His Power is Made Perfect in Our Weaknesses

“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
— 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

Ok, so everyone has a testimony.

Everyone has a reason (or many reasons) why and how they came to Christ.

I like to say it’s their story, not their identity.

Most people have some rotten parts of their past, things they want more than anything to forget.

Through Jesus dying on the cross, we are saved! Praise God! He covered every one of our sins and made us pure, blameless, and holy.

But…

It doesn’t mean the past never existed.

You can reconcile yourself with God and forgive yourself for things that you’ve done that you are ashamed with. You can recognize that God has forgiven you of that sin.

But…

A lot of times, that shame never goes away.

You tell your testimony to people, but leave out the embarrassing stuff.

The stuff you’d like to forget.

You tell yourself, “OK God, we’ve worked through this, there’s no need to bring it up again. Let’s just leave that in the past.”

I feel like that’s when God’s says,

“Hold the phone. That is when I showed my greatest power. That story is a testament to the immense change I can make in a person’s life. Your greatest weakness is where I had my greatest compassion, faithfulness, and love in your life. That was MY victory. Not yours. Why do you think it’s your decision whether you can share that or not?”

It’s humbling right?

When you think about it, God has created everything in your life. Every blessing, gift, treasure that you’ve ever received from Him…your very life….They are HIS.

Paul says he will boast even more about his weaknesses so that the power of Christ will rest upon him. He was willing to throw away his pride and every other selfish thought and preach about his embarrassing, wretched past so that the Lord would be glorified.

I can’t even fathom how blessed I am that God helped me get over rough things in my life. I can’t even remember what it’s like to live without the fullness of God. I can’t praise my Daddy enough for the change He’s made in this little life of mine.

Alright, so it would be kind of hypocritical to end this without giving you part of my testimony that I no longer have shame about because of the forgiveness of God.

So here you go. Here’s my heart. Do with it what you will, but please don’t think I overcame any of this on my own. It’s all to the glory of God that I am saved, changed, and made whole.

I used to struggle with depression. Because of it, I had the lowest self-esteem you could imagine. I felt incredibly worthless, useless, and shameful. I was never my true self around people because I had no doubt that no one would ever love me as I was.

I couldn’t stand the sight of myself, couldn’t bear the person I was on the inside and especially the outside.

I struggled with eating disorders for four years. I used to cut myself and hurt myself. I was always angry at myself and the disgusting, stupid person that I was.

I could never accept a single compliment and refused every person who tried to reach out to me and show me the girl I truly was.

I can’t tell you what happened that changed my heart.
I don’t remember a definite time when I stopped feeling all this heaviness on my heart.

But I can tell you WHO changed everything.

Jesus Christ had enough with me destroying the life He had created for greater things. He stepped in and started bringing me up and out of my misery. He put the most amazing people in my life who spoke incredibly truth and life into me. It was the biggest struggle, trying to block out every thought that satan put into my mind.

But God always finishes what He starts. He always makes good on His promises. He never left me stranded.

I can tell you today that I feel beautiful. I feel beautiful because of the things God is working in me. He makes me flawless because I love people with HIS love. He loves that my heart is for people, He loves when I worship Him with my whole heart, and He loves when I pray passionately to Him.

I can’t tell you how hard it is to initially start that process of letting people in on the VICTORY God has proclaimed over your life.
It’s hard.
It’s really hard.

The first time I could actually voice aloud and believe that I was beautiful was in January 2012, during my training camp for my trip to Nicaragua.

Every time it gets easier though. It truly does. It becomes more natural to proclaim the goodness of God and little by little you just want to, NEED to share that amazing greatness with everyone you meet.

I am just learning every day how much my life is truly NOT MY OWN. It’s all God’s, and I am just His steward of it all, trying my hardest to faithfully use it wisely and to His glory.

So that’s it. That’s my blog for today. And I was serious about the piglet thing.

You’re welcome.

Hey, let me know what I can be praying for you about this week! And if you need a guinea pig, (HAHA PIGS AGAIN) you know, someone to try out talking about those awful, awkward testimony stories on, I’m your lady. Just send me a message on Facebook or shoot me a text.

Te Amo Con Todo Mi Corazon!

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Surrender the Easy, the Hard, the REALLY Hard…oh and you get a PIGLET.

Life is all about surrender.

Think back on every blessing you received from God.

Did you give something up, like trust or control, before it happened?

My guess is the answer is yes.

 

See, God can’t be in perfect union with a closed off heart.
A half-closed heart, a quarter-closed heart…doesn’t matter how small the fraction is, if you are still not giving God your ENTIRE heart, you’re not experiencing ENTIRE freedom.

God can work with ANY heart. He can prove Himself to you a million times. You can SEE him work.

But you won’t be able to EXPERIENCE, to FEEL Him work, to feel like you and God are a team working together without complete surrender.

I hear you, you have to be practical about some things. You can let God just run rampant through your life, doing what He wants with your relationships, your money, your job, your family… You just don’t know if He’ll do as good a job as you will be able to. He doesn’t know you as well as you know yourself.

