7 Days

Seven days ago I took a big leap of faith and followed the directions of the Lord. I moved away from my family and all familiar things.

Yup, I stepped out of my comfort zone and entered into the world of the unknown. As I soared above my city, my home and everything I’d ever known, I realized… You stupid Idiot! What the heck were you thinking?! LOL!! Before I left I felt like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane… Lord are you sure you want meee to do this? I doubted and I tried to offer him another way of doing this. While packing I was trying to reason with the Lord, but I knew in my heart this is what I needed to do.

After three years, God had finally made a way and it was clearly evident it was time to put my faith to action. I’ve waited three years for this moment and it was DEFINITELY NOT the way I imagined it would go down! I had a whole intricate plan of how this move would work out. With balled up fists, shaking them profusely, I frustratingly asked, “Jesus, what are you doing? You’re messing up my plans! Grrrrr!” Have you ever had perfect plans that Jesus crushed?? Yep, welcome to my world. LOL!

Although nervous, I continued to move forward. It was really weird. I was  simultaneously nervous, at peace and sure this was the right time to move. It has been seven days since I leaped and I know I look like a fool to many. I’ve been talked about and many have shared their disapproval. None of that compares to the joy I have knowing I am being obedient to Christ. It has been seven, whole, complete days and I’m grateful to be loved by an awesome God. It’s been seven days and I still trust the Lord. It’s been seven days and God has been taking care of me. It has been seven days and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.

#FaithWalker

~MaddieCole

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Transition

Disclaimer:  This should have been posted a little over 2 weeks ago, but I never hit “publish.” Oops! Sorry.

I have been going through a time of transition. My big sister told me it’s probably because I’ll be the big 3-0 in July. Lol! This transition has revealed to me that my faith and trust in God are on life support.

My question is,  “What is faith?”

Is it really faith when you wait for alignment? Is it faith when you require for all things to be lined in order and easy before you move? Or is faith when you step out although you’re uncomfortable? Is it faith when you step out, unsure, uncomfortable, but trusting in God? See, I don’t think faith is supposed to make us comfortable. Stepping out in faith is a very unnerving move.
Would it have been faith if Peter stepped out on dry ground? No. The faith was him stepping out on the water. Water is not a solid, firm foundation.
What about Abraham? My favorite guy! He had faith to believe he was really going to have a kid at his age. All of his “stuff” had a form, but denied the power to produce, so how could he be potent enough to impregnate his wife? Sarah, she didn’t have faith, to begin with, she laughed. I can’t blame her, I would have laughed too. I’m going to have a baby at my age? All my eggs went “through” me already. Forget 28 days, I passed the last one 28yrs ago! I am not having a baby. God finally took a nap and woke up delirious. This is probably how Sarah felt. She was surely embarrassed when little Isaac kicked her for the first time.
But my favorite story of faith is when God told Abraham to pack, leave his family and all familiar things. Abe didn’t know where he was going, but he trusted God. I have so much respect for this man. When it was probably inconvenient, he still did it.
I find it strange that people teach faith, preach faith, but when it comes to putting faith to action they freeze up. It seems that if it causes discomfort, then it’s not God. God ONLY calls us to do or live comfortably. Hmmmmm… I don’t think so.
I rarely share my visions, but this one I think is worth sharing.
Back in early May, I went to “the garden” to pray. LOL! It’s really this cool park in Northeast Philly where I would go and talk to Jesus. This particular day it was raining Bulldogs and frogs so I couldn’t get out of the car. While I’m laying down I see this pack of flies swarming around the handle of the back passenger door. I tried to get in the car, but I was afraid of the flies. I extended my hand to grab the handle, but then quickly snapped my hand back towards my chest. I thought this was real, so with my eyes still closed I sat up, but God said, “No, I’m trying to show you something.” I laid back down and saw the flies again swarming around the handle. I repeatedly reached out for the handle, then pulled my hand back. I couldn’t get in the car. There were too many flies and I was afraid. It clicked to me… Madeline, the flies are more afraid of you than you are of them. If you reach out and touch the handle they will fly away.
I opened my eyes and said, “What the heck was that?!” Long story short, God told me “I’m trying to take you somewhere, but you are allowing fear to prohibit you from getting in and going for the ride.”
I’m going to take this big leap of faith and trust God. It’s time for me to be obedient and give fear a black eye!
~MaddieCole

Because He Lives

Today is Easter. For many, today is about the colorful hard-boiled eggs that taste great but leaves you with funky breath, egg hunts, candy, and bunnies.  In the Christian community, it is better known as,  Resurrection Sunday.

