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I.Pray. | A Wife’s Testimony


Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

when we don’t feel safe where do we go?

The shadow of the almighty

Go …

This is the testimony of the wife and mother of two who are seriously afflicted with life threatening illnesses. Honestly I am writing this in preparation of the teaching/testimony I have to give tomorrow morning at my church’s Women’s Fellowship Breakfast. And it’s not been the greatest of months for me.

I don’t think people, even those closest, notice that things are as bad as they are or can be, some days. They see me weathering the storm at church or bible studies or family gatherings and they either express that I am so strong or they just ask how my husband is. And for some, I can see that they hope my answer is quick and doesn’t require much from them. That sounds harsh, but it is not meant to be. I am well aware that they don’t know what to say or do and frankly there is nothing they can say or do. They just don’t know that that is okay.

And some days I notice that I need to talk, and some days that means me talking to God. Because, he’s the only one who can do anything about all of this …

STOP … This post took way more than 5 minutes and edits. After all it’s the draft of a testimony presentation on a really hard subject.

My testimony.

I am the wife of a wonderful man, who is battling cancer and the mother of a hurting man, who is battling heroin addiction; and I do this simultaneously and not always well.

I am simply doing the next right thing on a moment to moment basis, sometimes. Definitely the last month.

My husband has been through 2 different, months long, rounds of chemo. Taking up what is slowly becoming 2 years.

The first round to eradicate a mass that had infiltrated and completely blocked his left lung; which was found to have rendered the lung nonfunctional. He didn’t even feel it not working until he caught an upper respiratory illness, which started this season in our lives. From September 2013 to February 2014 he had chemo and radiation every two weeks. The mass decreased with each CAT scan and he came to the end of this round with full use of the lung! Success! Right?

Not according to the doctors. Because a VERY little piece of the cancer had “escaped” to the liver. With this the treatments were rendered a failure.

REALLY?! But … he has full use of the lung! Really. According to their protocol.

NOT our GOD though!

So in June, after a biopsy,  he went back into chemo; radiation was not an option for the liver. So from March to September 2014 my husband endured some very hard chemo treatments.

All the time he only got ill twice with nausea and once with something he caught. He lost his hair twice and suffered most from fatigue and feelings of weakness; oh and frustration driven moodiness!

He came out of the last round of chemo and the CAT scan showed that the “original” spot(s) were smaller, but that other lesions had developed.

Another fail, according to the doctors and the protocols.

And all the while this man of mine was vibrantly himself except for a few naps here and there.

So now he’s [we are] setting up for a clinical trial.

And with all this our youngest son is having a daily battle with heroin and he fell.

So that’s the story … what’s my testimony? I still don’t know how to put that into words.

I’m having trouble telling my story because I don’t feel as if I’m doing anything extraordinary. I’m just flexing with the new needs of my wife-hood and motherhood. Like I said, I try to do the next right thing and sometimes I fail miserably.

I started out with the boy being an addict. Something we’ve been dealing with for the last couple of years. At first it was just drug use, then it turned into what it is today; full on addiction to one of the worst drugs on the street. I learned to deal in the “tough love” arena. Tough love, I think, is harder on the parent, because it feels not only as if you are doing nothing, it feels as if you are abandoning your child. The good thing is that the boy is clean and doing well, so the love isn’t so tough when cancer entered and life got a different kind of  hard.

So I’m doing this thing by rote and …

The doctors say cancer and they are acting as if they are delivering a death sentence. Cold and clinical … cancer, here’s a referral.

Head spinning, heart breaking and tears like a waterfall gushing out of control … I start this new season. I pray. I cry. I wake up in the middle of the night and pray while I lean over to see if my husband is breathing.

Before the diagnosis his breathing was a given. I didn’t think about it, like I don’t think about my own. Now all of a sudden I have death in my head! And I hear (now) …

Be careful what you hear …

This doesn’t feel like faith to me, so I pray more.

I.AM.A.MESS.

But then things take on a routine … The Hubs is doing fine, he’s feeling okay and we get into this new groove. But the groove doesn’t feel right. It feels like acceptance of something that is not of God. And I hear …

What you tolerate you accept. And I pray.

So I pray and The Hubs and I talk about it. We talk about a lot of things. Somewhere we begin to discuss the fact that he is going to refuse anymore chemo.

I.AM.A.MESS. … Again.

