In the eye of the storm

-Be still

I seriously LOVE the autumn, for many reasons.

But what I love the most is to sit inside when there is a storm raging outside,

with rain hammering on the window.

To crawl up in my favorite chair,

with a lovely blanket around me,

lighted candles all around me,

listening to praise-songs to the Lord on the CD-player

(hopefully soon it will be a LP-player;-)),

and either drawing, painting or reading a good(or the best) book.

That is my favorite part of Autumn.

It is sort of a melancholy feeling, but in the midst of it, I find joy.

I love to sit safe inside, while listening to the thunder outside.

There’s just something so fun in all this weather drama, isn’t there?,

Pam writes.

And I just have to agree with her.

I just had to write this post right away, because it was like the thought hit me like lightening:

When we have accepted Jesus as God, son of God and our savior,

we can sit like that when we’re in a storm.

If we place ourselves in the eye of the storm, where it is silent,

and let God fight for us…

Then we can find rest.

Joy, even.

When we’re in the eye of the storm, let’s be still.

Be still

Let God fight for you.

He is more capable than you are, and can give you the rest you need at the same time.

AvaSophie.Wordpress.com

AvaSophie.Wordpress.com

Lets pretend it is Autumn all year around:

If it’s storming around,bring back that autumn stillness inside while listening to the thunder outside.

29 For You, O Lord, are my Lamp; the Lord lightens my darkness.

30 For by You I run through a troop; by my God I leap over a wall.

31 As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried. He is a Shield to all those who trust and take refuge in Him.

32 For who is God but the Lord? And who is a Rock except our God?

33 God is my strong Fortress; He guides the blameless in His way and sets him free.

34 He makes my feet like the hinds’ [firm and able]; He sets me secure and confident upon the heights.

35 He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

36 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; and Your condescension and gentleness have made me great.

37 You have enlarged my steps under me, so that my feet have not slipped.(…)

47 The Lord lives; blessed be my Rock, and exalted be God, the Rock of my salvation.

48 It is God Who executes vengeance for me and Who brought down [and disciplined] the peoples under me,

49 Who brought me out from my enemies. You also lifted me up above those who rose up against me; You delivered me from the violent man.

50 For this I will give thanks and extol You, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing praises to Your name.

51 He is a Tower of salvation and great deliverance to His king, and shows loving-kindness to His anointed, to David and his offspring forever.

2. Samuel 22: 29-37

Let God be your lighthouse:0)

I wish you a blessed week!

with love,

Ava Sophie

Linking up with Coffee for your heart:

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When your brokenness catches up with you

…and all you see is UGLY.

U nwanted.

G one.

L onely.

Y ounger

than should have been…

Last week I experienced something that triggered some feelings in me. It was a perfectly safe situation, and I was totally unprepared for what happened inside me.

All of a sudden, I was scared. The kind of scared that leaves fear, anxiety and panic standing on the sidelines like pretty, harmless kittens. The kind that leaves you feeling all hope is gone. That “Run-For-Your-Life”-kind of scared. I thought: Why isn’t anyone coming to save me? and then I thought, why should anyone try to save me, I am perfectly safe, there is nothing to fear.

It was useless to make sense with myself. It was useless talking sense to me.

My feelings wouldn’t listen.

I needed someone to show me that I was safe. To hold me. Convince me that the surroundings I saw around me was what’s real, and not the feeling on the inside that had given up hope to ever be saved.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt  for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba [a province of Ethiopia] in exchange [for your release].” Isaiah 43:1-3

I realized that the feelings were just as real as the situation I was in, even though it didn’t make sense. It was because what I felt didn’t belong to that situation, or those surroundings that were perfectly safe. I realized that my feelings were just as real, they were just from about 21 years ago. Like they had been hiding out in me or something. Frozen in time.

I realized the feelings -that popped up unexpectedly and out of nowhere in a situation where they did not belong- was from when I was abused. Though I can recall the memories if I want to, there were no memories popping up. Only the feelings.

Which was why it was so confusing.

Previously I’ve written a rather direct post about how I was sexually abused when I was a little girl.

I thought I had dealt with it. That I was done with it. The person who did it to me is forgiven. The pain is just there, but faded.  I’ve accepted how my life turned out. I’ve accepted(not the same as saying it is OK) that it happened. That it is past. I was happy with that.

And then I realized something else… I didn’t know what to do with it all. I became angry. Why would that person still have power over me, control me, even long after that person is out of my life? I grieved over the fact that it wasn’t over. I grieved over what was taken from me then, and now.

That the control over my own life was taken from me.

Ava Sophie WordPress

Ava Sophie WordPress

Don’t get me wrong, I’d finally gotten to the point where I dared letting God have the control over my life. I had finally started trusting that God really only had what was absolutely best for me in mind. And I was even happy about God taking control in my life.

