Trust

Trust without Boundaries

Hello and Welcome! To set the scene for this topic on boundaries, my focus is on the verse found in Luke 7:39. From the New Living Translation, it reads: When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “if this man [Jesus] were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Keep this in mind as I'll paraphrase this verse later in the post. My hope is you will glean new insights and encouragement!

Boundary markerBack in ancient days, boundary markers were a common and significant sign to anyone who came upon them. These markers were placed by the landowner and designated the boundaries of that land. Moving or removing boundary markers was the equivalent of stealing or theft (Deuteronomy 19:14). As the boundary markers could not be permanently affixed to the ground, respect for the markers was expected.

It was an issue of trust.

We practice this ancient custom in our modern world. Every aspect of our life contains boundaries of some kind whether in sports, business, or personal relationships. A boundary line is established because there is a need. For instance, in sports it has to do with what’s in and what’s out. It’s about the football receiver balancing on tiptoe down the sideline, shifting his weight infield for those ever-precious inches. Or, the Olympic gymnast rapidly tumbling and landing with centimeters to spare at the edge of the mat. It’s about setting limits--go up to the boundary line, but no further. Cross the line and there are consequences.

Tennis court boundaryIn our personal relationships we set invisible boundary lines for ourselves and/or for others. The wounded hearts puts into place boundary lines and markers as a protective measure. These lines mark the foundation upon which impenetrable walls are built. Nothing gets past the boundaries.

Nothing.

And if that’s the case, is it really protection? Or, is it a prison? What exactly sparked the need for these boundary lines?

It’s an issue of trust.

Trust without Boundaries Luke 4.18Jesus was invited to the dinner, but she was not. They labeled her a sinner and the wounds were deep. What drove her to walk in, uninvited, and make a scene? Tears flowed as she knelt to kiss his feet. What did she hope to gain by going there? Acceptance? Healing? Humbly, she poured the oil on his feet. With love she wiped it away with her hair. And the dinner guests watched. They knew who she was and wondered why Jesus did not.

Jesus knew.

He set no boundary line that she could not cross. And, she came to him with a trusting, wounded heart. Jesus met her need and she received salvation, freedom, and peace. (paraphrased from Luke 7:36-49, NIV)

Trust - Take My Heart Lord
There’s no need for boundary lines with Jesus. The day I brought to Him my tears and my wounded heart, I found healing in His presence. That day I rested secure at His feet and found acceptance. The power of Jesus was released creating new boundaries and a secure shelter. My trust in Him and His love for me freed my heart in a way nothing else could. Walls were torn down and markers were no longer required. I found salvation, freedom, and peace. And, so it goes today.

There is wonder and beauty in an intimate relationship with Jesus. It’s like no other. May we be willing to explore the landscape of our heart in search of boundary lines no longer needed. These lines and markers that keep us from Christ-given freedom and peace can be torn down. I was willing and there’s been no regret. There is no need to protect my heart when it’s in the hands of my Savior.

Please share with me how your relationship with Jesus brings wellness and healing to your heart. We’d love to be encouraged with your comments. If you haven’t visited the Hearts Encouraged Facebook page, pop over there and “Like” the page so you can see the occasional Live events that I post and other encouragement.

Fondly, Terri


Changing Seasons

Originally broadcast as a Facebook Live Event on April 15, 2018 @TerriHutchinsonAuthor page (Hearts Encouraged). This post includes the dialogue as well as Self-Encouragement Tips found at the end of this post.

Hello and Welcome to Heart Lift! Today, I’m bringing you a Heart Lift to encourage, inspire, fortify, refresh your heart and mind. Today’s Heart Lift centers on the verses from Isaiah 58:11, the New Living Translation.

The Lord will guide you continually giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.

This verse comes to my mind as I listen to the personal stories of women and men who are pouring out of themselves to the point of soul-dehydration. What I mean is they are giving their time, energy, love, care, or emotions so much so they are becoming depleted. Some examples include the caregiver that’s becoming physically and emotionally exhausted or the parent whose heart is intensely hurting for their child.  We can get in a state of soul-dehydration because we aren’t being filled as we pour out.

Water pouring

Another form of soul dehydration is an emptiness within our heart. It can happen because life wears us down. It can happen as we endure a long stress-filled season or with an ongoing battle with fear and anxiety. Soul dehydration occurs when we lose hope. And, it happens when we wonder if God sees us, hears us, or cares one bit for us. I'm here to tell you God sees, hears, and cares for you! We can trust our Lord to restore what has been poured out. When you go to the only Source that restores, revives, and refreshes, you will find a safe place. A place of rest.

Seasons 1I want to share with you some things I’ve learned from my season of depletion that is transforming into a season of restoration. First, some background information—in 2014, my husband and I stepped out in faith purchasing land, then building a house in South Carolina. Throughout the process God blessed our steps. Moving forward to July 2017, we felt it was time to move our lives to South Carolina. This would mean living and working in a new state, a new community, and require me to follow Jesus adventurously. As I embarked on this adventure, my deepest desire then, and now, and is to be surrendered, living in a state of intentional trust as the process unfolds.

