HOPE*ann*FAITH

Living and Writing on Purpose: God * Life * Love * Realtionships * The Important Things.

I believe….My Personal Sahara

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Dry

 

I entered a Dry Season, unknowingly,it crept up on me and seemingly, overnight I was dying…       

Having survived this dry season; I want to say it was six months long. However, looking back, it was probably more like a year ago it began. That’s  when I knew, being the secretary, that we were loosing our church, and likely with it our Pastors‘, to a new call of God on their lives. I was simply unaware I had entered a dry season, because I had never experienced a Dry Season, in my walk with God.        

A year of building anger, sorrow and a deep sense of desolation and abandonment.           

I look back from, feet firmly planted, what feels like well nourished land. I have landed on my spiritual feet, so to speak.           

 I look back.           

 What was the lesson there?           

 I look back at that parched and cracked place that was my heart. I believe that that is where the desert experience, or the dry seasons, occur –  a place in the heart. I look back and I see the dry and cracked ground, the remenants of my “old” heart.           

 Then I think, I cringe, at the thought of having written the word Survived! As if some old wives are going to run in and jinx me! Ah, will the old man never leave this flesh?           

 Obviously I have survived to this place where I, again, feel comforted by my God. This peaceful solitary where I can audibly here my Father’s voice. Where the Word of God soaks in deeply, stirring the very Spirit of God, which is the essence of who I am. The Garden of Eden, where the Word is richly fed and cultivated. Sown into that Good Ground we hear about when we sit comfortably in our usual aisle seats on Sunday mornings.           

 Yet! I want, desperately to take back that word… survived!     

  The ‘what if’ in my flesh begins nagging, maybe I am not done, yet, in that desert place.          

 The ‘what if’ Distraction.          

 Distraction from the very thing God was teaching, preparing me for.           

 The lesson?           

 Survival?           

I have honestly survived much in the short 40 something years of this life. Some things small; some so huge one must believe in miracles and a God who saves.           

Literally SAVES, as in rescues.           

 The Desert!           

 Have I survived the desert? A dry, brutal place. Worse than any clinical depressive state I endured at the urging of heredity. Yes worse than that black swirling vortex of nothingness and depravation.           

 A Dry Season of the Spirit.           

 Because, as a Christian, I had only heard about being dry, because I had only those scriptures in Exodus and Ezekiel that told stories with illustrative analogies to go by, I didn’t realize what was happening. I didn’t recognize the slow progression of dehydration. I attributed the emotions to my heart event, the transition the church was going through and the unfamiliarity of the church we were becoming. I didn’t like the changes, I wasn’t comfortable with these new people, they didn’t know me, my family….           

 Dry Bones… Ezekiel was talking about, illustrating, the desert experience. I believe…        

 What was the lesson?          

 Mine, I believe….          

 “I believe, I believe…It’s silly but I believe”; I hear Natalie Wood‘s sweet voice, in A Miracle on 34th Street, repeat over and over again.           

Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.           

 I believe…             

My lesson; what I gleened, from my dry place was two fold.            

Trust God with God’s things! Very important.     

A change in Pastors.          

A loss of my Spiritual Parent’s parenting (they are not lost, they are out on a different mission for the Kingdom.).          

 A church move and some of the Church Family moving on.          

These are God things.           

 I, being His human daughter, thought I knew best what should be. I began demanding, of God, to know why, and bucking every change that occurred.      Being me, I envisioned what we would transition into and it was not what God, or the new Pastor had planned.          

 And then the battle began. Long before I even knew I was in a battle.          

 Having been taught well,  I knew the, “touch not My Anointed” deal. As the church secretary that was utmost. I was one of the layers that buffered the Pastors’ during the week and on Sunday morning. Making appointments instead of just allowing anyone with a gripe to infultrate that barrier.           

 But the new Pastor, he didn’t want this. The new Pastor had a new, his own, vision that God gave him. And I had the audacity to come home each day and speak what I thought about that!!!           

 I never considered that our Church had moved up a level. I never considered that the changes were from God. By the time this revelation came I could no longer feel anything spiritually! I had created my Desert Experience.     I felt like I had a terminal illness and that God had left me. Note I said FELT. I knew He had not forsaken or left me….but I nolonger was enjoying His tangible presence.          

 Elvis God had left the building!      My joy was gone…what was I going to do?          

 I was certain I would die.          

 The second thing I learned was that this Desert place was a place of preparation. I learned this as I was leaving the Saharah of my heart!            

You see, God wanted, I believe, to see if I would remain in my place. If I would utilize that tremendous Faith He had instilled in me to trust Him with this, the most important transity life, thus far.Even my heart event, I believe, takes a second seat to the importance of this spiritual transition. In all of my angst, anger and sorrow, would I stay? Would I fulfill the station God had set me in. Would I man my post, in a time when I felt that everything was being taken from me? Just everything, every shread of our Church life was being uprooted, and things I didn’t realized had been lost in the move, including siblings in Christ, (they are not lost either, :), they have moved on to what God has for them. All is well.).           

 Would I remain?          

I didn’t know up to about a week or two ago. Talk about the fence, mine was disintegrating beneath me, like a raw wood slat rail that had weathered too many alternating seasons. My fence could no longer weather any storm. I was broken, dry, barren. I was the weary talked about in the bible.          

