• Leesa

    Hello Colleen,
    another one of your best quotes! . Thank you for your wisdom. I did see and read your thoughts, and as always I am grateful. I know I place my thoughts out as they are, which is true to who I am, and you are always tender with genuine care and encouragement. Thank you for being attentive to each and every aspect of me that comes across the page or post. I am homebound today with the storm IRMA last and final band coming over my area of SC, bringing winds up and over 60 mph at times, so far I have been fortunate not to have lost electricity as between me and Charleston and between me and COlumbia area and outside COlumbia have many without power. I know that as of now through early morning the winds will be strongest and rain is supposed to come with potential for tornadoes. so all closed today. I was so happy to hear from you and so glad that you are always delighted to hear from me and what growth you are able to see and know over the past 2-4 years. so much has truly changed for me. it is amazing,and how my awarenesses are escalating further.
    WIth this gal from Church, yes I think I resisted my inner gut, with my desire to please the Lord to imitate Him, and still not having that full understanding under my belt, but as you say the gut often is strong and God would have not created the uncertainty without reason. I had not yet spoken to my Pastor yet had a chance with a Deacon who I did not mention any name of this gal, although I was able to walk through with him generally what my thoughts were,and he agreed and said that Prayer was best thing to do, as your wise quote today! pray Pray, Pray Pray! and in your thoughts shared with me that this was positive how I was talking what questions I have been generating to our Lord . I wanted to also reach out to those as you, my Pastor and Deacon for sound CHristian wisdom that can help while I listen carefully to our Lord. The Deacon agreed yesterday that we do need be careful because it may be Satan, and I said yes that is what my gut was saying to me, as if God was showing me these aspects as I had known from previous unhealthful relationships and learned red flags. as of now I do know that I have followed God without knowing, yet instinctively He was showing me the answer with the “actions” of this gal. Her speaking of fighting like cats and dogs with her husband and sharing it is really bad, yet not bringing any sign of remorse or action taken to love of Christ with all your heart and want that to be the only one source for her pain and what other deeper issues that are unhealed that I recognized. So my final question to our Lord as He is guiding me , is better boundaries in these situations with people of lesser boundary and pain that wants to “latch” onto me, as my Deacon stated and my instinct was that if I became friendly with this gal, she is not saved, she is not knowing she is not saved, and her sinful actions and behaviors can be Satan pulling me into that drama with attempt to destroy. I need be so very careful as I have been there as you know and that trigger of red flag now is amazingly spectacular insight into those that just may be from a dark side of self and not of God, that behaviors not healthy. As you are aware I ran ever so fast with all my life to get to this new foundation, and to be able to recognize those that will not serve the Lord fully with all his /her heart I simply cannot be so close. My final question that I speak of is what I know I am going to be learning as God has me in three new classes at Church,Apologetics, Outreach, and Reading the Bible for LIfe. My question is how to maintain the boundary around those that may be in Church and/or seeking the activities but not in action in Christ behaviorally, in these cases how can I remain kind and with discipleship not to relieve him/her from pain but those that just may hear a seed planted. For example, my good friend who invited me to this Church back months ago before I became a member, she was the one who God led to take me to a special Ladies nite dinner with testimonial speaker there, well her husband and she volunteer tremendous works of service at Church, he is volunteer of “Gillian”? hands out bibles and he goes to local prison . I know he is in the teachings of outreach, they teach all classes before as group go out to members who have not been at Church to those hwo expressed interest but never attended, and the teachings I am certain I will gather the additional wisdom that will help me in this instances of needing discernment, with the clarityand balance of great boundaries, and discipleship where deemed Gods working/leading me. I have so much COlleen going on. I apologize for words misspelled, and just being simply exhausted really at moment.
    My mom has another lump on scalp where breast ca was metastasized five or more yrs ago as these lumps,and will be biopsied October. I love where I live and my new Church family so supportive overall, my Pastor ,I am delighted to be with this family. The one gal I spoke of is the absolutely only individual I sensed this dark side, which is baffling as it was the one person to seek me out as a friend. I do believe it was Satan working against the good happening for me there. I was Baptized yesterday! Colleen I am so excited and it was so remarkable wonderful. My Pastor is gentle and tender and spoke scripture over me and above the stage he speaks his sermon is a special space for tub and all in congregations could see waist up me and Pastor before service and he spoke of me so beautifully, that he had multiple conversations with me since I have become a member and he is so happy to baptize me and he spoke how I have signed up for classes, and outreach, and said with great emphasis of me that I am on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ. I had been preoccupied days prior to my baptism knowing that this one gal suddenly appearing every space I was going at Church to seek me out ,and I not wanting to be distracted with what not of LIght and Love I have experienced as whole at Church and with all those other members that what we share is open and of the Holy Spirit. It turns out this gal was not in sunday morning class before service and she was not present at Church. It was as if God removed her for this experience of baptism to be clean and clear of all obstacles and /or what was not of Christ Love and Light.
