Who Do You Say I Am?

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Who do you say I am….

Breathtaking, Beautiful, Truth, Peace, King, Lover of my soul, Brilliant, Amazing, The Word, Counselor, Son of God, Grace, Honesty, Purity, Gentle, Passionate, Consuming, Overwhelming, Magnificent, Splendor, Loving, Forgiving, Healer, Overcomer, Victorious, Strength, Shield, Protector, Encourager, Living Water, Refresher, Restorer, Redeemer, Deliverer, The Christ, Lord, Savior, Love, Courage, Wealth, Song, Eternal, Everlasting, Alpha, Omega, Present, Gift, Freedom, Compassionate, Warm, Loving, Dances with me, Warrior, Prayer, Interceder, Defeater, Far-stretched, Hope, Intimacy, Foundation, Rock, Salvation, Resurrection, Worthy, Everlasting, Beginning and End, Elegant, Sweet, Pursuer, Mercy, Truth, The Way, Life, Fun, Happy, Pleased, Beaming, Laughter, Tears, Doctor, Sword, Priest, Teacher, My Heart, Tender

I say You are the Christ! You are the one and only Son of God! You are My Lord & Savior! You are my life!

Remorse

Remorse = deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.

 

I turned on the TV yesterday afternoon and was very disappointed to find the OJ parole hearing.  I honestly didn’t know the full story of why he went to prison.  I honestly didn’t care either.  I never followed the first trial even though the media saturated us with every detail of it all of those years ago.  I, like most others, assumed he was guilty of murder.  It was very sad.  I was so very sad for his kids, for the families of Nicole and Ron, and even for OJ if he was, indeed, guilty.  How do you get so possessed that you commit murder of someone you supposedly love so much?  Anyway, I digress.

I found myself getting sucked into the parole hearing…which was so strange for me.  It was stressed that OJ needed to show remorse…that would be the most important deciding factor.  Did I see remorse in him – not really…then again it was made clear that he and the victim of that crime in Las Vegas had made peace with each other and forgiven each other years ago.  Truly some time ago OJ must have shown him that he was remorseful.  The love this man showed for OJ at the hearing was deep and genuine.  How can you show so much love for someone that hurt you so deeply if they aren’t truly sorry?

I found myself hoping that OJ would be paroled.  I found myself praying for this man – praying for God’s will to be done.  I felt kind of guilty hoping for parole knowing how much pain this man allegedly caused so many.  While I didn’t see remorse, I did see humility and vulnerability.  That is what pulled at my heart strings.  Here is this 70 year old man that was larger than life while in his prime…a man that was loved by so many.  I love someone that can be vulnerable in front of others…someone that is humbled by knowing his fate lies in the hands of others and he has no control over what they decide and must live with their decision – right or wrong.  I loved the happiness – the deep happiness I saw in his eyes when the decision was made for parole.  OJ mentioned that he was doing bible study while in prison and wanted to be a better Christian.  I truly pray that he will give his entire life to God…that Jesus will truly be his Lord and Savior.  I know that very often my heart is bigger than my head – as it was in this case.  I often want to believe that people will choose to be who God calls them to be…that they will be good and noble.

Over the last 24 hours I have been reflecting on this case…still feeling strange about how this parole hearing made me feel – how it opened my heart to someone that in my head had done so much that was wrong, yet I so wanted him to have a chance at life – a chance to be with his family and friends – a chance to show that he is reformed – a chance to be a huge witness for Jesus.  I still pray for all of those chances for him…I hope in my heart of hearts that yesterday wasn’t an act…I hope in my heart of hearts that I wasn’t fooled by him.

