By Brenda Franklin-Strout
Today is my birthday…I’m 43…and determined this to be my year to walk in freedom and victory. I’ve spent the last nine months intentionally working on my “stuff”….only to acknowledge that I’ve been a work in progress all along.
These past months have taken me on a journey that brought me to healing my guilt and shame, the wounds of the past and setting me and my marriage on fertile ground that has been planted with great seeds that will yield a plentiful harvest if we continue to cultivate a rich environment for the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience and a tree of wisdom and success beyond our wildest forecast. As with all things harvested, only time will prove the success of the planters…and I have it on good authority that The Master Planter has great intentions for the harvest of my heart and marriage. The Bible says in Psalm 85:12 (NIV) “The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” I believe with everything in me that with a confident God that only suggests that we “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3: 5,6) that fruit is guaranteed when we trust in the fruitful harvest that only He can bring.
Its been quite a year since I last blogged here…As Solomon noted in Song of Solomon 2, “…the little foxes, that spoil the vines…” I’ve realized that the things that I thought were life-changing and vision-altering were simply foxes in an attempt to spoil the harvest….seriously, we make things so difficult for ourselves sometimes, don’t we?! The heartache comes when we realize that we left the gate open with a big, fat “Welcome, Foxes” sign on the post that they readily took advantage of and it’s when we are sitting in the dirt wondering what happened that we realize we failed to armor up and stay vigilant. See…my foxes…yeah…they are fear, anxiety, worry, pride…you get the idea. I read throughout the Bible of men and women of faith that fell to fear and my hope comes in the written knowledge that God still used them and taught them in the midst of that same fear. I read a quote in a blog this morning that changed my perspective about Peter and the night he walked on water…Fear is a thief. It robbed Peter of a perfectly good walk on water, and kept the eleven in the boat – Bill Johnson …Peter went on to do great things with Jesus and I am confident that I have done great things in/through/for Him and will continue to do so…but my fear…its hindering. My foxes come with name tags like “Fear of rejection”, “Fear of abandonment”, “Fear of water”, “Fear of loss of control”….Seriously, friends….I could go on. Yet when I look back, He still used me and I still grew and I am still healing. It leads me to this one conclusion: If I was used, grown and healed in the midst of fear…how much more effective could I be in spite of it?! That’s what courage is…action in spite of fear not the absence of it. I learned that on a recent trip to Hawaii with my children…I was determined throughout the trip to do the things I was afraid of…and I lived through it!! What deception I believed!! I put my face in water (Hadn’t in over 20 years…including in the shower), I got in a water tank with a Wolphin, I flew in an airplane….I apologized to my children. And I lived through it all…and continue to do so.
SO this year…my 43rd year…I am determined to seize freedom and victory and hold on to them with everything in me. I will step out in spite of fear and do the things that were mine to accomplish before the foundation of the earth was laid…
As my husband always says…”We step as if we have God’s approval…He’ll let us know if we don’t.”
I’m free. I have victory. I am a daughter of the King. I honor Him well. I have courage.
Time to shore up the gates, friends…the enemy seeks like a roaring lion, whom he may devour. Better to deal with the little fox before the big game arrives.
I love you and I’m praying for you!
A collection of ramblings from a girl in love with her God and obediently sweeping the temple to get healthy and whole. I invite your thoughts, suggestions and ideas on best practices and what is and is not working for you! Above all, may this be a forum of honest and transparent discussion of our triumphs, challenges and the joy we experience along the way! He is my Trainer, my Great Physician and my God. I can do all things through Him. No, really… I can!!! You can find more blogs by Brenda at sweepingthetemple.wordpress.com.
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