flashthoughts

Posts Tagged ‘emotions

BANDAIDYou know when you have a bandaid somewhere on your body, how “they” always say, “Yank it off fast and it won’t hurt”? If so, then you discovered, after the first time you tried it, “THEY” LIED!!! However, even knowing that, we still try it every time, right? I know I do.

Maybe I have been applying that same ‘logic’ to the recent events in my life. My Mom was recently given some news that no one likes to receive. I have been so busy with work and helping get Mom to different doctor appointments that I have been thinking, “Just say it really fast, keep moving and it won’t hurt” – truth is, though, I was lying to myself. It still hurts – BAD – but I haven’t really had time to just sit down, slow my mind and truly process what is happening to/in my Mom. So, now is the time to say it slowly; to get my thoughts sorted out and think about the road my Mom has found herself on.

My (pause) Mom (pause) Has (pause) Cancer (pause) Lung Cancer (pause) – There, I said it s-l-o-w and I’m still trying to let it soak into my brain, my entire being, actually.

I find it amazing how incredibly deep simple words can hurt. I have a friend who, a few weeks back, asked for prayer for her own Mom and said she couldn’t even say the word because it was too surreal and hurt too bad. I remember thinking, “Bless her heart. I can imagine.” Let me tell you right now, NO! I could not imagine!!! I had absolutely no idea!!! God is teaching me a lot just through that simple statement. We – maybe I should just say I – am so quick to think I can possibly imagine the awful way some situations can make others feel. This has definitely taught me to NEVER think I could, in a million years, imagine someone else’s pain! I did not have a clue how my friend felt, until I found myself trying to utter the exact same words – My Mom has cancer.

I realize, in trying to write about this, that my thoughts are scattered and all over the place. I started to apologize for that; but, decided I shouldn’t have to. The point of this writing is for ME to try to settle all these weird, unexplainable feelings going on inside me; therefore, I should feel free to simply write as it comes to me. Maybe I’ll try to go back and re-read this before I actually post it and TRY to put it in some kind of “order” and maybe I won’t. I mean, after all, nothing about this is in “order”! My Mom is 81 years old and has ALWAYS been in great health! I mean, sure, she would get the occasional cold or flu; but, basically still in great health! Cancer isn’t supposed to happen to MY MOM!!! Right, Lori? I know you know what I’m talking about! To be honest, cancer isn’t supposed to happen to ANYONE!!! So many people get mad at God when an illness, like cancer or anything else life-threatening, attacks someone they love – or them, for that matter – when the truth is God had nothing to do with it. WE (HUMANS) are the ones that are responsible. WE are the ones that sinned. From the first sin of Adam and Eve right up to my sin of today – SIN is what brought all the disease and sickness into the world. GOD, IN HIS GRACE, HELPS US THROUGH IT!!! Why do some get healed on this side of heaven and others get healed on the other side? I don’t know. I’m not God. It’s not for me to decide or to know. I only need to know that I can trust God to do what He knows is best and I will ALWAYS trust that!

Okay, so I have no idea where that last paragraph came from or why it is in this post. Apparently, someone needed to hear it or the Holy Spirit wouldn’t have poured those words through my mind and into my fingers as they typed.

It truly is a hard thing to see my Mom have to go through what she is going through: having such a hard time breathing that it makes her weak. So weak that, for a couple of days, she didn’t even feel strong enough to change out of her night clothes. She was using all her energy just to try to breathe! The tumor in her lung is pressing down on her bronchial tube to the point that the bronchial tube is almost completely closed – meaning, she is, basically, breathing with one lung! At all her doctor’s appointments, she was asked if she had oxygen and, each time, we told them no; but nothing seemed to get done about it. Until her appointment with her oncologist. True, we were a bit aggravated at not being seen until almost 2 hours past her appointment time; but, when he DID see her, he not only asked about the oxygen, when he found out she didn’t have any, he made sure it was ordered and in the process of being on the way to her before we left! She got her oxygen the very next afternoon and I believe it has really made a difference. I went by to check in with her the day after she had gotten it and she was already looking like she felt better. In fact, she said she had already done more that morning than she had in a while!