I was also the picture of “Stand, and when you can no longer stand….Stand some more!” Unlike Moses, though, I didn’t have an Aaron and Hur to hold my arms up in praise of the LORD. My desert experiencewas a slitary thing, I didn’t feel comfortable burdening my friends with what I was going through, for several reasons. Still, somehow, crying and screaming I stood! Crying out and praying I managed to continued to praise, but it was all the more painful when the music didn’t get in…     

This is how that felt…     

 

 Somehow I got the breakthrough.           

 How?           

 Many times a dry season is to push one to repentence.           

 I believe…           

 I believe mine was for me to give up, yet another family, to God, for God. Long story, being from a fractured family; fractured by mental illness, divorce, abuse of all kinds and then addictions, my family seems, feels, nust be gone, at a distance. A long distance. Therefore there was a sense of deep abandonment that resurfaced in this dry place. There is a reality of abandonment in my past, so I didn’t understand why it was, suddenly returning. The God I knew did not operate in this fashion!           

 I felt as if none of this was of God…for the longest time. I couldn’t see God in the changes, the transitions that were occurring in many areas of my life, simultaneously. Yet, I stood. I remained still, knowing God was God.           

 So I survived :/ …or was I victorious, or…           

 Have I been sent to the next level? Or all of the above?           

 I have to say, I don’t know. I’ve, through this dry experience, learned to leave God things to God.           

 That fact of the matter, to my joy,  this heart is being soaked again. This heart and this spirit can hear my God again.           

 I believe I was being prepared for what God had prepared for me. I’m not sure what that is, but I have a hope. I know God planned for me to have a hope, prosper and nothing can harm me. That is as long as I be still and know that He is God. As long as I hold my post, as meanial and lowly as it feels. As long as I am obedient to the call that God has on my life.           

 I’m going to stay in Ephesus. Here is a great article, it was the first thing that spokecontaining the very quiestions I had been worrying like a bonebefore I saw the edge of the forest from the Sahara.           

 I read today a great post over at Sarah Markely’s blog: A Loose Grip: On Loosing a Home. I’ve lost my home, my first home…someday I’ll give my salvation testamony and you will understand better. I lost the Home God literally told me was mine: our Church.            

Sarah talks about letting go of the things that we find vital in a home…            

the laughter            

the mural your son drew just about the toy box            

the old comfortable chair…(on the aisle)            

She described how we attach our emotions, our feelings, sometimes to inadament things…like the walls of the room where laughter reigned; as if somehow the sound of our joy was encapsulated in the paint and sheet rock, stored for eternity.            

She revealed my horders heart, in her post, in her sweet by raw way. I love her unashamed honesty. Go here, read, and then love on her. She is irrestibly lovable.            

I was hording memories…and as Steven Furtick said in this sermon: Get Back #1: You cannot build on yesterdays memories.            

So, I am boxing up those memories. Storing away all the pictures of RLFC’s greatest times, to look at when I can handle them. And I am going to hold those things that I am having trouble giving up, loosely, so that when the time comes for them to be packed, or discarded or given to one who would benefit more from them, I will be able to let them go.            

For now, I am grateful to my God, that I have come out of the dry season. I still have issues, but I am working those selfish things out with Him.            

I am grateful to be out, and me again. Even if I am still, simply standing in the first shade of the lush copse of Cyprus; still within reach of that arid, cracked desert.            

I see my Sahara, and like that depressive vortex of hell, I never want to return there.            

So it is to the next thing I go.            

To this new thing God is doing.            

Expecting God to guide me.            

Expecting the blessings that Father always gives His kids.            

Because I believe…I believe…it is VERY important that I believe.            

After all it really is the only rule…            

I believe…            

             

1 John 5:4-6 (New International Version, ©2011)            

4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.            

6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.            

Here are some Scriptures on Spiritual Dryness for reference:

John 1:1,14; Jude 4; Romans 5:1; Habakkuk 2:4; Jeremiah 17:19

Blessings Loves ♥

             

    

        

          

   

     

       

   

  

    

   

 

         

 

Author: Hopeannfaith

Welcome, I'm Andrea ... HOPEannFAITH ... I write and take pictures as a way of expression. These are gifts given by a loving and indulgent Father, to a headstrong and stubborn daughter, with much to say. A semi-retired social worker/secretary, I now call myself a writer. I've published one internet article and written many blog posts. However, publishing does not make one a writer, anymore than taking a box camera to the park makes one a photographer. What makes one who and what they are? Well God for one ... formed me before the foundations of this world (Psalm 139); and many, many years after putting away my passion for wordsmithing and picture taking He gave it back ... in droves. I am a culmination of my choices and experiences. It is here that my experiences color the world in print and color. It is my goal to reach just one soul a day with love ... encouragement ... understanding or just letting that soul know that they are not alone where they are today. This is about creating ~ all of it. Creating a HOLY and SACRED place where the ugly truth can be healed and the beauty of a moment or a tear can brighten a day for the experience. Why HOPEannFAITH? Hopeannfaith is my inner child, and she is maturing, as she should have done all along. She is learning all about how Faith fulfills Hope. She is learning how to live. HOPEannFAITH ~ the wonder twins all wrapped up in one, me. These are my Journey Journals ~ written and visual. I welcome your company. I welcome your friendships. My Journey is in the light ~ although I have and will share the shadowy corners and the dark ~ so you know that you are never alone there. If we hold hands in the dark, and we walk, side by side, through the shadow, we will reach the Light together. In relationship with one another and with the Light. Blessings.

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