It’s funny how one thinks of a car as a private place, but in reality one can see behind the glass at the stop light.
At the stop light I’ve seen tears shed, fights between loved ones, jam sessions to favorite tunes, and even a finger up the nose a time or two. 😬
What is it about this space that makes us feel as the outside world cannot peer in? Is it the tinted windows or the time alone?!
What a funny thing it is to be seen and not even know it.
The world sometimes feels like a car. As if we are hidden from all else. We do our thing…jam to the music, cry, fight, and it feels as if no one notices.
Yet…we are seen and known intimately. Our private moments are all noticed by One who cares so deeply.
I’ve been the person behind the wheel with tears pouring down my face, shouting out to God, and yes…even belting out my favorite tune trying to distract myself.
In these moments I’ve felt invisible, but the truth is there was One peering into the glass windows of the car with tears of His own falling down His face. There He was shedding caring, compassionate tears for ME! For me and with me this tender Man was sharing in my pain.
I gaze into those compassionate, tender, tear-filled eyes, and gasp as I realize how seen and known I really am.
My first reaction is cheeks turning red in embarrassment, but then I feel His deep love for me. This Man just saw me at my worse, but is still pursuing me.
I roll down the windows, unlock my doors, and let this Man in. A cool wind blows over, my pain follows with it.
Peace. Deep peace. It comes in like wave after wave, and settles my soul. Oh how wonderful it is to be truly seen and known. This man Jesus, so kindly comes in the private places and heals my soul.
The light is now green, and my windows are rolled down as a new jam session is in effect. This time it’s not to distract the tears, but to celebrate the Man who came into my lonely space. It’s to celebrate the One who saw me, cried with me, and ministered to that deep pain.
It’s a new song..A joyous song that fills the city as I drive along with the windows down.
Six years ago I was really struggling physically. I wont go into all the details now, but I had a brain tumor that was causing my legs to ache extremely bad. As I was driving to work one day, I tasted something in my mouth. It tasted like grape juice; however, I didn’t eat or drink that morning. I thought it strange but dismissed it. I arrived at work, sat down at my desk, and tasted that same taste again. I felt there was something to this, so I began asking the Lord why this was happening. He replied, “Kendra, I want you to take communion every night, and declare over your body that it is healed by My blood.” Sure enough the leg pains began to go away. There have been countless times where I have had precious moments with the Lord in communion. However, recently it has gone even deeper.
It was a Wednesday night. The pastor had told us we were going to take communion, and encouraged us to behold the Lamb. I closed my eyes and held the elements in my hand, and I could see Him. He was in a line of what appeared to be a bank. I was in the line as well, but He was pretty far ahead of me. When I got to the desk, I went to pay for a debt, but they began to tell me how my debt was paid in full. For some reason, I was arguing with them exclaiming, “No, I have to pay for this debt!” Then I heard the Lord say, “Kendra, why are you trying to pay for the very thing My blood has covered?” It led me into a time of repentance of trying to punish myself when Jesus was already punished for me.
That weekend our church went to a lake house, and once again we had a time of communion. This time I saw myself sitting under the cross with a cup. I could see the blood droplets falling off Him and into my cup. My gut reaction to seeing those I love in pain is to run, and as I was sitting there with the cup full of blood that is exactly what I wanted to do. Then I heard Him say, “Drink of My blood, for it gives life.” For a minute I argued with Him. Drinking blood? The thought of it made my stomach turn, but I took the cup, and I drank.
A couple days later, during the Sunday service, I saw myself back under the cross, collecting His blood droplets in my cup. I took the cup, walked away, and dumped the blood on the ground. I didn’t believe it would help or heal me, and was searching for something else that would work. Seeing this really grieved me. How could I let that precious blood fall to the ground? I began to weep and weep. Repenting for wasting His precious blood. Repenting for looking to things of the world to try to heal me when He is the HEALER. I could not stop crying. For 3 hours I wept. I believe they were healing tears. Just as Jesus healed my physical leg pain, He was now healing my heart,ministering to broken places. The day I saw myself dump His blood, was the day that His pierced hands pierced my heart.
