Wednesday, October 18, 2017

1John 4: 7-8

On a busy Sunday morning the Lord spoke:

Beloved, Let us Love one another, for love is from God and anyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God.  He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love.  1John 4: 7-8

I read it several times, wondering what message the Lord wanted me to hear.  My mind who had heard a million sermons kept saying, "let us love one another".  I had been struggling to love again, forgiveness 70X7.  Loving is much the same, over and over renewed love through the power of God.

I got to church and the sermon text was 1 John 4:7-21.  Again I listened, but heard much the same message.  LOVE.  I knew this wasn't the revelation, but a confirmation that I should listen and pray asking for understanding.

Yesterday I heard... BELOVED...ahhh beloved.  The one whom is dearly love, dearly wanted, dearly needed for their being, not their works, or their mind or their body...Just BELOVED!

Yes, I have been saying for weeks, that I am struggling in this unloved place.  That walking around and living while being unloved is a deep struggle.  It's broken my spirit and cut me so deep I feel I must sit still quietly for fear of moving and bleeding out.  Unloved.  This is something I know and understand.  Despised I also understand.  Hated for who I am and what I am.  This I am familiar with.

And yet, my Father God, starts with BELOVED...he's not asking me to serve more or do more.  He is simply calling to me and He says BELOVED.  I can't really wrap my head around it.

I am my BELOVED'S and He is mine, his banner over me is love.  I have no point of reference for this type of love.  I have not experienced it.  This perfect and deep love that casts away fear.  I have lived a lifetime of fear, a lifetime of sadness, lifetime.  Even as a child my stomach would churn and be painful at night...fear.  So much uncertainty.  BELOVED  I have no idea how to make this fit.  Lord, teach me how to be your BELOVED.  I really need this, the protection of a beloved, the joy of being beloved, the belonging of being beloved.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Christmas Miracle

I've had a rough couple of sister says I'm having a mid-life crisis.  Uggh  I have no idea if that is true, to me it feels more like I can no longer climb.  I refused bitterness, clung to hope, believed in redemption...but I can climb no more.  I am tired, my heart is broken and my spirit is weary. 

As the new year came in I sobbed...because I know I cannot live through another year like the last.  It's not being overly dramatic to say I can't, it's just a fact.  I haven't got it in me.  Systematically life has killed off all of my will to love and live.  I have lived my life by holding fast to joy.  Allowing it to carry me past the cliffs and chasms...allowed me to embrace whatever joy came.  Choosing to allow joy to overshadow sorrow and loss.  But, somehow this last jolt was a bit much and as I tripped and as I fell I opened my hand and joy escaped.  I let go of the balloon and it quickly began it's upward climb till I could no longer touch or even see it.

It is here that I have been asking the Lord to give grace.  To help me believe when I cannot see His hand or feel His goodness.  In this place where more and more has been stripped away and I am left only with believing in everlasting mercy.  Each layer has stripped away friendships, ministry, family, church, identity.  The sorrow is overwhelming and it takes so much energy not to sit and cry most days.  This is a lonely place and no one can go with me...or at least no one has.

In desperation I call my sister to talk about the last stripping away.  I need someone to tell me I'm not crazy.  As I tell her the story I realize I have probably just been witness to my own Christmas miracle.  Because when confronted with a wounded person who set out to bring me pain I did not give in and "speak my mind", but instead chose to listen to the voice I heard that kept saying, "seventy times seven".  I spoke with a clear head and measured words.  Honestly, God's words...because I know that if it was up to me I would have broken the relationship off completely and clearly.

 Instead God spoke, I heard him and despite the fact that I was physically shaking during the ordeal.  I was given the ability to listen and obey on Christmas eve, as I'm talking to my sister I realize that while this horrible event colored my whole Christmas and makes my heart hurt like it has been pulled through my chest...I had my own Christmas miracle.  I got to see the power of God made real in my life.

I need more of this power...the kind that actually lets us love for real.   I want to see His Kingdom come and His will be done...even here where I can't climb, can't move, and can't move past sorrow.  I'm waiting for Him to move me, from where I am to wherever He puts me next.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!   (Written over a year ago, I decided to publish it today)

The plan and the presence

Yesterday someone texted me, "I'll pray for you."  I started to text back, "I crave his plan"  And as I wrote those words I realized how wrong that is.  I'm supposed to crave His presence.  In His presence is fullness of joy.  The joy that I've been missing and needing...craving.  Such a simple answer, to see his Presence and NOT his Plan.  To delight in the Lord, take my joy from His presence. 

This is a hard switch, I have desperately wanted to be part of His plan.  To know that I matter, to know that he loves me.  To know that He hears my cry and feels my pain and knows my brokenness.  I want to matter..and I want to be an important part of His plan.

In the presence of the King of the Universe I sit quietly and simply delight in who He is.  Truthfully, I still want to have the plan.  I want the pain to be part of some big cosmic plan..where I get blessed and it all works together for good.

