December 14, 2017

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Trusting God {a prayer exercise}

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Dear Megan,

Lately I have really been struggling with trusting God and I feel horrible about it. In my heart, I know what I need to do, but my mind is fighting me every step of the way. I don’t know if you can help, but I just don’t know where to begin.

~T

My dear T, we have all walked through these seasons and I am so happy you have reached out for help. In addition to being in the Word daily and having as much quiet time with the Lord as possible, I have found this prayer exercise to be very helpful in training my heart to work with my mind in letting go and trusting God with every single little thing. I pray this is a blessing to you.

Trusting God {a prayer exercise}

A five-minute exercise you can do anytime you need to.

Your heavenly Father promises relief from adversity for those

who honor him, have faith, and trust him.

A word from scripture:

Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright. Psalm 112:4 (NIV)

 ***

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,

which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18 (NLT)

Meditation Guidance:

 1. Tell your Heavenly Father that you are looking to Him for relief, like the dawn, to come. Talk about your faith and trust in Him. Speak of your doubts also. Use these scriptures to shape your prayer:

I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.

I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.

In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; let me be revived

by following your regulations.

Psalm 119:147-149 (NLT)

***

Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Psalm 31:14 (MSG)

***

To you, O Lord, I offer my prayer; in you, my God, I trust. Psalm 25:1-2a (GNT)

***

But even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting you. Psalm 56:3 (CEV)

***

Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me.

Psalm 23:4 (GNT)

2. Talk to your heavenly Father about the despair and darkness in your life. Cry out to God. Use these scriptures to help you:

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.

Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.

Psalm 5:1-2 (NLT)

***

Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: “Be good to me! Answer me!”

Psalm 27:9 (MSG)

***

Hurry with your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope.

Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!

Psalm 143:7 (MSG)

***

Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.

Psalm 13:3 (NIV)

 

3. As you wait for your heavenly Father to answer your prayer, meditate on these scriptures to strengthen you:

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (NIV)

 ***

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him. Psalm 62:5 (CEV)

***

You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass.

You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.

Psalm 23:1-3 (CEV)

***

I can lie down and sleep soundly because you, Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalm 4:8 (CEV)

 ***

I know that I will live to see the Lord’s goodness in this present life.

Psalm 27:13 (GNT)

4. Repeat as often as needed and let each and every word in the Scriptures penetrate the depths of your soul. Breathe  in the truth of God’s Word and let satan’s lies tumble on out.

Your assignment: give one thing over to God today to trust Him with.  It can be as small or as big as you want it to be…just give it to Him.  Once you do, it is not yours anymore.  Do this exercise to keep that thing out of your imperfect hands and safely in the magnificent hands of our Lord and Savior!

Blessings,

Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Releasing Present Anger

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Dear Megan,

I pray you can help me. I have spent a lot of time working through the anger from my past, but I am really struggling releasing anger I am currently feeling in a constructive way. Maybe that means I haven’t truly released myself of the pain of my past anger, I don’t know. I do know that I need help now and I pray God can speak to me through you on this. Thank you for any help you can give!

~C.D.

Dear one, thank you for your question. I think we need to start off by understanding what is at the core of anger. Really, when we feel that our real or perceived rights have been violated, we can easily respond with anger.

This is something very real that many people struggle with…sometimes in certain seasons, situations and circumstances more than others. What is not okay is if we are walking around with the wrong belief that we have the right to be angry about our disappointments and choose to stay angry for as long as we feel like it. It is not okay to walk around with the belief that you have the right to express your anger in whatever way is natural to you. That is why I loved in your question when you said that you are struggling with releasing anger in a constructive way…. this implies that THIS is the type of guidance you are looking for and THAT, I believe, is pleasing to God!

What we want is to believe in our hearts that our Lord is sovereign over us and that we trust Him with our lives. We must yield our rights to Him and, through that, our human disappointments become God’s appointments to increase our faith and develop His character in us! We must choose to NOT be controlled by our anger, but to use our anger to motivate us to do whatever God wants us to do.

1 Peter 1:6-7

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold,

which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

I pray that the following steps will help you to handle your present anger constructively and biblically.

