Monday, October 21, 2013

I look to YOU!!

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

These are words from "I will carry you" by Selah
It was a beautiful song written about their child God called home only hours after birth.. They knew the baby had problems shortly into their pregnancy and doctors wanted to terminate her pregnancy but she choose to carry the baby.  These words also can be used as a reflection of Christ carrying us in our defects, pain, trials, hurts or moments of feeling attacked. And as we question who could love like this? The answer is GOD loves us more than we can come close to loving him or others!!

I mentioned about being attacked in all directions in my last blog. I was thinking, if a "marriage doctor" came to us and said..... "I'm sorry.. but you two have gotten yourselves in a tail spin, you have caused tremendous hurt, your marriage is so defected that I have to terminate the marriage..
Truth is there are moments that I am barely hanging on... I think about the 13 years I prayed for Mike's salvation.. I truly carried him! I thank God for chosen ME to carry HIM..  And NOW... there are times HE carries ME! This last year has been a difficult year for us as God is teaching us to be over comers.. And he looks gently into our face and says... 


One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
                           other times there were one set of footprints.
                                  This bothered me because I noticed
                                that during the low periods of my life,
                             when I was suffering from
                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,
                     I could see only one set of footprints.
          So I said to the Lord,
      "You promised me Lord,
         that if I followed you,
             you would walk with me always.
                   But I have noticed that during
                          the most trying periods of my life
                                 there have only been one
                                       set of footprints in the sand.
                                           Why, when I needed you most,
                                          you have not been there for me?"
                                 The Lord replied,
                          "The times when you have
                  seen only one set of footprints,
          is when I carried you."
                                                   Mary Stevenson
The truth is, when our marriage suffers is when our priorities are not in line with the word of God.  It is so easy to loose focus on this; a gentle reminder is what is needed.. But I am a stubborn person, so I do not hear His gentle warnings.  Selfishness, pride, selfish ambition, fits of rage (Galatians 5: 21) creeps in; and soon we are on the vicious cycle of not loving/ not respecting each other. It is so easy to point out each others flaws because when we are pointing out the other persons flaws our focus is not on US.. and who wants to deal with their own ugliness? Until you are looking at the reflection in your own children.
I noticed the fighting, bickering, the dissension... All three of them have no problems tearing each other down, or not showing love or respect... IT hit me like a slap in the face, We have given them these traits to imitate.  They are simply imitating what was being modeled to them.... I felt like a failure... How can we be used to witness to other broken marriages when OUR MARRIAGE was struggling???? Then I came across this sentence....

God can heal a broken heart.. but HE needs all the pieces

My heart was broken because I reflected the past in how it tortured and haunted me... The same hurts and pain was resurfacing and I immediately labeled it as feeling lonely, unloved, rejected and not worth anything. I look up to my husband because of the amazing talents, abilities and strengths he offers to our marriage.  The problem was I have experienced the DEPTH of his love but I also have experience the VALLEYS of HIS ANGER.... Anger is an "action/reaction" secondary emotion.  The root is unknown many times, but the anger can be experienced and felt from the rippling effects.  The cycle begins I am feeling unloved HE is feeling disrespected.
 I am angry for the wasted time
I am angry for teaching our kids to act in a manner that is embarrassing
I am angry that I feel like a failure because this test that continues to lay before me I seem to fail every time
"Paul the Apostle, He was a murderer, He was angry, he was hurt, his spirit was crushed (Acts9:1-5)

Yet the LORD used him in a mighty way.. Look how his live was transformed from serving anger to serving Christ!!

But time is not wasted when we use the conflict to further gain knowledge in learning how to love the unlovable... Let's face it.. We can all act unlovable at times.

The shield comes down as the words of my heart are set forth on paper, tears streaming down my face as I allow myself to experience the emotions that I have been feeling for months.  In anticipation I cry out, being in a familiar place, the questions that has been looming in my mind How do I love the unlovable? How do I learn to respect someone I admire so much and love so deeply but yet experience unloving behavior? And How can I stand to know I am treating Him so badly, as I clearly am not the "responsible" one continually disrespecting him.  I feel unworthy of not only Mike's love but Christ love... I definitely feel as if Mike has gotten the raw in the vows as I've been given the years of pain, and health issues. A bit of jealousy breeds in my heart as things comes so easy for him.. The things I admire about him so deeply: is his work ethic, his ability to protect and provide for his family, his wit, his comic relief, and his servant heart are the things I find trying to compare and compete with!!

Galatians 6:4 "Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else"

                                       Selah "I look to You"
                                       As I lay me down,
                                       Heaven hear me now.
                                      I'm lost without a cause
                                     After giving it my all.

                                    Winter storms have come
                                    And darkened my sun.
                                    After all that I've been through
                                    Who on earth can I turn to?

