May 26

Gifts

This is a letter I sent out to all who have signed up for the Hidden Joy Online Study as of 5:30 pm EST, May 26th.  Please read in it’s entirety.

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As I write today, I am so humbled and grateful to be a part of this Bible Study Group. I have had the opportunity to interact with a few of you either by phone or computer, and I can tell that God is up to something big here. This study is a gift. It’s a gift I hope you’ve decided to accept and embrace. A gift for you. Take it. You deserve it.

There are so many generous people that are a part of this study. Often someone would read a comment on my blog written by someone who didn’t have the finances to buy a book for this study. Their heart was moved to donate a book. Another moved to donate ten books. Another moved to give twelve. Same with the conference calls. They all said the same thing. This study is going to impact and change lives. It’s time for us all to begin living the life God wants us to live, unchained and free from anything that binds us. Yes, a gift. A gift given because there are people who love you and want you to find the peace you are searching for. Many of the recipients said they had been praying for a way. God provided a gift.  *****I am sorry to report, that as of now, all donated books have been given away to those who truly needed them.  We have done our best to give to anyone who said they couldn’t afford a book.  Many more requests have come in since this letter was sent, and I’m so sorry I can’t give to each and every one of you, but I can’t.  Please don’t ask for a book unless you are 100% committed to doing this study.  We are really trying our best to accomodate everyone, but there is just no way.  If you really want to do this study, save $2 per week.  In 7 weeks, you will be able to purchase this book.  (even less if you really do your homework and search online!) and if you can donate a book, please call me at the P31 office, 877-731-4663.  Thank you so much for the gifts you have given. You have blessed many.

Any book purchased or sent through Proverbs 31 Ministries is signed by Wendy Blight. Let me tell you a little more about that. Wendy signing these books has been a team effort. They are shipped to our office. Some days Wendy came into the office to sign. Other days, I took them to her house at night unsigned and then picked them up the next day all signed. Then I brought them back to the office where Teri, our resource coordinator, packaged them with care, and sent them out. The team preparing the way behind the scenes is a gift.

Wendy doesn’t just sign her name when she signs these books. She gives each person a blessing, signs her name, and lists a few Bible verses. Not just any Bible verses, but verses she has prayed over. Each book contains a different verse. She prays that the Lord will determine who needs what verse and that He will speak hope and love into the recipient right where and when she needs it. Don’t you just find it amazing that she truly cares that much for you? I know Wendy well, so this is no surprise to me. But it takes a lot of time and she cares so deeply that you find peace in your life, that God’s Word can immediately come alive in your life. What a beautiful gift!!!

This study is a great gift you can suggest or give to friends. It’s not too late to sign up. We have ordered more books and are prepared to keep on sending them. Our study will not be rushed, we are taking it slow, and all the posts, assignments, and discussions will remain online.

There are still openings for our Conference Calls. If you’d like to check out the powerful messages and stellar line up of guests, you can do so at: http://melissataylor.org/and-more/ . The cost for the entire series is $15 total. For $15 you get: 4 messages designed to encourage you; inspiration-education-motivation from guests who will be interviewed during the calls; and time where you can ask questions and get answers on the spot. You have the option to be on the calls live or You can download these calls later and listen on your computer, put them on a CD or iPod, and listen anytime. Or you can call in at a later time to listen. I want you to be able to access these calls so the messages can help and encourage you. These calls are a gift. Why not get one for yourself and a friend? Call the P31 Office, 877-731-4663 or visit http://shopp31.com/conferencecalls.aspx to order.

With the beginning of our study only a few days away, I can hardly wait to get started! There is a certain buzz around this study like we’ve never seen before. Our team is praying hard for each of you. We know what God is capable of and we wait with anticipation of what He will do. We are close to 2500 ladies participating in this study. Ladies who are ready to say, “Good-Bye Fear, Hello Hope!”

Thank you and all praise and glory to God for His wonderful and generous gifts. I am especially thankful for the gift of you!

Blessings dear sisters <3

Melissa

 

Melissa

Comments

  1. Michele Caséca says:

    “Good-bye, Hello Hope!”, Melissa, I just loved it!

    My mouth is hanging open as I read your post. How sweet of Wendy to not only sign the books, but go through this whole process of writing a verse in each book you send!
    Mine I bought last february! It was a suggestion from a really good friend. I’ll bring it to the She Speaks Conference, so Wendy can sign and write a verse for me, YAY!

