Trials

Life is hard but GOD is good!

Dear Christian who is hurting,

“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3) “He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted.” (Isaiah 61:1)

The word heal in Hebrew  means to heal, to sew together, or mend. Imagine if you will GOD healing me piece by piece even mending together what has been torn apart. That was like salve to my weary and broken heart that my GOD would put me back together in His way in His time.

Broken hearted in Hebrew in this case means to break into pieces, crush, maime, crippled, shattered, wrecked, rupture, to be broken, rend violently. Jesus repeated this verse in Luke as part of his mission coming to this earth. To heal the broken hearted and set the captives free. I was a captive to emotional stuff. No one held me physically captive it was all spiritual bondage. I remember when I lifted my eyes after the long nights of pain and blame and realized the chains were truly gone and I was totally free. I remember feeling as if my soul had wings because once I was blind but now I see. I have sung What a Friend We have in Jesus hundreds of times just because I now KNOW he indeed is my Friend.

Bind is the Hebrew word which means to tie, bind about like a headband or turban, bind on, restrain, bandage. What comfort that you are GOD’s child and He is waiting in the wings for you to embrace the healing he will provide and has demonstrated in first sending Jesus to die for us but, also in giving us a means to have an intimate relationship with him. Not only did GOD heal but he also bandaged my wounds as they healed. How loving and how restful that is to me. I can fall into his loving arms in prayer and as the dear and precious Father I have never had, let Him do that for me.
Wound comes from the Hebrew word  which had idol as a root but also a pain or wound even a sorrow wound. I identify with making my pain and idol. I was so fearful to freely trust GOD with everything. I had spiritual white knuckles that if I let go of control it might hurt me how ironic. I remember when I first started studying the Hebrew and Greek and came across this it was all very hard to swallow. Now I love knowing what God is really saying. I am amazed at the lengths He goes to in order to have a relationship with us and take care of our needs and desires. We can truly trust him. I never trusted anyone before except myself which just about destroyed me.

Imagine him knitting you back together from brokenness of unimaginable proportions and binding that healing into a masterpiece that he knew in Psalms was fearfully and wonderfully made. That is what GOD has done for me. I sought Godly counsel through my Pastors wife because on my own I was unable to clearly see or progress. I was becoming emotionally and spiritually crippled and ineffective. I sought the Lord in His Word and on my knees, and I learned how to listen instead of act or react to everything. I began to see life’s lessons in it all and see how GOD works behind the scenes always on my behalf for His glory. It was like the scales from my eyes fell and as I began to become whole I feel full and have an overflow that I can share with others.

Hearing you say that your heart is broken, that you feel damaged, burned out, and that even talking about it makes you feel depressed is where I have traveled. It hurts but also shows us we are in touch with something still being not healed. How you might feel right now is a place I am very familiar with. It is the exact way I felt. I was emotionally and spiritually wrecked and very unable to admit it. I must say this to you hoping you will take it to heart because it is far more important that you understand what I am going to say more than you ever look at me. As I said that is not at all what this is about.
Feeling the way I did without dealing with it and without healing hindered me in every way spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I did that exact same thing by just avoiding it all. I spent hours pouring my life into futility of doing stuff that just didn’t provide anything valuable to help me grow. I have paid a very high price neglecting my relationships horizontally with people and vertically with GOD.

Not healing kept me in bondage to my pain until I decide to address it. It foreshadowed my witness and effectiveness as a light to the lost and dying world and kept me stuck going through the motions of life without really living the wonderful life Christ intended. I am speaking the truth in love. I did exactly that very thing.
Dear One, I know GOD is with me and that saying this is from grace He has given me to boldly let you know as strongly and lovingly as I can. I continued pouring my life into pseudo surface relationships which did make me laugh and provided numbness from it all but did not provide growth that will help a person heal or be restored. I wasted part of my life I can’t get back. I found many people there whose motives were not for my good or God’s glory.

