Be on guard


It has been about a year and a half since I have done what God has called me to do, write. “Why?” you ask? Because I have allowed Satan to steal my hope, kill my joy and destroy my perspective.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10 NIV


If you know me you know that I do not like change. In February of 2020 my mom,, my constant companion for the last 10 years, had to go back to work. My world changed over night, a drastic and sudden change. And then again it changed even more when covid shut the world down.


Instead of running to God for help or reaching out to other believers, I ran to my room, isolating myself and just cried and had a pity party. And that was a big mistake! Isolation is exactly where the devil wants us, it is prime real-estate, open house, the perfect opportunity for vandals to come in and destroy that big beautiful, clean and cherished house. He wants you to focus on what I’m calling The Fleshy Flaws, human errors and try to make you lose your hope, joy, peace.


• “You’re worthless, what can you offer anyone?”
• “You’re just a burden.”
• “Not pretty enough.”
• “Not smart enough.”
• “You can’t speak well enough.”
• “No one will love you the way you are.”


Lies! All lies! The enemy wants to weigh you down, distract you and keep you from pursuing your God-given purpose. He wants to keep you wandering in the wilderness, but just like Jesus did in the wilderness (Matthew 4), we fight back with the word of God!!


• FOR I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!!!! (Psalm 139:14)
• MY GOD WILL SUPPLY ALL THAT I NEED (Philippians 4:19)
• I AM MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD!! (Genesis 1:27)
• GOD GIVES ME THE WISDOM I NEED!! (Proverbs 2:6)
• TRUST IN THE MAKER OF MY MOUTH (Exodus 4:11)
• I AM SO LOVED THAT JESUS DIED FOR ME!! (John 3:16)


You are good enough, you are pretty enough, YOU ARE LOVED AS YOU ARE!! We all mess up, we all make mistakes, we all take a wrong path, we are all just broken people living in a broken world. If someone you really love focuses on a mistake they made or says “I’m not (____) enough.” we get upset that they look down on themselves. We are quick to comfort them and encourage them, telling them “Don’t even think that way!”. Am I right? So why do we allow our own brains to think along those lines??


Abba Father I cry out to You, forgive me for allowing the enemy to distract me, for listening to his lies. Give me eyes to see myself as Your masterpiece and help me to keep them focused on You alone. Give me ears to hear Your still small voice in this loud and busy world. I surrender Lord, I lay everything I have, everything I am at Your feet. Use me Father to bring Your truth and love to a broken world, to touch the hearts of the hurting and lonely. You are the only answer to our brokenness, You alone know where the pieces of YOUR masterpiece belong and Your love is the glue that holds it all together. I thank you Lord for Your mercy and grace. In Jesus mighty name I pray! AMEN

Let’s Be Real

You know that feeling when God “thumps” you on the back of your head? This quote was a thump and I could picture recieving a “check yourself” look you get from your parents when you’re not doing right.

“Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is let someone love you”

Bravery, that’s something pretty important to me. I hear so many people say how brave I am and I even have tattoos about being brave. I have never put bravery and love together in my mind and I had to take a moment and talk to my Heavenly Father. What I heard was “Are you brave enough to let you love YOURSELF?”

How can I be brave enough to sit with my legs hanging out of an airplane and look out at horizon in awe and wonder at the beauty of God’s creation but then look in the mirror with criticism and judgment at God’s creation?

Be honest with yourself, when you look at yourself, what do you see?

The gray hair?

The wrinkles?

The things you wish were different?

I was struck by the fact that while I am so passionate about loving others for who they are, as broken humans just passing through this world, that I can be so judgemental and negative about myself. Other people’s mistakes and “flaws” are a part of Gods plan, He uses those for His glory. They are perfect in His sight, mine make me unlovable and unusable…?

I don’t usually do New Year resolutions but this year I am and I’m starting it now!

And I want to invite you to join me in this journey of becoming brave enough to love ourselves! For I am God’s masterpiece and I want to be able to look in the mirror with wonder and awe at the beauty of His creation!

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Faith, hope, love

My tattoo is part of my testimony
Faith hope love bracelet

Love-Isaiah 54:10 NIV Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord , who has compassion on you.

