Saturday, July 27, 2013

...forgiveness - what it looks like from my side....

 I was asked a question..."How does forgiveness look ?"

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 within my marriage 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.  And with a clean heart -- I knew I had to set upon the task of forgiving my husband and the woman who I "believed" set out to destroy me and my family. Now I was the enemy - not 'her'.

And by the way, I am healed and really feel no malice,  anger,  or bitterness towards my husband or even the other really is forgiven - but it takes TIME!  And I will say this - this blog post is pretty real and personal, if you know and love me, I thank you for your continued prayers,  discreteness,  and your faithfulness to prayer as we healed.   But if you are here to just read something to repeat or to gossip then I would ask, please make sure I am with you when you wish to share this or discuss it!  And,  please make sure it is covered in prayer.

  Lord, that nothing I would say bring hurt or harm to anyone involved - anyone.  I do not wish to allow the Enemy ANY use of this for his purpose!

Ok, let me get back to WHAT it looked like.....

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 them, I forgive him and I forgive was simple but heartfelt.  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 the affair 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 the other person...I just mentioned - "I forgive her" God had me deal 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  sin had been revealed, I went to an Encounter weekend - THAT is when God dealt with me about forgiving her.  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!

from MY perspective - THEY won!! National Champs....!!!

They won!!   They did - last night the boys ( young  men ) beat the current National Champions from Illinois.  Well,  this team is the current reigning champ until tomorrow morn,  until another two teams compete.  So for today -- we will just SIT in the glory of being 'National Champs' too!  

Last night the boys won the final 6-8 minutes.  I can't even tell you who hit the  goal which tied the game ...or what exactly happened even though I sat there at the VICTORY dinner  and listened to the other parents tell and retell the story over and over.  I know that we had two very good shots on goal but their keeper was good!   I can tell you that it was 0-1 at half time.  I  had gone to the restroom out of superstition as that always seems to work - I go to the bathroom and our team scores - and when I returned it was 2-1 or I thought we were winning, but the score was 1-2.  
We had scored, but they did too!  

I can also tell you that I watched 14 boys dig they were TIRED, but they kicked it into HIGH gear!   

You see last night's game wasn't to compete in the final..last night's game was redemption.  Last night's game was needed and proof of something!   The boys knew their chances of advancing were --not.   Last night's win was proof to our boys that THEY were to be here - at this level of play in a National in the last 5-8 minutes our boys worked together and TIED the game.  2-2.  I screamed so loud -- we all did.  Parents from the other games turned about to watch us...and in the final 40 seconds, in the 90th minute, we would of had the winning goal as well, but the opposing player stuck his hand up to block the ball in the box and we got a foul/penalty kick.  And our boys took that  penalty kick and sent it clear into the it was 3-2!  Again I

The boy who shot the goal, took his shirt off in celebration....he got a yellow card of course - non-sportsmanship behavior, but 'us' parents probably should of gotten a yellow card too - cause we were a jumping and screaming.   We celebrated right there....finally, THESE were the boys that had won 13 games straight in State and REgional play.  THERE were boys that we traveled with for the past three years and watched them in victory and in defeat!  THESE were the boys that so easily won REGIONALS and were the 'team to beat' according to the other teams in Oklahoma City!  

We needed that win.

We deserved that win - as the boys were finally playing THEIR game...they were the better team last night.  They were the better team the night before, but just could not get the momentum for a win....and I admit...they were NOT the better team on that first fateful night of competition...the FC RAiders were..they were/are good... They came with 32 players,  22 on the roster, 6 coaches, and a videographer and a person JUST to carry the practice balls.  They were a MEGA club.  They have  the entire state of athletes trying to GET on their team...we had 14 players..14 dedicated ones that tried their best.   The FC RAiders will most likely WIN the U18 title - they will play a team from the WEST COAST on Sunday -- we will be flying home.  

Flying home more TEAM BOCA soccer...but hello to FAU soccer...
Flying home to memories made..of three years of a LOT of money spent,  miles driven, and practice runs to Boca...but three years of memories -- good memories because of such a GREAT group of boys, talent, and supportive parents that are now GOOD friends!   

