Sunday, October 6, 2019

Faith over Feelings - Give me Hugs Prayer #25

God’s Constant Love

107 Let everyone give all their praise and thanks to the Lord!
Here’s why—he’s better than anyone could ever imagine.
Yes, he’s always loving and kind, and his faithful love never ends.
2–3 So, go ahead—let everyone know it!
Tell the world how he broke through
and delivered you from the power of darkness and
has gathered us together from all over the world.
He has set us free to be his very own!

This morning after my shower, I heard some footsteps pitter patter upstairs.  I had a visitor last night.  She slept ten hours and my only regret is that I didn't go to be the moment she did!    After I stepped out of the shower, I heard, "Mimi, oh Mimi"  and I replied, "Good Morning Sawyer".  I heard "Mimi, Mimi" I climbed the stairs, I replied, "Good Morning Sawyer!".  
I stepped around the corner to a little imp standing tall in her Pac-n-Play, saying, "Hi Mimi, Give me hugs".  Her arms were stretched as wide as she could.  She began to stand on her tippy toes in excitement and then she jumped into my arms.  She threw those arms around me and then patted my back, and hugged me the most tenderly way.  And my heart was undone!  

Her hair was a mess.  Her pure and  wrinkle less skin is in quite a contrast to mine.  I hugged and thought about many women I know - who would LOVE to have a hug so pure and gentle today.  I thought about that moment when a loved one enters heaven and sees Jesus and His Majesty, Lord for the first time.  I imagined Jesus standing right there, saying "give me hugs".  

Then we headed downstairs to change the poopy pants and have some breakfast.  And....she smiled after she picked her nose and handed it to me.  And laughed she guffawed.  And again, I was filled with such joy.  

 There are many hurting this morning -  maybe due to the loss of a young child, a baby,  or maybe even a wayward young adult that continues to believe lies from the enemy.  

There are many holding young babies  - wondering if their love is enough - 

A wife who has prayed and waited patiently for literally years to see a breakthrough within her husband and she clings to the hope that one day she will see a miracle within his faith - 

A mother walking the new path of being a 'momma' to a grandchild as her world was bitterly changed with one action - 

A Grandfather still grieving the loss of a child and the guilt, grief, and depression become so unbearable at times, he wonders if God is even paying attention - 

Or even a young, newly single, woman trying to now transition to no longer being a wife -- 

and yet -- 
 and others sitting in church this morning,  feeling so condemned that they can't even fathom the freedom that we have in Christ.  

I don't know exactly HOW this greets you as you read, but what I felt this am ...that pure love... I felt the Holy Spirit remind me ....THAT is what God has for you -- 

I know it.  I BELIEVE HE wants YOU to experience HIS love in such a new and profound way. 

So, you may be in a most hard season and you can't see any light or goodness right now.  But I know that I know -- that if you step out and faith and cry out to the one who CREATED YOU ... HE won't let you down.  

Lord,  only you can heal and only you can meet whomever is reading this right now -- where they are.  I pray they will open that Book of Life and read - a Psalm ... maybe even Psalm 107. 

I am humbled Lord - use this blog for YOUR purposes. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Faith over Feelings - Confession and Prayer #24 - Purity.

When one thinks of purity - what do you  naturally think of?  
I think of sex.  Being pure.  

But in reality - it is a state of your heart.   Maybe?  I believe so.  

Pure thoughts vs  impure thoughts. 
Pure motivations vs impure motivations. 
Pure intentions vs  impure intentions. 

                         His POWER will only show up where there is PURITY in place!!  

Several weeks ago my  friend and Pastor spoke about losing your 1st love.  As I listened and took notes - I knew in my 'deep downs'  ( that is a quoted spot  from a child's book by Kate DiCamillo called The Tale of Despereaux ) that there was something that God was asking me to be purified of.

But as I took notes, I knew I was going to rebel.  

That first Commandment says  that we are to Love God above all else and the 2nd  one is to  love people as well.  

Ps. Cary asked some questions and statements to make us think.  And he took us to Revelation 2: 1-7

I know all that you’ve done for me—you have worked hard and persevered. I know that you don’t tolerate evil. You have tested those who claimed to be apostles and proved they are not, for they were imposters. I also know how you have bravely endured trials and persecutions because of my name, yet you have not become discouraged.[c] But I have this against you: you have abandoned the passionate love you had for me at the beginning.[d] Think about how far you have fallen! Repent[e] and do the works of love you did at first.[f] I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place of influence if you do not repent. Although, to your credit, you despise the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also despise.[g] The one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is saying now to all the churches.[h] To the one who overcomes[i] I will give access to feast on the fruit of the Tree of Life that is found in the paradise of God.[j]

  Why do people lose their first love? 

He questioned - why have we left our first love? Distractions?  Maybe we have a new love that has taken  a new place in our heart? 

Everything or anything can be used by God -- the good, the yucky, the hard and the glorious  - HE will use to draw us close.  He can heal and remove our strongholds as HE wants YOU in heaven. He loves you that much. 

