Friday, May 1, 2009
So, as you can tell from my previous post, I’ve been facing a particularly difficult time in my spiritual walk lately. That’s not really changed. But I decided yesterday afternoon, (after ripping my son’s head off because he asked me how I was and the look on his face afterward could have broken a statue’s heart) that something needed to give.
So, I went to our local coffee shop drive through and decided to take my pastor’s advice and “Have a coffee with God”. Now came the question, where could I go that I could be alone with God, free from “worldly distractions”. Answer: My daughter’s grave. It’s a small grave yard by most standards, but it’s also a very beautiful, quiet place in the midst of a chaotic world. Also, the dead don’t normally interrupt or listen in ;). Now I’m not a nature nut per se. Insects drive me crazy and there isn’t any tv, but I love wildlife.
I pulled up in my noisy car, parked and grabbed my coat and coffee. I spread out my coat on the ground and dropped myself down. I began to pray. I prayed to God and poured my heart out all over the place. As the tears flowed, I lifted my head and there, staring at me not 100 yards away, was the most beautiful herd of deer I’ve ever seen (Ok, so they were normal dear, but in the moment, they were beautiful).
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1
Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
These are not passages I knew before today, but I felt, as I sat and cried and bared my soul to my God that he was telling me something and I needed to know it. I needed to know that he will help me to move through this. Not past it, not around it, but through it.
I think the reason I felt the deer were so important was because they were quite obviously there when I drove up as it was only 5 minutes or so before I noticed them. Now deer are flighty creatures by nature, they do become somewhat tame, but loud unfamiliar noises do scare them off.. and my car is broken and LOUD LOL. Hence, God isn’t scared off by my brokenness and “loud noises”
The second thing is, as I prayed and watched the deer I realized something about God that I had forgotten. The deer, being the flighty creatures they are, are always watching. They were always watching me, even when they moved behind some trees for a bit and I couldn’t see them, I know they were watching me. Lesson for me? God is always watching me, He’s always there. Even when I don’t see him, He sees me. Even when I think He’s gone, He is just in the trees (and the trees I imagine are the struggles we all face that take our eyes off him. Deep huh? LOL) but He’s never taken His eyes off of me.
As for the passages, they were something I searched out when I got home. But I have no doubt that I searched them because God gave me those deer.
The struggle that I'm facning is going to be a long, tough road with many doubts and tears and fears I'm sure, but, after my coffee with God I now know: “The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I want God's forgiveness? Yes. Will I get it? Doubtful.
You may think
I’m just fine
How could anything
Ever be out of line?
I take my time
To set the stage
To make sure everything
Is all in place
Even though I’ve got the lines rehearsed
A picture only paints a thousand words
Things aren’t always what they seem
You’re only seeing part of me
There’s more than you could ever know
Behind the scenes
I’m incomplete and I’m undone
But I suppose like everyone
There’s so much more that’s going on
Behind the scenes
Sometimes I can’t see
Through the dark
And at times I’m unsure
About the ground
Beneath my feet
If it’s safe and sound
When it’s hard to find hope in the unseen
I have peace in knowing it will find me
You may think I’m just fine
How could anything ever be out of line?
Francesca Battistelli - from the album My Paper Heart
Friday, February 13, 2009
You see, 10 years ago this upcoming Feb. 20th, 2009, my daughter Morgan passed away suddenly. No amount of faith (which I was low on to begin with) can prepare you for that kind of pain. So what has the Lord been asking me to do that I've been avoiding?
He's been telling me that this tragedy can be a blessing to others. I believe ( and maybe I'm out of my mind) but I believe that the Lord wants me to share my story. The story of her passing and how my lack of faith then lead me to the great faith I have now. I believe he wants me to share it in a very public forum which means I would obviously have to sit and write about it ( I don't believe one can just get up and wing this sort of thing successfully). But I've not done so. I've not written one word. Am I being defiant of the Lord? Most definitely. But I just can not seem to find the time or the words or the strength to do so.