On to what the real heart of this matter is – as it truly isn’t OJ or his parole.  The real heart of the matter is remorse.  I’ve been struggling for years with particular relationships…relationships that caused very deep wounds.  I chose to do the Godly thing and forgive…I didn’t always forgive right away.  Sometimes it took a good couple of years and a lot of prayer.  Sometimes I opened my heart back up to these people that hurt me – other times I knew it was time to walk away.   What I found the times I chose not to walk away is that nothing really changed – people continued to hurt me over and over again.  I’ve prayed through the years for Jesus to teach me how to have a relationship with these people.  I finally realized this morning that it’s not possible.  What this case has taught me is that without remorse, the attacker will never be a safe place.  Convicts aren’t safe for society and will commit the same crimes again and again.  People that attack will continue to attack and hurt others over and over again – they will never be a safe place.  They are their own idols – they are more important to themselves than anyone else.  As sad as it is, you will either have to walk away or continuously guard your heart.  It feels like death when there is no remorse – like a funeral.  It hurts.  It’s important to forgive, but without remorse we can’t move forward in the same way.  You have to remove people from the places in your heart that you have let them reside.

Hallelujah Moments

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This is one of those posts that makes my heart weighted.  I’ve had it saved as a draft for several days because I knew I needed to have the emotional capacity to write it…not so much because it’s painful to write, but more so because this Hallelujah Moment I refer to is so pivotal – at least it was for me.  Maybe not everyone has one of these moments…maybe that’s something to be thankful for…each of our journeys is different because we are all unique with a unique purpose.  I love reflecting on this moment in my life – not the painful thing that caused it, but rather the raw and vulnerable moment with God that brought me to my knees at His feet in tears…my Mary of Bethany moment (John 12:3).

Have you ever experienced something in your life that makes you feel like your choices  altered the course of it and even altered your heart to the very core?  I’ve already blogged about that particular incident in my life (Buried But Never Forgotten), so I won’t rehash all of those details.  My hallelujah moment was many years later after much healing – after so many layers had been peeled back, and I was finally able to see the truth.  It was in that moment that I broke down into hysterical tears and wept and wept and wept…the beauty of it was that I wept at the feet of my Savior and my greatest Love while He stroked my hair.  I was finally able to look at Him and tell Him how sorry I was that I ran from Him because of shame instead of running to Him to make it right.  I felt like I had turned my back on not just myself and my values, but like I had forsaken Him and let Him down beyond repair.  It was a clear plot of Satan, as it usually is…he feels threatened so he tries his hardest to separate us from God…but those that love God with the deepest love can always find their way back to Him.  He is always there waiting with the most tender eyes and  loving arms – no anger just enormous love.

It was so freeing for me to tell Him how sorry I was for breaking His heart – it was so freeing for me to tell Him how heartbroken I was.  It was the most beautiful, healing moment.  I think the most healing thing of all was standing on the truth, cradled in His arms, reveling in His love…our hearts united at the deepest level knowing that they could never be pulled apart again.  Do you know how much our heavenly Father adores it when we go running to Him full speed ahead, unstoppable until we are in His arms?  He longs for that.  He longs for us to shower Him with our love.  Our love makes His eyes dance.  Our love makes His heart sing.  There is no moment that can possibly be more intimate.  This hallelujah moment puts you back on course – leaving that thing that took you off course at the foot of the cross while you take your Love’s hand and continue your resurrection journey.

There are several references to this hallelujah moment in the Bible – the two that stand out to me the most are Samson and David. It was the story of Samson that made me have this revelation…how he lost his power when he let Delilah shave his head(Judges 16:18).  My power was my heart and being able to love without abandon…I let someone take that from me, and it was indeed heartbreaking and had lots of consequences, but it didn’t make God love me any less – and in the end it made me love Him so much more.  My favorite hallelujah moment in the Bible was when David realized that he had sinned against the Lord with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12).  I love David’s heart.  I’ve always loved his heart!  He loved God so much!  He was so quick, once he recognized the truth, to fall on his knees and weep before the Lord for betraying Him.

I pray that if you have something in your life that altered your heart, you will have your very own hallelujah moment – I pray you will find Him because He is waiting for you with more love than you could ever fathom.  I pray that this moment will set you back on course to experience life in your rightful place – you are His Beloved – Prince/Princess – Son/Daughter of a King.  You were created for a wonderful and significant purpose – it’s time to walk in that while your proud Daddy’s heart beats in tune with yours to the melody of His love!

