I am a former CAPTIVE set free from hell and a life lived in chronic defeat, depression and self destruction….but by the GRACE AND MERCY of my Lord Jesus Christ ALONE, I’m growing and changing day by day into the new woman He made me to be! My motto as I inch along in my spiritual maturity has become ‘yard by yard, life is hard; but inch by inch life’s a cinch.’ Well, maybe not a CINCH, but if I take one day at a time not looking much back or ahead, God does provide ALL I need that day to live in victory! HE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH TO MEET ALL OUR NEEDS!
God has used SO many HEROES in the faith to pour into me a love and a passion for MORE of HIM…and Andrew Murray is not the least of them. His deepest desire was, “May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence and may not a moment without the ENTIRE SURRENDER of my self as a vessel for Him to fill full of His Spirit and His love.”
‘Abiding in Christ’ was the CORNERSTONE to Andrew Murray’s life and ministry and I pray often for the same heart’s desire! As Beth Moore teaches if you desire a passion or a love that someone else has and you do not….the answer can be found in 2 simple words: ‘PRAY TO!’ So I began praying to share that same desire and I am finding that’s a request God will always say a resounding YES to because that is WHY He made us!
Andrew Murray also writes: “Abide in Jesus: your life in Him will lead you to that fellowship with God in which the only true knowledge of God is to be had. His love, His power, His infinite glory will, as you abide in Jesus, be so revealed as it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive.” This sums up BEAUTIFULLY what ‘walking in the Spirit’ is all about!
God has been teaching me about the ENDLESS benefits of life ‘walking in the Spirit’ instead of my greedy and self-centered flesh and the Holy Spirit’s limitless SUPERNATURAL POWER and HELP to do HIS WILL when I converse with Him and call out to him for help to live crucified to my flesh so the Spirit man can RULE and REIGN in me instead!
I’ve been saved for many years but was living in as much defeat if not MORE than most unbelievers due to intense spiritual warfare by the devil and his sidekicks who tried their best to keep me bound in chains! I struggled on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs and didn’t know why I was such a poor Christian and witness and why I couldn’t seem to live the free and abundant life Christ died for me to live?? That is until God led me to study His Word under Beth Moore and other Spirit-filled teachers on what it means to LIVE in VICTORY and FULLY ALIVE IN THE SPIRIT and it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE to me and my day (and thankfully for my hubby and daughter even my mood!)
Yes, life is still a BATTLE but the difference is I have PEACE in my heart and know how to access ALL the help I could ask for! I have learned that each day I am FREE to CHOOSE to begin my day with God and in the bible to guide me and to establish Him as my Boss for the day over me and to confess any sins in thought, word and deed and get prayed up….. but surprisingly, I have found He is the One person I don’t mind being bossed around by!! I have come to appreciate the short leash He has me on because I lived for over 30 plus years trying things my way and it NEVER worked or brought me the peace or joy my heart ached for!
So I started this site/blog to share some of what He’s been teaching me and some of my favorites who God is using to teach me more about Himself and His ways in case I’m not alone in my THIRST and HUNGER for ALL the help, prayers and accountability I can get my hands on! My deepest heart’s desire is to obey God in the things He asks of me and to cooperate with Him in the often times painful and lonely process of transforming me into a Spirit-led (not self-led) woman of prayer who DELIGHTS to do things God’s way over my own! SO GRATEFUL to be on this JOURNEY with you!! I agree with one of my mentors Beth Moore when she says ‘There’s NO HIGH like the MOST HIGH’!!!
ALSO ~ COMMITTED TO BEING PART OF THE FAITHFUL REMNANT WHO REFUSE TO BE CLUELESS, COWARDICE, or DECEIVED……..SO AS NOT TO FALL AWAY WITH THE MASSES BUT TO STAND STRONG AND FIRM UNABLE TO BE THWARTED, SILENCED OR STUCK POWERLESS and PRAYERLESS…BUT PRAY to BE FOUND REPENTING OF MY OWN WICKED WAYS, LOVING ONE ANOTHER AND PRAYING FERVENTLY FOR GOD TO HEAL OUR LAND UNTIL ANOTHER GREAT SPIRITUAL REVIVAL (NOT GREAT RECESSION) HITS OUR HEARTS and HOMES first and then our LITTLE SLICE of AMERICA!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Almost 15 years ago the stress and pressure of nursing school including the extreme pressure I put on myself during it caused a nervous breakdown of sorts if you will. I had to cut back to part time classes and move back home with my parents in my mid-20?s as apparently the stress had manifested a bipolar imbalance and PEAKED my ADHD OFF THE CHARTS as well as my OCD tendencies which sent me running to endless substances, people as well as a garden variety of obsessions/addictions to try to numb my pain and confusion which greatly blurred me from operating from common sense or the Christian values I was brought up by.
