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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom, Guns, Drugs, and Jesus

In any society we must balance freedom and so called safety.  The more Freedom you give to those in power, the more safe they will keep you from criminals-  Until of course the ones in power become the ones who threaten your safety and well being.

The Bill of Rights, when enforced, protect us from the need for Libertarians.  I almost became a Libertarian when I felt my Rights as an American citizen were being threatened. Then I remembered the Bill of Rights.  I just want those buggers not to be messed with.

The idea that  legalizing drugs will end gang wars and stop prisons from being over crowded shows some people don’t  know the nature of the beast.  When drugs become legal, are gang bangers and mob bosses going to become florists and school teachers?  Criminals will just find another enterprise.  People will still need to cheat and steal to support their drug habit.  Drug addicts would skip the stage sentencing them to rehab for possession of narcotics, and move right into being incarcerated for petty theft or repeatedly  robbing  gas stations by finger point.

I hate guns.  Yet the powers that be have guns.  Criminals have guns.  So despite my distaste for them, I think citizens should have guns.  It is not only constitutional, it is the balance of power.

We all have social security numbers…why?  So we can receive money back from the government that was ours in the first place.  For this privileged we are numbered-serialized from birth.

Now anyone in NH can carry and conceal without a license.  Why do we need to pass a test in order to drive, but not to own a gun?  While I believe in the right to bare arms, I would be lying if I said this didn’t bother me. Is there a middle ground to be found here?  Or is a jackass with a gun who doesn’t have a clue how to use it the price we pay for freedom.  I don’t know.

Political Correctness has replaced manners.  It is a word that robs people of stating reasonable opinions.  Manners is about being kind, pleasant and respectful.  Someone with good manners does not insult people or use any kind of racial slur.  Political correctness  is simply a way of not offending those who want to revolutionize society’s norms.  If you are uncomfortable with males having access to the women’s bathroom because of the transgender issue, you’er a bigot, no matter how respectful and honest you try to be about your feelings. Calling someone a bigot or a Nazi is serious actuation, a hurtful term, and an insult of the worse kind.  It is bad manners.

We live in a world that is imperfect and contains evil.  We have to live with it and do the best we can in politics and laws.  I think the answer to evil has always been about Christ.  It is about changing the world, one person at a time not by laws but from within.  It is not the kind of change that makes us “decent” people, but a gradual change to become transformed into a being that radiates God’s love.  If everyone were like that, the world would be an awesome place.  Yet people have free choice.  So I guess the best hope for America and the world is Jesus’ return.

 

Dare

I am dragging my feet

A child not wanting to go

To school…

Yet this school is different

We call it life

And it’s calling me,

To look at past hurts,

Release them to God

Setting them free…

 

My other blog, Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins contains poetry and real life stories about my past.  I am also writing a chronological story about what happened to me, but that remains private and may indefinitely.  I have two blogs because I don’t want everything I write to be about trauma, though I suppose healing is a mystery.  Some posts may appear in both blogs.

Perception

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.Isaiah 43:19 NIV

One of the hardest things I had to do about ten years ago was leave  HCMA church.  After a brief membership at another church, I have found, with my husband, a church that feels like home.  Yet my memories of being  a new Christian at HCMA church awash in a kind of golden glow.  I and my twenty something friends were on fire, (when we weren’t distracted by the ever strong and also burning desire to marry)  The whole church seemed ALIVE with the spirit and awash in strong prayer. I was drunk in the spirit, experienced holy laughter, and felt like I was in the throne room of God.

God through Jesus Christ gives all believers the spirit.  The church in Corinth was alive and kicking.  They had all the gifts in the spirit and need instruction on how to use all of them.  However, they also very spiritually immature.  Their were divisions, competition  and lawsuits. (1 Cor. 6:7, 1 Cor 11:1)  Spiritual gifting is not a sign of maturity because it is not earned-that is why it is called a gift. A church can be alive in the spirit, yet immature. Habits like  gossiping and divisiveness  will eat at a church like a cancer, causing it to slowly die out.  Unfortunately, that is something many Christians, like myself, have both experienced and, to my shame, participated in.  I can see now how destructive it was and is.

Despite knowing this, I still long at times for those powerful experiences in the spirit, which have waned.  While I am happy in my new church home and still using my gifts of intercession, I sometimes miss the good old days.  Only were they really that good?  I don’t know.  The felt that way at times.  Yet I can look back and see that my maturing in the Lord didn’t coincide with spiritual experiences.

God is the God of every season of our lives, every church experience, every spiritual gift.   I was praying at a church meeting recently, and I got the following verse; See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19   I recognized it as a word for our church, and I believe it was.  Today  God reminded me it was a word for me as well. God worked powerfully in one way at one church at one time.  The same is true for me.  He is working in my life- I have seen it-the fruit has been amazing. Yet if I keep chasing past experiences, and not God, I will miss out on what Christ is doing in my life now.  And that my friends, is ingratitude.