Words that real friends tried to share with me along this line were dismissed when I was going through the same thing when I first was divorced and when I began to deal with my life and who I was. I was so far from healthy and whole. I would feel ungrateful to GOD if I didn’t share this with you for all that He has done for me. I am still in total awe of His grace and mercy.

I won’t continue belabor this but Dear One, but you seem to be where I was and I pray you seek out God with all your heart as well as fellowship in the Lord who will stand by you in this time, seek the LORD in His Word for what is already in place to help you heal, and cry out to GOD to find Him faithful to love you through this pain you are suffering. Above all one of the biggest mistakes I made was to try to do it in my own strength but I learned how to live in Christ as my life. That is the only way to really be healed and have lasting peace.
I am tried on every front here in Dallas with great trials but I am at peace knowing my rock, my anchor of the soul, my good Shepherd, redeemer, friend, Father, is ever with me. He is fighting for me and I can keep the great faith and peace that He provides. It’s not one bit me but in and through HIM, my all in all. I pray you continue in love as the Bible says and that you find healing in HIM. This is said from a heart that breaks for you but rejoices knowing our GOD will love you to the point your life will once again flow from His fountain if you let Him.

God bless you all who read this.

Mangled Mess

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When I inherited this plant it was just about root bound. All of the roots were intertwined and I wasn’t sure if I could separate them. They were all so accustomed and adapted to each other that they literally were in knots. I began to separate them and heard a terrible tearing ripping sound. I wondered the whole time if I had damaged them beyond repair.  It took quite a while to get them all as individual plants. When I do things like this I seem to go to another place in my thoughts.  As I was tearing the roots apart I began thinking about my own life and how deeply my roots were established in areas of my life. By the time I was 40 my root system was well established in all of the lives and people I had journeyed with so far. It was a great ripping away to suddenly see life change overnight. Yet as I worked on separating the plants I realized a great truth I had learned. Although the plants did okay in the pot all mingled together. Each was choking off the other and the plants had grown just about as far as they could all being so compacted in one small pot. I was thinking about how small we let the world become sometimes and how complacent we get thinking there is just a small life out there and a comfortable existence. As I separated the plants and repotted each of them in a new container. It was amazing how transforming that was for them. They each became what they were supposed to in their own container and thrived in a new way better than before. I had to smile as I thought about all of the new roots my life has grown in the last 10 years and how differently it is planted now than it was before then. Not that my life is all I desire because I still have a lot of heart’s desires. The ripping away of my roots was painfully hard. The only thing I knew for a long time was pain. As I think back about those plants. Once each was separated into a new container they required different levels of care to get them back healthy again. What one needed was inappropriate for the other. That is a huge lesson I am still learning as I try to help others. 

Here’s the challenge in life when we are ripped out of our normal existence. Allow yourself to be replanted in a new life that GOD carves out for you. That’s easier said than done I know. Allow yourself to bloom again. I can’t do this without  being connected to the body of Christ and plugged into his WORD.

 

I love the verse in Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto  those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified

 

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When God ran to me

Reposted from 2008 in honor of all God has called son who have fallen in this world but still are loved by a Father whose love is perfect. A Father who ran down that long road to meet them and said my son has come home again! Happy Father’s day Sir.

When GOD ran to me. Click here to listen

Luke 15:11-24 A

11And he said, A certain man had two sons:

12And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

13And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

14And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

15And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

17And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

This story has a very significant meaning in my life. I did pack up all I had and run from GOD. I didn’t live riotously but I did waste my substance. I spent all I had physically, emotionally, and spiritually and was left desolate. For a season I lived beneath the calling GOD had placed in my life at salvation, the calling we all have to be salt and light to the world. You all know what I am talking about. I am talking about the kind of living we do waiting on living to happen. The kind of self absorbed reckoning with our lives at the cost of being right with GOD.