Through it all as God allowed and ordained it at my lowest point He would open my spiritual eyes to see what and Who was SORELY missing in my life! Tragically after a solid Roman Catholic upbringing including private schools I had somehow still MISSED THE BOAT in that I wasn?t living for or walking with Christ in a two way personal relationship or praying much at all or reading God?s LOVE LETTER to me, the BIBLE?..but was just going on secondhand passed down faith of my parents but had never really CHOSEN to make it MY own or REAL to me in my own daily ups and downs and hurts?.in reality I rarely gave God a second thought or the time of day! He was SADLY more of a SYMBOL or an ICON to me than a REAL LIVE LIVING SAVIOR who possessed EVERY ANSWER to my EVERY hurt, need or question!
He?s God who is JEALOUS to be #1 in my HEART and to have my HIGHEST AFFECTIONS toward HIM – to be my EVERYTHING!! He does not want to be 2nd or 3rd or even 4th place in my heart and life. He wants THE BEST for me and He knows that this happens when I SURRENDER my ALL over into His COMPETENT Hands! He desires for me to grow to TRUST Him to be my GREATEST MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION and DESIRE because after all He made me for FELLOWSHIP and COMPANIONSHIP and wants me to ENJOY Him as He enjoys me! He allowed things to unfold as they did to get my attention so that I would realize my INTENSE NEED for HIM as I was looking for love and filling of my appetites and cravings for knowledge in ALL OTHER places but HIM?..it was SO obvious how hungry and thirsty I still was not to mention lacking the FREEDOM, PEACE and CONTENTMENT I had heard Christians were suppose to EMBODY?.as I was looking for help and answers everywhere and in EVERYONE else?. but in Jesus and trusting that as I walk with Him that He would grant me the healing and freedom I had been longing for as the other quick fixes or books or counselors weren?t helping me like I had hoped?..
I know that my rich Catholic upbringing GREATLY strengthened my faith in GOD and in Jesus for which I am VERY GRATEFUL to my parents for and I know there was SUCH blessings in the richness of the sacraments and the church heritage??unfortunately I am a VERY late bloomer and SUPER slow to catch on to MANY things and somehow missed the BIGGER PICTURE behind my BELIEF and FAITH?..I didn?t take time daily to learn and to read the bible for myself and get a good grasp of the PRECIOUS PROMISES for myself as GOD?S LOVE LETTER to me and I failed to learn how to daily ?abide in Christ? by walking and sowing to the Spirit and not my selfish flesh so I could begin to access all of GOD?S POWER I need?.also I never truly GRASPED the SIMPLE YET VITAL FACT that the only way to get closer to GOD or to learn more about Him was that I needed to come to the place where I saw myself as a SINNER plain and simple who had broken GOD?S MORAL Law, The 10 COMMANDMENTS often times in fact?.and all the trying to be good or sweet enough or thoughtful was NEVER going to get me to heaven because GOD IS A HOLY AND PERFECT GOD and since Adam and Eve brought sin into the world?..
Humans in this FALLEN WORLD can never be HOLY or SINLESS as God requires?..as only JESUS was perfect and without sin?..yet He chose to die that horrific death on the cross for the times I?D SIN so I could be reunited with my Creator in heaven forever when I die?..but there were a few simple steps I had to take before that could happen?.I had to confess my sins and accept as truth that Christ did die on the Cross for the times that I would sin and break His commandments and then I had to ask God?s forgiveness and invite Jesus to be my Savior rescuing me from going to hell and making Him finally now FIRST PLACE in my life over the sins in my life and all the other things I turned to for comfort and help besides Him?.
The key to enjoying this personal relationship with Jesus through prayer, getting to read His Book for myself DAILY to understand more of who He is and who I am and all He has done for me and how much He loves me and how He DESIRES me to live?..so my eyes were opened to just how very LITTLE I had lived for him and how very little I knew about Him??.but it wasn?t a fast fix?..it took years for me to catch on as I am stubborn and strong willed by nature and I still had to try EVERYTHING else first before giving Him my ALL and begin to really live how He wants WHICH IS BY FAITH IN A CHILDLIKE TRUSTING SIMPLICITY!!
