("God's Unfolding Message" Series 1, Post 17)
*Please pray about going back and watching and/or reading previous blogs or videos for God builds upon His message.
Last Saturday as we were pulling into our driveway, I looked over at our yard covered in dandelions and became slightly discouraged by all the weeds. However, my daughter Faith had a different perspective and instead said, “Yay! A whole field of them.” I saw weeds. She saw a fun and great adventure. I was so moved by her attitude and statement that I shared an insight God gave me on my personal Facebook page, something I hardly ever do. Along with a picture of her blowing a dandelion, I wrote, “I see dandelions as weeds but my 4-year-old daughter loves them. She loves to blow them and we let her which is why we have so many, but it’s all a matter of perspective.”
When I walked into the sanctuary Sunday, Mother’s Day, my pastor instantly yelled over to me saying, “Stars don’t stop shining just because people don’t look up.” He then encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. I was encouraged by the fact that he had seen my last video and later he mentioned that he had actually forwarded it to his sister who was also watching.
I then sat down and heard, “Susan, My love, write these powerful words down”: Stars don’t stop shining just because people don’t look up. You, and all My children, exist for Me and Me alone. It is all about My glory, shining for Me, existing to glorify Me. Glorify Me Susan, in all you do, whether out in the world or alone in your home. No matter where you are and what you are doing, shine, shine bright. I know this doesn’t always make sense to My people but in Heaven all will be revealed, all mysteries exposed. My people will then see clearly that all their time had purpose and was all meant to glorify Me. I know it is hard amongst the mundane activities of life, especially as a mother, to see that what you do has value and is meant to glorify Me but I am a good God, the Creator of all time and the Definer of purpose and value. If I say something has purpose, it does. If I claim something has worth, even time alone doing everyday life, then it does. Someday all will see that everyone and everything and every minute is and was put into motion to glorify Me. This is how life is redeemed. Think your life doesn’t have purpose or value? Don’t believe the lie, for everything you do will count for eternity whether you were excited about the task or not. It is all about perspective. The great adventure I have promised you is a matter of perspective. It is redefining expectations. You can either see a yard of dandelions as weeds and as something to bring you down, or see it as a source of joy, adventure, and as a gift.
Bored - this word has plagued My people, especially mothers, for far too long. I did not create you to be bored, so if you feel bored with your life it is time for a paradigm shift, for a new perspective in order to see existence through My eyes. Life is meant to be an adventure, but mostly a training ground for life eternal. My people, know that I can and will use everything to perfect you and empower you onward for eternity. Open your eyes to life in My Spirit. Let Him reveal your true purpose and how I created you to delight in everything, in every season for time is short and I proclaim this day, getting even shorter, therefore don’t waste it. Know deep within your heart everything you do, and I mean EVERYTHING, has a purpose. Embrace this truth My people and as you do, I promise you will not be disappointed. I am not a God who disappoints. Disappointment often is a sign of self-defined expectations, expectations that did not originate with Me. Ask Me My people to purify your desires, expectations, for I long to give you the desires of your heart but what this truly means is that I am the One to instill a desire within you and since I am a faithful God, I will truly fulfill this desire.
I paused and tuned into the worship song and heard, “Even when I don’t see it You’re working. Even when I don’t feel it You’re working.”
I never stop My people - EVER! I am always at work within every activity of your life and within every season, so embrace every moment and every season. But most importantly actually ask Me what I wish for you to learn through the seasons, for when you receive My answer great purpose and joy, true adventure, will arise from your spirit. You were created for a reason and everything you do is for this reason so believe and claim this truth. People think that I have to do great wonders in order for you to be on the mountaintop but what you don’t realize is that it truly is a matter of perspective, how you choose to use and perceive your time. CHOOSE to see Me in everything for I am there. I am within every moment of your lives. Change your perspective. Have a child-like faith My people. Choose to see what looks like weeds as a great adventure and a moment in which you can choose to glorify Me.