I know it is not 'right' to pray for a win - at one point in one of the games, I had a BIG conversation with God ..."ok, I will leave you alone - you have cancer to cure and lives to save -- you don't need to listen to my plea...let them win..."  But even in that STILL small prayer -- I knew that I knew...God wanted those boys to win as much as I did -- but then the better team won. is all relative....there are people in Africa and India that are in more desperate need, there are awful people sex trafficking girls and children for their entertainment and profit, and there are many hurting families and people who are struggling to just live....perspective...

But....we serve a GOD that answers our 'needy' and small prayers - just like HE answers the BIG ones! HE also gives us the desires of our hearts....sweet memories and beautiful 'happenings' to fill us and grow our faith.   HE does!!  

Thank you Lord, for Team Boca and Coach Mike...Coach Jay...Tom and Anne Holly the Team Managers and for the TEAM parents....and for each young man that played with this team over the three years -- God bless them in a mighty way!  

Lord, thank you that we put out hope in you...Isaiah 40. 31 says...
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. 

Lord, may EACH and every one these boys that have grown fondly upon our hearts...may they soar on wings like eagles...Lord, many of them are off to their perspective colleges and they will play more soccer but begin education careers - may they run and not grow weary...several want to be doctors..others will do business related fields - whatever their path...may they run and not grow weary - may they SEEK you ...may they not grow faint and may this 'last' game stay forever in their hearts as a blessing from you - a GREAT way to end a season of soccer.   Lord, watch over them and protect them, watch over and bless the parents they love.  Lord, I ask in your name...may they SEEK you and realized that with YOU ..they CAN soar...with you THEY CAN defeat any enemy...and with YOU...blessings will flow.  Lord, that they would seek you in each and every aspect of their lives.....Thank you Lord - AMEN!  

PS, God...YOU ROCK..YOU have gone exceedingly and abundantly and beyond -- I will forever sing your praises!  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

..exceeding and abundantly beyond.....

Psalm 40 .5

Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell you of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

But let me try for a bit....

-the 1st soccer redemption a few weeks ago in OKC where you gave me a complete 360 and HP and his team a boost of confidence that all of their years of playing and working hard for  soccer - were paying off!

-the 'unexpected' honeymoon in OKC that we enjoyed  and will cherish forever!

-the wonder of moving again and knowing it was YOUR will..thank you for the Healing House!

-the patience I have seen in the ones around me...

-the generosity I have seen in the ones around me..

-the revelation YOU have shown my man and the knowledge I have learned from him as his faith increases....

-the KNOWLEDGE of YOUR word....

-the healing you are going to bring the Sisters in Christ that are on my prayer LIST  right now -- Oh LORD, I see YOUR mighty hand and it is powerful - thank you for the blessing of being able to pray with them and stand in the gap with them....and until FULL restoration and healing come  - I praise You that YOU believe I can 'do this'  with them...

- this 2nd soccer trip, thanks - what a joy it is to be a part of this team and watch these boys fulfill dreams...

-the airport travel yesterday and having my husband at my side, joking with me, and asking me if 'all was ok'....making sure I was safe...just stupid little sweet things - I NOTICED God.

- for the prayer  journal you SHOWED me  again - so I could  READ over WHAT you have done and see HOW You do answer the secret prayers....

-the security we have now - that we are ready to finally 'settle' and build a home and do what you will put before us...

-the privilege of being asked to pray for another and see glory revealed...

-the joy of listening to a son 'doubt' my spoken word and then come back and say, 'well, mom you were right that last time'..... ( cause it was Holy Spirit led....oh wow! )

-the blessing of having a son that I know wants to serve you and has been blessed with a college scholarship to play soccer - something he loves and I know YOU will use it for YOUR glory...

-the blessing of having a daughter that OH God..loves you and speaks of You all the time...OH Lord, to see her grow closer to you is a great joy...

-the blessings you have bestowed upon our TP -- volleyball, student teaching and the desires of her heart - OH God how I can't wait to see YOUR glory revealed...tears just wash me, as we are so blessed...

-the honor of being your servant at a church that is hungry for more of you...what a TREAT!

