Monday, June 30, 2008
My heart is breaking for my kids right now. I am taking on their pain in a very real way. My heart literally aches. My husband's daughter has been staying with us (just me and the kids) for the past week. If you're new here, my husband has filed for divorce so he no longer lives here. Anyway, the fact that she is here is a long story for another day, but God is so full of mercy and grace. I feel her pain though. She is just waiting for her dad to call, to make a connection and nothing. He did the obligatory dinner one night but that was it. She is a daughter wanting to be chosen, wanting to be pursued, needing validation from her daddy. And she is not getting it. I cry. I weep. My kids feel the same way. Why doesn't dad want us? Why would he leave? How can he just go on with his life? Again. I cry. I weep.
I wonder how God feels? He is pursuing us, choosing us and at times we just turn the other way. If he weeps, it's because He knows what we are missing. The perfect father. The perfect relationship. We won't need validation from others if we find our identity in Him alone. How do we get there? It all sounds so good, so Christian, so spiritual, but how do we do it? Sure, read the Bible, pray, spend time with Him...I know all those things yet I sense He has more for me and I'm missing something. My worth doesn't come from my husband. In my head I know that, but my heart still hurts. My kids (all of them) want to be chosen by their dad, but for now they are not and I try to teach them of the unconditional love of the Father.
Jesus, your Word says that you came to bind up the broken-hearted. There are a lot of broken hearts in this home and in many others. Please come and minister to all of us. I am begging for each one of us to KNOW your love. Your Word also says that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Bring on the morning Lord. We are ready for your joy!!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Well, that's not the disease I want to talk about today. There's a much worse disease that I have suffered from. The disease of unbelief. I've struggled to believe God. Oh sure, I've believed IN Him but not really believed Him. For sure there are many who suffer with unbelief. Because it is a sin, it ravages our lives just like a real disease. It robs us of joy, peace, grace, knowing forgiveness, assurance. It brings self-loathing, doubt, anxiety, fear and lies along with it. If satan get us to NOT believe what God has said to be true, satan can fill our lives and minds with his poison. Disease.
During my year or more at home I have come to know Jesus in a whole new way. I've had to give Him my doubts, fears, anxiety and the thoughts that rob me of joy. (I do take these back from God every once in awhile) You see, there's no room for my "disease of unbelief" if I want to know Jesus better. I want wholeness in every aspect of my life. Sure, it would be great to get up and walk without the imbalance, to shop, to go have fun with my kids, to have a restored marriage. But if He only heals the physical disease and not the spiritual one, my healing will be fleeting.
Freedom from disease is what I am after. Freedom to walk daily in the knowledge that God loves ME. Freedom to believe He is perfect, able, my supplier, holy, living, watching me at all times, holding me, He cares, just, righteous....the list goes on and on. I want to walk in belief, free from the disease that satan keeps trying to throw back on me. Lord, heal my disease!
I do not plan out what I am going to sit and write. I just come here and start pecking away at the computer. Many times things probably don't make sense to anyone but me, but that's okay. Blogging started out as just another extension of my journal, never thinking people would come and read. So, it is still my journal of the journey God and I are on together. Today, He is telling me there is a far more deadly disease out there. Unbelief. Lord, I don't want my old life back. The doctor is right. I won't get it back because the life you have for me is far greater!!
This song is one of my favorites. I found it thanks to my new friend, Kim. He IS my Healer.
Believing and trusting for Healing,
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Struggling with that question today...is God enough? There was a Bible study I did a few years back that asked the question, "if everything else was taken from you, would you be satisfied with Jesus?" I always had to answer that honestly with a resounding "NO"! I feel as if so much is/has been taken from me and I'm wondering if I'm getting any closer to answering "Yes, Jesus, you are enough". I might be getting closer, but I am not there yet.
To think of all I have because of Jesus...and none of this has anything to do with anyone or anything else. I would still have these things just because of HIM.
