I travel the country full time from the west coast to the east coast and everything in-between. I visit small towns, big cities, thriving churches and some congregations that are just barely hanging on.
I see joy.
I meet women and hear their stories. I see bits of their pain, their brokenness, their hurts and their longings.
I see joy.
I hear a woman tell me she wants something new and is leaving her husband. And then I turn and see another women broken because her husband is leaving her for something new.
I see joy.
I see a 50yr old grown women who was locked up and tortured as a child just now learning how to breath. I see her broken and curled up in a ball.
I see joy.
I wipe my face from the tears of a 70 year old women's sobbing because she feels so alone and doesn't know how she is going to pay her rent. I see in her a 5 year old girl just wanting her mommy to hold her.
I see joy.
I see and women, angry at the world and nothing will soothe her, so she hurls insults because that is all that has ever been hurled at her.
I see joy.
Then, I look in the mirror and I see in me a women whose body tires easily, wanting to be home where it is safe and warm in the arms of her husband, but God has different plans and keeps sending her out to hold the hurting, to hear the stories and to be a Herald for His voice. I see a women who carries the pain of others deeply and has to hide away each night and release them to the Lord for Him to carry.
I see joy.
The JOY of the Lord is my strength.
Joy is our ability to see past our circumstances and look into the face of the Son, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, disregarding its shame and now sits victorious in honor at the right hand of God. Jesus is our joy. Jesus is our victory. JESUS. JESUS. JESUS.
This is Joy. And it is my absolute Joy to do it, to see past my own circumstances, help others see past theirs and point people to the face of Christ in the best way that He sees fit.
Today and everyday, May you see the joy in all He has called you to do day in and day out. The joy of the Lord in YOUR strength. Keep pressing in!
Mia Koehne- Here to hear, hold and herald
As a young women, I FELT like a failure, then I began to BELIEVE I was a failure and because of that I started to LIVE as as a failure.
I set out to disappoint. I set out to sabotage the good that was going on in my life because I simply could not grasp that I had any value or worth. That blurred focus in my life caused me to hurt a lot of people who loved and cared for me.
When enough was enough and I surrendered my life to Christ, it didn’t change the fact that people were devastated by what I call “Hurricane Mia.” Turning my life over to Christ didn’t make the effects of my sin and betrayal of those I loved go away, but it did put into the spotlight my great need for forgiveness and my desperate need for healing and restoration.
You see, my life was changed because people chose to FORGIVE me, people I had hurt and lied to, people I cheated on and forsaken; They forgave me.
THIS is why I choose, even in the toughest of situations, to forgive others, even when I, in my flesh, deem them undeserving. I choose to forgive.
FORGIVENESS CHANGED MY LIFE!
My friends, do you want to change someone's life, be the turning point in someones story of redemption, maybe even your own? FORGIVE!
As my husband, Bob, said "Forgive people. Life is difficult if you don't forgive. People walk around angry because they simply cannot forgive"
Brothers and Sisters - Forgiveness not only frees the offender, but it frees the captor as well. Forgive.
I didn't think it was going to be this difficult. I am struggling to separate my emotions... is it the exhaustion, the excitement or the reality of my children becoming independent adults? I'm opting for D: All of the above.
My body swims in waves of dehydration from the tears I've shed this past week; tears of absolute excitement and tears of a joyful sort of mourning at the letting go of my children and the letting go that is still to come.
I have now, in the past 5 months, danced two Mother-Son dances. I have watched my babies grow into amazing God-fearing men who have each chosen a beautiful Christ loving wife. I have gained two amazing daughters that I love as my own.
In just over two months, I will stand by as my husband dances with his baby-girl one last time before she becomes Mrs. Ferreira da Silva. Just writing these words floods my eyes as I now re-group to grasp this next launching.
In it all, I am blessed. My heart is full and my cup runneth over. The tears....I embrace them. They tell a story of the years past, the struggles, the triumphs and the victories. These tears speak of the growing anticipation of all that is still to come. I dance in their waves. I treasure up these moments in my heart as I unclench my fist and release to God what has always been His anyways. I joyfully release my children to their spouses with a confident and full heart.
I embrace the journey. I trust and love the Lord and I am honored to watch His glorious will for all of our lives unfold.
Speaking of Mother Son Dances, my son's both surprised me with their choice of songs. I loved it! We have very few surprises left at major events and these weddings were full of them!
My eldest son chose a rendition of "Wayfaring Stranger" sung by Ed Sheeran! He NAILED it!
My middle son chose a song I had never heard before called "Mamma's Prayers" by JP Cooper & Stormzy and it has instantly become a fav! He NAILED t too!!
As I was walking home from the gym today, I came upon this flower. It was outside a fence, next to the sidewalk, no garden, no other plants, just this lone, rogue, beautiful flower. It sprouted up in the middle of the rocks near a busy main street.
What was it doing there? Why was there such a beautiful thing all alone in the rocks? What if someone walked by and stepped on it, what if some kids passed by and pulled it out? How was this flower going to survive?
Yet, there it was. I wondered if it had been there the other day when I walked by? I couldn’t remember. How could I not have noticed it? But today, as I walked home in the Phoenix heat, tired after working out at the gym and fatigued from my battle with #ValleyFever, I stopped. This flower made me smile, it made me pause and it reminded me of Jesus and His love for me in the midst my exhaustion.
This flower chose to bloom. This flower didn't care that it was alone. This flower didn't say "I want to root in a better location." This flower didn't worry about it's own safety. This flower did the only thing it knew how to do.... bloom and grow.
What I was reminded of today and what I so joyfully want to share with you is this: it's not always the best and prettiest place, it's not always the safest place and it's not always the place we pick to root and grow, but may you (and I) always remember to bloom where you are planted because you never know who will be blessed because you grew roots in the rocks in the middle of the desert.
Here’s the thing. I am in it right now. I have not come out on the other side yet. Yesterday was full of tears, but it was also filled with encouragement from some of the most unlikely places.
I’m in the struggle. And it’s OK for me to be here. I’m in the battle and I feel stuck and alone, but I am NOT alone. While I’m here, I am choosing to lift my eyes up to where my help comes from.
While I am in it, I am choosing joy even in the midst of tears. I am choosing to worship in the midst of pain and to praise in the process of healing.
I am using my voice to speak and not hide, to tell those closest to me that I am hurting. My nature is to isolate. But now, as I struggle, I push myself to fight my natural tendencies and not stay silent because maybe you are like me.
Maybe you, like me, have a picture on Facebook that makes you look happy and well (and so many moments we are!), but the reality is you are also struggling physically or emotionally.
Maybe you, like me, can give your best energy forward to smile and get the job done, but when you get home you crash, because smiling laughing and actually having a great time took all you had to give.
Maybe you, like me, come home and cry when no one is watching.
Maybe you, like me, need to be reminded daily of the Truth. The Lord never leaves or forsakes.
Isaiah 43- In the deep waters and through the fire, the Lord is with us. He isn’t taking us around it, or shortening it or even making it go away. He is simply and magnificently with us while we are in it, passing through.
We will come out. We are Not Alone.
#ValleyFeverAwareness #ChronicFatigue #Depression
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.