Rain

I’ve been strong and I’ve been broken within a moment,
I’ve been faithful and I’ve been reckless at every bend,
I’ve held everything together and watched it shatter,
I’ve stood tall and I have crumbled in the same breath,

I have wrestled and I have trembled toward surrender,
Chased my heart adrift and drifted home again,
Plundered blessing till I’ve been desperate to find redemption,
And every time I turn around Lord YOU’RE STILL THERE!…

(lyrics from the song ‘As you find me’ by Hillsong United)

The above lyrics best describe what I have been through in the last 4 months of my absence from my blog.

As I sit here, I feel weathered, worn, and a bit tired…

BUT! 

God is Good!

He has met me in the midst of the raging storm, and never left my side…

Let me share…

Just after my last blog entry life as I say ‘got real’ real fast…

My therapy had come to an end, and alot of amazing healing had been achieved.

I was ready……but for what? 

I had no idea what was coming around the corner, how could I? 

But the Father did…and He had been preparing me

“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.”  Jeremiah 29:11

In order for you to completely understand what I want to tell you now I need to first take you back in time a bit…

When I met my husband he came from alot of brokenness.  He was raised by his Mother and his Grandmother his whole life.  He would travel back and forth between them. 

Both of these women were polar opposites.  His Mother was a carefree, goes to the beat of her own drum kind of woman, and yes sometimes careless…

His Grandmother was a prime and proper socialite, and alcoholic. 

It is safe to say that when I met his Grandmother she literally looked right through me, I was nothing to her, and certainly not good enough by far for her Grandson, and she had no problem telling me any chance she had.  It to say the least was quite difficult at times for me, after all I had had a very kind and loving Nan my whole life, and it took me by surprise to meet her opposite in my husbands Grandmother.

Over the years she was mean, unkind, often drunk when we visited, and very cruel.  She would even go as far to suggest that my children were not my husbands in one breath, and int he next she would suggest she loved me as if I was her own Granddaughter…

A few months before God called my family to move away long distance she suffered a stroke…it was hard for her, and even with the way she treated us we felt bad for her…

But we moved forward with moving away, she still had her Son to help her. 

8 months later she found herself selling her home of over 25 years and she followed us here, I was apprehensive, but I had noticed that she had started to change a bit…

Turns out the change was Dementia…The Stroke being the catalyst, not to mention the alcoholism…

Daunting as it may to hear that diagnosis, God took that and did something miraculous!

He first started to work on my heart, as I will admit it had hardened a bit towards her.  Then the dementia starting to change her, with God’s hand upon it all working within her…

She became kind, caring, and downright compassionate…

This woman before me that I refused to call my Grandmother was becoming what I had been longing for for years…And yes her health was failing, but God was using it to bring her and I close together…

I finally sat down with her, and I opened up to her…this is what I said:

You know when we first met it really hurt me when you looked through me, and you have not always been kind to me…and I refused to call you my Grandmother before…But I need for you to know now, before this illness takes your mind completely, that I am proud now to call you MY Grandmother, and I am so thankful that God has brought us so close together now…

She smiled, and she apologized for the past, and then she said the words that I can still hear now:

I love you so much sweetie!

And for the first time I knew it, I believed her, and a void was filled…

Now let’s bring you back to 4 months ago…

Therapy was over, and I had not seen my Grandmother since the beginning of March.

It worried me, I had been her main caregiver for the past 4 years, seeing her twice a week at the Assistive Living Home where she lived.  I was concerned about her health, mental well being, and honestly if she would even know who I was by the time I could see her again.

Then we got word 2 months ago that there was an opening at a Long Term Care Facility in another city about 7 hours away where her Son lives.  We knew this was coming, but were not ready for it to be that soon.  But she was deteriorating fast, and we knew this was what was best for her. 

I struggled so much emotionally, not knowing if I was going to be able to see her or say goodbye…I was angry a bit with God asking Him why would He give me this gift and then to take it away…it is safe to say I was a mess…

But God heard the cries of my heart…

I got a call from her Son, asking if I would be able to go in and pack her up some things, and of course I accepted.  Of course with everything going on with the pandemic extreme caution needed to be taken.

When I got there she was asleep, and she looked so peaceful

I had a choice, I could of woken her up, and I wanted to, but I knew it would just confuse her, so I quietly packed her things, all the while glancing at her from time to time, and just thanking God that I could see her at peace.

When I was done, I stood before her, she still asleep, I spoke to her, hoping her spirit would hear me…I told her this:

I love you so much, and I am so thankful that God brought us together the way He did.  Thank you for the gift that you have been, you have forever changed me, and I have been made better for it.

As I left, crying, walking over to my best friend’s van it started to rain, I opened the side door, and just stood there, sobbing, rain pouring down on me, my heart ached, I wanted to clench my fists in anger at God, and then I remembered this:

When I was a little girl I would always love playing in the rain, I would often stand, eyes closed and just be in that moment.  On one occasion my Nan saw me doing this and without my knowing she walked up beside me, and grabbed my hand…I startled opened my eyes and looked up at her, and she said this:

There are going to be storms in your life, but I want you to know it is in those moments especially that you are never alone!…..

In remembering that moment, and knowing exactly what she meant, I found myself opening my hands from clenched fists, and completely surrendering to God, and I knew He was with me.

My Grandmother had been moved for a just over two weeks when we received a devastating call that she was as they call it ‘end of life’.  They gave her 48 hrs. 

I felt powerless, helpless…then I looked outside, dark clouds were rolling in…

At that point I just said ‘okay I get it’, and I put my shoes on and went outside…

As I stepped out on to the lawn the rain began to pick up, and I cried out to God

All He said was this:

She has until the rain ends, I am with you.