Being adventurous with Jesus sounds fantastic at the start until you get into the heart of it and you start to feel lost. You wonder if you and God are on the same path anymore. As the weeks and months passed by, staying steadfast, in resolute trust that God was in control became difficult. By December 2017, the waiting led to wondering that led to questions, doubts, and fears. In my plan, there was no waiting. I had everything falling into line, with the timing of events occurring seamlessly. I’m certain your laughing right now saying, “Really, Terri?” Yes, that was silly of me but then that's me. Soon enough I would realize God’s plan, unlike mine, had waiting written all through it.

The reason the waiting is hard is because waiting chips away at our trust in God's plan, timing, and control. Though I’m committed to trusting God there have been days I’m not sure I have the strength to remain encouraged and surrendered.

By the time January 2018 rolled around, I started wondering if this adventure was less about moving to South Carolina and more about winning a spiritual battle of trust over doubts and fears. One thing is certain, God’s faithfulness is written all over my life and I feel strongly that He deserves my trust. I determined in my heart to win this battle pushing through obstacles and trampling fears. Staying strong, in intentional trust, surrendered to God’s timing,  left me spiritually dehydrated and depleted. I have been using internal resources to win the battle of trust over fear and anxiety.

So, what would you tell me now that I’ve confessed this? I think you would say, “Terri, you know you can’t win a spiritual battle on your own. Why didn’t you ask God for His strength to fill you, to help you stand firm? Would you believe me if I said I forgot? I don’t know why I come to have this untimely “amnesia” when life ramps up and stress increases. Who wouldn’t ask for the things Jesus says is available to me: rest, peace, or carrying my burdens. I want my soul refreshed and renewed. Thank goodness for changing seasons!

Relaxing

There’s a new season on the way, a season of rest and refreshment. What has changed? Two things. I’ve finally awakened to the fact that the Lord has been waiting to fill my heart and to refresh my energy stores. Second, I changed my perspective, my focus. With my family now in South Carolina while I remain in Ohio, my responsibilities have diminished. I’m living with friends who are graciously housing me until details are finalized. It’s a place of peace, a respite. Life has gotten simpler. My pace has slowed. The change in my perspective from what isn’t happening to what is happening has caused me to see what God is doing for me. Seeing it, I'm able to accept this season of rest as the gift God intends it to be. Am I still waiting on God’s plan to unfold? Yes. I’m still fighting the urge to doubt and question our decisions and steps that brought us to this point. But, I’m intent on receiving and enjoying this brief time of rest that God has written into His plan for my life.

Let me emphasize this point: the moment I ask Him, God gives me what I need. The only One who is able to replenish my soul and help me stand strong is Him. I am so very thankful God deeply desires to partner with me, with you too, as we move through difficult seasons.

Seasons 2I wonder if you’ve experienced a season of rest or restoration after a difficult time? For example, have you received strength in spite of what were capable of? Or, maybe you received a boost of courage that you didn’t think possible. Perhaps, it was a profound sense of peace.

What we need to remember is there is no one, but God, who knows our life, our heart, our cares. He delights in you and is ready to refresh your soul the very moment you ask. Yet, asking is just the first step. If you ask for it, then anticipate it. The act of anticipating opens your spiritual eyes and ears as well as your heart to receive God’s provision. You don’t know the form or the way your need will be met, but you want to be in a mode of anticipating, a state of readiness, so you’re open to receive it.

You, dear friends, have an invitation from God for a never-ending conversation. No concern or need is too unimportant to share with God. So, share! To close, let your heart be lifted and your soul quenched by this refreshing truth.

Icon Hearts Encouraged (2)You are a delight to the Lord

He is living life with you

He concerns Himself with your troubles

He is ever ready to meet your needs

He hears your unique voice 

If you are interested in activating your inner encourager, see below for tips on how to be a self-encourager. Thanks for reading! Please share with those who need encouraged!

Tips for Becoming a Self-Encourager

One way I engage in self-encouragement is to find nourishment from God’s word. I search for a heart lifting gem in the Bible and then transform it into a digestible nugget that feeds my soul. For example, I take a verse like Psalm 31:7-8 and write it into a simple narrative, or I might bullet point it. Then, I add a picture that further embeds the verses or truths into my heart. I put it in a place that is easy for me to access or see. For example,

Woman

I have God’s unfailing love

God concerns Himself with my life.

He is ever ready to meet my needs,

calm my fears, and tend to my trouble.

He hears my unique voice.

I matter to God.

Psalm 31:7-8

See how I've reworded this verse in a form that helps me digest it and, receive it into my heart and mind so it can stick! I think that’s the main thing – determining how can you get the encouragement to stick with you.

Once you have created these encouragement gems for your use, then its easy to take this self-encouragement and gift it to someone else. When you’ve been through difficult times, you can see the signs in another woman or man. If they’re struggling with a current life experience that exhausting and depleting their soul, your encouragement may be the heart lift they need.

Another tip is to keep encouragement verses very close to you. I have two verses under my work computer screen that only I can see. I have one in my wallet. I have one in my car. The purpose is to have it handy so that when I feel a surge of overwhelm, fear, or anxiety then I have an immediate remedy. A sniff of lavender oil helps, too.

I hope these tips help you be a strong self-encourager! My prayer is that your heart sings with the knowledge that God is with you and for you! Believe it!