Lord help me... I need your presence...I want to delight in you.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring and Sadness

She turned her face toward the sun... and instead of joy it illuminated her sadness.  The rays of the sun warmed her cold weary soul, and made her wish for a moment of lightness, but there was none.  She began to write and tears formed puddles..  She went to pray and tears streamed down her cheeks.  She went to sing and tears pooled and hid behind her eyes.  She went to serve and she smiled and laughed as tears ran down her throat.  She held her child and tears ran down her face.  Sadness

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rememberances and Rejoicing

The woman sat by the river and drank in the late summer sun.  She felt the rays penetrate her skin as they warmed her clear to the bone, and she knew that winter rains would begin any day.  That another long winter of homeschool and kids busyness loomed just over the next hill.  Something so bittersweet about those last days of sun, like I'm storing them up in my soul for a cold, rainy day.  Like I know that I will need this memory of glassy, sunkist waters rushing past in a cascade of rippling sound.  The roar of the river provides a place of peace for my weary mind and I forget about the piles of laundry and stacks hidden in closets. 
In my mind  I begin to recount how my life has been touched by grace.  SCRATCH THAT, ruled by grace.  For every sorrow grace poured in, for every loss new mercies.  I have been held together through it all by loving mercy.  I see the strong, green grass growing along the riverbank and it reminds me of the chords of mercy that held me together when I thought I would come apart.
A tear spills over, for I did not come apart, like an exhausted swimmer I rolled onto my back and floated on mercy.  At times the water washed over my face, but I did not drown.  I learned to relax in the waters of mercy, to trust what I could not see.  The river carried me downstream to a new place where I had never been.  Here my feet could touch bottom.
Suddenly, in this moment with the sun on my face I realize that in every season I have been carried along by mercy, in this He has never failed me.
Near the banks float loose logs and I think of how when pressure and pain came I clung to those logs trying desperately to get back on solid ground. I tried so hard to do the right thing in order to make the torrent stop.  I didn't understand that I was supposed to let go and trust.
So that now, when the season changes and the pressure comes I simply lift my feet and let the currents of love and mercy carry me down river.  The only thing  for me to do is to focus my mind on His goodness and recount the ways in which I am blessed.  He will not let me drown.  As I lay back gently in mercy and float away on her current I know to wave, because once you relax into love and mercy, once you ride over her waters, you are changed and there is no going back.
Today in the sun is a day of remembrances of the seasons and mileposts at which His mercies were new every morning.
2 Kings 23  Josiah gathers the people to read the book of the covenant.  Then King Josiah renews the covenant with all the people to follow the Lord and keep His commands and decrees with all his heart and soul.  Then he proceeded to tear down every single bit of idolatry throughout the land including idols in their homes. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The River

I sat by the river and as it rushed past in a mesmerizing, torrent I heard it say..."Come to me all you who are weary...Learn of me and you will find rest for your soul".
And so I did, I moved my home to the water's edge.  I sat on her sloping banks and dipped my toes in her rippling waters.  The water was cold, but I skipped flat rocks and breathed in her beauty.  I found such peace there.  I enjoyed my home on the banks where grace ran free, and the water never ended.

Then one day the river spoke to me again.  It reminded me that there was more, that on the edge I could see its power, but I didn't KNOW the river.  For that I had to get in, to surrender myself to the flow to understand the currents of grace and love to know its truth. 

For a time I sat on the bank in fear for I was aware of what it meant to go where there was no solid ground beneath my feet.  As I sat there I smelled the river's wafting fragrance and knew it would take me deeper.  That in the presence of this river of grace I would find rest.  I heard its symphony of water over rocks, the lilting rush, such grace poured out.

I wade out till the water laps at my chest with an insistent tug... and I know in these waters I will learn how love and grace combine to form truth.  At times my feet leave the sandy bottom and it is clear that I will not control this wide river.  I acquiesce to its flow as it strips away who I was and what I thought I knew.

I find myself in the river of God.  I join the others both present and past who were willing to let it all be washed away... for the hope of the promise.  The promise of His presence, as grace flows like a river.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

And then...

I smelled it coming, a season of discontent,

though summers gentle breathe lay gently on my neck.

I felt it coming closer, fall was everywhere. 

Hopes and dreams were dying out to make room for new cares.

I saw the season changing and knew there was no turning back 

It's time for something new, it said, be aware it's something new.

For a time I lay in winter's grasp, and tried to find my way.

Then signs of spring came gently and I wondered, is it time?

And then the season changed,

after what seemed a lifetime of standing still,

and just like that it was over, this season of gripping pain.

I don't know what it is.. but something here has changed.

It went with no fanfare, no overwrought goodbye

I greeted all this change with a skeptical, dry eye.

Hello new season, I'm really not sure why you've come.

Lord give me love for each new face and joy for each new sorrow.

Let your voice be loud and clear, I don't want to miss one thing. 

Give my heart courage to believe beyond what I can see.

Lord grow in me a love for you, that draws us into grace.