Finding Strength in Our New Reality

I don’t know about you, but the soberness of this unique time in history started to sink in this week. After the initial adrenaline rush of preparing for quarantine living and social distancing, I think I have begun a new level of processing.

The newness of it all has worn off and living my own version of Groundhog Day is not nearly as comical or fun as I thought it might be. 🙂 

It sort of reminds me how the excitement of a new school year quickly wears off in the daily grind.

So what are we to do? How can we grow and make the most of this unique opportunity?

If I have learned anything through the challenges I have faced over the passed few years, it would be to be honest with myself about my feelings. I try to allow myself a time, often through journaling, where I process my frustrations, anger, disappointment, sadness, grief or any other combination of emotions.

I name what I am feeling and why to the best of my ability. Then I bring it to the Lord so we can share it and He can help bear my burden. I worship to my favorite song or wait and sit in silence, if necessary, or however I feel led in the moment.

I begin to feel a lightening in my heart and sometimes I can even sense the burden coming off of me. I thank the Lord for the gift of His presence and demonstrating how He is my burden bearer.

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

Psalm 68:19

I usually ask Him what else He wants me to know right now and take time to write down whatever I sense. I review my journals regularly for overarching messages or insights.

I really feel like the Lord wants us all to learn what it means that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” (Philippians 4:13) Many, if not all of us, are being challenged to live in a new way and do things we would not choose to do. But it’s our reality and we might as well give it our best and learn all we can.

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.

Philippians 4:12-13 (TPT)

All who are willing can be trained “in the secret of overcoming all things” and the key is “Christ’s EXPLOSIVE power” INFUSING me to conquer every difficulty!”

Catch that?

Every. Single. Difficulty.

There are no exceptions.

So let’s seize this opportunity to focus on Jesus and choose to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit to be more aware of HIs presence. Let’s not get lost in the monotony of our situation, but be infused with the strength of Christ’s resurrection power that is in us as Christ followers. 

Now is the time to receive the secret of overcoming ALL things for the honor and glory of Jesus so the world may see how real He is to us, His beloved children.

May Jesus be more real, now than ever, for you and your family!

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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Opportunities for Growth Living in Quarantine

How are you?

Perhaps the shock of our new way of life is starting to wear off as you establish a new normal for this season.

I would encourage you to pay attention to what emotions bubbled up over the past week. It is very likely that many of us were triggered in some way by an emotional memory or traumatic event and that’s okay.

The Lord allows us to be triggered in areas where He knows we are ready for Him to bring healing. He invites us to bring those feelings to Him and dialogue about them.

Yes, I really do mean dialogue.

Expect Him to speak back as you quiet yourself and listen for His gentle impressions, still small voice or highlighted verses as you read the Bible or devotional resources.

The Holy Spirit is a real person and wants to bring you comfort and peace. There is a reason He is called the Counselor. He longs to bring truth and understanding to what is going on inside of you because He knows and cares. He loves YOU!

Since most of the world is in quarantine, we have a unique opportunity to slow down and simplify our lives to what matters most. The quarantine forces us to face ourselves and our internal reality. We have a choice: to fill our time to “just get through” or to seek to grow.

I believe many of us need to grow emotionally, spiritually, relationally or even intellectually.

I have been reviewing my journals over the past year to see what bible verses, songs or quotes have really been speaking to me. What have I heard the Lord say to me over the past year or so? What has He been teaching me?

This is important because I believe He has been uniquely preparing each of us for this time. He has equipped us with biblical truths that He wants to become a reality in our lives in a new way. This is when we go from simply mentally agreeing with biblical truth, to actually experiencing it in a way that it becomes a deep part of our life.

I have been listening to songs that have touched my heart in the last few months and asking the Lord to reveal some of the reasons He has highlighted these song to me. I then put these songs on periodically throughout the day and worship until I once again believe the truths they declare and fortify my peace.

I truly believe we have a unique opportunity for the Lord to firm up our foundations so we can truly abide in Him like never before. He wants us to be so anchored in Him that others take notice and want to know the Jesus we do.

We must choose to believe He is who He says He is and who He has demonstrated Himself to be in the Bible and in our lives up until this point.

“Jesus, the Anointed One, is always the same—yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 TPT

Our circumstances are changing, but Jesus is not. Let Him keep you anchored in this storm so that you may stand even when things are shaking all around you.