    There are details that I had not shared, but there still is more I do not know, yet I am trusting the Lord to have provided me this instinct by lessons learned, and his pulling me away and out of those relations of this same red flag sense. I get the feeling that her aunt that goes to Church and who is an incredible sweet heart of a lady, and her other sister in law and her husband are amazing Christians and have been tender and warm hearted with me. I sense the aunt encourages this gal to go to Church and it is not of her own true will. Often she has said she needs clean her house, or reaching out into classes but not relaly seemingly there infull action of the heart and soul, and of Holy SPirit . That love we have of Christ is so clear now of those that resonate with and radiate outward a desire to fulfill and serve HIm in our actions and not ever feel right and ok if otherwise toward Christ. It is very interesting. And maybe I would come back at a later date and see something I missed maybe. For now, yes I am going to trust our Lord for my instinct,and His guding me to listen to that for the direction He is taking me. I do hope to gain the necessary learning and wisdom where I can be more comfortable to remove myself gently yet plant a seed of hope that maybe others are seeking ? I am truly so excited for all that I have expanding at Church this fall.
    I do pray I can work something out too that I can be with my Church family for Christmas eve. THis is the one nite my family celebrates Christmas holiday , and I want to say I will be up Christams day as travels are easier for me on road 12 hours that day too for holiday, and it will bring me to be around those that I feel so loved and accepted at Church overall with as I say all but one member really, and candle light service togetherfor the observance of Christmas together, yet I praying how God will allow, for I have new relations with family, although not of sameChristian faith as I now, and I would not want to create adversity of not being there the one nite of celebration that may not be of Christian faith, yet my family together and first year my Dad not present for his death in March. These amongst my spiritual holistic life coaching class and PTSD program, I have so much going on . My neighbor I am glad that is Christian is retirerd and speaks to me about scripture and similar insights, that is going well too for me. ALso I have a calling Colleen, I have not yet spoken to my Pastor, but I am going to propose what I believe I heard God direction to bring up potential Christian counseling interest of mine and how to or where may be able connect this to my Holistic Life Coaching, and greaterguidance of our Lord showing me idea popping in my head of potential of a program at Church connected to the PTSD program , where they train CHurches that reach out to them, how to have a training program for congregations for acknowledging the needs of those with PTSD for how to understand and accept and help those with PTSDwith awareness and with sensitive loving care. I will be seeing where our Lord is bringing me, my hope is maybe some type of workfor me in this capacity ? service? at Church. THey have a special program for children ,those born with disablilities of mothers who were not able to care for the newborns and born with neurological impairments from maternal drug use, and the babies and children I understand have been adopted by many of Church families. So Much I know , I thank you for being so patient with me.
    I continue to pray for you COlleen in healing from surgery, and your son Jon andyour husband volunetter rescue in Texas , and for all texas families in flooded areas and loss of home. I take part in a Wednesday nite prayer group at Church and as congregation we have moment of prayer with Pastor leading us, and we are encouraged to pray . I have begun to meditate on Ezekeil 36:26 and I shared with Pastor that I had seen this believe it or not in movie Case for Christ, and I have been praying for our world this scripture, and Pastor hands out at this prayer group too national prayer requests. I have one from believe or not the state I was born, lol. for Christ to work through a couple in Wildwood NJ for their community and to rid the enemy and prosper their community and revitalize North Wildwood. Interesting, I raised my hand and said I will pray for this couple. so Pastor hands out the type of ticket, not sure about the details of where come from,but this one says Jim Haskell, Atlanta GA was source of I think where this prayer was routed from? I will learn more and share with you how all that works too.
    Take care and I will look forward to connecting again soon. Stay safe and well in midst of still storms traveling in this hurricane season.
    WIth loving care,
    Leesa

