Broken Roads

How can I say anything about the “mistakes” I’ve made in my life?  Lord, You knew each decision I was going to make before I made them and You knew where each path led to get me to where I am now.  You knew that I was going to be the only one at home to walk the born again life in front of my parents and little sister. You knew the friends I would have and the experiences I would have because of it as well.  You knew the mountain tops and the valleys I would go through and the lessons I would learn in each one.  You knew the people who would benefit from my experiences…and the benefits I would receive from each of those encounters as well.

I am amazed when I can look back at those heartbroken nights when I would walk up and down the street talking to You and crying.  As I look back and remember my bedroom with all the Bible verses I had taped up as I memorized Your Word because I just could not get enough of it.  I remember thinking how goofy I was that I would be so excited or happy that my words started sounding like gibberish…only to find out decades later that YOU had already given me my prayer language, but because of the church I was in I couldn’t know it as a “prayer language” because they didn’t believe in that sort of thing.

You knew though, and You knew the need I had of that language and what it would do for me. You knew the circumstances that I would face that would need me to know how to deal with things that had never been taught to me by my church.  How to “instinctively know” how to stand up to demonic forces.  You taught me how to use the authority You had given me over them, when the church I attended didn’t understand or at least didn’t teach on this subject.  You created in me more desire to know YOU intimately as a Father and friend.

Father, You gave me the desire of my heart. As much as I could handle of it anyway.  But then, but then the sin that so easily beset did it’s best work in me.  I always heard the old saying, “the bigger they are the harder they fall.”  I just never thought that saying would have anything to do with yours-truly.  I can remember telling others not to put people on a pedestal because the other person was, after all, human.  It’s a fact, people will fail us, they can’t help it…they truly are only human…made in Adams likeness and prone to fail. Not by YOUR plan, but because of bad choices (or one bad choice to be completely correct.)  But I had put ME on that pedestal! Talk about a glaringly BAD CHOICE.  Oh how haughty I became.  Looking down from my lofty perch at the “unenlightened” masses of “other” Christians.

The fall was/is hard…and oh so painful.  I used to be confident and secure in what I knew. Now, not so much. I feel very unsure of myself with others anymore. I know You are with me and You will guide me when I seek Your face. I just have forgotten how to do that with all my heart. I have the want to but the how escapes me anymore. When did I become one of the faceless masses? I don’t want to be pitied nor do I want to be worshipped. I just want to feel a part of something. I distance myself at work to stay away from the office politics and cattiness that happens in an office full of women. I want to connect somewhere…but it hasn’t happened.  Lord, even this evening when I was at the Bible study…I found that everyone else had someone to talk to except me. Why am I distancing myself from other Christians?! I don’t understand. Father I need Your help. I need YOUR understanding and direction. Please Lord, let me find someone that I can relate to.

I say with my mouth that I want to be in Your presence…I say with my mouth to be more like You is what I want…but with my actions. With my actions I am saying much louder – feel sorry for me…but DON’T try to teach me anything. I still know more than you because I have “walked with God longer.” Still stuck on THAT treadmill. This needs to stop and now.

Discipline

Discipline: training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: “A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.” 

That last little excerpt was fitting I think…because that is EXACTLY what I was thinking about. Maybe not with a typewriter (alas, those days are long gone but fondly remembered). Today was a typical Monday…busy, busy but not so much so that I could not think or have time to breathe. Thank You Jesus! I have had enough of those days and I am not naïve enough to think they are a thing of my past. I do after all live in the “real world” with real people. Too many things going on in my head to actually get it wrapped around writing anything…but yet…discipline keeps me coming back to my keyboard and computer.

I went this weekend and bought dry erase markers for my little board at work. I know it sounds goofy but, when I found out that some of my co-workers actually looked forward to seeing my encouraging message each day I wanted to make it more colorful so that it would be fun to see as well as read. I try each day to say something positive on my board and today I had more than one customer say something about liking it as well. It may not be much but it’s something. Sometimes we just need one positive thought to help us through the day. I work in a county office that helps people who need help and I hope some days that my little positive message is that one positive note in that person’s day. I trust God and pray each day that He will bring the people that need to be there so that if not me…then my board will touch their lives. It’s not much…but it is something. And Jesus can take the widow’s mite and make it so much more than it was to start. I believe He does the same with my board.