DO NOTHING?! What!? Can we really do nothing?! Is nothing what we should have done all along??

A.MESS.

I just need this all to stop and then the boy falls down. He’s using.

I.PRAY.

So what’s the testimony? Hey, I still don’t know if this is even a testimony! Maybe it’s a lesson on the reality of what a wife/mother does during a health struggle of a loved one.

I.Pray.

That’s what I do. I go to every appointment, I drive the boy to every court date and P.O. meeting. And I pray.

I go to God at the end of everyday. Because I don’t always hold it together well some days. In fact my comfortable day to day no longer exists.

I get depressed. I get angry (not at God); angry at doctors, protocols, cancer and heroin. I yell and I cry and sometimes I reject the encouragement of others trying to help me, when they don’t know what else to do.

I am often A.MESS. And you know what?

That is not a lack of faith. It is not a crisis of faith. It is not anger at God.

It is reality. And it is normal and it is okay! Even God accepts it, after all He knew what He was asking me to do when He created me. And He knew how I would handle it.

So … I pray.

What do I pray? Well if you read this blog regularly you know I am really into praying God’s Word. Can’t go wrong praying God’s promises or what He says about things. Yes. It’s the easy way. It may even be cheating … but hey, God gave me the answers so …

I.Pray. the answers.

I’m going to post a list of scriptures I use to keep me from trying to make deals with and/or manipulate God and His will. Because if there are a few things that I REALLY believe it’s …

God’s got this.

God has a plan.

And WE WERE healed.

These are scriptures that I, and our friends, regularly pray over my husband and son. These scriptures can be used by anyone for anything, obviously! 1 John 4:4; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 118:14; Psalm 103:2; Jeremiah 30:17; Nahum 1:9 and Luke 5:17.

Copyright © AHutchinsonPhotography™ 2007 - 2014- All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and/or photographs without express and written permission from the writer/photographer is strictly prohibited.

O’ Lord this man.
We declare and decree the Word of God.
“Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
“By His stripes you are healed.”
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
“You shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
“Don’t forget the benefits of God. He heals all our diseases.”
“The Lord will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.”
“Affliction will not rise up a second time.”
“The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”

The Power of the Lord is present to heal you! Isn’t that wonderful?

I also rely heavily upon Psalm 91, because it contains EVERY promise God made to us! EVERY.ONE. It reassures my heart and clears my mind.

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a] And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

That’s my testimony! That I know, no matter what has taken place on any day, at any appointment, that the Power of the Lord is present to heal! That’s how I do this … that no matter my level of fear or anger …I.KNOW.GOD. and I.Pray.Thanks for reading. God bless.

ASignature


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God’s Faithful and Infinite …. Reach| A FMF Post


Time for Five Minute Friday, the unedited flash mob free write!

No edits, no corrections. Just five minutes of writing from your heart to share.

If you’re not sure how Five Minute Friday works, all the details are right over here.

 

Today’s Prompt|REACH … Go!

 

Reaching Out

Reaching Out

OH, How far is His reach? How far away can one get before He reaches out and retrieves them?

“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.” – Psalm 18:16, NLT 

I’ve been in a far away place since Tuesday. I’ve been accused, or should I kindly say that I’ve been counseled, that I am weak of faith, or out of faith or in a crisis of faith in regards to the report we got from the doctor that day.

I have been battling those things that weaken one’s faith. With prayer, scriptures and with considering those accusation and counsel, and I must add ALL of the encouragement; there was much more encouragement than criticism. But …. the days were hard, not only with the Doc’s words, but with the anger and discouragement they brought for both me and so much more for The Hubs. Considering what was spoken and what I already knew would be The Hubs’ response there was a lot in my head, and it wasn’t good.

I had gotten far away from what I knew to be truth. Even though I spoke that truth and rebuked the lies, I got lost in my own human-ness and fear and anger began to mix itself into that depression batter that we sometimes find ourselves in.

And then … last night, to make an already hard day bad, someone posted something so … I cannot even say it out loud let alone type it here, and I was crushed and really began to fight back. It took the post, both private and public (here) to make me stand up and really fight it.

It’s been a long day today, fighting what hurt and frightened me deeply, but I am here reaching for that peace beyond my understanding.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4


We must seek, and I forgot to seek, first the Kingdom of God … that is when we can ask whatever from Father and He will reach down from heaven and rescue us and give us not only what we need, but more, what our hearts desire! Matthew 6:33

You see … The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;” Psalm 138:8

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5

Stop!

