Saturday, June 14, 2014

Alone in the Pew

Today was my third service at a new church.
It has been hard. Each time.
Didn't realize it would be so hard.
My husband lets me to take the children to church, even though he disagrees with faith altogether.
Like I said, I didn't know it would be so hard. Each time, I am a blubbering fool. Each time I am reminded of a dream crushed beneath a cynic's feet. And each time I realize that I am stepping out on a new frontier after 18 years of sitting beside my best friend in God's house. I am that woman. Alone, maybe with her tween son beside her, but no equally yoked man. Nope, I am alone in the pew, allowing God too minister to me....alone.
I didn't know it would be so hard.
But it is good.
Today, the pastor preached on traditions. If you know me, I have cast off a lot of traditions. I didn't realize it would come to the tradition of worshipping and fellowship with my husband beside me. But as the pastor stated, If the tradition builds a wall between you and God--cast it off, and if it is a tradition that brings about the good news of Christ---keep it.
I am choosing to realize, I am keeping the tradition of church in my matter how difficult it is to keep going. It is good and brings me to God, and proclaims Jesus in my heart and the hearts of my children.
I sat there today, thinking about the hardships and how I could smile in the midst of the toil. But, after some tears, I was able. God is so close. And He is allowing this to happen for a reason. And I am no coward. I can handle it. He made me. He knows I can.
And He is getting to spend time with me more than ever.
Even when it is so hard. He is worth the tradition.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ABIDE, really now.

11 months ago, I heard God tell me He wants me to abide in Him. My trial was much lesser of a problem back then. It really had to do with publishing and writing. Not that those are lesser things, they are my passions after all.

But now, on this day, I am brought back to that word: ABIDE. And I realize, up until this very moment, God has tried to teach me what that really means. At one time, I thought it meant to wait in Him. To remember He is in control and I am in good hands. And maybe it still does. But I have been whipped around in a vicious storm as of late, and I realize that ABIDE means so much more.
It's wrapped up in something no human can truly grasp. It's unreasonable, really.

The fullness of ABIDE is something completely holistic, the whole of it being encapsulated by His unfailing love. ABIDE is nothing less than:

Standing strong in the complete conviction of God's unfailing live in it, breathe it,act upon it, and rest in it amidst any storm, every day, every hour, each moment we live.

I didn't really get that 11 months ago. I haven't really gotten that. But, God's drawing me closer. He's bringing me to this conclusion more and more.

Nothing can separate us from His unfailing love. Nothing. Even if we choose to not take it, to not abide, He is there, giving it freely.

It is up to me to receive it.

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How Long?

I woke up this morning with that song on my mind, "How long, to sing this song..." Although, my 'how long' meant something so different.
How long, oh God, will this last?
How long will we struggle through this trial?

And I pulled out my journal, and wrote a prayer, and you can see what I wrote:

And then, I responded to an email, and told a friend, "I just keep asking, how long?"

Yes, it was the cry of my heart this morning.

And I opened my study, the same study that I opened last time I posted about God speaking through it...and I went to the next section. And it lead me to this (which you will understand its significance further into my post):

"God's child who trusts His love possesses security in her salvation." -Beth Moore, Breaking Free 

It gets better. This is the scripture it referenced:

Psalm 13

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Prayer for Help in Trouble.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?

How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;

Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;

My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.


Just yesterday, I pondered salvation. I wondered if, perhaps, God might be taking me on a journey in a whole new direction...perhaps there is no such thing as salvation at all?

Well, as I pondered, I suddenly grew aware of the bitterness of that. The pointlessness of life without my Savior. It was as if God shook me and woke me up from a dream.

How can He be so faithful? Before I started my study this morning, I decided to write down everything He has shown me these past months that prove His faithfulness. And you know what? The only reason I stumble, is because I fail to obey what He shows me!! Time and time again, God gives me truth, and time and time again, I forget.

He has dealt bountifully with me, and now it is up to me to sing and trust in His lovingkindness!

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Burning Love

How can God bring love from this? This mess, this chaos, this storm? I've been tossed to and fro these past months...between my flesh and the Spirit.

I laugh when I consider how, just months ago, I was worried that I wasn't finding myself in enough situations to be a "good witness". You know, churchy talk slips in a bit of guilt here and there when it comes to spreading God's Word. If you aren't willing to go out on the streets and proclaim God to the lost and downtrodden then you've got some mighty confession ahead of you.

Well. What about within the walls of your home? What about living with the lost day in and day out? What if the one person you love the most in the whole world, falls into the shadows of the Godless?

These past months, my flesh has told me to let him go, to walk away. IT. IS. TOO. HARD. But, then there is my heart. My heart bleeds, it screams, it shatters over and over again...with every argument, with every sneer, every unaffected expression when God's truth is revealed. The broken aftermath of my heart's storm is no doubt a hideous sight to spiritual eyes.

And yet, through it all, I have never loved him more. There were times over these months when I couldn't find the love that I thought had been there. There were times where hatred would creep in and try to obliterate my heart once and for all.

But as I sit here, among the strewn pieces, the crushing words, the sin-stained betrayals, I find a burning cinder of love. As the Spirit blows, it swells, and a flame shoots through my chest. I love this man more today, on this side of an ugly storm, then I did when we were in the calm and standing tall on the same Rock.

My love for him is desperate. So much has been said and implied. I am desperate for healing and loving. And it's not out of's not because a churchy proclamation tells me I must bring the lost to His Glory.

No. Through this, I know, that only God can decide when to do that. That witness is only lead by the Spirit, and not by the presence of the lost. I am only called to love.

That's it.

And I have never been more sure of who my heart longs for on this earth, and Who my heart belongs to in Heaven.

It's a heart divided, some might say, but I believe it's a heart redeemed and refined by a burning love.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

He Shows Up Without A Doubt

Have you ever been angry at God? I told myself a few weeks ago...or maybe I told my husband...that I've never been angry at God. Well, this morning, I was angry. God wasn't pulling through. When a heart so close to mine has left Him, and He isn't pulling him back, it is hard to take. 

Last night, I thought I glimpsed God working, but it is really easy to push it aside and say, 'coincidence'. So, I cried out to God this morning, and I grew angry and threatening. Desperate, I opened my study, and kind of tested God.
 "Will you really speak to me through this? Am I going to have to read between the lines...again?" 

And God knew I couldn't take subtle implications...He knew I needed it spelled out for me. 

Let me show you what it centered around, and you can see for yourself:

"There were those who dwelt in
darkness and in the shadow of death,
Prisoners in misery and chains,
Because they had rebelled against the
words of God
And spurned the counsel of the Most High.
Therefore He humbled their heart with labor;
They stumbled and there was none to help.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and
the shadow of death
and broke their bands apart."

And to top it off, the last sentence of the study, declared what I have told many...that this journey of mine over the past months has illustrated one major thing in my life. I can only find my hope In God ALONE. Yep, those two words were highlighted in the study's close. 

This is what it said, "Beloved, if He has become God alone to you, you have a powerful story to tell. Start talking." 

So this is me...talking.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Afters - Broken Hallelujah - Lyrics

If ever a song was written with me in mind, this would be it. How could it speak my heart so closely these past months?