I really want to do this. I do. But.. I haven't. And it brings me great sadness that for some reason I can not do what the Lord is asking of me. Still, I manage to come up with excuse after excuse as to why I can't do this or why I'll "do it later".
Excuse #1: Nobody really wants to hear my story.
Excuse #2: What makes me think I'm important enough to spread His message?
Excuse #3: I just don't have time to sit down for extended periods to write.
Excuse #4: (and probably the biggest excuse) I don't want to face that pain again in such an intimate way.
But what would I do if God always had an excuse for me?
Possible excuse #1: I'm sorry I just don't have the time for you right now.
Possible excuse #2: I'm sorry but if you can't do "A" then I can't do "B"
Possible excuse #3: You are not important enough.
Thankfully, I will never have to hear those excuses from my God.
Thankfully, even though I've been disobedient ( in many, many ways) God will never be too busy or incapable.
And thankfully, God will NEVER think I'm not important.
"... God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son..."
Then surely, I can find the time, face the pain and do what is asked of me.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Monday, January 5, 2009
Many of us know what "Faith" is, but how many of us have Faith? I thought I did, until yesterday morning when I realized, I had very little faith.
These verses aren’t ones I set out to read, it was part of yesterday’s sermon, but oh my goodness it was just what I needed.
We had a guest pastor yesterday and the sermon was about Faith. Until yesterday, I thought I had faith.. but like the V8 commercials where people smack others on the forehead because they didn’t eat their vegetables, God smacked me forcefully and squarely on the forehead!
Genesis 22:3 (New International Version) 3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
Genesis 22:9 (New International Version) 9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
Abraham, who KNEW he was going to do the most difficult and unthinkable thing any parent could do, actually GOT UP EARLY (I probably would have hit the snooze button) and took his son, “whom he loved” to the mountain to sacrifice him! Parents out there, think about this.. . Abraham was going to KILL his son because God made him promises. At that very instant I knew I didn’t have faith. Faith for me was a “head” thing. Now, it’s a heart thing!
So many times, mostly when things were going wrong, I would stress out, pray frantically saying “Please God Please God Please God” and the like.. but I wasn’t faithful.. I was fearful. If I WAS faithful, I would most assuredly pray, but the tone, the feel, the whole process would be different.
Today, I feel different. Safe. Secure. Actually Peaceful. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt peace before but I do now. The fear is gone.Will it be a daily struggle.. absolutely, I have no doubt, but I also have no doubt now, that those two verses will forever be a reminder to me that Faith is attainable and something I will strive for minute by minute, day by day. Forever
Monday, December 22, 2008
So now I have the dilemma of what to do for my daughter's birthday. Plan was to bring her and her friend back into town tonight for supper and a movie, but, the roads are really bad and I'm worried about just getting home after work, much less coming back in. Maybe I'll pick up some KFC on my way home and let them go to the local video store and pick out a movie. *sigh* Oh well.
I've been thinking a great deal over the last couple of days about this day 15 years ago when my daughter was born. Surprisingly, I remember it like it was yesterday for the most part. I remember that I had a routine doctors appointment because she wasn't due until the 26th. But I was determined to have her before Christmas. In fact I was determined to have her no later than today so that I could be out of the hospital for Christmas as I had my son ( who was 2 at the time) at home and I didn't want to ruin his Christmas. So off I went at 10 am for my doctor's appointment and I told him that I was going to have the baby TODAY. He laughed at me. I told him to do what ever he had to do to induce my labor but of course he couldn't use any drugs because I wasn't overdue. So he did a little of this and that and sent me home.
I remember my Grandfather showing up early that afternoon. I miss him so. Anyway, around 2 pm I remember twinging and turning and my grandfather asked what was wrong. I told him I thought that maybe I was going into labor. Well.. I've never seen an old man with Parkinson's move so darned fast. He was out of his chair and out the door before I could blink! He stopped short, poked his head in the door and said "I wasn't there for my own children's birth, not sticking around for this one, but do call us and let us know how it goes" and then he was gone. I think that was the last time I saw him before he passed away.
