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.


October 30, 2014

Along Came a Spider...

Along Came a Spider...

I have a tendency to compare people either to famous people or characters from books.   I don’t know why, it automatically happens in my head.  My children and I often giggle about how accurate these comparisons are.  (And generally I do not tell people that I do this – for I certainly would not mean to offend or insult anyone…)  However, this week (ironically on my birthday), I had the honor and the privilege of meeting a woman who reminded me of Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web.  Now I don’t mean that she was “spider-ish” for she certainly is not (although like Charlotte, she does have the most exquisite sky blue eyes that radiate intelligence, humor, wit and a love for people as well as for the Lord).  Personality-wise, she reminds me of Charlotte (classy in a Debbie Reynolds or Grace Kelly kind of way - which is totally appropriate because in the movie, the voice of Charlotte is done by Debbie Reynolds).   

Just like Wilbur the pig (in Charlotte’s Web), I was feeling at the lowest I could possibly feel. I had been forsaken and unexpectedly and completely betrayed by the very last person I had ever expected and I was feeling as low as a person could possibly feel.  Along came a spider…
As was in the case with Wilbur, Wilbur had been abandoned by his human family and was feeling the lowest he could feel, alone, forsaken and upset.  Along came a spider…
Charlotte A. Cavatica… full of love, intelligence, warmth, humor and compassion.  Who would have thought a tiny little spider would befriend a pig?  Yet befriend him she did, and she saved his life (If you haven’t heard of or read the story, it is a must read – Charlotte’s Web written by E.B. White).  I can honestly say that God brought “Charlotte” into my life.  She was my birthday gift from God at a time when he knew  I most needed a friend.  I walked into her office a woman who felt shattered into millions of little pieces, feeling like Humpty Dumpty, I did not think I would be able to be put back together and honestly, I didn't know if I wanted to be.  I was crushed.  But "Charlotte" helped me to see that my God is in the "restoration business" it's what He does.  I was reminded that:
"He heals up the broken hearted and binds up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3)
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust." (Psalm 91)
"The Lord is near the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
God is always on time and He knows what we need.   And when I walked through Charlotte's doors - I needed healing, I needed restoration, I needed to understand the "why" of things and to know that while people disappoint you all the time (myself included) and that God never will.  I walked out her doors knowing what I already knew - that I have a higher calling.  That regardless of what or how people around me do (or don't do) I know what God wants ME to do.
"Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning." (Psalms 30:5)
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Anyone who knows me, knows I am *not* a fan of spiders.  But the beauty of Charlotte is that she knew the true meaning of friendship.  She saw someone who was hurting, and she listened and encouraged, she prayed with me and let me cry.  She went the extra mile not because she had to, but because that is what a real friend does.  A true friend loves genuinely with their whole heart.  A true friend encourages, admonishes, builds up, listens, laughs, loves and cares. God works through people, and on my birthday, a day when I should have been filled with joy and happiness (especially being a 4 year cancer survivor) - God used her to restore my faith and my hope.
“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31)
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-15)
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-15)

We should all be blessed to have a “Charlotte” in our lives…

October 27, 2014

The Way Home

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5)

Walking along the road of life enjoying the warm sunshine on my back, whistling a joyous tune and carrying my rule book in my left hand, not a worry in my head, I encountered a sign mid –course in my journey:
Scratching my head, I looked around.  No one else was on this way for me to converse; I did not see any difference between the land I was currently following and the land to the right.  Why could I not journey forward? What harm would be done?  There was nothing that raised concern within me; clearly the sign must have been put there in error.  Tentatively I touched my toe to the grassy green ground in front of me, just as I thought it was springy and stable, crouching down I sniffed and touched a tuft of grass, nothing odiferous, in fact it smelled the sweetest scent of  green sun touched grass.  I stretched my neck to look as far yonder as I could, a beautiful clear blue horizon, billowy clouds, tall green grass, in fact as I inspected the grass I noticed a little red and black spotted lady bug perched on the edge of a green blade studying me as I studied her. 

