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Is This All For Nothing? Encouragement For Your Heart Through Hardship

Did I purify my heart
and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?
For I am afflicted all day long
and punished every morning.
If I had decided to say these things aloud,
I would have betrayed your people.
-Psalm 73:13-15 CSB

Have you ever felt like Asaph in this Psalm? Sometimes as we follow Christ it feels like we are getting the short end of the stick. You live a set apart life, which is not easy, and still receive an immense amount of suffering. Maybe you feel like Asaph in that even when you do open up about the suffering you are facing, other Christian’s accuse you of hidden sin, slap a scripture on it rather than having compassion, or suddenly vanish when you needed them most. Well, my friend, you are not only in the company of Asaph when it comes to this, I understand too. But most importantly, God understands deeper than anyone ever could.

Let’s keep reading, shall we?

When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.
-Psalm 73:16-17 CSB

In times of suffering and hardship, many times we don’t get the answers we are searching for. And if we are being honest, some of the things we face do not seem fair do they? Suffering can have a tendency to make us feel hopeless as we observe the wicked that seem to be prospering.

UNTIL…

Like Aspah, we have the understanding that this earth is not our home. That our story does not end here. In fact there will be a day where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more suffering (See Revelation 21:4). The prospering of the wicked will soon come to an end and they will wish that they repented and sought the Lord’s heart. I have a feeling many will have wish they endured trials here when they see the joy and gift of heaven.

Our perfect heavenly Father can handle our hard questions. He will never leave us even if people do. And He isn’t ashamed of our feelings. So many times people can dismiss what you are feeling, but God doesn’t do that. Sorrow and grief can coexist with faith. In fact, we can see this right here in the middle of Psalm 73.

My friend, I know times may be hard but you are not alone. This suffering won’t last forever. But you know what does last forever and will carry you through? God’s Love. His Grace. His Mercy. Him.

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Even If You Stumble

God loves when we follow the plan he has for us, especially since he knows what’s perfect. He loves when we earnestly seek to do his will. He “delights” in our every step. He is well pleased.

There have been times where I have had to make a BIG decision. I prayed and got impatient, later realizing I had made a mistake. I still thought that it was God’s will. However, later I realized I had made a mistake that caused me to stumble. I did not wait long enough for him to bring clarity. Yet we see, that even when we stumble there is abundant grace and mercy. He is ready and willing to lift us up when we stumble.

Do you remember when you tried to ride a bike for the first time? Your parents let you try without training wheels? If you were like me, you ate the gravel. I mean, I stumbled hard. I was a bloody, bruised, beat up, wanted to give up kind of mess. Just as my earthly Father saw what had happened and helped me up, God will lift you up when you stumble. He is much better than your earthly father. He is your cheerleader. He was delighted you wanted to please him! He lifts you and says, here my child try this.

God sees the desire in your heart to do his will and live out his plan for your life and that pleases him. He is delighted you a pursuing to be obedient. Even if you stumble, he is there to lift you up. He is proud of you! So dust the gravel off and keep riding.

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All The Times I Thought God Wasn’t There…

I went to Pink Impact @ Gateway Church along with some other amazing women of god this weekend. Let me tell you, Holy Spirit taught every single one of us something this past weekend. I have many moments to share but I want to share a vision God painted for me in worship.

He brought me to these very raw moments of hurt. The times I felt lonely and like no one cared. The moments where I felt no one listening. He brought me to moments where I was abused and confused. He brought me to these moments of sorrow where I was sobbing, broken, and where I felt alone. He took me there and showed me Jesus in the background, weeping. His face was in anguish. I saw in his hand a vile of tears. Each tear I dropped was placed in this bottle.

Jesus spoke to me & said, when you felt the loneliest, I was there.

When you weeped and no one saw or cared to understand your pain, I was weeping with you.

My Child, I feel what you feel. I hurt when you hurt. All those times you thought I wasn’t there. I was.