 

 

 

 

 

For my Sweetheart – Happy 11th Anniversary!

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Today (July 23, 2016) is my 11th wedding anniversary.  I opted to blog rather than buy a Hallmark – after all, my husband deserves the spotlight!

I guess everyone always says the same thing – I can’t believe it has been 11 years, and I can’t believe it has ONLY been 11 years.  It’s so hard to remember me before him…honestly, I like the me WITH him so much more (God played a big part in that)!

I met this incredible man in church.  I quickly developed a huge crush on him (which I totally hid as if my life depended on it).  I was drawn to him (not because I thought he was hot – even though I did think that) but more because he had the most gentle and sweetest spirit.  He had a laugh that was contagious – it lit up not only his whole face but the entire room as well.  He was intelligent.  He had himself together – already owned a house and had begun a wonderful career as a teacher.  I was very impressed…and I was very smitten too!

He asked me out, and to make a short story even shorter, we were married a little less than 7 months later.  Ecclesiastes 3 pretty much sums up the past 11 years: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…  Together we have experienced weeping, laughing, mourning and dancing.  I hold in my heart all of these things…I wouldn’t change a thing.  Even through the most painful times, Chuck was there for me and held my heart like no one other than God could have.  He has let me cry with my face buried in his chest countless times, and his soothing and loving touch nursed my heart back to health.  He lets me dance through the grocery store isles when I hear a song I love (uncontrollable urge on my part), and he loves me even more for doing it.

I love that with him I am raw and vulnerable.  I love that I know how much he loves me always – even when we disagree…it’s an unconditional love like I’ve never known.  I love that when I’m upset, he immediately prays for me out loud on the spot with such passion and fervor.  I love his strength.  I love his passion.  I love his fight.  I love his dedication and loyalty.  I love his heart.

I’m so glad I waited for God’s best for me (even when I really didn’t want to wait).  Chuck is the perfect man for me, and I’m so blessed that He was God’s choice for me (I prayed for God to arrange my marriage).  I would marry him over and over and over again.  I truly love him more with each passing day.  I respect him more with each passing day.  I’m more thankful for him with each passing day.  I’m more in awe of God for bringing me him each passing day.  I’m so proud to be his wife.  I’m so proud of him – proud of the choices he makes, proud that he lets God lead him, proud of his noble character, proud of the man he is, period!

Happy Anniversary my Love!  You are the greatest love I’ve ever known!   This journey has been incredible, and I love that I get to walk out the rest of my days with you! I’m excited for each and every day of our lives together – love you always, your girl

 

Do you love me?

Imagine Jesus asking you this question – Do you love me?   Pause for a moment and think about how it makes  you feel.  Jesus asked Peter in John 21:15 if he loves Him.  He asked him 3 times in fact.  Peter’s response makes me think he was disappointed that Jesus asked him this – how could He ask such a thing when He knows everything – He knew that Peter loved him.

I tell Jesus I love Him all of the time, and I truly do with all of my heart.  I never realized that while I know Jesus loves me, I felt that I blended in with everyone else that He loves – nothing special to see here.  I’ve struggled for decades with feeling invisible.  When I read these words – I knew that Jesus was asking ME personally if I love Him?  In an instant that question healed a 30-something year old wound in me – the wound that told me that I am invisible.

That question made me feel singled out.  It made me feel the intense gaze of the greatest love I have ever known.  Wow – He sees me.  There was no blending in at that moment – truthfully, I didn’t want to blend in.  His loving gaze captured my heart and took my breath away.  I just wanted to stay there in that moment lost in His eyes forever.

I share this because I want you to have this moment with Him…I want you to know that He SEES you.  His eyes and His heart are fixed on you!  There is so much love and beauty in this.  This kind of intimacy is life changing.  You are His beloved – revel in the romance of that always!