"Don't do it!" She said shaking a tiny little lady bug finger at me, speaking in a small little voice that I had to lean over with to hear clearly.  "Listen to the sign.  This pathway may look enticing and wonderful with its deep blue sky and ample walk way, but don't do it.  For it will deceive you, lie to you, make you promises  it will never keep, use you and lead you down a way you never should go it knows nothing but deception and is full of self with no consideration to the feelings and heart of the traveler who travels its length. It will take and take and take from you, suck your feelings dry until you have nothing left to give.  It does not know how to think of anyone but its own needs and its own self.  It is a pathway of deception. Don't be fooled by its outward beauty.  If you saw it with the eyes of truth you would see it as it really is - empty, broken, dark with nothing to offer any traveler, for it can't even make its own path straight. Follow the right way to go, the one written in that rule book you carry." She motioned her little hand at my book.  "This one is nothing but a mirage of lies that does not know how to tell its traveler the truth.  It gives you a pipe dream and just when you have travelled deep within its path it will shatter you into a million tiny little pieces without thinking twice. Its only full of self, and never gives thought to anything else but the way it wants to go. The sign is there for a reason. Heed it beautiful traveler of light."  She fluttered her wings at me and looked up at me with her little face.

I Laughed in delight.  "Oh silly little ladybug, you act as if it were a wayward man.  It is but a beautiful, sweet, darling pathway!  Like none I've ever known.  What stories you tell!" Then I whispered to her, “Lady bug, lady bug fly away home…”  The lady bug looked at me a moment with a shake of her head and a shrug of her red and black dotted shoulders, "I tried to warn you, but you will do as you will.  You will come to regret it and my words will come back to you someday."  She flew off into the sky.

I looked at the pathway to see if I could see what she saw and again was tempted by its enticing land.  I let my back pack fall to the ground so that I could tuck my rule book safely within the confines of the bag and decided that while I was at it, I would kick off my shoes and place them in my bag as well.  I wanted to feel the soft, springy cool grass against the soles of my feet as I went forward on my journey, my mind made up.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained. An exquisite day, birds singing, sun shining and all was right with the world.  “A caution sign.” I scoffed, “Absolutely ludicrous.” 
The scent of honeysuckle permeated the air and my heart delighted at the lovely little fragrant blossoms that clumped sporadically here and there.

