Therapy With Four Legs and Pointy Ears

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before…..

I am such an animal lover. Bella is my 3rd German Shepherd. She became available to me about 3 weeks after my divorce was final and was also a few days before Christmas. That year, Christmas 2017, was not a good one. I was newly divorced and had no desire to participate in any holidays. I did though. I love my family and went to our annual Christmas eve party. I celebrated the fact that my Savior, Jesus Christ, was born and came to save the world. But inside I was grieving and in pain. It was during that time that a friend called me and told me about a German Shepherd that had just been dropped off at the Humane Society in my hometown. I was planning on getting a dog when I would buy a house and get settled in, but that had not happened yet. But I read about Bella and she was adorable. She had one floppy ear which was just cute on her. I went to meet her and filled out the paper work. I made arrangements to keep her where I was staying until I got my own place. It was love at first site. She leaned into me when I stood beside her. I took pictures of Bella and posted her progress on the Humane Society Facebook page. A woman who owned Bella in the past contacted me and told me about her breeders scammed her into taking her back. She had not been treated good and was over-bred. I didn’t know if this woman was telling the truth, but thanked her for the information. Bella was timid in certain situations and was clingy and needy. I was thankful that I was able to rescue this loving, sweet Shepherd into my care. But the truth is, she rescued me!!

It’s awesome how God works!!! I believe without a doubt God put her in my life. She loves me and I love her. She is protective, loyal and a wonderful companion. She is one of God’s creations. Dogs are used in so many ways from police, military, emotional support, PTSD, they sniff out cancer, they alert people who are about to have a seizure, they lead the blind, they comfort college kids right before finals week. Now….how can you not believe that a loving God was behind this??

In some of my earlier blog posts, I mentioned that I needed something to do, somewhere to serve. I believe that helping others is a way of healing. God has put this passion in my heart. Since the beginning of the year, I have been searching for some way to minister to people and to help them. Last year I was a camp counselor and it was quite rewarding. I gave my testimony to the kids and was able to counsel some of them one on one. So I wanted to get involved in something. I struggled with this. I searched and I could not find anything. I prayed for God to lead me. I felt He was telling me that I needed to focus on Him and not the calling. He was right, of course. I need to constantly deepen my trust in Him and our relationship. I still work on that. But one day, while in therapy, I was telling her about this situation. I wanted to serve. She knows my story and states, “why don’t you team up with your dog and register her as a therapy dog?” You can HELP OTHERS! Dogs and cats are used in therapy situations. She told me stories and case studies of animals helping people. They calm your anxiety and lift your depression.

YES!! This was what I had been looking for. I researched it and got her registered. She has not had any training, but she has been therapy for me. Just her presence can be comforting to others. We have only had one mission so far and it was a learning experience. The possibilities are endless.

I am so glad that God is opening doors for me!! He told me 2 years ago when I was down in my darkest valley that He had a plan for me. He is showing me just how faithful He is.

Thank you Lord for your blessings on me!!!

Faithfulness

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4

This past Sunday I heard a quote in Bible study – “To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.” – George MacDonald

That quote is so true. Yes, there needs to be more love in the world. But trust is really scarce!! God is calling me to have a deeper trust in Him. I was betrayed and rejected by my husband. My trust has been shaken by friends and family also. I have learned that people will fail you, but God never will. In fact, it is impossible for Him to tell a lie!! Now God has blessed me with loyal friends and family too. Luckily, there are some I can lean on when life gets rough. I am very grateful for that.

This past week brought back many memories. Two years ago on the first of May my ex husband told me he wanted to get a divorce. Memories of the pain flooded my mind. It seemed like a cloud of dread hovered over me. Everyday when I drove to work I would cry. I would then put the mask on that “everything is ok” as I walked inside to my desk. Everything reminded me of the past 22 years with him. It was a very lonely and cold season in my life. I was scared of what I was about to face in the future. But God was FAITHFUL! It was a scary walk, but He held my hand and guided me. I survived through leaving my house to stay with family, dividing my possessions up with him, figuring out the financial side of how this was going to work out. God was right there beside me.