When truth and love breed rejection…

I decided to write today because sometimes it is the only way for me to process things. I’m in an awkward in-between stage in my life.  Maybe it’s not really an in-between stage; maybe it’s a short, strange transitional season.  I have no idea where this journey of life is leading me – really, I have no idea where God is leading me.  I’m doing my best to wait on Him – to wait on His leading.  I keep feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and find myself in the familiar place of wanting to charge ahead into a space that I control – truly a space where I can hide and mesh into the fabric of being on everyone else’s back burner.  That place honestly sucks, but it’s where I have spent most of my life, so it’s comfortable to me – in a sucky kind of way.  The real truth is I hate that place, and I want something different.  In this moment I find myself manifesting the hurt of 35 years…this hurt has followed me my entire life – which really means this has been an on-going attack of Satan my entire life – one meant to cripple me – one meant to keep me from my purpose and destiny.  As much as I don’t like this particular place of vulnerability that I find myself in with Jesus, I hate the thought of letting Satan defeat me more.  I’m ready to step out and walk in my purpose, and I know this deep wound/scar tissue is holding me back.  I know that God wants to heal it…He has been pointing it out to me for weeks.  Every time I think I have moved past it, I realize that I haven’t.  Today everything caught up with me, and I find myself in a horrible funk.

I titled this blog when truth and love breed rejection.  I’ve always had a loving heart – I see the good in everyone, even when it is deeply buried.  It’s part of my calling (which took me a long time realize).  My point here is that I love with my whole heart.  I don’t hold back.  Yet I continuously find myself being horribly wounded by everyone that I hold dear and even those that are just a little dear.  Because I love using my whole heart, when people hurt me, it’s so hard to recover.  I’ve spent my whole life running from these wounds and accepting the lies of people’s actions as truth.  This started all the way back in elementary school in the 4th grade.  This grade was exceptionally impactful for me as it was my first year in school without my daddy.  He died at the end of 3rd grade.  I was already pretty lost because of his death – very unsure of what his death even meant for me – very unsure of who I was now.  I moved forward in the 4th grade making friends and giving my whole heart to these little girls that were now my friends.  As it turns out, maybe they really weren’t my friends.  Maybe they didn’t love me back – maybe they just pretended to love me back.  I stayed loyal to one of these friends all the way through 7th grade, and just continued to get hurt over and over and over again.  I don’t know why I didn’t just find new friends – I guess I just needed some sense of belonging.  The thing is that regardless of who my ‘best’ friend was over the years, they always ended up doing the same things…betraying me, saying mean things about me behind my back, chastising me about the way I dress, my hair cut, the way I dance, and all sorts of other things. This list of folks isn’t just limited to my best friends – I went through the same things with very close family members.  I went through the same things at several of my workplaces.  Throughout my life my love and honesty has bred so much rejection and deep, deep hurt.  Throughout my life I have been told by all of these people that I don’t have value; I don’t have worth; I’m not loved; I’m not special.  I felt I was allowed to stick around because I was willing to do whatever anyone needed me to do; but I never felt wanted, loved and adored or valuable.

I mentioned that I’m in a transitional season.  I resigned from my job in corporate America at the end of April.  The truth is that I pigeon-holed myself in a field that I honestly didn’t like.  Rather than doing what I knew in my heart was my passion, I chose something that I thought others would find more meaningful – I chose something that brought me no life in hopes of finding acceptance from others.  Guess what – it didn’t work so well.  My career of over 20+ years brought me more rejection and feelings of hopelessness because I felt like I wasted my life. I had true successes throughout my career, and I made a lot of money – none of that matters to me.   I know now that my life nor these years were a waste – God uses everything for good for those that are called according to His purpose.  After much prayer and waiting, I knew it was time to leave that long path of un-fulfillment in April.  I honestly feel like it’s time for me to move into my calling, my purpose, my passion.  I know that God is telling me that I have been created for a time such as this.  I know in my heart of hearts that God has the most spectacular journey laid out for me, and it is something that will bedazzle my heart.  I know it is something that in an instant will make me feel like those long years behind me barely existed…a thousand years is but a day.  I also know that in this transition there are places in my heart that are still so wounded, and those wounds need to be healed in order for me to truly experience everything God has for me moving forward.  I spent the first month after my resignation climbing the walls – staying home with nothing to do or no purpose was so foreign to me.  I’m in the second month now, and things are better – I have a bit of a rhythm going, and I have some things I’m working on that are truly my passion.  During this time God has been digging deep into my heart and showing me the dead parts.  He has already healed some of the things He has shown me during this transition period, but there are other things He has shown me that are still there causing death in my heart.  Mainly the things that remain are all of the things I have talked about here – how friends, family, etc rejected me and wounded me.  I’ve known the root for a few weeks – God showed me where these things originated…but my healing still hasn’t happened even though I tried to convince myself that it had.

