Change

The other night my youngest asked me if I was letting God change me. At first, I was like no, I am still the same nice person overall that I have always been. Then I started thinking, oh how wrong I was. God is changing me so much on the inside.

The old me never would have stepped foot into speaking in front of a crowd and yet I have done that now and it was very freeing to speak about something very near to my heart. I have let God take control and I do not stress as much over all the little day to day things that need to get done. I do not let the enemy attacks bring me to the pit as easily. I am not saying I am healed but a lot better than the old me. With Him the old me has passed away and have been reborn. The old me would have been sunk after one sentence and in a pit of despair over every little thing; now it takes more but I still sink after a while. It is a steady progression on how long before I sink but I do not let it keep me there.

I have been more relaxed and less stressed since just letting God take control. If I start to feel stressed, I turn to God in prayer and just ask Why? or What do we do now? I may not always get an answer right away, but I just keep putting it up in prayer until I do get an answer. I am developing my trust and my faith that way when something does come; I’m prepared, and it won’t send me into the pits of depression again.

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

HOPE in the midst of depression…

There is HOPE in the midst of pain, in the midst of depression. Psalm 77:1-3 says it so well:

“I cry out to God; yes, I shout.

Oh, that God would listen to me!

When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.

I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for His help.”

Psalm 77:1-3

The Psalmist continues for several more verses of the despair we know all too well. He knew what it felt like to be in the pit of depression and yet not feel the comfort of the Father.

But – just as he gives weigh to his despair, he recalls all God has done in verses 11 through the rest of the chapter…

“But then I recall all You have done, O Lord; I remember Your wonderful deeds of long ago.

They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about Your mighty works.”

The Psalmist takes his focus off himself, his problems, his feelings and begins to worship Our Heavenly Father! Our God is ever faithful! Even when we can’t see it, even when we can’t feel it…He is always on the throne and in complete control – even when…!

Satan would LOVE for us to keep our focus on ourselves, our pitiful lives.

DO NOT GIVE SATAN THE CHANCE TO DECEIVE YOU ANY LONGER!

Psalm 86 reminds us to keep calling on God constantly! He knows what our pain feels like. He knows how weary and tired we get. He knows how our troubles and pain can be so great that all we can do is cry out to Him. Even when there is no relief in sight, He wants us to trust Him, acknowledge His greatness and trust Him as we wait for better days ahead. We have the assurance of Him answering our prayers. We need only trust in His will and His perfect timing.

CHOOSE today Whom you will serve! CHOOSE today to remember ALL He has done in and through your life! And commit to telling it to your family, your children, their children!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

ever feel this way

Ever think it sounds good to crash your car, cut yourself, take a drink to drown out the pain of the day; empty a bottle of pills or any other destructive though? Ever feel like the world is just too much to take? Ever feel like the only people who truly cared about you are gone? Ever feel like you do not do anything right or make anyone happy? The baby just will not be quiet for 2 seconds, the dogs will not stop chewing everything up or marking their territory, nothing can stay clean for more than a minute. The teenager will not quit rolling her eyes at everything, the husband that gets on your last nerve. Man, oh man these are the moments that just send you into a spiral turn for the worst and if you battle depression it could send you into a suicidal spin.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It is 3rd for 10-14-year-olds and 2nd for 15-24-year-olds. More than 90 percent of children who die from suicide have a mental health condition. When are we going to wake up and smell the roses that we are in the middle of a mental health crisis and it’s even affecting our children?

4 out of 5 suicides had warning signs beforehand such as they threatened, had tried before, obsessed with death, depression and making final arrangements. I know several times I had everything planned out, who would get my stuff and where my kids would go. I had planned on what I would even wear and what I would be buried in. Life was just too much to handle in my own head. I could not do it anymore and I did not want to be a burden to anyone anymore. The scary thing is the numbers rise every year; I found out I was not alone in this battle. Two people can go through the same situation, but it will affect them completely differently due to different factors of their mental condition.

Mental Illness can be inherited, be part of the environment, social status, sex, medications we are on or have taken, the diet we follow and our overall wellbeing. In order to start breaking the cycle, we have several steps that need to be taken. We need to step back and track our thought processes. Where do these thoughts even come from? Why is suicide an option? What is triggering them to come upon us? Is there a basis for the thought to be true or false? Make a journal of the thoughts and map them back. Do they spring from a trigger or are they part of wanting to escape the pain? Keep track of the journal to use in your healing.

