Monday, March 3, 2014

Square one, and I'm trying to be a Circle.

And while they were there, the time came for her delivery, 
Luke 2:6 

Sometimes I sit and think why does my life feel like it's going backwards? I have this dream in my heart and I want to move forward, clearly I see it there but why does everything seem to lead me back?

Lord had brought me back here many times. In 2009 we (my ex husband and I) lived with my parents and a very frustrating 2013 moving back home. Now single mom with two boys, divorced and moving back home. It wasn't my ideal plan to say the least. Though I am eternally grateful for my parents open home to my boys and I, I find myself felling disappointed, confused and frustrated. 

Coming back home for me was a major failure, a big mark on my forehead saying: this is my loser daughter who can't get her life together. Bad enough I have this audacious dream in my heart that feels so impossible and unattainable. Every day for a year I searched for a job and a way to get back on my own and every month seemed like one huge closed door. This frustration continued to grow and I found myself asking why? 

I was tired. Tired of trying to make it happen myself and tired of believing in a lost cause. It was a Thursday morning, I laid in my bed telling The Lord "I have no more fight left.Should I just accept this is my life? No more chasing dreams, no more writing, no more thoughts of my own home...just no more." 

My days are past, my purposes and plans are frustrated; even the thoughts (desires and possessions) of my heart [are broken off]. 
Job 17:11 

Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
Matthew 11:29 

His soft voice filled my room and his tender touch filled my heart. Tears began to fill my eyes. 

"Lord I feel like I disappoint everyone I know, I feel like I disappoint you."

This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’ 
Jeremiah 6:16 

For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who can annul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? 
Isaiah 14:27 

"But Lord I feel so Lost"

My word is a lamp to guide your feet and a light for your path. 
(Psalms 119:105)

Sitting there in silence. I remembered "just believe". Maybe this was the place I had to be all the time. A place where I could get no glory. A place of completely reliance on God to do a miracle. Believing when I had not fight left. She is blessed because she believed. 

There may be a circumstance that makes all things dreamed about seem impossible. You may be at square one. Again. But read Luke 1 a little closely, they were in Bethlehem, they were home. Sometimes God sends us to square one to birth a miracle, to inhabit a promise. Hold deeply that dream. Stand firm and when you are tired, rest. He has it all figured out. 

For nothing is impossible with God.  Luke 1:37

Be blessed, Carissa Deann

Power Verses:

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? 
Numbers 23:19

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. 
Proverbs 16:9 

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 
2 Corinthians 1:20 

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. 
Luke 1:38 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Beautiful Mess

My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. 
Song of Solomon 2:10 

It was my day off. My boyfriend had just left me and I was alone. Staring at myself in the mirror how did I get here? How did I become this person? No one wants me. No one would care or even notice. Staring at the bottles of fat burners I knew swallow them and this pain will disappear. This loneliness will be gone.

As I laid sobbing, ready to die, a soft voice came to my heart. So gentle and loving, Carissa I heard. The world around me was chaotic, dark and lonely but for this moment I was loved. This moment I found purpose. He wrapped his arms around me and I found who I was again. Still afraid to trust Him, though I still felt a place I belonged. 

I've struggled with suicidal thoughts most of my life. I've often tried to run away as well. Those thoughts of if I just go no one would miss me, no one would know I was gone. If I just leave I can start somewhere else and it would be better. Have you ever felt that way? 

Maybe it's not about feeling alone and maybe it's feeling different. I know that feeling all to well as well. A natural outcast I've never had any friends. And even so the ones I did have I never quite fit in. At school my mother, a campus security guard, had more "friends" than I. At church I was often outcasted and felt out of place. I was never liked by too many boys, never considered the pretty friend. 

After high school I lived with my boyfriend but even with him I felt disposable and tolerated. A deep thinker by nature, I had no outlet to share my thought often resorting to journaling and internalizing all my emotions. I would smile but inside I was broken. Inside I wanted to die. 

I searched many placed to find this belonging comfort and never seemed to find it. Moments ready to end this misery I heard that small voice. Someone loved me? No one loves you Carissa that's silly. Wait there it is again. Someone loves me. 
That day was not the end for me but that didn't mean I still didn't have those thoughts. Even after coming to The Lord October 2008 I still would struggle. Every time things would get bad and tough times would hit I found myself trying to find a permanent way out. 

November 2013, the darkest depression of my life. After 2 years of full time ministry I was at a loss. Life devastated me. My failure penetrated deep into my soul. Pleading to The Lord, spare my children, don't let my sin affect them. I was ready to go. Accepting death again I found myself looking in a mirror surrounded my pills ready to die. But there's that small quiet voice again. 

"Carissa" I heard. 

"Carissa I love you". 

"Carissa, I've prepared a road for you. I have a plan. Trust me" 

"My lovely, my Dear. I love you"

Sobs, uncontrollable tears rolling down my face could it be the Lover of my Soul? Could it be Jesus? Yes, it was him. The God of Israel, Jacob and Abraham was speaking to me and yet again he said I have a purpose for you. I just have to trust him. 