"Come walk my length," the pathway beckoned.  "I promise you, I will show you beauty you have never encountered.  We will walk this journey together, you and I forever.   I will take you places where history has occurred and we will enjoy going back in time and learning of its people.  I will never leave you.  I will show you love, satisfaction and true contentment.  Palm to palm I will never deceive you or let you go.  I promise... Come beautiful traveler, we were meant to be together - travel my way, there is much to be seen and we will journey together."  It beckoned to me like an invitation from a lover.  I was captivated, I believed it, I wanted it, there was no way I would go any other way, except the way this path beckoned.   I followed it a ways, stopping at one point to lie down on my back on the sweet fragrant green grass and breathe in the intoxicating scent.  Stretching out my arms luxuriously behind my head to feel the cool smooth grass against my palms and stare up at the clear blue sky and bask in the rays of the sun.   “This is absolute Heaven,” I sighed in delight. The best way ever! The greatest decision I have ever made! I should have torn that sign down, to think I would have missed this lovely little way because of it.  I wonder how many people have missed out on such a scenic site due to that horrid little misinforming sign?!”  I was of a mind to rise up, turn around and do that very thing, but decided against it.  “I am a knowledgeable, intelligent being.  Capable of making up my own mind and choosing what is right for me!” I mumbled to myself,  reluctantly rising up to leave and continue on my way, in doing so I passed by a small pond to filled with scenic flat brown lily pads.
“Are you now?” croaked a response, “Are you sure about that?”
I stopped mid-step and looked around to see where the remark had come from. “Who said that?”
“Me that’s who,” was the response. 
My eyes spanned the ground around me and finally located the source.
“So full of yourself, it’s a wonder you saw me at all,” He huffed blowing up his vocal sacs with air, causing his throat to balloon out.  I dispersed of my back pack, dropped down to the ground to see him better.  There upon a lily pad sat a dark green bullfrog looking at me with disdain in his black little eyes.  “Doesn’t it say something in the rule book about “pride before a fall?” He asked.
“What exactly does that mean?” I asked insulted, was this tiny little green creature judging me? 
“It means that perhaps you should consider the fact that there may be more to things than what meets your eye. Perhaps you don’t know as much as you think you do.  Maybe there was a reason beyond what you could see for that caution sign warning.”  He accentuated his remark by extending his tongue and capturing a fly who had mistakenly thought could fly by unnoticed.  “Point made and perfect timing.  Just as that fly thought he could sneak by me unawares, he was sadly mistaken, to his demolish and to my satisfaction.”
“I beg your pardon!” I said with great indignation.  “You are just a little green bullfrog, what could you possibly know that I don’t?!” I rose back up rocking on the back of my heels.
“Is that a fact?” He replied as he watched me rise.  “I wouldn’t be so sure of that if I was you, I would try to be a bit more open minded…” With that he extended his long green legs and did a flying leap off the lily pad with so high a jump that the water splashed me full in the face.
“What audacity!” I exclaimed wiping the pond water off my face with the edge of my sleeve. Picking up my back pack, I turned my back to the pond and stomped forward to resume my travels. “Wretched little frog!  I hope he gets eaten by a snake!”  Onward in my journey I went.
MY life, MY plans, MY schedule, MY way.  I had made a plan for my life and I was going forward, confident in that plan.  I had made the right decision and as I walked all of my senses delighted in the world around me.  Who knew where I should go better than I? Proud of myself and looking forward to my destination, I continued on.  If things felt this right, they certainly could not be wrong, or so I thought…
As time went on, my travels began to feel a bit too long, the pungent smell of honeysuckle which once had smelled so appealing, began to smell sickeningly sweet.  As the sun began to sink behind its horizon, mosquitoes appeared buzzing annoyingly around my head and nipping at my feet, try as I might, I could not get them to leave me alone.
“Oh you dratted bugs – why must I have been blessed with such sweet blood!” I complained as I tried to swat them as I continued on my way.   “I should be at my destination now.”  Wearily I looked around me.  The pack on my back felt heavy now and was beginning to chafe the area between my shoulder blades, taking it down; I took out my shoes and put them back on my bug bitten feet. I sat against a large boulder, raising my knees up to my chest and wrapping my arms around my legs.
“Regretting your choice of actions yet?” said a quiet voice.
“Oh no, not you again Mister Frog,” I groaned trying to adjust my eyes to the dusk locate the annoying little amphibian.
“I’ve been called quite a few things in my life, but frog is not one of them,” the voice chuckled.
If my sense of hearing was correct, it was coming from somewhere above me, finally I saw it and when I did, I wish I hadn’t.  I backed away from the boulder as quickly as I could.
“Oh come on now,” it exclaimed watching me with little red eyes as it twitched its whiskers. “I’ve no intention of spraying you, I’d say you’ve already made quite a stink of things, wouldn’t you agree?” The skunk twitched her tail as if to toy with me, and laughed in amusement as I cringed and closed my eyes. “Tell me something,” she continued, “why do you have a rule book in your bag if you chose not to follow it? Do you find comfort in just the carrying of it?”  She tilted her head to the left to look at me.  I could see her red eyes glowing in the dusk of the evening.  Once in my own travels I came across the belongings of a camper who had gone out upon a hike.  They had left upon their sleeping bag the same book of rules you too carry.  I was curious about it, so I meandered over to take a closer look. Opened the pages to a rule which said, in a section entitled Psalms Chapter 32 verse 8: “The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway of your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.”  I’m curious, or maybe just a bit nosey – but I have to ask, have you listen to His advice? Have you allowed Him to guide you or have you chosen to guide yourself?”  The skunk rested her chin upon her paws and waited for my response.
“What I do, how I do, why I do, is no one else’s concern, only mine.  It is why it is referred to as a “personal” relationship. That sign was clearly there in error.  Someone should have taken it down a long time ago.  I only wish I had done it before I travelled forward.”
“Interesting…” commented the skunk.  “This is only my two cents worth and you can take it for what you will; but it seems to me that a relationship consists of more than just one.  Yet I have not heard you communicate to this Lord of yours in any way.  In fact, I have only heard you talk to yourself about how pleased you are with you, with the decisions you have made…  Look around yourself.  Have you gotten to where you wanted to go? Have you eaten? Are you cold?  To me you look disheveled, lost and irritated far different from the girl I saw set out this morning.  Whose rulebook are you following if not the one in your sack?”
Her words stirred up within me a great irritation and without thinking, I took off my right shoe and flung it at her, hitting her right upon her left hind quarters, which caused her to release the most pungent and smelly sprays which caused my eyes to sting and I began to choke at the stench.
“That was simply cruel, “she said turning around with a limp. “More than cruel, it was mean.  It was cruel and mean.”  She looked over her shoulder at me with a hurt expression on her black and white striped face as she limped off into the dark. “It seems to me, I once saw something else in that rule book you never read, about a person reaping what they sow… You’ll have to tell me how all this worked out for you if ever we meet again.” And she disappeared into the dark.
I was alone, alone with only one shoe.  Night had fallen and now I simply wanted to be done with this part of my journey. I could barely see two feet in front of me and I reeked of skunk.  This was not going according to my plan. This was not the way things were supposed to be, and there was no one here for me to talk to, what should I do? Not knowing, I decided I had no choice but to settle in for the night. Tomorrow I would find a place to bathe and continue on my journey, which surely must be soon coming to an end.