Suicide is a topic that affects us whether we want to admit it or not. We have to come together as one nation under God to help fix this issue. Close to 800,000 a year worldwide dies due to suicide. 1 person every 40 seconds according to the World Health Organization. They also go on to say, “In much of the world suicide is stigmatized and condemned for religious or cultural reasons. In some countries, suicidal behavior is a criminal offense punishable by law. Suicide is therefore often a secretive act surrounded by taboo and may be unrecognized, misclassified or deliberately hidden in official records of death.” (WHO, 2002) The US is #27 out of 183 countries but we could be so much better. So, until Mental health is brought more into the forefront and accepted what can we do to help ourselves and our friends? The biggest achievement we can do in our lives is to accept that we are not the higher being. We are not God; I know several who have the God complex, but they are not it. We need to come to terms that we need God in our lives to live a more fulfilling life. All the answers we need are in the Bible; we just need to dig deep and really focus on turning our lives around. It can be done, and we will work through this journey of growing from a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

Dark Clouds

Ever have a day where the dark clouds seem to just keep rolling in. Don’t you wish the sun would just peek through and save you from the pain or did you think about making the pain go away another way? Have you had the dark clouds make you think that there is no other way other than taking your own life? Rest assured you are not alone. Depression is a tough illness to battle because there is generally no outward appearance of it. We cannot look through pictures and point out the ones who are depressed and those that are not. People can get pretty good at hiding what is going on underneath the surface to the point that you would never know anything is wrong until it is too late.

Suicide is a nasty killer. While contemplating it you will think that it is the best thing for everyone around you. You will think that it is the best thing for you also to escape the pain and the rat race that you are on. I have lost people, known people and have battled it myself. Life is not always easy and a lot of times we make it so much harder on ourselves by not following our instruction book. That’s right we have been given an instruction book; the Bible still is pertinent today as it was 2000 years ago. Whatever you are going through you can find it in the Bible, if not the exact subject you can find something close to it.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

2 Corinthians 7:10

To me this means if we have our eyes too much on the worldly side of life it will affect our minds and cause us to want to die. But if we look to God with our sorrow and repentance, he will give us peace. Peace that passes understanding that we do not deserve but he is willing to give to us if we ask.

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Matthew 23:12

We all need to humble ourselves that we are not perfect. There is not a perfect person out there living on this Earth. God wants us to help each other;

…make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

1 Thessalonians 5:15

Above all else we are to love each other as we love our self. Yet, when you do not love yourself that is a hard one to think about. Better one might be

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:31

This one has helped me better than loving the neighbor; because so often I do not love myself so how would I love someone else like that. But to do onto others as I would want done to me is easier because I am serving others; I try to keep everyone happy. I would want someone to try to make me happy so that is my approach to that idea today.

Overall, just remember Suicide is not the end. It may be the end to your pain, but you leave behind many other questions and it also means that you are giving up on God. He is the ultimate healer and will do great things if we give him the chance to work. He is always beside us and when we are going through the tough times; Remember that you are learning something that may be useful later. I am thankful for the scars I have because now I can truly be compassionate to a variety of people. God will use that compassion to further his kingdom by the fact that I’ve been there, done that and lived through it to tell my story and how God is going to use my story to help keep others alive and living for him. So, no matter what you have been through find a way to use it to help someone else. If we would all help each other rather than run down other people, this world would be a greater place overall.

