A Year To Persevere, A Year To Worship


With 2017 over and 2018 under way I am seeking the Lord for what is next. In doing so I promised myself something. I decided in 2018 that I would be more open. Open to sharing my life and the struggles I face. Because the truth is I am not entirely sure what is up ahead. 2017 was such a turbulent year. There is know way I could have anticipated all that had happened, and there is still so much to digest. I grapple to leave behind the memories of my sister; the mark her life and death have left on me. Which is why I when out of town for the Christmas break. I did it to get some down time in the hopes to gain some perspective. Having endured so much and gone through so much I had to make sure I was even still on course with what God has planned for my life. With everything I could not assume no errors had occurred. The pieces still don’t seem to fit together, but either way the time away was necessary.  I encourage you to do the same. Now more than ever living the Christian life requires a greater need for the Spirit of God. The strength and direction He gives.

The perseverance needed to endure this life as believer is unlike anything I thought could ever be attainable. From a human standpoint it is not feasible, but through the ups and downs God remains faithful. He pulls us through. Moving forward I will share more of the good and the bad. I hope it will you encourage to keep going. To persevere. There are so many reasons to quit, lay down and surrender. Even with living a kingdom focused/Christ-like lifestyle challenges and hardship present seeming impossible situations. We are pushed to our limits and often far passed them, nevertheless it up to us to yield to the Lord and the aid the Holy Spirit provides and stand our ground. To believe God, trust His Word and rest in His loving kindness.

This is why I love Worship. How I feel may (or does) change from day to day, but what I believe and know to be true remains the same. Worship reorients my heart and mind onto the truth. The truth of Jesus, who He is and what His Word declares. This journey of perseverance is a journey to Worship. To declare the goodness of God in greater measure regardless of the situation or circumstances.

Today I am listening to “Peace” by Josh Baldwin. It is off his album “The War Is Over.” As I listen to the words my hope is revived and strength rises within my heart. I can face another day. Much of it unknown and may remain that why, however I can rest in a God who is looking after every detail. The pain that is not yet healed I trust that it will be healed in time. Everything that is undone trust it will not remain that way.  May 2018 be a year of rest, hope and renewed loved for Jesus and His presence.

Know His presence is with you. In whatever current state you find yourself know He is there. Engage your heart in the truth Worship can bring.

May your journey lead you in to a
deeper life of Worship…..

Little Rose…Join The Journey
http://www.wtrlittlerose.com

 

 

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Unfinished Business


It is such a reassuring thing to have God make sense of madness which affects our lives. This is what makes the gospel so relatable. It has the power to touch us right where we are; aiding us in dealing with situations that effect our present reality. This is especially true in the area of relationships. I previously shared the dynamic between my mother and I. Revisiting our relationship for the first time in such a long time was very painful (at first), nevertheless through the process I received a new level of healing, wholeness and freedom. The same is true with respect to my relationship with sister. Now I would have preferred it had come another way, but seeing God’s hand in it all has given me great comfort and a new appreciation for life, love and His plan for my life.

We all have things that go unresolved or remain unsaid. Especially when it comes to family conflict. Disagreements and grievances tend to go unaddressed for long periods of time (sometimes even years). This was true of my sister and I. Sadly the choices my parents made did not set us up to have a healthy relationships with anyone, much less with each other. Through all the abuse, neglect and various circumstances the main focus became survival. Our love for each other got lost. We were separated on numerous occasions and when we were together we were always playing catch up. Often the only thing that brought us together was crisis, but even that did not last long.

As you can imagine it was a blessing, and frankly a miracle, for both of us to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour. During the years we were separated we each individually gave our lives to Jesus. My heart was delighted to now begin to seek and pray for family restoration. I thought soon we would be having family gatherings, celebrating birthdays and supporting each other through life’s ups and downs. Unfortunately that did not happen. Silences became more frequent and prolonged, and the mistrust grew to the point where at time we felt like strangers. My sister always had a wall up and no matter what I tried that never change. All of this became more awkward when we started attending the same church. She had been going there for some time before I joined her in January 2011. At first it appeared to be a new beginning for us and I was hopeful. I thought FINALLY; what I was praying for was now finally coming pass. Joy filled my heart and I looked forward expecting great things for us as a family, but especially as sisters.