    • Leesa,
      Oh my goodness, I’ll be in prayer for you as the storm passes over. Please let me know how things go. We do have family affected by it in South Carolina; their second flooding in several years so I understand how awful it can be.
      I do think you are staying the right course as you choose to remain distant from this other woman. Please listen to your gut-it’s there for a reason. One thing I do want to encourage you with is this truth…we cannot know another person’s motivations or reasons for why they do/don’t do. In reflection of your question about how to be kind to those who say they are Christians but in no way have behaviors that reveal this is true is a great one. Since we cannot fully know any other person’s inner motivations, it’s vital to not make assumptions about them based only on what we may see. Clearly, there are those who are toxic, untrustworthy, and we need to be cautious in our interactions with them. But being cautious is very different that believing we know why they behave as they do. I know this because for several years I couldn’t attend church due to Jon’s health compromises. In my absence, I would hear incredibly painful judgments about me….I had walked away from the Lord, I must be living a sinful lifestyle, you name it…it was assumed and then the gossip about my personal life was horrid. Not one person lived in my home or could know the reality of my home life. Yet, some people believed they knew everything and chose to judge, gossip, and believe what was farthest from the truth. The hurt continues to affect how I interact with some people today. In addition to being wrongly judged and betrayed, I was fighting to help my child stay alive…and raise two other little ones. One of the biggest divisions people cause comes from assumptive thinking and public gossip. We CAN’T know fully which is why we must pray for others. I’ve taught my kids to think “otherly”….perhaps someone was rude or difficult because they are going through an awful season, are grieving something deep, have mental health issues and need support….we CAN’T know fully. So, we must learn to ask directly-call or connect with the person we may be concerned about and speak directly with them. We must also learn to pray when we see something we can’t understand. If we don’t go to the person, prayer is always helpful. In your situation, there are two things going on. One, your gut and other wise leaders have communicated a need for caution with this one individual. Wisdom on every side, I would follow and be careful just as you have felt and heard from others. The other is more general issue is loving those hard to love. This command doesn’t imply we are to let all people into our lives without concern or regard for wise boundaries. In fact, the most loving thing can be to set a very high boundary as the person may need Jesus more than anything else. Saying “No” isn’t an unloving thing; it’s vital for our growth and can be very loving. This past Sunday, we looked through Romans 12…I’m writing on it this week. We are commanded to not return evil for evil, to work in harmony together. Not everyone in the church will be harmonious, many will strike back when hurt, we are all still very broken. But, as we ask Christ to love other’s THROUGH us, then He helps us show kindness when we really want to lash out; to show mercy when it’s easier to judge, and so on. These are taking on a Christ like attitude Paul talks about in Phil. 2 as well as in many New Testament passages.
      This is a long reply but so needed in the church today. I hope it makes sense and if you need me to clarity, please let me know. You are doing fabulous! Praying for safety! Colleen

