You say you love me…but do you really know me?

Over a period of some months, I have been interceding for someone who really misses her children. Relationships in the family had broken down and there had been deep sorrow and acrimony. During my times of prayer for this family I really sensed the Holy Spirit agreeing with my heart cry for reconciliation.  I am so glad to report now that there has been some real progress, and relationships are being restored, praise God!

Some years ago, I sat in the presence of grown men reduced to tears as they struggled through relationship breakdowns and were faced with the possibility of never being able to see their children grow up; or on the flip side, children who will never be able to enjoy that father figure in their lives which is so vital; sad, sad, sad.

In so many ways, I can relate to the heartache of broken, in fact lack of relationship and how painful that can be. Very recently I came across a song that my mother had (apparently) loved and was played at her funeral. I had not heard the song since then, but upon hearing it again, for some reason the tears just flowed out of me as I tried to imagine why this particular song had meant so much to her. I questioned this and sought the Lord and it became very clear, that growing up as the eldest girl with many siblings, my mother struggled to have that “one to one” time that all children need. I just simply really never got to know my mum properly. It’s actually heart breaking.

I have been having a real awakening from the Lord over the last few years that His heart is breaking too. Imagine having a child and they don’t want to really spend time with you. They say they don’t really need that hug or to just listen to what you want to give them. As a parent you want to impart a bit of wisdom, share their troubles and heartaches, give your child a sense of security and peace. How can anyone know that they are really loved unless some quality time is spent together.

God wants to spend time with us! One to one, real relationship time.


 

How can we really say we love God if we don’t know Him; if we don’t spend time with Him? How do we begin to understand how our Father God really feels about us, His children if we don’t spend time for instance, reading the word of God (The bible) for ourselves. I find it very revealing, that in 1 John Chapter 1 verses 1-4 it is written:

We write to you about the word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes we have seen it, and our hands have touched it. When this life became visible, we saw it so we speak of it and tell you about the eternal life which was with the Father and was made known to us. What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship that we have with the Father and with his son Jesus Christ. We write this in order that our joy may be complete.

So, it may be that God seems distant to you, uncaring or just not really there. Or maybe, it’s you that is distant, preoccupied or even afraid to have some real one to one time with Him, your father, your creator. God will not force His time on you, he waits patiently to be invited as any really caring, loving parent should. All he asks is that you “knock and the door will be opened,” to come to Him with your burdens, worries and fears.

Maybe it’s time now to really find out the truth about this well of love just waiting for you in the one that is called “Love.” The Lord Jesus Christ.

“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.”

 

Tess x

 

GNB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mercy Journey: Honour your Father and your Mother, that your days may be long upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

It has been a while since I have written a blog, mainly because I had an instruction from the Lord some months ago:

“You can’t talk the talk unless you walk the walk.” 

So, a very long and amazing story is coming out of my ‘walking the walk’, but now is not the time to tell you about it because the journey still unfolds!

I was taken a bit by surprise when the subject of this blog came on my heart, but I do believe it’s God’s timing as when I looked up the commandment about honouring our Fathers and Mothers I had no idea that God had said that by honouring our parents our days may be long upon the land that the Lord our God is giving us. I see this as an encouragement to me at this time, nevertheless the instruction is clear, and I know now I did not always honour my parents and the Lord has led me into repentance about this.

So this blog is in honour of my late mother.

I give thanks to God for His choice of my mum.

******************************

 

I was thinking about my late mother a few days ago, her birthday, the 20th of July is approaching.

For many years I know I have struggled because of having missed that close and vital relationship that we all need; a mother’s love.

Affirming, gentle, nurturing, strong, patient, the list goes on. Looking back I now know how difficult it must have been for my mum to share all that she could between so many of us, her 11 children. It was particularly hard for her as I found out later on in my life that my mum had missed out on a close relationship with her own mother, she was lacking, it was not her fault. It took me over two years to finally grieve for her after her passing. I remember the day my hardened heart softened towards my mum and the Lord broke through the hard shell that I had built around my heart with a simple walk through a churchyard and the sight of Michaelmas daisies. As a young girl I would often go to our local churchyard and pick these wild flowers for my mum, my heart was softer then.

I also know for years I did not honour my mother. I rebelled, I argued, I probably broke her heart.

So today, I am putting it out there!

Thank you God for my mum. ( Am having a cry now but will press on through the tears….)

My mother raised 11 children. It was a hard poverty stricken time, but, she had the courage of a lioness.