Then as the rain was pouring down hard on me I raised my hands up to Him…

I surrendered completely, and I said:

 “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

The rain continued until the next day, it was just before dinner that it had stopped, and my eldest and I went for our evening walk.  As we turned the corner to come down our street my husband was standing on our front lawn waiting for us, and I knew before he could say a word, she was gone…and I said it again…

“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

She has been gone now for just a month and a half, I have had my moments of grief, complete sadness, but I have felt more thankfulness than anything else…

That I have a Father in heaven loves me so much, He knows the path before me and He prepared me….

From start to finish He was all over it, from bringing me my Nan on that rainy day when I was a little girl to meeting me in the parking lot 2 months ago…

He made what I thought would be impossible, possible

He not only changed her heart, but softened mine, and in turn gave me an amazing gift!

I had always wondered if in my lifetime would I ever see or experience miracle…

I would of never thought I would be apart of one…

God is Good!

I Still Believe

Scattered words and empty thoughts,
Seem to pour from my heart,
I’ve never felt so torn before…
Seems I don’t know where to start…
But it’s now that I feel Your grace fall like rain!

The above verse from one of my favorite songs, I still believe by Jeremy Camp

It perfectly explains how I have felt during this pandemic that began a month and a half ago.

To be honest I have hesitated writing a blog this month because I did not want to talk about this pandemic at all, but the God quickly reminded me that this blog is an outlet for me.  Even in a time such as this I need to be able to pour my heart out in order to maintain my sanity.

At the beginning of the pandemic I was without words, I was not sure what to make of anything, it seemed surreal that something like this would happen in my lifetime.

As a Mom I immediately went into a mode where you want to keep everyone from ‘drowning’, and I forgot one important thing…

I was keeping everyone afloat, but I was sinking beneath them. 

Each day as the pandemic went on in the beginning I did this, trying to keep normalcy, trying to maintain harmony within the family, in my mind this wasn’t gonna touch us.

Boy was I in denial!

Well my ‘heroics’ did not last long, because as each day passed, and the government put more restrictions down, I found myself sinking deeper than ever.

This made me angry, I was suppose to keep it together, my family needed me to do that…

… did they though?

After the first couple weeks I hit a wall, as I candidly say ‘I went dark’

It is not as scary as I make it sound…

I simply decided I wasn’t getting out of bed.

Dvd’s/Pj’s and eating whatever I wanted was on the agenda…

And the world, well I was angry at it so I didn’t care much about it that day…

So I had my dark day, I cried, I was angry, and in the middle of all of that I realized it was okay to feel that way.

I had always denied the feeling of anger in my life in the past, but in my darkest moment that day, God showed me there is a healthy way to feel that anger.

I simply heard him say “walk through it, feel it, but don’t dwell there forever”.

Those words would revisit me later, but not for me

Even when answers slowly unwind…
It’s my heart I see You prepare!

After that day, God gave me a new perspective on everything.

This pandemic was not going to be a negative thing anymore in my household.

So for me Pandemic = Opportunities = Blessings Beyond Measure!

More time on our hands meant…

-more quality time with my family

-taking care of my health even more and walking 3.5 km/day with my eldest son

-and with those walks would bring amazing conversations about life and faith

‘dates’ with each of my sons, watching a movie or playing a game with them, bonding on a different 1 to 1 levelthis one is especially precious to me, because my boys are growing so fast, my oldest is almost 16, and before all of this, this Momma’s heart was struggling with thoughts of him leaving the nest in a few years…

-bonding more with my husband, him joining me in my kitchen helping me make healthy meals for our family, in depth conversations at night when the boys are in bed

-and the newest thing for me is I am actually reading more, mostly my bible, and I am also doing a few devotionals, even a few with friends online

After I began this new outlook it was there that I realized that before I was going through the 5 stages of grief, and I had finally found myself at Acceptance.

With my Acceptance, came this proclamation:

I still believe in Your Faithfulness!
I still believe in Your Truth!
I still believe in Your Holy Word!
Even when I don’t see, I still BELIEVE!

With my newfound perspective I became more aware of how my children were coping with everything, especially my eldest.

He was not doing well.

Each day we would go on our walks and the first thing he would do would complain about everything, which is fine, I wanted him to let it all out.

And after that he would say to me:

“as long as our mission trip doesn’t get cancelled in July I will be okay”

I kept telling him we needed to be positive during this time, but I also advised him to prepare his heart ‘just in case’ because God has a plan in all of this and He could have something else in store for him.

Surely the day came for a Zoom Meeting with everyone on the Mission’s Team, and right away it was addressed…the trip was cancelled…my son shut down completely…

He is never quick to be upset about anything, crying for him is super rare, when he is sad he takes after his mother, he shuts down, headphones go on, and he blasts christian music.

Anger … atleast outwardly is the only emotion visible.

Quickly those words came back to me from the Father:

“walk through it, feel it, but don’t dwell there forever”

I had walked through this…

Even when answers slowly unwind…
It’s my heart I see You prepare!

Those moments…sigh…when you realize God has prepared you for a time such as this

To be there for your child…

When you become aware that your pain can be transformed into a instrument used by the Father to help someone

It is intense, it is special, it is a blessing, and it is an honor to be loved so deeply by the Father like that!

My son is doing much better now with everything, I wouldn’t say he is 100%, but God is Good.  My son and I have had discussions about it, and those words have resonated within him. 

The only place I can go is into your arms,
Where I throw to you my feeble Prayers,
In Brokenness I can see that this was Your Will for Me!

He is leaning on God more than ever now, and it blesses me to witness this growth.

I don’t know what is to come next with this whole pandemic, but the one thing I know is that I will be here counting my blessings as God unfolds them…

…it’s now that I feel Your Grace fall like rain!

 

 

 

Identity

I have always told people that I didn’t really start to understand who I was until I hit my 30’s.  But if I am to be truly honest here, and with myself…it has only been in the last 8 months that I have been able to finally understand who I am.