"Don't listen to any of them, " the pathway beseeched me. "We were meant to journey together. Keep going.  I will never leave you, we belong together.  You are my one true love, beloved traveler let me take you down a way you've never been. Look at my picturesque background, like what you see and tell me you do.  The beauty of may way is solely for you."  I snuggled closer to the ground.  I loved this pathway like no other I had travelled, I was going to stay on it forever.  I was committed to its way.

Even as I thought that, a feeling of uneasiness crept over me and for the first time, I began to feel a niggling of doubt, doubt that what the pathway was saying was true.  What if they were right? What if I was being deceived?  What if the pathway was lying to me and taking me down a way I didn't know? I tried to shake the thought off.  I loved this pathway and had forsaken all other ways to follow its trail.  Taking my remaining shoe off and putting my backpack against the ground I lay my head down upon it, like a pillow, the words of the ladybug, frog and the skunk replaying through my head.

“It will deceive you, lie to you, make you promises  it will never keep, use you and lead you down a way you never should go it knows nothing but deception and is full of self with no consideration to the feelings and heart of the traveler who travels its length. It will take and take and take from you, suck your feelings dry until you have nothing left to give."
"Does not your rule book say pride before a fall? Perhaps you should have more of an open mind, there may be more than what you see…"
"Why do you have it in your bag if you choose not to follow it?”
Was not life filled with making decisions? The way seemed straight and I didn’t want to go another. It was my choice and with that last thought inside my head, I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

My own stench woke me up. I’ve got to get cleaned off! I thought as I scrambled up and ran my fingers through my hair.  I’ve got to get clean! The smell of skunk had permeated my clothes and I knew that I would have to bathe clothes and all, so off I went searching for water. 

"Come, I shall show you where you can go," the pathway said lovingly to me.  "I shall take you where you can get cleaned off and where we can be as one forever."

I came to a high rise of land and as I reached the top, I could see a river below.  In my relief and excitement I hiked up my backpack and started to run, barefoot down towards the water, which turned out to be a HUGE mistake.  As I got closer to the shore, I encountered sand.  Not just any sand, quicksand.  Only I didn't know it until I had reached it.  I started to sink.

"Oh this is not good! Not good at all!" I cried trying to get out.  But the more I struggled, the more I could feel my body sinking deeper. "Oh my! What should I do?!  Oh no!" I said trying to remain calm.  What a pickle I had gotten myself into. "Pathway, where have you taken me?" I cried out.