She knitted our winter clothes and darned whatever she could, produced beautiful tapestry and embroidery despite her split, chilblained fingers. Mum took on extra cleaning to cover our educational extras like swimming club, music lessons for me and so much more. She taught me how to cook, enrolled me in the Brownies and Girl Guides, introduced me to poetry and literature, borrowed books on elocution and taught us right from wrong. I knew basic first aid because my mum had been a state registered nurse and yes, I can do hospital corners on beds. She found me a little patch in our very small back garden so that I could grow flower seeds; I will never forget the joy of seeing my flowers grow.

We were never allowed to drop litter on the floor and she kept a clean home despite us, her many children. It was many years until we owned a washing machine,(taken for granted these days,) so she hand washed or dragged herself to the launderette with our masses of clothes. She didn’t seem to mind when my brother blasted out Led Zeppelin music and played his drums and she used to join in singing along to Crosby Stills Nash and Young.

My mum. I miss her.

In loads of ways I missed her. The woman, the person that was my mum.

I know now, she is having her well deserved sleep in Christ and because she believed that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead she will be raised up when the last trumpet sounds.

Am hoping we will meet again, when there is no more sorrow or tears and then, we will have eternity to catch up.

In honour of Maire Hood (Nee Falvey) 20/7/27 (pronounced Moira.)

 

Tess X

NKJV

 

The Mercy Journey. “Yet what I can I give him…….give my heart”

 

I suppose I am somewhat surprised to find that although I have been instructed to write a book, knowing that the heart motivation is out of love for me, I have really struggled!

Some may call it writers block except that I have so much to say about what the Lord has done, I have found this to be inexplicable. I just haven’t been able to put my finger on why it is that one of the things I love to do most in the world I am finding so hard to do!

I have literally felt suffocated and blocked.

As time has passed though, I have felt the Lord gently pointing out something else.

I don’t feel worthy of this task, I lack confidence in my ability, I am afraid.

I spent so many years in the corporate world, top of my particular field in newspaper advertising. Confident, bubbly, organized, what has happened?

In reality, the Lord has shown me that the years spent in this world, I was wearing a mask, not really being me, just the trained up brainwashed me, and now that I am finding my identity in Christ as the person he created me to be, it is like starting from scratch. No wonder I feel out of my depth.

So this constant voice that says “write the book,” I just cannot ignore. In the depth of my being I know I need to be obedient to this and trust God’s plan.

So yesterday, I came across a podcast of David Hathaway evangelist as he was speaking on one of his missions in Poland. David is a man of great courage and vision and has an anointed ministry.

His podcast was entitled “More Valuable than Gold.”

He described the occasion when a cripple spoke to Peter at the Beautiful Gates of the temple.

David Hathaway pointed out that the cripple was not allowed into the temple because of his condition, sadly in many ways, things have not changed there.

Surely, the temple symbolic of our churches today should be exactly where the outcasts of “society” should be! That’s why God sent his only son, to love, redeem and save the ones who fall and fail. So that we can tell them, there is one who died for you on a cross and took all your failings, shame and rubbish away. All you have to do is recognise your helplessness and call out to the one who created you.

Please God may we burn with your love in our hearts so we no longer turn people away!

So, back to Peter:

The lame man asked Peter for money, he was begging as his only means and knowledge of survival. Peter explained that he too had nothing to give financially, but that he did have something he could give. In the name of Jesus Christ he commanded the man to get up and walk, he lifted the man to his feet, immediately the man regained the strength in his feet and ankle bones.

Where did this act of kindness and seeing the greater need of this man come from?

It came from the heart and love of Jesus Christ in Peter. Peter gave his heart, more valuable than gold.

The message from the Lord to me via David Hathaway and of course the word of God from Acts was really so simple.

All that my Lord is asking me to do, even in my brokenness, is to give my heart.

He really doesn’t want and definitely doesn’t need anything else.

How much better a parent feels when their child responds and acts out of a heart of love. Not obedience because (I will be punished,) (nurturing an unhealthy fear of God.) Not obedience so that I will get something to be loved more, no!

Obedience as a love response to our Creator.

Is there really any power or worthiness in our walk without God’s love in our hearts?

So, on this basis, I will give what I can.

I will give my heart response to my Creator.

And He says:

” That’s all I ever wanted.”

 

Tess. X

 

Extract from: ( The Book In Progress! ) by Therese Hood

 

 

 

 

 

The Mercy Journey. “It’s in the waiting……. the hardest thing God has ever asked me to do.”

Yes, it has been a while since I have written my blog, mainly because I have had a very clear instruction from God.

“You can’t talk the talk if you don’t walk the walk!”

Whoa!

