THE PERFECT LOVE

The greatest love story of all time is the story of Jesus Christ and His gift to mankind. Christ died an agonizing death for us, so that we can have abundant life and live in eternal peace.

There’s no other love that can satisfy the soul as completely as Christ’s love.

Whatever is happening in your life today, I pray you will know you are treasured by God and I hope you find fulfillment in His perfect love.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your perfect love. Help us to be strengthened with the power of Your Holy Spirit. Let us be rooted and grounded in Christ’s love. Help us to comprehend the depth of the love of Christ and let us be filled up with the fullness of God. Let our souls be completely satisfied in Christ alone. We pray in Christ’s name.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the FATHER, from whom every family in Heaven and on Earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” 

Ephesians 3:14-19 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Grace and peace to you,

Amy

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LOVE NEVER FAILS

To love and to be loved are the two greatest things we can experience in this life. I felt warmth all around me when I heard these beautiful words spoken during a wedding toast once. There is truly nothing that compares to the fulfillment of loving someone deeply and experiencing their love in return.

I am continually being challenged in my ability to love perfectly and unconditionally. Loving others when they’re kind to me is not a hard thing. The difficulty comes in repaying unkindness with kind deeds. If we only show love when we are treated kindly, then why do we need Christ?

Marriage gives us the perfect opportunity to practice showing true Christ-like love.

I believe God loves bringing together complete opposites; this is what He did in my marriage to Michael. It’s kind of funny when I think about how totally opposite we are. My husband is an introvert. I am an extrovert. He is a morning person. I am a night person. He is a reserved, more serious person. I am a free-spirited person. He is a ‘plan every detail’ kind of person. I am a ‘go with the flow’ kind of person. He is more of a spender. I am more of a saver. He is more laid back about housekeeping. I am the ‘keep everything in its place’ kind of person.

The list of the differences in our God-given personalities could go on and on, without even mentioning the natural differences there are in men and women.

There’s a reason we said, “For better or for worse,” in our marriage vows. When two people come together with completely opposite natures, there will be friction. There is no way to get around it. One time, I heard someone say they preferred to have a mate with a similar personality to theirs. For me, it would be totally boring to spend the rest of my life with someone like myself. I have no doubt that Michael was made for me, but knowing we were made for each other doesn’t keep us from being tested in our ability to truly love one another.

The marriage relationship is the most powerful way to live out our Christianity. As husband and wife, we are bonded like no other bond.

Many years ago, when God began healing our marriage and tearing down the walls between us, a deep level of spiritual and emotional intimacy began growing in our relationship. We began sharing our deepest fears, our hurts, and our wildest dreams with each other. We laid out our most valuable treasures to share with the other, trusting that they would be delicately treated. There is no one on Earth that knows me more intimately than my husband.

It has been a beautiful thing. As the depth of our marriage has grown, so has the cost. Our ability to hurt each other is much greater now. When we were holding tightly onto the deepest parts of our souls, it was safer. There wasn’t so much at stake.

Now, my husband holds the most valuable part of me in his hand: my heart. I have given all of it to him, not small parts. He has it all. The only ONE who exceeds this bond is Christ. It is my bond with Christ that has allowed me to open my heart fully to my husband.

Without Christ’s love, I would have to keep my heart guarded and protected, living in mediocrity. I did that for many years. I lived and loved halfheartedly. I was too busy trying to protect myself from hurt to really love the way I know Christ intends for me to. The cost was too high for me. I knew that if I dared to love as Christ loves, I could end up getting hurt; therefore, I didn’t take many risks.

Things started changing when I allowed Christ to begin healing the wounded places in my heart. As He healed each wound, a piece of the protective shield that surrounded my heart began breaking away. I began opening myself to my husband in ways I never had before. I began letting him see my bare soul.

I consciously made a decision to love with all my strength no matter what the cost might be. It’s not as easy as it sounds. My unguarded heart is vulnerable and when hurt is inflicted, it can go deep. Loving hard, loving fully means hurting sometimes. That’s part of it.