    Ladies, we are only a few days from May 29th! Woohoo! I’m so excited, I woke up at 2 am thinking about this.

    Let’s get prepared for the battle! YES! THE BATTLE!
    There is a “someone” who really wants us to keep believing and living his lies. Because of this, I truly believe every ministry needs to be held by prayers. Melissa, you wrote your team is praying hard for each one of us. You’ve got one more intercessor! On my knees I’ve been placing every woman before God, daily. Every comment, every cry, every struggle and problem shared on this wall is being considered, and God has listened to them.

    Let’s remember we are here together. Satan is defeated! God’s authorithy on heaven and on earth gives us our ONLY hope of success. And His Presence on us, through the Holy Spirit, leaves us NO OTHER CHOICE, but to succeed!
    Let the victories come! Let praises raise! Let faith grow! Let hope live! Let peace reign!

    I love you, beautiful women of God!

    Michele Caséca

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Dear friends, I’m so insecure about my english.
      As a portuguese speaker, It’s been such a big challenge to write in english every day in this blog! Surely it takes more time for me, than it takes for you!
      Well, as I read my own comment, I found some mistakes. I published again trying to fix some of the mistakes I found for not knowing english so well, for being tired and very busy without time to read through my comment before publishing!
      But please, let’s not let grammar and spelling issues get in our way! God’s message is greater than this.

      Sweet blessings to all of you!

      Michele Caséca

      • Michele,

        You are precious. I think I speak for anyone who has read the comments here in the last week, we see you as a prayer warrior, a leader, and a major encourager! Your English is wonderful! I make so many mistakes in writing and I’ve been speaking English my whole life!!

        Thank you so much for your sweetness, devotion, and love. You mean a lot to me and this group also.

        Love,
        Melissa

        • I agree totally with Melissa. You are a Prayer Warrior for this group of women. The encouragement you have given to me through your responses here has been so greatly appreciated. It means a lot to me that someone I don’t even know & that I have never met before could want to be holding me up in prayer when I am struggling to even tread water some days. I’m looking so forward to getting started this weekend. I finally have a 3 day weekend & want to make the most of it with my family & also set some time aside to be in God’s word. I know he has great things waiting for me to see.

          • Michele Caséca says:

            Thank you Tricia!
            I’m just saying YES to God’s call! He is the one who is loving you girls, and uses an ordinary woman like me to reach your hearts!
            The presence of God in this study amazes me! I can’t wait to get started!

            I’m praying for you!

            Michele Caséca

        • Michele Caséca says:

          Thank you soooo much Melissa for your encouragement. You also mean a lot to me, and so this beautiful group of woman.

          Blessings, and let get started! YAY!

          Michele Caséca

      • Michele,
        I’m from Eastern Kentucky, where ain’t is a word for is not and proper grammar is unheard of. You’ll never be condemned for spelling or typing mistakes… I make them all the time! Many blessing for you for praying for each of us. I believe good things for all of us.

  2. Michele Caséca says:

    “Good-bye Fear, Hello Hope!”, Melissa, I just loved it!

    My mouth is hanging open as I read your post. How sweet of Wendy to not only sign the books, but go through this whole process of writing a verse in each book you send!
    Mine I bought last february! It was a suggestion from a really good friend. I’ll bring it to the She Speaks Conference, so Wendy can sign and write a verse for me, YAY!

    Ladies, we are only a few days from May 29th! Woohoo! I’m so excited, I woke up at 2 am thinking about this.

    Let’s get prepared for the battle! YES! THE BATTLE!
    There is a “someone” who really wants us to keep believing and living his lies. Because of this, I truly believe every ministry needs to be held by prayers. Melissa, you wrote your team is praying hard for each one of us. You’ve got one more intercessor! On my knees I’ve been placing every woman before God, daily. Every comment, every cry, every struggle and problem shared on this wall is being considered, and God has listened to them.

    Let’s remember we are here together. Satan is defeated! God’s authority on heaven and on earth gives us our ONLY hope of success. And His Presence on us, through the Holy Spirit, leaves us NO OTHER CHOICE, but to succeed!
    Let the victories come! Let praises raise! Let faith grow! Let hope live! Let peace reign!

    I love you, beautiful women of God!

    Michele Caséca

  3. Jaime-Rose says:

    Hello. My name is Jaime-Rose. I find myself in this study at a very interesting, busy time in my life. I am 6 weeks away from delivering my 4th child, but our first baby girl! HOwever, in this process, Satan has been weaving his lies and drudging up past events trying to discourage. When I saw this study offered, I knew it was where God wanted me to be.

