Thursday, March 1, 2018

For Some Who Are Struggling

I'm hearing Jesus say: 

"You're not sure about Me anymore. You thought you knew Me and what I'm all about but now you question everything. You've always been a person of faith but the hardships of this life have worn you down and taken a heavy toll. You're exhausted by what's happened and also by empty religion. You're thinking I must be done with you. So much has happened; so much has changed, and it's all taken a harsh, meaningless and almost hopeless tone. You say you can't hear Me speaking to you anymore and wonder why I'm so silent. You're even wondering if you have been a total fool for believing all that you once held to be true. 

Can I tell you what I really long for you to know? 

I long for you to know you are and always have been important to Me. And not because of what you can do for Me or how well you can do it, but simply because I love you. I. JUST. LOVE. YOU. And if you never do another thing for Me; I will go on loving you as much as I always have. My love for you will never diminish. Never. I do want you to know there is more to Me though - another facet of the diamond if you will. 

Some of what you're feeling is discontentment but I want to put it in a new light; perhaps a light you've never considered. Could your discontentment be the path through which you discover more of Me? Even more of who you are? 

You are right; I'm not religious, I am relational. And my relationship with you is the most important thing to Me. 

The noise of religion, even good religion, cannot compare to the symphony of a relationship with Me. Your discontentment is actually a cry for more of what is genuine and authentic. You long for greater beauty. And although you're feeling extremely disappointed, even by Me, I want you to know I will not disappoint your longing. I want you to know I am turning up the volume of My love for you because love who is I really am. 

My love is what will satisfy your longing. My love is where I am speaking to you now and it will seem foreign at first because I am expressing it in a whole new way, but listen for it; look for it. And when you get ahold of it, it will infuse you with a wonder and contentment you've never known. It will be like oxygen to you and you'll breathe freely and laugh again. You will find more of Me there. I'm waiting for you." 

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2018 

Photo source: Pexels

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Tears of Freedom Are Coming: Your Healing Is In Your Tears

I hear the Spirit of God saying:

"There are tears coming, but they're coming to set you free. Don't fight them; don't reject them, and most certainly don't dismiss them. For they are coming to cleanse and to renew. What once was very painful in your life is going to be healed through the tears you will shed.

I created tears and they serve a very deep purpose. Precious one, don't be ashamed of the tears you are going to shed; for they are coming to help wash away the grief and the pain you carry; they are coming to help bring a refreshing to your heart and soul and yes; even to your physical body.

The time for extensive healing is upon you. Let the tears fall and let them express what you could never fully convey with your words. For I AM sending tears in this time as a great release.

There is a hope and a future I have for you but you must allow these tears to speak.

Tears are holy; they are most holy indeed. So let them come and have their say. And rejoice that your time for breaking open and breaking through is here. And take comfort in knowing you do not cry alone; for your Beloved cries with you.

Jesus is near to you and your broken heart. He knows your whole story. He knows the depth of your hurt. He knows the harm that was done. He knows the scars you carry. And He has come that you might have a newness of life.

He not only wants to rejoice with you in what is good and joyful and beautiful; He wants to weep with you in what is bad and sorrowful and ugly.

Embrace the tears, beloved son. Embrace the tears, beloved daughter.

And as you walk through these next months; know this is a time designated by Heaven for the cleansing and mending of what ails you in the deep places.

Yes, your tears are going to help bring the healing you are longing for. They are coming for your highest good."

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017

Photo Source: Tumblr

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Overcoming Discouragement

Over the past few days, the Father has been speaking to me about a battle over many of His people and He said this battle is called discouragement.

The enemy has set out to do as much damage as possible to stop, interfere with, and delay what God has promised but the one thing he has monopolized on most is using discouragement to keep many of us weighed down and entangled.

Now, I know there are many things that are happening in the world that are really discouraging, to say the least. And I know many of us are going through personal hardships that are just as disheartening. However, we must learn how to overcome while still in the battle and it’s ultimately done through the overcoming nature of our Lord Jesus.

The Father wants to stir up the overcomer in us because we have “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) within us as believers. We have the capacity to overcome because the One who has already overcome the world is alive and well in us and wants to empower us to move and function as the mighty overcomers we truly are.

We are being called to operate from our true identities as His sons and daughters on earth as it is in Heaven. The Father not only wants us to renew our minds in Christ but also allow Him to establish new paradigms of Kingdom thinking, doing, and being in our everyday lives, which will help us in our overcoming.

