Apr 23, 2018

Do you remember?

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4


Since my children were little we called Monday's, "Mission Monday". We would look for an opportunity to serve someone. Usually a neighbor.

As the children get older, we forget about Mission Monday.  Life gets hectic. Schedules get crazy. Homework gets out of control. [can I get an amen?]

Every blue moon I will say, "it's Mission Monday! Find someone to bless today!" Honestly, I do it more for a reminder to me. To get out of my bubble. My to-do list. My self-centered life.

However, when I do take the time to stop and do something for someone else, I am filled in such a beautiful way. Suddenly, my to-do list seems manageable. My bubble seems silly.

Serving opens our spiritual eyes like nothing else. Serving allows us to see how Jesus sees.

Gosh, I want that more than anything.

I want eyes like Jesus. I want to see what I so often miss when I rush around looking down, looking inward.

We all desire to be intentional, don't we? I believe we do. We just forget. We get busy. We move on.

So many times in scripture, God tells us to "remember". He sure knows us well, doesn't He?

Not too long ago I was going through a spiritual battle. A battle that about knocked my lights out. Yet, I heard the gentle whisper of Jesus saying to me, "Remember my Faithfulness."

Remember.

How quickly I had forgotten the many, many times He had rescued me from myself. From fear. From anxious thoughts. From the enemy's lies whispered in my ears.

During that dark season I read over my prayer journals from years past. Desperately searching for a jog to my memory regarding His Faithfulness.

It didn't take long for me to find it.  Prayer after prayer answered. Some answered in days, some in weeks, some in years. But, answered none the less. In His way, and in His time.

How quickly I had forgotten His faithfulness.

What is it that you want to be intentional about?

Make it a priority.

Put a note on your calendar as a reminder.

Ask someone to hold you accountable.

Do it with your children.

A few things come to my mind of things I want to be intentional every single day about...


  • Reading God's Word
  • Prayer
  • Being a helping wife
  • Being an encourager
  • Being Kind
  • Serving others
These seem like they would be easy to remember...but they aren't always easy when life gets tough and hectic. 

We have to be intentional. We have to make it a priority. We have to remember. 

I encourage you to remember today.  Remember what you want to do with your life. Remember who you want to be. 

And do it.


back to mission monday,


jill








Apr 22, 2018

I have a thorn....

When I come out of darkness, I have this insatiable need to write. To let it out. To talk about it.

I desperately need to share what God has been speaking to my heart. My flesh just feels like it will burst some days!

For about two months, I have been in utter darkness. A season so dark I thought I would surely never see light again.

Here is the thing...nothing bad happened. There wasn't a colossal incident in my life that brought on this season of pitch black.

It came out of the blue and knocked me down like a ton of bricks.

It had been so long since I had been that desperate, and I do mean desperate for a Word from God. I needed to know that I was not forgotten. I needed to know that I was still on His radar. I needed to know that I was not alone in this battle. Oh, and battle it was.

If you have never had your heart beat so wildly that you thought for sure it would beat right out of your chest....

If you have never felt like the world was closing in on you...

If you have never had your head so filled with fear that you would rather die than open your eyes...

Then, this post will be hard to understand.

But, if you, like me, have had anxiety and panic attacks....you will be nodding your head in agreement.

I have prayed so many times that God would take these panic attacks from me and give me another weakness...ANYTHING but this.

Yet, the thorn has not been removed.

Let me say something here though...

This thorn is what drew me to Jesus. This thorn is what made me open God's word sitting on my shelf after sitting dusty and dormant for YEARS.

This thorn is the reason I have hidden scripture in my heart and can recite just about every verse on fear and anxiety. Not bragging here, just showing you the depth of this thorn.

I have been told that my faith wasn't strong enough. Or, I was not praying enough. Or, I just didn't read the Bible enough.

I have been told that I just need to think positive and retrain my thoughts.

I believe all of those things.

But, what if you are doing those things...what if it is not a prayer thing, or a faith thing at all?

What if it is just a thorn that the Lord is allowing for a greater purpose?

I sat happily eating my chicfila breakfast one morning last week. I glanced out the window and saw an elderly man with a severe handicap. He was by himself. Walking, more like limping his way into the restaurant. He used a walker. His steps were so small and so slow.

