Tag Archives: restoration

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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A Tiny Key

Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”
restoration
I cannot pretend to understand the love between a father and son, as I am a mother, however I can comprehend love.  It would stand to reason that when a father sees his son for the first time it brings upon the man a flood of emotions.  Suddenly here is this child dependent upon him for love, attention and guidance as he grows up.  Maybe for some it seems like the most impossible task, only because of how they view who they are.  All I know is that a father’s love is not only needed but it is strong desire in each of as we learn and grow into the things of this world and its relationships.
Tragedy can strike any time.  Separations happen.  Divorce is ugly.  Love can be tainted.  Relationships can be torn.  Life can throw a multitude of failures at us.  Yet, we push through.  We survive the jungle of lies and traps as we grow closer into a relationship with God.  For those who have been raised without a father in their lives, no matter the circumstances, they may have a distorted picture of who God really is. Depending on the picture our fathers painted in our lives, we may see God as angry or distant or too busy or unloving or uncaring or just not there.  Some may feel abandoned or unwanted.  Others may feel rejected and misunderstood.  There is a multitude of different ways to see God, and many of the perceptions of the broken among us is wrong.
Today, right before my eyes I witnessed God in His most elaborate form, fatherly love.  My husband crossed a bridge to a whole new level of God in the matter of minutes.  Being reunited with his father after several years of absence and false emotions, I saw the love a father has for his son brimming in the eyes of a very broken man.  I do not have all the details of the past, but today was what was relevant.  In a moment of pure forgiveness, God melted the hearts of two men and has begun a restoration in them both.  For my husband it was seeing God in a whole new light as a loving, caring Father who has hopes and dreams for His beloved children.  For John’s dad, hope was restored,along with a good dose of acceptance.
Healing has begun.  In just one moment of time, forgiveness, a tiny key, opened a doorway to new love.  A doorway down a path of restoration and new revelation.  Our God is a God of restoration.  I do not have enough words to describe the restoration process in my life, let alone what He is doing in my husbands’ life.  I encourage you to spend some time with God and seek Him and His love.  Let Him reveal Himself to you as the loving Father that He is.  If you think God is mad at you for your failures, you are wrong.  If you think He can’t possible love you, you have a misconception about Him.  If you think you have to fix everything in your life before you can return to Him, the devil has you deceived.  Choose right now to see Him in a different light.  Let go of the hurt.  Forgive yourself.  See Him for the love He has for you.  It’s not too late.  He is waiting for you.

Release Yourself

Romans 7:6

But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
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Ever just feel stuck where you are at? Sorta frozen in place unable to go up or down?  Perhaps not wanting to face the future or revisit the past and undecided of which way you should go?  What gets us so bound up that we lie in waiting for something to just happen? We know there are seasons in our lives so, maybe we just write off our stagnancy for a quiet, uneventful season of our existence.  I have been in this place quite a few times and just now as I was flipping through some old journals I noticed something startling about myself, I was stuck at one point.
Going back to that blog from the other day “Is is Safe to Open My Eyes?”, I was closing my eyes and hoping everything would go away.  I found my journal from April of 2009, the one I take to church and take notes on or record my soaking times, and I realized I had revelation and things from God right up to the point of April 13th.  What I saw as I flipped through the pages was that after my ex-husbands suicide attempt, I wrote nothing about what God was speaking to me, there were just “notes” random, ordinary notes.  What was holding me back from God at that point?  What was keeping me from moving ahead or receiving words of knowledge?
I guess maybe that while my eyes were shut I was mad at God for some reason.  I did not understand why He separated me from my husband.  I could not see what laid ahead for me.  I felt lost and alone even though the life I had led for 20 years was just one disaster after another.  I was just scared and I had not released myself from the pain of my past.  It wasn’t until a revival started at a nearby church that my eyes became open.  It was in that revival that God started speaking to me again and I began listening.  He gave me the release I needed and then the more I surrendered to Him, the more He released me from my past.
If I look back on journals past the revival time, I can clearly see that my eyes were open and I was released.  I had finally reached a level in my relationship with God that I could trust Him with everything me.  I could pray and find release from some very painful memories.  I was finally able to trust again, not only in God but also myself.  I had released my heart into the hands of God so that He could begin a work in me that continues to this day.  By releasing the pain I opened up areas in my heart for restoration.
Are you ready to release yourself?  What is preventing you from stepping forward?  Do you need to set your heart into the hands of God so that He can begin the restoration process in you?  Search your heart today and see if you are ready for a change.