In a way, there is a divine discontentment that’s paralleling this battle of discouragement and it’s through this discontentment the Spirit of God is calling us to come up higher. 

I remember hearing the late Prophet Kim Clement say something several years ago that stumped me initially but gave way to having a spiritual light bulb moment later on. He used the phrase, “The dynamic of God operating within the demonic” while he was doing a teaching on how the Father uses whatever He desires to accomplish His perfect will and work all things together for our good.

I’m sure if you’re hearing this for the first time you’re likely thinking the same thing I did, namely – Whhhaaaat?!?

I started asking Holy Spirit what in the world it meant because I didn’t understand how that was possible. He showed me and once I got it; I saw it was a deep and profound truth. 

Let me explain what I'm getting at. 

God is greater than the devil and his kingdom of darkness every day of the week. Even in the midst of demonic happenings, the Father is always about His business and it’s often in ways we cannot see or fathom. We know He does not author evil, but in His wisdom, He will sometimes allow the workings of the enemy to play out in order to bring about His higher purpose and Jesus is the perfect example of this.

Satan must have really thought he had the Lord finished off while He was hanging on the cross, even more so when he actually died, but little did that devil know; it was the greater dynamic of God at work. The enemy didn't have a clue Jesus chose to lay down His life for us. And he sure didn't know the deep selfless love that motivated Him to do it. 

In the midst of what looked to be the total undoing and end of Jesus, the Son of God, a supernatural and eternal overcoming was taking place. More was accomplished through the crucifixion of Jesus than anyone knew while it was happening and even though He told the disciples ahead of time He would rise again in three days; the pain and horror of the moment overshadowed His words. I’d say they were pretty discouraged. 

We know the rest of the story; three days later speaks for itself. But for the sake of truth, I will say it nonetheless – Jesus was raised from the dead by God’s Spirit; just as He said would happen. He overcame all and He did it for us. 

The unthinkable gave way to the extraordinary; the impossible yielded the possible. God was powerfully at work in what seemed to be the devil’s playground. On the outside looking in all was lost, but on the inside looking out all was saved.

Whew. Let that sink in for a minute.

It’s like that with us. We can be so overwhelmed with what’s happening in the present that we cannot see beyond it – and we’ve all been there. Even if God has given us a prophetic word to carry us through; we can lose sight of it in the depths of our struggle and discouragement.

Of all the days, Saturday – the day in-between His crucifixion and resurrection – was probably the hardest. Waiting usually is. But waiting on the Lord also carries its own strength and harvest if we don’t give up (Isaiah 40:31; Galatians 6:9). 

Waiting eventually gives way to what’s really going on behind the scenes, meaning what cannot be visibly seen. Until it is. 

He is indeed doing a greater, higher work and much of it has been taking place out of sight, although we may be seeing some evidence of it. While He’s been revealing many things concerning this to His sons and daughters, including His prophets, it still isn’t fully visible. We only have certain pieces because we know in part and prophesy in part (1 Corinthians 13:9), which speaks to the importance of bringing our pieces together to help form a better and unified whole but that’s for another time. 

So while we’re waiting for His glorious plan and promises to unfold in our day and age, we must learn to overcome those things that are trying to oppose us in the process, including discouragement. And we must learn to overcome it through the ways He's wanting to teach us, which will be uniquely different for each of us. This is what I'm being shown is on the Father's heart.

There is a unique way He speaks or communicates to every, single person, and so there is a unique way He will reveal how to overcome discouragement to each person as well. 

For one person it might be through fun and laughter; for another, it might be through downtime and rest; another it might be through prayer and counseling; another through reading and decreeing the Word of God; still another perhaps through art, nature, or a pet. Maybe its a combination of those. Whatever it is, just listen and heed His voice because He knows what you individually need. And ultimately, keep your focus on the Overcomer himself; that is Jesus – the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). 

The mere fact that His revelation is so personal is amazing enough but add the dynamic overcoming nature of Jesus operating within us and it goes to new heights - Kingdom heights. And that's exactly what He wants.

Whatever you might be discouraged about, whatever you’re going through or waiting on the Lord for, know you carry His overcoming nature within you as an heir of God and co-heir with Jesus.

Right now I speak encouragement to each of you through Christ. I speak to the overcomer in you – rise up in the Name of Jesus! And I pray and ask Holy Spirit to reveal the unique way in which the Father wants you to learn to overcome discouragement in your life. 

