by Kasia Kedzia
God is good at giving us wake-up calls. My wake-up call came a number of months back and what God began in me was hard, painful and unpleasant. The work I had to do was messy and the depths I had to dig into my heart were deep, but I heeded the call and I braved the journey because hitting snooze was not an option anymore. Now I’m coming out on the other side and here are some things I’ve learned.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NLT) 3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4He comforts us in all ( Click for more )
You know those days that are so bad they write songs about them. It was one of those. A day when I woke up just wrestling with God and myself. But I chose to fight and take my thoughts and emotions to God, to filter my thoughts through God’s truth. And then these amazing series of events happened throughout the day, and in each, God drew me closer as if whispering in my ear, “Kasia, I am working. I am not done. There is a greater good. I am preparing you and using you, just hold on. I have you and I am not letting you go.”
John 6:44-48 “No one can come ( Click for more )
Before I can become who I want to be, I need to first embrace all of who I am. This includes the parts of me I don’t like, my insecurities and weaknesses. Weaknesses teach and bring me to God, if I allow them to. When I don’t, I become ashamed of them and want to hide them. This leads to pride while God’s unconditional love gives the strength to face and accept them so He can transform them.
Hebrews 4:14-16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” ( Click for more )
I have viewed Time as my enemy for much too long. As a result too often I have taken control, made decisions or simply been impatient and anxious because I felt like time was running out, was not on my side or something was simply taking too long. I am learning however, that Time is my biggest ally and friend. Time is what God uses to temper wisdom, to reveal His will, to heal my heart and brokenness that allow me to truly apply what He is teaching me. God uses time to give me perspective and strength to let go of that which He has called me to release to Him. Letting go can be hard, ( Click for more )
Transformation is a big concept. It can be painful but it is beautiful. It’s more than incremental change. It’s radical. My love is more self-serving than it appears, my wounds are deeper, my self-deception more destructive. I fail to live up to my expectations. And it is in this place where God meets and transforms me.
“I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there. I wanted to correct the perversion that existed in your love.” AW Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Tozer reflects on the reason why God brought ( Click for more )
I choose what I will carry inside of me. Surrender is being willing rather than willful. It comes not from grasping but from releasing, not from striving but from relinquishing, not from taking but from giving. This is hard, but what I carry when I am surrendered is so much lighter and more beautiful than what I once held on to. There are many moments where surrender momentarily evaporates from memory as I fall into sadness or grapple for my own way,, but what I carry by the power of surrender is still inside and it is true - God never fails to call me back to His love ( Click for more )
Things happen, that at first may seem all wrong, but when we have faith that something greater is at work, that God IS at work, all those things, end up working together for good. God has been calling me to a new level of trust in Him. He’s calling me to a level of total abandonment, complete surrender, and vulnerability like never before. He’s setting me free to turn the page. I’m learning to be faithful in my brokenness. I am tragically broken, but the One who made me makes me whole.
What we don’t say in words, we ultimately say in deeds. I’ve ( Click for more )
Sometimes my worst enemy is me. It is the things in ourselves that we refuse to face that have the greatest potential to tyrannize us and we risk becoming possessed by that which we refuse to face. God has forgiven, so have those I’ve hurt deeply, yet my hands can tighten around my own neck as I look back at the damage I did to those dearest to me. I can still let fear in. In these moments the darkness calls, but Jesus calls louder. The courage I want to give to others, their pain I wish to take away, God desires to do the same for me. He says, “I am with you, I have forgiven ( Click for more )
When I think of surrender I get a mental image of a person with their hands up over their head, at gunpoint. Maybe I watched too many old WW II movies as a child. Yes, that's my mental image of surrender. This also takes me to the idea of lifting my hands over my head, which unless I am holding a barbell loaded with weight over my head, I do not do. I don't lift my hands in worship, or on a roller coaster, and I don't wave them up in the air. It's just not my thing, and generally makes me uncomfortable. So you can imagine how the journey to surrender may be a truly uncomfortable and ( Click for more )
“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.” – Erica Jong
It’s not about my expectations, but my hopes. I have had a lot of unrealistic expectations in the past. These expectations were rooted in control. Control is the fear of the unpredictable resulting in doing everything in my power to ensure certain ( Click for more )
As I have been striving to sow God’s way and rely more on His Spirit, God has been incredibly gracious in showing me how. It’s fighting to check and when necessary, shift my thinking. It’s easy to lose sight of the eternal when the present is so tangible.
Romans 8:4b”[…] No we do not live following our sinful selves, but we live following the Spirit. Those who live following their sinful selves think only about things that their sinful selves want. But those who live following the Spirit are thinking about the things the Spirit wants them to do.” ( Click for more )
A relationship can reveal parts of your character you otherwise would not have seen. When your heart is in such close proximity to another sinful human being it cannot hide. It is in this proximity where it gets hurt, bruised and even broken. It is in these moments your true self is exposed. Who you are in Christ, and how much you truly rely on him is tested and revealed.
Although my top 10 lessons learned from my relationship are below, God only has one lesson when it comes to our hearts:
Deuteronomy 6:5 (NCV) "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your ( Click for more )
When the time comes to leave, God tells us how. He said we should go out with joy and be led out with peace (Is55:12). Yet when I think of the things I often want to leave: a job I’m unsatisfied in, a friendship or relationship that hurts me, etc, it is rare that I have joy and peace in my heart. Usually it’s the exact opposite.
