Tag Archives: drugs

Who Took My Blankie?

My very own

Just recently I had a passionate conversation and I wished I had recorded it, however, I will do my best to repeat the magnitude of what was said.

We are born.  Not by our own choice, but God’s.  We come into this world very unaware of our surroundings.  No clue perhaps in those first few moments of taking our first breaths.  Then as if out of nowhere there is a cutting.  A sudden revelation of a separation takes place.  The life line which you had been connected to for nine or so months suddenly is gone.

Now of course in those early stages of life we don’t actually have those thoughts running through our heads as birthing is a natural process which has been happening in this earth for a very long time.  For those who have anxiety at the moment you can probably close your eyes and imagine that whole beginning scene.  Those with separation issues could also relate.  What you once knew as comfort and connection is suddenly gone. Taken away.

So let’s take this to the next level.  As children we often cling to things such as stuffed animals, dolls or the ever so popular blankie.  These items become very important to us in early life.  You share EVERYTHING with this object, things you probably never told anyone else except for maybe your imaginary friend if you had one around.  I remember my son had a favorite teddy bear.  He went every where my son went.  If it was time for Teddy to have a bath, my son would stand by the washer and dryer until the whole process was complete.  He was clearly attached.

For the purposes of this discussion I am going to use the representation of the Blankie as I move through this next phase.  The Blankie is going to represent things we cling to in life as a comfort: food, family, friends, secret sins, drugs, alcohol and the likes.  Anything which we choose to go to instead of God.  As with the Blankie, we develop a relationship with our source of comfort.  It’s the one thing we know that will never let us down, it does not have the ability to.  We know when no one else understands us, our Blankie will.  It will comfort us.  Keep us close.  Never rejecting us.  Always a true friend and confidante.

What happens when God asks us to let go of the Blankie so that He can be our comfort, our true friend and confidante?  Of course!  We panic.  We cling all the tighter to our Blankie because a fear rises up in us.  How can we trust anyone else with our Blankie?  It knows us inside and out and would never hurt us or reject us or leave us hanging.  How do we know we will find comfort after we let go of the Blankie?

It all comes down to trust.  A trust beyond all thinking.  A trust so strong you have no choice but to cling to it instead of your false comforts.  For you see, a Blankie is just a false representation of love and trust.  In the end, you can’t take it with you.  It will be burned up with the things of the past.  You will step into heaven and God will be there.  Not your Blankie,–your false comfort.

God is calling us to trust Him with EVERYTHING.  Just like we shared our entire early stages of life with said Blankie, God wants you to choose to trust Him.  He wants to be your comfort.  Your security.  You source of Acceptance.

Some of us are still clinging to our Blankies.  We are at a point in our adult lives where we are afraid of being hurt and disappointed.  We don’t want to give up the very thing which has been there all along.  Drugs, alcohol, secret sins, food, bad relationships and various other addictions are not our security.  They are not our comfort.  They are not to be trusted.  Only God. God is the only one who will never let you down.  He will be there from the beginning until the end.  You can take Him where ever you go.  You can share every secret with Him.

One final thought.  In the beginning, we are not the ones who get to choose who cuts the cord.  When it comes to our false comforts we don’t have to do anything but trust God to take them and heal us from the aftermath.  We run around this big earth thinking we have to do more.  Thinking we are the ones who have to fix ourselves before we can go to God.  Those are lies.  God will take your Blankie.  All you have to do is believe.

