A Humble Tree and Resounding Joy

My heart is bubbling with joy to share a very meaningful story and a testimony of God’s goodness and grace.

It began many years ago back in June when our oldest was 4 and our son was 1. 

We found out that I was pregnant with our 3rd child. Our daughter was so excited to be a big sister again and really wanted a little sister.

Ryan and I were shocked, but it soon turned to excitement as we imagined life as a family 5.

All started well, I heard the baby’s heartbeat and saw the ultrasound picture. It was becoming more real and my heart soared at the possibilities of this new blessing.

I remember a moment sitting on the couch in our playroom watching the kids play when I became very aware of the baby in my womb and placed both hands on my tummy. It was one of those moments that only became special looking back with the understanding of what would unfold in the next couple of days.

There is no need to recount the scary details or trauma of what would transpire in the coming days. There would be calls to my midwife and confirmation that I was having a miscarriage. It was sad and scary and a whole mix of emotions.

Fast forward to after Christmas and just before when the baby would have been due. The grief was real and our struggle for healing a process. We decided we wanted to plant a tree in the baby’s honor. 

Ryan picked out the tree and since we were renting an apartment, decided to plant it at church where we could see it often and watch it grow. It was our declaration that God was still good. We had a simple heartfelt little ceremony just the four of us with the Lord.

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.

Romans 8:28 TPT

A few months ago, the Lord reminded me that my sister and her husband are expecting the birth of their first child, after many years of trying, with a due date just 2 days after when mine would have been.

I felt the Lord’s loving embrace and joy that we will soon welcome a little life and celebrate that life for many, many years to come. I was in awe of His goodness to redeem such a painful time in such an amazing way!

The Lord always goes above and beyond and gave our family an extra hug and kiss when we viewed our tree decorated with beautiful white lights for a drive thru nativity.

Our tree all festive celebrating Jesus’ birth.

My heart welled up with love and joy to see how big our tree had grown and how beautiful it look decorated in an event aimed to tell the story of Jesus’ humble birth and the gift He is to those of us who believe.

I felt my Father’s love and presence. I felt seen by Him and aware of His goodness and faithfulness to a new level.

I wanted to share this, because it is a beautiful picture of hope for anyone who may be grieving or struggling with heartbreak and loss after such a difficult year.  

I trust that if you cling to Him and His goodness, despite the challenges and sorrow, He will redeem your grief and suffering with joy.

Many blessings to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas!

*****************************************

Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram 

for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

*****************************************

Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring. 

All rights reserved.

Has Advent Come Early?

Our family, like so many, is embracing Christmas early. Christmas music and movies have been blasting hope, joy, and love into our home since mid October. 

Advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for God’s intervention has been inaugurated despite the month at the top of the calendar. 2020 has provided the opportunity to engage with God afresh and submit to His ways and timetable.

The Church needs to know that Emmanuel “God with us” is still on the throne and very active bringing light and truth in the midst of all the fear, chaos, and division like He has since the beginning.

And God saw the light as pleasing and beautiful; he used the light to dispel the darkness.

Genesis 1:4 TPT (emphasis mine)

He is still using the light of His truth to dispel darkness as I repent for all the ways I have put my needs, wants, and understanding before Him and have allowed Him to be eclipsed by others. I repent from becoming distracted and stirred up with passion for people and politics instead of the person of Jesus Christ Himself: in all His purity, humility, goodness and kindness.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties;

24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV (emphasis mine)

23 God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart.

Examine me through and through;

find out everything that may be hidden within me.

Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.

24 See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,

and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—

the path that brings me back to you.

Psalm 139:23-24 TPT

If we call ourselves Christians, then we have the responsibility to do ALL He commissioned us with humility and boldness. This mission needs to be deep in our hearts and clear in our minds and can only come from the Bible—the Word of God Himself.

But the one who indulges in a sinful life is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was revealed was to undo and destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8 TPT (emphasis mine)

17 “Your Word is truth! So make them holy by the truth.

18 I have commissioned them to represent me

just as you commissioned me to represent you.

19 And now I dedicate myself to them as a holy sacrifice

so that they will live as fully dedicated to God

and be made holy by your truth.

John 17:17-19 TPT (emphasis mine)

Calling Jesus Lord is costly.

When Jesus is truly Lord of our lives, it means that WE ARE NOT. 

Christians, by submitting to the Lordship of Jesus in our lives, we have given up the right to live how we want and on our own.

Instead, we have given our lives to Him and for His glory on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

We have to stay in the Word of God and allow it to guide us and cut through ALL lies, because lies originate from one source: the father of lies. 

Only the Holy Spirit can breathe on the Word of God and bring revelation and understanding. We need to be sensitive and submissive to the Holy Spirit’s teaching and correction.

