Archive | January, 2013

Tie a knot and hang on!

25 Jan

He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Psalm 91:4(NLT)

I have matured enough as a Christian to know when I am being molded, sculpted, transformed. Let’s be truthful;this is not our favorite part of our Faithwalk, this emotional process of change, hardship or burden, discouragement or pain, even loss or worse, anger. You get the picture. It’s not fun.

James 1 tells us to consider our trials a blessing. This is our time to grow our faith and endurance. Oh! and how wise we are to share this scripture when someone we know is going through difficulties. Obviously, this is easier said than done. I have this funny picture in my head of what I must look like to our beautiful Savior; Body thrown across the bed, tear stained face, mascara running, as I remember I am supposed to seek wisdom, with my best forced smile, you know the one, teeth gritted, eyes wild, as my mind whirls a thousand different directions of all that is going wrong…with a Faith and Trust I don’t feel, I calmly ask God for wisdom. (I also add a few addendums: patience, because I need it; billboards, because I need them, and precious sleep.) I ask the Holy Spirit to comfort me in my weak state. I do believe God takes special pity on me in this exact moment because even though I don’t always have this sense of peace, I do tend to fall straight to sleep. I think this is essential to gaining strength and keeping our faith in trials.

God usually doesn’t fix our circumstances. Why on earth would He fix what is intended for us to grow and become stronger in? We are so silly! He does however, bring us scripture, friends, and little morsels of beauty. We have to seek them. We have to strive to see the good even when there appears to be nothing to find. If we ask Him to help us see the blessings, to remove the thorn that keeps us from seeing the good in the midst of our trials, He will. Every single time.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:10 NLT

God intends the very best for our lives. That can require pain and loss, especially as we hang on tight to our limited idea of what we envision God’s very best for us to be.

I am learning that Faith is like a muscle; the more we stretch it the more it grows. It can burn, and it can hurt. God’s perfect peace, God’s amazing joy comes when we become able to work through the pain. I am learning to not lean in with prayer as much as listening to sermons and songs but mostly reading scripture. There is so much comfort in The Word. Promises of times like this, as well as what He intends for our lives. It is so enriched and so empowering to know you are exactly where you are meant to be and God has this under control.

I have a plethora of songs and passages I didn’t know I was collecting, I just did it. Now I have my stockpile and it is so encouraging. I have my go to people, those that will pray over me. I don’t have to speak. I am learning to not speak during my trials. I believe I give my strong holds a bit more strength when I give a voice to my fears instead of my faith. Ironically, or not, I do believe that not talking about it is exactly the opposite of everything I was told I needed to learn how to do!

As I deepen my relationship with God, I have learned there is a point of needing to be still. Be still and let the Lord do the talking. Let the Shepherds do the talking. Let the strong pray over you, FOR you. Just take it in. Let it pour over you, like a balm for your soul.

Good wine, good foods, slowly marinate; ripening to perfection and wonder with age. Why wouldn’t we? Aren’t we more beautiful, more wonderful? More loved?

The eternal God is your refuge,and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you,saying, ‘Destroy them!’Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV)

neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

Humble Pie.

23 Jan

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. ~ Thomas Merton

Humility: a prominent Christian grace. It is a state of mind well pleasing to God; it preserves the soul in tranquility and makes us patient under trials

There is nothing more beautiful to me than a person lit from within; that light of joy and peace that comes from the Lord.

I am blessed beyond blessings by the people God brings to my path. I have been surrounded by beautiful women and a few amazing men, my whole life. I think I was so busy in my life, I didn’t realize the depth of love and compassion these people were capable of; maybe I kept my distance. Now, I have found this to be my greatest blessing and my greatest joy. I found it in the midst of my grief.
When I was humbled, I was able to see what was. What remained was astounding as my eyes were opened to the abundance of what God intended.