I began looking for my own place to live…..

One year ago around the first of May was when I closed on the house that I found to live in. After what seemed like forever looking for the right place, I signed the papers and began this journey living alone with my dog Bella. I do remember a very overwhelming feeling of anxiety and depression during that time. Guess what, God was right there too. Again, He was FAITHFUL to provide for me. He reminded me that I don’t have to take care of everything Right Now. Just breathe. Thankfully, my family and close friends from church helped me so much. God is so good to me!!! Even though I was grieving inside, He wrapped His loving arm around my shoulder and guided me along.

As I look back on those days I can say that I am better today. I have learned to Let Go of my past and move forward. It is a process though. I still need work, but I am so much better off now. I love how God molds us into who He wants us to be. He is making me stronger all of the time. It has not been easy, but that’s ok. That is how we grow. I have learned that it is ok to grieve, but we don’t have to stay there. We must push forward.

I am anxious to see where God leads me to.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow!!!

Blessings!

Plug Into His Power!

http://Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with the strings and pipe, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” – Psalm 150:1-6

Have you ever tried learning a new job and someone stands in front of you and reads you instructions while they show you how to do it? This is absolutely worthless to me! I am a “hands on” learner. I have to experience it for myself to know what I am doing. The same is true in my walk with Jesus. I have been told since I was a young child about living a Christian life. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for this. I am so glad I was exposed at an early age to know the hope of Jesus. I have heard countless stories of people and how God has helped them thru many trials. I have heard of His faithfulness and how He never leaves us. The many stories and miracles from the Bible are testimony to God’s work in motion. It wasn’t until I experienced God for myself that I knew His true power! That same power that raised Jesus from the dead, can calm my fear and anxiety.

Unfortunately, I still deal with issues of being abandoned. I am learning to stand on my own, but in the same time lean on God. I am learning to have a deep trust for Him. I have to stand on the promise that He will never leave me. And sometimes that is hard because I feel like He is not there. That is just a feeling. Even when He seems like a million miles away, He is actually right beside me. I can’t see Him, but I have experienced that peace that passes all understanding (better than any high)!

Recently, I was away from home for a few days with friends, one of which I would consider a mentor to me. She is always full of encouragement and I learn from her knowledge and her own experiences. I have other friends like this that I have made throughout the years. I have noticed that when God is speaking to me thru these friends that the enemy loves to dismantle anything good. After I came home from this weekend of R&R, a spirit of depression seems to makes its way into my presence. Those addictive tendencies claw at me to seek out numbing my depression. I remembered that I went thru this once before about 6 months ago that was very intense. My remedy to that situation just happened to be a worship song. It was the Power of Praise that helped me. So as the enemy tried to get me to give in to his lies I ran for help!! It reminded me of someone who was having an asthma attack, they run for an inhaler to ease their breathing distress. I fumbled to find a worship song on my phone and when I did that my anxiety eased up. I could breathe again.

Even though I have heard it a million times, I finally experienced it for myself. It is through worship we find the power of God and this is how He fights our battles for us. I know that worship is not just singing songs on Sunday, but an actual lifestyle we live everyday. I must continue to stay obedient to Him. But those songs sure do help! As a musician, I love to worship this way. It is a surge of power when I feel His presence.

I thank God for the experiences I have so I can learn to live a victorious life. I know the enemy will always try and knock me down. Too bad for him, I now have plugged into the power of the Almighty!!

Blessings!

My Next High…

“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you, says the Lord. I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”  Jeremiah 29:13-14

 

This post is a continuation of the my last post. We are in the season of Lent and I started reading a devotional from my Bible app. I pray and seek God hoping to get closer to Him. But there is still conflict in my life and I don’t like it!! I try and analyze why and try and fix it. That is probably part of the problem. I am trying to fix it instead of letting God fix it. I need more surrender to Him.