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Dear Lord, Help me today to trust you with my Blankie.  I choose today to trust you with my Blankie.  I believe You can be trusted.  I believe You are my source of comfort and security.  Lord let me learn that the past is behind me and You are right in front of me, waiting to heal me.  I thank You Lord for removing those things in my life which are not of You.  I pray for all those who feel stuck in their sin or addictions that they made find true comfort in You alone and be healed from their wounds.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

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Ostrich Syndrome

The enemy hunted me down; he kicked me and stomped me within an inch of my life. He put me in a black hole, buried me like a corpse in that dungeon. I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away, my heart heavy, like lead. I remembered the old days, went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked, Stretched out my hands to you, as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain.
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Ever just dealt with something over and over again.  You do everything in your power to fix it and make it work.  You have exhausted every bit of you into the situation with the same results..no change.  What about those situations that come at you so quickly the only reaction you have is to go ostrich and bury your head?  When this happens you are just praying it will go away and quickly.  If you can’t see it, it can not affect you.
I call this the Ostrich Syndrome.  The ability to bury your head in the sand and pretend as if you cannot be seen.  Can you just picture this in your mind?  Even if we bury our heads the rest of our body is open for attack, in fact you would be in for a more fatal blow from the enemy at this point.  When we just bury our senses so to speak so that we don’t have to taste, smell, see or hear our enemies we are still open to him touching us.
A good example of this is when I was in my past marriage I often closed my eyes and hoped it would all just go away.  I no longer wanted to hear the screaming or taste the tears.  I didn’t want to see the pain in my children or smell the rottenness of the mess I had gotten myself into.  There were days when I would just bury my head and pretend I was free from the attacks.  It never worked.  I still felt the stings from the enemy.  My ex-husband still drank. Still smoked. Still searched daily for  his next fix.  Meanwhile with my head in the sand I was oblivious to what was really going on around me.
My children were hurting.  My heart was breaking.  I was slowly being erased by the enemy.  My life no longer mattered.  I wanted to just run away but I couldn’t because my head was buried in the sand. While I still had my head in tact, the rest of me was being attacked by the enemy.  I no longer cared what I looked like.  I had lost all hope in ever having a life.  The enemy had me exactly where he wanted me…buried..oblivious to what was happening..dead to life…hopeless.
Then one day I lifted my head and began to see what was happening.  It was then that I saw this hand reaching out to me and I began to lose the need to bury my head or run away.  Suddenly I wanted to face all of the disaster surrounding me and stop closing my eyes hoping everything would just disappear.  What a feeling as I began to shake the dirt from my head.  I began to hear clearly what God wanted for my life.  I could see a way out.  I started to taste freedom and I could feel the presence of God begin to take over my entire being.  I could smell the fragrance of Jesus in the air.
What caused me to pull my head out? I don’t really know.  I just knew inside of me that I was done with being buried in the sand.  I was done with the attacks from the enemy.  I was just done with all of it and I either could leave my eyes shut and my head buried in the sand or I could break free and run to Jesus.
Today I am grateful for freedom.  I am free to love again even when I thought it to be impossible.  I am free to be me and feel accepted.  I still have things to work through but for the most part I am healed.  I have hope now. No more ostrich syndrome for me!  I want to see everything God is doing in my life!

