I left the house this morning, beating myself up-

I was critical toward others in my mind,

Impatient with the kids-

The ground I had gained seemed lost.

Where was that positive gentle teacher?

I made a couple of big mistakes this week,

And I feel like I lost some ground.

Instead of accepting forgiveness,

I have become despondent.

God I need your love,

So I can give it away-

Help me to face the enemy within,

To accept your love,

and find your peace-

Amen.

Trust

I reached for a cup,

I did not need-

I could have sought You

In my time of need,

But bitter brew runs deep in my veins-

Steam punk memories like smoke,

Wrap around my brain-

Still depressed,

Only edgey-

Better by far tan being in the tunnel of exhaustion-

Do I trust You

To carry me through?

Doubts and questions flood my mind-

Three pills, several vitamins,

And countless cups of tea…

I feel a guilt I cannot shake-

For struggling with a sorrow I did not make-

Moderation

Seeks to move me

Onto greener pastures-

I fear the letting go.

I want control-

Temporary “relief”

I only have one answer-

You.

Can I trust you with infirmities,

You have chosen not to heal?

And choices,

I did not get to make?

 

 

 

Victory Through Death

A dream is a wish your heart makes…so says Disney’s original Cinderella.  (My cynical dark side sings “A dream is wish dashed against rocks-and yes I am laughing at my own joke) The heart however, is unpredictable.  The Bible even calls it wicked.  Before you protest, here is the Oxford dictionary definition:

Evil or morally wrong.

Morally wrong, I think we can all agree none of us is perfect and everyone does things morally wrong.   Often our motives our selfish and impure, as mine were in this case.  I am talking about having children.

Having a natural child or adopting an infant is a lovely and noble thing.  I found myself often daydreaming of a beautiful little bundle of joy.  Never, ever did I picture a boy.  Pink blanketed baby with matching rosy pink cheeks and nose.  I imagined dress shopping and other things of that nature.  Yet what I thought about most was how I could teach her from an early age how to handle herself,  Make sure that she would not be sexually abused by kids in the neighborhood-just like I was. Teacher he self respect so that she wouldn’t be sexually abused as a young adult by a unstable and dangerous boyfriend just like I was. Protect her.  I wanted to relieve my past through another child and make it right. And that my friends is not morally right.

When I found out I started ” the change”  a month ago, I was devastated.   I had just been prayed over for healing of my infertility.  Then  I got another period, my 3rd in 6 weeks. I went to the doctor and found out it was perimenopause. The window of my fertile years was slowly closing only to slam shut.  I felt God was saying no to natural children, and our wallets had already said no to adoption.  I was O.K the first week.  Then it hit me hard and I could barely function.  This feeling of overwhelming loss was swallowing me up, making my life feel like it had no purpose, no joy, nothing to look forward to.  At the same time I felt like I was experiencing things long buried in my past.  Not the shame or terror or rage or fear.  Like I was grieving a loss from my 9 month (see the connection here?) relationship with an abusive man.  The kind of loss you experience when something valuable is taken from you, almost like a death in the family.

When someone forces you physically or through intimidation and fear to do things sexually you do not want to do, it is demoralising.  When someone threatens to literally  kill you, it is the worst kind of rejection ever. It is a lie that says you are not worthy of living.  They don’t just want you gone, but to no longer exist.  You do not matter.

I cannot go back in time and change those things I experienced.   Yet in my delusion I would be adopting  a little baby girl, a little me.  As if I could reverse time.  It was pure fantasy.  It kept me from feeling that horrible sense of loss.  It is embarrassing to admit how selfish my desires were in all this, and how foolish. The bottom line is I am not in control, though time and time again I gravitate toward the illusion I am.  I cannot stop abuse from happening.  The fact that it did happen doesn’t have to define me.  I am a child of the Most High King.  Nothing can change that.

So yes maybe a dream is a wish your heart makes, but not all wishes are granted.  God is not a Jeannie.  What we get instead is sometimes painful, but always life giving.  We are given truth, and the truth will set us free.  The death of my dream gave me victory-and space in my heart for the right kind of dreams, the ones God has for me.

Amen and Amen.

 

Life sometimes feels like a Rubik’s cube I cannot solve,  It is puzzling and beyond me and doesn’t make sense.  I feel like I have been handed a mess.

I’m a mess. ‘

Does it matter.

