Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Promise

There is nothing more special than the gift of a promise...especially when that promise is made by God to  you. When he speaks to the deepest parts of your heart and soul and says, "This is what I want to do with YOU."

*Big Tears*

Last summer God gave me this promise (hint: it involves a train)...I didn't speak of it to anyone until a fateful call with a friend while I was criss-crossing the state on business...she described to me this theory on 'What If' she was reading about, and I verbally exploded on her of this dream/conversation I had experienced with God a few weeks prior. It was a FATEFUL conversation because it felt like confirmation that what I had KNOWN in my heart was true - God had made me a promise....and though I didn't know when or where or how it would come true, it was nonetheless real and personal...to me.....to God and I.

This is going to be a short post, but I needed to share this truth bomb (to me) this morning because that same friend and I were talking by phone yesterday and I was dumping truth bomb after truth bomb on them (#bless) as I unwound (I am wound pretty tight right now.) verbally with them about everything from counseling to work to kids growing up too fast to discussions around lack of sleep to God and his promises......and in that conversation we discussed the specific promise God had given me last year and how in the world he was going to pull that off (because we humans just love to question and doubt God #facepalm)....and I said the prophetic words..."Well, I am simply asking God to open doors and close doors and make it so very clear to me that I am on the right path because I believe in God and the promise I heard last year....and I just need to be faithful."

So....fast forward to a professional e-mail and a more personal e-mail hitting my inbox yesterday...and then this hitting my eyes this morning....


...AFTER waking up to some text messages that left me slack-jawed.

Let me tell you something.

Be faithful in your trust in God with the promises he has given you.

He just loves to SHOW OUT and answer you in the strangest ways and strangest times with exactly what you need (that you didn't know you needed) to respond to the question - is this real? will you close the wrong doors and open the right ones?

...and then you have to ask yourself....Am I brave? Am I willing to be brave?

Because that is the deal....God can open the doors and close the doors....but are you willing to cross the thresholds????

Am I?

I feel the Holy Spirit in my bedroom this morning so clearly that I swear if I close my eyes and reach out my hand....I can feel her.

*I just did that. My fingers tingled.*

I am at this strange crossroads of confessing all and inviting deep healing into my soul while also jumping off the high dive.

It is exhilarating and terrifying.

I need a good, long, deep, soul-wrenching cry.

There is a LOT of emotion going on inside of me these days.

Also, if this is what 45 feels like. I wish I had always been this age. :))))

Let this post encourage you today....God is in the roses and the thorns....he is a God of promises - healing those broken and giving you the ones you never dared dream. He needs us to be brave though....

The Israelites wandered for 40 years because when they were called up, they shrunk. They didn't have faith. When God called them up again with the craziest of requests....march around seven times....yada yada yada....What were they thinking??? Here we go again? Were there doubters among them??

I have this feeling they felt a little like they were in purgatory - they couldn't back - where? to Egypt? keep wandering around the wilderness? They felt unsure of moving forward - the strongest military in the world was on the other side of a wall. Ummm.....

So they had to choose. Fear or Faith.

Am I going to have faith that God's word is what it is....and keep walking in faith through and to it?

OR

Am I going to stand here and wander....aimlessly?

Counseling is my wall.

My deep and old pain and shame is my "world's fiercest military."

On the other side is everything God has ever promised me.

Am I brave?

Hold on...we are about to find out...

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Fight for Peace


I was getting ready for a day at the ballpark and reading an article (multitasking is who I am) online when it hit me. I am wound tight because I haven't MADE the time to write in weeks. I have been so busy living and surviving life that I haven't MADE the space to download; the truth is writing is the most selfish thing I do because it relaxes me and helps me process. When you are single, I think writing can become like the partner you don't have - at least for this girl.

The past several weeks have been FULL. Trying to manage a growing firm is more than a full-time job, and I am overwhelmed - hourly - by it. In addition, weekly counseling sessions are unearthing things long-since buried, and I am NOT enjoying the process - though I still wholeheartedly agree this is the Best. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Done. For. Myself. Plus, there is this amazing family with tons of changing and growing and events and doors opening and doors closing that is happening....and if you think I am going to miss a thing, you don't really know me. So...I have ALL the BEST excuses, but the fact remains...I haven't written, and I am slowly losing my mind a little because of it.

I just realized that I am fighting for peace.

In.

My.

Life.

...and to do that...

I.

Must.

Go.

War.