I had a severe stroke at age 22 and my world was shaken and all my ‘friends’ removed themselves from my life. I felt so alone and unloved. But looking back God had me wrapped in His arms loving and protecting me.
Example, the doctors were trying to figure out what had happened to me and they wanted to do a risky heart test. Parents said just figure out what’s happening. The doctors got everything set up to do the test and then the machine wouldn’t work. When they finally got the machine to work the doctors said that I no longer needed that test, all other tests say the hearts fine. God even breaks things for his children
Lesson learned:
I used to measure my value by “pleasing” others. Not knowing I was loved by anyone I did very stupid things to please people and to feel loved. But that “love” quickly faded and I’d have to do something else to please them. Even with all I did to please them and make them like me, when I had the stroke only one (my boyfriend at the time) even tried to see why I just disappeared. It took several years of no friends and no more boyfriend and feeling so alone and betrayed that I finally learned that I am loved!! LOVED FOR WHO I AM!!! I don’t need to work for love, I’m already loved NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. Even after a stroke and I’m not “perfect” I AM LOVED!!

Hope-Psalm 119:50 NIV My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

He promises love, joy, peace, comfort, protection, everything I tried to find through pleasing people. God GIVES freely to those that look to Him. He promises to take care of His sheep and knowing His promises and receiving them helps me to live my life as a happy and at peace young lady, even in my current situation.

Faith-Hebrews 11:1 NIV Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

You may not see God working, especially the way you want Him to, but be assured He’s doing something because He promised to take care of His sheep!!
Example: As a result of me losing 150 pounds I have loose skin that, because I sit all day, has really been an issue. Rashes, bruises, even some open sores. We got a surgeon and they gathered letters from my doctors and took pictures of my sores for the insurance. The insurance denied the surgery because it’s considered cosmetic, so they wrote more letters emphasizing the need for me to have the surgery. The insurance denied it again, this time because I didn’t have weight loss surgery!? So we appealed AGAIN and the insurance denied it again because the skin wasn’t affecting my life. There were no more appeals left, I’m devastated and crying, feeling defeated and asking God “what now”. As I was praying I heard Him clearly say “Stand, just stand” I was very confused, what does that mean? And then I got a note on facebook from a friend saying, “Gods really had you on my heart a lot lately. So extra prayers are coming in, get ready for something good!” And BOOM!! that very afternoon a lady calls saying “I’m your registered nurse from United Healthcare and I saw Elizabeth has health issues and wanted to see if you have any questions or concerns.” Well albeit, we didn’t even know there was such a thing, an assigned nurse from our insurance? So my mom spends 30 or so minutes telling her what’s going on. She looks up my case and says “I’m not promising anything but I have a meeting with my supervisor tomorrow and I will tell her about Elizabeth!” My dad’s work is self insured so it wasn’t United Healthcare denying my request, it was my dad’s workplace. So the nurse and her supervisor go to battle!! She contacted my doctors and my therapists and got all the info together and went to the right people and said this surgery is medically necessary. They got it approved!!!!!!!!
Lesson learned:
Just because you don’t see or feel God’s promises now doesn’t mean He forgot you. Your life might be shaken and seems everything is going wrong but remember His promises! Believe and stand on His word and KNOW that what He says is true!!!!

What are you chasing?

Ladies just because he’s on a budget doesn’t mean he’s not your Boaz!

And men, just because she doesn’t come with a caravan of things doesn’t mean she isn’t your Queen!

This picture is funny yes but says so much, it’s what is on the inside that matters NOT the outside! In this month of love I encourage you to look into your heart and be real with yourself. What are you chasing after? The things that look pretty to the eyes, or the spirit and soul of people?

If your heart is set on the pretty things, you are just asking for disaster.
These things will pass away, but you will last. All of these things will wear out like clothing; you change them like clothes, and they pass on.
Psalms 102:26 CEB

And when those things are gone what do you have left? My life is a good example of someone chasing after the pretty things (looks, money, the newest, the best of the best) to impress and look more appealing to others. I did some really stupid stuff (like selling drugs) just so I could have those things and “buy” love.

When I suffered a stroke I lost ALL the stuff I worked so hard for, all the people I was risking my life for just to impress. In a blink of an eye everything my world revolved around was ripped from my grasp and I lost my identity. “Who am I? I have nothing, my hands are empty.”

Hear me when I say that the things of this world are temporary! They might bring you joy for a season but the joy, the satisfaction WILL fade and you are back to where you started, trying to fill a void with more temporary satisfaction. That is one of the games that the devil loves to play. It’s a vicious cycle, lots of overtime in this game.
The devil will learn from your mistakes even if you don’t, that’s how he keeps us playing the game. He learns the voids you have and he will dangle the carrot in front of your nose. He learns what triggers you, what entices you and will keep upping his game to keep you in his cycle, his game.