Whatever is in your life that is distracting you or keeping you from dealing with your “swine trough” is a stronghold.  That swine trough could be pride that keeps you from forgiving someone, it could be doing a “work for the LORD” that is nowhere near God’s plan for your life. It could be a trough of indecision or the game of “waiting on the LORD” Where did GOD say to wait on him and do nothing while waiting? I see myself so much in the statements above. This prodigal got to the point he felt he was no longer worthy to be called his father’s son. Have you ever said these words? God I am not even sure I am saved and I doubt I am your child because I am here in my pig trough belly aching when I could be at your table. WAKE UP folks we can’t do this long and not feel like swine and degenerate despots.  We can’t run from a holy and just GOD and feel nothing or expect no conviction. When we neglect to face our issues we create a reality that very far from real. Human nature can justify almost any action but there is a clear and true standard that answers most of our questions in dealing with almost any situation. That standard is God’s Word. Our hearts are wicked and will deceive every chance they get.

Can you imagine the scene? I am going to paint this picture for you in modern times using a modern situation. Imagine a woman coming down a long road after being ravaged by divorce from a 20 year first marriage when she had served God with all that she knew how. Then to be followed by a precious second relationship  that failed because of disobedience to God’s Word. Finally to move out of her comfort zone  to total devastation in a city far away from all she knows and loves.  She has done all she can do and knows to do to try to make it in this world. Her heart is broken and she doesn’t even feel worthy to be a daughter of such a Father. A Father who she thought at one time considered her worthy to be His child. In her mind she is thinking any closeness I can have to Him even to be His servant on the outside of the family is better than what I have sought in the pleasures in this world. She feels unlovable, rejected, and torn to pieces. She feels no hope out there where the prince of the world is Satan. Her heart divides her each choice she makes because she is not whole, healed, or able to decide what is right anymore.

Slowly she begins to read about her Father’s love, care, compassion, sacrifice, and understands that is where it all should rest. She doesn’t place her confidence in those who pull you into the swine trough any longer.  She is remembering as David often did in the Psalms of God’s goodness even when people you love make terrible mistakes that hurt you. She begins to read her Father’s Words with passion seeking jewels of his grace, guidance, mercy, love, and understanding as well as righteousness. Her head lifts and she prays earnestly to the only hope she has in this life. Father, I have sinned, I have taken your grace and disgraced so much with my life with fear, doubt, and directing my own steps.  Her prayer is a long road, but she is not left journeying that distance alone. When the Father sees her heart is broken HE begins to run to her. As each prayer she prays indicates her total surrender His steps pick up even faster. He takes her to his chest and shouts to those around to begin to celebrate. He clothes her with his clothes, not the clothes she was wearing in the world. Her prayer ends where it should have began, in the arms of GOD. He restores her to the status that she had before she fell. He restores her to the heir and daughter she was.

The point of this story is of course that I am that woman. The other more important point is that through prayer and God’s word I was able to stop being her and by HIS grace learn my Father’s heart for me by His Word. I know folks tell you all the time to read the Word. We think a few minutes on Sunday when the preacher gives a message is enough to last all week. I am telling you not reading the WORD and praying daily is spiritually going to starve you and make you weak for hard times. Life is hard but GOD is good and we will lose sight of that if we neglect knowing Him intimately by reading the WORD. Begin today to know the heart of GOD by reading HIS love to you in written form and accepting His love demonstrated to you in the Cross of Christ. Email me if you want to know more. Blessings 🙂

I ran under his wings.

Under His Wings By New Manna Youth Choir

I can almost pinpoint the day my universe began to slide out of orbit. I knew the enemy of the soul had created a storm I had no choice but to endure. I remember when it hit how I had felt so destroyed. The best way I can describe it is this. Imagine walking across a field so tranquil and so serene with your husband who is your best friend and your children. Then you feel a sharp pain and grab your heart. There’s blood and you have been shot. You are not sure where it came from but you put your hand up to stop the bleeding. Another pain occurs and you have been shot again. You cover that wound with your other hand. You look around but there’s no help. Third shot and you realize it’s your best friend shooting. Your heart shatters and your knees buckle. How can this be? Where is my safety? How on earth could this happen?

