My son has been a mess the last few weeks as Boomer’s condition has worsened.  And today as he spends time with him and prepares to say goodbye to his furry friend, I’m reminded that the last picture that was in my phone before Josh’s stroke was a picture of Boomer sitting on the patio furniture holding a pen in his hand.

I had no idea of the significance that “the pen” would hold in my coming trials.  I didn’t know that Jesus was the author and today as I write this entry, I struggle to let go of the pen – all day everyday it seems.  I try to figure out why there’s so much pain wanting to fix it and heal it in myself and in others.  I try to figure out where I went wrong to deserve to be where I’m at right now – where the world is at right now.  I try to figure out how to escape suffering – which only causes more suffering.

Boomer has been instrumental in many things throughout this journey.  He was rejected when I brought him home for my daughter.  She didn’t want him and I guess I understand now as the idea to get him was something I did to try to heal her pain from losing another puppy that she’d quickly fallen in love with.  I tried to fill the void of her broken heart but it didn’t help her hurt.

Boomer also was instrumental in me letting go in the midst of divorce that I was fighting.  The issues with the dogs in our house created so much stress that I supported Josh moving out with Boomer to end the violence in our home.  It sounds silly to me even speaking of pets as important parts of our reasoning in why we do what we do, but I do believe God has been in all of this.  And I do believe I’ve been trying to create Ishmaels (the promises of God before he gives them – by my own ideas and strength) – for a very very long time.

As Josh lets go of Boomer today, I’m asking God to help me let go of the pen again and again and again.  I’m asking him to give me the strength to be grateful for where he has us all and what he’s doing – without trying to forecast what’s next and go ahead of Him.  I’ve been swimming in a pool full of regrets and worries for so long, feeling as if everything I do is against His will.  And I know that doing anything without his guidance is a bad place to be, yet the struggle and battle to stop this has continued on for far too long.

Peace is an internal thing and I’ve been trying to find it in the external things – if I only had “this” or “that” then I’d be at peace.  Yet the storm rages on stronger and more intense with each day I’ve spent inside of that mindset.

Heavenly Father I ask you today to help me to have faith in the brokenness – to celebrate your story even when I’m hurting and to surrender to your plan even when I can’t see it.  I’m asking you to remind me in a heart change that everything is working for our good.  I’m asking you to restore peace to me internally.

Lord please heal Josh’s heart and give him peace in this loss.

Thank you Jesus.

I don’t even know what to title this entry – but I’m asking the Lord to convict the hearts of all who carry accusations and blame, condemnation and judgement among another’s sin and namely mine.  I just read an entry from many years ago where I talked about carrying the weight of the world by example of the story of the woman who was caught in adultery.  I placed myself in her shoes, feeling the heaviness of so many things.  Little did I know when I wrote about the one who writes in the sand, that I would soon become her in a very real way, to the extreme that I would find myself fighting against my thoughts wondering if the Lord could even love me anymore – believing everything that has been spoken over me by people I have loved.

Receiving divorce papers was shocking at best and it hurt, but not nearly as bad as reading the group text messages sent by the family of my ex-husband, condemning me and blaming me for the divorce I didn’t even want to happen.  I watched scriptures and the name God shuffled around.  I remember one message in particular that insisted God hates me if I allow the divorce to happen.  Meanwhile another mocked me as a “Jesus freak” and insisted my ex-husband would be so lucky to get away from me – he agreed and called me crazy.  Then another hired a criminal attorney to accuse me of mistreating a handicap person.  I had never left that man’s side since the moment he went down – wanting nothing more in this world than for him to be healed and our family to continue and thrive.  I wanted my kids to have their dad back and their mom back too as I’d certainly not been able to fulfill that role very well over the course of that 3-plus year period.

I tried to defend myself on that one group text chain, but couldn’t do it.  I was too sad and too shocked.  My daughter defended me and was ridiculed and called “classless” and “trash” in response to her words detailing everything she’d watched me do for her father.

On the other side of being served papers, I received a wonderful gift.  An old friend reached out and ended up helping me so much through the hurt and the healing.  I fell in love with him unknowingly to my own heart in the beginning.  Then more condemnation and blame came in.

