This post originally appeared on the Deliberate Women site September 26th, 2014. I am excited to share it with you now, here and continue the conversation.
I am so thankful that I, as high maintenance as I can be, am never too much for God. It seems like a no brainier statement, but the reality is that there have been times when I have thought that the junk I have is too much for Him and because it's too much for Him how on earth could anyone in my church or my circle of friends handle the truth.
I often share about the disaster that I was because I know that God has done a mighty work and I love what He is molding me into. Yes, still flawed, but a work in progress and a new creation through the power of Christ Jesus!
It took a lot to get me there, but one of the biggest assets I had while being molded was an amazing ministry called Celebrate Recovery, a Christ centered recovery program that started over 20 years ago at Saddleback Church in California. Now, in over 20,000 churches world-wide, Celebrate Recovery addresses that we have hurts, hang-ups and habits and that alone life is hard, but in community and with accountability rooted in the foundation of Jesus Christ, we have healing, recovery and fellowship.
When I thought that what I was going through was too much, that the world would judge me and even now when I struggle, I know that I have a place that is safe, free from judgement and quick fixes. A place that will walk alongside me in my struggle, not trying to fix me, but allowing God through the power of the Holy Spirit to speak, reveal and heal each hurt, habit or hang-up that I am going through.
The lie that what I am going through is too much for the church seems to be a device of Satan to keep me (and you) from reaching out, to keep us in isolation. I don't know about you, but that seems like the worse place to be in the midst of a struggle.
So sisters and brothers, let's remember that we are not alone. There is a place and there are people that are safe that can totally handle the crud that we carry. That same crud that God will turn to victory when we surrender to His will.
I pray that God would reveal those people and places to each of us so that we will feel safe confessing our sins, growing together and watching God do amazing things with our stories as He uses them for His glory!
Here is a song that I wrote for the Movie, Home Run, "You Are Not Alone" Remember that there are people that will walk along side you.
You are not too much, You are not Alone!
Blessings, Mia Koehne
Please welcome guest blogger, Melanie Moscicki, as she shares a post that originally appeared on her site "From Faith, With Love"
God the Potter…
I’m nearing the end of wrapping up my Mending Your Soul class, though I am well aware the real work is just beginning in me. It’s been a long emotional journey, but is not without the reward of comfort and endurance that can only come from Him. For someone who has spent countless years fighting to stand strong WITHOUT God, laying all the brokeness and shortcoming out at His feet has been mortifying, humbling, and healing all in the same breath. May the words of my heart give hope to those still trapped in the prison that is your past.
~A Poem by Melanie Moscicki
Mending the Soul 2014
a million tears,
so many times she’s tried
To fix the broken little girl,
she buried deep inside.
He says to her,
“Come follow me,
I’ll make you new again”
but the walls she built are far too strong
to ever let Him in.
She hears the sounds of laughter,
of joy she’s never known
Could it be? A girl like SHE
should live on LOVE-alone?
So many scars from trusting
cracks from being dropped,
cast aside as nothing
but an empty, broken pot.
But He says He’s a potter…
The best there ever was,
and He says I’m HIS daughter…
and His work has just begun.
Isaiah 64:8 says “Yet you LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hand.” I pray that each of us can grasp this truth in the depths of our soul. We are not finished friend, we are each works in progress by the creator of ALL that IS and that ever WAS, the God of miracles, the God of redemption, the God that makes ALL THINGS new.
~ From Faith, With Love,
***Physical, sexual, verbal, spiritual, or neglectful- abuse deadens the emotions, slays the self-worth, cripples the mind, even destroys the body. Mending The Soul is a Biblically grounded and psychologically informed first-of-its-kind comprehensive approach to understanding and treating every form of abuse. You can find out more about the program and where to get plugged in HERE.
Video about Mending The Soul
We are called to listen, love, and obey. I am fully aware that we may not always see the fruit of our love and the fruit of our obedience, but what I marvel at today is how God sometimes allows us little glimpses of the seeds we plant and the investments we make in others lives as we live out Jesus.
Today was such a day for me. I decided to run into the Fry's store near the high school where I was making my after school pick-ups. I normally don't go there, mostly because I like my local Frys, the one by my house where I know how to find everything, but today I did.
After grabbing a few thing and loading my car, I was approached by a man selling his jewelry. He asked if I wanted to buy any. I looked at him with a big smile and said "I know you!" Confused, he asked me how. I shared with him how some time ago, I met him in a different parking lot and he was asking for some money so he could purchase some inventory to sell.
Since I typically don't hand out large amounts of cash to strangers, I offered to meet him at the shop and buy the perfume for him as an investment into his business (an investment into his life). Suddenly he remembered our fleeting encounter.
He was able to then share with me what that meant to him and how important that investment was, because what I did not remember was the fact that at the time he was homeless, struggling to make ends meat. That little investment in his life was pivotal when he needed it most.
Today, he is no longer homeless, but thriving, working, creating art in jewelry and still smiling BIG.
I was reminded today that sometimes we are called to pour into other's lives simply because God says so, even when it is inconvenient and others think we are crazy. Sometimes, like today, we get to see a bit of the fruit of our obedience, but most of the time we don't. But still, we obey, love and pour into other's SO THAT they can turn and pour into someone else.
