Closed Door Blessings

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©️heatherdawkins.com

 

Maybe, just maybe, we look at closed doors all wrong.

There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: ” when God closes one door he opens another.” We just tend to think that it is going to open immediately. Like, right when we want it. We pace and huff and get down in the dumps all while we are claiming to “trust” God. It’s much easier to tell someone else to have faith and wait on God. When we have something occurring in our own lives we see how difficult the waiting can be. But there truly is beauty and growth to be found in the waiting.

 

There IS beauty to be found in the waiting.

 

There is also beauty in the closed doors.

 

You see, when it seems as if no doors are swinging wide open for you and that no clear answers are coming your way, that’s when God is holding those doors shut so that you won’t walk through the wrong one.

 

Yes, HE gives us free will, but I truly believe that when we are HIS he gives us protection as well.

Thank God for the doors that don’t seem to be opening. Be still and know that HE is God and HE is sovereign and HIS ways are so much better.

 

When we jump ahead and try to pull the steering wheel out of his hands, we often cause a wreck.

 

Waiting is hard. I know. I’ve been in a season of waiting myself. I get it. This is for me as much as it is for you. As we wait, let’s be grateful. I’m going to start my gratitude list again. Joy is found in a grateful heart. Maybe you want to join me?

Just start somewhere. Giving Thanks is a command that’s repeated many times in the Bible. It’s not just there to make God feel better. I truly believe that it’s there to remind us that there’s beauty in being thankful and joy comes from a heart of thankfulness.

 

There are blessings to be found in closed doors and in the waiting.

 

Learning to be still & thankful at the same time.

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

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When The Memories Hurt

It’s hard to share personal pieces of my life. There was a time when I was extremely private. I still am even though I share lots of my family and life moments through photos on social media. I share bits and pieces of myself with the world through this space here called Simple Truths. I share in hopes of reaching someone for Christ, and to let you know that you aren’t alone. With that being said, today I am sharing a piece of my heart with you. Raw. Real. Transparent. Not for pity. Only to let whoever needs to hear it know that they are not alone and that there IS HOPE. 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for the memories. Sometimes though, they hurt.

Like being punched in the gut. They hurt. Because, I don’t want them to just be MEMORIES. I want to still be making memories with my Daddy.

It’s very selfish. I know.

I should be happy to even have the memories, and I AM. They don’t always hurt. They bring me joy. They comfort me. BUT, sometimes the “wanting to make more memories” hurts.

I am learning to roll with the feelings as they come and go. Like waves in the ocean. I don’t fight them, I just make my way through them.

I have cried more in these past six months than I have my entire 40 years of life.

This is real life. This is a part of life that we can’t avoid. Death. Grief. Loss.

The emotions that come with them are normal as well.

As the holidays approach, the ones that I always spent with my daddy, I can’t predict how I will handle them. As some of you have been there and done that, you know what I mean.

When the memories hurt, I will try to choose joy. When the memories make me ache deep within, I will praise my LORD for the memories and that my Daddy is with HIM and I WILL see him again.

How? Because my Daddy knows Jesus and Jesus knows him. I know Jesus and Jesus knows me. That is how I KNOW that I will see my Daddy again. I know Jesus personally and I KNOW that HIS WORD is true.

John 3:36 ~ Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

John 6:47 ~ Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.

John 10:27,28 ~ My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

GOD is good all the time and ALL the time GOD IS GOOD. When the memories hurt, GOD is good. When we experience loss, GOD is good. When we don’t understand life, GOD is good. All the time.

Psalm 37:39 ~ The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

 

 

Until Next Time,

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This world, for followers of Christ, is a pit stop. Just passing through. Heaven is our home. We will face adversity and loss as well as lots of wonderful things on this earth. While we are here we are to bring glory to God and make disciples. Through the good times and also through the difficult times. 

Do you know my Jesus? Is he your Heavenly Father too? Do you think that you have to clean up your act first and then begin your relationship with Christ? You don’t. Jesus wants you just like you are. HE is the only way to heaven. He is the only ONE who can make you righteous. YOU can’t get righteous without HIM. He is the only ONE who can wash your sins as white as snow. Salvation comes from Jesus Christ alone. Life is short. No time like the present to KNOW that you KNOW Jesus and that HE knows you. Jesus is THE source of HOPE.

