The Journey continues..
I cried twice today. While that may not seem like a big deal to you, it reminds me that I have feelings, emotions and it's is still ok to release them every now and then.
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
This was when Lazarus, whom Jesus loved, had died, and all were grieving his loss. The other is when he wept over the lost of Jerusalem, and the future that was coming over that city.
The point is..Jesus wept.
He hurt with those hurting and he hurt for those who were lost, and in that pain, he wept. He cried in anguish, tears fell from his eyes. Because while Jesus was fully God, he was fully man, and man weeps.
Tonight I find comfort in knowing that the King of Kings wasn't afraid to express himself in this way. I have to be honest, I've been afraid to shed some of my own tears. If I cry a little, it may just lead to crying alot. And I don't want to cry anymore.
I've poured my own Niagara Falls of tears out on many occasions- too many to list, so it's not that I have never cried. It's that as the years passed, I felt this inner fatigue that no longer had the energy to deal the with the outer destruction around me. So I just stopped certain behaviors- crying was one of them.
So tonight, as I shed some of those tears I thought had dried up, I can rejoice in knowing that Jesus understands that fatigue, he understands my pain, and he understands the tears of joy, he understands my emotions- and yes, he fully understands the flood as the dam was released, and those wet drops began to fall.
I'm guessing he is smiling from above and saying, "There you go, sweetheart, let it out.." just like a daddy would do for his little girl needing that release. And just as I would be safe in his arms to cry away, I am blessed to know that I was equally safe in the room I was in, to cry away.
Maybe, at this late hour, I am really writing all this because I am overwhelmed by this fact. I have found a room of disciples, who love me enough and have given me the very space I've needed for a long time to do something as simple as ... cry.
God can make the biggest statements with the shortest sentences.
I've just had two of the best days. One after the other. While I was busy laughing, smiling, talking, and living through each moment of those best days, I was also thinking in my head,
"..what is going to happen to mess this up..?"
Because the reality is that's the way it's gone for me. I don't blame anyone for that, but I do accept it has been my reality. I have to now own that I fear, literally fear, the good days. I don't want them to end, and I don't want to enjoy them too much. Fear is a disgusting and poor excuse to miss out on life, even if it's the life we know.
I began Authentic Truths four years ago. Four years of writing bits and pieces of my living and breathing authentic life- yet, for the most part, it was my authentic past, or other's authentic lives that were intertwined with mine, pulling me into their journey far more than I was truly living within my own.
Then a while back I began to realize that my life was steaming ahead without me. My days of living in the outside spiral of those other's lives was fast spiraling further and further from their center. Those 'other's' were mostly my children. One by one their lives and their spirals and my presence changed. They have their own lives and I'm just a small part of it, maybe much smaller than I ever realized.
And this...is ok. This is how it goes, ya know.
I tried to reach into myself to pull out my story, to share the genuine truth of exactly where I was at the time- which was mostly lost. Then life happened, and their spirals became a little tighter, and pulled me back in a little closer, and I lost sight of me, yet again.
I'm not sure if any of this makes sense- I know I live in a confused inner world all my own most of the time. A world where my bestfriend is the only one who gets me and the things that come out of my mouth.
I'm going to try this again. I'm going to put it all down. I'm tired of forgetting, forgetting about me. If yesterday was a good day, and today was a good day, why can't I expect the same of tomorrow and the next day, and the next...and the next.
Why do I laugh in the face of fear in most any arena, except my own?
It's time for change.
I chose the title “Authentic Truths” because that’s all I wanted to share. The authentic truth of God’s perfect love in our imperfect lives. I never wanted to be anything but honest, and today is no different.
I have to admit I’m a bit overwhelmed in this particular moment. I have faith tomorrow will always be a better day, that things will get better with time. It’s just not a day that I can forge forward in positivity for what the future may hold when my current reality is chaos, to say the least.
This chaos isn’t anything I’ve created. I feel like I’ve been picked up with the socks and underwear and am floating on a never ending spin cycle! Here I sit watching through the window as life goes on, but I am being slammed against the door as I spin, turning and tumbling through this particular moment in life.
It’s easy to sit on the outside of a situation and offer
those words about tomorrow being a better day, when you aren’t currently being flung around like a rag doll in a dirty situation you didn’t create. It’s easy to believe that positive words are welcomed no matter what, and you would be correct.
Anyone drowning in the bubbles of negativity will always appreciate those kind and positive, encouraging words. It’s not that we don’t want or need them- the problem is that we also need someone to join us in the here and now, to be authentic in
the reality that we find ourselves in, today!
God knew this. He was honest in his Word- he advises us to consider it a joy when we face trials, because those trials will strengthen us in ways we could never imagine (see James 1:2-3). God himself sent us the message to never fear or be filled with anxiety, because He will always be with us and for us. (see Isaiah 41:10). He wouldn’t give us direction on dealing with trials and tribulations if we wouldn’t one day face such things. He prepares us for those days.
Unfortunately, too often, our support comes in the way of trying to convince the ones going through difficult times to look beyond them and to focus on a more pretty moment in time, you know, where the butterflies and rainbows are looming and calling our names!
Today is a rough day. This particular moment in my life is a rough moment. My encouragement is knowing that right here, in this moment, God is with me. That he sees my pain, my hurt and my disappointment, and he allows me the time to hurt, the time to question, the time to just sit here and be still. It’s when I choose to stop every thought and action, and truly sit and be still, that God offers me the greatest encouragement of all…”that HE is God”.. (see Psalms 46:10)
Nothing in this world can come at me that will ever change that. Nothing can break me down because here is my God, holding me up every step of the way. Even if I’m currently floating through spin cycle, he’s right there spinning with me. That image brings a smile to my face, even a giggle. Thank you God, for being you.
