When life has its’ ups and downs and twists and sometimes drop-offs, where are we looking? Are we focused on what happened in the past? Are we gazing upon the disaster right in front of us? Or are we fixed on Jesus? For many of us we live staring blankly at the past or try to close our eyes from the messy places we are currently standing in.
For me I used to believe in the untruth of Ostrich Syndrome. Never heard of it? Well it’s the syndrome you get when there is so much fear in your life you panic and do the only logical thing you can think of: bury your head in the sand like an ostrich.
In my first marriage I did a lot of closing my eyes and hoping things would go away or change. When fear got really bad I just buried my head in the sand because not only could I not SEE the disaster, I couldn’t HEAR it either. I often got caught up in believing nothing would ever change and that I was stuck in a spin cycle of turmoil and the washing machine was never going to stop.
I ignored bills I could not pay which usually resulted in a garnishment which in turn cut my finances every two weeks for months which caused us to have utilities shut off which drove us to bad eating habits and turned into poor nutrition and that led to sickness…ugh! Do you see the spin cycle? If only I had called the collection places instead of hiding and ignoring phone calls. It’s not like they don’t give you enough chances, but I did not see a way of getting out of the cycle.
So today I was hit in face with a bill. The amount is not huge BUT it is coming smack dab in the middle of a home remodel. I have three things to do right now in this moment:
Do not stick my head in the sand
Do not look at my current financial circumstances
Trust God. Put my gaze upon the One who is my Provider.
So the question at hand is how did I arrive today to be calm and keep my eyes open? Wisdom and learning has a lot to do with it. As I was preparing to speak to a group of women last year I did some research on ostriches and do you know what I discovered? The don’t actually bury their heads in the sand. Hmmmm imagine that! There was a lie I had believed as a truth which meant the fear wasn’t going anywhere and as soon as I lifted my head the disaster would still be there in front of me completely unchanged.
We have to learn how to take life one step at a time with our eyes wide open on Jesus. We make mistakes small, big and HUGE, however God already knows we will do that. He already knows He has a plan to help us, we just need to come to a place of trust. His Word tells us Who He is and it says He is faithful and our Provider, why do we doubt?
We doubt because the author of fear whispers in our ears, “Where is your God now? This is your fault. You will never get past this.” We need to choose to stop listening to the enemy and believing who God really is. We need to keep our focus on Jesus and stay the course set before us. Our future has nothing to do with the whisperer of lies but has EVERYTHING to do with our Heavenly Father.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…
Today I choose to believe what the Bible says about Who You are. I choose to stop listening to lies. I choose today to focus on the good things and not the past. I thank You in advance for everything you are doing on my behalf. Thank You Jesus!
A question was posed in my last Bible Study group and I was the one with the opposite answer. Of course some of you who know me could have guessed that!
“Are you more disappointed when you disappoint someone else or when you yourself is disappointed?”
Everyone but me said they are more disappointed when they disappoint someone else. Hmmm wierd huh? How would you answer this question? As I sat in class that night wondering why I answered the way I did I felt the answer come to me. I answered the question with full honesty from a very broken place.
I am not the type of person who needs to get ahead in life. Even though as a leader I often end up in a leadership role, it is not my drive in life. In fact if I could just be a follower I would be perfectly happy, however, that is not the way God intended me to live. (which means I probably wouldn’t be truly happy lol)
I am also the type of person who goes with the flow very well. Good or bad I just go with it. I accept things for what they are and move onward. Take for instance my house right now. It is torn apart at the seams, literally, as we are in the middle of a massive overhaul. One day the bedrooms walls were gone, then the carpet and now today it is a shell of a house with no walls at all. But, I’m okay. I am learning to look past the debris and disruption to see that this house will be a beautiful home once it is finished.
I can be labeled also as a person who gets disappointed. Like the ONE thing I wanted in the house is not going to happen. I really wanted a tub and it’s been a see-saw kind of decision from the get go. When it finally came down to that we can only fit a shower in, I lost it. Literally sat at work and cried as I let my husband gently know I wanted nothing to do with the shopping for a shower. Matter of fact as I type this now my eyes are brimming with tears because of that disappointment…HOWEVER…I also know when God says no He has something much better in mind and I find my peace in that.
