"The Best Is Yet to Come"
By Anne Ballard
In this season, God is calling us back home to Him. He is displaying to us the true nature of His love – that it casts out fear and it rescues. He wants to heal our pain as we choose
to feel it and let Him into our process. He is not afraid of our grief or disappointment. God is overwhelming us with His blessings and love and He is raising the bar for what it looks like to live an abundant life. He is knocking on the doors of His people's
hearts and empowering us to follow His leading. All of Heaven is backing you, so choose to step into who God created you to be.
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." (Luke 15:20)
God is calling the prodigals to
come back to Him. He is also inviting those who need to renew their minds to come close, get back on track or return to their first love. It is only when we are at home that we truly belong, and can even approach Him boldly. It is time to take our place at
home in Him.
In carrying the load ourselves, it creates a disconnect between us and our Father, and can even lead to a lack of intimacy with the one who created us. Do we trust Him enough to help carry
our load? Are we busy trying to earn our worth? Are we acting like orphans? Do we know and recognize that there's freedom to return home at any time? Do we know that we are worthy of being saved? Are we allowing God access to us in order to save us? If not,
what is blocking you from letting Him in? Is fear limiting you? Do you feel like you'd be a bother to God; like someone else is more worthy of being saved? Wherever you're at in this process, understand that God is near and waiting for you to invite Him in.
God is showing the true nature of His love. His love casts out fear and it rescues. He is waiting on us to allow Him access to our hearts. He is ever-present, constant, faithful and true. In the prodigal son parable
the father was waiting, ready to celebrate and welcome his son home. This word is for people that are struggling to believe in their worth. This word is for the people who need God to move/save them. They feel like they can't get it right or they keep messing
up and desperately want to be accepted and loved for who they are.
These men and women may have never known what true acceptance and love feels like. Perhaps there's a feeling of needing to put a mask
on to be before God because of a lack of feeling worthy. Or they may feel trapped. They feel that who they are is not enough, or like they don't feel at home in His presence.
If this resonates with you,
it is time to be brave and honest with yourself in order to be bold before God. Receive God's unconditional love (whether or not you FEEL it). Your willingness to receive His love opens up the divide. Believe that you are worthy of His love. Answer the call.
What is God calling you to do right now?
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." (Romans 12:15)
We all have experienced loss. Not all of us have processed the pain that accompanies our loss. Almost every person on the planet has experienced some kind of loss during the Covid pandemic of 2020. It can be painful
and hard to face the pain that we feel, and it's certainly easier to numb or stuff those feelings down. However, if we don't face it, the pain will resurface later in our lives.
When the time is right,
it is so important to face the hard stuff – death or conflict, whatever it may be. What remains hidden cannot heal. It must be brought into the healing light. During this season you may be processing some sort of loss or you may be around others who
are. If you are not called to process your feelings, just be there for them. Be a safe place for them to process how they're feeling with you.
We say so many inappropriate things, which can often be hurtful,
when we're uncomfortable with the pain inside of us. We do this in order to mask how we are truly feeling. Grief doesn't have a time limit, and the process looks different for every person. If it happened when you were twelve or last month, you still need
to process it. Sometimes we just need people to be present with us. Some people have avoided feeling pain for so long that they may not even be aware that they often think about their emotions rather than feel them.
Definition of grief: Deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement, or an instance of this. A source or cause of deep mental anguish. Synonym: regret.
Many of us have personally experienced
things in our lives that we have not yet healed from, nor have we processed them with the Lord. This can be for different reasons. Often it is because we perceive that facing the pain is more painful than actually feeling or experiencing the pain. Often it
is best to process how we're feeling with someone that we trust in order to connect to our hearts and wrap our minds around what happened.
Grief is necessary whenever we lose anything of value. That could
be loss of a dream, loss of a child (miscarriage, or any age), loss of a job, loss of a marriage; but also loss of a friendship, a pet, a part of yourself, a relationship; loss of childhood (being forced to grow up too quickly), loss of stability, loss of
connection, loss of health or a part of your body (surgery or amputation), loss of a spouse (death, illness or dementia).
You may have to forgive yourself in order to move on too. Grief is not a permanent
state of being, but a necessary part of the healing process. Until we allow ourselves to experience grief we cannot receive the healing that God wants to give us. By protecting ourselves against feeling grief we are not allowing God to be with us in an authentic
way in order to experience His healing. He's standing by waiting for us to allow Him in. He is bringing to mind areas of our lives that need healing, so that we can walk fully in all that He has for us. God is offering redemption.