In the meantime, rest in knowing you are very precious to Him, His grace is sufficient for you, and He is able to do abundantly more than you could ask or imagine according to His power at work within you. 

He believes in you, beloved.


– Michelle 

Photo © Michelle Holderman

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

the beauty from ashes project: a photographic journal series

Photo copyright © Michelle Holderman

I'm starting a new project. It's a journal of sorts; a photographic series about life and beauty and hardship and creative expression. Actually, Holy Spirit exhorted me to begin this on Facebook earlier in the summer. And so now, I'm going to be sharing it here on The Ragamuffin Saint as well.

I'm calling this the beauty from ashes project, which I think speaks for itself. I also think many of you will be able to relate to it in some way through your own life's journey or experience.

Whatever the ashes, we all have an innate desire for meaning, value, and beauty. Still, it can be really difficult to find when we're in the thick of it and dealing with things that impair our bodies, rip our hearts, and/or challenge our faith. But in our longing and struggling, I believe we might discover something more; something deeper, greater, and unexpected. Perhaps we'll discover Jesus right in the ashes with us.

I suppose this project is ultimately a revelation of that. And of His love, grace, and hope at work; even in the little things; even in the painful things.

For me, a photo always captures a moment in time and reveals a piece of the grander story. Sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's simple and sometimes it's complex. Nevertheless, it speaks.

So it is with these photographs.

This is a work in process and is probably for me as much as anyone, but I do hope it can speak to other hearts in a way that words cannot. If it does, I'd love to hear from you. And if you'd like to share your own beauty from ashes photo in the comments; I'd love to see it. Or should I say listen to it?

Thanks so much for following along, friends.

God bless you all,

- Michelle

All photos copyright Michelle Holderman

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Holy Is

Holy is loving God. Holy is also loving your neighbor as yourself.
Holy is being led by the Spirit. Holy is also walking by faith.
Holy is seeking first the Kingdom. Holy is also serving others.
Holy is worship and obedience. Holy is also joy and peace.
Holy is personal. And holy is also communal.

Holy is taking care of your family.
Holy is teaching your children.
Holy is doing it everyday.

Holy is plowing the field.
Holy is growing the vegetables.
Holy is inviting others to sit at your table.

Holy is laughter and tears.
Holy is sound and silence.
Holy is rest and labor.

Holy is buying a cup of coffee for someone who needs it.
Holy is cooking a meal for somebody who can't. 

Holy is clothing one who has none.

Holy is acting justly.
Holy is loving mercy.
Holy is walking humbly with God.

Holy is ministering to the broken and the hurting.
Holy is caring for someone who is sick or injured.
Holy is taking the time to genuinely listen to a troubled heart. 

Holy is rejoicing with those who rejoice.
Holy is weeping with those who weep. 

Holy is the mountaintop and the valley.
Holy is in the beauty and the ashes.

Holy is truth.
Holy is grace.

Holy is faithfully doing the work the Lord's given you to do.
Holy is doing that work as if you're doing it unto Him.

Holy is as much in the little, ordinary things as the big, grandiose ones. Holy is as much doing the natural part as the spiritual; it's both. We cannot separate the two in living out our faith. 

Scripture says faith without works is dead (James 2:17). What does that mean? I think it means putting tangible action behind our words and beliefs. It means giving faith our eyes, ears, voices, hearts, hands, feet, trust, time, money, energy, and attention. 

Holy is serving people as much as serving Christ. In doing one; are we not doing the other? 

I know we mostly associate holy with purity and righteousness, and this is true. However, it's not in the context of keeping or adhering to rules and regulations. Rather holy is being dedicated to God and this happens through a relationship with Jesus. 

We are holy in our union with Christ. 

We participate in holy living through spiritual intimacy with Jesus, which naturally flows out into our daily lives. We find holy in our genuine, intimate, transparent, ongoing communion with Him. But I believe we also find holy in our communion with each other. 

In this way, holy isn't religion; holy is relationship.
In this way, holy isn't just going to church; holy is a lifestyle.
In this way, holy isn't a Sunday thing; holy is a heart thing.

And the older I get, the more clearly I see through this lens.

Jesus, please help us be holy as you are holy.
Help us honor you and honor others.
Help us live holy everyday lives.

- Michelle

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2017 

Photo Source: