Friday, January 7, 2011
LETS CHAT FRIDAY with JULIE MILLER GORMAN
Doesn't this dessert look scrumptious? We all love our sweets. They satisfy a hunger, but friends, this morning as Julie Miller Gorman and I chat you are going to be filled with so much more. Encouragement, inspiration and wisdom on how to walk with purpose and passion in your Christian faith. Julie is a returning guest. She is my first guest of the new year 2011. Our first chat in June of 2010 was just a blessing. Here I am once again with Julie and this time we have new questions. Life has brought changes for both of us since that first interview, but you know, God is good. He brings us through everything with a new perspective. He can use every obstacle as an opportunity to bring us closer to Him and the child of God He has created us to be. I pray you are blessed today by Julie. She is just one of those ladies who you meet and it feels as though you have been together your whole life. She just makes you feel at home in her company. Sit back, grab a cup of your favorite tea and enjoy our sweet chat.
(Robin) Julie, please tell us a little about yourself.
(Julie) Robin, thank you for such an awesome opportunity to share, I pray every reader finds a little nugget of encouragement in my story. I’m a wife, mother, and minister. I enjoy hot bubble baths on cold days, listening to Chris Tomlin music any time, and am a sucker for a good movie and popcorn any day of the week. I love writing, preaching, and watching God use the messages He give me to encourage, empower, and equip believers for ministry.
(Robin) I would love for you to share your testimony
(Julie) Like many of your readers, I grew up in a severely dysfunctional home (every abuse was present). My desperate longing to be loved paved the way for MANY poor choices including an incessant search for “mister right”. I always loved God but the practicality of walking out my faith sojourned up and down the twisting turns of broken-relationships. At 21 I married, at 28 I divorced, during those seven years I ministered as a missionary and evangelist, while hiding the secret struggles of my first husband…eventually his “private sins” led me to the place where I couldn’t go on. My divorce opened the door for the enemy to shout endless accusations and an overwhelming feeling of failure, loneliness, and disqualification. However, in the months following my separation, GOD revealed HIS AMAZING GRACE. One night, as I sat at the end of the bar, wondering how my life had spiraled so out of control, God gently spoke to my spirit saying, “Julie, there is no where you can run, that my grace won’t find you still.” I remember thinking, Lord, this is a bar…You’re not suppose to be in a bar. All the years I spent preaching on grace became REAL as I experienced God’s unconditional love. Since that time, my life has never been the same. Though I accepted God in my heart at the age of 6…the realization of my salvation and the evidence of GOD’S LOVE took place in a bar some 15 years later. Once you experience true GRACE…you can’t remain the same. Since that time, God blessed me with an amazing husband and three wonderful children.
(Robin) In your journey as a woman what has been the most challenging?
(Julie) Oh wow…besides dealing with ever increasing hormones at age forty (LOL) I’d have to say, my greatest challenge has been resting in the grace God revealed to me (in that bar). As a woman, I tend to compare myself with others, scrutinize my “self-proclaimed” flaws, and wonder if I really matter. I battle with questions like: What do I really have to contribute? Is God pleased with my life?...Throw all those questions into the mix of wanting to please my husband, raise Godly children, and make a difference in the world around me…and…well… you probably have the same scenario most women face…the proverbial check list of: LAUNDRY…check. Dishes…check. Carpool lines…check. Encourage others…check? Please God…check?? Walk in the freedom of being loved by an amazingly good FATHER…check??? My passion to empower and equip others, if not tempered and surrendered, can turn into a weight that God NEVER intended for me to pick up.
(Robin) What has been the most challenging aspect of being a mother and the most rewarding?
(Julie) Man…just mention my kids and you make me smile! Wow, where do I begin? I think for some, mother-hood comes more natural. For me, I grew into being a “mommy” and probably still have a long way to go. My greatest challenge as a mother is making sure I communicate the “right” messages. Challenging my children to be the best they can be without mixing the message of “having to be good enough” to be rewarded…the challenge of helping them make “right choices” without squelching the opportunities of allowing them to make the mistakes that actually lead them closer to Jesus. By God’s grace, my greatest reward has been in receiving a deeper revelation of God’s amazing and unconditional love. Amidst all the mistakes, God has showered me with hidden treasures of endless hugs and kisses…and amazed me with three beautiful children who lavish unconditional acceptance. Among all the honors I’ve received, the recognition, the accomplishments…TRULY there is no greater honor than being a wife and mother. I witness God’s unconditional love through the love I have for my children, and through the love I receive back from my children.