But then as happens the devil and his evil minions delight in trying to catch us off guard and weak to pounce on us with the same old lies and tricks to get us to stop trusting and walking with God in hopes to trip me up again like after meeting Mr. Right and being blessed with a BEAUTIFUL and healthy baby girl I fell into a postpartum depression and downward spiral which had me so depressed that most of her first 3 years I rarely left my house and felt worthless and ashamed of my life?..but I tried to hide this from EVERYONE even Robert as I felt foolish for not being happy and all?..but God was faithful to being my help and healing and rescue in incremental baby steps as he was more interested in me getting to know and to LOVE Him as my deliverer than in blessing me with the INSTANT DELIVERANCE I SO DESIRED!!!
It was years of a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs and backsliding and baby steps forward and really not until the past year or so that I can say the worst of my wilderness wanderings and unbelief are behind me replaced with a more steady God-given peace and joy and contentment in HIM?. it?s been QUITE a journey and WAY TOO MANY in my life have been HURT and NEGLECTED and DISAPPOINTED by me and put through the ringer on behalf of my sin and rebellion and I am VERY SAD for this!!
Aside from hurting those I love MOST of all MUCH of the years I wouldn?t trade one inch or minute of my trials because it has been BECAUSE of them that I have grown to seek Him with all my heart and to begin to experience for myself some of the FREE and VICTORIOUS life Christ died on the Cross in order that I COULD FREELY AND FULLY live!
GOD used so many different people and creative ways to add puzzle pieces to my healing including blessing me with VERY FORGIVING and MERCIFUL parents, siblings and in-laws but MOST OF ALL God GIFTED me with LOVING and LOYAL HUSBAND with the PATIENCE of JOB and MY LOVING, RESILIENT AND FORGIVING DAUGHTER to keep on loving and accepting me JUST as I WAS which actually spurred me on in time to want to keep seeking after God for more help and healing even after taking several steps back and to get help and not to stop until God brought me FULL CIRCLE TO THE BEST AND MOST FREE AND RESTFUL PLACE I?ve know to date with Him! PRAISE YOU LORD!! It FEELS SO GOOD to be delivered from years and years of LIVING most of my days defeated rather than victorious – as my old norm use was being tormented by senseless, irrational chronic fears, anxieties, imbalances, insecurities and depression rather than experiencing the PEACE, JOY and CONTENTEDNESS Christ died for me to get to experience as I walk with Him! So thankful that God has been teaching me how to RUN LIKE CRAZY RIGHT INTO HIS OPEN ARMS to be still to know that He is not just my God but has also become my CLOSEST friend and FAITHFUL teacher and when and where I am WEAKEST HE “IN ME” GETS TO BE STRONGEST! What a MIRACULOUS undeserved GREAT EXCHANGE!!
Wanted to share some of this publically about WHY I am CRAZY and WILD and HEAD OVER HEELS about my SAVIOR, Lord and Redeemer and some of HOW He has become EVERYTHING to me because He?s forgiven me OF MUCH and set me FREE of SO MUCH!! I wouldn?t go back and MISS ONE MINUTE of this RIDE and JOURNEY and BEST OF ALL it?s only JUST BEGUN!
‘What God’s been teaching me lately about Himself and his Ways’
I have been PRAISING GOD a lot for the GIFT of prayer
and asking Him that we, His children, begin to TRULY see more clearly the HONOR and PRIVILEGE that PRAYER is in contrast with how our flesh and mind often makes us feel instead like it’s a dreadful obligation!
To transform each CARE into a PRAYER in a childlike, trusting fashion is what God has been calling me to really practice in this
season of my faith journey. PRAYER secures MANY FAVORS and BLESSINGS for ourselves and others that would otherwise go unfulfilled because it is often true as the wise book of James tells us “We have not because we ask not”. God longs to be with His children daily in an vibrant, intimate fellowship and waiting on our prayers to be answered often increases our proximity and the quantity of time spent conversing with Him and sitting still at His feet and soaking in His sweet Spirit. Ah just how He likes it! I am learning to like it too. . .