-the funny CREATIVENESS of how you bring to us RANDOM and yet REAL 'new' friends that will forever be prayer warriors and friends

                                                          .like Rachel and David - how you used them to secure my healing thoughts  and believe that YOU can CHANGE and make things forgotten... and how you used them to remind me...I am just as loved as JOB or Ruth....celebrity is relative with you...but how awesome to rub shoulders with a person that has served you so long and with such a passion, may they remain in our lives....
                                                 Alexa and Joe that came into our lives at YOUR time and helped us in so many ways, real ways,  with moving and with prayer and then to see them again and pray with them - may it bless them to see WHAT you can is by no accident Lord and even if it was only for that one meeting - it was powerful - that  YOU can use anyone and any situation for YOUR purpose.  OH Lord, I wish I could write each and every detail so that when I come back to this in 20 years I will be reminded .....but that is not important - what is important,  is that you used these god fearing people to build our faith...his faith..WOW! What a 360 they witnessed in BP!
                                                 Jimi and David that work and love you Lord and teach us about service and how their hearts are so hungry..oh God that we ( BP and I ) always have that within us from NOW on....and how our lives are blended together now...

 - and for 'old' friends -- THAT are many but God they know WHOM they are....that are tried and true and pray and love and believe in YOU...Lord that their hearts would grow full of YOU...and bless them for keeping us held in prayer for YEARS!!

-the awesome workers at our church that want to serve you Lord...

-the prayer warriors that are faithful and for a Pastor and his wife that have 'been there' and have such empathy Lord to see the captives set free... and that are just FUN!

-the list is many...I could go on...let me start with the blessings of family in Wisconsin..then here in Florida...then my job...our children......our dog... our neighbors...our extended family....

OH Lord...the list goes on and on.

 And I will know and thank you ahead of time as, I am no PollyAnna, and I know that  there will probably times of crisis again...but Lord - we will know and believe the outcome is that YOU win - cause we have seen it over and over!

 THIS complete healing, that I have been claiming and praying for all summer- well, for years now - I believe is here.  It is here.

...I believe Lord that you have used this summer to 'commission' me.  To remind me.....Each and every circumstance, each and every prayer and meeting with new people and old.  EAch church service and quiet time with you and even in the car rides...YOU continually speak and I know..cause I have vowed to listen. And you have told me I am READY to help those YOU intend to place before me.

As now I know you have me in a place where I can minister and help...I can  even help  the women who were the infidels....who are the ones in sin.... Wow Lord, really?  Yes..really!  

Because I know the why now, and I know that no matter what - God wins.

You have blessed me this summer Lord and this past year with a bevy of women - sisters in Christ that have shared their stories with me and guess what -- sin is sin.

I know that.  I knew that.  Sin is sin...all of us have fallen short - it does not matter if the sin was revealed to the public or is still hidden -- what is important is that sin is repented.

And YOU forgave sin was not 'exposed' to the public..but YOU knew it all the time.  Jesus went to the cross for it - that can humble me in an instant.

God - I thank you for this summer - for HOW You have shown me  that YOU go exceedingly and abundantly  beyond!!

YOU are a tremendous and faithful God.
YOU are are MY LORD.
I thank you --

Lord, may this encourage just one other person to draw closer to you...

Lord, may this be read and believed that 'if He did it for her...He can do it for me' ....

God I pray that my closest pals won't have to go through a crisis of faith to really GET to YOU and TRUST You..but if THAT is what it takes..then so be it!

God, YOU are  my hero.
I love you - your daughter -Michelle

and PS - thank you.

I blogged it before -- even if Hunter and his team do not win - YOU won.   God wins.  ( So we win!)
Well...we are here again - at a soccer tourney and even if they don't win...they have  already won in our hearts and within their community - NO other Team Boca team has made it to finals...this team is breaking new ground.  It is an opportunity that is just the 'cherry' of the top of the Sundae.....

 Hunter has established LIFE long friends ...friends that he may lead to the Lord or who knows, friends that will help him in his walk to draw closer to YOU God...