The marriage relationship is the place that love is tested the most. The closeness in the relationship forces us to face our differences. The only other option is to grow apart, living together in the same house. What’s the point in that? We did not get married to be roommates. We got married to remain soul-mates and best friends.

I remember a pivotal time in my marriage that changed how I related to Michael. He had hurt my feelings, and I was having a hard time letting it go. I just kept thinking, “I have a right to feel this way.” My flesh was demanding its way. I wanted my husband to apologize. Instead of loving him unconditionally, I allowed a wall to go up between us. The protective barriers were creeping back around my heart.

I had an option; I could either keep waiting on him to make it right or I could let go of my hurt and be the initiator of the reconciliation. It’s so much easier to wait, let him approach me, and let him admit his wrong. It feels better that way.

After contemplating my choices for a while, I ended up in my secluded place with the Lord, praying softly. “Lord Jesus, what would You do in the situation I am in?”

Christ immediately whispered His words to me. Love him, expecting nothing in return. His words hit me in my spirit like a ton of bricks tumbling down around me.

My mind was bombarded with thoughts. How can I do this? Everything in me wants something in return.

The Lord flooded my thoughts with a Bible verse I had memorized as a young girl. I remembered the words of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

As I pondered the words of Philippians 4:13, I felt Christ’s Spirit nudging me to read 1 Corinthians 13, even though I had read it dozens of times throughout my life. I sensed God asking me to read it in the Living Bible translation. I went into our office, pulled my old Bible off the bookshelf, and began reading the beautiful scriptures about love.

“Love is very patient, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly ever notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.” Corinthians 13:4-7

By the time I got to the end, I was weeping. I asked the Lord to forgive me for the mistake I had made. I had gotten so caught up in what wrong had been inflicted on me that it was all I could see. Since that day, I have prayed often for the Lord to allow me to continually be an instrument of His unconditional love.

Letting go of hurt is difficult. Loving someone regardless of the hurt that may have been imposed is hard. It means I have to die to my desires to be heard and die to my desires to be understood. It means putting others’ feelings before mine.

Loving unconditionally is sacrificial. Mother Teresa’s words echo in my soul, reminding me to keep pressing on in this journey of unconditional love. She said, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

I want to love with no boundaries, take every risk possible, and love at all costs. The awards are amazing. The irony in all of this is that when I hold back from loving purely, I am sabotaging my chances for the deep connection my spirit is craving. At times, I still get caught up in the belief that holding back will protect me from hurt. In reality, when I hold back on love, I am hurting myself more and I miss out on a fulfilling marriage relationship.

When I dive in, loving my husband as fully as I possibly can, the desires of my heart are fulfilled. Each time I take a risk, it hurts at the moment to deny my own needs, but in the long run my marriage is blessed beyond measure; the romantic love returns, the passion comes alive, and our relationship flourishes.

God made no mistake when he chose Michael for me. He knew my weaknesses needed to be my husband’s strengths and that my strengths needed to be his weaknesses. We need each other. This is what oneness is about (Genesis 2:24).

Loving unconditionally is a process that takes a lifetime to learn.

It’s amazing—this thing called love. There is no greater power than the power of love. It’s worth the risk. It’s worth the tears. It’s worth diving in as deep as you can go…because no matter what, love never fails.

“Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.”

1 Corinthians 13:8

This post has been updated from a piece originally written in 2008. Today, I am thanking Christ for the miracles He’s done in my thirty-two years of marriage.

 

 

 

TRUSTING CHRIST WHEN LIFE IS HARD

Walking with Christ is the securest place to be when life is filled with hard challenges. It’s through a close relationship with Him that we can find perfect peace and hear His guiding voice in our hearts. The more we sit still and seek Christ through prayer, the more we can discern the direction He is leading us.

The Lord promises us that He will make firm the steps of those who delight in Him and that He will uphold us with His hand.

When we turn to Christ in our hard moments, we can rest in His love, walk with confidence, and know He has us in the palms of His hands.

No matter what you may be facing today, Christ has good plans for you. Lean into Him when you’re afraid or hurting. He will strengthen you. You can trust Him because He is perfectly trustworthy.