He loves me that much.

                          His POWER will only show up where there is PURITY in place!!   

God doesn't work for me -- He works through me and He will work with me -- but He doesn't work for me.  

Pastor Cary reminded us of God's Word -- that many have fallen.
  We have fallen. 
 I have fallen.  

  • Many settle for remorse rather than repentance.  Ouch ...... 

  • Repentance means a change of direction, a change of attitude, and it may mean a radical change of our lifestyle.  

  • God still requires stuff of us believers -- He disciples because He has unconditional love for us but this love does require some conditions - cause HE loves us.  

He ended the message with...want to argue?   Read His Book.....  

We need to confess sin, get rid of anything remotely questionable in our lives, Obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and publicly confess Christ as our Savior.  

The World really doesn't run off people from going to church.  
His people in the Church run off people from the church.    Ouch...  

Then he stated:  

His POWER will only show up where there is PURITY in place!!   

Another question asked:  What do I need to remove,  so that I have that POWER?  

Then he ended the message with a question - "How long do you think you have left?"  

Powerful message - powerful words that stirred and so what?  

Well, it has been two months -- Bren and I got in the car that day  and began to talk about the 'what' that maybe God wants us to remove.   We felt that we were "good".  

Ps. Cary was very wise in the fact that so often ...what God will allow with one ...He won't allow with another.  

We discussed a few examples.

In the case of alcohol -- this can be a very touchy subject.  In the bible there is discussion for it and against it.  For us - our home - we never really liked the taste and  it never really became an issue.  There was a time where we judged and condemned others for engaging -- but we have matured and we do enjoy a glass of wine here or there.    There is no stronghold  here.    But out of respect, we pay attention to others and if it bothers another - we refrain.  

In the case of those,  Walking dead - Joker - Game of Thrones -  horror shows-- we just don't.  I can't see that gruesome stuff and sleep -- and we'd rather spend time seeking life or positive shows rather than get involved with stuff.  For me -- my eyes take in a lot.  I know that I can't place certain images or thoughts into my they can manipulate and trigger past hurts and strongholds and so therefore - we remove ourselves or make sure our eyes are guarded.  WE don't judge those who do, but I do question some times, "Why Lord would those parents let their children watch THAT???"  Forgive me.  

So as I said, Bren and I sought God.  

So now comes the confession.  

In our awkward and counseling years, it was VERY hard to find TV shows that we both could watch.  I can only watch so much football or basketball.  Believe it or not -- we began to watch the REAL Housewives of Beverly Hills.  It was something we could watch and laugh at.  When one of them went through therapy as there was infidelity, we actually had discussion and discussion about stuff.  It was a good thing.  Weird - but good.  In our therapy - there were topics that we didn't approach ...but through a silly TV show - we could.  Again - being transparent  here - don't judge us. 

So we connected to the show.  

  So, fast forward 6- 7 seasons and we dVR  it and take the time to "enjoy"  some mindless and stupid TV.  But as we hit the beginning of school and the next season with it's promos -- we both had a check in our Spirit about spending an hour watching this present season.  We watched the opening trailer and heard the name of God in vain.  We witnessed some major fights with physical nudity and we also could tell -- that this was literally going to be a very CRASS season.  And we talked about not watching it and giving it up.  ( Like we were making a sacrifice.  Ha ha .. Ya, forgive us Lord.)  

But you know what?? 

 We talked about it.  We began to justify it and in reality -- it is a show that does not glorify God -and  seriously plays off the hurt of others, yet we still justified it.  

  However, we justified it because - we both still have our quiet time.  We both still attend church faithfully and we don't dwell on their topics or stuff. We justified it cause it wasn't like having alcohol in a house of a drunk.  We didn't allow this Culture to seep into our actions.  

  Until today - this am.  

With Volleyball season, our   nights are limited and we had two taped shows to catch up on.  So we hit the play button and as   we are making breakfast this morning  and fast forwarding through some of the ti-raids,   we'd  stop and laugh and speak about HOW stupid the fights were.  We reminded  each other of how the one character ( Shannon )  is NOW  becoming the peacemaker but  at the last  season the shoe was on the other foot and THEN she ( Shannon ) indeed -  make it a problem.   I hear us talk about these real people and we both agreed  that it is STUPID TV.  Then we began to watch the 2nd show and .......and then I knew ...I got up and said -"that is it".  

I can't watch this anymore. 

I went in the other room and told my husband, " Bren, God asked me to give this up two months ago and I didn't."   " I can't watch naked women - even when their parts are muted -- it triggers stuff and this is not good!" 

  Bren quickly agreed and we stopped the show.  Deleted the saved shows and went to the MENU to make sure that nothing of that show was taped in the future. 

 You see -- we  witnessed, listened to,  a conversation between the women,  about having a 3-some.  Yep.   Of course the producers placed a commercial in the middle  of that conversation and so we HAD to hear the explanation and I even found myself looking to see if they would complete the discussion before the end of the hour  or if it was going to be a cliff hanger.