So, it was some months ago now that I came across an article that really spoke to me. It was written as a prophetic word and the instruction was to submit to the Lord, draw near to Him and not strive through my next season. Very difficult for someone who has experienced years of juggling life in general and feeling as if I have to have my fingers on the pulse of all that is going on around me just to survive! I have felt myself gritting my teeth and wanting to rebel against this as it is so against my human, fleshy nature. God was not about to force me into this, it was something I had to do in willing obedience and trust, a real learning curve, as I am discovering.

In hindsight, I can now see some of what the Lord allowed to happen in this season. Not only have I experienced the most amazing breakthrough in my relationship with God, but I realize, now, that my time has been filled with discipleship and re-learning the word of God.

Alongside a dear and trusted sister of mine in Christ, we have been waiting on the Holy Spirit and digging into the bible and asking for revelation and truth along our journey. Sadly at times realizing how the word of God has been misunderstood or manipulated either consciously or subconsciously as we have walked our various roads as Christians. Very importantly too how we often read the word but do not disciple ourselves accordingly when the “world” with all it’s demands and opposite thinking comes in, to distract and disappoint.

“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in the mirror; for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”  NKJV

James Chapter 1 verses 22-25

There is more advice in the book of Hebrews that talks about spiritual immaturity and the need of solid food and not milk like a baby, that is, the word of God, the bread of life.

” But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”  NKJV

Hebrews Chapter 5 Verse 14

Knowing these truths is one thing, walking in them is another, I guess that is why it is called discipleship, it is discipline, but I know ultimately, it is for my good, that this is all part of God’s perfect love and plan for us. We need this!

We need this now more than ever before!

The faith in His word, the doing of His word, the trust we need, to know the love and faithfulness of God which all comes out of relationship with our Creator.

” In the waiting.”

God Bless you. Tess. x



The Mercy Journey…………learning forgiveness via a shopping trolley, a bus and a taxi….grow up time!

So, it was one of those days when I had to cram quite a lot into my schedule which included a shop at the supermarket, timed by me to perfection.

(Or so I thought!)

Being without a car has quite a few advantages, but one of the downsides can be the shopping trip when things don’t go according to plan and it is cold, windy and wet.

The bus I rely on runs hourly, so on this particular day I left my local supermarket with a good 10 minutes to spare before my bus was due. I sauntered ( as you do when you have time to spare) to the trolley park, loaded my rucksack onto my back and removed my shopping bags.

However, then,my perfectly timed stroll to the bus stop became unstuck.

A Trolley was jammed into a different sized trolley, sort of back to front and twisted, ( has this happened to you I wonder?) This meant I could not retrieve my £1.00 coin, my deposit for my trolley. I was annoyed! This meant  I would have to venture to the trolley park near the store entrance.

Okay, I still had a good 5 minutes to spare, but sauntering was now out of the question. So at a much brisker pace I returned my trolley, glanced over to the bus stop only to see the bus I intended to catch pulling away from the stop. Early!

I admit, I started having a moment. I could not afford to wait another hour for the next bus. I phoned various friends to see if I could possibly get a lift home with no success so that left me with only one option due to time constraints.

I called a taxi, an expense I did not need,  while I was waiting I admit I was feeling really quite angry and frustrated.

Angry with the supermarket for not sorting out their trolley park and angry with the bus driver who decided it was ok not to stick to the timetable.

By the time I arrived home I had decided that I was not going to take this inconvenience lying down and asked the taxi driver for a receipt. as far as I was concerned, someone was going to pay, ( for the taxi,) and it was not going to be me!

As the morning passed, and I started to calm down, I felt a nudge from the Lord about my anger and wanting to seek revenge, it went a bit like this:

” Tess, what about the lovely bus driver who always drops you at the end of your road to save you a bit of a walk, instead of at the official bus stop? ”

” What if it was the same driver today and he was having an off day?”

Oops!

This got me thinking.

This got me realizing I needed to forgive and let go. In fact it should make no difference if it was the same bus driver or not.

In the grand scheme of life, the whole scenario to do with my shopping trip was so petty. Yes, I may well have been justified for seeking recompense and being angry, but what does that make me?

?

I’ll tell you instead, what I am.

I am forgiven.

Forgiven for all my past mistakes. Continually forgiven and given unconditional love, mercy and grace by the one who took all my rubbish on the cross on a particular day many years ago. Someone who died in the most horrific and inhumane way, who was humiliated and betrayed by his friends and seemingly to him, abandoned by his Father at the most painful time.

Jesus cried out:

“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”

” My God, My God, why have forsaken me?”