Mothers - in a world trying to rob you of purpose and identity, rise up. Rise up and embrace truth. You have value in My eyes beyond measure for you bear life, the next generation and I am a generational God. From one generation to the next I WILL BE GLORIFIED. Mothers, women, in a world headed back to Egypt, to slavery, GO AGAINST THE FLOW. You are My Queens, My daughters, and through you great nations will form and arise. Believe! Believe that in this world desperately trying to rob you of your value and identity that you are within a great battle taking place within the spiritual realm. Therefore, more than ever arise, believe, find your worth, identity, and purpose, in Me. So, give birth. GIVE BIRTH! Not just to children but to the Word of your testimony. As Mary gave birth to Christ, the Word, so shall you. Rise up! Experience Me, and My beautiful Queens, then TESTIFY about it. Testify for future generations. Show your children that a life lived in Me has great purpose and value, no matter what you do. Don’t believe the lie that a stay-at-home mom is worthless. Instead glorify Me. Glorify Me as a Star does that no one ever sees. I see it. I SEE IT! It has value and My daughter how much more do you? What value you have to Me. Believe! Believe and take possession of what is truly yours, life in My Spirit. Find your identity in Me, Me alone, and when you do, nations will arise through you, holy nations that I will use to revitalize this earth. Believe.
Oh My people how I love you and created you with great purpose and value. Believe. Believe and seek Me for your true identity. You are all My Stars, so shine. Shine bright for the world to see and when you reach a season where it feels like no one is watching, shine anyway. Shine. Shine. Shine for your Risen Savior, for your God who sees. I see you! I SEE YOU! I see all you do and truly that is ALL that matters.
My pastor then brought up God’s omnipresence. How often we forget this attribute of God. How often we find ourselves not truly aware of God’s presence. It is our choice to make this head knowledge heart knowledge and to live this truth, truly live this truth.
God really used my pastor’s sermon to speak to me, specifically about my personal life. I guess all of this is just one more way that God wants to use my life for you as symbolism in order to point out the fact that we truly are in an ongoing battle. For, what the Apostles went through, we will go through. What they learned we should learn. Their enemy is our enemy.
The sermon revolved around John 21:15-25, where Jesus reinstates Peter, asking him three times if he loved Him. I have always felt a strong connection to Peter and to this story in particularly because of lessons God taught me revolving around what I was inspired to call “redeeming moments.” Long ago God revealed to me that redeeming moments were those moments when God brings us full circle, sometimes literally bringing us back to the exact same spot in order to reinstate us, to redeem a sin. This is what Jesus was doing with Peter. Having denied Christ three times, Jesus was now giving Peter a chance to be redeemed, to state his love for Christ three times. He was giving Peter a redeeming moment.
My pastor than talked about how within this reinstatement that Jesus called Peter by his old name, “Simon,” which my pastor went on to say had several meanings, one of which being “shifting sand.” Here on a beach of sand Jesus gives him a redeeming moment while referencing his old name. Jesus had once told Peter that Satan had asked to sift him (Luke 22:31). Well, now we see that Peter had been sifted. He had been tempted and tested and we see now didn’t come out without failure, without the need for redemption. But this scenario, praise God, led to my pastor’s first point, that “failure is not final” and that we need to “fail forward.”
Here is where I am going to inject my own testimony, a more modern example. This story can be found within my first book, “Bridegroom in the Clouds: Book One: The Promise.” After college, while spending time as a missionary overseas, I found myself during a retreat sitting on a plateau that looked out onto the Spanish seashore. I was spending time with the Lord, listening to one of my favorite Christian CDs, mostly trying hard to get God to confirm a desire in my heart that a certain male teammate was the one meant for me. I did end up convincing myself of this. While this was happening, I found it amazing, and not by accident, that as I listened to the words of a Caedmon’s Call song called “Shifting Sand” that said, “My faith is like shifting sand changed by every wave” that I was actually watching waves crash up onto a shore shifting the sand. But what really made me laugh was that there was also a random bulldozer pushing sand around. It seemed odd to me because there didn’t seem to be a purpose to what this bulldozer was doing. So, I laughed and told God “My Faith is like shifting sand changed by every wave and sometimes it’s like a bulldozer moving a whole lot at once.” Well, I later came to find out that that is indeed what God was saying to me, that my faith is not only like shifting sand moved by every wave but that in that particular moment that it was indeed like a bulldozer moving a whole lot at once. For I had convinced myself of a lie, and that man was not the one God intended to promise me. I had put that desire, that expectation, in my heart myself and expected God to make it happen.
Fast forward several years and in walked Joe, the one God did intend to promise me, and eventually did promise me, whom I am now married to. Anyway, years later on another mission trip with a church group that included Joe, I found myself sitting on another plateau that looked out over the Spanish seashore while Joe asked me to be his girlfriend. I did not recognize the significance of this moment in the moment, but in hindsight it became very clear and the first time I truly understood the concept of redeeming moments. For God had brought me full circle, back to Spain, back to a plateau that overlooked the Spanish seashore. It’s actually a fun story in which Joe even admitted later that he didn’t know exactly why he had chosen that location. He didn’t. God did.
