The million dollar question ~ WHY on earth would you let people you had a horrible relationship with in the past rob you of a great relationship now?

The difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge is

 FREEDOM!!! Sweet glorious stand in the rain and wash me clean FREEDOM!!!

THIS IS HOW IT FEELS TO BE FREE! 

Head knowledge keeps us in our heads where we can war with the flesh and all our damage and by fear justify everything even victimization. Head knowledge that never makes it to the heart is useless. It will never get you where you are destined to be because without heart there’s no honey. They didn’t have enough heart to go into the promised land. It was right before their eyes. What is right before your eyes that you are going to let pass you by because you see giants in the land?

Miracles and changed lives happen in the heart where the Spirit draws and leads.  I know I AM ONE. WOW! what changes in my life this year. What heartache and disappointment but what PEACE! The treasures we lay up in heaven and eternal perspective happen in the heart. The head is where the trappings of the world and our damage lodge until we kick them out by forgiving and being free to love. THE whole thing can be summed up in one word.

CHOICE

UGH NOT THAT WORD! you don’t know what I have done or been through!!!

Let me say I probably know more than you imagine and if you can imagine it I can say I have probably experienced it at my own hands or the hands of others.  We all come from a story that isn’t “Leave it to Beaver” or “Andy Griffith”

FOR ME that distance from my head to my heart seemed like miles much of my life. I can’t tell you the sleepless hours and loneliness I felt.   I can’t tell you the ways I tried to build a bridge from one to the other. Life was so stuck in a never ending conversation in my head that went something like this.

Why couldn’t it be different? Why did the people who were supposed to love me so broken? Why did I get stuck in the situation I was in life? Why couldn’t I have normal parents? Why was it so hard to love me? Why am I always hurt. WHY WHY WHY on and on

Why was the beginning of every sentence and the end was always the same.? Oh I beat why to death. It frustrated me at times and sank my life at others.  How was the twin to why. How could this happen again to me? How could they not love me? How could they not see me? How could people neglect a child? How could my brother drown because my Dad let him? That doubt and fear was the wrecking ball causing all of the why’s and how’s that kept me defeated. I was my own worst enemy!

I could get a good feeling for a bit but the problem with that is this. You can’t feel your way though life. Feelings are fickle and tricky.  They ride in on emotions that launch from our damage and lies told to us that we have leaned on. They enjoy playing like children in the conversation in the head that keeps us down and unproductive.

Feelings always have to follow foundational things that do not flee. TRUTH brings FREEDOM and feelings always have to follow. Truth is always first. You will follow what you believe. Believe TRUTH.

The truth sets you free because it always leads instead of follows feelings.  Again the cure is CHOICE. It shouldn’t surprise us that the same thing that brought us to CHRIST ….. CHOICE……  is the same thing that keeps us healthy in Him. ……CHOICE. …..

What are the choices?

The first is to let go. Yeah this is where you want to scream and hit me.  But I know by experience that this works. Simply let go of what ever is stopping you and keeping you down. What ever self defeats your purpose, passion and proceeding in life.  We make letting go so hard but it’s simple. Jesus didn’t die for you to stay broken. His kingdom doesn’t do a half baked saving job. HE saves and restores, cooperate with his plan. Your’s isn’t working. I know mine sure didn’t. My plan kicked my life all over the map. 

You always have the choice to hang on and continue spinning your wheels in the rut you have dug or that has been dug by damaging people for you. You can stay in the bad thinking and mire that keeps you bound and blocks love.    Or you can CHOOSE to break free by making a decision to break free. Choose to stop letting the people who have hurt you in the past affect your future. The million dollar question…. drum roll…. .

WHY on earth would you let people you had a horrible dysfunctional relationship with in the past rob you of a great loving relationship now?

Who are they to do this to you???? Why do they have power over you??? The answer is because that is what you have learned to do. You have learned to live as they have taught you to live. The power you give them is the reason for a lot of hurt and damage in your life.

YOU can now CHOOSE to live differently.  You can relearn and be restored. If you can’t choose this then God has perpetrated the biggest lie on the entire universe.  Hang it up turn off the lights and close the door. REALLY? HECK NO! Get a grip and a clue. They have hurt you and caused you great baggage but you can throw it away and choose forgiveness for you. FORgive them FOR you. Let them off your hook with all of their crazy damaging definitions of who you are or who you are supposed to be and be WHO YOU ARE meant to be. Stop playing the tapes in your head! GOD put you here for much more than to be held back by people who do not give it one thought to hurt you.