Judgement or Encouragement

Romans 14:19

So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up
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How we do we know the difference between judging someone for where they stand with God and encouraging them to dip their toe a little deeper into the river of life?  Sometimes we see bothers and sisters in Christ struggling with so many things and having walked a certain path we know where our help comes from and we have this desire to show them the way to hope, yet they think we are judging them for where they are.  Soon we are arguing about who is right and what is wrong; soon the scene seems to become so hopeless.
There are many hurting people out there and sadly lots  of them are Christians who know God has a plan for their lives and He is their help in present time.  I just want to shake them until they get it, yet I know it is best to just love them where they are at.  I always joke about how I can post something cheesy about God on Facebook and 12 plus people will like it but the moment I mention revival I barely can get any response.  I guess what I am trying to say is that revival changed my life when it came to nearby church.  I have not been the same since I fell in love with Jesus again and I just want others to experience this too.
I wish I could show people just how much can change in your life when you begin to seek a body of Christ to be a part of.  I know the church is not a physical building but rather the church is alive in each of us and moves about the earth proclaiming Jesus is Lord.  Yet I know in my heart of hearts that if I did not have an actual group of Christians to hang out with I would surely have slipped into my old ways.
Let me be real for a moment.  When I separated from my first husband I was so broken and in need of love that I might have fallen into so many traps if I had not been in an actual church.  I might have gone back to my partying days or started sleeping around with other men.  Had it not been for the good group of people I was surrounded by I may have just left God all together.  I was so hurt I would have done anything for love even if it was the wrong kind, yet I was held true to God through the entire process.  I respected the love God had for me enough to know I did not want to wander back into my old style of living.
If onlys flood my mind as I try to convey this message.  If only they would go to church…if only they would surrender it all…if only they would choose worship music to listen to….if only they would stop using drugs and  alcohol as a hiding place…if only they would choose to come to revival….if only they would want to change…if only they would love my Jesus like I do.  Nope, I am not perfect in any way, shape or form, but I know there is a God who loves me unconditionally, no matter where I am at and I have this desire to do the same for His people.
So call it judging if you want to but I just want you to know the love of Jesus in your life.  I want you to allow God to radically change you.  I want you to press in and reach the hem of Jesus’ garment.  I want you to be healed and whole so that together as a church body we can bring the light of Jesus to a lost and dying world.  This is why I invite you to revival over and over again.  This is why I invite you to join our women’s group week after week.  This is why I plaster my Facebook wall with Jesus stuff….it’s not because I am religious but because I want you to feel this love.

If Only Land

Romans 7:19

I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
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How many times have we said out loud to anyone who would be willing to listen, “If Only…” and then we spew out some idea of how we should have done something differently?  I know from my person experiences that I could list one million, seven-hundred and eighty-three examples for you, however for the purposes of blogging I will only pick one.  Twenty-three years ago I decided to date and marry a man whom I thought I could change.  If only he had stopped drinking.  If only he had not decided not to turn to prescription meds.  If only I had been following the Lord…..
Do you see how destructive these two words can be?  How many are stuck in a depressed state right now because they dwell in the kingdom of if onlys?  I know for me I played right into that game for awhile until I began to surrender some things to God, knowing that at that point in my life, I was in control not God and my marriage choice was not what He had desired for me.  Now, was I in love, yes.  Was a happy at times, yes.  Did good things come from the marriage, yes.  So why was I playing the “If Only” blues?
Because I had decided from the get go that I was going to fix my husband.  I figured if I dragged him to church enough times he would just come to know God like I did.  I felt if I gave all of me whenever I could, he would become happy with me and not the drinking.  I wanted so much to “make” the picture perfect family:  A happy husband, two kids and dog.    I am not sure when I realized this was not reality but as I slowly began to lose who I was as a person, it was too late.  If only I had done things differently.  If only I had loved him more.  If only I had been more respectful of my own self. If only I loved myself enough to say enough is enough before my whole life spiraled out of control.
Having said all of that, IF I had changed any of the above things, I would have missed out on two beautiful kids.  I would not have had the life experiences which have led me to where I am today with the ability to love others in a capacity I may not have ever achieved. Yes I went through a lot, yet it has shaped me into who I am today and brought me closer to God than I could ever have imagined twenty some years ago.  I am a stronger person now having experienced the life I did and I believe God knew all of this ahead of time.  When we choose to go beyond what God has already planned out because of our free will, He then works out a way for us to return to His grace and love (not that He ever stopped loving us) much like the prodigal son.
Are you playing the “If Onlys”?  Have you perhaps taken up permanent residency in If Only Land?  My encouragement to you would be start to surrender.  Accept that with your free will you get to pick where you go in life, but if you go too far and are unsure of how to get back to God it is so simple to do.  It is as easy as saying “If Only You will forgive me and lead me in the right direction, I surrender my circumstances to You, God…lead me.”

How Long Will it Be?