Are you tired of playing? Do you need a bench and some water? It’s a good thing our coach is Jesus Christ!! Run towards Jesus, run into His arms and tell Him. He already knows anyway, He’s just waiting for you to call a timeout and ask for what you need. He is our refreshment, our rest, the missing puzzle piece we search for.
It took a foul play to take me out of the game and mandatory bench time before I learned that “stuff” DOES NOT define a person!! Take the time to find out who they truly are before you look at what they hold in their hands.

The only hands you should be looking at are the nail pierced hands that hold love, rest, joy, peace, fulfillment, understanding…everything you need.

Past Mistakes

After talking yesterday about how Christ’s blood has made me new, I made the comment that “I will always regret my past”. My sweet friend replied “but it’s made you who you are” and man that’s been running through my heart since. I always talk about loving your true self and yet I hate something that’s apart of me, something that has molded me and taught me so much.

The story in the Bible about the woman caught in adultery and brought before Jesus to be judged shows that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it’s about what you’re doing!

John 8:3-5

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

The devil will use your mess ups and mistakes as ammunition against you. To turn thoughs around you against you and by constantly trying to reminding you what you’ve done. Just thinking about them brings pain, doubts about yourself, feelings of shame. But it’s not about what you’ve done it’s about what you’re doing! Mistakes are learning moments and you take those lessons and grow, move on and use them to guide others to the love and forgiveness of Christ.

John 8:6-11

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

If Jesus doesn t condemn you for your mistakes, we shouldn’t either. As the saying goes “your mess is your message” and a special way to connect with others who are struggling with the same mistakes. When you can relate to someone because you’ve been there, that is a gift, to be able to say “I know, I understand, let me show you what I’ve learned”. I should consider that a privilege and I should love everything about me, I am who I am because of what I’ve been through. Your mistakes make you who you are!!

Love

We all desire love, to love and be loved. Human nature is to go after what you want, to MAKE things happen. When you realize that you are loved no matter what happens in life, no matter what you do or how you act, it opens so many doors that you try to bust through on your own.

My prayer is for you to find the ultimate love that I finally found. You don’t have to earn it or work for it, you don’t need to impress, you can be yourself through and through and never worry about losing that love.

John 3:16 -For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

YOU ARE LOVED! YOU ARE SPECIAL! YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN DIAMONDS AND GOLD!! Once you know without a shadow of doubt that that you are so deeply loved, then you are free to truly love others. You can’t give someone something you yourself don’t have. Grab hold of Gods love, learn it, feel it, grow in it, rest in absolute unconditional love and THEN you will be able to truly love others.

Flying with Gabe

Hi my name is Liz Anderson and I would like to share how my life has changed, I was an adrenaline junkie until I had a severe stroke in 2006. Last year, I heard about a guy that was raising money to take the disabled to iFLY and teach them to fly, I was very curious. I didn’t think that flying in a wind tunnel was possible for someone as immobile as I am but I contacted him to see what he thought I could do. He assured me it was possible and he asked me a bunch of questions to get to know me, explain how it would work, and calmed my nerves.
When I finally met Gabe at iFLY he was kind, patient, very understanding and went above and beyond to help make this a wonderful experience. He took the time
to see how my arms and legs move and figure out what I could and couldn’t do, showing me what to expect. He and two of his instructor buddies got me in the tunnel, the other guys holding on to me while Gabe stayed in front of me keeping watch of my face since you can’t talk in the tunnel, he made sure I was doing alright. I had an awesome time and it was the best workout I’ve had in years. Having to hold your limbs the right way and hold your head up, it’s a full body workout. It was also a very good stretch, being in a wheelchair messes with posture, the wind pushed my arms out, stretching my chest and opening it up better than anything.

I had so much fun and they made me feel so safe that I definitely wanted to do this again! Then I asked him about skydiving, would I be able to go actual skydiving?
He got in contact with someone at the place he skydives to help make this happen for me! At the dropzone, he again went above and beyond to help make the experience amazing. Stayed right there with me the entire time, even in the air he came over to check on me. Then he made sure to get to the ground first so he could be there when I landed. It was a dream come true and he did everything to make it happen.

I cannot say enough about how much of an impact Gabe made on my life through skydiving and tunnel flying. From being an adrenaline junkie to a girl that thought
she’d lost that part of her life forever, this opportunity came along and turned that around. Gabe told me “It might take longer and look different but you can do what I can do.” These experiences helped me believe that I can still live a fun filled, adventurous life despite my limitations.


