Wednesday, September 5, 2018


"Trust The Process"

Trust, Julie. I need for you to trust me. (Jesus)

I have been wrestling with this request for the past year. The trust He is asking me for is not tied to death or significant loss: This time it’s about His goodness and if I will dare to believe that He will be good to me. I’ve trusted Jesus in the past with many circumstances, and His faithfulness eventually revealed itself. Healing deep wounds from my past is the evidence of His loving kindness revealed to me in the cleft rock moments of my life. He loves me, and I know that with all my heart. So, why is it so hard to trust Him to meet me on the mountaintop?

Webster defines trust as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone.

So trust is a result. It is a firm belief that someone is reliable, trustworthy, able and strong. Trust takes time and is built in the small and messy moments of life. It requires us to risk being vulnerable with someone—to see if they will handle our heart with care. In the past, being vulnerable usually, lead me to heartache. We’ve all experienced someone taking advantage of our weakness. They let us down, selfishly stole from us, left us alone to clean up the mess. We blamed ourselves for being vulnerable, and shame waged war against our true identity and worthiness to be loved. Judgments were made from lies, and walls were built to protect and trust.

I started thinking about choice. I believe it is the most loving gift given to us by God. He gave us the ability to choose, and from the beginning of time, we have broken His heart with our choices. He knew we would choose wrong but still gave us the gift of choice. His love is unconditional and void of the need to control us: He is being vulnerable with us in this choice and wanting us to do the same.

I have come to learn that with God vulnerability is not about the circumstance; it’s about who we trust to be with us in the circumstance.

“Unwavering trust is a rare and precious thing because it often demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic. When the shadow of Jesus’ cross falls across our lives in the form of failure, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, unemployment, loneliness, depression, the loss of a loved one; when we are deaf to everything but the shriek of our own pain; when the world around us suddenly seems a hostile, menacing place—at those times we may cry out in anguish, ‘How could a loving God permit this to happen?’ At such moments the seeds of distrust are sown. It requires heroic courage to trust in the love of God no matter what happens to us.” (Brennan Manning)

It takes heroic courage to trust after the world has betrayed us in our weakness, but we have a need to trust in the character and reliability of someone who will walk us through the uncertainties of life. God’s goal is to awaken us to our true identity. We are worthy and loved by Him, and when we stand in His love, anything is possible. Our vulnerable places slowly become places to learn and experience joy and love like never before. They are places in which we make the choice to turn to Him and say—I will trust you. Trust is a choice, and it’s a gift we give back to Him.

This past year has been full of circumstances in which I had to figure things out, and the only way to do so was to be vulnerable. I had to admit to co-workers, family, and friends that I did not know how to fix certain problems, but that we would find our way through. Within that very statement was a whole new perspective. Problems are unavoidable, and we don’t have all the answers, but the choice to walk through the problem trusting God, is always mine to choose.

I’m learning my focus should not be on the outcome, but instead on whom I’m trusting in the process. The outcome may be bad, but if I’m trusting God with my heart, He will always handle it with care. Maybe I needed to see the bad because He has something good coming. I am learning that when circumstances don’t go my way, vulnerability is what I need. It is fertile ground to plant new seeds of hope. It is a place to experience joy and love like never before. I admit to Jesus I am weak in this unplanned moment that I so desperately want to control, and He gives me the courage to accept a new perspective.

One last quote from Brennan Manning that brings to life the daughter who knows how to trust Jesus:

“After stumbling and falling, the ragamuffin does not sink into despondency and endless self-recrimination, she quickly repents, offers the broken moment to the Lord, and renews her trust in the Messiah of sinners. She knows that Jesus is comfortable with broken people who remember how to love.”

Below is one of my favorite definitions of love found in 1 Corinthians 13. It is a picture of how God loves us. We can trust such a love as this.

His promise to us is love, and all He requires us to do is show up.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


“Julie, Find my promise in the problem.”

I have heard these words whispered in my heart many times this season while facing many new problems. Typically, they are my queue to back out of a situation, but I hear God say to me - face it because all things are possible with Me.