Amazing

What a day, what a week. Started Weight Watchers on Wednesday of last week. So it’s been 5 full days. I’m still not totally comfortable yet with the eating and tracking of points, but it is a new adventure. I joined the gym again…yes again…how many gyms have I joined over my lifetime. Pretty sure that would be too dang many…and this one I joined a couple years ago and went a whopping 3 times or so…paid every month but didn’t go…now that is just plain dumb. I have decided THIS time that I not only will be very regular and I will meet the health goals that I have set for myself. This year, I intend to eat right and exercise. Yessireebub…that’s my plan. We all know what happens to the well laid plans of mice and men. Ha.

True, I am excited about the new adventure…but I am so at peace with myself and my Lord that I can feel excited. Does that make sense to anyone but me?  I saw the movie “The Shack” last night…I loved they way they portrayed God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I truly appreciated the way they portrayed the RELATIONSHIP that God wants with PEOPLE. When the dad (main character) was told that since he wanted to set himself up as judge he would need to judge between his own kids and choose which one he would send to heaven and which to hell…he couldn’t – he said “take me…don’t take them…take me” and I cried. They portrayed GOD’s heart SO WELL there you would have to be totally cement hearted NOT to understand that picture. When he asked God “is there ANYONE you are not particularly fond of?” and God answered “no, I can’t think of any” I smiled. God loves us SO much. He gave Himself because He couldn’t choose which of His kids He wanted to send to hell so He took our place in the form of Jesus. I truly have never seen anything done by Hollywood that brought more glory to God than that movie. Wow.

Hmm, so, how does my being excited about losing weight and getting healthy have anything to do with the movie “The Shack”…I am God’s kid. When you take a moment to realize the volume of those four words, it all makes sense. There is nothing about my life that isn’t important to Him. There is nothing about your life that isn’t important to Him. Does that mean BECAUSE I have chosen to accept Jesus as my sacrifice so that I can be God’s child I now live a perfect life? I WISH! But…just like in the movie…I never have to go through ANY of the hard times alone. Sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in the pain that we forget we are not alone. I have been very bad about wallowing in my stuff. And I can’t think of ONE bad situation that wasn’t MY choice. Even though I made the choice with good motives (sometimes) they were still wrong choices…and I got hurt. God’s heart breaks for His kids when we hurt…but He is there with us IF we choose to seek Him through it. He never fails, He never gives up on us…He is ALWAYS faithful. If that doesn’t cause you to pause and ponder…well…it sure does me.

 

A Safe Place

Where do you go when things are not going the way you wanted. When your heart is breaking and your world is laying in pieces at your feet…when it seems there is nothing and no one that could ever put your Humpty Dumpty back together again.  When you’re sure there is absolutely no one who cares.  Is there a haven you can go to?  A place of refuge?

They say, you can tell your “true” friends from your acquaintances  during these times. But let’s be honest…there are times that NO ONE can understand what is going on inside of you not even your closest friend. I’ve lived long enough to have gone through too many of these times. I have had to “rebuild” my life too many times; and I can tell you there is a haven. A place of peace where lessons are learned (yes, through our mistakes and blunders.) A true haven of rest.

There is one that sticks closer than a brother. Jesus, is my refuge, my teacher, my shoulder to both cry on and lean on. He truly does know me…even better than I do. It never ceases to amaze me when He shows me things about myself that I would have told any other person NO emphatically NO! Only to find out the truth when I am brought to a point where there is no denying it. When I say Jesus is my refuge, it is not a sweet platitude from “my religion” it is something that I have learned through experience. He has been with me at my highest highs and my lowest lows and still He loves me. He never, ever, gives up on me.