Indulge me if you would. My 5 minutes are up, I just wanted to apologize if this post is scattered. But that’s what FMF is about, after all. I’d like to say that I am finally better tonight, I think I’m over the hump of this thing and finding my way back to me after many days of being “ME-BC”. Thanks for reading and always remember … God loves us, expects us to be human and expects us to reach out to Him when we are in need. So if you are in need, if you are frightened or hurt or angry reach out to God … Press into God and He will press into YOU!

Oh, that we might know the Lord!
    Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
    or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3

Andrea

Andrea

 


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O’ Lord this man of mine


Good morning, at least I pray yours is. =)

Me, HopeAnnFaith, mine is not going so well. I still have my hope and my faith; but I am battling a report from yesterday.

Today I find myself angry.
The Hubs is fine. Doing quite well in fact, and he’s made whatever decisions he made about the report yesterday, though I don’t know what exactly that is, yet; I do know we are proceeding with the next two rounds.

Copyright © AHutchinsonPhotography™ 2007 - 2014- All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and/or photographs without express and written permission from the writer/photographer is strictly prohibited.

O’ Lord this man

O’ Lord, this man of mine! What will I do ….. !?!

As for me, I am having issues with what the Doctor said. Essentially he said that the chemo would not end, until it doesn’t work anymore, and then we would move on to something else or we would stop, should The Hubs choose to stop treatments, whichever comes first.

Which means, in the medical translation, that this illness will take over at some point.

I know that this is completely UNACCEPTABLE in God’s plan. This does not fit into God’s Word so it is NOT truth.


Like I said, The Hubs is doing well, so the whole of the report was not bad. The Doc did say (about that “new” enlarged lymph node) that it makes no sense that a therapy that is working in the lungs and the liver is not working in other areas; being that the treatment is carried through the bodies system by the blood, which travels every area of the body. (I was happy with his optimism in this respect). The Doc is optimistic, obviously, that The Hubs is healthy enough to continue treatments.

That said, we both noticed that The Doc seemed down the whole time. Not quite as “happy” as usual. Now that could mean he was just having a not good day, or he was tired, or overwhelmed getting back into the flow after a wonderful vacation. The Docs “mood” let’s say could have nothing to do will the CAT scan reports or the techs insistence that the lymph node is newly enlarged. His demeanor could just be a personal thing, but we were deeply aware that he seemed “not himself”.

Back to the subject: I have to hang onto the phrase “I cannot” tell you it’s gone because it has moved. He cannot? Why? Maybe because of protocol or the legalities of malpractice.
A year ago, when this all began, we purposely asked him not to tell us the stage so that it was not put in our heads and more so, on my part, because we believe in the creative authority of our spoken words. He respected that … yet somehow we got here, with the words from yesterday. I need them to be rebuked, because they cannot be unsaid.
I have to meditate on the concept that God’s Word says this is not acceptable or I’m going to shut down.

I have to believe God at His Word.

There is no alternative.

I am angry and fighting fear. I am fighting trying to plan for the whatifs. I am fighting envisioning life alone.

I am fighting for what I know to be true, without being able to see it in the natural.
Lord, please, I believe, I do. Please help me with my unbelief!

I saw a inspirational quote on Facebook this morning, so I decided to be creative with it.

Copyright © AHutchinsonPhotography™ 2007 - 2014- All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and/or photographs without express and written permission from the writer/photographer is strictly prohibited.

Strong Enough – A Reminder

Well, thanks for reading. I hope my trials somehow help someone to know they are not alone in these things that make up our lives.

Always remember, God’s got it all in hand; and when you’re ready you can hand Him your trial too; He’ll handle it for you. That is Grace. Because, Father Loves us unconditionally … think of how you love your children or your pet or whom ever it is you love … then think, How much more does God love me? I tell you true, His love for YOU is infinite! Eternal! Forever and ever and ever … infinity!

Copyright © AHutchinsonPhotography™ 2007 - 2014- All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and/or photographs without express and written permission from the writer/photographer is strictly prohibited.

O’ This Man

Andrea

Andrea

 


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Release …


Five Minute Friday.

So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for going on four years now hundreds of people have joined a kind of writing flash mob. We write for five minutes flat, all on the same prompt.
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Release! Go!