Walking in the Spirit, Prayer, bible reading, journaling and meditation are the primary avenues by which WE engage in this HOLY LIFE-GIVING TWO-WAY RELATIONSHIP. There are NO other ways to truly be SATISFIED in our hearts and at PEACE as SADLY I’ve tried nearly EVERYTHING else! Other things temporarily distract or numb our pain and emptiness but will never pan out the high returns we hoped they would. Then when all is said and done we are worse off than before as the Proverbs tell us ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick’. So when whatever or whoever we poured our all into and had SUCH HIGH HOPES to complete us and make us finally feel FULL and ALIVE and SATISFIED not only fail to do all that but sadly leave us emptier and more discontent than before.
The fact that any of us are sitting at His feet praying and waiting on God to answer our prayers is the MOST AWESOME place we could find ourselves. If you will allow me to highlight what He has
been teaching me about the WEALTH of that dreaded, infamous *W* word most do not like as most of us misunderstand its’ LIST OF ENDLESS BENEFITS – - – - -can you guess what it is??????
~ W A I T I N G ~ yes ~ you read it right ~ W A I T I N G ~
In fact our new family mantra has become ?WAITING R O C K S . . . .do ya love it??? but why one might ask how could we say such a thing, much less mean it???? …..’because we want what we want when we want it’ sings a friend of mine! Oh let’s dive into God’s Word on the topic as there are SO many good reasons to wait patiently, hopefully, expectantly and enduringly on Him! As we wait God is workin’ it all out and as we wait, we get to be still and KNOW that He is God and we are not. Best of all is to finally learn the well kept secret, that WAITING is never a waste of time or for nothing or to aggravate us but it is A BLESSING not a curse as it is HIGHLY PURPOSEFUL more than we could ever know. . . .
WAITING for God is a divine opportunity for God to show Himself real to us, more real than anyone else or anything..God displays His Goodness to those who wait and He blesses and strengthens those who wait, and does favors for those who wait with the right heart without grumbling! GOD acts MIGHTILY on behalf of those who wait on Him and don’t forge ahead of Him impatiently and impulsively. As we wait, He becomes our SHIELD and our HELP protecting us from our enemies. Waiting puts us in a posture that causes God to turn to us and hear and answer our prayers and cries for help! God shows grace and compassion to us when we wait with the right heart.
As we wait we can expect God to guide and teach us more
about Himself and HIS SOVEREIGNTY, to get the opportunity to believe Him and in His integrity and learn that He in His inscrutable Uprightness will take care of us and ALL our needs. God has a holy timetable for everything and for everyone of His children and His timepiece is ALWAYS set to the right time!
Lastly, as we wait and long for God more than anyone or anything else, He comes in to RESCUE us and do us GLORIOUS FAVORS best of all by giving us more of HIS MANIFEST PRESENCE and POWER!! There are BLESSINGS God has to bestow to those who wait that could never be received unless we walk patiently through our fruitful and purposeful GENEROUS SEASONS OF WAITING. . .. scoring A’s on our ‘waiting tests’ versus just squeaking by with B’s or C’s!
PRAYING while waiting is a very hands-on practical demonstration of God’s love on a day-to-day basis. I pray we desire to be the hands, feet and KNEES of Jesus. And may how we spend our time and energy reflect our deepest desires. Dear ones, is this your desire too? Let’s open our bibles and get on our knees and get to the VITAL PRIVILEGE of PRAYING! We have started fresh new 2007 prayer journals to record God’s faithfulness to us and those in our lives we pray for! If you are new to this you simply pray for the things you need God’s help with, pray for whoever God brings your way or whatever He lays on your heart and record each one in a journal leaving room to check off and date it when it’s answered! If we desire the world to be saved and to see Christ through us ~ let’s cooperate and allow Him to mold us into the POWERFUL PRAYER WARRIORS He calls us to be (instead of whiny, waiting worriers) We are to be His heart, hands and KNEES in this world in very real and tangible ways and let it begin and end with our Spirit-led PRAYERS!
I don’t know how you feel about waiting or praying but I pray you’re encouraged to see THESE PRIVILEGES in a new light AND as God does and that like mine He’ll change your mind too on these matters! Won’t you please join me in choosing JOY and JESUS while we wait and as we PRAY! If there are any specific ways we can pray for you/yours please just drop me a line or feel free share it HERE for others to join in with us! And most importantly ‘PUSH’ (PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS) as I believe many times we don’t persevere praying until we’ve seen the answer….and He calls us to pray earnestly and fervently which is another huge perk to having prayer journals so we don’t forget!
Yours in prayer, Mary Anne