Grace That Transforms
August 16, 2016
I have felt stirred to document what the Lord has been doing in my heart lately, but I have had trouble finding the right words.
He’s drawing me to Himself in a way that I haven’t experienced in quite awhile. In areas in my life where I have seen a lot of barrenness, I am starting to see the budding flowers that I know will eventually become fruit.
The promises of Spring are calling my name. Grace like rain is softening this dry heart of mine.Grace causes us to worship God. Every time. Click To Tweet
We can’t help but respond to God in this way.
For me, often, giving up earthly pleasures is a way I worship God.
I used to think that I HAD TO give up earthly pleasures for God to hear my cries, my prayers better.
Quite contrary, when I freely lay down earthly pleasures that can ultimately distract me from the Lord, I can hear Him better.
Earthly pleasures are not bad or evil, but they can distort our focus and devotion to God if we allow them to have too much room in our heart and mind.
By casting aside those earthly distractions, I am free to experience unhindered communion with my Father, and I am able to still my soul to receive all that He has for me.
For almost two years, as a new mom, I have attempted to still my soul in my own strength. I have tried to recreate my quiet time that I used to have before my son was born.
God never changes but I have changed, and I believe the Lord has taught me how to seek Him in new ways so that I do not grow comfortable or complacent in my prayer life. He has also taught me not to judge my prayer life with earthly measurement= time.
Often we forget that God is not bound by our human standard of time:
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8 NKJV).
So if one day in heaven equals a thousand years here on earth, how much do you think God can accomplish with our five minutes with Him?
I am learning to receive God’s grace in this area of my life because like I said, it doesn’t look the same as it did before I became a mom. I have occasionally beat myself up for this, thinking that I haven’t been “pulling my weight” to see change happen in me.
Friends, God doesn’t need you to spend hours and hours and hours in His Presence for Him to do a deep work in your heart.
Sure, those hours and hours and hours are amazing because I enjoy just spending time with God, but not required for the Lord to change me in major ways.
It is by His Spirit that He will change me, in His time. He calls us to partner with His Spirit, yes, but our effort alone is not what transforms us.
I’m thankful that He is renewing my mind when I center my thoughts on Him and posture myself to receive His truth that is found in His Word.
Just reading through this post is evidence that the Lord is breaking off those legalistic ways and aligning my thoughts to reflect His grace and truth, and that is exactly why Jesus came.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17 KJV).
March 28, 2016
“Hi, my name is Emily, and I am a recovering perfectionist.”
It took me many years to finally admit that. If there was a goal or task to accomplish, I would throw all of myself into successfully completing it. I still have great work ethic, but the problem was the fact that I was too concerned with what people thought of me. Accomplishment and drive became the meaning behind every breath I took; I found my identity in my performance and productivity. I wanted to impress everyone, including God. Because of all of that pressure, I was a huge ball of stress and anxiety constantly.
Then I became a (stay-at-home) mom.
If I wasn’t drained before, this took exhaustion to a whole new level!
I have to admit, I tried to keep my balancing act going right out of the gate, but it did not take very long for all of my plates to shatter on the floor. It became very obvious that I could not do it all. I felt so utterly weak. I needed help and thankfully, I knew Who to ask.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul hears an encouraging word from the Lord about His grace and power, and Paul responds in gladly boasting that he is weak:
And [The Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV).
That idea was so foreign to this goal-oriented momma, but I was ready to see Christ’s power and strength in my life. I began saying “no” to tasks and events that I didn’t have peace about being involved with. I needed to be careful of what I allowed on my plate and what I committed to outside of my home in this new season of my life. Even after a year and half, I am still living by those habits and guidelines.