                                            I look to you.
                                     After all my strength is gone,
                                       In you I can be strong
                                            I look to you.
                                     And when melodies are gone,
                                        In you I hear a song.
                                             I look to you.

                                     About to lose my breathe,
                                   There's no more fighting left,
                                   Sinking to rise no more,
                                  Searching for that open door.

                                  And every road that I've taken
                                         Lead to my regret.
                              And I don't know if I'm going to make it.
                                  Nothing to do but lift my head

                                            I look to you.

                                    After all my strength is gone,
                                        In you I can be strong
                                            I look to you.
                                    And when melodies are gone,
                                         In you I hear a song.
                                            I look to you.

                                       My levees are broken
                                        My walls have come
                                       Tumbling down on me

                                        The rain is falling.
                                         Defeat is calling.
                                     I need you to set me free.

                                Take me far away from the battle.
                                             I need you.
                                            Shine on me.
    I look to YOU! I desperately want to be the wife that Mike deserves and needs. I want to overcome the battles that  you have placed in my life because you have given permission for them, I want to overcome this cycle of disrespect and give you the broken pieces of jealousy, rejection, fear & anxiety and lay them at your feet. I want to choose to love.  I want you to find grace and mercy upon me and use my life; by shining your light through the brokenness that you turn into beauty. I pray that we can come together in unity and serve you as a whole in the ministry you have called us in. I pray that others see Jesus in me, that if I boast in anything it is in your goodness, your faithfulness, your restoration, and your salvation!!!!!
In Christ Name,

Eye Opener

The other day I had the privilege to help a friend with a fundraiser.  Part of that was to host a corn hole tournament (which we love playing!) I have always looked at this event as a fun event... We ended up having 12 teams play which was nice! I spent a lot of time researching "official" rules, making brackets, organizing the boys to build new boards, asked another friend to make new bags all in preparation for this event.
The day came and the weather was beautiful! We used a tape measure to get an accurate count for the official space apart for each board making sure the event was as fair as could be; since there was cash prize involved. The event started late and chaotic but with determination we got it back on track! Everything was great.... until, a team started feeling as if we "rigged" the event.. Negative Comments started spreading like wild fire. My first reaction was to ignore the behavior, but it continued.  Both of my close friends went through this with me as they were hearing the comments as well.  My emotions were going on a wild roller coaster, my main goal was to ignore the behavior so that the event would remain a positive event.  The comments belittled me and tore my character as they were directed towards the "organizer"  It ended that my husband and oldest son won the tournament!!  At first I gloated, boasted and wanted to do a victory dance... GOOD Prevails over EVIL... But the more I thought about it, I couldn't let it go.

How could they question MY character?
How could they spread negative comments about something I view as such a positive event?
How could I let them effect me so much?
How could they ruin MY event?

As I pondered on all these questions... I experienced an eye opener! First and most important NONE of this was MINE.. I had selfishly claimed the event as mine because of the work I invested in it.. But who was I doing this for? I was working unto the Lord, therefore the comments were not intended for me but to show others how to handle Gods love in a situation that wasn't easy.  I have gotten so comfortable surrounded by those who share my faith. We are called to be the light to the world even if that means a game!  It is easy to love the lovable... But how do you love the unlovable???

In the book "40 Days of Community" by Rick Warren
He reminds us about the five purposes that we are placed on earth in his book "The purpose Driven Love" is the following:
But did you know that this purpose is not meant to be lived alone?
So how do we fulfill the purposes for each of our lives?
First by deepening the community of love and second reaching out in love (R.W)

Love is a choice... Real love takes knowledge, God's grace and lots of practice!! (R.W) I did not exercise this love during the tournament. Life is about learning to love!

God's love FOR us gives us the reason to love others (R.W)
God's love In us gives us the ability to love others (R.W)
God's love THROUGH us gives us the way to love others (R.W)

I had felt like a complete failure. I had missed a chance to show God's love through this situation!!

In fact, all the while there was a storm raging within me on the home front as well...  I was feeling attacked in all directions. (NEXT BLOG)

Kay Arthur had this on her status
"Has there ever been a time in your life when your disappointment in your circumstances or personal relationships caused you to go into an emotional tailspin? Have you ever felt you might drown in discouragement?

Have you ever fallen into a well of depression and in that well found yourself in such a state of despair that you were so demoralized you couldn't even figure out how to climb out of                  
your prison—or even try?

Once you come out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God, then whether you want it or not it’s war—warfare with the prince of this world! And though you can’t be snatched from the Father’s hand, Satan will do everything to keep you from being effective in your walk with the Lord!

Don’t lose focus!!! Remember you are an overcomer!!

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” - 1 John 5:4"