    I am a survivor of significant childhood sexual abuse by many different perpetrators, as well as emotional and mental abuse by my adopted parents. Pregnancy, while such a happy and exciting time, is a source of triggers b/c it’s an experience in which my body is not my own. It, of course, is very different than the way in which my body was not my own as a child, but, nevertheless, it pushes buttons. I did real well most of my pregnancy to turn to God and rely on His truths to get me through these feelings, b/c I am able to see Satan’s lies in these feelings.

    A few weeks ago, I received some news that I have contracted a medical condition as a result of my abuse and I felt SO defeated. I felt like my perpetrators get the last word and the last laugh. Based on the medical information, I was able to pinpoint exactly which perpetrator and it opened a floodgate of memories and flashbacks of that man’s actions. I felt like this is the “gift” that just keeps on giving; that no matter what I do for work emotionally, there now will always be an “in your face” reminder. And, this could potentially affect the birth of this child. So, the consequences of others’ actions could potentially be far reaching to my children. This ANGERS me SO much!

    And, so, I turn to the only source of healing for this anger and pain! I am confident that Jesus can heal these new and reopened wounds, as well as provide protection to my children. SO, I am going to do my best to keep up and stay focused throughout this study, but once the baby comes there may be some time missed.

    Thank you for offering this study and for all the time and prayer and love that has gone into preparing it.

    Jaime-Rose

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Dear Jaime-Rose,

      I’m so glad you found Melissa’s Blog and Melissa’s Bible Study! I can imagine how angry and hurt you must be.
      When we simply cannot understand the twists and turns of our path, we CAN run to the One who will anchor us. He doesn’t promise our lives will be free of trouble, yet He does promise to hold us close through it all.

      Never doubt God’s love and care for you. He hurts when you hurt. His son, Jesus, went up the agonizing hill to the cross and understands the deep anguish the soul can plunge to. That’s why we can trust Him to be with us in our times of overwhelming stress.

      I really pray you can find some answers with this Bible Study, and the answers you will not be able to find, God will give you the comfort you need to rest in Him.

      I’m praying for you, praying for your 3 boys, and this babygirl who’s about to come!

      Remember… nothing can deny God’s goodness and love for us!
      You and your children are sooo loved!

      Blessings,
      Michele Caséca

    • Jamie, when I read your story the first thing that came to my mind was Psalm 112. You might read it when you have a chance, it reallly speaks some wonderful truths :) I am praying for you girly!!!!
      Blessings,
      Stephanie

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Dear Jaime-Rose

      As I was praying for you this morning, our sweet Lord moved my heart to share a Bible passage with you. This passage helped me for years, during my crying in the evenings!
      “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

      My prayer for you today, is that in the morning you may find the joy you need, and notice your anger and pain were left behind!

      Can I pray for you?

      Dear Father, I come boldly to Your throne to put Jaime-Rose’s life and her children’s lives before You. Thank You that You know the questions in her heart, that You love her and promise to redeem her life from the pit as she calls on You to hold and help her. Today as she chooses to run TO You in her pain, help her to not run FROM You. Bring Your peace to her heart. Lead her feet in the right way to go. Shelter her in Your love today and guide her. I ask this in the sweet and powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

      Have a blessed day, dear sister!

      Michele Caséca

  4. CAROL BRUNTLETT says:

    I am getting excited about the bible study a little nervous because I want to be able to interact with others and comment but sometimes I feel a little bit timid not knowing what to say. But I am like one person said Lets Get This Party started. My name is Carol I am 54 yrs old and am having a ruff time have been unemployed for almost 2 yrs Oct of this yr will be 2yrs. Have not been able to find nothing , and time is running out so I have no idea what will happen tomorrow or the next day I am trusting God at least trying. I also take care of an elderly parent and that is very challenging at times and times can get tuff with her and there are days I am in tears but God is faithful , I am also a victim of child abuse from my dad and others , So I am looking forward to see what the Good Lord is going to do in y life thru this study and cannot wait to meet a few sweet sisters . Thanks Melissa for doing this and I am praying for this study and our sweet teacher Lord bless her and protect her and give her the words you want each of us to know,
    Carol

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Dear Carol,

      Don’t be nervous. God’s guidance in this study don’t allow anxiety or nervousness. We are here together, one for another!
      You cannot imagine how shy I was, and how I still am a little shy, but God gives us authority to speak in His Name! So let’s get rid of anything that holds us from doing His will!