I waited a little longer then I called my doctor and told him we were heading into the hospital. He laughed and said I was very funny. I told him I wasn't being funny, and that I would see him there. Shortly thereafter, we arrived at the hospital. I remember Dr. Salgado coming into the room to break my water, he laughed and said I was the most determined women he'd ever met! He left us to go get some supper as he thought it was going to be a while before anything significant happened. Then, out of no where, it started and it was fast and furious. I had been planning on an epidural or something, but Amanda had other plans. The nurses couldn't get a heart beat. The paged my doctor and another specialist. By the time my doctor arrived to the room, it was filled with nurses and doctors and an emergency C-section tray. I remember clearly the sound of his coffee cup hitting the floor and the splashing of the coffee. Oh and of course the cursing of the nurse who had to clean it up.
He walked over to the bed and said " I see there isn't much I can do ... do you want to hold my hand?" All I could think of was "don't break the doctor's hand, don't break the doctor's hand". But, the baby wasn't coming. I wasn't dilating. They tried everything, putting me in every convoluted position I could imagine. For a few minutes I thought maybe I was in Cirque De Sole! At one point, I was on my side, with 5 pillows under my hips and a nurse behind me and my husband in front and I whispered " I need to push" the nurse said "Oh honey, you can't push " then all I heard was the doctor saying "Oh my God, push push push" and I did. Then there was crying; not only from the baby, but my husband and I both. She was absolutely beautiful! The nurse who told me I couldn't push leaned over and whispered in my ear "Good job dear! You must have had a Christmas angel with you today".
She's still beautiful. And God knows I love her, but she's become a teen and most days I would rather ship her off to boarding school than live with her. But then I think back to the day she was born and how much trouble she gave me then, and I realize that I should have been prepared for the future!
Friday, December 19, 2008
As I calm down a little, I have to admit I do feel blessed as well. Blessed that I have found someone out there who seems to be a true friend. Someone who is very much like me, but has a more level head when it comes to helping me figure out my frustration. She's amazingly witty and totally cool. And if she's reading this (which she probably is because I think she's the only one who does read my posts) I just want to say a BIG thank you :)
The latest frustration seems to be my need to talk, to say SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to a particular person, but when cooler heads prevail, it's obviously not the right thing to do. I have a REAL problem when it comes to speaking my mind. I've never been one to just 'keep quiet' about anything. This, as I'm sure I've said before, has gotten me into a whole heap of trouble, but has, on most occasions, made me at least, feel better. But as my new, good, friend reminded me today:
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22 for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
So now I'm frustrated with how to go about suppressing my need to speak my mind AND how to "heap burning coals" on this persons head. Yes, it's quite an image and even though I'm sure the Lord is shaking his head in disapproval right now, it somehow makes me feel just the tiniest bit better to envision this person with heaping hot coals on their head.
Prayer. That's the answer that has hit me squarely in the face as I write this.
Romans 8:26 (New International Version)
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
I really don't know what to pray for in this situation. Do I pray that this person should feel the burning of the hot coals(which regrettably is what I really hope). Or do I pray for silence? Thankfully, I don't really have to know exactly for what I need to pray.
Romans 8:26 (New International Version)
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
I just wonder, how many prayers do I need to send up before the "hot coals" image goes away?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
One thing I'm feeling more and more lately is sadness because I feel very alone. Since my FH has been away, I've felt isolated and alone. Why do I feel that way? I KNOW in my head that God is there for me, but do I really "feel" it? I read posts and support messages and even bible passages about how God speaks to others. Why isn't He speaking to me? And if He is speaking to me, why can't I hear Him? Am I hearing Him, but not realizing it's Him? How do I get to Him? Surly it can't be as easy as just sitting down reading my bible. That's silly right? Isn't it? I mean honestly, I've read my bible and to me it's an instruction book, not a two-way radio. What's wrong with me? Why am I struggling so desperately with something that seems to come so easily to everyone else? Ok, I know not "everyone" hears God or even finds it easy to communicate with God, but it sure feels like it right now. Am I in the middle of a huge pity party? And is that so wrong? And how do I get out of it? And is ANYBODY listening?