I have learned to press into the Lord’s strength when I notice I am experiencing stress or anxiety. My go-to prayer is “Help me, Jesus!” and I am not afraid to boast that I am totally weak and need God’s strength. I know that cry is enough for God to move in my life and help me balance all of my responsibilities as a new mom. Like the good Father He is, He is so excited to step in when life gets too overwhelming. I have experienced great peace in my life that I know is because of God’s grace being displayed in abundance.Boasting in your weakness requires humility and we know God gives grace to the humble. Click To Tweet
“But [God] gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ (James 4:6, ESV)
I have learned to rest in Christ’s performance on the Cross, no longer feeling as if I have to perform to impress other people or God. His love for me is not based on how much I accomplish for Him or don’t accomplish. That goes for my “quiet-time” with Him too, which is not so quiet these days. I’m willing to admit I’m weak in that area of my life as well, and need His grace.My weakness does not mean that my love for Jesus is weak or false. Click To Tweet
Each day, I learn to lean on His strength instead of my own and He never disappoints me! His grace is enough!
What about you? Do you find yourself struggling with “perfectionist syndrome?”
If so, send me an email and we can encourage one another!
I also invite you to pray this prayer with me:
Father, I repent for trying to find my identity in my accomplishments and performance, thinking it all would make you love me more. You love me not because I am perfect, but because Your Son is. I am ready to boast in my weakness and frailty and trust Jesus’ empowering grace to give me strength in my daily life. Lord, I find strength in You alone and trust Your strengthen is perfected in my weakness! I believe I will see Your mighty power as You use this weak vessel for Your glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Special Delivery Part 2: My Birth Story
March 12, 2018
I wrote about my birthing experiencing with my son, Isaiah, just two weeks after he was born. He wasn’t a great sleeper (and almost 3.5 years later, we occasionally have our issues…Lord, thank You for Your grace!), so I found myself awake all through the night…a lot. I must have had trouble falling back asleep the night I wrote our story of his birth. Sleepless baby and sleepless momma. Man, those were some tough nights. But we survived, thank You Jesus!
Now with my second son, James, it has taken me over a month to sit down and write out our story of his birth. It must be because we actually sleep at night! Even with the time change last night, he STILL slept for 6.5 hours straight! He is my little sleeper…praise the Lord!
God has been so incredibly faithful to us with Jameson.
From the moment my water broke to these last several weeks with him finally here with us.
His grace, so incredibly tangible.
For the whole pregnancy, I was fully mentally prepared to hold our new precious baby boy in my arms around 38 weeks, since that is when his older brother graced us with his unexpected presence.
But to be completely honest with you, that didn’t happen, and the last month was extremely stressful, confusing, and exhausting.
I cried. A lot. I was moody. A lot. I was tired. A lot.
I started to have time-able/ pattern-forming contractions around 37 weeks along with baby boy #2; I was getting even more anxious for that special day to come when we would finally meet our newest blessing.
But that cycle of “fake outs” lasted for over 3 weeks. God bless my poor husband! I never really knew when it was “go time…”
…until a little after 6am on February 7th, 2018 (the day after my due date), just as Paul was headed out the door for work telling me to keep him updated, I gasped as my water broke while lounging on the couch!
No more guessing if it was “go time!” Ha! Grace! Paul called my mom to let her know the news because she offered to drive over an hour and a half to come watch little man AKA Isaiah. Grace!
Because a friend of mine offered to be present at the birth to photograph the joyful day (Grace!), I hopped in the shower and got glammed up, of course! 😉
I assumed that it would be awhile before contractions began, since mine never started with Isaiah after my water broke with him…Pitocin is the devil…
…but before I could finish my shower, they started to amp up. Grace! And they were definitely the real deal this time! Yikes!
I dialed (do we still use that word for cell phones?) the on-call midwife and let her know what was going down and we decided to meet at the birth center at 8am, just in time to get stuck in rush hour morning traffic! But by the grace of God, we were able to stop by Chick-fi-la for FREE chicken biscuits for a quick breakfast (eating in between contractions that were now starting to get pretty intense) and STILL made it to the birth center on time, not having to deal much with traffic whatsoever. Grace! Grace! Grace!
We pulled into the parking lot at 8am on the dot, shortly after the midwives arrived, and made our way to the room. Less than 10 minutes later, my mom arrived to take little man to the waiting room for a bit to play with their blocks. Grace!