God uses things we find bizarre sometimes to point us to our wounds.  I woke up today like any other normal Saturday – the whole day ahead of me with really nowhere to be or nothing pressing to do.  The first thing I did was look at my phone – there on social media was another one of these things…someone I had poured my heart into decided that people that were so mean to me were more acceptable and more valuable than I was.  Something else on social media caught my attention –  a former Voice finalist was shot and killed after one of her performances.  Seeing this put me in such a deep funk – it made me feel so wounded.  This is what I mean about God using bizarre things to point to our wounds.  My feelings about her death were irrational.  She was very talented, but beyond watching her season of the Voice, I really had not followed her career.  Yet all morning I have felt so much bitterness from this.  I realized that I identified with the characteristics her shooter projected onto her – clearly he thought she had no value or worth – so much so that he took her life.  I’m certainly not trying to say that anything I have been through compares to this – it clearly doesn’t.  What I am saying is that it makes me angry that someone else decided her fate – that someone decided to play God with her life.  She was a beautiful, young girl with so much passion and love for everyone.  She had her whole life ahead of her – a life to touch so many people…and in an instant it was gone – someone had snuffed it out.  That’s the part I identify with – I feel like I’ve had several people snuff me out…they didn’t literally kill me, but they have been killing my soul year after year.  I know now that this has been the master plan of the devil – trying to keep me hidden and isolated – making me feel invisible – making me feel rejected, unworthy, unloved and devalued.

As a result of my wounds,  I learned to just fade into the background.  I learned to stay on the sidelines loving people and working hard and never being seen or acknowledged.  That empty place is where my soul has resided for over 35 years.  Frankly, my soul needs a new home – a home that is filled with love and adoration – a home where I’m valued and of worth – a home where I am accepted fully and loved just because I am me – a home where others actually want me around because they truly enjoy being with me.  What God is showing me in this very moment is that regardless of the hurts, I have always been someone that people  have valued and loved and adored and wanted to be around.  Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy – and he has done a fantastic job up until now…I am just realizing that the lies we receive from people’s actions are truly lies – just because they make us feel a certain way doesn’t mean it is truly their heart for us.  It doesn’t mean they don’t love, accept and value us. Satan will use every opportunity to bury us or to snuff us out – and the best way to do that is by using everyone we love…we are all pawns in his nasty game.

The first step to freedom is always recognizing the lies we believed.  The truth always brings light to darkness.  The truth is:  You are a Princess/Prince – the Daughter/Son of a King,  You are wholly loved, You are wholly accepted, You are beautiful, You are adored, You bedazzle your Daddy, You have captured His heart, He delights in you, He created you for your very own unique purpose, He will never leave you or forsake you, He loves you as far as the East is from the West and then some, He is the lover of your soul and He carries your heart, He catches your tears and washes your heart with them, He dances with you, He carries you when you are faint or weary, He holds your hands every day and walks with you, He is your best friend, He is your greatest Love, He is your Truth, He is your Delight, He is your Honor, He is your Defender, He goes before you, He walks beside you, and He walks behind you.  He is the Vine, and you are His Branch.  His sweet and gentle spirit dance all around you making your heart sing and soar!  Bask in His truth today and always! Wrap yourself in His love – His love is yours!

As I close this post  I pray that you would be able to recognize God’s knock however it may come – whether through a song, a current event, a book, the Word, a movie or anything else in this world.  We are meant to have abundant life and joy.  We are meant to walk in freedom with purpose.  I pray that your heart would be open to His healing always!

