Every part of you

By | Women's Ministry | No Comments

There is so much to talk about after The Table this month, but there is one quote that stood out to me the most: 

“If the God of the universe, the one who created every detailed part of you, says you are good and you say or believe anything different than that…one of you is wrong.” – Leanne Vaughan

Are we sinful people living in a very broken world? Absolutely, yes.
Did Jesus step down into our mess to be with us and reconcile our sinfulness back to it’s original goodness? Absolutely, yes.
Does the Holy Spirit work in us in every moment for the rest of our earthly lives to heal, restore, and redeem every single broken part of us? Absolutely, yes. 

Do we believe that is true, really?
Do we live like it is true? 

For a long time (way too many years), I would have said I believed that was true – and I did believe it…in my head. I could tell you about it, teach on it, even believe it for you. But, my heart was living a different story. 

My heart said: 

I am too broken.
God just tolerates me.
God is disappointed in me.
I’ll never be good enough, smart enough, ‘spiritual’ enough.
I am alone and unseen.
My voice doesn’t matter, my presence doesn’t matter.
I felt that I had to work really hard to try and earn approval, as if God accidently lowered the bar and let me stumble into ministry.
Fake it til you make it. But you’re not going to make it … so just keep faking it.
And the list goes on…
I was so wrong.

What I didn’t realize was that my heart was so full of lies that they didn’t leave any room for truth. What I didn’t realize is that I wasn’t believing God.
I wasn’t believing God was good.
I wasn’t believing God could be trusted.
I was believing a pack of lies and I didn’t even know it.
But, I did know something was very wrong. 

Out of desperation, I pulled together more courage than I have ever had in my entire life and I stepped into a counselor’s office. I found myself sitting in a chair across from a complete stranger and saying “I feel like I have all these broken pieces and I want to be able to surrender them to Jesus so they can be healed, but I don’t even know what they are.” 

And that started an inward journey discovering parts of myself that were definitely broken and in need of healing, parts of myself that were deeply hidden and protective from past hurts, parts of myself that worked really hard to figure things out and keep up appearances on the outside, parts of myself that were filled with anger and frustration and I wished would just go away, but all of those parts needed my curiosity and compassion to get to the roots. 

I prayed and journaled and read and listened and asked God to take me to places in the corners of my heart and mind that I have avoided, places from my past that needed healing, and places I didn’t even know existed. And He was so faithful to answer every part of that prayer. 

I discovered that when lies are removed and replaced with truth, room is created for the Holy Spirit to work and when the core of who I am is being led by the Holy Spirit – all of the “parts of me” can relax and not take over…because they don’t have to work so hard, they don’t have to hide things, they don’t have to fake it, they don’t have to prove anything or protect. They can rest, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, and display His fruit like they were originally intended.

I discovered parts of myself that are playful and fun, parts of myself that are gifted and confident, parts of myself that are driven and have dreams and goals and purpose and calling beyond what I ever could have imagined.
Most importantly, I discovered God is good, God is safe, and God can be trusted. I didn’t just know it in my head, but God was patient and loving and kind and drew near and spoke His truth to me until I wholeheartedly believed it in my heart, soul, and all of my being.  

Am I still a work in progress? Absolutely, yes!
We all are, until we are with Jesus for eternity.
There’s no escaping the brokenness of this world.
But we can choose to believe the truth, do the work to bring our broken pieces to Jesus, and help others to do the same. We have a race to run – good works to do – a purpose and calling to fulfill – a hurting world who needs us – and we don’t have time to waste. 

So, if after The Table this month you feel like you have the characters from the movie Inside Out running around in your head – you are not alone! If you need help navigating, please reach out to me or someone on our team or staff. We would love to pray with you and join you on this journey.  

Our guest speaker, Leanne, can be reached Leanne@shelteringoakscounseling.com.  

There are also some other great recommendations available at northpointeFL.org/counseling

We’re in this together, friends!
– Kylie McCracken
Women’s Ministry Director

Our team would love to know how we can pray for you and with you! Send a request on your myNPC App, go to northpointeFL.org/prayer or leave a comment below. 

Just Pray

By | Women's Ministry | One Comment

Just pray about it.
Let’s be real…sometimes that’s easier said than done, right?

Have you ever known you needed to have a tough conversation with someone, but avoided it? We tell ourselves the lie that if we don’t talk about it, the tension or conflict will go away. Maybe it’s just me…but I think that’s probably not the case. 

What about with God? 

It’s easy to praise God for the good, pray for someone close to us who is sick, or share a request about a family in need. But when there is tension, doubt, fear, questions in your heart…do you avoid it and hope it will go away or do we go to God in prayer with all of it? 

There’s a verse that has been stuck to my laptop for the last several months. Since we talked about prayer at The Table, it has just been magnified in my heart. 

“Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

The first truth I needed to remember when I originally post-it noted this verse to my computer was – APPROACH. Don’t hide, ignore, or pretend it is not there. God already knows what’s on my mind.

The second truth I needed to be reminded of – WITH BOLDNESS. I don’t need to timidly beat around the bush and tiptoe in with small talk or some kind of script. Because of Jesus, we have the right and the privilege to approach with boldness as daughters of the King. Just like one of my children has no problem running up and urgently interrupting whatever I’m doing if they are hurt or need something – our identity in Christ gives us unhindered access to the throne of grace. Ask for what you need. Tell Him what is on your heart. Write it. Speak it out loud. Say it over and over again. And, take time to be still and listen. 

One of the best pieces of advice I was given when I was struggling with prayer was to read Psalms, read it often, read it out loud. I wanted so badly for my prayers to be more than “God be with my neighbor who is sick, God thank you for my family.” But, I was stuck with surface level short prayers, worrying about the right thing to say, and afraid to bring my real feelings to God. Through reading the words, the cries, the pleadings, the rollercoaster of emotions, the heartfelt unfiltered prayers of David & others in Psalms, God changed my heart and my prayer life. 

I just want to encourage you today that He hears you. He has heard your voice – every word you have spoken. And what you are afraid to say…He knows that, too. So  don’t avoid the tough stuff. Don’t give God the silent treatment as if He doesn’t already know your heart. He is waiting.
Cry out.
Thank Him.
…just pray.

“I called to the Lord in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” Psalm 18:6

We’re in this together, friends. Our team would love to know how we can pray for you and with you! Send a request on your myNPC App, go to northpointeFL.org/prayer or leave a comment below .