FEARFULLY, WONDERFULLY MADE

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. . .
Then God saw everything that He had made,
and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:27, 31a

 
© Bridgescreations, 2014
TO MY DAUGHTER
ON YOUR BIRTHDAY
Sunny and bright
not a cloud in the sky
you emerged
from your dark cocoon
beautiful in pink
you are so lovely to me
and now
you are already fifteen.

Love,
Mommy

~Marcell Warner Bridges
® ©4 October 2014

 
©Bridgescreations, 2014  
When did you grow up on me? It was just yesterday you were born…right?! You were so little, so fragile, so wonderfully, perfectly made.

And now, here we are, fifteen years later. No. It can’t be.

Your older sister is just months away from breaking her momma’s heart. She doesn’t understand yet. Those college catalogs flying in faster than my brain can process it. She too, came into this world pretty in pink, wonderfully, fearfully, perfectly made.

And that’s what I want you to know. Not just you, my sweet daughters, but everyone. Yes, YOU were fearfully, wonderfully made. And the God of this vast, expanding, dynamic, all encompassing universe made you unique. There is no one like you. Nope. Not one.

Each star in the sky cannot compare to what God created when He created you. *You are worth more than the birds of the air and beast in the field. You are HIS creation made in the image of HIM!

So dear soul. Why are you putting yourself down? Why are saying things inwardly and outwardly about yourself that are lies? My husband has a thing he says to us three girls when we put ourselves down. “Why are you putting someone I love very much down?”

I would submit: Why are you putting someone God loves very much down?

He loves you simply because He created you. He loves me simply because He created me.

So here we are. Fifteen years later and that beauty you were born with, it shines so bright. And when God created you in my womb, He knew exactly what He was doing.

Dearest Daughters,

Remember the Psalmist’s words:

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”  

Psalm 139:13-16
This first video amazes me and brings me to tears. Very worth a watch, or two, or ten...
 
*Matthew 6:25-27
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

BREAKING DOWN THE WALL

“Then the veil of the temple was torn in two
 from top to bottom” Mark 15:38
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
FIVE FEET TALL

It was five feet tall
and totally square
but in the center
it was not bare.
Massively strong
and yet, so weak
it held up tightly
then crumbled away.
No one saw through it
all, except one,
the one that was inside it
she was the only one.
Who knew all about this
‘cause she built the square
all around her soul.
A wall to protect her
from stones thrown
a way to feel secure
to be someone complete
to find hold of relief.
So she made it
five feet tall
and totally square
so that her whole being
could fit in there.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
(Originally penned under Marcie Warner)
©5, August 1991

Google image
Walls are made for keeping things in and keeping them out. Some are made of stone, some of brick, and some of wood. Most of the time these walls are made to protect and to keep us safe.

There are also walls that should be torn down. Walls that keep us from opening up to others like in the poem above.

I was 19 years young. I was hurting and sad and mad. But I didn’t want to tell anyone. I just wanted to sit in my room, be by myself and keep the world out. Surely this would make me feel better. Surely this would keep me from being hurt anymore than I already was. But it also kept me from giving or receiving love.


We tape up a box around our hearts. We strive to keep everyone from knowing who we are. Don’t let anyone get close.

Including God.

God – The One Who created us. The One Who breathes life into us. The One Who gave His One and Only Son to be our sacrifice.

And He beckons us:


“COME TO ME AND LISTEN! Attune yourself to My voice, and receive My richest blessings.” – Jesus Calling, p. 281


Come and listen. How do we listen when we’ve built a wall between ourselves and God? How do we listen to obey His voice when we’ve hardened our hearts? We don’t. We can’t.

It’s time to tear down the walls. Open our hearts, our minds, our eyes and lives to The One who has saved us and The One who wants to commune with us because He loves us. The One who ripped the veil of the temple in two so we could come boldly to Him. With anything. Everything. Our WHOLE lives.

It’s time to quit shutting Him out and starting living a life worthy of our Christian walk.

It’s time to stomp the box to pieces. Crush it under our feet and let God in. Stop running from God. Stop running in fear.

Google image
 
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you
Isaiah 55:3
 
 
 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

FOR THE WEAK, WEARY, SOUL

“…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning…You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”  Psalm 30:5b, 11-12
 
  © Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

 HEALING

Weak and weary,
worn and torn
tired, heavy soul
cast aside black garments
the time for mourning gone.
Stand in strength
for the Prince of Peace
has made His presence known.
Grace and mercy comes
riding on Spirit wings
be still and listen closely
His voice whispers on the breeze.
Hungry, thirsty soul
see plenty of water in His well
come, drink of life everlasting
O desperate soul, be filled.
Rise, put on the colored robe
dance in praise before the LORD
O happy, joyful soul
the sun has come out once more
with blessings forevermore.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©9 September 2014 
 

  
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

My spirit waged war within me. Every thought was nothing short of evil.