1. Acknowledge Your Anger {Proverbs 28:13}

  • Be willing to admit you are angry
  • Be aware of when you feel angry
  • Become aware of suppressing or repressing your anger because of fear
  • Be willing to take responsibility for any inappropriate anger

2. Analyze Your Style { Psalm 139:23-24}

  • How often do you feel angry?
  • How do you know when you’re angry?
  • How do others know when you’re angry?
  • How do you release your anger?

3. Assess the Source {Psalm 51:6}

  • Hurt, injustice, fear, frustration, _________

4. Appraise Your Thinking {Proverbs 21:29}

  • Are you expecting others to meet your standards? “She should take better care of her children.”   “They ought to notice what I do for them.”
  • Are you guilty of distorted thinking? {Exaggerating the situation, assuming the worst, labeling one action based on other actions, generalizing, etc.}

5. Admit Your Needs {Anger is often a tactic used to get inner needs met} {Philippians 4:19}

  • Do you use anger as a manipulative play to demand certain “musts” in an attempt to feel loved?
  • Do you use explosive anger to get your way in an attempt to feel significant?
  • Do you use controlling anger, insisting on certain conditions in order to feel secure?
  • DO you know that only Christ can ultimately meet all your needs?
6. Abandon Your Demands {Learn to look to the Lord to meet your needs instead of demanding that from others}  {Jeremiah 31:3} {Jeremiah 29:11} {Psalm 118:6} {2 Peter 1:3}
  • “Lord, though I would like to feel more love from others, I know that You love me unconditionally.”
  • “Lord, though I would like to feel more significant to those around me, I know that I am significant in Your eyes.”
  • “Lord, though I wish I felt more secure in my relationships, I know I am secure in my relationship with You.”
  • “Lord, though I wish others would be more responsive to my needs, I know that You have promised to meet all my needs.”

7. Change Your Attitudes {Take these steps outlined in Philippians 2:2-8}

  • Have the goal to be like-minded with Christ
  • Do not think of yourself first
  • Give the other person preferential treatment
  • Consider the other person’s interests
  • Have the attitude of Jesus
  • Do not emphasize your position or rights
  • Look for ways to demonstrate a servant’s heart
  • Speak and act with a humble spirit
  • Be willing to die to your own desires

8. Address Your Anger {Galatians 2:20}

  • Determine whether your anger is really justified
  • Decide on the appropriate response {How important is the issue? Would a good purpose be served if it is mentioned? Should I acknowledge my anger only to the Lord?}
  • Depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance
  • Have constructive dialog when you confess
  • Don’t speak from a heart of unforgiveness {think before you speak}
  • Use personal statements such as “I feel…” instead of “How could you…” or “Why can’t you…”
  • Stay focused on present issue {don’t bring up past grievances}
  • Don’t assume the other person is wrong… actively listen for their point of view
  • Don’t expect instant understanding. Be patient and always respond with gentleness
  • Show the love of God by saying the following to yourself: I placed my anger on the cross with Christ. I am no longer controlled by anger. I am alive with Christ living inside me. I will let Christ forgive through me. I will let Christ love through me. I will let Christ reveal truth through me.

****Please, please journal out your thoughts, prayers and fears as you begin this journey to constructively release your present anger. I am praying God will move in your life in a mighty way through this and may He get all the glory!

Are YOU struggling with anger? How might you benefit by using this exercise along with our dear C.D?
Blessings,
Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Getting Past the Hurt

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My sweet Megan!

I have a friend who used me in hopes to gain something better for her daughter through a sport they are both involved in. After realizing that I was not able to offer any more than what she was already receiving, she got angry at me and started speaking badly of me. I am hurt, #1 because she was just using me and had not intention of actually being a friend #2 because of the negative things she has been speaking about me. I want to forgive and move on, but am struggling with complete forgiveness. How do I move on? I need some life coaching!! I need to know what a woman of God would do to resolve & get passed this issue!!
~S

My dear S,

It sounds as if rejection is at the root of this issue and I believe that once you deal with that rejection by healing the wound in your heart, you will be able to move forward.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

All of us are created with three God-given inner needs: for love, significance, and security. Because people fail people, it is essential not to let other people define who you are. Realize that rejection can easily skew your view! Now I realize that there was more to your hurt than the initial rejection of thinking she was a true friend but finding out she was using you…. but please stay with me through this discussion because I believe it will help to talk about rejection as a whole and I promise to bring it together for you at the end! 🙂

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

How do you accept yourself when others reject you?

