He is For You.

Romans 8:31-34

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”

Closed Doors.

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” ~a quote from one of my favorite movies, The Sound of Music

Something I’ve realized lately is that closed doors are as much blessings as open windows. We usually expect a wide variety of doors to choose from (or at least I do!). However, when a door is seemingly shut in our face, we feel confused and ask God, “Why?” However, God has a purpose for every closed door. He opens a window. He shows us a better plan, slowly but surely.

I can think of a great example in the Bible of someone who had a door shut in his face. Joseph was a pretty easygoing guy who had it all going for him. However, one fateful day when he was sold by his brothers into slavery, his whole life changed. Bondage. Uncertainty. During his time as a slave in Egypt, he started to gain notoriety by his master, Potiphar. However, his master’s wife got Joseph thrown into prison by his unwillingness to have a romantic relationship with her. When all seemed lost, God redeemed. Joseph became of great help to the Pharaoh of Egypt with his gift of interpreting dreams. And Joseph went from the bottom-of-the-barrel to second-in-command over the entire nation of Egypt.

I’m sure that while Joseph was sold into slavery or when he was in prison, it was hard for him to see what God was up to. However, I’m also sure that when Joseph was given the honor of being Pharaoh’s right-hand-man, he was able to look back at the doors God shut knowing that a window was opened through the closed opportunities.

God can open windows that end up being way better than all the closed doors we have had to experience. Be encouraged that He is working out something greater for your life in the midst of your closed doors.

Nothing.

 Romans 8:38,39

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Not our broken hearts. Not our broken dreams. Not our broken pasts. Absolutely nothing.

Wow.

I was reading some old blog posts and I am always amazed when I go back and read this entry from November of 2008 entitled “Imagine.”

“Last night at CREW, Pastor Erik talked about imagining everything that we want for our future. He mentioned that when we were little, our dreams and future expectations were virtually endless; and now that we are older, we think that those dreams are impossible because of how the world is with certain standards and what not.


During worship time, I really asked God to put a dream into my heart. It didn’t come last night, but I felt that I was predestined to do something in my life that would stretch me and change others for the good.


This morning, I had a half day at school, and my dad took me out to lunch at Lone Star. Pretty much out of nowhere he mentioned that a lady at his church that has the gift of prophecy walked up to him and started praying and prophesying over him and my family.

My family recently started a ministry (Katie’s Comfort Ministry). During this woman’s prophecy, she mentioned me speaking to youth groups and people my age about my sister’s testimony and story, and how God brought me through her passing.

When my dad said that, I immediately thought back to last night when I was pleading for God to put a dream into my heart. I truly believe that this is it. I really want God to touch teens through me. There is such a healing that takes place when we understand that God has a purpose for all things, even the especially hard ones.
I don’t know where it will start, and I don’t know when, but I am excited to what God is going to do, even if I still need to get over my stage fright and all. 🙂

This dream to me still seems a little bit out there,’ but I know that with God all things are possible.”


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I just HAVE to share my testimony on how God has made this dream come true.

* In the Summer of 2009, I spoke in front of a youth group in Florida about my testimony of going through my sister’s loss.
* In Fall of the same year, I was asked to share at “Heart Connection,” a grief group for kids who have lost loved ones. (The same grief group I went through after Katie’s death in 2006. I participated in the group in 2007). I have spoken at these groups several times since, and am blessed to continue to do so even currently.
* The past two years (2010, 2011) I have spoken at a Little Company of Mary Hospital forum, “When Grief Comes to the Classroom.” This event is a resource for school counselors and teachers from local schools to learn about how to help their students who are dealing with loss.
* In high school (2010, 2011), I have had the opportunity to speak at the counselor-led student grief group.
* In the Summer of 2011, I shared my testimony about how God can make something difficult (like a loss of a loved one) into purpose–something beautiful–by trusting in Him. This was in the local garbage dump of Siguatepeque, Honduras, on a missions trip. Truly a humbling experience.
* In the Fall of 2011, I was so blessed to be able to share my sister’s song “Remembering the Persecuted” at a Persecuted Christians Conference at Moody Church in Chicago in front of several hundred individuals. The Holy Spirit really helped me with this one!!
* In that same month, a newspaper article (from the SouthtownStar) was published about how I share about my grief at “Heart Connection.” Also highlighted was the ministry God started through my family–Katie’s Comfort Ministry.
* Next week, I have a new opportunity:  Speaking at “The Bridge,” a local center for teens, about grief.
* I am planning on majoring in Psychology. I want to be a grief counselor, continuing on with this ministry of showing others God’s comfort.

God, You are awesome. Nobody can compare to the things You do. Truly. You have given my life purpose–true meaning. You have allowed me to share my testimony to touch others’ hearts. I am Your vessel, and I could never have found comfort if not in Your arms. Please continue to use me. As I reflect on my past, I am opening up to future opportunities to share about what You’ve done in my life. I am so ready.