      • Leesa

        Hello Colleen
        What incredibly insight and honestly I was in pain to hear the pain you had endured by others judging you and Jon the way this was experienced which I could not imagine doing as you have described If at all it is still a judgement I have set out I do ask for lots of prayer for my growth to love beyond what I see. This is really hard in what for me I see different situation not being able to phathom gossip and cruel judgement to another as was coming toward you and Jon however it is really the same which I in a million years would not want to be so hurtful to anyone in this way. I guess it also is similar to how I was treated by last church pastor if my sharing my emotional pain was unclean or financially unfit for their sparkling perception of image of this Church and congregation. I am very sorry for any way I add to this lacking insight for another. I know you agree with my gut. I do sense it different in some ways that it is almost a physical reaction that Like we talk about how mold makes us feel sick. This person honestly brings me a sick physical feeling. I continue pray for this knowing I am going to see this member again. What can I say to her I am praying. I thought to give her a war room workbook that I had to see if it can bring out what God would want see in positive steps where maybe she stuck for could be any number of reasons and had lost hope ? I will not assume but a small gesture maybe can see where this God will use me or my bring distant maybe gave her insight into her lack of boundaries with me that she would be more healthy with me in regard to boundaries ?
        I am very sorry if I was judging in a way that was negative. I steer from all Gossip and did not use her name with deacon and only the gal that invited me join church knows her name and my struggling with what is wanted if me. I will be certain to work further on this growth. Maybe I need to apologize to her for being less than a friend and explain what I was uncomfortable with and that I really do have the priorities of family and school and so many new areas that where I am able to help her I can . And be open to see if true I bring too pulled into the unhealthy relationship that my gut says stay clear what happening there that even hearing if it is too toxic for me. So would come back to boundaries again. I am positive I am going to be growing by the outreach and apologetics courses coming this week and next into fall at Church
        Thank you so much for exploring all perspectives and personal very raw and painful insight while I chew on this process of growth how to better accept and love for it is in the most uncomfortable of situations and circumstances I have also learned that is exactly where God wants me. So it will be interesting to learn more with this and come back to share outcome.
        I have the ptsd program today and had this as one of my homework triggers so I can also share more insight to this perspective
        Thank you Colleen. Thank you for always being honest and open that helps me and I know all of us grow together
        And delighted to be able to pray for you and yours. Any time anywhere anyone I am able and see and know the power of prayer So glad you are with me to see what you have to this day and forward growth.
        With loving care
        Leesa

      • Leesa

        Hello Colleen
        I had a good walk and all I could think about was coming back to read your thoughts and to exclaim that first I apologize for my confusion relationally and grappling with my character shaping to be as only Christ would want me to be. It will come. I also wanted say I am so sorry you endured the pain that you had when taking so good care Jon at home. I wanted you to know that if I saw this occurring I would have stood up for you, i do not accept gossip , hate or cruelty and I would not have assumed in this situation anything but compassion for you and if those individuals were of the Church I personally would have left on your behalf to find a Church like I believe I have become a member. I just do not and cannot ever accept bad behavior . My family gossips a lot and I excuse myself or avoid any closeness to those that speak volumes of hate and cruelty . I am so sorry that you had to endure lack of fellowship for not an assumption but what I would believe a compsssion for knowing you had need to care for a child with disability .
        Coming back to read your thoughts I wondered where your family lives in South Carolina east coast west coast or midlands. I live in midlands . Thank God Colleen as far as I see there was no substantial flooding by me but at coast . And winds was greatest damage with trees down interestingly mostly all around the county I live I was one county that had electricity as well. Just fortunate this storm which I am ever so grateful.
        Also I wish I was in your teaching of Romans and I will be looking this up to read tonite. I will also come back to your thoughts as when read again there is something new I pick up that had not first or second time. It is a process as you say. I know I am listening to my gut as stated earlier and will only grow . I will let you know how the Church courses and outreach are over week
        I wanted to share too that the ptsd program just added art therapy program one nite a week from September through November and one afternoon a week in support group to be along side the one weekly counseling to help me with goal I chose for building healthy relationships and functional for being active within society again . Church programs and this program will be great development for me to where I will become more confident too and with tool box both Christian armor of His word and tools to help maintain boundaries and stability if triggers or challenges of difficult personalities around me.
        I am grateful for your taking the time and patience walking with me on the issue I had great confusion with and all the joys of celebrations shared too today. Thank you Colleen !
        So much good is happening even amidst confusion as I bring myself out of comfort zone and back into the world where only God has control of each and every individual .
        Thank you for your supportive kindness and incredible wisdom and genuine care.
        I will be praying as promised and too for your family in South Carolina in case too had been effected by flooding or storm damage(s)
        So many blessings sent your way tonite and rest of week. I welcome any more insight particularly with your knowledge and insight of the royal road to riches scripture . And I know you fully accept my unfiltered sharing with you as part of who I am and how I am completely safe and trusting of you to siesta be equally as genuine and honest for my greater good as a true friend
        Goodnite Colleen. Have a good nites rest
        With loving care
        Leesa

