Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler

Serving Others in Your Own Storm?

December 13, 2023 Tammy Toney-Butler Season 1 Episode 16
Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler
Serving Others in Your Own Storm?
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Show Notes Transcript

Are you in the middle of a storm? Parenting or serving others while struggling with addiction, depression, despair, and hopelessness? Are you being tested? Tempted?

Is this a season of change and growth? Are you being swayed to go in one direction or another? 

Check out this episode of Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler to learn ways to thrive in the middle of the storm or adversity you face.  

Let the Light of Truth direct your path and bring peace when no closure is possible. Listen and find freedom, hope, and joy.

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Please check out Tammy Toney-Butler's blog and prophetic healing ministry working directly with survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault, childhood trauma, intimate partner violence, and more at www.reflectivespacesministry.com.

Welcome to Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler.  I'm your host today,  but we all know who the host of this show is, and that's Christ.

Oh, may the Spirit of Truth come. 

Holy Spirit, come.  Flood us with Your presence and Your peace that surpasses all understanding.  Let this be about You,  And only You,  Your word,  Your Truth,  the message that You want to get across.  May it never be about me.

Abba Father, be with us; surround us with Your love; you are such a good Father; blanket us with Your peace and protection. 

Your peace that surpasses all understanding.

What storm are you facing?

What storm are you facing?

Are you serving others in the middle of your own storm? Relational storm? Financial storm?  Maybe you have a scare with your health.

Maybe you go to work and struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Maybe you're a single mom raising kids.  And trying to find the strength to get out of bed one more day and be that mommy that you never had; maybe you're a father trying to be a father that you never had, trying to show them something you never received.

How many of you are parenting based on what you saw growing up?

How many of you had the streets raise you,  and that's what you're mirroring or reflecting to the world?

How many of you had the darkness define who you were,  who you are?

How many of you are struggling to find the Light in this dark world that we live in today?

Struggling.

We all struggle.  We all fall short of the Glory of the Lord.

We all struggle with temptation,  resisting it and going the way of the Light and not the dark.

As Christians,  we are called to suffer alongside Christ. To lay down our own crosses.

To pick up our cross and follow Him.

When He calls us,  we lay everything at the Foot of that Cross we've been carrying.  We can put crosses up in our lives.  We can have addiction define us.  We can have depression define us.

We can have financial storms define us or the people in our lives.  We all go through seasons.  Seasons to where a relationship or friendship served us.  But in this season, we have to let it go. 

We all have crosses that we bear.  What we must always remember is that Jesus died so we could be set free.

We are to lay everything at the Foot of His Cross  Because He said He would carry our burdens.  He's the Advocate, the Comforter, the Healer.

Remember?

Remember what His Word says? 

We look in His Word, and we go to John 15.

Jesus teaches about:
The Vine and the Branches
1: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2: He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.


Are you being pruned this season?  Are people coming and going out of your life?

Are you facing difficult choices?  Do I let go of that friend who's been in my life forever but takes me down a path of destruction and darkness to where I constantly have to resist temptation?

Are the goalposts being moved? Are the boundaries being eroded?  Are you following the path of darkness and excusing it? 

We know what's right and what's wrong.  We know what God has called us to do.  We are to be the bearers of the Light in a dark world.  We are to resist temptation, follow Him, and leave everything of this world behind,  including our past hurts and things we learned or did not learn from our parents.

Some of us struggle; we struggle with rejection; we struggle with abandonment, loneliness, and despair. 

We cope through addiction; that's all addiction really is; it's just comfort-seeking, to try to soothe that wound, that raw wound that gapes open from time to time.  Christ was broken,  beaten, and bled out for us so that He could be the Healer of all our wounds.  We don't have to carry any of that stuff.  We aren't to carry any of that.

Let's read more in His Word.

Picking up at John 15:3

 3: You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

4: Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

6: If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

7: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

8: This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9:  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

10: If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

(
I have to read that again). 

"As the Father has loved me,  so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.
 

Many of us don't feel worthy.

We don't feel worthy of the Father's love for us.  Shame and guilt,  regret, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, any of those things can block us.  They can block our healing journey,  our pathway to having that heart and mind of Christ.  There's no room for those things in perfect love.  That's what Jesus shows us: the perfect love of the Father.

He positions us for success, and the outcomes are not up to us.  Just to follow where He leads,  we are to remain in the Vine as a branch,  never to branch out on our own too quickly,  and never to have anyone who is in our life to try to force us to branch out in a direction that we were never supposed to go.

Father, as He often does, has me on the land, in the pasture, in the garden,  doing something. And He's always teaching me. 

And I had my husband and I had built a trellis for the survivors to come and, in an overlook area, find peace by the lake.  And I planted jasmine,  the vine.  And, of course, I wanted to hurry the process because  I wanted to get up and be so beautiful and cover it.

I put my expectations on the vine, on the jasmine, and tried to force an outcome.

As I tried to meander and force the branches to go in a direction too quickly, when they were not ready and hadn't healed enough or grown enough, I found that they would break apart and break off.  I tried to force the outcome because I wanted something to grow or grow into what I needed it to be.

So that I could find comfort in the finished product; what I've learned,  I'm still learning.  There is no finished product.  We're always going to keep growing.

Every day, we're going to resist temptation. We're going to have to choose faith.  Choose the Light.  We're going to have to choose the way of righteousness.

And each day, that may look a little different.  So we wake up and start by getting alone with God and asking, what is Your will for me today? What would You have me do? 

And when we surrender,  just like I had to surrender that vine to Him,  now I put up boundaries and borders. Guidelines. I put little, I use those U-nails that we use for the fence, and I kind of guided the vine a little, but it had to have reached enough growth for me to be able to put it in that direction.