1. Focus on the facts, not feelings.

First off, you must admit the rejection of the past and acknowledge its pain. Ask God to bring to mind every rejection from your childhood to the present, and then consider the circumstances of each situation. {Yes, we bring past hurts to present situations}. Then, acknowledge the wide range of feelings of rejection you experienced with each past event. Release to God the pain AND the person(s) involved. Ask God to heal the physical, emotional, and spiritual damage caused by each of these painful experiences of rejection.

Lamentations 3:19

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitternessand the gall.

2. Claim God’s acceptance and unconditional love

Confess God’s love for you and all the ways He has shown you His love {like Christ dying for you}. Cite Psalms 139:1-18 and praise God for your life and His divine creation and plan for it. Convey your appreciation to God for His love of you by loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love others as He loves you.

3. Choose to forgive those who rejected you

Consider all the hurt and anger you feel over your rejection. Realize the cost of withholding forgiveness {a bitter spirit building up inside you, which will cause trouble and spread to those around you}. Commit to forgiving those who rejected you just as Christ forgave those who rejected Him (including you). Write down their names, their offenses, and the pain caused you. Then release each person, offense, and pain into the loving hands of God.

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

4. Expect future rejection as natural in a fallen world

Empty yourself of the pride that drives your desire to be accepted by everyone. Since gaining everyone’s approval is impossible, commit yourself to pleasing God. Empathize with others who feel rejected by friends, family, employers, business associates, or anyone else important to them. Embrace the truth that as a believer, you will experience rejection, just as Jesus did. You are not exempt from being rejected in daily life.

1 Peter 4:12

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you,

as though something strange were happening to you.

5. Secure Scripture in your mind to produce new thought patterns

Purpose to renew your mind by selecting meaningful scriptures to read. meditate on, and commit to memory. Plan a specific time each day to read God’s Word and pray. Partner with someone who will hold you accountable for applying God’s truth to your heart.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.

6. Thank God for what you have learned through your rejection

  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me more dependent on you.”
  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me less dependent on people.”
  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me more dependent on Your Word.”

Psalm 119:71

 It was good for me to be afflicted
 so that I might learn your decrees.

7. Encourage others as an expression of Christ’s love.

Give compassion to those who are hurting as someone who has been hurt. Lift them in prayer, faithfully praying for them and with them. Ease emotional wounds by embracing those in pain and encouraging them to talk.

Hebrews 3:13

 Encourage one another daily

8. Draw on the power of Christ’s life within you

  • “I will see Christ as my security whenever I feel insecure.”
  • “I know that I have all I need, for Jesus will meet all my needs.”
  • “I will daily set aside my selfish desires in favor of His desires, saying ‘Not my will, but Yours, be done.'”

Philippians 4:13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

While rejection is real and it hurts, we need to make sure that we are keeping our feelings in check as they can be so deceptive. We need to be careful not to take on someone else’s issue as our own and through forgiveness and loving as Christ loves, we free ourselves from hanging on to the yuck that keeps us from moving forward in such circumstances. No it is not easy, but it IS possible as God calls us to this in His Word. Seeking God through such trials and letting Him soothe your deep wounds is the only way to live free and get past the hurt. I pray this guides you though healing and is a blessing to you <3

Lord, give us Your unfailing compassion as we walk through tough relationships and help heal all the places we are hurting. We yearn to not stay stuck, but to get past out hurt and break free for good. Thank You for the guidance we find in Your Word. May You get all the glory as our hearts and relationships are restored, Lord! In Your Son’s matchless name we pray, Amen <3

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Guarding Your Heart

 

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Dear Megan,

I am really struggling lately and everywhere I turn I hear “guard your heart,” but I don’t feel like I really know what that means. I want to just shut my heart down so it won’t hurt anymore, but I know that isn’t what God is calling me to do. HELP! Any guidance would be appreciated!

~S.

This is such a great question, S, and it is so important to get our heart around it to truly be living the abundant life God calls us to! Thank you for reaching out!