 

 

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Beach Trip
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Daddy visiting

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Without JESUS

I’ve found that with grief comes moodiness. Some days I’m more irritable than others. Some parts of the day I’m “ok” and at other moments I’m not.

Not many people see those sides of my grief. Or if they do, I don’t even realize it.

Truth is, I don’t know when the low moments will occur. Anything can trigger them. They may last 5 minutes. They may last 5 hours.

I’m learning that it’s part of the process. Riding the waves of grief. Learning to swim in it. Getting better at holding my head above the waters so that I don’t drown in it.

If I drown in it then I’m not shining Jesus like I should.

As the saying goes: “My lifeguard walks on water.”

I’m so thankful for this TRUTH.

Without JESUS I’d surely drown in grief.

I don’t share these truths for pity. I share them so you’ll know that you are not alone. Everyone will experience their own losses.

We are all appointed once to die. Eternal life is a gift promised to all who believe and call upon The Lord to be saved.

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 NIV)

That’s where my hope rests.
That’s where my source of peace is found.
JESUS.

Without JESUS I’d have no hope.
Without JESUS I’d have no peace.

Grief is real. You never “get over” the loss of those you were closest to. You just don’t. Nor should you. They are a part of you. You just learn to swim in the ocean of grief. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes the water is choppy. You just learn to navigate through and soon it becomes your new normal.

With JESUS it is possible to smile through the tears and shine through the rain.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:8, 9 NIV)

Believe me. It’s true. But only WITH JESUS.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

Striving to SHINE,

Heather

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Wrong Label

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Labels are for cans of food. Labels are for items of clothing. Labels are NOT for people.

They shouldn’t be…that is.

Romans 2:3 ~ Do you suppose, O man —- you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself —- that you will escape the judgement of God?

Hmmm. OUCH.

So…. we are all guilty? Maybe? Definitely?

GUILTY.

 

Psalm 9:7,8 ~ But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the people with uprightness.

 

See, GOD…HE judges out of LOVE. He is not capable of using labels on people…judging people from outside appearances. Unlike most of the human population. Myself included.

Our Lord looks at our heart. So why don’t we look at the heart first?

 

1 Samuel 16:7 ~ But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 

Maybe you aren’t a judgmental person…..anymore. Maybe you never have been.

Maybe you have been the object of judgement. And it hurt. Deeply.

I wish that one blog post could change us all. It can’t. Real change only happens when we truly want to change.

If the heart isn’t right, then the behavior won’t be right. Upright. Like God. Christ-like.

Who wants to be labeled like a can of soup?

Who are we to label others anyway?

Being labeled as a snob because you aren’t as outgoing as the person labeling you hurts. To assign a label to someone before you’ve even talked to them is wrong.

Being labeled as stuck-up because you are just not confident or comfortable making small talk… hurts.

I truly believe that to judge someone before we’ve even talked to them is dead wrong. How can we do that?

How can we truly say that someone is “preppy”. “gothic”, “redneck”, “rich”, “poor”, “saved”, “not saved”, “shy”, “scary”, without even giving that person a chance to show us their heart?

We have to give others the chance to show us who they are. We have to teach our kids this. Labels hurt…especially when we are labeled wrong.

We have all been guilty of this behavior at some point in our lives. Hopefully we chose to STOP being this way. To give people a chance to show us who they are on the inside before assuming they are some other way by the outside.

It’s so heartbreaking to hear story after story of how teens and kids will even approach other teens and kids, BOLDLY telling them what they think the other teen is like…and they have never ever spoken to this person before. All based on appearance or heresy.

I wish I could say that it gets better with time. It doesn’t. Adults judge unfairly as well.

When is it going to stop?

Good news is this: One person CAN make a difference. One person can change. One can stand up for another. One can share of the hurt judging causes. One person CAN make a difference.

Will you be that person? Will you teach your children to be THAT PERSON? Will you choose to make a difference?

Until Next Time,

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Some Days are Hard

SHORT and SWEET SIMPLE TRUTHS

 

Some days ARE harder than others. Harder to choose joy. Harder to be patient. Harder to believe that things will get better.

ROMANS 12:12 ~ Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I don’t know about you, but on those days, I’m even more heaven ready.

That’s where the “joyful in hope” comes in.

There is a peace that comes with knowing that this earth is not my permanent dwelling place. That HEAVEN is my permanent home and that is only because I know my Jesus and my Jesus knows me.

Do you have that assurance? That joy that only comes through knowing Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord.