Things were pretty good for a while, but when the root causes remain unresolved it is only a matter of time before the same cycle starts all over again. Conflict arose and there was an unwillingness to work through them or discuss how it could be resolved. Meanwhile we were each going through our own personal battles (trials which  on their own a were a lot to bare). I had personally grown weary of reaching out to rebuild a relationship when there seemed to be no interest on her part. So while attending the same church the distance remained. There were interactions here and there, but for the most part we were indifferent to each other. I’m sure there were many people who had their views on the subject and judged it from the outside. The only person who really knew the truth about everything was my brother in-law (my sister’s husband). When he passed away I no longer had anyone to talk or get advice from. He used to try and play mediator between the two of us. With him gone we were left to work it out ourselves.

As times passed there was minimal improvement and I have to be honest I stopped trying. Not necessarily the Christian response but an honest one. Putting myself out there only to be rejected again just did not seem appealing. Every time I tried I was left with so many unanswered questions, hurt feelings and anger. I had love in my heart for her, but what do you do when a person you love shuts you out?  I began to cling to the hope that one day, some where down the line, we would be restored to one another, and that our love each other would live again. Sadly I had to settle for a different ending to our story. In August 10, 2017 my sister suddenly became ill and passed away September 2, 2017. And just like that she was gone. My dream of us being restored to one another slipped through my fingers. It’s funny how as human beings we think we will always have tomorrow or another day to deal with something. I was now faced with having to get closure another way.

I took every thought, memory, unkind gesture, harboured feeling, and my hopes of what could had been and left it at the feet of Jesus. I believe my sister loved me she just had very hard time showing it. And the grievances she had against me no longer exist. She is now with the Father; basking in His presence, soaking in His love. She has forgiven me and I have forgiven her. The restoration I asked for did come, however not in the way I had hoped. So whatever Unfinished Business I had, or we had, it is settled. I only now have to wait to greet her to experience the fullness of our restoration and love/joy for one another.

Obviously I would have rather worked things out sooner; where we could have done it face to face. It was my deepest heart’s desire. However I know that even if it does not go according to what I had planned God can still bring healing, restoration and closure. May you too experience healing and restoration, even if it is only on this side of eternity.

Blessed and Highly Favored
http://www.wtrlittlerose.com

Finding A Home


Since my last post there is much I could share with you. I almost do not know where to begin. I left off with me being at home with my mother for the first twenty years, and as traumatic as that was there was purpose in it. It took me a while to see it, but I can honestly say now that I am thankful for it. Sadly how things ended was just as I had anticipated. It ended by my mother abruptly asking me to leave her home with no other place to go. The sole object of moving in with her was to get myself on a better financial footing, however she no longer desired to help and wanted me out of her home. Unfortunate for me this was deja vu because when I was fifteen my mother did the exact same thing. Thankfully this time I had an AMAZING co-worker come to my aid. Her family opened up their home and invited me in. I was so thankful for their help, however it would have been unfair of me to prolong my stay so I ended up going to a shelter.

I know what you’re thinking.  A shelter…and believe me I was thinking the same thing. It was my worse nightmare to be in such a place.  It is not a place where you can rest or call home.  I felt humiliated, embarrassed and rather helpless. I did not have the resources to change my situation and every avenue I pursued led to a dead end.  This went on for the entire summer up until I gave up trying to make it work.  And that is when the Lord opened up door. One to move back where I could be closer to my church and familiar surroundings.  I was able to make a smooth transition with work as well.

