Why I write: Full of grace — Free of guilt

I’ve always been extremely hard on myself. My two biggest struggles in life have been with feelings of low self-worth and guilt. I remember carrying guilt about something I had done at about 10 years old well into my early 20’s. I’ve never had a problem forgiving others, just myself. Growing up fatherless and in a stressful home environment definitely attributed to my feelings of low self-worth even though I knew I was a capable, smart young woman.

In my early teens I discovered that I could get attention and feel valuable because of my looks. I learned that I could manipulate people in order to get the validation I so desperately desired if I was just willing to give up little bits of who I was and the principals I believed in along the way. Sadly, it was a trade-off I was willing to make. When I moved to Michigan at age 16 and came to really know Christ I beat myself up for about 3 more years because of all the drama and hurt I had caused in my circle of friends. During that time though, I prayed constantly for forgiveness, deliverance from my guilt and for God to heal the hurts I had caused in others. And in time I felt freedom from that guilt.

Fast forward to 2012. Six years into marriage. Two years into motherhood. I was not the wife I wanted to be. I was not the mother I thought I would be. My self-worth had plummeted to an all time low. I would offer myself no grace, only guilt and condemnation. A journal entry from August 16th read,

“My heart is heavy and burdened…I know there is truth in your word and I find it daily but it is not made real in my life. Guilt enslaves me and shame covers me. Thoughts of death tempt me. A heaviness makes it hard for me to breath. I’m sinking into a pit of my own despair. I remember the trials and triumphs of my past. The sufferings and difficulties you brought me out of and they seem far and small. But now my soul is in the balance, it cries out. Free me from these chains. Give me the strength to overcome…I don’t even feel you here now. I know you hear me and see me but are you here with me?…I feel like a failure…Rescue me!”

After this, I knew I couldn’t can take it on my own anymore and as difficult as it was I confided in my husband the struggles I was facing. Now let me explain, it was not difficult to tell him because I was afraid of how he might react. It was difficult to tell him because I felt guilty about being such a messed up wife. In my mind he deserved better than to have to try to “fix” my brokenness. I told him that at the slightest failure I would be flooded with voices in my head that told me that I would never change, that I would never accomplish anything and that the world was better off without me in it. And that I was sorry that he had such a damaged women for a wife.  

And you know what he did? He ministered to me. He reminded me of my worth – to him, to my daughter, to God – he reassured me that I was loved, he reminded me that I was capable and valuable and that I would accomplish the things that set out to and that God had a great purpose for me. He ministered to me in a way that only a husband with a heart after God’s own heart can do.

Now, with my spirits lifted I had to figure out a way to  silence the voices in my head. Being the visual person that I am I needed a way that I could be constantly reminded of who I was. So I grabbed a roll of wrapping paper, rolled out a large portion onto my bedroom wall with the blank side facing out and with a black sharpie I started writing. Writing the opposite of what those voices were saying.

Her Perfect Work - Why I Write
Her Perfect Work – Why I Write
  • My existence is not a waste.
  • I love my husband and my life.
  • I am a good mother.
  • I am special.
  • I am powerful
  • I have a healthy loving relationship with my daughter.
  • I control my emotions, my emotions do not control me.
  • I have a Father in heaven who loves me.
  • My husband is blessed.
  • My dreams will come true.
  • My desire is for my husband alone.
  • I am a blessing to others.
  • I am full of ideas and potential and I can follow through to the end.
  • I am a success.
  • I can overcome.

And on and on.

Everyday for I don’t know how long I would read over every statement. Some times I would lay in bed and stare at one statement in particular until I felt the truth of it penetrate my heart. Sometimes I would ask my husband to guess which one I was looking at or thinking about that day. Sometimes I would ask him to speak one of them over me. Then I began to add declarations from the word to it and words that had been spoken to me by men and women of God over the years to confirm in me even more who I really was. Full of grace — Free of guilt.

Her Perfect Work - Why I Write
Her Perfect Work – Why I Write

I can’t tell you how long that poster stood on my wall – over a year at least – but in that time I learned that – for me – the most powerful tool I had against the enemy was what I declared about myself. Because he couldn’t make me believe something about myself that I knew was false. But God could make something true of me that previously was not, if I declared it to be so.