        • Leesa,
          Thank you for your prayers. Our extended family in the south didn’t encounter much damage, so thankful for that!
          I’m thrilled the art therapy has been added. I just heard a podcast talking about how art triggers verbal reasoning and communication areas of the brain; thus allowing us to put words to our stories through art. It was a fascinating study. I hope you continue to pursue this as it seems to be healing you in magnificent ways. Wonderful to hear! Colleen

  • Leesa

    Hello Colleen,
    I wanted to share that a gal I am having good beginning friendship with as some other woman from Church too, this gal is married to an officer in community that I have seen and acquainted with over the 12 years I have been here in this county and state. When I met the two of them as members of my new Church I was happy to know both of them and as Chrisitan fellowship. This gal had a Bible I liked, and she was asking me what is the spelling of my name and if I had a Bible, and SUnday before Baptism at service in Sunday class she handed me a wrapped gift for Baptism gift. It was the exact Bible she had, that I had commented my liking of, and a different color,actually burgundy,a color I like as a day planner cover is burgundy too,and on it she had engraved my full name in gold . How wonderful, how thoughtful, how incredibly kind she is. I am so grateful and glad to be equally yoked . THe BIble is Vondervan, and called NIV Beautiful WOrd Bible, with color illustrated Verses on sides of pages throughout Bible.
    I am very happy with this exchange of friendship and I had so many others that I resonate with building on genuine sisterhood in Christ friendships that is remarkable to me to find myself growing this way and pure love and acceptance with same purpose and vision of our Church, : Matthew 22:37
    …36“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” 37Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment.…
    Berean Study Bible · Download
    The other commandment our Pastor states as part of the Church vision is to love thy neighbor as yourself.
    THis is the area I will pray and continue praying for when I need discernment with regard to other relations esp with the only one person, which still surprises me as if God must be speaking if only one of a congregation He showing me, this the gal of entire congregation that I mentioned that not of the same spirit in CHirst in the now at least by what I see by her actions she has displayed by behavior and without responsibility? but as if accepted. . Whether I am led by God to be an example, I would want to be the best example so I pray and know He will guide me in the ways He has destined for me to grow. I am so excited for the Church courses and OUtreach training more than any other area of my life right now.
    Have a great evening and Tuesday Colleen. Take good care and hoping you are out of any stormy weather, Irma is tropical storm just will be leaving here by early morning hour,.
    I look forward to connecting again soon.
    With loving care
    Leesa

    • Leesa,
      Thank you for your prayers about the hurricanes and safety. We are not in any danger from the disasters, thankfully. My husband works in disaster relief so he is thoroughly swamped…working massive overtime hours. This is always difficult on the family as his commute is forever long; but we are thankful it helps with Jon’s financial needs and those of our family. So, thank you for continued prayer for our whole family.
      Also, what an amazing gift from your friends! How totally thoughtful! I’m delighted for you! I love the translation as well-I think you will find it very easy to read and so much more. Have a wonderful day! Colleen