Back to the question and the answer I felt I received. I tend to be more disappointed when things do not go my way because I have already accepted the fact that I am a disappointment to others so when I let people down I feel they knew it was coming. There has been a running, infected wound in my life which runs around telling me lies in every situation I encounter.
i am not good enough and i cannot do anything right
I have battled this my entire life and Jesus is working hard to heal me. It’s just a day by day process. Things I am plagued with: Why write? No one wants to read it. Why take pictures? Who wants to see them? My books are not any good. My photos are not up to par. How do I keep my job? How do I keep friends? Why work out? The scale hasn’t moved.
I could go on and on with dumb questions and it would just frustrate the people in my life who see me differently. The point of all of this is that disappointment is different for everyone. These are just the things which bother me. Disappointment is a trap and often we set the trap up ourselves. We EXPECT reactions from people before they even get a chance to express how they really feel. When we are feeling the pain of disappointment it hurts in ways we can’t often express to others. Some of you might be wondering why not getting a tub is so important. I can’t really tell you, it was just something I really wanted.
I am fully aware of how disappointment affects me and I am finding more and more that I no longer get my hopes up. I often don’t trust things will go in my favor. I am afraid to dream. I am held tight in a trap that doesn’t have any wiggle room. Is this right? No! this is not living the victorious life God has given to us.
where is the disconnect?
Reread that verse. It is our faith not our gold which will display His victory. We have to life this life from a place of great faith, trusting God the ENTIRE way not just in certain circumstances. We need to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt He has our BEST interest in mind. If He called me to write then I must write. If He gave me a passion to take photos then I must run with my camera. If He called me to be an encourager, then I must encourage those in my fitness group with all that is within me no matter what the scale says.
So I have been on this “weight loss get in shape lose weight” thing for a couple of years now. I have not tried every diet know to man, however, I have tried enough to know it HAS to be a lifestyle change and the heart of the matter really isn’t what I eat. I have changed things in my “diet” like not drinking soda for the last two years. Reducing my sugar. Eliminating high fructose corn syrup (which is in EVERYTHING), learning I cannot do dairy anymore, switching to this and that to try to substitute what is wrong with what seems to be right. Yet, here I am still frustrated. Still struggling. Still not happy.
My daughter and I went for a 4 mile walk today with her puppies and it felt Amazing! But it was all shattered the moment I saw this photo. Yes I realize I was bundled a bit since we live in Michigan and the lake is still mostly frozen BUT this is not how I want to look. I was so mad at me for looking like this in a photo. For a moment I just wanted to give up. Say “Screw It!” “This is too hard” “It’s just not worth the effort” “Nothing is changing”
Then I stopped and said “I am Beautiful” I looked at myself in the mirror and told the girl staring back at me that she is beautiful. Then I cried.
Three years ago I started a group called Faith & Fitness Support Group. I posted videos of encouragement. Invited a few friends. Had a good thing started and then I got frustrated and gave up. I had several health issues at the time and could just not focus. I weighed more than I had every weighed in my life even being pregnant. I weighed 208 pounds. I was slipping into a size 18 and very unhappy. As I was beginning to crash in desperation I learned I needed to have a hysterectomy. I lost weight after that. I was regaining my health and finally was getting close to the 200 mark.
That jump start was enough to get me going in May of 2018. I then began to walk a bit and bike ride occasionally but nothing serious. I had a pretty good food program down (very close to the Daniel Plan) and I felt I was on my way and then I was stuck at 201 pounds FOREVER. Once again I was discouraged, felt like giving up. I was still having one health issue and it caused me not to want to workout. I finally went to the doctor and said I need help but I do not want a diet plan or a pill or the latest and greatest fad or surgery. I wanted real help from a real person. I know those things have helped a lot of people achieve their goals, it just wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in.
My doctor referred me to a nutritionist and my hope was stirred! I had just started going to the gym in December. I was going 3 times a week and feeling great! I restarted Faith & Fitness and we DOUBLED in size in like a week. We went from 30 members to a grand total right now of 84 fabulous people! I was so excited! Felt like I had turned a corner until my first follow-up with the nutritionist.
