I want the anger and bitterness to be broken off of me so badly, I can hardly think throughout most moments of most days. Yet who is the cause if there is no good person – if “we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood”?

Last night I went to a breathwork event and the guy said this one line that struck me as very bothersome. He said “it’s up to you to heal yourself.” I know better than this – I know that I have no power to heal anything – but on by the Spirit of God in me, can change occur. But I believe that God’s spirit moves when I can walk in faith – having no idea if the cliff I’m about to step off of will lead to something I’m unable to withstand. In this season of my life I feel like that cliff is loneliness. Yet I ask myself, “Does it get any lonelier than you are right now?” In every little pep-talk I have inside of my own mind, I find myself drifting into a game of blame and I have to consider that not being able to forgive myself is at the root of not forgiving others. Yet that feels every worse because guilt is the hardest spirit of all to wrestle with. What if it’s no one’s fault – just part of God’s redemptive story? But then, how do I participate in something that I myself can’t seem to overcome without wanting to war in the flesh?

If you’ve ever heart broken, you’ve likely put together these types of scenarios in your mind of how you’ll show the other person how wrong they were to hurt you – even if your method is to simply walk away with a chip on your shoulder. But that chip hurts – hurts you… hurt me.. In the chip, we learn to guard our hearts and vow to never allow another person access to our love… to our innocence. But is that no waging war against the flesh?

Tonight, I heard to phrase “hurt people can’t heal people… so let them off the hook.” Maybe I’ve been waiting on something that doesn’t even exist. Waiting for a love to be returned that just isn’t there. And maybe there was never an intention to cause me harm – maybe he truly doesn’t know that I have cried myself to sleep nearly every night for years. Maybe he has no idea that I’m hurting tonight, wondering why I’m so unimportant to have not heard from him in days. Maybe he’s giving me his absolute best, but his best happens to be a half-broken heart that’s in need of healing itself.

When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, he addressed her hurt with a choice that was hers to make. He told her that she’d been drinking from empty wells and yet she was unsatisfied and we know by the texts that the wells were men – men that weren’t her husbands – men that were not selected for her by God. You know what Jesus didn’t do? He didn’t cast blame on those men. In fact, he didn’t talk about them at all because her healing was not tied to inspecting the hearts, motives or actions of those men who couldn’t satisfy the desires of her heart. HE was the desire of her heart – and she couldn’t see it. She didn’t even seem to want anything to do with him until he revealed himself to her.

Something amazing happened after he revealed himself to her – he told her to bring those men back to see him. Her healing was in the hands of her healer – Jesus. But only after she was made whole, could she share the testimony of Christ with others. He even used her brokenness to healed story to be the example that would convince those men of HIM – who HE IS – HIS POWER.

Tonight I look hard at this story, as I have for so many nights over the last few months. And I ask the Lord to reveal himself to me as he did that woman at the well. I look for the instructions inside of that story – to stop drinking from those wells (not because they’re bad or the men are evil – JESUS WANTS THEM TOO – Jesus loves them too)… but because I want that healing.. I want that forgiveness.. I want that everlasting water that will quench my heart and insure I never thirst for anything again.

I may not understand the dynamics of a woman’s heart who yearns for a man to fill her cup – to give her a drink.. Maybe it’s physical in nature or it’s all emotional (from my understanding of a woman, I would go with emotional), but I do know that I want shut off my yearning and desires and want for a man to complete me.

I gave more of the sickness that I perceived. I caused harm, not good. I did the opposite of show Jesus because my emptiness could never speak of who he is. I’m asking God to forgive me and help me to forgive myself.

Tonight I’m asking God to forgive us both and rescue us as His children who I believe he loves so much. I’m asking God to heal hurt that only he can heal and to shut off the lies and tricks of the enemy as I lay at the feet of Jesus and ask for the living water.. refusing to act on anything more until he heals me and make me whole. And tonight I’m asking for him to use me as he did the woman at the well, as a walking testimony of a transformation that can’t be spoken of or faked – but a testimony in truth by transformation of His Holy Spirit.

Thank you Lord….

We don’t want what we don’t work for, what we don’t earn or think we worked to deserve or what doesn’t run the opposite direction away from us. No, we want what we can’t have until we have it and then it becomes meaningless. Cheap. Of no value.

It hurts when you feel unwanted, especially in the aftermath of giving way to one who wanted you first. You feel like a possession – a car that was awesome until the red bow was unwrapped and then the new wore off. The excitement ends and the shiny paint just doesn’t shine like it once did. Before you know it we’re on the internet looking to trade in the old for something new. Never satisfied. Never. In the category of heart matters and love in particular, it’s puzzling to me how we would rather have a counterfeit – would rather chase after what doesn’t accept us or want us, rather than return love to the one who loves us just as we are – the one we don’t have to fight for or try to be something we aren’t to impress.

I see both sides because I have a corrupted human heart too. But as my heart has refined, my love has changed. I yearned for something new… something real. Sadly, my understanding of the way the game of love works lured me into a game I no longer wanted to play – no longer can play.

