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From Trials to Triumph, From Bound by Sin to Set Free!

Bam! Bam! Bam! My head bounced off the wall behind me. Anger and rage, as if something dark had completely consumed his body. Blank, black, nothingness in the eyes of my father, as I looked back in anger and disbelief.

How could he?

Why would he?

I did everything he wanted me to—where did I go wrong?

Thoughts racing one hundred miles per hour through my head—as I experienced demons face to face.

The demons of my earthly father—stared deep into my soul—as I prayed- “Lord, help me! Forgive him for he knows not what he is doing.”

In the split seconds of this all unfolding—I remember thinking I hope the picture on the wall above me does not fall and hit us— how far is he going to go—When I get my feet back on the ground—I am out of here!

He finally let go, as my feet hit the ground, the words spewed out of my mouth—like word vomit “YOU ARE FLIPPING (only I said the real one—the big one—the “F” bomb”) OUT OF CONTROL—I AM OUT OF HERE!”

I quickly walked towards the door—grabbed my purse—in attempt to exit without any further exchanges.

I knew better than that.

As more words of hate, anger, and bitterness spewed from his mouth towards me—I stood in shock, anger, and disbelief—after everything I have done and been through—this is what I get?

And there it was again—the word vomit—It was like I had zero control over my words—and out it came— “IT WAS MY SON—MY SON—THAT THEY TOOK AWAY! HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL?” I screamed, before I quickly left—giving him a dose of his favorite angry gesture—I slammed the door behind me and b-lined home.

I lived next door at the time, so I did not have far to go and there was not much distance between us—we literally shared a yard. This was the beginning of the end, the boiling point that would bring me to where I am today. After about thirty-one years of struggling, fighting, and going through some of the darkest days of my life—It was time to Rise!

Rise Up! Be the woman I am called to be—take my life back—find my freedom and joy once again.

After many years of praying, seeking, and crying out—God answered me. His answer was NOT one I expected nor one I liked.

He said to me, clear as day—”Stephanie, are you going to listen to Me, God the Father, or your earthly father? You cannot live to please us both. Seek first my kingdom and all things will be added to you.”

“Ok, God—I am all in—I don’t know what this means or where you are going to lead me next—but I am all Yours.” I said, “You lead the way.”

Take a journey with me through a season of devastation, loss, abuse, and heartache. From victim to victor—from trials to triumph—from loneliness to surrounded by God’s love and presence.

Read through my time of struggle and see the relations to your life trials. Learn that no matter what, God is on your side.

When the pressure is on—it is not a time to quit—it is the time to rise up!


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Daily Devo- A Desperate Call in Crisis

Racing thoughts- elevated blood pressure- body sweats- and the sinking feeling in your stomach are common reactions when a crisis strikes in your life. Everything as you know it is about to change- your fearful and overcome with emotion- what am I going to do?

There are two options in this situation- Trust God or Do not trust God. Hand it all over to Him and let Him work it out or frantically start trying to ‘fix’ the situation yourself.

I will give you- a hint one works and one causes a lot more hurt and only further complicates the situation.

In 2 Chronicles 20:20 Jehoshaphat was faced with a serious crisis when he was attacked by enemies on all sides. This was a great moment of desperation for him and he ordered the nation of Israel to worship God and call on Him for deliverance.

Jehoshaphat said, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established, believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”

He knew that he alone could not win the battle- so he focused the nations attention to the only One who really could deliver them- God.

The scripture goes on to explain that the Lord set ambushes against the people who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.

God does not always take us out of a crisis, but He will always see us through it.

If we put our full trust in Him and cry out for His deliverance- He will protect us and bring good to us through the battle. When we put our trust in the Lord- we can not lose- when God is in control we always win the battle.

A few years ago a crisis struck my life and shook my faith like never before! It was an extremely ugly custody battle over my son. I was being attacked on all sides- the court- my family- attorneys- work- and a toxic home life, I had yet to face.

To say it brought me to my knees would be an under statement. My son is my life. How would I go on if he no longer was with on a daily basis. I felt my world begin to crumble around me.

I began seeking and crying out to God like never before. I was a Christian but I did not know God like I do today. He began to expose many chains that had me bound. He exposed my inner self to me- He exposed the toxicity that I was living with daily from my father- He exposed how little trust I actually had in Him.

I have always said I trust and believe in God. That He is my Savior and watches over me. However, saying these things and truly living them with all your heart is two very different things.

As I began to seek Him for answers to the catastrophe of a life I was living- He answered! It was not the answer I wanted, nor the one I thought I would receive, but in the end it was exactly what I had been praying and begging God for.

He knows the desires of our heart and He hears every prayer- it is our job to listen to Him and trust in His response.

I thought I would share with you the battle prayer I wrote when going through some of the darkest- most difficult- times of my life.