 And that is when I got up - I was disgusted. 
Lord, I am so  sorry - for allowing this. 
This is not a HIGH place Lord.  

We both stopped - prayed...repented.... deleted what needed to be deleted and reminded ourselves that we need to make sure that WHAT we put into our heads and hearts is indeed pure.  

You see - 5-6 years ago - it wan't a 'sin' for us...NOW it is.  

And I debated and prayed about whether or not to blog.  But, I feel that indeed -- THIS is my therapy spot.  I blog and pray.  I share.  I am always to be authentic.  And I am transparent, but indeed this touched on some private stuff - a look into our home.  But God wins and gets the glory.  This isn't nothing I wouldn't share with another -- it is a moment where we matured a little more.  And I know - God is pleased.  

As a Church and a body of believers, have we left the HIGH places?  
Do we view God as a HOLY God?  

What is in your house that kids have seen and you deem "ok" and yet.... it is not? 

What  are our kids seeing  us do in moderation -- that they will do in excess?

What we tolerate in our home -Your kids will blow up.  

And THAT will be one of the many things the enemy uses to begin to whisper -- YOU are Guilty and YOU are not worthy.  

What have you made a "treaty" with and are OK with and yet -- your kids and grand kids may not see it as Holy or a High Place?  

Are there Soul Ties to "things" in your home?  

I want the POWER in my heart..and I want others to see something in me that they WANT.  

To  want be that person -- I need to be obedient.  

I have not lost my first love - but as a walking and talking believer WHO daily seeks God -- I am human and I sin... and as EACH layer comes off, I resemble HIM more. 

 THAT is what I want my children and Grandchildren to see.  

I want them to have a legacy of faith!  

Lord, may the reader hear my heart and ask himself or herself?  
Have I left my first love? 

Lord, may the reader hear my heart and ask himself or herself -- what needs to be removed?  

Lord, use this.  Forgive me.  I learn things - we learn things the hard way.  However, Lord, we know that its your GRACE and MERCY that indeed -- gives us more life and more love.  And I praise you Lord, may this blog be a form of worship to MY heart for YOU. 
IN Jesus name.  Amen.  

Lord, she has permission to share this - and print it out for another if needed -- amen. 

Faith over Feelings Blog #23 - When one is SO angry!!!

I wrote this two years ago- I think, I wasn't paying attention when I was going to my archived blogs.  The Holy Spirit brought this to my attention as I was searching for another post about forgiveness.   I read it and thought -- 

Whoa God...

I can't even remember who the person was that I was so angry at. It was obviously someone,  somewhat close and yet I have no idea.   

And as you read the blog, it states that I posted some scripture on his FB page in the hopes that he would read it and indeed - repent.  

How foolish of me - and how arrogant of myself.  As you read the blog, you see where I was convicted - but as I read this for the 3rd time, I thought -- did I go back and delete that post?  I pray I did.  

If I didn't - I am sorry Lord.   

What drew me to the post is the title ..."When one is so angry".  

Someone that I do know is SO angry.  Her situation may not be the same as the scenario  that prompted this blog, but indeed - she is angry.  She is also hurting, because she is watching another literally die because of another's hurt and she can't fix it.  So...she is angry and hurting.  

There is a momma watching her daughter go through a legal situation because the God that married her daughter and her husband is no longer THE God that created the world.  

There is a family trying to overcome the consequences because of other situations that are hard and they are angry.  

I pray that at  the bottom or main idea throughout this blog speaks to her -  speaks to you the reader - and maybe even to another -- that we must seek HIM in our anger and in our hurt.    

I did end the blog with Psalm 5.  Scripture is in black and my prayer written out is in read.  

I do know that we must go to God's Word in every situation.  Even this week, I found myself worked up over a few sticky situations that were out of my control and as I left school on Friday, I told my Heavenly Father - help me to find some verses this weekend to post in my room, as Lord - I have allowed the enemy a foothold with the anxiousness and that is not WHO YOU created me to be.  

WE need the faith over these feelings of anger.  

The enemy already knows that "every weapon formed against you - can't prosper".    But do YOU know that ??  

Do you walk in that knowledge - knowing that Victory is YOURS?  

I pray this blog will speak to your heart.  

I will share - 

 I will preface this with the fact - I am angry.  It is ok to be angry but we are not to sin in our anger.  I am.  I just am.  I am not sinning but I am angry!  I am very aware of the fine line between them!   I even posted a post on another person's FB page.  I posted some scripture -- that to me --  it put him,  in his place.  And within 3-4 minutes, my heart was hurting.  I could clearly hear, "my word is not for your use to hurt another".  But the thing was, I KNEW THAT even before I posted it.  But I was SO angry.  
I was angry at "him".  He has made choices that are not of God's will.  How do I know?   It is very obvious.  I have prayed for him -- watched him through two different relationships and prayed everything from, "Lord, help him to Lord, hurt him".  It is very apparent that I am NOT God and I can't dictate nor manipulate God -- but it hurts.   I wanted to WIN on this one.  I wanted to SEE him  fall into repentance and make stuff right.   