I had three things to accomplish in 8 weeks, lose 6 pounds, drink 64 ounces of water a day & exercise 3 times a week. When I showed up for the appointment I had only lost 5 pounds, I had not reached a steady pattern of the right amount of water BUT I had the 3 days a week exercise down. Oh! I did have one more thing to do, follow the low carb diet plan which I failed miserably. So I’m sitting in that room waiting for the disappointed look and instead he gives me a high five. Can you imagine the bewildered look on my face? I explained to him I failed at all of his expectations and he handed me this ball of flab and said “This is what you lost along with three inches off of your waist. You are doing FANTASTIC! In fact, here is another High Five!”
In four short months I had done a great deal of difference but because I “FAILED” to meet the expectation before me I felt defeated. What did I learn? Progress is Progress! Every inch lost, every ounce gone is a gain of life. But like I said it is not all about diet and exercise. There is so much more to this and I have found it to be so true.
I have been watching this reality TV show where people go through this process of transformation with their own hard work no surgeries. And at the end of the show they walk down this red carpet among their friends and family. There is so much emotion. So many tears. I cry at the end of every episode. So isn’t is just like God to allow me to see the episode tonight, after seeing that top photo and feeling sorry for myself, where the trainer sends the guy off to make amends with his father because he understood the reality of just how important mental health is in the journey of weight loss.
So on that note! Stayed tuned! There is so much more to come. My husband and I start training in April to run a 5K in July. I am not a runner. Not sure if I have every really run in my life but this is a goal. A goal I want to work towards for me. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and for me that one step is learning to love me. To love me in the victories and the failures. To love me at 208 and at 194 and at the goal of 150. I need to love me whatever the scale reads because I am not defined by a number, I am defined by my heart and how I move forward in life.
I am defined by a God who created me in His image and that is who I love.
Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Ever been in this place where you have gone through some things and you feel as though it’s time to just move on yet you are in a limbo state between seasons? You know, that feeling of being stuck and almost wanting to go back to the old way of doing things yet you sense there is a break through coming into a better place? An emotional ball of ups and downs, highs and lows, peaks and valleys… A collage of old thinking and new ways of approaching things… A messy paint by number painting which looks nothing like what the box shows…
Sometimes life is messy, much like a box of chocolates left out in the sun on a 90 degree day. Nothing makes sense. Nothing has shape to it. Days are just running together. Emotions are on autopilot. You are not sure what is reality and what is lies from the enemy. You have days where you take everything people say as absolute truth and then apply them your life only to discover none of it is really who you are? Ya know those days where you just can’t put the chocolates back into their appropriate squares.
You read into everything as if you are not good enough. You can’t do a single thing right. You tried so hard to be what they wanted you to be but failed. Even your own expectations for yourself do not warrant any attention. Those days where you would rather just shut the lights off and pretend you are not home. Those weeks where you would rather be hibernating than being with friends and family. Those months spent chasing after some unattainable goal. The years of just going through the motions but always thinking you are on the edge of some big change.
Yes. Yes I have days like this. Sometimes weeks. A few times months. And I had 18 years of wanting things to change but never believing they would. No matter how accepted I was I still was not good enough. A few years ago God stepped in and asked me if I wanted something different for my life. He then proceeded to walk me through several very tough things to bring me to this precise moment of time. A time where I have allowed God to show me who I am and I believe it.
Still there are days.
Even though I have seen the mountains moved and the waters parted in my life I still get caught up in thoughts from yesterday. I’m not good enough. I have failed. I can’t do anything right. Nobody really cares. I hate those days. I despise those thoughts. It is in those moments when everything I know to be the truth about God and who He is disappears for a minute and I am left in this faded picture of yesterday. I am right back in the time where life did not make any sense. It brings tears to my eyes to revisit the me who usually thought she had to figure everything out before she could bring it to God.
Thank God these days are few and far between in present day life. I now know these are enemy tactics to get me to doubt the goodness of God. The lies try over and over again to trap me into believing I have not changed. They whisper to me that I am still the same broken person I was 10 years ago. They try to show me the fuzzy pictures of how life should look like and I have to strain to see any truth in the photos. The lies beckon me to go back to seasons which are over but it never works.