I am angry today. I was embarrassed and hurt and angry yesterday.

Breaking Through to the Other Side of It ...

Breaking Through to the Other Side of It …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bible, in Ephesians 4 says: “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,and do not give the devil a foothold.

Well my night was fraught with angry dreams, despite falling asleep in prayer.

Yesterday 2 doctors called and gave me information that wasn’t encouraging for both my husband and myself. I am not so concerned about the disappointment of my doctor issue; however my husband is tired. We are only one chemo round into this second go round and his blood counts are low and the doctor has ordered a medication that causes pain and discomfort, particularly at night.

Pain and discomfort. Depression and discouragement. How does one release these?

The renewing of the mind releases these things from the spirit.

Romans 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So today I am working on renewing my mind. Replacing the reports of the doctors with God’s word and releasing the negative thoughts, fears and anger that they instilled from my spirit … because I know that this path I am on is a journey to the good and perfect will of Father God for me.

STOP!

What do you need to release today? Be sure to replace that space with God’s perfect will for your life. After you’ve cleaned house make sure you fill it with the beauty of God’s word as advised in Matthew 12 43-45.

 


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Weakness and God’s Grace … **Updated by Grace


2 Corinthians 12: 8 – 10

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Weakness and God.‘s Grace.

I was emotional last night … emotionally weak.

From a lack of sleep and a very busy day.

I’ve found that much of what we go through in life is long-term. Yes, I know we don’t HAVE to live this way. However, we continually state that God is leading us and knows the plan.

So … what if this is the PLAN people?

If I BELIEVE that GOD is working HIS plan, then this particular thing is SUPPOSED to be happening.

…for my power is made PERFECT in [your] WEAKNESS.

God wants me to partake in His Grace … there are certain things in my life that I am to ALLOW God to handle. Most probably all things, if I interpret the Word correctly.

I went to bed utterly exhausted and frustrated last night. I have these WEAKNESSES  … frustration and anger. I may have mentioned this before.

I’ve come to the place where most days I don’t respond immediately to these things … requests, correspondences … invitations to slide back into behaviors ingrained in me just (literally) a few weeks ago.

[God revealed the REACT vs. RESPOND realities to me recently and I have been working on mastering the RESPOND and squashing the REACTION]

Therefore, I have been making an effort, in/by the grace of God, to fix this character defect.

WELL … in an attempt to RESPOND last evening, I felt I should get clarification in a situation. I am comforted by the fact that I was able not to react and handled the situation calmly and rationally, at the time.

Truth be told I should have waited.

I should have known myself better, while the situation was clarified, I did not understand clearly. Emotions and exhaustion…and when I allow my mind to process something under these conditions I rarely am able to stop the REACTION process.

Like I said, God and I are working on something here…

I have a great ability to make things much bigger than they are … oh! and fictional in their origin! I mean, I’m a writer after all! And while my genre does not lean towards story telling, per say, my emotions are VERY creative!

I was then able to spend time with a close friend, and we ministered to one another. At the end of the conversation my friend said she was glad she called and that she felt better. What a blessing.

I can’t say that I felt better, I was exhausted, frustration gathering at the edges of my exhaustion, begging me to stir up feelings of deep unrest. I refused and quietly went to bed, praying.

I’m at a place where I rarely ask God why, but I do ask that he clarify things that have gotten out of hand, because I’ve come to this conclusion…

GOD has this!

In my starting scripture Paul says he DELIGHTS in weakness. Now I don’t think that is something we are directed to do. Paul was talking about how he REACTED to his own weakness. Frankly, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to DELIGHT in these situations, on the schedule for the Plan God has for my life. However, I can use the fact that I have come to know that God is aware and in control, no matter how I feel or what is going on.

They [who are they?] say “it is what it is”. A friend said yesterday that “we know what it is not”, and this is true.

This mornings frustration, and I guess to some extent this is anger, is do to the fact that I did not succeed at the squashing of the REACTION. My mind dwelled and created, against all of my efforts to control this part of [my] self

I ask God to bring clarity, because no one else can [will]. I ask that he GRACE me with His patience so that I can honestly move on free from the frustration.

So in my weakness HIS GRACE is doing a work in ME…did you think I was waiting on God to fix those who inadvertently frustrate me???

NO! :)

I’m way past that! God doesn’t fix others to make my life easier. HE fixes me so that I can do what it is HE has planned and this may NOT make my life easier.