 

Because of  Jesus, because of this love, because of this sacrifice for me….I must choose to forgive.

 

As I draw to a close, I am reminded of the opening prayer the Lord put on my heart when I volunteered to open prayer at a churches together meeting in our town at the beginning of this year. My prayer was, that as Christians, we need to forgive one another within the Body of Christ.

We need to forgive those who have hurt us on life’s journey. It needs to start with us. Isn’t this what the cross is all about?

I need to start with me.

And grow up.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

In this the love of God was manifested towards us, that God has sent His only begotten son into the world, that we might live through Him.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

 

Tess. x

NKJV

 

 

 

 

 

The Mercy Journey. I declare my wilderness years over and a new beginning…. Perfect love casts out all fear…

So the end of another year approaches and for me quite clearly the end of wilderness walking after pretty much 40 years.

As I approach my 56th birthday, I can look back now and realize that from about the age of 16 I started to make choices. Many of those choices have definitely shaped my life and not all of them have been good or wise and many of my actions have been underpinned with a predisposition of fear and control.

Since being saved just over 21 years ago, I know I have been a ( difficult child.) Rebellious, proud and at times manipulative in order to just survive.

I know this because very recently I was having a conversation with a trusted Christian friend of mine. We had been looking at a study about overcoming witchcraft and the control, deception and manipulation that is used not only knowingly in witchcraft but easily practised in the day to day lives of many as a defence mechanism.

During this conversation, my friend asked me;

“Do you really trust God?”

Good question, as it took me some minutes to answer.

My reply, following the rather pregnant pause, was “yes”, but my friend then went on to say that she was surprised it took me so long to answer.

Then, unexpectedly, something happened that I know was an intervention of the Holy Spirit as I started to feel very choked up. To explain, it is almost as if I cannot breathe, coupled with an intense feeling of sorrow. This feeling has occurred at various times in my life and I am now sure this is a symptom of something that the Lord wanted to use to bring something into the light….and he did.

I suddenly blurted out;

” I think it’s because I have always had to protect myself.”

So there it was. The reason why I have been such a hard nut to crack in terms of really letting go all these years. really trusting, not being afraid any more.

I could trace it back to many reasons why I have felt the need to just fight to survive, but in the end, God has been saying and showing me in so many ways now for years that He is my ROCK and my FORTRESS, (I do not need a fortress of my own making.)  He is there for me in times of trouble. he will not leave me nor forsake me. Despite my faults, weaknesses and failings he is on my side. he has my corner and His perfect love which he has proven time and time again will conquer my deepest fear of being abandoned.

This is why The Lord has given me certain scriptures to read aloud to become manifest in me, for instance, Psalm 131.

This is why, a year before I was saved the Lord touched my soul so deeply with a song based on Isaiah 43 verses 1 _ 3 and why the Lord has repeatedly brought to my attention the scripture from 1 John chapter 4 verse 18 and guided me to include the scripture on my album cover, ( talk about personal involvement! )

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”  (NKJV)

So the Lord does want HIS love perfected in us. He knows our deepest needs and wants to meet them and set us free from fear, torment and loneliness. Then he can use us for his purposes to embrace a lost and hurting world.

I cannot stress enough how patiently the Lord waits for us to come to him. But we must make the first move. We do not have a pushy controlling God. He is just waiting to really restore his children to him through a deep personal relationship.

In many ways I feel so very privileged to have not had a husband for over 16 years as the Lord has used my circumstance to really deepen my relationship with him. I know now that I am blessed, beyond measure. When I feel lonely, sad, afraid or start to worry, I know now, my God is there for me. Thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ for breaking down the barrier between me and our Father God by dying for me on the cross and restoring my heart to Him. He wants this for all of us!

So, I am going to sign off now and know that it is time to really walk in the truth for as long as I am left with a breath in my body.

I declare my wilderness years over and a new beginning.

Time to be the woman God created me to be and to really live as his perfectly loved child.

 

Praise God for he truly is mighty to save!

 

Tess. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mercy Journey. “I have tasted the kindness of the Lord….Oh and fish fingers!”………….

Believe it or not, fish fingers are part of the kindness of the Lord I tasted over the summer, but I will come to that. What I have discovered, yet again though is how very beautiful it is when we discover that the Lord knows our deepest needs and hopes, even when we,  necessarily do not.

Just to rewind to my daughter’s 21st birthday and our precious time together, well the Lord truly blessed me in the midst of it all which was so unexpected.

As part of my treat for my daughter’s special day I had arranged to see a movie at our local theatre. On arrival the foyer did not seem very busy, so we grabbed a quick drink and headed to our seats.

