Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you! I want to embrace you, for now you’ve become my power! You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me. My secret strength and shield around me, you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside, always the champion of my cause. All I need to do is to call to you, singing to you, the praiseworthy God.
When I do, I’m safe and sound in you.~ Psalm 18:1-3
To the one who has always known me and always loved me.
When I was ten, lying in my bed at night, when the light was out and fear would come, you were there. You led me to your word that brought peace to my mind so that I could sleep without fear. I would read Psalm 3:5 over myself and use your word as my resting place and my pillow… literally. I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for The Lord was watching over me. Though the enemy fed me lies that sounded true, your words of life brought freedom to my heart that proved much truer. When no one else was around, you were there.
You have always been there.
When I was thirteen and wanted to be in a dance crew that I was not prepared for, you gave me favor and placed me in front of the head choreographer. You gave her eyes to see things in me that I couldn’t see. You gave me strength, you gave me determination and drive, and you gave me the talent and ability. You qualified me for something that I was extremely unqualified for. You placed your favor upon me. You made a place for me.
You have always been there. You have always made a place for me.
When I was fifteen and lost my two best friends, you understood me and protected my heart. Though it was painful and confusing, it was then that I knew you would always be my truest and closest friend. When I was misunderstood, you came to my rescue as my defender. When I was lonely, you showed me your consistent presence. Even when I made mistakes and fell short of being a good friend, you still called me friend. You stood by my side. You defended me. You loved me. You are my best friend and have always called me friend.
You have always been there. You have always made a place for me. You have always called me friend.
When I was eighteen with a bazillion dreams in my heart and zero desire to go to college, you gave me direction. Just one word from you and I found peace and total confidence in the road ahead. Not because I suddenly knew what my next day, let alone year, would look like, but because I knew your character. I trusted your word to guide my steps just as it guided and calmed my fears when I was a child. Your words came to me with a history of faithfulness, which told me you would provide for me. I knew you would lead me every day forward, because your word was true. You have always led me by the peace of your word.
You have always led me. You have always been there. You have always made a place for me. You have always called me friend. You have always led me.
When I was twenty-two and moved away from my family to a new city, you knew what you had planned for me. I had NO IDEA! I knew you were there and I knew you had already made a place for me, so I had to go. I didn’t want to miss something you were leading me to because you have always blown me away. In fact, those were your words to me before I left home. You said “I’m going to blow you away. You’ll be amazed, not just today but every day.” When life began to change after I moved and everything that could be shaken was shaken, you were my peace beyond my understanding. You sent people to remind me of what you had already said just in case I was tempted to forget. “He said He wants you to know He’s about to blow you away and you’re going be amazed,” they would say. Over and over again you came after me. Over and over again, you met me right where I was, at just the right time, to show me how you love me. You have always come after me.
You have always been there. You have always made a place for me. You have always called me friend. You have always led me. You have always come after me.
I’m twenty-four now. When I look at my life, I don’t see the times I felt scared, confused, lonely, or broken because when you gave me new life, you gave me new eyes. Eyes that see your heart and your goodness. I’m in awe of the power you’ve given me through your life, your death, and your rising again. Through you, I have been given dominion over all things. The power to tell sickness to leave and see it go before my eyes. The power to call relationships healed and see them redeemed and restored, even better than before, is there for me to rest in. The power and the strength to walk confidently knowing that You will take care of me and those that I love. Through you, I have a destiny and I can see that your plan for my life has always been perfect.
For you have always been there. You have always made a place for me. You have always called me friend. You have always led me. You have always come after me.
And you, Jesus, have always loved me more than I will ever deserve to be loved.
Laney Redmon is a lover of Jesus who loves sharing about what He has done in her life. Whether it’s through writing blogs, music, or designing clothes, Laney’s prayer is that it would always remind people of how loved they are by HIM.
Follow Laney on Instagram @LaneyRedmon
“Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you. I want to embrace you, for now you’ve become my power! You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me. My secret strength and shield around me, you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside, always the champion of my cause. All I need to do is to call to you, singing to you, the praiseworthy God. When I do, I’m safe and sound in you.” ~ Psalm 18: 1-3 TPT
I grew up in a Christian home and I have an amazing family and I couldn’t dream of having more amazing parents. They have continually shown me Jesus by the way they live their lives and the way they love me unconditionally. But Jesus has never become more real to me than He has this past year and a half.
He’s always been as real, and I’d like to say I’ve always believed He was as real, but in this season I’ve seen Him and felt Him like I never had quite before. He has become “as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet”.
