Saturday, November 15, 2014

God Dots

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Remember those little follow the dots puzzles we used to do in grade school? Maybe I'm dating myself here, but I loved those! I called them "dot-to-dot" pictures. Follow the dots, beginning at number one, and when you get to the end, you have a picture! Well, I believe that God does the same thing with us. He gives us little dots here and there, to get our attention, connecting the dots as He goes.

Just exactly how far will God go to get our attention or better yet, to work everything together for our good? I used to wonder that myself. When I was in the most hopeless time of my life, I wondered how in the world God was going to make something good of the depression that just wouldn't seem to leave me alone.

I often wondered, while feeling the worst anxiety attack welling up from deep within me, knowing I was powerless to stop it. I wondered just how God was going to use this for good. Then I would sigh as the panic eased off and lessened, thanking Him for letting it go away.

But the night I was healed and launched into the ministry of telling my story so others could be encouraged, I looked back and saw all the dots that God had been connecting throughout the years, creating a beautiful dot-to-dot picture!

God Dots... those little encounters, little pieces of our lives, people, places, and things, that God brings into and out of our every day. Each one of those things is one more dot that God uses to build our testimony, our story, our ministry.

God places people in our lives to steer us toward our destiny, to help us to grow and learn and to build our character so that when we encounter someone else who is hurting, we can help build them up.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. ~Genesis 50:20, NLT

Of all the intimidation, depression, anxiety, and other things I went through over the years, God was teaching me and giving me someone to look back on so that when I met another who suffered those things, I could say, "Hey, I understand that. I used to deal with that too. Let me tell you what God did for me."

It's not bragging on oneself to tell someone else how God has worked in your life. It's not being arrogant to tell another how God healed you. On the contrary, it's bragging on God! It's bringing Him glory and ministering to another who's suffering. 

The whole point of my ministry is to bring glory to God; to make Jesus famous. Because without Him, I wouldn't BE healed! However, I would not be where I am today without many other people and situations throughout my life. To list everything would take too long, but suffice it to say that each little and big thing that I have gone through were the God Dots that led me to this point in time. 

Look around you. Can you see your God Dots? Can you see the littlest of things that God has placed in your life that has led to the greatest things? You may not have thought that something bad in your life could have ended up being something good, but let me tell you this: What the enemy meant for harm, God turned it into good, or He's just about to! He's groovy like that. Because God doesn't give us the bad things in our lives, the enemy does. But God is so much bigger than the enemy and He can fix everything!

If you're going through a rough spell, don't fret! Look at it and know that it's going to be just another God Dot. Follow it backwards and look at all the other God Dots that it's connected to and get excited, because the next dot will bring you closer to something utterly amazing!

Be thankful for your God Dots!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank You, Veterans!

Being Veteran's Day, we honor those who have served in our military armed forces throughout the years and currently. We think of those who have gone before during whatever war, action, skirmish, or whatever we're calling it now. We pass by service men and women on a daily basis, some we thank, others we have no idea that they even served.

I recently had the privilege of sitting next to a young veteran on my train ride from Louisiana back to Illinois. Although he wasn't going very far, the time we did have on this train ride provided enough information into the life of this young man that I have an even bigger respect for those who serve in our military.

I can't imagine what happens to those who serve during times of war or combat. Frankly, I don't want to know. But whatever it is that they see or experience is enough to alter them for the rest of their lives. My companion on this train ride was retired Air Force, just back in the States from Japan. He served in the military for three-and-a-half years. He was twenty-six. His name was Nick.

Our veterans have given much more than just their time and skills to protect us and those we love. Our freedom is not free. Someone had to pay for that. Many someone's did. Our veterans. They have given their very lives, both mentally, emotionally, and physically for our freedom. Veterans throughout the years have been giving to continue our freedom. It's a gift that is continually being paid for in some form or another.

In the short amount of time I had with the young man who sat with me on the train, listening to him talk, however inconspicuously, about things he experienced and in general made me realize that this is exactly how my grandfather's both acted. They would talk to us, but there was always something else they weren't saying that lay just under the surface. They would speak in innuendos and in a roundabout way, never giving complete information. Just hints. It left lots to the imagination. They were young when they served in WWII but their memories stayed with them their entire lives. Just as this young man's would with him.

Whenever you meet a veteran, say thank you. They will act uncomfortable because to them, they don't see how what they did was helpful. Still, tell them thank you. Buy their meal. Buy their coffee or soda. Because without their service, we would not enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy right now. And above all else, respect their quirks. They are not weird. They are just trying to live; live with the memories of the things they have seen and experienced that we didn't have to.

