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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Don't Say That!!

"Hey, girl! How are you?" she asked with a soft, concerned voice.

Choking back tears, I replied to her, "I'm great! Life is wonderful! How about you?"

Then she just looked at me as though she had seen a ghost. She said, "You don't have to pretend. I understand what you're going through. I want to be here for you."

Her words cut like a knife. She was the first one to call my bluff. I thought I had hidden it so well. Instantly I began to feel guilt; guilt for lying, guilt for not hiding it well enough, and guilt for not letting a friend in when I needed one most.

It was after all the worst year of my life. My marriage was ending, my brother was in Iraq, the ministry I worked for was closing its doors and I had no idea where to go or what to do. But no one would have ever known because I wouldn't say anything. You see, I was taught not to. She knew because she knew me and I thank God that she did.

For years I was taught from the pulpit to watch what I say in regards to the current condition of my life. For example, when my middle son was spending most of his first year of life in and out of hospitals, I was taught to tell people that he was healed and was doing fine... even if he really wasn't. I was taught that this was a mandate from Romans 4:17.

"(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;"
What is typically quoted is, "Call those things that be not, as though they were." As you can see, this is only a fraction of the scripture and only a small part of a complete thought. It has not been used in context concerning this teaching.

I was taught that when I was having a rough day that I should put a smile on my face and a bounce in my step and tell everyone that I was wonderful. Why? Because then it would come to pass. This is not what that scripture means nor is this method biblical.

For starters, we are lying if we do this. The bible clearly states this in Exodus 23:1, Deuteronomy 19:18, Psalm 27:12, Proverbs 6:19, Proverbs 12:17, and many more that we are not to bear false witness or give false testimonies. If you don't acknowledge facts then you can't be delivered. If you convince yourself that they never existed then you can't believe God intervened to make it better. If you don't tell the truth about your situation then God can never get the GLORY for its end result!

When you acknowledge facts about your current situation it does not mean that you have no faith.... it means that you do! How much faith does it take to believe God changed something that you believe never existed? That's denial.

Think about that for a second and let it sink in.

"But what about speaking positively, Amy? Shouldn't we be practicing the message of speaking 'life'?"

I'm so glad that you asked! God tells us about choosing life over death and blessings over curses in Deuteronomy 30:19.

"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
We should acknowledge fact but speak "life." That way God gets the glory. Consider what happened in John 11. Jesus specifically told Mary and Martha that the death of their brother Lazurus was to bring glory to Him. Think of how differently it would have been if they had just buried him, put a smile on their face, and pretended everything was grand.

Look at how my conversation from 4 years ago could have gone better:

"Hey, girl! How are you?" she asked with a soft, concerned voice.

I replied to her, "I'm not as good as I could be and I need your prayers. I know that I could be encouraged if we could talk and have coffee one day soon. I just have many things going on right now but I know God's hand is in the midst of it and He will use it all for good. He always comes through for us. How about you?"

In that scenario I would have acknowledged that God's hand was required to bring peace to my life. I didn't put on a show, pretending everything was hunky dorey, and then just dismiss my friend as though she didn't know any better. I gave her an opportunity to serve as Jesus would have and I gave God the opportunity to be glorified through my situation. Now if only it had actually happened that way. Thank God for mercy and forgiveness. I'm glad He is faithful to us even when we aren't faithful to Him.

I can't think of one instance in the bible where someone claimed to be fine, but really wasn't, all in the name of Jesus. Why should we?

Talk about being tested when God gives us revelation and we begin to write about it and share it with others. I wrote this post on Sunday in preparation for today. Well, I found out on Monday that my son's vision (20/800) cannot be restored to his left eye (his vision has slowly deteriorated since birth). He also has developed learning problems as a result of the condition. He will have to wear protective glasses for the rest of his life to protect his good eye from accidents. I am acknowledging the fact that my son cannot see in that eye and that he has learning difficulties but I am also thanking God for the miracle that he is going to give to our family. He restored vision to many others in the bible and he is no respecter of persons. My God is a BIG God. I know He will do this and more for Gevan but I seek your prayer and I ask you to agree with me that Gevan will be healed for the glory of God in the name of His precious son, Jesus.

Thank you.

I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

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Blogger Julie said...

A beautiful article Amy. I love the verse in I John,
"As we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another." It's hard to make that first step forward but when we do, we often find others who either sympathize or will walk with us.