But to have a person that does not have my best interests in mind take control over me, a long time after he took my innocence, destroyed my sense of right and wrong, broke my sense of what is love and what is not. Destroyed in me the courage to take responsibility of my life, and hindered me in so many ways in life. And just after I finally with the grace of God, had starting to rebuild the ability to separate right from wrong(and choose right), figured out what is really love and where love comes from, created in me new courage to take responsibility over my life again. That’s just wrong.

It was just devastating.

Then another question popped into my mind:

“Why didn’t God save me back then when it really mattered?”

I couldn’t get peace. I couldn’t get away from the feeling of being in grave danger, even after I knew where the feelings came from. I couldn’t stop grieving.

I still grieve.

I couldn’t even talk to God. I just couldn’t form words. I was so angry with Him. I just didn’t know how to turn to Him, speak to Him, or sing praise to Him.

But I did something:

I painted.

I believe painting is a gift God has given me. And after last week I believe we connect with God when we uses His gifts, uses the good He has laid down in us.

“God gives you specific talents and then shows the way to use them for good—to point others to Him, to bless the church, to glorify Himself so we’re all drawn to Him even more. God is the giver of dreams and the planner of futures”

                              –Katy Kuffman

Even though I didn’t form a single word in my mind or with my tongue, when I was finished painting, things between my Savior and me was set right again. It was like my soul and God had a conversation I didn’t know about and made things right again.

All the while I felt God’s presence.

And I know in my heart that it was okay not to say anything to Him, at that point. He knows my heart. And He mended the part where I questioned Him, without a word.

I don’t have anymore answers than I did before. But I am convinced deep within me, that no matter what happened or happens, God is only good!

I know that I am grieving what was taken from me. And I probably will for a while.

But God has the ability to heal me from all my wounds and hurts anytime, even those in my heart, even my grief. But whether He does it tonight, or in three years, is up to Him. He is the only one who knows.

His timing is the only right timing.

Even when we don’t understand it.

Meanwhile, I am clinging on to a word that came to me through a stranger, but also a sister in faith, this fall:

“You will become healthy, mentally and physically. You will be free from all wounds and all memories from the past.”

  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your path.”

                                            -Proverbs 3:5-6

And I chose to believe:

…the Bible

…that God is good

…that God is love

…that God cares for me

…that I can trust God with my life

….despite my unanswered question(s),

…and despite my brokenness.

That is me taking the control back.

And then giving it to God ;-)

It is not UGLY anymore.

It is BEAUTY:

B eautiful

E nabled

A bout Jesus

U nknown

T ruth

Y ears restored

“Away with you, Satan(and “ghosts” from my past)! In Jesus name, Amen!”

And I hope that will bring me one step closer to becoming the godly proverb 31 woman:

“She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.”

-Proverbs 31:25

I am not laughing without fear just yet, but I am laughing(sometimes crying too). And most importantly I am clothing myself in strength that don’t belong to me. Because I am nothing on my own.

But in Christ I have all strength I need.

All I have to do is choose to use it.

  I want to encourage others that recognizes any of what I described in this post to keep in mind that being brave is not about never being scared or afraid.

It is about what you do with it. I can feel the feeling, but I refuse to let it control me!

Elanor Roosevelt said:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
I haven’t been able to just like that choose not to feel inferior, right away, but I’ve learned one thing. I accept that I feel what I feel, but don’t accept that feeling to stay.  And then I do what I can to rid myself of it. Mostly that means surrounding me with God’s truths and promises.

“You make it through those moments of wishful thinking and you choose to live, to become, to grow in the place where you’re planted in this season.”

-Holley Gerth

God uses my brokenness and make beauty out of ashes.

He will do the same to yours.
If you let Him.

With love,

Ava Sophie

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Tell His Story:

Linking up with Holley Gerth’s Coffee for your heart

Do we tell anyone?

Joining the Five minute Fridays writers at Kate’s who write for FIVE minutes, with no judgement, no backtracking, no pressure. Today’s prompt is TELL.

Go:

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship and community lately. About how we live as brothers and sisters in faith.

For those of you who has seen the tv-series “One Tree Hill” might remember the teenage girl Peyton Sawyer saying to the girls(second season):

“I want us all to be friends. I want us to be so close that we can tell each other stuff. The bad stuff too.”

Because who do we tell when something happens in our lives?

Or do we tell anyone?

Do we just show the mask we want people to see on Facebook and let that be the way people see us?

Do we just tell our best friend and hide from the rest of the world?

Do we wear a mask?

Or a do we carry a brick wall with us to place between us and people, afraid anyone will get to close?