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

Psalm 37:23-24

Beloved Jesus,

Thank You for Your amazing love. Thank You for being our rock and rescuer. Please help us when we stumble and keep us from falling into the darkness in the world. Please give us strength when we are weak. May You always keep us in the palms of Your hands and lift us up daily. We pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

I hope you enjoy my new favorite song by Aaron Cole. May Christ’s peace flood your soul and may you dance in the hard moments of life. 

Grace and peace to you,

Amy

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A LEGACY OF LOVE

I’m remembering my grandfather, Poppy, today on his birthday. He passed away at the age of ninety-six in 2012 and he left an awesome legacy. His life was defined by love and his relationship with Christ was exemplary.

My love for Christ grew from watching Poppy’s life and I hope your love for the Lord will grow as you read the words I wrote about Poppy.

A TRIBUTE TO POPPY

If I had to choose one word to describe my grandfather, Poppy, it would be, “LOVE.” He loved God, he loved people, and he loved life.

Some of my favorite memories of him are the times he laughed hysterically while watching cartoons. I remember watching Tom and Jerry with him and he laughed so hard that he nearly fell out of his chair. That was amazing to see an old man laugh harder than I did as a little girl. He loved to laugh and he laughed hard and often. He truly lived life to the fullest.

Growing up, I spent a great deal of time with him and my grandmother because I lived right next door to them for several years. One of my favorite things to do as a little girl was to sit with Poppy and swing with him. While swinging, he loved to hold one of his cats that he called, “Sweetie Pie.”

I will always remember the camping trips I took with my grandparents. Poppy loved his camper, he loved to fish, and he loved the outdoors. Some of my greatest memories are all the times we spent outside in his garden and on his property.

I learned what true joy is by hanging out with Poppy. He was always content while living a laid-back life in Epworth, Georgia. He was a country boy at heart.

Poppy knew the art of enjoying the simple things in life. I can imagine him now making a soft whistling sound just like he did as he tinkered on his tractor and worked in his garden. He had this amazing aura of happiness about him.

Poppy had a major sweet tooth. Some of his favorite treats were Circus Candy Peanuts and Moon Pies. He loved to eat a slice of cake or pie after every meal and sometimes he even ate his dessert before the main course.

Oh how he loved his family. He was truly the best father and grandfather a person could have. He raised three wonderful children and he brought tremendous joy into the lives of his grandchildren.

I will always remember the laughter and the fun times with Poppy. But what is most important to me is how Poppy’s life permanently impacted my heart. I learned from him that life is a gift—a beautiful gift from our heavenly Father. I watched my grandfather live the life that God intends for every person to live.

There is a scripture verse that comes to my mind when I think of Poppy. Deuteronomy 5:33 says, “Walk in all the way that the Lord has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”

Poppy could have lived a tragic life. His earthly father passed away on his 11th birthday and left him fatherless. However, he chose the high road and he let His Father in Heaven fill the void in his heart after losing a parent at such a young age.

Poppy surely prospered in his life. He had a rich marriage with my grandmother for 72 years. He stayed committed to her and loved her through the good times and through the hard times.

He was a man of courage and a man of honor. He loved and enjoyed his family and friends so very much.

He lived a fulfilling life because he attained a beautiful relationship with Christ. He lived out the greatest commandments in the Bible very well.

Poppy’s life is a great example of a life fully surrendered to Christ. He lived a blessed life throughout his journey on Earth because he loved God with his whole heart, mind, and soul. And he certainly loved his neighbor as himself in countless ways. He was an amazing man because he tapped into the true Source of life.

His life was beautiful and filled with joy because of that. A close relationship with Christ is what God longs for every person on Earth to enter into. He wants us to be so head over heels in love with Jesus that no circumstance or loss can rob us of our joy.

My prayer for each one of us is that we will let the life that my grandfather lived be a standard we will reach for. May we let Jesus fill the void in our hearts in the same way that Poppy turned to God when he lost his daddy as a child.

The words my grandfather wrote to me reveal the key to a happy life.