Going through this type of scenario a second time in my life was something I did not except.  Although my mother is not a Christian I hoped she would not do this a second time.  And to be truthful I was really hurt.  I did not cry much at all.  This situation made me fully aware of the right to choose.  We choose to care, we choose to love, and we make a choice to obey God and serve Him with our lives.  She did not make that choice and she will have to live with that, and answer to the Lord for it.  As for myself I will serve Jesus until the day I die.  I will love Him with every fibre of my being and point others to His undying faithfulness.  So I am happy to say the Lord provided a home for me. It is quiet, peaceful and meets my every need.  The Lord is faithful to His children.

I was always taught your home was with your family; your biological family.  However, throughout my life my home has never really been with my family.  Everyone was always living for themselves and seeking what was best for them.  I realize now the Lord has stepped in and provided me with a family. It is His church.  A place I can call home and be embrace with love.  Resting in a home the Lord provides will always be better than forcing yourself to rest in where you are not wanted or very simply don’t belong.

If you are reading and can relate in ANY way I want you to know the can provide a place for you to call home. He will look out for you in ways your family never did.  He won’t leave you out in the cold….

For our Heavenly Father is a GOOD father!!! He will be faithful to you to the end!!

Please be encouraged…..

 

Blessed and Highly Favoured,
http://www.wtrlittlerose.com

Where You Are Right Now


The month of June is about to hit the half way point and life is looking very different. Since late January when I posted “The Road Less Traveled” my life has gone through more changes. This obviously comes as no surprise, however there was one change which did catch me completely off guard. This change has forced me to work through fear, unforgiveness and revisited somewhere I have not been since I was a young girl. As I walked through the past few months I grappled to understand what God was doing and why this stage of the process was necessary. Through embracing what was and still is most unpleasant I stand on the winds of change; a change which has caused me to experience such contentment and new hope. The road less traveled led me where I did not want to go, but it has birthed fresh vision for my purpose and a greater trust in God. Where You Are Right Now is often the key to turning the page into the next chapter of your life.

Many fail to walk in all that God has for them because they do not fully embrace the process the Lord has set before them. It is usually very uncomfortable, at times painful and will require you to humble yourself. In this instance is required me to move back in with my mother. The woman who abused me for almost half my life, and to this day feels no remorse or guilt for her behaviour. Initially when it appeared that this was the direction things were going I out right refused. I bug my heels in (as if that would ever work well with God or overpower the Holy Spirit). Fortunate for me the Lord backed me into a corner, therefore I had no other option but to cooperate.

Coming back home to live with my mother was like pinpointing the source of all life’s pain. All my issues growing up started being at with my mother. So many painful memories, so naturally I thought revisiting them seemed pointless but yet there I was. Strangely enough with each passing day things started to change for me. I started seeing myself in a new light and freshness developed in my relationship with the Lord. My mother of course is the same and I am having to find a way to deal with that, however God was giving me a second chance to be who I was created to be. The pain from my childhood has shaped so much of who I was and the Lord was and is committed to setting me free. Free to live a life full of joy, hope and purpose unencumbered with the past. What a gracious God. He not only has a purpose for our lives, but He also wants to see us free to live life to the upmost. And I happy to say a long standing stronghold is crumbling to the ground.

It’s not everyday you get to go back and redo the past; to do-over situations or certain moments in time for the sole purpose of moving ahead into your future. I was angry and afraid initially when this scenario came about. Going back to live with parent who was the author of your abuse would be unnerving even for the most mature person, but the enemy is the author of all pain and suffering. Our family members or whoever “they” were were simply ponds in his hands. This is why the bible says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV). This time here has not been pleasant or enjoyable, but it has worked out a greater purpose which I know God will use for His glory. I can now go into this new chapter of my life knowing God has spared no expense in preparing me and fully embrace whatever is ahead.

Where you are right now may very well be the key to the next chapter of your life. Don’t run from it, embrace it! It might not be what you want, but it will be what you need!!