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

mundane

What do we have to be thankful for in the mundane of every day life? Well let’s face it, though we go through everyday life, doing the same old thing, day after day — we do have an opportunity to make the most of every second of our time. And it is in those very seconds that we are able to grow, learn, and strengthen our relationship with God so that when the highs and lows of life come along, which they always do, you are prepared. You are equipped to handle them with His strength, His power. You are able to see the highs and lows through a different lens. You aren’t completely drained, empty, or void of all He is.We must choose each day, regardless of how busy we are going here and there, to be still and know that He is Lord. Psalm 46:10 We must choose each day to get alone with God and position ourselves in a manner where He can speak truth to us, where we can hear His voice! Let’s face it, we all live with way too many hurts, lies that have held us in bondage for far too long! I don’t know about you, but I’m for one tired of living to please everyone, knowing that I will never be able to please anyone! But I do know The Creator of the world, and He knew me before I was ever formed in the womb, Jeremiah 1:5. He created me for a specific purpose…and guess what — He created you for a specific purpose too!So in order to understand more fully what that purpose is, why we are even here in this world, we must choose to be still and allow God our full attention. It’s in the mundane of life that we must choose to be proactive so that we won’t be reactive. When everything in life is out of the ordinary it can be too much. Because mundane isn’t of the ordinary, we can and should take advantage of every second to be still, draw near to God. That’s when He speaks to us, preparing us for the road ahead, the highs and the lows.I’d love the opportunity to talk with you about how God continues to use the mundane in life for me…and prayerfully come alongside you as you too make the most of the mundane!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

this TRUTH will set you free!

The TRUTH will set you free! I’m sure you’ve heard this all throughout your life…or at least I have. Yet there is soooo much more to this than you could ever begin to imagine!

You see when I was in the beginning stages of trying to get well after my last hospitalization in 2002 for all the suicide attempts and ending the ECTs that weren’t working anyway, God took me in a direction, a direction I never knew would actually circle back around at this time in life. A time when my everyday life has proved doctors wrong time and time again, in spite of the chronic pain and health problems I endure. A time when I’ve been obedient to His calling to share my horrific experience, embarrassing story among not just anyone, but among other Christians, here God brings me back to where He took me well over 15 years ago! Ok…enough thinking back, are you ready for me to get on with the story? Okay, okay…but I am just beyond words! I’m just so completely overwhelmed at His amazing goodness, His amazing grace, His love and joy unspeakable…and all in spite of me and my efforts to end it all, to refuse to trust Him, to choose, even today, everything except Him!

Hold on friend – here we go!

God blessed me with a pastor, mentor and friend that I never fully appreciated as much as I have these past few years, Rev. Don Winn. He never failed to come and visit me in the hospital during that long, drawn out year…though I turned him a way time and time again, though I repeatedly tried to take my own life. Bro. Don was always there, always pointing me back to God and His love and forgiveness. I am beyond grateful for people just like him that God has brought into my life, and at the most critical times in my life!

You see Bro. Don introduced me to Bill and Anabelle Gillham through Lifetime Guarantee which opened me up to the life changing truths that I had never fully grasped all my life, truths that I never grasped even though I was raised in the church — everyday those doors were open! Now, whether that is because of me, my stubbornness, God’s timing, I don’t know and at this point I’m just beyond thankful for God’s grace to finally get it to stick – in my heart… not just my head! I highly urge you to check out their ministry…and especially the book – it was the beginning of the transforming of amanda, and the journey is continuing on even now! Lifetime Guarantee

Bro. Don took us through The Life study Bill and Anabelle Gillham have, The Life DVD Series FREE on YouTube. I highly recommend this series, though it was just the beginning for this journey in my life, I pray you aren’t as stubborn as I. At HOPE I like to take on a more positive view of myself, determined, rather than stubborn!

Once finished with that study, I had many a talk with Bro. Don and all the therapy sessions with professionals in Nashville, both Christian and non-Christian, medications, etc. — yet that hopelessness still loomed over me. But my hunger for God was more alive every day, so I asked Bro. Don if there was a better Christian counseling I could go to, and he pointed me in the direction of Grace Life in Brentwood. I remember it was a most unusual and surreal environment…yet similar to every counseling office I had ever been in before. This is where I was introduced to something so amazing, life-changing…Transformation Prayer Ministry. This method of counseling took me to a place I never knew existed, a place where things I held deep within my heart, and in the recesses of my mind would come to the forefront, a place where God would reveal His truth about the things I had come to believe that were not true at all. I had no idea the potential this type of prayer could do in my life until God has brought this back around, now 15 years later!

When we listen to God, that still, small voice, we never know what we are in for until we obey! And last week was one of those occasions as I was cleaning up the countless emails, delete, delete, spam, trash, etc. But there was one, one God clearly, but ever so quietly said, ‘Open’. I hesitated for a few seconds then went back to it and opened it. A free seminar by the author and his son on the revisions they had made to the original counseling model, Transformation Prayer Ministry. I hit the link, sought out the nearest location to me, and wouldn’t ya know they had recently added a Bowling Green, Kentucky, seminar! So in obedience, I signed up!