Flyer – Gabe Sierra (Coach D-36181)
TI – James Flaherty (Skydive Spaceland)
Skydiving Photographer – Daniel (Skydive Spaceland)

Go to Hell!!

The past several months I’ve had many highs, meeting Daniel with Special Strong, him convincing me that I can get back in the gym and seeing so much progress, doing things that I thought I’d never do again. Seeing my muscles waking up after years of not being used and feeling the burn again, it’s an unexplainable joy!

Then Daniel and Trinity hire me to work for them at Special Strong and finally after 11 years of not feeling productive, I’m being asked to help a company that sets my heart on fire! A feeling of purpose and meaning after my “life” came to a halt in 2006, another unexplainable joy. 

Then a man, Gabe, contacts Daniel about helping those with special needs learn how to fly! I was a daredevil before the stroke but after too many fails and falls fear took over. After talking with Gabe for awhile he assured me that its possible for me to fly. Overcoming that fear and flying was another unexplainable joy. 

The devil sees mountains being moved and it makes him mad, he knows just the right buttons to push to drag you down. This week he has been beating me up and whispering that things like this don’t happen to people like you. Bringing up my past and making me feel ashamed and unworthy. Im writing this to tell the devil GO TO HELL!! I am a child of God, loved beyond understanding and those things DO happen to people like me!!! Even an ol used up disabled girl…God has me wrapped in His wings loving and comforting me and whispering YOUR PAST IS FORGIVEN, YOU ARE WORTHY, MY SON DIED FOR YOU!

Open Arms 

As a teenager I felt alone and unlovable. I had found a guy who gave me what I longed for, attention, affection and I felt loved and wanted. So I ran away with him and we got married. 

Five years later my husband divorced me and my world collapsed, I was again alone and unlovable. So I did everything I could to please others and make them want me, I longed to feel wanted and loved . 

Fast forward a few months, I have a stroke at age 22 and I’m in a hospital in a “locked in syndrome” where I’m fully aware mentally but can’t move anything but my eyes. To make it worse, of all my “friends” who I worked so hard to please so that they would love me, only one cared about why I had just disappeared.  Lying in a hospital, unable to move or talk and no friends, was the darkest time of my life. I felt I’d lost everything.

Just like the prodigal son in Luke 15: 11-16 Jesus continued, there was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.   “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

I got what I longed for and ran off to enjoy my treasure. But I soon lost my treasure and did what I could to fix my problems to no avail. When you realize that you can’t fix your problems on your own, who do you turn to?

Luke 15:17-25

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my fatherʼs hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father.  “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.   “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’   “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Letʼs have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

I have learned through the pain and loneliness that like it says in Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord , who has compassion on you. Though my world is shaken and things are being removed from my life God WILL ALWAYS BE THERE WITH OPEN ARMS!  You can run to our Fathers open arms no matter what you’ve done or been through. His arms will wrap you in unconditional love, compassion, comfort, joy, peace, understanding,  forgiveness.  Everything I tried to find in people, God has for you, just run to His open and waiting arms!

Scars

I heard a song that says “Thank you for the scars I bear They declare that you are my healer” That sentence has been on my heart since I heard it and I want to share some of the things God is teaching me.

After Jesus resurrection, In John 20:20 it says “After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” Scars identify you, they are what authenticate you.

Scar-A place in our lives where pain has left a permanent mark

Wounds can change us physically and we have to get a doctor to take care of the wound or it can get infected and become worse. They change us spiritually and God is our doctor, if we don’t turn to our doctor to care for it the devil will come in and make the wound worse, make you feel ashamed of your pain and hold you in bondage because he knows that stripes heal. Jesus went through some painful things so that we can be set free and those painful marks where healed and became scars or stripes. We are healed by His stripes so that we can then use our stripes to help others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5NIV “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

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Whatever God does in you is preparing you to help someone else. It’s not just about Him healing the wound it’s about Him using you through the scar to heal somebody else. Your scars qualify you, don’t be ashamed of them don’t hide them. Jesus showed His scars to the disciples as a badge of honor, Look at my scars see what I’ve been through so that you might be healed. Let what you’ve been through, your experiences, be known because if others know that you’ve been there too you will have more influence. It’s not about the scar its about the redeeming power that healed that scar. The power of the redeemed pain you have is the most powerful area in your life.

So let God heal your wounds and use your scars for His glory and make your scars your ministry to heal others