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Defining Grief in {my} Life …


This week’s prompt for Tuesday at Ten over on Karen’s Finding the Grace Within is Grief

My last post was a letter to sorrow, because Grief (which that prompt was actually about) has not entered Hutchland in her proper form; yet, like I said in my post, “Dear Sorrow,” , her cousin Sorrow had come to visit.

Grief has so many meanings! So many actions.

Grief Defined

Grief Defined

I’ve found that I’ve written about grief on several occasions, over the year … you can read a few here: Grief A Study.

In my life I’ve grieved the loss of much; but that grieving was not always caused by the loss of a person. The action of grief blankets many areas of life.

I’ve grieved, without honest knowledge until many years later, the loss of my family to divorce, my mother to mental illness and my father to the desolation of the marriage and for many years to alcohol.

I’ve grieved the loss of a childhood from the age of 4; of innocence, environmentally and sexually, from the age of 4.

I’ve grieved my past from a loss of memory of over 8 years.

I’ve grieved my own 1st marriage.

I’ve grieved the deaths of my step-father, my grandfather, two uncles and my grandson.

I’ve been visited by Grief. she has her place in our lives for processing purposes only. She is a tool to assist us to adjust to this most tragic change in our lives.

But that is all Grief is to do. She is not to reside in our lives indefinitely!

YES, everyone grieves and we all do it in our own timing. the reality of loss is devastating. I believe, though, that the devastation should only be momentary. She should only remain long enough for us to rearrange our memories, so that they may keep what or who we lost in our hearts; where those we love and things we treasured were, in the very first place.

Grief is a state of the heart. And she should ease up, though at times achingly slow, into a soft, treasured memory of love.

Grief should never become a permanent shield that we use to block things of life and love, so that we cannot be hurt. When Grief becomes that shield she damages our very spirit and soul. She cannot be allowed to reside within our heart.

Reading some of the posts I’ve written while grieving has caused a sadness within me; especially the posts about my grandson. My only memory of him is the pregnancy and his leaving us during his birth, but we love him all the same. It sounds almost odd to me, in my thinking, that I, honestly and with all of my heart, love a little boy who never opened his eyes or drew a breath, but I do so love and miss him. He was ours; a vital part of us.

But you see, I only grieve him now when I think of our losing him. I grieve the time we did not get with him.

And then I put grief to bed and  I cherish the love and connection he caused in our lives as he grew and thrived in the womb. He touched us ever so gently and that makes me warm with love for the little man.

Today Grief would like to enter early, laying her ground work in the heart of our hearts and the heart of our home. But we are not allowing her to come before her time.

That is a problem in our society today, I believe. I truly think that people anticipate the end of things and allow Grief to affect them before her time.

Grief is for AFTER the loss. She is not something we need for the preparation of the loss.

I believe we lose precious time with our loved ones and in our relationships and life dealings when we begin to prepare for an unknown eventuality.

One of the things God intended for us was for us to Have Life and Life More Abundantly; John 10:10. Well Grief is a thief, she diminishes us, she does not cause us abundance. Especially when she is allowed to visit before it is time.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a Time for everything …

 “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;“; Ecclesiastes 3:4

Grief desperately continues to visit us here, with all that we are enduring. But we, here in Hutchland, refuse to live less than abundantly through these trials.

Cancer is a trial not, necessarily, the death sentence, as people would lead you to believe; because Jesus has conquered death!

Addiction is a trial, not a death sentence, as people would lead you to believe; because Jesus has conquered death!

Therefore, though sadness sneaks in from time to time and fear attempts to take root, I choose to look up to where my true help comes from. I refuse to handle these trials in our life according to the world’s rules;  after all I, we, are Kingdom children residing for a time in a fallen world.

I will handle trials, sorrow and grief according to Kingdom Rules. I will rely upon my Father God and Jesus and Holy Spirit as I walk through the shadow of the valley of death … (note it is only a shadow, it is NOT death!).

I am greatly relieved that I have been delivered from the need for secular counsel and guidance. Life’s journey is a much easier path with Jesus at my side and Holy Spirit’s guidance.

I no longer have to look to others for guidance through grief or sorrow or even just a challenging moment. I simply communicate through prayer and am more often than not blessed with the answer instantly through Holy Spirit.

It’s a discipline, but one I have been working on for years now and it brings peace and comfort regularly these days.