I was nervous, jittery, and restless the closer it came time for me to go to this seminar. I even found every excuse in the book, in my mind, ultimately in my heart to not go. But in all of that, I continued to pray for God to help me do exactly what He had called me to do at this time in life…regardless of the doors it opened up from the unknown lies within my mind and the fear plaguing my entire being.

You see last year I went through Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. If you’ve never read this book, as every counselor, therapist I have ever had had instructed me to do since I was 13, I highly recommend you pick it up and read it, study it with a group and put the practices of this book into your every day life…but that’s a story for another day. I told my friend that I didn’t need to go through this as my boundaries were all good, but there again God spoke up and said “take it” so I did…thinking now with a new season in life with adult children and them beginning to get married, I’m sure I could learn some new boundaries! And toward the end of that study, that’s when it all opened up…worse than the mystery container in the refrigerator that has been pushed to the back far too many times– stinking, rotting, and oh so painful…but more than any of that – fear – yeah fear rose up in me at the very thought of there being something hidden deep within the recesses of my mind, my heart that needed yet to still be worked on, that needed still yet God’s truth applied – more than any band-aid has ever been needed…this was an outright cancerous growth that had to be dealt with once and for all!

Gosh! I got mad, irritated, and the suicidal thoughts returned out of nowhere! I hadn’t had any of those in soooooo long! But now, here, at this specific time, here they came…even more clearly and plaguing moment by moment than the past 15 years! I prayed asking God where in the world these were coming from, recognizing they were not of me, my sound mind I had come to learn and live by and now teach to others week after week, for over 3 years now! “Untruths that needed His truth applied,” God said. And then I remembered back to my time in counseling, the transforming prayers that had replaced the lies within my mind, with truths from God Himself! I was so afraid! I was afraid of whatever was in my past that still remained, that even after it all was said and done and I had come so far, yet still lingered within the recesses of my mind and held my heart hostage like no other! I prayed God would help me come to grips with it…that He would give me the courage to allow Him to do what only God can do! Weeks later, I finally gave up, I surrendered to God Almighty and said, “Ok – I’m ready Lord…let’s do this.”

A year later…yeah remember our time is never God’s time! And He is such a Gentleman! He never forces us into anything we aren’t truly ready for! So He gave me a full year my friend before the journey back to it all!

He is still revealing piece by piece, day by day, lie with truth…and I’m sure He’ll continue to do so til the day I meet Him face to face…but I trust Him and with His help I will remain in His will as He continues to transform me ever so gently! Though I’m sure, like you, I wish He’d hurry up and get it over with…but then I have no idea what lies are to be dealt with — He knows…and guess what? HE knows exactly how much I can handle through His Helper and in just the perfect timing!

Friend, I pray you will Join Me on this journey! You see God doesn’t want this kept a secret! He wants this healing, this truth revealed, shared with every person that is held in bondage to their past, bondage to their pain, bondage to the lies they have come to believe and live by…as this is the only way they will ever begin to live in the hope of healing only He can bring!

Piece by piece, lie by lie, He will heal every one with His healing truth!

Heart-of-Stone

This
TRUTH
will
set
you
free!

More information will be coming soon as we begin to setup times for teaching and training Transformation Prayer!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

Need to Escape…

When every part of me wants to run, to hide, to not exist anymore…I have a choice to make.  It may be a split second choice, or it may be a recurring choice, but regardless – I have a choice…and so do you!

We probably have never met, but I assure you, we are facing the same need, the same desire for escape – that desperate need to get away, to retreat, to find a way to breathe again, to keep life, circumstances from crashing in on us, to stop the agonizing pain that leaves us paralyzed in fear and lost in a world that cares not for what we suffer.

Just when I think I will never have to face this feeling, this need, this overwhelming desire to escape…here it comes again!

I don’t know what you are going through, or what has brought you to this place.  But I know the One that does know and He understands far more than you could ever imagine!  He is the One and Only reason why I continue to press on, to persevere, to choose to wait it out, knowing He has a better plan ahead, knowing He will use it for good!

