Tag Archives: love

Already Accepted

How often to truly feel accepted by God? Do you always sense His love and acceptance? For me, this is an area I have been working on with the Lord, and it has been quite a journey.

In the past, I would beat myself up after making a mistake or if I was struggling. I only felt acceptable if I was doing “well” in my eyes. Yet, I was looking through my lens, not the lens of my Creator and how He felt about me. Self-hatred enveloped me. Yet again, this was not God’s desire for me. I am His child, His creation, and what He made was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Notice that very? When God created everything else on Earth, He said that it was good. When it comes to His children, God put an explanation point by saying that is was “very good.” Take that in for a moment. When God made you, it was very good. He knew we would fall due to our sin in the Garden, yet He still said we were made very good.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Do you know “full well” that His works are wonderful, and that WE are one of those works? Ephesians 1:6 says we are “accepted in the beloved” (KJV). I want to marinate in these truths so much that I never have any doubt who I am and whose I am. I am fully accepted in God, right where I am at.

So whatever struggle you are experiencing, whether with sin, your mental health, your marriage, or parenting, know that you are already accepted today. God’s love for you is great, and as I’ve heard some say before, “Your picture is on His fridge!” Rest in His acceptance, dear one.

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Whose Voice Are You Listening To? A Call to Walk In Love

In this world, we are bombarded by voices and messages from the media and other individuals. It can be pretty overwhelming. And, there is a voice that seeks to subtly affect us every day of our lives. It’s the devil!

Satan is the “accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10) and seeks to bring ruin and darkness to our lives. He wants to deceive us into thinking things that are out of line with the Word of God, especially about God’s love and how He sees us and other people. He wants us to feel condemned with shame and condemn others as well.

Romans 8:1 TPT says: “So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.”

God is saying we are free from accusation and condemnation. But we must pay attention to what we are paying attention to! Are you spending time in the secret place getting close to God and hearing His heartbeat? Are you reading the Word more than you are listening to and researching the news? In this challenging time in the world, let us remain grounded in what is pure and true. May we listen to the voice of God and receive His love for us and others. Scripture states others will know God by our love (John 13:35). What a high call to walk in love!

May you listen for His still small voice and discern His loving, patient, kind voice over the accusing, negative, unloving voice of the Enemy today.

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Refining Fire and Mental Health

Is God refining you in this season? I believe in this season God is doing a new work in each one of us to make us more like Him and to prepare us for what is to come.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

God is making all things new, and it starts with us. He is making a way for us through the valley and wilderness. Do you not perceive it? I know it may be hard to see if you are in the depths of depression or anxiety, but God is up to something new and different. It may not be super clear, but He is doing it. Part of what He is doing is refining and purifying us from things that are not of Him, including idols, sin, and the like. He is calling us back to Him as our First Love, and is making a way for the new things to come into our life by asking us to let go of the old. Has God been nudging you to let go of some things in this season? Is He calling you to let go of lesser things for the better thing? Is He calling you to a radical step of obedience that will put you outside of your comfort zone?  Is He rearranging your priorities right now?

If the answer is yes, perhaps He is refining you. Perhaps He is even calling you out of some false comforts that we can fall into when we have mental illness. For example, God is calling me out of the false comfort on leaning on people too much for encouragement and care. Let me be clear — it is extremely wise to have a support system; however, it is not wise to make them an idol and become emotionally dependent on them to feel okay. Mental illness often lies to us and tells us we aren’t capable of doing things that we actually are capable of. Perhaps in certain seasons, this may be true, but as we continue in our recovery, we need to learn to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto loving the Lord and others. We slowly have to step out of our comfort zone and grow up in the Lord. This process is not easy, but stepping out of false comforts causes us to be strengthened and empowered. We can step up and out and begin to serve. Let me give you some words of encouragement as you go through this process:

“The furnace may be hot, but not only can I trust the hand that lights the fire, I can also have the assurance the fire will not consume but only refine.” (Streams in the Desert, p. 166.)

The refining fire of the Lord may be upon you right now, but take heart that it will not consume you. Rather, you will be purified in God’s love to be more equipped to serve Him and build His kingdom. As you step outside of yourself, you will see the many needs around you and the opportunities the Lord is placing before you.

What opportunities is God placing before you right now? What is He asking of you? If you don’t know, I’d encourage you to ask. If nothing else, just do what is before you, until He shows you the next thing. Take heart, friend, He is doing something new in and through you. Trust His purpose and timing!

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Having Compassion for Yourself During COVID-19

Having a hard time coping with the quarantine right now? If so, I get it. Yesterday, I ended up being hard on myself for struggling, and that spilled over into today a bit. I was beating myself up for areas of struggle I still have, in spite of the fact that I have made a lot of progress recently. Our tendency seems to always go to the negative, doesn’t it?

In fact, research shows that we are hard wired to go toward the negative. Kristen Neff, in her book “Self Compassion” discusses this tendency and for our need to be kind to ourselves when we are suffering. She explains the importance of supporting and loving yourself in difficult times as you would support and love a friend. Sound selfish? Actually, Scripture discusses that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. And how can we love our neighbor if we don’t love ourselves? It first starts in receiving God’s love for ourselves, then we can love Him and others.

