January 30, 2014

Purge your Heart to the Lord

                      Wish You Were Here
I just received a postcard, from a very dear friend,
Who lives far far away, but one whom I depend.
I knew I was thought of, as the words were sincere,
Beginning with... "Dear Joni, I wish you were here..."

I smiled with joy, as someone was thinking of me,
In a way that they were wishing, with them I could be.
I was a bit confused, as I had sent the same note,
Awaiting a response, to what I had I wrote.

As I looked at the postcard, I couldn't believe my eyes,
This special someone, was finally answering my cry.
I took a deep breath, as I didn't know what to think
As I began to read the words, that were written in gold ink...

"I received your postcard, and your message was clear...
That you wish I was with you, as you wrote,
                                                "Wish you were here".
I have three words to tell you, and please take them to heart,
"I AM Here" my child, as I have been, right from the start.

You don't have to wish anymore,
                                        because I'm right by your side,
Through this journey called life, I'm along for the ride.
In good times and bad, you can count on me,
Living inside of you, is where I will always be.

So Joni, I Wish you were Here....believing in my name,
Trusting in me, you will never be the same.
Thanks for your postcard, I'm returning it back to you,
Love God, and PS... I truly love you too."

I got the message, loud and clear...
That God never left me, as He is right "here".
"Here" in the moment, "Here" in my day
"Here" even when things, aren't going my way.
He's my Father in Heaven,
and my Father "Here" on this earth,
He's always been with me, since the day of my birth.

The postcards I send Him now,
are filled with my thanks & a prayer,
Because I am certain, that He is Here...as He is Everywhere.
May you be filled with peace, knowing that the Lord is with you...no matter where you may be,
no matter what you may be feeling,
no matter your circumstances.

January 24, 2014

Week 2: Trusting in the One Who Heals

The freeing truth of Isaiah 40:30-31...“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
The Truth: the young, the middle aged, the old.. all grow tired and weary
The Truth: the young, the middle aged, the old...all stumble and fall
The Lie: putting one's hope in food, appearance, size, number on the scale, perfectionism...will not renew your strength. You will run away and grow weary, crawl and faint.
BUT THE TRUTH: those who HOPE in the LORD  WILL...
    1. Renew their strength
    2. Soar on wings like eagles
    3. Be long distance runners
    4. Have stamina
    5. Walk unashamed
    6. Fly Free
Taking the step to hope in something better than what  you may be placing your hope in now can be a hard step. In Week 1 we learned the truth that we are not doing this alone, as we have the Lord as our constant companion that is taking this journey with us. This Week we are learning to place our hope, our trust in the One who Heals.
 How do you follow someone who don't trust? It is easy to say the words, "trust God", but saying and actually trusting Him are totally different things, as I know firsthand. I had to, and still continue to, to go to God with everything that is on my heart...the good, the bad, the ugly, as He knows it anyway. To sit at His feet and purge out my heart to Him is what deepens my trust because He never leaves me no matter what I may say or feel. His grace and unconditional love is what I had to experience first before I could face the journey of letting go of my food stronghold.
Do you trust God? A general question yet there are so many layers to trust.
Do you trust Him for your salvation?
Do you trust Him with your finances?
Do you trust Him with your food stronghold?
Do you trust Him enough to make you enough so food no longer has to fill you enough?

This week get to know your Lord in the most intimate way by daily sitting at His feet and having a one on one with Him. He won't ever let you down, as He is the best listener. Get to know Him at a deeper level then you have every known Him before. He will meet you right where you are at.
Do you trust Him enough to begin to let go of what is really eating you?
Strap those wings on and begin to use them even if you feel you aren't ready to fly, and I promise you that they will begin to flap as you hope in Him.

January 22, 2014

Week One: You are not Alone!

The book of Joshua begins with God commissioning Joshua as Moses’ successor. FEAR enters in as now they are to enter the promised land, unknown territory, without their leader. But then God COMMANDS them to not be afraid, to not be terrifed, to not be discouraged. 
 Facing Fear...to look at turbulent waters ahead of you that you have to cross. It sounds crazy as you have to face fear in order for it to be removed. But we are told many times,  just as  Joshua is (see 1:9. 8:1. 10:8, 10:25, 11:6) to not be afraid.
Fear...is one of the bricks that makes up this brick wall, as it is one of the triggers that makes you want to run and hide. 

Fear of being judged, criticized, being ugly, not good enough, not thin enough, never losing the weight, never having a healthy relationship with food or with others, fear of being just you...and the list goes on.
 FEAR...creates a brick wall. It paralyzes, but you still feel you have to do something because we are HUMAN-BEINGS...
 So we DO SOMETHING...to take away the fear... we feed it...we feed our fears by fearing our fears, instead of looking at them.
Look at the mirror on the wall.
What are you first thoughts when you think of a mirror?
The mirror creates a reflection of you...the outside shell of you.
How we avoid the mirror or use it to decorate ourselves so we appear to look better and to feel better than we really are.
Going to the outside to make the inside feel better. Trying to decorate the lies you have believed about yourself for so long, so they will go away. But decorating them has no power, to change the heart.  
The BRICK WALL:  what does this represent to you?
It is solid. Firm. Unbreakable. Made up of bricks.
A fortress erected to protect. To not let anything in or anything out.
This wall represents a stronghold. Food built this wall. Poor body image built this wall. Whatever it may be, it is there. But then there is a mirror on the wall. A mirror for us to look in, a mirror that goes right to the heart. The fear of seeing the you that you try to hide. The fear of seeing your broken heart. The fear of facing the lies you were told that made you feel so unlovable.
BUT there is only one way to face the fear...to look into the mirror and the answer is in reading the handwriting on the wall.
 We are commanded to NOT be afraid...why... because God is with you.
What happens when you are weak, terrified, cowardly...do you run to food to give you courage, strength, encouragement...or do you run to your Father who is with you and who promises to give you all that you need in that moment?
When God is with you, you are able to walk with grace to the mirror of your heart. The fears are real, as they are what you are feeling. Allow the fears to open up your heart to why they are there. As you walk with Him, the bricks that make up your wall begin to tumble down, as God becomes your stronghold, your refuge, your protection. 
As you begin to face your fears that may be in the way of your facing the food stronghold that is in your life, rest assure that you are not alone. You have someone who is willing to walk with you as He gets to the heart that is eating you with His tender love. Brick by brick they will come tumbling down, as you begin to surrender your all to Him.

