We are back home!! While Rip and I were at the beach last week, my Mac was being babysat by the genius’ at the Apple Store and by the looks of things, I am up and running again…but I won’t know what Internet accounts I still can’t get access to until I try. But for now, it’s all good!
The beach was aaahhhhmazing! We made a lifetime of memories there and can’t wait to go back. Rip and I were sitting on the tailgate of his truck on Monday having our lunch, letting our legs just dangle from that truck bed of his and out of the blue he said, “Baby, I miss it. I miss the beach.” That man is content no matter where he is…most laid back guy I know, so when he says he misses the beach, I know he had THE BEST time doing absolutely nothing but keeping his toes in the sand and enjoying the fact that he had absolutely. nothing. to. do!! Now that we are home, … we’re back to work, feeling refreshed and recharged, a little sun-sucked, but thankful. We’re just so thankful for the gift of time away God gave us!
So, how are YOU? How is your April going and if you are a mom of school age kids, I just have to ask…are you getting all ready for MAY? The busiest, cRaZiEsT month of the year for every mother of kiddos!! I know things are going to start getting a little more full for you, but just know this MEMBERSHIP is always going to be right here. No pressure to log in just to stay on course with the study every single weekend, (that is when new posts go up), because these bible study lessons and recipes and anything else I share…well, it’s not going anywhere. It’s here when YOU have the time to sit, pour you a hot cup of coffee or tea, and just take some time to come to this little corner of the cyberspace world and hopefully be encouraged.
Are you ready to gather up another stone? We’ve already gathered up 2 – the Jeremiah 1:5 stone and the resurrection stone. The 1st stone reminds us that God knew us before we were ever created in our mother’s womb. The 2nd stone reminds us that because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have the invitation and the honor of walking in a new and gloriously restored relationship with God. The same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead is in every child of God in the Person of the Holy Spirit. And that Person is who stands with us at the Crossroads of life.
Before we go into our study, let’s take some time to pray.
When I in my early 30’s, something began to change. I noticed one morning, as I was curling my hair, that my part looked a little wider. Not thinking too much of it at the time, I just used hairspray, a comb, and teased it up a little higher…anything to try to camouflage the thinner part. But as time passed, the part grew and grew and grew – not just wider, but thinner. Something was wrong because I literally found myself as a young wife and mother, with a thinning and somewhat balding scalp. What started as a little thicker part, soon became a shining crown that exposed so much of my scalp. Baseball caps and super large sun glasses became a part of my daily wardrobe and I completely avoided walking in the sun – that only served as a beaming spotlight on my shining head.
I was devastated, to say the least. I cried so much, begged God to please give me my hair back. I would gather up fallen hair from the sink and put it in a ziplock bag to take to my doctor in Birmingham, AL, so they could try to determine why a 30+ year old woman was balding – why was I having male patterned thinning of hair?
The clinical term is alopecia – male patterned baldness
But the emotional term is bondage – emotional imprisonment due to undesirable circumstances
After medical tests, hormone checks and experimenting with several pills, nothing seemed to work or explain. At one point we determined it was due to hormonal imbalances – estrogen is a binding hormone that will bind with either sweat glands or hair follicles when there is an imbalance of all the other female hormones. This is not as abnormal for 30 something women, either. That is why some women battle acne in their 30’s as if they were back in high school. And some women battle thinning of hair or hair loss due to hormone imbalances. Hormones can be our friend or foe. In my case, I thought a for sure foe, but as it turned out … a trusted friend.
Here’s why –
As I sat in my children’s room one night getting ready to have family devotion, I really wasn’t up for it. I had cried a river that day, so tired of hiding my head, and honestly … feeling ugly. My kids needed a fun upbeat mommy and I had become so depressed over my hair loss that I couldn’t hardly muster up any positive energy. But they looked up at me with their soft little faces, eyes as wide and eager as could be, all ready for bible story time and so … I plopped down. I plopped down with them and plopped open my Bible. Literally. I let it fall open to wherever it would – and as I fought back more tears, I looked down and read something that changed everything!