You live fully in me [Jesus] and now I live fully in them

so that they will experience perfect unity,

and the world will be convinced that you have sent me,

for they will see that you love each one of them

with the same passionate love that you have for me.

John 17:23 TPT (emphasis mine)

May we be sanctified by Your truth and made one in perfect unity by the power of your Holy Spirit to destroy the works of the devil!

Prayer for our country and a revival generation by a 10 year old.
Powerful new song just released to remind us of the power of our praise.

*****************************************

Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram 

for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

*****************************************

Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring. 

All rights reserved.

The Heart of Palm Sunday

I was reflecting on Palm Sunday and how the Jews were heralding Jesus as King and a few days later roared for Him to be crucified on a cross, while Barabbas, a robber and murder was liberated (Luke 23:13-25).

Jesus did not meet their expectations.

He doesn’t often meet mine. I wonder if that is because my expectations are not big enough and lack the depth of insight to know what is really needed in any situation.

The Jews wanted to be liberated from the Romans who were oppressing them and this is a very valid desire. Jesus is acknowledged as King and then doesn’t dethrone the Roman government.

No, Jesus understands the real problem wasn’t the Romans, but sin and that spiritual liberation was what was truly needed to bring any other kind of liberation.

It is always about dealing with our internal being, we must be changed from the inside out.

This is a challenge for those of us who like to think we are in control. We can’t will ourselves to be made whole. No, we can only create space for the Lord to work and keep drawing near to Him. We must wait and trust Him with the how and when. We can’t make it happen and that can feel scary.

Combine that with emotions of sadness, pain, and grieving and many close their hearts and refuse to engage the process. They return to doing things for God and then become angry that our expectations haven’t been met. This often leads to anger, and if not dealt with, to the dangerous and dry land of bitterness and resentment.

I am learning to trust He knows what He is doing and what I need to work on exactly when I need to work on it.

Sure, I may think it is time to develop a gift or skill and the Lord knows in fact it is more important to work on my heart so I will be able to handle the gift or skill in LOVE, reflecting Jesus himself and not for my own good.

It usually goes back to our hearts, since we live out of it and it determines so much of our direction and quality of life. Yet, we are powerless to heal our hearts. We self protect, close off and insulate our hearts against further pain.

Instead, we are invited to surrender to the One who is an expert in bringing healing and restoration to the brokenhearted. We must surrender our lives and submit to His ways, timing and method, knowing we can trust and rest that His intentions for us are good and He cannot operate a part from His deep love for us, His children.

May you and your loved ones continue to surrender daily to Jesus so He can bring even greater healing and restoration than you could even imagine!

****************************************

Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram for daily inspiration and encouragement.

*****************************************

Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

All rights reserved.

New Vision for Thanksgiving

The holidays are often complicated times for many people. Time with family can bring back heartwarming memories as well as very unpleasant or downright hurtful ones.

There is often a mixed bag of emotions. Sometimes loved ones are missing, other times they are with us, but suffering. It’s hard. Our hearts hurt for ourselves and for those we love.

Thankfully, we are not called to carry this burden alone. Jesus is the great burden bearer and wants us to bring these complicated emotions to Him.

What a glorious God! He gives us salvation over and over, then daily he carries our burdens!

~Psalm 68:19 The Passion Translation

He wants to acknowledge your hurt and pain and grieve with you. He wants to comfort you as you grieve so that He can bring healing. But that’s not all, He wants to then work through you to bring healing to others.

Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!

~Romans 15:13 The Passion Translation

I feel very strongly that He wants to impart a grace for us to see ourselves and our family members with fresh vision from His perspective.

Its time to repent for the labels we have accepted for ourselves or have assigned to others. We must confess them and leave them at His feet and turn from these unhealthy habits of relating to one another.

The Lord is restoring and healing families and He wants to partner with His children who will have faith that this year will be different in Jesus’ name.

He wants children who will pray for their extended family and all of the interactions over the holidays and be an agent of love and grace.

The Holy Spirit wants to flow through you to everyone at your table, whether they have been scoffers and mockers or “far too intelligent” to believe in God before.

The season has changed.

The Holy Spirit is drawing our lost family and friends to Himself like never before to bring salvation, transformation and reformation to family lines.

Let’s pray.

Lord, forgive us for the ways that we brought disunity to our family. The Kingdom is family and I want to partner with You to see Your Kingdom come to my family in very real ways. Please give us a heart for the lost and misunderstood in our families and fill us with Your love for them. Help them to see You in us and feel Your Presence when we hug, smile or laugh. We want to see You move in our families and will play whatever part You want us to. We will pray quietly, love lavishly and speak life as You lead for the honor and glory of King Jesus. Thank you in advance for all You are going to do in our hearts and through Your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

*****************************************

Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook for daily inspiration

and encouragement or on Instagram.

*****************************************

Copyright © 2019 A Secret Spring.