This is not the first time I have felt this ANGER for another -- it is just very real and raw tonight.  I am still praying for a miracle -- I am praying a marriage can be saved -- but as I have released this marriage to Him over and over -- I will trust that no matter what, the wife who has been faithful and has waited will indeed received the favor of God!   

I was reminded by my sweet husband that I can't get attached and emotional with every couple I pray with -- but some I do. 

A few weeks ago,  Two sweet women come and asked  me to pray and their situation was very similar to mine  and yet it is their own story -- but I prayed  they would  see HOPE in our story. 

Back in my crisis,   I searched the internet over and over and read blog and story after story of SUCCESS  when a couple defiled the odds and FOUGHT the enemy and SOUGHT God and won! 

Anyway - enough.   I just wanted that for them.  

 Just writing and reading scripture -- I feel better.     But I am also hurting and heartbroken for a wife who believed and believed that a miracle would transpire.   It seems though he will file for divorce and he will one day stand before God and 'justify' why and what.  

I have thought over and over today about how the enemy attacks -- he attacks where he knows there is a weakness.  So often the breakup of a marriage is really a side- effect of childhood hurts that were never exposed and resolved. 

  I believe the enemy has convinced the wayward partner that "it will be better with a new person".  And I believe with all of my heart that God does change people - but people have to WANT to be changed. 

 I do believe that if we continue to deny God and ignore His Spirit - we become VERY hard and we miss a lot. 

 I believe we miss the hand of God giving us favor.  It may certainly "seem" like the life of this wayward partner is better going forward, but I have seen it - sadly - TOO many times where the one who pushed to leave -- regrets! 

  God will justify. 

 God will redeem. 

 God will judge.   

Ok -- enough said.  The Lord knew I wanted to blog and I knew what I needed to do -- just to share my prayer and His Word. 

 Forgive me if this got too personal -- and I have prayed that IF I see this one wayward person within the next few days -- I pray that I will show love, cause right now, I just want to settle the matter with my own words and my own hands.

  But, I submit to God - and know that He is just as disappointed and that God loves him more than any of us ever could -- but I just pray that maybe...just maybe..... a miracle is still right around the corner!   

Psalm 5
1  Listen to my words, Lord,
consider my lament.
 2. Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.  Lord, my heart aches as I want help to try and understand this present situation but also, my heart aches for a wife that has fought hard and from the outside world -- it appears she lost.  
3  In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.  Lord, you know the exact number of prayers,  fasts,  and discussions that involved this sweet wife that wanted her marriage.  - Lord, I pray you comfort her and I pray he can't sleep -- I just do. 
4  For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
with you, evil people are not welcome.   Lord, to me this verse if very clear -- there will be consequences - period.  And forgive me as right now I WANT that evil to be justified. 
The arrogant cannot stand
in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, Lord, detest.  Lord, I admit - forgive me -- I believe he is arrogant.   I believe he is arrogant in doing his will rather than Your will.  Lord, he may not be blood thirsty -- but it certainly seems the enemy is blood thirsty -- it seems he wants to destroy this family and this marriage.  And Lord, the lies that have been told and not told -- Lord, it certainly seems like  he is getting away with being deceitful and  arrogant. 
But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple. Lord, symbolically -- my am bowing down.  I know I have allowed this situation to eat at me all day  and that is not good.  As I release it to You again and I pray that indeed, I will have pity on him and that I would show him love when he is around me.  Lord I pray that both would bow down -- and humble themselves and pray for each other rather than pray to 'be released'. 
Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make your way straight before me.  Lord, I have felt righteous anger today but I am afraid I have become somewhat self-righteous as well.  Lord -- I need YOU to take away this hurt that I feel for the wife who has prayed and forgave -- and I give this 'win' back to you.  You are right -- I wanted the marriage to win.  But I know -- that You can bring beauty out of any ashes.   You know Lord when he will finally submit and seek You -- and perhaps you are going to use this divorce to bring forth more healing.  I release him and her -- and I will trust You. 
Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you. Lord, I asked you to help TAKE it and even as I read verses 9-10, I already feel a release.  As verses 9-10 continue with the 'bad'....I know You will declare the guilty guilty.    Lord, you know it is NOT only this one couple I am blogging 'for'.  You know there are several marriages my husband and I have prayed for and continue to hold in prayer.   Lord, You also know there are ones that will read this -- as they may be in the  exact spot I am -- angry over something, I pray they would release it.  Lord, I also pray for the ones who have NO clue that a crisis of faith is just around the corner because of another's actions or their own.  Lord, be their everything. 
11  But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.   That is me Lord, that is the wife that will most likely sign the divorce papers tomorrow unless a miracle happens.  Spread your protection over this other marriage - where the husband still continues to believe the is "nothing" wrong and yet his wife is dying of loneliness,  hurt, and unmet expecatations. 
Spread Your protection over the children in these marriages - as some are small, others are teens, and even others are grown adults and yet -- they will suffer consequences when a divorce happens.  Lord, that EACH of them would REJOICE in You!  
12  Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Lord, I am holding onto this promise -- that you will surround them - each of them with Your favor as with a shield.  Lord, I pray for another wife who is still waiting on her husband to fall in love with Your Son.  Lord, I pray for the many unsaved ones , very close ....
I Pray for the many deceived ones, very close.....
I pray for the ones who want to just give up....
I pray for those prodigal sons/husbands -- that indeed they would have that 'eating the slop' experience and TURN from their own will and submit to God's perfect will for their lives.  
Lord, HOLD that special someone this eve.  Lord, hold her -- hold anyone reading this who needs a reminder that they are indeed LOVED.  Loved so much, You died for her!   
Lord, forgive me, if in my anger, I used Your word to discipline another -- I will trust You and know that You are indeed fighting for me.  And for those who are listed in this prayer blog -- know that GOD will restore everything the locust took.   Don't give up!  