From an early age I can remember my mother dressing me like her.  As I got older she would dictate to me what to say to people, and how to say it.  She would instruct me on who to make friends with, and how to be their friend.  She even dictated to me what to eat, and would insist certain types of foods were my favorite, because they were her favorites.

So, I found myself on auto pilot through a  sea of abuse as I grew up.  I would second guess myself all the time, and in the end I would turn to her to tell me how to function.

There were brief fleeting moments when my Nan would be around and she would ask me what I liked? or what I wanted?  Those moments were super awkward for me, and you could tell my Nan knew more than she let on.

When I gave my life to the Lord I remember calling her terrified, worried she wouldn’t be okay with it, and as the phone rang I remember thinking ‘I hope she will be okay with it?”.  She didn’t even care, she was indifferent, but there I was on the phone with her hoping she would okay my decision.  What would I of done if she hadn’t been?

When my Mom met my now husband for the first time, she went on and on about me and all the things I was into…..horror films, ice cream binges etc etc…

It just brought confusion to my now husband, he would comment on how she didn’t have any idea who I was because when I was not around her I was totally different…

But did I really even know who I was at that point?

After I became a Mom I remember visiting her and immediately she would tell me how to be a Mom, and the pattern would just cycle again.  And the sad thing was I let her.

I had no identity.

Even though I was a Christian, and God was very clear on who He claimed me to be, I had no idea who I was.  I lived in constant doubt.

When I had to finally walk away from all of that I found myself with no identity anymore.  And those were some very difficult few years for me.

I went from someone always telling me how to be, to having to figure out what I wanted.

Talk about your Growing Pains!

God started to slowly ‘grow’ me then, and has been doing so ever since.

I did start to slowly get to know myself when I hit my 30’s.

I discovered what made me ‘tick’, what brought me Joy, and what my interests were.

But 8 months ago God sent me on a journey to start really looking at myself more closely, and ask myself that one question of who I was?

During these past 8 months of Therapy God has been patching me up, healing the scars of trauma from years past.

And as I am healing, other things come up to gain perspective on, to work through…

Recently I have been faced with some health issues, and as someone who has PTSD it has triggered me a bit…and I found myself spiraling emotionally, and the one thing driving that spiral was the one thought that I would become like my mother…

When she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis her already abusive mind/manner intensified and she became incredibly crude and super reliant on me at a young age to be her caregiver.

When I went to therapy after this spiral had hit my therapist called me out so to speak…

She asked me who I was? what was my identity?

The first thing out of my mouth was ‘well God is at the core of my identity‘…

Although true and most important, she encouraged me to dig a little deeper.

It made me uncomfortable at first, my thoughts raced with trying to find the ‘right’ answer…

But as He has before, God met me in that office, and such Peace washed over me, and for the first time in my life I saw things with such clarity

Scripture found it’s way into my mind…

I am God’s child.  John 1:12

I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1-2

I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

I can find grace and mercy in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

It brought me instant joy, and He spoke:

You are set apart from your mother.

It was an intense feeling, I can not describe it, but He spoke it, and my heart accepted it without hesitation. 

In that moment I felt lighter.

It was freeing.

So often in this world we allow others to define us, in doing so we lose sight of our identity, we miss out on knowing who we are, and who God intends us to be.

I am looking forward to who God intends me to be, now that I am being freed from such bondage.

In the meantime, I have many unknowns that are before me…

But I find myself more at Peace than ever in my life.

It is as if a storm is swirling around me, but I haven’t really noticed much because I am sitting in the middle of it calmly, knowing that my God goes before me, and through Him, He will give me the strength I will need to endure anything!

God Is Good.

 

 

 

19

19 years ago I was sitting in a dorm room with my boyfriend (now husband of 17 years…) and we had just watched the movie Stigmata…

As I sat there while the credits rolled I began to ask questions…

“I wonder what it would be like t walk where Jesus walked?…”

“I bet it would be awesome to step foot in the Jordan River…”

Something within me was stirring…

My boyfriend ( a believer for 5 months at that point) just answered my questions, he allowed the Father to be ever present, just us, his bible, and the Holy Spirit moving.

Then the words flowed easily from my lips, ” I want to accept Jesus into my life!”

In that instant the Lord breathed new life in me…

_______________________________________________________________________________

Earlier that evening I was at a Christian Fellowship Group with my boyfriend.  I had begrudgingly started to go just to be with him, and to not feel so alone.  That particular evening I found myself opening up to one of the Pastors there, and I told him:

” my life can’t get any lower right now, I am at the bottom of the barrel…”

My life at that point was pretty grey, meaning I was really depressed.  I questioned my worth constantly, I had grown up with alot of abuse, I viewed myself as a mistake, broken, unwanted, and I had no hope for my future.  I didn’t even think I deserved one if I am being honest.  I was going through the motions, my Soul was constantly crying out, but my mouth never made a sound.

My Nan had always tried to teach me about God, if not by her words, she would show in her example, and how she showed me constant unconditional love.  She planted seeds.

When my boyfriend became a Christian (we were only friends then), and I immediately didn’t want to be around him, I ran away…

When your living in such darkness, and all you have ever known is darkness, God’s Light can scare you at first, and that is why I ran…

Just like I had been running from God all my life…

And what happened? I got violently ill.  I was in and out of the hospital, and the Doctors had no answers, all I knew is I was terrified, alone, and helpless.

I have come to realize since then that it was obvious what was happening to me…

The enemy knew what was coming, my friend was separated from me but told by the Father to pray for me, to be patient, and he would show him when to come to me…

My Soul was crying out so much it manifested into illness, I was being brought to my knees literally…

God finally told my friend to come to me.  He spent every night on a bed on my floor in my dorm room.  There were countless nights of me throwing up and he never left my side.

