Because Failure Is Not Your Fate

by | Jan 16, 2013 | Uncategorized


I carried my yellow Tinkerbell cup of steamy tea back into the bedroom, sat down on the bed and pushed my pajama legs back under the sheets still warm with body heat. We slept in. H and I savored the moments of quiet under a halo of slanted light streaming dust particles through the slats on the shutters. And we watched CBS Sunday Morning together.

Do you believe God can speak to you through morning television? 

I do.

I listened to Nick Vujicic, the man without arms or legs tell about God’s goodness in the midst of his seemingly hopeless situation; heard how Scarlett Johansson overcame early rejection in her career due to her “unfeminine” husky voice. And just when I thought I understood the depth of God’s love, he said, “But there’s more.”

They chose to approach life with focused determination founded on what they have; instead of fate based on what they lack.

And I’m pondering what God is saying to me through their stories. How I can speak life into those people discarded by circumstance like dry bones the way Ezekiel did. Breathe life into my own dry places by believing in the power of God’s restoration.

So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! ~Ezekiel 37:10

I gently push my tea onto the bedside table with my reading glasses and phone, wipe away tears with the corner of my blue bed sheet. Then I lean over and kiss H, my Ezekiel.

On days of discouragement, he restores the pulse of my faith to hope again.

Who are your Ezekiels?

Tomorrow I will sit across from a young girl I’m mentoring and talk with her about destiny. She was chosen for me because of the dry bones she carries, but I believe there is life inside the sinews waiting to come alive.

“Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!” ~Ezekiel 37:5-6

Who needs you to speak life into their dry bones?

This post is inspired by Chapter 6, The Wonder of Restoration in Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg.

Linking with Ann, Laura and Jen.

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  1. Lynn Morrissey

    I love this passage from Ezekiel, Shelly, and remember how my dad, with his beautiful basso profundo voice, used to sing: “The anklebone connected to the leg bone, the leg bone connected to the knee bone……etc.” I used to picture those dry bones springing to life, enfleshed and muscular. I used this theme in a Spiritual CPR course I wrote and taught on personal spiritual revival. So whom did I mentor? Women who’d once been passionate for the Lord, but felt their spiritual breath sucked out of them. But I can’t tell you how, by the end of the course, God had graciously answered their prayers for revival. We were all dancing a happy dance-in-the-Spirit over here. How wonderful that you are helping this young woman, Shelly. When we pray for revival, God answers! Dancing with you, dear sister. May the Lord bring you great joy!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Wow, what a wonderful opportunity Lynn. I’m leading a group of women a few generations ahead of me into dreaming and expectant prayer. What a gift it has been so far!

      • Lynn Morrissey

        That is so wonderful Shelly! I love older women and I want to see them maximize their gifst for the Lord, w hich is what you are doing! Sounds so special.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Praying some life returns to the dry places for you Megan.

  2. Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

    This is one of my most favorite passages to pray for those I lift to Him as well as myself… These last several days I’ve been writing a story about someone God opened a door for me to write to for several years. Someone I pray God used my letters to breathe life into “dry bones.” The thought that He can take our simple words and do that is an amazing gift. All Him…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      There is such imagery in these verses which the writer in me loves. I can see life returning to those old abandoned bones as I read it, and my faith stands up too.

  3. elizabethfstewart

    How blessed to be married to an Exekial who speaks life into you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I thank God for him daily Elizabeth. He is such a gift to me.

  4. ro elliott

    Oh how important it is to have someone to breathe life into us as we gasp for our next breath..and what a gift and honor to be able to speak life into some who needs encouragement. Blessings as you meet this young girl

    • ro elliott

      Oh…my Ezekiel ….my dear…dear husband….Shelly we have talked how blessed we are….a rare gift indeed.

      • Redemption's Beauty

        I knew that about you. And yes, we are truly blessed.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I know how much those words have meant to me during especially dry times of life, like the last year for instance. And your words have been some those Ro. God has used you over and over again to encourage me to keep going when I could’ve thrown in the towel. Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      And I hope those bones will get up out of bed soon and walk around without your fluffy robe on soon. Hope you are getting back to normal. Always happy to see you in my comments.

  5. Jennifer Camp

    I love your question, “who needs you to speak life into their dry bones.” Just want to let God penetrate my heart with that now. And my husband is my Ezekiel, too.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      There are so many that need our life giving words. I sat in a circle of women who were testifying about the way their gifts have impacted each other and realized how important it is to say the good things we think about people out loud. We need to do it more, at least I do.