Psalm 119:81

 I am worn out waiting for Your rescue, but I have put my hope in Your word.
Psalm 69:3

I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping,waiting for my God to help me.
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I have been blogging a bit about giving it all up and carrying luggage around.  I have shown how these things work in my life and now I am moving forward step by step, little be little into the realm of my destiny just like God promised me.  How long did this take….hmmmmm..YEARS!  I went through some experiences and had some valley walks which made me stronger in the Lord and more at peace than ever before.  Sometimes we get caught up on the how long God? and the when it is gonna happen Lord? that we can’t wrap our minds around what is going on.  We live in a now society and sometimes we think God should be that way all the time too!
When we are surrounded by our life and it is not going so well, what are we doing to change our circumstances?  How do we change our positions so that God can actually work on our behalf?  Why do we think that it is always God that needs to do something?  Perhaps we fail to realize that things sometimes just take time.  Maybe there are other factors which are related to your circumstance that you cannot see.  Let’s just use my past marriage as an example.
I stood by my husband year after year wanting things to change.  When he stopped drinking I was excited until I saw what drugs was beginning to do to him.  Man, I felt stuck so what did I do?  I quit on God.  Yup, gave Him up like it was Lent and I was fasting something I really needed!  I was willing to give up the one thing that would get me out of the mess I was in just for the sake of trying to keep my family together.  I was in a place where I felt guilty that I had chosen against God’s will.
So how did things change?  Well for one it still took time for my miracle to occur.  I had to position myself with God again and as soon as I realized that I needed God, He began to change me, not my situation.  So many times we just want a quick fix and do not realize we might have been part of the problem.  We expect God to fix those problems in our lives, not seeing that we are the ones in need of fixing as well.  As God begins to heal your brokenness , He starts showing you the people and circumstances that you need to forgive.
With me the startling factor in the working of my miracle was that I needed to forgive myself.  Yes, myself.  I had to realize that I was beating myself up daily for the mess I had gotten in to.  Once I decided to forgive me, that is when things began to change.  I was able to receive God’s love.  I was able to forgive people in my life.  I was able to love again because I was beginning to love myself.
Are you waiting for God or is He waiting for you?  Are you wondering when your miracle will happen or if it even will?  I challenge you to stop looking at your circumstances and trying to figure out what God will do next or when He will actually move on your behalf, instead, look at you.  Do you need to forgive yourself? Do you need to let some luggage go?  Do you need to stop giving in and start giving up?  What is your next move, God is waiting to see what you will do.

Looking For the Cliff

Romans 1:12
When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.

Faith is unseen.  It is something we hope for.  Basically it is something we just are confused about.  Moving in faith means that from the moment you put yourself in the position to jump, you are surrendering yourself.  You, in that one moment of movement, are letting it all go and trusting the unseen around you to catch you if you fall or to work on your behalf while in the process of jumping.  Once you land back on your feet, everything seems to have just fallen back into place and your feet are set in motion to move forward in a new adventure.  Using your faith is like getting to the end of cliff situation in your life and jumping, letting God carry you across the great divide to place you gently in the direction you should go.  This is almost exactly how it happened with me the night God showed me how to take a leap of faith and trust Him completely.

Now, I don’t want to give away a lot of my book before it comes out, however, it is relevant that I share this tidbit with you tonight.  As I was sitting in a hospital room while my overdosed-on-drugs husband was literally fighting to live, I had to ask myself some questions:  Do I want to just keep quiet and go on with this type of lifestyle?  If I tell the nurse what repercussion will come from Brian? Did I trust God enough to take care of me if I made the choice to explain what was really happening?  At this point in my walk with God, I had been mentored by a pastor friend and we were listening to God intently.  As I sat in that room listening to the raspy sound of my husband fighting to breath and watching the heart monitor nearly stopping at times, I decided to take a huge leap of faith.  I chose in that one moment of time to trust God like I had never done before.  I stood up, got in the ready position and just jumped.