That’s when I decided to begin writing about the power of God’s word to truly change lives. You see the enemy spoke lies to me from early on in my life and although I knew the truth about myself it wasn’t until I began to declare in my heart and with my mouth the truth of who I was in Christ, that I found the power to silence him. And that’s what I want to share with others. That there is always a word of God that if declared will completely negate the word of the enemy and give victory to the one who believes it.

Today I sit at my desk surrounded love letters from my husband and by verses that I have written on sticky notes and scraps of paper that I look at frequently, meditate on and declare over not only myself but my family, my friends and other believers. Because I  know that they are not just nicely written words of encouragement. They are life. They are truth. They are power.

And I want to help others to know that too.

And that’s why I write.

“As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30”


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Complete and Lacking Nothing

Yesterday, as I was running errands, I unexpectedly found myself under attack. I didn’t know it when I left the house that morning but my enemy was laying in wait for me along my path. Being caught off guard I allowed him to get in a few heavy hits but then my training kicked in and with one move I knocked him out. But not without learning a valuable lesson in the process.

You see in the past I have struggled with self worth and confidence but over the last year or so the Lord has been building me up. Showing me who I am in him, who he has created me to be and the strength that I can find in him through his word, his Son and his Holy Spirit. So when I found myself being tested in this area my flesh thought it knew all the answers. It cried out, “Validate me, Give me worth, Satisfy me!” Although it’s voice was weak, hearing it filled me with fear and anxiety and I thought, this is not right, this is not the correct answer. That’s when I hear another voice, louder than the first saying, “There is nothing that this world can offer that is better than what I already have. I am priceless gem in the hands of my Father. His word gives me satisfaction and joy and through it I have many blessings.” It was the voice of  my spirit echoing the voice of my Father.

After hearing the truth of who I am I was encouraged and reminded that there was a reason this sudden attack came to me. While driving in my car I began to speak out loud to myself and to the spirits in the air, “I am a threat to the kingdom of darkness. I am a threat to the kingdom of darkness. I am a great threat to the kingdom of darkness. I am a GREAT threat to the kingdom of darkness.” And that’s where I really found my confidence because I knew that the attack itself was not important, what was important was the reason for the attack which was to debilitate me because I am a great threat to the kingdom of darkness. God is preparing me – training me – to be a valiant warrior for His kingdom. To bring hope and deliverance to those who are captive through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

So what started as a attack on my weaknesses ended as a display of His strength. And I’m ok with that because at the end of the day I am purified and He is glorified.

Her Perfect Work - Complete and Lacking Nothing
Her Perfect Work – Complete and Lacking Nothing


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Avoiding Scars

If anyone were foolish enough to think that marriage is easy that person would be — well, a fool.  Being in a marriage requires constant give and take, constant grace and forgiveness, constant care and vigilance and so on. Those who are lucky enough to receive good advice prior to marriage and actually take it to heart and put it in practice are a step ahead of the game. (Side note: Whoever said, “Love means never having to say I’m sorry” could not have been in a healthy relationship.) Others have to learn things the hard way and that’s when marriages are made stronger or fall to pieces.

No marriage is perfect. Even if a marriage never goes through a “big” testing it will still go through something that will cause each partner to bring pain to the other. On the other hand some marriages are violently shaken and even destroyed by lust, pride, selfishness, greed, deceit, etc. Any of these things can divide the most loving and devoted couples if they are not careful.

It’s a beautiful thing when a marriage can go through difficult times and come through stronger on the other side. Mine has and I’ve seen it happen for other couples as well. But one thing has come to mind recently. When a marriage goes through difficulties and makes it through the couple may be stronger, they may be wiser and even closer but there is no way they made it through without a few wounds that need to be tended to in order to insure proper healing and avoid scaring.

We can sometimes take for granted that we “made it through” and completely forget that there are wounds that need to be cared for. Both partners need to tend to the wounds of the other. When the wound is fresh it must be cleaned out – anything that doesn’t belong must go, no debris can be left from the original injury that will cause the wound not to heal properly or completely. Whatever caused the problem needs to be completely removed from the relationship. Next the wound should be covered to protect from irritants or bacteria. Marital problems should not be broadcast to the whole world. If outside help is needed then it should be sought out by the couple by someone with experience dealing with those issues and with someone they trust. The last thing a marriage on the mend needs is for outsiders to come around injecting their opinions(irritants) and solutions(bacteria) into their wounds. Lastly, neither partner should pick at the scabs – not their own or their partners. Picking at the scab will only prolong the healing process by introducing more bacteria and could even result in a longer scar.