I don’t like problems and try to avoid them at all cost.  I know this is not a proper mindset because every day has an abundance of problems. I’m learning that I see something as a problem because I don’t immediately have the answer. It requires me to reach out and ask for help.

And, why is this a problem?

My life has dramatically changed over the past 12 months. A new job, a new home, a new city, a new group of people and many new friends have entered my life. It has been a challenge to have such a dramatic change, and yet this is what I’ve prayed for, all things new. I feel like I’ve been slowly crawling in this direction after the loss of many things dear to my heart. I’ve prayed for resurrection in my own life and for those who are close to me.

The problem I found in this prayer is resurrection can only come if you believe it’s possible. I believe in Jesus, and I love the ending of His story. He came to earth and faced our biggest problem and dealt with it by showing us resurrection was possible. He demonstrated that death is part of new life and problems always hold promise if you are willing to change the way you think.

“Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT

My crawl to this new place required a new plan that would need a whole new way of thinking.  I love making plans, especially when I see them written out neatly on my calendar.  They help me get to my desired destination without any delays. What I fail to do is leave room for the unexpected and unplanned moments life always adds to my plan. I affectingly call these moments, problems.

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLV

Plans and steps, never really thought about the relationship between the two. Webster’s Dictionary defines them as:

Plans: a drawing or diagram drawn: a method for achieving an end.
Steps: a rest for the foot in ascending or descending

Plans hold our desired outcome and steps are places for our foot to rest while ascending or descending. Now, I see why I’m always frustrated. I don’t plan for the ups and downs. The path I planned was level and smooth through beautiful green summer pastures. I never saw the need for a mountain. 

“Why be uncomfortable?” – It’s a phrase I like to say to my niece when I tell her about my latest greatest new membership or mail delivery subscription box. Shipt, Stitch Fit, FabFitFun, Blue Apron, Green Chef and Amazon make life comfortable. If you stop and think about it, each of these comforts was born out of someone’s discomfort. They recognized a need and provided a solution. They saw a problem and pressed in to find the hidden promise.

Which leads me to the lesson I’m learning. When I pray for resurrection, God’s gives me His promise of it. It does not instantly happen because it requires me to participate. I must learn a new way of thinking about problems and life.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible." Matthew 19:26 NLV

So my old way of doing new must go. It’s not up to me; it’s up to WE.

The promise He has given me anchors me to His plan and His will for my life.

“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 NIV

His promise lovingly asks me to partner with Him, so I become the evidence of His promise here on earth.

For many years death and loss have been a big part of my plan. I’ve learned to account for them. I’ve been uncomfortable. So, maybe God is saying, Why be uncomfortable? You see evidence of your prayers – my plans are to prosper you, not to harm you. They are to give you new hope and a new future.

The Promise in my problem reveals God’s pure and sincere heart for me. His love offers resurrection, but it requires me to partner with Him. My responsibility is to believe it is not good to be alone. Simply put- Without Him, it is impossible to do all things new, but WITH Him all new things are possible.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018



I came across this song yesterday. I've heard it many times, but this time I listen to it and it completely wrecked me. Cory shares the story behind the song and I and thought it was worth sharing today. Happy Valentines day:) 
"God himself isn't reckless, but the way He loves in many regards is quite so..
What I mean is this - He's utterly unconcerned with the consequences of his actions with regards to his own safety, comfort or well-being.
His love isn't crafty or slick. 
It’s not cunning or shrewd; in fact, all things considered, it's rather quite childlike. And, might I even suggest, at times, it's downright ridiculous. 
His love bankrupted heaven for you and me. 
His love doesn’t consider himself first. 
It isn’t selfish or self-serving. 
He doesn’t wonder what he’ll gain or lose by putting himself on the line. He simply puts himself out there for the chance that you or I might look back and give him that love in return. 
His love leaves the 99 to find the one every time. Too many think this is a foolish concept. What if he loses the 99 in finding the one?
What if, finding that one lost sheep is and always will be supremely more important.
His love isn't cautious. 
It’s a love that sent his own son to die a gruesome death on a cross. 
There’s no Plan B with the love of God. 
He gives his heart to us so completely, so preposterously and when we miss it, He keeps giving himself to us again and again and again  
Make no mistake; our sins do pain his heart. 70×7 is a lot of times to get your heart broken. Yet, every time we turn, He opens up and allows us back in every single time. 
His love pursued me when I hated Him because I thought my debt could never be paid.  
No, He doesn't care what it will cost him. He is willing to pay any amount to have your heart whole again. 
His love saw me broken down, with regret as deep is the ocean. My innocence of youth poured out like water. This is where He found me. He put me on his shoulders and carried me home. He's just that good. He’s the kind of Father that never gives up. 
There’s no shadow you won’t light up,  no mountain you won't climb up, coming after me.
There’s no wall you won’t kick down,  no lie you won't tear down coming after me." - Cory Ashbury