After telling the nurse about the 18 years of drug abuse and what we had been through in the last year, all fear left me.  As I retold the scenario to the doctor, my strength was renewed and as I talked to the social worker, I was beginning to feel the hope returning to my life.  As I continued this “jump” I got an order of protection just four days later, sealing the faith I had in God that He was now in control and I felt safe again.  As He gently placed me back on solid ground, I knew my hope would soon be back full force and I was headed in the right direction.  Separating from my husband was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  I was scared to be alone raising two teenagers.  Even though all of our money usually went to support his habit, I feared how I was going to support myself and two teens on my income alone.  I faltered a bit when I was denied any help from the state, including food stamps.  I wasn’t sure at some points I had made the right choice, but looking back over the last almost 3 years, God has provided in His own way.  Sure I have moments where I am panicking when the money just does not seem like it will cover, yet it always does.

Now I stand at the last piece of the “peace” to come, my trailer. I have been in prayer for so long about my house.  There are several things which need attention, yet I just cannot stand to be here anymore.  So many bad memories as I look at the missing walls and the ripped carpet.  The rotted doorway and the lack of doors on most of the rooms and the disorganization, which I just cannot not push myself to deal with.  I just feel trapped and I want out.  Sure I could spend money and fix all the things which are wrong, but it would not change how I feel about this place.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are lots of great memories here, but the key to putting my past completely behind me is getting a new home.  Recently I have been offered a home which is PERFECT.  It has room for my dad to move in.  It has space to make into a Mary Kay room for my clients and their friends.  It has land behind it for some quiet times with God amongst the trees.  It is perfect and the way it came to me was totally God!  The persons whom we are living there now are good friends of mine and they want to move to a different city, soon.  Recently they lowered the price and now once again I am taking a leap of faith and jumping off the cliff.  I do not have good credit.  I am making ends meet without much room to spare, however, I feel the hand of God gently pushing me and I am ready to take that plunge.  If God has brought me this far, He surely will carry me through to the end, even when my mind and flesh are not so willing to go.  Besides if the timing is not right and a loan is not the answer, I know God has something else in mind.  Before they lowered the price I was seeking out a few options, one of them being selling my dad’s home so we could use that as a down payment.  I was also going to start researching banks and options for buying a new home.  Every time I tried though, I felt something was holding me back.  Now part of it could have been my mind set:  How on earth do you think you can afford it?  Is it really God in the situation?

I never pursued the dream of this house.  Each time I would set aside time to call, something would come up and then I heard this small voice saying, “wait for the book”.  Perhaps the selling of my book will help me finance the home.  I am so trying to hear from God so that I am making the right choice yet I feel it in my spirit, not my gut, my spirit that this is right and I am ready to take that leap.  Living by faith takes practice.  God shows us with the little things first and then takes us onto the bigger ones.  Just like provision for my family.  Within six months of my separation, we had the heat turned back on after not having it for three years, all of our appliances were added to the trailer and I got a drivable van.  God provided it all.  Then in the recent past, He provided for me personally by giving me the money to get my dentures which I am in the process of getting.  If God can provide $5,000 for that why not $100,000 for a new home and a brand-new beginning for my family?  Nothing is too big for God and I think this is a stumbling block for many of us because we put a limit on what we think God can do.  You will know right away if something is not of God, your spirit man will know if you are in tune with him.

Faith takes surrender.  In surrendering whatever it is TOTALLY to God, we can jump.  It all begins with that personal relationship with God.  Sometimes it takes going to church and interacting with prayer partners on Saturday nights.  Perhaps it’s more quiet time away from this things we get distracted by every day.  Maybe it’s choosing the right friends to be with who will uplift us and are not afraid to point out the truth.  Often it just takes us closing our eyes, raising our hands toward heaven and telling God we are ready to jump.  Trust me, He will be there.  Once you jump and you see His goodness, you will be looking forward to the next cliff in your life.  You will want to see what He has in store for you next and as your faith grows, others will see it and begin to want to seek God on their own.  Yes, sometimes I think my story is too good to be true, yet I know my loving Father is watching over me all the time and all He is, is GOOD.