God made sure I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t realize it until later but He was using my friend to show me unconditional love, a Christ like love that He knew my Soul was longing for, but my head was too stubborn to get the hint!

Over time I got semi better, and my friend and I started dating.  Little did I know I was his mission field.  He never pushed me into anything ever, patience was his middle name, still is…

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That night when I accepted Christ as my Savior, in that moment I felt the Father breathe new life into me, and my Soul felt complete Peace.

I truly had not lived until that day. 

Not long after that the Lord gave me this scripture:

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.  

Psalm 40:2

Each word has rung so true with the path that I had walked down before, and what took place that night 19 years ago

I was 19 when I accepted the Lord into my life, and I am 38 now.  I have been in a loving relationship with the Father in Heaven for half my life, and what a Blessed life it has been!

The Lord loved me so much that He waited for me, had patience for me, planted ‘seeds’ in me, and sent a physical man to show me a Christ like love.

He is constantly working within me, and reforming me.

He is never done with me, and that makes my heart so full!

_______________________________________________________________________________

If you find yourself now in the same situation as I was in 19 years ago, know you are not alone, you are worthy of the love that God has for you.  There is hope, hope in the form of God the Father who reigns in Heaven, who is Sovereign over all.

He is waiting for you, patiently, lovingly, with arms wide open to welcome you home!

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I discovered the song ‘Rescue’ by Lauren Daigle, and she sings from the Father’s perspective and this verse seems fitting:

I will send out an army to find you,
In the middle of the darkest night,
It’s true, I will rescue you!
_______________________________________________________________________________
The shepherd never abandons His sheep, even if one is lost He will go out and seek it.  No matter what, He will not rest until He has brought His lost sheep home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sovereignty

I can’t believe it is New Year’s Eve already…

Time is a funny thing, when we are anticipating what is to come it seems like time drags it’s heels, but after all is said and done, when we have gotten what we wanted, we are astonished at how it took no time at all.

Alot of people right about now are making ‘New year’s Resolutions’, and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but it is a practice I have never found myself participating in.

Why you may ask?

Because to me (my opinion) I am not about to set myself for failure.

Most ‘Resolutions’ people claim are:

-I am going to lose weight.

-I am going to make more money.

-I am going to be more successful.

-I am going to find the perfect spouse/partner.

And those are just a few statements I have heard people claim over the years.

To each their own I always say, but for me the wording of those statements set one up to fail before they even start.

What am I getting at?

First off all I hear is alot of ‘I’ statements, therefore that is alot of pressure to put on oneself, because there is only one that is Sovereign over our lives, and it isn’t us…

If we just rely on our own flesh to get us to our desires we will find ourselves at a dead end…

However if we acknowledge the Sovereignty of our Father in Heaven, Surrender to His will for our lives, and seek His Guidance on the best course of action then we set ourselves up for success.

I could also take this one more step and also state that our desires in our heart may not be what the Father wills for us to have, sometimes the things we want are not exactly what we need.

At this time of year I reflect on the 12 months that have just passed by, and in my reflecting I often see the fingerprints of the Father across my year…

I see where He started to change me back in January/February, I started to find a new confidence in myself, and I started to realize that Hope can be a tangible thing.

I felt heartache and fear in March and April, and it made me lean into the Father, and it fortified my trust in Him even further.

May and June brought a time of preparation for a new journey I was about to embark on, it truly made me realize what His Sovereignty meant, and what it meant for me.

July the Father spoke loudly to me, He met me out on the trail, and I came back from the wilderness ready for what was to come.

In August and September the Father shed light and new perspective on some of my dark past and He began to transform me again, like the Potter does with Clay. 

In October I was able to share so much Joy of some of my accomplishments in concerns to my health, and all the Glory was given to the one Sovereign over me!

November was a time where God brought together some shattered pieces of myself back together finally, and I was reminded that only through Him I am made whole.

And finally now at the end of December I find myself so Hopeful for the New Year coming, and I can honestly say I have never felt this hopeful ever in my life.

So…I don’t do ‘Resolutions’…

What do I do then?

Instead of saying ‘I am going to…..’ I say things like…

With God’s help I will try to be more quiet and listen more.

With God’s help I will try to be more present with my children.

With God’s help I will try to lose weight.

With God’s help I will be thankful to live within my means and not covet with others have.

I pray that God will reveal more of Himself to me this year.

I pray for Growth in my life where God sees that I need it.

The wording matters to me, the intent matters to me, because we can not do it all on our own, not reliant only on our own flesh.….but surrendering to the Father’s Sovereignty, giving complete trust, that is where we will reap all the blessings He has waiting for us!

I do not know what the New Year has in store for me, I know there will be times where I will find myself ‘in the valley’ but I know those are the moments that He will refine me, and transform me the most, and for that I am thankful and blessed beyond measure.

My Prayer for this New Year is …

That the Father will come like a storm in my life, revealing Himself in all kinds of ways.  That He will continue to touch my life as well as the lives of those I love dearly.  I pray that He would bless those who have blessed my life and my family.  I pray for those who don’t know Him yet, that they would see Him finally and discover the love and open arms that He has waiting for them.  Lastly I pray for those I love going through difficult times, whether it is health related, a loss of a loved one, or heartache.  That they would feel the warmth and love from the Father, and that they will be delivered and healed from it according to His will.

God Bless, Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Gaining Focus

My main purpose each day is to get up, set my heart, mind, and my soul before the Father, and walk through the day trusting in His grace and yielding to His plan for my life.

An excerpt from Cynthia Heald’s Book ‘Becoming a Woman of Purpose’.

___________________________

For the last 3 weeks I have found myself saying that to myself everyday…

After my Birthday on the 3rd of this month I reached a point in my therapy, and on this journey that the Father has placed me on where I needed to make some changes…

What do I mean?