"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." - Luke 15 1-7

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Finding Breakthrough In My Brokenness

"So I Will"Amanda Cook

This song puts God into perspective. He is billions of times bigger than your brokenness.

“Christianity is realistic because it says that if there is no truth, there is also no hope." - Francis A. Schaeffer

The truth is, we are all broken.

Our path to discovering this truth can get extremely messy. For me, I feel like I've had to learn it many times and on many different levels. This season I've come to realize that the broken places in my life are invitations for a breakthrough. It's all about perspective:)

Let me give a revelation I had the other day. I've been dealing with a circumstance for the past five months. It involves other people, their agendas, and expectations of me. My job within this circumstance requires me to perform certain tasks, some I know how to do and some I need training on how to do. I've been doing my best to produce the expected results, and so far, I've had little to no success.

This.  Has made me feel. Broken.

Why, because I'm not producing the desired results others and I have placed upon me.
My default mindset when I come face to face with my brokenness is to agree; I'm not producing which means I'm not good enough, so I quit!

I would have given up by now, but I knew from the very beginning of this journey that it was something God wanted me to do. So, I've stayed but throwing many pity parties for myself. The only people on the guest list who showed up to my party were Jesus and I. The conversation always began with, "Jesus, what do you expect me to do? I'm failing miserably, and I don't think I can do this!" He patiently listened to me plead my case and His response was always the same, don't quit! After many weeks of examining the situation, I realized I was not the only broken person in the circumstance. He was exposing my brokenness through other broken people. The broken place in me was expecting to be able to do something I had not been trained to do. I kept tripping over this broken place not noticing that my failure to produce could be healed with proper training.

I realized this part of the process, was broken. It was my nature to expect myself to know how to do the job without asking for help. I was offered the job because the people hiring me thought I naturally possessed the skill set needed for the position. Painfully over time, that assumption was proven false. I was failing and on the verge of judging myself a failure. 

Wisdom began to reveal the attack- identity theft at it's finest!

I knew I had to turn to Jesus for help. I needed the truth that would set me free from making my usual agreement that “I'm not good enough,” so I'll quit.

The truth He gave me was, "You're weak in certain areas. Be realistic with yourself and ask for help. When you embrace your weakness, I can step in and be strongest for you.”
This plan is good in theory, but it required me to admit "I can't do this on my own."  I don't like to admit my weakness, but it was the only way to fix what was broken.
I have grown to like the hope that this truth brought to my dilemma. It was time to let my pride die and ask for help.

Truth- I have found a broken place in me, and that is ok because Jesus will teach me a new way with His truth. This is the hope we hold onto while He leads us to our breakthrough.

We are broken, but we don't have to stay that way.

I’ve been given a whole new perspective on this word broken. Broken offers opportunity and growth. It's a choice, and you get to choose what to do with your brokenness. You can choose to ignore it, let it live and keep tripping over it the rest of your life.  Or, let it die and allow Jesus to renew it. His intentions are good, and He longs to help us, but He can't if we are not willing to admit our weakness and ask for help.

