Whoever told you that you weren’t good enough, you wouldn’t amount to much, don’t do it, you will fail, it’s too late, you won’t recover, you’re finished, it’s impossible…; well, they are not the final authority unless you wrongly give them permission to be.
When I started Senior School, I was put into ‘Set R1’. It’s a long time ago now but if my memory is correct there was R1 and R2. I didn’t know what the ‘R’ stood for but I took comfort from the fact that my set had a ‘1’ after it – that must be good. Right? It wasn’t long before I discovered, to my utter disappointment and devastation, the ‘R’ apparently stood for ‘Remedial’. I received it, I believed it, I achieved it. Needless to say my academic results at school never broke any records!
Thankfully, I had a Dad who daily told me I was a winner! Many people today don’t have such a cheerleader in their world but I came to recognise the love and encouragement of my earthly Dad as a picture of the love and encouragement of our Heavenly Father! He is there for everyone who will receive it, believe it and those dreams that once seemed lost to you and out of reach, you need to know you can and will achieve it! He is the only one you can put your trust in to rewrite the negatives spoken over your life. He can turn every negative into a positive and though you’ve been wronged, He can make it right! There can be a divine reversal of every damaging label spoken over your life. Don’t let the negatives define you, but refine you, and make you a better person. God did not create you just to survive, but to thrive!
This past week I re-watched the 2002 rom-com movie, ‘Maid in Manhattan’ – a great blast from the past, whilst feeding our new born, baby Judah. It’s the story of the low-time maid that the high powered politician staying in the hotel she works for, falls in love with. I’m a bit of a sucker for a good rom-com movie and I love the part where Jennifer Lopez who stars as the Maid is being dismissed from her job. She’s a single mother, she’s lost it all, and then just as she turns to walk out the door, the Butler drops this nugget of gold:
“What we do does not define us. What defines us is how we rise after we fall”!
Wisdom right there – nothing has the right to keep you down unless you allow it! The Maid rose above it all when she went on to marry the top guy!
I speak to the broken woman who longs to be a mother but possibly a negative report has left you believing that dream can never be a reality. To the person on their sick bed who has been told their healthy days are behind them. To the hard working man struggling in his job and trying to make ends meet. To the student who fears the future and whether they have what it takes to make it. To the marriage that looks like it’s over. People may have used you, emotionally or even physically abused you, negative circumstances may have bruised you but let God write them into your success story! Your success is your best revenge on those who wrong you – feel the pain and get up again. Forgiveness will keep you free! You will get knock downs in life, I’ve had plenty, but every time I’ve had to look at myself lying flat out on the floor and ask the question, “what are you doing down there”? It may be through the blood, sweat and tears, but there has only ever been one answer for me and it’s the only answer that can redefine your destiny, “I’M GETTING UP”!
I love this, and I quote:
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD (law = God’s Word, what the Bible states, God’s final say), meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
Wow, there is so much positivity in that to help us navigate the negatives of life! Let me break it down for you and make it digestible. This world system we are all caught up in is sadly at its heart wicked, failing and negative. You can either follow, stand around, join in with and take as gospel the advice of those who don’t know God and what He can do for you, who are caught up with this world system, or you can follow a different voice and give your time and credence to what the Bible has to say – I call that Kingdom living; in a nutshell it’s living above it all. You can’t follow both and expect miraculous results. You can either hang out with and hang on to every word that flows out of people’s mouths who do not know God, do not seek His word on the matter or His ways – whether that be the media with their facts and ‘alternative facts’, the medical field (no matter how well meaning your Doctor), educational establishment, your friends, even family or any other negative voice fighting for your attention. Alternatively, you can choose God’s way, take His word as the final, authoritative say, which then produces a successful, positive, flourishing and fruitful life in every season, circumstance and situation. The Bible in Romans 8 verse 28 promises us that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Yes God has a purpose and a good outcome for your life! God says it, I receive it, I choose to believe it and I achieve it – you see the word ‘all’ in “all things work together for good” means just what it says: “ALL” – that includes the good, the bad and the ugly situations! I have proved this to be true in my life, family and business time and time again! I simply receive and believe what God has to say about my life and the circumstances I find myself in everyday and experience breakthroughs, miracles, answered prayers and exciting outcomes on my incredible God adventure.