It does make my life better, though.

So loves…where in your weakness do you allow God’s grace to be sufficient for the situation.

HOW do you manage to respond rather than react?

HOW do you stop yourself from indulging in the “Why God”s of self-pity and settle calmly into the

“I know God has this”? of life?

I am weak this morning. Yes, from the frustration of perceived things, but I am going to allow God’s Grace to be sufficient, and pray each time the frustration and fatigue surfaces. It’s what I know to do, today ….

*** I am happy to say that by the end of this day, with God and trusted counsel ,all of this frustration was cleared up and I had [my] self control back. Situations were clear and all is well. I thank God that He has given me the ability to be diligent in seeking His purpose for me in my day to day. He is faithful and I am blessed. ***

Blessings

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Afraid to Do…#Trust 30 on Few Words Thursday!


Let My Words Be Few...

If you’ve read my blog this week you know that I have joined the #Trust 30 Challenge that was inspired by Emerson’s 208th birthday, The Domino Project is republishing a work of art that’s especially relevant today. Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson urges readers to trust their intuition rather than conforming to the will of the majority.
This Thursday…and probably the remaining Thursdays in the month of June…maybe July, as I backtrack to the days I missed, I will be combining my FWT posts with my
contributions. So as usual FWT has minimal rules…which can be found when you follow the link connected to the picture. You can also follow the Trust 30 button to participate in this provocative writing prompts. I hope you’ll join us. I would love to share this space with you!
Now this prompt actually belongs to yesterday…however, I never received it in the e-mail so I am writing it now…these Trust 30 prompts are NOT easy…and some of them will probe in the hidden places of a soul. Like this one:

The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.”

What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.

(Author: Mary Jaksch)

…•*¨*•☼•*¨*•…•*¨*•☼•*¨*•…•*¨*•☼•*¨*•…

She was afraid. Afraid to tell…He said they wouldn’t believe a little kid. He threatened to blame it on her. He confused her. He loved her, treated her nice when mom and grandma were around, but then…

He changed. He got scary. He hurt her…He hurt the baby…

:/

This is the scary stuff that one day I will write about. But…what is scary now, is he was right! He was right…they didn’t believe the little girl (s); there were 4. He was right, they didn’t believe the angry teenagers, there were 4.  Worse, the mother didn’t help until her youngest girl was a full-blown alcoholic adult and demanded that she confront him (her brother!). Leaving the oldest girl more bitter and angry, at 30 something, than she had been prior, because when she asked her mother to believe her she didn’t. She accused and berated, she didn’t help.

What is scary to this day is that the mother of 2 of the 4 still harbors her brother. Still demands that her daughters respect…

What is scary is the rage, the wrath, that is born in such pain and betrayal. What is scary is that one lives and learns to love with this barbed wire wrapped around ones heart. What is too scary to write down, right now, is the realization that children continue to live and endure what  I …this little kid endured, growing up learning love wrong.

What’s too scary to do is write down the acts performed, that caused the work to get to the place of wholeness that  I …that little girl, now woman, enjoys today. It’s scary because of the pain it will cause…Him, Mother and so many others.

Is it really that important to document this process to wholeness??

Yes, I believe it is…so I strive to get past the fear…and put down the words that will help heal a little kid…

Blessings Loves

Few Words Partners: Join us! We would love to share this space with you. 🙂

Please go and visit HOLLY @ Withado.wordpress.com  , my faithful FWTH partner, and show her some love!


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Forgiveness…Have You Forgiven Yourself? Few Words Thursday…


  

   

Let My Words Be Few Thursday

“Let My Words be Few” Thursday

Here at HOPEannFaith I am challenging myself to be concise in my writing, and I invite you to join me. It is my hope to write spirit filled, inspirational posts touching our Spirits, not just our minds and flesh. I also hope this will improve my writing skill set, while deepening my spiritual walk.

 If you would like to join me in this challenge simply leave me a link to you ‘Let My Words be Few’ blog post or simply leave your post in the comments, and I will link your post into mine for that week.Your post can be about anything positive! The goal is to be inspirational while using the fewest words. You can see I’m still working on that, so there is NO word count requirement.

 You may use the Thursday if you like, but it is not a link…I don’t know how to do that! 🙂 I’m a writer not a techie! Just manually link the picture to my blog from yours and we will be good to go, and your readers will be able to join us.