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Romans 8:28-29 NLT

I have learned in my walk with God, in my growing relationship with Him, that I can trust Him.  I can trust His Word as His Promise, His Truth, and He keeps it all!  He always has and He always will!  And He has never failed me yet…and even when my “old self” is crying out with all I have, and Satan is tempting me to doubt yet again, I still know that I know and I trust Him!  He has a much better plan ahead for me, even if I can’t see it yet, and even if I never do in this lifetime!

So…what do I do with that overwhelming,
all consuming, desperate need to escape?

I RUN TO HIM AS HARD AND FAST AS I CAN!

He has wide open arms waiting for me, cause He already knows what I’m feeling before I begin feeling it, before it wells up within me, consuming my entire being!  And He’s prepared, He’s ready to comfort, to reassure, and give me His peace that is beyond anything this world could ever offer!

Oh I’m begging you – get to know HIM!  Give Him a chance to reveal more of Himself to you day by day!  He has so much love, comfort, joy, hope and peace for you…far greater than anything or anyone you will ever hope to find in this world!

If you have questions, want to talk, or are struggling with depression…I’m here for you. I do understand. Feel free to contact me. I promise to respond to every email, phone call I get. And if you live in Clarksville, Tennessee, I would love to meet you at our group that meets each Thursday night!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

Til Next Time

Only God can truly know when we are beat down, depressed, and tired of aimlessly going on.  And only God can truly fix that for and within us!

Why He chooses to heal some people completely and others get temporary assistance til the next time it happens…I have no idea.  But — I do trust The One that IS IN CONTROL and that truly KNOWS BEST!

Does that mean I still face doubts, uncertainties, and yes – even depression – well yeah!  I’m one of the ones that gets the temporary assistance til next time.

Hi – glad to meet ya!

So here’s the next time…God hasn’t chosen to heal me of clinical depression, nor chronic pain that radiates throughout my body (fibromyalgia), nor rhumatoid arthritis, nor degenerative disc disease that has compromised not only my lumbar but also my cervial and now thoracic spine.  But He has chosen to give me exactly what I need and when I need it most — His grace!  And believe me it is beyond more than enough to get me through til the next time!

You might be asking, “How is she so sure?” or “Why does she bother with ‘God’ when He obviously isn’t going to ‘fix’ her?”  BECAUSE….oh the many ways because!

TrustHim

The latest because is when the spine implant that was just replaced in December 2018 has failed in less than 6 months…never charged properly from the day it was replaced and went completely out with no explanation from doctors and engineers.  I’m just told I have to have it done all over again at the expense of an $11,000 deductible.
Nope – God has not told me I have to do that.  In fact God has completely told me to rely on His grace which is sufficient for me each day to not only get me through the day but to thrive each day.  Is that without difficulty?  No.  Is that without pain?  No.  Is that without God?  No!  He’s right there with me every step of the way and He is giving me more than enough to do what needs to be done each day that I trust Him, rely on Him, and look to Him for my everything!  Because HE is my everything!!!  And just to remind me of His all in all, He has given me two amazing friends that are in constant prayer for me and always available to listen, to help, and to pray some more!

I pray for you!  I pray that you will give Him a few minutes of your time each day.  He has so much in store for you.  He’s not finished with you yet my friend!  He loves you beyond all you could ever understand this side of heaven!  He’s already done so much for you, more than you could ever understand this side of heaven!  So what are you waiting for?

If you have questions, want to talk, or are struggling with depression…I’m here for you.  I do understand.  Feel free to contact me.  I promise to respond to every email, phone call I get.  And if you live in Clarksville, Tennessee, I would love to meet you at our group that meets each Thursday night!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

Not that empty…

And so it goes…
Insomnia, physical pain, mind foggy with cobwebs that seem to go nowhere yet leading everywhere…

Get up anyway!

Writing along and

the pen running out of ink…

yet when I open it up

I can clearly see it is almost full of ink!

What!?

God gave me this as an example of my current state of mind…I feel so frustrated at the constant pain I am in, the chaos and clutter that has taken over my life, the clothes mounting up everywhere I look, the dust and pet hair, the dishes that seem to multiply though I’ve only eaten granola bars, crackers and ice cream from the box, so many things to do – yet a desire to do none…

Get up anyway!

Try to do something and only feel as though it fails as pain ramps up even more…back to bed and heating pad I go.