It took him 10 minutes to get into the restaurant.

I watched and my eyes filled with tears. Not tears of pity, but tears of joy.

In that moment, the Lord spoke so gently to my heart.....

Everyone has a thorn, Jill. 

Suddenly, after weeks and weeks of being in utter darkness, I saw Light. The Light of His Truth shining deep inside my soul. Piercing my heart in a way that it had never been pierced.

I remembered Paul. He wrote this...

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

His Power is made perfect in our weakness. BAM.

If I had never had this thorn, I would have NEVER drawn close to Jesus. I would have had no use for Him.

Gosh, how clear this has become.

We all have thorns.

Sometimes God chooses to remove those thorns, and sometimes He doesn't.

Let me assure you though, BOTH scenarios reveal His Power.

He will either choose to reveal His Power by removing the thorn, or He will reveal His Power in spite of the thorn.

Oh, y'all.

I cannot even tell you with mere words what this has meant to my walk with Jesus.

I have questioned Him for so long regarding this thorn...wondering why in the world I could not muster up enough faith to be free from it.

Could it be that this thorn is the very thing that keeps me in close fellowship with Him...

The very thing that brings me to my knees head over heels in love with His mercy, grace, and peace.

Despite the thorn, He comforts. Despite the thorn, He heals. Despite the thorn, He soothes me.

Oh, friend. I hope you will see God's great love for you despite your thorns.

I hope you will see that He loves you so much that He will stop at nothing to draw your heart to His.  Instead of asking Him to remove your thorn, thank Him for allowing it to draw you close to Him.

If He chooses to remove it, then so be it.

But, if not, keep walking with that limp. The world will see His power magnified in your life.

Trust Him. He is Faithful.


limping,


jill


Apr 9, 2018

Erin's Story....

Hey, SHINE friends! Gosh, I have I have missed all of you! Life has been a whirlwind...as usual.

I just have to share something with you on this rainy, bleak Monday!

My dear friend, Erin Davis, just adopted a precious baby boy, Ryan. I have been honored to be able to witness this entire process. From the moment God laid fostering and adoption on her heart [before God laid it on her husband's heart!], up until the day he was adopted, April 6th, 2018.

Erin's story is one of faith, patience, obedience, mercy, and GREAT love.

I will give you a small back story before posting her video....

Erin's mother died on April 7th, 2011. This grief brought Erin to the feet of Jesus, where she gave her life to Him.

Soon after, He stirred her heart to foster children. She decided not to tell her husband of the stirring because they already had two children. The youngest being one years old.

Of course, just like God, He eventually stirred her husband's heart.

Chad and Erin began the long journey of fostering. Never really knowing it would lead to this day...April 6th 2018.....Seven  years almost to the day of Erin's mother passing into Heaven.

Erin's story is one of beauty from ashes. A story full of HOPE.

I want to post it not just to shine the light on Erin and her family, but to shine the light on God's faithfulness and goodness. To encourage those of you in times of deep grief, sorrow, or valleys...to hold onto Jesus. He will bring something good from your sorrow.

He will turn those ashes into stunning beauty.

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Please take a minute to listen to Erin and Chad's story. It is not very long and it will bless you abundantly!

Click here for the story...

https://www.facebook.com/seeingsouthernphotography/videos/vb.1634685246774640/2052270638349430/?type=2&theater

Mar 27, 2018

You are not alone...

"He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven." Psalm 107:29-30

Have you ever found yourself in a dark place? A lonely place? A place of suffering? A place of waiting? A place of grief?

Recently, I was in a place like this. A lonely place.

My first desire when in such a place is to withdraw. Go inside. Lick my wounds.

However, something happened a few weeks ago that shed light into the darkness I was feeling. Something unexpected, yet healing.

I woke up with a heavy and anxious heart. I wanted to bury myself under my covers and never come out. I was tired and weary.

Yet, I got out of bed anyway. I got dressed anyway. I stuck to my agenda that day anyway.

"Take the next step, Jill. Stay the course."

The Holy Spirit was breathing these words into my heart each morning. "Just do the next thing..."

Okay, okay.

