Monday, May 15, 2017

Even Through a Flood

It’s hard to believe that just two weeks ago our home looked like lake property. Not lake front, where we overlook the lake, but in the lake!

Being dislocated can mean many things to many people. But for those whose homes were nearly destroyed by flood waters or any natural disaster, it means everything you’ve worked for now lies in shambles.

But there is a bright side!

God’s Word says weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. There is a season for everything; a time to mourn and a time to dance. God works everything together for good to those who love Him. He wants to give us beauty for our ashes and He will give us double portion for our troubles.*

Maybe that seems cliché to some, especially if you’ve had a tremendous loss. But it’s true, regardless of the depth of that loss.

God promises He will never leave us nor forsake us. That means He is where we are, goes through it with us and He never turns His back on us. Of course, while we were standing, watching the flood waters rise inside our home, it sure makes one wonder… BUT… like He promised, He stood there with me as I watched water seep in under my door and from under the walls. He was there with me as the tears streamed down my cheeks. He was there when I prayed and rebuked the rain, the water, and declared “no weapon formed against us shall prosper!”

I didn’t have to ask, “God, where are you? My home is flooding!” No. I never had to remind Him of what was happening to me. I knew where He was and that He also knew what was going on because I could feel His presence. It was so powerful. I felt as if I was cocooned like a newborn wrapped in a swaddling blanket.

Today as I was walking back from the barn, which is currently where my bathroom is, I stopped and marveled at the view. There before me stood my home. In tact. Dry. Yet something else I saw was God’s promise. He never left me. He never abandoned me. He didn’t allow my home to be destroyed, not entirely. Instead, He provided a way for things to be repaired and made better.

My husband and son are partners in business. They are master carpenters. Jesus understands that. He too is a carpenter. So, although half my home flooded – we lost half the house, I still had the rest of my home. I still had the foundation. I still had the walls. I can still live in the half that didn’t flood while the other half is being repaired. God is providing ways for us to reconstruct and He is making it better than it was before.

That’s what He does. He takes our old shell and makes the contents new again. That’s how it is when we accept Jesus into our hearts. He takes our hearts of stone, our black, ugly, issues and sins, and He gives us a new heart, a new beginning, a new life; one that is better than the one before.

Because my house had a good foundation, the walls stood. Part of those walls did need replaced, but it was easily fixed by the master carpenters. Because of our spiritual foundation, our spiritual bodies also stood. Nothing was destroyed. We were rocked to our core, but we withstood and our sorrow over our home, our sorrow over the attack on our very lives is being fixed by the Master Carpenter.

My house may have got flooded, but it’s going to be okay. My husband and I are fine, we have each other. All my kids are safe; all my grandkids are safe and we are together. Everything else is material and can be replaced.

We have come through the waters and didn’t drown. We walked through the fires of a trial that could cause anyone to break, yet we didn’t. We just bent, but have begun to stand back up... even through a flood. We will be just fine. My house… well eventually it will be fine, too.

Besides… I was wanting a new bathroom.


Be Blessed!

Shelley

*For a list of the Scriptures referenced in this post, send an email to shelley@shelleywilburn.org with your request.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Stop It Already

I recently talked to a woman who was telling me about a friend of hers who is struggling with bi-polar. As we stood chatting for a while, she asked me if she could purchase my Walking Healed books for her friend, "because she really needs this." 

Now, I'm not opposed to people buying books for friends who are struggling. I was once struggling myself. I’ve read many books on how to get over various things. I'm also not plugging for sales for my books (although it's really nice when people buy them). However, as one who is recovering from severe depression and anxiety, I also know what it feels like when your friends and family buy you books, place them in your lap and say, "Here. You really need to read this. It'll help you."

I totally get that. I really do. I know you mean well. But just let me talk to all the friends and family out there for a minute who want to help the one they love. Stop it! Stop trying to help. Stop buying the latest self-help book. Stop making the doctor or counselor appointments. Stop suggesting the medications. Stop it already. God bless your efforts, truly. But you are becoming part of the problem instead of the solution. Trust me. Even those of you who are silent, not talking about it because you're afraid you might push 'em over the edge are making it worse.

So what are you supposed to do?

Love them. Love them in their up times. Love them in their down times. Don't be afraid to talk to them, but talk to them like you do everyone else. Don't walk on eggshells around them. And please, whatever you do, don't look at them or treat them with pity, derision, mockery, insults or jokes, or even the statement, “Well, it runs in the family.” 

