I can let go

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Looking up at the limbs of  the autumn  trees whose leaves have mostly fallen I see the gray sky with wispy white clouds reflecting the last of the sunset.  I watch the remaining leaves still holding to the limb waiting for the wind to finally separate them from the life they have always known.  Thoughts of my past come to my mind. They are not the thoughts of anger and regret. They are no longer filled with deep emotion, but calm like the leaves above me. I am surprised at the peace in the memories that once held such pain. Where self-pity fed and shame had ruled, I find a gentle quiet.

A season in my life has passed. God has done what He said He would. As I have trusted in His Word, He has given me that peace that surpasses understanding. It now guards my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) So we do not lose heart. Though the outer self is  wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

My life is in Him, not in my past. I can let go. I can surrender to the season trusting that His life abides in me.  We have a future to prepare for. Winter, Summer and Spring will bring their challenges, their beauty and their change. I will remain in Him. I will not fear the changes because He is with me. He has conquered my past and made my heart glad. I can look to the future and smile. (Proverbs 31:25)

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When I feel separated from the presence of God…

when I begin to cast about in my soul for His steady faithful grace…

but still feel alone,

I open my eyes knowing surely that His truth is constant

knowing full well that He will never leave me

or forsake me.

So,  it must be showtime…

Time to walk by faith–time to show the prowling lion outside my door who I belong to.

And how deeply goes the love of my Father.

I am my beloved’s and He is mine. His banner over me is love.

He has saved me to the uttermost.

I belong to Him no matter what. No matter how I feel.

I run toward the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus.

I turn my heart to His Word–

Living, Active, Sharper than any two-edged sword.

I set my heart there…open, willing, exposed for the working of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

He is able to separate and cut through all that concerns me. To separate the truth from lies, the darkness from light.

For so great a cloud of witnesses I will show forth the glory of God. For all number of prowling lions at my door–they will see the greatness of my God, Who saved a wretch like me. Who, while I was yet a sinner, He died for me. According to His own mercy, He saved me.

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Steadfast.

Holy.

Present.

Lord God You hold me.

You carry me with grace,

strengthen me in love,

fill me with wonder.

You surround me with cords woven in truth–in sacrifice–in fire.

You are my firm foundation, my stronghold, my refuge.

My foot is sure, unwavering, on the rock of my salvation.

Though the winds blow and the storms come day and night,

I will not fail…I cannot…for You are with me.

My life is hidden in You and You have no rival–no equal.

I am Yours.

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The struggle with addiction can bring the strongest to their knees. Love for our addict can takes us where we never wanted to go. ASK is a documentary that speaks from the heart with unprotected honesty. Hear from people who have lost themselves to addiction and the ones who follow them into the darkness as they share their stories of weakness, longing, despair and the path that led them to freedom. Addicts tell us what they were feeling and thinking when they took their first steps into losing control of their lives. Family members tell of the mistakes they made trying to rescue the ones they love. ASK gives a powerful view into the mind of an addicted person. Where did their choices take them? How did they get into the maze of addiction and is there really a way out? Watch this film to find the answers they discovered as they interviewed over 50 people, who openly reveal their experiences and bravely shine the light of understanding into the murky waters of addiction.

Belinda~

When Springs Run Dry

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I remember the time when I was taking medication to help me through a difficult emotional trauma. I was taken aback when I stood in church during worship and felt nothing. No emotion at all.

Normally, for me worship was amazing. I could feel the love of God resting heavily around me. My heart danced in His presence. But that day. Nothing. Empty. No feeling.

In that moment, I had a conversation with myself. I knew that God deserved my worship and praise. I realized that my feelings weren’t necessary in order for me to worship God. I could worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

So I did. I worshiped Him because He was God, not because it made me feel good. It was a sacrifice of praise to my God. After a time, I was able to discontinue the medication and now I have my ability to worship with my emotions.

The lesson I learned during that desert time helped me grow deeper in my knowledge of God and mature in my walk with Him.

Lately I’ve been having a similar experience. I feel the joy lift off of my heart and I see the world in its darkness. I see the God of the Old Testament in His Holiness and jealousy and demand for perfection. I experience the fear of the Lord.

I believe that God wants me to grow up into the fullness of Christ, weaning me away from constant dependence on good feelings. Maybe He is leading me into spiritual maturity and training me to stand no matter what I feel.

My faith is not dependent upon feelings, but on God’s unchanging nature and the Great love poured out for me through His Son, Jesus. Thankfully, His word is full of promise for us. “In His presence, the fullness of Joy” “Pleasures at His right hand forever” “The joy of the Lord is my strength”

When I was a teenager, I memorized this poem:

“I thank Thee, Lord

for pilgrim days,

when desert streams were dry.

When first I knew

what depths of need

Thy love could satisfy.”

It is in the desert that I learn of my need for Him and for that I will always love the desert.

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Took a vacation to the Grand Canyon last week. I had such a great time. I couldn’t stop smiling. The beauty and grandeur of it all took my breath away. The power of the wind coming up over the canyon was pure joy. The temperatures were between 59 and 82 degrees F. I couldn’t have been happier.  My husband, my two youngest children, my daughter-in-law and one of my granddaughters traveled with me. In a car, in a train, in buses…in hotel rooms, truck stops and restaurants we were together. We walked up to a volcano, down into an ice cave. We took photos at the edge of steep cliffs, sat on petrified trees and peered down into a meteor crater.

While Jerry drove, I read aloud from one of the books that I am reading, “Boundaries” by John Townsend and Henry Cloud. They were explaining what a boundary was by comparing it to our body’s boundary of skin. Like skin, our emotional boundaries protect us from harmful things while letting in what we need to live.  That visual stuck with me during our trip. When one of my family members had an emotional moment, I began to feel the anxiety rise in me. The picture of my skin came to mind and I stopped. My emotions stop at my own skin. Those feelings aren’t mine. I was able to let her have her feelings without letting it get “under my skin”.

My ability to stay within my own boundaries freed me to fully live in the moment during all of the beautiful encounters with God’s creation.  When I struggled with emotions of my own, I was able to keep them where they belonged. Me and the Holy Spirit took a moment and I was able to move forward without anyone else knowing about it. Some people might already know how to do this but for me it is a revelation. I am thankful for the wisdom. God uses visual aids all throughout the Bible to help us grasp the meaning of His Word. He is so creative. He formed the mountains, carved out the valleys and He mapped out every fiber of my being.

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Acceptance, approval, attention. That’s the desire in my heart. I see it spring up in the most embarrassing places. I think that I’ve outrun it only to walk right into the middle of those feelings.

When someone gives me a compliment. My heart sings. If that someone is a strong male leader, that approval rings a bell heard by the little girl who is still waiting for her father to notice her.

I know that I have this weak spot. For years I have hidden myself and the abilities God has given me. It is easy to be humble when you aren’t doing anything.

The difficult task is doing what God has gifted me to do while walking in truth about my struggle with desiring the approval of man. I like knowing that someone sees me and thinks that I’m okay.

Today I listened to Watermark’s Sunday sermon on Facebook, while walking at the track! I identified the desire that trips me up; I named it aloud. I acknowledged my weakness and asked God, my Father, to fill me with the knowledge of His acceptance of me. No man or woman will ever be enough to satisfy my desire. God alone has what I need.

I imagined the approval of man to be the apple in Satan’s hand held out to me in the garden, I have a choice. Like Esau, I have a choice. God has so much more for me. I will keep walking past what the world has to offer me. God sees me. His Spirit is right here abiding in me. Why would I ever make the trade for the approval of a mere human when the God of Creation is calling me by name?