Sunday, January 31, 2010

Healing Restored

I do not ask to understand the way that I should go
I will simply follow thee on the path I do not know
I cannot see in front of me and the night seems to never end
Although I'm scared and lost right now I trust you for the end
I've asked for healing so many times and it seems as if ignored
But now I see that I must bow down if I wish to be restored
Pridefully I've touted how much I've done and how much I know
But you require none of that for mercy to begin to flow
You require a heart that bends humbly at your throne
Stripped of pride and emptied-all thats left is a spirts groan
And then when the self has realized that she cannot save her soul
Its then she finds her way back to the one who fills the hole
For only in our emptiness can God begin anew
He humbles that our eyes may see the sin and how it grew
And grow it did with pride to nourish the leaves of disbeleif
Until God cut it to the quick with never ending grief
And so it seems as if the end, as if a part has died
But a new beginning around the bend, yes he felt the tears I cried
So I do not ask where I am going, I really don't need to know
All that's needed is a humble heart that's willing to let go

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sometimes we just need to stop and turn around

Stop! Turn Around! No, Seriously, STOP, TURN AROUND! You ask me over and over again to heal you honey, but you keep walking the wrong way. The path you refuse to move off of is fraught with landmines right and left, rattlesnakes, and big man eating holes!!! Yet, you keep walking, climbing out of one hole, soon to have your leg blown off by the landmine, and your other leg bit by a rattlesnake. Are you enjoying this is, cause you refuse to turn around? Are you that fearful of facing your past, that you would rather keep on a path of destruction for your future? Are you that prideful, that you refuse to admit that the direction you are going just might be the wrong way. If you really want healing, honey, STOP and TURN AROUND!

It takes courage, to turn around and face the past, to walk back through the wreckage. But the more you go in the wrong direction, the more wreckage you have to sift through when you eventually decide enough is enough. So, just trust me, and turn around now, turn around today. You ask me for healing, for freedom from the bondage, but how can I ever set you free if you won't turn around and give me your hands. Why would I heal you when you continue down the road of destruction, if you continue on that path the moment I heal you that rattlesnake is gonna bite again. Turn around, and I will start the healing. You have a long journey ahead, but nothing I can't sustain you through. It seems overwhelming I know, but one step at a time, just turn around, and trust me for the rest.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Only by the Grace of God

I sat there, listening. Listening to the story another woman told about her daughter. A daughter who was similar in age to me, and similar in background to me. Yet, she was in a far different place in her life, so it seemed, or was she?

The story was of a girl who out of high school had received attention from a boy, ended up getting pregnant, having an abortion, had struggled with addiction, and was still struggling to get her life back on track. Things which only by the grace of God were unfamiliar territory to me, however the beginning of her story was shockingly similar, frighteningly familiar.

A girl with not so good self esteem, who was simply longing for another to care about her, to make her feel special, to make her feel worthwhile. Oh, she had loving Christian parents, but somehow her soul had gotten lost in a sea of self doubt. Then along comes a boy, one who shows her special attention, who promises he loves her, and suddenly she is starting to feel better about herself so it seems. So she does whatever this boy wants, anything, because she doesn’t want to lose this feeling, she is up for the first time in a long time. Yes, this was me, and it led me into a situation at age 15 that I longed to forget, so much that I never even talked about it for the last 13 years. And when I began to talk about it, talk about a flood. It seems the longer we pen up the floodwaters, the more force they fall with.

And so that is where I find the kinship with this other woman, who also found someone who made her feel loved, and special, and so she did what she thought was right, she followed him wherever he led. However, for her, things went on a much different path. You see, I never got pregnant, and so I never had an abortion, and never fell into addiction – and all of this is ONLY by the grace of God. I went on from that relationship at 15 with some significant emotional impairments, and I still struggle to trust and have an open relationship with my husband, but the baggage seems so small compared to what it could have been, but for the GRACE of God I was spared so much pain.