A few months ago it was a Friday night (the night it feels like you should always have plans) and I didn’t have any! I had just dropped my friend off somewhere and I was driving back to the house. On my way home I could feel my heart begin to feel disappointed. Not because I didn’t have plans, but because when it gets quiet the enemy usually hits me with the “What are you doing with your life?” question. And if I let it that thought only produces more fear questions… all questions that take God and His faithfulness out of the equation. Because the enemy never reminds us of who Jesus is or our identity as a son or daughter.
So driving home, I had a choice to make. I can either allow the enemy to have this night and have my thoughts, and I can be disappointed…OR, I can set my eyes, my heart, and my emotions on Jesus and I can enjoy a quiet night with Him.
Thankfully I chose Him, because that Friday became my favorite Friday of all Fridays thus far.
When I got home I cooked dinner for myself, turned on some worship music, and sat down at the table. I thought to myself “I’m just gonna have dinner with Jesus”… but what I didn’t realize is that this was about to be the most satisfying meal I’d ever had.
After I sat down I realized I forgot to get myself something to drink. So I got up and got myself a glass of water. When I sat the glass of water down, I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Laney, would you get me a glass of water too?”
This might sound a little crazy to you, and It definitely crossed my mind what my roommates would think if they walked in and saw me sitting at the table by myself and two glasses of water, but I did it anyway! Getting my Savior a glass of water brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t quite contain what my heart was feeling and I had never felt so loved by serving someone a glass of water before.
After I did this, again I went to sit down and before my bottom even hit the chair I heard “would you make me a plate too?”
By this point you might think I’m delusional because maybe you’ve never heard Jesus say something to you quite like this… but something I’ve learned is that it’s not that He’s not speaking, it’s just that sometimes we don’t allow ourselves and our lives to get quiet and still enough to hear Him. Anyways, back to what I was saying! So I got up and made Him a plate. I sat it across from me and began listening and talking to Him just like I would my best friend. No the food didn’t disappear, but Jesus knew what getting Him a glass of water and making Him a plate of food would do for me. His purpose in asking me to do this was for me to see and know how near He was and how REAL He is. Nothing else I could’ve done that night could’ve been more important or more satisfying than getting my Savior a glass of water.
I had never felt so honored and so important.
“So what’d you do Friday night?”
“Oh just served Jesus a glass of water AND made him dinner… it’s chill.”
Haha but seriously, nothing could’ve caused me to have FOMO that night because there’s nothing else on earth I would’ve rather been doing.
This felt like a very intimate story for me to share and I wrestled with whether or not to share it because it’s so special to me and I wondered if people may not understand it. But my goal in sharing this isn’t to make you understand my story. My goal and my hope is to encourage you in how NEAR your Jesus is to you right now. May my story encourage you to allow yourself to have your own story of an intimate time with Him where He meets you in a way that you’ve never experienced Him before.
“…Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance…” Isaiah 55:2
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…”
If you’re reading this blog right now, you’ve probably heard this quoted before, or maybe even quoted it yourself. Usually, people use this verse in times when they’re facing something difficult or trying to accomplish something really hard. But have you ever thought about the significance of the word “all”?
Recently, I’ve been running more often and almost every time I step on the treadmill I find myself quoting Philippians 4:13. But something stuck out to me the other day when I said this verse out loud. The word “all”. Sometimes I think we can lose the significance of that word here. All means ALL. It means the things that we think are hard…but also the things that we feel like come easily to us. I’m not intentionally bursting your bubble, but, if you’ve never thought about this, I think I might be about to. Everything (all) that you can do, is because of Jesus, because everything leads back to Him.
He knew you before you were even in your mother’s womb. He created your brain to think, your legs to move, and your brain to tell your legs to move. He created your bones to grow and your muscles to build strength. He created everything about you. Do you realize you couldn’t even lift a Q-tip without him? As funny as that sounds, it’s 100% the truth. All the things you can do, the things you think you’re good at, or know you’re good at, are actually just because He’s good. It’s His strength moving through your body.
John 15:5 says “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
This verse has been on my mind a lot lately, because I feel like there is something new every day that I am telling Jesus I have no clue how to do. That HE is going to have to help me and be my strength in. Something I’ve found is that just like a good daddy loves to carry you around on his back when you’re young, our heavenly Papa loves to carry us through this life. He just wants us to jump on and trust him.
He won’t drop you! I said He won’t drop you!