I know every single tear you have cried. I know every reason you have felt hurt. I am who I say I am. & You are who I say you are.

Do not compare me to your earthly father. This will trip you up. Remember when you called me Abba. Remember your first love for me. Remember my goodness. Remember who I am and who you are in me.

As the worship continued I began to weep and realize that I had it all wrong. The times I didn’t understand, the ones that were the most painful, he wasn’t only there….he was weeping with me.

Even if you have the best Dad in the world, understand NOTHING compares to your heavenly Father.

God not only knows what we are going through, he feels it too. He keeps every single tear we have cried in a bottle.

On the flip side, if he can cry when we cry.

He must rejoice when we rejoice. Abba is a good father.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.”-Psalm 56:8

“Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.”-John 11:34‭-‬35 NIV

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”-Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

“May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.”-Psalm 119:76 NIV

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The Tail of A Lost Pup (See what I did there…)

Good morning everyone!

I hope everyone had a restful night, but if it was anything like the Lunney Household, it was anything but. (Not complaining…Let me tell you why!)

We left church around 9pm as it still rained and flooded the area. We came to a little dog in the road running around with a collar (no tag), wet and lost. My husband looked at me and of course I told him to put the little guy in the car! We brought him home and our puppy was, to say the least, having a puppy moment. Playing with her new friend or trying to establish dominance, I’m not really sure. Needless to say, we talked about what to do next. We called people who we thought could help and they told us to take him to the vet in the morning and see if he has a microchip. I posted all over facebook pages for lost pets and spouse pages wondering who could’ve lost their baby. This pupper is seriously the sweetest. We drove around the neighborhood searching for people who may have lost him, but came to another dead end. We opened the car door to bring him in and he dashed into the woods. (Yep, that really happened.) My husband and I prayed as we went to bed. He soon fell asleep and I began to pray to God, asking him to put protection over this little pupper that I found…and then lost. I prayed for God’s will to be done and for him to go home or for him to find safety. HERE’S WHERE IT GETS GOOD. My husband woke up this morning and opened the door to let our puppy and this little guy slept on our porch all night. Ughhh, my heart! I’m sure you are thinking a couple things…1.How did she lose a lost dog? 2. This poor puppy. & 3. Why is she telling me this?

Here is why…

During my quiet time Holy Spirit has revealed to me some things through this little guy. (So cool that he can use a puppy to bring revelation and a blog post to share with you all!)

We have all been this puppy. Searching for home. Searching for love, care, and protection. We all have been lost, myself included. How often do we choose being lost in the woods when God has provided us with everything we need? We settle for the woods because, well its adventurous and we don’t really know God when we first come to him. Our old life looks pretty appealing when God challenges us on our behaviors and worldly ways. (Or for this little pup, peeing on the laundry basket…) So we venture out in the woods, lost, “alone”, and searching for home. We can never be fulfilled unless it’s through our identity in Christ. We will continually search and even sometimes settle for less than what God has to offer, like the porch for instance.

Even if you were to get lost, fall off track, I know God still remains the same. The promises of his word tell me so!

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”-Deuteronomy 31:6

It took faith for this dog to show up on our porch this morning. He ran away from us, but something drew him back to our home. Was it the love we showed him while he was here for a brief moment? When you get a taste of what God, his pure,steadfast love…you don’t travel far into the woods before you realize what you needed was back where you just were. We didn’t need the puppy to clean up before he entered our home. God doesn’t need you to clean up before you ask him into your heart. He wants you as you are at this very moment.

I just posted a verse yesterday on Instagram and it’s really fitting for what has transpired over the past 24 hours.

“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”-Jeremiah 29:10-13

God doesn’t say we aren’t going to go through trails or tribulation’s. He promises us that he hears our prayers and that we will find him when we seek him wholeheartedly. He promises us plans to prosper. Plans to prosper doesn’t always line up with what we think is best. But often what we go through, is what shapes us into Christ-like character and puts us exactly where we need to be. Or for this lost pup, in a warm house out of the rain, snoozing on the floor.

