Thursday, April 09, 2015
In 2004, I started the "I Project" which involved rediscovering myself. At the time, I had come upon some shocking news that my husband was a closet pedophile and a master manipulator who had been emotionally abusing everyone near him. Hard to believe until I got involved with professionals who deal with these kinds of things all the time. It was true. I had unknowingly married an abuser, and I had lost myself.
I started to look through photos of decades past and read old journal entries. I was looking for things that resonated with the "real me" that I had forgotten. What I found was AMAZING!
Without going into details, it turns out that I knew more than I had ever realized. It seemed like my dreams and even my inner thoughts knew what was happening, but my logical mind fought it because I thought I was being selfish.
The big lesson? TRUST myself ... as long as I was committed to God's will and seeking His path, I should have trusted what seemed like me. Evidently it was His Spirit in me.
Lesson learned? Not quite. I had to go through a few more years in the opposite ditch before I was able to separate myself from the past - good and bad - and simply seek God.
One night on my balcony, I burned photos and memorabilia that was significant to a subsequent relationship that never quite got to the place of having God first. It hurt. But it was also cleansing.
Since then I have had continued challenges, but my foremost aim - even amidst repentance for being human far too much (LOL - like we all are) - is to keep God in His place in my heart.
I am thankful for grace, forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. He is a VERY good God, and I am so humbly grateful to be His. :-)
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Words of the soul
finding peace in the night
When daylight comes
they find peace
like a prize
I breathe in the wind
and take shelter in shade
counting my blessings
in another new day
like art in a dream
they bring life to hopes
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
A friend got me thinking about gifts ... not the kind that are wrapped up and given to people on special occasions, but those that are placed in people that can be a powerful blessing to others.
We all have them. Some people don't think they have gifts, but they do. EVERYONE has gifts present within them. And when they are unwrapped, they bring a whole different kind of gift to the world.
I was very blessed to grow up in a home that encouraged me to be who I was and express myself (with limits, of course - sometimes my creative spirit included clothing styles that the world just wasn't ready for or were honestly inappropriate but I was too naïve to realize [I am remembering my father censoring some shorts that left my "butt hanging out" and I really didn't agree. LOL. But looking back, THANK YOU DAD!]).
Then I experienced a marriage in which many of my gifts were invalidated ... but invisibly. I was doing my best to not be selfish, to follow God, and to yield to my husband. Little did I know that I was experiencing emotional abuse. Thirteen years later, I started learning the truth when some secret things were revealed in my spouse's life. Professionals guided me to resources that I thought would pat me on the head and send me on my way. To my surprise, the local domestic violence organization shared things with me that rocked my world. And as I began to follow the guidance I received, more and more was revealed.
The crisis that arose was far more than the emotional abuse I experienced, and I focused on the next steps for my children to keep their world as solid as I could while I transitioned to the life of a single mother. The challenges were huge. And to this day, 11 years later, I am still dealing with huge challenges with roots in those years of marriage and still focused on my children.
But what about me? Initially, I thought certain gifts would come flooding back as I found myself free from the "emotional version of munchausen by proxy syndrome" that I had lived in for years. But it didn't happen like that. My counselor encouraged me to be patient. Those years of abuse will take at least as long to undo as they did to form ... and maybe longer.
One gift was music. But it felt like it had died within me. I used to write. It was my outlet. I found shortly before the separation with my former husband that it threatened him and he was afraid of losing the spotlight. I was stunned. The spotlight? I had never wanted one. I just wanted my expression to make a difference in the lives of others ... and it did then. I requested that he leave a keyboard for me when he left our family. But I would sit at it dry ... the only thing that would come was tears.
But over a year ago, it started to awaken. Just seeds of songs. And it may be starting to grow now.
So this is where I consider gifts. If this is my gift, I want to set it free. And now? I am afraid. It's as if the invisible bars I had let imprison me are still there. But the gift is getting stronger and my fears are fighting harder. Because of some very unusual circumstances, I am in a position to be able to explore more and have talked much with God about the struggles in setting myself free. His encouragement is always powerful and brings a challenge. I know the key. But now I must do it. I believe the key is in God's Word. And to release that, I need to meditate and speak His word. It will strengthen me on the inside and where I once would struggle and shut down, I can experience strength and confidence and success.
Marking this moment today ... I will take those baby steps I have begun accustomed to taking, just doing what I know to do, and trust Him.
John 6:63 (AMP) It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.
Luke 1:37 (AMP) For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.
Romans 11:29 (AMP) For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]
Monday, April 06, 2015
FART! Fart. f.a.r.t.
I don't swear, so I need to be creative. My substitute for h*** is "hooty-hoo" ... just ask my daughter. LOL! When we listen to music in the car, sometimes a word pops up to surprise us in the lyrics and the substitutes come in very handy, send the message that the language isn't appropriate, and usually get at least a semi-entertained response from my teen.
Today held a different kind of disappointing surprise. Conflict has risen to the surface. I want to trust and believe the best. However, my fears from the past cause me to be reluctant and skeptical. AND ... it seems like my fears win out over my idealistic perspective when they shouldn't and vice versa when they should!
We have had a string of good weeks, which is AMAZING for us. It also had me secretly concerned. My concerns were valid. Discovering that erases those weeks of cross-my-fingers-maybe-a-turning-point-has-come hopes.
I want to list all the challenges ... tell the world ... but it would hurt others and possibly discourage me. Neither of those are good. So, like King David in the Bible, I need to encourage myself.
1 Samuel 30:6 (AMP) David was greatly distressed.... But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
John 16:33 (AMP) I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
Joshua 1:9 (AMP) Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Sunday, April 05, 2015
John 20:11-13 (MSG) But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”
Why do I weep?
Maybe because I am a woman? (LOL).
Because my heart is engaged.
I miss someone. And sometimes that someone is me.
My heart is drawn out to God.
My dreams are torn.
I feel relief.
But this weekend, I wept because I saw new life. I watched others as they probably felt all of these things while they heard about new beginnings that could spring from the God-shaped hole in each of their hearts. Not just a beginning ... a NEW beginning. Fresh. Clean. Beautiful. Worthy of tears.
Saturday, April 04, 2015
Friday, April 03, 2015
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
I have been absent quite a while. But I am coming alive. My world is long overdue for an awakening.
"But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing!"
--Romans 13: 11 (MSG)