Deep shame and wounds were revealed as I continued taking communion. Another Wednesday night, I saw myself in a courtroom. The accuser had books as high as the ceiling of all my wrongs. Jesus was defending me, and placed a cup in front of me. I looked inside the cup and I could see words of my wrongs. Then I saw one drop of blood fall into the cup. The gavel hit, and the judge declared me innocent. I asked Jesus, “Where did that blood drop come from?” Then I saw Jesus on the cross, His eyes locked on me. He shed a bloody tear and it fell right into that cup of sins. He bore my grief. He bore my pain. That one bloody tear washed a lifetime of the guilt and shame.
Why am I sharing all of this? Because it is life changing! One gaze in the eyes of Jesus can heal deep, broken places. One look at Him on the cross can bring much healing and hope. Are you grieving? Are you wrestling with sin? Are you in pain? Look to Jesus! Behold the Lamb! For He changes everything!
Sex: a three letter word that many are afraid to talk about. But why? In a culture where sex is displayed on TV, social media, and billboards shouldn’t we be talking about it? In my opinion our culture is open to sex, but the Church has still been afraid to have conversations around it. This blog is not to place shame or blame upon the Church. It is my heart that the Church would learn from the past (both successes and failures) and come up higher in this area.
Above is a photo showing a statistic where 65% of regular church attenders have had sex prior to marriage. **DISCLAIMER: In no way am I promoting this podcast, there are a lot of things on there that I do not agree with. This statistic just stood out to me!** Seeing this statistic grieves me. I feel as if sex should and needs to be talked about inside of the church in a healthy way.
My experience of sex being talked about in church has been the following:
1) Not explaining the WHY we wait until marriage and approaching sex as a shameful thing. A few of my friends that did sleep with their significant others before marriage, felt so much shame and condemnation from the church that they ended up leaving. The beauty of sex inside of marriage was never talked about and those who did have sex before marriage were given no hope, love, or counsel only condemnation.
2) Through another stream, I was taught to just be careful. Go as far as you want…just don’t have sex! There was no shepherding and no boundaries. This is quite the opposite side of the coin, and is also not healthy. From the group that I was in, there were only two of us that didn’t get pregnant outside of marriage.
We need mothers and fathers to step up and share the truth and beauty of waiting until marriage! Many young people have experienced abuse and need shepherded through sexual addictions. Church is family, and I feel there needs to be more family conversations happening done in love and not shame!
To those who were shamed by the church, on behalf of them I say, “I’m so sorry for how we treated you.” You are loved, you are pure, and you are holy! That is your identity in Christ.
To those whose innocence were stolen from you, I’m so sorry! May there be healing and hope poured out. I pray beauty would come from the ashes! God is a redeeming God, and I pray he redeems every broken thing you’ve been through.
May the Lord teach us how to have healthy conversations around this topic!!
As I was finishing up a client’s house, vacuuming their floors, the Lord invited me into a sweet conversation. He was asking me questions, and I was asking Him for the answers. Throughout all these questions, the Lord began to show me that one of my life messages is belonging. If you enter my little apartment you will see magnets on my fridge that say, “Kendra, you have a place at the table.” OR you will see written on my mirror, “You belong.” They’re not just random phrases I have throughout the apartment. At one point in time, they were reminders to FIGHT to believe that truth. Now, they’re a mark of sweet revelations that I received from Jesus, and reminders of the truth I received.
For years I never felt as if I belonged. As a child, I was extremely quiet and shy, where the rest of my family were all extremely extroverted. In high school, I was voted homecoming queen, but still believed that no one cared for me. As an adult, I served at a couple of churches, and felt I was so far behind everyone else, and had nothing to offer. I just flat out believed that I didn’t belong with my family, at my school, in the church, or in the world. Throughout the years the Lord began to address things inside of me that changed this thinking.
The first thing the Lord revealed to me was that I had to repent for the lie that says, “I am rejected.” The truth is that Jesus will never reject me; therefore, I am not rejected. I began to realize that when I believe this lie, I am calling Him a liar. His Word tells me that I belong. The Bible says that He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5-6). When I was agreeing with rejection, I was also saying that the truth Jesus was speaking over me was a lie. I began to repent and speak out loud that God is not a liar. The words He is speaking over me are true. I noticed as I began to shift my thinking and come out of agreement with rejection that I began having sweet friendships. I have had the most friends I have ever had, and it has been extremely healing for me.
