You Will Make It!

I am studying for an important exam, yet this morning I was inspired to write this post reflecting on the past 16 months. I won’t go into great detail over what has transpired. I will say there has been great loss, a few betrayals, multiple deaths in my family, partial blindness for me (healed now), health issues with people I love, being stalked (I had to report someone to the police last spring), sabotage of some of my efforts, gross disappointments, and so much more. There have also been incredible triumphs and joys. I believe we can learn from anything!

Here is my post from the morning and I hope it blesses you.

There is a promise attached to the pain; we must seek God for a revelation of the promise(s) (Lessons Learned the Past 16 Months). ❤️👩🏽‍💻💯

I don’t share all my business online because I recognize levels of intimacy. My closest friends know my business. Everyone else is on a need to know basis. It’s just how I roll. I share my heart fully with people who know how to steward it well. Those who know my full journey and challenges the past 16 months may get more out of this. Everyone else, I hope you find a sliver of hope. No matter your season, the valley or the mountain top, there is a God who loves you and though He does not prevent every challenge, He will walk you through them.

Some sweet things learned the past 16 months…

Even in hard seasons you can find beauty if you LOOK for it! I started journaling each day and counting blessings. I list good things that happen and express gratitude to God. I look for at least one person daily to bless. Why? Introspection will rob you of opportunities to be a blessing and enjoy God.

Even in my hardest moments, I can still love and serve others without expecting them to take care of me. I have a choice, as do you, to be a victim or a victor! It does not mean breaking your back nor forgoing rest, it does mean choosing love. Waking up each day to choose love provides focus and greater dependency on God…God who needs your love today?

The extreme power of grace; God’s supernatural ability to do what we could not do before. Wowed by grace. It is a frequent prayer to say, “God give me grace for today. Today God I receive grace.”

When I think I cannot take another step because I am exhausted physically or emotionally, how God’s super invades my natural. God will infuse you with His strength. You learn a level of God’s POWER in weakness that cannot be learned in any other season.

Who loves me for me, and who was connected for their own personal gain or to benefit from ministry. It is unfortunate, yet trials not only reveal who you truly are on the inside, they reveal who is truly for you! Bypass offense and understand you must not expect a consumer to act like a true friend. A consumer comes to take. A friend comes to give. I don’t expect a cat to be a dog. A cat will behave like a cat.

The great lengths some people will go through to help you or encourage you in their own storm has been revealed. I wrote out a thank letter this week. I was weeping as I typed out thank you to all the people willing to be obedient to God and help in some way. Don’t focus your energy on who is not for you. Focus that energy on who is for you! Mostly God is for you!!! He will put you on the heart of perfect strangers to be a blessing.

How deep the Father’s love is, vast beyond measure. I won’t even start typing out the revelations of God’s love, provision, care, comfort, goodness, beauty, and hope because I will be here all day. It just gets richer in revelation. Oh my, is God better than what humans represent or speak about Him.

I learned not to expect people who have not walked it out to understand. There is a complete and utter disconnect. #BlankStare. You release the expectation for compassion from people and talk to God. I used to be bothered by unkind people. I recognize I too can be insensitive if I lack understanding. You forgive easier and move on. You learn who to talk to and get really raw with and who to tell, “God is good,” and keep on moving.

How deep the roots and love go in my Ignite Reborn community!! They have loved me well and I thank God they are not looking for a super hero in a leader. I am only human; I am there to serve, not be a Savior. There is power in safe, loving, and mutually giving community. If you find a safe, loving tribe-cherish them, invest in them, give thanks for them, show up and do your part.

Learn to completely ignore the haters online and in real life. Unhappy people try to make others miserable. You become quicker to block, ignore, say, “Take that garbage somewhere else. I love you, but I am not your trash can.” You start to monitor your energy. It’s not proper English but, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I stopped trying to figure it out or explain myself.

I stopped answering the phone for energy vampires. Some days I only had strength to do one or two things (being honest), I refused to waste it on selfish people. Please go to voicemail. Protect your energy and schedule. Some people are simply distractions. Lovingly set boundaries. They want their problem to be your highest priority when you have a pile of your own.

You listen to the voice of Jesus on an even deeper level because He is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. He whispers and you lean in closer and closer….your friendship with God goes to a whole notha level! If you are being challenged in your health, your finances, your family…Jesus is right there. Lean in. Lean on Him. Ask Jesus for heaven’s vantage point. “God show me your truth and give me wisdom in this season.”