....with the enemy. my past. my secrets. my sin. my shame. everything that shackles my soul and holds me back from living a full life.

Key word.

LIFE.

So...here is me admitting that I am at war.

Every.

Single.

Day.

So...the level of exhaustion I feel on a daily basis was compounded the moment I crossed the threshold that first day of counseling. This past week, my counselor said, I think the hardest thing you have ever done was come to counseling that first day. I gave her the strangest look, but days later as I sit here cross-legged on my Sis' bed...I get it. Completely.

My tired is tired.

It isn't about stopping. I never have the urge to do that.

I just can't believe that I have waited all of these years to do this GOOD work on myself. I also wish I could go away to an island and knock it all out in solitude with my counselor because trying to walk through my life WHILE also working through 44 years and one week worth of pure CRAP is overwhelming....and yes I am whining...and yes I too am over myself. ;)

So why share and who the heck cares?!?!

Well....all of us are fighting for peace one way or another. We are all fighting to be known or fighting to hide - or both. We are all fighting to make it through the next hour or day or week. Our fighting often looks like us railing against the social media angst of the day, but the truth is that the real battle is in our spirit....our soul....our heart...and because it is too painful or embarrassing to discuss that battle....we rail against da'man (so to speak).

So...what would happen if we all just owned our battles? For one day we just admitted....I am weak, tired, overwhelmed, struggling, scared, broken, angry, and any number of other battles that each and every one of us struggles with every single day of our lives???

What if?

I am neither proud nor ashamed that I am 44 years old and in weekly counseling because I find the pain I have hidden away for every bit of 40 years too much to bear alone anymore. There are things about me, my life, my struggles, my shame that not one single solitary person on the entire earth knows about...not even my Sis. I have wrapped things and circumstances and people and pain up in tiny boxes and lined them up on a pretty shelf since I was a little girl. I believed a whole host of lies about them and me. I have fought them out in solitude. That solitude is slowly killing me. I can't do it anymore.

The saddest part about all of this?

I am not alone.

We are broken people in a broken world and we all slam up against one another every day ill-equipped to help ourselves or those around us.

I don't want to be that person anymore.

I want to be a helper.

I want to let God help me.

I want to then show others God so they will let him help them.

...because the biggest lie I ever believed was that it was ALL my fault...my responsibility...on my shoulders to FIX me (or even others). I have tried to be God for far too long in my life.

There is no peace in trying to be God.

None.

So...here I go into another day where I secretly wish I could go hide away in my Sis' prayer closet and cry, sleep, pray, or simply zone out....BUT there is this thing called LIFE awaiting me and the call from that is stronger....even on these days. So I fight again today against the memories that overwhelm me after the most brutal counseling session yet...and I choose LIFE.

You know why we can't find peace....because war is easier.

I am fighting for peace to come to the deepest parts of me...I am trusting that God can and will heal that with which I am mustering up the strength to be brave and face. I am fighting to own and accept my story. To be able to put words to what I have lived, survived...endured. I am fighting through the unpacking of each and every single box lined up on those shelves. One at a time. Some of them I am ripping open like a toddler at Christmas. Others I am sneaking up on like they are a bomb...is this the one that is going to be "live" and do me in? (I secretly ask myself.).

I am fighting to be brave.

I want to encourage others to be their own brave. Whatever that looks like.

If we want peace, we have to find it first within ourselves.

This morning I was reading an old post that was discussing the amazingness of Luke 22:31-32
 
31 And the Lord said,[a] “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Let me tell you....it spoke to the deepest parts of my heart this morning...Jon Acuff's post focused on the comma - that beautiful pause between "...returned to Me..." and "...strengthen your brethren." I mean...WOW!

I feel like I am swimming in the comma right now.

...maybe drowning.

I know that God can use anything...anybody. I am not excited about the possibility of him using the worst of me to help others. I hardly think Peter was either.

Maybe that is part of our problem...my problem.

There is beauty and restoration in peace, but humility?

I am uncomfortable.

Just writing that, I am wickedly uncomfortable.

*Deep Sigh*

Oh to have the fortitude of Peter. We laugh at his passion and failings and zeal...but who of us could overcome the denial of Jesus...to lead others to freedom?

The fight for peace is not a pretty story. I so wish it were. I am wrestling my way through it like a cat in a bathtub.

...or a Peter swimming to Jesus on shore.

...because I love Jesus...and breakfast....and restoration.

I have loved you with an everlasting love.

I am counting on that Jesus.

Counting on it.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)