The next revelation I received was that belonging is what I actually bring to the body of Christ. One day I was in a staff meeting, and everyone was encountering the Lord in beautiful ways. For some reason I was not feeling what they all were. It was as if I were a fly on the wall just observing. Now, I know it is not all about feelings. However, on this day I was flat out wrestling with the fact that I was the only one that wasn’t encountering the Lord. At the end of the meeting, a lady came up to hug me, and could tell I was frustrated. I began to share how I just didn’t feel as if I belonged there, and how I believed I was the odd man out. I told her that If we are the body of Christ, I was just the pinky toe that is barely connected. I know…I know… I can be a drama queen sometimes! 🙂 After a motherly hug, she said, “Kendra, the enemy is trying to rob you from the very thing you bring to the table. You may be feeling like you don’t belong, but that is what you bring to the body of Christ: belonging. You make others feel like they belong, and bring the ‘outcasts’ to the table.” Something shifted in me that day. A light bulb turned on and shone brightly on those dark thoughts I was believing. Every meeting after that one I would remind myself before going in that not only do I belong, but I let others know that they belong too.
Lastly, the Lord showed me it is OK to be different. My personality, the way I think and feel is so unique, but it’s beautiful. Who I am is enough, for I was perfectly created by a Creator who doesn’t make mistakes. For years, I have measured and compared myself to others around me. The Lord has broken a lot of measuring sticks, but I am still on a journey of coming out of agreement with self-hatred. I am learning to love what the Lord loves and that includes me. He loves me completely just as I am.
If you are feeling as if you do not belong, I would encourage you to do these three things:
Ask the Lord what He is thinking, and what is on His heart. Grab a journal and just write down the things that you are hearing. You will probably find that He is speaking a lot of truth over you. Go back and declare and agree with the words He is speaking.
WORSHIP! Worship helps get our minds off of ourselves and back onto the Lord.
Every day choose to receive the love of the Lord, and ask Him for a revelation of His love. His love for you is more than we can imagine, so just receive it all. It covers our sins, draws us to Himself, and changes us!
You belong! You have a place at the table of Christ. There is a seat just for YOU!
A few years ago a dear friend sat with me and said, “Kendra, I want you to ask the Lord to take you to a safe place.” Immediately, I got the picture of the little creek behind my house. I saw Jesus and I reclining on a large stump watching the water trickle down the rocks and listening to the small trees bend in the wind. It was peaceful, but most importantly it really did feel safe. I looked at Him, with a concerned look wondering what He’s going to say, but He didn’t say a word. He simply smiled at me. His smile was contagious, and His kindness pulled me in close.
There have been several invitations to this peaceful place. It has become my safe haven. Many times I’m just looking at Him as He is looking at me and we are just smiling at each other. As I’ve spent more time with Him in this place, I’ve discovered the beauty in His eyes. As I gaze into His eyes, I begin to see things differently.
One day, I was looking into the eyes of Jesus and I saw myself. I was beautiful and free. I was dancing in a field and twirling around like a little girl. There was no heaviness, just pure joy and delight. But that’s not what I see when I look in the mirror. My reflection in the glass shows hurt, pain, and flaws. It’s hard to look at from time to time. So why is He seeing something different?
I don’t believe the Lord is looking over or ignoring the pain and hurt. He is well aware and deeply cares whether I feel that or not. He’s bringing healing in ways I cannot comprehend. When I look in His eyes and see the beauty, it’s because that’s who I am. He sees me as the very thing He created me to be: victorious, pure, holy, joyful, and free. He sees me for who I truly am.
He’s challenged me to take what I see in His eyes and to let that be my mirror. His eyes reflect the truth. To be honest, this is something I’m growing in. I’m not here to say I have it altogether, because I have a lot to learn. But I’m growing… I’m learning to gaze in His eyes when difficult situations come up. I’m learning to ask questions such as: ”Jesus, what are you seeing in this situation? How do you view this person? How do you see me? “ What I’ve found is that His eyes always reflect love, and He changes my perspective when I stare into His eyes.