  • Leesa

    Hello Colleen,
    It is early morning an hour after midnight and I awoke with thinking how I have repeated myself. I feel I so relate to Jon in many ways, intuition, questions, and repeated questions at times from yes it is anxiety. The next thought I had was how you and Sharifa spoke of “pointing to God”, and pray, pray pray . I awoke in doing just this, praying, and how we forget, and seek validation when things become confusing, or want to gain control and forget that it is God who is in control of all things.
    I recall your blog and more than one post and more than one time that you were so supportive and encouraging with patience, and having experiences yourself that instantly are like wait a minute I know that and what to do with this, and your scripture from previous post, ‘s’ and todays quote of wisdom for bringing all to Lord with Prayer pop into my head as reminders what to do with my thoughts at this hour of early morning that are accumulative from previous days that did stimulate anxiety and “questions” I had not recognized. Philippians 4:6: “Don’t worry [in other words, don’t be anxious] about anything; instead, pray about everything and pray about everything.
    Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:7: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” , and Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28–29).
    Colleen Swindoll Thompson, What to remember when your “not best” self shows up.
    I have a proposal that comes to me with a sense of great pleasure and has popped into my mind like God planted a very seed to share with you as thought. Would it be incredible for your son Jon to take part in your blog in the way that he share his thoughts and questions and someone , you, your Dad, someone from Insight for Living like your editor /gneruine friend Sharifa create a post with him around these questions or one question to take into a greater dialogue pointing to God and scripture and support his thoughts in this very way of dialogue of part of your blog post. I celebrate this thought, and would love to see it come true as mother and son part of your page ,in every way with so much love, meaning and wisdom, and talent to be expressed , perhaps for someone out there that just needs to be understood ,accepted, and encouraged with similar background as Jon , maybe that Jon too will reach his /her heart with your or another help to share more of his thoughts through your blog for a time as special posting ,a time of THanksgiving coming, a special family posting in thsi way, or maybe become over time when timing brings him to your page again for more it is so special. I look forward to your thoughts,
    Until then I am going to pray myself back to sleep, and know that God is in control of all, and see how He unwraps tomorrow to be in all things . I will keep you posted.
    Have a great nites rest, and looking forward to connecting again soon.
    With Loving care,
    Leesa

    • Leesa,
      WOW…I had never thought of this. Several years ago, my dad and I did a conference where we were interviewed, my kids were interviewed about having a disabled sibling, and then my dad and Jon did an adorable, funny interview together. I hadn’t thought of including him on the blog but it may be something I will check into. In fact, now that video blogs and posts are so popular, maybe we can do some of those together. Who knows, I LOVE the idea and am so honored you passed it along. Keep praying, sister! You are dynamite! Colleen

