Tag Archives: Christian Women Today

Will I Survive Bootcamp?

by Jenene Stafford

Story #1: Our stories have a purpose

Last night I slept with one eye open again, if I slept much at all.

My stomach is full of knots, doing everything possible to keep my heart from pounding right out of my chest so the bed would not shake. I pretended often to be asleep. I lived in shear terror for years of what he would do to me when I should of been dreaming beautiful dreams.

The ten years of physical and mental abuse by my former husband has taken its toll on me and I can’t help but question God as to why He allowed this?

Was it not enough to survive rape, physical and mental abuse, the torture of not being allowed to sleep, being forced to sit in a corner like a bad child all night. If I dozed off to sleep my psycho husband would pinch me hard to wake me up.

The humiliation of sitting in a corner for hours or days, praying he’d allow me to use the restroom. My children would have to come and visit me in the corner in the bedroom which was only one place where he would control me and torture my body, mind and spirit.

I want you to know in this moment I despise through tears telling this tiny glimpse of a story. I don’t want to feel like I’m giving him one ounce of my attention or thoughts after all these years. I don’t want to recall the torture he put me through during these episodes of control, manipulation and attempts to break me, to brainwash me.

And yet . . .

The Lord Jesus speaks so gently to me and says, “Jenene, you’re telling this story for me, for my purpose and it’s ok with me that you’re angry about it. It’s ok if it causes you distress and discomfort, but trust me,  I have a good plan.”

Deep down I know He’s telling me the truth and why should I be surprised. I knew these stories would have to be shared. I’m surprised that I am so childishly reluctant. It must be part of the journey.

I have to take a break just to work through crying like a baby.  I’m begging God not to make me relive or rethink this past life. I know in my heart so many stories are yet to come.

Like Jacob, I know I have wrestled with God and He has given me a limp as a reminder of his graciousness. There is a battle He and I have fought together as I am still learning  tragedy after tragedy and moment by moment to understand His ways.

I fight for the God-inspired purpose. It does not come easy by any stretch of the imagination.

It is in this fight to discover the true meaning of humility, of laying everything at the throne of His grace, this battle to endure the enemy and to run the race victoriously that we become . . . Lady Champions.

I fervently pray and I wonder when will this bootcamp end.

With Much Love, Jenene

 

Abundant Life

By Cindy Grasso

There is more to life than a mundane existence. More to life than a half hearted push to the deep breathing, joy fulfilling, purposeful life you crave.

Yes, it takes guts.
Yes, it takes risk.
And yes….you are made for it.

You are made to live an abundant life.
Not a half life,
Not an almost life,
But an abundant life.

This the word Jesus used to describe the kind of life he came to provide in John 10:10:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. ” (NKJV)

The Greek word used here for abundance is perissos. It carries in it the sense of beyond as in beyond what you can think or dream. Just the very first definition of perissos, floors me:

1) exceeding some number or measure or rank or need
a) over and above, more than is necessary, superadded

What’s the number you have set as a goal?
What is your measure of success?
Where do you rank in the world?
What do you need?

Goals are good, important and needed. It is also good, important and needed to know that God has something beyond all of those things. He is not limited by numbers, measures, ranks or needs. In fact he has come to give you life beyond them. He has a plan that far exceeds them.

God wants to lead you into a life that is living in a realm that is over and above just “the good life”. Leading you past what is just necessary and into what is extraordinary.

Jesus didn’t say, “I have come they might have an easy life and one easier than easy.”  No, he does not say that it will be easy, he says it will be brilliant.

Jesus also issues a warning in this verse. He warns that there is a thief out to sabotage your journey, to tempt you in a silky voice to quit, stop, to cease and desist. To convince you that you need to take your destiny into your own hands and do something with it. Leave the fold, get out of the cage, do it yourself. This is the voice of the thief, a professional liar who only wants your destruction. To steal your destiny, kill your potential.

In this wonderful verse, Jesus describes himself as a shepherd- The Good Shepherd. A provider who knows his sheep, takes care of them, guards them, and is ready to lay down his life for them. In the context of this kind of love and loyalty, Jesus says “I have come so you can have life and can have it more abundantly.”

There is more life for you. More life in your body. More life in your marriage, more life in your business, more life in your life. Abundant life.

This power packed word is the same one used in Ephesians 3:20-

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (NKJV)

I love how the Message version translates it:

“God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” (MSG)

How do you walk in your abundant life?
• Let go of your limits.
• Listen to the voice of your Shepherd.
• Follow his lead.
• Trust and obey him, one step at a time.
• Repeat daily.

Live Brilliantly Today™