 

Blessed and Highly Favored
http://www.wtrlittlerose.com

The Road Less Traveled


As I continue to launch in 2017 it is not without reflection. Often before a new year starts I take a break from my regular routine and focus on the Lord and His plan for my life. I try to get a sense of where I am and if there are any loose ends that need to be tied up before the new year begins. I dedicate more time to prayer, fasting and reduce my time on social media. However this year things were different. I was sick for most of the Christmas season, plus I was preparing to move. Fortunately what kept me on track was a sermon series by my Pastors. It was entitled “The Spirit Filled Life.” Through this message I was empowered to finally take The Road Less Traveled. My earnest desire has always been to live out God’s best, but I deeply craved a life of stability rather than one of faith-filled adventure. It is a road the Lord has wanted me to take for quite some time, however due to a number of circumstances I never had the courage to do it. Nevertheless I believe this moment marks the end of a chapter and the start of a new one.

I have always had a fear of “What if I miss it?” What if I am spiritually “off” and God is not really leading me down the path I’m on. (These are the type of terms we use in the church to express when someone is misguided or misunderstanding what the Lord is saying or how He is leading in a particular area.) Never mind that the Word of God says in Psalms 37:23 (NKJV) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.” He is true to His Word. We ought to be confident in the Lord’s love and character, however this can sometimes escapes those young in their faith. These thoughts used to cross my mind and cause me to worry. Recently the Lord pinpoint the root cause and I realized just how much certain experiences effect one young in their faith.

Early on when I first began attending church God was doing so much in my life. There was a three years period where the Lord was doing an immense healing and restoration process; putting the pieces of my life back together. Towards the end of the that time is where I began taking small steps of faith whenever I felt His spirit leading. God being the faithful Father was right there encouraging me on. The more I did I began to tangibly see God’s hand at work in my life. As I trusted God with small things it became easier to trust Him with bigger and more complicated situations. Things steadily progressed and eventually led up to a major God encounter in 2005. This involved attending a conference outside the country, which was paid by a woman I met briefly prior to leaving on the trip. There are, of course, many details about this experience that would take to long to mention, but essentially the Lord tore the roof off what I thought was possible and drastically increased my of level faith and expectation. Going forward I knew my life would never be the same again.

Surprisedly, when I returned home I was met with mixed reviews. Although there were those who rejoiced for and with me, there were some that were sceptical. I received little encourage to embrace this new found faith and freedom the Lord was presenting. I was made to feel spiritually off when I did. Most acknowledged that is was indeed a “great” experience, but that I had to come to terms with facts. That it was just an experience. This was the moment I began to doubt myself and second guess what the Lord would speak to me. (As if to give merit that a contrary spirit was leading me down this path and I could not trust what I felt the Holy Spirit was speaking to me). Looking back now there was this unspoken message: Stay the same. Continue to fit in and comply with the current status quo or suffer the alternative. Be singled out as rebellious, not submitted to authority, and spiritually misguided. Needless to say I did not understand it at the time, but it is clear now. I was being set apart and it was entirely the Lord’s doing.

My mindset on things had begun to change. I no longer saw situations and circumstances as limitations. I saw them as opportunities for the power of God to move in and through my life. But it came with a price. Having to deal with criticism. Back then I was still considered as a new kid on the block. My brand of different was not sitting well with the older, and more seasoned Christians. Unfortunately through a series of events a seed of doubt were planted in my mind. I began to doubt the Lord’s leading. I did things to avoid peoples’ rejection. If I didn’t I was regularly labeled as someone who was unwilling to submit to authority, spiritually off, seeking the lime light, and wanting position. I perceived as a threat, therefore was to be kept under control.