The world rejected Christ – he was the FREE GIFT from God, who loved the world so much he gave his son. The world rejects love. I suddenly see the meaning in his words “The world will hate you because it hated me first.” If you love someone and you give your heart wanting nothing in return other than for them to love you back – no motives, no desire to use them for anything they can give you.. you just love them right here, right now as they are.. I guess you become that FREE gift that the world throws in the trash.

The condition of the human heart is to desire to be under the law – to work for what it receives rather than to receive was is given freely by Christ…. LOVE.

Tonight I understand how he felt – looking at us with such admiration and compassion – his masterpiece of everything his eyes call perfect and loving us with all of his heart. We don’t have to work for him or earn him he just loves us as we are… But we don’t want that, do we….? We want to love our effort that we put forth in order to gain stuff. “Look what I worked for and earned with my talents.” From material things to titles and success… to a woman called a “trophy piece” wrapped around a man’s arm. We want the stuff that isn’t real and doesn’t last. We want the counterfeit – the fake love, and hate the true love that comes to us freely without condition or price.

True love is a jealous love and it hurts and it burns with desire for the one it loses.

“He leaves the 99 to go after the 1”

My heart is broken for my children and even myself today, realizing how focus on the temporary things that have been destroyed and yet linger still creates a type of hell on earth that the mind really can’t heal from – can’t comprehend…. not in the natural at least.

I’ve never really been able to express this before because I feel guilty in saying the habits and demise that I have recognized in my family, but for me, separation by death is not near as hard as separation by the carnal life for a mind that’s still hoping for something broken to be mended back as it was before.

There is great sadness in looking at loss, day after day for many years. Most of us don’t have to – we can numb ourselves from this reality of a broken world if we choose to do so. We don’t have to give thought about the people across the world today who are being tortured, enslaved, slaughtered or worse. We don’t have to look into the eyes of someone who is starving or doesn’t have water to drink. Simply put, we can choose to stay in an unconscious state of self-made happiness, focus on our goals and fall asleep in tv programs and positive thinking strategies to keep ourselves safe from the heartbreak that comes with being aware of the pain and struggles of others.

We live in a system that doesn’t seem to care about the broken things. We give our crumbs to causes that help the disabled, the homeless and the sick. We throw our elderly into nursing homes and we chase after the idea of “living our best life” – literally this phrase could be the most popular saying in the United States today. All the while, as we rack up stuff – bigger homes, faster cars, new clothes to meet new trends and array ourselves with gold and diamonds as a symbol of our success, we wonder why we feel empty at night when we turn over to sleep. We wonder why there’s always another goal – another achievement, another vacation, another big purchase, another title printed our business cards that we need to labor to get to – only to get there and realize it wasn’t really as satisfying as we thought it would be.

Rats in a cage… running as fast we we can to arrive nowhere.

Mary gave her most prized possession to Jesus in preparation for him to go to the cross as Judas freaked out when he saw what she was doing. “Are you crazy woman? Do you know how much money we can get for that?” I imagine this is much like finding the diamond that was lost in the Titanic and throwing it on the neck of a dead body prior to lowering the coffin into the ground. Most of us would have a thought dancing in the back of our minds – “Uhhhh.. Yeah, let’s NOT bury the most expensive diamond on the planet, let’s sell that thing and build an empire.” I know my mind would wander there, just like Judas. Of course Judas justified his words by adding, “We could use that money to feed the poor.” Jesus corrected him – “there will always be poor among you, but you will not always have me here.” As God in the flesh he knew what was on the mind of Judas – he knew the dude wasn’t worried about the poor, he wanted that money. To me, I see the choice all of us make each day, over and over again as we walk through this broken world setting our hearts on something that’s worthy to us. And to me, GOD IS LOVE – and Jesus was saying “You won’t always have this love that’s with you right now. So what do you want to labor for, what do you want to give your most prized possession to?”

I want to serve love. And I have. So perhaps I should stop cursing my past and the pain that came with walking through hell on earth with others for the sake of love. For me, I see that losing anything and everything that this world has to offer for the opportunity to give all of me to love – the love on my heart in a moment of time that God ordained in my life.. It was beautiful. It was worth it.

While the world is standing still today in separation – clinging to the things we are losing – the things that could never satisfy our hearts, we are all hurting in a way that is more heartbreaking than I can even grasp. We can’t stand close to eachother, can’t touch one another, hug one another, cry together, celebrate together – we are literally divided to the point that our hearts are full of fear to love using the gifts God has gifted us this day. We need restoration of our hearts. We need to return to our first love – Christ on the cross that set us free from death so that we can walk in love for one another – the ONLY commandment in the new covenant.