Thanks for reading Loves! I welcome the company.

Blessings Loves,

Forgiveness was the focus I got today during my time with God. And how apropro…

It is my youngest son‘s 24th birthday, and if there is one source of overwhelming guilt in my life it is he.

Yet, I have worked against feeling this guilt, as it is not mine.  I’ve tried to forgive my seemingly ineptness with this boy, this man.

 So God brought it today, the subject of forgiveness, on his birthday! I would imagine this will be cathartic and a breakthrough will come for me…yet I am saddened that the breakthrough may not reach my boy…

but God…Let me be still and KNOW that He is God! ‘Is there anything to difficult for God?’ the bible asks.

Happy Boy

 

Joyful Boy

Joyful Boy

 

Sweet, Sad Eyed Boy

 

The Man

 

 ‘Why are you downcast, O’my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God.’ Psalm 43:5

I feel guilt that my boy aches,  from a past no child should have to endure.

Yet I had no hand in that harm.

I ache that this man is so angry, so sorrowful, and too proud to ask for help.

I hurt at his hand, his unkindness towards me. I believe he doesn’t understand. I pray he is mistaken in this behavior and understands that I had no hand in his harm.

This man is one place I am at my weakest…”Where you are most human, most yourself, weakest, there Jesus lives.” – Henri Nouwen

I wish, that I could have prevented…been there…stopped his (their) torture, earlier.

How does a mother forgive herself?

I do not feel guilt for everyday things like yelling too much, not listening enough…No my guilt is for things I could not have prevented or fathomed.

My guilt is because the scarred victim in me, so young, created a victim in him, for a time.

 Jesus said that forgiveness needs to happen seven times seventy times…a day…and the apostles asked that He increase their faith…Jesus answered,

 “and the Lord said, ‘If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree,’Be uprooted and be planted in the sea.’; and it would obey you.” Luke 17:5-7

So I am planting this mother’s guilt in the sea…far away so that it cannot return. I put forth the effort, in faith, to forgive myself 70×7 times…again and again… 

Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista’s Blog said today…’Grieving continues after we’ve forgiven (even ourselves). That grieving person is who we were, hurt and angry. God still makes us new.’ How faithful He is to make us new each day with His mercies.

Yet I don’t feel new, especially those days when my boy battles and lashes out. Then I battle the grieving me who wants to blame and accuse me of being a terrible mother.

I haven’t hugged or even touched my boy in years…no one is allowed to. My heart cries to hug him, to comfort his pain, anger… even just a quick birthday hug.

Oh how I grieve for this self-destructive man. His struggle each day so fierce. His heart each day so hard, his words so harsh.

 I sometimes wonder to myself, ‘What have you done? What haven’t you done? Why can’t you fix this?’

Only God can fix this. This mother can only pray that the man allow God to fix this… Then I remember this boy, NO! Man, is saved. He has been to the altar at least 3 times. I pray God’s grace for my son, I know he walks in it, I pray he becomes aware of it.

“Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus – For sin shall not master over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.” Romans 6:11,14

Have you forgiven yourself today? 70×7 times a day…even once have you forgiven yourself?

It is understood that forgiveness heals us; you know, when you forgive those who trespass against you.

Have you trespassed against you? That same forgiveness required remains required even when forgiving means forgiving self…

You stand under the grace of God…He forgives you…more completely than 70×7 times a day…

What is your count?

 Blessings Loves ♥

This post was inspired by Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista, her blog scriptures and the quote were the ones that God sent me today, through Bonnie. Hop on over and be blessed by using the link. Thanks, A.

 


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Let My Words Be Few Thursday…Grace


 

Let My Words Be Few Thursday

 

“Let My Words be Few” Thursday. “Few Words” Thursday is my attempt at concise and profound writing; where the content touches our Spirits and not just our minds and flesh. I hope this will improve my writing skill set, while deepening my spiritual walk. 

 Leave me a link to your “Let My Words be Few” blog post; it can be about anything you want! The thing is to get to the meat of your post in the fewest words.I will link your post into my “Few Words” posts; and we can discuss and get to know one another. You may use the Thursday photo if you like…it isn’t a button because I have no clue how to do that. 🙂 I’m a writer…not a techie! However, if you would, please manually link the photo to my blog from yours (if you know how) so that your readers can participate too. 

Blessings.

 Grace…

I have written this post a dozen or more times.