"This is not my fault but yours." The pathway said sternly in a disciplinary tone of voice.  "People blame me ALL the time for things that are not my fault.  It is YOURS. You had no intention of ever staying on my pathway, did you? Did you wonder about paths that you had not ventured last night as  you slept? Did you listen to the creatures and their accusations around you?"

The more it accused and spoke, the deeper I began to sink.  "What are you saying?" I asked astonished, trying not to fight against the pull. "Happily I would have journeyed down your pathway all the remaining days of my life, for I have loved every moment of this journey." At that same moment I noticed a troll walking over the side of a hill. 

"Help! Help! Help!"  I yelled trying to yell without thrashing around. The backpack which I had had no my back felt like a millstone around my neck. Oh that I had removed it from my body prior to running towards the water!

The troll stood far from the sand I had so stupidly and willingly walked into and looked at me and laughed.

"What have you here my darling pathway?" The toothless troll questioned. She was about 300 pounds, stringy greasy hair, a polyester dress hung loosely around her pudgy form. Then as she leaned closer, she noticed me and her expression changed to one of anger.

"Who is this that you have allowed to venture upon our land?" She bellowed to the pathway. (If I had had both feet planted firmly on the ground I would have felt the pathway quiver in fear.)

The pathway was afraid of this troll? What power did she exhort over it?

"No one dear, just a wayward traveler." The pathway responded, voice shaking.

Oh so now instead of "beloved" I was a "wayward traveler?" The revelation shocked me as I fought to keep my head above the mire.  For the second time I thought about all the warning signs that had come my way.  Signs I had chosen to ignore. 

"I'd like to keep her if I may." The pathway stated to the troll.

"Cover up her head and kill her." The troll said, waiting for the quicksand to cover my head.

"Ahhhh but then she would be one with my land and with me forever," the pathway said quickly.  " You wouldn't want that now, would you my trollness?" He said it seductively.

The troll tapped a big fat stubby finger to her chin.  "That simply won't do at all... You cannot keep her - expel her from the mire right now and then follow your own path home for we shall discuss this further!" She stamped a fat little trolly leg, turned around and marched back the way she had come.

The pathway obeyed her and I felt a suction that carried me down at first, covered my head in its slimy, muddy waters and then I was lifted and propelled high into the air, falling on my backside so hard that my rule book, surprisingly undamaged by the mire fell out on the ground beside me.  I landed hard, covered in filth, smelling like skunk and nasty pond water.

My heart was shattered into a million little pieces and at this point, I could not focus upon anything but the pain.

"I'm sorry I deceived you," The pathway said after a moment. "I wasted so much of your time. I am unworthy of your loyalty and your love."

My heart hurt, it was hard to hear what the pathway was saying because the loudness of my pain reduced its words to a mere whisper.

"I should never have come this way.  I should have obeyed the sign and ventured the way it indicated. Had I known I would be in so much anguish I would never have turned down your way." My eyes filled with tears, as my backside smarted, my heart hurt and I felt very alone and lost.  I no longer trusted my own discernment.  "You have hurt me more than I have ever experienced in my life. But the truth is, you poor pathway are the one to be pitied, for the truth is, you go in only one direction. I saw you and loved your way and would gladly have walked upon your path until the end of time.  I saw the beauty in you for who you were, while everyone else just saw a "way." You are the one who will have to hope that people will ignore the sign and venture upon your pathway and discover the beauty I saw in you. It may take me some time, but I will recover and I will go on.  You will remain, stagnant and stuck and look what you have to contend with?  All the days of your life. I am shattered into a million little pieces, but my God will put me back together and I will rise more beautiful, more knowledgeable and wiser than I was before because I take responsibility for my actions."   I picked up my rulebook, my back pack, wiped the slime as well as I could off my body.  "I renounce you and this pathway I have innocently, willingly, wrongly followed in a love which could never be returned.  Go away from me, for you paid my love back with deception - back to your old life, your old ways and your old habits.  I shall not journey with you anymore."  I turned my back on the pathway I had loved to detour a different route.  Broken, but not defeated. Heavy hearted, yet at peace because I was finally going the right way.

