I love discovering things and have always been a nerd. One of my childhood memories was of taking apart the large radio I had in my room and connecting the speakers in a way that made all the dogs bark in my neighborhood. The noise was horrible and it hurt their ears. They howled so much and I didn’t make the connection quickly enough to avoid aggravating my neighbors. At age 8 what is an annoyance to adults is an adventure to a small child. I have to giggle about the whole thing even though I hate the idea I made all the dogs howl to keep from their ears hurting. That would be one of many misguided adventures I would take. Yet there is an innocence in finding out about the world around me and what made things tick. I love that part of my life and enjoy that the little girl in me still seeks and searches for answers. Now my passion is to know GOD more daily. I don’t think we can have a relationship with GOD any deeper than our love for his word. Imagine if you will going on a honey moon without a spouse. That is about what it would be like to try to have a relationship with God without a relationship to His word. Our pastor challenged us to read the Bible through in 101 days. If you read 12 chapters a day you will accomplish this feat. I decided to read it chronologically so my reading is varied by the year written. I am in so many ways that innocent little child looking for answers by taking things apart. What I am already finding in this reading of the Bible this time is that I have grown. I was reading 12 chapters today and new questions formulated in my brain. New answers to old questions that were not revealed to me the last time I read that section. It was quite refreshing. Sometimes we study the Bible to the point of not hearing it’s words. It’s nice to just read through and let it speak and filter my life. I love that the words come to life and teach me. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and hope in 101 days to find that there is more of HIM and less of me. He must increase and I must decrease. Knowledge raises questions that can’t be answered apart from intimacy with Christ through his word. I hope in 101 days to see the transforming word of GOD work in my life and all for his glory. Email me if you want to join this journey.
We had just left a beautiful scenic harbor heading back to my apartment. I had friends with me in a 2 car caravan and suddenly the vibration in my car became severe and we all heard a loud pop. My rear tire had blown. If you know anything of Dallas you know on an interstate this could be deadly. I calmly pulled the car to the side of the road and proceeded to figure out what to do next. Unfortunately the lugs were torqued too tight and three grown men couldn’t get them off. We are talking hefty men standing on the lug wrench, using 4 ways and cheater bars. I decided to send some of my guest to my apartment and keep them out of harms way using the second car.
One bent lug wrench and 2 hours later we waited on the police to help us get off the highway. All the plans for the evening were changed. It was close to midnight before the police finally came. They were great following me as I drove my poor car to my home which was 1/4 mile from the blow out. It was more than ironic that I was almost home and could see my front door across the interstate. So much went through my mind as I thought about my guest and hoped they all were ok and not too disturbed by the events.
The next day a guy came over with a breaker bar and 19mm socket and with great ease he loosened the lugs. I had soaked them overnight in WD40 but he credited the success with having the right tools.
Here’s the parallel I drew in my mind. I was almost home but the blow out challenged my journey. I could see my destination. I couldn’t get there because I had an unexpected storm and was not adequately prepared for it. I had tools that were tucked away for such a day but they were inadequate and I had no experience using them since I had purchased this car. They were cheap, used improperly (we broke a 3/8 socket wrench and bent the lug wrench) and the wrong choice for the job. Isn’t life like that? We go off with the wrong tools and when the storm comes we are ill-equipped to handle it. It was very dangerous in Dallas on I-30 that night. Cars flew by as I stood there on the highway. Each tool failed and we were all still stranded.
God has promised to equip us for this journey. The best way to be prepared is to know him intimately by His Word and His Spirit. I can’t overstate the value of staying under the influence of the Word. It will be the tool that sustains you on days where a blow out changes everything. Things in life will cause a change in direction but not destination. I could clearly see the finish line, my front door but the tools I had to get there wouldn’t work and I had to accept an alternative route. The truth is useless unless it changes you. Use the truth you have been given to help you when a blow out in life occurs so you won’t be stranded waiting on someone or something to help you out. Accept that there might be another way so that you are open to leading and teaching when the way you have isn’t working.
I have to tell you a quick story. A few years ago, I went to my car for lunch as I do each day. It’s a great time alone to visit with the Lord or gather my thoughts for the day. It was hot enough that I wanted to turn on the air to cool the car down before turning it off. The blower motor made a horrible noise, sounded like a washing machine out of balance. I thought aaack blown bearing. I turned it off and after work I rode home with no air. Funny the little things we forget to be grateful for. When I got home I called mechanics who wanted around 250 for pulling and installing a new motor. I couldn’t do that because I didn’t have the money and because I always try to fix things first before spending that kind of money.