Be a real person. Be who you are. Let them be who they are. Granted, there are times when you will, or do have to step in and intervene. But use common sense. Use discretion. Use your head and heart, not your mouth.

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? ~James 2:14-16, NLT

I’m also not saying to baby them either, because that only enables them to stay in their disorder.
Maybe that sounds cliché or like I’m making a double standard. I’m not. Why not say, "Hey, I know this is tough. Let me walk with you." Maybe they'll be receptive, maybe they won't. Regardless, you've put yourself out there and let them know you care, you understand, you're not condemning them. You're loving them where they're at.

Ask them, “How are things today?” or “How are you today?” They may answer vaguely, “Oh, it’s a day.” They may be afraid to divulge information. They may be too embarrassed to give a truthful answer. So, be observant. Test the waters. Ask simple questions that will allow them to answer or not answer; “Is something bothering you today?” or “Can I help you work through anything?” They may answer with the standard, “Fine,” to which you can ask, “Are you really?” But don’t ask in condemnation or ridicule. Be sincere.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. ~Romans 8:1-2, NLT

There were many times, when I was suffering in depression, I just wished someone would listen without jumping to conclusions or giving advice. I learned really quick not to open up with information about my feelings because people read too much into what I was saying and were not listening to my heart, which was breaking. My feelings and emotions were all over the place, so I couldn’t really express my true self. Therefore I was misunderstood too many times, judged, condemned and even lost friends.

I thank God every day that He healed me. I no longer have these issues, but I also have empathy for people who do. It’s not fun dealing with anxiety, depression, or taking the medications to help with those things. It’s also not fun dealing with well-meaning people who think they’re helping when they’re only making the issues worse. But the most heartbreaking is losing friends because they jumped to conclusions about you and didn’t listen to your heart.

One of the most important things you can be is a good listener. Don’t offer advice. Don’t offer solutions. Just listen. Lend a shoulder to cry on. Be a taxi if you need to be. Be available to answer your phone even in the middle of the night. And if you think a certain book would help your friend, then buy two and offer to read them together. Then be available to discuss what you've read. But don't leave them to figure things out on their own.

See the real person inside that depression, that anxiety, that bi-polar. Look beyond the issue to the beautiful heart and mind that is struggling to get out of that black hole. Throw them a lifeline. Even if they can’t seem to get out of the pit just yet, at least they can hold onto the line until they’re strong enough to come out into the open. Above all, pray for those you care about. Intercede for them. God knows. He hears. And He will answer.

In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. ~Psalm 118:5, NLT

Blessings!

Shelley


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When You Get Too Full of Yourself

Sometimes… well sometimes you just have a little thought pop into your head and you realize, wait a minute, something ain’t right. Yes, I know ain’t isn’t proper. But this gal is anything but proper… especially the last four-and-a-half-years.

Yeah, so I had a little thought pop into my head and I did realize that, oops, I’ve done gone and got full of myself. Not really the kind of full of myself that renders me nasty to others. Just neglectful, if that’s a real word (I’ll check the dictionary later for that one)*. Not only was I neglecting the housework (I’ve never really been very good at that anyway – but I promise I’m not a slob), but I was neglecting the smaller things like paying attention to the little people running around my house, the bigger people talking to me, and …the big one, I was neglecting God.

I used to get up early. I mean really, I’m a night owl so how could I stay up late and then get up early? I was excited about getting to talk to the Lord, that’s how. But lately I noticed that I slept later and later and when I would sit up in bed, I would try to croak out a small, but semi-heartfelt, “Thank You, Lord” as I would also try to get my brain to come up with something else to say to my Creator, my Savior, the One who not only gave His life for me, but saved me and then healed me! How could I possibly be ignoring Him? Yet I was.


I didn’t feel that closeness. I didn’t feel that connection. Yet here I was just days from beginning a ladies Bible study in my home, no less, and I wasn’t quite prepared spiritually for it. I knew I couldn’t just wing it. Nope. These ladies are perceptive if nothing else. Plus, they know me.

Bible study aside, I began to realize that when God changes you, He does it from the inside out. Therefore, people who have known you for long periods of time don’t readily see that change unless you allow it to eep out your pores, your breath, your everything. What’s even more difficult is when those same people won’t seem to allow you to be your new self. It’s difficult to maintain that newness, that sparkle, that excitement that only the Holy Spirit can stir within you.

Still, you must press on.