"Lord, you say things for a reason.  Forgive us when we do not heed Your voice, but choose to listen to ourselves. The louder our own voices get, the softer becomes Yours because You are a Father who gives us free will.  We can be wayward children, yet still You love us.  Still you patiently await our return to Your way.  I ask that You meet me halfway, for my heart is shattered and I am having a hard time thinking straight and I doubt myself. Forgive me my sins, wash me with the blood of Jesus.  I repent.  I renounce anything that might hinder me from hearing Your voice and following Your direction for my life.  Cleanse me from the filthiness I have gained upon my journey.  My hurt is my own, I own it, I acknowledge it.  I ask that you would heal my heart and bind it back together. Forgive me for not guarding it better, for it is the well spring of life. I ask you this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ my Savior. Who died on the cross for forgiveness of my sins, rose again and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Amen."

As I stood in the middle of I-don't-know-where, the sun came through the trees and landed upon my form.  It's light stretched out to touch my sodden, dirty clothes and made them white as snow. My stench was gone. The grime was gone. I was clean.

I could no longer hear the pathway - it was in the past.  It's voice was gone.  But I was not alone.  A new clearer voice filled my head.

"My precious daughter, how I rejoice upon your return, you see? I am meeting you halfway.  Though your sins were scarlet, I have made them white as snow.  Here I AM, I AM the one who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.  Surely I will bind up yours and heal you, for I love you. You are mine. I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.  Lift up your head - child YOU are MINE. Come, lets go forward in my love, my grace and my mercy - I have work for you to do."

And so another chapter in my life closes, do I still hurt? Yes.  I imagine it will take some time for that pain to wane.  For I loved that pathway and I pray that at sometime, it will become a pathway of light instead of one that hurts and crushes and destroys what was meant for only love.

At the beginning of the pathway stood a wanderer - observing the sign and scratching her head...


October 23, 2014

Unloose Those Shackles! Be Free!

