Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Beauty For Ashes: A Holy Work

So there I was looking at this pile of ashes I call my life; when I started to see these unfamiliar, unexpected pieces lying underneath. And I thought to myself, "What are those? And what in the world am I supposed to do with them?" 

It's strange because I thought I knew all the pieces. I thought I'd taken proper inventory. I thought I had, but there they were – residues of truth waiting for me to uncover.

This is all metaphorical, of course, but there is a lot of verity in it – years of chronic illness and trauma; years of misdiagnosis and loss; years of suffering and pain; years of working to recover.

Some of this is better and some is still an ongoing work. And perhaps, to some degree, it will remain a work in progress.

I've always tried to see the positive – the proverbial silver lining – in things despite the challenge or adversity. I've always looked for the blessing in disguise. I have always had this inner drive that when the going gets tough; the tough get going. And those are good things. The right perspective and attitude are important.

I've also developed a deep trust in the Lord and His timing, taking things to Him in prayer, which helps keep me grounded and rooted in Him and His promises. This is important too.

Still, one has to take a long, hard look at the truth of their lives and get real.

So as I've spent many of these years getting to know Him more intimately, continually learning, growing, and being trained in the things of God and His Kingdom, all while working to find answers and heal, I've also discovered those aforementioned pieces I didn't know were there – inner places of frozen pain and sorrow. 

Places I'd not given Him access to because I didn't know they even existed. 

But now I do and we're working on them together.

Through it all, I have learned His presence in our places of deepest pain is how true healing begins. 

And He does show up –

He shows up in our struggle. He shows up in our heartache. He shows up in our anger. He shows up in our fear. He shows up in our secrets. He shows up in our numbness. He shows up in our scars. He shows up in our despair. He shows up in our doubt. He shows up in our mess. He shows up in our disappointment. He shows up in our brokenness. 

He shows up in our story.

He shows up in places we didn't even know were there. 

He shows up at unexpected times and in unexpected ways.

And when He does; we wrestle. 

We wrestle with every "Why?" that we carry.

We wrestle with silence and unanswered prayers. 

We wrestle with bruises from the past and the present.

We wrestle with suffering, injustice, and not understanding. 

We wrestle with Him. 

But that's also when His grace and truth begin to dissolve our barriers, defenses, and illusions. That's when His love and compassion begin to invade the innermost crevices of our hearts. That's when His light and hope begin to spark something fresh and new within us. 

It is often a process that involves our personal willingness and participation, but it's one that eventually leads to genuine transformation. And it usually involves the people and the pieces He's chosen to be a part of our healing journey.

Let me add that this process doesn't happen just for the sake of it happening. Jesus isn't only interested in results or a good outcome; although He cares about such things.

His greatest interest is in us and the condition of our hearts because He knows heart issues hold the key to how we function in life. He knows waving a magic wand over our problems and making them instantly disappear isn't the remedy we need.

He's most interested in healing the things we don't always understand or even realize are in need of mending. He's interested, not so much in our ongoing personal comfort, but in the state of this "heart," which is the source or wellspring of our whole lives.

He knows what we are in need of; even more than we do. Therein lies both the wisdom and the mystery of the transforming nature of Christ. 

In transforming us, He transforms our pain.

And that is the ultimate exchange of beauty for ashes.

It's quite a holy work.

~ Michelle

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Deborah and Esther: God's Dynamic Duo For This Time

The Father is raising up Deborah's and Esther's together for the advancement of His Kingdom. What they could not do on their own, they will be more than able to do and accomplish together. The one will help to empower the other because the promises of God bind them together. And the Holy Spirit will set them out as the Father so wills and purposes. 

He's had His eye on His Deborah's and Esther's for a long while now. He's calling them His dynamic duo because their impact is greater together. These mighty women of God have paid a high price to go where they are going, but they said yes to the call a long time ago.

So now is the time for Holy Spirit to begin setting them out in their mutual work and assignments. They are women of valor and truth. And they’ve been handpicked by Heaven for this time. 

The Spirit of God says –

"Get ready for My Deborah's and My Esther's to rise up together. We will be a three-fold cord that's not easily broken.

I will send them into the spheres the Lord has chosen for them to walk in together. And they will walk in unity. They will walk in His love and power.

They are carriers of My justice, order, and truth. And because they are on Heaven's mission, I will supply them with the resources they need.

Above all, they carry the heart and fragrance of Jesus. They live and move and have their being in Him. For it is from out of their intimacy with Christ they'll know how to do the work He wants. Because of this, they will be like a breath of fresh air. And it is truly the air or breath of Heaven they are going to bring with them."

~ Michelle

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017 

"Perhaps you were born into the Kingdom for such a time as this." Esther 4:14 

"Two are better than one because they can reap more benefit from their labor." Ecclesiastes 4:9 

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Something New Is Starting In 2017

I hear the Father saying He is ALREADY making a way for you, and it's not by power or might but by His Spirit He is doing this. 

He says it is all coming together by the working of Holy Spirit. 