I was able to joke through the contractions and make the midwives laugh a few times before it was game-time, which came MUCH sooner than I had anticipated.
The contractions intensified very quickly, so much so that I didn’t even want to lie and relax in the giant Jacuzzi tub that was just filled up for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was ready to push soon and hold that precious little peanut.
Not really knowing what position would be most comfortable for me because I didn’t have much time to decide, I made my way to the bed and laid down on my left side. Paul knelt by the bedside and held my hands and I used them to brace myself through each contraction. Before they got too close together, he asked if I wanted to listen to some music on his phone. I immediately said, “The Undoing by Steffany Gretzinger.”
God’s peace filled the room. Again, I could tangibly feel God’s grace.
When I could, I sang and hummed along and looked into Paul’s eyes and told him how much I loved him. It was an absolutely beautiful moment with him, something so completely different than what we experienced with Isaiah’s birth that left us dealing with much anxiety and trauma in the weeks following.
In an instant, all of that was redeemed. Grace!
We really were such a great team together. Team Massey!
When the contractions became pretty unbearable, I found myself making an “O” sound to get through them. It really was the only thing that seemed to help me stay focused through the pain.
The midwives were so encouraging through it all, and kept reminding me that I was almost there and that I was doing such an awesome job.
It was very quickly time to push, so I made my way up to my knees and braced my arms around Paul’s shoulders. He told me later that I almost made him pass out when I accidentally had him in the sleeper hold! Hahahaha! Funny, but not funny for him, I’m sure!
Then suddenly, when I didn’t think I could take another second, at 9:40am (yes, that’s right, an hour and 40 minutes after we arrived at the birth center) they told me to pick up my baby who entered the world.
The birth center’s 1,000th birth, might I add…so cool!
“We did it, we did it!” I said with joy filling my lungs. Sooooooooooo….much GRACE!!!!!
I scooped up Mr. Jameson, discovering he had a head full of brown hair like his momma (Yay!), and said “You’re a slippery lil’ fella!” making the whole room laugh once again.
Just four hours later, were discharged from the birth center, both momma and baby healthy and thriving. It was so nice to be able to head home and start our life together as a family of 4. On the trip home, both boys were snoozing and stayed down for naps for a couple more hours for us. Grace!
A miracle, really!
The whole day was just perfect.
I’m really still in awe of it and just how good God is to us. He truly is a redeemer and a giver of good gifts.
So here I am, almost 5 weeks postpartum, and signs of postpartum depression/anxiety/rage or insomnia are no where to be found! Praise God! My milk supply has been overflowing, and we have no need of formula supplementation like we had to do with Isaiah. And thanks to an awesome lactation consultant that we saw 2 weeks postpartum, I am able to have success with breastfeeding this time around. A major answer to prayer that just ties the whole experience together with so much GRACE!
I’m so thankful for God’s grace, my friends. It is truly all-sufficient and is carrying me through this new season of motherhood in such a beautiful way. It doesn’t mean everything is easy by any means, because along with the demands and responsibilities that come with caring for a newborn, we surely have had some tough toddler days as Isaiah goes through some mega emotional development right now (ah meltdowns!), but God’s grace is my ever-present help to see me through it all.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV).
And this momma will gladly boast in my frailty because Jesus’ gracious strength is so much better than my own.
Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME Movie Review: A Christian’s Perspective
March 9, 2018
Did you happen to read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time in grade-school? I don’t remember too many details of the book, but I do remember it impacting my little heart now decades ago. That’s why me (and other millennials like me) have been greatly anticipating the release of Disney’s adaptation of the this best-selling science-fantasy novel. The re-telling of this classic story is said to take audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light, good versus evil and, ultimately, the triumph of love.
I was able to catch a press screening of the film earlier this week, and it has taken me a couple days to really collect my thoughts about the movie.
The stellar cast (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling to name a few), awe-inspring special effects, and vividly colorful costumes and make-up definitely drew me in right away.
