Growing in spiritual maturity

When I first sensed the marvel of Your presence in my heart,

I was drawn like a child to a carnival ride.

I perceived Your power and imagined

You’d take me further and faster –

exactly where I wanted to go,

I said yes.

Years of wholehearted yeses later,

I’ve learned that the richness of Your Spirit is the

journey, goal and destination –

in and of Itself.

You haven’t taken me any further,

only deeper-

into love.

I haven’t gained anything,

only lost –

my illusions.

Yet You continue to enchant me and

somehow draw me in, voluntarily –

through the pain of letting go,

into the richness of prayerful silence

and contemplation of Your unfathomable treasure trove

of mysteries.

When you’re under pressure

One hundred miles beneath the surface of this planet,

it takes 2,200 degrees of heat

and 725,000 pounds of pressure

to forge a diamond,

which must be pushed up to the surface through volcanic eruptions

to finally be discovered and treasured by humans beings.

In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to forget our souls are like diamonds.

Our beauty is forged by fire in the depths of our being.

Whatever pressure you’re under right now,

keep the faith.

You’re not being destroyed!

You are being transformed from simple elements of the earth

into an eternally gorgeous creation,

which will be treasured by God forever.


Source for diamond statistics:

How to be bully proof

How can we protect ourselves from a world of criticism and cruelty?

I think the answer is simple: We need to be happy with who we are.

When we’re truly confident, for the most part, bullies leave us alone. And when they do choose to put us down, their insults pour off of us like water off a duck’s back without taking anything essential from our core of self esteem.

So how can we learn to be truly confident and happy with who we are, when we have so many flaws as human beings?

This answer is simple too: We need to put our confidence in the Lord.

As He showed us so perfectly on the cross, He forgives us all our shortcomings and affirms our dignity, even with all our imperfections. He loves us unconditionally and wants the best for us. He is our strength and our protection, our fortress and our shield.

Once we realize this and trust Him at the core of our being, we can become much more resilient in the face of criticism. Even when we are hurt by the cruelty of others, the more we trust in the Lord, the more quickly we can bounce back by reminding ourselves of our inherent worth as children of the One True King.

The saints are great examples of this. They were so full of God’s love, they were able to stand strong in faith through incredible trials, never losing their personal dignity or confidence in Christ.

Lord, help us to realize our dignity as your your beloved children. Fill us with a sense of Your strength and Your unconditional love of us, so we can be immune to the harshness of the world we live in. Fill us with an unshakable sense of self worth, so we can represent You well and glorify You with our lives always, Amen.

Related scripture
Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you.”

Journalling topic
Do you have areas of vulnerability, where people are able to frequently get under your skin and hurt your feelings?  How could Christ heal that area and fortify it with strength and protection, so you can be more resilient in the face of criticism? 

When you’re in darkness

Until you have the courage to enter darkness,

You can’t bring the light.

We think it’s the end of the world when we suffer,

but the Truth is:

God gives us opportunities to illuminate the shadows with His love.

Isn’t that what you wanted all along?

Didn’t you pray to be of service?

Didn’t your whole heart long to heal the world?

When you said yes to His calling,

you just didn’t know it would be so hard.

I’m here to tell you:

Really, everything’s going to be okay.

On a level you can’t see,

everything really is already amazing.

Just hang in there, and keep praying –

shine in the darkness,

hold onto your faith.

When He delivers you out of this,

and you experience the perfection of the culmination of His plan,

you’ll be amazed by your greater capacity to radiate love.

Stay open to possibilities

Sometimes we’re like dry earth cracking,

parched and waiting

for rain to fall from the skies-

we can’t make it happen.

All we can do is ache

and hang on,

gazing up to the heavens-

praying for better days.

I’m here to encourage you:

the deluge will come at the perfect time-

just don’t give up.

Faith is being grateful for an outpouring of love in advance and

opening your parched self up to receive it,

reaching for it with every aching thing you’ve got

and praying the same for others.

Imagine how mercy will feel washing over your soul,

and keep hope.

Keep opening your heart into the clear blue skies,

until the floodgates open.

You are destined to be showered with grace.

You are destined to become a sanctuary of new growth.

You are a glorious garden of infinite possibilities. (23)

Just let it go

Here it is, Lord –

I have one last thing to give you,

and I’m finally ready.

I’ve been clutching it heavy to my chest for so long

that I started to think it was part of who I am.

But I finally realize,

it’s just a rain cloud-

and I’m the vast openness beyond-

I can choose to let the shadow float on by.

I’m finally ready to let go of every stormy belief

that stops Your light from radiating through me.

I want Your love to shine through my soul like a sunny day.

Thank You for Your constant ability to illuminate our world, 

and thank You for waiting so patiently for me to get out of Your way. 


The process of spiritual growth

Sometimes out of the crystal clear heavens,

God reaches down and uproots my plans –

I am always stunned when this happens,

it’s terrifying.

But then, with gentle and powerful hands –

sure as the sun,

He replants me somewhere beautiful,

where I have even more room to stretch and rise up to meet Him.

When will I learn to trust in His goodness?

When will I accept that this is the process of spiritual growth?