Understanding with every problem, every pain-there is a promise. A promise of God’s steadfast love. A promise of God’s healing. A promise of God’s protection. A promise of God’s presence-“Never will I leave you or forsake you!” A promise of beauty for ashes and joy for mourning! A promise of glory. A promise of His unwavering friendship.

Grief is temporary. Yes, it comes in waves. Some days like tidal waves, yet there are days of calm, great joy, and peace. Walk through the process of grieving without bypassing the hard parts. Don’t let religious acting Christians try to convince you that you should not grieve nor how to grieve. If they have not walked through what you have walked through they can keep their scripture one liners. Find healthy people to walk with you who possess wisdom in their speech.

Give yourself grace to be human. I love laughing with God and being positive. I also recognize my humanity and when I went through months of unexplained blindness I had human moments. It was not a fun time. Grace! Trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman is crazy. Yes, lean into God and seek His strength. Also understand you are human.

Oh the depths of desperation…I gained a greater understanding of how desperate people feel. The compassion in my heart has gone from maybe level 7 to off the charts. Pain changes the way we see things. I hope I don’t forget the trials that broke my heart and some that sought to crush my spirit. I pray my heart remains soft towards God and humanity.

God will deal with your enemies! He is longsuffering and gives each person time to repent. When God has had enough, He moves in with His right arm outstretched to execute judgement on your enemies. People play with fire thinking they will not be burned. Yet God has shown me on an even greater level the past 16 months that anyone who raises a weapon, tries to work evil, or places their tongue in a malicious way on His children will have consequences. God is merciful and kind. God is also a fierce warrior who will and does cast down Jezebel from her throne. God defends and avenges His own. He prepares a table before you in the PRESENCE of your enemies. Even when the devil thinks he’s winning, he loses in the end.

Don’t let people pressure you into more than you can do. I cannot tell you how many people try to pressure me into meeting their ministry or personal need. “Count it all joy! Trust the Lord!! God is just testing you. See how much more like Jesus you are becoming…yada yada yada..” Attached to that is normally some expectation I can do something for them. Well, no. I have grace to complete God’s assignments for me, not everyone else’s. I cannot tell you how many people have approached me with “God said to contact you or your were the one to do this.” If God did speak directly to me, I am not doing anything. Nope. Nada.

Lastly, your latter shall be GREATER than your former. If you sink into God, there is no limit to what can happen. It can be painful in the process, yet you must not give up on His beautiful vision. You may need to reject the visions of others, or their dreams for your life…yet keep pressing into His! God is good, and God LOVES you. Keep being a seeker of God because He is seeking you. He is seeking you in the good times and challenging seasons.

Signed…someone linked to Jesus to hopefully always overcome! Back to studying for exams I go. Have a great weekend.

God loves you! You can make it! With God you will make it. That’s what my dad says to me often. I love my earthly dad and heavenly Father. Be blessed! Praying for you to make it!! For real praying. You are loved!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Recalibration (What Grief Teaches You)

They say the best way to inspire others is by being transparent and vulnerable. I tried that in Christian community and well…my perspective is as follows. When you are still healing, it may be best to share with a safe community of people. Once you are healed, the story can be shared with others. Why do I say this? Because humans do not always think about the impact of their words before they speak. Some can be in a place of desiring to be helpful and they are actually quite harmful.

I love safe people, don’t you?

I met with a dear friend yesterday for lunch, a mini trip to the spa, and took her on a local tour. One of the things I love about her is her ability to listen without trying to throw a scripture on everything.

She has suffered great loss; I have suffered great loss, and we both know the unintended un-helpfulness of sometimes well meaning people. They say, “You are so strong!” Or “You just need to trust God.” “You know God is working all things together for good.”

I sat across the table from a kindred spirit. Someone who understood grief deeply and did not see it as something to wish away, but something to walk through with God. Some days are incredible and there is great joy. Some days you do not desire to laugh, your heart is full of tears. Some days agony crashes upon you like a tidal wave and you pray earnest prayers for relief.

People around you wish for you to be better. Some will avoid you because they do not know what to say or they don’t want to be in the presence of a person overcoming grief or loss. It is rare to find the ones willing to simply sit on the boat with you, riding out the storm.

Why do we grieve?

We grieve because we have lost someone or something we loved. Love is the reason for the grief. Those who do not love deeply and do not attach, they do not understand grief. Those who have not lost someone they loved, are sometimes clueless how to respond to a hurting person.