So now, beloved ones, stand firm and secure. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.   1Corinthians 15:58 The Passion Translation

I want to leave you with this powerful song by Bryan and Katie Torwalt, “Prophesy Your Promise,” to encourage you to declare the truth of who He is in the times when it may be hard to remember.

“Fear can go to hell, shame can go there too,

I know who’s I am, God I belong to you.”

What verses or songs have been strengthening you recently?

Feel free to share them in the comments as it may encourage someone else.

Blessings to you and your family for good health and peace.

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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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!

 

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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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!

 

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Copyright © 2019 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.

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Copyright © 2019 A Secret Spring.

The Power of Presence

All relationships experience ebbs and flows.

There are times of exciting discoveries about one another. The process of learning someone’s likes, dislikes, what makes them unique, laugh and feel loved.

There are fun times where time flies.

There are hard times and heartbreaks.

I have found that my deepest relationships are those that have stood the test of time and weathered life’s storms.

I feel known and accepted for who I am: no need for performing or pretending. Silence is comfortable and communication that transcends words is natural through the glance of an eye or the connecting of hearts.

This has been true of my relationship with God.

It has taken time to truly discover each member of the Trinity for who they really are and not my perception of them. I needed to move beyond theological knowledge, to knowing the actual Persons of the Trinity, all of whom are equally God.

It is a mystery and a marvel that it is even possible.

I once spent a lot of time anxiously pouring out my needs and struggles. Eventually, I also learned to really listen and just enjoy His presence. Our relationship is growing deeper.

He is enough.

His presence makes me come alive.

There is nothing like His love and acceptance.

The song, “Be With Me” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt has been a blessing to me. It puts words to my experience.

It helps me to slow down and focus on the presence of God and bask in His love. I hope you are blessed by it as well.

 Click to listen to “Be With Me”

th-3

LYRICS:

The world falls away

When I see Your face

Jesus, it’s always been You

And I hear Your voice

Above all the noise

Jesus, it’s always been You

Jesus, it’s always been You

Be with me

I just want You to be with me

I don’t need You to do a thing

Your love is enough

There’s nothing to hide

I’m Yours and You’re mine

Jesus, it’s always been You

I am complete

What more could I need

Jesus, it’s always been You

Jesus, it’s always been You

In Your presence

I know where I stand

I know who I am in Your love

In Your presence

What more could I need

I know I’m a child of God

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Let’s pray.

Thank You for meeting us where we are and taking us deeper with You. Please help me discover even greater depths of Your goodness and love. Take me deeper into Your heart so we can connect beyond words and I can become all You created me to be for Your honor and glory. May it be so.

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

 

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The Power of Perspective

Perspective is everything.

The two orphan kittens we rescued recently were understandably terrified when trapped with the aid of irresistible wet food.

They have no idea colder weather is coming.

There is no understanding that they now have access to an endless supply of wet food and warm living.

Once roaming the neighborhood, the restriction of a cage is foreign and comforting all at the same time.

Humans are suspicious rather than a source of provision and love. 

They don’t know how much love and fun awaits them as they learn to trust us.

Building trust takes time. Every positive interaction is building a bridge to connection.

We patiently reassure them and cherish every sign that they are less afraid and adapting to inside life.

They are starting to sprawl out in their cat bed and slow blink when we speak to them. They accept food from our hands and play with their toys.

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The confines are temporary.

Soon they will have access to the entire house with more places to run and play than they can imagine.

 They will learn the security of adoption with all of its rights and privileges………

 

……..just as I am finally resting in the security of my spiritual adoption in Christ Jesus.

 

Galatians 4:6-7 (TPT)

6 And so that we would know for sure that we are his true children, God released the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts—moving us to cry out intimately, “My Father! You’re our true Father!”

Now we’re no longer living like slaves under the law, but we enjoy being God’s very own sons and daughters! And because we’re his, we can access everything our Father has—for we are heirs of God through Jesus, the Messiah!

Let’s pray.

Oh Lord, I confess that I have a very limited perspective. Please help me to grow in my understanding of who You are and what You are truly like. Help me to see what You see and to trust You. Please help me continue to fully embrace my adoption as Your child and all that means in this life and for all eternity for Your honor and glory. May it be so.

 

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