Good night!   

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Faith over Feelings Prayer #22 - forgiveness

I was asked a question recently, "HOW did you do it?"  And she mentioned , "at the time, I felt you were so weak and now I see - how STRONG God was in you".....

I wrote this blog back in July of 2013.  The title was, "How does forgiveness look like?"

 Its been 6 years since then.

Forgiveness is indeed scriptural  and no matter what --unforgiveness will harden your heart and I believe keep you from heaven if that unforgiveness becomes bitterness which leads me to the commandment that we are to love one another as Jesus did and forgive.  I won't start a debate here about whether your salvation is questioned -- but I do believe that unforgiveness CAN and will indeed keep you from experiencing eternal life.

And before I just let you read what I wrote back in 2013, I want to say this -- God will bring everything full circle if you continue to pray, believe, and wait on Him.

 I can tell you there is complete peace between my husband and I to where we can now counsel and help share our story without the enemy using it against us.  Or I should say, we guard ourselves now so the enemy can't get in -- cause he, the enemy, does not stop and wants so desperately for us to fail.  But -- God is winning ALL the time.

And I have to say this as well,  the Lord has allowed me to SEE the 'hurt' that hit me from the other side.  Through others, through His Word, through words spoken and lives being lived.......God has shown me grace and mercy so I can extend it.     I am not speaking about one particular person -- I am speaking about WHATEVER it is that God allowed to cause HURT so that you are here...reading this...and You want God's best.  Not only for you, your children....but also for that husband that is causing the hurt right now and for the "other" that has played a part in it.

 The other may be a computer screen.
 The other may be a dear friend.
  The other maybe a job.
The other maybe be other friends or an addiction of some sort -- whatever the "other" or the "her" is.....

I believe that God has allowed it within your life at this time and for HIS  purpose -- so that HE can get your attention and so that HE can truly heal you - once and for all. 

So WHAT does forgiveness look like?   I will now POST the blog I wrote back in July of 2013.

This is a little insight into "me" and what I did....

I pray that my actions and what I do and say in private conversations and prayers with friends  and family shows WHAT forgiveness looks like...but this question  was asked of me from another.  Another that does not see me daily... another that God brought into my life maybe for only a short season or maybe on purpose.....and maybe  this blog is even  for a total stranger that happens to come to this blog  and read, maybe she needs to read what forgiveness looks like....

 For me.... what did it LOOK LIKE with me?   I hope I can explain it.

What does forgiveness look like?

First off, I believe, as HIS word states, that we must forgive - Jesus tells us of a parable in Matthew 18 about an unmerciful servant who does not show mercy and does not forgive.  At the end, this servant is tortured and jailed = bondage.  I did not want that - who does, so indeed we understand that we must forgive.

And, in my case, I had to forgive after sin was revealed  that tore our family apart  but I think something that was very key to my journey or my walk was that I realized very quickly that MY sin was JUST as hurtful to My LORD...that my MANY years of idolatry and my 40+  years of not loving God FIRST and putting other gods before HIM---was JUST as sinful as what was revealed about my husband.

  THAT can be hard to understand.

If you can understand and get past that -- read on.

 So, I was very aware of seeking God's forgiveness of my sins.  And what did that look like?  You would of seen me  confessing my sin to HIM in private and with a prayer partner.  I was raised Catholic and not that I HAD to seek a priest or something to confess, but there is something to be said about speaking out loud -- and telling another what has transpired.  It is a good practice.  I also went  to God in my journal and wrote  down stuff that the Holy Spirit revealed to me ...stuff that was my sin.  