We have to grow enough in Christ so that we can see the true direction that He has for our lives.  And we have to be careful who we let tend, who we let take care of our garden.  Who we, we let be the vinedresser,  who watches over the vine.  Because we can only get and only let God guide us, and we can only abide in Jesus.

Because He is the Father. He is in the Father. They are One.  We are all part of that Threefold Cord.  When I submitted and surrendered and said, Okay, not my will, but Yours,  and I let that vine grow, and I just left it alone, and when He told me to water it, I would water it, and then I'd walk away.  I would not try to force the branch to go in a direction that the Vine wasn't taking it.

We can do that. We can do that. Even as leaders, we can do that. Even as those who work with survivors or folks who have experienced trauma, we can try to force them to go in a direction that we believe they need to go.  But they may not be capable.  That may not be what they're to do.  We set such high expectations on people in relationships, marriages, in everything.

And when people fail those expectations, we get upset and wonder why.  But did God choose that path for them, or did we?  Are we putting unrealistic expectations on people,  even on our own lives?

Or, and also, are we letting people limit us?  Are we listening to words that they speak into us?  And it's stunting our growth and not letting us grow in the direction God calls us.  Each of us has a different anointing placed on our life.  We have to follow it where it leads.  We may be in a season where we have to prune certain individuals out of our lives.

We may have to be cut back,  shown things,  face storms and trials so that we can grow in the direction that Christ wants us to grow in His perfect timing and according to His will and not ours.

It was so hard for me to surrender to Him controlling my life, to His will for my life and not my own.  The other day, I walked out and looked at the jasmine, and I hadn't looked at it in a while. And I just said, all right, Lord, that's yours. I surrender it. I give it to You. The fig tree, everything You've had me plant.

I give it to You. You tell me when to water it. I'm letting go. I'm letting God.  So I went out, looked at the jasmine, and almost started crying.  Because when I left it alone,  it found its way.  And it started growing and growing. And it found the light. It grew to the light.  It grew up and through the holes of the trellis.

And it's making its own way.  You see, I'm not to define it. I'm not to put unrealistic expectations on that vine.  We all grow at different timetables. We all grow on different schedules.  We all grow in different directions based on our Kingdom purpose.

We are to lead people to the Light,  but the outcome is not up to us.

We are to sit back and wait and let God, 

let God,

let God.

We have to let go and let God.  That can be so difficult with our children, our friends, and others that we have helped to shine the Light of Christ into their lives.

Those new folks that have come to Christ,  new believers. We all have our different paths and journeys.  We are to keep showing them the Light.  But ultimately, they have a choice.

Judas had a choice.  Was he to betray Jesus? 

It said in the Word that after he took the bread that Jesus broke and gave to him, that Satan filled him up and came to him.

John 13:27 NIV
As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.


He had a choice.  We all have choices. 

Will we follow the Light or follow the dark? 

We are to do everything in our power to steward those in our care,  to show them love and mercy, and to set boundaries in place,  but the outcome is ultimately up to them.

It's up to you.  Will you choose the path of righteousness?  Will you choose the Light,  or will you choose to follow the culture of the world?

We are not to resemble the world.  We will be hated and persecuted,  even for our faith.

We are to choose the Light.  We are to choose the right path.  We are to resist temptation,  resist Satan, and he will flee.  We have to protect the Light that's in us,  the Spirit of Truth. That's what we have to operate from.

And the Holy Spirit, the  Helper sent to us when Jesus died on the Cross, was resurrected and then assumed His position beside the Father in Heaven at the Right Side.  He is advocating for us. He is our Helper. 

When we're in trouble, we are to call out to Him, and He will help us. He will advocate for us. If you can't utter another word, you say, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

He will come.  He will be with you.  He will strengthen you, He will guide you, He will help you perfect your faith,  to grow in your faith,  to grow in the direction that God needs you to go to fulfill your Kingdom purpose.  Because we all fit into a puzzle,  we all have our spots where we fit just right.  We try to force ourselves to fit in an area where someone wants us to go, but that's not the path that God has for us,  and it hurts because we don't feel like we fit in.

But when we listen to God, that Whisper of the Holy Spirit, the prompting,  the conviction,  and we follow that path,  we know the way,

and Christ will be there protecting us with that hedge of protection around us as believers. 

As it says in His Word,  Psalm 91.

Let this be a word for you today to encourage you.  If you're facing your storm,  your trial,  there's hope and freedom at the Foot of the Cross.  

Surrender it all to our Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ.  

Know He was the Son of God sent to be the world's Savior. 

He was the Light that came into the world. When He left us, He left us with the Holy Spirit to guide us, to tether us so tightly into the Vine that we could hear and know the direction to take.  

We have to be willing to be still,  to sit and wait for that direction to declare itself.  We are not to force an outcome.  We are not to force others to grow in a direction that we need them to grow so that we can get some sense of closure. 

You may be called to go in and do something and never know the outcome.  You may minister to someone and have to let them go when that time comes because you can no longer pour into them. It's not your time to pour into them now.  

You could limit their growth if you try to hold on too long.  And how do you know when it's time to let go or keep holding on? 

You seek Truth and Wisdom. 

You get alone in that secret place, pray, and seek the Truth.  And then you'll know, you'll know when to quit that job.  You'll know when to get out of that relationship.  You'll know when to go to counseling.  You'll know when you need to follow a different path and to prune out of your life certain relationships that served you for a season but cannot serve you now. 

We don't understand everything and aren't supposed to because Heaven's ways are higher than ours.  Supernatural, we're just to trust, obey, walk in the Truth, and be tethered to the True Vine.  That's where peace is.  That's where it abounds.  

And let that peace that surpasses all understanding comfort you during this time that we have together and even beyond. 

God bless you. God bless your path.  

And that's today's episode,  His episode of Reflective Hour.