I guess my point to this madness is that people make mistakes. Just because I’m healed doesn’t mean that I don’t have trying times. It doesn’t mean that my life is perfect. I just admitted that it’s not. It also doesn’t mean that I’m crazy, need to be admitted to a mental ward, or even that I’m mentally unstable. None of those things are true and couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m perfectly stable and sane. I just stepped off the narrow path and my light dimmed a bit – the light that was lighting my path so I could see which way to go.

You know, in Romans it says that none of us are righteous (perfect). Not even one (Romans 3:10). It also states that “we all fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) So what are we to do, those of us who aren’t perfect? That means all of us, by the way. What are we to do? Oh, well here’s the simplest part – All we have to do in order to make things right again, not only in our lives but with the Lord is to humbly ask Him to forgive us for the things we’ve been doing. Confess it! Tell Him everything. It’s okay, He already knows anyway.

We think we’re so sneaky, but we aren’t. God sees everything. But the beauty of that is He is not mad at us. No, He’s not. He does love us however, regardless of the junk we have been trying to hide, the things we’ve been doing, saying, thinking, looking at, all of it. He loves us in spite of ourselves.

Look, I wouldn’t lie about this. I can’t. What I can do is tell you that we really can tell God everything and He promises to listen. Even better is that before you can ever begin to utter your repentance, He is already making everything right again both inside and outside of your heart.

“I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.” ~Psalm 142:1-2 (NLT)

Not sure? It’s okay. All it takes is just an nth of faith (that’s smaller than a mustard seed) and an inkling of trust that He’ll do what He said He would and when you utter the tiniest of, “I’m sorry, Lord,” He will hear you and forgive you. Oh, but lovelies He takes it one step further than that. When you honestly tell God you’re sorry and ask Him to forgive you, not only does He forgive but He even chooses to forget all that junk you confessed (Hebrews 8:12). So it’s forever gone! I love that part.

Now then… why are we still hanging around here, wallowing in our self-pity? Excuse me y’all but I’ve got Someone to go talk to.

Blessings!
Shelley


*P.S. – According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, neglectful is a real word. It means, not giving enough care or attention to someone or something. Hm… kinda hits you where you live, doesn’t it?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ya Che Kohan!

Hey Y'all! Shelley here. I'm so excited today because I get to host a guest blogger, for the very first time. I'm so honored and humbled to introduce you to a very special lady named Karen Dame. 

Karen is a very beautiful lady inside and out and has such a wonderful healing testimony. I have been privileged to have had her in my life for the past several years. When God said in His Word that He would give us beauty for our ashes (Isaiah 61:3), He gave me Karen. She is such a wonderful blessing, mentor, friend, and mother figure. One day I hope to talk her into allowing me an exclusive interview to talk about her healing experience. Until then welcome, Karen to my blog! I sure do love you, Mighty Woman of God!   



Ya Che Kohan!
Karen Dame

Karen Dame

As a child I would walk from my back yard, through the neighbor’s yard, to reach Grace’s house. She would sit on the porch of her summer kitchen where she would bake and cook. She had a fenced in back yard and I would follow the fence line to the field, walk to school then take the same path back home.

Grace was an older lady from Lithuania. She always wore her stockings rolled down to rest on top of her shoes, a cotton printed dress with an apron that had two enormous pockets in front. She spoke very little English, but that didn’t matter because I was considered deaf and heard very little. However,I read lips very well.

The aroma of her homemade bread baking would fill the neighborhood. As I would walk along the fence line making my way home from school, Grace would be standing at the gate with a loaf of hot bread for me to take home. Her face was rough and wrinkled, but her eyes sparkled and she had a beautiful smile. As she handed me the bread, she would say “Ya che kohan!” I soon learned to repeat it back to her. Dad would send me over with a basket of sweet grapes from his arbor and Grace and I would make jelly. Some days we would make bread or Golabki (polish cabbage rolls) or paczki (polish fried pies).

Grace showed me kindness. She had such a sweet, gentle spirit. She let me know I was important and just because I was broken (deaf) she loved me even more. She would take her rough hands, place them on my cheeks, kiss me on the forehead and say, “Ya che kohan!” She lived faith, virtue, godliness, perseverance and love. (1 Peter 1:1-7 NKJV)
So was my experience with Grace.

Well time has moved on, quickly I might add, and there are days I’d like to go home again. Now, I am the older woman. I pray I have touched lives as this precious lady touched mine. For I remember a time when I was lost and searching for that fence line to hold on to and follow back home. Seeking for and finding Grace (Jesus Christ) waiting for me, calling, “Ya che kohan!” Reaching out to my brokenness and loving me even more because of it. For when I realized how broken I was, I realized how desperately I needed Him.