Let me just tell you…THESE ARE LIES FROM THE ENEMY!

God knows you inside and out. He created you! He made you the way you are! Also, He created you in His image. I’m pretty sure God knows himself and what He’s capable of.

We are born into sin. We will never be able to escape the people who discourage us and try to convince us that we rule our own bodies and souls. I don’t get down on myself for feeling like I need to control my circumstances like I do sometimes, and I don’t hold any standards for you either. It’s just not fair. And nowhere in the Bible does Jesus tell me to judge people.

But you can make the effort to show God that you trust Him implicitly. You can start believing that God is truly a BIG God and has absolute control over your every circumstance. He has never and will never forget about you, you are His special child that he loves beyond anything you can imagine. He never wanted you to feel overwhelmed, stressing about what you need to do to prove yourself, to make yourself attractive…He’s waiting for you to be like, OK God, you know what’s best for me, take the reins.

It’s not easy to just all at once give up EVERYTHING in it’s entirety and feel OK about it. Sometimes, it’s giving things up one at a time and just getting to the point where it’s as easy as breathing to trust that God’s got it taken care of.

I can tell you from personal experience that it certainly is not a pleasant process to begin with. But those bad days, the days when you’re crying out to God and asking Him why He’s not doing anything with what you’ve given Him, those will soon be forgotten when God sees the right moment to bless you. His crazy way that He knows what you need way better than yourself will overwhelm you with His goodness.

I pinky promise you that.

Something else that helps is trying not to set standards in your mind about what you think the absolute best is. If you have it in your head what the best possible scenario is, what you want so badly for yourself, what you think will make you the most happy, get rid of it.

You will always be disappointed. Always.

God’s plans are usually something we NEVER would have thought would fulfill us so completely.

He satisfies us. I wish for all of you to have those moments where you just bask in His presence, soaking up the perfectness and radiance of His love and purpose for you.

If you have one of those moments, TELL ME ABOUT IT! I want to hear!

In other news…please be praying for me as I am having new developments in my plans to go back to Nicaragua. Things are starting to get more positive and like….REAL LIFE!! I can’t say anything for sure for a little while, but I will update everyone as soon as I find out everything. Thank you for your continued support! You have no idea how much it means to this little heart of mine that y’all are praying for me. I would like to give you all a kiss on the cheek and a pet piglet.

So uh, MWAH and HERE:

LAAAAAAAAAAA Don’t you just want to die from the preciousness of it?? I can’t stand it. Just can’t. I want to cry. OK, there might be a piglet picture at the end of every blog now. You’re welcome.

That one night when my world was shaken

Let me give you a little piece of my heart. I don’t usually do this, let y’all in on these kind of intimate experiences, but I really feel like God wants me to share this with someone, or several someones.

The most incredible thing happened the other night.

My life got a million times better.

It got a billion times more purposeful.

I was trying to go to sleep but my thoughts were keeping me awake and getting more worrisome by the second. I was thinking about some people that I know who aren’t saved.
They are NICE people, so sweet and kind and wonderful.
But they are not Christians and as far as I know don’t want anything to do with God.

I was thinking about a story I wanted to tell them about how God is changing the heart of a friend of mine and how it affected them to do the sweetest thing the other day.

But I realized they wouldn’t understand it. They wouldn’t be able to grasp the amazing change that has happened in this person’s life because they don’t recognize God as a real thing. It wouldn’t be as touching to them because they would think this came about as the person’s decision, not as something God was working in their heart.

These friends of mine are very set in their ways of thinking. Their experiences have made them slightly cynical, kind of guarded, definitely set in their ways. It would take a MIRACLE for them to get to the place where they can see a situation like that, leave their common sense behind, and trust that it was God who was the change.

It made my heart hurt so much. I want everyone to feel joy the way that I’ve experienced. I want everyone to get excited about God changing peoples’ hearts and performing miracles in peoples’ lives. I want everyone to know it is HIM who is the change, the difference. I want everyone to know the love that God truly, deeply has for us all. As a Father, a friend, a lover, a God.

I now truly understand the feeling of anguish. I could barely breathe and I just started crying these painful, heavy tears. I was an absolute mess. My heart was severely mourning for the lost, the ones who would never experience the love of my Daddy.

It was at that moment that I knew God was letting me feel the pain that He feels for His lost sheep. Literally I was in such agony that I could hardly bear it. I got out of bed and went to the floor, kneeling with my head on the ground.
I sat there, feeling this pain and heaving with sobs, just taking it all in.

I have always felt that God gave me a huge capacity to love people, His people. But what I felt on that night was beyond any sort of love I had comprehended before.
God gave me that moment so it could renew the fire within me. He actually let me taste the explosive, jealous, painful love that He feels for the people he created.

Finally, I stood up and started praising God for His incredible love. I realized why He would die for all our sins. I proclaimed to Him that I would die, I would give up everything in a heartbeat if just one soul could be saved.
I felt it.
I still feel it.
If I had any doubts about any of all that before, I have absolutely none now.

God created me with the heart of a missionary.

And He just became a lot more real to me.