Well since last February I have made alot of lifestyle changes to help improve my health, and I have accomplished alot, I lowered my A1C (I am a diabetic), I lost a bit of weight, and it all led me to finally getting my mental health in order.

Going to therapy was something I believe to be a long time coming, and something that the Father was preparing me for for a long time…

So, after my 38th Birthday, and after a very revealing therapy session I realized that I had been putting my worth below everyone else’s, and then I also realized that my self love was severely lacking.  I had always used the excuse that I am a mother and therefore I put my kids before myself always, and with saying that I would also rationalize that I am a family driven woman, so I put my whole family ahead of myself. And when it came to my friends/church family, I said the same things, constantly proclaiming that ‘I would be there for them no matter what’, and if that meant putting myself on the back burner it was okay because anything otherwise would make me selfish.

So, 3 weeks ago I took my first step towards loving myself again…

Each day I get up, and I work out…

…and I play worship music while I do it, and I get myself focused, and I exercise, and at the same time I am praising Him!  With every bead of sweat I am praising Him! It had all hit me after my Birthday, I had never invited the Father to that part of my life.

God blesses those who realize their need for Him,

for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. 

Matthew 5:3

So, I gave my body back to Him, and I took it another step and decided that I needed more of the Father in my life than ever before.

So after I exercise I sit down and I have ‘God Time’

I listen to music on headphones, I journal, I pray, and I was led to start reading my Bible, and I began with reading through Psalms.

You have to understand something about me, yes I have been a Christian for 18 years, but reading the Bible and praying were never a strong suit of mine, and I had a ton of excuses to avoid those practices.

But I have to say it has been life changing for me, I have only been doing this for 3 weeks and I feel different inside, way more focused, and it made me realize that by doing these things I am loving myself finally. And with doing this everyday I have also found it is helping me in my daily life, with parenting, with my husband and I, with my interactions with people, and it has helped me overcome some hurdles in therapy as well.

I also realized that I am setting the example to my sons, showing them to embrace their self worth, and to love themselves.  I am also showing them that none of this is possible without giving complete surrender to the Father in Heaven.

It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses though, I must warn you…

When you spend more time with the Father you have to arm yourself spiritually…

What do I mean?

The enemy does not like it when anyone wants to devote more time to the Father, let alone read God’s word, or pray for others…

So what can happen?

And what has happened at times over the past 3 weeks with me?

The enemy attacks, tries to distract, interrupt, he does anything and everything he can to take your focus away from being in the presence of the Father in Heaven.

I have found myself under some attack these past 3 weeks, but I have also armed myself with scripture, and I have a strong understanding of my identity in the Father.

So, why do this if your just going to be attacked?

Well, God never said being a Christian would be easy, Jesus actually said that we would suffer as He suffered, that people would despise us as they did Him…

We need to love ourselves, and love ourselves enough to want more out of life, as He wants that for us as well, and we can achieve that through drawing closer to the Father

We are only here for a season…but the benefits of our salvation, our obedience to the Father will all be reaped when we are joined with Him in Heaven!

What helps me to stay focused, especially when being attacked?

Well, I arm myself with knowledge/scripture, I press more into the Father than ever, reading my Bible more, praying for my journey, align myself with prayer warriors to pray for me as I am walking this path, reminding myself who is Sovereign over me, and constantly reminding myself of my identity in Christ!

One of my favorite passages in the bible that always helps me remember to stay focused is found in Matthew 14: 2231 :

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out,

“Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

No matter how the waves crash around you, no matter how much the storm rages towards you, if you maintain your focus on the Father He will not let you drown in it…He will deliver you from it, and Bless You!

I don’t know where this journey is going to lead me next, but that is okay, as I am gaining focus, and new perspective on my life I have realized we don’t need to know what is ahead of us, we just need to trust in Him.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.

He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

Psalm 40:2

 

Hope

Since my last blog entry I have had two more sessions with my therapist, and I have to honestly say it has truly been eye opening, and I am gaining new perspective on myself, my life, and my past.

One thing I have been saying to myself over the years, and recently is:

‘if only I could go back in time and really talk to my younger self…’

It turns out part of my therapy in the next few sessions will be addressing some things concerning my ‘younger self’….

This got me really thinking when I got home the other day from my last session.  Realizing this was ‘the next step’ in my path of healing…

…and then I turned to my note book, started to write, and started literally talking to my younger self…

The following is what I had to say to her…

Hello Little One;

You have had alot taken from you haven’t you…your innocence taken quickly, that sparkle in your eyes put out.  The one thing you longed for but was denied was the protection and love from your Mother.  You need to try to understand she was never capable of giving or showing love to anyone let alone you. 

As to why?

She comes from her own broken path, pain, anger, and hatred prevented her from being who you needed

But there was and is love in your life, God made a way, and He gave you your Nan.  He knew you would need a ‘constant lighthouse’ in your life growing up, so He provided.  He made sure you had a Grandmother who would love you so unconditionally, a woman who would also be your prayer warrior throughout the darkest of times.  He made sure you had a wonderful example of what a Mother’s Love was suppose to be like, and also what an example of ‘Christ’s Love’ for you as well.

I know you feel alone all the time, that there is a certain emptiness within you, just know that you are never alone, God is ever present with you, always right next to you, even when the pain of this darkness around you stings the most

Know when you find yourself physically and emotionally ‘stuck’ God is right there whispering in your ear:

‘this too shall pass…’

It is just hard to hear Him sometimes over the pain, the rejection, and the sorrow

There are so many times you have asked…

‘Why does God hate me so much?

Why does He let all these horrible things happen to me?’

Thing is, He has never hated you, and what has been and will be inflicted on you was never His doing or under His control to stop…….

…..you were and will be a casualty from someone’s sin and past trauma, and that damage path will manifest itself into abuse, abuse unfortunately that you have and will be at the receiving end of.