For many years of my life I spent too much time and energy on living the “high life”. It became “the norm” for me. Because I have that in my personality, apparently I still seek it in many other forms. I still seek a “crutch” or something to fill my void inside. Deep down I know only God can fill it, but I am not letting Him. What does that bring???? Conflict, depression, discouragement, doubt, confusion!!

It has been almost 2 years since my ex husband told me we needed to get a divorce. I remember falling to my lowest point. And then I remember God speaking to me. He promised He had a plan for my life and He promised to restore everything that had been taken from me. And He promised to never leave me. I have been standing on those promises. But I think I have been seeking what God can give me instead of seeking God Himself. Something in return to fill that void, to give that next high……

God knows all that. He knows me. He knows I hate conflict in my life. Unfortunately, Satan thrives on my inner problems. He is the author of confusion. I just want peace. I just need the Prince of Peace!!! His presence is my next high!!!

Sometimes I wish God would sit down beside me and just tell me what is going on. I know that is not going to happen. He wants to strengthen my faith. He is always faithful and it is funny how He speaks to us sometimes. He is very creative. Of course with me, He sometimes goes to where my eyes spend too much time…..social media. Even though there is so much negative on social media, God can speak through it. I was on my Newsfeed and a good friend posted something like this….

“Depression and discouragement thrive in a life void of purpose. I am not talking about “a calling”. No matter who you are, you need to wake each morning with purpose. BE A SERVANT TO ALL. Make today about someone other than yourself. Help someone who can’t help themselves. Be a blessing to someone….that’s a great purpose.”

God gave me a purpose. What am I doing about it? Over here stressing about poor me. Sounds like maybe a little self pity. I need to practice what I preach…..SERVE OTHERS! I have done this and it is a blessing. I need to keep it up!!! Even in the little things. God can use it.

Apparently Satan is doing everything he can to distract me. I am sick of it! I just need Jesus. And I need to tell others about Him. I need to show them. I need to SERVE them!

“Jesus, change my heart and transform my mind. Help me to love like You do!”

I Said Yes! Now What??

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

 

For the past year and a half (or so) my life has completely changed. Today just happens to be my 18 month clean date from alcohol. In the midst of God changing my life during that time, He was telling me I had a story to tell of what He has done in my life. I mean that is what we are supposed to be doing, right? That is what defeats Satan. We live in a dark and broken world. People need Jesus. I remember during that time I was inspired to volunteer as a camp counselor at Senior High camp which took place last July. I was able to give a short version of my testimony to about 200 kids and some adults. I was able to pray with teenagers who were hurting from so many different things in life. This whole experience was very healing for me. I love serving others and I love outreach!!

Since the beginning of the year I have felt like I should be doing something other than going to work, paying bills, go to sleep and repeat the next day. I do go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays. It is a blessing to help with the youth department at church. I play drums on our Praise and Worship team on Sundays. I love playing drums and it is my way of worship to God. I sense His Spirit during that time!! But I have felt restless. I just want to help people. This was one of the main reasons I started this blog back in December. To get the word out of the Good News!!! God can make your Mess a Message! So I began searching different missions, different ideas, brainstorming. Some of my passions to help others. I googled and googled only to come up empty. I would pray about it, but felt God was silent at times. I didn’t understand and struggled for several weeks about this. I could tell Satan was fighting me on this also. He began to insert doubt in my mind. He likes to stir the pot in the midst of the ministries I am already involved in. My restlessness began to get agitating! This is not a good place to be in. It can become depressing!!! But God doesn’t leave us alone, He steps in. I love when He does that!

I was looking on Pinterest over the weekend at different topics and yes, still searching, I typed in the search bar “God’s calling on your life”. So one of the ideas that popped up was “Don’t Chase The Call – Chase The God Who Calls You”!

BOOM!!!