Here’s the thing… What separates the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls… How well we shine Jesus when the days are hard.

What makes us think that we are so special? What makes us think that we should be exempt from the HARD DAYS? Jesus wasn’t.

The term “CHRISTIAN” means little Christs.. Like Christ.

Let me ask you this…

Did Jesus suffer?

Did Jesus have some HARD DAYS?

You better believe HE DID.

Way more than any of us. And.. Here’s the kicker, HE SUFFERED ON PURPOSE and FOR A PURPOSE.

Isaiah 53 tells us of the suffering and the glory of Jesus. Please take a moment and read the whole chapter..it’s only 12 verses.

Isaiah 53:3 ~ He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:5 ~ But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

 

So… When Some Days are Hard... I’m going to remind myself that any of my seemingly tough times don’t even compare to what Jesus willingly suffered for me.

 

Until Next Time,

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When You Are Hurting

by: Heather Dawkins Mt. CrossPointe (future home of CrossPointe Church)
by: Heather Dawkins

I wish I could give a simple answer. An AHA!! type of  answer..that could make things make sense to people who are hurting.

 

I can’t.

 

I can only point the hurting to the ONE who heals all hurt. In HIS time..in HIS way. The ONE who promises to never leave us. The ONE who gives wisdom and knowledge to all who ask.

 

I can tell them that I don’t understand. I can be real and honest. I can give all that I can..but nothing more. God is the only ONE who can heal our hurts. Dry our tears. Bring us REAL joy. God is the only ONE who is not capable of letting us down.

 

I can share how I have found comfort during times of struggle.

 

Prayer. Studying..reading..digging deep into God’s Word. Asking for fellow sisters and brothers in Christ to pray. 

 

Romans 15:4 (ESV) ~ For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 

 

When health is bad. When times are tough financially. When precious children leave this earth too soon. When tragedy strikes all around. When our hearts are breaking because of hatred, murder, death, and our own selves that we battle. GOD is the answer. Not people.

 

The ONE who also wept. HE cares.

The ONE who suffered loss. HE cares.

The one who was spat upon and beaten. HE cares.

He suffered willingly. THAT IS HOW MUCH HE CARES.

 

Even though this world brings heartbreak sometimes… We can cling to the promise that THIS WORLD is NOT our home. We are strangers…just passing through. Heaven bound. If Jesus knows you. AND that’s a promise. A SIMPLE TRUTH…. That the troubles in this world are momentary..

 

Isaiah 43:2 (NLT) ~ When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

 

Until Next Time,

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Psssssstttt: In case you didn’t know.. I have written several other posts about struggles, etc..

Click here for another.

Just Passing Through

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalms 34:18 NLT)

There are things in this world that happen, that I’ll never understand. I won’t claim to understand.

This I know, My Savior.. My Redeemer, is GOOD.

The truth is that this world that we live in is broken and sinful. So much so, that God sent His one and Only Son, JesusImmanuel.. To save us.

John 3:16,17 ~ “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Jesus means, The Lord Saves.

Immanuel means, God With Us.

When trials come.. And they will…

When circumstances are sometimes awful.. And that’s a guarantee…

When bad things happen to good and innocent people and children, we can rest in the fact that this is NOT our home. If you know Jesus, and most importantly, if HE knows you… This broken and sin-filled world is only temporary. Our real home is HEAVEN.

John 16:33 ~ “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

While we are here though… Let’s live right. As my father in law shared at Granny Shiver’s funeral; When asked if she had any advice for us on living our lives.. She said : “Just Do Right..Do right.”

That’s pretty good advice if you ask me.

Just do right. Just forgive. Just live. Just let bygones be bygones. Hold the ones you love close. Tell them you love them.. Show them that you love them with actions. And.. JUST DO RIGHT.

Even when you don’t understand the why’s… Just Do Right.

And remember… We are just passing through. There’s two final destinations.. Heaven or Hell. Although those are great words of advice.. “Just Do Right” won’t get you to Heaven. Truly knowing and following HIM will. So, do you know HIM and as Granny witnessed.. Does HE know you?

See, when asked if she knew for sure about her place in eternity, she said “oh yeah, I know Jesus and HE knows me.

Trust HIS promises that are found in The Word. Rest in HIM. “The Lord Saves” AND “God With Us”

Hebrews 13:6 ~ So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

We don’t have to understand.. We just have to trust God.

Until Next Time,

Heather

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