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

Monday, September 10, 2012

We Wont Give Up

Is there anything better than being there for your kids? I love that I get to be apart of three of the most adorable children's lives (a non-biased remark I assure you)! I have to savor these moments because they are fleeting! This was the first time I got out the video camera since Christmas time. Didn't have an urge to film or take pictures because I didn't really want to accept that time is still ticking away and moments still need to be cherished. I don't want to miss out on these moments I'm firing up the video camera and uploading new memories!!! Not moving on, just moving forward! I know Kenny would have been so proud of his son!

Friday, September 7, 2012

He is my, Advocate my Strength and my Defender.

Exodus 22:22-24
 “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. 
 If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; 
 and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; 
your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

Is it wrong that I really really enjoyed reading these words tonight? O who cares! It's in the Word! I love the strength of this verse! If you afflict any widow or fatherless child... I'll kill you! I love feeling protected by the all powerful God of the universe! Watch out I am armed with this verse and I know how to use it! Just kidding. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

To Share or Not To Share

Ugh! Everything hurts! Everyday I pray things will get better and they don't. I am trying to decide if I should go to this grief counseling group and I gotta say, right now the scale is tipping towards NO.

I hate time! I hate that my kids are getting older. So far two of my three children have had their birthdays pass without their dad being here. As excruciating as it was to face those dates, we have to do that for the rest of our lives. How is that encouraging? How is that truth supposed to make you want to keep going? Now they are starting a new school year, really? Call me crazy but I don't see how anything time has to offer me could be good.

What's up with the word mourning? It sounds exactly like morning as in, "Good morning." Why don't they call it something more fitting like, evening or utter darkness? How about the word widow? That's just an ugly word! Well I guess that one might be fitting since I feel very ugly right now!

So grief groups, time, stupid words, anything else roaming around in my mind tonight? Na' better not share too much!

I truly wouldn't wish this pain on anyone! I do wish people, myself included, cared more about the sufferings of others. How many times do I fix my eyes straight ahead of me when I notice a person holding a sign by the freeway? How often do let my thoughts wander, yet stayed mostly on myself, as I see so many other people with problems and pains.

Sure a buck for the homeless man and a quick assurance to myself that I can't solve other peoples problems gets me through the awkward moment but... then what? What happens next time you cross paths with the beggar or the person with issues? Someone will help them right? Right?

Matthew 25:31-46

Hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick and in prison. Words we hope will never describe us as we try to avoid such destitute people. Have you seen the movie, A Christmas Carol? Not the newer versions that tell the story in animation or with puppets. That movie has been re-made so many times and every time it seems the story gets a lighter and more whimsical spin to it. I think the reason that movie has been re-made so many times is because the story makes people uncomfortable and with every new version we become dumber to the truths that sparked the story in the first place. There are such people all around us, people who are hungry and in need and we turn our heads and assume someone else will help them. What if we are the help and we turn away? What if God had intended us to see that person in need at that particular time and we did nothing? Well we know the answer to that if we would read Matthew 25:31-46.

Have you ever suffered so much or been so destitute that people wouldn't even look you in the eye? That's like kicking you when you're down. If you have to suffer at least let people see so they could be moved to compassion or moved to something! Do you know the magnitude of the sin that was placed on Jesus on the cross caused the Father to look away? You can't even imagine the pain that Jesus was suffering and then to have The ONLY One who ever knew Him, the One who truly Loved Him look away as He suffered, we can't even fathom the excruciating alone feeling that broke His heart as He died.

Don't look away from the least of these, they are God's vessels unto us. We are blessed as we serve them. We are not called to fix them but to lead them to the one who can bring healing and restoration. We can feed them, we can clothe them, we can visit them in prison. Why don't we do that more often? Maybe because we're too wrapped up in our own world. Maybe we are caught up in our mind, with thoughts of self continually, ignoring them because we can't see past the end of our noses?

Oh Lord forgive me again for my selfish thoughts! Help me to remember what You suffered for me on the cross all alone. You freely gave me forgiveness for the sins I deserved to be punished for. Help me to freely give. Lord only at the cross is there comfort and mercy and love. You paid it all for a world that crucified You. Help us to not be so wrapped up in our own little worlds that we forget that there is a world of suffering people in need. Let us be Your hands and feet, in Jesus name AMEN.

Matthew 25:31-46
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”