Humility is so becoming, truly beautiful, offering a view that softens everything. It creates the desire for wisdom and the sharing of Grace. Grace, humility, love, that is the light. Wisdom is a journey over time and one we need to seek self control with, as well.

I think, when we look to others for our approval, and not God’s, we embark on an endless journey of condemnation, pride, never measuring up. When you seek God’s approval, you find joy in the conviction, the growing, even in the midst of personal struggles, there is joy. As we seek wisdom, we no longer seek perfection, because we accept our limitations. We strive to please God, and quite often at the risk of not pleasing this world.

We are blessed in our humility. Humility is our greatest strength. We see God as our Father, our everything. With humility, we begin to understand Grace, and Mercy. We know we are sinners. We know we don’t deserve the blessings we receive, we are not perfect enough to gain eternal life. By becoming less, seeking more of God, we become more Holy.

God the Father, Jesus the Savior, Holy Spirit the comforter… we the humble, the blessed.

God loves us so much that he will bless us with amazing and abundant blessings, even when, by our own grandiose standards, we do not deserve them. Humbled and grateful, seeking wisdom, that is where there is pure joy.

Psalms 149: 4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

faithfully yours…

20 Jan

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Normally I write from an enlightened perspective. One that is looking back at the journey. Today I write from my heart. I believe that everyone feels what I am feeling at some point. I believe it to be part of our journey and possibly the most important part. It keeps us looking up, even when we want to quit.

When my husband left, I felt a huge burden of failure. His failure to love me was my fault, my shortcomings. As I moved through my grief, I began to place that burden back on him, his failure to love me was his. God pierced my heart showing me that our divorce wasn’t a failure to love or be loved. Our marriage ended because there was a lack of commitment to continue forward. Love had nothing to do with that. My continued love for him was perfectly normal and so was the mourning. My capacity to love remained. I was able to begin my journey of forgiveness and finally my hope for his happiness.

I have been alone, by choice. I have dated a little but I built walls of protection around me, walls that kept men out. I didn’t really want a relationship with anyone. Truth is, I was numb and if I felt anything it was terror. I didn’t think I could ever open up, trust or even hope to love again. Certainly I never wanted to marry again. I poured all my love into my family and my amazing friendships.
That all changed about 5 or 6 months ago. It struck me out of nowhere and loud as could be ~ “I would like to be married again one day.”
~Just like that.

I recently met someone that unbeknownst to him, has had a huge impact in my life. I know he has a different journey to walk, we are not to be, but I believe he was brought to my life to stir my heart. To help me see that my heart yearns to feel again, to love again. He stirred in me a desire to know a man. To have a man know me.

I know God has a plan in mind for me. I have grown to depend on Him for all of my needs, my desires and my hopes, yet I do find it incredibly sad, actually! I wonder why? Why do I have to face these hardships by myself. Where is my helpmate, my partner? Why do I find a man, so perfect for me in so many ways, yet he isn’t for me? Why are two people that really loved, alone? It hurts me. Part of that answer means being truthful. Honestly, I was truly alone in my marriage. Truth is, this man may be perfect for me, but he has dreams and hopes for things I can’t give him, and of which are so incredible and valuable, I desire that for him as well. The gift in this, is that I learned that men can love with a pure heart.

I do understand that there is a purpose and a plan. I trust that, but you can know that and it can still sting.It can be lonely and treacherous at times.

Some days… I just wish God didn’t see me as such a strong person. Today, I am weary. Today, I want a helpmate. I know this is my little valley but I really feel as though I have no strength for more valleys. Today.

So, I will pray. I will seek wisdom. I will get rest. I will count my blessings, be thankful. I will pray for others and I will talk to Jesus. I will ask the Holy Spirit to comfort me. I will start all over again tomorrow. I will be grateful that my heart is full of life and love. I will sing the praises because God brought me a bountyful of love from amazing men and women and excellent leadership from amazing Shepherds.

And this tired and a bit sad heart still beats and I am alive and kicking…and that is a blessing.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:18