 

Unashamed

I’ve been reading Unashamed by Christine Caine.  I’m only on Chapter 5…usually I fly through books, but this is one to take slowly, to absorb all that God is showing you.  Funny, I bought the book because I knew it would be good, but foolishly I thought there wasn’t possibly any other major thing that God could heal in me.  I was so wrong, and I’m so thankful that I was.

I’ve had intimacy issues throughout my marriage…the one place I should never feel  shame.  My husband has always been so patient, understanding and so loving.  There have been times in my past where the thought of being intimate with my him crippled me with fear – it wasn’t all the time – it was very sporadic.  Every time I feel this fear, God is about to heal something in me.  God showed me early in our marriage that I had been molested when I was a little girl – I had repressed it.  That was definitely part of the problem, but it wasn’t all of it.  He long ago healed me from that.  There have been some other things I have walked through that left me very broken hearted.  God has been healing these things one at a time.  As I was reading Unashamed, my Spirit felt heavy, and I felt that same familiar feeling – God was tugging at me showing me that I had a wound that was still buried.  He showed me on the spot exactly where it came from – it came from an unhealthy relationship in my past.  I thought I had been healed from that…I had shared all of these things long ago with my husband intentionally because I know that truth brings light to darkness.  I didn’t realize that I still carried the shame from it.  What I discovered yesterday is that it was not even my shame to carry – it was shame that I attached to myself and wore as my own.  I had been exposed to some sexual perversion as a child from someone very influential in my life…I wasn’t part of these acts – I just saw them by mistake (mainly because things were left out where they shouldn’t have been).  These things made me feel dirty, and they gave me a completely different feeling about this person.  I thought this person was dirty.  I realized that this particular relationship that God was showing me from my past, though not perverse at all, made me identify with this person, and I put the filth on myself.  I was dirty from then until yesterday.  Yesterday God showed me a picture of myself from high school…I was such a pure, good girl.  God showed me that is who I am – I have always been that sweet, innocent girl.  That’s my heart – regardless of any relationship I have been in – my heart has always been pure.

I’m so excited about what God is doing in all of His daughters’ lives!  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom!  I pray that God would use this book to heal something in every single person that reads it!

 

Jonah and Beyond

There are so many nuggets in the book of Jonah, but a couple of things stood out to me the most…one of which took my brain on a crazy rabbit trail.

The first thing that grabs my attention is the fact that Jonah thought he could outrun God.  Adam and Eve were hiding from Him in the garden – clearly there is no outrunning God or hiding from Him, yet we all do it.  I guess we think it’s easier to hide in our shame or selfishness…if we are lucky, we come to our senses and realize God is always the first place we should run – even in our darkest hour.  Jonah was running away from God because he didn’t want to be obedient.  I’m not certain that I have ever run from God because I didn’t want to be obedient to what I knew was a direct command.  I have, however, spent many years running from God because I was ashamed of myself and felt void of all hope.  Honestly, I wasn’t even aware at the time that my loving  God could make it all better.  I certainly know that now, and as hard and lonely as my years away from Him were, they made my love for Him so much sweeter and deeper and intimate.  Thank God He didn’t give up on me.  Jonah reminds us that God’s love is for all of us – even the worst sinners – all we have to do is turn our hearts to Him and repent.    God will receive us over and over and over…He is that merciful and loving.  Hallelujah!

The second point that stands out to me (and thus begins the rabbit trail in my head) is the fact that Jonah was angry because he didn’t want God to forgive the wretched people of Nineveh.  Have you ever found yourself in this place – the place of not wanting God to forgive someone?  I’ve certainly found myself in the place of wanting God to defend me by unleashing on those that have hurt me…even those that I knew were His children.  I don’t know why Jonah didn’t want the people of Nineveh to be saved.  There are scholars that say Jonah truly believed that only the Jews were God’s people, and that the Gentiles shouldn’t carry the same weight.  I think sometimes our selfishness and our hurts get in our way, and we want to feel like we are the only ones that God sees, and that He sees us as the most special.  If He (or others) sees those that hurt us as special, then it must mean we deserve the horrible things that were done to us.  Of course this isn’t the truth, but it is how we receive it.  It’s like looking in a tarnished mirror that is being held up for us by Satan himself.