No Matter What, He’s Gonna Love You

1 Corinthians 13:7
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Got sin?  Feel like you fall short?  Perhaps you think you just don’t measure up? Maybe you are riddled with guilt? Or you just are not feeling worthy of any love at all.  You look in the mirror and all you see is brokenness  and despair.  You want to run as far as you can in the opposite direction from God because you feel the emptiness begin to creep in and you have no idea where you are going next.  You want to fix your life and THEN get right with God.  You want to mend all the broken parts of you before you go to the Father and “make things right”.  You want to go back and correct ALL of the dumb mistakes you made so that God will see you as whole and ready to seek Him for your destiny.  Guess who I just described? Yup!  Me.

This is how I felt not long ago.  As I was dealing with a lifeless marriage and going nowhere in my walk with God, I was feeling so lost and not worthy of love in any shape or form.  I felt like I needed to fix all of the mistakes I had made before I could even go before God and ask for forgiveness.  Ten years I walked without acknowledging God was even in my life. Ten long years of doing it on my own, not seeking His wisdom or direction all because I felt  I had made some really dumb choices for my life and until I worked all of these things out, I was stuck and unworthy of His grace.

In the midst of all of my brokenness, God just reached down one day and scooped me into His arms and began to love me back together.  I was unwilling at first as I sat in a hospital room watching my overdosed husband fighting for his life.  In that brief moment, He asked me if I was ready to be loved again.  Surprisingly I did not hesitate.  I had been doing everything on my own for so long, I was ready to give up.  I was ready to surrender. I was ready to be whole again.  How long had God been standing beside me waiting for me to get to this place in my life so that He could show me how much He truly loved me?  From the moment I drifted, He stood closer.  The more I beat myself up, the more He loved me.  Every time I screamed out in agony, He longed to pick me up and hold me close.

Now as I stand on the brink of my entire life changing I am seeking God more than ever and as I do this, He releases me and sets me free.  I have been waiting for my husband for three years, waiting for him to be renewed and find God.  I simple wanted him to be healed from his addictions so that he could love again.  I wanted  him whole so that he could see God in his life.  I wanted so badly for him to cease from being in constant pain and agony.  I wanted him to feel worthy of God’s love so that our marriage could be repaired.  I prayed and I stood in silence, waiting, until  6 weeks ago when God released me to divorce.

I spent two days wrestling with God.  I surrendered my emotions over and over again.  I prayed continuously for direction and answers.  I asked God to show me what was going on and clear as day I heard Him tell me that He had promised me the restoration of my family, not the restoration of my marriage and in that very moment I felt the release from my marriage.  I knew in my heart of hearts I had done my best and now the rest was up to God.

Now as I stand here in surrender.  I am more free than I have ever been. I have found more peace than I have ever dreamed possible.  I feel whole.  I feel worthy.  I feel loved.  I can look in the mirror now and no longer see the past that was holding me back from accepting the love of God in my life.  I now know without a shadow of a doubt that God’s love is unconditional and He is going to love me no matter how far I get of track.  When I find myself in moments of doubt I just pause to reflect on what God rescued me from and I  look forward to what lies ahead knowing He will love through it all.

Ridge Walking

Psalm 43:3
Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live.

Today was one of those days when loneliness crept into my spirit.  It is a nasty little bug that begins to bug you.  You see couples everywhere and families doing family things and here you are, alone.  No husband to hang out with while the kids are all grown and doing their own thing.  I am I this position because of my own choices, however, sometimes it just get s to me.  As I attempted to make plans for my first day of vacation, I came up empty and soon I would see that it was for a purpose.  A purpose God had set up for me already.  A deep calling to deep.  A moment in today that God wanted to spend just with me and even though I was close to tears at some points, God was calling to His quiet place.

So, I set out on a journey at the edge of the woods.  Fourteen minutes into the adventure my body was asking all sorts of questions.  What are we doing?  I am not stepping another foot.  It’s too hot.  Did you see the steepness of the dunes?  But another voice was whispering in my ear to come deeper and my spirit man was already way ahead of my flesh; so I pressed into God.  I began to cry out questions to what may have seemed to anyone else empty air, but I was talking to my Daddy.  Why are you calling me Lord? What do you want to show me today?  Is there a lesson in all of this?