I don’t think we ought to tell everybody everything.

But I do believe in living an open life, where what we say or do can stand the light of day. I believe in confessions, confess to someone what didn’t take the light of day. That way you take away the devils weapon, and he cant hold anything against you.

I believe in living a real life, where we don’t have to hide anything, where we don’t have a mask, and where we crush that brick wall till there is only dust left.

Ava Sophie WordPress

Ava Sophie WordPress

Let God blow his wind over the dust and carry it away from you.

The Real life costs. You’ll be vulnerable. You might feel like an easy target. It might be really uncomfortable.  You might experience hurt. You might experience to hurt someone unintentionally.

But it is real.

And then the honesty,

forgiveness,

humbleness,

and grace

are great tools God has given us to move on,

and still lead a real life.
It all starts with telling someone.

Tell about your joys.

tell about your love.

Tell about your hurts.

Tell your confessions.

Tell your heartbreaks.

Tell your struggles.

Take the risk.
Live real.

STOP.

I know a little about those masks and brick walls.

I’ve lived a life filled with a lifetime of fear, anxiety, especially the social anxiety part.

I know how difficult it is to leave the mask at home. I know how hard work it is to start banging down at that brick wall.

I know what it takes to start living real.

To let people in.

To live a life that can stand the light of day to shine on. I know what it takes to tell someone that dark secret defining me for so many years.

I know it isn’t easy.

I am not telling you it is.

I’m telling you it is worth it.

That letting go of it all, is worth it.

And I am telling you that if you give people the chance to see the real you, those of them that are truly friends will still like you.

Still love you.

And still see what is beautiful about YOU.

Actually they will see it better than before, because honest, real and open will always be better than any “perfect mask” you can let your imagination come up with.

Ava Sophie wordpress

Ava Sophie wordpress

I am telling you that you don’t have to do the work on your own. God is with you every step of the way.

God is cheering YOU on.

All He wants is to be with you, show you His love. He wants you to succeed. He wants you to live real, because He already see what you’re trying to hide from everybody.

“Thank you that instead of guilt and shame you offer us compassion and grace.

What we need most is simply this: to know you love us no matter what.

                                                    –Holley Gerth

So don’t hide those tears streaming down your face.
You are more beautiful than ever!

With love,

Ava Sophie.

also linking up with Holley Gerth:

The layers of filling that made YOU

This is the first Five minute Friday with Kate Motaung, who has been given the baton by Lisa Jo Baker. I will go back to basics this week, and write for FIVE minutes only, and see what we can make of it. I need to get the rules back into my system…

Todays promt is FILL:

Go:

When I paint a painting, first I use some coverage(don’t know the right word for it), for the paint to “fasten” to the sheet.

Yesterday I tried two different “coverage-paint”, by mistake, and realized they made such a cool effect together. Then I paint one layer.  And then another.

Along the way, when I look at one layer at the time, I wonder HOW this is going to turn into something I can be satisfied with. The paint dries, and another layer is painted. And so on.

After some months experience, I’ve come to realize, that I don’t wonder “how this is going to turn into something good”.

I have come to realize how the layers fill and blend with each other, and together gives a beautiful expression.

Now, I wonder in excitement, how it all will turn out.

I think it is sort of like that with God, except the part of the unknown:

He knows how each layer will make the difference to the finishing.

Imagine we are made with many layers, and when you look at one layer without the others, you might wonder HOW it can be a good thing.

Perhaps it is that toe that you’re afraid to show, because it is queer. Or it might be that laugh of yours -the one that everyone notices, because it is different!

Whatever it is,

God put it there for a reason.

All God's work is GOOD

If you see it in the whole perspective, together with the other layers, I am sure you’ll find that it belongs with the rest of you, because:

together it makes a perfect you.

And if you DON’T see it, please ask God to show you.

If you ask I am sure He will show you (along with a little portion of patience).

.

Sarah Markley writes on (in)Courage:

“But there is always beauty from ashes and beauty from the dust. (…)He is longing to show us the beauty”

Also linking up with Holley Gerth’s “Coffee for your heart”

Bound by chains of indifference…

…and fears.

Quite a while ago:

over a couple of months Ava Sophie had several close persons she trusted telling her she’s a bad person(and exactly how bad), telling her everything she had done (and still do) wrong. At the time when things were said, she thought:

“This is wrong. They can say it, think it, and have that opinion(obviously express it as well), but what I am hearing now is not true! That is not the kind of person I am, and they have got it wrong.”

Unfortunately, when people are close, and when you care about then, their opinion of you will matter at one point. You can try all you want to keep a distance to what has been said or done, but at the end of the day(or after a while), it will sink in, and it will really hurt.

Ava Sophie had no problem with forgiving these persons.

