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Posts Tagged ‘god’

falling down a hole

Believe.  That word has been rattling around in my head for a month now, but I’ve been struggling to grasp it.

The insecurity of life became too much for me, and so I retreated into a corner, hugged my knees, and closed my eyes in an effort to provide a false sense of security.  That only lasted for so long, when I began to feel my body being moved and turned.  A breeze swept over me as I lost my equilibrium.  It felt as if a deep cavernous hole had opened up and I was spiraling downward towards the inevitable.  At first, I resisted, but then growing weary of the fight, I found solace in the darkness that was sure to come when I hit bottom.

Believe!  The soft spoken word pierced through the dark thoughts.  Believe what?  Believe that someday I’ll be able to wake up without fear gnawing at my heart and stomach?  Believe that I can someday accept who I really am – a daughter of God?  Believe that joy will come in the morning?  A spark of hope flickered and was instantly snuffed as I twisted and turned in my fall.

Believe! The word seemed to bounce off the jagged rocks that formed the deep pit.  “Believe what?”  My mind screamed in confusion and horror.

“Believe that I have called you.  Believe that you are mine.  Believe that I see you and won’t let you be harmed!  Believe that I love you!”  The unseen voice sounded desperate almost pleading.

“I want to, I really want to, I just don’t have the strength anymore.  All I see is darkness, and all I hear is the wind swirling around me, and all I feel is the weight of gravity pulling me down.”  I frantically rambled.

The tender voice responded, “Open your eyes and look up!”

“I’m too scared!” My voice squeaked out.

“Open your eyes!”

Ever so slowly, I pried open my eyes and looked up.  Instead of seeing pitch black darkness, I saw a handsomely rugged face peering anxiously down at me.  “You’re not falling, I’m carrying you!”

“But I…”

“You became scared of the world around you and you closed your eyes.  When I picked you up, you thought you were falling.  If you had opened your eyes, you would have seen that I am carrying you to safety.”  He gently explained.

“Believe,” I whispered.

“Yes, just believe and you will see the truth.”  My Abba hugged me close as I clung to him realizing that I had been safe in his arms all along.

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broken car

I’m sitting here at work desperately trying not to give into the temptation to grumble and fret.  I made a commitment this week and I plan on sticking to it.  My half day Friday has ended, and excitedly I packed my things up to go home and get lunch before heading off to the Trail to serve coffee, but that is not meant to be.  After turning my car on, it huffed and vibrated, with all the warning lights turning on.  Much to my dismay, I’m back at my desk wondering how are we going to get to the Trail with all the supplies on time and how will my daughter get to work.

But I made a commitment!  God promised that ALL things would work together for good, so there’s a blessing in this situation.  I just need to find it.  🙂  So, Father, thank you for the car, thank you that it didn’t break down while I was driving, and thank you that I can wait in a warm place.  Blessings come in disguises.

In all things will I give thanks.

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After spending the weekend feeling discouraged and fearful, I decided that I would focus on finding little blessings throughout the day.  As I found things, I would text them to my husband.  Blessing #1:  the ability to text so I can stay in touch with Josh all day.  Blessing #2: God provided lunch at work, etc.  The discouragement and fear were beginning to be replaced with peace and joy, that is, until I received a phone call.  A doctor’s office called informing me of a medical bill that I had no idea I even had.  They were very unsympathetic to my surprise, all they cared about was when they would receive payment.

“God, really?  I’m trying to do the right thing here by not grumbling and complaining.  What’s this all about?  Why can’t we get a break?”

In the quietness of the moment, God answered, “What about the commitment you made this morning about be thankful for the blessings?”

“Yes, BLESSINGS, not more bad news!”  I complained.  “You know we’ll never be able to pay this!  We can’t even buy a roll of paper towels!” (fact, not exaggeration)

“But who’s to say that I didn’t just give you a blessing?”  God challenged.

“What?” I retorted, but then I stopped and thought about it.  Our helpless situation required a miracle, and the only one that could perform the miracle was God.  There was the blessing.  I would be able to see God provide for us in a way that only he could do!  Through this my faith would be strengthened.

Quite humbled and filled with gratitude, I responded, “You’re right, God, this bill and this situation is a blessing.  No matter what, I will praise you.”

That night, my husband and I shared with our children the situation that we were in and our commitment to give thanks in all things.  As our kids prayed asking God to meet our needs, they also made sure they thanked him for all that he has given.

Sometimes blessings come in disguises, we just need to have a different perspective.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

(I Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)

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ripe orange with leaves on white backgroundA few weeks ago, I was all excited about 2015 and all the mystery surrounding a new year, but for whatever reason, the excitement vanished.  Instead, the year loomed before me as a deep bottomless pit with no hope.  As the joy of the holidays subsided and the reality of 2 ½ weeks of no work, no pay (not by choice) sunk in, so did the fear and frustration.  Why can’t we ever move forward?  Why are we always in a continual backward motion?  With 6 mouths to feed our stash of food was quickly dwindling and the cravings were growing (No, not pregnant cravings).