Know in those moments the Father in Heaven was and is devastated, and He has and will grieve over your suffering. 

I realize that most of the time you feel like you are on auto pilot, secretly praying at night for it all to finally be over.  But God is carrying you through, remember your Nan, and those continuous prayers, they are being answered, and will continue to be answered as you grow up.

I know there are things you have needed:

Like…

Love —> You got Rejection.

A Hug or to be Held —> You got pushed away.

To Feel Safe —> All you felt was Fear of those set to ‘protect’ you.

Acceptance —> You were put down, called names, ridiculed.

A Loving Touch —> You were hit/slapped randomly.

Reassurance —> Uncertainty became your state of being.

To be Cherished —> You were made to feel like you were a mistake, or a burden.

A Voice —> You were told to be seen and not heard, most times asked to be unseen too.

To be Invested in —> You were shoved aside, your potential for the future ignored.

A Mother —> You got a wounded woman, traumatized by her past, and she used you as an outlet for all her anger, hatred, and pain.  She did not know how to love herself, how could she ever love you?.

A Father —> Any ‘Father Figure’ placed in your life took it upon themselves to use and abuse you, their past trauma sent a damage path your way, resulting in more suffering.

Out of all of this I have something to tell you…

Prayers will be answered, He has heard you, and will continue to listen to you.  He will continue to shine His light upon you, and He will do so in many forms, one being your Nan, her witness, her love will give you moments of Joy to help sustain you.  Then in time others will be rays of His Light, Joy, Hope helping to sustain you and to lead you out of the darkness, because He will DELIVER you out of the darkness!

There will be an end to this ‘broken road’, and He will be waiting for you there, His hand stretched out…and when you grasp His hand, He will pull you close into His arms

He will in that instant give you everything you have always needed

Love, Safety, Acceptance, Reassurance, A Voice, He will want to Invest in you, for He sees your amazing potential to bring Glory to the His Kingdom, and He will proudly proclaim to the Heavens that you are HIS Daughter! Whom He will Cherish.

In that moment the Unconditional Love He will show you, will fill that emptiness within you and you will be overflowing with Thanksgiving!

Then the time of healing will begin, as it will be necessary, as pain runs deep, and leaving ‘roots under the soil’ will only cause pesky ‘weeds’ to sprout up on your new path. 

It is going to seem like a very long, dark night to get to this point Little One, but know you are never alone, and that Dawn is nearing, and indeed:

“Joy Comes in the Morning!”

—————————————————————————————

 

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Genesis 50:20

 

 

 

 

Fear

Recently I have embarked on a new journey placed before me by God…

I speak of it in my last blog entry…

Journey

I am only a few months into this new journey…

I find myself feeling so excited at times and then my ‘flesh’ cries out and I am filled with fear of the unknown to come.

Now fear only comes from one source, and that is Satan.

From my experience in the past it has been shown that when God is moving in amazing ways in your life the enemy gets intrigued and decides to rattle us with hopes of derailing God’s will.

Lately I have found this to be evident in my life, where the enemy has been ‘trying’ to derail God’s will in my life, especially in regards to this new journey He has set me on.

Not long after my last blog entry I found myself being faced with a few ‘obstacles’.

You ever hear that saying ‘when it rains it pours’?

Well a hurricane hit my life, and I was challenged immensely.

At first it was just pure horrible fear that one day crept upon me out of no where.  I was unable at first to really articulate why or what was causing such fear in me.  I just knew that my ‘flesh’ was freaking out and it almost felt like it was trying to control me, distract me even, if that makes sense?

Naturally I turned to the Father for answers.  I prayed and listened to worship music.  Through that I discovered the incredible crippling fear I was feeling was due to my wanting to have complete control and sight over everything to come, the unknown ahead of me.

I was quickly reminded who was Sovereign over my life, and reminded that He has gotten me thus far, and anytime He has asked me to ‘jump’ He has always caught me.

He brought this scripture to my remembrance:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

Life went on…but as I found myself more into scripture and working on myself, the ‘beast’ reared it’s ugly head…

All of a sudden the enemy was attacking a few of my friendships, and a loved one was hospitalized and I spent a long day at her bedside…

Each one of these things all created a certain depth of fear within me…

These events all happened within days of each other, and it felt like an incredible hurricane that just got worse and worse with each day.

It challenged me to dig deep and remember who I was in Christ, and where my strength comes from.  I had to have faith, faith that God would carry me through, faith in others that I had built strong bonds with, and trust that God would show Himself in that as well.

In the middle of all this chaos, I found myself sitting in the emergency room at the bedside of a loved one for hours.  She slept most of the time, and I found myself alone with my thoughts.

I was alone, and the fear washed over me with great strength.  I found myself almost unable to swallow it was so intense.

Then I remembered one of my favorite lyrics from a Casting Crowns song…

Titled ‘Oh My Soul’:

There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know!

At that moment I made a conscious decision that indeed my fear would have to face God.  So I pulled out my notebook and I began to write and pray, and God met me in that hospital room.  The more and more I wrote the more I felt at peace And I didn’t stop writing until my ‘flesh‘ was at peace.

(I will be posting a blog soon that shows what I wrote that day)

During that time He reminded me of Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God!

Moving forward from that day some things were still in limbo with a few friendships, but I carried on praying, and trying to lay it all down before God. 

Thing is I kept laying it down and then picking it back up.  At the time I felt like my patience was being tested, but it was actually being refined.

With each struggle there is always a lesson from the Father.  I found myself throwing my arms up alot with frustration because the ‘lesson’ was not coming into focus yet.

The situation called me to simply ‘trust’….

Trust first an for most the Father in Heaven, and then trust in these bonds that God had aligned in my life.  God just kept telling me to ‘trust’ in the truth, trust in who He says that I am, and who they are, and the unconditional love that has bonded us…….