But what impressed me the most was the young, up and coming actress, Storm Reid, who plays the main character Meg Murry. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Miss Reid will become a role model for young girls all over the world. She portrayed the awkward, middle-school heroine with such beauty, wit, vulnerability and strength. The desire to find and rescue her father who has traveled through time and space and is trapped by a darkness called “The It,” and restore her family drives her to risk everything, including her life.
That act of selfless love is nothing short of beautiful to me- a love that I know has been shown to us through Jesus Christ.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13, ESV).
Although the book is not considered a Christian piece, L’Engle, who actually used to teach Sunday school at her church and wrote a devotional on grace later on in her life, wove Christian truths throughout the book. There are actually many scriptures quoted throughout the novel as well as mention of Jesus being a “great warrior of light.” Ultimately, this book is about the powerful force of good over evil and love triumphing in the end, a message believers proclaim and live by.
“What if we are here for a reason? What if we are apart of something truly divine?” is echoed in the movie by Dr. Murry, Meg’s father, as he tries to explain his theory of time travel to colleagues at NASA at the beginning of the movie. He wanted to bend time with his mind and shake the Universe’s hand.
The “divine” and the “hand” that is mentioned should be God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth..the Creator of the entire universe…
…but sadly, Disney’s “Wrinkle in Time” paints another picture about the Creator of the Universe. Sadly, but not surprisingly, they remain silent about God.
Where Miss L’Engle highlighted Christian truths and even mentions Jesus Christ in her book, sadly, Disney erases them completely.
But they were not silent on new age and eastern religion culture.
Meg, along with her younger brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin, have all been chosen by messengers of the Universe (“the Mrs’s”) because they saw light and hope in them. They were being called on to be warriors for the Universe. Lines such as you must “become one with the Universe” and “have faith in yourself” echo loudly in the film, which brings a false message of hope, light, and love. Yoga and highlighting the Hindu “third eye chakra” exercise were also a part of the film, expressing the idea that you have the power within yourself to see into the future, perhaps, becoming your own savior with no need of anyone’s help, including God.
I understand that this story is fantasy, and that it is not particularly a Christian work, but subjecting children to these other spiritual exercises that people actually practice is dangerous in my opinion. And yes, it is my opinion, but my faith in God, which is extremely important to me, had to filter a lot while viewing this film. To me, if the film-makers and screenplay writer were going to ignore the mention of God or any form of Christian themes that the author put in the book, they should not have highlighted other faiths or spiritual exercises, just out of respect for the author.
If you are a Christian and plan on going to see this movie, just know that the message of light vs. darkness, hope and love, good vs. evil are not our definition of those things. None of those things exist a part from God.
God is light. God is hope. God is good. God is love.
We are not our own savior. We are not our own answer. We cannot “become the Light” and defeat darkness (another line from the film) without the light of Christ.
If you plan on taking your children to see this movie, I pray you take the time to explain Biblical truths about our Christian definitions of light vs. darkness, hope and love, good vs. evil. This film will definitely spark that conversation.
I can appreciate this film for the sake of the art and creativity and for the fact that it shows the importance of family and the strength of selfless love. Yet, I pray people that watch it remember that it is just fantasy and it’s message of hope, light, and love pale in comparison to real hope, light, and love found in Christ alone.
A Wrinkle in Time, in theaters now.
How I Met My Hubs, Our First Date, and A New Romantic Movie for You to Go See!
January 12, 2018
Last year, while shopping for a wedding gift, I found the cutest piece of decor for my home that helped remind me where our little (growing) family began.
I couldn’t help myself, I just really NEEDED it in our home.
Well, maybe not “needed…”
…but you get my point!
“Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite.”
Every time that I see those words in our living room, surrounded by photos of my husband and I and our little boy (and pretty soon, photos our second bundle of joy), I can’t help but get overwhelmed by how blessed I am to have such a beautiful love story that continues to unfold in such a sweet and precious way.
But where did our love story begin?