I am blessed to be a part of a  two different church families  that helped me in that  crisis of faith - they covered me in prayer.     So in reality...what you would of seen  each prayer night ( Wednesdays ) and Sundays was a woman that attended church and went forward for prayer.   I was also faithful at my cell group  and/or counseling session.  And you saw tears ..a lot of them.  If you could hear me, I would tell God each day...sometimes 5-10x a day ..Lord, I forgive - Those were the only words I could get out at first.  Then, after time, it was not as often but still daily.... When I did not  have the strength and courage to walk forward at church or at bible study for prayer, God sent another to me to pray for me right there in my seat.  But it was consistent.

I think forgiveness is an 'act' .  We say it.  "I forgive."  But then to LIVE in that...THAT is the HARD part.

It is really hard, as I remember for the  first few  months, the 'situation' CONSUMED me and I would have to fall back to God's word and remind myself -- I CHOOSE to forgive!

There were many nights when I fell asleep with my bible on my chest - just begging God for something!

Second...I had professional help.  Therapy.  Godly therapy.  I sat with two different Pastor's wives and a Sexologist/Psychologist who is a  Christian woman as well. It was a process.  And it took time.  I even stopped therapy at one point  - I felt it was HOPELESS and I was tired of  the feeling that "I WAS the one that had to make all these changes....really?????   I was the one that needed to change?"....Like I said - it took time.

 So I QUIT therapy for a few months  and allowed God to do some extensive changing within my heart and head and in my husband's as well.

One of the first things I did with a godly mentor was to 'put' all the hurts on a sheet of paper - to make a list.  And then I symbolically put my husband in a chair and spoke OUT LOUD  all of the hurts he caused.   I listed everything.  Every tidbit of fact I had heard to every tidbit of rumor.  I listed it all.  I listed not only the revelation of our circumstance  but all the hurts..from our high school days to our college our young parenting days..everything!  I also had to forgive God in there too...It took a few hours.   Finally, I  asked  God to forgive me and listed what I felt I had 'done' to God.

When it came time to forgive another  person...I just mentioned - "I forgive " God had me deal  more with THAT hurt much later.  You see, I believe forgiveness comes in layers.  Lots of layers.  You speak out WHAT you need to confess or forgive and then 'live'...but you daily come back to the fact - 'what else do I need to forgive?'.   Again  .....TIME is a factor.  In that time, you look for the good.  You begin a list of the good stuff and you make a point of renewing your mind with HIS word.  It was a concentrated effort, a purposeful thing I did - I choose to forgive.

The process may of taken a little less time,  if I would of seen a repentant heart in my husband.....but I didn't...until MUCH later.   I would say this - don't expect immediate changes from the one who hurt you -- it takes TIME!  They must first realize what you do.....something is wrong...and then they must realize their relationship with  Christ is key!   While that all happens..time passes!   That is when you hold onto the promises of God even when it seems like ...IT WILL NEVER change!!
Does that make sense?  I hope so.

You see, I had  forgiven...but I was still a wreck!  I was hurt.  Time and then  God sending  the Holy Spirit to comfort is the beginning of healing as God -  HE is  the Healer.

My heart had become hard  to some feelings and stuff - as I did not want to be hurt ever again.

I am blessed because I was able to seek a professional counselor that had experience and knowledge of how our brains work and how a woman thinks and so she was a BIG help as I worked through many thoughts and processes.  I 'took up that cross' daily and chose to believe that God would bring redemption.  But I had to work on ME first......

I would HIGHLY suggest that godly and professional counsel is sought when there is something that is hard to forgive.  And believe me.....anything that has broken your heart - is hurt.  Please don't LEVEL your pain or problem .......pain is pain.  My situation is not 'worse' or 'less worse' than yours or another's.   (  I blogged about that before. )  When a person is feeling unloved and there has been sin -- it is hurtful.  It does not could be unforgiveness from a childhood thing.  It could be unforgiveness towards your husband for his  ---- whatever .....the  enemy will use anything to keep you in  the stronghold of unforgiveness!

I had to really learn and LIVE in the knowledge that no matter what-- God's promises are true and that in HIS time...I would see the redemption.

Another exercise I did, was to take a brick and a helium balloon.  On a sheet of paper, I wrote the 'hurts'..even after I had PUT the infidel in a chair and confessed all the hurts....they just don't disappear. Life happens, triggers and stuff would come up and so, I had to make several lists.  I tied the hurt list to the balloon.  I made a second copy of the hurt list and tied it to the brick ( a heavy rock would do ) and held them both up over my head.  GET the picture - a brick and a balloon.  I held them high above my head  until I could no longer hold that brick in my arm and I dropped it to the ground and let the balloon fly...and then prayed....GOD, the burden is too heavy to bear - TAKE it to heaven.  GET the picture?  I can't tell you how many more times, I visioned that demonstration and did it again within my mind....many....for many months.  Many!!

But again, I had people around me that spoke life into me - telling me and praying for God's perfect will.  I choose whom I would hang with - people that only believed in marriage and healing and I believed and had faith that GOD could change a heart, move a mountain, and 'fix' my family.   But it took TIME...much time.   And with each day - I choose to forgive.