So, yes, it’s, possibly, going to be a long road to great health again and it will be hard to watch; but, watch it I will and will be right by her side, as much as is possible for me to be there, because I do have faith in God and I do believe He allowed her to get what she thought was a bad sinus infection so she would go on to the doctor so this could be caught as early as it was.

Through it all, something a friend said a few months back, has really stuck with me and I definitely agree with it. When he found out he had esophageal cancer, he said, “People call cancer the ‘big C’; but, I say it’s the LITTLE c because CHRIST is the BIG C”. Now, I may not have gotten that quote exactly right, but I DID get the important thing right – cancer is the little c and CHRIST is the BIG C and the little c MUST answer to HIM! Right, Bob?

I also know it was no accident that the Lord had me start studying in James last month. I simply read a few scriptures – sometimes only one – each morning and study on what they mean. This morning, I read James 5:14-15. I will share here exactly what I shared in my journal:

James 5:14-15 (my version)

 Is anyone sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them, anointing them with oil in the Name of the Lord. Their (the elders) faith prayer will heal the sick and the Lord will make them well and will forgive those who have sinned.

 Notes from my Life Application Bible: While verse 13 was referring to any kind of suffering – not necessarily physical illness – verse 14 IS referring to anyone who is physically ill. People in the church (Christians) are NOT (or should not) be alone. We should be able to count on others for support and prayer. The elders should be on call to respond to the illness of any member and the church should be sensitive to the needs of ALL its members.

The faith prayer is not referring to the faith of the sick person, rather, it is referring to the faith of the people praying! GOD HEALS, FAITH DOESN’T and ALL prayers are subject to God’s will; but, prayer IS part of God’s healing process.

My prayer:   Father, thank You for allowing me to be part of Your healing process by my prayers and my faith in You! Please help me where I am weak in this area and have the Holy Spirit “nudge” me to pray for someone the very minute they ask. Even if we are in the middle of a store, remind me to pray for them RIGHT THERE! Thank You for loving me so much that You are willing to include me in Your process and plan. I love You 😊

This post may not be for anyone but me – and I’m okay with that, because it has definitely helped me get some feelings sorted out. Thing is, it seems like every time I feel I’ve written something ‘just for me’, He still manages to use it to help someone else, too. So, that is why I continue to share. Love y’all!

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I know that I have written before about how everything comes down to choices – specifically, our individual choices. Recently, I found out a video was done as a college project by someone in our church about this very thing. I was going to share it on Facebook, but decided I’d rather share it here (with permission) so my “non-facebook” friends would have a chance to see it, too.

This video is extremely well done – and YOU get to pick which choice Sam makes. I suggest watching all the different scenarios – and remember, it DOES always come down to the choices we make. (Great job Lacey!)

Do you ever have trouble wondering if you’re hearing from God or am I the only one that struggles in that department? It’s times like that when I am forced to realize that I don’t spend the time in His Word that I should. If I did, maybe I wouldn’t question so much if it’s truly Him I’m hearing from but that’s a post for another day, right?

I recently went through this battle again – trying to figure out if I was hearing from Him or being absolutely crazy – but I handled things differently this time. Instead of telling anyone else what was going on, I kept it between Him and me. I decided prayer was my best way to go. I asked Him to show me, with no uncertainty, that it was absolutely HIM and I knew there were ways He could do this. I prayed and then I waited and listened and He made Himself so clear. I wish I had written down from the beginning all the things that transpired but I didn’t. On June 12 I did, however, go back and write down the things that really stood out from the beginning until that day and, after that, I wrote down each day the things that happened. Since I can’t figure out how to condense it down, I will just share from my journal for this particular journey.

THESE ENTRIES ARE MADE JUNE 12 – REMEMBERED THE BEST I CAN

Friday, May 4, 2012

I attended my first ever 31 Party with Jessica and Cassie in Auburn. It was there that I learned Thirty One is based on Proverbs 31. I never knew that. It was at that party I began to feel ‘hmmm…maybe I should have one of these parties’ but IMMEDIATELY dismissed the idea. Why? Because I had said I would not have any more ‘parties’ like that because no one would show up. The last party I tried to host was for a friend who was trying to get started in Premier Jewelry – NO ONE showed up except for my Mom. That ‘party’ consisted of me, my daughter, my Mom and the friend I had tried to help. What a disappointment – not to mention that it REALLY fueled my feelings of insecurity and rejection!

