Sunday, July 28, 2013

oh, the webs we weave...

Today I want to address secrets. You know the things we pray no one ever finds out. I'm no stranger to secret keeping. Matter of fact I've experienced tormenting dreams of being found out, dysfunctional coping mechanisms, and down right fear of shame or embarrassment in my past. What I find relieving & full of hope is confession. You see once I confessed my "secrets" the enemy of my soul no longer had an avenue to get to me. He functions only out of darkness & keeping a deep, hidden secret is exactly that...darkness. What I find very interesting in scripture is the instruction to "confess your sins to one another" in James 5:16...

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.~James 5:16

Here we find the solution for many of the things that hinder us & ultimately make many of us sick. Physically, emotionally, or mentally sick. Secrets kill & rob us from living a life full of freedom. Let me explain how. Something happens in our life either from poor choices or things outside our control. The enemy first will guilt us & fear us into thinking that if we are "found out" we will suffer rejection, embarrassment and shame. That we are alone, weird, and worthless. All things none of us want to experience for any amount of time. We were made for acceptance & love not rejection & hate. So first we become guilty. Then over time we become tormented & reminded of that secret by the enemy because he is an accuser of the brethren, the one standing day & night before the Father bringing all our faults to mind. So now we become complacent. This secret begins to manifest itself in our behaviors & we often begin to build a wall around that place in our heart, that way the secret stays hidden safe from being discovered. But in the mean time we have lost apart of our trust and vulnerability and that my friends is the end place of bondage. We become prisoners of our own mistakes. And because we are prisoners we ultimately become slaves. Slaves to our past, to our hurts, and to the wickedness of the enemy. Chances are because you are a slave you attempt to enslave those around you by judging, accusing, and labeling them. It's simply because you are a slave & are subject to a slave mentality. Freedom is far from your heart & mind and you are stuck.

BUT there is HOPE!!! Here's where it gets good friends. Confession seems intimidating to most & unnecessary to some. But the truth is as long as we're holding on to something that needs to come out it will do more harm than good. I don't suggest just telling anyone. Matter of fact I would pray & ask God to lead you to someone you can trust. Someone who will support you, speak truth, and pray for you. Be careful who you entrust with such tender issues. Releasing the burden of holding secrets inside is a healing all it's own. Healing comes from confession. It's that simple. God can't invade a place with walls unless you let Him in. What, if anything is hiding inside & needs to be confessed to someone who can love you & point you to Jesus?  I personally have been completely released & freed when I finally told someone I trusted something I had kept secret from everyone around me. My husband is that person. It not only freed be but opened up a door for him to release things he may had been afraid to tell too. It allowed God to come right in the middle of our marriage & draw us closer to one another. For you it may be a counselor, a mentor, or a friend. I'm not talking about dredging up the past and sharing things that are unnecessary. I'm talking about the things that keep you up at night. That alter your vulnerability & trust with others. Release anything the enemy routinely uses against you to bring you shame or unworthiness and then pray with one another. We are in this together! We need each other. The prayers of the righteous are powerful & effective! Prayer works. Confession is precious when done with a fellow believer who will lift you up by praying. Expect results!

Be encouraged that God desires us to love without limits. Say a prayer tonight, meditate on God's Word, and begin to make the steps to be freed from the prison that secrets have built around you. The only thing stopping you you!

Blessings sweet readers! So thankful to pour out my heart in hopes it will help someone else!

Monday, July 22, 2013

the last place you thought you'd be ask to die...

Let me just start out by saying this is not addressed to shame or scold anyone. I'm only addressing women in marriage & not men because I can only speak from what God has brought me through as a woman. I've battled dissatisfaction in my marriage more than once. This isn't my first marriage(so I know all about failure). But what I've found in my search for God's answer in my desire for more from marriage is pretty crazy & to many down right offensive but if you know me for any length of time you know I tell it like I hear it straight from the heart of God. What I hope to do in writing this is to paint a picture of God & His beloved bride…accurately & with love.

When we first meet & date the "one" we hold onto every word. The very words we often times eventually resent. You look at them in all their perfection just to one day be married & grow to a place that someones looks become meaningless. At one point all their idiosyncrasies made you feel all warm inside & now you've grown to a place of pure annoyance. Maybe you don't feel all these at once but on occasion my guess is you've most certainly felt them. Hollywood has done a number on painting a pretty stinkin beautiful picture of LOVE. BUT…Here in lie the problem & the ever increasing divorce rate in the world & the church. It's pretty darn obvious that the world began influencing the church (not the other way around) when we began to have the same chance of divorce as the unsaved world did. You may wonder OK what are you trying to say? Follow me here.

When I married my husband it was because I genuinely loved him. Everything about him. I still do. But somehow along the way I began to expect him to fulfill these romantic expectations that he had no idea I had created. So 7 years later & many times of frustration God has revealed to me something that as a child of God & one who so desperately desires more of Him, was a really surprising answer.