God knows how to deal with grief. I also highly, highly recommend grief share and support groups for those hurting; groups where others have gone through loss or are going through loss. Having a community of people who get it is absolutely vital to not only surviving, thriving. I am so thankful for safe people.

Grief has taught me so many things and it has changed me profoundly. Have you gone through a painful experience that changed you?

I am not the same person I was a year ago. I stopped doing things that seemed like a waste of time. I am still refining my priorities.

I stopped caring what people on the internet were replying to my content. I started simply deleting negative and misguided comments instead of wasting time trying to explain myself.

I stopped trying to mentor people who were disengaged, not present, not putting forth effort, and not interested in pulling their weight. I have enough to carry. I do not need dead weight nor to exert so much effort into what is not valued or appreciated.

I stopped worrying about those “friends” who just disappeared. I moved on with my life.

I stopped trying to love people who kept rejecting or misunderstanding love or it was always one sided.

Grief taught me and is teaching me to stop wasting my life on things that don’t matter.

Grief taught me and is teaching me to take one day at a time and some days it is one moment at a time.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me to stop expecting people to get it and be compassionate. I must have compassion for myself. Self care is vital. Expecting people to see a need and respond is futile. I found safe people to ask for help.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me to rest more and stop pushing myself to be strong for others. I am human, not Jesus. I started cancelling volunteer events with no support. I stopped pushing myself to be the only person to show up.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me what matters and what does not matter. It has recalibrated my focus so things I used to do, I refuse to carry with me. I believe grief can be a powerful tool to shift our focus. What about you?

Grief has taught me and is teaching me who my real friends are. It has been eye opening the past 12 months. I am not angry nor offended by people, I simply have relationships that grew closer and some that disappeared.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me the importance of saying no. When people perceive you as strong, they forget you are a human with legitimate needs. So they come with their needs, their wants, their desires, and expect you to be strong for them and you. Well, no. I have said to a few people, “I would like for you to contact someone else.”

Grief has taught me and is teaching me an even greater importance of family. Friends can come and go, but family is so important.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me not to judge my life by the lives of others. “Oh they never have anything bad happen to them, what am I doing wrong?” I have learned grief touches everyone at some point in life. If it is not your neighbors turn now, it will be one day. None of us make it out of life alive or without any challenges.

I have learned I do not have to be strong, just because that is what others desire. I learned there are days I crumble into the arms of God exhausted from grief and I am the furthest thing from strong. I find comfort in being able to just be human. I look at this man named Jesus who was and is perfect in every way. He cried out to the Father in agony, “Why have you forsaken me?” Pain has a way of making the Father seem so far away.

I understand how Jesus felt. I understand how Mother Teresa felt when she wrote in her diary that she felt forsaken by God at moments in her life. It may seem blasphemous to some, yet I see no blasphemy in Jesus. He knew agony, grief, suffering, and His friends went to sleep. He knew betrayal by one of the ones He trained and loved. My encouragement is it’s okay to be human. We were not created to live in such hard place. We were created for paradise and sin brought and brings hell.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me the closeness of God even when He does not say a thing. He speaks in ways that sometimes are not heard, but they mark us. I laugh sometimes because as silly as it sounds, I think God is filling up my Pinterest feed. It’s one encouraging picture after another.

I want to encourage you, those who have suffered loss. I am sorry for the silly and lack of empathy/lack of compassion things people say. I am sorry if you feel you must always be the one towing the superhero line. God does not expect us to pretend loss does not hurt, nor to put on the fake Christian mask, “God is working all things for good! Rejoice in the Lord always.” Let’s be real. Let’s be honest. Some days there may be a song in your heart. Some days there may be tears streaming down your face. Be human. You have permission to be human and invite God into your humanity.

I personally don’t have time for pretend. There are several things in my life/family that require a miracle. I am real, raw, and do not care how others feel about the process.

My encouragement…

God is with us on our best day.

God is with us on our worst day.

God with us is how we make it through the turbulent storms without drowning.

Let’s be real, honest, and inspire others to do so as well!

You are prayed for and so deeply loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

He comforts those who mourn and binds up the broken hearted.

Pain, the Teacher

Pain the Teacher (Simple Morning Reflection):

Pain can be an incredible teacher. It is in our human nature to avoid pain. Yet some great lessons can come out of pain. We can change; realize what matters most, and what doesn’t. Pain can shift focus from things that are not important to what is important.