It kind of puts it into perspective when you look at it like that. I know that it breaks my heart and increases my level of compassion for our veterans. They have so much to deal with that we will never know about.







Veterans Day. A day of remembrance. A day to say thank you. So with that, Thank you Grandpa Johnny, Grandpa Roy, Boots, Butch, Mark, Chaz, Mr. Mosley, Nick, Ravyn and Johan, Brian, and every military veteran we have. Your service is greatly appreciated and respected.










Thursday, October 16, 2014

Changing Your Life

There many people, even friends of mine, who have been or are suffering with anxiety and depression. It breaks my heart, especially when I hear them say, "It runs in my family," or "I just deal with it and battle it every day, hoping for the best."

I can totally identify with this, which is why it hurts my heart so much for them. Because, I suffered in silence with this very thing for over forty years. 

Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, low self-esteem, no self-worth, oppression, and intimidation were among my constant companions. I didn't like any of them, yet it seemed as if everywhere I went, they followed me. Many times they would embarrass me so badly that I had to leave whatever place I was at, while ridicule and insults from others followed me out the door, oftentimes calling me on the phone to continue the diatribe.

I thought this was just how life was meant to be. I honestly thought that the hopeless feelings I had were just life. It ran in the family, so why wouldn't I have it? My grandmother and mother had depression, I heard them talk openly about it my whole childhood. They spoke it over me continually, "Just wait till you get older. This is what you have to look forward to. It runs in the family."

    Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict. ~Proverbs 17:1
People with depression and anxiety suffer. But they also cause those around them to suffer too, whether they mean to or not. In my family, those who were suffering weren't content unless everyone else was upset and anxious as well. And while there was medication for this problem, no one ever told any of us that God was not the author of our misery. Yet, I know that I often questioned Him as to why He allowed me to have this malady.

God did not give any of us depression, anxiety, or any other emotional or mental disorder. However, sometimes He does allow us to go through these things. Why? The answer is not always readily available. But one thing I do know is that though we suffer through the "black hole" or the "pit," God is always using this to move us forward into the calling He has for our lives.

It was two years ago that He literally healed me from the inside out, from the bottoms of my feet to the top of my head, and ripped all that junk right out of me! Yes! You can be healed from depression, panic, anxiety, oppression, and all the above mentioned things. God has a purpose for you, dear lovelies. He loves you most dearly, is crazy about you, and He does have a use and purpose for your life.

The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. ~Psalm 138:8 

You are not hopeless. You are not a mistake. Your circumstances are not fixed or resigned to "it runs in the family." It is time to lift your head and take a stand. Receive the healing of God over your mind, your emotions, your body, and all aspects of your life! Walk out your healing. Just because something "runs in the family" doesn't mean that it continues with you. Break the cycle. Break the chains. Don't let your history destroy your destiny!

I cry out to God Most High,* to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness. ~Psalm 57:2-3

I'm not saying flush all your medications.* I'm also not saying that medicine is bad, because you may just need that for a while. Find a good, Christian counselor. That's not so bad, either and they may help you work out your healing. And remember that God is the Great Physician, the Healer, and the name of Jesus is above all other names...including depression!

Thank God for healing you today! Read His Word on healing. Speak it over your life today and every day. If you don't know where to find healing Scriptures, email me at shelley@shelleywilburn.org and I will send you a list. Trust me. They are very powerful. God's Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Don't spend one more minute suffering anxiety! Read the healing prayer below and begin a new, healed life!

In the name of Jesus I bind depression, anxiety, panic, oppression, and every other malady associated with these things, and I cast them into the depths of the sea, never to return. I loose the Holy Spirit into my life to fill the holes left by these things. I release peace, a sound mind, calmness, and peace of mind. I take captive every thought. I thank You Lord for healing me, and I receive that and walk in it. No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against me shall fall. I do not have a spirit of fear. I have power, love, and a sound mind. I am the head and not the tail. I am more than a conqueror through Christ Who loves me, and I can do all things through the strength that He gives me. Thank you Lord for hearing me. I claim all Your promises, in Jesus' name, Amen and AMEN!

If that's you today, please email me. I'll be happy to pray for you, and send you more information on healing! You CAN change your life and live healed!




*NOTE* 
I am not an advocate of discontinuing medication for depression or anxiety cold turkey. Please seek medical advice, and above all pray first before doing anything. If you need more help, please call someone.

Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Pr 17:1). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 57:2–3). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 138:8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let "It" Go

Sometimes you just have to let it go. "It" can be anything; anger, sadness, a grudge, jealousy, envy, past hurts, painful words, intimidation, ugly thoughts and notions, a bad relationship or friendship, a fear, or a bad doctor's report. It can be anything especially if "It" holds you back from a relationship with Jesus.