Well, in the summer of 2008, I attended a church service for the first time in three years at a church my mom had found out about through their TV ministry. It was a pivotal moment for me in my walk with the Lord (that’s another story for another time…), and I absolutely fell into love with people there. Within a couple months, I started to make some new friends. One of my new friends who worked for the church introduced me to a young man name Paul. She and Paul both were raised in that church and grew up together. In the Fall, they had tons of events for young adults and families to attend and my family took advantage of them and made great memories. One in particular was a bonfire and hayride at a local pumpkin patch where Paul and I had our first conversation. Little did I know, he called the church earlier that day to find out if me or my family signed up to attend the event because he wanted a chance to spend some time getting to know me.
Later that weekend after the church service ended, he approached me and my mom.
“A few of us were going to the movies after the hay-ride the other night and no one had your number to see if you wanted to go,” he nervously told me. “So um…um…”
“Would you like it?” I asked with a smirk.
“Uh…yeah. That’d be great.”
I handed him my business card with my head-shot on the front. Emily Rose Mollet- Actress. Singer. Dancer. I was so full of myself and had serious identity
problems, but the Lord was working on me, as I slowly let Him. Paul thanked me and told me to have a good night. I looked at my mom and squealed.
Later that week, I volunteered to chaperone for a field trip with the youth group and was paired up with Paul. (I’m pretty sure he had somehow arranged that) We didn’t do a good job chaperoning because we spent the entire night talking to each other and ignored the rest of the group. He asked me to go out to dinner with him that weekend so we could get to know each other better.
That first date lasted over ten hours!
It was obvious there was a connection between us. He had an amazing sense of humor, and I could tell that he had a huge heart for God and His Kingdom. At about one in the morning, he dropped me off at my car. We hugged good-night and said we would see each other in the morning at church. He took me out to lunch after the service the next day, and we spent the entire afternoon talking and getting to know each other even more. We sat in his car talking about the sermon, and I shared my heart with him about where I was before I came back to the Lord.
He had a completely different experience than me because all he knew was the house of God and being in fellowship with the Lord. I discovered that the very same ministry he had served in since he was seven years old was the one God used to bring me to him. He had served in the TV department at the church running cameras and assistant-producing the program that my mom would watch on Sunday mornings. I was beginning to see God’s hand in this whole story even though it had just begun. At one moment our eyes locked and he reached for my hand.
“I have something to ask you,” he said.
“Yes…?” I respond with my heart beating faster.
“Everyone else in your life has always stolen kisses from you, and I wanted to ask
you for one this time. Emily, can I kiss you?” he gently asked me.
I nodded my head, and he leaned in and kissed me. I had kissed so many men at this point I my life, but this one could not ever be compared to any of them at all. It will forever be marked on my heart and mind. I was completely smitten by this boy (yes, he was a boy at only 18 years old, actually 8 months younger than my little brother! haha). After the evening service that night at church, he began introducing me to his family and friends. He couldn’t stop smiling because his friends had been telling him that he had absolutely no chance with me because he was so much younger than me. He by no means behaved like any 18-year-old I knew, so I didn’t even notice the age difference.
Later that night, he took me to the park by the church, and we sat on a bench with his arm around me. I laid my head on his shoulder and looked up at the stars,wondering how someone like me, someone with such a dark and messy past, could possibly end up with someone like him. We walked to the car with our arms around each other; I fit perfectly under his arm.
Paul looked at me and said, “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.”
“Me either. This is different. I know we haven’t known each other that long, but I want to be with you for the rest of my life.”
“Me too. Emily, I want to grow old with you.”
That night there was no doubt in either of our minds or hearts that we were supposed to get married. We just trusted God would work out all of the details, and we would follow His leading.
And in October of this year, we will have been walking hand in hand, following God’s leading, for ten years together! It’s been a beautiful story to watch unfold, with God as the author of it all!
Our love story is, of course, my favorite, but like my little sign in my living room reminds me, every love story is absolutely beautiful!
That’s why I am thrilled for the release of the upcoming romantic film, Forever My Girl, that tells of another beautiful love story.
This new film will begin showing in theaters on January 19th…just in time for Valentine’s Day too!
Synopsis: Forever My Girl tells the story of music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind. Forever My Girl is an uplifting romantic film about second chances.