Poppy wrote these words that will stay with me forever, “We pray that you and Michael will always love Jesus with all your hearts. This is what life is all about.”

Poppy loved Christ wholeheartedly and he lived abundantly because of his closeness to his heavenly Father.

May the Lord bless your life abundantly with His grace and peace.

Love and prayers,

Amy

CHRIST IS THE ANCHOR OF HOPE

In times of sorrow and tragedy, we can hold onto the hope that comes from our faith in Jesus Christ. As I was praying for those devastated by the recent school shootings, I thought about how our hope in Christ is the anchor of the soul.

Our ultimate hope is for a perfect and peaceful world when Christ returns to Earth. Thankfully, even as we wait for His return, we can rejoice in the hope of His ability to restore and heal us in the midst of the painful trials of life.

As soon as I heard the news about the students shot earlier this week, I began praying for a miraculous healing for those who are wounded and praying for peace for those who are mourning.

Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

We can walk in hope and be patient in times of tribulation because of Christ’s promise to never leave or forsake us. As we trust Christ and persistently pray faith-filled prayers in His name, we will see miracles come out of the most horrific tragedies.

Hope is everywhere if we open our spiritual eyes. Three days ago, a praying woman set up a Facebook page and requested prayer for her young niece, Lily. The little girl, Lily, was in a near drowning accident and her family is praying and believing Christ to heal her completely.

The page “Prayers for Lily” has over 125,000 people connected to it already since Monday. Only Christ could orchestrate an army of praying people so quickly. Christ is on the move in amazing ways and I believe He will heal little Lily as the army of God prays passionately for her healing.

A few weeks ago, I followed another miracle story about two young children who were hospitalized for E.coli infections. One of the children, Jaxon, was extremely sick. Christ healed him and his sister as their family, friends, and countless people around the world prayed for them.

Christ is the hope of the world and His love will bring change as we pray.

Let’s hold onto Christ, our anchor, in the midst of our troubles and remain constant in prayer.

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain (Hebrews 6:19). 

Beloved Jesus,

Thank You for being our anchor and healer. Our hearts are deeply saddened by the tragic shootings in the schools. I know You are filled with compassion for those families who are devastated. Please send Your ministering angels to be with those who are mourning and those who are injured in Benton, Kentucky and Italy, Texas. Please heal the ones who are in the hospital. Fill them with the hope and knowledge of Your eternal love. Keep them in the palm of Your hand and surround them with Your love and peace. Help all of us to keep our eyes fixed on You and trust You to do supernatural miracles in the midst of this tragedy. Please let us see Your hand working and let us not give up praying for the youth in our nation. We pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

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PURSUING CHRIST ABOVE EVERYTHING IN 2018

Ten years ago, I took a leap of faith after a life coach convinced me to begin writing for an online blog. As I got a clearer vision for my life, I deleted my first blog site and eventually began writing for the Live Abundantly Now website in 2013.

This week, I was searching through documents with my old blog posts and I stumbled upon the first post I ever wrote in January, 2008.

This past year has been a year of stretching, growing, and learning to trust Christ more with my life. It has been a year of highs and lows, sorrows and celebrations. This life is an amazing roller-coaster ride filled with a gamut of emotion. It’s never going to be perfect, but it can be glorious, if we realize that we were created for a purpose. When we seek to find that purpose and begin walking the path of our destiny, we will find the fulfillment that we long for. Christ never promised that the road would be easy, but He did promise an abundant life.

The words I wrote in that post ten years ago are true, but it’s missing a key point to finding fulfillment in life. In order to find our purpose and true peace, we need to pursue Christ above everything else.

Looking back over these past ten years, I realize that I was not pursuing Christ above all else consistently. Honestly, at times I pursued the acceptance of people above seeking Christ’s guidance, I pursued my own interests above Christ’s desires, and I pursued other things above Christ until this past year.

I believe everyone would agree that 2017 was a hard year for our nation and for our world. The hurricanes, earthquakes, famines, wildfires, political tensions, the mass shootings and other tragedies were devastating around the globe.

What can we do in 2018 to go forward in faith after such a tumultuous year?

We can stop focusing on the things which are seen and focus on the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).