Psalm 92:13 “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
Although this scripture addresses being planted in God, I found it applies to a lot of areas in my life. When I delight in ( Click for more )
“The enemies chief target is the mind because the most effective way to influence behavior is to influence thinking.” – Beth Moore
A friend once told me to try to pray more than I think. It has been cherished advice since, even if I don’t apply it nearly enough. In each moment when I choose Jesus’ thoughts to my own, I am taking my thoughts captive, making them obedient to Christ. This choice is one of trust. When I choose His thoughts over my own I trust Him over myself.
Ps62:8 “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts ( Click for more )
It’s amazing what we are able to see in ourselves when we humble out before God. As I look back at the last few months of my life it’s been marked by a lot of strife in my relationships (dating, work, home). Mercifully God has revealed and relented as I have strived to change this, but he has also used it to remind me that I will reap what I sow in my life. Now don’t get me wrong, there will be times in all of our lives where there is hardship and strife despite our best efforts to be godly. However, God has shown me how much strife can be prevented when I am willing ( Click for more )
When I was a little girl I loved a good thunderstorm. I still do. But I’ve forgotten how to enjoy them. At the sound of thunder and the smell of the oncoming downpour I would run out barefoot onto the New York City pavement just to feel the full effect of the storm - the smell of the pavement, the feel of the hot rain on my skin, the steam coming off the palms of my hands. It meant relief from the heat was coming; it allowed me to experience a little bit of God’s greatness, reminding me how small I was, and yet how safe.
I've seen God unearth so much in me in the last ( Click for more )
When I am hurting it is easy to allow bitterness and anger to seep in. Although I would like to excuse these feelings and justify them, they are evil in God’s sight. Yet, they flood my heart anyway. One of the hardest things to forgive is betrayal from someone you love. It’s the worst type of heartache, the kind that lingers and brings up blame. Unfortunately, at some point in life most of us will feel it and if you haven’t been there, someone you love probably has, or will be. When the time comes I pray the following thoughts and verses can help bring comfort. ( Click for more )
Seasons of loss and pain can teach me how to receive from God. If I let it, struggle can make me stronger, build me up and deepen my faith. However, this deeper faith can only be attained if I face my suffering head on and not run from it. If I don’t see God’s love in times of suffering I can miss the possibility of the beauty that can come out of the struggle and hence miss out on God’s love even amidst great pain.
I am desperate for Him to work a miracle in and through my heart, to empty it of all its fleshly contents and make it a vessel for His love. Recently, ( Click for more )
Loss. Sometimes it comes quickly, at other times it comes slowly. However it may come, it exposes the deepest most vulnerable parts of our hearts. It has done so for me. In these moments I see that God is calling me to live my life without something I never thought I could live without; but when I remember I have Him, I have the only love, family, security, wealth and health I really need and cannot lose. Easier said than done, but never the less true.
Sometimes loss comes in multiples and it can feel like God is killing me slowly, when he’s actually saving me. I can’t ( Click for more )
Sometimes the people we love the most fall short of our expectations. We either want more from them, or we want more for them. Either way it is in these moments we realize our love is conditional. Faith helps me to get a step closer to loving unconditionally when my love is conditional.
The phrase unfailing love is in the bible over 32 times and each of those times the source of the love is God himself. As I have looked at these verses they have shown me how much faith it really takes for love not to fail in the moment. I need more faith in the moments I am called to do right ( Click for more )
Sometimes the most challenging thing is waiting. Waiting in the unknown while you hold your dreams close to you along with your pain and say, “God I want to give this to you but I’m having trouble letting it go. Please help me loosen my grip and give it over to you while I wait on you to make things clear in your time.”
“Faith is not believing in my own unshakable belief. Faith is believing an unshakable God when everything in me trembles and quakes” -Beth Moore
This quote perfectly captured how I can grapple with being faithful and lose ( Click for more )
The last few weeks have been really busy and heavy. I’ve felt like it’s taken everything in me to just keep going, physically. It’s those times in your life where there is so much going on that you literally can’t think. My brain was so oversaturated that even as I would sit to read, I would immediately forget what I had read. It’s been a time of trials and me fighting to do and say the right things, but still falling short. In this time I have known and experienced God more as he has called me to a deeper faith.
Titus 3:1-2 “Remind the people ( Click for more )
There are moments in our life where we are truly aware of our humanity, our frailty and our inability to control anything. These moments give me perspective on how little control I actually have. These moments bring me to my knees before God and help me to put my faith and trust in Him over myself.
Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
The older I get in my faith the more I see my need for God, the need to spend more time in His word, to drop to my knees and cry out to Him more and rely ( Click for more )
It’s not hard to agree with those we trust. Trust breeds respect and vice versa. Obedience to God is about such a trust. It’s me trusting and serving Him no matter what, in full assurance that he will take care of my needs - whether financial, emotional, physical or otherwise. Just because things aren't going the way I planned doesn't mean they aren't going the way they should. I need to remember not to lose myself in what is temporary because no one has seen and no one has heard what God has prepared for me. Unfortunately, in a given moment, I do forget.
Is 64:4 ( Click for more )
There are moments in my life I want to run away. The moments when I want to run most are when I feel like my weaknesses are exposed, or when I fail. It is in these moments that I find it hard to find my way and instead can chose to struggle to get my way.
John 5:30 By myself I can do nothing; […] , for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Jesus always claimed dependence on God. In contrast, too often I want to take the lead instead of waiting for God to reveal what it is He would have me do. I want to take control of the given situation because the world ( Click for more )
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