My Battle Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Listen to me cry out for I am in desperate need. (Psalm 142:6) Lord God when they plot against me, they figure out how they can take my life, But I trust in you O Lord I declare “You are my God” you determine my destiny rescue me from the power of my enemies and those who chase me. (Psalm 31:13-15) Remind me you have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) Indeed Lord God you are my rock and my fortress for the sake of your name lead me and guide me. (Psalm 31:3) Lord Jesus when I am surrounded by trouble you keep me safe you oppose my angry enemies and save me by your power, you will do everything you have promised. (Psalm 138:7) For when I am afraid I will trust in you, I praise God for his word I trust God so I am not afraid. What can human beings do to me?(Psalm 56:3-4) Lord God I pray for the blessing you promised of giving words of wisdom that none of my enemies will be able to prove wrong. (Luke 21:15) Lord you are there and know what I should do when I am ready to give up. (Psalm 142:3) Lord help us to remember the weapons of our warfare is not of the flesh but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. (2 Corinthians 10:4) Lord you said “the captives of warriors will be released and the tyrants will be retrieved for I will fight those who fight you and I will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25) and I pray this to be true over my life and my family. Lord God I pray you remind me of what you said in Isaiah 41 “Fear not, for I am with you, Be not dismayed for I am your God I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you , I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” “For I , the Lord your God will hold your right hand saying to you fear not I will help you” God I thank you for the blessing and power of prayer for Jesus answered and said, “Have faith in God, for assuredly I say to you whoever says to this mountain “Be removed and be cast in the sea” and does NOT doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask when you pray believe that you receive them and you will have them. (Mark 11:22-24) I pray this to be true over my family and my current troubles Lord God. I pray you use this situation to turn bad into good to glorify your name and your kingdom. When we are feeling overwhelmed by all going on give us encouragement, when we’re running out of strength give us endurance. In spite of everything help us know your peace and joy. (Romans 15:5 14:7)If god is with us, no one can defeat us. But in all things we have full victory through God who showed his love for us. (Romans 8) Lord Jesus I pray you dress me in the armor of God having “girded my waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God’ (Ephesians 6:14-17) and stop all evil and allow your will to be done. Lord Jesus thank you for all these promises and all the guidance you provide. I pray this unto you in the name of Jesus.

– Amen

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Daily Devo- Faith Tested

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 3:18 NKJV

The Bible tells us that in the world we will have tribulations- that trials are inevitable. Everyone experiences trials and pain throughout their life. It’s part of life and a consequence of sin being introduced into the world. Believer and Non-Believers alike will all have pressing times.

The difference among people going through trials are the way we perceive them.

Believers often look at their trials in a different light. When we are going through a trial in life we know we can rest assured knowing that the Lord is near to the broken hearted. Just as Psalm 3:18 tell us.

Furthermore, the Bible also tells us that we can rejoice in our trials- knowing that with trials comes spiritual growth. Our faith will be tested- there are countless stories through-out the Bible that show the various trials and testing of faith.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 NKJV

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 1:6-7 NKJV

You can see in the above scriptures that going through trials allows us to grow and obtain practical knowledge of who God is and what He is capable of doing in our life. Our perspective on the trials we face makes all the difference on the outcome and how we deal with the situation.

I personally use to have a problem with perceiving trials in a negative light. I often felt as if I must have done something wrong to deserve going through such painful experiences. When a trial would strike it came with a ‘here we go again’ or a ‘why is it always me’ attitude. This is destructive.

As I studied the Bible, I began to learn that it was my perception and destructive attitude that was making my trials far worse than they should have been. Trials are hard to go through but they do not have to result in our spiritual destruction.

Learning that trials were common and even those in the Bible were bombarded with them- gave me peace to know it isn’t ‘Just Me’. Learning that God is near to the broken hearted and that we should expect trials through-out life in order to grow spiritually gave me the peace of mind that I can and will get through any trial life throws at me.

If God is for me than who can be against me?

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31 NKJV

Find joy and comfort when you find yourself in trials. Knowing that God is near- He fights for you- and it will produce spiritual growth.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I thank you Lord for this day- for Your message on trials- and for using me as a vessel to spread Your word. I thank you for Your instruction on the testing of our faith and the knowledge of the growth it brings within us. I pray that each person who reads this will have clarity and understanding of what Your words says. I pray that they would find joy in You during their trials and seek Your wisdom and clarity as they go through them. I pray that the hearts of the lost would be open to Your truth- that they would have an undeniable experience with You. I pray Your love and presence surround each of us- protect us Lord from the schemes of Satan- and bless each person abundantly in Jesus mighty name I pray

Amen

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Not Falling Apart-Falling into Place

During one of the most trying times in my life to date- I felt as if my world was falling apart. Each day came with a new surprise that would bring more pieces crumbling down around me.