Well, it must be that need to control things! I need to let go…….again! God is telling me there are people in my everyday life that need Jesus. They are hurting and broken too. The youth that I meet with on Wednesday nights need an adult who will love them and show them that Jesus loves them more than anything!!! I need to focus. And, of course, the timing in all of this was PERFECT! I need to Focus….on God….on our relationship. I need more of Him! And He will guide me to where I need to go. I need to also remember that I need to stay obedient! In 2 days it just happens to be the first day of Lent! Guess what I’ll be doing…..:)

I believe God has a plan for my life. I mean, my life is already a major construction zone and He has renovated quite a bit! So much more to go though!! I believe I do have a story to tell, but I have to stay hand in hand with the One who can change lives!! He is my life-line.

I just need to remember……more of You, less of me!

Blessings!

This Means War!

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12

 

Some people think that once you become a Christian that all of your problems go away. Well, let me just say that is not true. In fact, it seems like things tend to get a little hairy at times. As an unbeliever, you are no threat to anyone. Satan has you wrapped around his little finger. You just sit over in your dark corner, in your dark world and keep to yourself not bothering anyone. However, as soon as Jesus comes on the scene then things begin to change. Of course, for the good. First of all, you now have a one way ticket to Heaven. But more than that, you are empowered with the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Now that is POWER!!!! We have the “Too Good To Be True” News inside of us. Amazing Grace!!! Covered by the Blood of Jesus!! ALL of these things makes Satan want to explode!! And now you are a threat to his biggest scheme of all and that is to drag as many people as he can to hell with him. And he knows his time is short….very short. So, even though he cannot drag you to hell as a Christian, he can limit you to helping build the kingdom of God. And he will get his little minions to help him.

The Word of God tells us that “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world” 1 John 4:4  We are already the winners in this case!!

If you have read in the beginning of my blog, I mentioned that I took my first drink at around the age of 13, I believe. For some reason I was fascinated by alcohol. Now that I look back on this, I can see that the enemy was at work here. I am a musician and love music. With my rebellious nature at that young age, I seemed to be drawn to a harder type of rock music possibly out of anger or whatever. So I remember loving any song that was about drinking. I think my favorite was by AC/DC – Have A Drink On Me! There was a darkness that surrounded me when I listened to this. It could be that a spirit may have even been attached to me at that point.

Fast forward, 25+ years later I give my life back to God, but spend the next 9 years battling a stronghold to alcohol. I find out that it is just a symptom of deeper problems. I have an addictive personality. I believe I have other strongholds. This is one way Satan can limit a Christian to making an impact on this broken world. I believe God broke that stronghold, but Satan doesn’t give up so easy. Even though I quit drinking on September 4, 2017, I still had terrible cravings for it. And then developed a sugar addiction. It was an intense battle between Good & Evil! I remember right after I quit drinking, God used a good friend in my life that is Christian mentor to me. He used her for accountability purposes. This was a great help to me. And when I would have an intense craving, something would happen to dismantle the works of the enemy to try and get me to slip.

This past October, I was able to take a few days and go on a long weekend with this friend (who also brought another friend) to a cabin in the mountains. We all love the outdoors. What a great way to appreciate God’s creation. During our time there we had some intense discussions that were spiritual in nature. I believe God was right in the middle of it. I believe the whole trip was planned and anointed by God! I gained much knowledge from that trip. Unfortuately, these girls do not live in the same town as me so we do not get to see each other very often. So at the end of the trip, we made our way back home and said our goodbyes. We keep in touch quite often and have planned more trips to come.