With Gods help, Ava Sophie had no problem with forgiving these persons. She had two other challenges, though: she was hurt, and it wouldn’t disappear from her memory even though she had forgiven. Second, She let it get to her. Which is human. As humans we are vulnerable, weak, sensitive and we have a limited set of tools to protect and shield ourselves with.

In this period Ava Sophie had a failure report on all of her shields. they just dropped down and let everything in. She felt numb. Cold. She couldn’t do anything, just laid there shaking. Not even being able to sleep. Not being able to speak.

It was like she had frozen, and couldn’t get out of it.

Her boyfriend called her closest friends in the community, and just held around her meanwhile. At the time it was like she didn’t feel it. Ava Sophie had led a life filled with fear, anxiety, and depression, in her past.  An anxiety attack wasn’t unusual. But this was nothing like an anxiety attack, or depression. She’s never experienced anything like it, before or after. To this day she can’t really explain what happened.

She was bound by chains of indifference.

Looking back, she could see how essential it was to be held and get to talk with her friends in the community as soon as possible afterwards.

We need eachother to show Jesus' love for the world

She could only see judgement and judged herself for all she did, almost scared to do anything. Scared that she might do anyone anything wrong, when she only meant good. Scared to be selfish.

The devil had gotten a hold on her.

The way back was encouraged by her boyfriend, the community telling her truths from The Bible, and be met with Jesus’ unconditional love.  It took her a long time to start trusting again. It took a long time…

…for the hurt to heal.

…for her to be able to be herself.

…for her to stop pleasing everybody else.

…to start taking care of herself.

But in that time God has done many things in her. Countless things. Huge things. Lessons.

But most of all God showed her how much he loved her.
What he gave up for her.
What he has done, are doing, and will do in her.

He showed her she is forgiven and that there is no judgement for those in Christ.

“Miracle” -Sarah Groves

Lay down your arms
Give up the fight
Quiet our hearts for a little while

Things have been spoken
Shouldn’t be said
Rattles around in our hearts and our heads

Let’s feel what we cannot feel
Know what we cannot know
Let’s heal where we couldn’t heal
Oh, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle

Things have been spoken
Shouldn’t be said
Rattles around in our hearts and our heads

Let’s feel what we cannot feel
Know what we cannot know
Let’s heal where we couldn’t heal
Oh, it’s a miracle, love is a miracle

Let’s feel what we cannot feel
Know what we cannot know
Let’s heal where we couldn’t heal
Oh, it’s a miracle

Let’s say what we cannot say
Let’s see what we cannot not see
Let’s hear what we could not hear
Oh it’s a mystery, love is a mystery
Oh it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle
Let’s be a miracle

In this time between being bound by and breaking free from the chains, Ava Sophie went through a process where she gradually stopped hiding from conflicts and uncomfortable situations. She now see that it is love to stand through it all no matter how hard it is. Of course there are situations where you will have to distance yourself for own protection -we are called to:

If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”Romans 12:18

She dared to trust again. Little by little. She stopped trying to please everybody. She is letting go of the hurt. She is ready to be herself -the girl she is in Christ. Ava Sophie is called to give comfort and love, even in difficult situations.

With Jesus by her side always.

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

But it has to start with allowing herself to be God’s child, accepting His love, knowing that she is loved and love herself as God loves her. Knowing she is His beloved.

Then, She can love her neighbor as herself.

Crystal Stine shared her story over at (in)Courage about how she was hurt by someone in her community, how it affected her ability to trust, and how God used the bad to lead her back to community, to show her how important it is, and what a blessing it is.

Ava Sophie wouldn’t last long without a community of brothers and sisters in faith. Without a community of people with close relationships with Jesus. Some may think of it as weak, but study The Bible and you’ll find out what God says about it and also why we need to live in a close community. It is simple, too:

We need each other to show Jesus’ love for the world.

In a close community(as in all close relations) conflicts might to appear. Hurt may find its way to your heart. That is why Paul wants us to be fix our mind onto:

“(…)whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]” Philippians 4:8(AMP)

As Christians we are not perfect. We won’t be perfect until God has finished His work in us. We are humans, and we makes mistakes. In God’s eyes we are good enough. But if you experience that someone hurts you, I want to encourage you to give it to the Lord, Jesus Christ, and then forgive the person(s) that has done you wrong.

Also I want to encourage you to go to some of the leaders in your community or some of those close to you(with a close relationship with Jesus) and ask them to help you get through it. We are human, and it is okay to feel hurt, but it is not Jesus’ wish for you to be controlled by it. It is not His wish for you to let the devil get to you.

Jesus wishes to be there for you and to heal you from whatever you carry.
The healing may take time,
it may hurt,
but it will happen if you let Jesus in.