Watch the trailer below:
Not only does the story line draw me in, but the music soundtrack includes some of country music’s favorites such as CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Lauren Alaina, and Travis Tritt!
Be sure to make plans with your gal pals or your honey next weekend to go see this movie! I’m sure it will be a beautifully sweet one!
THE MIRACLE SEASON- Upcoming Faith Film Releasing in April 2018!
December 15, 2017
I have always really enjoyed going to the movies with friends and family, creating memories induldging in overly buttery popcorn, over-priced candy and soda and some quality entertainment. But as I have gotten older, I have to admit, I don’t go to the movies all too often anymore. One of the main reasons has a lot to do with the “quality entermainment” part.
Obviously, as a Christian, I am cautious and hesistant of what types of movies that I watch. Not out of prudence or judgementalism, but simply as a means to guard my heart. I am a firm believer that what you feed your soul- what you listen to, what you watch, watch you focus your mind on- affects the way you respond and interact with the world.
After all, the Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) to:
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
So needless to say, I am excited any time I hear of solid faith-based movies that will be released in theaters. And it just so happens that there will be one released in Spring 2018! LD Entertainment, the same production company that brought us the faith film RISEN, and the same director (Sean McNamara) as the faith-based film SOUL SURFER (one of my favorites!) is releasing another film that is based on a true story, called THE MIRACLE SEASON! The film stars Helen Hunt (TWISTER was another favorite of mine when I was a kid!), William Hurt, Erin Moriarty and Danika Yarosh.
This upcoming film is based on the inspiring true story of West High School girls’ volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hopes of winning the state championship.
THE MIRACLE SEASON is available in theaters everywhere on April 13, 2018! I’m definitely looking forward to going to see it and you should too!
Watch the new trailer BELOW:
THE MIRACLE SEASON Official Channels:
#GivingTuesday: Get a FREE eBook copy of YIELDED IN HIS HANDS!
November 28, 2017
In honor of #GivingTuesday, I am giving away FREE copies of the eBook version of my book, Yielded in His Hands: Becoming a Vessel for God’s Glory until 11:59pm (CT) tonight!
Just comment below with your email, and I will get it off to you today!
I pray that you find an opportunity to give generously today and every day! We are extremely blessed here in the United States, and that means, God has blessed us to be a blessing to someone else!
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:7-8, ESV).
MORE INFO ON YIELDED IN HIS HANDS:
Using the Bible story found in Jeremiah 18 as inspiration, where we discover God as the great Potter of our lives, as well as the first three verses of Psalm 40, Emily shares her testimony of how the Lord delivered her out of the mire and filthy pit and bondage of sexual sin, set her feet upon the firm foundation of Jesus, chiseled away and softened hardened parts of her marred heart with His Spirit and the water of His Word, and molded her into a beautiful vessel of honor fit for His use. The process on God’s Potter’s wheel could not take place until her entire life was completely surrendered over to Jesus Christ, declaring Him not only as her Savior, but Lord of her life.
In Yielded in His Hands: Becoming a Vessel for God’s Glory, you will discover a life miraculously transformed for God’s glory, as only God the Potter can. Emily’s transparency throughout this book not only aids in sharing traumatic, tragic, and triumphant stories in her life, but also points the readers straight to Jesus, proclaiming, “If He did it for me, He can and will do it for you! You just need to yield your life over to His hands!”
Destroying Mis-Identifications, Finding True Identity, and Understanding Purpose: Part 1
August 15, 2017
I woke up this morning with an overwhelming desire to write, to share something on my heart. I haven’t had that desire in awhile, and quite frankly, I haven’t had a lot of other desires besides eating and sleeping.
Growing a human will kind of do that to ya…
…oh yeah, I don’t think I officially announced that on my blog yet, have I?
Oh well, I will just blame that on pregnancy/mom brain! Trust me, it’s a VERY real thing!
Anyway back in April, before I got pregnant, I had a stirring within my spirit believing that the winds of change were blowing upon my circumstances and that God would be bringing restoration to many areas of my life and resurrecting joy within me. In fact, it seemed as if that season was already upon me, or at least I had hoped it was.