So, off I went to my morning yoga class. The very last thing I wanted to do was be surrounded by happy-ish people in a small room playing sad music. [eye roll]

But, I did it anyway. Staying at home just wasn't going to be an option that day. I felt pulled to move. To show up. To go.

I walked into my yoga class and to my surprise it was only the instructor and one other girl. A small class. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

The class was about to begin and the instructor looked me straight in the eyes with her smiling face and said, "How are you, Jill?"

Never one to hide my emotions [eye roll again], I spilled my heart out. Right there on that yoga mat.

After my heart was split wide open on the yoga floor, I felt foolish for offering it so freely. I mean, seriously? Like these girls really care about how I am doing. Ugh. Why did I do this??

I wanted to find the nearest exit and split.

But, before I could...

The girl next to me said, "Jill, you are not alone. I feel those exact same things. I have been struggling too."

Then, the instructor said, "Jill, I have been struggling as well."

The three of us sat on our yoga mats and shared our hearts.

We encouraged each other in those minutes...

We laughed, well, they laughed....I cried. LIKE ALWAYS. [EYE ROLL]

Eventually, we did yoga.

But, I felt lighter. I felt less alone.

I started to feel somewhat normal again....

They struggled too.

With almost the exact same thing I was dealing with.

Who knew?

God did.

He knew I needed to go to that class.

He wanted to show me that I was not alone.

There were others...

Perhaps many others...

Who struggle daily...with something.

We often overlook them because we are deeply buried in our own ordeals...

Yet, when we take our eyes off of ourselves and look up and out..

We see a suffering world.

A world that needs to know that they are not alone.

A world that needs to know that someone else understands their struggle and they care.

Once again I am reminded of the woman at the well in scripture.

Jesus sought her out, sat beside her, and loved on her.

He knew her...yet they had never met.

Perhaps we are so quick to hide our hearts that we miss the greatest opportunities in our lives...

To listen to another.

To pray for another.

To be vulnerable with another.

To share our hearts with another.

We tend to get wrapped up in our own suffering, that we forget what Jesus told us was the greatest commandment...


“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor :as yourself.  Matthew 22:37

Love God. Love your neighbor.

Could this be the key to our healing in suffering?

Serving in our suffering?

Loving in our suffering?

This concept was made clear in a text with a dear friend recently who suddenly lost her mother.

She is serving her widowed father in her grief. Tired and weary, yet she serves him.

While her instinct is to crawl under a rock and hide away, she tends to her daddy in his greatest suffering.

Oh, friends...

You are not alone.

Open your eyes and look out. Notice the one God puts in front of you.

Don't be afraid to share your heart, your story.

Someone needs to hear it. Someone desperately needs to feel the warmth of companionship and a listening ear.

I know I did that day in yoga class.

It was healing for my heart.

Jesus uses people..

He always uses people.

Look for them.

Search for them.

Seek them out.

Don't suffer in silence.

We were not meant to live alone.

"Now you are the body of Christ and each one is a part of it."1 Corinthians 12:27


love your neighbor,


jill








Mar 8, 2018

Fear not....

Fear.

The most horrific four letter word that I know.

Fear has haunted me for most of my life.

It comes without warning and stays until I decide to remember how to fight it.

Recently, I was plagued with fear. It kept me awake at night. It robbed me of joy.

I lived there in the fear for about a week. Then, I decided to do something about it.

I knew what to do. I knew very well the weapon to destroy it.

But, somehow, my flesh was hanging onto the fear and the lies of the enemy about this particular fear.

I found my note cards that I used to NEVER be without. Scriptures, so many scriptures. Tear stained and coffee stained scriptures that had been my weapon of destruction for years.

For some reason, I had put them away. I guess I  thought I didn't need them anymore.

I was wrong. So wrong.

"Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."-Ephesians 6:17.

How quickly we can forget.

We forget the Source of our strength when things are going well and life is peachy.

We forget to pray when life is doing okay and struggles are at bay.

We forget to give Him praise when our cups are overflowing.

Often, it is when our cups are empty, when struggles strangle us, and when life takes a sudden turn that we suddenly remember Who we need.

Honestly, I think the biggest test of our faith is how we do in the everyday ride of life. The days when things are going pretty good. It can be easy for us to get lazy with our time and devotion to the Lord. Our prayers get stale. Our words are memorized. We check off our God time and go on with our day.