"It" can get in the way of moving forward with the Lord. "It" can also keep you from living the life God designed for you. Sometimes you can let go of one "It" and another one will present itself to take "It's" place. 

I know this from experience. I lived with several "It's" for too many years. When God healed me, I let "It" go... but another "It" presented itself. Then another. Then another. I battled them for a while and kept the "It's" at bay. But once when I wasn't looking, another "It" crept in and attached itself to me. I carried "It" around with me for a while, all the time convincing myself that I was doing the right thing. All along determined that I was right.

text only ©shelleywilburn.org
My biggest "It" was a fear that latched itself to me over twenty years ago, when my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I was promptly told that "It" (cancer) runs in the family. I didn't want this "It." So I avoided it, ran from it, ignored it, and all those other things to prevent me from having to face the "It." But "It" hit me square in the face one afternoon and I could no longer avoid "It."

I was called to come back in for a second scan after a recent mammogram. Something didn't look right, so they wanted to take another look. I made the appointment for the following week. However, I did not receive the information. In the name of Jesus, I stood on every promise that He made to me. Ultimately, everything turned out "perfectly normal" and there was "absolutely nothing there." My faith had been shaken, but instead of hiding in fear, I stood boldly claiming the promises God made to me.

Letting your "It" go doesn't mean that you don't feel fear. It also doesn't mean that you get a good report from the doctor. It just means that you change your focus from the "It" to the One Who is in control of all things. Regardless.

I don't know why I went through what I did, other than to increase my relationship and trust with the Lord. Or maybe so that I could have an understanding for women who are facing this very thing right now.

I do know this; the "It" that I was convinced was chasing me for the last twenty years has not been chasing me. I've been supposed to be chasing IT! Sword drawn, rebuking, and casting IT OUT... In Jesus' name!

It's time to let "It" go and reclaim your life back! And if you're afraid well, just do it afraid! The battle is already won! Jesus took care of your "It."



Saturday, August 30, 2014

Don't Let Your Engine Idle

I woke up this morning with a statement on my mind. At first, I was a bit confused about what it meant. I thought I was supposed to write about not being idle, about how important it is that we stay focused on Christ, read His Word, and not let ourselves become drawn into the drama of other people’s lives. Before long, a Scripture came to mind and I thought I had it all together, so I went to the computer to start writing, as I told the Lord, “I’m up. I’m going.”

But when I got to the computer, the words were forced and stilted. I couldn’t figure out why things were not progressing the way they should. That’s when I realized that the message that woke me up wasn’t exactly for everyone else in particular. It was for me. The message was…

Don’t let your engine idle.

Sounds cryptic, doesn’t it? It isn’t. Not really. Because when you put the following verse with it, it makes all the sense in the world;

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. ~Joshua 1:8, NKJV

Basically, open your Bible and read! Listen. Do what it says. Stay focused on the Lord because He knows which direction you need to go.


I like how The Message puts it; “And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.”

Idleness causes problems in so many ways; mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. It allows the enemy to plant ridiculous notions in you and when they begin to grow, disaster follows.

Why do you think people jump to conclusions, believe gossip, suffer depression, anxiety, have low self-esteem, have anger, discontent, jealousy, or feel hopeless? Maybe you’re thinking right now, that’s just fine for you but you don’t know what it feels like! Oh yes, dear one, I do! I know the feelings I just mentioned because I lived them for far too long! I know how it feels to suffer. I know how it feels to get out. I also know how it feels to be attacked and feel the pull of the things I was healed from trying to weigh me back down! It’s not fun.

But let me tell you this; I also know how it feels to have Someone come to your rescue! I know how it feels to realize that my trials and attacks were the result of the enemy in his jealous rage against me, knowing that I was being moved up and into the destiny God has for me. The enemy doesn’t want to see me succeed, so he begins attacking with every trick he can muster (1 Peter 5:8), as I get closer and closer to the next level, the next phase in my purpose. And if I have become idle in my walk, in my perseverance, then it’s all so much easier for the enemy to attack! This is why I woke up with the message, “Don’t let your engine idle” in my mind, quickly followed by Joshua 1:8.


Today let my message become yours. Don’t let your engines idle dear lovelies! The enemy of your soul wants to throw a monkey wrench in your gears. Stay alert and watch out for attacks. But also know that when the attacks come, you’re getting close to a new blessing from God! So be persistent and stay focused…

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. ~James 4:7

...and never give up!


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