I don’t really get hung up on today’s heading. I don’t feel guilty for planning egg hunts, taking children to egg hunts, and participating in the seasonal activities. You won’t hear me calling them “resurrection eggs” nor will you ever hear me say, “I’m hosting a Resurrection Egg Hunt.” In my heart, I know this is the season we celebrate his death and his life. Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  No, he isn’t dead. He is very much alive and through faith, his spirit lives in all who believe and accept him.

So in the spirit of the season, I was singing the hymn, “Because He Lives.” As I sang the chorus, I began to cry. Yeah, it was a total shocker to me too. I slowed down and began to think about the words. Oh. My. Gosh. This little hymn that is sung every year during this time has enormous meaning.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future 
And life is worth the living 
Just because He lives

Here are my thoughts.
BECAUSE JESUS LIVES, I CAN. BECAUSE JESUS LIVES, ALL FEAR IS GONE.  He holds my future. Life is worth living.
Because Jesus lives I can face tomorrow:  Because Jesus, we can. He gives us strength to do things that are impossible for us to accomplish (Philippians 4:13). This means we don’t have to worry about any inadequacies. We can face tomorrow. Don’t think you can’t take another day. If you are reading this thinking and/or feeling like you can’t take this life another day, I’m here to say yes, you can. You can face ALLLL the tomorrows because Jesus lives.
Because Jesus lives ALL fear is GONE:  All doubt, worry, discouragement, discontentment, low self-esteem, low confidence, rejection, fear of rejection are GONE. Poof!! Disappeared! They’re outta here! They’re non-existent.
Because I know He holds my future: Only Jesus knows our future (Jeremiah 29:11). Our names are written on the palms of his hands (Isaiah 49:16).  We can’t be bound by what we are or who we are right now. We can not allow our current circumstances to dictate our future. It won’t always be like this. Jesus Christ holds my future, your future, our future in the palms of his hands, so we have no need to worry what tomorrow will bring. Just trust in the one who holds the future.
Life is WORTH living:  Please don’t take your life because things are bad right now. Don’t be distraught. Don’t feel like things won’t work out and you’re stuck like this. Don’t feel like you’re an accident. Don’t take your life! Your life is worth living! You’re worth every blood he shed and every tear he cried. (Romans 5:6-9) Don’t take your life. Get up off that floor, put the pills away, put the knife, gun away, whatever tool you’re thinking of using… Don’t do it. Why?
(answer below)
BECAUSE  HE LIVES! He died so we wouldn’t have to die. He did it already. He was bruised, beaten, spat on, shamed, embarrassed, harassed and murdered just for YOU and I. Then he came back to life with all power and authority over death, hell, the grave, our doubts, our fears, our insecurities, our discontentment, our discouragement, our financial woes, etc. My life, Your life, Our lives are worth saving, that’s why Jesus came. That was his purpose and that is his purpose; to save those who feel lost/who are lost. Jesus has found you. He lives! Take his hand and accept eternal life through him. It’s only through the living savior you can find peace. BECAUSE. HE. LIVES.
I looked up the definition of the word “because.” According to Google, it means “for the reason.”
The REASON He lives: so we can live abundantly, fearlessly and without limitations.
That wraps up my random thoughts on an old hymn. Hope you were encouraged by this as much as I was. I will never sing this hymn the same way again.
~MaddieCole

Time Heals ALL Wounds

Wow! It’s been a whole month since I posted anything. Shaking my head. I really must do better. This will be a quick read.

Warning: This will make you think. It made me think.

I was watching television and the man on tv said, “Time doesn’t heal all wounds.” Yes, you read it correctly. This man said, “Time Does NOT heal all of your wounds.” If you’re shocked by his statement, you’re not alone, so was I.  Honestly, I had a little bit of an attitude. How dare you dismantle the validity of something I’ve believed in all my life? Bah-humbug to you, sir.

I tuned him out and began to think. Hmmm… Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds. See, all of my life and maybe yours too, I’ve been told, “Time heals all wounds.” However, as I began to ponder, I realized what I thought was true for years was merely a fallacy.