"I'm not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama."- Jesus     Matthew 5:18

The scripture above shows so wonderfully what Jesus wanted to do here on earth. He didn't come to take away or erase but to give what was needed to complete and fix the broken. He came to give us resurrection, the ultimate breakthrough. He gave us the perfect example when He trusted His Father on the cross. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus begged His dad to let Him do it another way. He revealed a broken place we all have in common.  It's the fear of letting our broken places die. Jesus showed us that it's ok to express your desperate desire to go another way. This is actually a confession of weakness. Jesus also showed us that this is not the place to stop and agree with your current feelings. It's the place we agree to disagree with ourselves and in faith agree with the perfect will of God. Submission to our weakness offers the supernatural grace needed to die to self so we can be resurrected with Jesus. Brokenness can be the door to your breakthrough.

I've learned that the most loving thing I can do is admit my weakness. It offers me the opportunity to find the missing pieces that complete me and make me whole. Neglecting to admit your weakness only hurts yourself and others. Remember, you're not alone in your suffering. Others are watching and waiting for you to see what is broken and choose another way. Maybe it's time to let your brokenness die? Begin with considering God's kindness and faithfulness. He will finish the good work He started with you. Humble yourself, and you will find the One who never leaves you alone in your suffering. Grab hold of His hand and follow His truth from the grave to your breakthrough.

"Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Matthew 23:12
AKA- go low. In due time He will lift you

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Believe. He Is Working It Out.

This morning I came across this reading of Romans 8 by John Piper. 

I must admit that the beginning of this chapter might lead your heart down a path of judging yourself disqualified to the hope found in the words written long ago by Paul. The unseen hope of patiently overcoming all the heartaches and suffering we experience here on earth. 

The chapter begins with a truth - 

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." 

Ahh, yes I believe that:) 

And the following words bring more hope. 

2 For the law of the Spirit[a] of life in Christ Jesus has set you[b] free from the law of 
sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh,
 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, 
who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Then my heart fell when I heard  - "and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Why do we always want to believe the worst about ourselves? Why do we blame ourselves for something we could have never done on our own. That is the perfected work of the enemies lies. We want to believe we will never measure up. There is some truth in that, but if we trace our finger back to the words written before we judged ourselves, we see the truth we missed that sets us all free. 

"God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do."

We could never overcome the law and please God because we are weakened by the flesh. The marriage of law and flesh was God's plan to begin with...He knew it would produce a frustration within us that would eventually bring us to truth. It is His mission to do for us what we cannot do on our own. Our flesh is earthly tent where our spirit from Heaven dwells until we the day we are set free to return Home. He knows our flesh isn't capable of pleasing Him without Him. So, He made it His responsibility to deal with the flesh by sending His son Jesus to do what the law could not do.. give us grace:) 

"He sent Jesus to save whom He foreknew."

He knew you before you came to live on this earth in a tent of flesh. He knew and knows your struggles. He predestined you to be conformed to the image of His son (the ultimate overcomer). And those He predestined He also called, and He justified and those He justified He also glorifies. 

29 For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.[v] 
30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

We must return to this truth. He made the way, and He continues to make the way. He has given us His Spirit who lives in us and who pleases God for us and through us.
This is why we have hope. This is why we never give up. He started the good work long before you were ever here on earth and He promises to finish it .......  His responsibility...... Your responsibility ...... Begins with belief. 

When we believe, we open our heart to the unseen hope. This gives God just what He needs to be at work in our lives.

I love the ending of Romans 8- The Spirit of God, who is always interceding for us and fighting for us makes us righteous. Not us alone but us only by the Spirit of God who lives within us. 

Share His yoke and put your condemning one down. Grab hold of the hope that has invited us all partake of the Good story God is working out in all of our lives. 

Remember, Nothing can separate you from His love. 

I end this morning again with remembering His words to me at the beginning of this year... "You will judge the one who promises faithful".  I will judge Him faithful in the end because He cannot lie :) This I WILL believe:) 

The ending of this chapter is the glue of our faith.. It is the why we believe. 

Romans 8:24-38

24 "For in[o] hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes[p] for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes[q] with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God,[r] who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit[s] intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.[t]
28 We know that all things work together for good[u] for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.[v] 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Love in Christ Jesus

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.[w] 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
    we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."