But I believe you are going to give favor to HP and his team -- cause I believe that HP will look back on this one day and use it as he ministers...maybe to his  children, friends,  or his own soccer team and he is going to tell of a God..that he called upon and HE answered his prayers....

Soccer was a part of the 'reason' the Enemy was able to GET into our family - it pulled us apart, but NOW it has brought us so CLOSER and stronger..together...see another 360!!

I would always tease HP about being the 'Tim Tebow' of soccer , but that never really stuck.  LOL.  But soccer was used in bringing back a restored relationship between father and son.
 Between my son and his father.
Between my husband and his son.

God has used soccer and ALL of our HIS glory -- I love it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

...the healing house and secret prayers....

Our 'healing house' with several cars in the driveway -- blessings!

Time to move again - 3rd time in 20 months!!  
It has been a LONG weekend/week.  I want to blog and catch my thoughts  and put this in my 'history' so I can come back to this entry and marvel at my Lord.

We sold  the home we built  from scratch back in 1993 in August of  2011.  God provided the perfect buyer and we had a home rented even before we packed up 18 years worth of STUFF.  Then we moved to Lazy 7...and enjoyed the beginning of 'rental life'.  Brendan was positive we would build and he began meeting with an  architect  and he would bring home plans that we would look at and he would go back to the gentlemen and tell him, "make it smaller and change this".
After a month of this, we finally had some plans and had to pay for them, but to be very honest - I just said 'yes' cause I knew that God had impressed upon me that Brendan would 'rebuild the home' and I just believed that quite literally.
 I really couldn't see HOW we could afford it and we really were not ready as a couple to make decisions about flooring and carpet, etc.   Many people will  caution  you that building a home can 'cause a divorce'...well, we did not need any thing that could steer us in THAT direction.!!
 And, besides, we were in the  'awkward phase'  of our healing.  THat is how we have described that time period in our lives.  We were in therapy weekly and just being. We had been living apart and then living in the same house but still apart and just there was just a LOT Of awkwardness.  { Funny now, how the kids will comment here and there about that time period and how AWKWARD it really was.  }
 I look back now and  I spent any extra moment quietly reading or praying and watching a man that had taken a leap of faith and he was very skeptical about what God could really do.
 So, therefore, we were NOT ready to really build!  Almost 6 months passed, and God opened a door, and gave us this wonderful blessing.  We moved again.  Into a special home.   Brendan just  nick named it the HEALING HOUSE as we moved out last weekend and I will explain that in a bit.

But first, I want to add this....

God DOES grant you the secret desires of your heart.  As I drove to the 'healing house' one last time on Sunday to pick up the cleaning supplies I had used, I turned the corner and turned down 5th Drive when the Holy Spirit reminded me with a vision of me...some three years earlier.   It was  Sunday morning, and he had made the decision that we would sell our home and move into town.  That was the BEST decision we  could of made.  However, I  knew WHAT was available in Okeechobee and I knew our finances and I did not want to move into just any old house.  Of course, I thought of a house on the market, my favorite dream home and so that Sunday morning, before I went to church, I pulled down 5th Drive and the owners just happened to be in their driveway.  (Of course - THAT was God.) Anyway, I rolled down my window and this couple had been our Small Group leaders and we knew them and loved them, and I explained that we would be looking for a home and...."Al, could you call Brendan with out him knowing I stopped by and let him know the PRICE you need for this house, cause we are going to be looking?"...  Sure, he would do that.  You see that was an indicator of how 'fragmented we were, it was just the beginning of the HARD rebuilding phase'.   But anyway....

Al did call Brendan, and they spoke and of course what Al needed for a sale price was WELL over our budget!  So, ok...I just put that thought of ever living there in the back of my brain.

Well, God, did that awesome thing and opened doors  so that we got that UHaul and moved into that  home on 5th Drive.  It was our dream home.  I knew that it was GOD that moved a mountain so that we could rent ...with the option to buy this home.   THAT was the plan.

BAck to Sunday, As I turned the corner onto 5th Drive, I thought of that prayer I prayed that Sunday morning as I sheepishly asked Al.."could you call Brendan".