When you have been delivered out of something, the desire to go back is quenched. When you begin to walk in the truth of God and He changes your perspective you start to realize there is nothing to go back to. There is no reason to see the old you even for a visit. When God moves your mountains and parts your seas He means business. When God says “Don’t look back” choose not to look back.
Seasons will continue to come and go in our lives. We will learn the truth from the lies. Our sense of who we are will be the definition of how we live life. As Winter gives way to Spring and Spring to Summer and Summer to Fall there are still reminders of those preceding seasons. These are not meant to be something to dwell on but rather a moment to reflect. A glimpse of what once was a part of who we were where we believed a lie about ourselves. They are simple reminders of the grace of God.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Today I choose to live in the today of life. I pray for anyone reading this that they would sense Your presence in their life and they would begin to see the lies from the enemy. I pray for Your peace to overtake them right now wherever they are. I thank You for what You are about to do in their lives as they choose to not look back. In Jesus Name AMEN
Just recently I have been through some medical procedures such as a partial hysterectomy with the removal of a fibroid, an upper GI and two (yes 2) back to back colonoscopies. I will start this blog with stating I am fine now. God is healing my body so medical procedures is not the basis of this blog. The purpose of this blog is to show you the faithfulness of God and His continued pursuit of us. I have been debating on where to start this story so I guess I will begin at the beginning. I will apologize now that this may be a longer blog than most only because God did so many things in 96 hours I don’t want to leave out any details.
My medical issues started about 5 years ago and I have been to several doctors and tried several things to find solutions to the symptoms occurring in my body. It has been an interesting journey to say the least but it led me to a miracle of a 4 day weekend which I will not soon forget.
In March it was decided I would see a gynecologist and a GI doctor to get to the bottom of my extremely low iron level which was discovered in February. The result of these two appointments was a hysterectomy, an upper scope and a colonoscopy.
Now this is a key to my whole story. As I sat in the GI office I said to God, I really do not wish to have a colonoscopy and I CLEARLY heard Him say in my spirit, “You will be having a colonoscopy.” Was I happy with that plan? Nope. Was I going to go through with it? Yup. If I have learned anything in 48 years of living it is to listen to God the first time and be at peace because He knows every detail of my life.
Hysterectomy was a huge success which cleared up so many issues and the upper GI showed no signs of bleeding which would cause low iron. Only thing left on the list was the dreaded colonoscopy and this is where the story really begins. (yes there are some gory details but all medical I promise) And just for the record I tried getting out of having the colonoscopy done but the Lord quickly reminded me of our earlier conversation.
I will do this day by day so as not to miss anything. Keep in mind as you read the rest of this blog: It was never about me. It was always about what God wanted to do through me and my obedience.
2:30 pm Arrive at the hospital after 2 days of liquid diet and prepping for the colonoscopy. I was not nervous because I knew God was in it. Happy I had lost 5 pounds in two weeks. Laughter broke out among the nurses and doctor as I was being prepped with the IV and such, so I knew God was there.
3:45 pm Surgery was over. Doctor removed 4 polyps and explained it was a good thing I came in now rather than at age 50 as they could have grown quite large in 2 years. (At this moment I was thinking this was the reason I heard God say I was going to have the colonoscopy.) Doctor said there may be some bleeding at first only because of the removal of the polyps but nothing to be concerned about.
4:30 pm I was home and resting. Ate dinner at 8:30 pm. First bowel movement and there was blood. I dismissed it as I figured it was to be expected. Went to bed! Crossed colonoscopy off my not-bucket list and looked forward to returning to work in the morning.
6:10 am Went to the bathroom and it was mainly blood. Still no panic. Went back to bed only to need to go two more times with significant blood. Read through my paperwork and it said if there is more than a tablespoon of bleeding call the doctor. Woke my husband up and explained the situation.
7:00 am Emergency room visit. 45 minutes later it was decided I would be admitted to the hospital with another colonoscopy to be done on Saturday. Nurse proceeded to add a second IV port in my hand just in case I needed a transfusion and I was informed I would have blood drawn every 6 hours to check my levels. (UGH I had needles) At this moment I am not sure what I was thinking, however, this peace came over me as I made the realization if God said I was going to have a colonoscopy then He KNEW this would happen and there is a reason for it. Perhaps something was missed.