Well, as it turned out we had the whole cinema to ourselves. So, it mattered not if we fidgeted, wept at the girlie sad bits or put our feet up. Our own private showing, luxury, and so unexpected!

So, later on, following a meal at my home and an impromptu dance performance from my two sons for their sister, (which was brilliant!) we then looked forward to the rest of my daughter’s treat at a local spa the following day.

So, a first for me, we had booked a mineralizing facial. I had no idea what to expect, but according to the description on the brochure, along with a deep cleansing of the skin, (good thing,) it would be relaxing, (needed).

Then, the unexpected happened again.

Somewhere in the middle of my facial, I really felt the Lord’s presence. I felt the Lord say in His still small voice;

“Ah, there you are.”

Realization started to creep in.

I wasn’t doing anything.

I wasn’t doing, arranging,working, reading, cleaning, finding my teenage boys socks in unusual places, etc, etc etc…the list does go on…….

Then, I heard His voice again;

“Ah, there you are.”

I started to weep. Salty tears messing up the facial. I just couldn’t help it, a big lump had formed in my chest. What was going on?

I believe now, the Lord was showing me something very key. How long had it been since I have actually stopped and done something called love myself. I have been spoken to about this by a few close friends, but never really been able to receive the advice, but why?

I suppose deep down, I have not felt worthy. How sad is that! But what the Lord, and my precious friends have been trying to say and are still saying is;

“Yes you are.”

The Lord also says, (and I do know this but have not applied this truth properly to myself, is the commandment:)

“Love thy neighbour as you love yourself.”

How can I love my neighbour, when I am not loving myself ?  How can I love myself, without knowing the deep down knowledge of God’s love for me in my heart, soul and spirit.

So, I know now that this is why something inside me continues to keep seeking this perfect love I desperately need.

I also noticed whilst researching this commandment that in Romans Chapter 13 verses 9 & 10, in Paul’s  letter to the Romans he says this:

“The commandments, “Do not commit adultery; do not commit murder; do not steal; do not desire what belongs to someone else” _ all these, and any others besides, are summed up in the one command, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”  If you love someone, you will never do them wrong; to love, then, is to obey the whole law.”

So, I guess to sum it up, we need to know God’s love then.

Well, I would sign off now but I must tell you the fish finger story. Quite remarkably the loving our neighbour theme is unexpectedly intertwined here.

A few days after my daughter’s birthday, I set off with my sons and one of their friends  for our annual camping trip, ( we missed out last year, so I was feeling a little apprehensive.)

Why?

Well, it’s camping.

Camping with a 17,15 and 14 year old filled with testosterone, and big personalities. ( Don’t panic sprang to mind!)

We arrived safely, despite the boys disappearing for a quick look around the shops just before the one and only train we could catch. I was left with ten bags and a cool box for 40 minutes unable to move for fear of having our bags removed by railway security…thanks boys.

My amazing friends who I have had fellowship with over the years and live in Dorset, as always had already erected our tent on the camp site and took us for a food shop so we could stock up for a few days.

I had planned a menu and a budget for the week, which I hoped would include a few meals out as we were on holiday.

Because of the nature of the two ringed camping stove and tiny grill, one does have to be thoughtful. So, I thought, easy; fish fingers, mashed potatoes and beans… doable, one meal sorted.

I had planned dinner on site in the pub/restaurant for the first night, so had not bought fish fingers yet as the cool box would not keep them frozen. I was fairly sure the camp shop would have some, but as I found out the following day, no, they did not.

During that same day and with some trepadation, I had introduced myself to our neighbours in the next tent. This was partly to be sociable, but also to explain the fact that I had three teenage boys under canvas who may get a little noisy and excitable, (vast understatement.)

As it turned out, I could not have asked for a more brilliant neighbour for our camping week.

She had total empathy with the fact that I was alone managing three boys and offered lifts, kept food frozen for me at her brother’s home a few miles away and picked up some fish fingers in the nearby town for me. She also said the boys had both her and her daughter in stitches of laughter with their antics and entertainment.

What a fantastic neighbour, I could relax.

Oh, and I succeeded in cooking lovely mash, fish fingers and beans for four on my tiny camping stove.

I tasted the kindness of the Lord, with great friends,neighbours,family and very blessed fish fingers.

Tess.x

GNB

( PS:  I took a photograph of the sunrise on one of the days of my camping holiday. Have a look on The Mercy Journey page on Facebook:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mercy Journey……”I alone know the plans I have for you……….”

So….. to continue from where I left off in June.

Or rather, as the Lord continues to make his plans a little clearer as he walks me through my really letting go of my way of doing things and waiting for His plans to manifest.