After all the junk food and sweets of the holidays, we all wanted fruit, veggies, and meat.  “God, can you please provide some fruit, veggies, and meat?  We all need this.”  I simply asked.

Not aware of our need, my mom went to the glean to gather some food.  A glean is where people pick up day old food from grocery stores and bring them to one location.  Everyone who helps out, can pick out any food for free.  My mom helps out with one and she often brings all sorts of goodies to us.  On this day, she stopped by our house with a box of oranges, veggies, meat, and bread!

I am so thankful that I belong to God, my father and provider!  He shows his love for me even through an orange.

You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?  So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.   – Matthew 7:9, 10 (NLT)

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bead on string

Usually people wish time would just stand still long enough for them to get caught up with work, or to just hold onto a precious moment a little while longer. For me, I’m glad that time has not stood still.  These past five or six weeks have been agonizingly stressful.  This past summer my husband decided to pursue a career in law enforcement.  After attending a class to prepare him for the procedure, he came home and told me all about the process.  By the time he was done, I was begging for fresh air afraid that I might lose my mind completely.  I had no idea that the process was so intense!

First, he would have to pass a written test. If he passed that, 2 weeks later- a physical test, then an oral board interview, background checks, more interviews, lie detector, and one last physical test.  Since he was applying for two agencies, double everything I just wrote.  Every weekend, he was doing some kind of test. The pressure was great especially having been out of work for a year, everything was riding on whether he passed or failed.  I have never been more thankful that time kept steadily marching on.  For some reason, that idea brought me comfort – I wouldn’t have to be stuck in this situation forever.

But today, is different. The copier in the office stopped working which means I can’t get much done.  My body aches with the flu and apparently my brain isn’t working on all gears either.  I just took a phone call and stuttered and stammered my way through it.  Today, time is standing still and all I want to do is go home and go to bed.

Time. My pastor used this illustration to describe time:  He strung a thin rope across the auditorium and placed a bead on the rope.  Our time on earth is just a small bead on the long rope of eternity, for that I am grateful.  Whatever struggles and heartaches I face, it is for a short time and then I will have the rest of forever to live the way God intended for me to live – in peace.  I honestly can’t wait to really begin living, but as I wait, I will take comfort in the fact that time marches on…

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  James 4:14 (NIV)

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life is short coffee

One of the perks of being an admin. for a pastor is that I get to clean my boss’ coffee cup which I am staring at right now.   After many times of washing it, I have finally stopped to read the words on it:

Coffee Break, n. 1) a break from life for coffee, a pause, etc. 2) an oasis in a sea of insanity 3) five minutes alone 4) fifteen minutes with a friend 5) a moment < Starbucks

Something about this just struck me, I guess maybe it was the concept of time and how we all need more of it. What if we did get more time, what would we do with it?  Would we stop to have a cup of coffee, and I mean really enjoy it just for the heck of it, not a grab, run, go? Would we use the extra time to just sit with a friend and share life, or curl up with that book we swear we’re going to read someday, or maybe just do nothing but stare at the nature around us?  Somehow I doubt it, with the addition of more time we would add longer working hours in order to obtain financial stability so that way we could someday enjoy more time.  We humans don’t make sense.

This past week I’ve been listening (yes, listening) to the book, The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnston. In it he explains that one of the reasons people lose hope is because they are doing too much.  Hope gets lost in the busyness of life.  More people suffer from stress related illness than any other illness.  Do you feel like you lack hope in your life?  If so, reevaluate your priorities and give yourself that needed coffee break!  Who knows, that  brief oasis may just give you more time.

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. –  James 4:14 (NLT)

 

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hope

Hope vs. Fantasy. Last week, I came to the place where I reevaluated my past and my present and decided that the hope I clung to was just fantasy.  For years, I kept clinging to the hope that circumstances would get better, that there was a purpose for me, and that God had a future in mind for me, but last week, I gave up.  I don’t know what brought this on, other than just discouragement.  My hope switch flipped to off.  I convinced myself that it was better to give up than to continue on in my “dream world”.  I didn’t realized that when hope disappears, it would create an empty void rather than bringing peace.

God knew I had hit rock bottom and as I shared last week, the very next day he shared a verse talking about hope. He continued with that conversation this weekend by placing several people in our path to help us take the next step toward the “fantasy” future, and then today a friend stopped by my work and left me an audio book to listen to on hope.  Once more, God was reassuring me that my needs were very real to him.

Which brings me to a question – all those years of dreaming of a future filled with purpose, was it really just fantasy or was it hope? I now believe it was hope, not something I made up.  And that hope was based upon Jesus and a belief that he has started a good work in me and will bring it to fruition (Philippians 1:6), and that his plans for me aren’t for failure but for success. (Jeremiah 29:11) Without hope, life became pointless, but with it, life is worth living once more.

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