11 am to 6 pm Continual trips to the bathroom. Every time I tried to drink water or chicken broth or eat jello it would just go right through me. I stopped eating at 1 pm trusting the nurse when she said I would be fine with just the IV.
Got to share with the nurse a bit about John and I’s testimony. Shared my personal struggles with her to which she opened up and shared as well. For a moment there I thought I was there for her but God had MUCH bigger plans than just one person.
So to set the scene where it stopped being about me, after all I am in the palm of God’s hand and I trust He knows what He is doing. I am in a room with another lady. Her curtain was pulled all the way around her bed. She was coughing continuously. I felt bad for her and this is where compassion had to become the path I would choose.
6:45 pm Start drinking the stuff for the colonoscopy prep. Starts working almost immediately and I can no longer handle the IV and get to the bathroom in time so I am reduced to using the commode and it’s pretty much where I sat for the next 3-4 hours. I kept trying to move farther and farther away from the curtain so as to be a bit hidden.
7 pm My roommate’s family comes to visit her for a little while. I over hear the conversations and the final conversation she had with her husband before he left for the night was that she thought she was dying. His response was “Please don’t say that, you are scaring me.” He stayed a little while longer watching televison with her and then left.
8:30 pm My husband comes up to say goodnight and felt strongly compelled to pray for my roommate. Somehow he had met her parents on his way up to see me and he felt God was asking him to pray. As he was praying with her I prayed too. I thought I heard her say, “You are so kind” but later I found out she said, “You are just in time.”
9:30 pm – 10:30 pm I can’t really explain what happened next except there was an atmosphere shift. Things just felt eerie. As the cleaning out process was raging through my body I was unable to move so I began to text my husband. We prayed for strongholds to be broken and for the comforter to come. We prayed for ministering angels to come as well. Things started to wind down and peace came.
10:30 pm Lights out! Okay this is the part of the story when I knew this whole ordeal was about compassion. This was my chance to pass a test concerning bitterness and selfishness. Now remember, I knew God was in this and medically I would be okay so obviously this was not about my health completely. At 10:30 my roommate got up and asked the nurse in the hallway if there was a “Lights Out” time to which the nurse said no and then proceeded to ask me if I would mind turning my light off.
Ummmmm…WHAT? Here is where the offense and bitterness could have really taken hold. I am immobile at the moment, yes, however, you really want me to sit in the dark and continue this cleaning out process? I felt that check in my spirit and told the nurse she could shut off the light.
In that very moment I knew that my suffering was temporary and that I was going to be okay, I did not know that for sure for her. Compassion arose as I put myself in her shoes. She had been sick since January and awaiting test results concerning her liver and kidneys…I knew my outcome would be favorable..she did not.
10:45 pm “Do you mind if I shut the door?,” she asks through the curtain. Sigh! At least I had the light from the hallway and now if she shut the door I was reduced to the light under the bed and a security light. My reply, “Nope, I don’t mind at all.”
11:00 pm Restlessness. Snoring. Tapping. More and more coughing. I texted my husband and prayed some more. Felt like we were battling for her. She used the restroom and then after what seemed a long time she returned to bed and took her last few breaths.
11:30 pm Dead silence and then a whirlwind of activity arose in the room. Lights were flipped on. Code blue was called. They began CPR and were trying their best to bring her back. As I sat there on the edge of the bed (my cleansing was just about over it seemed) I overhear a nurse say that they needed to get me out of the room.
Here is yet another chance for offense. My phone was almost dead. My charger was in the wall and I cannot reach it. I am still not sure I am done cleaning out. AND now I have to leave my room, walk past my roommate without looking in that direction and go to a different room.
I chose compassion. Even as they left me in another room with yet another roommate, with no commode and a phone which was almost dead I knew this was not about me. It was probably at least 45 minutes before they checked in on me and all I could say when the nurse asked if I was okay was , “I am fine. I want to know that you are okay.”
**side note..my husband asked me why God let her die to which I said we don’t get to decide Jesus does. Perhaps (not knowing what her test results would have been) taking her home to heaven was Him healing her. I remember hearing her say Jesus several times as she was struggling in that last hour. If this medical issue had to happen so that my husband could pray the love of the Father over her then nothing was in vain. Jesus left the 99 to come after her and what an honor that He chose my husband and I to be His co-labors.