After almost 2 weeks of this struggle I found myself at a breaking point, where my ‘flesh’ was at it’s loudest, the fear was it’s deepest, my emotions chaotic, and the enemy savoring eagerly at a possible victory…

God spoke loudly:

Be still and know the I AM GOD!  Psalm 46:10

Almost like He was saying ‘Enough is Enough!’

I surrendered completely at that moment all tears ended, peace flooded over me, and as I went to bed that night I felt like everything was finally going to be okay, and even though I didn’t know how, it didn’t bother me one bit, I allowed the Father to hold me in slumber…

The next day I was calm, and I just relied on the Father to just have His will be done. 

And His will was done! 

That evening I was able to come together with these ‘friends’ and God was all over that evening. 

Reconciliation was achieved to which I know the enemy shook and fled for he does not want sisters and brothers in Christ to come together and be bonded and fortified with Christ as their foundation.

God who is perfect love delivered this scripture to me in reference to ‘the enemy’:

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

I walked away from those experiences feeling different

As I should…

God used those situations to work in me, to fortify me within, to remind me who I am in Him, and that fear has no place in my life.  He also armed me with the ‘tools’ I need pressing forward on my journey to combat such fear, and those ‘tools’ are LOVE, and HIS TRUTH.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things?

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey

13 years ago my life changed forever…

I call this day my ‘Independence Day’

It was the day I finally woke up, and with God’s strength lifting me out of a chair, I finally stood up to my abusers and said:

” I have had enough, you will not do this to us anymore!”

You can read in detail about that day here:

Testimony- Breaking Chains

In my recent blog posts I have been talking about God placing me…

at the beginning of a journey

On this day of all days I decided to share what that Journey is…

For many years I have been putting back together the ‘broken’ pieces of my past, God has been there with me every step of the way, guiding me, bringing me healing…

I have been ‘growing’ in my faith, and God has been incredibly patient with me.

But in recent months He has made it quite obvious that ‘enough is enough’ and I need to really look myself in the mirror and face things that I have been running away from my whole life…

I need to stop saying ‘I’m fine, I’m okay..’ and then I flinch at the sight of a fly swatter or a certain song plays on the radio and I am riddled with flashbacks, some moments in which I am immobilized with dread and fear…

Truth is I’ve been lying to myself for many years, I mean don’t get me wrong I have grown alot, I have received alot of healing, but the harsh truth for me to admit to now is that when it all got too painful I retreated, I got scared, and I ran from it…

Well in June God stood in front of me as I ran and said ‘no more!’.

I was presented with an opportunity to start therapy, and normally I would of had a knee jerk reaction to it, but I found myself accepting immediately, and as I did this inside of myself I was in disbelief, did I really just accept this?

I had nothing against therapy, not at all…

But Christians have God why would we need anything or anyone else?

Ya, I know how I sound…but remember I had been running, avoiding, looking for excuses to not face myself.

When I told my husband what had transpired, he just looked at me, smiled, and said:

“I have been telling you for years that you need to go and talk to someone”.

To which just annoyed me, but it got me to start reflecting on things.

My appointment was a month away, and the fear crept up inside of me so heavily. 

Two things were troubling me:

I was going to have to face everything, no excuses this time, and I wasn’t sure if I could handle it.

AND

My faith is so important to me, and what if I can’t really talk about that aspect in my life, because reality is that in today’s society people are not welcomed to talk about their beliefs without scrutiny or judgement, and if I was going to do this, I mean really do this I wanted to being 100% me, and with the freedom of having God the Father at the center of it.

So, that is where I focused my prayers…

Then I went camping with my best friend and God made His presence known and He spoke loudly to me, reminding me about things, and casting out all fear from my heart with His words.

My last two blog posts talk about that amazing week:

Joy

Peace

The day of my first appointment finally arrived, and as I waited for my best friend to pick me up for it, I did as I have done in the past and I looked up toward Heaven, took a deep breathe and said:

“Okay God You’ve got this.”

When I got there I was a little nervous, but I reminded myself that God is Sovereign over my life and “if God is for us who could be against us?”

They had me filling out paper work prior and one column asked me about my coping skills etc, and I was compelled to simply write:

” My Christianity has always been my anchor in life, my Faith has always sustained me.”

Bold right!

My therapist called me in and from the moment I walked into her office I felt something, but I could not put my finger on the ‘feeling’.  I just sat down and we started to talk, and she was reviewing the paper work I had filled out.  About 5 minutes into the conversation she put her pad of paper down and this is what she said:

” Listen…normally with these sessions we don’t ever discuss beliefs, we tend to just keep things neutral and get right to work, but…(she paused for a second) I don’t know what it is but I need to tell you that….(she got quiet for a second again) I am a Christian as well.  I don’t usually share that with my clients but what you wrote as an answer to that one question really stood out to me.”

As she was telling me this tears began to roll down my face, my prayers were answered, and of course they were, He had been preparing me, He had it all laid out for me, I just had to take that first step on that journey, I had to give complete trust.

Then she said something that intrigued me:

” I also want you to know that I specialize in trauma.”

To which I couldn’t help it I did let out a laugh because if you have read anything about my life in these blog posts you know I have experienced alot of trauma in my past…

Again God was aligning me not only with a fellow Sister in Christ, but someone with the medical expertise to help me in the way I needed it, and in the way God wanted it.

She went on to discuss with me that I was ‘signing myself up for alot of hurt‘, commenting on the fact that I am a brave person, and telling me that we were about to go on a journey, that we would be coming face to face with things that would be hard to face BUT we would be going through one trauma at a time and I would finally be able to overcome it, and this is the best part

She said:

” you can finally overcome it…with God’s help”

Tears just flowed out of me, but they were not sad tears, they were tears of complete thankfulness, my heart was bursting/overflowing with so much love for my Father in Heaven, that He loved me so completely, that He laid it all out for me, exactly the way I needed it to be, His will being done!