Don’t abandon yourself.

This may be the difference between having wasted life and a GREAT life.

Show up in your own life and start writing a new story. One of hope and freedom and forgiveness.  Please contact me if you want to know more about this. My heart is for you to be free and I can tell you how freedom happened for me.

Does it get any better than this?

Ezekiel 36:26
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Little Bob ~ How Not To Live

He was only 5 years old and from all I have heard he was a precious sweet child that was very tender. My earliest memories of him were scarce. I remember running past the open door of the mobile home we lived in making huge leaps as Momma hung out clothes. We were trying to keep her from seeing us. We laughed and often ran into each other scrambling like the 3 Stooges and fell backwards. I remember him lying very still in a pretty bed ( I didn’t know at the time it was a coffin) and not waking up. My Uncle Jimmy was holding me and I wanted to give him my chewing gum. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t wake up. My Uncle Jimmy would tell that story for years with tears in his eyes. They sang Jesus Loves me at his funeral and that song made my mom and grandma cry every time they heard it for years. I always thought of Mom and Bob every time I played it as a solo for offering in the little church I attended.

I remember my grandmother saying she wished she didn’t let him go with my Dad that day. For the next decades Feb 16th would be the day he died and Feb 18th would be my birthday and the day he was buried. It was always the counter for the number of years he had been dead. I remember my Aunt Jean who missed him terribly for a while until she had her own children. I wondered what life would have been like with him. I am sometimes thankful that he was spared some of the things I have seen. I remember every year going to the attic to get Christmas decorations down for Mom and there being a little box of his clothes and a pair of shoes on top. We never disturbed it but each time I saw it I felt something deep inside that I couldn’t put words to. I could see the same feeling on Momma’s face as his name was mentioned. Everyone called him Little Bob, he was named after my Dad.

They said they found my Dad wandering up the highway after Little Bob drowned in the Catawba River. The stories I heard about his drowning didn’t make sense to me for years. The truth I found out years later would put the puzzle pieces together for me but for the sake of the living I will just not put that here. I know Bob’s death changed my Dad in a way that my brother and I would have to experience the rest of our lives. I remember how disturbing it was that no one talked about that day. Truth was that no one talked about anything too hard in my family. Avoidance was the standard operating procedure and using words was foreign when it came to deep matters of the heart.

I will always miss Little Bob.

I grew up with a little brother who was hilarious and mischievous as well. I love my partner in crime and baby brother James. We have fought the greatest fights over the years and I have seen him struggle and I weep for his losses. He gets up and keeps going on and I admire his ability to do that.

I am writing this today to share hope with people who have experienced the loss of something sacred. The story didn’t end with this tragedy being an epitaph. There were a lot of miserable years of lessons learned in those years for me and my family. Dad avoided the pain by being distant from his children and by staying busy. Mom spent the rest of her marriage trying to open up my Dad’s heart again. It wasn’t possible for most of their lives together. Then one day….

We always went to grandma and grandpa’s to have Easter dinner. Her tiny house was under a grove of pecan trees and was the most magical place to me. I loved playing on the big porch swing under those trees. Grandpa took advantage of free labor getting us to pick up pecans when they fell in the fall. We would catch lightening bugs under those trees and sleep in his T-shirts after begging momma to let us spend the night. Grandma had great quilts and made pallets for us on the floor. She was precious and often let me and my cousins tear up her kitchen to make cornbread. We argued over who would stir it.

This Easter my Dad didn’t feel well. Dad was never sick so this was concerning. My Mom confided that he was throwing up blood. The next day a doctors visit turned into a string of test that revealed he had cancer. I remember the jolt to my heart hearing my Dad was sick. It always seemed as if he was the pillar of my life even though we didn’t have a close relationship. I always trusted the strength of knowing Dad was there. I watched cancer humble and soften Dad. It changed him enough to hear the call of Christ in his life and become saved. Dad became more gentle and attentive to my Mom and had opened up to her a bit more. After several years of being a human science experiment they gave him a clean bill of health. He didn’t go back to his old promiscuous and wild ways. The change was real! I thank God for being able to see that. Still the residue of growing up in a home much like the one he had created kept him from saying the words. He went back to work and stayed as busy as ever. The change was great to see and was still there but he couldn’t be vulnerable as I hoped he could yet.