As the Holy Spirit reminded me, tears washed my face and I was reminded of HOW much HE loves me.  To give me that blessing...and that memory.  HE loves me ....just as much as HE loved David, Job, and others....THAT is pretty cool.

With that knowledge, I am so humbled.

Anyway, we rented and prayed for God's direction and HE moved another mountain.  God blessed Al with a buyer that could give him the funds needed for his home and  'our' home was sold.  We moved on Saturday!

The house was nick named the HEALING HOUSE cause, for the past 16 months, my family has entertained there, had many family meals there, had speakers from church over to dinner afterwards...and it was a time of just restoration.  I have blogged before - there were poker nights, gamer nights and I can't tell you how many times, I came home to find  multiple people ( usually boys ) watching a HEAT game.     The past 16 months have not been AWKWARD...they have been HEALING!

What a mighty and glorious God we serve - HOW HE blesses us so.
Astonishing things happened.  I need to blog and just list all of them...but tonight, I wanted to really express how that SECRET prayer said to God only 3 years ago...came into fruition and now, it is a memory.

God provided another rental.  This one we won't buy.  We are ready now to pull those plans out and really take a look at them.  In fact,  Brendan and I went to Home Depot just yesterday and began our wish list.  While in Oklahoma we went to an Open House, and while on vacation in Orlando we went to another Open House.  All the silly little things one will do when they begin to plan out ...a home.

This rental spot is very nice.  It may not have the crown molding and wainscoting   that we loved.  It may not have  granite countertops and a seperate cabinet for recyclables ...but it does have one thing - a very happy, healthy, and restored family.  AND...we all agree we have a beautiful view - about as good as the one we had when we lived North of town...or even better.  We laugh, cause we are now back on a golf course.  This new rental  home is VERY similar to the one North of town, it has almost the same layout and features.  It sort of seems God has brought us to a place where we have done a complete 360...tremendous!


This is the new home.  Some notoriety, it was the home that Jimmy Jones build for his mother.  He was a professional football player.  Big deal?  Maybe, I laughed cause I seem to have something for 'green' houses!

I guess my purpose for blogging this eve was two-fold.
I wanted to capture the memory of this.
I wanted to express the reasons why and so forth as to WHY we have moved 3x in 18 months...

but mostly I wanted to share that incredible experience when I turned onto 5th Drive on Sunday and how the Holy Spirit reminded me of my original secret prayer to God....HE does that....some 3 years later and BOOM....God you are awesome.

So, hang in there....BE encouraged...GOD wants to do the same for you!  Oh, just seek HIM totally and allow HIM to move you ....or move the mountain.

The Healing House  allowed our family to heal.
The Healing House was a blessing from God.
The Healing House will never be forgotten....thank you Lord, for being THAT sweet.

I am humbled.

Lord, protect this new home, it is our home until You lead otherwise.  Lord, you know the finances and how much we want our OWN is no secret Lord, we ask this in YOUR name - amen!

- your humbled daughter

Monday, July 8, 2013

....when you try to make sense of things.......

One of the things I have learned is THAT I can't make sense of things.

Well let me explain....I can make sense that 2 + 2 = 4.
I can tell you that if I turn the oven on - it gets hot.
I understand and realize that it takes 9 months or longer to produce a baby....and that only women can do that!
I realize that most problems are caused by our own actions but some problems or situations are not our fault or caused by our actions.

THAT is when I continually go to God and ask WHY.?

However, in my 45+ years now - I realize that HE does not have to explain HIMSELF - HE is God.

When we try to figure it out - we are putting ourselves RIGHT there as an equal with HIM.

I don't ever want to do that.
I don't want to even think that I know it all.
I don't.

Earlier this year, I called upon many prayer warriors to pray for a sister in Christ - she is still battling and fighting cancer.   Why does she have to battle cancer again....only God and Trace can answer that, she and God.  But in the meantime...I will pray and ask God to heal her on THIS side of heaven.

Today I read another parent lost a child, cause she was in a hurry and left her 8  month old in a hot car and found him dead.  WHY does THAT have to happen?  Lord, I pray for that mother right now - only YOU can give her any sort of comfort......