But what is that love that’s placed on our hearts when the heart is broken by betrayal? For me, I’m seeing that this is when I’m supposed to look up and know that my savior draws near. I have to seek HIM for love to be poured into me and accept that the ones here aren’t my source of life. Loving your enemies too – praying for the ones who have used me or hurt my heart so that they may be set free from the hurt that first betrayed their hearts to cause them to treat me in that way to begin with. Hurt people hurt people. We can only give to another what we have and if what we have is fear and emptiness from a pursuit in worldly things, we can’t see the value of another’s most prized possession. They can’t see the value of my love – of God’s love. Can I love them anyway, from a distance with a heart that cries out for forgiveness and healing for all of us? Can I give my most prized possession (my heart) to the one who IS LOVE? For clarification on my own state of substance – it would be wise to admit that all I have to give is a broken heart – so in my hurt, perhaps it’s time to put a “closed” sign on myself and go to the one who made me – the master physician – the only one that can mend a hurt heart.

Seek him while he can still be found…. – Isaiah 55:6
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and sees the crushed in spirit – Psalms 34″18

Can I truly grasp the words of Jesus as he prepared to leave the earth and delivered a message to his disciples so that they wouldn’t be alarmed or caught off guard by the way the world would feel about them? And can I love anyway when I’m faced with this hatred that Christ speaks of in this text? Because…. well what if to be hated by the world includes to be hated by the ones that you do love?

I feel like I’ve been walking through this season with a heart that’s shattered and wounded. I replay conversations and scenarios wondering how I got here, wondering what I did wrong to cause others to treat me in ways that I may not understand. Perhaps that’s the reason the Lord reminded me of this scripture last night and then with confirmation a few minutes ago during a call with my mom. Is this where we’re at? And can I grasp the idea that a warning coming from the Lord is a little more serious in nature than I would have presumed?

It’s easy to not care what people think when the people don’t hold a place in your heart. When you love them though, it’s so hard, so heavy…. looming like a dark cloud of emotions that don’t fade away easily.

I was listening to Matt Chandler the other night give an overview on the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. And as he spoke about the events in Paul’s life through the calling and transition of his life mission, I cried like a baby. His loneliness had to be so heavy. After he was struck down by Jesus on the road to Dismascus, Paul was sent to a man who wanted nothing to do with him for healing. Then shortly after he delivered a testimony to the Jews that changed thousands of hearts, his very own people – his family, his brothers, his best friends that he grew up with and had walked alongside of his entire life tried to kill him. They tried to kill him. The people of his past hated him for what he had become and the people who walked with Christ wanted nothing to do with him because of his past. Can I imagine this place of in between? A place where who you were and who you are becoming leaves you friendless and lonely – hated by all – hated by both sides.

In the season I find myself in right now, I feel like I can relate to Paul in many ways. I too am somewhere between who I was and who I am becoming with no idea how to carry the weight of isolation I feel at times. My dog Drake keeps me company as much as a dog can.

I pray that I’m planting the seeds Christ has given to me to plant and although I don’t believe I’ll even know when he is using me VS when my ego is trying to take flight on a mission that has nothing to do with the Lord, I ….. I actually just want to stop there.

Father I need you.. That’s all.

Have you ever felt like if you put someone in your little box you could be the one to save them? I have and I’ve tried it and failed miserably. The crazy thing about seeing the brokenness in another person and setting out to help that person heal from brokenness is that it usually ends up corrupting me.

I alter myself to be like another without realizing or admitting to myself that I’m doing it – to be acceptable and conformable because if he thinks that I relate to him, and I’m like he is, perhaps I can help him to see that he’s like me too and accept my testimonies of what Christ has done in my life. For a few weeks now I keep hearing the scripture replay inside of my thoughts, “If they don’t accept you, dust off your feet and move on.” I’m paraphrasing from the words of Jesus as he gave instruction to his disciples that were sent out two by two.

Here’s the issue in how I perceived this text to what I’m walking out and learning in this season about the desires of my own heart to love and help another….. I’m not for everyone. That doesn’t mean that the other person is a lost cause or that I am, or that God is against me or against him or that one is right or wrong, it just means he’s not my audience. If one person’s testimony could heal all, why in the world did Jesus choose 12 disciples – why not just 1? And if then only a handful were purposed to do the will of God healing the sick and testifying of Christ, then why was the calling upon all to make disciples out of men? Why wouldn’t the ones who found Christ just be saved and then “poof” head on up to heaven with Christ?

The calling upon all of our lives, as I’m seeing this tonight is to recognize the oil that we’ve been given by the author and finisher of our faith who writes his redemption on our lives – piece by piece and then to testify of HIS PEN in our journeys. For example, on the other side of a trial that I’ve walked through – one that turned out good because God answered my prayers, I now have a testimony specific to that trial. I hurt, I asked and I received. And who is my audience? People who are now walking in the shoes I was once walking inside of. Paul said “Who he calls he first qualifies.” Well, if I’ve never battled addiction, why in the world would someone battling addiction want to hear any of my remedies? But so often, I get this wrong – I want to help people so I start testifying of what I’ve heard or read somewhere – I start trying to solve a problem that I have ZERO first-hand wisdom of God defeating that thing in my life. I’ve never prayed to be released from addition and God’s never answered that prayer and shown me His son Christ inside of a trial that I have never had so who in the world do I think I am trying to testify to anyone on this subject? I have no true connection to that person’s hurt or struggle. I’m NOT qualified and anything I say to that person is not truth – it’s speculation, opinion, assumption or belief that might as well just be a huge lie all together because I DONT KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT first-hand. If someone is facing abandonment, I can tell my story and God did answer my prayers and God did send a replacement and it was a beautiful thing.