It seemed as if no matter how hard I tried, I prayed, I cried, and begged God to help me- nothing ever changed. I literally felt as if I was losing my mind, my body, my family, and my life in general.

I studied the Bible, sought after God’s direction, and desperately wanted change. However, it seemed as if the more I fought to overcome- the more that seemed to be going “wrong”.
I held on to my faith knowing that God’s word tells us in John 16:33 that in this world we will have tribulation but to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world.

My problems were big but I knew my God was bigger. I couldn’t help but to feel hurt, forgotten, ignored, and many other emotions as things continued to not work out the way I wanted them to.

I was also aware that God’s plan is what will prevail but as many of us do, I seemed to have “forgotten” this little- yet VERY important piece.

A very dear friend of mine, a co-worker at the time, told me to listen to the song Just Be Held by Casting Crowns. It was an emotional day so I immediately took my break and listened to the song.

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! This song was PERFECT! I broke down in tears and balled like a baby. This was just what I needed to remind me of who is in control, the one I have in my corner fighting for me (even when we don’t see it or feel it).

If you haven’t heard the song you need to… “Your world is not falling apart-it’s falling into place! Just be held..”

God spoke to me through this song in such a powerful way. Reminding me that I am like an infant child to Him. He holds me, protects me, wipes my tears, and carries me through the storm. EVERY SINGLE TIME- NO MATTER WHAT! All I have to do is reach up my arms and ask Him to help me, hold me, protect me, and get me through this trying time.

God doesn’t want us to worry, stress, and feel overwhelmed by the things happening in the world today or in our personal lives. God only wants us to TRUST IN HIM and LOVE HIM with our whole heart, mind, and soul.(John 10:27)

Sometimes when life gets us down and we feel as if we are being kicked repeatedly by the enemy- we need to change our perspective. God works all things for the good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28)

So remember the next time it feels like your world is falling apart…ITS FALLING INTO PLACE. Find peace in knowing it’s in God’s time and He will ALWAYS carry you through if you ask Him.

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Daily Bible Verse- February 16, 2020

Psalm 18:39

For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

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Daily Bible Verse- February 7, 2020

Psalm 18:6

In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

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Daily Bible Verse- January 6, 2020

Psalm 6:2

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V. – July 27 2019

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NKJV

“Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
‬‬

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V. – July 21 2019

John 16:33 (NKJV)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

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Give it up!

Do you feel like your in a constant battle? Like your fighting a fight that is impossible to win? Life just keeps circling around you and you feel lost in the whirlwind it leaves behind. You keep feeling like your never going to make it, the harder you try the worse things seem to be getting…

Now.. think of one of the biggest trials or obstacles in your life right now. Maybe its finances, maybe it’s your marriage, Maybe a job, or maybe its your children; the list could go on. Do you have it? Good.

Let me ask you this.. How many times in the past week have you prayed over that particular situation? Have you been seeking out God’s direction or relying on your own ways and thoughts to solve what lies before you.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:5 to trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. We are to bring each and every request before Him, He will provide your needs.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

We as humans are constantly trying to control everything that happens in our lives. The harder we try to control every little thing around us the more frustrated we become. Before we know it we are drowning in a pool of negativity and pulling everyone around us down. The sooner we come to grips that we are NOT in control, the sooner we can start living happier more fulfilling lives.

Stop trying to control what happens next. Stop trying to control your children’s every move. Stop trying to change and control your spouse. Stop trying to control things that are out of your control. Stop trying to be two steps ahead of God… just STOP! It will never work.

1 Peter 5:7 says casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

This means we need to give it up, let go, and let God. If its worth complaining about, than it’s worth praying about.

Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

I ask that you take the time now to listen to God’s word and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

If you have never prayed before or asked God for help there is no right or wrong way to pray. God knows your heart and he is always listening. I challenge you today to take the time, grab a notebook, and write a prayer to God asking for His guidance and direction with whatever trial is pressing on you today.

It’s time to let go of the things that are holding us back. Let go of the what if’s and the wondering of what will happen next. Truth is weather you what if and wonder it is not going to change what is going to happen. God is in control! He will help you through whatever lies ahead. All you have to do is let go and trust God. He will never let you down. He will never fail you. In fact, He is the ONLY one whom can truly help you through whatever trial you are struggling with.

Heavenly Father,

Lord I pray for each and every person reading this post. Lord Jesus, touch their hearts, open their minds and give them clarity to understand Your Word. I pray they would cast their cares upon you Lord and let go of the things in life that they can not control. Lord I pray that each would learn to seek You first in all they do, in times of trials and tribulation, but also in times of rejoicing. I pray each person would feel Your love and presence and know that You, God, are always near. I pray that this article reaches those that need to hear this word and that You God would get all the glory, honor, and praise in Jesus name. Amen