When I was younger (high school age), I was very much a goody-goody girl.  I have no idea why I was that way – the only thing I can chalk it up to is that God had His hand on me and was guiding me down the right path.  I had friends that started experimenting with things – sex, alcohol, drugs – I remember driving them home when they had too much to drink.  I was so angry by their actions.  I didn’t wish harm on them or God’s wrath, but I was disappointed that they chose to partake in these activities.  This is what I mean by the rabbit trail…not sure why the story of Jonah brings this memory to my mind.  I guess I was angry that people I loved couldn’t see what was right in front of them – even though I don’t think I even understood it myself.  Maybe Jonah was angry too – because the people of Nineveh had a choice, and they didn’t choose God until His wrath was forewarned.  Maybe Jonah was angry because he had chosen to serve the Lord of his own accord, so how could those that chose otherwise get the same place in God’s heart?  I had a friend once that was so angry with God because several of her single friends were getting married, and they had JUST started following Christ, whereas she had been a good and faithful Christian for a long time.  That modern day story very much reminds me of the story of Jonah.

We all walk through this earth experiencing pain, often times from people we love the most.  It’s so easy to get clouded with our own hurts and insecurities that we forget the most important thing of all – God’s love is for all of us.  We don’t deserve it more or less than anyone else – no matter how blameless or sinless we think we are.  It’s not our performance or righteous choices that earns us God’s love.  It’s only by God’s grace that we are loved.

May all of God’s people (present and future) fall head over heels in love with our Lord and Savior and taste the sweetness of His divine love – so much so that we want to laugh, love, share it and proclaim it with the world!

 

 

 

Spring is an oxymoron

Warning – this post will probably end up being quite melancholy.

Even though the first official day of spring hasn’t arrived yet, it is definitely spring.  The temps in Atlanta have been nearing 80 degrees for the past couple of days.  Pollen coats everything around.

Spring is my absolute favorite season, but each year as it starts, I feel a deep sadness.  I always think that sadness will eventually subside and not rear its ugly head EVERY year, but it never does.  It shows up like clockwork when the temps get warm.

There is nothing like feeling a warm breeze caress your face in the early morning of spring.  Spring is supposed to be the beginning of life…April showers bring May flowers.  Spring symbolizes hope.  Do you know how weird it is to feel a deep ache in your heart at the same time that you feel so filled with hope?  Do you know how weird it is to enter a season of all things blooming and to bask in the glory of that while at the same time feeling so much death and stillness?  It’s something I have struggled with since 1979.  The struggle has changed much since then…not sure that I always felt hope…that began more recently like in the past 8 years or so.  I used to only feel death (even though I always loved spring).

God has shown me so many things over the years, and He has healed so much in my heart. I’m at peace with my daddy’s death now – I still miss him, and I can’t wait to see him again, but I’m at peace.  Honestly, I’m at peace with everything in my life – all things – good, bad and just okay things.

It’s so odd when I feel that first taste of warmth…when I look up and feel the heat saturate my face when there is just a slight bit of coolness in the air…and then that old familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach happens…followed by the old familiar feeling deep in my heart.  That feeling is death.  Death of my greatest loves…my daddy, Samson and my children in heaven.  I have a place in my heart where I carry all of them, and usually they are tucked so neatly away in a safe, safe place…but when spring comes, that place in my heart flings wide open, and I remember how much I miss all of them.  After spring has settled in, the deep sadness subsides, and my ache for those I’ve lost is tucked away again.  It’s not just an ache for those I’ve lost, but it’s an ache for hopes and dreams that were shattered and will never be on this side of eternity.