As you may recall, I had been blessed with a tremendous healing of my soul and my heart to do with my relationship with my now late mother.

At the time of feeling such grief I really felt the need to talk to someone. The person who immediately came to mind has known me now for nearly 20 years and has brought great wisdom and love into my life during this time. Often over the years when she has been in my home she has said, ” You look like you could do with a hug.” I realize now how in tune with the Holy Spirit my dear friend is, as what I feel she was saying was,… ” you need a mother hug.”

Just the thing my soul needed.

So I called this particular lady in the middle of my outpouring of grief and tried to explain between sobs what the Lord had allowed in my life during that morning.

I felt so guilty at the time, and embarrassed, I was like a small child just crying my eyes out, (I am supposed to be the grown up here.)

But she said it was alright. I am now in a safe place and have permission to finally let go of the pent up pain and feelings I had held inside for so many, many years.

She kindly prayed for me and shared some scriptures that came on her heart. One was from Isaiah 49 verses 15&16.

“Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore?

Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you.

Jerusalem, I can never forget you!

I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”

When my friend spoke the words about my name being written on my Lord’s hands I just knew.  He knew exactly what I needed to hear and know in my heart.

She then said, that I will be the woman God intended me to be, just keep hold of his hand.

So there was the Lord reminding again that he has not forsaken me….his plans for me are still there and he hand picked the person I was supposed to telephone that day.

Now, here comes the next life changing moment. ..

The Lord has brought me on so far in terms of trust in him, he has been trying so hard for me to really believe his perfect will and love for me.

But we are talking about my heart.

Bruised, betrayed, disappointed, broken, captive.

But the Lord is saying;

“I want you to Trust me with your heart.”

” I want you to be the person I created you to be.”

” I want you to write a book and tell of all the good things I have done.”

Wow!

Well, for some time now I have been procrastinating with regards to the idea of putting my testimonies, of which there are so many into book form.

One of my first loves has always been to write. As a young girl I wrote poetry, it was a passion of mine along with dancing and music.

Yes, if I did this, in so many ways I would be being the real me.

Was the Lord really saying I love you this much. As it says in His word…perfectly?

As I pondered on this and continued to pray about the way I would practically integrate this into my Jubilee Records work, I started to realize that actually Jubilee is all about setting the captives free from slavery. Whether that is a captive heart or ones purpose in life that is enslaved, the book would fit in with the essence of what Jubilee is all about.

Now the tricky bit.

I decided to go for it, but have been hindered to various degrees financially over the years because I have had a spirit of poverty and because of my past and lack of self worth I haven’t believed myself worthy to be blessed. The Lord had already shown me this last summer whilst spending time with the same friend I mentioned earlier. (Amazing how God weaves these things together!)

It has taken a long time and the speaking out of scripture for me to start agreeing with the word on this, for instance stating the fact, “I am blessed!” ” I am of the royal priesthood.” The list goes on.

As I have expressed before the speaking out of scripture does manifest itself, the word does become flesh, however,  it has been an entirely different matter to actually receive and accept the truth of  these blessings into my heart.

So God knows me and he also knows that I had some burdens to shift so that I did not have to have a burden of worry over finance whilst continuing with Jubilee.

My daughters 21st birthday was approaching.

As a single parent, there is a part of me that never feels I can give enough to my children and I don’t just mean financially. But my daughter reaching the age of 21 for me is a quite a pinnacle, it’s a heart thing. I really wanted to bless her. I also had a bit of debt and other needs in the home so I cast my worries onto the Lord about my needs including my hearts desire to bless my daughter. I asked for an amount of money, which seemed impossible to me at the time to cover all these things and subsequently release me to concentrate on the book, but most importantly of all, have that deeper knowledge of God’s love for me in releasing me into the work of writing the book.

The very next day the Lord released the money I needed.

Not only did he totally understand my heart with regard to my precious only daughter, to me he was saying, now you can be the woman I created you to be.

“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.

“Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart……”

Jeremiah Chapter 29 Verses 11-13

Talk about grace, compassion, patience, mercy, provision, knowledge, kindness….. actually…..talk about perfect love.

Oh and guess what?

He knows the plans he has for you too!

Bless you.

Tess.x

GNB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mercy Journey….. Oh till it’s truth and it’s beauty and it’s grace…..

Oh till it’s Truth and it’s beauty and it’s grace.

Till you’ve finally found your true place.

Till we get the healing done

Oh child, till we get the healing done.