Mom had been through so much she was thankful for the reprieve but I think she was regretful of all the lost time. She loved Dad with all she had and gave selflessly to him. He freely took her love and returned it when it suited him until the final years. It was bittersweet now. They could have had so much because both were capable of so much, but the noise of the world rang so loud to Dad he couldn’t hear her or be himself.

I remember seeing his eyes when Laura was born and he held her. It registered in my heart for the first time~ this is what Dad looks like when he loves someone. I had never seen that growing up. I don’t think the world could contain his joy at that moment.

Laura was 9 months old when my Aunt called at work and said in a matter of fact way. “Get home your Dad is dying.” Unfortunately Dad had been given a clean bill of health but they didn’t know that he cancer had spread to his brain and he went from functioning one day to not functioning the next. It was hard to watch. Mom tried to take care of him at home but it overwhelmed her and he had to be moved to the hospital. I can’t tell you how it feels to see your Dad who was a rock become like a child and then disappear all together. I wanted to hear the words but now he couldn’t say them. I slept on the floor of his hospital room for 4 days as Mom slept in a chair and as my Uncle Charles attended to things for my Dad. No one can ever repay Charles for that heroic way he had of showing love to his brother in those final days. I couldn’t leave Dad’s side and I loved him dearly. I wanted him to know that beyond the words I loved him. I knew in those moments as he struggled to breathe, all that had happened in his life was probably running through his mind and I ached for his painful memory. I also was thankful for the fact that I knew I would see him again.

Dad took his last breath and as me and my brother stood by his side with Mom my heart fell to my feet. Now there would be no more words. His funeral was amazing. Dad had helped a lot of people and a lot had seen the change in him. Several flower shops ran out of flowers in the tiny town of Fort Mill, SC. I remember holding my grandma who seemed to break that day as she said goodbye to her son.

Where’s the encouragement? Well as painful as that memory is and as painful as my childhood could get sometimes I want to say there is hope. The hope isn’t in the memories or the reconciliation. Dad and I never got to say the words. The hope is in forgiveness and letting go. Parental damage can cost us more than we understand in future relationships. Holding on to the past will rob you. If you have had parents in the past who formed some damaging experiences for you I want to tell you that I found freedom in forgiving them and letting it go.

No one can make up for what your parents did or didn’t do and if we are not careful we will expect a future relationship to equalize that damage. The goal of future relationships is not to repair our past. The goal is to forge ahead into a great future.

I love the memories I have of Little Bob. I was greatly affected by his absence in my life. I was also greatly affected by the lack of Dad’s love as well. Yet today, I can look back and remember the great times and have healed from the rough ones. I use the hard experiences to teach me how “NOT TO LIVE”

Here’s the difference between now and how I had lived much of my life. Now I see my life as a journey that was necessary to make me the woman I am today. I totally understand how to forgive and get past these things. I also know what healthy whole love is. (not that I know everything, volumes can be written about that) What I am trying to express to you is that you can get there. You can get to a good place where you deal and heal. Don’t let the past define you or the tapes that keep playing in your head. Get to know yourself and who you really are warts and all. Then realize that God is crazy about you warts and all.

Learn to love and be loved by God and to give and receive love from someone else. I spent most of my life asking why?? Why did I grow up in this family, why did Bob die, why did Dad die, why did my best friend die? why did I lose 2 babies, why did my husband cheat, why is life so hard??? Now I don’t wonder why anymore. The question is not why for me. The question is who am I and who is God in my life? I know the answer to those two questions is this. I am a child of the King who loves me and my life and He is my Father who sees me as priceless. When life happens and I get hurt I always come back to this.

The giants in life are going to come and go. The free will of someone is going to slam into me and can cause joy as well as pain. The conclusion of the whole matter is that GOD is my God and I will love him anyway trusting all that happens is for my good and His glory. That doesn’t mean I skip down the road. It just means I am raw and real with it and face it knowing at some point it will be in my past and can’t be allowed to rob my future.