If this was a screenplay it would be take 342!

My mind, body and faith feel so weak, so empty…just like my hope and joy. I’m so tired of living day in and day out like this.

And though, when I refocus on Him, when I take a moment to breathe and ask Him for clarity, He reveals I’m not as empty as I feel…much like this ink pen!

Satan would love to have us believe our feelings, be distracted, and even give up completely!
This is why we must constantly be in the Word, be in prayer, surround ourselves with praying people. Whether we feel like it or not! We cannot go through life based on our feelings! We must recalibrate. We need a fresh point of reference. We need to reboot. We need a filling of the Holy Spirit every day and all throughout the day.

God never intended us to go through every day life on our own steam, our own effort. He created us with a dependence on Him, a desperate need for Him! And nothing in this world, nor anyone, can ever fill or satisfy this need within each of us – only God!

So here’s to praying we each get up, look up and fill up! He’s waiting for each of us to do just that! He’s patient! Oh He never wants to rush us or push us… He’s a perfect Gentleman!

So what are you waiting for?

What is holding you back?

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NLT

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

When God reveals the circle…

I am always so beyond belief when God reveals something to me….shows me something….reminds me of something! But this…this is beyond amazing and I’ve got to tell you about it! We serve the Powerful Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and nothing is ever too difficult for HIM!

Grab a seat and cup of coffee as you sit back and see His mighty hand at work…spanning across the years, yet again!

I hope you have read how God brought me through the worst years of my life back in 2001-2002…if not, please do so now. Nothing could have prepared me, like that time period of depression, for answering His call to lead this group…now going on 4 years!

Hopefully you have also read the miraculous “post-it note” God gave me during that horrific time period. If not, please take a moment now and read it as it will explain so much for what God has just revealed…as He has now revealed the circle around us!

When God the circle

You see, Kelley and I have been reading the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, which has opened our eyes to so much more of all God has for us with regard to Anchored HOPE. God has used this book to draw us into an even deeper walk with Him and oh the trust! Faith is blind trust ya know! So as we continue leading HOPE and prayerfully seeking His will regarding the group and the future of the group, we picked up the Draw the Circle devotional by Mark Batterson. The introduction identifies the logistics of a prayer challenge by saying “…But whatever you do, don’t do this alone.” So Kelley and I are reading it and prayerfully going through on our own, but together too.

Our time at First Baptist Church for meeting Thursdays for HOPE group was to last 6 months. We have continued praying God would open up the next door for us so we did not have a time period where we had no meeting place, ideally it would sync up to our time period at First Baptist and no complications…well He has done that…sort of!

You see God can do whatever He desires, however He desires, whenever He desires! The fact that He chooses to let us get a glimpse of what He is doing is just beyond amazing! He doesn’t have to…He could keep us in limbo until that door opens, but He’s sooooooooo good all the time, and all the time God is good! Here it is the middle of May and we still aren’t sure where our next meeting place will be, yet First Baptist has not ended our 6 month time period, we are still able to meet there week after week (we’ll see if that’s still the case after this post LOL – but hey I trust God has got this as well!)

The longer this time period drags on, the more uneasy I have become, along with other of life’s difficulties, I find myself second-quessing, even questioning what God has revealed to us for Anchored HOPE. God has brought us a third person (Stacie) that we had been praying for with regard to Anchored HOPE, but still so many unanswered questions with regard to how, when and where….you know the key details for any organization in order to press onward! So we’ve all been praying and grasping for answers, signs …and finally we have received the answer from God in the form of the very thing we have been doing for months…drawing the circle…only this time it’s God revealing the circle He’s been working on for YEARS!!!