We can let our light shine before men in such a way that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father who is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).

We can take care of orphans and widows in their distress, and keep ourselves untainted by the world (James 1:27).

We can throw away the sins that so easily entangle us and run the race marked out for us with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1).

We can seek first Christ’s kingdom and His righteousness, and trust His promise of providing every single need we have (Matthew 6:33).

We can draw near to the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in times of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Will you join me on this journey of seeking Christ above everything else? Let us pray and ask the Lord to satisfy the longings of our souls in 2018.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your amazing love and Your incredible patience with us. Please forgive us for getting drawn away from Your presence into earthly things that really have no real substance or meaning. Please quench our thirst for spiritual blessings and help us turn away from the sins that kill our spirits. Let us pursue You above everything else and get to know You more deeply every day. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly. My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 

Psalm 63:1

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THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

Forgive Each Other

Compassion flooded my heart as I walked into the room where my step-mother, Debbie, was resting while she battled the effects of stage-four cancer. With a frightened look in her eyes, she burst into a cry when she looked at me standing in the doorway. Debbie normally wasn’t emotional, but the sympathy in my eyes must have touched a deep place in her spirit.

With a smile, I walked toward Debbie, and her tears subsided as I embraced her. Serenity filled the room while we sat there together enjoying a conversation.

As love flowed from my heart, I asked Debbie if she would like me to say a prayer. Enthusiastically, she said, “Yes!” I held tightly onto her hands and began praying softly over her. The fear I had seen in her eyes began to fade away and a fresh glow illuminated her face.

After a sweet time together, I hugged her firmly and said, “Goodbye.” As the door shut behind me, a flood of emotion washed over me and I began sobbing.

The tears were a bittersweet mixture of the sorrow I felt for Debbie’s battle with cancer and a celebration of the powerful love I had shared with her in the midst of her pain.

I realized during those precious moments spent with my step-mother that I was reaping the fruit of my choice to forgive her many years before. Decades earlier when I was a thirteen-year-old girl, I met Debbie after my dad moved out of our home. He divorced my mother and married Debbie soon afterward.

The life I had known in my childhood was shattered and I felt the deepest pain I’ve ever experienced. Bitterness invaded my heart as I blamed Debbie for the break up of my family. In my brokenness, I struggled to open my heart to Debbie until after I matured and realized the burden of carrying the pain was too heavy.

While I watched the example of my mother’s forgiveness in the midst of the unwanted divorce, I resisted the urge to stay bitter. Miraculously, through the resurrection power of Christ, I was able to totally forgive Debbie, and the wound in my heart healed.

Forgiveness has the power to make something beautiful out of something terribly painful.

Amy and Debbie

On my wedding day, the photographer got a candid photo with my step-mom joyfully gazing at me. Only Christ could enable such beauty to emerge out of the brokenness from the past.

Years later, as I sat with my step-mom while she faced death, it was evident to me that the choice of forgiveness had truly transformed my soul. The hurting, young teen I once was, could not have fathomed I was capable of loving my step-mother with a love so pure.

While hoping and praying for Debbie’s healing, I received a phone call from my father. His voice was solemn as he said, “The doctors are saying it will be just a few hours before Debbie passes away.”

I said, “I’m so sorry, Daddy.” I was crying as I tried to comfort my father.

Peace encompassed my sad heart as I walked into the critical care unit. It was surreal to see Debbie hooked up to machines and nearly lifeless.

A kind nurse assured me that Debbie was listening even though she was powerless to speak. In those surreal moments, I embraced the sacredness of Debbie’s soul preparing to pass from this life into eternity.

As a heavenly aura filled the room, I walked closer to her bedside and with words mixed with tears, I passionately said, “I love you, Debbie; thank you for being a loving step-mother to me.”

If it’s possible to touch Heaven tangibly while still on the earth, I certainly touched it that day.

I am certain that forgiveness is the birthing place for the most beautiful kind of love. Evidence of the love that grew in my relationship with my step-mother is in a card she gave me a few months before her death.