This reminds me of a time in my own life, when I remember it being SO clear that He was my strength and He was carrying me through life.
I was backup dancing at the time and we were getting ready for another tour. I remind you, I’m a HIP-HOP dancer…that is it! Ha! That is the extent of my training. I found out we would be doing a contemporary piece, and my first thought was, “you know I’m a hip-hop dancer, right?” But I remember The Lord almost shutting my mouth in that moment and reminding me that without him, I was nothing, and could do nothing—but WITH Him, I could do all things.
So, a couple full day rehearsals and tour rehearsals had passed, and it was the first night of tour…and I was SICK! I didn’t feel well at all. I felt so weak and like all my strength was gone. I remember being so upset and crying about the fact that it was our first show, and how in the world am I going to do this dance? Not only because it’s not a style I’m used to, but now I’m sick too? I was thinking, “What If I fall? This dance has lifts and turns and jumps! Yeah…I’m destined to fall on my face!”
But when I took my eyes off my weakness and looked toward Him, He showed me His strength. He reminded me once again, “Laney, without me, you can do nothing. But with me, you can do all things. I. Won’t. Drop. You.”
That night, I remember dancing like I never had before, because I truly don’t believe it was me dancing. It was literally like my Papa was carrying me through the dance. I felt a supernatural strength that I knew could not have been my own. The lifts were better than I think we had ever done them, because I truly saw that HE was lifting me up off the ground and above my weakness. He showed His strength when I realized and acknowledged I had none without Him.
I feel like the more this becomes a realization to me, the more I’m able to see His strength in my whole life. To see the times He has carried me, when I know I couldn’t carry myself or have the strength to take another step. He has always been there to hold me and to lead me through this life. I believe my life is a story that shows his strength. Without him, I’m weak, I’m broken, I’m tired, I’m empty, I’m lonely, I’m needy, I’m hungry and I’m thirsty. But he has shown me and continues to show me every single day, that he alone is my strength and my answer to all things in this life.
“Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
~ Isaiah 46:4
“Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.” Hebrews 11:1-3 TPT
When I was asked to write this blog, I honestly thought it was kind of funny that we’re all writing on the topic “believe”, because the last couple months I feel like that is the very thing the enemy has tried to attack and question. “Do you even know what you believe?” You say you believe and trust God, but do you really? Do you really think what you heard was God? Do you really think that’s going to happen?” These are the thoughts that came to mind, but something I’ve learned is that not all of our thoughts are from God (thank goodness!), and not all of our thoughts are a reflection of what we believe. What we believe is found in how we respond to those thoughts, how we act on what we believe and how we speak!
What you believe is so important, because it ultimately determines how you live your life. Everything you do, is based off something you believe or don’t believe. Big or small. Good or bad. You had a thought, you believed it, you acted on it. It’s that simple. In fact, the biggest decision you will ever make is based on what you believed when you accepted Jesus into your heart. That was the biggest and best decision you will ever make. In one moment, your life was changed forever by what you BELIEVE.
That being said, it’s important to know that the enemy is after what you believe. He wants to confuse you, and shake you, and make you question what God has spoken over you. The Bible says he prowls around, seeking who he may devour. In other words, he wants to destroy you! Isn’t that awesome? Hah! Total sarcasm. He wants to destroy the amazing plans God has for your life. The only way He can do that is if you believe that he has that kind of power.
Recently, I was at an event and during worship, I was just praying about some things that God had put in my heart to do. I walked into that night with a sense of those dreams being so big, that I found myself asking God, “Now, how in the world are you going to do this?” But I feel like he probably thinks I’m funny to think that my dreams are big. What is a big dream in comparison to a God that cannot be measured? He said, “baby, where is your faith?” This immediately brought tears to my eyes and a weight lifted off my back. I had been carrying around these dreams, as if it was my job to make them happen—instead of resting, believing, and knowing that they are from Him. He will accomplish all he intended to accomplish through them. Because the dreams in my heart ultimately aren’t about me. And if they were, I really don’t think the enemy would try and question me on how they were going to happen.
For example, I danced as a backup dancer for about 4 and a half years. Yes, I LOVE to dance, but my dream to dance was never just to dance on stage behind a person with a microphone. In fact, I never even thought about doing that until probably a year before it happened. My dream and real passion was to share Jesus and what he has done in my life, and the freedom I found when His love found me. To tell the world of His goodness, and to see people experience true freedom and His great love. So, in the journey of pursuing dance, I had a lot of things that tried to stop me and keep me from that. Not because the devil just didn’t want me to dance, but he knew the power that me dancing would carry, and the freedom it would bring to people because of Who God is and what He had done in my life. The enemy wasn’t just trying to stop dancing, He was trying to stop JESUS in me. He’s not just trying to stop you, he’s trying to stop JESUS in you. The enemy doesn’t like you, because he doesn’t like Jesus, and if you received Jesus into your heart, you now carry Him with you everywhere you go.