And suddenly I find myself in a place of sheer thankfulness, and am almost a little shocked at myself that I have failed to acknowledge the blessings God has provided. My life is not perfect, my marriage is not perfect, and I have a child with Asperger’s Syndrome and another with Sensory Processing Disorder. But, how immensely blessed am I. I could have been pulled over for driving drunk and gotten a DUI, but I was not. I could have gotten pregnant, but I did not. In the place I was, I don’t doubt that I would have contemplated abortion, but God shielded me from that choice. I could have fallen in love with another boy who would have emotionally abused and raped me again, but I did not. God provided me with an amazing man, my husband Kevin, who I love with all my heart. And who is always patient despite the UHAUL of emotional baggage I brought into our marriage, and God has blessed both of us with the most beautiful children in the world. So, today I count my blessings, and I consider how loved I am that God has spared me all this hurt and pain. I have my struggles, I have my own demons to fight, but by the abounding love of grace of God, I have been redeemed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Seeking Deliverance

Despite that fact that I have been a Christian for many years, and grew up in a wonderful Christian family, I can look back and see that for years I have been constantly in pursuit of my deliverer. Not my real deliverer, but a deliverer in human form. Throughout the years I have sought and sought people to save me. People who might make me feel better about myself, that person who might make me feel worthy. I have sought it from my husband, and I have sought it from countless friends and mentors. The problem being, none of them have ever been successful. Imagine that!?!?

God has sent me some truly amazing people in my life, including an amazing husband, beautiful children, and amazing women of faith. Yet none have been able to complete the task of deliverance. And when they don’t, I become disheartened and usually distance from them in search of another.

As I have been begging God to break me free from the bondage of depression and anxiety he has shown me one big fat ugly sin, well make that several, but I am attacking them one at a time! He has shown me that because of my own pride and self-absorption I have been neglecting to even reach up my hand to him. I have believed that I can either climb out myself, or find the right person to pull me out. Or if not that, at times I have been so comfortable in the pit of myself, I felt that there was really no reason to come out.

God gives us some wonderful people. I can think of one right now that without her loving kindness walking me through some past hurt, I just might have let Satan bury me alive. But she, nor anyone else, is my redeemer or my deliverer. God will not take second place in our lives, he wants it all or nothing from us, and he deserves it all. He will not fail us, it’s just a little harder sometimes to trust in that unseen hand when someone around us may be more visible.

“Faithfulness is never passive, It is the active filling of every gap with faith” Beth Moore

“He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” Romans 4: 20-21

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hot Pockets

Yes, Hot Pockets (are you singing the hot pockets commercial in your head right now, LOL, cause I am :)! They are not one of my favorite things to eat, in fact I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have treated myself to the delicacy of a hot pocket, however they just popped into my mind today as an illustration.

You know the irony of a hot pocket is it starts out frozen and all sealed up in a nice neat little package. Not to far off from what we can do to our own “Hot Pockets”. We seal them off, not letting anyone in to touch them, often even sealing them off from God. “God you can have this and this, but not THAT, I am NOT willing to let go of that, I am not willing to FORGIVE THEM, no don’t touch this part.” Or, maybe we just freeze that part, turning it into a hard cold rock like place in our heart. “No, that part has been hurt to many times, It is now frozen over.” After all, if we freeze it we can keep it forever,we are much to afraid to let God touch that hurt and throw it out with the rest of our garbage.

Then someone finds that hot pocket, and pops it in the microwave. All of the sudden there is steam rising, and ooey gooey stuff leaking out the sides. Yes, someone will eventually discover the hot pocket in the freezer of your heart, and when they see it some will want to warm it up. And no matter how they go about doing that, warming up that pocket can cause a definite leakage of steam and gooey messy emotions.

God sees that Hot Pocket in your heart, and rather than warming it up quickly in the microwave or fire of the oven, as some people will do, he knows how to thaw that hot pocket just right, just the temperature he wants it to be. He is gentle, he is kind, and thank goodness he is patient when we let him into the Hot Pockets of our lives. He gently thaws and unwraps our pockets and warms the frozen places, and sometimes, yes he even refines it in the fire, and ouch it may hurt and some emotions may come gushing out! But ultimately, he can heal those hot pockets, if we are WILLING, and give him CONSENT. He won’t do it by force my dear, you must consent.

Ezekiel 36:25-27
I will cleanse you from all you impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just Have some fun :)

Just have some fun! That’s it for today :) Relax, believe, and let God take the wheel! He has the power to do what he has promised!

“He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” Romans 4:20-21.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spiritual Glasses

So last night I was so very very clumsy. First off I dropped two glasses on the floor in the kitchen, shattering them to bits. Then, when I went to do iron my clothes I knocked the iron off of the ironing board onto the rug, which quickly began to burn and stink to high heaven and my iron is now covered in red gooey rug goo. When I finally crawled into bed I saw my glasses sitting on my nightstand, and thought to myself, well, maybe you are not just clumsy, maybe you should actually wear your glasses, then you could see, what a novel idea, LOL!