We forget...

how we clung to Him when our child was sick and the doctors weren't  hopeful.

how we clung to His every Word when  we were faced with a scary diagnosis or possibility of a diagnosis for us or of a loved one.

how we clung to Him in prayer when our kids were on a path that was dark and ominous and it scared the living daylights out of us.

how we clung to Him and His Promises when our finances crumbled and we weren't sure what our future would hold.

I am reminded of Peter. Peter swore to Jesus that He would stick by His side no matter what. Peter pledged his allegiance to Jesus with loyalty and assurance.

Then, very soon after that pledge, Peter denied Jesus three times. Three.

Why did Peter deny Jesus?

Fear.

Peter was fearful for his life. He had forgotten about His love and devotion to Jesus in an instant.

Fear can make us cling to something that is not there.

Fear can make us hold on for dear life with our own weak hands instead of letting it go and placing it in the Hands of the One Who holds it all.....our Heavenly Father.

Fear makes us cowards instead Conquerors in Christ.

Friend, have you lost your way? Have you forgotten the very thing that led you so close to Jesus in the first place?

Do you still have the Sword that you used to slay the enemy?

If not, pick it back up.

Continue to slay the enemy daily. Not just when trial comes.

Listen, the enemy is always scheming. Just because you don't see him doesn't mean he's not up to something.

He is lurking. Be on guard.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Put on the helmet of salvation, the breast plate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the sword of the spirit, the shield of faith and the shoes of the gospel of peace!

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword cf the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17

We must pray this prayer everyday! Our children must be armored with God before their little feet walk out the door each morning. 

We must be intentional even in the days where it seems all is well. 

Paul tells us for this very reason in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray without ceasing!"

Don't let the enemy have any ground in any part of your day. As you drive, as you work, as you fold laundry, as you cook dinner...pray, pray, pray. 

The enemy is waiting for a place to enter into our homes and our families. We must not give him an inch!

Tape scriptures up in your house. Play God's word in your home all day long. Pray in your kids rooms. Pray in every room of your house!

Fill your house with prayer and with God's Word. 

Let it be known to all who enter as Joshua so confidently stated, "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

I will end with the words of  David, my favorite man ever besides Jesus....


As for me, I call to God,

    and the Lord saves me.
17 
Evening, morning and noon
    I cry out in distress,
    and he hears my voice.
18 
He rescues me unharmed
    from the battle waged against me,
    even though many oppose me.
Psalm 55:16-18



armoring up, 

jill


Feb 19, 2018

Undivided....

Sometimes I just have to sit down and get it out. Like now.

As I look out this window of mine, I see heavy clouds. Looming.

The scene is a perfect description of how my heart has been feeling lately. Heavy,

I had a conversation today with my oldest child recently.

He said this, "Mom, it is so hard to be a Christian in this day and age. Almost impossible."

My heart sank to the floor. I wasn't sure where he was going.

Then, he said, "I mean, I believe every word of the Bible and I believe in Jesus. I am not questioning my faith. But, it seems that everyone else thinks Christians are wrong, or dumb. or judgmental. It is just hard because you sometimes feel like you are the only one standing for Christ."

This conversation led to a long talk. A long, and hard talk about faith.

I wasn't really prepared, or at least didn't feel prepared.

However, I prayed throughout the conversation that Jesus would speak through me. Not my words, but His words.

After this conversation, I felt a conviction. A strong one.

I need to be living out faith in front of my children every moment of the day. I have this great opportunity to walk the walk and not just talk the spiritual talk.

Reading my bible every day is not enough. I must apply what I read.

There is a generation behind us, nipping at our heels. They need Truth. Real, sink your teeth into, TRUTH. 

Our kids need women and men in their lives that live out what they preach. Not just talk.

I read a while back that the things we teach our kids are "caught" not taught.

Wow. Let that sink in.

What will my kids catch?

These kids need us to be on our knees praying over them. The enemy will stop at nothing to saturate them with lies. [John 8:44]

In my laundry room I have a CD player. I have the Bible on CD that plays on repeat 24/7. In fact, I hear it now.

I don't do that so that I can look like a super Christian...