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
As my watering eyes slowly drank in every word, I couldn’t believe it! I had read this verse a thousand times, but NEVER in a moment like that. I heard (and felt) the Word of God fall into my ears with such powerful conviction and assurance…because my Father was telling me,
“My child, you have been raised with My Son. His resurrection is yours. That stone was rolled away for your own entrance into the Resurrected Life I have for you in Him. So, there is where your heart is to be – on the things above. The things that are of the resurrected life. The things that are eternal, where you have been seated in Him, and at my right hand. Your mind needs to ponder and be filled with heavenly things, not consumed with the things that are earthly. Hair is earthly. How much…how little…it’s all earthly and does not define you. What defines you is your death to your flesh and your resurrected life that is now hidden in Me. Hair is earthly, so do not set your heart there. Set your heart on things above!”
In that moment, I took my gown sleeve and wiped my tears away. Away for the final time. After tucking the kids in bed, I prayed a prayer that went something like this –
“Lord, I refuse in the power of Your name and in the power of Your blood, the enemy’s attempts to keep me earthbound. I refuse them! Instead, I ask for Your resurrection power to enable me to live with my mind set on things above. To live knowing full well where my true residency is – and that is with Christ in God. I understand that my hair is earthly and it can not touch the me in Thee! Thank you for Your Word that brings deliverance! And if taking all my hair would bring You further glory, then take it. It’s Yours. Thank you for opening my eyes to see the truth.”
Read Colossians 3:1-5 in your bible.
What verse seems to be jumping off the page at you?
What area of your life has been keeping you down?
Do you feel buried under a burden of fear, anxiety, or battle feelings of unworthiness?
What has been overwhelming you emotionally?
When you hear God say to you, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things,” what “things” come to your mind that are earthly in your life that have been either weighing on or consuming you
Battling hair loss was a season of my life that I’ll never forget. It was a crossroad of faith that God brought to me – a very real crossroad. I could either choose to take God at His Word, or continue to wallow in self-pity.
I chose the “good way.” By His enabling mercy and grace, and by the Person who always stands with me at the crossroads of life, I chose to take God as His Word. The Holy Spirit guided me there and the Holy Spirit empowered my obedience to take (even the smallest teeniest tiniest baby step) a stride forward in faith.
The Word of God (which is a light unto my path) gave me the clearance to see the Old Path of waking by faith regarding my hair and that walk was paved with stepping stones of trust. Each day, as I would get up and look in the mirror to fix my hair, I took a deliberate step of “I trust You, Lord. My mind is on things above.” I literally “faith-fixed” my hair day after day. Combed with His compassion, and brushed with bold strokes of surrender. I would walk out the door no longer wanting to hide, but wanting to hurry to His assignments that day! I didn’t want to put a cap on my head, but instead I wanted to straighten my crown! I stopped obsessing with what folks may be thinking, and instead I started possessing a greater passion for other imprisoned people!
Look up Psalm 119:105. What does this one verse tell you about God’s Word?
Look up Psalm 143:8. What does the morning bring? What does the Psalmist place, and where? What does the Psalmist ask for? And what does the Psalmist repeat at the end of this one verse?
Are you at a crossroad today?
What is it? Are you willing to pick up a third stone? One with Psalm 143:8 written on it?
It was during this season of my life, when I wrote my first book – “The Woman at the Well Had a Name.” This book came from my personal journey to TRUE liberation with God, and how He allowed a very real emotional island for me to live on … for just a season. This book has to do with helping women experience personal freedom from whatever may have their life in emotional imprisonment so they, too, can live the liberated life in Christ that He gives!
Our third stone along this Old Path is Psalm 143:8 and here’s what I’d like to ask us to do.
Starting now, right now on THIS day, every time we are tempted to doubt, fear, worry, take charge, or give in to self-pity, let’s take up this stone. Take it up in our minds and hearts and then…take it up in our “will” – our place of “want to” and take a bold giant step forward in faith in obeying what it says. Let’s get up in the morning so He can bring us word of His unfailing love. Let us put our trust in Him. Let us ask for the way we should go, as we entrust our very life to Him.
Let’s get up the next day and do it all over again.
Until we meet back again..happy trails!