I was called a harlot and worse.  The friend ended up not wanting to pursue a romantic relationship with me and I found myself alone to sort through perhaps the worse heartbreak I’ve ever felt in my life.  I wake up each day shaking, feeling like God can’t possibly be for me if everyone I love is against me – the old people and the new people.  On Thanksgiving the only friend I had left told me I make him miserable and then a few days after the one woman that I shared my heartbreak with told me that I was going through all of this pain because I’d been disobedient to God.

All I have left is my kids and I wonder do they blame me too – do I make them miserable also….

Maybe I am a harlot.  I’m certainly an adulterer and a sinner.  My flesh struggles with wanting to be loved and to feel loved with a gaping whole in my heart that seems to just cut deeper and deeper by the day.  I have come to a point nearly everyday for months now where I struggle to understand why I would deserve to live and what purpose I could possibly have here on this earth – what I could possibly have to give anyone, considering the only ones I’ve ever poured love into seem to all hate me, blame me and condemn me.

So there she is… the woman caught in adultery.  And everyone (even the ones she had loved and the ones who had partaken in the acts of her trying to feel loved) were in the mix of the crowd, yelling “kill her” – “stone her”.  She said nothing.  I would imagine she had no more fight in her.  I would imagine she had nothing left to say and even believed in her own heart that she was worthless, and meaningless, and deserving to no longer live.  She said nothing….

Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand with his finger.  And the angry mob of people that called for her death gave reason to him of why she should she killed and he ignored them still and wrote in the sand with his hand.  At this point the Lord gave them permission to kill her with one condition.  He appointed her accusers with a leader to instigate her death in an open ended qualification.  He said “He who has no sin, cast the first stone.”

The script says that they were all convicted in their hearts and they turned away from her – starting with the eldest – perhaps the ones who had lived on this earth long enough to see their own laundry list, (I can’t say for sure what that means).  Once the mob was all gone and everyone had left her in peace, Jesus turned to her and asked, “Who is condemning you?”  She said “No one Lord.”  And he said, “Neither do I.”

When God set me free from that horrific situation I found myself in years ago, I was scared.  I took a leap of faith believing that God had given me another chance at life – another chance to feel love again.  But I stayed in that place and heard more and more of the accusations from people in the community and old friends.  I wanted to get away from it all so badly and run towards the only person who seemed to not condemn me.  But when I did that I found myself alone and still listening to the voices behind me.  I have fought to defend myself against them all to the point of responding in blame and accusation.

I’m so tired of defending myself.  And I hate that I’ve become an accuser just like the ones who made me feel so awful and hated.

I’m asking the Lord tonight to have mercy on me and on all who have hurt me too.  I’m asking him to convict hearts and heal us all so that we can let go of judging one another and casting blame.  I’m asking him to set me free from the voices that torment me – the words of people I have loved that cut me deeply, that I hear repeating in my mind over and over again.

I spent many years giving my all to someone and sacrificed so many things – virtually everything.  I truly believed I was doing God’s will, and perhaps I was.  But the human heart tied to the human ego would be exposed in a very big way.  If love keeps no record of wrong, my love waxed cold pretty much immediately because all I could see was how I’d been wronged.  I expected to be treated so differently on the other end of giving my whole heart to another person.  But when I was attacked, betrayed and made an enemy of that person, I filled up with anger and blame.

God says we’re to forgive others or we won’t be forgiven and he says there is no perfect person.  On a 5 year search for forgiveness I’ve seen bitterness creep in more and more as I prayed constantly for help giving forgiveness.  I have tried to read self-help books, listened to many voices in trying to get advice on how to heal and I even jumped into another relationship in hopes to find what my heart was searching for.  Turns out sometimes your enemies are the ones who you thought loved you and wanted what’s best for you.  Turns out our deceitful hearts, full of expectations will jump right into the fake love game, accusing and victimizing ourselves.