Think about it. Time does nothing. It goes on and on and on and on and… well you get the picture. If you’ve been wounded and never talked about or dealt with your wounds it doesn’t get better over time. You will just become bitter. Think about it. You’re on a hike and you get bit by a poisonous snake or you fall and cut yourself, would you shout out, “I’m fine. I’m going to let time heal this wound?” No. You want and need medical attention, immediately. My mom has had a swollen knee for months now.  She believes in time it will go away. *insert side eye* As of this moment her knee is still greatly swollen. Sometimes it is hard for her to walk or put any pressure on the knee. Time is moving on and her knee is still looking like a melon.

Time isn’t a cure-all. You have to deal with the issue. “Time heals all wounds” is a cowardice mentality to not DEAL with the issue. Loss of a loved one? Time heals all wounds. No! Go to grief counseling. Infidelity in a romantic relationship? You break up or stay. Time heals all wounds. No. If you don’t deal with the hurt you’ll be a bitter person and/or constantly attract people who won’t commit to you. Shoot, it might turn your heart cold and you’ll be that calloused person who doesn’t care about anyone’s heart because no one cared about your heart. Adultery in a marriage? Leave or stay. Time heals all wounds. Lie. Y’all Better take your TIME and go through counseling. Rejected by parents? Time heals all wounds. Lie. You have to deal with it. Bullied in school? Time heals all wounds. Lie. Deal with it. “Time heals all wounds” is a lie. You have to deal with the root of the problem. Talk it out, confront (not with your fists or any weapons) those who wounded you. Time causes for things to fester. Time opens the door for bitterness, fear of rejection, and anger/rage. Don’t just move forward without dealing with what hurt you.

Time heals? Hmmm…

Time to talk. Time to open up. Time to get help.

~MaddieCole

 

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A BIG Breakfast

The other morning my mother sent me to McDonald’s to get her a Big Breakfast with Hotcakes. As I drove up to this popular fast food restaurant, it appeared to be that all of Philadelphia decided to come to this particular McDonald’s this particular morning. Lol. The drive-thru line wrapped around the store. Can you imagine my irritation? I just sucked it up and pulled into the line. In my mind, long line + long wait = perfect time to talk to Jesus. Before I knew it it was time to place my order. Wow, that wasn’t a long wait at all, I thought to myself. I drove around to the first window and paid for the food.

I was third in line now as I watched the quick transaction of the two customers in front of me. Finally, it was my turn. My expectation: I roll down my window, the employee gives me my food and beverage, then I’d go on to continue to my day. That did not happen. The lady handed me the cup of coffee and then said, “Pull up there please, and someone will bring your food out.” Say what? I gotta wait some more?  Ugh!  I drive forward, park the car and continue to wait.

I continue talking to Jesus and singing, when I realized, I’ve been waiting here for a long time. I look around and there’s no employee in view. What is taking them so long?  I just so happen to realize other people waiting in their cars too. Well, I guess I’m not the only one… we’re all in Mickey D’s waiting room. I was growing weary and impatient with this waiting process. I didn’t feel well, and all I wanted to do was take my sick body to bed.

As I continued to wait, my frustration grew when I saw the hands of a few customers behind me grabbing their food and driving away. Seriously y’all? What is taking so long? It’s a big breakfast.  My thoughts came to a screeching halt. It’s a big breakfast. It’s a BIG Breakfast. Maddie, you ordered a BIG breakfast… Ohhhhh. Uh-oh… Those people had simple orders. You ordered a BIG breakfast. A BIG breakfast. Your wait time is going to be longer than theirs. Then it hit me! Of all the people waiting, I was next. I stopped complaining and started smiling at this revelation/ God moment.

God was encouraging me, you’ve been waiting a long time (for what seems a longer time than others) and you are watching loved ones receive the things you’ve prayed for, but hold up. Your order was bigger than theirs, so you have to wait longer. Although it may become wearisome and you’ll grow impatient, continue to wait. Why? Because you’re next. When they come with the food, they have to serve you first, because you’ve waited the longest.

*Knock Knock* Startled by the knuckles tapping on my window, I rolled the window down to see this McDonald’s employee holding a bag. “Big breakfast with hotcakes?” the man asked. I smiled, said thank you, took the bag and drove home.