I feel blessed to have gotten the opportunity to see that Aaron is doing well. If you ever see him, make sure to say "hi" and grab a bracelet.
Love you in the Lord, Mia
Typically when I write about my bouts with depression, it's after I have moved through and found victory. I do this mostly because I feel that when I do open up to anyone outside of my husband (who knows me so well), people don't know how to respond....or they over respond, or they direct me to some feel good article or book.... or they just want to fix me because fixing me is easier that admitting that they can do nothing for me. I don't want people to fix me, I don't want to talk it out, I just want to make it through to the next moment without crying.
Today as I write, I am in the thick of it. Unlike other times when I am in the battle, I am not hunkered down in bed, unable to move. Instead, I am simply numb. I am numb to people, numb to their complaints about trivial issues, numb to their games. I am just numb to people's nonsense. I don't have the emotional time or strength for it.
And not only to them, I am all about equal opportunity! I am numb to my own emotions, I am numb to my own concerns....except in that tiny area of my heart where there is a tingle, the tingle that cries out to the Lord to see me through, the tingle, that dares to feel, but not too much or else I may become overwhelmed, This is the tingle that allows me to function throughout the day. This tingle has a name and it's name is Hope....hope which knows that God will deliver me, yet again.
Depression hits me at the most inopportune times. When there are things to do, places to be, people to love. This shadow of depression wants me forget what I know to be true and not show up...to leave the "pulpit" empty. Well, I won't! If I have learned anything over and over again, it is that in my weakness, He is shown strong. That doesn't mean I want to run around depressed everyday so I can see how great God is. I would love to not have this battle, but what it does mean, is that If I am struggling, I will press into hope, press into truth and NOT FORGET what I know to be true.....greater is He that is in me (even when I am struggling) than he who is in the world.
Until God delivers me completely (and I know He will), I will continue to cry out to Him, my Deliverer. I know he is near even in my darkness, my loneliness and my isolation. He is as close to me as the mention of his name......CLOSER, still. He is my breath and my life. I will breath Him in and exhale.
Even now, as I sit in my spiritual and emotional hospital, He cares for me. He is my respirator and I am being revived, moment by moment, breath by breath. He knows the deep concerns of my heart and those things that I cry out to Him about in my isolation. He hears and He cares.
So, whether, you are in the hospital right now or out feeling better than ever, the truth remains that hope remains, The Lord, God hears our tender pleas, and our unspoken prayers. He knows our needs and He is near to us, He is near the brokenhearted and will bind us up.
So my fellow patient, my fellow struggler, remember what is true. Don't think that just because we are limping that we can't stand. Be quick to stand in Him, my friend. Even in the thick of it, God uses us, He can lift our head to speak truth, sing love and bring praise. It just might not be as easy as it was before. But God...
So there it is. That's where I am at. Now, if you still have the need to fix me, go ahead, but go to the Real Fixer, the one that can actually handle it. He's got me...He's got YOU!
Love you in the Lord, Mia
I used to be a really good liar and a really good cheater.....Then God changed my life. Now (by God's grace) I am horrible at it. When I am talking with my family and I (on the super rare occasion) tell a half truth, my family looks at me and asks if I am lying and I say "No, why?" to which they reply "look at your face." Then we just laugh because it's the most horrific poker face ever.....hence why I could never play cards.
I look at it like this. I used to be a hot mess. Now I'm just a mess. But when God changed my life, called me out of the darkness of my lies and self destruction, He also took away my ability to lie well. It's a gift and a curse, especially when someone asks who finished off the ice cream or who had three pieces of pie....oh and who ate the box of Oreos. That's when it really bites me in the butt.
But, for reelz, I count it as a blessing...... a reminder of what God has done in my life. I am not who I used to be. I am done with wearing fake masks, lying to those I love, sneaking around and just hiding the way I feel.
Do you ever get tired of wearing a mask or being so good at faking that you almost believe the lie yourself? Been there....Done that! When I submitted my life to Christ, He gave me the gift of being my own lie detector and I thank Him for it.
It has it's perks in that it keeps me accountable and it has it's down side in that people know exactly what I'm thinking and feeling by my facial expressions. I have had friends comment on numerous occasions that they can tell when I am not happy, when I am frustrated, when things make me cringe, but they also tell me that they know when I am happy, when I am grateful and when I am thankful. So I count it as a blessing.
My prayer is that God would do whatever He has to do to make us Holy in every situation. For me, He helps me not to lie and lets me get caught if I do.
I have been reading through the Bible and I was so deeply spoken to through the account of the Israelites leaving the Egyptians. Repeatedly God allowed and did things SO THAT the people and Pharaoh would know that He is Lord of all. God went to great lengths to show His people that He is God by taking them out of Egypt and into the wilderness and eventually the Promised Land.
"I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen." Exodus 14:17-18
"And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant." Exodus 14:31
I am thankful that God desires that we know Him and still today, will go out of His way to make sure we know that He is Lord. "He MAKES us lie down in green pastures and LEADS us beside still waters, He restores my soul"
We are works in progress, Holy and Redeemed, set apart and Loved.
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.