I have never felt so alone in my life.  And it seems the people around me have fallen away like dominos as I cry myself to sleep and wake up crying even more.  I’ve known the root of my problem is expectation and unforgiveness as I’ve physically felt my heart churning in sickness and hurt.  But what I couldn’t see is the nature of my own heart and my own doings.  I couldn’t see that the human heart hurts because it “expects” love to be returned.  God’s heart however – God’s love, isn’t like that.

I imagine how Jesus must have felt as he picked disciples who he would treat like family and then traveled around helping, teaching and healing people, all the while knowing that each of these people would let him down.  Could I even do that?  Could I walk up to someone, love on them heal them, encourage them and feed them all the while as I traded glares, looking them in the eyes, saying to myself, “This person is going to betray me, hate me and wish me dead.”…?  Cause that’s what Jesus did.

Even as he was being captured and Peter was attempting to defend him saying, “Lord I will never deny you.”  Jesus responded, “Oh yes you will.  In fact you’ll deny me 3 times before the clock strikes 12.”  He knew the entire time exactly what would happen.  He knew Judas would sell him out for money and he knew the disciples would coward away out of fear for losing their own lives and he knew the people he had loved and helped would one screaming “crucify him” in a massive crowd where not even one would have mercy or care for him as they watched him being tortured.

The Bible says that before Jesus walked into this horrific scene he was so scared his body was sweating blood. Even God in the flesh reached out to his Heavenly Father asking for the cup to be taken from him if there was a way.  I guess I thought it was all about the physical hurt he would endure, but tonight I think it was more heavily weighted on the heartbreak he would endure.  His human heart would have a dagger driven in it so deeply as his love was returned with hatred.

But God in the flesh didn’t defend himself or even say a word through it all.  He endured it in silence and then even cried out asking his Heavenly Father to forgive the ones who were hurting him.  I’ve cried out that prayer many nights asking God to forgive the ones who have hurt me.  But my mind still stirs daily with trying to make sense of it all – trying to reason with a sense of logic into what caused my pain.  I’ve blamed myself and blamed them – back and forth like a seesaw to the extent I’ve driving myself crazy just wanting a hint of understanding into my pain and why it all had to happen as it did.

Tonight I’m wondering if the heartbreak is two fold – partially here to humble in reminding me that all of my deeds of love weren’t actually in God’s love, because if they were I’d have not expected anything in return.  If I were acting purely in God’s love from a pure heart, I’d have not wanted love in return or yearned for an apology or a change of behavior from anyone I’ve been hurt me.  Secondly, I’m wondering if the purpose of this exposure and the excruciating pain I’ve walked through and continue to battle with is causing a change within me in transforming my human heart in a Godly heart – one that truly doesn’t count wrongs, expect anything in return, doesn’t boast in anything is capable of looking love in the eyes and saying with truth, “Even if this person stabs me in the back and hates me – even if this person puts me through unthinkable pain and agony, I would still treat them with the best I have to give, still love them and still help them in anyway possible.”

I don’t BELIEVE God has brought me this far just to have me crumble like a burnt piece of paper.  I BELIEVE God is changing my heart – creating in me a new heart that is aligned with a kind of love that I can only vaguely grasp.

Recently, I heard a message about the Apostle Paul and what he endured when Christ became his mission – he was hated so badly by the people he’d known and loved his entire life, they actually seeked to kill him.  And he was hated by the ones he thought he was to walk with also.  He didn’t have a friend in the world.  I try to imagine his heartbreak as I have felt this way for so long now.  But on the other side of this heartbreak and loneliness, Paul was unbreakable, it seems.  He even celebrated being beaten nearly to death because he knew that the action of the prison guard was placing him in position to give grace and mercy.  He rejoiced in the beating because God would deliver him from that prison and when the prison guard saw it and KNEW he was of God, he wanted to kill himself – literally turned the sword on himself and Paul said, “Don’t do that, we’re still here and Christ is here too.”  He gave mercy to the man who brutally beat him and even more, he wanted that man to be set free – to be saved by Jesus.  Obviously Paul’s fleshly heart had been transformed into something my logic can’t begin to comprehend.

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…