Monday, April 24, 2017

Pray When it Hurts the Most.

 It's been a little while since I've written.  Much has transpired.  There is just no way that I can communicate everything - but I will certainly attempt to hit the high points... and those things that have been most meaningful for me.  I do this in hopes that I can impart something of value to you...through my experience.  This is my prayer.

I've still been in a deep place of what feels like a devastating "draught", a lack of human companionship up until these last few days.  Despite my attempting to initiate some volunteer opportunities, other than those that are paid to interact with me, I have had little contact with people.  I have been to a few places, the V.A., the library, and a nursing home close to me - in hopes of obtaining a volunteer position, with no luck.  I did get a response from the nursing home, but I got sick and couldn't go - and of course I felt bad, and didn't go back.  I need to reconnect with the woman that I saw, because there is need there.

This draught, and huge lacking of interaction with people has driven me into the Word of God - and daily conversations, prayer, with Him.  This has been the best thing that I could have done, and literally the only answer that I had.  Please don't look at this/that like --- He was the last resort, because I surely don't mean it that way.  God has always been here/there for me.  If you read what I write, you'll know - my history with the Father goes way back - but since my beloved pastor moved to California -- I have been pretty devastated.

 I was quite transformed by Grace.  Actually, completely transformed by the New Testament.  I didn't really know that it existed - and that's sad to say - after all the years that I'd been in church.  However, I know that right now, there are people that don't really know that the New Covenant exists - and what that means... to them relationally - by faith- or to them personally.  An I say that because IT"S HUGE!!!!  I think that a lot of churches just stop preaching Jesus after Easter and the resurrection of Jesus - but the resurrection is EVERYTHING !!!  It's is His coming back to life that we live for - and through!!!  It's not just that He died (although this is triumphant ), we must learn to understand what it means that He resurrected!! Because it is through His resurrection that we gain our inheritance - and life in Him.  It's how He took away what was against us, in our way, and contrary to us.  It is how we live with Him - alive today.  If that doesn't make sense to you - message me - comment, and I will gladly explain.............!  It would put joy in my heart.

However this is not my topic today.  I want to share with you about praying when if "feels" like you cannot.  Praying when everything inside you (flesh) is telling you that God "left the building"...  An I say this because as humans, we feel things.  It's natural.  Jesus had feelings when He was here on earth - the bible tells us He did.  Remember the shortest scripture ? "Jesus wept."  ?  Yes, He too had feelings.  Some of us, not all - we kind of live threw or in accordance with, our feelings.  Sometimes they get overwhelming - mine do.  When I'm really hurting - I tend to "feel" heavy feelings - and it is sometimes impossible to feel/sense the holy spirit.  I just can't sense God with me.  That's the thing.  God isn't a feeling.  He's Substance.  He's Truth.  He's the Way, and the Life.  One thing that He isn't - is a feeling.  We get this confused sometimes  We look for Him in the wrong places.  We seek validation and conformation where it cannot be found.  An when our hearts are hurting, it's hard to believe.  I'm not sure exactly why that is, but it's true.

I recently did kind of an experiment, and completed an assignment that I had from my Doctor - which was to move my Dad's memory box from my office... Doc felt like it was pulling all of my grief into it, and that it was not allowing me to move forward.  One of the things that has been so difficult for me when my Dad passed was feelings of vulnerability in the world.  I felt so all alone, so devastated. Dad had always been there for me, and I did not know how to "be" in the world without my Dad.  So as I've been going through this process - I did what Doc asked and I sat an allowed myself to actually feel vulnerable.           It was extremely painful.  I cried for a long time.  Hard.  However, I realized when I was about halfway through, it was just a feeling.  It was intense, but it was still, just feelings -   No one came to hurt me.  There weren't any predators knocking at my door just waiting to pounce!  An most of all, I DIDN"T DIE!  As crazy as that may sound, that is what my crazy thoughts had been.  "If you allow yourself to feel that.... YOU"LL DIE!"

I highly recommend for a person to experience that. Allow yourself to feel vulnerable.  It really released me.  A huge burden has been lifted off of me.  This stems from my childhood - where it was never safe.  Vulnerability was death.  Anything but control (and knowing) was the end of me.  But those days are behind me now.  Praise God!!!  An I'm SO ready to move forward.  That act of experiencing those feelings that were forbidden, was a transformation for me.  I don't know that I knew that then - but after I knew.  I did know enough that when I was in that horrible pain to thank God for it.  Yes, that's what I said, I praised God -- all the way through that pain.  I've done that pretty much my whole life - because pain changes us.  It's a catalyst.  During those times of devastating, nasty, gut wrenching, ugly face crying --- is when I seek my Father's face!  It is when I need Him the most!!  He is the only One that I want to see.  I need His heart to heal me.  Especially when I am dealing with issues of  my childhood.  He will not forsake you!  He will never leave you!  Oh, humans will leave you.  I'll tell you that.  In a heartbeat.  But God will not.  Praise Him, thank Him for your pain, acknowledge Him - and He will heal your heart!  I'm living proof!!!