Yes, He answered me, be still, be quiet and wait on Me. As I stood I silence and in surrender I heard a small noise just ahead of me.  I lifted my head and what appeared in front of me was a fawn.  One little fawn. We were both startled in the moment and as I tried to contain my excitement, she ran back to momma and her brother.  What joy as I fumbled to get my phone out to take a picture.  I was able to take 2 pictures and they ran off up the dune.  I stalked them for a few minutes and then I saw what I was lured into the woods to see, the daddy deer appeared, protecting his family.  It was such an awesome sight and in that instant, I saw loneliness dissipate and be replaced with a promise of restoration.

How often does one get to stand 30 feet from an entire family of deer?  I was so filled with joy I could hardly contain it.  As the family ran off into the woods, I knew I would not find them again, yet I felt God was not finished with me yet; so I traveled farther.  As I climbed dunes and tripped over roots, I listened for God’s voice.  Finally as I reached a ridge like area, God had me turn and take in the view.  To my right were treetops and a beautiful landscape of blue sky and just perfectness.

 

On my left was a ravine.

He spoke this to me as I stood there in perfect peace:  I have raised you, shown you the Light.  You have climbed the mountains and now you reside with Me in a place of peace.  From this moment on you will walk along the ridge, not fearing the drop below you, but eyes focused on Me.  No longer will you feel lonely for you are more near Me than ever.  I will keep you from falling again if you just focus on Me and seek My joy that I have for you. 

And now I know why everyone in my life was busy today…God wanted me all to Himself for just a little while, and I am so happy that He did!

If It Takes Time Behind Bars

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NLT

Ever wonder what God is up to?  It never ceases to amaze me the crazy stories I hear about those who have come to know the Lord.  Sometimes the way God works things out is nothing like we planned it out to be.  We are often puzzled by the happenings we witness around us all the time.  My life has been no different. Yes, I made some bad choices along the way, but God turns all things to good for His glory.  This is happening right now in my life and as I sit in a period of rest, God is doing all these things on my behalf.  Let me be real with you here for a moment on this early Easter morning as we focus on resurrection time.  This is a time for renewal.  A time for new beginnings.  A time to see just how alive in Christ we are.

As I sit here I can tell you I am at rest.  I am doing nothing to force God into moving.  I am in surrender and in worship mode.  I have completely just let things happen in my life in the last few weeks and it has been amazing to watch God at work.  My book is finished and being edited.  Nothing I can do here but wait.  I just received a promotion at work to General Manager.  I knew I was being considered but they only let me know like two weeks ago.  I was told I would be attending Hamburger University in August so I thought I had all summer to prove whether I deserved the position or not. Nope, they told me this Tuesday I was acting General Manager as of that past Sunday.  Here again, nothing I did, just waiting and being obedient.  The house situation, I laugh at this one.  They lowered the price to $100,000, we have a possible buyer in mind for my dads house and we feel we are to just scrap out the trailer.  Once more, God is in control because I let it go.

Now, here is the icing on the cake.  Some may feel differently about this, yet I know that I know that I know it is God at work this very moment.  There is so much God in this part of the story I probably can’t even explain it all in words.  I have surrendered my marriage.  Through soaking prayer, I have let my husband be released to God and I am married to Jesus.  Clearly Jesus is taking care of my every need and providing the things I am in need of.  Meanwhile, God is doing a work in my husband. This by far is the saddest part of my rest period but I feel it will be the one which brings the most joy.  My husband is currently in the county jail waiting sentencing.  He has been charged with forced entry and burglary.  I do not know all the circumstances but according to the police officer I spoke with it must be pretty serious since the judge placed a $100,000 bond for him.

The timing for this situation is not favorable.  Those who have read my Day of Deliverance know that on April 13th, 2009, my daughter’s 15th birthday my husband tried to commit suicide while strung out on several drugs.  This situation comes 10 days before my daughter turns 18 which means if he is convicted of this crime, he will not only miss her birthday but also prom, graduation and her open house.  Yet with all of this I am at peace knowing this is an answer to prayer.  Not long after my husband and I were separated I had two different times of people praying over our family and it was prophesied that my husband would come to know the Lord through going to prison.  Since what he is being charged with is a felony, this could be it.  I cannot pretend to know what God is up to, however restoration is one of the promises He gave to me.