Can you imagine a human being fulfilling every single desire you ever had? I thought this existed. I really did. Until God proved to me otherwise. It's been over 4 years since I decided to relentlessly pursue God and all He was. In doing so I have encountered more pain than I ever expected. Pain? You may wonder. Yes pain and as a dear friend of mine so clearly stated not long ago "Precious in His sight is the death of His Saints"~Psalm 116:15. Most refer to that as an actual death but have you considered at any point in time that "dying to self" is death. Marriage is such an intimate connection with another that when you are flared by something they may have done you immediately begin taking score against them. But have you considered that the very thing that flared you is not the problem but the flare inside you is. What is it inside you that needs to die? Why is it easier to believe that everything that happens to us is someone else's fault? I learned a while back that if I wanted to grow into the woman God had called me to be that it would take a lot of self inspection then addressing many times being pruned by God to become more like His Son. How was I behaving, speaking, and carrying myself? Was this reflective of who I belonged to? Could others see Jesus in me?

 Let me tell you my marriage has been a reflection of myself more than I liked. God gave me a strong-willed man that was as stubborn at believing he was right as I did. I thank God for that now. Because I was unable to push my way around & demand my own way parts of Katie had no other choice but to die. And DYING to self HURTS. Something fierce. But God is so faithful & has rewarded that obedience time & time again. I've learned that my husband is my ministry and loving him is apart of my purpose here on earth. Holding his mistakes against him is voluntarily participating in the enemy's will for his life but forgiving & serving him is apart of God's will. The fact I could have been a willing participant in anything satan wanted to do makes me sick & even more determined but I'm guilty as charged. That's what opened my eyes to truth & freedom in my marriage. I'm still learning. No where near perfection I hold on to hope that God is not done with him yet. I choose daily to believe that I am apart of something much bigger than I can see & that is my husband's success for the Kingdom. I am no longer concerned with what he can do for me but what can I do to advance the Kingdom in my home & in the lives of those around me. How can I honor God better but by honoring my husband in word & deed. How can I worship God any more purely but by encouraging & speaking life into my marriage. The Bible is full of scriptures about love, submission, and honor…and for good reason. It's God's order of things. It's the apart of the path of righteousness, it's a stop on the path to be living blessed & favored.

My selfishness serves eternity nothing of purpose. That's how I choose to live, with eternity in mind. God is most glorified when we surrender our way & choose His way even when we have every right to give up. Which I'm totally guilty of in the past but I will fight until I'm gone to make sure my husband is supported, loved, and edified trusting God that He will finish & perfect the work He began in my man. Looking back we started out unequally yoked. (He was saved after years of praying & actively forgiving and loving) But I can tell you there isn't a bone in my body that regrets a tear, a hurt feeling, or frustration because in being the imperfect human being he is (we all are) he drove me to the feet of Christ. It pushed me with so much force that I wasn't backing down from moving forward. I meet the love of my life(Jesus) & will never be the same so in part I owe my husband my life…my soul. He loves his family & I well, he provides, he is loyal, always home, an attentive father, and my best friend. There's no way my demand for more of what the world tells me is love will stop me from finding the true answer to love in the Bible then gracefully and abundantly giving it to my husband. He is the most beautiful person I've met, His heart leaves me stunned. God has great big plans for him & if I had forsaken the call to be his wife & love him no matter what then he'll tell you himself, he never would have made it this far. There isn't a devil in hell that will rob me of giving of myself & knowing when I do so, God will restore me to overflow. Really, it all lay in the connection to Christ because without Jesus leading me we'd already had been a statistic and that's... real.

Katie Ramirez

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I find myself with longing for clarity or the a sign of hope in certain situations that currently reside in my life. I also find myself searching in all the wrong places, specifically people, for my answers. What never fails is the sweet Holy Spirit faithfully whispering to look up. I wonder how I've made it this far sometimes but I know…Jesus. I'm not sure why at this point I turn to people to find the fulfillment I so desperately need. I know it's alone in Christ but I type this because I believe most of us are guilty of this. We label it a blah day or a day from hell when it actuality it's us allowing our minds to be directed away from the place of rest in God. It's when I ignorantly put pressure on those around me to fill me up instead of first going to my Daddy God. I had an affectionate daddy who encouraged & doted over me. His shoes have been impossible to fill. I am so much like him with the gift of encouragement but what does the encourager do when there is no one who encourages them? They allow God to be their encourager. They dig deeper to seek His face because the gift that lay on the inside of them requires close connection with the Father for daily filling. If you spend your days pouring out and never getting filled back up you have a deficit that leaves you in the negative. But there are no negatives in God's Kingdom only overflow. Therefore as servants of Christ we must run daily to sit in His presence. Not just temporarily but a permanent place that we "dwell" meaning live, to stay. I have battled my heart, mind, and emotions much of my life. What I have found is that His presence changes my perspective immediately every. single. time. If I journey to sit in His love I win because of His victory achieved through Jesus on the Cross. It's the blood that screams love. It's the blood that screams freedom. And it's the blood that I must see myself covered by that brings about the most intimate, sacred love story ever known to man…

2 Corinthians 1:6

If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
James 1:2-4
Testing of Your Faith Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Timothy 6:11

Fight the Good Fight of Faith But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.