God created me for a greater purpose than I can imagine right now.

I praise Him, because He has made me this way.

I praise Him, because He has such a love for us.

I praise Him, because He forgives us every time.

I praise Him, because even when I forget that He’s always with me, He’s still there.

I praise Him, because my surrender to Him has set me free.

I praise Him, because there’s nothing else I can do.

 (Disclaimer: I still tell people stories about how God is changing peoples’ lives, even if they aren’t believers. I want my life to be an example, I don’t want to hide anything that God is doing. Because His victories are for the world to know. They are His, not mine, and He is so powerful that He can do what He sees fit with the words that I share. Only He can change peoples’ hearts, and I don’t get to decide whether I want to share His good news or not. Besides, you never know whether your ONE story can be the thing that sticks to someone’s heart and starts the change!)

Haille who?

I learned something about myself today.

I learned that I don’t see myself as Jesus does.

 

People tell me, “You’re so kind, so loving, so caring…”

I always feel uncomfortable when I get told that.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I so appreciate the encouragement.

It fills my heart up when people speak the Lord’s truth into my life.

 

But I realized that the reason I was always so quick to smile and shake it off was because I didn’t believe it.

If you know me, you’ll know that I am only recently coming into believing that God has given me beauty.

 

It’s been a struggle, a long journey, but God is showing me everyday who HE sees me as.

Who He created me to be.

 

He makes me beautiful through the things He’s doing through me.

He sees my heart. He knows my soul.

 

I don’t know if this sounds vain, I hope I’m not coming across that way, but I’m starting to see the good in myself.

I’m starting to see that I am a loving person, a lover of anyone and everyone who crosses my path.

 

But I am ONLY that, only SOMETHING, I only make a difference because He has MADE ME THAT WAY.

I can’t limit that, control that, tell God what I think I am

 

I kinda get it now…

And I’m kind of starting to love myself.

 

HAHA ok what is this cheesy nonsense.

I really mean it when I say all this but it just comes out so dramatic.

 

To finish this all off, here’s a picture that makes everything else less dramatic:

Love Conquers All. (Spoken Word)

He is my shepherd

And I am the 100th sheep that wandered away,

So dumb and so blind to protection and safety

Right in front of me.

But He pursued me and drew me back to his loving arms

And called me his own again.

I surrender.

i’m tired of running away.

I surrender.

I’m tired of carrying it all.

I surrender!

He didn’t die so I could live my life in fear.

He conquered death and rescued me so I could be free.

Let me shout at the top of my lungs,

With my loudest cry,

I can’t die,

I am saved!

Oh Lord, I ask, and I receive your presence around me,

Surrounding, it’s all powerful

Possessing love no man can explain,

He can’t dare to proclaim his OWN strength

There’s no other way,

The Lord is getting him there, getting him home!

My home is not here,

I have no fear,

I know it’s coming, the time is near.

It’s getting close,k I have to know

That I can’t get there on my own.

My Father’s wish, my Daddy’s dream is to bring

HIS kingdom down to earth.

He says to her, his daughter, me,

That she has victory,

She has slain her enemies with HIS righteous hand.

He’s given her,

enabled his daughter,

his warrior with strength and beauty.

I am humbled, can’t stand the honor,

I bow down before my King.

He lifts my head and whispers sweetly,

love.

LOVE.

And everything else can fail but LOVE,

LOVE CONQUERS ALL.

It brings up, it brings out

All the best in every being,

There is no one, not a single person

Who can resist true LOVE.

And that is free.

That is God’s free,

no-strings-attached, expectation-free gift.

His treasure He yearns, He desires you accept.

The only reason I can ever love Him

Is because He first loved me.

Loved us.

Loved the world.

The world that would turn their selfish, arrogant backs

To Him and his TRUTH.

His raw, unending heart and love for them.

But somehow, by some other-worldly, God force,

(It’s called love)

There’s forgiveness.

For those sinners,

those back-stabbers,

those filthy, WRETCHED creatures.

Those people who I am in a crowd with.

It was ME who turned my back,

lacked the discipline to remain

True to the only one,

only thing that’s ever made me feel alive.

Forgiveness.

A world like ours can’t understand the concept.

Forgiveness is love.

And love conquers all.

It conquers ALL.

Love is victorious.

Love has saved my soul.

 

When all else fails…

His love is enough.

It covers every imperfection.

His love is more than enough.

It goes above and beyond.

His love is overwhelming.

It changes lifetimes of bitterness.

His love keeps no records of wrongs.

It’s mercies are new every morning.

In other words, every day is a clean slate.

His love has no end.

It was, is, and will always be.

His love is FREE.

It doesn’t need any deeds or good works.

His love is not of this world.

But it needs to be shared with this world.

His love conquered death.

It doesn’t understand fear.

His love is a light.

It shines brightest, it’s contrast is more evident in the darkness.

His love is the truest form of humbleness.

It possesses no arrogance.

His love puts up with anything and everything that comes along.

It is not easily upset.

TRUTH is Love’s delight. 

I miss my Nica lovies…