Week of May 7, 2012

I don’t really remember what day or how we even got on the subject (other than the Lord bringing it about, which I didn’t realize at the time) but my co-worker had been looking for something online and the next thing I knew I was telling her about Thirty One and all the neat things they have. She was looking at the website and made the comment there were lots of nice things that would make great Christmas gifts. Before I knew it, I was saying, “So, if I have a party, would you come or like to order something?” WHAAAAAAT??? I really just said that???? WHOA!!! {Guess I should have started getting suspicious right then but I was still clueless about what was coming – lol}

So, I sent a text to the only person I knew that was a Thirty One Consultant, Janalyn, and told her I’d like to have a party. It took us a while to be able to get together to pick a date but we finally did and settled on June 15.

Week of June 4, 2012

Sometime during this week – I’m thinking maybe around Thursday or Friday – another thought started nagging me at the back of my head. I had started looking through the catalog to make my ‘wish list’ and I really started getting excited about all the neat things I was seeing. Even though this thought went fleeting through my head, I sure didn’t let it linger or dwell on it – I just kept looking through the catalog.

 Saturday, June 9, 2012

I was looking through the catalog again to finish up my wish list, passing time until it was time for Mom and I to head to Daphne. As I was looking through the catalog again, that silly, nagging thought returned. I tried to immediately dismiss it again but it would not go away this time. I found myself giving in to it and sending Janalyn a text to see when I could meet with her so I could talk to her about it. I had quite a few questions because of this thought that had “attacked” (lol) me out of nowhere.

We were able to get together the next afternoon and she took a lot of time and answered all the questions I could think to ask and even shared some things that I had not thought about.

THE FOLLOWING ENTRIES ARE BEING MADE IN “REAL TIME”

 Tuesday, June 12, 2012

 After talking with Janalyn and getting the answers to my questions, I still felt I had a lot of praying to do. I have tried too many things “on my own” before and I only want to do this if I can truly feel from Him that it is something He wants me to pursue.

Every time I think about becoming a Thirty One Consultant, I get excited about helping people get organized and I start thinking, “I could do this”. Then all the ‘doubting Thomas’ questions come in to my head. This morning I was going through that same cycle again but when the questions started coming in my mind and I started doubting again, I suddenly felt as if ‘someone’ (hmmmm….wonder Who? LOL) was saying to me, “Who do you think is feeding you the doubt?” That’s when I suddenly felt peace again about doing this.

Later that morning I saw this post from one of my friends on Facebook: “For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Prov 3:26. May we have God-confidence, not self-confidence” {Or as Renee Swope calls it – Godfidence!}

I took that as reassurance that I was definitely hearing from Him and I KNOW He is going to use this as a tool to help me further overcome my battle with insecurity.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Today’s Daily Promise is another reassurance that I am taking the step He wants me to take. This is what it said:

Matthew 17:19-20 WEB

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately, and said, “Why weren’t we able to cast it out?”
20 He said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For most certainly I tell you,
if you have faith as a grain of 
mustard seed, you will tell this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

 Promise #164: Nothing will be impossible for those who have even a little faith.

In this promise, Jesus tells us that even if our faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, we are able to tell a mountain to be thrown into the sea. Since I haven’t seen many mountains hurled into the sea lately, I often wonder what Jesus meant when He said these words to His disciples.

Of course we all have many figurative mountains in our lives that we face on a daily basis. Perhaps it isn’t the literal mountains around us that need moving, but these figurative ones? Maybe one day we will see literal mountains cast into the oceans, but in the meantime, what are the mountains in your life where you need a miracle? I love the fact that Jesus encourages us that we don’t need much faith at all to make a big impact.

From what I understand, a mustard seed is a very small seed, yet Jesus says even if our faith is that small, nothing will be impossible to us. Maybe it is time to start exercising the faith that you have? Start speaking to the mountains in your life with a childlike simplicity, just believing that they have to go away in Jesus name. Who knows what may start to happen?