I don't like to lose and so I found every blog, every book and every source of media or resource that could help me be aware and KNOW what to do or what to say.  In all of that, I became this "expert", but had to learn the hard way -- EACH person's journey is so different.  At one point the therapist told me.."read nothing, think nothing - read only God's word and listen to your husband and pray".  NOTHING else.  I had to slow down and allow GOD the time to change my head and heart!

Little stuff would pop up, I took it to God.  Nine months after  the house broke, I went to an Encounter weekend - THAT is when God dealt with me about forgiving.  And God dealt with me -- I had to know that I would be FINE with or without a husband and marriage...that HE (God)  was FIRST in my line of devotion.    Now coming home from that and learning to LIVE in that...again - WAS HARD! Another four months passed and the decision to sell our home and move was before us. This move to a new rental place ushered in a new era of 'awkwardness' and again, I found myself making a list as our therapy had changed a bit and more was revealed therefore, I was back to square one and choosing to forgive.

I sought prayer partners  again...just a few ladies that I trusted  with my feelings.  From my husband's perspective...he just saw a wife that had scripture cards in a few places as at that time , he was really ANTI-God and I had to follow the advice of our Therapist and totally give him space.  He also watched me iron his shirts, clean the house, and do 'nice' things...I kept busy.  Very busy.  Later he would send me flowers to celebrate our wedding anniversary after we both were going to give it 100% and work on our marriage and the card read, "thanks for being so nice!".   I did not allow myself to think of stuff in the future I just prayed and again, I praised God for HIS love for me, and I prayed and said over and over..I forgive him Lord.

I was and am still CONSTANT communication with God.  I constantly talk and pray to HIM and share with HIM what hurts...what I want my husband or another to retract and I rely on HIM to fight my battles.  I would say - THAT was hard to learn HOW to do, but it is one of the best ways to live with another human being and not become their Holy Spirit or 'mom'.  !!!

 Back to that Encounter time -- My heart at this point was very cautious.  I even blogged..( if you go back and read entries from late 2011....early 2012....)   that my heart was  cautious.

I got to thinking about something...  If your marriage is in stress or if your heart is  so hard towards your spouse or another, forgiveness is hard but it is what God has called you to do.    It also makes you a prime target for the enemy to remind you - "it won't deserve better"  So, I would dig deep and ask yourself,  do I want my marriage?   I would suggest a therapist, a professional that can listen to you, evaluate WHAT needs to be done as there are changes to be made with both partners in a relationship. If the other person, your husband or the one causing you this heartache won't go with you to counsel -- they go by yourself.  Get the help!  Most often our mental health IS covered by our health insurance!!!

  But whatever hurts there are....those are not easily forgotten.  You can choose to forgive, but the hurt remains...THAT is the hard part.  That is where TIME will have to come to allow some NEW memories and NEW feelings to overshadow the yuck.  AND God can do that - HE wants too...WHEN you give HIM the time and access to your heart.

I can say this....I still get hurt.  My husband can still say something that can bring me to my knees, but at this point to allow it to take me backwards would be sin for me, as God has,  in the past two months,  really shown me in many ways and in scripture that the PAST is the past and it is not to be remembered anymore.

So let me get back to ...what does forgiveness look like?

It resembles a worn bible being used to pray with.
It resembles a woman just walking away and telling another she does not feel well - and she goes to her prayer closet and cries...and she seeks God to FIX it right then and there.
It resembles a woman going to her Pastor and his wife and seeking their covering and prayer.
It resembles a woman praying and asking another to pray for her.
It resembles a woman fasting each week before the drive to Stuart for counseling and then she would blog here and most often WHAT was said would usually put her BACK to square one.
It resembles a woman journaling...writing letters and complaints to God.
It resembles a woman focusing on her two children -- and making sure that any extra time was spent pouring into their lives.
It resembles a wife being very sweet to the man who 'hurt' her, and hearing her mother in her head saying 'kill him with kindness'...
It resembles time spent on knees, believing that one day....there would be a repentant husband that REALLY understands how much he hurt her...

But it also looks like a smile, when she finally decides that maybe just maybe, she can smile and then something happens and she sees her husband change and all of a sudden, the burden is a little less heavy.

THAT is what it looked like on the outside, but the real change and forgiveness happened on the inside over time.  It was not overnight but it would come in stages and in chunks and I would look back and think -- "oh my ..THAT does not hurt anymore".  Or, "hey..I am NOT even thinking about this anymore...".  It took time!

Today..forgiveness means laughter - we laugh a lot now.  We have taken the time to talk and communicate and pray together.  We have changed a lot of old habits but also, we have learned to show each other respect so that WHEN a trigger pops up or something is said, I can go to him and say, " perspective is this and it hurt".  Which gives him the freedom to react to WHAT I have stated...not assume what he is to do or say.