My friends this is compassion. Putting the needs of others before yours in any circumstance KNOWING God is in control and you are in the palm of His hand.
8 am Colonoscopy #2 Discovered I was bleeding around one of the clamps. Doctor said I was 1 in 1,000 cases. Boy did I feel special knowing that only 1 in 1,000 people have to do two colon cleanses back to back….
9:30 am Back in my room still a bit groggy. Since I had not slept at all Friday I thought this would be a great opportunity to get some much needed sleep. I thought wrong. My new roommate was this very sweet lady who was going to have her second stomach cancer surgery in the morning. At first I thought we were just going to be roommates but my compassion kicked in again and we began sharing stories. Then just as I was about to sleep she began to call everyone on her phone list to let them know when her surgery would be and where she was.
Here again a chance to be offended especially since now I am sleep deprived. I still chose compassion. She was facing cancer. I was fixed back up. So I put my headphones in and turned up some worship music.
10:30 am Roommates entire family shows up…I have decided sleep is drastically overrated and just give up. BUT then I have to use the restroom..ugh..there goes any shred of dignity I may have had left as I proceeded to parade to the bathroom in my beautiful hospital gown amongst all of her closest freinds and family.
So the rest of my day consisted of attempted sleep, clear liquid diet, chatting with my roommate and blood draws. AND THEN the crushing news came that I would not be able to go home when my husband got out of work. I cried. Literally sat there and cried as the doctor left the room. I was just devastated. I just wanted to go home. I just wanted sleep. I just wanted all of this to be over. I argued with God for a bit and I knew I was not going to win. He had one more assignment for me.
12 pm blood draw
(clear liquids only)
6 pm blood draw
(liquid diet..lol pretty much the same as clear liquid)
I was beginning to let fear arise in me every time it got close to a blood draw time. They were having difficulty finding a place to draw. I was also becoming fearful of eating anything because I was not absolutely positive the bleeding had stopped. Now everyone who knows me knows I do not have panic attacks or allow fear to run rapid in my life. I am sure part of it was being over tired and hungry but I am a feeler so I am sure I was picking up some of the fear which lingers in hospital settings.
9:30 My husband comes to tell me good night. My roommate had taken a sleeping pill and was sleeping soundly. I FINALLY feel like I can sleep. I did! Woke up feeling like I had won the lottery. I thought I had slept for like 6 or 8 hours and I had missed the midnight blood draw only to discover is was 8 minutes to 12 and anxiety erupted as I heard her coming down the hall.
I drifted in and out of sleep counting down the time to my last blood draw and banking on the promise from the doctor that I would be her first stop and I would be able to go home.
7:20 am Doctor says I can go home! I have to order breakfast first and then I can get dressed and call my husband. Man, I could not get to that phone fast enough to order breakfast!
7:30 am Calling down for breakfast and start chatting with the lady about what I would like and one thing leads to another. I discover her husband had a heart attack that Monday and they were facing a great deal of testing in the near future. I was able to speak life into her situation and give her some encouragement. My final assignment. I could go home.
In conclusion God did so many amazing things while I was in the hospital. I learned what true compassion was. I learned to put myself last and others first. I was able to pray for a dying woman, the nursing staff, the lady with stomach cancer and the kitchen staff all while I was dealing with my own emotions and health issues. I learned Jesus comes for the 1. He will always come for the one. I was not 1 in 1,000 I was 1 in 100 and He left me to go search out the others. He knew I was okay right where I was and came seeking those who were lost.
One last thing which I call the icing to my cake….I was a bit worried because now I had lost two days of work. Things were already a bit tight and I was not looking forward to seeing how low my paycheck was. As I opened the envelope to discover the amount could not have been figured correctly…it was way more than I expected. I flipped the check over to discover we had received a bonus. There was enough to cover my two missed days with some left over. God is so faithful to those who follow after Him.
God is so good. God is so kind. His love is overwhelming. He will leave the 99 to find the one every time! I encourage you to listen to the song “Reckless” by Cory Asbury. Tune out everything else and just listen to this song. I believe God will speak to you through the lyrics.