Scars in a marriage can be extremely dangerous and everything should be done to avoid one from forming. In a relationship there are really only two places were wounds can appear, in the mind and on the heart, the most dangerous being the heart.  When scar tissue forms on the heart it is not like the other heart muscle tissue. Scar tissue on the heart does not contract and cannot help the heart the pump and if enough of it forms on the heart it can cause heart failure. You see the marriage can still be destroyed, not by the initial injury or difficulty but by the lack of care to the wounds it caused. Maybe the couple won’t divorce but the relationship will never be what it could be because there is not enough love pumping through it.

We have to be careful when we come to the other side of a difficulty that we don’t keep skipping along on the path naively thinking that we’ve left all our troubles behind. Yes, we should celebrate the victory of a marriage restored but we should never forget that during the fight for our marriage blood was shed and those wounds need to be tended to. We have to be willing to go through the healing process so that our marriages can be fully functional. If the heart of your relationship is not pumping at 100% then you suffer from poor circulation and you can’t move the way you want to. You can’t move the way God intends you to. The great thing about God is that it’s never too late for him. At whatever point you invite him into the relationship he can move. He can speed up the healing or he can go in and remove every bit of scar tissue. It’s never too late. We just need to recognize that the wounds are there and be willing to do our part to care for them. The rest is in his hands.

Her Perfect Work – Avoiding Scars

For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
Job 5:18

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Being Confident

As I look around my home I feel overwhelmed by all my shortcomings. Projects that were started with vigor and excitement lay abandoned. Many chores remain undone. Worst of all, things that should have been priority were once again pushed to the back burner, left to be attended to another day. Today is Thursday but my thoughts have already taken me well into the weekend without a moments rest. I’m frustrated with myself for falling into this pitfall once again. I should be disciplined. I should be organized. I should be focused. I should be diligent. I should be better. I have too much responsibility to be living so irresponsibly.
Wow. Being hard on yourself much?
A voice has broken through my disappointment.
No. I’m not being hard on myself. I’m just speaking the truth. It’s time for me to get my stuff together. I’ve been down this road too many times.
Yes, you can be a bit flighty and you often get caught up in distractions but don’t forget the good you’ve done. Don’t forget the battles you’ve won. Don’t forget the progress you’ve made. The most beautiful things in life take time reach perfection. It’s through my might that you have done all these things and it is by my will that you will do much more.
These words are like a soothing balm to my heart. All my anxieties, my stresses, my doubt’s and my fears are melted away. I still have areas where I need to grow but I also still have the God who brought me through my past struggles and who will lead me through my future sufferings. And He is all I need.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

Her Perfect Work – Being Confident


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Heartache and Hope

Her Perfect Work – Heartache and Hope

For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.    Psalm 22:24

I’ve known heartache. Personally and in relationships.

I’ve cried tears of desperation to God when I was longing for deliverance from the demons who plagued me from childhood. I’ve suffered incessantly from voices in my head screaming lies about who I was. I’ve endured physical and emotional pain as my first child passed through my body without life.

I cried out in a loud voice to God when a friend went through a divorce. I’ve pleaded with God on many occasions to deliver a youth from an unhealthy and dangerous relationship. I’ve asked God countless times to bring comfort to a brother or sister who suffered as a result of a misunderstanding whether I was involved or not.

In each of these situations hope was always there and in his time, God brought about peace, comfort and restoration. Because of these experiences and more I know that God will work again in the areas where my heartaches.

He will work in the life of my friend whose heart breaks daily for her child.
He will work in the lives of a precious family facing divorce.
He will work in the lives of our youth who need to know unconditional love.
He will work in my church to bring unity.

Because he hears my cries and he is faithful.

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…In Its Time

I can’t think of a time when I didn’t believe in God. There must have been a time, maybe as a young child, but for the most part I have always known that God was real and that he was with me. At times I didn’t recognize his presence in my life but looking back I see that he was always present and acting on my behalf. At 16 I gave my life to Christ and for the past 11 years I have pressed on, slacked off, reached great heights and experienced crippling lows. This year especially has had some incredibly difficult trials but looking around at where I am now all I can say is, He has made everything beautiful in its time. At 16 I had no idea that the journey I was setting out on with Him as my guide, would be a rugged hike rather than a leisurely stroll. But I appreciate my God so much more for that. I’m so grateful that he has taken his time with me; perfecting me, pruning me, correcting me, purifying me and teaching me. The best part is that he’s not finished with me yet and when I get to Heaven there will be no time limit on how long I get to be with Him, it will be for eternity.