But, seriously, aren’t we kind of like that spiritually. We wonder around our hearts and our minds, bumping into this, dropping that, burning this, setting things on fire, and constantly rushing to clean up the messes we have made. Maybe it’s time for us to put on our glasses, and open our eyes to the sins in our life that our entangling us. The sins that very well may be part of the reason we are still dwelling in the pit!

I don’t know about you, but my idea of sin used to be like the seven deadly sins. I though well lets see here I didn’t murder anyone today, ummm, no adultery, I told a little white lie, God forgive me of that, but I think that’s it, so I think I’m good! When God put his glasses on me, I began to see a WHOLE lot more, things that I didn’t even want to see, and had been living in denial of for years! Things like selfishness, bitterness, and a deep seated anger that led to and still at times leads to avoidance. Things I must confess just about every single day. And believe me when I say, he is not finished with me yet, FAR from it, he continues to show me more every single day! Things I could never see on my own, but when I put his glasses on, wow, it all begins to show. But the most beautiful thing about when sin is revealed is that he is mighty to save. His forgiveness is immediate. On the cross it was finished, and any sin God reveals and you confess is forgiven, so don’t let Satan continue to beat your over the head with it!

Today, ask God to open your eyes to un confessed sin that may be wandering around making a mess in your heart. And then receive his forgiveness, and keep in mind change doesn’t happen overnight. Sin patterns can become so engrained, that it often requires tremendous effort and time spent on our knees to overcome the bondage. But hang in there, be patient, and remember when you fall, his hand is always right there to pick you back up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

When you stop looking for a rubber band, you find your heart!

Well, this morning God taught me a lesson, in of all places, the bathroom. LOL.

So I am getting ready to dry my hair this morning. I go looking for my rubber band to hold the top half of my hair up while I dry the bottom half. Looking, looking, looking, no rubber band to be found! Frustrated, I hear a still small voice, "Honey just go ahead and start drying your hair without the rubber band, I have something to show you." And I think, "Really God? With a rubber band?" "Yes, honey, with a rubber band." Okay, I reluctantly obey. I swing my hair over my head and start drying it upside down, thinking, okay God is going to show me how he meets my needs even when I can't see it, there is going to be a rubber band on the floor. Looking, looking, looking, no rubber band. Looking some more, I hear, STOP LOOKING! OKAY OKAY OKAY, and when I finally stop looking, I spot it. Not a rubber band, but a beautiful tiny little heart sticker stuck to my rug. A little heart sticker that a sweet little girl had given to me the week before while I was teaching Sunday School, stuck right to my rug, right in front of my face. And then it comes, "Honey, when you stop looking for a rubber band, you find your heart."

And so, I publish this for a few reasons. Number one, God can speak to anyone, anytime, anywhere, through anything! Even when it makes no sense and sounds crazy and absurd, sometimes I think he prefers it that way so that we have no doubt in our minds that it had to be him! Second, top looking for a rubber band, and you will find your heart. Rubber bands can be anyting we use to bind up our hearts. Perhaps we bind them up with silence, or sarcasm, or funny jokes, or laughter, or avoidance, or feeling sorry for ourselves. Whatever it is we prefer, so many of us bind up our hearts, lest anyone see our true emotions. And then we wonder why we feel empty and alone. My dear, stop looking for more rubber bands to bind up that wounded heart. Sometimes wounded hearts just need to bleed a little. It may be broken, it may be damaged, hurting, bleeding, hemorrhaging even. But, I think that is just the way God likes our hearts to be. If they were not wounded, what would there be for him to heal. And as Beth Moore has said, we are often much more beautiful people healed than we would have ever been if we were perfect. So today, stop looking for that darn rubber band, the one you use every day to make sure things look just right, and let God in to find your heart, it may be broken, but trust him to show you how beautiful broken can be.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Trust in me, he says

This is a place I don't want to be
Trust in me, he says
This is a place I cannot stand
My dear, sometimes we all fall down
But I can't take it any longer
I will renew your strength, he whispers
I am all alone
I will never leave you, he loves
I'm tired, but I trust in you
He holds my hand, he smiles
Hold me for just a little while
He hugs me, and looks in my eyes
"You have my strength, you have my love,
you have my rest when you need it, but nows the time
to fight the battle, go, fight, and when your tired
and need renewed, all you need do is receive it"