So in the evening I went to pull the motor myself. I got the motor down and it was hanging by its connections, probably should have disconnected them first. I saw a little fuzz between one of the squirrel cage blades. I pulled on it and out came a leg. I screamed aaaaaaaaaaack. Then after what looked like an end zone celebration dance to the neighbors Mr. Mouse was out. Poor thing he had been beat to death. That was probably not a fair and just sentence for eating through the leaf guard above the motor.I am reminded that Eve ate Adam out of house and home and brought death upon the world. (that was a random thought lol )My little adventure is over and I have only to replace the screen with some ¼ wire mesh. Thank you Lord! Guess my little heart thinks about things even rats. That little fellow made his way through a maze of dark vents to finally get to the end of the road. Instead of seeing the mesh as a roadblock he ate right through it to his death. How many times have we persisted the same way? Instead of turning back to where it was right with GOD and safe in the Father’s care we plow through to our own way to be wounded even close to destroyed by wrong things.Just a thot. I have been there. The Bible says a man does what he thinks is right in his own eyes. This gal has learned every time I do what I think is right in my own strength I am gambling like the rat in my car.
Has anything ever knocked you so far off balance you have a hard time finding center again. I remember a couple of times as a kid playing a game of red rover where you form two human chains of kids and call one out at a time to break the chain. I remember Coley, we affectionately called “Coleslaw” who was the guy everyone was scared of at my elementary school. He was just a big guy. When he was called I knew my arm was about to be broken. Everyone knew Deb was “the weakest” link. So of course here comes Coleslaw, the playground felt like it was booming under my feet. Yep, he was gonna take the easy route and go between me and a guy who had a death grip on my forearm. Although my heart was pounding and I knew I was going to wind up on the ground. I held on tightly dreaming to be the one who kept coleslaw from breaking through this time. Yep, you guessed it. There I was in my little plaid jumper, steely eyed and ready to rumble………… then …………BAM……… there I was looking at the clouds. ……….. Man did that hurt!!!! I couldn’t breathe …… my arm was wrenched and yikes ……..now everyone is watching me …….. why not they watched it happen. Still can’t breathe trying to catch my breath. Seconds seemed like hours. Finally, a breath, a sigh, the pain…..yep the tears……. but not boo hoo tears just something in my eye. lol…….. ok lets line up and do this again. Such is red rover……but it’s not funny when you play red rover with your life. God did not plan for us to be knocked down and the breath knocked out of us all of our lives. …….. Time to grow,,,,,,,,time for grace……… time to read the Word…….. time to live………
We will only have the intimate good shepherd relationship with God that we should have by getting to know the shepherd’s voice which is expressed in His WORD.
The worlds wisdom is like Coleslaw……. headed to knock us off our feet. God’s wisdom……found in His Word is like Life, water, bread, ………..everyday we choose life or death…………
Are you calling Coleslaw to come knock the wind out of your sails???? Are you lying on the ground wondering why relationships don’t work and why you are wounded and hurting?
Stop playing with your life…… in the playground of the world…….
PS. Coleslaw became a great godly man and father later……. I was honored to teach with his wife at a Christian School in SC and to see such a gentle giant.
You might remember being a little kid and getting a wooden bench with a hammer and several different shaped colorful pegs to hammer into the bench. I have such a fond memory. I had my little multi-colored pegs and would find the exact shape to hammer them into. The round one fit the round hole and the square one fit the square hole. Of course being the little thrill seeking kid I was I would try to hammer the square one into the round hole. It didn’t work but I would try. It wasn’t long before my hours of pounding away bored me. Because to a 4 year old with a hammer the entire universe is a nail, I tried to make other connections with my hammer. I found that although the square peg didn’t fit in the round hole of my workbench it would fit in the vacuum cleaner hose. I also found that it took about an hour to drive a nail into the floor with a wooden hammer. I must have hit it a gazillion times. I remember resting my arm thinking that I was doing real important work that had to be finished. Nothing else existed in the world but my mission to get that nail secure. After the nail was safely driven into my Mom’s hardwood floor behind the recliner I went on in search of bigger and better things. My next stop was to make a connection that would shock me into reality. I found that a slotted screwdriver and an electrical outlet are compatible in shape only. The sparks are neat but the bite was a note to self. “whew, that was scary but I liveded” Yeah I said lived-ed. That was how I said it cuz I was a widdle kid.
Even to this day sometimes that little chubby legged, wide eyed girl still tries to fit things in life where they don’t belong. I can only speak for myself but I pray this doesn’t fall on deaf ears. My sincere desire is to share things to spare people the pain of my mistakes and to shine the light of God’s grace so bright He is seen clearly for who He is and will be.
As a creation of the Master we are not made to be isolated,individual, islands to ourselves. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to rationalize that. You can see it evident in the fact that God communed with Adam each evening in the Garden. It’s evident that God saw the longing in Adam and created Eve. Now get this, God walked with Adam daily but still saw a human need in him that he knew he had to immediately meet. So he created woman. Now before you run with this because I don’t want to add to the Word of God or take away. My point here is that God met the need not that for every man there is a woman. I guess you would have to take that up with the Holy Spirit. So I won’t add that further on God said it is not good for man to be alone and that He also said He who finds a wife finds a good thing. Ok off the rabbit trail back to the point.