This time of year always makes me reflect and ponder things.  Today I was driving with the windows down enjoying the sweet breeze, and I was remembering my time in school.  I can’t help but miss sometimes the sweet innocence of those days…the hope of life that lies ahead…the excitement of seeing your dreams come true…the feeling of belonging to a group of people known as your classmates and together thinking you are all invincible.  There is such a bond that is formed among your classmates even if you don’t stay in touch over the years…or maybe that’s just a country high school thing :).  I think about the folks I went to school with, and all I remember is the fun and simple times with them.  They were a special group of people.  They represented my youth.  They represented my hope.  They represented my dreams.  Those days hold such sweet memories for me…(even though I wouldn’t want to repeat them for the world).  You tend to take those moments for granted when you are in them.  Life goes by so fast.

Sometimes it’s hard to catch my breath…sometimes I just need to sit still and soak in everything…memorize moments that I might need to recall later in life.  Sometimes the sting of death takes over and makes me fear the future…even though in my heart of hearts I know that God will see me through anything.

I dedicate this post to those I love…those that I carry in my heart always.  My sadness only means I loved you THAT much!  Until we meet again…

 

 

 

 

Everything Under The Sun

We recently  moved, and as I was packing up our old house, I found a notebook in which I had written this post in 2008.  It was the only thing in the entire notebook.  I’ve certainly grown a lot since I wrote this, but it amazes me knowing where I was at in my life at that point that these words flowed.  This post intrigued me so I wanted to share it here.  There is so much wisdom here – so much truth!  Still a timely piece.

Everything Under The Sun – Memories have faded ~ and with them so have pieces of your heart.

Rainy days, lullabies, memories of days gone by. A smile, a hello ~ where has all of the time gone?  So much has changed.  The face that stares back at you still resembles pictures of your youth ~ where did all of those grey strands come from?  When did those creases appear?  You don’t recall them being there yesterday.  Your heart feels sad, but you don’t understand why.  You choose not to relive the days of old ~ some of them were just too painful.  Then again ~ to be able to visit those moments that you wish you could have frozen in time ~ to see their faces again ~ to be in their arms ~ to open those areas of your heart that you closed off ~ what would that be like?

You reminisce of favorite moments ~ there are so many moments that defined you ~ but how many moments did you define?  There are moments that took your breath away ~ there are moments that warmed your heart.  You wonder how many moments you impacted for others.  How many lives and hearts have you touched without even being aware?  Sometimes you  just sit and wonder what your purpose is in life ~ sometimes you think you may know, and other times you just keep moving forward without a clue.  There are things that you do know for certain.  Perhaps this is where most of your time should be spent in reflection.  You know that your heart has never changed.  It has been wounded, scarred and closed off throughout your life.  But do you remember your youth?  Do you remember the tenderness and the love you felt?  It is still there ~ You strive for that feeling everyday of your life.  You long for what you know is true.  All of the bad layers can be peeled away ~ closed areas can be opened again.  Your heart is beautiful.  It was created with such a deep love.  It was created and admired as being good and perfect.  Even if you hide your heart, there are those that still see its beauty.  Find peace in that.  Find peace in the things that don’t ever change.

Have you ever had a moment when everything was still and silent and you felt consumed with peace?  That feeling can always be felt if you just close your eyes and relive that moment.

Sometimes life is so hard.  You have so many dreams and desires ~ you have faith that you will see them fulfilled.  Dreams give you hope to keep going and keep reaching.  But how do you enjoy where you are and count the present time as a blessing?  You have to give your dreams and desires to the one that gave them to you in the first place.  You have to fix your eyes and your heart on your first True Love.  You have to give Him all of your burdens, all of your worries, all of your pain.  You simply have to love Him with pure abandon ~ worship Him with the heart He gave you.  Follow Him and know that He won’t lead you astray.  Define your moments with your truth and convictions.  Stand firm and walk in truth and light.  Define your moments – don’t let them define you!  Only your True Love defines you – and that was done before the beginning of time.  Reflect on what is good and pure and true ~ search for THAT in your heart!  It has always been and always will be!  Yesterday – today and tomorrow!