Falling Forward


As I wrap up my fall blog series, I will leave off with a future note, of what’s next for me as near as my limited vision will allow me to see. After falling away, falling back, and falling in love with Jesus, I find myself falling forward toward an unknown future. Many doors are ajar all around me, and I find myself waiting in breathless expectation of what God might do next in my life and ministry. It’s exciting, and honestly, if I didn’t know God and trust Him fully, I would likely pee my pants out of sheer terror. I did just say that.

Recently, I read the account of the ten lepers and how, once they were healed, only one came back to Jesus, “praising God in a loud voice.” (Luke 17:11) The moment I read it I realized I always want to be like “the one.” (It’s not lost on me that my last blog used “the One” in regards to Jesus.) That one man in the story recognized what had happened and praised God for it. Certainly the others recognized what had happened, but they likely went back to their homes and families and eventually back to life in general. The miracle eventually got lost in the shuffle of a busy life.

All of us who have received salvation have been healed of our sin problem. Praise God! Most of us have been healed of much more, like abuse, sickness, shame, and a long list of other ills. Sadly, we typically only hear the few praising God for it – at least for very long. These days, the loud Christian voices we hear are fighting and complaining and belittling. If only we were that loud in our praises of what God has done in and for us, the lost might see us as more than a people to avoid. I’m just saying…

That’s what I want this future I’m falling into to be about, praising God in a loud voice, giving thanks for how He has healed and transformed me. I never want to go back to “life in general” lest I forget what’s happened to me over this past decade. Maybe even more than how He has healed me, I praise loudly for how He loves me for who I am and where I am, relentless love that hasn’t given up on me and never will. I plan to never stop telling of this crazy and unimaginable love He has for me. Once you know love like this, how can you?

This morning I heard a song that I like, The God I Know, by Love and the Outcome. Here is a brief line from the song:

I Want You To Know The God I Know
Oh, You Gotta Know
Oh, The God I Know

Now that I’m on the well side of healing, I want you to know the God I know. Oh, you gotta know. I can’t stop praising in a loud voice. People think I’m weird because of it. I totally see the looks on faces when I hardly ever shut-up about Jesus. But truthfully, I consider weird those who have no desire of loudly praising God after tremendous healing. Even if not healed of anything more than your sin problem, you have cause to praise God – yes, with a loud voice. Do you?

That’s where I will leave you today: Have a conversation with yourself – a quiet one is suggested. Then pray about it. Are you praising the God I know? Do you even know the God I know? The One who saves, heals, and restores? The One who loves unconditionally and for no other reason than He is love? I want you to know the God I know. Oh, you gotta know. Oh, the God I know. Enjoy the song.


Falling in Love with Jesus – Fall Blog Series


I have done a lot of falling over the years. Spiritually speaking, first I fell away and then I fell back. Best of all my falling, though, was when I eventually fell in love with Jesus. Little did I know, that was what my empty heart had longed for all along.

From an early age we, as little girls, are taught to look for “the one.” I did just that. I looked at this one and that one and another one. Each and every one only left behind another wound and an emptier me. I would almost use the excuse that I didn’t know Jesus was “the One.” Truth is, I’m sure I heard it at some time or another. You have, too. If not, I’m saying it now. He is the One.

Sadly, I didn’t listen or believe that Jesus could actually be the answer to the question my heart was asking. I genuinely thought there had to be some man somewhere who could meet my needs and make me feel complete. I thought that a love story was of human origin. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. Human love can be beautiful, but only as a compliment to the supernatural and divine love of God. Why won’t we believe that until we exhaust every other human love resource and find ourselves broken? I wish I had an answer for that.

Near as I can figure, it boils down to this. We think we need Jesus plus, Jesus plus a man to love us – or friends, or children, or whatever you try to fill your emptiness with. When the simple truth is – you just need Jesus. You need His love alone. All else only compliments but never completes.

I can’t possibly do this kind of love I’ve found with Him justice. I can only call it “in love” as if that compares to what we consider romantic “in love.” I use that term since “in” gives the impression of submersion, of being contained deep within someone else. That’s me now – me in Him and Him in me. I often don’t know where I end and He begins anymore. I could go on about trust and submission and other church’ified words. Instead, I’ll use words that most come to mind when I think of Jesus:
Tender, intimate, protective, leading and guiding, He gathers me to Him, He stoops down, He’s shares me with others and yet is jealous for me to be completely His. These words are but a few of what I feel and genuinely experience with Jesus, but even as I look at this list I come back to the term “in love.” I’m not sure we have a term in our language that could possibly express all the love Jesus evokes in us once we begin to experience it.

Now you: What are words you would use to describe the love you feel with Jesus? Chime in here and share your thoughts with me.

If you don’t have a list of words that gush out of your heart in response to His love for you and yours for Him, then I challenge you to pursue Him and the love He wants to demonstrate toward you. He really is “the One.” Seek Him and He will be found by you.


Falling Back


Falling back (to Jesus) was easy after a season of having fallen away. The utter and complete emptiness I felt while living in such a faraway place was soul crushing. I had this moment, this scales falling from eyes after a season of true deception moment. I knew the only answer was to return. Greatly shamed and certain that He wouldn’t possibly take me back without a severe beating of some sort, I moved back into Jesus. Prepared for whatever discipline I deserved, I said, “Here I am if You want me.”

He wanted me. From that very first moment of falling back to Him, there was a tenderness He used when dealing with me. What I expected to be discipline turned out to be a season of untangling the web of lies that had formed in my mind and heart. There were consequences for my actions, ones we had to work through over the next few years. It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t easy. But the journey through healing was ultimately what helped me to truly see Jesus for the first time in my life.


He accepted me “as is” – no clean up necessary before coming back. In that, I found He wasn’t who I thought He was all along. For many reasons I expected Him to have a heart like mine, one which would remain cold to me until I had paid enough of a price for my failure. Nope – not like me at all. I anticipated Him to constantly remind me of how much I had blown it and how people were hurt as a result of my actions. Nope again. Rather than focusing on the “what” of what I had done, He continually had me focus on the “why.” Why was I lacking so much within me and my relationship with Him that I felt the world might have something better to offer? Those why questions were what we spent countless hours exploring.

For those who have fallen away in any area, great or small, this is the Jesus who awaits your return. He’s not waiting to berate you or remind you of what a failure you are. This tender Jesus who stands with open arms will simply embrace you and help you to pick up the pieces and find restoration. Fall back to that Jesus.

I hope you know this Jesus, the real Jesus, not some man-made image of the people in your life who have let you down or beat you up. If you are in a clean or dirty season, He’s the same Jesus.