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.

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.

When the Waters are Rough

I don’t know where the first half of January has gone, but time continues to fly!

I haven’t been able to write until now, because of a turbulent beginning to this new decade that required I focus on my family. I have spent a lot of time praying, journaling, and processing the challenges, and I have come to believe that they are a result of God moving to bring greater healing to our family.

When God moves, things change and the shaking and transformation are not often pleasant, but necessary to become more like Christ. We are being conformed into His image and likeness and that requires some pruning.

We get stretched and pressed in such a way that buried, unprocessed emotions are driven up to be experienced, processed, and released so more of the Holy Spirit can dwell and reign in us to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22–23 (The Passion Translation)

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: 

joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.” 

I need more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in my life, especially when life feels out of control and like I am getting hit, wave after wave, threatening to knock me off my feet.

I have clung to Proverbs 3:26.

“God is your confidence in times of crisis, keeping your heart at rest in every situation.”

Did you catch that? Not in some situations, but in every situation my heart can be kept at rest if my confidence is in God!

I am so thankful that I am regaining my peace much quicker. It used to take me weeks or months to regain it. Now my heart often needs only a few days to regain my footing in Christ and be at rest and peace to hear what He is saying about my situation.

The quicker I get His perspective, the deeper my rest and often the quicker I can get on the prayer offensive, if that is how He is leading me. Otherwise, I am learning to wait on Him and enjoy His Presence with me, loving those around me until I have been given another way to respond. I repeat this process as many times as necessary to overcome the challenge.

I don’t know how your start to 2020 has been, but I am praying we will all remain at rest, knowing He really is in control and working for our good in every situation, no matter what the facts may say. The truth is: nothing is impossible with God!

Love and blessings to you (and your family) to know, like never before, that His goodness and love are pursuing you!

 

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

Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram

for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

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

 

Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

All rights reserved.

God is on the Move

I believe the Lord is gathering His hungry and passionate children to unite and pursue Him like never before. He is becoming our all consuming passion and our relationship with Him is bringing new life to us and to those around us.

I am more consumed with His love and goodness than ever before, and my excitement continues to grow as I watch Him touch the lives of those around me. Joy rises up within me as His love is transforming lives and bringing restoration as only He can.

God is on the move.

Recently my family ended up in a Home Depot one evening because my husband wanted to check on something that was on sale. We went in and all that remained was a floor model with some significant defects. The kids and I stayed with the kind employee, while Ryan went with another employee to see if there were any other Home Depots who had it in stock.

God is on the move.

As we chatted, the Holy Spirit connected us with many similarities that made us feel like old friends instead of having just met. He began to share some painful memories from his childhood that surrounded his birthday. The kids and I empathized with him. We listened and cared.

When my husband returned we shared some of the relevant things with him so he could also share in his grief and we could speak life and encouragement to him. His birthday is coming soon, so we all wished him a very happy birthday. As we headed off to the next Home Depot, our new friend said how happy he was to have met us.

God is on the move.

It was getting late, but we drove 30 minutes (out of our way) to another Home Depot. My husband and kids went in to pick up the item we decided on, but were in there a VERY long time. It turns out it rang up at a much higher price so my husband had to bring the cashier to where the sign indicated the sale price was still in affect. Upon the sales price being confirmed, they headed back towards the front of the store.

God is on the move.

Ryan overheard a conversation between a Home Depot employee and a customer about Jesus helping this man to quit smoking. Without even thinking, my husband joined their conversation and offered to pray with the man and the female employee who was so encouraged that God would send a “man of God” in the store.

The three held hands and Ryan prayed for his healing and freedom from addiction. The Holy Spirit was anointing Ryan’s words and ministering to this man hope that a stranger would stop and pray for his need. After a brief prayer, while many curious customers looked on, the trio shook hands and Ryan told the gentleman that she was going to keep him accountable to quit.

God is on the move.

I’m sure you have stories you could share and we could all marvel at the way God is moving and meeting people and drawing them to Himself.

The song, “This is a Move” by Brandon Lake and Tasha Cobbs Leonard is such a powerful song declaring the power of God moving and transforming lives. It prophesies how exciting it is to be a disciple of Christ right now as He sets our hearts on Him and loves others through us. Let this song ignite your faith and inspire you to join Him moving on this earth.

Click here to watch a video of “This is a Move” by Brandon Lake and Tasha Cobbs Leonard.

Lyrics:

Verse 1

Mountains are still being moved

Strongholds are still being loosed

God we believe it

Yes we can see that

Wonders are still what You do

Chorus

We are here for You

Come and do what You do

We are here for You

Come and do what You do

Set our hearts on You

Come and do what You do

‘Cause we need a move

We need a move

Verse 2

Bodies are still being raised

Giants are still being slayed

God we believe it

And yes we can see that

Wonders are still what You do

Bridge

Miracles happen when You move

Healing is coming in this room

Miracles happen when You move

Heaven is coming

Chorus 2

This is a move

This is a move

We are here for You

Come and do what You do

We are here for You

Come and do what You do

We set our hearts on You

Come and do what You do

This is a move

This is a move

This is a move

This is a move

Written by
Brandon Lake / Nate Moore / Tasha Cobbs Leonard / Tony Brown

Have a blessed weekend and receive all He has for you!

 

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

Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram

for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

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

 

Copyright © 2019 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

All rights reserved.

Delicate Restoration

It is a gift to find a song that provides language to express part of your journey.

The song “Defender” resonated deeply with me when I was at my lowest. I would listen to it and weep and not really know why. The illumination of its significance has been progressive as I continue my healing journey.

It has become my anthem, a testimony to the mighty work the Lord has done in my life. The bridge is especially meaningful to me and still stirs up deep emotion.

“When I thought I lost me, You knew where I left me. You reintroduced me to your love.

You picked up all my pieces, put me back together, You are the defender of my heart.”

I was lost and shattered in so many ways, yet He delicately and lovingly put me back together and anchored me in the foundation of His goodness and love so He could become my strength. 

He is the defender of your heart and He wants you to discover greater depths of His goodness and love.

Let’s pray.

Lord, help us to know You as our defender and our safe place. You can be trusted with our healing journey. You know exactly what each one of us needs and when. Please teach us how to rest in You as You tenderly reintroduce us to Your love and restore our faith and hope as only You can for the honor and glory of Jesus. May it be so.

Click here to view the official lyric video of “Defender”

Lyrics:

Verse 1

You go before I know

That You’ve gone to win my war

You come back with the head of my enemy

You come back and You call it my victory

Verse 2

You go before I know

That You’ve gone to win my war

Your love becomes my greatest defense

It leads me from the dry wilderness

Pre-Chorus

All I did was praise

All I did was worship

All I did was bow down

All I did was stay still

Chorus

Hallelujah, you have saved me

So much better Your way

Hallelujah, great Defender

So much better Your way

Verse 3

You know before I do

Where my heart can seek to find your truth

Your mercy is the shade I’m living in

You restore my faith and hope again

Bridge

When I thought I lost me

You knew where I left me

You reintroduced me to your love

You picked up all my pieces

Put me back together

You are the defender of my heart

 

Have a blessed weekend and receive all He has for you!

 

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

Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook for daily inspiration

and encouragement or on Instagram.

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

 

Copyright © 2019 A Secret Spring. All rights reserved.