Being labeled hurts, however at some point you have to take a stand. I finally chose to follow Christ and His unique path for my life; not forfeiting who I am to suit the ideas and expectations of others. It has meant walking much of my journey alone. And that’s ok! I have learned to press into God’s presence and really heavily on His Word to see me through every situations. There are times I wished I had someone to talk to and He does provide those people. Nevertheless if He doesn’t the Lord is my source. I look back now and it makes me sad. That I allowed people who chose to settle for simple and mundane affect my faith and walk with Christ. Either way it is a lesson learned and for that I am thankful. The beautiful thing about following the path God has laid out for me is I no longer need to make my life make sense to anyone other than Jesus. With each day my longing to know what He desires increases and the approval of other diminishes.

To move forward unencumbered I must forget the past. Isaiah 43:18a says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past…….Forget the former things means letting go of the past including every negative experience. I can not dwell on it or have it captivate my thoughts. I must continue to fight to hold onto my faith, my freedom and the clarity the Holy Spirit gives me. As I do I gain greater understanding of my purpose, receive clearer direction of what to do next, and experience greater joy while I step closer to completing my God-given earthly assignment.

Taking the road less traveled it is not something to be afraid of. It is something to be embraced. It is one filled with miracles and the tangible presence of God. The reality is you are going to get labeled no matter what you do. You might as well get labelled as the one who wholeheartedly followed the Lord and fulfilled your purpose. Trust me….different is better…..

Pressing Into His Presence


In a season of breaking down walls life is not without hope. We serve a God who is beyond faithful and His ultimate desire is to see us live out His divine plan for our lives. The Lord’s will is not to leave His people in desolation indefinitely, however there is indeed a purpose to the breaking down process. However, the key is to not give up hope or allow the current circumstances to overwhelm you in the interim. I have had to seek after a greater measure of the Lord’s peace. Not the kind of peace which leads to passivity, but rather one that leads to having an overcoming spirit; a tenacity from deep within seeing beyond the present into the fulfillment of God’s promise. This can only come through by being immersed in the Word of God and spending time in His presence.

Pressing into the Lord’s presence has become a essential and now permanent discipline. As I continue to yield to the life lead by the spirit I have had to relinquish all normalcy with respect to daily living. I recently began reading the book of Acts and I marvelled at how they lived. Minimal personal possessions, completely devoted to community and willingly funded the ministry by liquidating all personal assets. This is a foreign concept to 20th century North American church. In my morning time with the Lord I was reflecting on where I currently am, and I can honestly relate to the early Acts church. While my life is overshadowed by uncertainty and personal possessions are few I am experiencing a peace I have never had before. I am not overwhelmed with worry or am trying to figure things out. I simply am engaging my heart and mind in what I believe the Lord has called me do to. Each day I put my hands to what the Lord has called me to do inspire of whatever else is going on around me.

When you lay down worry you free your mind to focus fully on kingdom tasks the Lord has assigned to you. Jesus specifically says in Matthew 6DO NOT WORRY.” He does on to say that we ought to “seek the kingdom of God above all else” ie. meaning all our focus should be go to the building of His kingdom before the cares of life. In doing this you open up yourself to receive all you need for daily living. Prayers are answered, provision and healing is release when you put the kingdom of God first. And the only way to put the kingdom of God first is to lay down worry and receive peace; peace to look past the temporal and daily walk in what God has purposed you to accomplish on behalf of His kingdom.

The truth is it has taken a number of years to get here. There are days where I struggle, but I quickly work it through. I can recall countless moments of frustration, hopelessness; many of where I lacked any of understanding what God was trying to accomplish in and through my life. But there is something sweet about surrender. It is releasing the burden of having to know what to do or the need to fix everything. Nevertheless, the key is to also understand that it happens in stages. Some where along the way you give up measure of worry. Then yielding becomes simple. Daily I simply remind my mind, my will and emotions. Pressing into His presence is what has made this possible and His presence is what will help me to keep it going.

All God requires is for you to get up and daily say “Lord how can I build your kingdom?” As you put purpose in your heart to seek the kingdom’s agenda I have doubt the Father tell you what is on His heart…..