Are you feeling less productive during this time? Are you dealing with depression or anxiety right now? Be encouraged that’s it’s okay to feel this way. We are facing many new challenges in different ways right now. Personally, I am used to getting out of the house regularly to help ward off depression and anxiety. So, I have had to adapt and find new ways to cope. But, not every day is perfect – and that is okay. I am making myself a note to put in my office, “I give myself permission to be where I am.” I usually get myself into trouble when I start ruminating on thoughts about how I should be further along than I am. If you’re struggling right now with those feelings of “not enough” or “failure,” try to show yourself some grace and kindness. God is patient with you; so you can be patient with yourself too. I know, easier said then done. Here’s another way to look at it: how would you treat a friend that was struggling with something? Would you say sternly to try harder and suck it up, or would you show compassion and listen with kindness? I’m sure you would listen and love with compassion. We are all on a journey of learning to show this same kindness to ourselves.

We all have a relationship with one person we can’t get away from, and that is ourselves! So work on your self-talk today. Try to think of a bigger perspective of what’s going on right now. Tell yourself that you are doing the best you can and that you accept yourself just the way you are. After all, God accepts you just the way you are. But take heart, that He is not done with you and is going to complete the work He began in you! Good things are coming, friend. Reach out to God and ask Him for His help right now. He is with you, and He will help you! Receive His love and compassion for you, because you are DEEPLY LOVED.

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Expectation and Hope

As we approach Resurrection Sunday and Easter, we may be experiencing some difficultly preparing for this day. It feels so different, right? All cooped up in the house, unable to go to church services and other family events. It all feels so far from normal. But, what if this day could be more meaningful because of this still pause we have in this pandemic?

What if we could be filled with expectation and hope for the good that God is going to bring from this time? What if we could be filled with expectation and hope for what God is specifically doing in our lives from this trial? What if we could believe that God’s resurrection power is here today, to work in our very own lives?

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:21-26

This scripture states that we are not consumed because of the Lord’s great love. In fact, we have a hope because of His great compassion and faithfulness that is new every day. We wait for Him because our hope is in Him. We trust Him because we wait for Him with an expectation of something good. What have you been expecting lately from the Lord? May this Easter be one where you are filled with hope and expectation as you wait on the Lord to fulfill His promises for you. He is alive, and He is inside of you!

Copyright 2020 Marie Lorah

Back to Your Identity and Your Calling

The challenges of life can often take us away from two very important things: our identity and calling. Over the last few years, the Lord has been highlighting writing as an area for me to pursue. It has been a joy and a challenge at the same time. How much time do I devote to it? Is it reasonable to invest in it? Am I wasting my time? Am I doing enough? Will anything ever become of this? Perhaps you struggle with similar things in different areas of your life.

I must confess these thoughts have been swirling in my mind recently. As I write, I think I realize at least partially why these thoughts have been coming up recently. My schedule has been off. I evacuated Virginia for Hurricane Florence. And you know what? I totally got my eyes off of God! I was focused so much on the hurricane and just felt off with being out of town.

So, I’m writing this entry as an encouragement for you out there to reconnect with Your God, you identity, and your calling. When You remember who God is and who HE says you are, everything gets back in place.

We seek Him first and things come into place. Each and every time. I don’t mean to say this process happens overnight; yet, I have seen God do this very thing time and time again in both large and small scale ways. When I have gone back to Him as my first love, healing happens. Alignment happens. Focus happens. Good things come my way. I am better able to manage whatever trial I am facing.

So, as I write to the writer in me and to others struggling today to find their way back to their identity and calling- know who you are. Know who has called you. And rest secure that He has called you and will secure your path. You don’t need to know how it all ends. But HE does. So take heart, you who feel insecure or uncertain today. You’re doing just fine.

Love,

Marie, Secure in Christ’s love 🙂

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

His Great Compassion in All Things

Imagine someone is completely compassionate with you, no matter your performance, your circumstances, your attitude, anything about you. They never stopped loving you no matter what you did wrong, how little you spoke with them, or how much distance you put between the two of you.

How would you feel?

At ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough.

I think these are things we all crave in our relationships. The real truth though is that no human being can truly provide these things. But, we have good news. Jesus Christ died to take away the barrier we have with Him and we get to have this unconditional love from Someone – He never stops loving us! Never. Not in a big mistake or a small misstep.

Just recently I felt frustrated with myself by a small misstep I made with the Lord. Honestly, I just felt bad for pulling away from Him in that situation. But then, I realized that shame was holding me away from the Lord, and shame is NOT from God! Shame magnifies our failings; God’s love magnifies His compassion for us.

So, what should we do when we realize we have distanced ourselves from the Lord or fallen into sin? Run back into His arms! Don’t wait! His compassion is great in all things, and He loves to take us back into His loving arms. Feel at ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough. Rest in the great compassion of our God.

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

 

On The Days You Feel Insecure

Ever have one of those days you’re just feeling particularly insecure about yourself, your life, and the decisions you have been making? Well, I just had one of those recently, and it was tough. I stayed home to rest because I was run down, which was good for my body, but perhaps not my mind. I got in my head and started questioning things. Am I really doing what God wants me to be doing? Am I doing enough to better myself, grow, and heal? Am I making any headway? Will I ever accomplish what I desire? The questions go on. And on. And they boil down to a matter of security.

I needed to be reminded of simple truths – I am loved. I have worth and value apart from what I do. I have set my heart to follow God and am doing the best I can in what I feel called to do right now. I am secure in Christ because what HE did for ME. Not the other way around. Wow. If we could let that truth settle in ours hearts, how much more confident and secure could we be?

Lord, please remind us of the fundamental truths of our identity in You so that we can walk in confident freedom in You to do all You are asking of us in this season. And thank You that You will do more than we can ask or imagine or believe. In Jesus Name. Amen.