      It’s amazing that you gave us a self-presentation. I think we all should do this, so we can start knowing each other. Well, I can go after you!
      My name is Michele, I’m a young woman from Brazil but I actually live in Calgary, Canada. I love God and serve Him with all my heart. I’ve been in a dark corner for YEARS, which held me captive and hopeless. But Jesus delivered me and gave me the freedom, peace, joy and hope I needed to be made whole again.
      Right now I’m in a place where I want to be more than a good and honest christian young woman. I wanna make a difference! I wanna make every day of my life fruitful for the Kingdom of God!

      I’m praying for you, dear Carol! Remember: God loves you. Without this simple and basic truth, we will never, ever make any progress with our struggles.

      You are precious to Him.

      Love,
      Michele Caséca

  5. Jaime-Rose says:

    Thank you everyone for your encouraging words and Scripture and prayers! I am encouraged!

  6. Thank you for this. In a world that is cruel and there are many broken lives trying to pick up the pieces and live the way God wants, it’s nice to know that someone does care. I am in counseling after many years of various traumas…diagnosed with everything under the sun, GAD,PTSD, Panic Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Mood Disorder, Myofascial Pain Disorder, Graves Disease (I had to have my thyroid removed last August) discovering my husband’s unfaithfulness…(of which we are in marriage counseling and God has brought us so far, I love him tremendously) But the fallout from being misdiagnosed, wrong medications, being on clonazapam and feeling like I can’t ever get off of it, past relationship traumas, date rape…Heavens, you name it, I guess I’ve experienced it in some form. All the way back to the trauma of my birth..I was an identical twin, but she died when we were 2 months old…and separated most of that time. Just early traumas, health issues, depression, anxiety… I have been stepping out in God, but I have realized there are some ugly things like severe hatred and rage, not just anger, but rage, that I thought I had dealt with…I want to be right before God. I want to be used by Him for His kingdom purposes and I pray for people and situations and I search the scriptures. I have stayed close to the Lord through everything up to the trauma of discovering the infidelity. (Last November) and that emotional affairs had gone on since my youngest daughter was 1 year old. (All the while being in church) THAT is what almost killed me. Out of everything, that trauma has been so hard to overcome. I regret that I didn’t call on God, no, in fact, I screamed at Him, it’s pretty scary when you have an argument with God…and you win. Anyway, I’m sorry I went into all this! Just, thank you for caring so much. I have something I’ve written, (I used to blog, but don’t much anymore) and it’s titled “Me”, and it’s basically about my beginning. I’d like to share it with you somehow, though I don’t know how to get it to you. I guess I can just leave it as a note here. I’ll do that after I leave this one. Thanks for listening to me!!

  7. “Me”
    *(There is a picture of me, but I can’t copy and paste it here, I’ll register and see if I can get a profile picture)*
        
    This is me. I’m not perfect nor do I claim to be. I’ve been marked by life’s uncertainties, inadequacies and unfairness. Some scars are visible, such as the one on my neck from the total thyroidectomy I had to go through in August. Some are not so visible, held deep within and marking my heart, mind, soul and spirit. Pain can do many things to a person and ironically for a person. My story is unremarkable really.

        I was born in the early 1970’s in July, literally unexpected. I was the second identical twin born within 2 minutes of my sister. The doctors were shocked we were not siamese twins and yet I cannot help but think that in some ways we were. Nobody told my mother she was having twins. Nobody knew I was there. The nurse in the delivery room discovered that there was another heartbeat…mine.  In those days, fathers were not allowed to go back in the delivery rooms with the mothers so you can imagine my father’s surprise and shock when they wheeled my mother out, holding not the one expected baby, but two!

         I was small at only 5 pounds and 6 ounces. Valerie, my sister, was even smaller at 4 pounds 3 ounces. We were born a month premature and she had to stay in the hospital for two weeks after our birth while I was sent home. My mother was at the hospital every day for Valerie, yet you can imagine how a newborn would be unable to bond with her mother’s absence. I had that early bonding with my grandmother. I still have a special bond with my dear grandmother to this day. 