Every devotion and sermon heard since Sunday has been about Grace! 

The Lesson…Grace 

The last week has been excruciating for this woman of Faith, and for the momma bear and SELF within her! 

So much is in constant flux in this life, in this walk, in this home and this family. 

It feels like chaos, it feels like ripping and tearing. Surgery with no anesthesia! 

Painful 

My flesh cries for it to stop. 

It demands someone to blame; someone to take the responsibility for these new wounds. 

Grace… 

This was going to be a post on praying for those who hurt you… 

Doing unto others what you would have done… 

The bible says to pray for ones enemies, those who persecute those who hurt us… 

But this is not about that… 

Grace… 

This about stretching and growing in Grace! This time it is about me…what needs change in me… (It hurts so badly – the lacerations of this week………..), and until I extend Grace it will continue to be excruciating. 

A lack of Grace and mercy in me… 

The disturbance in me… 

Grace: the unmerited favor of God. 

Even as my flesh and soul scream at the backwardness sensation this causes in me…I know…I must give grace, I must give mercy to those who have {I perceive have intentionally} inflicted… 

Now to get this down into a heart that has a fortress built against pain and those who {myself?}… 

Dear Grace

Thank You, Jesus, for Your Grace {You, the embodiment of Grace} that You’ve extended. Please teach me mercy and grace. If I truly walk in grace, please help me to extend the same. In Your Name. Amen. 

Blessings Loves.  

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I believe….My Personal Sahara


 

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 ♥

             

    

        

          

   

     

       

   

  

    

   

 

         

 


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Fearfully & Wonderfully Made


   

Let My Words Be Few

 

I had every intention of beginning a Let My Words Be Few Thursdays theme, here at HOPEannFAITH…  

You know, a few profound lines of wisdom and encouragement, mixed well with Scripture. A determined effort to say the most, with the least words {not an easy task for this long-winded writer…}.  

Alas, this post won’t fit in the “few words” category. It does, however, fulfill the profound, for me.  

I’ll begin   Let My Words Be Few Thursday” next week, the first Thursday in February! I hope you will join me. Until then..  

 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Psalm 139  

“You are the God Who sees me.” for she {Hagar} said, “I have now seen the ONE who sees me” Genesis 16:13  

I find it comforting that I found a Genesis scripture right now, because 2011 is My Wholeness year, a new beginning!  

It’s my 46th birthday. I got up this morning and one of my first thoughts, in the silence before the Men’s Club bustle began, was this: “They’re not going to call.”   

Sadly, “they” are my parents.  

There it was, once again, in my face, on my birthday! Like every year, for as long as I can remember. The first beat of this heart on “my” day, aching and sorrowful, to ruin my birthday. I was about to play the old “poor me” tapes….  

NO! I stop myself. I’ve been working on this, with God, setting boundaries. The no longer enjoyed my permission to affect my heart, my spirit or my family. I had set this boundary, and to my amazement it was kicking in, today!  

I determined I would not sit and wait and feel abandoned, yet again, for their phone calls.   

The bustle of a morning with 5″ of wet snow began, and my men began preparing for their work day. My husband called from his place in front kitchen fire, “Happy Birthday, Beautiful”. My sweet man, I doubt my beauty even as he professes it, daily.   

Coffee, key searches and Dachshund walks done and the last man, my eldest son { just 25 on Monday} leans over and kisses my cheek and leaves for work. A peaceful silence falls as that snowday sunlight; seemingly more shiny and more sparkly for its reflection off the snow crystals, shines through my thrift store lace curtains.  I’m new to enjoying the silence and serenity of being alone.  

Then the thought of my worthlessness, the ache for my parents to remember, care, love, creeps in, bringing Self-doubt with it. I push it away and open my e-mail. I go through the bevy of devotional and motivational blog e-mails I have signed up for and begin deleting the ones that don’t speak to me. This too is new to me, I promised myself that I would regulate myself to following just 3 blogs in 2011,  because I had developed a guilt for deleting them. Yes, guilt, I felt guilty for not reading every inspirational woman’s post that I received! Maybe because I write and believe I owe them for their inspiration, or because I think someday I will need it. So I had to teach myself to delete the ones that God doesn’t speak through, to me, any given day!  

O’ see how I digress…can anyone say WORDY!  

I come to the e-mail from Proverbs 31 Ministries and open it.   