Begin a new life with Jesus by your side, today!

God bless you.

Five Minute Friday

My letter to YOU

My dear friend

I may not know who you are, but I would really like to get to know you better.

However, what I DO know about YOU is that you carry a dream in your heart. I don’t know if it is a big dream, something you have been dreaming of your whole life, or something that has become your dream quite recently. I know nothing of that.

I don’t need to know that. It is not my place to do so. All I know, is that you have a dream, and that this dream is of great importance for you. That, my friend, matters to me! You see, today I have something really special I want to share with you.

I wonder, what would you say if I told you that you could fulfill a dream of yours? No matter how big, small, irrational, unreachable or insignificant you feel that your dream is. It doesn’t matter. What if I told you that you could have everything you need to make your dream come true?

Would you accept?

You may wonder if I am asking you a trick question…

The answer is yes, and no.

Yes, because I am not offering you a wand that can make your dream come true in a ‘swoosh’, or a magic spell that will fulfill your dream in a moment.

No, because it is true that I have an offer to you that may change your world,and that will give you what you need to fulfill your dream.

It may not be what you think you need in order to fulfill your dream, and may not be at the exact time you want it to come true. On your way to getting your dream come true, you may also change opinion on what your dream is. I’ve heard it has been said:

“Sometimes on your way to a dream you get lost and find a better one”.

An awful risk to take, isn’t it?

What I wanted to share with you is this:My dear friend

“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” Acts 2: 38

For those who are in Christ (which means: believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son and died on the cross, raised from His grave for you to have a relationship with God . It means saying Yes to following Jesus where he leads you, to give your life to Him),

God has given the promise:

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33

You need to follow your dream, and continue making it come true.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a time-out where you are not working towards it, or that you can’t change your dream on the way along…

But you need to not give it up!

I almost gave up my dream once. I had a dream that formed during elementary school: to become an author. My hope is to someday be able to have my dream as my job: so I can spend my days on “work” writing. Several of my teachers have encouraged me to chase that dream over the years.

When I was 14 or 15, I wrote a piece that was meant to be the start of a book, and sent it in to a publishing company. I got a letter in return, basically saying that what I had written wasn’t fit for the genre they needed, and that the language I used might not be professional enough. To me that was like saying:

“You are not suited to being an author, find something else to do!”.

I still loved writing, like I always had. Every time I tried to write something, I couldn’t get anything on the paper. I was afraid that what I wrote wouldn’t be good enough.

Since that was something I’d felt I was really good at,

my world fell apart.

When your dreams crumble

Later I have struggled with the same feeling in all things I’ve done, steered by the thought: if I wasn’t good at writing when I thought I was, why believe that I am any good at this?

It took me 6 years before I started writing again, and even then it was ‘only’ a few lines with inspiration of what could one day become a story. I wrote these lines on my phone, and when my phone was stolen, I lost it, and with it the inspiration to write(again).

Look for the Beautiful.It's there

Finally, a year and a half ago, when we were given an assignment at school where we had to make our own blog just as practice, I made this blog and that’s when I started writing again.  It was just a coincidence (I don’t REALLY believe in coincidences) that started it then, I thought. By then I had carried the blog in me since I invited Jesus to be the boss of me. I hadn’t really thought about how I wanted it to be, and already I have changed some of my perspective and my vision for what I want this blog to be.

"Don't try harder. Try smarter"

The vision that still is the same for this blog,

is that I want to share my journey with Jesus, and what I learn along the way. My hope is that it can be an encouragement for YOU.

If I could get ONE wish fulfilled with this blog it is that God may use me to express something He longs to tell YOU.

I may be far from getting my dream about becoming an author fulfilled, but I am on my way.

I am on my way,
despite the fact that I almost had a decade of ‘time-out’ in following my dream.

Someone once said:

”Don’t try harder, try smarter”.

Now I’m telling you the same.

Believe in yourself. Believe in what you can accomplish through God.

Remember:

Start the process by believing in Jesus and what he can do to you and your life.
Then follow your dream!
He will be able to do more in you than you ever think would be possible…
With love,
Ava Sophie

 

I wrote this post encouraged by Holley Gerth’s previous series on ‘God sized dreams’:

‘This step for your God-sized dream was to write a post entitled “A Letter to the God-sized Dreamers” telling your sisters why what they’re doing and who they’re becoming through this process is worth it–even on the hard days.’

Click on the button below and find out what her God Sized Dream series are all about:

Now Holley is Site Encourager and Contributing Author of the website www.godsizeddreams.com

Blossom Bunkhouse

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

This post is re-published and edited.

If you are going through struggles…

 

…then this post is for you!