  6. Jillie

    Dear Shelly…what a wonderful post. I’ve never read that passage in Ezekiel in quite this way. I don’t know that I’d say my husband is my Ezekiel—usually it’s the other way around. He is oftentimes weary and discouraged in his job and life in general, and I try to encourage and speak life into him.
    I also try, almost daily, to lift up and encourage my grown daughter through email. Just so she knows how very much I love her and how God has got her back out there in her busy workday. I also have a precious young niece, only 14 years of age, whom I write letters to. And she writes back to me. She doesn’t live that far away, but 3 years ago we agreed to be pen-pals. She loves to write, as do I. I can say things in a letter that I cannot always express face-to-face. She is a young Christian, but I don’t know that she receives much encouragement in her home setting. I just feel wonderful about the relationship she and I have established through writing.
    My Ezekiel would be my best girlfriend and my cousin. Both are joy-filled and they spill all over me whenever we meet for coffee or email chat. And then, there is this wonderful, Spirit-filled group of bloggers I read who draw me closer to The One in their writings. ;D I have much to be thankful for every day.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You have been an Ezekiel to me Jillie, I hope you know that. I’m so thankful that you have a friend like this who speaks into your life. And I feel the same way about the friends I read on-line. Their words have helped to transform my faith.

  7. Danelle

    My husband. Always.
    But I have a circle, my “inklings” who seem to take supernatural breaths, saturate me with prayer and fill my writer’s lungs with encouragement and hope. You are such an important, valued part of that circle Shelly.
    I can’t say in words how much you all mean to me:)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It’s a privilege to walk out my faith beside you Danelle. I count you as one of the greatest gifts of my blogging journey. And if there is any consolation in what I’ve offered it all grace and to God be the glory.

  8. Laura

    Is it possible that you could be my personal messenger sent from God? So very often you address an issue that has been burdensome to me. Discouragement….I’ve been dealing with it this past week. I am usually the one who tries to be strong and “there” for others but I decided this time I really needed to be reaching out for a hand up. I was guarded in choosing a friend to confide in. What blessed words she sent into my dry, cracked spirit.
    I pray that I am Ezekiel to others.
    Thank you for this message.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’m humbled Laura. And in awe of the way God brings people together for such a time as this. I’m so thankful he brought you to the doorstep of my blog. Thankful for the way He is working in your willing heart. Thankful for a friend you can confide in. Thankful that He would use anything I say to bless you, really. I hope you know how much it means that you left this comment. Thank you.

  9. Lynn Morrissey

    Shelly, I had meant to say…..what is a Tinkerbell cup? Sounds so cute. =] Michael, my Ezekiel, places my Lenox butterfly cup and saucer out every morning along with Irish tea. Isn’t that sweet? I mention the name of the cup, only because it is tall and narrow and keeps the tea piping hot (b/c less liquid surface is exposed). ANd I LOVE butterflies. Ah……the deep insights I leave on your blog! =]

    • Redemption's Beauty

      My Tinkerbell cup is my go-to cup for morning tea. I bought it almost 13 years ago on the one and only trip my kids have made to Disneyland. It was my souvenir and I still love it as much as the day I bought it. My son still an infant and slept through most of the trip! I think we need to go back. 🙂
      And btw, I think your husband spoils you a bit . . which is a good thing.

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Oh, don’t I know that I am spoiled!! This is a silly request, but could you post a photo of your Tinkerbell cup?! Also, don’t want to sound like an elitist with the Lenox cup, but I have found them gloriously on sale in St. Louis from time to time.

  10. Nancy Ruegg

    These words from your post were a refreshing breeze to my spirit: “When I thought I understood the depth of God’s love, he said, ‘But there’s more.'” He has already done so much. Time and again I have been blessed by his kindness, encouragement, guidance, and serendipity blessings. Yet there’s always more. Memorized words from long ago come to mind: “Surely goodness and love will follow me ALL the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6a). Praise God! And thank you, Shelley.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      He is always knocking my socks off Nancy. I’ll never truly understand that deep well of love that He lavishes so generously to this messy life. But I’ll accept it with a thankful heart. Glad you found solace in the words here, they are His, truly.

  11. laura

    lovely, my friend. how wonderful that you are mentoring this young girl, Shelly. Just think! sometimes I imagine the young me sitting there in the chair with the young girls I teach and it makes it all so worth it. you are beautiful, do you know?

    • Redemption's Beauty

      That is why I’m doing it. I think about what I faced during those years and how I overcame such hardship, how grateful I am for the parents and teachers that invested in my life. It made a difference for me, I hope it will in some way for her too.

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