- complete forgiveness of ALL of my sins
- salvation and eternal life
- grace and mercy that have no end
- unconditional/unfathomable love
- an intercessor at all times
- constant companion and friend - I am never alone
- peace & joy if I receive them
- a fresh start every morning
- provider of all my needs
- one who was willing to give His life for ME
The list could go on and on, obviously. But that is just for starters. Now if everything and everyone else were taken away from me, that should be enough to satisfy this soul. Oh, how I want to be satisfied with just Jesus! My heart is crying out the past few days. For relief, for my kids, for my marriage, for my heart & mind, still it's all about me. Lord, give me a new perspective. Give me YOUR perspective. Change me. Satisfy me.
Is God enough for you? If all you have was to be taken away would you be satisfied with Jesus?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
These verses are marked and dated in my Bible. It was virtually life to me at one point and sure direction as to what I was supposed to do next. Forgiveness is not for the other person it is for you, for me. When we forgive we are released from the "death grip" of unforgiveness and bitterness. It doesn't mean we have to forget what happened, but we don't use it against that person or dwell on it any more. It is so freeing. When God led me to those verses many years ago, it was after I literally looked up to heaven and said "now what"? And HE sent me right to Matthew. I've been grateful ever since.
Oh, don't get me wrong, it's not as if I've never struggled to forgive since then. Hardly. But I understand the benefits of the commandments to forgive. I'd rather live in freedom than bitterness any day.
These days as I wrestle with forgiving different people in my life, I am again reminded to just choose forgiveness and walk without that burden. (as you know, walking is hard enough for me, let alone with the extra weight of unforgiveness...) Sorry, I digress. There are those that just say something "stupid" to me and I want to be angry. Others I think should be coming around and offering support. They don't. And I want to hold a grudge. My husband is choosing to walk away from his family (at least for this season) and, boy, do I want to get ugly. But who will that help? I may feel better for the moment, but that won't last.
IF my husband doesn't know Jesus, he needs to see me modeling Christ no matter the circumstance. Don's salvation should be more important to me than whether our marriage is saved, whether I get what's fair, whether he comes around and helps. My focus needs to change (once again) from me and my needs to Don and his need for the Savior. That's tough for me. My flesh cries out. But God is getting more and more of me these days and it's harder to block out His voice. I will still pray for the restoration of my marriage and our family. But I am committing to pray that Don will come to know The Healer to receive the healing he so desperately needs. We all need it though, don't we?
So, today I am going to choose forgivness. Wow, that feels good. I feel lighter already. God sure is a miracle worker because I love a good grudge. I've been praying for miracles. They're just coming in different forms. Although you should know I have been able to get out a little bit more and I am SO excited for that. God's doing a big work, I need to get out of the way and let Him.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Many years I carried around anger, bitterness, hatred toward this man. There was no reason for it except that he wasn't my "dad". It took me a long time and I mean a LONG time to finally realize what a blessing we had been given. He had been married before and had lost his wife. They were unable to have children. So, instead, he got stuck with the three of us. Who in their right mind would marry someone with a 13 year old boy, 11 year old girl and 5 year old boy. (Guess my mom was really somethin') But boy he loved us, just like we were his own.
He has been such an example to me of unconditional love. Even though he got nothing in return from me, but grief, he kept on loving. He is the greatest dad anyone could ask for. He is a "papa" that any grandkid would dream of. And right now, two of his grandchildren (my kids) are without their dad. He is being a dad to them in every way he can be without overstepping. I pray that some day my kids will want to see their dad but for now they know they have the unconditional love of their papa.
One last thing...because of seeing unconditional love in the flesh, I was finally able to believe in God's love. It wasn't an easy road or a short one but I did get there. This man, my dad, gave up his life to be what we needed. Jesus gave up His life to give me life!