I left that first appointment feeling so thankful to God, so incredibly blessed.  I also found myself feeling both excited and scared about what is to come.

But God has been preparing me

He will be with me every step of they way of this journey…

 

 

                                                               …more about this journey to come in future posts…

 

 

 

 

 

Peace

After I became a Christian, and started to grow in my faith I quickly caught on that my path in life was set, and that God had a plan for me.

I might not of known what that meant at times or looked like, but my faith has always carried me through, and just ‘diving in’ with pure trust has always resulted in growth.

When I returned from camping with my youngest son, I was reawakened to things I had long forgot about myself.  Reminded of things that would help me on my new journey that had been laid before me.

I was barely settled back in here at home, and reality decided to ‘take a bite’ out of what I had just experienced the few days before.

Before I could react God spoke loudly:

” Be at Peace, for this is not in your hands, but in mine, and you needn’t be troubled anymore, I am with you, I will walk with you through this, I will give you the strength you will need, for I am preparing you…”

I immediately felt a rush of Peace over me, I was thankful because with other times before I would of been very emotional.

I remember praying and saying to Him:

I don’t exactly know what you are preparing me for?

But let Your will be done, you’ve got this!

The end of the week came and it was time for one last adventure with my son, we were headed out to the beach with some family friends.  When we got there it was over cast, and a bit cool.  We were disappointed, but we decided to just go with the flow.

If I could describe the day in one word it would be ‘Peaceful’.

It was quiet most of the day, the kids played in the water, I sat, feet nestled in the sand, chatting it up with my friend, and just relaxing.

In between the conversations there was a time where it was so quiet, and I felt like God was making it necessary for it to be quiet, for me to listen, for me to just be silent, and to be replenished with His presence.  I didn’t ask why? I just accepted it, because He is Sovereign and knows what I need before I do.

Through some conversations with my friend my eyes were opened again to some things that I needed to be faced with.

I had made some promises to an unwell family member and through discussing it with my friend it hit me that I was never going to be able to sustain those promises.

I struggled at first with this…

But God spoke clearly:

“Your flesh cries out to do what only I can do!”

This got my attention, made me really think…

Was I aligned with His will or mine?

Then He spoke again, and it was familiar:

” Be at Peace, for this is not in your hands, but in mine, and you needn’t be troubled anymore, I am with you, I will walk with you through this, I will give you the strength you will need, for I am preparing you…”

And I was at Peace instantly…

I ‘Let it go, and I Let God‘!

The rest of the day was so peaceful for me, yes things were going on around us, but for me sitting there taking it all in, God’s beauty, God’s presence, it was replenishing me.

When it was time to get back on the road home the sun started to peek through the clouds…but I don’t think I really took too much notice to it because for me the day was the brightest I had had in a long time.

My friend took the scenic route, cranked the music, everyone singing, dancing, and I looked out the window at God’s beautiful creations my heart was so full, and it was at Peace.

He spoke again…

” Remember what I have shown you this week, remember the words I have spoken, for it will be instrumental to the journey that is before you, know that I am with you, and you will never be alone…”

Then He reminded me of something He showed me in the beginnings of my walk with Him

The Father’s Love Letter

My Child,

You may not know me but I know everything about you.
(Psalm 139:1)

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
(Psalm 139:2)

I am familiar with all your ways.
(Psalm 139:3)

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
(Matthew 10:29-31)

For you were made in my image.
(Genesis 1:27)

In me you live and move and have your being.
(Acts 17:28)

For you are my offspring.
(Acts 17:28)

I knew you even before you were conceived.
(Jeremiah 1:4-5)

I chose you when I planned creation.
(Ephesians 1:11-12)

You were not a mistake for all your days are written in my book.
(Psalm 139:15-16)

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live.
(Acts 17:26)

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
(Psalm 139:14)

I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
(Psalm 139:13)

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
(Psalm 71:6)

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me.
(John 8:41-44)

I am not distant and angry but am the complete expression of love.
(1 John 4:16)

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
(1 John 3:1)

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father.
(1 John 3:1)

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
(Matthew 7:11)

For I am the perfect father.
(Matthew 5:48)

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
(James 1:17)

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
(Matthew 6:31-33)

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
(Jeremiah 31:3)

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.
(Psalms 139:17-18)

And I rejoice over you with singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17)

I will never stop doing good to you.
(Jeremiah 32:40)

For you are my treasured possession.
(Exodus 19:5)

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul.
(Jeremiah 32:41)

And I want to show you great and marvellous things.
(Jeremiah 33:3)

If you seek me with all your heart you will find me.
(Deuteronomy 4:29)

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:4)

For it is I who gave you those desires.
(Philippians 2:13)

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine.
(Ephesians 3:20)

For I am your greatest encourager.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

When you are brokenhearted I am close to you.
(Psalm 34:18)

As a shepherd carries a lamb I have carried you close to my heart.
(Isaiah 40:11)

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes.
(Revelation 21:4)

And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.
(Revelation 21:4)

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus.
(John 17:23)

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
(John 17:26)

He is the exact representation of my being.
(Hebrews 1:3)

He came to demonstrate that I am for you not against you.
(Romans 8:31)

And to tell you that I have no desire to count your sins.
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you.
(1 John 4:10)

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love.
(Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus you receive me.
(1 John 2:23)

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.
(Romans 8:38-39)

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen.
(Luke 15:7)

I have always been Father and will always be Father.
(Ephesians 3:14-15)

My question is…Will you be my child?
(John 1:12-1)

I am waiting for you.
(Luke 15:11-32)

Love,

Your Dad,

Almighty God

And I just smiled and knew no matter what, He has got this, and I was at ‘Peace’ with it.