This word is for those that need permission to process and grieve. It is also for those that are in community with people that have known loss. Be willing to be present in the pain (whether it's yours or someone else's). You don't have to fix them,
in fact, it is more powerful to just be with them (or yourself). Show up. Be real. Allow God to lead them through the process – even if it's uncomfortable. Allow God's presence to guide you.
Best Is Yet to Come
"...Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:9-11)
If we haven't yet fully realized our identity in Christ as sons and daughters of the most
High God, then we may be caught up in the monotony of living day-to-day, not realizing that God has a better way that He wants to show us. We were not created to just survive and "get by." Instead, we were called to live an abundant life, believing that we
are worthy of blessing and increase.
We were not created to partner with a spirit of poverty, not truly believing that God wants to give us good gifts. We're not meant to be living miracle to miracle,
always just waiting for God to save us. Instead, we are meant to be walking in the abundant, supernatural life with blessings, gifts and favor around every corner. We must walk in faith that living in the supernatural is not rare or unusual. We must allow
living by faith to become our new normal, and faith looks like something. We were not created to just survive, but to thrive.
God wants to overwhelm us with His blessings and His love. He's raising the
bar for how He wants to bless us. He's revealing to us the dreams He's placed in our hearts in order to partner with us and see them fulfilled.
This word is for people who feel like they have settled or
who are longing for more. They may feel like they don't deserve more, and might feel caught up in this idea that "this is as good as it's going to get." Recognize that God wants to give good gifts to His children, and be willing to receive them. Ask God if
there is a part of your life where you're not expectant of His goodness and allow Him to overwhelm it.
Sons and Daughters
"For the creation waits
in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and
brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." (Romans 8:19-22)
At a time when
only the men were counted and seemed to matter, God selected a woman to be a judge of Israel – Deborah.
Judges 5:7 tells us, "Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, arose
a mother in Israel." This verse reveals to us that village life stopped until Deborah answered the call on her life. God also chose to deliver Sisera (the enemy) into the hands of a woman, Jael. Judges 4-5 tells their story. Israel's fate was altered by the
fearless obedience of these two women. Judges 4:17-21 tells us that God subdued the Canaanite king, and because of Jael's obedience, Israel was victorious.
Even contrary to the nature of women (nurturer,
maternal, caregiver), Jael rose up as a warrior in order to kill the enemy, and Deborah arose as a leader of the Israelites. Warriors don't expect defeat – they expect victory. They prepare to WIN. God can (and will) use anyone if they understand who
He is calling them to be.
In my first year of my chosen career of nursing I was burned out, but in time I began asking God the question, "What have You created me for?" That forever altered the course
of my life. When we come into alignment with who God says we are, we become a force to be reckoned with.
Rising Up as New Voices
Today, in a time
when evil seems to abound – and at times even rule – it can be easy to sink into the shadows, not rising up to the fullness of who God created you to be.
Many powerful leaders are being de-platformed...in
essence, having their voices silenced. The ones we turn to for guidance and leadership are mysteriously quiet. Is God calling others to rise in their place?
What if we all were made keenly aware of our
exact calling at this time, and as the Lord placed our purpose in our hearts, what if we met Him with fearless faith to act and speak? It will take boldness and courage. It will certainly take laying aside our reservations, fears and objections. It's time
to rise up and out of our comfort zones. God is calling us all to be stretched in order to bring His Kingdom to the earth. We've partnered with unbelief, comfort and the easy way for too long.
been knocking on the doors of these people's hearts for some time. Just like when the angels stirred up the pool of Bethesda and the lame man still had to get up and get in (John 5:1-9), this is our time to answer the call. God is giving us divine strategy
for the timing and the specifics of what He's calling us to do. This word is for those who have been asking God to show them their role to play during this time, in the face of evil and with oppression all around. They are filled with passion burning in their
bellies but don't know what to do with it.
If this resonates, this word is for you. Be obedient to the stirring that's inside of you. Watch for open doors, follow your favor and pay attention to the people
around you, because God has placed you in your community for a reason. Start a business, start a YouTube channel, write a book, write a blog or listen and follow where the Lord is leading.
fearful of how to accomplish the big picture, but rather, be obedient with the small step before you. Even contrary to the nature of a woman, God called Jael as His chosen warrior in order to kill the enemy. Warriors don't expect defeat – they expect
victory. With God and all of Heaven backing you, expect to emerge victorious! The world is waiting for you to step into who God has created you to be.
Declarations for This Season
• I am worthy of God's love just as I am.
• God is with me when I am hurting.
• I am living an abundant life!
• God is awakening me to what He's called me
• My brave obedience is changing the course of my life.
By Anne Ballard
528 Ellsworth St. SW
Albany, OR 97321