So….What does it really mean to “guard your heart?”

I keep coming back to the same verse: “… and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).  There’s so much meat in this verse; but today I want to talk about a particular piece – “guard your hearts.”

It seems to me, the best way to protect ourselves in this world, in relationships, jobs, dreams, or whatever, is to keep our expectations in check.

There are two verses people often quote with regard to guarding one’s heart. The first is Proverbs 4:23. In the NIV it reads “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The King James and the NASB, however, choose a slightly different word than “guard.”  NASB says “watch” and KJV says “keep.” And we must remember that in the Hebrew, “heart” actually means far more than the seat of our emotions. It’s our mind, our soul, our inclinations, etc.

When we consider this, and look at the verse in context, it’s not telling us to guard, in the sense of how we might use this word in modern English. It’s not telling us to clamp down, be closed off, walled apart…it’s just telling us to be wise.  Solomon is imparting wisdom to his son and is telling him to remember his words, embed them in his heart and try to keep himself from going astray. It means that we should pursue the truth of scripture, such as that God loves us, is trustworthy, and is for our good, so that we make wise decisions. I don’t believe it means we’re to tense up in self-protection…. But that is what we tend to do, isn’t it?

If we only consider this first verse, we might be inclined to actually forget the truth of God’s ways, His sovereignty, and His love, and take too much into our own hands. We’ll try to desperately control our environment, and every thought and emotion, thinking we’re doing the right thing. We are told to take every thought captive, but here’s where that, in excess, falls apart and ceases to be of God.…

How much angst and stress are you putting into trying to figure out how to guard your heart?

How crazy are you making yourself trying to figure out what to do and not do, so that you won’t get disappointed or disappoint someone else?

 That is not God’s will for you. God wants you to trust Him, be in the moment, and seek His wisdom and guidance ALONG the way…not build a fortress around you so you can’t experience anything! Do you realize that if you guard your heart too much…you may actually miss what God has for you? You may entirely sideline His will and plan because you’re too busy protecting yourself. We need to learn to be okay with uncertainty and just go with it, maybe even open our hearts up a little, remembering that God is good no matter which way things go.

This is where we bring in the second verse. Philippians 4:6-7 reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This is a little different than in the first verse, and they have to be taken together.

Here, it is God’s peace that guards your heart. It is a work of God…not a work of you. God doesn’t want us to live in anxiety and worry. And uncertainty sure causes this, doesn’t it? But instead, God wants us to lay our requests at His feet, thank Him for who He is and what He has already done…and leave it at that, knowing He’ll continue to do good in the future.

We don’t pick it up again. We let the peace of laying it down guard our hearts. This submission is based on that constant insistence that God loves us and is for our good. I’ll say it 1000 times because it IS the most important thing for us to EVER understand. God loves us with an immeasurable love. God loves us so much in fact, that we may not get our way, because He knows better. He will do what is for our good. Pray this deeply into your heart. Confess and release all your fears that are keeping you from this truth in the wholeness of your life. That is where you’ll find peace and how your heart will be guarded in a way that you can experience all God has for you, in wisdom, joy, and grace.

You see…the enemy wants us to miss out on all the good things God has for us by getting us to worry and doubt. Sometimes we need to sit in uncertainty when we want to RUN!!!! But if we run, we will miss God. We will miss what He wants to show us in the situation, things He wants to teach us, ways He wants to bless us, and ways He wants to use us to bless others. God just wants us to believe Him and go with it. He wants us to have the freedom to experience what He has for us without fear. That may mean living in a lot of uncertainty, but don’t wall yourself up to avoid getting hurt. Just be at peace, let God be God, and take it all one day at a time.

Where might you be wrestling with expectations today? Is it a struggle at work? A living situation? A family situation? A relationship that you just don’t know which way it’s going to go?

Release it.

It’s going to work out exactly as God has planned and it WILL be good, any which way. Just enjoy today. Enjoy God. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the uncertainty with great expectations of what God will do through it. Submit to trusting God, ask Him for discernment in wise actions, and leave the rest to Him. Remember, His ways are not our ways, so we probably won’t be able to figure it out anyway.

AMEN!….. and blessings to you,

Megan 🙂