Sunday, August 23, 2009

Heading to Nationals - Ms. Wheelchair America!

Hi everyone! Just a quick note to let you know that I leave for the national Ms. Wheelchair America pageant tomorrow morning which is held in South Dakota! It's a week long pageant full of interviews as well as exciting events! I look forward to meeting each of the women from their respective states and learning from all of them.

I'm claiming Hebrews 10:35-36 for my time in South Dakota this coming week. "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

Please keep me in your prayers as well as all the other girls that we come together for one common purpose which is to bring a positive awareness to people with disabilities and all learn how to be better advocates within our own communities. Please also pray that I am a witness for Jesus to everyone I meet and that they would see Jesus through me. Finally, please pray for strength, endurance, and patience. God willing, I'll come back with the title of Ms. Wheelchair America!!

I am going to try to keep my Ms. Wheelchair California blog updated throughout the week so you can see what's happening each day. Feel free to visit it at www.mswheelchaircalifornia2009.blogspot.com.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Firing Squad

I truly believe the closer you are to the will of God, the harder the fight gets. Satan knows our weaknesses, and when we are accomplishing too much for the Kingdom, he knows exactly where to begin attacking in an attempt to break us down. Sometimes they happen slowly over time, and sometimes the attacks come from every direction at rapid speed. The Evil One is even so smart as to put believers against believers. Without a doubt, he knows my weaknesses.

It is exactly why God put Ephesians 6:10-20 in the Bible. He tells us exactly what He has equipped us with if we are believers in the Lord to fight the battle. Reading this reminds me of the movie series, "Chronicles of Narnia." It is one of my favorite movies because it visually makes these verses come to life and was part of the inspiration that C.S. Lewis wrote about it in his books. Personally, I believe I need to do an in-depth study on these verses at this time in my life. Though many fantastic and God-inspired things are happening in my life, I am feeling attacks from many directions that make no sense other than the fact that it reminds me that I'm on the right path. I am within the will of God.

In an effort to soothe my spirit from the pain of some of these attacks, I've noticed that I have begun to revert back to my codependent tendencies, relying on other people to fill me up, make me happy, and satisfy my spirit. Forgive me, Lord, for not relying on You first for my joy.

Though there are many whom I desire to be a part of my life in a more intimate and personal way, I cannot force relationships. Though there are many opportunities that I want to manifest to fruition, I can not manipulate outcomes. And though my life seems to already be full, I still yearn for more. Again Lord, forgive me for not being grateful for all that I have.

I'm reminded by what it says in Galatians 6:7-10. "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

I have ten days until I make my way to South Dakota for the National competition of Ms. Wheelchair America. The competition will be stiff, and I am constantly reminded by others within the organization of the drama that awaits me. In fact, it has already begun. However, I am choosing not to be a part of it. I want to proudly and genuinely represent first my Lord Jesus Christ and secondly, the disabled community as an advocate and leader for the state of California. God has entrusted me with this task, and it's my opportunity to be His voice, hands, and feet. Please keep me in your prayers the last week of August. The crowning will be held on Saturday, August 29th.

Finally, I am struggling with the word "love." Not just in a "Valentine's Day" way, but in a way that reflects the love of Jesus.

Learning to love people, even when they aren't showing me love.

Allowing others whom I love to walk away from me when that is their choice (even when I don't want them to go).

And finally, learning how to set boundaries around my own love that I give to others. It's hard because again, my tendency is to give, give, give. I need to re-read "Boundaries." If anyone else has another recommendation, please let me know.

Though the road is rough and the path is narrow, I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I've been here before, and I know I can make it through. I'm learning again that growth comes by walking through the fire, even though it may hurt a little. Though there are nails all around, my heart still shines... just as in this picture.

Thank you for walking this journey with me.