As you may know I have referred to this beautiful song on a few occasions because when I came across the lyrics sometime ago they stirred a deep well of emotion in me. In particular the following lines:

“Down those old ancient streets, down those old ancient roads, baby there together we must go.”

I kept the poem as I felt the Lord was taking me on a journey.

He has.

What can I say about the Lord’s patience, his compassion, his mercy and perfect love. It has taken me so long to really begin to understand it, and know it.

It has taken just over 55 years, and over 21 years as a Christian to finally start finding my true place.

BUT I HAD TO LET GO!

As you also may have read from my previous blogging, I have struggled to really trust the Lord and have relied on my survival instincts from childhood and as a single parent for over 16 years now.  What a stubborn woman I have been, living, as I have discovered, in such a place of fear.

So once again, as I had still not really let go, I ended up flat on my back with illness over the Easter period having no choice but to let go and let God.

Just previous to this I had been preparing for a promotion for Young Dads TV. Gathering prizes (thank you again to those who gave,) and publicizing through social media,press and radio.

The day of the promotion came and I met with Churches together in Newbury in our local park to promote the many and varied sides of Christianity and enjoy the free fun day.

But it was cold.

The weather after 5 hours standing in the park took it’s toll on my body. The next day I had a fever and the lung infection I thought I had conquered at Christmas reared it’s ugly head again.

Once again exhaustion hit me and I had no choice but to slow down. I felt quite despairing and broken. The usual voices in my head telling me I am a failure etc.

In the middle of all this my website manager and ( hero of all things technical )  contacted me.

He encouraged me to enter a competition being run by ‘Gods Web’ who host websites to win a years free hosting. All I had to do was tell them about my outreach and work.

Trouble was I felt so ill.

Anyway after about 5 attempts just trying to submit my entry, ( techno fear again,) I sent off my details.

Bear in mind, I was feeling very discouraged and vulnerable at the time. But yet again the Lord was making a way where there seemed to be no way through my stubborn refusal to just let go.

A few days later my website manager contacted me again to say that I was one of  the 5 winners.

Yes, I was encouraged. Yes, I could see that despite me, the Lord once again wanted to show his love for me, his compassion and faithfulness, his PATIENCE.

 

As a single Christian woman. I have spent many hours seeking the presence of the lord, as he is my constant companion and place of refuge. During a quiet time with the Lord just following my illness the purpose of the journey the Lord had been taking me on came to a head.

I had come across a poem entitled “Fly.” I absolutely know this was from the Lord for me, as the poem is all about letting go and really trusting God. For many years, as I have mentioned before I have had a recurring dream where I am falling and when I wake with a start, I often call out for my late mother. I had concluded that the falling is all about me having no control and that is why it scares me and I wake up panicky. To this day I dislike heights. Well, the poem encourages the reader to step off the edge of a cliff and fly, (not literally of course, but still my worst nightmare!)

So in my quiet time I decided to grab all the courage I could and I meditated on the poem for a while. Then said, (I was frightened stiff by the way,) “okay Lord I am going to step off this cliff.”

I took a deep breath and decided to trust God with my deepest fear and let go completely.

What happened next was unexpected and amazing. I suddenly started to cry my eyes out for my mother, I wanted my mum.

I cannot really describe the pain and release that I felt. For so many years and particularly throughout my childhood , some innermost part of my being had been wanting to cry out to my mum for her love, a hug, reassurance. All the things I had kept locked inside as I did not want to worry my mum when she had so much else to worry about. The Lord showed me after I had vented my sorrow that this was the key reason that for all these years I have felt a deep sadness in my life and why I had built a wall of protection around my heart and felt the need to be in control.

Now I also see why the Lord had put the scripture Psalm131 on my heart many months ago and why it was a prophetic verse for me. A dear friend of mine did say the words from the scripture would manifest themselves if I kept speaking them aloud everyday. She was right and I am so grateful as my sorrow has finally turned into joy.

“Lord I have given up my pride and turned away from arrogance.

I am not concerned with great matters or with subjects too difficult for me.

Instead, I am content and at peace.

As a child lies quietly in it’s mother’s arms,

so my heart is quiet within me.

Israel ,trust in the Lord now and forever!

A prayer of humble trust. Psalm 131

So much has happened since the Lord waited so patiently for me to really trust him.

I will catch up with you all soon and tell of all the good deeds the Lord has done since then.

 

With love in Christ, our Saviour, friend, Father and Mother.

Tess x

GNB

Till we get the healing done:   Van Morrison

Fly:   Jonathan David Helser

 

 

 

 

The Mercy Journey… “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.”