Debbie’s written words will forever be inscribed on my heart. She wrote, “Amy, I have grown to love you like my very own daughter.”

After nearly nine years since Debbie’s death, she is treasured and the power of forgiveness remains the greatest miracle of my life.

A life without forgiveness is a burdensome existence—it’s like dragging a large weighted ball. Without forgiveness, the pain adheres itself to the soul and dampens everything we experience with a thick darkness. When we don’t forgive we are only hurting ourselves.

Forgiveness is one of the greatest keys to living an abundant life. The one who walks in love and forgiveness experiences an abundance of spiritual blessings. 

Are you carrying unnecessary weight in your heart? There’s no better time than now to choose forgiveness.  Christ died on the cross and rose again so that we can forgive and be free from the pain that weighs us down. Choosing the path of forgiveness leads us to eternal joy, perfect peace, and unleashes the most magnificent, unimaginable love.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for being the greatest example of love and forgiveness. We surrender to You and repent for the times we have had an unforgiving heart. Please show us the offenses we are holding in our hearts and let us totally forgive every offense that has come against us. Let us live a lifestyle of forgiveness daily and let us have a grace-filled heart that’s incapable of being offended. Let us be vessels of Your awesome love and let us be defined by Your powerful gospel of grace. Please use each one of us to make a difference in the world by spreading Christ’s love everywhere we go. We pray in the mighty name of Christ. Amen.

Dr. Bruce Hebel teaches a powerful message on forgiveness. If you’re struggling to forgive, I highly recommend that you watch the video below and check out the ministry’s website to learn practical steps for walking in forgiveness:  ForgivingForward.com.

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A SUNDAY PRAYER

LOOK AT GOD'S WONDERS

On this glorious Sunday, God’s wonders are all around us. Christ is awakening the dead places inside us. He is breathing life into our souls. He is working behind the scenes to bring our dreams into fruition. There is no limit to what He will do in each of our lives as we keep our eyes focused on Him. May we take time to look at the wonder of the life Christ has given us and live abundantly in His grace.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We are in awe of You and we thank You for creating the beautiful earth for us to enjoy. Please help us revel in all the wonders of the world. Fill our hearts with abundant peace and never-ending joy. Let us never look back at the disappointments of the past and choose to look toward the heavenly blessings You have in store for our lives. Let us live as little children with simple faith and trust in You. Let us live in Your light and live with a sense of wonder every moment of every day. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

Happy Sunday!

XOXO,

Amy

CHOOSING FAITH OVER FEAR

DO NOT FEAR, FOR I AM WITH YOU

Fear is one of the most paralyzing obstacles we deal with in life. If we’re being completely honest with each other, we all battle with fearful thoughts at times.

Fear can taunt us, but it cannot have any power over us when we are grounded in Christ. I was greatly encouraged in my quest to conquer fear after I had a powerful dream in my sleep last year.

In my dream, I was alone and trying to find my way home late at night after leaving an event. Unintentionally, I took a road that led to the top of a really high mountain. In the midst of the darkness, I could barely see my surroundings, but I kept on driving anyway. Suddenly, I began to get fearful as I realized I had taken the wrong road and I was on the side of a mountain. As I was turning the vehicle around, I could see I had reached the top without even being aware of it. With amazement, I thanked God for helping me make it safely to the top of a huge mountain in the dark. Then I was awakened from my sleep.

In the moments shortly after my dream, I sensed there was a message Christ wanted me to receive. It was as though He was saying: You have no reason to fear the darkness. I am with you. I will help you.

Fear has taunted me at times throughout my life and it has attempted to get me off course, but thankfully it has not succeeded in stopping me from living courageously.

I am determined not to let fear stop me from going after my callings. When I stand face to face with Christ, I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I don’t want Him to wonder why I let fear stop me from doing His will for my life.

Are you battling fears or feeling anxious about the future? Do you have moments when fear paralyzes you or prevents you from doing what you are called to do?

If we continually look to Christ and choose faith over fear, we will be totally free from fear’s grip.

As long as we’re on this earth, we’ll be tempted by fear, but it does not have to control our lives. There are a few strategies that help me overcome fear when it tempts me to give into it.