  • Leesa

    Hello Colleen,
    I have prayed a good bit since last post and have not fallen back off to sleep this night into these early morning hours. that is the first in very long while this has occurred. I wanted to share as I sit up in thought and prayer, that I glanced at phone where I saw my sister in law did text me that she was thinking of me with baptism and storm of Irma here,and wanted to see how I was doing and how all was for me. She is married to my youngest brother who after my dad death we have been developing for the first time a relationship, getting to truly know each other,and his wife and beautiful tender hearted children the same. His wife had spoken to me a lot since my dad death and they are of Catholic Faith and her parents and family are very religious and have always been of prayer and knowing the power of prayer in all ways and everywhere as your quote. She and I have had conversations that included her restlessness with her Church and not feeling a connection to what was being preached,lacking scripture and enrichment of her heart ,soul and mind, that there was something missing, something needing more enrichment to her heart,soul and mind. She mentioned a peer from work had spoke to her about Christianity and being saved and having eternal life in heaven, and what that meant for her and she had many questions and interest with my new path of Christian faith, so we have been sharing and I sent some tapes of my Pastor sermon that were reflective of the answers directly to her questions of what being saved means broken down by my Pastor in step by step, how of changing of mind and actions taken for genuine forgiveness. She has opened up more with me and I with her, and I am delighted for this new formed family fellowship, and I know that with our connection and her new direction of Christianity in process, my youngest brother is close behind her and her family. My middle brother wife father and brother are Christians ,and in fact her cousin now sings on stage with Christian singer as part of his band, very famous Christian singer. and her brother writes Christian songs for those famous Christian singers, so if this other sister in law is on way to being most faithful in Christ, this other sister in law will I believe be more likely soften to her father faith how he raised her, and then my middle brother be saved maybe too. I am so delighted to be a witness COlleen to these changes that over a lifetime I can see now a glimpse of light occurring within a family system that has been so broken for so very long. a glimpse is hope! that I never knew or expected to see.
    I wanted to bring here too as your quote of wisdom today to Pray with all your heart soul and mind always, and everywhere, I wanted to share that my oldest brother had been coming with softening and opening of his heart and soul with me since my dad death this year, and he was struggling a few times with his death and different areas of his life, and each time I told him I would pray for him, and this situation or with my dad death I told him just talk to God and can sit in quiet and silently listen to his answer in dialogue as if you are talking with your best friend or wife. He was open to do this, and he again came to me with something else and I said I will go pray and if God;s will He will answer how supposed to be for him, and he came back exclaiming a praise report and I told him that was exactly what I prayed for and he said whatever you are doing keep it up, and it happened again with another situation, he came back with what good was happening and I said I prayed for exactly that for you . He texted me this week regarding how I was making out with hurricane Irma now tropical storm by me, and he texted back after corresponding about this, that he will “pray for me” , that was the very first time my oldest brother would have ever said this ever in time til this very time. I am so very delighted to be able to share this softening of his heart and God giving him the spirit to pray to God,, Thank God for these blessings! I have been praying for my mother and siblings to be saved if God will and to soften their hearts, as I mentioned I meditate on Ezekiel 36:26 recently but prior I knew just to pray for the family salvation and to soften each heart and bring each His spirit in full salvation. I am seeing God working in ways only possible with God hand and will, I am so thankful for these incredible Blessings esp for these past few weeks I was loosing hope again with feeling forgotten again by family but they are still coming through in ways of remarkable work of God LIght and Love , so much hope at this moment. I will continue to Pray! and for our world.
    With loving care
    Have a Blessed most fulfilling day in ways that surprise you with joy and peace.
    Leesa

    • Leesa,
      This is truly miraculous! Who could have known that several years ago when you were at the lowest place in so many ways and not seeing any light that today, you would be telling me your whole family is seeing Jesus in you??????? Honestly, I had chills in reading your note…it provides so much hope to every single person reading here. Your story is truly an amazing one; yet it’s exactly what our Lord outlines for us in His word. As we put our whole life into the hands of our loving Shepherd, He works in ways we cannot begin to imagine. Thank you, thank you for honoring us all with this wonderful note! Colleen

      • Leesa

        Thank YOU Colleen for celebrating this incredible yes miraculous change of family spirits. Just reading your reply took me to a tearful gratitude that I am able to share this with you and your blog family for I am uncertain my family truly understands and can process externally what miracle is occurring. So as I observe and Thank our Lord I am gentle and tender in expressing how glad I am for each of their actions in ways of encouragement that each can hear . Over 50 years drs and my previous marriage always wanted convince me I would never see change and for the time just before I met you I lost all hope beginning believe I lost what I never had at age 50. After my father death and brother in law all at 52 I became aware that nothing is impossible with God , if His will He will bring about these spirits of stone to flesh softening of hearts. I am beyond what words can express for your support and encouragement and your amazing wisdom and being beside me for this journey and first hand witness of how amazing our Lord is and what he is doing before our very eyes
        Thank you so very much Colleen for being you and divert with me on this journey
        God Bless you and your family and blog family
        With living care
        Leesa