God shut me down quick, didn’t he?

Are you waiting for something? Have you been waiting a long time to receive your promise or to see the answer to your prayers? Think about your order… Did you order (ask) for something specific? Something large? Maybe the reason you’re waiting so long is because God wants to make it just right for you. Not too cold, not too hot, but just right for Y-O-U. I heard a similar story some time ago during bible study. It’s amazing how God speaks to his children. This has encouraged me to know, He’s in the waiting.

~MaddieCole

Crazy Faith

I came across something very interesting while I was cleaning. When I saw the object I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. As I wrapped my fingers around this rectangular object and brought it closer to my face, I laughed even harder. Why was I laughing so hard? Because I’m crazy! Yes, I. Am. Crazy. This object that I held in my hand was proof of my “insanity,” but even better it IS proof that I have Crazy Faith.

Faith to believe in God. Faith to believe in his word and his promises. Faith to know that He cannot lie. Faith to know that when it doesn’t happen in my timing, it will surely happen in His timing. In my entry, “Dear 2016,” I stated that I lost things last year. I cried in 2016 and threw hissy fits. The whole 9.

Written on this object in my hand were the numbers 2-0-1-6. Another reminder of something I hoped for in 2016 that didn’t happen. To some, this reminder would have been seen as a loss followed by tears, sadness, discouragement and all associated depressing emotions. However, that was NOT me this morning. I cried, yes, but that’s because I was laughing so hard.

I realize I have crazy faith to believe something for two years and watch December 31 roll pass me like a rude Septa bus driver (Philadelphians know what I’m talking about). December 31 rolled on by and what I expected to happen never occurred.

While I was laughing this morning, I realized – Dude, I still believe. LOL! How crazy is that?! Other people would have given up. But I can’t do that. Why? Because God didn’t put the spirit of a quitter in me. I am not a quitter, but I am a winner. My Pastor, (shout out to Pastor Caroline Allen and my Greater Hope Family) she said it best, “God’s promises are guaranteed.”  My faith is in Jesus, not the Gregorian calendar. See with Jesus, unless He gives you a specific time, all you can do is wait in faith.

That’s me. Just call me, Madeline “Waiting in Faith” Coleman. My faith just up the ante to Crazy and I love it. Am I crazy to keep believing? Yes, I am. I’m crazy and I’m nosy. I’m going to keep on believing (even though I don’t have it) because I want to see how God is going to do this. I encourage you, if God has promised you something and it hasn’t happened yet, you don’t see it, and you can’t touch it… DONT WORRY. DO NOT HIT THE PANIC BUTTON. It’s getting ready to happen. Just have faith.

We can be crazy together.

 

~ MaddieCole

 

 

Cravings

I came across something I wrote a couple of months ago and I wanted to share it here.

In comparison to Christ and his kingdom, this world is only offering things we can see. Our cravings and yearnings aren’t even Godly. We don’t desire what God has for us, but we CRAVE what the world has. A craving is a strong desire. When you crave something you gotta have it.

I absolutely love chocolate. However, when I CRAVE it, it tastes much much better. It’s as if all my senses come together for a party on my tastebuds, leaving me numb to just sit a moment and savor the taste. That’s how it is when we crave things. We itch for it, we gotta have it. But God is saying your taste buds are jacked up! You’re craving only what you can see.

When I was younger my grandma would get on me about piling food on my plate then throwing away what I didn’t (nor could I) consume. “Your eyes were bigger than you stomach,” she would say. What does that mean? Because I was craving food like I was in a 7-year famine, I piled all that I saw onto my plate with intentions of consuming every morsel. To my chagrin, I became full before all the food was consumed.

How does that relate? Our eyes are bigger than our spirit. We crave the tangible. We crave the visible. So we over indulge. We pile it all on our plate. We indulge in every act we desire. We satisfy every craving. If we are full, “satisfied”, then why are we still hungry? Because what we see will soon fade away, it’s temporary. What God is offering is everlasting. So instead of craving what we see, the money, the fame, the sex, the acceptance, we must crave what we can’t see. Seek God and he’ll give you a new craving, an insatiable desire. When we crave after righteousness we will get so full that we won’t even want natural food. We won’t want the world’s stuff anymore.

1John 2:15-17 (NLT)
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.