Until it was the exact opposite. And until we realized, well, maybe we can't always trust our heart after all.

The problems with our hearts is that as much as good can come from them, the not so good comes from them, too. The Bible says that out of our hearts flows everything (Proverbs ‪4:23‬). The pain, the hurt, the unhealthy needs, the selfish desires, the evil thoughts, the anger, the sin we do, it all comes from the heart, mixed in with the good. Which is why when we are making decisions in life, we can't always trust that what we want to do is based on reason, truth, or what is good for us and what God would want us to do, and not on the emotions and feelings that can sometimes stem from things we have gone through. We NEED something greater than our hearts to lead us. Because our hearts WILL lead us astray, friends. They just will. Do we get it right sometimes? Of course. But we can't always be sure, so we HAVE to go the Person who is, if we want to save ourselves from hurt. This is why it's so imperative we seek God in our lives. That, we get to know HIS heart, so it can replace so much of the brokenness in ours. And get to know HIS words, so that HIS voice will be what bursts through to help us open the right doors.

So if you have a big decision to make today, or, in the future, go to God and get in His Word. Spend time with Him, pray about it, and surrender it to Him. Don't trust your heart, because it can deceive you. Ask the One who knows every single thing that is inside of it, and HE will always show you what to do. He will never mislead you. Our hearts might fail us, but He never will.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:26)