So take the hand of the One who will be with you wherever you go...and believe that He will provide the courage and the encouragement you need along the way. 

The Journey Begins

Today is a new day, a new beginning if you are ready to participate in the Weightless Flying Free Bible Study. As you sit with God through this journey, I promise you that your heart will be changed, as He "gets to the heart that is eating you". Please feel free to comment as we go through this study. I would love to hear your insights as God reveals them to. This is your journey, so enjoy the ride as God takes you to new heights.
  How would you define freedom, becoming Weightless and Flying free? 
A life of freedom is liberty, a release from captivity a choice. The opposite of freedom is restricted, “feeling” stuck... imprisoned because there is no hope, or even a choice that flying is a choice.
Food restricted me, as it imprisoned me, even though I was the one who was controlling it. I locked myself in a prison only because I believed there was no other option.  Feeling hopeless, helpless, and afraid left me feeling hopeless, helpless and afraid, but food always gave me a choice to do something and to feel something beside myself. Why was I running to something that would always make me feel more hopeless, helpless and afraid...restricted? How do I fly when my wings were so heavy laden?
I finally found a new “hope” in a pit of despair. As I was so low that I had to look up...to the One where true freedom is found. Freedom...hope in someone bigger than me, myself and I.
Take that to your heart. Do you believe freedom is for you? Do you fear freedom?
Free to be yourself...the YOU God made you to be.
Free to feel...no matter how deep the pain, because Jesus is right there with you.
Free to live as a beautiful daughter of the King....No matter what the number on the scale is, no matter how many wrinkles, no matter how you may feel about  yourself when you look in the mirror...free to live beautiful...just as you are, just because God says so.
                     Read the words of John 8:31-32..
                    To the Jews who had believed him, JESUS said, "If you HOLD to my teaching,
                    you are really my DISCIPLES. Then you will know the TRUTH,
                               and the TRUTH will set you free."
The word HOLD means to be present. It is usually when we don’t want to be present when we run to our strongholds, as I ran straight to food as soon as I became present because it was “me” that I was feeling.
A DISCIPLE is a pupil a learner...one who is sitting at his/her teacher’s feet. I would sit at food’s feet as I was a disciple of food, and a very good one.
The TRUTH is that we are “slaves to the ways of the world”, and need Jesus, someone bigger than ourselves, as isn’t “ourselves” the ones who we are running from?
JESUS frees us by making us sons and daughters.
         Truth only can set the mind free from its bondage under ignorance and
              prejudice and evil habit. If the Light of the world shines into the 
               dark places of the heart, the chains that are misunderstood will not 
                only become visible, but will be broken.
So if Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed!
Sounds too easy to be true, but it is.
The first step is to make this truth part of your life.
               You are free right now, even if you don’t feel, or look free right now. 
 Freedom, based on what the world’s mirror, only reflects back to you that “you are not good enough and that you can be better”. Freedom isn’t based on appearance, a number on the scale, or fitting into your jeans without having to do squats to make them fit. Freedom is based on the One who has given us wings to fly above the world’s mirror of perfection because perfection can only be found in the Perfect One. The One who came to remove whatever has kept us from flying.
                     So start flying today...even afraid...because you are free.
As you begin this process of “getting to the heart of what is eating you”, take the first step by  living free. Free, not according to the world’s standards but to who your Creator has made you to be.
Let’s start flying together, right this moment, believing and receiving the truth that you are free right now. Start living as if you are free...no matter what you may feel or weigh or look like.
Just try it...you will be amazed how light you will start to feel knowing that you can fly free through this process.
The song “I’m Gonna Fly” by Amy Grant describes what Weightless Flying Free means to me, and the freedom that my wings have enabled me to do.
"I'm Gonna Fly"

                            All of my friends are happy to stay
                            Here in this yard day after day
                            But something inside me has called me away
                            I don't understand but I know I can't stay

                                  I'm gonna fly
                                No one knows where
                                But I'm gonna fly
                                I'm lighter than air

                            Cause I have felt for the first time
                            I can be myself
                            No more faces to hide behind
                            Just a smile and a dream that's mine
                            Even if I am the only one who wants to fly

                                      I'm gonna fly
                                    No one knows where
                                    But I'm gonna fly
                                   I'll soar thru the air

                            All of my life seems I've waited
                            For the time to start
                            Being the person inside of me
                            Unafraid of being me
                            No more faces to hide behind
                            Just a smile and a dream that's mine
                            Even if I am the only one who wants to fly

                            If I had my life to live over again
                            I'd run barefoot, relax a bit more
                            And I'd talk to my children
                            And I'd learn how they laugh
                            And I'd teach them how I've learned to fly

                            Cause all my life seems I've waited
                            For the time to start
                            Being this person inside of me
                            Unafraid of being me
                            Even if I am the only one who wants to fly
                            I'm gonna fly

Start flapping those wings because that is why they are there...so you can soar above all that has been weighing you down.