I recently found a friend that I cared much about and like most people who I care about, I began to pay attention. I listened to his problems and took note of everything I heard him speak over himself – I could see his pain and even how specific experiences have caused harm to his heart. But I’ve never walked through many of his challenges. Yet, I want to testify of how Christ has saved me from many of my challenges. I end up in this cycle that’s much like trying to give a person who’s hungry for food a key to a place to stay. It’s not what they need. His needs do not meet my qualifications and in trying to testify to someone when my toolkit simply doesn’t have the oil inside of it that fits the other person’s needs, I am likely to do more harm than good not only to my friend, but to myself too.

It’s frustrating when we love someone and want to help them find the beauty of the Lord’s help and redemption in our circumstances and trials, and we simply can’t do it. I imagine this is related to the scriptures that say Jesus didn’t heal or perform miracles to those from his hometown – the ones who were close to him and familiar with him.

If I can stop TRYING to do good for the ones who I want to help (and clearly have something to gain in return), long enough to allow the Lord to open my eyes to the ones who HE IS SENDING to me, perhaps I can understand the importance of his match-making process to use me according to his purpose and the beautiful manner in which he ignite his flame with my oil to bring glory to HIS NAME… not ever mine. And perhaps I can understand why I need to dust my feet off and stop testifying to the ones who don’t accept what I have to give – not because they’re bad or wrong, but because God wants to send someone else for that one – someone he’s qualified especially for that person.

Tonight I’m praying a new kind of prayer in realizing my own ego and pride in desiring to be someone’s savior who I love or care about – I’m praying for God to heal without me in the equation – to send someone else to be the hands and feet of Christ. That’s not an easy prayer in these circumstances but I think it’s a trial of my own heart in doing so. What if I’m not part of the picture and God’s will is to remove me all together from the journey alongside people I love? Can I be OK with that and give God his children back – take a “hands off” approach to what was never mine and belongs only to HIM? Can I walk away and pray for the salvation and healing of one’s heart, even if that whole heart may never hold a space for me in it?

Oh be still my ego… you lose every time.

Thank you Lord for this moment… In Jesus’ name Amen.

I spent years in prayer asking for compassion, mercy, miracles and healing over one that was very clearly “the least of these”..  – a man who had been struck down to a place of loss that I can only imagine, walking through a set of shoes that I have zero idea what it’s like to stand in.  I cried so many tears watching his struggles and feeling the breaking of my heart in every moment of everyday.

This morning I was reminded of the Christmas season in 2017 when I took Josh out shopping.  He was so excited to go shopping for the kids and he was even more excited to shop for the families that we were able to adopt for Christmas – all the kids that we received Santa lists from – kids who had parents who were struggling and they didn’t have a source to receive gifts that year.  I cried and prayed throughout the day watching the way others looked at Josh or didn’t look at him was maybe a better way to put it.  He got trampled a few times in his wheelchair – bumped and kicked and even we had one woman tell us off because it was taking me too long to turn the wheelchair around inside of the elevator and she was in a hurry in the Christmas rush that most people are in with just a few days left to shop.  I’m not sure why she was on the elevator in the first place, she appeared to be 100% healthy and could’ve used the stairs or the escalator (I thought to myself).  I was so heartbroken watching how we treat someone in his condition.  No regard for how it felt to be in his shoes – no compassion.  It’s as if everyone was unconscious – going through the motions in a sleepwalk states of their own troubles, schedules and shopping lists.

Why did this memory come up?  Because I received a message this morning from someone who needed to be paid for a service.  This man told me that Josh (my ex-husband now) told his front desk that I would be making payment for the services rendered that he approved.  So this man messaged me on Facebook asking me when I was going to take care of that bill my ex-husband had accumulated.

My immediate reaction… I was furious.  My thoughts immediately went into a place of offense and anger as I thought SOME NERVE he has to think he has the authority to expect me to pay for things he is doing for our son.  He didn’t ask me first.  I knew nothing of this.  I started to respond in the heat of the moment and then suddenly I got a phone call that interrupted my typing into the cell phone.  It was a good phone call – a little wink from God that he’s working out a prayer request that I’ve been struggling with for months now.

When I got off the phone I felt terrible – anxiety and nervousness that I didn’t understand.  I sat down and started praying and all I could feel was this heaviness of guilt, but I didn’t understand why.   I started thanking God for answering the small prayer that I received today and then suddenly it seemed like a floodgate opened and I could see all of the big prayers that he’s answered for me – the ones in my past that I cried so many tears over I could’ve filled an entire ocean.  Have I really forgotten what God has done for me?  Have I really moved on to a place of such selfishness in my own heartbreak and anger over things that didn’t work out for what I WANTED or thought was in my favor – or for love that I thought I deserved from others?  How could I forget what God has done for me?  How massive his grace has been in pouring out miracles in front of my very eyes in response to the deepest requests of my heart?

