Thread Bare Faith

 

IMG_1654I know I must, then why is it so hard to do it?  What must I do?  Praise the LORD, that’s my mandate, but I am slain in overwhelming disappointment.  I thought that after I battled cancer my life would be restored.  Instead, I lay in destruction.

I am fighting my fear, disappointment, and hopelessness.  You see, I did something the world would say was crazy.  After not being able to work last year, I closed a large account, in anticipation of spending it on my crushing debt.  After an extended fast, God said, “Do you trust me?”

I emphatically answered with a resounding YES!  What He told me to do next, rocked me to my core, “Give me all that you have.”  I had thousands of dollars in my account, earmarked for debt, and God was asking me to give it all to Him.

With shaking hands, I trusted Him, and wrote the check out for everything I had.

I rested in the glorious verses,  Malachi 3:10-11

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. 11I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your land, and the vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit,” says the LORD of Hosts.…

Luke 6:38

38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Admittedly, I was getting excited with expectation of how He would use this extraordinary gift.  What came next rocked my world and left me spiraling in despair.

First, my sweet aged horse went into a severe colic and double pneumonia.  The vet bill crushed me.  Next, we were hit with a tax bill of $13,000.  Then our two-month-old refrigerator stopped working, and because it is under a warranty, Sears said they can’t come out for nine days.  All our food spoiled.  My tractor stopped working and now it is in the shop.  Everywhere I looked was destruction.

Maybe I will be laugh at these calamities someday, but right now it is raw.  I cried out to God, and proclaimed the verses of hope, prosperity, and all that is afforded to a believer in Jesus.  My faith is faltering, my strength failing, and my hope is thread bare.  Then I thought about it all, God is God of my life.  Even this period of wilderness will bear much fruit.  I am learning that my circumstances are temporary, He is forever.

I got my praise music on and literally laid on the floor, tears streaming down my face.  My big fluffy dogs trying to comfort me.  I did not care, I was going to lay there until He changed my heart from despair to hope.  If He gives me nothing, I am still going to praise Him for saving this sorry soul from the pit of hell.  I will smile in the face of defeat, because God is working it all out for my good, even when I wish His “good” was my kind of good.  My Father is a good God, and He loves me too much to leave me in this wretched place.

I repeat out loud, as if it were a battle cry.  “I am your daughter!  You are my God, and I will serve You no matter how bad it looks!  Have mercy O Great God!”

Immediately, my heart is restored, hope floods in, and I know that He will bring good gifts, I only need to hold onto hope.

Are you in the valley of despair?  Let me pray for you, please just put your name in the comment box.

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Who Wants To Catch a Tickly Caterpillar?

Who said horse farms are for riding horses?  Caterpillars like to tickle and crawl, and it seems we have a gazillion here, and the boys find them irresistible!  Horses are here all year and caterpillars are available only for a few weeks, and the little furry critters like to tickle! What can a horse do compared to a caterpillar?

I still couldn’t resist asking, “Who wants to ride a horse?……. No one???”

Jake said,  “Miss Jill, we are catching caterpillars!” His tone exasperated, how could I not understand?

I guess I will ride by myself.

 

Helmet Please, Continued….

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The sweltering heat is keeping everyone from riding. So, Katie practices with her doll.

“Helmet please!”

The weather can’t break soon enough for Katie and her doll!

Horse Show Ready!

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I am not sure who is more excited, Bella or me. Isabella is my neighbor, my right-hand-helper-do anything-for-Miss-Jill rider. She takes two to three lessons a week and has become a fabulous rider. Her leg is solid, hands steady, and she loves pushing herself.

So, when the opportunity came for her to ride in a horse show with her absolute favorite pony, Squirt, it was a dream come true. The little pony, naughty as the day is long, has become her best friend. He in turn showers her with affection by placing his head on her shoulder, licking her hand, helmet, and face. But his biggest demonstration of his love came one day while she was warming him up. He stumbled badly and fell to his knees. He could feel Bella falling forward, and he literally caught her with his head and pushed her back into the saddle.

That’s why I agreed to allowing her to ride this little brown and white pony that will try his heart out for his beautiful and elegant rider that loves him more than anything else in the world.

Stay tuned for news of our outing.

As I told Bella, ride with JESUS, He will never let you down!

5 Words Can Transform Your Life

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It is September 1, 1995 at 7:00 in the morning and I’m terrified!

I never thought an opportunity to house-sit my friend’s beautiful mansion would lead me to complete and utter despair.  It started with weird coincidences. Music coming on the stereo without it being touched, noises, lights turning on, chairs moving, and more horrible things happening left me desperate for answers.