I’ve been through so many hard struggles in my life-or huge storms if you like. Before and after I invited Jesus into my life.

But God has said...
I’ve heard the saying:

Faith doesn’t make things easier. It makes things possible.

Have you heard that faith can move mountains?  That is a picture Jesus gives us to show us how powerful faith is. It is impossible to move mountains. Faith makes things possible. Because God is the one with the power. And the power lies within us from the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. Because of what He dis for us at the cross, when He raised again.

And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your unbelief; for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Remove hence to yonder place,’ and it shall remove. And nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20

It helps to do what Jesus tells us to do, simply because it is given us to be used to bring forth God’s kingdom here on earth. Important sidetrack…

The point is(don’t you just love that part of a sentence?) that when I’ve been through difficult struggles after I met Jesus, I’ve had a hard time believing something the Bible  (God’s word) promises us…

That He will turn everything in our lives into something good.

Make beauty out of ashes…

Because in the middle of that struggle, it is sometimes impossible for me to see how ANYTHING good can be made out of it.

One of the things I LOVE about my husband(that sometimes annoys me as well), is if I ever doubt something (and that I do) he says “But God has said…” and then he reminds me of God’s word and His promises.

So here I am to remind you of God’s promise in your struggles, and to testify that God keeps his promises.

When I was pregnant and gave birth to my child more than five years ago, it was such a hard time for me in so many ways that I can still catch myself in worrying how it would be if I were to get pregnant again. Though I dream of more children, I don’t feel ready just yet. I’ve wondered many times how on earth God could make something positive out of it.

God knows me, He knows you. He knows what you need to hear from me and what I need to hear from you. He also know when I need to tell who what, because He knows when who is ready to listen…

This Fall God used my very hard and difficult experience with pregnancy and birth to encourage women to be honest about how they feel, to reach out and see that it is okay to ask for help when it is needed–whether the need is for  someone to borrow their child an hour so mommy can sleep, or it is to see a psychiatrist to help them through a depression.

My story could encourage women to see that it is okay not to be overwhelmed with happiness after birth. It is okay to be exhausted, tired, scared, it is okay to not have a clue how you are going to take care of the baby.  And it is also okay to feel that you can manage everything, to be way up in pink clouds never-been-so-in-love-with-any-being-on-the-planet-before-crush on your child. But no matter what, it is okay to be honest and share your experience with someone.

God used my experience to encourage other women!

How cool is that?!

I also recently discovered that my painful past with boys, sex, crushes and my learn-the-hard-way-path to finding true love(and recognizing it) could be used to lead others on the right path.

I lost my virginity at fifteen to a boy who said he also wanted to wait with sex until marriage. He lied. When he put pressure on me, things got tempting and exiting, and I suddenly had no idea why I was supposed to wait with sex until marriage, that’s when.

I had just heard that’s what you’re supposed to do. Don’t have sex until you’re married. I didn’t know why. I just wanted to be the good girl who did what she was supposed to. Until I was tempted and scared at the same time, and didn’t know how to say no to this boy. Now I know why.

I got to share (a teensy bit embarrassed) my painfully learned lessons of why in front of a crowd of some amazing young adults. I am pretty sure they were embarrassed too, but they didn’t laugh. Because I got to share God’s vision and love behind the places where The Bible says that sex is meant for the marriage.

God used what I really hoped I never would have to talk aloud about.  I was ashamed, and wished to be one of those who’s been Christians all their life and didn’t do the stupid mistakes as I did.

It took a while before I stopped condemning myself.

And when I did,

God shoved me that I was pure, holy, clean and loved as I am.
That all of that was forgotten for Him.
And then he shoved me His endless, unconditional love…

….and when I had figured out the most basic important things about being God’s child(being loved),

He showed me how to make beauty out of the ashes,
and how He can use my weaknesses and make it strengths.

He WILL do the same to you.

With love,

Ava Sophie

Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee over at Tell His Story:

What do you fight for?

The last six months I’ve been fighting.
I’ve been fighting to keep my head above water.
It sounds like dead or life situations,
but it’s not really about dead or life.
It has felt that way, though.

What do you fight for

You see, something has been ”off” with my health, and I’ve been fighting against my health to manage everything at school, at home with my family, with relations, and being a mom. I haven’t been able to live up to anyone’s expectations or demands: others expectations, demands, and MY expectations and demands.

Why?

Because I’ve had this picture in my mind that if I don’t, everything will fall apart.

If I don't...Everything will fall apart

Witch is, in fact, an illusion. I’ve thought of this illusion as a truth, when it was not. I felt that I had no choice but to meet these expectations, demands.