You have no hands left. Two more shots and you realize your children have been hit. You can’t cover all the wounds. You are all wounded and there is nothing you can do. Even to this day when I hear this song, I remember. I was sitting a New Manna the night they sang this. Tears streaming down my face as they do now. I knew then that day in the field was coming, knew the enemy was looking for me and that I was soon to be alone in this world. I can’t describe the pain better than that.

Nine years later when I hear that song I am a different woman. Oh, I would have given anything for my children to not have been hurt by divorce. I would have never in a million years wished that for their lives. I have to say though that I am thankful.

How on earth can I be? How on earth can anyone be? Well it’s been a journey. I live every day of my life with a choice I didn’t make. I have been alone now 9 years. It’s been a hard road and is a hard road. I won’t mince words on that. I have real joy though and wouldn’t take nothing for knowing what I know now.

I learned something from it that I praise GOD for. I learned that under the wings of the almighty is the only place I could find out who I was in Christ. The most joyously painful lesson I have ever learned. I have learned that GOD is in control of everything and that everything that happens is for my good and His glory.
Nothing describes it like Psalms 91

 1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

 2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

 3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

 4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

 5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

 6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

 8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

 9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

 10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

 13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

 14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

 15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

 16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. (Psalm 91, King James Version)

When I read those verses I am reminded of the love and care of a GOD who has bound my wounds and healed my pain.

How far down the road am I from that beautiful field? Well my life is not a bed of roses but no ones is. We live in a fallen challenging world. Yet I have chosen to know my LORD intimately and be satisfied with him completely. I am overwhelmed with His love.
I desire to remarry one day to a man who will walk that field with me without a weapon but so far that hasn’t happened. I am not fretful or scared it won’t. I know GOD’s heart for me. I have learned to be content and wait until GOD decides. He’s walking that field with me right now and that’s the best part. Although the song above still brings tears and I know another trial can come into my life any time of that magnitude. The thing I know now that I didn’t know then was the character of my GOD. I knew tons about GOD and loved deeply then. Yet when my storm hit and I was alone naked before a just holy GOD who saw me and my situation, it was then I realized who He truly was.

For me it was the WORD of GOD that changed everything. I began searching for answers and found them in the Truth that set me free. I was freed from the bondage of my past, the burden of my sin and the sorrow of my heart.

Now that brings me to one point. The same GOD who freed me will free the person who shot me the same way. It’s the same grace, same faith, same truth, same salvation, same word and same forgiveness. That might not sound fair to folks wanting revenge or being bitter. Think about it though.

GOD is so fair and holy he will restore the one who brought me pain the same way he will restore me! Doesn’t that reveal a character that is immutable, righteous, holy, just, and perfect. Doesn’t that show his great love for you! Wow! I can still hear the cry of my heart from those days. Lord, only you can take me from disgrace to grace to glory. Please step in here Father this is too big for me.

I remember going to the altar during the school day when I had a moment and crying out to GOD not knowing where I would be in the future. There’s no darkness to our GOD. My darkest moment was light to him according to Psalms 139:12.

Today yes I am thankful. I have the deepest well in my Father’s love that springs up and splashes anyone who gets in my path. I am so blessed, so thankful, so much more a woman because of HIM. Forget me and see my Saviour that hides me under his precious wings. No storm can harm me there. I am in some storms now and some temporal uncertainty. Where will I live, where will I work, will I love again and how do I stay a light waiting. We all face that kind of stuff. I might not know all of those answers but I cling to the One who does.

I have forgiven, I am forgiven and life moves on.

Red Rover send a sinner right over.

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.

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