As I write this and think about the title of this blog entry I feel as though I have had in many ways a season of feeling very weak. However as I have slowly discovered, not only has this made my dependence on God even more necessary, it has shown me very clearly how personal and detailed his plans and purposes are for us, his dearly beloved children.

You may recall from a previous blog, that because of my experiences, and the setting up of my record label and releasing of my album, I was approached to send a message of hope to victims of domestic violence during the Amnesty International 16 days of activism for South Africa.

So on my return from the weekend away in the New Forest I was suddenly knee deep in press releases and promotion for the campaign.

Following the press releases I was asked to record an interview for our local radio station by phone which I duly did.  The day came when I though it would be broadcast and as usual a part of me dreaded it as there is an underlying lack of self confidence in me. Anyway, it was not broadcast. So my though pattern quite typically was…

” I knew I’d messed it up; Perhaps I did not make sense with what I wanted to say.” ( It is quite tricky, when questions are being fired at you to remember the content of the conversation,.)

So for two days I beat myself up (metaphorically,) then came to the realization in my quiet time with the Lord that actually I was falling into the pride trap and the most important thing was the message I was trying to put across. I had done my bit by sending out the press releases, so it was really up to God and what he wanted to happen. ( Lesson learning again!)

The following week a friend of mine gave me a lift and said out of the blue;

” I heard your interview on the radio on Sunday, it was brilliant!.”

I was a bit taken aback and asked the usual; “Did it make sense?”

She went on to say that it was great and covered all the facts I had hoped for and that it was broadcast on every news bulletin she heard that day. I have to admit, I was so encouraged, not because of pride this time, but because I knew it was the Lord’s doing, not mine.

Unfortunately, I did not manage to get any coverage in our local newspapers, so as the campaign was drawing to a close I decided to approach our local BBC radio station.

Within a few minutes of my sending the email to the station I received a reply. Would I come in the next day and be interviewed by Anne Diamond one of the radio presenters.

At the same time as being delighted, I flipped into panic mode. “How would I get there?” (I have no car.) I also had to quickly promote the fact as the interview was  live.

It was one of those moments when there was no time to ponder about nerves, so into God’s hands I placed the arrangements.

A lovely lady from our home church came to my rescue with a lift to the radio station, ( perfect choice of God, as this lady is unflappable personified.)

As for me, all I could do was place the interview in God’s hands and take big deep breaths…

I can only give all credit and praise to God for the peace he gave me whilst sat opposite the presenter who was brilliant and down to earth. Also for the sensitivity in which she asked questions about my experiences in life of violent behaviour I have witnessed and experienced and it’s impact on my life and others I know.

So, then, back down to earth with a bump, or should I say freezing weather as a few days later I find myself at the bus stop with a load of shopping and… no bus..

It was one of those moments in time when I convinced myself, that the bus would come round the corner at any second.

Forty five minutes later, I can no longer feel my hands or feet, I am frozen.

I think I finally warmed up about three hours after my arrival at home, but had no idea at the time the impact the cold had taken on my body. A few days later after scarily coughing up blood and being frightened out of my wits I visited the doctor. I was diagnosed with a lung infection, but sent for a chest x ray. I have experienced fear many times before, but this was my worst nightmare. I could not do anything physically or mentally demanding. I was exhausted, Christmas was a fortnight away and I was due to cater for my three children and my son’s half brother. Yes I wept. Yes I hated not being in control. I was powerless….

To say I had to totally depend on God and his provision for my state of mind and everything else is a massive understatement.

I felt so lost and despairing in so many ways and had to keep quoting scripture, keep hoping and keep praying I would get through this, it was undoubtedly one of the worst times of my life.

My children were amazing and my friends from the body of Christ invaluable. ( My pride I definitely had to swallow as on two occasions two of my friends prayed for me at my bedside, ( no makeup/scarecrow hair/temperature..) My worst nightmare!!

Then something extraordinary happened..

At the end of the second week of my weakened state I had a skim through my emails.

I had received one from a Christian magazine called “Inspire”. They wanted to run a story about some of my work particularly my involvement with fathers and their role.

I was in no fit state at the time to produce the copy, so very kindly the contact I had at Inspire said they could wait till the new year.

There were moments during my illness when I felt so inadequate and wondered why would the Lord want to use me as a spokesperson for him..

Now I know, in so many many ways that this is the whole point.

It’s not about me it’s about HIM. He is teaching me to stop getting in the way of his plans and purposes, his power is greatest when I am weak… He is saying TRUST!

“My thoughts,” says the Lord “are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.” (Isaiah Ch 55 V8_9)

Another lesson learned!

 

Tess.x

 

GNB