But somewhere between May and August, that hope seemed to fizzle and fade. Perhaps it was the unexpected struggles of mega morning sickness (that wasn’t just bound to morning, but morning, noon, and night and everywhere in between) that seemed to last FOOORRRRRRREEEEEEVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEERRRRR.
Yes, I’m pretty sure that has been my TKO (Total Knock Out- and now I am having flashbacks of playing Mortal Kombat on Playstation with my brother…hahaha) over these last few months. Since I didn’t really deal with the constant exhaustion, nausea, and vomiting with my last pregnancy, it was difficult to focus on much of anything else besides breathing, eating, and trying not to upchuck what I just ate. I was just praying that there would be an end in sight because I did not feel like myself whatsoever. Three months of feeling like junk definitely gave me a lot of more sympathy for those who suffer from chronic pain and illness. It’s definitely a challenge to hold onto your joy in the midst of issues in your body.
But thankfully the end has finally come; I have made it into the glorious second trimester and those miserable symptoms have faded! Hallelujah to the Lamb!
And although I have had my days here and there with the fun of raising a growing toddler (yay for potty-training and constipation!), I am beginning to gain more clarity and focus regarding what God has for me in this next season, especially the short time I have left before baby #2 comes and keeping another tiny human alive (and my sanity) becomes my central focus once again. 🙂
Okay, enough of the Emily-update and onto what I believe the Lord has put on my heart to share with you all today! Thanks to all of you who have stayed with me thus far! 😉
Since I have been sensing my season of rest coming to an end and hearing the Lord’s beckoning to come run with Him in ministry once again, I have been asking Him on and off these last few months for more clarity regarding my purpose and destiny. Now having finally grasped the fact that a huge part of my purpose on this earth has much to do with my role as a mom and raising my children in the admonition of the Lord, I also believe God has placed gifts within me that reach beyond just my very own family, although I completely understand that my family is my primary ministry, right after my marriage, of course.
Through dreams and times of prayer, God has been (slowly) unveiling more and more of my purpose to me.
One of the questions I have had though is “why does it feel like it has taken so long for me to have solid understanding of my purpose, Lord?”
I believe I got an answer to that this morning…
…I needed to understand my identity FIRST.
And like much of what God does in our hearts, understanding my identity has been a process- a process on the Great Potter’s wheel.
- Before I could even fully understand my identity and who I am in Christ, I had to first acknowledge my mis-identification and ask the Lord to help me dismantle it. When I wrote about this process back in December 2016, I finally admitted that I wasn’t sure who I was apart from doing, accomplishing, productivity, or even using my gifts for Him:
Although I would have told you straight to your face that my identity is not in what I do, I don’t know if I whole-heartedly believed that.
And that is why I think the Lord has had to strip me down where I do none of those things, with absolutely no opportunities in sight to even attempt them, or having very little desire or passion left in me to attempt doing any of those things at all and not much grace to accomplish them.
Looking back, I realize God began talking to me about learning how to just be and detach my worth from all the doing shortly after giving birth to Isaiah. I wrestled with God for many, many months, asking Him why I felt so stuck. It took me two years to finally yield to the hands of the Potter and give him every label and title I have ever held onto and see Him smash them to smithereens with is mallet, y’all. That’s a long time to wrestle with God, but thankfully, as He always does, He won that match!
- Once God stripped me of all of those wrong labels that I was trying to identify myself with by completely removing me from activities, ministry positions, and even removing certain desires and passions, I entered a time of formlessness.
This is usually the time on the Potter’s wheel where your world is spinning and nothing is familiar, not even yourself, because His hands are forming a masterpiece that only the Creator could create.
Who am I? becomes a question you ask a lot. God was teaching me to be still and know that He is God, even though I had no idea what He was doing. Telling a do-er to be still and rest was one of the hardest lessons I have ever tried to receive and live out.