Today I was the one with no regard for “the least of these”…. I was the one without compassion for a man who is doing his best to walk inside of shoes that I have no idea what it’s like to fill – the very same man I once defended with everything inside of me against a world that’s cold in the heart matters of those who don’t function as they may – the ones in wheelchairs holding up the lines or taking too long to move from place to place..

I cried in disgust and I’m still disgusted with myself as I type this.  Apparently, I only knew how to defend and to love “the least of these” if they weren’t hurting me.  When they do something that doesn’t agree with what my flesh wants or what feels good to my ears or falls comfortably on my heart then I turned cold.

Father please forgive me, I knew not what I was doing….  Forgive me for being so selfish in putting my focus only on my wants and needs and what has hurt me to the extent that I became blind to the circumstances and even the reality of what another’s capabilities are….  Father, please forgive all of us who treat others unkind without any idea what they are facing today, how they are feeling today, what’s going through their minds, unaware of their struggles or even if their brains are in proper alignment with conscious choices – for judging and feeling offense when we don’t know what types of hurt and heartbreak and mental, physical or spiritual imprisonments another may be locked inside of today.  Father please help us to give mercy to others because Lord we need mercy… I need mercy so badly today.

 

 

Note:  This heart breaking has been going on for a few days and I recorded this testimony on the roof the other night in prayer for this person I’m speaking of after learning that he was ill.  It’s amazing to me how quickly all of the anger and strife and division between people is destroyed when you find out that the other person is in pain and you go to the throne asking the Lord to heal them and help them….  I needed a heart check in a big way and I need them to keep coming because I’m exhausted with feeling disgusted by my own thoughts, words and actions that I’ve been subscribing to for quite some time.  I’m not condoning the idea that others should be allowed to trample over me or treat me unkind, but in no circumstances should I lash back, talk about someone or allow anger and bitterness to penetrate my heart.  The truth is, I don’t have the strength to overcome this.  I need Christ to walk with me and wrap me in his perfect peace.  I’m thankful today for this revelation.

 

I am terrified tonight.  Christ appeared to me in a dream years ago.  He was larger than the mountains and stood over everything, stoned face as bodies disintegrated into nothing.  I saw this as destruction by sulphur – I’m not even sure that I knew what sulphur meant until I woke up and began researching the word.  It was a type of fire that moved so quickly over matter that it turned something into nothing in an instant.  It was like a singe of smoke went up… then only dust remained.

The Bible says that we were made out of dust and to do dust shall we return.  This is demonstrated in the human body that no longer holds life inside of it – it disintegrates and returns to the earth – all except the bones.  I would presume that the dust I saw returning to the earth in this dream represented the remains of those bones.

I was terrified as I sat on top a mountain screaming as loud as I could at Jesus – begging him to help me.  I knew that I was not safe from the destruction and that the substance of each person (how weighted they were with the wrong contents) was the determining factor of their place in line with the what they could withstand – how long they would remain until their number was up and they too would be overtaken by the sulphur.

Just as the moment arrived, when I knew my turn was up, suddenly everything became calm.  I heard no more screams, no more of the sizzling sound that was casted into the airwaves as the sulphur took down its victims.  The face of Jesus softened and he looked at me – his eyes were warm and loving and he smiled.

I broke out into tears thanking him.  I woke up wearing those tears and was both terrified and relieved at the same time.  My terror felt like a heaviness on my heart – wanting to warn everyone in the world of what I saw.

A scripture that’s been heavy on my mind over the last week talks about sickness.  It says that everything that makes me unclean flows from my heart and it even goes on to say that washing my hands doesn’t even matter – it won’t help me.  I interpreted this as a cause to all sickness and disease that’s in this fallen world.  Our hearts are what makes us unwell in the flesh and unable to stand before the living God.  And I wonder, was it the presence of Christ in that dream that radiated the fire?

Isaiah 66:15 says, ““For, behold, the LORD will come with fire and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.”

So many scriptures paint pictures in my mind of what it must mean to stand before a Lord who refines with fire.  I’ve seen his eyes burning with fire once – a mixture of love and wonder that cut so deep into my heart I couldn’t remember how to breathe.

If we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, what is to come of the one who has found relaxation in a lukewarm relationship with the Lord?  I have had many offer me advice over the last year – some people who love me and want good things for me, and some that maybe just wanted to share their own knowledge or beliefs about survival in a world that practices the art of being offended placed on a pedestal representing of our times.

“If you don’t stop talking about Christ, your business will suffer and your career will be ruined.”