All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him. 
Song of Solomon 3:1 

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. 
Hosea 2:14 

Closing my eyes I head him once again. Wrapping his arms around he I found the place I belonged.

Have you ever felt like you just don't belong? Like no one could understand you and your so very alone? Have you ever wanted to take your own life? I did. 

I pray today that the spirit of God wraps his arms around you and you find love that no other can give you. An unquenchable desire for love that is unfailing. The place you belong is right in his arms. That purpose, those feeling, rest in him. I promise you there is joy and peace in him. I wish I had some spectacular ending for you. I don't. All I can leave you with is, you're not alone and that there is so much more to this than the temporary moment. God is Love.
His Love is stronger than death.

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Song of Solomon 8:6 

Be blessed, Carissa Deann 

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Black Swan

"No one loves me," Leah said. "I'm too ugly."

In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 
Luke 1:42

I've always felt like Leah and never a Rachel. Felling insecure, deep down I was always so sad. Making insecurity with good deeds. Maybe if I do well my family, friends and peers would see worth in me. I wanted to be considered beautiful and looked up to also. But I was The black swan, I stood out and was pushed aside.I realized though, being Leah is actually a blessing.

 I has to Stop looking around me and start realizing what's IN me! There are nations and princes being birthed in me and from me! 

God has positioned you for greatness and just when you think you've lost where you are really purposed He will show off through you! Amen! Leah felt outcasted and unimportant. Why was Rachel getting all the praise when Leah did all the work? Why did Jacob see Rachel as a blessing and not Leah? 

We have to come to a place where we ask: do I please man or God? Do I want man's will or God's? 

When we begin to get our eyes off of man and set them wholly on The Lord joy begins to fill us and we begin to see clearly the blessing we have in every situation and lonely place. 

My son's storybook bible shares it a little better. Be proud Leah God has anointed YOU! 

"But God didn't think she was ugly. And when he saw that Leah was not loved and that no one wanted her, God chose her - to love her specially, to give her a very important job. One day, God was going to rescue the world - through Leah's family.

Now when Leah knew that God loved her, in her heart, suddenly it didn't matter anymore whether her husband loved her best, or if she was the prettiest. Someone had chosen her, someone did love her - with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

So when had a baby boy she called him Judah, which means, "This time I will praise the Lord!" And that's what she did.

And you'll never guess what job God gave Leah. You see, when God looked at Leah, he saw a princess. And sure enough, that's exactly what she became. One of Leah's children's children would be a prince - the Prince of Heaven - God's Son.

This Prince would love God's people. They wouldn't need to be beautiful for him to love them. He would love them with all his heart. And they would be beautiful because he loved them.

Like Leah."

Keep Faith And Be Blessed, Carissa Deann

Power Verses:

And blessed (happy, to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord. 
(Luke 1:45 AMP)

Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise. 
(Psalms 106:12 NLT)
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. 
(Psalm 40:2-4 NIV)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Me and my big BUT

Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” 
Luke 9:61-62 

I will follow you BUT

I want to BUT

I'm going to BUT

We tend to talk out of our BUT often when it comes to following Christ. Our conditional service has become such a norm. We cry out Lord use me send me BUT under MY terms. I want to follow you but will you do this, this and this first?! I'm going to write an incredible Facebook status BUT complain in my prayer life. Don't worry I'm not calling you out, I do this too. In fact it's why I'm writing this. 

I'm a planner. I have every detail of my life planned out in my little pink calendar AND my phone. I can organize anything and everything. Projects excite me and tasks keeps going. I love detail and facts. Knowledge brings me pure joy. These are great things until we serve God and follow his plan for our life. 

Now don't take this wrong, God gave me those gifts and they are very valuable to him. When I am sensitive to his voice and do as he says. Where they go wrong is when I want to use my logic in His supernatural. When I want to plan, and He says let go. I always think my way is better and it turns to a chaotic mess. I wonder what would happen if I'd just listen and let go?

Another interesting fact is I'm all about making peace with my past and trying to "fix" things. But I've learned a harsh lesson is some doors are meant to remain shut. Why do we keep trying to open them? The results won't be any different. 

Recently The Lord asked me if I was ready to really put my hands to the plow and of coarse I said YES! But then he said "without looking back?" 

Too often we want to relive the past and stay in our habit just to see if the outcome will be different. Hoping we will find some value in it. When God has us moving forward we keep looking behind missing everything beautiful ahead. We don't realize God is moving in our life because we keep knocking at those locked doors behind us.

Maybe God is tugging at your heart? Maybe he wants you to let Go? Maybe he just wants your eyes on him and stop looking behind you?! There are many ways The Lord can speak to us but one thing is certain today that verse came alive. I don't want to be the woman held back by my what ifs and be a woman who is pushed forward by her what nows? 

God has a wonderful plan for your life! Don't look back! Push forward, amen! 

Be blessed, Carissa Deann

Power Verse:

Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 
John 12:25-26 

From Suicide Girl to Daughter Of The King

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
Psalm 139:15 

When I was sixteen I had a dream that I was going to have a son and his name was Elijah. 