Evil? Me? Yes. The evil that is made up of words of wrath. Not horror, not Gothic, but words so un-Christian my brain needed washing out with bleach. Yeah. Those words. Those thoughts.

And what goes into the mind comes out in actions. The irritability, anger, frustration. Raw emotion that has pent up and now spews forth like vomiting everything eaten for at least a month.

Spent, tired, worn, broken, heavy soul. What good can come from such evil within me?

                                     COME AND SEE:
  © Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
Jesus asks us to spend time with Him. “When You said, “Seek my face,” my heart said to you, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8

The other day I studied from **three different devotionals and all three for that date bid me come to Jesus and spend time with Him. By the time I had finished my spirit indeed was growing stronger, sweeter and more peaceful than it had in days.

Blood shot eyes fell upon the next page of my Bible drawing my heart like an avalanche to Psalm 30.  There my heart rejoiced and my mind completely cleared from the fog it had been trapped in as I read these words (read them again with me?):

“…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning…You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”  Psalm 30:5b, 11-12

Is your soul tired, worn, weary, even broken? Take it to the LORD! He will turn your sorrow into dancing. 
**If you would like to read the devotionals I alluded to:


JESUS CALLING BY SARAH YOUNG

 
Each devotional has some thoughts God shared with Sarah and verses at the end that go with it. 
REVEALING JESUS: A 365 – DAY DEVOTIONAL BY DARLENE ZSCHECH
Taken from life lessons she’s learned as a worship leader Darlene leads us into worship with the Savior.
GOD, ME, and SWEET ICED TEA: EXPLORING GOD IN THE MIDST OF EVERYDAY MOMENTS BY ROSE CHANDLER JOHNSON. 
A wonderful book of thoughtful reflections of God’s grace in everyday moments.
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

PRECIOUS IS HE

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. 4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. 5 The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. 7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.”  Psalm 95:1-7a
  © Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014

Precious is He who has set us free
Wonderful Lord, God Almighty
Whom created the earth, sky and sea,
Precious is He who gave life to me.

Faithful is He who laid down His life
Jesus our Saviour willing to die
Upon a cruel cross He paid the price
Faithful is He our Sacrifice.

Patient is He who forgives of our sin
Holy Spirit living within
Convicting our hardened hearts of it
Patient is He with those who are His.

Righteous and Holy is He on the throne
Eternal Father, everlasting Lord
Ready to make His entrance bold
Righteous and Holy is He, O my soul!

Glory to Thee forever, amen.
Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End
True and Faithful, glorious Friend
Glory to Thee, our praise we give!

~Marcell Warner Bridges
4, March 1996

© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
 
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  Revelation 1:8 

© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
 
LET’S GIVE GOD PRAISE!!! GREAT IS THE LORD AND GREATLY TO BE PRAISED!!! 



© Heart Thougts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

WAITING FOR YOU

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.  Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

LADY IN WAITING
I waited
I called you and we talked
I waited
I texted you and you texted back
I waited
I asked you how you are doing
I waited
and waited
and waited…

My phone is silent
My messages blank
My email empty
Day
after day
after day…

And I can’t
I can’t keep on like this
I can’t
Keep hearing you tell me I’m your friend
I can’t
Keep playing your words in my head
I can’t
Be in this one sided friendship
I can’t….

I waited
For you to be MY friend
I’m still waiting
To hear from you
Because being the one to always
pick up the phone, start the conversation
has gotten
old.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©11 January 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
Have you ever felt this way? Doesn’t feel very nice does it? Let’s turn this upside down.

How do you think GOD feels when WE treat HIM this way? Is your relationship with Him one-sided? Day after day after day He is waiting…

He waits and waits for us to come to Him.  He is so patient. So loving. He delights in our time with Him.

An Excerpt from Sarah Young, Jesus Lives:

          “…  Although many of your prayers remain unanswered, you can trust in My great faithfulness: I keep all My promises in My perfect way and timing. Among other things, I have promised to give you Peace that displaces the trouble and fear in your heart.

            If you become weary of waiting for answers to your prayers, remember that I also wait: so that I may be gracious to you and have mercy on you. I wait till you are ready to receive the things I have lovingly prepared for you. Blessed are all those who wait for Me—expectantly, longingly, trustingly.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

—Lamentations 3:22–24″

(Jesus Lives, Sarah Young)

It is just as much a blessing and glory to God to wait for us to come to Him as it is for us when we DO go to Him. He’s waiting for your friendship. He’s waiting for you to come, just as you are, to receive His blessings. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling you. Can you hear Him? Will you go to Him today? He’s waiting for you with open arms. COME.

