Yes & Amen

I found this draft from June of 2012. Just about a month after my grandma died. Re-reading it, I can’t help but think how crazy it is that one one unanswered prayer caused so much uncertainty. How one unanswered prayer felt like such a failure. How it rocked my world. How it made me question everything I had known. Crazier still, God didn’t get offended by my questions. He didn’t write me off as ungrateful. He didn’t rudely remind me of the healing miracles He had previously blessed me with. He didn’t remind me of the 5 extra years He had given grandma after her first diagnosis. No. Instead He comforted me. He loved me. He strengthened me. He answered me when I called and sat quietly by my side when I didn’t want to talk. He mended my heart. He was gentle and kind. He let me cry and scream and throw fits and ask questions and demand answers. He let me ignore His love. He let me grieve how I needed to grieve. And when I needed Him he was always there with just the right words and gestures. He was faithful.  And I am thankful.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come,” 2 Corinthians 1:20-21.

How many promises have you made me, God?  Are the promises you have made me the promises that you have made to all of your children?  Are they the promises in the Bible?  Promises of protection, provision, love, strength, courage, healing, joy, strength, hope?  Are they promises that are freely given or promises that are contingent upon me doing something?  Like having faith, praying, believing, being obedient?  Have you given me specific promises?  Yes.  How are all promises, “yes,” in Christ?  I don’t understand.  Through Jesus, the “amen,” is spoken; does this mean it is answered through Jesus?  Does that mean victory comes through Jesus?  My victory brings you glory.  Does my failure bring you glory?  Yes.  But how?  Because of Romans 8:28?  Because I can’t see the big picture but you can?  Because my suffering produces eternal blessings?  Because I am able to help others because of my pain and failure?  Because my failure is room for you to move on my behalf?  Because you never call me to do anything that I can do without you?

I am your anointed.  My family is your anointed, Lord.  Your seal of ownership is on us.  It is within us.  Your spirit is alive in us and we are covered in your son’s blood.  We are covered.  Your spirit in us is a deposit of what is to come in Heaven?  Of the comfort and peace and love that is awaiting us?  Of the hope that is ours in eternity?  Because we are yours we are promised eternity with you, free from the curse.  We are promised life abundantly.  Are the promises of the Bible applicable in Heaven?  Does the Bible speak of eternity more than the present?  Does the Bible speak of eternity when it speaks of all the good things, all the plans?  Am I to be so eternity minded that I don’t pay attention to this life?  Am I to believe that all of this life is to be hard and full of suffering and we are only to be rewarded and comforted in Heaven?  Why then, do we pray?  Why have faith?  Only to please you?  Can we not move your hand?  Does our faith not move you?  What about the people in the Bible?  What about those who changed your mind?  What about those who prayed and received?  What about the times we prayed and received?

Help us to understand.  Help me to understand.  Open our minds.  Open our hearts.  Speak to our spirits.  Comfort us.  Strengthen us and give us peace.  Love us completely.  Let our heart healings begin in earnest.  Protect us and provide for us.  Hold us together so we will not be ripped apart.  Rebuild us into something better.  Give us wisdom, Lord.  Give us understanding.  I am begging you.  And strengthen and build our faith.  Build our trust in you.  Give us hope that will not fade with the trials of this life.

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Helpless

I hate that I am questioning things that were always just a given as far as I was concerned.  Things that seemed so simple are now incredibly confusing.  I have so many un-answered questions.  My mind reels from the constant barrage of questions and the  flight of thoughts that ensues.  I have been thinking in circles and confusing myself even more.  If this madness doesn’t end my head may just explode.  Or I will end up in the loony bin; sadly, I don’t know if I would mind that so much.  Maybe they would hook me up with some good drugs, much-needed quiet time and my own therapist.  My stresses and mounting “to-do” lists wouldn’t matter there.  Or maybe they would.  I have no idea.  I have no idea what to do or say about anything any more.  It’s so weird.  I’m pretty helpless. 

My kitchen isn’t finished so my house is in total disarray; the boys and I moved in with my parents until the house is livable again.  I can’t fix the Haley situation; there are way too many layers there.  I can’t fix things for grandpa no matter how hard I try.  I guess part of me thinks that if his house is always clean and he always has food on the table, things will be better.  If the boys and I spend time with him every single day then he will be happier.  But I don’t know.  Sometimes, the more I’m there, the angrier I am.  Sometimes it’s harder to be there because I miss grandma more and other times it’s nice to just be in her house and around grandpa.  I don’t know what I want or need.  My poor kids are in limbo.  I’m supposed to be able to make things ok for them.  I’m supposed to be able to give them a stable environment.  But I can’t right now.  My environment isn’t stable.  My mind isn’t focusing.  My heart isn’t whole.  I’m just not myself.  I just wish things were happy and normal again.  I just want grandma back.  I want my life back. 