Well currently, it’s become obvious that God is showing me that I once again am in need of a redeeming moment. I have a lot of time that I need redeemed, we all do, a lot of time that I’ve wasted within the wrong perspective, giving into the lie of mundane. But I am thankful that God longs to redeem our moments.
I have been very candid with my struggles lately. If you have been faithful to read my blogs or watch my videos you will not be surprised. You can actually even go back and see the exact moment when God had prophesied that I would go through dark days, stating that these dark days would mostly revolve around the lack of response from people to what God was calling me to do. This struggle goes deeper than you know, for it didn’t really just start a few months ago. I have battled this for years. God spoke about my life and future ministry, giving me many promises 14 years ago. Well, actually even before that, while I was in college. I won’t go into all the details but it revolves around my desire to be in ministry and in missions, knowing that this is indeed a desire instilled within me by God, but yet finding myself still waiting year after year for what I think the fulfillment of this should look like, not to mention the timing. For, I’m sure you would agree with me, that when we think of ministry or missions, that most of us would define these things a certain way. Yet, within my life, God constantly gives me a different definition, so much so that you would think that I would have learned my lesson by now but I haven’t. I constantly find myself being called by God to do things way differently than I expected. Over the years God has called me to reach out to people through such things as garage sales, and through jobs that I didn’t want to have. More recently, as you know, through blogs and videos.
I have story after story of how God has taught me the same lesson. You can read them within my testimony but I’ve also shared a few through my blogs and videos. They are really based on the fact, like I said, that 14 years ago God promised me a ministry based around my testimony. Of course, at the time I thought that that would happen right away. Don’t we all? It’s true that God only reveals what we need to know when we need to know it for had I known that I would wait 14-15 years for God’s fulfillment to this promise, I don’t even know what I would’ve done. I wouldn’t have been able to take it. But as you can imagine, year after year, job after job, I struggled. For, all I ever wanted to do was to be a missionary. I never desired or needed to have my own ministry, I just wanted to make a living serving God. For brief moment in my life, I did get to be a missionary, but for the most part I have continued to find myself having to get jobs that I don’t want. During one of these jobs, a great story I have already shared, God even ended up sending me an angel to highlight my disposition. He ended up pointing out through a blind man that I wasn’t joyful and finding purpose in what I was doing.
I know that God is pointing out that I am in that same place once again and that if He sent another angel that he would point out the same thing. History is repeating itself. For, once again, I long to advance forward into the fulfillment that looks the way that I expect that it should look. And God is constantly having to remind me, in fact always saying to me, “Susan, live in expectation but don’t define those expectations.” He also, like He did through His word to us just now, always points out the fact that depression and being dissatisfied often revolves around those unmet expectations that we created ourselves, those self-instilled desires.
However, I can also testify to the fact that the greatest adventure of my life happened while I sat alone in my basement, for 14 years ago God did pour into me and through me and I wrote thousands of pages of prophetic word that I know God has a plan for even still. It was a great adventure but definitely something that I hadn’t expected or could’ve planned myself for anything in the world. Maybe this will give you some insight into my struggle, with the fact that I have sat on these prophetic words for over a decade.
Moving on, at this point, God brought something to my mind during the sermon, the fact that a few months ago that He actually told me that Satan also had asked to sift me like wheat. In church on 2-13-22 God said to me:
Susan, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat but I have denied him. He will attack though Susan and you must rise above. He knows your button’s Susan. He knows them all and push them he will. Rise above. Rise above Susan. Truly rise above. I have and always will empower you to do this. All My power is yours. All My power. Resist the devil Susan and he will flee. Susan, it’s time to glow, to shine brighter than ever before. Satan is going to try to put out your spark. He doesn’t want you to shine. Rise above. Resist him. Come out of your shell and comfort zone for you are My ambassador and yes, people are watching.
Susan, I am the God of all your days. Dark moments await you Susan, truly dark moments. They do not revolve around health and death so free your mind of these fears, they revolve around your calling and in your ability to rise above the enemy’s lies and keep your eyes upon Me. Consider it a time of testing. Susan, even before Jesus’ ministry truly began, Satan tested Him but He rose above and so will you Susan. I will see you through. You WILL Rise above. I discipline those I love Susan and I use Satan to do this. Be strong and courageous Susan, know that you will shine brighter because of this season upon you. Don’t hide from it for it is part of the adventure. You have to cross the valley to get to the mountaintop. Susan, the mountaintop awaits. I promise you this. You will reach the top and I will be waiting there with open arms. My Spirit goes with you Susan. He is always with you, always. Rejoice Susan. Rejoice for persecution leads to perseverance, perseverance to character, and from character to hope, hope and a new day. (You can find this message in “It’s Time to Glow”).
