Monday, April 8, 2013

Why's to How's

More Griefshare encouragement for you! I love these e-mails. Hope you are blessed!

Move Beyond the "Why"
Day 194

At some point in time, if you are to continue toward healing, you must let go of the questions. Your questions may be answered later or they may not, but it is in the process of moving toward healing that you are most likely to get the answers you want.

Margi, who lost her husband, says, "I eventually came to a point in my life where I just said to the Lord, 'I'm going to stop asking You why, and I will begin asking You how. How can I use this in my life so that it will glorify You? I want to be able to use this to witness to others and encourage them through whatever it is You are trying to teach me.'"

Change your whys to hows, and seek to grow toward healing by helping other people.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. . . . Live in peace with each other . . . warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 13-24)

God, it seems so hard, too hard. Help me to understand that I cannot do anything without Your enabling. You only expect me to love You and learn about You, and Your Spirit will do the rest within me and through me. Amen.

God is amazing!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

GriefShare Encouragement!

I haven't posted on this blog for a while but I had to share this! I love the Lord's faithfulness! He knows just what to say at just the right time! Hope you are blessed by this too!

Walk by Faith, Trusting God
Day 193

"For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7 NASB).

You are called to walk by faith, especially when there are unanswered questions in your heart. You are to trust God, even when you do not have the explanations you feel you need.

Dr. Joseph Stowell says: "If you look at your problem and then look at God, you always end up throwing stones at God for the problem. If you look at God first and look at your problems through Him, through His sovereignty—that He is in control of everything, that He has permitted this in your life for a reason, that He is a just God, that He will settle the score for you—you will see that He is an all-powerful God who can turn this situation to that which is good and right.

"So the way to avoid the vulnerability of these nagging questions that distance you from God and make you liable for Satan's attack in the midst of your despair is to really focus on what you know to be true about God and to live in the exclamation point of that truth, not in the question marks of what you don't know about your problem."

Faithful God, I must look at You first. Teach me about Your goodness and sovereignty. Teach me to see the big picture and not just the pebbles of my unanswered questions. Lord, I'm willing to try. Amen.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Grieving A Loss Info

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one I'd like to share this precious resource with you. Grief Share is a bible based support group that comes along side of you as you grieve. This is not a cure for what ails you. It is comfort through sharing with others who have suffered a great loss in looking to God's truths to bring the comfort and the healing. I have only just started this group and I have to admit that it isn't always easy, but I find that as I press through the work book and the group meetings, as raw and emotional as they are some nights, I am beginning to understand this journey of grief.

Here is one of the e-mails I receive everyday from this great resource.

Grief Runs Deep: Where Is the Hope?
Day 3

Dr. Joseph Stowell says, "Even though your heart is breaking and tears are clouding your eyes and staining your cheeks, God does give us something worth trusting in tough times. And that's Him, and Him alone."

When your heart is breaking, you can place your hope and trust in the Lord.

"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD" (Psalm 31:24).

Anne Graham Lotz defines hope: "Biblical hope is absolute confidence in something you haven't seen or received yet, but you're absolutely confident that whatever God has said is going to come to pass."

She also declares that "Jesus is your hope for the future. One day Jesus Christ will come back, and He will set all of the wrong right. Good will triumph over the bad. Love will triumph over hate. Righteousness will triumph over evil. He's going to make it all right, and you can have absolute confidence that that's going to take place. That's your hope."

Sovereign God, I choose hope. I choose faith. I choose life. Give me an unshakable faith in You. Amen.

I know that this road is a hard one! But I pray that you are willing to take the steps towards real healing. It's worth the fight!

All my love,

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reveal the Hurt & Receive the Healing

I was feeling pretty overwhelmed again the other night and I found myself, yet again, crying out to God. The next morning after some prayer and some time to process my thoughts, I decided I didn't want anyone to see the yucky, selfish, whiny post I had written, so I reverted it to a draft. Then, after some more time and prayer I thought about how I like to make myself look good, so I decided to re-post it.
This post is me and I am not ashamed of being me, because God made me and He knows my frame. He knows how I let the things of this world cloud my thoughts and create fears inside of me. He knows I get angry and I am prone to jealousy when I compare my life to others. I am a sinner and God knows that. So hear is my angry, whiny, selfish post. But make sure you read to the end!