 When I think of this promise, I am reminded of the man who came to Jesus to ask Him to deliver his son and Jesus asked him… “Do you believe?”. The man responded “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus didn’t rebuke the man for this response but healed his son instantly.

 God understands our frailty, yet He continues to encourage us to simply have faith and watch what happens. Today I am going to speak to the mountains in my life, how about you?

 My “mountain” is insecurity – automatically assuming people don’t want me around or that I’m ‘not good enough’ – but I know these are lies from the enemy and I am choosing to fight hard to ‘move that mountain’ with my faith.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I will not apologize for not believing in ‘coincidence’. I believe God shows us things at the very time we need to see them and I believe He will use all different sources – be it a daily devotional, an inspirational email, a friend’s facebook post or a tweet on twitter or any other number of things – to give us answers to our prayers or to reassure us once we feel that we have received His answer, whether it is yes, no or maybe. That is why I had to chuckle just a bit when I opened my You Version Bible Reading for the day. The title? “Don’t Wait to Obey God”

There is a refreshing immediacy to Joseph’s relationship with God. When God said it, Joseph did it.

 If you believe God loves you and you want to live a life of obedience in response to His love, then this is how you should respond: When God says it, then do it.

 I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of great men and women of faith from around the world. They’re all different from each other, but they all have one thing in common. When they sense God saying to do something, they don’t hesitate. They step out and do it.

 First John 5:3 says, “This is love for God, to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” (NIV) I was talking recently with Tom Holladay, my brother-in-law, about why, when God asks you to do something, it sometimes feels like a burden. What’s wrong?

 We decided it’s often because of procrastination. When we don’t act right away, it becomes harder to do the longer we wait. But when we do what God says, freedom comes into our lives.

 What is God calling you to do? Is it a phone call you need to make? An action you need to take? Whatever it is, write it down right now, tell God you’re willing to do it and ask Him to give you the strength you need to make it happen.

So – I ‘sort of’ have this one licked already – I have already started writing it down and I HAVE been asking Him to give me not only the strength but the COURAGE I need to make it happen. And I know that He will.

Another thing I want to share is, I also felt He was saying to me, “Say nothing to anyone until the night of the party and make the announcement then.” That was REALLY hard for me because I REALLY wanted to talk to my Mom about it and I also wanted to tell a very close friend and my daughter – but I didn’t. Oh, I came close to letting it slip a couple of times, but I was able to realize what I was about to do and reminded myself that I couldn’t. Let me just tell you how the enemy tried to get me to “spill the beans” before I was supposed to: A co-worker was looking through the catalog today and asked me, “Is this something you’re selling now?” It was REALLY hard not to say anything BUT I knew exactly where that question came from – he was a little TOO obvious with that one so I simply replied, “No” which was an honest answer because I had not signed up to be a consultant – YET 😉

Friday, June 15, 2012

WOW! I was beginning to wonder if this day would EVER get here and then I thought 6:30 would NEVER come! Thankfully, I was fairly busy all day getting the house ready and food prepared. I had received 15 “yes” responses from my invitations and 7 “maybe” responses but I was still wondering if anyone would actually show up. Then it started – I started receiving texts saying “I really was planning to come but…” or “I’m not gonna be able to make it after all” and you KNOW what the enemy started doing. Started putting thoughts in my head of how no one would actually show up and I was TOTALLY missing God on this one and why did I even think for a minute I should do this. But I IMMEDIATELY dismissed these thoughts because I knew of some that were coming for sure and I REFUSED to let the enemy camp in my thoughts. The time of the party finally arrived and can you guess what happened? That’s right – you got it – the living room was SO full that if one more person had shown up, I know we would have fit them in, but I sure don’t know where or how! LOL There were a total of 15 people here, including Janalyn and myself.

There you have it –  my journey to becoming a Thirty One Consultant. Now I am excited about beginning the journey as a consultant. Whether God has me here for a long time or a short time, I know this is where He has me right now and I can’t wait to get started. There is one other thing that happened allowing me to know for sure that God is the One that called me to this and it wasn’t just a ‘fleeting’ idea that went through my head, but I am not at liberty to share what it was at this time. I will share it when I have permission from the other person that it involves. Just trust me that it was the one final piece of information to assure me once and for all that this is definitely a “God” thing 🙂

I will keep you all updated about how the journey goes and I would also love to hear from you about your journeys. Any mountains you want to speak to or that you’ve spoken to in the past? Would you share? Maybe you can only share that you are currently on a journey and would like prayer – that’s okay, too. Share only that request for prayer. I’m sure that others would join me in praying for God to show you His direction, even though you can’t share the specifics. I look forward to hearing from y’all.

