It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


July 13, 2010

Have you Ever "Muck Walked"?

My life over the last two years - has been like the picture you are seeing above.  Notice how the top looks crystal clear - the water beautiful.  But if you look closely - below the surface there is a lot of "muck and yuck." Is that how your life has been? Or is? Outside appearance are you the "class clown" or don't show the turmoil that is going on deep inside of you?  Do you look calm, cool and collected on the outside - but inside you are SCREAMING - hoping that someone will hear you?

When I was growing up I spent my summers at a wonderful YMCA overnight girls camp from the time I was six to the time I was seventeen. It was called (and still is called) Camp Foss. In New Hampshire. Those summers instilled a wonderful foundation within me for the love of nature. I was a camper, a C.I.T. (Counselor in Training), an L.I.T. (Leader in Training) and a J.C. (Junior Counselor). Basically, I grew up there with some of the most beautiful, talented and kindest people I have ever met and who have helped formed ME into the woman I am today. I learned so much those summers.  One of the things we had to do at the beginning of the Camp season in preparation for our campers arrival - was to go to the lake and "Muck Walk."  What is "Muck Walk?" You ask me? Well, the camp would close down after Summer vacation was over - and fall would come and leaves would fall into the lake and then winter would come and so when June came around and it was time for the camp to open for another season - we counselors would help prepare the camp grounds for the opening.  One of the things required - was to throw on our sneakers and bathing suits and go down to where the waterfront was and walk around in the water to stir up the "muck" at the bottom of the lake/pond.  It was a really yucky job. One that I cringed at doing - because it would bring all the "yuck" to the surface of the water - but the results if enough of us did it - was a clear sandy bottom. Ready for the kids to be able to swim in and have their swim lessons in.  I hadn't thought about that part of being a counselor until I started praying for someone who didn't know the Lord. And the Lord had revealed to me - that that person's life had layers of undercover "muck in it." So thick that it would take only them allowing the Lord to "muck walk" "Stir things to the surface" and make that person's life "sandy and clear."

There are certain things in our lives that WE can't do ourselves. We have to give them to God. Having been a "Prodigal daughter" for the last two years - my spiritual "pond" was left without care.  I didn't take care of my "pond" so the muck built up.  And the longer you are in that spiritual state - the MORE muck you have. Kind of like if you don't brush your teeth (LOL) and you get a "plaque build up." When the plaque starts - you can use your toothbrush and floss to get it off. But if you don't - it builds up to the point where when you finally go for a "cleaning" the dentist has to use that tool that scraps it off. And if you wait too long - and don't see the dentist - that "plaque" becomes a cavity.

Life is "mucky" that is why it is so important for us to acknowledge that and to look to our Lord to help us "clear out the muck." We can't do it on our own.  And it takes time.  Somethings the Lord changes within you if you give it to Him (since we have free will) right away.  Other things become habits and it takes a bit longer to release.  Its all about what you are willing to give over to Him.  What you are willing to acknowledge. And in the process of that - and I can only go by my own personal experience - you may have to continue praying "Lord if there is anything displeasing about me to You - help me change it. I can't do it on my own. I don't have the strength, the know-how or even sometimes the desire to do so."  It even mentions this in Romans 7:15 " I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do." And then in 7:18 it says " I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing."

That passage to me is the perfect example of what goes on through the head of a Prodigal daughter/son - even if they won't admit it themselves. Often they just want to "swat it away" like a bug buzzing in their ear. Because at that same point - where the Holy Spirit is whispering lovingly  in their ear "What are you doing? Why are you going there? Not that way - Come back..."  At that same time even if the Prodigal ignores the gentle whispering - old' slewfoot or one of his minions is whispering louder in the other ear - "Ha! You can't go back now! You KNOW the Word of God - you are a total screw up. You'll never stop, you'll never figure things out. Might as well give in. What did He ever do for you anyways? He doesn't care for you - He only says "No! No! No! He doesn't want you to have any fun. Do this - what does He really know anyways? You know what's best for you. Look at how He has disappointed you? You expected A, B, C and you got D. Pffft - how do you know He really cares about you? He's being quiet you aren't hearing Him. He's too busy to deal with you..."

But here is the thing - Nothing surprises our God. YOU belong to HIM. As I've said in previous posts - He will draw the backslider back to Him. "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him." (Hosea 14:4)

Some of us have to go through the "School of HardKknocks." As I said before in a previous post. I've always been "hard headed" but you know for those of us who are - when we learn lessons WE LEARN THEM. It becomes a "heart thing" and then for those of us who are MORE stubborn than the usual person we learn to apply what we have learned - it becomes a "heart lesson" and then even more so - God receives the glory and we are willing, able and transparent enough to extend the right hand of fellowship to someone God brings in our lives behind us - and share our experience to encourage or help that individual.  Some of us have to go through the hard way in order to grow, in order to change - in order to BE what GOD wants us to be. And it takes time. Thank God our God is merciful. Not like some of the people (brothers and sisters in Christ included...) we all know.  Sometimes our own brothers and sisters in Christ can be the MOST judgmental. And in being that way - make it harder for a prodigal to WANT to come back.  I have learned from personal experience over the last two years - NEVER to say NEVER.  Because in all honesty - you are NOT walking in that individual's shoes.  You have no idea what they are going through.  You may think you do - but you don't.  That is why we need to have "gentle spirits" when it comes to ministering to one another. We need to be as Jesus would be.  When Jesus went out amongst the people - notice how gentle is heart was to those that were sinning. He was patient, He was loving, He was truthful and He was gentle. Gentleness, love, patience, and a listening spirit  I'm quite sure bring about a loving restoration to a person's soul who if they are backsliden - deep inside even if they won't admit it - ALREADY are feeling some type of conviction. I've not shared my struggles over the last two years with my blog readers - because it is irrelevant right now. I know what those struggles have been (AND continue to be!) Because restoration takes time, reflection, healing, love, mercy and grace. But the ironic thing - is that there have been three times when I have revealed my "prodigalness" to three brethren that the Lord has told me to be transparent before. To HELP THEM. And it hasn't been an easy thing to do. But I've done it out of obedience. God knows the desires of your heart. He knows where you are in your walk.  He loves you for who you are. If you allow Him to - He will meet you where you are at - and He will begin to bring you back (or your loved one) to HIM. But it happens in His time, and each person learns at a different rate. Each person is at a different spiritual level. Each person "graduates" at different times.  Our job is to pray. Pray for each other, pray for ourselves. Pray that the Lord - will help us to be ALL He has called us to be."  For no matter what - it truly IS by grace we are saved. And Thank GOD it is.

1 comment:

Nanci said...

This is very encouraging to me as a Christian Woman and Parent it is so real and true of us to be out of the will of God. But like you said For no matter what - it truly IS by grace we are saved.