Trust in the Lord with all you heart soul and mind. We all fall upon times we cannot understand, and times we would rather just lay down and pull the covers back over our heads! It is then, when we feel so exhausted, like we cannot move another inch that we must trust in our Savior. Trust in him with all our heart, and peel back the layers of bondage so that he can heal us. Trust in him with all our soul, believe that he will do what he says he will. And trust in him with all our mind. Our cognitions can be wild, and we start believing the lies of the enemy, whatever those may be. Perhaps that you are worthless, perhaps that you deserved whatever happened to you, that you will never find healing, that you are fundamentally flawed, that things are hopeless, that you are anything less the the Amazing Stunningly Beautiful Daughter of Christ that he made you to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anything short of that is a lie of the enemy! Trust in him with all your mind, believe that you are what he says you are, and let him heal your broken heart. Oh how he loves!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 1 Devotional-Silence can be a friend or foe!

Day 1
Silence. How it can be deafening. How we can fear nothingness, silence, how painful it can be, seeming as if it is unbearable at times. So we seek to fill the silence with whatever we can. Be it work, household chores, hobbies, text messages, internet, prescription drugs, another glass of wine. Whatever it takes to break the silence, or numb the pain. Because to have both, the silence and the pain would seem unbearable. So we seek to rid ourselves of one or the other. Some of us would rather break the silence with busyness, the workaholic types. We work and we work and we do and we do and we do more so that we don’t have a moment to sit still with our thoughts. Others of us have more of a tendency to numb utilizing whatever is available, so that we don’t have to feel. Weather we numb or work ourselves to death, we are both hiding. Hiding from the feelings we have, maybe if we hid out long enough they will wander off and find someone else to pester and consume. However, it never seems to happen, they always stay, and we cannot hide forever. Eventually they catch up with us. And here we are, alone in our silence, except for our thoughts, they never seem to leave us alone. But there is another who never leaves us alone. Although we can’t always feel his presence, and it may seem as if he is in a far off distant land, prayers hitting the ceiling, and here we are, feeling alone in this cold dark room. Scared, afraid, lonely, hurting.
My darling, you can’t always see him, you can’t always feel him, but he is always there, you are never alone. Return to him and he will return to you. He is waiting, with open arms. Close your eyes and fall into his loving embrace, and for just a few moments, embrace the silence, let the feelings come. Just for today, for this moment, let the tears fall, let the feelings come, knowing you are safe in the arms of the father. Let them pour out from your heart as you relax into his loving embrace. Curl up with a pillow if you need to, clutch your bible if it helps you, hold onto anything you can to remind you that he is there, to help you feel his presence more. And darling let go of those tears, you have held on long enough. You have been strong long enough. There is no need to be strong right now, he has enough strength for the both of you. Let him hold you, let him love you, let your heart open up just a little, just enough for a few of those tears to fall, and leave the rest up to him. Cry as long as you need, or if you don’t feel the need to cry, just sit silently in his presence. Sit silently, just you, God, and yes, your feelings, just let them be, feel them, and pour them out before God. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just pour it out. He loves you my darling, he loves you always.

And so it begins...

For those of you who know me well, you know that I have had an ongoing battle with depression, lately more than other times in my life. And for those of you who may not know me so well, I have battled depression and feelings of despair and loneliness for a few years now, on and off. And, really, my life is very blessed. I have two beautiful children, a wonderful husband, a beautiful home, a wonderful job, and recently finished my Master's Degree. Yet, my thorn in the flesh, just happens to be feelings of depression. I am starting this blog so that others like me can know that they are not alone! I am a Christian woman, in absolute passionate love with my savior, yet still I struggle with depression. Yes, you can be Christian, devoted, and still struggle with feelings of depression, even if you feel like there is nothing in your life to be depressed about! Some of us are just prone to those kind of icky feelings.

But, needless to say I am just plain tired of it. As Beth Moore would say, and I am an avid reader of hers, as she would say, just because we have grown accustomed to and are comfortable in the pit is NO REASON TO STAY! She also describes a pit as "an early grave Satan digs for you in hopes he can bury you alive!" Yikes, I definitely don't want to be buried alive! So, today I am beginning my journey, and sharing with you all in hopes that some of you will also be able to find your way out of the pit! Stay tuned! This should be fun!