So I challenge you with what He’s challenged me with….Let the eyes of Jesus be your mirror. Allow Him to show you what He sees about you, your family, friends, and situations. Get face to face with Him, pull up close and take a look at His beautiful, love filled eyes. It will change your perspective.
**This beautiful piece of art was created by Cierra Byron. Cierra is one who gazes into the eyes of Jesus and draws what she sees. In the picture, if you look into the eyes of Jesus you will see me as a little girl. As Ive looked into His eyes and seen little Kendra, the Lord has been speaking to me about child likeness and innocence. This piece has really ministered to my heart. I would encourage you to check out Cierra’s shop and contact her about purchasing a piece of art. Here is the link to her store:
The vacuum was whirling and to be honest so were the thoughts in my head. Round and round asking the Lord questions, He finally responded. “Kendra, it looks like there’s just a seed in the ground and nothing is happening, but wait. I can see what your natural eye cannot. There are beautiful things happening with that seed and soon will come the blooming season.” I have always found seeds intriguing. In first grade, I would catch myself staring at the plants in the window seal fascinated by how they changed each day. So why is it so hard to see myself as that beautiful seed in the window? After the Lord kindly spoke those precious words to me, it seemed as if everything was falling apart. The thoughts began whirling again: “Am I experiencing a breakdown? Is something wrong with me?” A few weeks went by and the Lord once again spoke ever so kindly and tenderly to me. “Kendra, it’s not a breakdown it’s a breakthrough. Remember the seeds? You’re in a blooming season.” Wow, a blooming season? I wouldn’t compare the pain I’m going through to budding and flowers. But…He was right it’s a blooming season. What if I’m in the painful process of exiting the shell of the seed and being rooted in the soil? It feels like death and looks like death, and yes some old things are dying. However, I would like to propose that this is more about the life and beauty that is on the way. It’s a breakthrough, not a breakdown. Breaking through the shell and being planted in the soil. Breaking through the soil and blooming into a beautiful flower. My friends, I know the pain is real, but what if YOU are in a blooming season? What if you AREN’T breaking down, but you are breaking THROUGH? I would encourage you to take it to the Lord and allow Him to show you what’s really going on underneath the soil. I’m sure He will show you some beauty!
Driving into work, I was frantically searching for the nearest gas station. However, it wasn’t because my tank was empty. My head was full, and I needed to put my thoughts on paper. It seemed like miles passed by on the country roads before I spotted a Valero. Pulling up on the side of the gas station, my fingers could not type fast enough. “What is happening? I haven’t written like this in ages,” I thought to myself. The last word was written and for the first time in years, I was proud of my work. That Valero moment was a beginning of a journey.
The days that followed, I would pick up my pen and journal and just write. I found it to be extremely therapeutic in what seemed like a chaotic season of my life. You see, a week before the Valero moment, it seemed as if everything was falling apart. Many questions were going on inside of my head, “Am I experiencing a breakdown?” Gently and tenderly the Lord began to show me that it was not a breakdown but a breakthrough. “You are in a blooming season,” He told me. A blooming season? As I sat and thought about the process of a seed blooming into a flower, I could see how in fact that was true for my life.
Writing filled my days. I had writings in the notes of my phone, on my laptop, some in my journal, and others on the back of random papers. I began to explore the idea of starting a blog, simply to categorize and organize them in one place for my own purpose. But what about the other people that are in a similar season? Could this be helpful for them? One day, I decided to go on a walk and once again questions began flooding my mind, “Lord, could I really write a blog?” His kind voice quickly responded, “Of course you can!” Nearing the end of the walk He dropped a name in my spirit: Blooming Beloved. It wasn’t just a name for a blog; it was what He was calling ME!
Blooming Beloved is a place where I share my own blooming journey, and encourage others along the way. My prayer is that as you read these blog entries, that the Lord would bring hope, encouragement, and fresh insight to you. So sit back, relax, and join me on this journey as together we bloom into something beautiful.