The little girl in me tried all my life to fit those pegs into places they didn’t belong. The first time I remember trying to make something work was trying to win my Dad’s approval. I always thought Dad shouldn’t have had kids. He was distant, critical, and not touchy feely. I always thought he was unapproachable. I wanted the kind of Dad that I could crawl up into his lap and feel strong arms safe arms around me that loved me. I went on to try to fill the empty space with accomplishment. For years I tried everything. I took dance and music lessons, was president of several clubs in high school and college, excelled at most things I tried. Whatever career I chose I found a way to make it work for me and did my best. Disappointing anyone was rare, extremely rare. Still I was invisible to Dad, so I moved on. My heart got to a place that it could no longer seek his love.
The next peg I tried to fit was marriage. This peg seemed to fit but something was different. I didn’t choose to be my Dad’s daughter, but I did choose to be my husband’s wife and he chose me. I thought the peg finally fit, I thought I had a win win situation. Marrying my college sweetheart, thinking he didn’t do the things my Dad did and to top it off was going to be a preacher. How could this not fit. Unfortunately I spent the next 20 years being invisible to my ex. It was Dad all over again. How ironically cruel. During the marriage I tried another peg. Children!!! Oh my, what a fit. I had two precious girls who are human like me but still on a good path in life. They have been my joy and privilege to raise for God. Still the fit was good but not complete. Something was missing. My marriage finally came to an unexpected end after 20 years and here I was. Damage was done that I had to work and am working hard to rise above. The future presented new spaces to fill, but with what peg?
The five years since my divorce have been bittersweet. They have been filled with my first experiences at failure, deep depression, intense hurt, and regretful mistakes that have wracked my heart and mind to utter exhaustion. They have also been growing years. I can still hear my pastor back home say. “Healthy things grow” I have found friendship in unlikely people and places and have gone outside my box to grow and become who I am becoming. (How deep is that?) Mistakes and all I am a more blessed person today than I was five years ago and have still a future to become more for the Lord, Lord willing. My situation right now is heart breaking and stressful at times. All my choices for remedy or relief are not very appealing and downright painful. I didn’t come to Texas to fail. I know this and I believe with all my being, there is a day out there if I trust Him that the Lord will restore what the locust have eaten. God will use his hammer to fill the pegs in my life. Cramming anything into a God only vacancy will lead to pain.
God according to Jeremiah 29:11 has a plan for my life, but I have learned something so significant this is what I want to share.
God has a plan for my life and satan has a counterfeit plan. Satan’s plan produces pegs that never quite fit. He has waged spiritual warfare against us to try to insure we miss the right pegs. It is warfare that is ugly and strategically planned. God’s plan produces pegs that fit and are permanent.
God’s grace separates us from the imperfect law in a way that gives us permission to grow and to understand complete forgiveness and imputed righteousness. God can’t and won’t love me less or more based on my circumstances or decisions. There are always consequences for what I allow or decide, but ultimately my justification is settled. Out of love and a thankful heart I serve and want to hear well done from a Father who loves me and covers me with his safe wings. He is there daily to give good gifts to His children.
God will never go against His Word to accomplish anything through or for me.
When I am doubtful, fearful, stressed out, overwhelmed, mentally exhausted and physically weary, I can be sure that behind those strong emotions there you will find my own flesh and the devil having a tea party at my expense. My bank account becomes empty and can’t keep writing those checks. I become overdrawn. When nothing changes nothing changes. People around me miss the best I have to offer. So I pray what David prayed, Create in me a clean heart (cuz ya don’t want sin to be in the way) and renew a right spirit within me (cuz the above is not right spirited thinking) cast me not away from thy presence (ok, this brings tears, I can crawl in Abba’s lap and be safe) take not thy Holy Spirit from me (I am never alone!!!) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation ( God is about upward and forward!!!)
I am not defined by a mistake, a moment, a failure or success, by anyone who loves or doesn’t love me, or those who stay or leave my life, no one gets to write my story but the God who saved me. I am defined by the pages in His book and what He has written to me and about me will be forever established as my story. I am His purchase and the price He paid I could never repay. I can only pray I grow and that His relationship with me will define me to others as a light.
So where do I go from here? Yikes what a novel. Well I am me, a dreamer, a happy ever after kinda gal. So I have to be careful with my life and set boundaries that don’t get me in so deep in the miry clay. I have to have feet free to move so I can soar like the eagles as God said. When I get away from reality I chase after pegs that for one reason or another do not fit my life. Then I sink. Please pray for me. I want to make the best of what time I have left. I know only the wisdom of God will lead me on the rest of my journey. I know there is pain around the bend before the next happiness.
Love you ALL!!!