Okay so you’re caught up on where things stand, how they began and what all God has done…well as an answer to our prayers regarding what next, where, and how…God has revealed this circle He’s been working on since 2001…or perhaps even before time began based on His Word and how He knows everything about us since before we were ever formed in our mother’s womb – Psalm 139! Ah…His Word is so good…I could get side-tracked on that alone! But back to His revealing the circle! Remember that “post-it note” and how it was an answer to my prayers, but I was too wounded, too stuck in the midst of the mire and pit of depression to ever begin to see it, instead I was angry, angry at Him, at God Almighty. Fast forward 14 years and how He is using that very depression I nearly died from, nearly lost my family to, and bringing HIS ultimate hope to so many, not just here in Clarksville, but all around the world! And yet the details of a ministry can be so consuming, frustrating, and exciting all at the same time! But have I told you lately what a Mighty God we serve! Oh He is oh so good…as we all have been searching for answers, prayerfully seeking what, how, when He would have us do next, especially in light of the fact our time was up at First Baptist as of last December…wouldn’t you know God uses that very same message on the “post-it note” to give us HIS answer! Through a sermon Stacie shared with us from Jentesen Franklin, special emphasis on section 12-35 minutes of the sermon, God gives us an example of none other than His children, the Israelites, the most discussed lesson in our HOPE group meetings. After all the Israelites have witnessed, after all they have experienced first hand of God’s love, God’s power, and God’s faithfulness, they still go by their own thoughts, their own ways rather than consulting the Lord as we are shown in Joshua 9. They end up being tricked by the people of Gibeon…which leads them into a lifetime of more hardships because of their limited knowledge and forsaking the counsel of God! “God is our Shepherd and He loves when we ask Him for advice, wisdom….it is prideful to not seek Him in all we do,” says Franklin.

21 Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.

Isaiah 30:21
New Living Version (NLT)

Then check out this out….

16 I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16
New Living Version (NLT)

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:27
New Living Version (NLT)

“In other words, there will be a voice behind you, if you will seek His counsel. There will be a voice in front of you, and there will be a voice inside of you and there’s no way you are going to be deceived if you are asking the counsel of the Lord with a voice in front of you, behind you and inside of you. If you will seek His counsel, God already has a solution! If you will seek His counsel, God already has a procedure! There’s an unseen Hand that wants to guide our lives.” says Jentesen Franklin

When God (3)

When is the last time you sought the counsel of the Lord? I am always seeking His counsel… but here’s what I learned through this entire circle God has allowed me to see: sometimes the answer is so clear we can’t even see it…because we don’t like the answer He’s given us — especially when God answers “wait”.

The New Living Translation explains this even better…

“So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.”

Isaiah 30:18-19
New Living Version (NLT)

He is waiting for us to come to Him so He can show us His love and compassion. He is faithful! And He blesses those who wait for His help! I don’t think it can be any plainer or simplified than this — do you?

Here we are doing as God has called us to do, leading the HOPE group both at the Ajax Senior Center in Clarksville on Tuesday mornings, Thursday nights at First Baptist Church, and online as well as social media…yet there is an urgency we have put on ourselves for some reason. No one has told us to get out or move on or that we are no longer welcome here. So just because a few “Gibeonites” have entered into our lives, we feel we are at a place to move on…yet that’s not what God has said to us.

The urgency we feel has been placed on us by our fears, doubts, and maybe even our enemy…but I never want to give the enemy that much credit.

We have allowed our minds and life struggles to sidetrack us the past few months from seeking the Lord to seeking what’s next! We are following the footsteps of none other than the wayward Israelites! Weary and worn from 400 years of slavery in Egypt…no problem for God — 10 plaques later. No food or water…no problem for God — manna from the sky and water from a rock later. Enemy charging behind them and Red Sea ahead of them…still no problem for God — He parts the sea and drowns the enemy! Yet they still allowed their minds to be overcome by fear!

We are no different! We see things happening all around us, and within our lives and it causes us to fear, doubt and seek solutions apart from God. We revert back to old behavior patterns because we understand those, we are comfortable in those and we feel in control…completely forgetting how they always leave us wounded even worse, and completely separate from God!

What if we just follow Him at His Word…

“Be still, and know that I am God!”

Psalm 46:10a (NLT)

But that’s too easy…and too hard at the same time! We have been raised in this life to work for what we have, want or desire. We have been trained as well as taught that nothing comes from nothing…so we think we have to do more. “Be still” is so completely opposite of what we know, trust or desire. And yet God simply desires us to trust Him, wait on Him, rest in Him!

Even as I have been writing this post the past week…God continues to allow us to see glimpses of what He has already done! How could we NOT trust His Divine plan in His Divine time!

My friend, if you are struggling with depression and anxiety or just the fears every day life brings our way…my heartfelt prayer for you is to seek Him, trust Him…He loves you! I have been where you are. I do understand. And trust me when I say with all my heart…please truly trust Him!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.