I don’t know anyone who wants to be judged by others and I’ve worried much about being called crazy for sharing testimonies of experiences throughout my life and beyond.  On the other hand, is it worth my soul to deny truth?  I mean if it’s truly what you’ve seen, heard, experienced and know in your own heart – how can you deny that for the sake of money or fame or success or acceptance?  What about for the sake of love?  Because for me, that’s where I have fallen away from my truth – when my heart is attached to someone in this world.  I walked through a fire that showed me how meaningless money, success and material things are in this lifetime.  But the one thing I didn’t lose in that trial was a desire to be loved by another.  How far will I minimize myself to be acceptable in the eyes of someone who I perceive has stollen my heart?  The answer is not one that I’m proud of.

My friend Angie reminded me yesterday that the Bible says “God is a jealous lover.”  And I know I’ve minimized myself and the heart that he has placed inside of me and allows to beat inside of my chest, carrying blood to my organs in this very moment for HIS glory, not anyone else’s gain.

I’ve told myself that I was on an assignment, not wanting others to feel judged by me – but who I am trying to please in that?  Is it not my flesh I’m trying to save if I live a lie to appease the thoughts of another?

And if “where much is known, much is required” is the Lord’s view concerning the gifts he has given to those called according to his purpose, then I should be quite terrified tonight….  as I am…

Today was hard.  Getting Josh in the car was much more difficult than I’d hoped.  His dad came along to help.  It was the first time, I’d had anyone go with me on a Josh appointment.  And even though in the past, I’d managed (solely by the Grace of God) to get him to and from check-ups and MRI’s and therapy sessions all by myself, the present situation seems heavier.  It’s like the load has increased, even though the circumstances are clearly not as severe as last time we went through this…. not that it’s ever ceased at all.  But the roller coaster ride of this storm just seems so fragmented this go-round.

I feel weak. My back and neck have been killing for days and I just can’t seem to plan and communicate with Josh well on the techniques that are needed to move him safely.  After a difficult day commuting to the med center, Josh made a decision that would be a HUGE FIRST for this family.  He said he didn’t feel like it was safe to try and transfer from the car with just me, and decided not to try and attend our son’s football game tonight.

Lil Josh has played football since he was 6 years old.  It was his first love and it’s brought me so much joy watching him over the years.  But my emotions couldn’t compare to how it made his dad feel.  That lil guy has always been his dad’s pride and joy.  He just lights up bragging about our son and sharing his video clips of his awesome plays.  In many ways, I think it’s been one of the most driving factors of his recovery.  Last year, Josh was determined to get well enough to make Lil Josh’s first football game.  Even though he was in a wheelchair, he was there.

Ten minutes before the game Lil Josh called my phone, “Mom!  Where are ya’ll at?  The game’s about to start!”  He sounded worried.  I told him I was almost at the stadium.  “Dad too right?”  He asked me.  I explained how much Josh wanted to be there.  But it was just impossible this time for me to get him in the car by myself.

I knew the game would be somewhat emotional for me, worrying about how Josh was doing at home, (although I knew he’d be fine with his mom there watching him), and wondering how my son would feel taking the field without his dad there cheering him on.  I know this may sound silly to some but football was THEIR THING.  It’s just this strong bond they had together – it always has been this magical connection between son and father.  Josh poured his heart into training our son and teaching him everything he knew about the sport.  And, Josh wouldn’t miss watching his kid play football for ANYTHING.  Yet, today, he had no choice.

I found a seat alone in the stands and it took me awhile to find Josh – he wasn’t in warm-ups with his team.  Then I spotted a tall, lean kid throwing a football back and forth in the endzone with another player, wearing the number 17.  Well…That did it for me.  I started balling.  I’ve asked him so many times to wear 17, but he never would.  Seven has always been his number, because that was his father’s number back when he used to play football.  But tonight, to my surprise, my son was wearing MY number!

Lil Josh didn’t play like himself tonight.  I knew deep down he was only partially in attendance.  A piece of his love for the game was missing tonight and that was clear to me.  But the angels were there with us, comforting us.  Even though I felt so strange sitting in those grandstands by myself…. I know I wasn’t alone.  The Lord is with us each step of this journey.  He’s there catching every single tear I cry and storing them in his bottle.  Every first I face and the heartbreak that looms reminding me of how different our life is now and everything we’ve lost, I still somehow find peace and strength to get through those moments.

In a strange way, I think the Lord gave Lil Josh that jersey tonight.  Lil Josh would’ve never chosen it on his own.  Tonight God gave me 17… my number on my baby boy’s back.

After the game, Lil Josh said he’s thinking of hanging up the helmet for awhile.  I can’t begin to imagine all of the things that goes through this sweet boy’s thoughts.  I know this has all been tougher on him than probably any of us.  But, whatever he decides and whatever path he takes, I believe God’s plan will be completed in my children.  And on the other side of hurt and disappointment and the heaviness of these trials, we will reach a beautiful place one day…

Bitter sweet…

It’s no accident I think, that I had no desire to bear a child.  In my own selfishness, I didn’t want to be responsible for another’s life – and whole heartedly believed that God planting a seed of life in me, would be the biggest mistake ever.  I didn’t know anything about babies, and I didn’t want to know.  I had a career that I was after, a young romance that needed to flourish and a body (exterior appearance) that I desperately wanted to keep looking flawless.  That, was one of my greatest gifts without question (my looks).  I had no room in my life for crushed career dreams and a fat, sloppy droopy, ruined appearance.