Dear ones, forgive, grieve the loss and go on. There’s life out there and precious time is a gift. Don’t sacrifice a great future on a bad past.

The Living Years

There’s a song by Mike and the Mechanics called The Living Years

It talks about parental damage and wasted time. I know this first hand and even though Dad’s been gone since 1987 I still can have something rattle my insides about the past.I have forgiven my parents but sometimes the lesson you learned in the journey comes forward to teach you now. I was involved in a storm this week that I created for myself but it brought up things I thought were long faded from my memory. One thing I learned from the wreckage of having a distant dad who didn’t really know how to love was that you have to say what needs to be said and do it in the right way. I could have asked him hundreds of times why we couldn’t get to a healthy daughter/father relationship and why we had to talk in defense. I could have said why did my brother die and tried to understand his hurt and pain instead of clinging to my fear of being the next to die. We do sacrifice the future when our pain carries us around and we don’t give up or give in. Being always right is a huge burden. I am thankful GOD taught me that I am frail, fallible and still fantastic in His loving care. It’s very tempting to hold on with right on our side but how does someone find their way home to us if we value our being right more than doing what is right? Sometimes I have been right in this journey and times I have been wrong are probably more numerous. Still if I win everyone loses. In relationships the goal has to be for everyone to win and for us to realize where a person fails in our eyes we can get angry and also show mercy. I can’t avoid saying what I need to say but I am still learning and navigating in unchartered waters in some areas and have a lot to learn. I learned that people make mistakes and deserve a second, third even 100th chance. I can’t stay stuck in the places that are hard even when I cause the hardness because they will become my trophy to pain and eventually a monument. Even The Living Years are hurtful there is still a lot of life out there and whole healthy love and we have to move forward to the mark and keep going. Look around you and find others who need your love and grace and walk with them forward toward Jesus as well. Everyone who crosses your path was there to either to teach you or you teach them. All of it is God’s divine plan. Follow after love with pure motives and a sincere heart and trust GOD not yourself. Lesson learned. One day I will know how to love perfectly because the glass will be removed but the best I can do here is to love as whole and healthy as I can. Sometimes that doesn’t look like love and it’s sad when it doesn’t because my heart is always to love. This was prompted because a man in my church was gored today by a bull that caught him against a fence in the roof of his mouth and literally took his face off. When I think of that and how the whole family is wondering what tomorrow brings I have to realize we all have to live in the living years because we don’t know. Love deep, forgive huge and follow after the one that loves perfectly.

The Way of Love

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Shipwrecked- Can this be a good thing?

 Καὶ ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτὸν ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν. I
Repost from March 2010
John 2:3 (scroll your mouse over the words for their meaning)

What do you really know?

My journey recently took a rabbit trail that I am working through.  I am so thrilled with where I am headed in the LORD and very content in being able to trust Him for hard times. LORD willing each day has new mercies for me. Yet sometimes those storm moments come when you really have to have a firm foundation or other shipwrecked people will cause you to shipwreck as well. I truly know that as much as I love the LORD at any time I can be tempted and not look for the escape, or I can be tested and not retreat to my faith in GOD.

This rabbit trail is about my observation and understanding though limited of what I see from my perspective happening in people I know and love and at times past in my own life.

 It you read the account of Peter walking on the water  in Matthew 14, you find that he called out to Jesus in the midst of sinking in the storm. Jesus came out to the men in the storm but the storm didn’t cease just because Jesus came out on the water. The storm was no big deal to our Lord to be honest. He could walk in a storm just as he could walk on calm seas. What a great side thought there that ties to Psalms 139. Where can we go that the LORD can’t be? What safer place to have Him show up than in a storm?  As a master teacher I can see Jesus heart in this to reveal the Father to them. This was a teaching moment about our faith. Is our faith in what we know or in who we know? What they knew was that it was stormy, someone or something was walking on water, and they had left Jesus on the shore.  Their faith should have been looking for Jesus in the storm but they were looking at themselves.  