The force with which you are being pressed on feels extremely uncomfortable, but it's good because the Father is aligning you with Heaven's perfect order and timing, which include the right people at the right place at the right time. And the reason this is happening is because it is time for the new thing the Father has ordained for your life. 

By the end of the month, you are going to start seeing this take shape and form. What you haven't been able to understand or get ahold of, even now, will start to come into better focus by the end of January and get progressively clearer through April. 

I really feel this in my spirit so strongly! 

It has been such a long, difficult road but this is the start of something wonderful that only the Father can do for you. 

He is writing a whole new chapter in your story. 

The notes of a new song are beginning to play for you. 

A new sun is about to rise on your brand new day. 


Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

All Our Pieces

You know those painful, messy, broken, weary pieces we don't let too many people see? Yeah, those. Well, Jesus sees and knows. He knows we all have some pieces that are in need of mending. He sees and hears those bruised places calling out for His beautiful touch.

And sometimes we just need to be reminded that HE LOVES US THROUGH IT ALL. That He aches when we ache. That He weeps with us. That we aren't alone.

We don't have to pretend
 or perform. We don't have to try and act fine when we're really not because He already knows the truth of our scars and stories. He's already seeing us eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart. 

He's already reaching for us through the grief, anger, disappointment, and fear. He's already piercing through our filters, disconnections, and vulnerabilities. 

Yes, He walks right into our shambles, right into the messiness of it all, and finds us on the floor in our dark night of the soul. And He gets down and pulls us tightly into His kindness and compassion, and He lets us kick and scream and cry and let it all out. 

He lets us feel our deep ache. And He feels it right along with us. He knows how to hold us in our brokenness and ashes while loving us into His beauty and grace.

Then somehow we know we really are important to Him.

Somehow we understand this gut-wrenching stuff - our suffering, heartache, trauma, sorrow, hurt, and struggle - really does matter.

We can see He loves us in our deepest, darkest lows as much as He does in our greatest, sparkling heights.

We suddenly realize He chose to step into our world, and our pain, on purpose.

We get, maybe even for the first time, He truly came for us and all of our pieces. 

And that changes everything.

~ Michelle 

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:17 NLT

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Jesus: The First Noel

Of all the Christmas carols there are, it's The First Noel that has always made me cry. There have actually been times I've sobbed upon hearing it. It’s the kind of thing I’ve understood and I haven’t. Yes, it is my favorite Christmas song but it runs even deeper then that. So a few years ago, I started researching the word noel and its origins. And the Holy Spirit began enlightening me to some deeper truths.

I am not a theologian, and this was not an exhaustive study, but I thought I'd share a brief summary of what I discovered in my own searching.

The First Noel is a traditional English carol. I could find no information about who originally penned the song. However, additional lyrics were written and edited by William Sandys and Davies Gilbert, both British authors, who gave us the version we know so well today. They entitled it, The First Nowell, and based it upon the Gospel account of Christ's birth.

The English word Nowell was taken from the French word Noel. It can be traced further back to the Latin word natalis, which means "birth" or "birthday" as a noun, or "of or relating to birth" as an adjective. Noel is also used as a modern term for Christmas or in reference to the Christmas season.

So when we sing The First Noel, we're singing about Jesus and His birth. Said another way, we are singing in celebration of His birth. He is The First Noel or the first Christmas. Perhaps it could even be rightly called the first birth or the original birth of Christmas.

I personally believe the true root (Jesus; the root of Jesse [David's father] - Isaiah 11:10; Romans 15:12; Revelation 22:16) of Christmas was established by the first coming of Christ as a baby. And while we commemorate or celebrate His birth during this time of year, it's not just a holiday; Christmas is a person. 

Christmas is Jesus.

He came to us because God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] will not perish, but have eternal life with Him. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:16-17). 

I'll add my own translation here: 

Christmas came because God loves us. And He, Jesus, is God's gift to us.

When you accept Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are receiving The First Noel himself. You're truly receiving and being transformed by Emmanuel, which means God with us. And He is with us. Therefore, you carry the living CHRISTmas within you - in your spirit.

When we sincerely invite Him into our lives, He comes. When we call upon His name, He comes. He comes to have genuine relationship with us. He comes for us to know Him. It is the supernatural residence of Christ in us sealed through and by the Spirit of God. The Apostle Paul called it a mystery. And to our natural minds it most certainly is, but it's true nonetheless. 

It's no wonder, then, that our spirits would bear witness to this song, or any song or words for that matter, about Him (which is why I believe it affects me the way it does). The Spirit of Christ in us is responding. Our innermost being is bearing witness to the truth of who He is and what He's done for us.


Just as Elizabeth's baby (John the Baptist) leapt in her womb when she was near Mary with Jesus in her's, may we be stirred this beautiful holy season by "the hope of glory" in us. May we come to know Him more deeply. And may we live everyday as holy in the very essence of Christmas itself; in Jesus, Yeshua, our King - our beloved Noel.

In His love and peace,


Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2016