Our days and weeks here are sometimes wrought with opportunities to give into fear, sorrow and grief. and honestly, like everyone else. Fleetingly the fatigue at the end of a day makes them seem the easier choice; allowing me to think that I could curl up into myself making everything just dissolve into nothingness. Then I remember, there is relief for the Spirit, through the Spirit, and my heart begins to fill with comfort.

When Grief visits you, remember, as quickly as you can, that God is there, waiting with open arms of comfort and peace for you in this time. You need not be engulfed in the arms of Grief and Sorrow, they provide no peace or comfort. Though they do have their place at specific times of our lives, their presence should lead you straight to God the Father for comfort.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

This was yet another study on Grief in my life … and after reading my past posts I think I’ve come a very long way in understanding how grief should be handled in a life.

What is grieving you today? Is it a lose or an annoyance that you’ve not yet found a solution to? Either way, as always, I encourage you to lift your eyes and seek guidance, not from man, but from our loving Father God.

Blessings to you all, and prayers for peace in comfort for you in all of your lives. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my thoughts.

ASignature

Tuesday


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Dear Sorrow,


I’m a little late to the party over at Kate Motaung’s blog ;but at the time of the link up I hadn’t completed my journey into grief.

The Hubs battling cancer and the boy battling heroin addiction takes up a lot of one’s time and mind space. Not to mention battling heart ache and depression. All at that same time. You see Grief has not managed to settle in here in Hutchland … but her cousin Sorrow has come to visit.

Dear Sorrow,

There are so many things you want from me here today. You entered quietly and sit pretty and dainty in the corner just waiting on Grief to arrive.

You arrived just before midnight on New Years eve; determined to begin 2015 with our family; and you did. Like a quiet breeze of numbness after the phone call. My boy, in custody, again. Ending the festive and peaceful Christmas season wrapping your cool, almost light, arms around my shoulders. Lowering yourself, snug at my side, whispering your sweet lies into my ear. But you are simply at my side. You can only whisper, hoping I will give in to your almost warm and comfortable dark.

I realize you are a part of life. You visit in times of loss and hardship and stay for awhile. Lingering too long over a cooling cup of tea and hardly nibbled sandwich in a lonely, quiet living room. Sitting a touch too close on the sofa of a darkened, quietly sleeping home in the wee hours of the morning.

It seems I must face you; but I refuse to believe that I must allow you to reside here, in my heart of hearts, in my spirit.

Sorrow, you are not meant to reside. You are not meant to remain.

Life adjusts and it changes as God, Himself is put in charge of this home. This heart of our family.

Somethings need to be so that Joy can move in and reside.

The battle with cancer continues; definitely on the path of healing.

The battle with heroin continues, now, hopefully, on a path of healing. Definitely on a path of repentance.

Life continues and I, Sorrow, continue forward with a goal of self-discipline in mind.

So, Sorrow, I don’t believe you have a place here in the heart of our home, yet. There may come a time for you to visit a while, but it is not today.

Today I seek a deepening of my relationship and dependence upon God, the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today I seek a deepening of my trust in Jesus for all areas of my life. I say: “I trust You, Jesus.”

So I bid you farewell today, Sorrow, you have no place here.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent. Psalm 34:17-18

Today's Prayer

Today’s Prayer

Thank you, dear Reader Friends, for stopping by. Be blessed.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Psalm 27: 6


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In the Land of the Living


Let My Words Be Few...

Few Words Thursday…A Writing Prompt…

Join us with a quick few words of inspiration, love or laughter…no real rules…no word counts…Click the picture above to see what were about and jump in. We look forward to sharing this space with you!

It’s been a hard week…

Death has been a theme…

It’s been very hot, right off of it being wet, damp and cold.

A lot for a body and spirit to take…

But God! There is a hope and a prayer and praise music to console a weary heart and mind.

I wrote my heart yesterday, at the loss of a friend.

I’m caring for my dad’s house while he sits at his mother’s side; I don’t really know my grandma on this side of the family…

Tomorrow I do it again, after caring for my mother’s mother’s needs…my grandma…

Yet I feel spent and as if I am somehow uncared for…which is silly!

And yet this scripture came to mind amidst all of this sorrow and loss…

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!        Psalm 27:13

and I keep going back again and again to this song…It was the song that was in my head when I awoke to the Monday of this week of loss…the song that remained all day, as I realized this would be a week of loss, regret and sadness.

I believe I even posted this within the last entry…here .

So today…after yesterday…I decided I must come out of the funk and roam again amongst the living…

There is going to be loss and pain in this life…but I cannot give in to the emptiness and nothingness that is my natural reaction.