So with renewed hope, and a wellspring of freshness in my heart - I acknowledge the transformation that is alive in me.  Please know - the power to change and grow is just as alive in you.  If I can be released from my burdens, as devastating as mine have been - and as long as I've been burdened - so can you.  Yes, change can be- and is often scary.  We must remember that we are never alone, and lean not on our understanding - because our limitations are many.  Our finite minds cannot comprehend God - and we need to stop trying to, and let God be God, relax and watch Him work His miracles in our lives.  Is God still in the miracle business?  Oh yes, my friend.  That's a resounding YES!!!  Read my transformation from religion to relationship - specifically "Grace 101".  It's all in there - in that area.  Find yourself a precious relationship with the Lord of Lord's and the King of King's.... a personal one, and find peace like you've never known.  You'll never be the same.

Thank you, Father God - for the beauty that is Your consuming heart.  Thank you for loving me, as only You can.  I'm humbled by Your mercy, and incapable of finding words for the never ending gift that is Your grace.  The peace that I have found in You - is priceless.  Lord I pray for those that I love, please keep them safe and sound - watch, guide, protect, and lead them into all righteousness Lord - and I pray blessings an bountiful favor over their lives.  Father, please touch all those that partake in my expressions - Father, show up in a mighty way in their lives.  Guide them, protect them, love them.  Father, lead us to all truth - and walk with us in peace.  These things Father, I ask in our Savior, Jesus's holy name, Amen!  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

To the Table

Zach Williams "To the Table"

I"m really down today - I'm not sure why - having a hard time just getting around, but as I do - God's music motivates me.  I really wanted to share this one with all of you.  Zach has really impacted me these last few months.  As I've struggled, in my christianity - and my addiction, feelings of worthiness - and my attempts to feel whole.  I think we all grapple with wanting to be "normal" what ever that really is.  But for me, the days --- not much unlike today, when I crawl out of bed and I'm in so much pain that my only motivating thoughts are to "get meds"... it doesn't make for a real great day.  It has me feeling weak, dependent, and small.  When I allow myself to ponder all of the physical things that I am battling, depression really sets in.  I have to fight it with every breath.

I do have to work harder than the average person to motivate myself to do most things.  Even to do something as simple as take a shower, or prepare a meal.  I hate to  p u s h.  And to be brutally honest,  there's been many times that I've questioned God why this is?  For those of you that think that we cannot dare question God, I say - I think He can handle it.  But then again, those dreaded "why" questions are useless.  For whatever reason, and this goes for your burdens too--- this is our life.  It most defiantly is up to us how we choose to deal with it/them.

I, myself have made a great many mistakes in my life.  The word "sin" broken down into the greek, means -"to miss the mark".  Sin and it's connotations really aren't as devilish - or evil as most people think.  This is not to say that there aren't really evil and devilish people in the world, because we all know that there are.  But for sake of my writing - the times that we make mistakes, or "miss the mark" with our behaviors, and what we do to ourselves on the inside -- it is often much, much worse than anything God would ever do to us.  We so often feel shame, guilt, anguish, separation, and even devastation because of the mistakes that we make.  We have been led to believe that God turns away from us when we fail.  Let me tell you, this is just not true.  It never has been.  I can say this because - there has always been forgiveness.  There's always been grace.  God knew when Eve ate the apple that we were going to be flawed.  As the song says (and I hope you listen to it carefully) there isn't anything that you've done that He hasn't heard before...

I wrote last time about shame.  Shame is like a fungus.  It loves the dark.  It lives to keep you imprisioned.  It has some big, scary, frightful feelings associated with it.  I know, I lived with it for many years.  But I also know that it can be healed.  Even if it has to happen in baby steps.  The course of action - matters little.  My hope will always be- that you comprehend and digest that God/Jesus are the epitome of Love.  Do you know that this is what we were put on earth, what we were created for???  For God to love us.  It's really that simple --- and that awesomely, amazingly beautiful.  It inspires such AWE and majesty inside of me most times that I get chill bumps.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, not even your mom or dad loves you that much.  It is just more than we can even fathom.

He is the sole creator of the emotion --- LOVE.

So, I hope that give you pause today.  My hope is that you'll join me in bringing your burdens, sorrows, flaws, problems, difficulties --- whatever the case may be -- to the table to HIM today.  It's so worth it.  You'll be made new.  You'll find hope and strength you didn't know existed.  In exchange for your sorrows, He will give you unending peace - joy - life everlasting.

Won't you come to the table?  My hope will always be -- that you do.  God Bless YOU!