Suddenly doors that were open, were now shut to me. I lost interest and passion in things that used to bring me such enjoyment (I know now that this was only for but a season as God worked on my heart). Leadership roles and responsibilities were now gone, and because of issues with Isaiah’s sleeping for many, many months, I could no longer write because of the lack of mental clarity and focus.
Even in the midst of motherhood, it felt like I was doing a whole lot of nothing.
There were times that I felt like I had lost myself.
But through the process of losing myself, just like Jesus tells us, I found myself all over again.
He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 10:39, NKJV).
In the moment of formlessness, I had to learn how to take my eyes off of the life that was familiar and the life I used to identifying with, and fix my gaze upon the Potter and see His hands gently, yet firmly and securely holding me, believing that He was molding me more and more into the likeness of His Son, and I would find the life I was meant to live, all for His glory. No matter what, even if I didn’t fully understand everything that was going on, I had to trust God and trust that the process was for my good. God had good in store for me.
In my next blog, I will discuss the next steps that the Potter took as I discovered what it truly means to be IN CHRIST, how that helped me learn to simply be God’s daughter, and how that revelation is leading me into further understanding my purpose.
Until next time, friends. 🙂
Guest Post- 5 Bible Verses When You Feel Stressed
July 31, 2017
A few weeks ago, Marcus from Psysci.co, reached out to me and asked if he would be able to share some encouragement on emilyrosemassey.com for my readers, especially regarding his expertise in psychology. He decided to write a blog about 5 Bible verses when you are feeling stressed out. Please welcome Marcus!
Whether you consider yourself to be religious or not, Bible verses hold basic humanistic truths that apply to various situations. The following Bible verses are especially comforting in times of stress and remind us that being anxious and worrying about things will do nothing to put you in a better state mentally, physically or spiritually.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:6-7, ESV]
This verse is a constant reminder that the peace of God is freely accessible to everyone and can be so easily obtained through a simple prayer devoting your worries to God. To let your requests be made known to God through thanksgiving is a way to humble yourself and realize that God is bigger than any stressful situation that you might be going through. Keeping a gratitude journal is also a great exercise to help you reflect on the things in your life for which you are thankful.
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” [Psalm 55:22, ESV]
By casting your burden on the Lord, you are transferring anxiety, stress and worry from the shoulders of a mere mortal to the hand of God that can hold an infinite amount of burdens without beckoning under the weight.
“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” [Psalm 34:17-19, ESV]
The righteous are afflicted – this notion is not uncommon to the world in which we live. In fact, it forms the basis of every good versus evil battle that is represented in the movies we watch, the books we read, the conversations we have and even the relationships we form with those around us. Heartbreak, affliction, sadness, hurt and other stress-inducing emotions are impartial in the sense that everyone will experience these at some point throughout their lives. This Bible verse offers a glimmer of hope and the promise of the ultimate hero to save us when we are in distress, all through God’s great grace and mercy.
“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” [Isaiah 40:30-31, ESV]
Often, a state of distress and worry will urge an unhealthy desire to intervene in situations out of our own strength with disastrous results. Patience is a virtue for a reason and by devoting time to praying and hearing God’s voice and His desire for you to be peaceful and achieve success in whatever you do, you are sure to be renewed in spirit. God’s divine intervention is on His perfect timing, not yours – distract yourself from stress by doing exercise, meditating or doing something that you enjoy and trust that God will bring you a new sense of calm.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” [Matthew 6:34, ESV]
This last Bible verse speaks directly to the crux of stressful situations. There will always be something to worry about but by worrying, you are not adding a single moment to your life – in fact, you’re doing the opposite! The articles found here, here and here detail the effects of stress and worry on both your physical and mental states of health. Focus on one thing at a time to avoid reaching a point of breakdown and take time in your day to address the problems that continually cause stress and anxiety. Be confident in your ability to overcome and remind yourself of these inspiring Bible verses whenever you are stressed.
About the Author: Marcus has a degree in psychology, a master’s degree in health psychology and has worked within the NHS as well as private organisations. Marcus started psysci a psychology and science blog in order to disseminate research into bitesize, meaningful and helpful resources.