When I was twenty and not serving The Lord my life felt it would never happen. One night I had every pill in my house on my bathroom counter ready to take my life. As I fell asleep from crying The Lord shared once again the dreams of Promise he had for me. After a series of events I had moved back home, came back to The Lord in October and the following April I had married my long time boyfriend. 

My twenty-First birthday was August fourth and on August sixteenth I heard the heartbeat of my son Elijah. One year later. God had turned my chaos into something beautiful. 

A few more years of struggle but I managed to keep going. God had been doing a good work in me. January first two thousand thirteen I heard in my heart "The year of Positioning." I was overjoyed! I felt finally the plans of God will unfold! Month after month I hoped that would be the day, the month, the moment. Trying to figure him out left me disappointed. His presence kept me going, hope kept my joy. 

November two thousand thirteen I sat in my bedroom weeping. Crying out again. My heart so broken, the deepest depression I had felt this far. Again I found myself surrounded by every pill I had telling The Lord..."I accept hell, I am broken to not be with you but please take this from me. This brokenness and aloneness I feel is unbearable. Please don't allow my sin to affect my sons. Have mercy on them and show them the purpose you have."

Once again I fell asleep with tear filled eyes and he heard me. He reminded me through my tears again what he has for me. Night after night, day after day he met with me giving me hope to live one more day. Every morning I woke to the presence of God. 

January two thousand fourteen. Each day the same. Moment by moment. He held me. February two thousand fourteen I had to ask.. Why do I feel so alone Lord? Surrounded by many but still alone? I can't explain this place, no one can understand. His response...

Can a woman who's never had a baby understand the feeling of life moving inside her? Can a man who's never lead a wife teach men to care for woman? It is man who has life and he joins his wife to birth life. She carries that life. It's uncomfortable and hard to explain but there is certainty that that life will be birthed. Labor pains and exhaustion FINALLY it is here. 

My life was chaotic and one year later the promise was here. In these seasons of feeling alone we are positioned. We are equipped. And at the appointed time the promise is birthed. It goes with you where ever you go. That alone place, the secret place, is where he wants you. In that place he will form you. Soon enough your life will never be the same. 

Keep Faith, Carissa Deann

Power verses: 

For you created my inmost being; you KNIT me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully MADE; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was NOT hidden from you when I was made in the SECRET PLACE, when I was WOVEN together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes SAW my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— WHEN I AWAKE, I am STILL WITH YOU. Psalm 139:13-18 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

But I Don't want to.

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 
Genesis 4:3-5 

So with my best efforts I'm trying to teach the boys about giving. They have this pretty piggy bank. When I have extra cash or change I'll bring it down and give them the money to put in there. Eli always gets super excited about putting the money in the piggy and will even search for change around my purse and room to put more. While today josh was not so enthused. Josh had his pennies gripped in his little hand so mad at me that I was having him give it away. Right then I said "I'm sorry Lord"

So many times we look at our tithe or offering as an obligation rather than a choice to give back knowing God has special plans with that obedience and that store house. I know myself not having a steady income it's easy to hold onto that money rather than see the blessing of giving. 

We read about two brothers. One gave his best while the other gave what was left over. Do we give our best? The first of our little incomes? The first of our days? The first of our months or the first of our years? Do we give joyfully? I'll admit I don't always do. But lately I've really searched my heart and really desire to. Desire to make Jesus first in my life in every way. I trust him completely. 

I'm going to cash in that piggy bank and use the money to take the boys to do something they love and enjoy. Joshy doesnt know that. But I do. When you give your tithe, time and walk in obedience God sees that. He has something special in store for you. You may not know the details but he does <3�� trust him. 

Be blessed, Carissa Deann

Power Verse: 

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Romans 4:18

Sunday, February 9, 2014

God makes dreams come True: Happy Birthday Elijah!

Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord —he is God! The Lord —he is God!” 
1 Kings 18:37-39 

Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. Genesis 42:6 

When I was in High School I had a dream that The Lord would give me a son and his name was Elijah Joseph. I was sixteen. The promise was that he would be my first born and that he would serve God boldly. I held that close to my heart. 

When I was 20 I found out I was pregnant. At 16 weeks I sat on that doctors table waiting to see that little baby on the monitor. It was a boy. My first born son Elijah Joseph born February 10, 2010.... 

I share this with you one because that beautiful promise turns 4 years old tomorrow and two I want to encourage you to believe in the Gifts of the spirit and that you will receive ALL that God has for you! God still moves like it is written and if you trust him you will be blessed beyond measure seeing the hand of God move in your life. 

Four years after the dream I met my son. Luke 1:45 she is blessed because she BELIEVED God would do what he said he would do.

Eli is more than I could ever dream. Literally. That dream was just a glimpse of the fullness he is or will become. But I trust God and believe all he says. 

I pray today you start believing in the impossible. Believe in the Holy Spirit and allow the Power of God to move in you and through you! 

Be  Blessed, Carissa Deann

Power Verses:

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8