I called upon the powers of false gods by the self-centered desires of my own heart – something I’ve never truly realized until this moment as I write this.  My heart was set on money, success and prosperity.  The details of what I did aren’t important, but the result of me doing everything I could to promote MY DESIRES, was a positive pregnancy test.  I’ve never even spoken out-loud to myself about the alignment that I knew deep down was awfully coincidental. Because what happened was pretty much my worst nightmare (the opposite of what I wanted).  The desires of my heart were nowhere near the desires of God’s heart, but that really didn’t matter because He decides what to do with those who belong to Him.. a long, heart-wrenching and yet amazing revelation of my journey that continues to unfold still today.

I cried for at least a week straight.  I remember my mother scolding me with the same disgust I felt in myself.  “You realize your life is ruined right?”  In wordless agreement with her, I completely realized it.  There was no chance the big company where I had been interning at would hire me for a the permanent position I was chasing, once the knew I was pregnant.  Not only that, I knew the hours, travel schedule and physical requirements of the marketing role I would no longer be able to perform.  And to make matters worse, my boss, the VP of Marketing openly despised pregnant women in the workplace and wasn’t shy about expressing the uselessness of women carrying babies that “belonged at home”, as he used to put it.  So… my career dreams were finished.  And, my body was too.. and potentially, my engagement.  Although Josh seemed like the only one happy about the pregnancy, I knew deep down that he was quite vain – very much in love with the outward woman and since my appearance was about to be destroyed, I worried that his affection towards me would also be gone.

I didn’t want a baby… in any shape or form – this was my worst nightmare come true for me at the time.  And sadly, a part of me was hoping that I’d miscarry in the early stages.  I did not.  Yet amazingly, as the doctor visits continued and my belly grew larger, I began changing.  Excitement, fear, sorrow, love, anticipation – too many emotions to even name welled up inside of me, increasingly more severe with everyday.  Within only the first 2 months, I had become so committed to the life that was growing inside of me, I had changed nearly everything in my outward life.  For example, I had quit smoking and drinking caffeine, cold turkey.  I wanted nothing to do with anything that could potentially cause harm to the baby that I was carrying.  I changed all of my habits – taking long walks instead of hitting the rigorous gym routine.  I rested when I could, began keeping the house immaculate in preparation for providing the baby with a sanitized environment and I even quit my dream job and humbled myself to work retail in the mall.  I was embarrassed about it all, so I applied at the mall that was in a neighboring community – not wanting people that I knew to see me working minimum wage with a huge belly at the age of 19 – a far cry from the path I’d previously been headed down.  The sports car that I loved so much I traded in for a beat up Honda pathfinder that barely ran.  And Josh and I even sold the house that we’d saved up for so long to purchase – moved in temporarily as his mom’s rent house to decrease our mortgage/rent and prepare financially to take care of a child.

As time continued to pass, the changes outward were almost meaningless to the the ones that were happening to me inward.  I spent all of some of my spare-time watching baby shows and balling buckets of tears at the stories of childbirth.  I volunteered at a local daycare to learn how to change diapers and make bottles.  And when I wasn’t cleaning, crying or learning about babies… I was spending time with the baby.  I wrote her letters and spoke to her almost constantly.  I told her my secrets and cried to her.  I humbled myself by the minute to the hour of everyday to let her know how much I loved her and how happy I was to know her and how I didn’t want to let her down.   I changed my whole world for her – every single of fiber of who I was, transformed into something new… called a mom.

I loved someone that I couldn’t even see MORE than I loved myself.  I watched my every want and every desire die because she became my heart’s ONE DESIRE… that baby girl that started off with no physical evidence of her existence.  Imagine how they felt back before we had pregancy tests.. They were just believing that new life could be created in them but they had no way to verify if the seed had been planted.  And look how the signs start…  morning sickness (that doesn’t sound very good)… – throwing up, loss of appetite, tired all the time, lack of energy… getting pregnant is very similar to coming down the flu.  But in the afflictions of happenings that are very uncomfortable to the flesh, we start to see the evidence of the seed planted.

“I think I’ve caught a have a horrible disease… No you’ve fallen into the hands of God and He’s planted a seed of Jesus in you”… ever wondered about this?  Why is getting pregnant with so many awful side effects to the flesh?

But as the seed grows inside, the outward evidence of LIFE inside of the vessel carrying the seed becomes evident.  I wonder if this has anything to do with how pregnant women “glow” with a radiance, as was described of Stephen as he was dying…  But before any signs outwardly are seen, through the sickness and feeling awful, the woman begins to rejoice with FAITH that NEW LIFE has began growing inside of her….