 One would have to ask  when Jesus came out in the storm to them, why did  they questioned who He was. Had they seen that many spirits walking on water to fearfully ask if this was a spirit? I doubt it. I think the phenomenon here was that the storm had them so distracted that they forgot who they were just with. Has that ever happened to me in my life! I watch it happen to others as well Biblical characters, Elijah coming to mind right away.   We know the great mighty power of God that can save our soul, create the world, and do many miracles in the Bible.  It’s amazing that when our “storm” -circumstances get just powerful enough- we forget who we trusted and who lives within us.  The object of our faith wanes to the noise of our situation because as great as knowledge when it is all that we have then we come up short having a foundation that is as shakable as our own human reasoning. Solomon wrote about the folly of just having knowledge without obedience.

They had to ask who was out there and when Jesus answered it was him, Peter immediately switched to his faith and said if it’s you let me come out there. For a moment Peter forgot about the storm because his eyes were properly focused on the Lord. He walked out to the Lord, but the minute he lost focus as the wind kicked up he began to sink.  I think the pivotal moment with Peter is when he began to sink he called out to Jesus. Who indicated that his faith was little. Oh, that we would fully rest and trust in what GOD has said and done before us in His Word.

  Truth that sets us free is based on the object of our faith being the truth. It’s based on trusting and gaining experience in that trust through real intimacy with Christ and practical application of the WORD of God.  Not having that relationship causes us to become confused in the storm. Just having knowledge without experiencing God’s faithfulness expressed by His character revealed in His WORD always undermines our walk.   We look out over the boisterous water with vision that is filtered by our circumstances and not our faith. That causes us to shrink back, look around and shipwreck. The trust we have in the true Word of God engages us and moves us when life doesn’t make sense or is as we had hoped for.  True faith will cause us to be constrained by the LOVE of Christ.   The book of Timothy talks about unfeigned faith and shipwreck.  The anatomy of a shipwreck is not pretty. When we shipwreck basically what happens is we are in a holding pattern. We are not effective in the kingdom any longer except as a poor example.  We leave people behind who looked to us for leadership and light.  We miss opportunities. We also sometimes resign our self to the wreckage thinking there is no way out. That is disastrous but there is an even more severely ugly type of shipwreck where we have watched the storm so much, we think we are in right standing with the LORD even though we are sidelined because of disobedience. I am reminded of Saul and David, both thought GOD was going to deliver the other into their hands. Yet, only one was correct. Saul was shipwrecked but all the while thinking he was A-OK.

What do we really know? For me, I have had to learn to trust GOD above what I feel, how I am treated by others, and regardless of what people I love do. When a person decides to choose something that is in disobedience to GOD, I have to get out of the way and let that be God’s problem. When it’s me, I have to as Peter did, call out to the only one who can save me. If  Peter did not call out would he had of drowned? I think spiritually he would have. It breaks my heart to watch people drown spiritually.  When it’s me I always suffer loss. Father GOD, we love you and praise you for your wonderful gift of grace by faith. Increase our faith and thank you for being a GOD whose character reveals why our faith is not in vain. Help us see you clearly to avoid being shipwrecked or to enjoy the privilege when dashed on the rocks of seeing GOD work even more of Himself through us. In Jesus name amen .

Thanks to Erika for a missing piece in this post. YES! all that comes in to our lives that provides an opportunity to grow is a good thing. What a mighty GOD that works these things in His plan. I am humbled by Him.

Medicating yourself emotionally, We have to deal and heal

Written March 2010.
Losing my Mom was very difficult. She suffered her last days on this earth but always trusted the LORD knew best to heal her or take her home. My last conversation with her was so emotional. I did not make it to her bedside before she passed. She knew she was dying and said how much she loved me over and over. She also said to be good to people and love the LORD.  As I went to her home to try to get things together after her death I was overwhelmed by the amount of medication she had. I can’t imagine taking that much medication in one day. For as many pills as she took there was no real relief to her suffering because the pills only masked or numbed the symptoms. They did not heal her. While I was home I tried to do some things but had been having a nagging back ache for a few weeks. There were things at my own home back in SC that needed to be taken care of. I managed to overdo it and return to Dallas with very intense pain in my lower back. Long story short after nursing it through the holidays I saw an internist who sent me to an surgeon. I had some inflamation in my spinal column that was pushing on nerves really creating havoc with my concentration and lifestyle. I was prescribed several pain relievers of different types to bombarde the inflamation. They worked for a while but again only masking the pain and not healing me. Something in my spine was misaligned and the meds just kept me from feeling it.  When something is spritutally misaligned no amount of emotional medication will heal that. We fool ourselves thinking we are ok when we are running and numbing.