I came home from work on Wednesday, May 23 and there it was – a box sitting on my desk just waiting to be opened. I could hardly wait to see what was inside. I carefully cut the tape on the box so as not to damage the contents. I opened the flaps of the box and there it was, the very special book I had been waiting to receive. My sweet friend, Tammy, had told us about this book. She received one as a Mother’s Day gift from her husband. She told us how she and her husband had actually written part of this book. In fact, reading what  she wrote about it in her Facebook post is what got me so interested in it.

I am talking about the NIV Bible Across America. Have you heard about it? Did you know when it was making the tour across America? I did not. I had not heard – or maybe I should say I don’t remember hearing – anything about it until Tammy told us about it. This Bible celebrates the 30th anniversary of the most popular Bible translation of all time according to what was written on the cover box that it came in. In fact, let me share with you what else it says on that box: Covering over 30,000 verses, 90 cities and nearly nine months, the Bible Across America tour was an undertaking of Biblical proportions. With God’s blessing and the help of tens of thousands from coast to coast, we’ve successfully created the world’s first handwritten copy of the NIV Bible.

Yes – you read that right – HANDWRITTEN! This tour went all across America, including making a stop at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama, and I honestly don’t remember hearing anything about it! The tour started September 30, 2008 and anyone and everyone was invited to come to their tour stops and write a verse of the Bible – young and old alike.

But all the above are simply facts about this Bible. Other than being handwritten, what makes this Bible so different to me? It’s not like I don’t already have an NIV Bible and several other translations as well, for that matter. I ordered this Bible, mainly, because I just had to see for myself the handwritten verses. I was not expecting what I received. I didn’t receive the unexpected when I first opened the package and saw this new Bible. Oh, it was ‘neat’ and ‘interesting’, just as I thought it would be. The night I received the Bible I didn’t really have time to do much more than skim over what was in it. Of course, I took time to find the two verses that my friend, Tammy, and her husband, Jim, had written but that was about the extent of it.

Sunday morning I got this new Bible out to use. I wanted to read over the verses that would be included in our message Sunday morning. As I started reading, THAT is when I received the unexpected. I was truly ‘mesmerized’, for lack of a better word, by the handwritten verses. Suddenly, I realized what a treasure I now had. Reading the handwritten verses caused me to be overcome with the realization of how the ORIGINAL Bible came to be – it, too, was HANDWRITTEN on scrolls! Yes, obviously I knew this already. It’s just that all of a sudden, it was no longer ‘head’ knowledge. It became HEART knowledge and I began to be so overwhelmed by it all that I don’t even know where to begin to try and describe it. It’s one of those things that is truly impossible to explain. It’s something you would just have to experience for yourself.

So, what makes this Bible different? It’s true that I was caught up in how ‘cool’ or how ‘neat’ it was. Yes, it has many inspiring stories of several of the people that wrote verses in it and what it meant to them to be able to do so; but, only when I opened it up and started reading the handwritten verses did it come alive for me! All the things that have been and will be said about it being so wonderful are true. However, if you want to experience what I think can only be described as one tenth of what the people felt that wrote the original scriptures, I highly recommend that you get your hands on one and begin reading. I pray that, when you do, the verses you read – the same verses you’ve read like me probably a million or more times before – will suddenly be more real than they ever have been.

I’m sure you can find it in several places but, if you want to get an INCREDIBLE deal on this Bible, click here to go straight to a GREAT deal on it at Christian Book.

You will NOT find a better way to spend $15.99 in my opinion! In fact, this is ten dollars less than what they had it on sale for just a couple of weeks ago when I ordered it! So, get your order in fast if you want one, because I’m sure that they won’t last long at this price!

If you order one, I would love to know what you think about it and what happens to you when you receive it and begin to read it. Would you be so kind as to leave me a comment below and let me know if you order one? Then come back and tell me if it had any affect on you. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

Love y’all!

