asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic


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Sum of your mistakes

emoji ugh

“You are the sum of all of your past mistakes”.

This was a lie from satan that I believed about myself for so long.  It was truly something that had kept me in chains for so long.

Today, God spoke the exact same phrase to me, but in the form of a promise.

“Tamara, you are the sum of all of your past mistakes because that is where I grew you and molded you.”

I began to think about all of the biblical figures that messed up royally…and how God used these exact people for His glory.

Take David, for example. Man, what was he even thinking?  He had an affair with a married woman, and she became pregnant.  His solution?  Let’s have her husband killed and then she can come live with me. (Oh my word, how many times has our own best thinking gotten us in an even bigger mess???)

Yet….BECAUSE OF  ALL OF HIS MISTAKES…God continued to refer to him as “a man after my own heart”.  He redeemed him and made him king of Israel.  

Then, there was Gomer.  She was a prostitute.  God sent her a PROPHET for a husband.   She continued to return to her old ways over and over because they were known and comfortable. (Can you even imagine the church gossip that ensued?!)

YET…BECAUSE OF ALL OF HER MISTAKES…God sent Hosea to relentlessly and recklessly pursue her heart!  Because God is a faithful lover of our souls.  He did this as an example to all of us of His unconditional love and his ability to redeem even the most undeserving wanderers.

Then, there was Peter, who betrayed Jesus in His final hours of life.  Peter was part of Jesus’ posse. And, still, Peter denied even knowing Him THREE times the night before Jesus’ death.

YET…BECAUSE OF ALL OF HIS MISTAKES…when the angels descended, Jesus sent a message through them to “his disciples and Peter”.  He named Peter specifically, and continued to use Peter as a disciple to preach of the gospel after His crucifixion. 

I don’t know about any of you but this gives me great hope!

I also know that I don’t learn anything from the mountaintop, where things are good and mistake and problem free. The mountaintop has always been my resting place, where I rejuvenate for my next trek into the valley.  I am thankful that God loves me and sees value in me that He takes me to the valley.  There has never been a time that a mistake or hard time has not taught me a lesson that I would need for the next assignment that God has for me. He promises us this:

“Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1:4

 

If God can use David, Gomer, and Peter BECAUSE OF their mistakes, then…

Yes, I am a sum of my past mistakes because they grew me to be the person that I am today.  

A person in which God sees worth and wants to use for His glory!

So, let go of that shame that you are holding onto for saying or doing the wrong thing.  Let go of those feelings of worthlessness because you, too, screwed up royally.  Let go of those hateful or judgmental words of others that play over and over in your head like a broken record. Yeah, you can stop beating yourself up.  (Seriously though, stop that crap!) God will use your mistakes, screw ups, and hard times to mature you and complete you so that you are not lacking anything! God created all of us with a purpose that only we can complete!  YOU were the one specifically created for that purpose that will glorify Him!

Gosh, THAT is some freedom that I can dance in.  Can I get an amen?


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Reminders

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

2Peter 1:2

andWhen I was in real estate, I went to a seminar where the speaker said, “It’s time to take the word ‘but’ out of our vocabulary and replace it with ‘and’, because ‘but’ usually means something negative is following.  Nothing is either good or bad, but most stuff is both.  The word ‘and’ shows that it’s both.”

That being said….

I have these neighbors.  They are super sweet AND they are driving me crazy.  Here’s why…they play the same song over and over and over for HOURS every. single. day. at full volume.  It’s so annoying!

silence of the lambsIn the beginning, I was concerned that they were holding someone hostage and sewing little jackets out of skin for the kids in the community.  Then I realized that only happened in Silence of the Lambs and wasn’t real life, so I let that theory go…for the most part.

crazy_insane_womanThen I settled on the fact that they wanted my sanity.  Somedays, I think they are winning.  My family thinks it funny.  My kids even walk up to me and start singing it…and laughing!  I have known for years that those two were plotting for my sanity so it’s no big surprise that they are jumping on the bandwagon on this one.

Red bow on fingerThen…I came up with another theory.  *Maybe* God is using this as a reminder to me.  Most days I am sure that He thinks that I am plotting for His sanity…

like on the days when I cannot respond in kindness…for the 150 millionth time…

or when I say all these nasty, negative things to myself….for the 150 millionth time…

or when I harbor anger, resentment, jealousy, etc against others…for the 150 millionth time..

grace*Maybe* He just wants to remind me that I annoy Him on a daily basis as well….AND…AND…AND…He gives me GRACE anyway.

*Maybe* He wants to remind me to give grace to others as well.

So, when you are annoyed because…

your neighbors’ dog poops in your yard for the 150 millionth time…

or your husband breathes too loud for the 150 millionth time…

or your kids lick the glass at the store for the 150 millionth time (maybe that only happened to me when my kids were young)…

or you think that your best friend’s hair/clothes/husband/house/kids/life is better than yours for the 150 millionth time…

or your neighbors are sewing little jackets out of skin playing the same some over and over and over for the 150th millionth time…

Just stop, breathe, and thank God for the reminder…

Give grace because it was first given to you.