 

 

From Breaking Dishes to Breaking Free

Breaking thrift store dishes is a great way to release tension.  I know that now.  Thanks Holly!  It felt so good to feel the weight of the dishes in my hands and just throw them without a second thought.  Hearing the sound they made as they broke apart was even better.  I love that sound.  It’s so freeing.  Hearing something break gives it’s demise a sense of finality.  It makes it real.  Maybe that’s why breaking things is a good way to deal with anger.  It’s just not a solution.  Nope.  The release isn’t permanent.  The stress that was relieved by breaking dishes yesterday returned just as quickly as it left; it was all too temporary for my liking.  But I guess it wasn’t supposed to fix the problem.  It was just to help vent some of the stress and crazy emotions caused by the problem.

I wish all of my negative emotions were as tangible as those dishes.  I want to hold them and feel their weight.  I want to look at them and then, without regret or hinderance, I want to throw them.  I need to see them explode as they hit the wall.  I want to watch as each horrible, painful shard scatters on the floor.  But more than anything I want to hear them break.  I need to hear that beautiful, freeing sound.  I need that sense of finality.  I need it to be over.  Like taking out the trash; I want to take the trash out of my life, out of my spirit.  Get lost anger, sadness, doubt, fear, regret, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, inadequacy, confusion, aggravation, frustration, loss of control, emptiness, misery, jealousy and un-forgiveness!!!!!  I picture myself reaching deep within and pulling every soul-binding, evil, deadly emotion from my soul.  They’re sturdy and thick, like the dishes.  I allow myself to hold them, to control them, staring at them as I plot their ruin.  I pull my arm back, ready for the pitch.  My emotional baggage feels cold and heavy in my hand; I can’t wait to get rid of it.  Without hesitation, I throw them, one by one, as hard as I can; satisfaction welling up inside of me as my hand lets go and they rocket toward the unforgiving, cement wall.  Words can’t describe the awesome sound of victory as every piece of my emotional baggage breaks against the wall and falls to the ground in pieces.  But even in my daydreams it’s not the end.  The emotions keep coming back.  My arms grow tired as I try to keep up with the mounting dishes.  I break and break but they never go away.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t break them all. 

Somehow I need to stop the spread. I need to get to the root of this crap and get free.  I need to stay free.  To actively avoid offense and embrace forgiveness. To trust that vengeance and punishment are God’s.  I need to focus on him and his love.  I need to let go and walk away; I need to figure out how to walk away.  But first I have to commit to this.  Am I ready to do this, to let God all the way in?  To let him be my  healer?  Can I really hand over my deepest hurts and most intense rage?  Will I?  I don’t know yet.  I do know that the path to freedom is not easy.  I keep fighting and striving for something that has already been given to me.  The battle has already been won.  I need to be still and rest in God’s truth and love.  Peace comes with trusting him and putting faith in his word but I’m not so sure that means that I have to be devoid of emotion.  Rather, I need to let God help me harness my emotions.  They can’t lead me.  They can’t dictate my life.   

God, help me.  I don’t understand all of this.  I don’t know what lies ahead.  I just know that I trust you and your plan for my family and me.  I know that you will never leave us and you will bring us to the place you promised.  You will bring us into eternity with you.  Until then, I need your love and peace even more than yesterday.  I need it to be visible, tangible and personal.  I need it to be real and relevant.  I need it now.  My family needs it.  Wrap us up and put us in a cleft in the rock.  Let trouble pass us by as you shelter us with your feathers.  Let your wings be our refuge.  Be our shelter and our deliverer.  Be our peace of mind and strength of heart.  Be the anchor to which our ropes of faith and hope are tethered.  You are our life line.  Support us and provide our every need.  Carry us and mend our hearts and souls.  Let this growing season be also full of hope and your light.  Don’t let this pain drag us down; take it away and heal us.  Restore us and lift us up.  Let us prove faithful.  Let us endure and persevere.  Let us make you proud.  Dole out your grace and mercy and understanding in supernaturally large measure.  Let it overflow.  And don’t let any of this go in vain.  Use this; our pain, our disappointment, failure, weakness, doubt, fear, weariness, and bitterness for your glory.  Turn it around.  Out of these ashes we will rise and we will be stronger in you.  We will have a more steady foundation in our relationships with you.  We will not grow apart, but together.  Let our testimony be filled with your praises.  Show us how to overcome and give us the strength to do it.  Help us to apply the Balm of Gilead in good measure to our wounds and let it bring a break through.  Cultivate the fruit of the spirit in each and every one of us and let our harvest be great.