Truth be told how I feel or do not feel at any given moment may matter (at times) to loved ones, and always to God, but in the grand scheme of the universe, not really.  The world doesn’t cease to turn when I am depressed.

Am I leaving a dent-will there be a hole when I’m gone as in “boy that Tara did so much for our church/community/humanity (insert superhero or Saint picture here)

Yet that is pride.  Some people never go recognized for all they do.  They have a quiet way of doing good that is rarely recognized.  Jesus said if you even give a cup of cold water in my name it will be noticed.  God knows.

Others say it is who you are or become that is your contribution to society.  So why are we here?

The Westminster Catechism states that man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy  Him forever.  How do I do that?

I guess the reason I am thinking all this is because, growing up in a very family centered, Roman Catholic Family, I thought my purpose in life was to raise kids.  If you had asked me, I would have told you otherwise-I would have quoted the Westminster Catechism or giving a more pious answer.  The truth is, I have been waiting all my life to raise children.  I feel I got what I think was a clear no from God, and I am now transitioning into menopause.  Suddenly life seems empty.  Shallow.  Nothing can dull the pain.  Not sweets, not caffeine, not TV.  Nothing.  I read my Bible and pray.  All I sense is an inner desperation for God, and a realization how much I need Him.  Yesterday I was glowing and full of peace…today…well not so much.  I just want to go to bed.

The truth is, this is hard on my husband.  He wants kids too.  He is the main provider and we cannot afford to adopt.  Then there’s my mom and dad who have one grandson they see too little of, due to the friction between my brother and the boys mother.

Yet that is NOT what is ailing me.  It’s the empty promises of the world.  It the illusion of control.  It’s like nothing really is as satisfying as it used to be.  Sad to say these things are shallow.  Tea, chocolate, ice-cream, TV…all the things that made me feel better or numbed me no longer work.  I don’t see having a good job or performance as what makes things fulfilling.  It’s a nice feeling to get things checked off my list-but it that what give me or my life value?  Or is it that I am a child of God?

However part of me thinks “who cares what happens to me if I do not have children?  What is the point”.  I don’t know why I feel that way.  I am not ready to foster.  If Geoff and I do, that road could lead to heart brake or joy or both.

I guess the point is to hold on, when there is nothing else, That and not let having children be an idol.  Amen

Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.  Job

 

 

 

 

Illusions

I thought about lesson planing this morning.  Here I am 5:30 am on Easter Sunday, “wrestling the angel” like Jacob.  On Good Friday Jesus touched my heart-and revealed to me that I was holding back-or rather holding out.  Walled up.  I did and do not want to deal with the pain and shame in my life from my past.  He told me to write about it.  That it might help others.  Mostly as a way to let Him into the place even I don’t want to go-not even with Him.

Some people receive instant healing.    Some churches expect that. ( I heard Joyce Meyers once say that while it does happen that way, people whom God heals slowly grow more from the experience).Or they try to tell victims to shush, it is all in the past, Jesus is with you so buck up.  Pain and struggle is weakness,  A moment of doubt apostasy.

I have been a bitter, excuse laden, victim mentality believer.  I felt so inferior with my ADHD and other problems that I cursed the world for rejecting me-and the church too.  I wanted to rebel and become a radical Christian with purple hair and scripture tattoos.  Thankfully I didn’t-not that it would be wrong to go purple, just that it really isn’t me.

Now as I sit here typing I am struck with the thought that life is good, life is hard, life has pain-for everyone.  No one’s life or childhood was or is perfect.  We live on earth, sin’s fallout zone.  Then I think of Jesus-before even the cross-willing to come to this place.  Leaving the safety of heaven, all it’s beauty and glory where sin and evil is not allowed, to come to a dusty small town which was in a region with a bad reputation.  Willing to deal with the everyday rudeness and insensitivites of the human race in all it’s forms.  Subjected to earthly, imperfect parents telling the God of the universe in human form what to do.  Willing to bare all the trials and tribulations of being human: having to work by the sweat of His brow, loosing loved ones, being lonely at times even among friends, being hungry and thirst and tired and ill.  He dealt with being misunderstood, falsely accused, persecuted for righteousness by jealous on lookers, being betrayed and deserted by His friends.  The list goes on-and that is before the cross.