I play that CD because I know the enemy will use every means possible to speak lies to my kids.

Because the word of God is "living and active and sharper than a double edge sword", I want it circulating throughout my house. [Hebrews 4:12]

Our kids will not know Truth unless they hear it.

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Romans 10:17. 

The enemy is out to divide. To divide families. Children. Churches.

When our loyalties are to things other than Jesus and His Word, we become divided.

We fall for the lies of great sounding people and great sounding messages.

For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. 2 Timothy 4:3

Our only devotion should be to Jesus Christ. An undivided devotion to Jesus. 

In our hearts. In our words. In our actions. 

Our primary devotion should not be to a preacher. A teacher. Or anyone other than Jesus. 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

We must make sure that our kids are being surrounded by believers who will speak truth. Not just pretty sounding words. Building their confidence is not the same as building their faith. 

Taking our children to church is so important. Surrounding them with bible teaching and other believers is important. 

However, in my opinion, one of the most important things we can do for our children is to teach them the gospel of Jesus day in and day out. The other 6 days of the week. 

Not through perfection, Jesus has that covered. But by a mind and heart set on Christ. 

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

We will make many mistakes! Oh, so many. But the words and the power of Jesus and His Word are so much bigger than our mistakes! 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us Ephesians 3:20

So, back to my child that said being a Christian is hard. 

He is right. 

But, thank goodness. Jesus did all the work. He died so that we could LIVE. 

All we have to do is believe. [John 3:16]

He will do the rest. 

Friend, the road will be narrow. Oh so narrow at times. You will wonder, "am I the only one on this road?'

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

But, you are not alone. 

Jesus is with you. Every step of the way.


on my knees,


jill
















Feb 14, 2018

Hey, you....

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Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4

Hey, you. Yes, you.

So, today is Valentine's Day.

Maybe you love this day, maybe you hate it. Either way, the calendar says it is February 14th.

I have bad memories of all of the girls with boyfriends  in middle school getting flowers and candy and balloons delivered to the front office from their [ahem] loves.  [eye roll]

I never got a delivery.

Really, I am not bitter.

Well, maybe just a teeny weeny bit.

Looking back over my life, I realized something a few years back.

My entire life, I have had the greatest Love of my life by my side. At all times.

He was with me when I was knitted together in my mother's womb. [Psalm 193:13]

He was with me when God inserted the DNA make-up in these cells of mine. [Psalm 119:73]

He was with me when my heart started to beat inside my mother's womb.

He was with me when my little fingers and toes began to form. [Isaiah 44:24]

He was in the hospital room with me when I was born on that unseasonably warm January day in Decatur. GA.

He was with me when I cried in my crib at night. [Psalm 116:1]

He was with me when I took my first steps.

He was with me when I fell hard on the pavement after holding a rope to the back of my sister's bike as I roller skated. [dumb] [Psalm 91:15]

He was with me when I got my first black eye and 14 stitches. [Psalm 50:15]

He was with me when I got my second black eye and 7 stitches. [SAME eye]

He was with me when I went on my first date.

He was with me when my heart was first broken by a boy. [Psalm 34:18]

He was with me when I met the cutest boy I had ever laid eyes on.

He was with me when I walked down that blue carpeted Baptist Church aisle and said "I do" to that cute boy. [1 Chronicles 17:2]

He was with me when we had our first child....a dark haired baby boy.

He was with me when I had my first panic attack on 9/11/2001.[Jeremiah 1:8]

He was with me when I had countless more after that day.

He was with me when I thought surely I was going crazy and I would be put in a straight jacket due to fear and panic. [Isaiah 41:10]

He was with me when my baby girl was born with the most beautiful head of blonde hair.

He was with me when I tucked those babies in at night and cried outside of their door imagining the day they would be grown and gone. [Psalm 56:8]

He was with me when I fought on my knees in prayer over their lives day after day when the enemy would fill their little hearts with lies about who they are. [Psalm 91:14-15]

He was with me when I finally opened my bible in 2012 and started to read His Story...the Bible. [Philippians 4:9]

He was with me when my son drove off to school by himself for the first time after he turned 16. [John 14:27]

He was with me when I melted on the floor into a heap watching his tail lights leave--without me in the car with him. [Zephaniah 3:17]

He was with me yesterday when I felt the same old familiar fear creeping into my heart....and trying its best to suffocate me. [Philippians 4:16]


I don't know your story...