Ecclesiastes 3:11a

Her Perfect Work – …In It’s Time

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Fight with me….Fight for me.

Her Perfect Work – Fight with me…Fight for me

“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 130:1-2

I’ve been feeling distant from the Lord recently. Alone, tired and giving ear to the voice of the enemy saying that nothing will ever change. I’ve pulled away, hidden in my weakness, afraid for others to see. But I had a dream the other night where I was struggling with a demon, and he was stronger than me… The enemy wants me to keep quiet. He wants to keep me silent. Because that will ensure his victory over my life and in the lives of others. So with the last of my strength I am reaching out to my God and my friends; fight with me, fight for me. The victory is mine, I know this, I’ve put my armor back on but the battle ahead is fierce. Fight with me. Fight for me.

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Yahweh Remembers

Although most people call my husband Zack, his full name is Zacarias, and I love it. I love it because of its uniqueness and meaning. Its origin is Hebrew and it means: the Lord remembers or remembered by God but my favorite meaning is Yahweh remembers. There is something about this most sacred name of God that just fills me with hope and a sense of being special, because Yahweh remembers me. I could go into great depths trying to explain the beauty and significance of the name Yahweh but for today it will be enough to say that Yahweh is a name of God used to describe his existence and presence. Today as I think of the ways I have fallen short of my desire to live my life as a sacrifice to Him I draw hope from Psalm 103:13-14 which says, “The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” How beautiful is that? Although God deserves all that I can give him and more he is merciful and remembers that I am weak, that I am only dust. That doesn’t give me license to sin or give him an unfit offering but it does lift my spirit and frees me from the condemnation brought on by the enemy when I fall short of my goal to worship him in spirit and truth. Yahweh remembers that I am a work in progress, He remembers that I do love him, in my imperfect way, He remembers his promises. He remembers ME. And for that I am thankful, humbled, blessed, honored and eternally grateful.

Her Perfect Work – Yahweh Remembers

“Father, don’t ever let me drift away from your path of righteousness. Let your word be a light to my path and a light that shines through me into the darkness of this world. Help me to keep my focus on you always. To bring you praise and worship in ALL that I do and EVERYWHERE that I go. Give me the strength to subdue my flesh daily. Remember me and help me to remember YOU. I love you Father. Amen.”

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A time for everything

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I have experienced a lot of these “times” this week. The Lord has been speaking to me and opening my eyes to so many things and I am so grateful. Even the things that hurt me, that catch me off guard and make me take a sharp breath of pain and shock also give me reason to praise him. I KNOW I am in his will and when I am unsure of where I should take my next step his word shines on my path. I know he is getting ready to do a new thing in my life. He is restoring so many things in my life that I didn’t even know were broken. And I am so thankful that as long as I give myself to him, he will finish the work in me that he has started. Many people in my life will not understand, many will turn their backs to me but I will keep pressing forward because he has chosen me, called me and raised me up. For such a time as this…

Her Perfect Work – A Time For Everything


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A sacred song

Her Perfect Work – A Sacred Song

If I could have been the author of any book in the bible it would be the book of Psalms. In all my reading of the word I have yet to find another book with such real human emotion as this book. In some chapters the author is rejoicing in the Lord and in the next he is in utter depression. What is more real than that? No, I don’t think he was bipolar. I think he was real. We all have our ups and downs in life and it is encouraging to me to read about a man of God who did as well and yet was still loved and called by God. Most of the book is attributed to David, a mighty man of God and also a man with flaws and falls. A psalm is defined as a sacred song or hymn and that is what I want my life to be. Not a catchy little ditty or a somber ballad but a sacred song, sung from the depths of my heart to the creator of all things. The one who knit me together in the secret places of my mother’s womb. Sung in melodies of truth and love. Kept in tune by peace. So this is where I will begin. We’ll call this chapter 1. The book of Psalms has 150, let’s see how long it takes me to catch up. 😉 “I will sing of your love and justice, Lord. I will praise you with songs.” Psalm 101:1

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