Are you ever frightened or startled by a loud noise or sudden movement? I know I have been in the past but I hope, one day, to get to the place where I’m not. Sit back, get comfortable and let me explain what I’m talking about.

You all know by now that I attend Celebrate Recovery. You may not know, however, that we say the Serenity Prayer every time we meet. Last night we were given a challenge. I was actually given this challenge nearly a year ago but was just beginning to attend CR at that time and didn’t take the time to complete it. What was the challenge? To stop and REALLY take a look at the Serenity Prayer and come to truly understand how powerful it is and what it means to me. Do a “Serenity Check-Up”. As soon as the challenge was given, the thought went through my head “I need to do this during my quiet time in the mornings until I get it finished.”

So, I sat down this morning to get started and was immediately at a loss as to how to answer the very first question: “What does the “serenity” that you are asking God for look or feel like? Describe it in as much detail as you can.” Really? Is this thing serious? I had absolutely NO idea how to answer this question and was going to skip it and move on to the next question; but, the Holy Spirit nudged me and seemed to ask, “Why don’t you pray about it?” So I did. I asked God, “What DOES serenity look like?” All of a sudden, I knew I was supposed to look up the word – I mean, DUH! How can I know what something is supposed to look like if I can’t even define it to myself or anyone else? Serenity is one of those words where I tend to say, “Oh, you know what I’m talking about. It’s hard to explain in actual words, but you know what I mean, right?”

Then, before I could look it up in the dictionary, this happened……

BOTH my cats decided to plop themselves right on top of my notebook causing me to make a choice:  Shoo them down off my desk or enjoy the moment for however long it may last. I chose to enjoy. Patches (the white one) is pretty much ALWAYS ready for attention; but, Slinky has ALWAYS been the “typical” independent cat. However, she seems to be changing a little lately and seems to want  more attention.

As I began to pet them and they were purring their sweet little purrs, it dawned on me what a perfect picture of serenity this is. Yet, at the same time, I knew, if there was a loud noise (or ANY sudden noise) or something as simple as a door opening, their ‘serenity’ would be GONE. The cats jumped down and I looked up the word serenity. Here’s what I found: The quality or state of being serene. Yes, that led me to look up the word serene. Here’s what I found there: 1a – Clear & free of storms or unpleasant change, b-Shining bright & steady / 2 – Used as part of a title (His Serene Highness) / 3 – Marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose (rest) or quietude. Synonyms of Serene are: Arcadian, calm, hushed, peaceful, placid, restful, quiet, still, stilly, tranquil

Truly my cats had been peaceful and utterly calm. But as I stated above, I knew the slightest disruption to the quiet moment would cause their ‘serenity’ to be gone in a heartbeat, which ‘dominoed’ my thinking to me and my serenity. I can be very peaceful and calm, feeling God’s presence all around me until there is a loud noise (most often in the form of a trial) or something as simple as Him opening a door to lead me somewhere new. Suddenly, I am no longer serene but frightened.

NOW I can answer the question! Now I KNOW that when I ask God to grant me serenity, I’m asking Him to help me get to the place where I’m not so easily frightened by the new or unexpected. I’m asking Him to help me get to Philippians 4:7 as a way of life: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Something has been lurking in the back of my mind all day today. Earlier I attempted to post it as a status on Facebook but, as I began to type, it began to grow. So, I left it alone, hoping I would have a chance to get back to it later in the day. Well, it is definitely later in the day (10:00 p.m. to be exact – lol). Even though I know what is going through my mind, I am still struggling with trying to put it into words. I decided to just start typing and ask the Lord to pour the words out. I think the best place to start is at the beginning….

I accepted Jesus as my Savior many years ago, when I was a young teenager. I’ve ‘celebrated’ many Good Fridays and Resurrection Days (Easter) since that time. Yet, when I woke up this morning, I was experiencing feelings that I do not ever remember having before. I felt such a sadness and I didn’t know why, at first. As I went about getting ready for work and thinking about it being Good Friday, it dawned on me. It IS Good Friday to me and many others because we know that, even though this was a day of great suffering for Jesus, He rose again and lives in Heaven with His and our Father and is preparing a place for us. But my mind just kept thinking about the day it actually happened all those years ago. The despair those people must have felt as they saw Jesus hang on the cross and die. Yes, they had been told by Him that He would “rebuild the Temple in three days” but they didn’t understand what He was saying to them.