        • Leesa, We all are in progress…no one is beyond God’s reach! What seems impossible with man is never impossible with God. That’s why it continues to be wonderful to hear from you and watch God be faithful and loving as He promises to always be. Sometimes what happens doesn’t feel that way; but as we encourage one another along, we ultimately see His good hand in all our circumstances. Such wonderful news you have shared with me and us all! Colleen

          • Leesa

            Hello Colleen
            It my pleasure knowing the power of prayer. I am glad your family is safe and out of harms way. We have Maria will be watching closely next.
            I have a tension headache and sad about a few things , one being that old trigger of less importance. When ask if that really true no it is not. Just working through some sensitivities . I have few places I feel that comfortable to have no filter , your blog having always been one of them. I practice the sitting with a thought more than it probably comes through my thoughts here. It is a process of knowing where I guess I am able or not. I have gotten better at this even with places I feel comfortable to hold on to thought awhile which is a very good growth I recognize.
            I have a concentration of art therapy in my undergrad degree. I used with Alzheimer’s and dementia in long term care nursing centers from what was my career that led to a director of a special care unit in early 30’s. Part of what has had me sad past month is asking Lord where he is going have me apply my skills and talents he gave me. Because I relocated after undergrad degree I could not find a local school that had art therapy for masters and was getting married so yes a mistake I realize that never acquired the art therapy license. Going to the art therapy program is awesome for me as it is a very well researched and structured program for and specific to ptsd , I read format and it design I clearly have the insight of being so blessed take part on this end what I have knowledge it’s true benefits. Self esteem is one segment includes competency and mastery skills which I really excited. As what feels a guinea pig of a lot I realistically could practice with wealth of experience hands on and knowledge I simply do not have la license or degree or what I believe my greater downfall the communication or tactics to share and be heard or the mastery of organizational thinking. I remember the moment in time in my late teen early twenty I literally I chose the side of brain I wanted switch out of, that dude that was not my true artistic self. It seems like a lifetime to reconnect that truth I had looked at what options I have for applying myself and told by my counselor I am a “globalizer ” which is pretty cool be recognized in this way. She said this makes good clinicians . I continue the certification course sending o will need something still to attach , I simply had a thought as part of this coaching certification that I needed assertiveness in structuring session and asking questions do not about me but draw one within their own selves. And God provided in the apologetics class at Church. Tactics ! We will be learning exactly this which I can very well apply from Church and being able with meekness defend with questions of another who may question our faith by bringing to real issue within oneself and use same as this is what goal is for Coaching , that answers are within ourselves . I putting all out to God as he is providing in amazing ways only he is able and that it up to him how he will “globalize ” all what he created of me and make sense of it all so I will be noticed with respect and valued and important and sought to do what that will be. I believe he will connect it to Christianity and some way ? Only in time will this be known by Him
            Have a great day Colleen.
            With loving care
            Leesa

      • Leesa

        My tears to laughter and true joy to hear your thoughts have touched on this idea in action and that it may come again in ways that truly will speak of our Lords amazing grace and love and encouragement.
        I think your encouragement of me and what was tugging at me those early hours this morning brought me the greatest of smiles and joy and laughter of acceptance and joy together . You are so very loved Colleen Swindoll Thompson !!!
        Have a great day and I will look forward some most refreshing questions and thoughts coming together by your and Jon expression , genuine love for encouragement , wisdom and insight and biblically full and whatever way or with who that God’s will leads
        Thank you so much for loving care for me and amazing sisterhood encouraging what is all God’s glory and if his working amazing ways through us and a celebration of joy shared
        Leesa