To further my excitement, at an Easter drama last night at a nearby church, God moved me in my spirit to write Brian’s name on one of my business cards and I was able to give it to a member of Teen Challenge (the place where Brian is suppose to go to find healing) and then my friend had me fill out a prayer request which I thought was weird since I do not attend that church and God was already at work.  I filled it out anyways and gave it to the pastor, I giggled a little inside when his exact words were, ” I will make sure this gets to our jail ministry persons.”  I so know God is at work and the fire in my belly is such a comfort. God is true to keep His promises and as I am in this rest period I am content knowing God is in control and there is nothing I have to do but be obedient in my surrender.

Until God Says So

Hebrews 13:4
Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Until death do us part.  To love and to cherish.  To honor and take care of.  Divorce is not an option.  Let no man put asunder.  Vows. Vows. Vows.  Does anyone really pay attention to one of the most important parts of wedding ceremony?  Do the words really have any meaning anymore?  Does anyone even seem to understand the reality of getting married? By the numbers on the divorce rating sheets, I would say not.  I may seem a little bitter as I write this blog, however, it has just happened to me personally one to many times in the recent past.  If you all have read my Day of Deliverance story, then you know where I am standing in my marriage.  I am waiting for my husband to heal and to become whole again.  I have not abandoned him as some have said, I just know I am an enabler and with me in the picture at this moment, nothing will be truly healed in him.

On June 6th, 1992 I married a man I had planned to spend the rest of my life with.  I distinctly remember as we were writing our own vows out that the pastor came to me and ask if I could rewrite my vows to include something about God.  Do you know I forgot?  He had to “ad-lib” God into my vows as we were standing at the altar.  I guess I was so wrapped up in too many other things to realize God needed to be the center of our marriage, not the dress or bridesmaids, reception or flowers or how many people would attend.  As I stood at the altar with my new husband and my 4 month old son lighting the unity candle, I have to admit God was probably the furthest thing from my mind.  I was not any where near to God as I am now and it makes me a little bit sad to write that.

As the months turned into years of turmoil, my marriage really had no meaning.  Our relationship had become nothing but  yelling and screaming matches and a fight for daily survival.  There was no love at the end.  No desire to even make amends at some points.  I was so tired of being the stable one in the relationship by working full time and taking care of the kids, there was no time left to actually be in love.  My marriage was gone, yet I did not feel compelled to seek a divorce.  Then, after the suicide attempt and the separation, I still had no desire to file for a divorce.  And here I am almost three years later, still standing by my husband’s and I choice not to divorce.  God dislikes divorce and I am choosing to do everything in my will power to make this marriage work.  After all, somewhere in that man over there is the person I fell in love with and I am so in love I am willing to wait it out.  My husband is broken and God is the only one who can fix the things that hurt.

Now before everyone gets in an uproar, I know there are certain circumstances which lead couples to end their love lives in divorce.  I am not saying that staying together is the answer for everyone, but I certainly feel as though God needs to be a HUGE part of that decision.  I am still waiting for my husband to heal and unless God tells me in some HUGE way to file for divorce, I intend to stay right here.  Now, to further this statement, I am remaining faithful to my husband. Why?  We are not separated to “explore other options”.  We are not “free to date” other people.  We are in a period of healing.  Why can the world not see that?

I know there are others who live in different countries who have because of their cultures feel it is okay to have multiply relationships and I get that, however, when a girl says no, she means no.  I am content as I am right now.  I do not need a man in my life to make me happy.  I too am in a healing process and need this time of separation to get myself back on the right path.  I am married to Jesus at the moment and He will take care of all my needs until God leads my husband and I back together.  I am standing my ground and the ideals of this world will not draw me into their schemes.  I have been faithful to my husband from the day I married him and I have no plans to change that status in my life.

So, in conclusion, yes my status says I am separated.  I am still married to my husband of 20 years and until God says so, this will remain true.  I do not desire a relationship with anyone, mine is complicated enough.  I have enough things going on in my life such as trying to publish a book, keep up with my kids, work full time in a restaurant as a manager and trying to get my Mary Kay business off the ground.  God stepped in almost three years ago and separated my husband and I so that we could both have a time of healing, who am I to say what we should do?  If God dislikes divorce, I assure you He has everything under control and I am willing to wait for as long as it takes. I am willing to wait for restoration.