        I was with Valerie in the womb for 8 months and only she knew I was there. Only she and I had that special communication that identical twins can experience. I just instinctively know that she knew me as no one else ever could. It was difficult to be born and to be torn way from this closest of spirits. In those days there was no in-room bassinets with the mother and no keeping twins in the same bed. Valerie and I were ripped apart at the very moment of our birth. Grandma says she could see I knew something was wrong, that Valerie wasn’t there. Someone who was the other half of my spirit, soul and literally my body was taken away. We were only to be reunited for a short time.

        Valerie came home and the super 8 videos and pictures show a happy family, two small babies and a general sense of well-being. That’s just the surface. Underneath it all was pain. Pain of separation, pain of reunion, pain of unbonded parental love, pain of of missing myself in Valerie. She would have been my opposite in personality: quiet  and calm where I am loud and boisterous, introverted where I am extroverted. No one told me this, I knew her. I always knew I had a twin, I never had to be told about her. I just knew.

         Our time together was short, only a few weeks. We were kept in separate cribs, not able to touch, not able to communicate not able to live. Valerie died when we were 1month and 3 weeks old. She died of Sudden Infant Crib Death. I was not beside her, I couldn’t help her. I believe even a small infant can help her sibling survive if they can just be together, but we were separated. The date of her death is now a world-wide tragic day: September 11th.

         Pain ruled our house those long months after her death. I was now completely severed in this world from my other half. Two months after losing my sister, I was hospitalized and I was nearly lost. Again, no mother to hold me, or comfort me. I was kept in isolation and she could only see me through the window for 3 weeks. That does something deep down in a child’s soul. The doctors recognize this today and had any of this taken place in today’s world the story might be happier. But it got worse for my family. I was finally released but not the same. I would always be missing a part of me that I knew existed.

         The pain my family endured became even more unbearable at the loss of my mother’s father, 6 months after the loss of Valerie. He died on my cousin’s first birthday. Mother was only 23 and I see 23 year olds today and wonder, could they survive what she did? Could they survive what I was born into? I did survive but survival and living out loud are very different things. All my life I’ve been plagued with health issues, emotional traumas, relational upheavals.

         Pain. One word can define so much yet it can also create a strength not easily broken. Pain can bring about a tenderness and softness of heart. The dichotomy is the strength of the soul. Pain has been a friend and a foe, an enemy and a companion. Pain is just one part of who I am. Unlike most people, I am thankful for that pain. It made me grow up and realize that life isn’t always what you think it should be. Two of my favorite quotes fit here: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”~ John Lennon and one that I’ve recently discovered: “Pain don’t hurt”~Patrick Swayze

         Ironically, life and pain will always go hand-in-hand for me. But it’s not a bad thing. I have developed a deep understanding of pain and how it can work for me, not against me. When I am rocked by life’s storms, I know how to heal; I need to be alone. Why? I was alone when my twin sister was taken from me at birth. I was alone when she was taken from me in this life. I am alone until I see her again. I will forever walk this earth alone.

  8. Michele Caséca says:

    Dear Vikki,

    I read your comments, and before I start to comment some of my thoughts here, I would like you to know I’ve been praying for you.

    You were NEVER design to live alone. God never designed us to live life by ourselves. First, our great God created us to have a relationship with Him. Then, He created us to live in relationship with others! That’s why He created Eve to Adam, and that’s why He calls us the body of Christ. We are His people, we are part of the same family! We should NEVER be alone!

    God is saying to you: “Come to me, Vikki! I don’t need your performance, I don’t need your belongings, I only need your heart!”
    Please, live aware of His presence. Don’t run through life too busy to remember that God is here. Don’t run through life too broken to remember that God is here, and that God is FOR you and NOT AGAINST you.

    When we are aware of His presence we realize He is our Provision. Do not lean on your own understanding. In time of despair, depress, in time of crush, just look up… God is here, and He loves you!

    As great as you know God to be, He is much greater than that. He wants to help you!
    “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16: 11

    I’ll pray you can find JOY in His presence and eternal pleasures through this Bible Study!

    Blessings,
    Michele Caséca

  9. I am so excited to get started on this study with all of you lovely women. I’ll be praying for us as we go through, for Melissa as she leads us, and for Wendy for being willing to share her story with us. No matter how “easy” or “hard” of a life we have had, we are all in need of God’s joy. We are all in need of light in a dark world, and all those around us need it, too. My prayer for this study for myself is that God will help me be full of joy so that it will spread to those around me. I pray that He will give me peace when I am overwhelmed. I pray that I can grow stronger in Him so that I can bring Him glory. I pray this for each of you, too!