That was hard for me to hear, not so much because it was scary, but because I wondered who am I that Satan would want to target me the way he did Peter. But again, I believe it is just another way that God is showing me, and all of us, that we are in the same battle. That Peter’s God is our God, and that Peter’s enemy and battle is still our enemy and battle. But also, the good news through Peter’s story is something that we can also claim. It is the good news that I can testify about, that God also offers us reinstatement or redeeming moments as well. We too can fail forward. Failure does not have to be final! As Proverbs 24:16 (NIV) says, “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” As my pastor said, “Faith does not keep you from falling. What faith does is help you get up again. Faith helps you to keep going.”
He then talked about the difference between Peter and Judas. They both sinned against God yet Judas ended up hanging himself. In his despair, he believed the enemy’s lie that his failure was final. He failed backwards whereas Peter failed forwards, eventually embracing God’s redemption and truth. Likewise, my failure on that first Spanish plateau wasn’t final. God intended to make a message out of my mess and he ended up making a rather long one at that, one that has great purpose. As my pastor went on to say, “God can use your failures to help others. He can use your testimony.” Amen and amen.
The second point my pastor brought up is that “we should love Jesus most” and that we should have “kingdom motivation.” He pointed out that Jesus wanted to make sure that loving Him was the disciple’s true motivation for their future ministry. For what did Jesus say after each time he asked Peter if he loved Him and Peter said yes? He said “Feed My sheep.” What Jesus was telling Peter is that based on his love for Christ that he could then go out and minister to others.
At this point intense revelation came upon me as to what this season of my life is meant to do, these dark days where Satan is attacking me and God is allowing it. They are meant to create the same results. Like Peter, God wants to make sure that my love for Him is truly the motivation for my ministry. Of course, they are meant to cause me to glow from a deep-seated faith (It’s Time to Glow).
My pastor then said, “Love is the motivator for all we do, for all ministries.” He then referenced a verse, that although I’ve heard before, really impacted me this time, especially as God has been bringing forth my gift of prophecy. 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 (NIV) says, “If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
It became clear that God used this sermon to address my two biggest weaknesses - love and using “mundane” time wisely. You know about the time issue, but I have often struggled to feel that I truly love others the way that I should as well. But what God brought to my mind after having this thought is how much I love Him. I would do anything for God. He is my first love and as He pointed out once again through His words to us, that is the point. That is the point that He was making to Peter. We minister to others because we love God. This love is the motivating factor and the only thing that can truly cause us to love others to begin with.
In terms of choosing to see the mundane as purposeful, well as I’ve pointed out today, this is still an on-going issue for me and as God has shown, I need a major paradigm shift. I need a new perspective. For this is a lesson that as you know, God keeps having to teach me.
The other day, during my quiet time, as I alluded to in my last message, I found myself once again asking God what He was waiting for. His gentle reply was that I wasn’t waiting. He pointed out that I was in ministry now, already. I see now that I just needed a perspective change. I also needed a reminder that it revolves around loving God and using our time wisely, or seeing our time as purposeful even if it doesn’t look the way we think it should. So, God is right. I do have a ministry. To His glory, I published my testimony. And to His glory, I faithfully blog and make videos. Out of love for Him I keep going even if no one is looking. I am a Star shining for Him whether anyone is looking or not. God just wants me to change my perspective, to finally get it, that the only one I need to please, to glorify, to shine for, is Him.
Several years ago, I took a job working for my brother and I admit I hated it. It was just one more situation in which longing to be in missions or in some form of ministry, I was once again caught in a “tent making” season or a job. However, I did come to find out that God didn’t intend on this to be a season of torture but of grace. It was His way of forcing me, even despite myself, to embrace life and in this situation time with my dad which God knew was a limited. For as I sat in my parent’s house at a desk, since my brother’s business was run out of my parent’s home, I sat practically right next to my dad who sat on the other side of a glass door working on his leather renditions of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. It was a season that I got to spend with my dad before he passed away.