You learn some relationships are dead weight anchors you are dragging along trying to keep alive. You pour in, trying to keep alive things the other person could care less about living or investing in to thrive. You learn to let go of things and people that are killing your soul.

You begin to analyze what is necessary and what is obligation or unecessary. You reevaluate your time or energy because it’s limited.

There is something about pain that teaches you to value the good moments even more, you savor them. You start avoiding the things that are like elephants sitting on your chest and run after the quiet moments with Jesus.

The things that used to bug you seem so small. The people you used to invest in and do all the work with zero mutuality, you simply stop doing it. You look for ways to make the most of each day.

This is what happens when I go through seasons of pain. Priorities shift. Agendas shift. Everything shifts.

There are great lessons that can be learned in seasons of pain. You find out who truly loves you and who is a person of opportunity. Some are present in their need, not present in yours.

You learn the safe places and genuine friends. You learn the comfort of God has no end. You learn, my goodness, you learn.

Earth’s focus becomes dimmer while eternity becomes brighter. You begin to see something greater woven through the tapestry of grief, of loss, of pain. Woven in this tapestry is the very face of Jesus-the one who knows the depths of human suffering.

Compassion grows leaps and bounds as you find yourself throwing out anchors of hope to others in the midst of your own storm. Pain can teach you so much about compassion because you simply do not wish for anyone to suffer alone. It moves you beyond praying to participating in the solution for someone else.

Pain can be an incredible teacher, revealing the deepest parts of the soul-what we believe and who we are is pressed to the surface. What we believe about God is placed on display. Trials reveal so much.

God brings in His love to reveal to us that He is present in every storm. No tear goes unnoticed. No cry goes unheard. No child goes unloved. And even if God seems silent and the pain is louder than His voice, He is still present and He is still love.

“God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit.”

“The arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ears deaf to hear.”

Pain writes a new song in your heart, a song only God can hear. Friendship with God can deepen in seasons of loss, mourning, or pain. If we turn to God, instead of away from God, we can learn so many things. Gratitude can elevate. If we cannot give thanks for what we have, we can celebrate what we have been spared. We can share with others even in our lack, for there is always someone with less. There is always someone with more pain, more sorrow, more problems. We can be a blessing in our own storm.

Pain the teacher…you have taught me so much.

I bless you and pray your week overflows with the love, peace and joy of Jesus. He is pure joy. I know no greater love, no greater comfort.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-free.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Where’s God When Bad Things Happen (Part II)

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More Than Conquerors Romans 8:28, 31b-39

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Can God stop all the bad things from happening in the world? The answer is God is Sovereign and can do what He pleases. He does not, however, force people to live holy. It’s unfortunate and good as well. How can I say it’s good? Glad you asked.God promises to work all things together for the good of those who love Him. Right now in this present world it does not always look good or feel good. From an outside perspective Jesus’ suffering and going to the cross seems cruel. It does not seem very loving of the Father to put His only Son in harm’s way, until you see the final picture. The crucifixion of Jesus leads many sons and daughters, who would be lost forever, into right relationship with Him. He gave His very best, and raised Jesus up to heavenly places. He gave Jesus the name above all names. Something amazing came from one man’s suffering. One man’s obedience, leads many to eternal life.

I don’t always understand in the moment why God allows certain things to happen. I don’t believe He causes the evil in the world, but He does not stop all the evil in the world. He is the One to turn to in times of suffering, not the One to avoid. God knows the depths of suffering. Jesus suffered and there’s no better person to cling to in all seasons of life. Our personal suffering may lead many to Christ. Though uncomfortable, it’s great if heaven is enlarged by our life story.

Closing Thoughts:

God will use everything for our eventual good. I can say that as someone who has suffered. When I turned the pain over to God, He gave me something better in return. He gave more of Himself. He is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). He heals and restores. He comforts. He becomes a trusted a friend. When we choose Him in the midst of suffering instead of bitterness, hatred, and turning away from Him, we find beauty in the ashes. If I recounted all the tragedies of my life, you’d think I was insane for following God. What people don’t see is that God takes the ugly and makes it beautiful. He uses the bad for a greater purpose of good. He is just and fair. It doesn’t seem good in the midst of trials, but these afflictions are working out a greater glory for us (2 Corinthians 4:17). They are also giving us a testimony and building compassion in our hearts for others. A person who’s suffered, will normally reach out to another suffering person.

Father I pray healing over every person who is hurting. I ask for healed emotions, healed diseases, and freedom unlike anything they have experienced. Bless them richly, in Jesus name. Amen.

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