I know it is wrong (and not just with my common sense and with my mind, but with all of me). I sought God for answers, a way out, healing so I can be better. I’ve cried out, I’ve been angry, I’ve been desperate, and I’ve been so tired that I thought I couldn’t even form words together in a prayer –I’ve just let myself be in the Lords presence. But still, I’ve felt that there’s been no answer from up above.

I’ve felt abandoned, less worthy and all –just because of an illusion that I’ve put my trust in. Where I saw huge Goliath’s raising one after another before me, it surely seemed impossible.Like I started this post with: “I fought against my health to manage everything.”

But…

…I believe that God gives us strength beyond human resources if we ask for it. I also believe that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle

…I believe that he never leaves our side, even though it may feel like it sometimes

…I also believe that God always listen to us, with no exceptions.

…I believe that He answers all prayers, but I also believe that the answer won’t always be yes –for our own good.

But I know God has not said it will always be easy. He has said that it sometimes will be hard, but he will also guide us through it.

Sometimes that means He won’t take the pain or the challenges away, but he will help us get through it, or He will learn us to make choices, so we learn to get through life.

If our Lord always take the challenges away or always tells us what’s the right thing to do, we will never learn to be confident. We will never learn to make the right choices, and perhaps we will never learn to listen to what God says, or to understand what way He has to show you and me.

God speaks in many different ways, and He also speaks differently to each and one of us. We won’t learn to stop, tune out all that is happening around us, realize we are totally dependent on God, and really listen to what he has to tell to us; to give Him the chance to reveal Himself to us.

My challenge isn’t gone in any way. But I have taken a decision, several actually:

1. I’ve decided to pause, tune out the world to listen to my God.

In my situation, that pause includes taking a leave of absence from school, because the last 4 months (at least) I’ve forgotten my priorities. I’ve put school in front of every other priority. I’ve prioritized school before God, before my health (which have been screaming to me for a long time now), before my marriage, before my family, and before absolutely everything. Which has resulted in a totally empty fuel tank.

2. I set my eyes on God, and not on the world anymore. It has to do with my attitude.

I can let myself drown in all the worlds complaint over me, MY complaints over what I can’t achieve, what “everyone else” seem to achieve, OR I can look at what God says about me, about the world and really focus on doing HIS will. That way I will be able to really listen to what His plans over my life is. Because there will be no better plan than that one, the one He has for me.

3. I’ve decided to treat myself as His temple,

which I haven’t at all in a long time. I am His bride, together with my sisters and brothers, and I need to prepare myself for that. To do that I have to start taking care of my self again. That way I will also be better able to nourish my marriage, take care for my family after God’s will, and other relations.

4. I want to get closer to God.

And of course there are lots of ways to do that, which I have described more in the “Are YOU in Christ”-series.

This is not any New Years resolution or  a list full of practical things to do to improve my life for myself or “Now I’m going to change that, and that and that, because THEN my life will be perfect”. The grass may always look greener on the other side, and it easy to never feel happy or grateful if one keeps thinking that way.

No, this is a change of attitude and a change of view that has already happened in me.

I saw the world with new eyes

I have set my eyes and trust to God (again), and stopped depending on myself.

It is not an attitude I will get, or will work on changing. It is something that has changed in me already, that I will work on keeping.

And when that changed, I saw the world with new eyes.

It is as different as night and day. I still have good days and bad days. I have plenty of days that I feel I can’t get out of bed, but somehow I still do (it just take a little more time).

I’ve welcomed God’s mercy. I can just be held.

I don’t have more energy than before, but I am using my little energy where it should be used. I’m released from my chains, I am preapproved, and I am happy! But with this new view, a lot of practical changes will follow. It’s only natural.

When a person ask Jesus into his or her life, it is impossible to do that without it being followed by many changes in that life.
It’s because The Holy Spirit lives in us and changes us every minute, every hour, every day of our lives.

 

It’s just not so easy to notice all of those changes when you’re in the middle of it ;)

 

I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five minute Friday,

and Jenifer Dukes Lee’s Tell His Story this week.

Click on the buttuns to find out more, or to join:

Five Minute Friday

When life GOES according to your plan(and God’s plan)…

…but you discover it is not what you wanted.

I have a plan.

A plan for my life.

I have a plan for my family and for my child.

I have plans for the future.

Some of the plans are of my own designs, some of the plans were made based on what I believe is God who has shown a tiny little brick of HIS plan for my life, which is the basis for deciding that plan. Not that I necessarily understand that tiny little brick of a plan…

And some plans are carefully planned with my husband and other close ones that has a say in my life.

This week, life went according to my plan.

And I sort of got confirmation that it for some reason was a part of God’s plan as well. Which is great!

This week, life went in favor of a plan that my husband and I take very seriously, because we’re thinking about the future. Which is great!