The news tonight showed that Airplane that crashed and now the investigators are all working overtime trying to figure out WHY it crashed.....

Years ago, I asked many - to stand in the gap with me and pray for a man that had 'soul cancer'.  I misinterpreted scripture and went before a body of believers and 'called him out'.  I asked strangers that worshiped with me, in a polite  and tearful way, to join  with me and pray for my husband.  I really thought I had it figured out.  I really believed that I would go before many,  seek their prayers,  and  by the end of the week - my family would be restored.
 I just really thought it was THAT simple.

Boy - was I WRONG.
 Now, God knew my heart and HE brought some very good out of that situation but that 'doing' also severed any bit of real hope  in him -

I mean, it totally severed 'what was left' of the relationship I had with my husband.
 He was hurt.   I was to pray for him...I was to seek others to join me in prayer - but I wasn't to make a public spectacle of it - there were many people that were unaware of his actions and it brought shame and hurt on many.  Since then, I have sought out forgiveness from those people....I never meant to cause anyone else pain - I was just wrong.   An immature Christian.  A hurting woman.  But I had NO clue of that at the time.......but I believe God used my choice of action as a teaching point for me and for others as well.  ( HE later taught and showed me where I 'went' wrong - it was a lesson I will never forget!)

One person could say - "who cares, he deserved it".  But...he really didn't.
The bible says, "he who is without sin -cast the first stone".  There was one thing I really did not know or understand....secret sin.  I had secret sin too - I shouldn't of cast a stone - as I was just as guilty of sin.

Sin is sin.
Some sin is public for others to see.
Most sin is private.

But sin is sin.  God is the judge - not me...not others...not others!
I had hatred in my heart.
I had committed spiritual adultery. But no one really 'saw' that....

It is hard to make sense of things.

Taylor created this.....
I am thankful that God planted a seed of hope within me and a love for my husband that I could not deny, so I was able to wait. God continually spoke to me in LOUD impressions and gave me direct words through HIS word and HIS servants.    I wish I could say I waited patiently...from the outside people said I was patient but I really wasn't.  But God had to do so much FIXING in me first and had to change quite a bit of me and how I thought about stuff - cause I was still trying to make sense.   However, I also had to learn to trust God.  I had to let God be my ONE true love.

Once you really get a grip on WHAT that means.....with GOD being ALL.....the rest does not seem to be THAT important.  And the NEED to have it figured out ---diminished.

So again, I blog this evening and there is a deep burden on my heart and it has been a focus of prayer today and I am reminded that I don't have to try and make sense of it all.

I am reminded that God wins.
I am reminded that a window of heaven is opening -- now -- today --- there is a movement within our American churches today -- we want MORE of HIM.
I believe the women of God are rising up.....
I believe the women of God are understanding that we must TRUST HIM more!

And because of that -- the ENEMY will be striking more.  He will continue to seek, kill, and destroy as we as women of God are hated by him.  He is a liar.  And with our world so quick to be mindful of 'what is right'......we, as women of God will NEED to be strong with our ARMOR ON!   WE must be ready!   Our families.....ARE being attacked.  Period.  I bet it is around you too - I bet that if you are reading this and you  are aware of the spiritual rheum - there is someone that you could STAND in the gap for right now....let them know you will pray...please.  THAT meant SO much to me in  my time of crisis of faith....OH GOD...THAT is how HE sustained me.

And I will leave you with this scripture that blessed me so on Sunday and credit my daughter for the graphic!

Lamentations  3. 29  from the Message bible...

"When life is heavy and hard to take,  go off by yourself.  Enter the silence.  Bow in prayer.  Don't ask questions. Wait for hope to appear."

My Pastor said it best....
Get away by HIM.  Allow HIM to speak to you - be quiet.  BOW in prayer - do it.  Don't ask God why...don't ask questions.....listen, read HIS word...and wait for hope to appear and it will.  

I know it will.  
I have lived long enough to know -- that while we are in the 'middle of something' seems hard to see BEYOND the hurt and the circumstances......but HOLD on -- allow the friend to pray for you...