I would have stayed at home quiet frankly.  I guess I have been.  Unlike Jesus I don’t have heaven (yet).  I have Him, yes, but he seems to find pain a necessary part of the human condition( what would heaven be for anyway if life down here was perfect?) I don’t like that.  So I have walls.  More like a swirly labyrinth where I reside in the middle.  Jesus does not blow the trumpet like Joshua an the priests at the walls of Jericho.  He patiently makes His way through the maze, meeting me behind the walls, helping me dismantle them.   Like Adam and Eve I hide in plain sight of the Lord, ineffectively covering my shame and nakedness.  Only God can do that. Yet letting Him in is painful at times.  I don’t like pain.  Not one bit. I am reminded of Job, who was faithful to God and suffered great loss:

“Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Yet I have.

It is OK to ask questions, to say to Jesus things like why? Where were you?  How can I trust you when you let bad things happen? I have stayed in that place for years now.   I am tired.   There is another place.  A place of acceptance and peace.  A place that says I am sorry for questioning you Jesus.  You know what you are doing.  You will use this for good.  I am sorry for not trusting you.  A place where you realize life is both wonderful and awful and so very temporary.  Pain and joy are part of the process.  You can’t run away from either.  Jesus didn’t.

The you realize your pain is not unique.  Everyone has past hurts and no one’s life is perfect,  It does not invalidate your experience to acknowledge that.  I think sometimes we feel so invisible, we have been so discredited that we are tempted to cling to our issues too tightly so no on else can trample them.   Be prepared however, to be trampled a bit.  No one is perfect and people will step on your toes, even knock you flat-some unintentionally, some intentionally.  I have stepped on people too, pushed them aside or out of the way, dismissed them.  I am a sinner.  I live on a planet with sinners.  Should I be surprised then that life is often difficult? To quote Job again Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.

So what is the point of all this?

Jesus came down to earth and didn’t just restrain wrath or tolerate us.  He loved us.  Completely.  Accepting pain means accepting love,  Being willing to confront our own weakness, to see others as equally imperfect and choosing to love them anyway can be difficult.  We can let imperfect people in even if they might hurt us, because Jesus is with us.   We can let our hands down, stop trying to make everyone happy, stop trying to make our little world safe and cozy and conflict free.  That’s where true love lives. Outside of the illusion of easy and safety, on the road to Calvary with Jesus, who loved a sinful world so much He gave His life for them-for you, and for me.  Letting down your guard, letting yourself be loved unconditionally can seem frighting at first.  Exposing.  Jesus wants only to cover your nakedness.  I am preaching to myself.

“Perfect Love cast out fear, for fear is of punishment.” 1 John

 

Lord, help us to draw near to you, even when it is painful, scary, or uncomfortable.  I thank you that you are patient with us.  As we learn to stop trying to be perfect, or in control, knowing we cannot hide anything from you, cast out fear.  Perfect us in love, and in doing so, teach us to love others with your love.  Help us keep our eyes on you, being willing to loose all we think we have, learning to trust solely in you.  In you we live and move and have our being.  Help us to see that you are worth risking everything for.  Your boundless love is a pearl of great price.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shared post From Secret Angel

As I watched this movie, Joyful Noise, I was brought to tears by this song being sung by a group of young children. My heart was deeply touched. Yes, that’s the way God planned it. That’s the way He wants it be. Let us all praise the Lord! He is worthy of our praise!

via Inspirational Song for Today: That’s the Way God Planned It — The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel

Unexpected

I did not expect to find You,

In the dark and desperate places of my soul,

Barefoot and on Your knees,

Praying with me-

I thought You existed

On some mountain top,

Beaming with light,

Filling my world with so much joy-

I would not feel pain.

Perhaps for some this is true.

Then there is the rest of us-

The weeping prophets,

The angry and rebellious Jonahs-

You call your own.

Out of the whirl wind of my confusion and pain You speak-.

You are not afraid of my mental infirmities or  weaknesses,

Or the hidden bitterness,

I have carried for far too long-

You walk among  twisted shadows,

Of the ruins,

Devastated for generations.

You hold  me close,

Your disheveled lamb

As I mourn.

Sometimes I cannot know,

If You are rebuilding or rescuing,

I don’t even care-

Not now.

I am just so grateful,

That you are here with me,

Jesus,

Where no on else can go,

Loving me.

Like no one else can.