When Lord, when?  It feels like I will never get back to happy again. I am so tired of being sad! I am so tired of these emotions that flood my life and take over my days. I am tired of feeling like I don't belong. I just want a little peace. Everything has been flipped upside down. No, everything has been ruined! I am ruined, I am totally ruined.
What happens now? How do You get glory from a ruined life? All our plans, all our dreams, all our hopes for the future are gone. Aren't you tired of hearing me cry out? Aren't you tired of listening to me cry all day? I'm tired of me! I'm tired God! I don't know what I'm doing here anymore. I just want to go somewhere. I want to leave! I don't want to be here.
My faith is weak and my heart is ruined. I am afraid all the time! ALL THE TIME! Something has to change I can't keep going like this. I don't want to be angry and bitter. Why have You brought me here? When will You come back? When will You fix my broken heart? I need You to fix me. I can't, and there is no one else who can. Please God make this stop.

Oh what little faith I have! Simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved!

OK God I give up. I can't possibly go on another day with this anger and fear that is tormenting me and my family. I need you to cast it out and please give me peace and joy, real peace and joy! I don't want to lose any more precious time. I can't change what is happening now or what may come but you can change the way I've been dealing with this. You can help me to live everyday to the fullest and to be joyful in every moment that we have together no matter how long that may be. I don't want to have any regrets! Please God change my heart or I'll ruin everything with my bad attitude. I need peace that surpasses all understanding! I need You God. 
Did that prayer sound familiar? I posted it once before. Check out the post, I highlighted the prayer.
Somehow or other it came just the same (12/21/11)

OK, I think this is the perfect time to bring this blog to an end. I am so grateful for the truths God has shown me through this blog as I struggle down this road of trails and blessings. Want to know the most important thing I've learned through this experience? As Kenny once said, FAITH. Just believe. That's it!
God's words are true and we just have to believe and keep believing, no mater what our eyes are seeing or our thoughts are leading us to fear! God say's, "Do not fear!"

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
(Isaiah 43:1-3)
Thank you all for sharing this journey with me and for being loving and not condemning. I know some of my posts have been pretty raw and a bit angry, but you let me be vulnerable and real. That's exactly how God treats all those He loves. He listens to our complaints and our sorrows over and over again. He never gets tired of us as we cry out to Him! He is long suffering! He is Love! 

I believe this blog has been healing for me and I am not finished writing by any means! I believe that by bringing; my emotions and my fears and my anger and everything yucky in me, out into the light (of this blog) God was able to show me the error of my ways and teach me His truths. 

I learned to be honest with Him about my weaknesses and He made me strong! I learned that pride can get in the way of our healing. We can't expect God to heal us if we think we can "handle" this. You have to be honest with yourself too. Most times we think we are more than what we really are. We would do well to remember we are just the clay not the sculptor. 

The best and most wonderful thing I learned is that God is the same yesterday, today and forever! He will never leave me nor forsake me, so I may boldly say the Lord is my helper I will not fear, What can man do to me? 

God thank You so much for everything You've taught me! I don't expect life to be easy! In fact, I know the opposite is true! I know that if I just believe Your words and Your promises I can have joy and healing and every precious heavenly treasure that I desire. I would be lost without Your word! Thank You for walking with me through these painful times. You are Good! All Glory Honor and Power belongs to You. I choose You Lord. I am Yours yesterday, today and forever, because nothing and no one, can snatch me out of Your hands! Thank You for Your sacrificial love and for forgiving me by washing me clean with the blood of Jesus. Please go before me now and prepare the path You have willed for me. Help me to be steadfast and faithful and keep me close to You always. Make me never forget the things You've taught me up to this day and keep me always learning and growing in all wisdom and knowledge and understanding of You. In Jesus name I pray AMEN.

One last little nugget from Dr. Larry Crabb who suffered the loss of his brother due to a plane crash and even after 7 years had gone by still found himself grieving the loss. "Knowing the Lord and His comfort does not take away the ache; instead, it supports you in the middle of the ache. Until I get home to heaven, there's going to be an ache that won't quit. The grieving process for me is not so much a matter of getting rid of the pain, but not being controlled by the pain."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Called Aside

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Sometimes we think we are smarter than God. After I read this verse I thought about times when I knew Christ was in me but I didn't want to continue to be convicted by His Holy Spirit. I would push the stop button on my growth in Christ. I completely reasoned in myself that I would be OK if I took a break from His leading. Talk about a gamble!

This verse says test yourselves to know whether you are in the faith. Sometimes we can think, because we go to church and are in fellowship with other believers, that we are automatically in the faith. However, that's not the end all of the issue. Sometimes we can think because we are in a family of believers that we are automatically believers. What do you believe apart from those around you?

I am so thankful that God, though it's not easy, calls us away from people at different times in our lives. I am grateful that He suffers with us as we go sometimes kicking and screaming. He stays with us and endures our confusion and our anger as to His decision to call us away from others to test our faith. He wants to know, "If none go with you, will you still follow? Because one day you will stand before Me to give an account of the life I gave you and it will be just you and Me. There will be no others standing with you and you will have no excuses as to the choices you made."