In midst of the grief and physical pain  I was challenged to a very deep level by someone  from my past that I loved.  I had been praying for them for over a year so their sudden appearance seemed to be an answer to prayer.  Unfortunately some answers sometimes are not what we prayed for.

 This morning I couldn’t sleep thinking about what I am seeing them go through. I thought of this medication scenario when I thought of them. Physical medication that heals nothing does bring momentary comfort and alleviate our pain and suffering. Emotional medication damages us rather than brings comfort. It doesn’t let God’s intention for suffering and testing heal. What do I mean by emotional medication? I mean surrounding your life with things that numb your accountability to GOD and that fills your hours with distractions that keep you from change and God’s will.  We hear about major addictions people turn to in order not to feel or deal, drugs, sex, money, and power.

What I am talking about is much more subtle. It’s in our minds and hearts and we have to be careful what and who we expose ourselves to or allow ourselves to become in bondage to.  There are two approaches to truth it is either believed and demonstrated by our actions and changes us or dismissed and fills us with knowledge that is useless unless we change. In other words the power of truth is the response to it.

  We can be blinded while we are medicating ourselves and it takes more and more to stuff out the noise of our soul’s cry to be free.  Jesus came to set the captives free. Isaiah 61. Luke 4. We are going to be tried and tested in this life and much of it is orchestrated to reveal our character and mold us into Christlikeness which frees us.  I try to be real about that and my reality isn’t always pretty, I have experienced alot in 49 years. 

It grieves my heart watching someone I love  ruin their testimony, wander in circles in the wilderness thinking shamefully that it is their plight.  People outside of me and my bias who are  watching them see it and are saddened as well.  When you are being medicated this way by artificial worldy pleasures and pursuits,  it’s hard to see it in your life. Your symptoms can be so masked that you really think you are ok even Godly.  I was there the first years after my divorce. No one could speak to me and change my heart and mind. I spent hours with people who were broken and medicating themselves with my brokeness. That makes this all the more hard to watch. I have been there.

I have also learned to purposefully take care of my relationship with Christ.  I try to keep myself surrounded people who love God and sometimes we pray for and talk about situations and circumstances in our lives being the body fitly joined together. I need the accountability and truth in love they share and I do likewise with them. The biggest change in my life is digging into the WORD of GOD and developing a real intimacy with Him.

 I was having such a conversation with a Christian friend who is an author that deals with the subject of wilderness experiences, brokeness, and depression and victorious living in Christ beyond them.  I asked him a question based on his experience with folks who resign themselves to “a hard life” who were burnt and spent and this was his answer about their future.  I thought it put into words what I hadn’t been able to so far. This is to me what an emotionally medicated person looks like.

“[They] will either enter the rest of Christ and the reality of Christ or  live as a wilderness christian with a deeply broken heart wandering around going nowhere in circles” , “pitiful lives with Christ in them and all you see in flesh”

“like the desert a vague memory they will be as a witness,  a piece of sand blown away in the wind forgotten that Christ lives in them” ,”You are welcomed into the kingdom but boy a poor example, just like the Israelites, resigned to self-imposed poverty in the desert,  and there you will die as a Christian”

“[It’s] so simple, the same faith that saved you is the same faith you live as a Christian. Christ in us living thru us but so hard to grasp”

“Thats what happens to wilderness Christians, you lose focus on the heart and build your ego up – [     ] and put a Christian label on it or you get attracted back to Egypt and live in sin. Build your ego up and make your Christian life attractive on the outside,  but the inside is as dry as the desert and as dead as bones.”

This conversation was the result of my heart grieving my loved ones loss.  I hate to see them lose. I heard it and felt it in their last contact with me. I hadn’t seen it as clearly as before. The bottom line is as much as I desire things be different, I am not this persons mom and certainly not the Holy Spirit. I can’t fix people. If I could they would be in worse shape anyway because I am not GOD.   I have to stand back and get out of God’s way. I also am accountable to guard my heart and walk so as not to let someone be a stumbling block to me. The last underlined sentence gripped my heart the most, I am sure we all have had seasons like this somewhere in our walk.  What is the answer? The truth is we all face things that challenge our lives, we come to those storms and are either developed or destroyed. It all depends not on the truth we know but the truth we believe. Is CHRIST not only able to save but able as HIS Word says to “keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day?” Everyone has their pivotal moment when they have to either trust GOD or wander in the wilderness.  Challenges reveal our substance and character and most importantly what we believe and base our faith on.  GOD will let us choose. GOD is sovereign but it’s always our choice to obey.