Anyway, last Friday, I found myself once again sitting at that same desk having to use the computer for something. As I sat there, I found myself looking through that glass door to where my dad once sat. My dad’s leather desk is now gone and the room is rearranged and as I stared at that spot where my dad once sat, I knew that God wanted to remind me of how precious that time was, and that as a mother, not to take this upcoming time with my daughter for granted either. For oh how I fought that season working for my brother not fully understanding what God was waiting for. Well, once again history is repeating itself, for the plans I had for my daughter fell through when her school decided to close for the summer. With this, knowing that she would start kindergarten in the Fall causing her to go to school Monday through Friday, I knew in my heart that God wanted me not to fight this summer and time with my daughter but to embrace it. So, I have been gearing myself up and praying hard that I wouldn’t make the same mistake that I did with my dad. Don’t get me wrong, I did love those moments with my dad but I wish now that I wouldn’t have fought so hard to get out of that season.
Several years ago, before husband and daughter, I sat in my old house alone struggling with being bored. During one of my quiet times, I admitted to God that I was bored and that I wanted more out of life, mainly the fulfillment and ministry again He had promised me. To this comment God said, “Susan, don’t take this time for granted for it won’t always be this way.” Amen and amen. Boy, was He right! Now married with child, actually existing within the fulfillment of two major promises and longings, for a husband and a child, I now struggle with the desire sometimes to go back to those boring days alone in that house. Now waiting on the complete fulfillment of God’s future promises to me, He has actually already told me that I will long for these days based on how busy I will be. Oh, how we are never satisfied. Oh, how we constantly take our lives for granted, the seasons we are in. It just truly exposes that fact that we were not made for this world.
Sunday afternoon I had a strong desire to use a brief window of opportunity I had to go to a store in search of something that I wish I would have bought the first time I saw it. Being a visual person, God loves to lead me to little trinkets that remind me of my journey with Him, of lessons He has taught me, and promises He has given me. Anyway, having referred to me, and all of us women, a lot lately as Queens, I really wanted to find something that said “Queen,” but all I could ever seem to find is something that said “Queen Bee,” which I didn’t want. Anyway, a few weeks ago I saw a coffee much that just said “Queen” and had a crown shaped lid. Well, if you remember my association with coffee then you know how perfect this was. Yet, I bought a different one instead.
Well, like I said, I was inspired to go Mother’s Day afternoon and see if I could still find it. I hesitated at first, wondering if leaving my husband and daughter during that time would be what God wanted, but after praying yet again, really felt like God wanted me to go. As I began to drive, the perfect MercyMe song came on the radio - “Say I Won’t,” and in my spirit I knew that God simply wanted this time alone with me in the car. For if you recall, I have spent many moments in life worshipping the Lord and hearing from Him during drives. I then sang along to:
Today It all begins I'm seeing my life for the very first time Through a different lens
While I've been waiting to live My life's been waiting on me
I'm gonna run No, I'm gonna fly I'm gonna know what it means to live And not just be alive
I then found myself praying that God would help me to savor the moment and to realize that He is in everything. I admitted how this wasn’t the first time that He has had to teach me this lesson and therefore prayed that God would help me to finally truly learn it and live it. I prayed that people would say of me that I made the most of life and that I could emulate this for my daughter and for the world. However, even after that prayer I started to speed, thinking that even though I appreciated this outing that I needed to make it a quick one. But I then heard, “Slow down Susan. Know that it is about the drive more than the destination.” So once again I slowed down and as I got closer to the store, I prayed that they would have what I wanted and God told me that they would. They did have the perfect one, but it wasn’t the one I expected. I found a new one. It looked exactly like the other one, a coffee mug with a crown lid, but instead of the word “Queen” it said “Mom.” I knew this is the one God wanted to lead me too and how apropos for God’s message to us on Mother’s Day.
As I was walking out to my car strong revelation hit me. God reminded me that my entire life, that God’s calling on my life, His ministry through me, has always been about future generations. What He has done in my life and has called me to do and the ministry He promised me many years ago isn’t just about being a Queen but God using my life to prepare us and our future generations. I can serve you and them better with God’s purpose for me.
My friends, I hope that you will learn from my mistakes, through this mess that God wants to use for a message. And I hope that you will pray with me that we could say to this “weed” season with great faith, “Yay! A whole field of them!” As God also pointed out through a previous message, “Cursor in the Sky,” He wants to be the One to fill in the blank pages of our lives. So, let’s let Him. Let’s let Him fill them and truly stop fighting Him and His chosen methods and timing, for He is a faithful God who will get us to His desired destination for us. To the Promised Land. Amen!