I realized I was experiencing a true grieving – for what those early Christians must have been going through on that day and for the sacrifice and true suffering that my Savior, Jesus Christ, went through on that day all because He loved me! In my head, I know what Jesus did for me, how He suffered for me and died for me, and it hurts my heart to think of what He went through – all for me. (He did it for YOU, too, just in case you are wondering.)

A few years ago when the movie, The Passion of the Christ, came out, I managed to sit through it. There were a lot of places (and I mean a LOT of places) where I had to close my eyes or turn my head or just look down. I was surprised that I made it through the movie because I have never even been able to attend Easter plays at a church because it bothers me so much to see even an extremely light re-enactment of what He suffered for me!

However, I attended a local church’s presentation last Sunday night, The Passion Play, for the very first time. They have been doing this for many years but I’ve never gone before because I know my nerves can’t handle it. It quite literally makes my heart feel as if it is going to burst right out of my chest – and what is presented is extremely mild compared to what He must have actually suffered!

As I said earlier, I know in my head that He suffered but, even though we can read about it and some can do their best to ‘re-enact’ it, I wonder if my heart will ever truly be able to comprehend it? I don’t think it will because I think it really is too horrific for me to handle.

Maybe all my feelings today were brought on because of the play I attended last Sunday night. Maybe they were brought on because I have been drawing closer to Him this last year through CR (Celebrate Recovery). Maybe I’ll never really know WHY or WHERE they came from. I only know that all day long today I have felt a sadness that I could not explain, one that I’ve never felt before, yet it wasn’t  for anything that had happened in ‘my little world’. This sadness, or grief, was for all those people so long ago that truly did not have the same assurance that I have today. They weren’t able to say, “It may be Friday but Sunday’s on the way” because I don’t think any of them knew (ahead of time) what was going to happen on Sunday.

In The Message Bible, Matthew 28:5-10 is translated this way: The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as He said. Come and look at the place where He was placed. Now, get on your way quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there.’ That’s the message.” The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. “Good morning!” He said. They fell to their knees, embraced His feet and worshiped Him. Jesus said, “You’re holding on to Me for dear life! Don’t be frightened like that. Go tell My brothers that they are to go to Galilee and that I’ll meet them there.”

So it makes me wonder, was it a Good Friday for them or was it just plain awful? They didn’t realize the joy until Sunday. What do you think? Do you have any thoughts about this? I’d love to hear them, if you do. And now I’m going very “old school” because there’s a powerful song that Carman sings and I’d like to share it with you. If you’ve never heard of Carman or never heard this song – listen to it now – you won’t regret it. If you know who Carman is and you HAVE heard this song before – listen again anyway and remember that even though it’s Friday night…….Sunday’s on the way! Praise the Lord!!!

This past week was a really hard week for me, filled with so much raw emotion! I may as well have been surrounded by lions and tigers and bears! I really don’t even know where to begin trying to sort it all out. I guess, if I really think about it, it all started on Dec. 29 when I saw this post from an old family friend on facebook: All Prayer Warriors…please please please pray for my nephew.  He was in an accident this morning and needs your prayers.  Please God, hear these prayers and magnify the healing. Her family and my family used to be pretty close when we (kids) were all younger, so this really hit close to home! (Side note: I was just reminded as I started writing this that Dec. 29 was also the birthday of the sister that posted the prayer request). Of course I immediately began to pray for her nephew, Dusty, and even posted a blog asking others to pray for him, too. You can read that post here. I can’t even begin to explain the URGENCY that filled not only my heart but my ENTIRE being to pray for Dusty and to get as many other prayer warriors praying as I could possibly get. There were days of good news and not-so-good news. Then after our church service last Sunday, January 29 (exactly one month after the accident), I found out that Dusty had gone to be with Jesus earlier that afternoon.

