"If you want the promise, you need to enjoy the process." I heard that once in a sermon and it really stuck with me. To me it means that in the process of receiving promise, is when I can experience the true goodness of God and see His character so bright. It's in the process where I get taken from glory to glory, start to look more and more like Him, gain the character that matching the anointing, endure, and so many other things. I have have experienced that so much during this whole ordeal. Every day there are new battles to conquer as well as the old ones that have yet to have been defeated. After each hurdle there is another one. Some days it really feels like I am "jumping out of the frying pan and into the furnace." God's promises over me and this situation are so amazing. Healing and platform to speak into peoples lives are just a couple of the many things He has said over me. Not to mention spending all of eternity with my God and savior, all the things in heaven I am storing up, forever being in His glorious presence, and the inheritance the Bible talks about. All of these are available for all of us, crazy I know. I feel so blessed because I can see some of these things starting to manifest in my life. It is a true honor and blessing. The process of getting there is hard. My original assumption was that I face something, God helps me through it, I get the promise, and then everything is all good. I have come to find out it isn't really like that. "The Lord ’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified SEVEN times over", Psalms 12:6. In my experience I have found that after each victory there is a new battle or purification process. Not to say that God doesn't bless us along the way. He is how I get through each battle and furnace experience. He has been my sustenance through every fight. I have tried to do it on my own but I have fallen short. Any time I have been victorious it has been because of Him. I have really started to see how I have tried to formulate how this thing works. For every furnace experience there is a break through and for every break through there is promise waiting wrapped in a pretty bow. Nice and simple, easy, and something that I can put into a nice equation. But what I am realizing now, is that God's promises over me are pure. I want to be used by Him so badly and often ask to be. I don't think I really knew what I was praying for. What I don't realize is that in order to receive those pure promises over my life, I need to be fully purified. Just because I am going through something hard doesn't mean that another battle isn't coming and it is coming wether the first battle is over or not. I am starting to understand that I can't formulate how God works or how His promises do. I want His promises and to be used by Him in fullness and don't want it half way. And in asking that, I am asking to be purified, not just half way. Purification, battles, struggles or whatever a person might want to call them don't always play nice. They aren't bound to having to take turns or go easy on me because the last one was hard. Ive' found if all I focus on during this time is the promise I won't make it. I have tried that and have gotten frustrated, distracted, and upset with God. The same preacher where I heard about enjoying the process said this, "Don't chase the promise, chase the promiser". I have seen how that is way easier and better than just focusing on the promise. When I do that I stop asking the "why" and "when" questions and am not so complacent. It easier to stay on path and focused on what is right in front of me today. He is how I withstand the purifications and battles. He is the one who gave me the promise, and He is the promise.
One thing that The Lord has really put on my heart through this whole thing is faith. I could not do the things I have through this whole thing if it wasn't for faith. When God spoke to me on the hill side, I have said before, I have an everyday choice to believe what He said was true and He will remain faithful or not. Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things unseen, Hebrews 11:1. I can't always see what or how God is going to take care of everything but that's where faith comes in. I have been reading Hebrews 11 a lot lately. It is such am encouraging chapter on faith. A few things have really stuck out to me. I admit that they aren't new and have always been there but they have been striking my heart in a totally new way than the ever had before. I have been experiencing how the Word is truly alive. I can't count how many times I have read that chapter and it always touches me different. In vs. 6 it says it is impossible to please God with out faith. In Romans it says we cannot please Him operating in the flesh. When I am operating in faith, I am operating in the spirit. Faith is the doorway into walking in the power of the Holy Ghost. Walking in the Spirit, as a Christian, is something I have always wanted and longed for. It has had this allure to it, like walking in the Spirit is this tangible feeling of tingling and fire. But walking in the Spirit and in faith isn't always like that. Circumstance and this world screams in opposition to that and it is a decision to ignore that and believe God with or with out the feelings to go along with it. Hebrews 11 gives us example of many great men and women of God who were full of faith. It strikes me that it wasn't what they did that God counted as righteous, it was the belief, faith, in what He had told them. Faith propels us to action but the action in and of its self isn't it. We can act with out faith. Faith is recieving what He has promised and "walking as if". God gives us promises and faith is believing that that is true. Seeking Him and acting as if that's all that matters. It's not our job to understand the process our obstacles. The L ord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? (Proverbs 20:24 NLT). All the examples of faith in chapter 11 had moments where it didn't look like God was fulfilling His end of the promise. But they all believed Him when everything else said He wasn't there. Faith takes our weakness and turns it into strength, vs. 34. Having faith doesn't mean our lives will go smoothly and nothing bad will ever happen, we read that in the last few verses of the chapter. But through it all we have something to hold onto in the midst of the storm