Blessed and Highly Favored
http://www.wtrlittlerose.com

Wall of Accomplishments


Growing up I always thought life was bleak. In all honesty I never believed I’d make it to my twenties, so being optimistic was a waste of energy. Also with no career aspirations planning for the future seemed like a mute point. Of course when the Lord came along everything changed. (This goes to show you that when God has a plan NOTHING can stop it!). I regularly started attending church soon after I got my first apartment. After moving around a lot for a number of years I was very thankful to finally have a permanent place a residence. As the dust began to settle it was clear I was going to have to start my life from ground zero. My Pastor at the time was a lawyer and extremely big on education, therefore she took me under her wing. With great compassion, patience and determination she helped me begin my journey towards academic success.

One of our first disagreements on the issue had to do with academic upgrading. I did NOT want to go. I just wanted to get a “regular job.” Needless to say I tried her patience lol. I can see her now looking at me through those glasses of hers. She would say “Enough if this nonsense, you are going to school!” Although I fought the idea for a while it was evident that school was in my future. A desire for a “job” simply would have satisfied my longing for stability. So much of my life up until that point was so erratic. I craved it. The idea of potential, higher education and pursuing an unknown future simply was not high on my priority list. My self-esteem was still low and a brighter future seemed out of reach. High school had been a complete right off, therefore to embark on an educational journey from what felt like rock bottom appeared like an insurmountable task. Nevertheless Pastor Nourse was not taking no for an answer! She used to say to “I can’t talk to you! You don’t see yourself properly! You are going to school!” It took some time, however I did eventually see the light. After a few round of academic upgrading, which Pastor Nourse insisted I take, I later went onto to college and university.

Getting into college was surprisingly a breeze and once I got settled in I began to fly through my courses. There were a few minor mishaps here and there, but nothing major. Academically I excelled. Graduating with honours from two college programs I went on to pursue an undergraduate degree with a scholarship I had received. As time went on I gained employment with reputable agencies within my field of study. A few insecurities surfaced along the way, nevertheless the Lord was faithful to help me work through them all. With each success and accomplishment the old version of who I used to be became a distant memory. I now had something new to look at. A Wall of Accomplishments. With every success and every accomplishment a wall was constructed. But the truth was the pain and shame of who I once was was still there. The wall just became something I hid behind. I am sure you have some idea where I am going with this. The Lord is not in the business of leaving you the same way He found you. It is His desire that we are made “whole”, however this is predicated on us and our willingness to let Him into the broken places of our lives.

In John 5 the Lord poses a question. Speaking to a lame man He says in vs.6Wilt thou be made whole?” (KJV) or in the (NIV) “Do you want to get well?” This is an indication our level of wellness is up to us. It does not solely rest on God and His ability to heal. Considering all of this I reluctantly allowed the Lord to breakdown my wall of accomplishments. This involved being stripped of life successes and reduced to a similar version of what I was pre-God/salvation. This included experiencing poverty and displacement; a measure of exposure I was not anticipating. But there I was. No wall or success to hide behind. I found myself with nothing, but my pain to look at. That’s when the Lord began to pour in His love bringing a new level of wholeness to my life. The broken pieces of my spirit were being put back together. I finally realized my identity in Christ was an absolute truth. With all God had done in my life I still had not arrived at that conclusion. Allowing the Lord to breakdown my wall was by far one of the most painful experiences I ever had to go through, but because of it I am being made whole.

The last five and half years have been a life changing process. One I think will take the rest of my life to tell. It is my earnest pray that you will take what I have shared and seek God for your own process. To seek for the wisdom to know what He is trying to accomplish in your life and to yield to the methods He desires to use. And that through the pain you will see His mighty hand at work; moulding and shaping you. My prayer is when you reach to the end you will say it was all worth it and give God all the glory!!
Blessed and Highly Favored
http://www.wtrlittlerose.com