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

DEPTHS OF DESPAIR

“Anne Shirley: Can’t you even imagine you’re in the depths of despair?
Marilla Cuthbert: No I cannot. To despair is to turn your back on God.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, movie 1985
FALLING

I’m falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Someone catch me.
Please.
Anyone.
Is there an end?
Falling.
I.Can’t.Breathe.
If I try
I will cry.
And if I cry –
there are too many people –
here
around me.
If I cry
then there is pain.
Pain.
Deep.
Dark.
Way. Down.
There.
Flailing.
Sinking.
Despair.
Desire.
Where.Are.You.God?
I’ve hit bottom.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©28 August 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014   (Maui, Hawaii)
I’ve been thinking about the quote above from Anne of Green Gables and I wondered what it really means to be in despair. Is it the same as just depression? Or is it something deeper? So I did a little research. According to Merriam-Webster the definition for despair is this: “to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change”.

Have you ever felt that way? That no matter what you do, where you go, who you are with, etc… your situation is never going to get better?  

Let’s read the words of the Psalmist as he laments his despair:

Psalm 42
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,
 “Where is your God?”4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?

The anguish King David feels is so palpable here. Can you feel it? Does it resonate within you? Oh it sure does me! King David didn’t have anti-depressants to take though, did he? So what DID he do to overcome his despair?

Keep reading (beginning at the second half of verse 5):

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, 
my Savior and my God.


8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long,“Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,  for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (taken from the NIV)

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
(Kauai, Hawaii)
King David went to the only source He knew would and could help Him. GOD! He went to God to find his hope and His strength.

Don’t be afraid to go to God and to ask Him what it is that is troubling you. To make it clear to you and to give you a way out of it. You may need to confess sin that you have been living in and turn away from it before He can make a way for you to come up out of this pit of depression. In Psalm 32 (a Psalm of forgiveness) King David talks about how his bones grew old because he groaned so much through the agony of the sin he had been in. If you are in despair, consider first your position with God and make sure your heart is right with God before asking Him to show you what is putting you in your current state of despair.

Earlier we saw that despair says we no longer have hope that our situation will improve or can be changed. I think Marilla Cuthbert is right. When we don’t allow God to help us see how to get out of our situation that is causing the despair, then we are turning our backs to Him telling Him our problems are bigger than He is.

Whatever your struggle is today, would you go to the Truest Friend you can ever have and let Him take care of it? He understands. He forgives. He forgets. He changes lives and He cares more than anyone else! 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.”

©Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

THE TRUEST FRIEND

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
HOLDING HANDS ACROSS THE MILES

Hands clasped across the table
Tears falling through smiles and pain
Food forgotten in the moment
Whispers of love displayed.
Two hearts equally broken
By circumstances not of our own
Mended by the sweetest Spirit
His presence filling the space around.
Hugs fiercely, tightly given
Good-bye a solemn spoken phrase
Yet the hands that had clasped together
Would always stay that way.
Because miles driven between
Will never severe that grace
Hands clasped across the table
Whispers of love will forever remain.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©24 August 2014
 

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

I drove up the mountain with an ache in my heart as wide as the Grand Canyon. I couldn’t wait to see my dear friend. I stood by the car waiting for her arrival with anticipation as massive as Texas. The hug we shared was the best I’ve ever had. We found a table and I’ll never forget holding hands and praying with her. A little later the tears we knew would come, came, while we held hands once again trying to say things we couldn’t say. It was one of the sweetest moments.  As we shared stories (can you believe we talked about snakes?!) my heart felt lighter and I knew that going back down the mountain I’d feel better than I had in a long while.

Did you know this is what it is like with God? He never leaves us nor forsakes us but sometimes the miles between earth and Heaven seem so far away we can’t feel His presence. But then one day, we open His Word, He fills the space around us with His presence and it is the sweetest time we’ve ever had. He engulfs us with His peace and we come away feeling better than we have in forever. Jesus is the best friend you can have. He loves us with an unconditional love that NO ONE can love us with. He is there for us anytime, anywhere, every time and everywhere.  Proverbs 18:24, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  Here on earth even those dearest, sweetest, best-est friends cannot compare to the friend we have in Jesus. 

We hugged one last time (I can still feel her arms around me now) tears once again brimming in our eyes, not sure when we’d see each other face to face again but we left each other knowing that the 2 ½ hour trip between our houses is only a whisper away.  



Michael W. Smith’s song “I Will Be Here For You” reminds me that God will always be here for me no matter what. 


© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014