Did God just use a dog to reveal all this to me? Yes, yes he did. That’s the cool thing about God. He will speak to you in ways that you will listen.

Lost-and-Found

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-Grandma Dorsey-Why You Impacted My Life On Such A Great Scale-

I have really been thinking about my Grandma Dorsey within these past couple weeks. To the point where I woke up out of a deep sleep. I’ve been up since 3:30am, reminiscing all the wonderful memories we shared together. One thing that has really stuck out to me since she passed in October of 2016 is how my relationship with God has flourished. Back in 2016, I was still struggling with addiction. I didn’t know who I was. I struggled with my purpose of why I was even here. In February of that year, I just left Harbor Oaks, a hospital for suicidal thoughts. I was saved that February and through the many talks with my Grandmother, she continually loved & supported me in my walk, even with not being at a Catholic Church. She struggled with it for a while. Always telling me how I was welcome back and she knew I would come back. Towards the end of her life here on earth, one thing really stuck with me. It was how she grabbed my hand and said, “Now, you stay at that church. It’s okay. Whatever way you focus on what’s important, that’s okay with me.” My Grandma saw that unity in the church was what God was really after. We were all loving on the same God. We were all loving on Jesus. She also knew and saw the change in me before I ever did, Holy Spirit. When I went before a rather large group of people at her showing, something I said really has continually proved itself over the years.

“If I can love her as much as I love her & she can love me as much as she loves me….I can’t even imagine how much God loves us.”

My grandmother showed me the unconditional love of Jesus. She lived every single day like her eternal life depended on it. My grandmother’s love brought me to having a relationship with God.

When she went home, I could no longer depend on her for understanding of biblical principles. I couldn’t depend on her prayers anymore. What really got me was the fact I couldn’t hear her voice and her wise words every day like I used to. But, her work here was complete.

I really believe God used my Grandmother’s passing, to bring me where I am today. She died to save mine. Just as Jesus died to save us. I know that God works everything out for the good for those that are for him. Even in these instances, death.

In the past 2 years God has completely flipped my life upside down. He has changed me from the inside out. My heart is no longer cold or misunderstood. I have the blood of the most high king pumping through my veins.

I am forgiven.

I am loved.

I am healed.

I am precious in the sight of Abba.

I know my purpose .

I am God’s masterpiece.

I am free.

I am a Child Of God.

If you would’ve asked me where I saw myself in 2 years on Valentine’s Day of February 2016. I couldn’t have been able to tell you because my suicidal thoughts haunted me every single moment of every single day. My past taunted me. I used drugs and alcohol to cope. I looked for my value in other people’s opinions and guys who didn’t care about anything other than what I had to offer physically.

Valentines Day, February of 2018 I am in Louisiana, laying next to my wonderful husband that I prayed for since 2014. (Yes, I prayed for years! Totally worth the wait!) While my puppy that I always wanted is laying on the floor. I am currently being discipled to be a Youth Pastor. I am writing a book along with this blog. I have saw miracles of healing and revelation run through my hands and out of my mouth. Holy Spirit has done some work these past 2 years as God called me to be obedient. I will be returning to college and going to Lee University for Ministry Leadership With Emphasis In Counseling. A dream I had before God was at the throne of my heart is now going to be used for his glory.

If my Grandma wouldn’t of went throught what she went through and went to her eternal home when she did, I’m not sure I’d be here today. If I would’ve successfully taken my life when I wanted to, God wouldn’t of had the chance to make me into something beautiful. I feel like some of the greatest people, with the biggest futures, are blindsided by satans lies and take their own life. If my Grandmother wouldn’t of displayed Christ’s love and continually prayed for me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Without God, I am nothing.

I am forgiven.

I am loved.

I am healed.

I am precious in the sight of Abba.

I know my purpose .

I am God’s masterpiece.

I am free.

I am a Child Of God.