We just got married, I study full time and have a kid from an earlier relationship(before I met Jesus), and my husband has a need of change in the job situation because of physical health, the economic, and to finally be able to have the priorities God has recommended for us: God, family and THEN work.

I am really tired, he is really tired and we find ourselves struggling with getting the everyday-life to come around in a GOOD way… So for us, it is only natural to decide to wait a few(or more) years before starting expanding our family.

But…

Thing is, for a few weeks I have had more than five different signs that there might be family expansion on the way. To be honest, it really wouldn’t be a good thing right now because of the situation. And to be honest, I didn’t really think that the test would be positive. But, It is a little hard not to notice all of those signs, so we took a test to be sure(we took a blood sample to be 100% sure).

The test was negative. Which is great!

It’s just…

I don’t feel great.

I feel sad. I feel that I lost something, that wasn’t even there to begin with.

When life goes according to your plan(and God's plan)...But you discover it is not what you wanted.

When life goes according to your plan(and God’s plan)…But you discover it is not what you wanted.

Only for a moment I asked God “why?”, before I realized all the good reasons for why. I also realized that in our situation right now(and at least three years ahead), this is a blessing. But it doesn’t feel like a blessing. I feel sad. And for two days I haven’t been able to “shake off” my sadness. My comfort is (no matter how ridiculous this mourning of mine feels):

Blessed are they that mourn,

for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

A lesson from Jesus

Someone have pointed out that Jesus said to his disciples before crossing a lake, “We’ll cross over”. During the crossing, the disciples get scared and are sure that the boat will go under. The point is that Jesus pointed out the heading, he never said it would be easy, but he didn’t say we’ll go under. He said:

We will cross over.

I also take comfort in that he said “we”. He is with us all the time, and he will make sure we won’t go under in our trials. Just like he were with the disciples and made sure they didn’t go under(DESPITE their lack of faith).

A blessing

I figure that I AM blessed to have confirmation that God’s plan matches mine, that I am blessed with less worries in this time when I feel overwhelmed by tiredness and all that has to be done for the everyday to come around, that Jesus is not only with me, but also WILL comfort me.

I am blessed that no matter how ridiculous my sorrows feels to me, there is nothing too small or too big for my savior Jesus Christ.

I am blessed to have a husband that understands my sorrow even though he doesn’t feel ready for bringing a baby to life just yet, blessed to have people around me to remind me of the scripture and show me new perspectives. I am blessed.

And it is okay for me to feel the sadness I feel for a while. It is okay to mourn, even for something that was never there.

It is okay to bring everything to Jesus.

He want’s us to.

 

I wrote this post months ago, but I was not ready to share it. However, I want to encorage those that mourn for something. It is okay to mourn(as long as we don’t get lost in the mourning process). It is also a great opportunity to share your thoughts with Jesus, invite Him in and let Him heal you.

You were never meant to carry anything alone.

With Love,

Ava Sophie

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee where we share stories of how God has changed us.

Paint

Paint is a difficult word for me, because it’s impossible to choose WHAT to write about the topic in just five minutes(beware, it might take a little longer)…

I’m writing about this weeks one word prompt hosted weekly, every Friday by Lisa-Jo Baker, where lots of brave writers join in to write for five minutes flat, without editing or backtracking.

Go:

When I read the word paint it is like reading about me.

I am painted and I do paint.

It’s like reading about all my life, from an early age until this day. Because I do paint.

But most importantly I’m painted.

Last week, Kim over at Dappled Things shared a post from 5 of her friends, where Steph wrote about how we are a blank page in the book that is our lives, and how God writes our story. I thought it was a beautiful image, and it really made me think.

 

I see another image…

Where I am a canvas.

Where I am not a blank canvas, because I have my history.

In my history I’ve done stupid and bad things, and I’ve done good things.

After I met Jesus, got baptized and let He be the boss of my life, my canvas was made blank. Because when I was baptized, I died with Jesus, got a new life and a new identity in Christ.

But Jesus painted back those bits and pieces from my past that was me– the way he intended me to be.

avasophie.wordpress.com

avasophie.wordpress.com

He also keep painting new things on the canvas that is me. Sometimes He paint over something to make new, even more beautiful pieces of me. And all along the way, God sees me as perfect, because He sees me through my painter.

At the same time I am so highly loved that he can’t stop painting me until He has fulfilled His good work in me. It means I will be a painting with many layers.

(I, Paul, am)being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6.

 

YOU were beautifully painted too, you know.

Lets shout for joy to the Lord, burst into jubilant song with music!Psalm 98:4

To celebrate the beautiful picture He is making out of the Canvas that is us!

To celebrate the life He has given!

To celebrate The Lord, Jesus Christ

Blessings

-Ava Sophie
Five Minute Friday