Posts Tagged: travel

The Holy Spirit Sang Over Me (Guest Blogger)

Our guest blogger Kay Em Ellis and I met at a Serious Writers Conference recently. She share how the Holy Spirit Sang his encouragement to her in her darkest moment of doubt. Be encouraged by her story!

Serious Writer

Christian Writers Conference a Place of Connection

Immediately I felt a kindred heart in the fight against despair. At the end of our weekend, with our arms up in worship, Kay came to stand beside me, and I felt deeply encouraged. Such a sweet and amazing woman who is sensitive to the Spirit’s calling.

Kay has traveled the world! She uses her gift of writing to reflect God’s love through poetry, fiction, and lessons God is teaching as she travels.

Check out her travel and faith blog: Awaken the Dawn.

 

 

The Holy Spirit Sang Over Me

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:15, ESV

 

I thought depression would go away. It didn’t.

 

When I gave my life to Christ, I signed up for the World Race mission trip. I lived in eleven countries in eleven months. I felt whole and complete and at peace in Christ.

 

Living the Christian life in ministry six to seven days per week, constant community, intensive Bible study while living out of a backpack, God used many opportunities to refine me. He sifted me through several bouts of depression and stretched me to what felt like the breaking point multiple times.

 

He didn’t do it to be mean. He did it because He loves me, and I needed it. But when I melted down at a bus station in Lima, Peru, I failed to lean into God and rest in His strength. I crumbled.

 

I’ve felt unworthy of love and blessing like I don’t deserve a joyful life, spouse, or even children. So much changed in my heart and life after I met Jesus, but that didn’t mean all my problems vanished.

 

The Lord had to teach me to break agreement with shame and depression to wage war against them. The battle wasn’t easy, and I came close to calling it quits several times.

 

It’s too hard! I cried out in my heart and even aloud during heartfelt prayer. I can’t do it anymore! But, each time I said I can’t, God countered the lie with, YOU CAN. Sometimes I believed Him; sometimes I didn’t.

 

It was seven in the morning when I broke in Lima, Peru. I sat at the bus station, waiting to climb aboard the bus that would take my squad to Ecuador. Silent tears poured as I replayed how badly I always messed everything up, specifically one thing I’d been struggling with from my past. I criticized myself, heading toward a destructive path of self-condemnation.

 

Shame bubbled up. My thoughts spiraled into a dark chasm I hadn’t realized still existed in me. But God knew just how deep that darkness ran.

 

He wanted me to face the shame so I could overcome it.

 

Cheeks moist, I tipped my head back and closed my eyes. The peace of God overshadowed me; then He showed me a vision I’ll never forget, Jesus on the Cross.

 

Jesus loves you. The concept of love is so skewed in our society, and I don’t think people understand what it means when I try to share His love. I certainly didn’t before I really encountered that love. Even after I chose to follow Christ, it took a long time to comprehend that God could love us so completely, despite our rejection and the muck of our deepest sins.

 

God loved us first. He loved us when we hated him. It’s His nature. He loves like no one else because God isn’t like anyone else. He sent the Holy Spirit to live in those who have repented of their sins and turned to the Son: to advocate for us, to convict us, and, in this case, to comfort us.

 

My conviction came through the song. You Are More by Tenth Avenue North. The Holy Spirit sang that song over me, and I soaked in the lyrics while in Ecuador. I am so much more than who this world tells me I am. Reader, you are not the sum of your past mistakes. Allow the Holy Spirit to remake you. Lean back, absorb the truth of God’s redeeming love.

 

Please contact me if you would like to appear as a guest blogger.

Learning to Layer Memories

Psalm 77:11 I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 

Appalachia is a part of me! When everything seems to be haywire returning home, where I met Christ, is a place of retreat, safety, and remembering the joy of my salvation. As my husband departed with work to New York, my kids deposited for some grandma time, I made the solo trip home.

That is my first miracle.

I only got drowsy once, a quick stop, stretch of legs and I was good to go. It isn’t humanly possible to drive almost three hours on the amount of sleep I am currently getting. Yet God was gracious! He knew the journey was too hard, so he provided, kept me awake and safe.

My second miracle was walking where Jonathan and I have walked and having joy!

Engaging Memories

Jonathan’s 7th birthday party was held here, in the midst of a thunderstorm.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of layering memories.  It can be difficult walking a path with major landmarks of pain and sorrow. This trip I met a friend whom I hadn’t seen in years.There is always sorrow attached to remembering Jonathan. But when I create new memories, cherishing and honoring who he was by living defiantly and vibrantly a new life each day what was, becomes what is, and opens me to what will be.

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Miracle number three. . . friendship!

I do not travel any of this journey alone. The people around me, you readers, are a joy I pack with me. I grow, mature and love more deeply by being with you! Reconnecting with friends, laughing together, hurting together, listening and celebrating life together keeps me honest. Some of the old thoughts of self-worth have been attempting to creep back in, but you remind me that my worth is found in Jesus Christ alone.

How do you choose to remember? You may have difficult memories, but this world is brimming with possibility! We don’t have to be locked into past sorrow or failure. Begin layering memories and mine starts with remembering the joy of my salvation!

 

Father, thank you for taking me home and allowing me to reconnect with friends and your beautiful creation. I am so grateful for the time Jonathan and I had together. I confess that I don’t always remember correctly. I dwell on the failure, brokenness of my past and leave you out of it. I have gained so much from your presence in my life. I am not alone, my life is filled with laughter, and you invite me into new adventures. Bless the readers as they layer memories with your goodness. Amen

 

 

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