So as I, again listen to the song above and watch my love play with pups that are just opening their eyes, I…

choose to see the good that is in the land of the living and put aside the things of which I have no control…

and allow God to handle that which is His, while I live this life abundantly, as He has provided.

I will hurt for a bit…but they are with Him and singing Holy, Holy….just like the song…

Blessings Loves


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Sadness or Regret? Sad Regret.


Tears

It began like any other day. Yesterday did…

I walked out to my car feeling anxious, I thought, about the many errands I had to complete, wanting nothing more than to stay isolated in my home. Knowing this was not a good thing I pressed into my day, with prayer and praise music singing in my head…

…this song…

…as I stepped down from my porch there was our Baby Cat…rolling in the grass and sun. Just a bit further was the bird she had just killed…was she celebrating? Ehhh! (serial killing cat!)

Death…

It has been a twisting in the back of my mind, often, lately…Life and Death…Death is apart of life…

…just lost one of the pups from my Honey’s litter of six. Sad, beyond what I had expected.

Holy, Holy…Lord God Almighty…I let sing in my mind, replacing the thought, as I was off to feed Dad’s kittys and water the lettuce on the porch. He’s away caring for his mother, my grandmother (don’t really know her or that side of my family, at all) who is in the hospital and not doing well, she’s in her late 80s.

I feel concerned and mildly sad for Dad, but that is all…(is there something wrong with me?)

Then there is my G’ma, whom I care for, when she needs. In her late 80s as well, she has slowed and begun to show her age, just this year… (this hurts and frightens me in a way that I find curious…must be something wrong in me.)

then…I got a text.

Lorraine passed away…a few hours ago.” May 31, 2011 has been marked by death.

No tears…just a far away-ness. A wondering, this was a shock. I had corresponded with her around Christmas time. Kitten (Lorraine) told me she had retired and was ill, now, from the damage that chemo had done some 10 years ago when she had ovarian cancer.

Lorraine was herself in that letter, never one for a phone…and she lived only a town over!

I recall thinking of her and “meaning” to go over, couldn’t call and announce my arrival as she had turned off all her phones and I didn’t think twice about it…this was Lorraine.

I didn’t get there…come to find she wasn’t home anyway, she had been in between the hospital and convalescent center since January. No one called, probably because she had plans for getting well and buying that bungelow on a beach in Florida…she’s planned this for a decade!

I didn’t get there…

So still no tears, just an overwhelming sense of floating, regret, and wonder…

Not hungry. Oddly amazed that sadness causes the appetites to flee.

I didn’t get there…No one will call me Poodle, ever again. Now that brought contraction to this heart and a sad tear.

The sorrow is simply a blink away, yet has not settled into this spirit yet…

This is my suggestion. It is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE:

Tell them you love them! Life is too short and the unexpected happens each day. If you haven’t talked or agreed or seen them, tell them anyway, right now!

I LOVE YOU.

It’s simple, even when we are angry with them, we still love them! So tell them.

Life will do what life does, it will move forward no matter our circumstances. One day will lead to one hundred, and one hundred and one may be too late.

You see I didn’t get there…Life was the excuse, the reason, so simple yet so….complicated. Is it, or do we make it complicated, trading a distraction for a urging of the heart?

Tell them you love them, now, another moment will pass, painlessly…or that moment could stand still in regret.

Is your heart pulling at you for someone? That is the HOLY SPIRIT…answer that pull, do what is there in your heart…

…see, I didn’t get there.

I don’t have many regrets in this life…today I can feel one, very acutely…Sadly, FEEL this regret.

Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you…Matthew 5:4 and Isaian 51:3…

Blessings Loves   ♥


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Friday’s Hero and Rockin’ Robins…


Yesterday…May 20, 2011, was a rough day. Closely following a sleepless night and it’s following rough day!
Infact, I believe I would not be remiss in saying that the last two weeks have been rather rough.
 
Yet…not without blessings! Many blessings!
Rather than recount all of the events of the last two weeks let me just tell you the blessings…
 

Grandma came home from the hospital and went directly back into her routing. My mom, aunt and uncle were, miraculously the answers to many prayers! They are stepping up to do what kids should do when their parent begins that NEW SEASON in life that involves quality of life…independance and personal care issues. Not easy, and something I would have bet they (the siblings) would have avoided until her death!

My Honey Had her pups…

Honey's Expectations..