Changing Scars to Beauty Marks

I heard Anne Graham Lotz talk about God changing our scars to beauty marks. LORD knows I had some scars. I was talking to someone after a lecture I attended and after our conversation I drove home with alot of what I had said running thru my mind.
It’s not an easy message to tell folks that some of their pain is ok. That life is hard and GOD will be their peace. They want relief and sometimes relief doesn’t come in the process as quickly as desired. This causes all kinds of problems if you push ahead of God’s plans for your life and seek relief in the wrong people or things. People do not want to hear that this life is not about our comfort. I was driving along home thinking how much of my own life has been marvelously crafted by a hammer and chisel of some of the greatest pain. One of the deepest scars is the scar of rejection. No one naturally likes to be rejected. Those who are rejected by people who should have loved them are the people I most identify with. That type of rejection leaves significant scars. Women should guard their hearts better than I guarded mine. Women are not naturally designed to do that. We are designed to want to give of ourselves to others. I love being a woman and the wonderful thing about a woman’s heart is also what makes her vulnerable.
The most wise advice would be to avoid the scars in the first place. I know that sounded like DUH! God is teaching me by His Word how to do that but this blog is about people who are already scarred. What do you do when you are so deeply wounded and healing seems so very slow? I can only share and hopefully encourage you. I was very depressed and sinking over a final rejection by someone I loved. They couldn’t get their life together for whatever reason which kept them from being in my life. Boy, did that hurt watching them waste away and finally realizing they choose to.
I can’t tell you why this wounded me so deeply still learning that, but I can tell you that it was not a feeling I had experienced before. It was one of the deepest pains I had ever felt. I think it stripped something inside of me that needed to go. The best I can describe it is this, God has to meet all your needs and people never will. It’s unfair to folks to expect that. God has been molding my life in that direction lately. He has been molding me to trust Him completely and no one else for anything else. I love the body of Christ, love to fellowship, and they do meet a lot of needs in my life as they minister to me and I to them. What precious people God has put in my path in Dallas. Yet my hope is not in them because at some point they will fail me and I will fail them. I have to allow for that to happen because it will. Just love them anyway as they love me anyway. My hope is in the LORD alone.
What is healing me is His Word. I know that might be the last thing you want to hear because Christians rarely read the Bible anymore as a whole. We look for blogs, self-help books, and tapes and conferences to bring that magic wand that opens our eyes and makes all things right with the world. Save your money and your time. Those things can help to some degree but nothing will replace time with GOD and time in the WORD. Believe me I tried them all!!! My only hope is that you read this stuff I write and want to get to know the GOD I speak of intimately. If you read it and think of me then I have failed my mission. If you could look me in the eye right now I would tell you this. Get in the WORD, do it consistently and pray regularly it will change your scars to beauty marks. It won’t feel natural at first and might even be a chore. Still do it dear ones, let it open those wounds and spiritually salve them over as you heal the right and proper way, by God’s perspective. When I read I see the character of GOD who loves me, allows the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort me, as He heals my wounds. This life is hard, hard things happen, and some are part of our growth. Imagine a GOD who is loving enough to walk through it with you, leaving behind HIS WORD, and Spirit to be not only your guide but to reveal HIS heart clearly so that you know HE is holy and just. Only a perfect holy just GOD could orchestrate a symphony of pain that could bring sweet music and relief to our broken lives. It’s not about the pain, it’s about being molded more into HIS likeness to glorify Him. Jesus said he came to set us free. Pain brings bondage. It takes our focus. The only way to be free is to shift your focus to the object of your faith. God’s WORD accomplishes that in us by setting us free with truth. Luke 4:18 Jesus proclaimed this was part of HIS mission.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Wail On, Pit Dwellers

(Please note, I totally believe GOD wants to hear from us. I have been a pit dweller at times in my life this is written for a reminder to myself as well )