Most recently, I’ve been seeing so many connections to “the seed” and Jesus”, with a growing understanding that HE IS the seed, (the good seed).  I’ve been in this amazing walk with the Lord on my eyes being opened to new understandings of the “Kingdom inside of us” that Christ explained and the tie to “the Kingdom is like a mustard seed.”  God led me to teachings by a man named Terry Bennett that really cracked open a new part of my heart to understand the opposition of “self life – ME” and “Christ life – HIM”…  the new creature and the necessary dying of the old creature (once again me).

So today, He revealed to me the seed of life..  Christ (life) in me.  He showed me the change that takes place as the pains and discomforts intensify in the woman carrying the seed.  She has to get rid of her old self (ALL OF HER WAYS) in order to be a vessel that holds and prepares for the birth of the child.  And as crazy as this may sound, I feel like I’m pregnant, (spiritually)… yet at that early place that I’d been before… Crying about the changes in my life and the strangely unanswered desires of my heart.  What I wanted (the life I saw for myself) is not what God had in mind… And through that 9 months that followed the news of the seed planted in me, I had to be crushed (everything that I wanted, all of my self-desires, self ambitions, priorities that brought me self esteem and self love and self gratification… they had to be destroyed… I had to lose my job, my body, my dreams, my comfort in the strength of my relationship with my fiance, my pride (illustrated in me running to another town to be pregnant and on minimum wage), my habits – I still remember how my flesh groaned when I cut off nicotine and caffeine (the headaches, nauseousness and mood swings were horrible).  Absolutely everything that defined “me” and made “me” comfortable had to die – a process that was developing a new love in my life – a love for the LIFE within me.. no longer me who lives, but MaeKenna who was living in me – JUST LIKE PAUL SAID ABOUT JESUS…  It was no longer Paul who lived, but Christ within him.  Paul said that he was crucified (dead) with Christ..  Paul lost his identity of “me”… As the seed of Jesus grew in him, his life didn’t matter anymore.  His dreams and desires and all self-centered fleshly things passed away and the Love of GOD began to dwell in Paul.  That real love – sacrificial love… the love Christ demonstrated when he laid down his life for us.

Jesus said that He went to prepare a place for us..  I wonder if that place was within us..  Circumcising our hearts and emptying out everything of “self-love” so that the Kingdom of God can dwell in us… LIFE internally that leads to life eternally because Christ IS LIFE.. His seed in us.  The miracle of God giving life and the miracle of God resurrecting life, playing out in the same sequence of internally change that a woman in travail experiences as she awaits the blessed hope of the new creature inside of her being completed and ultimately delivered.  Deliverance… my gosh…

As the Lord gives me more on this later, I will share.  He truly is amazing and loves us so much… even as He rips apart the outward man in order to plant the seed of JESUS/LIFE in us, which sometimes seems so awful and hard to get through.. but its HIS LOVE in that process giving us LIFE

 

Thank you Lord.

Last night as I was studying Ecclesiastics, the Lord told me “Read like you’re the only one on Earth”…  I felt a sense of shame come over me in realizing that I often make decisions in my mind about which verses are about me and which ones are describing others.

Then today, I was reminded that the Word of God is sharper than any two-edge sword.  I did some quick research on a two-edged sword and read many opinions on the meaning of this passage in Hebrews, but none of them are lining up to what I feel the Lord is showing me and convicting in me.  There are also references in the bible that warn us “those who kill with the sword will be killed by the sword.”  I’m seeing reference to the two kingdoms (the outward and inward) in alignment with the two edges of this sword – also with two uses.  And the Lord is showing me that one use is what’s referenced in Hebrews 4:12…

For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This is also in alignment with the work of God in circumcising – one is outwardly (the flesh and the law) and one is inwardly (the circumcision of the heart) – See Romans 2:25.

The outward circumcision requires living by the law – which we know has never been achieved by any man, except Jesus Christ.  The inward circumcision is a work OF GOD (not us), in the Word of God written on our hearts, meaning Jesus Christ planting the seed of HIM inside of us and only God can give the increase.

If I can try to explain this the best I can, God is showing me that the Word of God serves two purposes in us – to condemn others and to convict ourselves.  So, in essence, I believe the reason the Lord told me to read the Word of God as if I was the only on the earth, is because in allowing myself to know His word, as a tool to judge someone else, I’m killing with the sword – I’m condemning others by the law – using The Word of God to point fingers at my brothers and sisters.  But if I read the Word of God as if every single word was written directly at me, well then conviction pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, circumcising my heart (showing me myself and my pride and my carnal minded foolishness waring against the Spirit of God), and revealing the true intents of my own heart… which leads to repentance, FEAR of THE LORD and humble desire to be possessed fully by His Son Jesus Christ, My Savior – the only one who can save me from ME.

Father help me to not use your Word to harm, judge or condemn others, but instead to eat your Word as the sword that will transform me into the new creature, circumcising my heart and leading me to repentance, in Fear of YOU always as I have FAITH in the good seed you sew in me and the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.