I don't believe women understand what God really means when it says we are to submit - but that can be a topic for another blog - I have spoken enough.  But the real submission was  to God....I submitted to HIM...which made it possible for HIM to work in me and then  in my husband.  Now I see a man that submits his thoughts and feelings to God first - as God is his first love. God is my first love now too. So, it is important to make sure my relationship with God and Jesus is solid and strong and then I can watch as God will change the man I prayed for ....prayed for ....for a LONG time!  

Forgiveness does set us free!

It took us some 25 years of marriage -- but I think we are finally on the RIGHT path.  It is a good path. Our therapist would also share with us about the 'dance' of marriage and getting to that dance...where we both can enjoy each other -- that is finally happening.  Praise God. is still work.  We choose to work at it!

I hope this helped my new  friend.
I hope this helped that stranger.

It helped me - it reminded me of HOW healed God really has me.....and a part of my  confirmation was this photo/chart I found today on Facebook -- Wisdom is healed pain.  THAT makes perfect sense!!

Wisdom is also from God - and doing what HIS word says.

Thank you Lord, may this help just one -- save a marriage....hold on a little longer, or may it even help one to forgive the infidel and the other....amen.

Lord, for whatever this woman may need to forgive - I pray she will....and allow You God to refill, redeem and restore whatever needs to be restored.  AMEN!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Faith OVER Feelings Blogged Prayer #21 - I am the bread of life.

Desperate people can find themselves doing desperately degrading things to ease their source of pain.  

But desperation for God is different.  

We have seen the panic, worry, and then relief as my little area of the world prepared for Dorian and have waited and waited for what has seemed  like days --  so when the storm  finally GETS here we are ready!  

  Praise God, it seems to be staying off shore -- but  prayers and mercy -- for those it has devastated in its path.  Only the future few days will give us a glimpse.  Sad.   I am sure those people prayed too and asked God for a miracle and God didn't change its course.  I am sure that in those desperate moments -- they did some desperate things.   

 Back here in Southern Florida when our Northern pals are beginning their first day of school, our schools are still closed,  some businesses  still closed, and much has been altered -- to make sure we are ready.  As we wait. 

 A dear pal made the comment - "what if we prepared for the coming of Jesus in this manner?"    Truth!  Big TIME.  Reality.  One wonders.....

We are all waiting for His return, for that moment when God looks over to his right side and tells Jesus, "go bring my bride home!!" 

Desperate people...desperate situations -- seem to get our attention and we do stupid and desperate and degrading things to ease our pain. 

 And sometimes....  things are done for us and too us -- that it seems we didn't have a chance to say, 'whoa - wait ...but God...' 

The past three days have given me PLENTY of time to think and pray.  I compared my situation to God waiting on us -- as I put God, in a human type of character,  and questioned  HIM --  "HOW" he can just sit and watch us at desperate..and yet he knows what will happen on the other side.   HE CREATED ME.  HE KNOWS ME THE BEST.

In these times of desperation we have to have faith over our feelings. 

 Faith that no matter what, we will land upright. 

Faith that no matter what, God will bring beauty from ashes.  

 Faith that if our home is compromised, God will provide shelter. 

Faith that if our home is shattered, God can restore it.  

Faith  that if one stands before a judge today and his whole world is changed, God will be right with you, comfort, and provide.  

Faith that if one retreats  and wants to desperately quit,  God will hold and provide and still bring beauty out of the ashes.  

Faith that if one has to stop being the enabler, that God approves and will hold you. 

Faith that if a couple want to defy the odds and boldly declare they will weather the storm together,  that God will protect, provide, and declare His will.  

Faith that if another couple can go through another hurricane and still claim that Jesus is Lord -- we should ALL take notice and humble our own selves and wonder -- Lord, what do you need to be believe have faith in over my feelings?   

Truly apart from Jesus - there is no satisfaction - even if our house is not destroyed.   Do we really declare, "that Jesus is the bread of life?"    

Do we believe that, "whomever comes to him -- Jesus -- will never go hungry and never thirst again?"  

I do -- but, believe me, I had to stand FIRM over my feelings for the past week and weekend.   I hunkered down and binge watched old shows but in between we'd get on our knees as we had to TELL each other to believe in our Faith and not worry about our feelings that were being fed by the news forecast.  

Today, there is one or more standing before a judge -- and I pray mercy.  
One day we will all stand before that Judge and will Jesus plead mercy for me?  For you? 

I placed a photo of myself with my grands in this blog. 
 It reminds me of how we are connected.   There is much joy when we get to spend time with them.  There is much peace when we are all together because there was some  bold faith at one time --that was believed --  where my husband believed in the faith that he couldn't feel.... and he agreed to try and restore something that was broken.  

THAT reality -- that memory --is very real and  often we are reminded of it  -- that because there was prayer and faith over some feelings -- GOD was able to win.  

My prayer today is that God wins in YOUR life as well.  IJN  Amen.  
May HE be the bread of life within your heart and may Your feelings not be bolder than your faith.