At the start of the next week, I missed spending time with these good friends of mine and the Christ-like fellowship we had. I went back to my normal routine as usual. Apparently, what we did that weekend made some kind of impact. Satan was livid!!! That coming week I had the most intense cravings for alcohol. The enemy was out in full force!!! I remember it was Friday of that week. I was on my way home from work. It would be too easy to just stop somewhere and pick up something to drink. I could go home and just isolate myself……I felt my skin crawl. My first line of defense is to PRAY!!!! GOD HELP ME, NOW!!!! A thought that came to mind was something someone had told me earlier. When God delivers you from something and you go back on it, it will come back to you 7 times worse (Matthew 12:43-45). This has stuck with me ever since!! I continued to drive home and pray. In the background the radio was playing. Little did I know, the enemy was using that. I either listen to a classic rock station or a Christian station. At the time, the classic rock station was playing. I wasn’t even paying attention. Something wicked was coming from that and was all over me. Then that still small voice said, “Change the station, see what happens.” So I did. I changed it to KLove. The song playing was “The Revelation Song”. HOLY, HOLY, HOLY – IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. WHO WAS AND IS, AND IS TO COME. WITH ALL CREATION I SING, PRAISE TO THE KING OF KINGS, YOU ARE MY EVERYTHING, AND I WILL ADORE YOU!!!

YES!! THERE IS POWER IN PRAISE!!!

Whatever darkness was attacking just got slashed. As I was still driving, I then smelled rotten eggs……or sulfer for about 20 seconds. At first I didn’t think anything of that. I just looked around thinking “where is that smell coming from?” Some people may think I’m crazy and I don’t know if this is the case, but evil spirits do put off smells at times. I did research it. It could be true and could’ve been something else. But I was not in an area that there would be rotten eggs around. Didn’t make any sense. Who knows?? All I know is that my God came to the rescue. Ever since that day the cravings have been minimal. There is Power in Praise and there is Power in Prayer!!!!

Day after day I will continue to fight. I know that Jesus has already won. But there is still a broken world out there who desperately need Him! The enemy may wear me down sometimes, but I will not give up!!!

Blessings!

Empty Streets

“The Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

 

For several years I believe I had a fear of being alone. I used to have dreams that I was alone in the world. Even when I was married I had that dream. I would then wake up and realize my husband was right beside me and I would be relieved. I would also sense this emptiness when I am around an abandoned house or property. If the streets or alleys are empty I, too, feel empty. It’s like it amplifies something inside of me being around this. I now wonder if this stems from my co-dependency by finding my worth in other people. I am not used to standing alone. So, you can imagine being forced to live alone after living with someone for 20+ years. It was a little frightening.

I started going to therapy a little over a month ago and talking with a professional has really helped. She thinks I am doing good considering what I have been through. It could be possible that God has taken this fear away somewhat. Thinking back, I have not had those bad dreams in quite awhile. I don’t feel the despair that I did in those dreams. I believe God is right beside me holding my hand!! In the past year I have been going through the grieving process, but I am doing good, trying to make good choices and learning a new way of life.

I am, however, still friends with my ex-husband. Neither one wanted a bitter divorce. We believe it would make things a lot easier. And it has. I have learned to let go, but I’ll admit there is still “feelings” for this man I cannot just turn off!! I know that in time the letting go process will be complete, but this is truly a day by day process. A few days ago I met up with him going over some things. Our conversation began to get a little personal and he was telling me some things going on in his life at the present time. He mentioned how he was now in a relationship with another female. Sure, I asked a few questions, but for the most part I thought it was none of my business and it was a little uncomfortable for him. So I left it at that.

After he left, many thoughts and emotions began to rise up in me. You know, you get inside your head and all hell breaks loose. Some of my old wounds were opened up and that familiar pain became evident again. The thought of him with someone else is just quite disturbing. But deep, deep down underneath all that pain was a quiet confidence. Something was down there saying “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! I WILL NEVER ABANDON YOU!! I HAVE A PLAN FOR YOU!!” Yes, the pain is there, but it’s different this time. I don’t have that fear of being alone like I did some years back. Let me just say that nothing can describe the Peace that Passes All Understanding!! IT IS REAL!!!

Sometimes I think I cannot imagine going through all of life’s struggles without God by my side. How do people do that?? Life has so much more meaning with the One who loves me!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day…..