.....allow another to stand in the gap...
Go before HIM....
HOld your tongue - but be viligent in prayer and watch....God will give you little tidbits of blessings or signs where you will know .....HE is at work - so wait for the FULL answer or the HOPE to appear!  

God wins.  
I have seen it within our lives.  Don't give up!  

Psalm 27.13 

 I would of despaired unless I had believed that I'd see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!   

Monday, July 1, 2013 is kind of HARD to just accept it ....but THAT is what HE does!

Ephesians 3:20

New Living Translation (NLT)
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

This verse was the point or illustrated verse at a LifeWay Conference I attended back in September of 2010.  

Let me give you some back story......I had purchased my ticket with a group of ladies from church to attend an event where Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, and Phyllis Shirer were speaking.  The evening started off VERY wrong. 

More backstory --  As you see,  school had started, Taylor was gone to UF, and the atmosphere in my home was ....not too friendly and very awkward.  It was a season in our marriage that I had become 'used' too...but was so TIRED of.  The past year had been very stressful and try as I may - I could not figure out WHAT was really wrong.  Now mind you, much had been revealed but only WHAT God knew I could this point.   

There was a lot of tense moments where there was not yelling - but words.  And just just distance!   At times, I wished there could of been more words or honest words, but now in hindsight - it was...what it was.  I really had no clue clue of what was really going on.   As I said, Taylor had left and gone to college, and Hunter was a Sophmore, headed to the High School.  I no longer had a 'child' in my car every morning to talk to sing mother.  Believe it or not - it was an adjustment. I was beginning to experience the EMPTY next...there was such a change in routine!   I spent the entire 20 minutes going to  town each morning, claiming God's promises and singing to myself.   Believing that 'stuff' could get better.  

Weekends were soccer, and with a child in College, every night and several  weekends for me were spent in an office - helping to process insurance applications and underwriting stuff earning extra money. 

 My alone time was spent searching the scriptures and doing bible studies.  Walking, visiting churches for a bit by myself and then just watching anything and everything on the Internet to feed my hurt soul and heart.   And, I got hooked on a book "SO LonG Insecurity" by Beth Moore and her blog that was updated almost daily.  And I sought counsel - godly counsel.   That was my life, as the other half of me was so 'gone' into his own world.  However, in all of that bible study I was also allowing the enemy to really pull me away in such  other directions.  Basically, I felt I DESERVED love and I was looking for it - in my head and fantasy world for where ever I could get it.  I realize now, that the other half of me was involved in his sin, but I was too - just not as known.   

Anyway, I had purchased the ticket to attend the conference as I NEEDED to hear from God.  I spoke to my Pastor's wife /counselor on the way up ( driving)  to Orlando as on that day - I had not spoken to my husband  but once, he would not answer my calls, and when I left that morning - I had threatened to be gone by the week's end if something did not change.   I was done. 

 ( I am pretty sure now, after knowledge revealed -- that is what the Enemy wanted.  The Enemy oppressed him so to NOT say a word in hopes that I would leave and the sin could continue... with the one that split this family.  The Enemy is such a liar and such a deceiver.) 

Back to September 2009,  I could not figure anything out.  I was so hurt. So, as I said, he would not answer me, HP was busy with soccer and I was 'left' alone again.  I also called another friend to have  her  'pump' my husband for any information....did he even notice I was not home?   Oh  ouch...just typing those words brings back a flood of memories that I don't want to revisit ...but it relates to THIS blog today.  

Ok, so I am heading up to Orlando, and I know that I know --I will even quote myself, this is what I said to myself -- "if I don't hear from God this weekend - I am NOT going to survive".  My Counselor/Carlie prayed with me, cried me with and I hung up the phone and prayed - God please...come.  

The Arena was 50 degrees - praise God I had a jacket and a blanket with me, as I was used to these conferences.  I wrapped myself it the blanket and squished myself into my seat and the music began.  I remember not being able to worship but finally my heart humbled and I let the music wash me.  Kay Arthur was the first to speak and within the first 5 minutes of her session - God spoke....