Let’s be real, sometimes it’s hard to believe, when there are still things we don’t understand or don’t feel like we have answers to yet. But let me encourage you, when you feel like there’s something you don’t know, just take that as an opportunity to lean in more to what you DO know. As I write this, something tells me maybe you just don’t feel like you know what you know anymore. So, let me tell you some unchangeable truths that you can rest in and believe.
1. You are SO loved by a GOOD Father. (John 3:16)
2. He has good plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11)
3. You’re never alone (Joshua 1:9)
4. God speaks to you and you can hear Him (John 10:27)
5. God gives you dreams (Acts 2:27)
6. You’ve been set free (John 8:36)
7. What the enemy meant for harm in your life God will use for your good (Romans 8:28)
8. No one can steal or take away from what God has planned for your life. (Revelation 3:7, Psalm 16:5)
9. He will make a way, when there seems to be no way (Isaiah 43:19)
10. You have everything you will ever need in Jesus (Philippians 4:19)
And one more thing! Believe this, YOU are the biggest threat there is to the enemy, because of WHO you carry. So walk in that confidence! You don’t have to be afraid, the enemy is actually intimidated by your every move when you’re aware of the power within you.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
“God, my hope and my strength. My ability to move and breathe. My peace. My way. My life. You are my wisdom and my direction. You are my joy and the source of all my strength. You satisfy my soul. I love you Jesus. Thank you for how you love me.”
I wrote these words in my journal, when I quite honestly didn’t feel any of these things. I felt like I had lost hope and had no strength. And from that place, I didn’t want to move and I even felt like I could breathe. Peace felt a million miles away, and finding it felt impossible. My joy wasn’t there because I wasn’t setting my heart on WHO joy is, and therefore, my soul continued to be in want and unsatisfied. I had forgotten that the whole reason I’m able to love HIM, is because He FIRST loved me.
But one day, instead of opening my journal and writing out all my feelings and emotions and blah, blah, blah… I decided I would change it up a bit, and began to write the opposite of what I was feeling. I chose to believe that even though I didn’t see or feel it yet, HE was my hope and my strength. He is my ability to move and breathe. He is my peace, and he never leaves…so peace hadn’t left me. The joy of Him is my strength, so If I set my heart on who He was, I would be filled with the strength that I needed. I reminded myself that more than anything, I’M LOVED BY HIM. Wherever I was believing lies or had a negative thought or emotion, I covered it with His truth and with His love.
THIS is TRUTH.
1 John 3:1 Says,
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God.”
I want you take note of the word “bestowed” here… Bestow means to present as a gift, to give, or to put on. That means that whether I realize it or not, as a child of God my Father has given me His love as a gift. He has placed His love upon me. I can never change this truth, its truth whether I believe and receive it for myself or not.
If you’re anything like me, you can have a tendency to overthink things, and replay situations in your head over and over again. This can be a very bad thing, or it can be a very good thing. It all depends on what I’m focusing on, thinking about and replaying. Are the thoughts in my head truth? Are they bringing me life and peace? Or, are they lies—bringing me discouragement and confusion?
TRUTH says, “Where the spirit of The Lord is, there is FREEDOM” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
If you’ve felt discouraged lately, or even have a sense of disappointment, I want to encourage you to take some time and ask yourself what it is lately that you’ve been focusing on and replaying in your head. My mom always says, “What is it you’re listening to?” Meaning, are you listening to His voice of truth, peace and life, or are you listening to thoughts of disappointment, fear, and ultimately, death. We live in a world where we’re CONSTANTLY being faced with things that could seem true, but are not true. So, we have to CONSTANTLY cover ourselves with what we KNOW is true, and that is only found in His word.
I want to encourage you to make covering yourself with truth a part of your daily routine. Sometimes, it’s something as simple as getting ready in the morning and as you’re getting dressed or putting on your makeup, just thanking him for how He loves you. When you set your mind on His truth, it will not only begin to change your feelings and emotions, but it will change your relationships and your whole perspective on life. You will begin to see Him in everything and every moment.