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! No one just wakes up with an emotionally burned out crippled and  crumbled  life. It takes time to get to any destination.  You might retort to me look at  Job and point a finger and say ah ha .. you have no clue what you are talking about.  Yes, Job is a person in the Bible who suffered greatly and we point to him often when we are in storms to try to get the courage to gut it out. I think we do ourselves a disservice doing that for several reasons because when we look at Job, we see the end of the story where GOD restored him. That keeps the focus on what we can get out of our brokeness rather than what it does to us in molding our character. We also need to look at Job’s life fully, not just that he suffered.  I am not talking about a person who is being tested in the way Job was. I am talking about when our circumstances are orchestrated by our own bad choices. Choices that have consequences that can not be restored. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am not saying God doesn’t restore. He promises to restore what the locust have eaten. I am saying the suffereing and  restoration Job had was not the kind I am speaking about. There is much to learn there but I am talking about when sin damages us.

  Our lives do not crumble overnight.  I woke up at 3:00 am with this thot in my head and decided it will be today’s blog. Where I am at today came through many tough water that were deep and challenging.   So this blog seems to be more or less dedicated to trading your sorrow for joy of the LORD.  My intent and purpose is to give folks a glimpse of what  I found elusive in many of my storms. Not that I can change anyone but that  the things that changed me were the WORD of GOD and soldiers in the body of Christ who shed their light at a time when darkness surrounded my soul as wave after wave of my journey collided with my faith. I just want to shed what light I have been given. 

 My life could have been much different if I had not have taken the trip I did to get where I am now. What if each moment in our lives we could have an instant replay. We surely wouldn’t get to the place where we are sitting broken and burned out if we could just replay those things that didn’t go as we hoped. Of course we  really can’t do that and if we could it would create disaster in our lives. By sheer human nature we would abuse such a gift. It’s a kind of winning the lottery pipe dream lets get back to reality.

One of the most sheep like qualities of Christians is our ability to depend on ourselves to be our own shepherd. We acknowledge GOD, even have a wealth of knowledge about Him but lack the ability on our own to stay out of the ditch.  In storms knowledge of GOD is useless without intimacy with Him. It’s like being all dressed up and no place to go. I lived that for many years. My knowledge was performance and fear based. The times I have been in the ditch were usually when I was steering the vehicle. We can’t just ask GOD to come along in our lives as we take on burdens He never intended we carry or as we try to orchstrate our way out of the storm or into a better place, or deny it’s complete existence. We know GOD, what His WORD teaches but we filter it by our lives and the parts we line up with we feel good about. The parts we don’t we dismiss or deny. It should be the other way around .

I know when I was deeply stuck in the mire, no one could talk to me. I was insistent that life  was going to work the way I had prayed.  Basically I am glad it didn’t in some cases. I was praying for my way and not God’s way.

The mire is so ugly.  If you have ever tried to walk in deep goopy mud you know what it’s like to try to pull one leg out, take a step, then pull the other leg out. It doesn’t take long before you tire completely. Spiritually, we create mire pits when we stop believing what God has said is true. When we do not watch His character to always keep His WORD and work in a way that is for our good.

We create a problem or make a huge mistake and the first thing that happens if we are not intimately walking is that our natural selves take over and rationalize how things can not work instead of seeing the beautiful plan God has to restore and renew our faith by transforming our mind.  We become a dead man walking so to speak. You will stink if you play with dead things but every believer has the Holy Spirit who is always ready and willing to walk you through the situation.  Psalms 40:1-3

 
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

I love this passage!!! Really let it sink into your heart that sitting on your spiritual hiney is not only keeping you stuck in mire, it’s also keeping people from seeing GOD at work and fearing and trusting Him. It’s not all about us.  LOOK! and see that HE takes you out of the pit and He establishes our steps. Whew the pressure is off of us and on to Him. We just have to just follow the Shepherd. 

 Now don’t get the idea you will just sit there and wait for God to show up. NO! You wait paitiently but wail on! Wait on it to be God that answers but cry out to Him. He will incline and lift you up and put you on a rock, a solid foundation. If you know anything at all about walking in mire it is this, you are on shaky ground getting dirty and sucked in feet first. Your life is not too burned, it’s not over, it’s not done if you call upon your Father to lift you out. Dear ones I need to see that in you and you need to see that in me. Let’s let GOD hear us and get us out of the pit that keeps us hidden from the lost and dying world.