When the One You Doubt is You by T. Suzanne Eller: {go and give her the love she deserves for encouraging us!}  

As I read the title, I know God sent this post is for me, {Like I said, I read the ones that SPEAK to me.} through Suzanne, for my birthday!   

Odd, right? Self-Doubt!  

Not odd at all, this is the way of  my quality time with Father God. 🙂  

You see, when I got up every fiber of my flesh wanted a pity party on my birthday, like every year. I silently refused my flesh, sat down with my coffee and opened the e-mail devotion.  

I think to myself, as I sip my hot, smooth Folgers, ‘How does she know? I mean she doesn’t know…ahhh, but God does, and He uses His Jesus Girls to feed and comfort and encourage each other! 🙂 God is good that way.   

In the post Suzanne says [my wording]:  

Self doubt can confound and consume us,  or it can be a path to honestly assessing why “doubt” is there and what can be done about it, with God.  

It’s like Suzanne is reading my journal, I glance to my side and there it is…  

I have been diligently working on what can be done, about many of life’s issues, with God. For a loooonnng time.  

Then Suzanne opens my lunch box! She shares a childhood event of a friend, Lysa TerKeurst, that causes deep self-doubt and what it spun 😉 in her life.  

‘Twirling’ for father’s approval, to no avail.  

I had done the same exact thing!   

I can see the event in my mind {until now it didn’t have the heading of event, now I knew that was precisely what it was.}. That day, that event, was the day my daddy scarred my ‘little girl’ spirit. ~ I was dancing and twirling for my father, in a homemade dress; my mother made our clothes then ( a throw back to the 50’s, she was!) and  “when daddy gets home…”…  

When daddy came home, my baby sister ( I was about 3) and I were dressed to the nines, in lace and frills.   

This day, my beautiful, petite baby sister on his lap, my daddy broke my little girl. He shattered that excited “daddy’s home!” pink little heart.   

As I twirled and danced and giggled with glee and went to jump onto his other knee,  his response was a harsh, “Sit down, you are too big for that! Sit down and be a big girl.” And he readjusted the baby, cradling her in the crook of his arm (she was about 1).  

Today, as the tears fall on my 46th birthday, I have found the root of a lifetime of self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, even worthlessness.   

ღ❤ღೋೋღ❤ღೋೋღ❤ღೋೋღ❤ღೋೋღ❤ღೋೋღ❤ღೋೋღ❤ღೋೋღ❤ღೋ  

We live in a world that twists the meanings of the languages that God created for us, {this has ALWAYS made this writer crazy angry.}.  

Self-doubt is not self awareness, meekness or ever humility.  

Self-doubt is, in fact, an unhealthy twist on humility; a distraction from our dreams and God’s will and direction for our lives.  

Suzanne provided some good questions we can ask ourselves as we do that healthy self assessment in regard to the what, when, why and who of the self-doubt that exists within us:  

Do I have a valid reason to doubt?  

Is my doubt due to a particular person(s)?  

Is my doubt  due to something in my past?  

Is it the enemy causing me to doubt?  

So, this morning as I pondered the amazing amount of White showing through my Red hair, making me look dusty, I contemplated having the courage to let the red grow out to see just how white it was {God has apparently  honored my request for white hair, like my great-grandmother Godwin}. I realize, again, that I am 4 years to 50.   

A half century of life!  

Amazing!   

I read the part about Lysa’s memories…and then immediately wrote a poem, I’m hoping…No! I faithfully know that this breakthrough is going to mean health to my body, spirit and mind.  I’m excited as I have a goal I am working on, and this experience today feels like God saying: You are of Beautiful Worth and You are going to succeeded!   

The Father’s Delight  

There was a child,  

Small and full of light,  

She twirled and twirled,  

Seeking father’s delight.  

The sun shone in,  

The window pane,  

No matter the sorrow,  

No matter the shame.  

The little girl grew,  

Twirling dizzily each year,  

Twirling and dancing,  

Seeking and yearing with fear.  

The Son shone into  

Her heart aching with pain,  

He eased the sorrow,  

And took her shame.  

She danced, again a child of light,  

Her heart full of joy.  

She twirls and twirls…  

To The Father’s Delight.  

A wonderful woman who read this story today reminded me of an incredible video by Mercy Me ~ Beautiful. I thought I’d add it here, even though this post is long! 😉

Blessings Loves ♥  

Andrea