It was like there was ONE spot light in this Amway Arena of 20K+ ladies on me  and I knew that I knew.....God was telling me.."YOU hangith in there baby".  WOW.  Peace.  I was still very hurt and upset, but I had a direct directive from God...I was to hang in there.  !!!!     I wrote notes like crazy and Kay gave her testimony which I had never heard.  I could not write fast enough......

I fell asleep in  my hotel room, hearing those words and crying myself to sleep - God..."you told me to hang in there" -- so what next?  

The next morning,  the AM session,   Beth was  to speak.  She spoke about 'being wise' and not allowing yourself to be deceived.  Oh Lord, I took notes but I did not really think how or IF it would apply to my life. hindsight, I again praise God as I went back to those notes often within the next 3 I was deceived and I needed to know WHAT to do - to be on guard!  

Then Phyllis spoke and she used this verse as her illustrated point.

Ephesians 3:20

New Living Translation (NLT)
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

She had us memorize it with her as she broke it down.  And basically, I wrote myself promises...or made a list that I wanted fulfilled.

My hunger for God would continue.
I would be able to understand HIS will.
I would be happy again and feel loved... marriage...what would happen Lord?  I wanted it but he did not....

Today, as I read back what I wrote in my journal before, during, and after this LifeWAy Conference is almost  a list  of prophesy....I sit here - humbled and amazed.

It is sort of HARD to believe and accept at times...WHAT love God showed us by giving us Jesus and allowing the work of the cross - so THAT we may have Eternal life.

It is hard to comprehend.

But, there is a small illustration within my life, my husband, and my family.....

It was HE was able to impart upon me - 'hang in there'... and it was God that gave me the STRENGTH to endure....and it was GOD and HIS mercy that is so very real to me....that I had to extend it to a man who hurt me and my children  so...and it was/is GOD that is accomplishing MORE than I could ever imagine.

I just wanted my marriage better.
Then I wanted my marriage to last.

But mostly..I wanted to be loved and cherished.
I had to learn that GOD did want me...HE did love me....and HE so cherished me.

But to have that -- through a godly man -- is exceeding and abundantly beyond.  !!!

As I have blogged before, we are healed.  I am healed.  God did it.

Phyllis used an illustration about an engagement proposal.  How, being in Paris when 'he' asks would be awesome.  But...being in Paris, on your birthday and having your parents flown in as a surprise while 'he' asks would be even better....or.... even better....and how about this.....being in Paris, with family flown in as a surprise, and then in a cafe where the entire restaurant was in on the event and they sang your favorite song and you noticed in a corner that a painter was painting your portrait and then 'he' asks......get the picture?

With God- HE goes exceedingly and abundantly BEYOND......Ephasians 3.20 will also be a verse that not STICKS within my brain and my heart.

As, I have that ....

WE were so blessed with a redo of a soccer tourney....
God gave me the most PERFECT memory to replace the yuck back in Louisiana of 2010!

And THIS week...God is going beyond.  This week is the EXTRA.
 We are blessed - gifted  with a week in Orlando with family.   Brendan's entire family  -- where he is getting the time to really enjoy his parents and show them what GOD has done in his life.

This family week --  this happened two years ago as well - but two years ago, we were here in shifts, not as a united family and  with such AWKWARD stuff still going on. In fact, I remember at one of the family dinners, I asked his sister to make sure that she sat next to me...I just could not handle having to sit next to my husband by I was pretty sure he did not want to sit next to me, but I did not want to get placed by the 'kiddie' section.  Too funny! Again,  a re-do but in an abundant way.

Praise HIM...HE did this.

It is kind of hard to think that "I DESERVE this"...but I really don't deserve it.  We only deserve to be called children of God.  This happening, this week is a blessing a gift from our heavenly FAther and HE is using his servants ( Brendan's parents ) to bless us..cause HE wants my husband to know...that he is forgiven and that HE is pleased!

What a blessing -- so with this entry -- again -- someone will read this and I pray that you will be encouraged to STICK it out.

If you are the 'one' that caused the major hurt within your marriage or family....God can restore you too!  Be encouraged.

God does move mountains.
God wins.

There is a window in heaven opening -- don't miss it.  SEEK HIM and wait and see.  Amen!