A short while ago now, whilst I was four and a half months pregnant with our gorgeous baby Judah, who has just turned 1 month old, a routine midwife check up had me referred to the doctor who rushed me into hospital with what appeared to be blood clots on my lungs. One of those more alarming moments in life. In panic I was about to call my hubby and all the friends I could think of but held fire! I felt impressed to just pray as a Bible verse jumped into my heart from the book of Isaiah “In quietness and confidence will be your strength”. I quieted my panicking heart by putting my confidence in God and rested in the truth that even though David my husband had just left for a few days with a mini-bus full of young people, (my two older boys included and my two younger children, upon my admission to hospital, were rushed to family), God was with me! When my husband called and found out I was in hospital he immediately wanted to come home but again I remembered God’s word to me and pleaded with him to stay right where he was, not to upset the youth trip to a Christian conference, and not to give the dirty devil the attention he craved! God has taught me not to run here, there and everywhere in the midst of crisis but just to be still, conserve your energy, pray and trust for the storm to pass. When we choose panic over peace and confidence, we promote the negative in our lives and demote the positive! We waste our energy unnecessarily and give attention to what does not deserve our attention!
I was still in the treatment room at around midnight when word came back from the doctor that all examinations and tests indicated blood clots on the lungs. As the Doctor left the room to consider treatment options after highlighting to me the terrifying risks of what in medical terms he called a pulmonary embolism, I smiled and said “you’ll see, I’m gonna faith it until I make it”! No sooner had he left than my faith filled stance took a tumble! Fear filled the treatment room – it was tangible and I began to shake from head to toe! In the middle of the night, in the middle of the nightmare – when you’ve gone too far to turn back and you can’t see the way through is when God is working behind the scenes for you. Just hold on! Speak to your panicking heart with it’s million and one worst case scenarios to be quiet and be confident in the strength God will bring in your weakness!
I longed for my husband to be beside me, I regretted not asking him to come back home and suddenly felt afraid and very alone. The Drama Queen inside me began to rise up as tears filled my eyes and I questioned if I would get to see the family I adore again… what if I didn’t get to say goodbye? I’m as human as the next person in life’s rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. As I shook on the bed my phone bleeped with a message. I grabbed it in desperation and I wasn’t disappointed. It was heaven calling in the form of a beautiful, young missionary friend in Kenya, Kelly Strong. She said that the Lord had shown her to pray for me through the night, I was brought to tears as I read she counted it a privilege. Here was a young Mum with a baby herself counting it a privilege to sacrifice her sleep and pray for little me! How I needed it – God let me know in that moment I was not alone! I sobbed, stopped shaking and faith flooded my room, it was tangible – joy and strength came with it and rose up inside me once again as Kelly went on to say that as she prayed she had the wonderful experience of hearing the Holy Spirit praying for me! Wow! The God who cares for the universe takes time out to care for you and me!
I knew God had this covered and from that moment everything changed as the doctors returned to the room. The Consultant ended up having to get a second opinion as he explained to me that medically speaking blood clots do not just disappear. My treatment room transformed into a little piece of heaven on earth as God showed up and showed off to the medical crew – something I have smiled to see Him do many times before and since. They asked me many questions that night about my faith in Jesus before I was discharged early in the morning and enjoyed a celebratory breakfast with my two younger children! God is ready to show up and show off in your life if you ask Him to and as He works “all things together for your good” you will have the opportunity to share His love and miraculous power in the process with a watching world!
What negative names have you had spoken over your life? Pulmonary embolism, blood clots, cancer, divorce, redundancy, depression, failure…. I have news for you – there’s a name greater than any other name that comes against you to knock you out for the count. His name is Jesus!
Years ago, an education system mindlessly wrote “Remedial” over my life. Perhaps today they don’t even realise it because the ‘R’ probably didn’t stand for remedial at all, and for years I may well have received, then believed, a lie that some kids cruelly told me. I hung around and dwelt on the negative. I should have rejected it there and then, but like many today we don’t question it, we receive the negative labels, believe them, and perhaps you, just like me, have been wearing the wrong names across your life for far too long. It’s time to put a change of clothing on! In the same way my Dad’s voice resounded to me with “You’re a Winner” all those years ago, your Heavenly Father is speaking over you today “You are more than a conqueror, through Christ Jesus who loves you – you are a winner!” Yes you are loved – the Bible calls you what seems such an old fashioned word today “you are the ‘beloved’ of your Father” – will you allow yourself to ‘be-loved’ by Him today. You simply need to receive it, believe it and then you will achieve the best life and outcomes God is ready and waiting to lavish on you as His child! What are you doing down there? You’re getting up! Receive it… Believe it… Achieve it – your new life awaits! What would you do if you knew you could not fail?… Do it!
Heavenly Father, today I ask you to forgive the lies spoken over my life and the wrong things I’ve done. I’ve been living life from my perspective, from the world’s perspective, from others perspective for too long – but from this day on I choose to live life from your perspective! The old negative labels and clothing are gone and today I’m putting your designer wear and positive outcomes and future for my life on. I receive it (you’re love and fresh start for my life today), I believe it (I put my trust in and lean towards what you have to say), I achieve it (I will win in every area of my life for I choose, with your help, to follow you all the way). In Jesus name, Amen!