But, He does.

He has never left you. [Matthew 8:20]

And, He never will.

You can run all you want...

He still won't leave.

You can get mad at him and throw ugly words of bitterness at Him...

He still won't leave.

You can deny Him again and again because of your pain and your hurts...

He still won't leave.

No one on this Earth knows you like Jesus.

No one on this Earth loves you like Jesus.

He is a Gentleman.

He won't force Himself into your heart....what kind of love would that be anyway?

He will wait for you.

He will come as soon as you call.

There is no pretending with Him.

He knows you upside down and inside out.

He knows your thoughts before they form.

He knows your words before you utter a sound.

If you are looking for true Love...

Look no more.

Jesus is His Name.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20





Feb 9, 2018

Lonely-hood....

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.

Early this morning, too early for humans to be awake, I came across the scripture above. I sat there and read it again and again.

My weary eyes filled with hot tears.

I know what David speaks of when he wrote this Psalm. I know the wait. I know the cries.

I also know the feeling of being lifted up out of a dark pit, out of pure slime and mud.

I know the feeling of being placed back on firm soil. So firm, that although my feet were still shaking, the ground would not give way.

I know the new song He puts in our mouths.

Oh, David. Your words washed over me like a healing balm this morning.

This reminder....that He will lift us up and out of that dark pit.

He will rescue us.

He will hear us.

Overwhelmed with gratitude of His faithfulness this morning, I thanked Him over and over for this verse. For the reminder that firm ground is coming. A new song is awaiting for me to sing.

The picture image of this verse saturates my mind. I see someone being lifted out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Is there darkness around you?

Do you feel alone?

I think one of the loneliest places to be at times is motherhood.

So often, I feel like I have to carry a burden on my shoulders. I have to bear the load alone. Whether it being an issue with one of my children, or a regret, or just the overwhelming feeling that I am getting it all wrong.

Even if my husband  bears the burden as well, I tend to take it right back on my much smaller shoulders and carry it like a large heavy medal that nobody wants to win.

The enemy whispers in my ears, "keep this struggle hidden. you will be judged, condemned, mocked if you share the burden with others. you cannot trust anyone to understand or help. just keep carrying this burden and deal with it."

Last year my daughter was struggling. She finally, after weeks of trying to manage the situation herself, came to be and spilled out her heart.

I could not believe she had not come to me earlier.

But, sadly I knew why....because I do the same at times.

I keep a struggle hidden. Hidden in the darkness of my mind and heart. Where shadows lurk and reason goes out the window.

An hour after my daughter spilled out her heart, she came to me and said, "I feel lighter. I am so glad I talked this out with you."

You see, the enemy wants us to bury our burdens, and carry them alone. He wants to isolate us from others and torment us into a place of hidden misery. A place of shame and blame. He is a liar.

He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

However, when we bring our burden to the light....healing begins.

When we share our story with another and ask for prayer, the burden suddenly is divided in half. We have someone else to pray for us, to encourage us, to love us.

Don't believe the lie of isolation the enemy wants you to believe.

Jesus was never isolated. He surrounded Himself with men to help Him, to go with Him, to teach with Him, to heal with Him.

He could have done it all alone. Every bit of it.

But, He chose not to.

He chose to use people to be with. To talk to. To pray with. To share with. To grieve with. To laugh with.

We were meant for community. We were meant to bear each other's burdens.

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

Motherhood doesn't have to be lonely and isolated.

We need other people. We need another's ears to hear us, we need another's hands to help us at times., we need another prayer on our behalf.

Whether you are married, single, divorced, widowed....surround yourself with women you trust. Women that you know will pray for you, encourage you, and not throw stones at you.

Pray for God to bring these women into your life.

And...be that kind of friend to someone. Be willing to stop, listen, and pray with someone.

God is always ready to deliver us, but we must be willing to ask for help.

God uses people. He just does. All throughout the bible...God uses people to fulfill His plan.

Lighten your load today. Reach out. Share your heart. Take the first step to healing.

Your new song is waiting.


lightening my load,



jill