Praying passionately stops fear dead in its tracks. When I am tempted to give into fearful thoughts, I drop to my knees and pray wholeheartedly until Christ floods my soul with peace.

Meditating on Scripture is a powerful way to conquer anxious thoughts. The Scriptures, especially the Psalms, have helped me mightily through the years. Meditating on the Psalms melts away anxiety and fear. If we are keeping our hearts fixed upon Christ and His Word, fearful thoughts cannot penetrate our minds.

Living a life of repentance breaks the chains of anxiety in our lives. Whenever I am feeling fearful, I ask Jesus if there is something in my life that is allowing unrest in my soul. Christ is always faithful to show me an unrealized sin that needs to be stripped out of my heart. Letting Christ sanctify us is a key factor in getting free from our fears. It’s amazing how peace floods into my soul instantaneously as I repent.

Worshiping in Spirit and in truth opens the door to peace. As we remain in an attitude of worship throughout each day, Christ’s indescribable peace remains within us. Worshiping by singing and listening to anointed songs is a powerful way to conquer fear.

Christ is calling us to go deeper in our relationship with Him so that we can crush fear under our feet and never be affected by it again. The deeper we go with Christ, the more of His glory will be released in our lives. No dark force can stand up against the glory and power of Jesus Christ. With Christ guiding and strengthening us, we have nothing to fear.

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10

May you live fearlessly and step boldly into the destiny Christ has for your life.

As a side note, please forgive me for neglecting to write for my blog lately. Recently, I have been working hard on another writing project. I am pressing forward in my callings and helping build Christ’s kingdom on the earth. I would be so honored if you would subscribe to receive my posts electronically by entering your e-mail address into the box on the right sidebar. Thanks so much to those who have already subscribed.

XOXO,

Amy

THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL

Because He Lives!!

Heaven touches us and stays in our hearts the moment we truly realize what Christ has done for us on the cross. We do not have to wait until after we leave our earthly bodies to begin experiencing Christ’s eternal gifts. Eternity begins when we surrender to Christ and allow Him to turn the hard things of life into something amazingly beautiful.

Yesterday, as I was strolling through Gibbs Gardens with my friend who recently lost her beloved mom, I thought of the anchor we have in Christ. The stunning beauty in the gardens reminded me of Christ and His redemptive love. There was an overwhelming sense of Christ’s resurrection power as I gazed at the splendor of the Japanese maple trees.

Japanese Garden at Gibbs Gardens

Christ died an agonizing death so that we can live abundantly, free of condemnation and guilt. He died so that we can live in a heavenly state of mind with eternal peace through every trial and loss. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.”

Christ’s love is all we need to make it through this life victoriously.

Christ’s gift of love restores us and heals us. His love is the balm to the oozing wounds in our souls after a loved one passes on. His love restores hurting relationships and rebuilds broken lives. Christ makes even the hardest days remarkable, simply because He is with us.

Whatever you are going through at this moment, be encouraged and know that it is not too big for Christ. The same power that raised Jesus back to life will resurrect you and your situation as you turn to Him and have faith.

Our constant pursuit of Christ and our surrendered prayers move the Lord’s heart to work powerfully on our behalf. Our relinquished lives open the door to God’s glory and the heavenly realm overcomes the darkness around us.

Once we have tasted of Christ’s glory, there is no dark force that can defeat us or bring us down. He is life. He is everything. His love is the greatest gift of all.

Beloved Jesus,

We adore You and we are in awe of the sacrifice You made for us. Thank You for paying the penalty for all of our sins. Thank You for giving Your life so that we can live freely and eternally. Help us to receive all the gifts You have for our lives and help us to live as recipients of Your amazing grace every day. Help us to share Your love with those around us and invite others into a life-giving relationship with You. We love You with all our hearts and we pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

Grace and peace to you,

Amy

A SIDE NOTE – I would be so blessed and honored if you would subscribe to receive the posts electronically by entering your e-mail address into the box on the right sidebar.

I hope you enjoy this powerful song by Elevation Worship. Shout out to our King!