Another factor contributing to my many emotions was, two weeks ago I was asked if I would be willing to share My Story in large group at CR (Celebrate Recovery) in two weeks and I said I would. MAJOR step for me because I can write and let people read what I wrote all day long and it doesn’t bother me – but to have to actually READ what I wrote in front of people is a very scary thing for me. So, I was already feeling a sadness from Dusty’s passing and I was extremely nervous about sharing my story Tuesday night in front of everyone. No big surprise here, but the Lord helped me get through it.

The next thing that had my emotions in such turmoil is going to sound like a very minor thing to most people and, had it happened at another time when my emotions weren’t already so raw, I don’t think it would have had the same effect on me. However, on Wednesday, just before Mom and I left to go to Dusty’s service, I got a notice in the mail that the bank where I have my account, RBC Bank, is going to be changing to PNC Bank on March 5! Since PNC is not going to handle changing all the direct deposit information for their customers, I will have to notify my employer – State of Alabama – of the change and that will result in my direct deposit being interrupted for about two months! More raw emotion in the form of aggravation and exasperation just piled on top of everything else.

I was so honored that I could be at Dusty’s service on Wednesday. How hard it is to understand how an entire church of people can be filled with so much grief and sadness yet at the same time be filled with joy and gladness! I was never given the privilege of actually meeting Dusty on this side of Heaven but how wonderful it was to hear his pastor, family and friends tell of what a fine, Christian young man he was. As much as I, too, felt grief and sadness for his family and loved ones, I also felt much joy and gladness in knowing that I will get to meet him one day on the other side of Heaven.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, right before I left work on Friday, the news was reporting about a Mobile Police Officer being stabbed by a prisoner and that the prisoner had taken the officer’s gun and car. By the time I got home thirty minutes later, the suspect had crashed the car and was hiding (either under or in) a house and had shot two more officers. The news continued to stay on this story, instead of going to regular programming, until around 7:00 p.m. You can get more information on this awful tragedy by checking out Fox 10‘s website. The officer that was stabbed, Officer Steven Green, did not make it and the suspect did not make it out alive either. This just added more feelings of disbelief, hurt and compassion to the week.

I’m reminded of the message from last Sunday morning – Where is God in all this? HE IS RIGHT HERE WITH ME – and, if you’re His child, He’s with you, too! Here’s a question I wrote in my notes from last Sunday morning – How would I respond to situations if I TRULY realized that God is with me even though the circumstances may not show that? Do I tend to get bitter in bad situations or do I make the best of it, KNOWING He is with me? (Psalm 23:4 / II Corinthians 4:16 Genesis 50:20 / Romans 8:28)

I didn’t too well this past week in remembering that as often as I should have. I am, however, glad that He has reminded me of it today as I was working on this post. He reminded me that He has it all under control – even the paychecks – and no matter what happens, HE is with me and I can rest in Him. I have to remember this other note from last week’s message, too: Sometimes instead of taking away the pain, He gives me the promise of His presence. There’s that word again – PROMISE – my word for 2012, which is why I bolded and underlined it. And, no, I DON’T believe in coincidence.

I don’t know if this post was for anyone but me today. It has helped me sort through a lot of things, though, and I am grateful that He reminded me of His presence. In my humanness, it is so easy to forget that He is always there.

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If you want to see what having a pure heart for God can do for you, read the following that was posted by Dusty’s mother, Dee Propst, on her Facebook wall today (Monday, Feb. 6, 2012) around noon (posted here with her permission):

 We prayed for GOD’S WILL to be done in the hospital. We prayed for God to heal Dusty. We prayed for God to heal Dusty completely and leave Dusty with us. We prayed for strength. We prayed for love, forgiveness, we prayed and God gave us miracle after miracle, after miracle. God is good to us. God showed us love through all of this. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Son of God, is in control of everything we do in life. Dusty was borrowed from God 21 + years ago. Jesus needed him back, so when God gets ready for us we will join them in heaven. God is in control of life. God answers prayers, maybe not the way we want or understand, but we have to realize God’s plan is perfect. We accept God and His mercy. We will worship, praise, honor, and give thanks to God because He is Awesome and is in control of all life’s storms.

 
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It is only by the grace and mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that she is able to say those words and truly mean them. If you would like to leave a comment of encouragement for her or let her know how her words ministered to you here, I will see that she gets it.


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