To be totally honest before my accident I wasn't in my Word everyday :/ I know terrible. I have excuses for days but it's just how it was. Since I have been injured, God has reignited a passion for His word. It's by no means is a religious duty, just it has been so alive and every day it changes my heart. I am currently reading in a lot of different places but what has been rocking me lately is Psalms. I just see the raw and real state of the human heart. It is such a perfect picture of, if everyone was honest, the fickleness of the human heart. One day we are happy the next feel the depths of despair. Even sometimes the same strong emotional shift in the same day, hour, or even moment. I can really identify with every chapter. As I read through the book, I see chapters about loneliness, intimacy, victory, defeat, emptiness, and prosperity. As I started to once again read through Psalms, The Lord started giving me a new prospective in reading them. In a lot of the chapters it talks about an enemy surrounding the writer, people fighting against him, The Lord taking vengeance, and being in the shelter of The Lord in the midst of such attacks. I have always viewed that as the struggles or battles I face. For example, me trying to battle addiction, or trying to overcome sin and the people who might tempt me to fall back into sin. I guess I always presumed those to be character flaws, sin issues, and people who try and bring me down with them. Those things helped me at very crucial points in my life. In this part of my life I am seeing that I have new enemies. What I have begun to see is how circumstance and the world's standards are my enemy today. In Psalm 35 David writes about his enemies assaults against him and The Lord being his justice. Vs. 4 says, "Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me; turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me." Life and circumstance come to try and take me out. He works out all things for good to those that love him the Bible says. God takes those circumstances that look so terrible and like there is no way out and he disgraces and humiliates them by turning them into good. He demonstrates His power by using the foolishness of this world, on paper...me, and confounds the wise. Vs. 7, "I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me. I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me." These things can come with out justification. It isn't like I deserve to experience this accident and not walk. My enemy, circumstance, has dug a pit for me. Vs. 8-10, "So let sudden ruin come upon them! Let them be caught in the trap they set for me! Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me. Then I will rejoice in the Lord . I will be glad because he rescues me. With every bone in my body I will praise him: 'Lord , who can compare with you? Who else rescues the helpless from the strong? Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?'" He rescuer and I will forever praise Him! In another Psalm it talks about preparing a meal in the midst of enemies. I am not demanding that my circumstance change but rather declaring who He is. He will take care of me and no matter what I face, even if I make my bed in hell His love would find me there. Who He is and His promise will prevail; "Then I will proclaim your justice, and I will praise you all day long." (Psalms 35:28 NLT)
I have talked about the frustration of being home, and how I have been learning about patience and coming to love the process. God is so faithful! Frustrations still come and I still find Him in the process. I love reading the Psalms because I can always feel and identify with the emotions behind them. I remember reading over them while I was in jail and noticing that even when the psalmist was feeling so alone or hopeless he would declare who God is and all the things that He has done for him. It struck me then that looking back at the faithfulness of Jesus in my life that i know today will be OK. The Lord reminded me of that revelation and has been showing me even more now. I can look back over my life and see how in every moment God was up to something. In every trial, hard time, victory, and joy that He had a plan and a purpose. He was working in me at every moment then and it helps me have faith the He is working right now. He is faithful and the same yesterday, today and forever. Why would I not believe that there is purpose in everything i face today. He doesn't waste time. He doesn't forget about me or just leave me hanging to later come back and redeem that. He is working now, today. It's up to me to have faith in Him and believe that. It doesn't always give me butterflies or the Holy goosebumps. Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things unseen. I don't need to feel or see in the moment exactly what's happening, just believe that even the smallest detail of my life isn't lost.
Thank you Chelsea Gurno for your obedience to God and your heart that ios so full of His love
This was the First fundraiser that was done for me. It raised way more thank we could have ever hoped for. The coolest part was the unity through out the community. People really came out to support. I live in the best place!!!