I am reminded, even as the dishes are never done and the laundry pile grows over night, so too our faith is always in need of attention and sometimes tedious work.   

What will we say in that day? I pray that God will hear me say, "Though none go with me, still I will follow!"

Thank You Lord for Your love for me! Thank You that you pursue me and You suffer long with me, through the confusion and the anger. I am thankful that I don't have to understand Your ways, I just have to decide if I will trust You. You are more loving than I am able to understand! Please keep me close to You all the days of my life. In Jesus name AMEN!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Grief Letter

Dear friends and family,

I have started attending a grief support group because I want to try to understand my grief and this time of mourning that God had brought me to. I don't know what this journey will look like but I am hoping it will eventually lead to healing. I want to ask for your patients because I don't know how I will be feeling at any given moment, especially with the holidays quickly approaching.

One thing I've learned about myself through this process so far is I tend to feel angry so please forgive me in advance if I seem mad or irritated. I also tend to withdraw from people because I feel like I make people uncomfortable. But I've been told isolating myself isn't the answer so please don't let me withdraw.

Something else I've learned through this experience thus far is how much work it is to grieve! When you are grieving you feel bombarded with emotions and every feeling is intensified almost beyond belief. Sometimes it takes every ounce of my energy to press passed these feelings and I become exhausted and my mind is cloudy and I forget things a lot! If I have made plans with you please please remind me over and over again or I might forget all together. If I do forget I apologize.

One thing that I've longed for is the chance to talk about Kenny. I noticed when I feel the urge to talk about him I tend to push it away because I don't want to make people uncomfortable and I HATE crying in public and talking about him will probably lead to crying! If you feel so bold to want to ride that wave of uncharted territory with me I would be so grateful. Also my kids need a chance to talk about their dad too and if they cry try not to stop them, instead help them to know that it's OK for them to miss their daddy and offer to pray with them and ask God to comfort their hurting hearts.

I wanted to share a story with you about how the Lord has shown me to deal with my children's hurting hearts. Holly, my 7 year old daughter, was sitting at the top of the stairs this morning. She was clearly very sad and I asked her what was wrong. She told me she missed her daddy and started to cry. I told her that I miss him too but that I couldn't take her pain away. I asked her if I could pray with her and she said yes. I prayed for God to be her comfort. I hugged her tightly and prayed that she would feel Gods arms around her holding her and helping her to know how much He loves her. I then reassured Holly how much I loved her and told her I was so thankful that God gave her to me because she was an extra special piece of her daddy that I get to have for the rest of our lives together.

Another time Holly was crying almost inconsolably and she said, on top of her grief, that her head hurt and her nose was stuffy. I said praise the Lord that He made it so our heads would hurt and our noses would get stuffy so we would know when to stop crying and start trusting God. God lets us cry for a time but then He wants us to remember that He is with us so we don't have to sink into despair.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and for your continued prayers and support!
I trust that God has placed us here with all of you for a reason!
(Ephesians 4:11-16)
(1Corinthians 12:12-26)

In His Loving Arms,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Heart Breaking Love

I didn't know which order to put these two very moving video's.  I heard this song on the radio today and I just bawled!!!  This is exactly how I felt when I wrote my blog post on Jan 12th titled "Do You See Me?"  I wanted Kenny to know that no matter what the cost I was going to love him as much as I possibly could.  I know that without God's love and His strength I couldn't do that. It's not possible to love someone to death unless you know God's love.  

I am in awe of God's love for this world. He loves every single, dirty rotten, sinner on this planet. We sure are capable of causing pain and breaking hearts, and yet He loves. We are selfish and guarded and shut up inside our protective barriers, we are fearful and wounded and incapable of healing ourselves. He loves us anyways and His love brings healing, real healing! Are you falling back into sin? Are you falling back into an addiction? Are you too fearful to move? Do you believe no one could love you? Then this is the best news you've ever heard! God so loved you that He sent His perfect and Holy Son to die in order to pay the price for your sins, all of them. He took all sin on Himself and  suffered and died all for the love of you and me. 

I have to say this! If you are in a marriage right now, if you are blessed enough to be married to someone, may you know and show the kind of love that bleeds. May you be so selfless that you are willing to love no matter the cost to yourself! That's when you'll discover all the more God's love for you. 

Lord Your love is incredible! Thank You for loving me in all my brokenness and all my failures. Thank You for loving me in spite of my limited love towards You. I can never love you back the way you love me! I aspire to reach a new level of loving You everyday of my life. Only in Your strength and by Your grace and mercy! AMEN