…and while we lost our “Little Guy” 26 hours later; we have 5 robustly healthy and happy Dachies…:)

Then, in the midst of Terrible Yesterday, Friday’s Hero was born…

First thing in the morning of the last day of the world (today was supposed to be judgement day according to some crackpot radio host…) while the sun beamed lazily through my lace curtains my son, James came down streaming great complaint!

“What’s your problem boy?” I asked

“There are birds in my room!!” He answered sleeping still, yet iritated! He continued on about how they started chirping at 5 am and wouldn’t shut up! Didn’t I hear them??? He asked, grumping.

I didn’t hear them, and our day went along it’s seemingly distructive path…

#&* My passenger window fell off it’s track, while open, with a rainstorm on the way!

#&* Little Guy was passing away…

….what else could go wrong I was thinking when I heard the noise!!!

Birds, loud and sounding distressed…

JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I called out…Jaaaaaammmmmesssss…

…and down he came with a baby bird in a shirt of his. “MOM! What do I do???”

We thought and I said, well put him outside and see if the mother comes….”and first bring in the serial cat!” (we have baby cat, she is quite the serial predator! Killing, seemingly for sport.) Baby Cat, safely in isolation we remained unsure of what to do…

So I called Lanoka Oaks Veterinary Center, where a friend of mine works. I was referred to Carol…who I was told handles baby birds fallen from nests…

as I called James went to check that their were no more orphans in the closet…and with that he brought down two more, angrily chirping baby birds…

There feathers simply fluff…their pinions not yet feathered, except for beautiful brown tips…and bright yellow open mouths. These babies were very hungry…

She asked some questions, and we came to the conclusion that since there didn’t seem to be any sign of the mother bird (at the time I had no clue what kid of birds these very noisy babies were) that we would bring them to her and she would raise them.

Orphan Robins

James took the birds to Carol…but not before I shot these:

Feed Me..

Resting...or Angry???

There you have it…Terrible Yesterday (May 20th) had it’s many blessings.

While we experienced great loss…

Little Guy

We also enjoyed great blessings…

Blessings Loves…

♥•*¨*•☼•*¨*•♥


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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  


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God’s Promise:Protection in the Dessert…


For the first time in my Christian walk, I am in a dry place. This desert is cold, oddly enough, and I ache. I press into God, like I know to do and yet…

I still could cry at any moment.

I still cry out to God for guidance. I hear His comforting voice say, “Feed yourself child, even a small child goes into the kitchen and finds a morsel when she is hungry; drinks from the tap when her throat is dry. Feed yourself.”

So I feed myself and still feel sad and heartsick and …Dry.

Since this is a first I am (was) completely lost as to what to do. So I do as the bible instructs and I press in and stand; I get in the Word and stand on what I know. Yet months I feel more deeply parched.

 The dehydrating of my spirit is causing confusion in my thinking…and back to the Word I go.

I call our new Assistant Pastors…very, very close friends. Siblings in Christ, family and ask pointed questions. Why? Because this is very personal to the transition our church has had in the last several months. It feels like I am not being fed in church, like there is a drought of the Holy Spirit. Yet…I know this is me, not everyone. I know that to move forward in the ministries God has planned for me I must serve gladly and willingly, in obedience, to the man of God, the Shepherd I am placed under.

I know this is mourning. I felt this when my uncle passed away last March, but differently. It is the mourning of the move of my spiritual parents, mourning church as it was…

Dryness is uncomfortable, but I realize I am not being moved; therefore I am not to go to another church to find what I believe I am missing. I know that I am not to move…yet I crave the Fire of the Holy Spirit. I crave a spirited sermon. I find I am craving the past…and this is not good. It is not forward movement it’s stagnation.

So, I press in. I pray more, I praise more; I look to the Word more, I listen more closely and press in during the very, very good teachings of the Pastor, knowing that this dryness will be watered by these things. Soon, as I cry to the Lord, I will be answered, because He never leaves nor forsakes me.

I found this today. In my angst, this dryness, I didn’t get around to my devotions until later in the day. Although I did pray, I did spend time in Praise…but still I am dry.

This is how I feel, have been feeling…honestly. [the words in brackets are my insertion; how I read this Psalm…how I pray these scripture verses.]

Psalm 38

6 I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
7 My back is filled with searing pain;
there is [seems to be] no health in my body.
8 I am [feeling] feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.

15 LORD, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
21 LORD, [I know that You] do not forsake me;
do not be [are not] far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.

Come quickly LORD…I desire to delight myself in You, LORD, not just simply exist in You. Come quickly.

Blessings Loves ♥