Grace is always standing and waiting for you. Always softly, with great compassion saying, “I love you!” Listen, can you hear His voice? He’s waiting to fix your brokenness, to heal your hurts and disappointments. He’s waiting with arms open wide to receive you, waiting for you to come home.

“Ya che kohan!”


“I love you!”



Karen Dame

* Karen Dame lives in Southern Illinois with her husband, Tim and their fur baby, Sophiedog. They have four children and eleven grandchildren. Besides her love for God's Word, which shows in her writings, Karen sings gospel and plays classical music on piano. You can connect with Karen through Facebook, or contact her through email at kdame5396@gmail.com.





Shelley again; I hope you've enjoyed Karen's post today. Please show some love by clicking in the comment box below and leaving a word of encouragement for her. It's under the big, pink flower. ;-)

Love and Blessings!
Shelley


Shelley Wilburn is the author of Walking Healed and the Walking Healed Companion Bible study. You can find these books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Shelley also loves to hear from her readers. You can connect with Shelley through various social media, available at the links in the right margin, or email her at shelley@shelleywilburn.org.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I Can't Keep Quiet

I readily admit that I can't keep quiet about God healing me. It's not every day that someone who has suffered over forty-plus years with depression, anxiety, and intimidation suddenly overcomes it and no longer has any symptoms of these things in their life. Yet that's exactly what happened. 

I’m not bragging that’s not like me to do. At least, I don’t brag on me. I do brag on God quite a bit. Usually those who don’t know me very well often think I’m bragging on myself when actually I’m just so excited about what God did that I can’t keep it quiet.

It’s kind of like when Peter and John were going around telling everyone about Jesus and all the miraculous things He did in, around, and through them and the religious leaders of the time (they’re called Pharisees) got mad, offended, even jealous and decided to shut them up. But here’s where it gets exciting. Peter and John stood up to everyone, including the religious leaders and told them the truth.

“They (the religious leaders) called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question – we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20, MSG (words in parenthesis are mine)

I absolutely know that God healed me. I make no bones about it. I am healed. I also know that there are so many promises for us in God’s Word and we are encouraged to speak about what He's done for us and to also speak blessings over one another. Therefore, when someone asks for prayer, whether in person, on Facebook, through texting, email, or any other form of social media, I immediately respond. Some of those responses include statements such as, “I plead the blood of Jesus over you,” “I speak healing over you,” and “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you will fall.”

These are just a few of the things I speak. Yet, all of them are true. And you can do it, too. So what does that mean? It just means extending a gift from God that He already wants you to have and all you have to do is accept it and open it up! But so many people don’t.

Very often instead of accepting what God gave us, we turn around and begin to question not only the truth of the words spoken but the validity of them as well. We don’t quickly believe that merely speaking healing over someone will actually bring healing. We question, “what if it doesn’t immediately happen?” Well, what if it doesn’t? Does that mean it doesn’t work? Absolutely not! It may mean something or someone is in the way. Something such as not receiving the healing, or not believing the healing is real or that prayer really works. It could be a number of things.

Our words have great power. How we use them can mean life or death to the person or persons we speak them to and over. If you speak positive around people, then wonderful things can happen. However, if you are always speaking negative, then nothing but depressing, negative, and bad things will hover all over you. 


“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” ~Proverbs 18:21, MSG

Stop!

It’s time to look at what God’s Word says and speak the name of Jesus in, around, and over yourself and those around you and mean it. 

There is such power in His name. There is healing in the blood of Jesus. There is power, provision, blessing and in promise in the blood.

I realize that not everyone is going to understand that. I also know that not everyone is going to accept what I have to say. That’s okay. My calling is to just tell what God has done for me. I’m going to continue doing that. I want to encourage you to do the same. Move forward in whatever God is leading you to do.

I’m so excited about what God is doing! I’m ready to move forward in this New Year. My life has been forever changed because of what He did. And, “whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to [others] rather than to God, [they can] decide. As for [me], there’s no question – [I] can’t keep quiet about what [I’ve] seen and heard.”

Let’s walk healed together!

Love and Blessings!
Shelley







* To read more about how you can find healing and much more Shelley's book, Walking Healed is available in print and eBook on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and  Kobo. You can also go deeper in study with her newest release, the Walking Healed Companion Bible study in print only, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

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