Girlfriends in God - November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011
She’s All Mine
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demon, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, NIV).

Friend to Friend
I have personally discovered that it is downright frustrating and completely impossible to live the Christian life when you are not a Christian. I tried. For years, I desperately struggled to trust God with only head knowledge of who He is and wants to be in my life. When that trust settled into my heart and life – well, life became a different journey altogether.

I grew up in a Christian home, attending church every time the doors were open. I sang all the right songs, spoke all the right words and did all the right things in front of all the right people. I fervently prayed that my works would validate my faith and desperately hoped that by following the rules, I would please the Ruler. It was not until middle school that the spiritual integrity of a dynamic youth pastor made me hunger and thirst for something more. I wanted to know God and experience His unconditional love. 

One Sunday, I sat in my usual spot, clutching the back of the pew in front of me while wrestling with God over the condition of my soul and my eternal security. After all, I was a very active church member, a soloist and pianist for our worship services, and even directed a children’s choir. How embarrassing to walk down that aisle, admitting to everyone that I’d been living a lie.

My mind argued that I knew all about God – and then the deeper truth of that argument hit me. Yes, I knew about Him but I didn’t know Him. That night, I met Jesus. My problems did not disappear but much of my stress did as I began to trust God, I mean really trust Him. Over the years, I have been taught by some incredible men and women of faith, but none more precious or more powerful than our grandchildren.

My grandchildren call me Mimi … and words are pitifully inadequate when trying to express just how much I love being a grandmother. I have experienced a new and deeper level of love with the birth of each grandchild. Watching one of my grandchildren is kind of like watching my heart walk around on the outside of my body.

I have a good friend, Lisa, who is a teacher at the school where my four-year-old grandson, Jaydan, attends pre-school classes three mornings each week. One day, Lisa happened to be on the playground when Jaydan’s class came out to play. She teasingly asked, “Jaydan, I don’t have a Mimi. Can I have yours?” Jaydan immediately whirled around, placed his hands on his hips and firmly responded, “No way!” Lisa smiled and said, “But Jaydan, don’t you want to share your Mimi with me?” Jaydan adamantly replied, “I can’t! She’s mine … all mine!”  

Wow! As I listened to Lisa tell me this story, I have to admit my heart doubled in size. And then I immediately thought about the way God loves me … and the way He loves you. God’s love for us is unconditional, boundless and fierce.

1 John 4: 8-10 (The Message) “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God's love for us in sending his Son to be the way to take away our sins.”

Trusting God begins and ends with the fierce love of God. Trusting God really is all about wrapping our hearts and minds and lives around the reality of God’s love. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins so we can have an abundant life – now and eternally.

You may find yourself in a frightening place filled with darkness and doubt. Your fragile heart may be wondering if God knows where you are of if He even cares. He does.

You think that because you cannot see the hand of God or sense His presence it means He is not working. Nothing could be further from the truth, girlfriend. We may not understand or even like His process but let me assure you that God is always at work in our lives.

He will always love you. He will come through for you and you really can trust Him. Him

Let’s Pray
Father, I want to know You and trust You with my whole heart and life. Thank You for loving me even when I doubt Your love. I praise You for being faithful even when my faith is small. Teach me how to walk by faith and not by sight.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn
Read the following verses of Scripture and answer the questions listed below.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

  • How does this verse emphasize the fact that you and I were created in response to God’s plan, not as an afterthought or as an accident?

Psalm 8:3-5 “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”

  • How do these verses line up with the way you see yourself right now? What one immediate change do you need to make in order to see yourself the way God sees you?

Read and memorize Isaiah 43:4 and make it one of your life verses. “You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you.” 

More from the Girlfriends
Can you believe 2012 is just ahead, like a clean slate filled with new beginnings and fresh starts? However, what did we learn in 2011 that will make a difference in 2012? As the holiday season winds down, I pray your heart and mind will look ahead to all that this year holds. Guard your heart and mind against darkness. Stand firm in God’s power and presence. He is faithful and He is sufficient for whatever tomorrow brings. 

Need help getting the Word of God into your life? Check out Mary’s Weekly Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. And be sure to get your copy of our new 12-week devotion book, Trusting God. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, free on-line video intros, and an index of trust-building Scriptures…this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

Originally published Wednesday, 30 November 2011.