(Robin) I believe a mistake is only a mistake is we cannot walk away with a greater wisdom. Has there been a time in your life where struggle occurred from a poor decision and if so, how did you overcome?
(Julie) Oh boy, where do I begin…LOL. I could talk about a lot of poor choices here…like marrying our of my desperate need of wanting to be loved, a decision that resulted in divorce…or re-marrying before working through the necessary healing needed from my first marriage, a decision that caused a lot of heart-ache and frustration. But quite honestly, I think my greatest struggle and poor decisions have been made in the day to day choices I make… like a poor decision of not remembering who God says I am, those decisions cause me to cave to feelings of isolation and unworthiness. Or, when the enemy whispers, “You’re a failure. You’ll never be good enough!” and I believe him. It’s during these moments that I have to make new choices, and choose to remember WHO GOD IS and hold fast to WHAT HE HAS PROMISED. Choosing to remember WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE HAS PROMISED is the only way to overcome Satan’s barrage of accusations.
(Robin) How do you define success?
(Julie) Success is a result of obedience. I’ve heard it said that if God calls you to be a ditch digger, you’d have to step down to become the president. In other words, success isn’t found in accomplishments, accolades, or achievements, but in the quiet recesses of our mind, it’s the inner-sanctuary of rest that we find when we are convinced that one day we will hear, “WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.”
(Robin) Looking back, what advice would you give to yourself at the age of eighteen to prepare you for life ahead?
(Julie) Whew, now there’s a thought. Aside from saying don’t be too serious, slow down, enjoy life each day, and you don’t have to earn God’s love…I’d probably quote the same message I recite at the end of every Radio Broadcast I do: “DREAM BIG…LAUGH OFTEN… REMEMBERING GOD’S GOT IT ALL UNDER CONTROL!”
(Robin) With a new year beginning, what do you hope to accomplish this year?
(Julie) This NEW YEAR Brings a lot of excitement: I will preach in a few different countries, currently, I’m hoping to raise financial support to help TEEN CHALLENGE in the UKRAINE and an orphanage in HAITI. I’ll also be travelling and speaking with an amazing group of ladies on the WOMEN INSPIRED TOUR. (You can read more about Women Inspired at: http://www.womeninspired.org/) But aside from all the ministries, my hope for this New Year is to live each day with JOY, LAUGHTER, PEACE, and LIVE each day knowing God orders my steps and I can’t miss His Plans or mess them up.
(Robin) What encouraging words would you give to someone encountering loss?
(Julie) Wow Robin, more than words I would want to just hug them around the neck, offer a shoulder to cry on, and sit quietly with them. Sometimes loss is so great that words just don’t suffice…but with every ounce of sincerity I would muster the courage to say… “I know you feel strangely alone right now, I know there are no words I can offer to make your pain disappear, but I want to encourage you with this truth…God is near. His word declares He is close to the broken-hearted and He saves those who are crushed in spirit. So, though it feels He’s abandoned you…YOU ARE NOT ALONE…and some how…some day…God will take every part of your suffering and use it for good. Jeremiah 29:11 promises us, His plans are to bless us and not harm, his plans are to give us a hope and a future.” So when you’ve done all you know to do to stand…stand firm. (Eph. 6)
(Robin) My pastor says, "If the Lord has done something for you the least you can do is say so." Dear friend, what is the Lord doing in your life?
(Robin) What empowering advice would you give to someone facing adversity?
(Julie) God doesn’t waste anything. Press into Him and remind yourself daily of WHO HE IS and WHAT HE HAS PROMISED! Remember, God fulfills all of HIS PROMISES. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
(Robin) In your legacy what do you hope to leave behind?
remember to always DREAM BIG, LAUGH OFTEN, and REST KNOWING GOD's got it ALL CONTROL.