That’s what led me to say five simple words on that fateful morning. My girlfriend’s pastor was on the phone offering me hope. I was rejecting it like I always had. Just then the phone started to ring while I was on it.

“Ok, if I accept JESUS, will this stop?”

“I don’t know, but you’ll have the power to make it stop,” he said.

That’s when I made the wisest decision of my life. I accepted JESUS Christ as my savior.  I instantly became new, everything about me changed in that one decision.
I also entered into a spiritual battle and total victory that started with these simple five words, “JESUS, COME INTO MY LIFE!”

For one year, I was in a fight for my life, but God held me through it all. JESUS was FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH.

Read my true story, FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH, available at Amazon.com or jillmansor.com.

Sometimes the World Becomes Right when Riding a Horse

Life can be hard, but I always found peace on the back of my beloved horse, RAISE YOUR DREAMS.  He became an extension of me, and I was his.  Many hours were spent at the barn with this special horse making my life right with my two-thousand pound hero.

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Every Wednesday Without Fail

Every Wednesday they pile out of the Deveruex van.  They come to ride, pick tasty tomatoes organically grown, and to clean stalls of their favorite mounts.  The countdown starts as soon as they leave, for stolen moments of freedom and fun at a little farm in southern New Jersey. They call themselves blessed, but it is me that receives the biggest blessings.

Sometimes You Just Need to get Violent!

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Battling cancer all year, two blown knees, and lymphadema in my left arm, I felt that I was broken beyond repair.  Until I had an epiphany!

You are a child of God! You don’t have to live in despair! Claim who you are!  God was speaking to me!

“Ok devil, I’m serving you notice! The battle is already won! I’m a child of the most high God! You cannot, will not be able to touch me!” Admittedly it felt good!  I got up and started to walk, usually painful beyond belief.  This time, I was going to praise God for the healing He promised me the day He died on the cross.

“Thank you Father for my healing!  I walk in victory, I speak in victory! I am more than a conqueror through Christ!”  Emboldened by faith, I knew that I was learning to live above my circumstances.

That night as I climbed into bed, my husband said, “You aren’t in any pain?” He was so accustomed to me complaining, moaning and groaning throughout my day that he noticed the silence of peace that comforted my heart.

“No, Dan! Do you believe it?  God taught me that sometimes I just need to get violent!”

“Violent?”

“Yup, violent with the devil! I beat him up so badly by claiming all GOD has for me, that he dare not come near me!” I laid down and a tear of gratefulness welled in my eyes.  For the first time in a year, I felt no pain!  I was healed, always had been, I just needed to claim what I knew I had!

 

Just Do It!

 

Another terrible day laid before me. No longer did I see a sweet package to be opened, but a day I had to endure in excruciating pain. I had gone through chemo and I survived it only to have my left knee blow up. Literally it was three sizes larger than my right.

I begged my oncologist to allow me to get my knee “scrapped” because I couldn’t get a total knee replacement. She reluctantly agreed and on July 2nd at 4:00 in the morning I was slated first surgery at University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

But I was still in pain four weeks later, not because of my left knee, but my right knee was just as big from overcompensating for my left. Living a normal life, I could probably drag myself around. If you own a horse farm, own two businesses, and teach at a local university like me than this would be impossible.

My epiphany came birthed from anger. “I’m a child of God! He says I’m healed, well than I’m healed!” I said out loud to myself  I was determined to put to death my pain and live in victory!

I got out of bed, tenderly like I always do. I put my shoulders back, grabbed my walking sneakers and took off at 5:00 in the morning. I was going to walk, speak, and think of nothing else but that I’m healed!

It took me 53 minutes to walk two miles, but I did it!  The next day 51 minutes, today 43 minutes, and guess what- I’m no longer going to believe the lie that I can’t have life abundantly!

I’m a water-walking-child-of-the-King and if He says it is good than I am!

I refuse to believe the lie of death and destruction! Because WITH GOD I CAN DO ANYTHING!

What are you trying to overcome? Share and I will pray for you!

Lesson Learned

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“Miss Jill, I want to pray!” Luke, the just-turned-seven-year-old-who-grew-one-inch, stood before me.  He was part of the six-strong nuggets that lived next door to me

“Great Luke, what do you want to pray about?” I asked.

“I want to thank God, but I don’t know how to do it,” with that he tilted his head, seeking an answer.

“It is easy, just talk to God like you talk to me,” I held my hand out, a signal that we were going to pray.

He bent his beautiful head, “God, thank you for horses, Miss Jill, and Luke (a paint horse that had his same name), AMEN!”

He looked up at me, proud of himself for praying on his own.

As I walked into my home I was struck by his heart that sought Thanksgiving. When was the last time I thanked God for all that He has done for me?  Thanks Luke for teaching me a lesson.