How many of us entered into a new relationship and felt like we were headed into uncharted territory? Venturing into a place we were unsure of? It’s like walking into a familiar place but there is a fog which is covering up the usual sight we see, yet, we just keep walking into it. As we get closer and closer to the what we know to be there it becomes clear and we feel safe, but on the way there we could encounter several bumps and bruises as we lose our way sometimes in the fogginess. New relationships can be very unsafe waters sometimes, especially if we have not dealt with our past issues and pain.
Sometimes we dive head first into a new romance thinking we are healed and ready to just bounce back into love. Some of us get lucky but for some as we begin to unpack our old baggage into a new relationship we begin to see just how unhealed we really are. Sometimes relationships can be just cruising along like a well taken care of Mustang. Smooth and speeding right through the curves and bumpiness of the road unfolding in front of them. While other times it’s like you are in a rusted out car caught in a hurricane and being torn apart piece by piece until all that’s left is a battered heart.
What I would like to talk about today is intimacy. I want to address the things no one ever talks about. I want to expose the weapons of the enemy. I want you to leave refreshed and hopeful not beaten down and empty.
I really don’t know where to begin or even how to convey what I am trying to say but I want to give you a mental picture. When we are growing up and fantasizing about marriage we often dream of a fairy tale experience. Everything is always perfect. There are no screaming matches or rejection or disappointment…just roses and fancy parties the rest of your life. When it comes to intimacy, here again this is no bed of roses. Many of us enter into relationships with so much covered up brokenness we don’t even know how to be real with the person we are married to. Some come to the altar from divorces. Some couples are together after several failed relationships. Many couples come from a childhood of sexual abuse or molestation. Everybody’s story is different yet the result is usually the same. Running in two different directions avoiding the pain.
Below is a photo I feel represents what we think intimacy should look like. It’s all beautiful and calm and spectacular in color. It’s what the fantasy romance looks like. You can’t see the pain or discomfort. You can’t see the hurt or the wanting to run away. You can’t feel the emptiness. You don’t see the erupting volcano of unforgiveness or rejection.
Unless we confront head on those things which are preventing us from having freedom in our relationship we will forever feel like slaves. We will perform and do things out of obligation rather than love and true intimacy. We can go back to the beginning of time and see God created us for intimacy. He created us with relationship in mind. What happened? Where is the disconnect? Simple. Satan has slipped in here and there in our lives and made a mess of things. A mess which clearly can only be healed by seeking God and being truthful about our feelings.
I was molested when I was 5 years old. I have gone through counseling. I have forgiven the person. I have let go and let go and let go, yet there is still I discomfort I have that just won’t go away. In the five years I have been married to my current husband there has been a disconnect. I just couldn’t figure it out. I tried to understand but nothing was changing. I felt as if Satan had me pinned down and I couldn’t see what was causing me to feel this way. It all stayed the same until God in His perfect time showed me a very simple thing. He showed to me what a real touch was like. A gentle loving touch. One that was not uncomfortable and enabled me to feel love. To experience what love was suppose to feel like. He showed this to me through my husband simply holding my hand.
In that moment I felt safe. I felt loved. I saw a glimpse of the colors of true intimacy. The fog began to dissipate.
When I shared this revelation to my husband it opened up a whole new world for us to explore. It was super hard for me to even talk about, however, we invited Jesus into the middle of our intimacy and we are looking forward to what He is going to do in our marriage. When couples try as hard as they can to please their mates in all aspects of a relationship on their own, often there is no real evidence of anything changing. Why? Because the healing we need to have a viable marriage has to come from Jesus. Only He knows our inner most pain. Only Jesus knows what steps we need to take. Only Jesus can take the deepest of pain and heal it. We often try to fix ourselves or our mates and just make matters worse.
As we move forward into this new level of intimacy we are excited that God is going to do a new thing in our marriage. He will take the dry deserts in our hearts and make them waterways. Waterways into places of intimacy and grace. Paths to undiscovered love. I anticipate great things in this new adventure. I am expecting doors to the past to close. I am looking forward to no longer being a slave to this. I know God has a much better plan to heal me than I could ever come up with.
Dear God, I thank You for loving us just where we are. I invite you into the wounded parts of our hearts. I surrender all of the past emotions and pain to You knowing You will take care of it all, I just have to trust You in the process. In Jesus Name. Amen.