I am glad that your friend knew you well enough to make you feel safe to share.

Papa, please be with Gevan, touch his eye and bring complete healing in your time and your way. We acknowledge that your plans and thoughts are much higher than ours. We trust you have a higher plan and thought for Gevan. Guide Amy and her dear husband as they walk this out in their lives.
Cover them all in your embrace.

April 14, 2008 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger lori said...

What a blessing to have come over here just before turning OFF the computer for the night....
thank you, thank you, thank you...

so many of us do that...we hide when we need to cling to other's who God places on our paths...I will stand in faith with you for Gevan...knowing that God has a perfect plan for his he does for ALL of HIS children...Praying too that you will walk in faith and trust...
You have opened the door for prayers to flood into the kingdom...that IS what we DO...pray unceasingly for each other!
What a personal post..
When I went through infertility, we didn't let anyone in..and I've learned a lot since then....

You inspire me...
and bless me along the way...
what a wonderful God to have given Gevan and his brothers a MOM like you!;)

April 14, 2008 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

You are very inspiring, bless you.

April 14, 2008 at 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen!I was taught the same. I'm so glad that I reached a point in my life that I seek Him and not what man says of Him. (traditional doctrine) I love your post. Thanks for being so real with us. You are such a blessing. Your son is special in more ways than one. I have a special needs son also. I always say that I need him because he is so special. I know God has an awesome plan for him also. Be encouraged, sis!

April 14, 2008 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Becoming Me said...

Very beautiful. I am praying for your Gevan. It is so important to be real with others and I truly believe that the realness actually can bring more glory to God. Thank you for this thoughtful writing.

April 15, 2008 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...


I love how you share your heart, your strong faith and your wisdom. You truly inspire others to keep reaching for that next level of intimacy with our Heavenly Father!

I will pray for you and for Gevan, that this will be just one more chapter in your story of how God was glorified through your family!

I love you girl!

Love in Christ

April 15, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...


I love how you share your heart, your strong faith and your wisdom. You truly inspire others to keep reaching for that next level of intimacy with our Heavenly Father!

I will pray for you and for Gevan, that this will be just one more chapter in your story of how God was glorified through your family!

I love you girl!

Love in Christ

April 15, 2008 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I loved this post! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. God bless!

April 15, 2008 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Sue Cramer said...

My heart and soul resonate your words! Amen, amen, amen!

I too was taught the same things as you and have since come to know the truth of God's Word- Praise Him!

After finding out what God's Word really said about healing, prosperity, joy etc...
my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
One woman said to me, "just don't say the words- 'he has diabetes'"

As if it would doom him if I spoke what the doctors were telling me and what was so blatantly obvious.

I said, "he does have diabetes and I praise God that He gave wisdom to people to make insulin to save his life."

I pray that he is healed, but I thank God that he can live!

I will be praying for your son.
Big hugs!

April 15, 2008 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Thank you for this. So many of us were raised that "spirituality" meant keeping "a stiff upper lip." Thank you for your transparency and vulnerability, amd for allowing God to use you, even in your struggles.

April 15, 2008 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Thanks for a most inspirational story. I,too, have no real vision in my left eye and I worry about my right eye getting injured. Blessing to you and your family. Cindi

April 15, 2008 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

I have found that through life's trials, that is where God has given me the best of friends... and I have been surprised at who has come forward to encourage and love me (as well as who have not).

There have been times that if it weren't for those trials, I would not have been able to truly empathize with and encourage others.

I just want you to know that you are a TREMENDOUS encouragement to me!

I will be praying for Gevan's vision.


April 15, 2008 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Praying for you and sweet Gaven! May God's will be done and may His glory shine through you. Thanks for sharing!

April 15, 2008 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Amy, everything you write...ministers to my heart. You have done it again. God gave Gaven the perfect mommy. One that He knew would care for every need. Heart, soul, mind and body.
You are such a blessing---to anyone who comes in contact with you! Even--via bloggyland!

April 16, 2008 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you for being so open...I have struggled with depression for years, trying to supress all of those bad things, and attempting to "put on" a positive mask, though I was falling apart inside. Thankfully, God has been hard at work in my life, using our wonderful counselor over the last couple of years. It's a journey, and I am grateful for where I am on that journey at the moment.

April 21, 2008 at 7:29 PM  

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