I spent the last weekend alone. Like literally. Well, I had my puppy girl, Emma, with me. It’s a strange feeling to be so alone, to have very little to no communication with anyone for a few days. I did odd jobs around the house, but for the most part I never spoke a word unless it was to the dog. Have you spent time in silence like that? I’m a mother of four kids, I’ve been married for near 20 years, I’m always on the go. So for me, this was new.
I spent some time with God, and also took this tranquil time to be in some deep thought about many things. Sometimes, when we feel lost, God opens the doors to see the reality that we’re just in a different time of life, and that time is valuable and necessary. The silence I was surrounded by was exactly where God needed me to be.
Last week I dealt with some health news that isn’t life ending by any stretch, but it was a bit of a downer to receive. I’m not ready to hear I’m getting older, certainly not by doctors who are now 20 plus years younger than me! But there was the news- BAM! I thought I was catching these glimpses of the future, but it turns out, those little peeps were actually my current reality! Things aren’t coming, they are already here! To make things worse, some issues are coming quicker than they do for most women.
I’m ok with this. I had a partial hysterectomy very young, so I was semi prepared for the aging process to remind me ‘I’m aging’.. sooner than most women my age. It’s not the changes that are taking place, it’s the way it was presented to me by the doctor. “You’re drying up.” (my ovaries) Really, that’s how you break this news to a young, vibrant and slightly lacking in self-esteem woman. (young by my own standards).
So. What comes to your mind when you hear those words? Ya, me too.
There was another comment made that I refuse to share with anyone else, because it just hurts too much. I can just tell you that I may not have the right ‘female’ doctors for this time in my life. They may not realize how harsh and insensitive they are, or maybe I don’t realize how sensitive and irrational I am being, but there’s a bit of a conflict in this relationship!
I’ve spent my life dedicated to everyone around me. I tried my hardest to do my best in being a wife, daughter, mother, sister and friend. I went from childhood to motherhood rapidly, with no in between time to learn about myself. I used to laugh at people who used the term, ‘finding myself’. Who had time to do that? What did it even mean??
Now here I sit. Watching time fly by, watching my kids be young adults. Finding a new relationship with my husband, because let’s face it, raising kids has a way of changing the dynamic of our relationship with our spouse! And I just spent three glorious days alone, just God, myself and my dog.
I’ve had time to digest the news, reflect on things and heal from the shock. I’m an aging woman. Even if the number of years doesn’t match the physical aging I’m doing, it’s happening.
Nothing has changed really. I’m still the same youthful spirit at heart I was a month ago. I’m still the darling and beloved daughter of the Great I Am. I’m still the woman who takes off on her own to hike in the beautiful Rockies. I’m still the smiling and laughing volunteer who enjoys working with others. I’m still me, in every way that truly matters, I’m still me. I know who I am, because I have found myself.
And I found myself because Jesus Christ found me.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
Here I sit. Another birthday just passed, and I am reflecting on the year that has now gone by. It was a good year, too.
I experienced personal growth in many areas of my life. One of my happiest experiences was the day I was commissioned as a Stephen Minister. This vital program supplements pastoral care by offering one to one care for individuals who request support. While the many hours of training were meant to train me in the many aspects of Christian caring, they also provided me with much insight and an in depth understanding of myself. It opened doors to accept who I am, challenge myself to be assertive in areas I’ve never been, and to love myself from within.
I didn’t even know I needed to confront some of the issues that came up, but right there in the midst of training to help others, I found I was helping myself. Take for instance, grief. I learned, as I made my way through the training, that I struggled with the grieving process. I knew it was always a bit rough for me, but in taking a closer look in understanding where people might be in their grief process and how difficult it may be, I learned I had never had an opportunity to properly deal with my personal grief. I was able to gain some knowledge about myself, heal a couple things, and I know I will be a better care giver because of it.
This is who I am. A Christian under construction. I am building my life every day on the promises of God. Promises of hope, a future, restoration, redemption, wisdom, life and love! If ever I feel I’ve got things figured out, there are quick reminders that I have so much more to learn, to experience, and to then teach others. We are all teachers to one another, and God above, the teacher to all.
So as I think about the days that have now gone by, I am humbled that God chose me. Humbled by His amazing love, humbled that I accepted His call to serve in a new way. Intentionally making myself available to Him through the Stephen Ministry program, he will indeed use me to help one of his children through a difficult time.
A year ago I felt I was lost in an ocean of life, being dumped into the abyss. (You can go back and read the beginning of this series to see where I started).. I wasn’t sure what came next, which road to take, or how to get there. I have prayed, and waited patiently, as the Lord said, “Follow me…”
I have a wilderness of life to explore, mountains to climb, and waterfalls to admire. But on this day, I know I’ve listened well, and followed through. I journeyed for a year within my inner being, and now with a new clarity and understanding of myself, I am better equipped to serve a God who loves me. This series is titled “Lost and Found- Not a Coming to Jesus Story”… It may not be a ‘coming to Jesus’ story, but it is certainly a going for Jesus story! Loving in action and being a disciple for the kingdom by serving a mighty God!
**(please leave your thoughts, comments, and prayer requests below. You can also use the contact page! Thank you for stopping by- Lisa)