I love them both. My dad. And my Heavenly Father.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Now I had to be driven there, of course, and I didn't do everything I would like and it was very difficult. But the thing is, God blessed me with the ability to do it. And I am grateful. You should have seen me at Old Navy, it was like I was on a timed shopping spree. I couldn't try anything on, so I was just throwing stuff in my cart (oh yes, you read that right, this dork had to have a cart). Anyway I was tossing in all sizes, colors, didn't matter. Upon returning home I'll probably only be keeping 2 things, but hey it's better than nothin'.
Now, isn't this riveting stuff today? Really I want to tell you that I appreciate your prayers. I am amazed at how God has brought a community of believers together to support one another. I KNOW that someone is praying for me daily. You are such a blessing to me, you have no idea. This is one more reason that I'm thankful for this awful season of my life. I would have never met all of you. Never been able to share in your sorrows, joys, hopes and dreams. I love who I am becoming because of getting to share life with all of you.
Please keep praying. I am far from healed. My marriage is still heading toward divorce. Life is terribly hard. BUT God is good. I believe that with all of my being. I am BELIEVING!!
Friday, June 6, 2008
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.
Seasons of love.
525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan.
525,600 minutes - how can you measure the life of a woman or man?
In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.
It's time now to sing out,
tho the story never ends let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love!
Remember the love! Remember the love!
Measure in love.
Seasons of love! Seasons of love.
Now, you're wondering what on earth does that have to do with anything?? Well, today it has been one year since I got sick. 525,600 minutes. Unbelievable to me. One year has gone by. There would have been a time where I would have said a year that I've lost. A year that I'll never get back, what a waste. Oh but I haven't lost. It wasn't wasted. I've gained so much.
It is about the minutes. And the minutes have been filled with pain, joy, love, heartache, loss, laughter, friendship, Christ, the Church, agony, tears, prayer, memories made, more tears, more laughter, and it goes on and on. Each minute is a minute I will never get back but I do think for the most part, each minute was used to make me more like Christ. Would I want my year to have looked like this? NO WAY! It has been beyond difficult. Would I choose for my husband to have left us? NO WAY! But God is not surprised. He knew what each of these 525,600 minutes would hold. And He told me from the beginning that if I will look to HIM, not a minute would be wasted.
I'm wondering what the next year has in store. But I hope to take it minute by minute. I believe there will be restoration. Restoration of my health. Restoration of my marriage and family. I don't know how it will look. It may not be the way I would choose it. But I am letting go and letting God have this year. Without Him, I don't know where I'd be. Literally!!
I pray that the next 525,600 minutes will be measured by "Seasons of Love". Love to my Father. Love from my Father.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I need to give God my desire for comfort. Yuck, I don't want to. Why is that? He is the God of all comfort. I must not really trust Him. All those things that I thought would bring me comfort showed themselves as lies. They left me empty. God is waiting to fill me to the fullest measure with a comfort that will truly satisfy. Why won't I let Him? I'm sure He's wondering the same thing. Thinkin', girl, why do you think you'll be the exception to the rule and I won't come through for you?
Good question, Lord. I'm believing the lies of the evil one. As He whispers to me, "don't let go of your comfort, you can satisfy your needs, you must be in control, He'll let you down, those words in His Book are for others, if you don't keep working to make things right - who will? You don't really believe that God is going to bring beauty from ashes, do you?" Lord, forgive me. Satan is scheming and I'm afraid at times (many times) I am allowing him to win some battles. He comes to me at night, when I am most vulnerable. When my guard is down. I need to be prepared to fight him at all times. I need to KNOW who you are. BELIEVE who are you. TRUST who are. And I need to start living it.
I am engraved on the palm of your hand. I AM ENGRAVED ON THE PALM OF YOUR HAND!! Lord, I want the comfort that only you can bring. I so desire to give all my cirucmstances to you and leave them there. Remind me when I start to take things back. The heat is turning up, I feel it. More and more of the "old Sheryl" is being burned away, it's painful at times. Boy, is it ever. But you and I will have a story to tell when the season is done.
Refiner, I am in you fire, do your work.