God promises to set you free from bondage isn't time you allowed Him to remove your shackles?
Rise above it.  Whatever the situation – take courage and rise above it!  Sometimes we can get so caught up and trapped in situations that we had no business stepping into, but what the devil has meant for evil God can use for good!
If you are a prodigal and you are stuck in the mire of a situation and feeling like you will never be free – that is a lie of the devil to keep you from being and doing ALL that the Father has for you to do.  Sometimes if you aren’t strong enough to close the door yourself – God will close the door for you.  He has a higher calling for you, of that you can be sure because the devil never bothers those who are complacent.  He’s not concerned with them because they will always be fence sitters, they are lukewarm and they are not a threat!
If you are on your journey back home and all you see is the filth you’ve accumulated during your prodigal time and it is slowing down your walk back home to the Father, the Word of God says:
 “Though your sins are scarlet I shall make them white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18)
Instead of allowing yourself to wallow in the scum at the bottom of the barrel, allow yourself to float with the cream at the top!  That is where God meant you to be and the blessings He has in store for you are so much more than what you could possibly imagine.  Stop beating yourself up! Stop settling for less than what God has for you! Yes, a lot of the circumstances we get tangled in are made up of our own bad choices and of our own doing, but they are not ones that God intended you to encounter.  That being said, nothing comes as a surprise to Him, if He can make diamonds out of coal surely He can sure turn your situation around for His glory.
Listen prodigal, look at your situation! Is it one you are hiding so that no one else can see? Something you delete off your Facebook for example? Is it one you cannot openly declare? Is it one that causes you pain or sorrow?  Is it one that is emotionally unhealthy? One filled with emotional blackmail?  Is it an addiction?  Addictions come in various packages – sometimes you can be addicted to a person!  Sometimes you can be addicted to a lifestyle – don’t just think of the typical addictions (that are just as serious) like smoking, drugs, sex or alcohol.  Sometimes the traps of the devil come in the prettiest of wrappings.  It makes sense if you think about it, the devil uses things that are appealing or tempting, you’d never be attracted to something that was not.  Think about it.  Is it a situation that is off-balanced?  Is it one that causes you to be in solitude, separate from everyone else? Or makes you feel bad about yourself?  These are all signs that this is not God’s best for you.  God wants you to walk in the FULLNESS of life.  The Bible says:
 “I have come that you may have life and have it ABUNDANTLY.” (John 10:10)
Here is the thing: It is your choice.  You can choose God’s best or you can choose less.  The price to pay for less is your peace, your joy and the heart knowledge that you are not walking in the fullness God intended you to have.  Your life is mediocre and humdrum and stale and you feel as though you simply exist from day to day.  You have a sense that there is more to life than this but you won’t do anything about finding the “more” because you just don’t believe you can achieve it or deserve it.  God has given you free will and the choice you make is the life you’ll live, stagnant.
A person can be trapped in that line of thought and lifestyle for years, or for their entire life.  How sad is that?  It is when we listen to that niggling thought, like a pesky fly buzzing around our head that we decide to DO something about it.  I call it the “No-more – Jello-Pudding-for-me, Ma!” moment when we have had enough and we get up out of our chair, push the chair into the table and walk away.  Walk away from mediocrity, walk away from being treated in manner that is less than you deserve.  Walk away from the addiction.  Walk away from someone who refuses to put you first! Walk away from the lies and petty promises!  Walk away from the highs and the lows!
When you are willing to make a choice for better, knowing that there is nothing better than God’s good and perfect will for you, your life will change.  How will you know what that is?  By the fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
When you have reached that point of walking away from the merry go round (God did not mean you to be on a life ride that just goes around and around in a continuous unending journey of circles), you will be ready for the next chapter of your life – don’t be fearful, be excited!  Are you hurting? In time God will heal the pain and it will be nothing more than a scar and a story to share, a story which the devil may have intended to use for his glory and to destroy your life to a story of victory that God has used to minister to others and glorified His name.  If the devil had “really” been smart he would have left you alone in the first place because there is nothing more powerful than someone who realizes that it is nothing BUT the blood of Jesus, God’s grace, His mercy, His love and His forgiveness that keeps them going.  Someone who has become humble enough through their prodigal time to share with others that, yes I missed the mark (big time!) and travelled a path God did not intend me to travel, but in doing so I have learned that there is NO one worthy, NO one righteous and perhaps before I may have thought that I was... Heaven cannot be “earned.” It is only by the precious blood of our Savior that enables us to be able to come boldly before the throne of God. I have learned compassion, I have learned humbleness and I have learned that unless you have walked in the shoes of someone else, you have NO idea what they have been through.  You have no right to judge.  Instead of focusing on what someone else has done or is experiencing or has experienced perhaps you need to take a good long look at your own self and the things YOU need to change?  The Bible says:
"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:5)
and Jesus also said:
"When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw the stone." (John 8:7)
Careful observer, that is a dangerous place to be. People look on the outside, God looks at the heart.  What is your heart telling you prodigal?  Listen to it.  You’ll be glad you did.

October 13, 2014

My Life, His Hands

My Life is in His Hands...
The Hell that plays inside my head you simply cannot see,
this makes it no less genuine, it’s not happening to you but me.
The song it plays the same refrain till I think my head will burst
and round and round it goes again the last time worse than first.
A prodigal I’ll admit I’ve been, the fault - it lies with me, I opened up a door
that should have remained under lock and key.

The road back home has been difficult, my progress steady but slow,
the pathway has been cumbersome but in my heart I know,
that this is why my Savior’s blood poured out upon the cross,
and purified me from sins I’ve made, I’m saved, no longer lost.

It’s by His grace, His love, His mercy, His forgiveness that I’m free,
it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
So when ol’ slewfoot whispers accusations in my ear,
 I’ll remind him of his future for his end is coming near.  

I may be far from perfect, but there’s one thing that I know,
the steps of the righteous are ordained by God, whatever path I go. 
He uses my mistakes to glorify His name
through helping other prodigals who are experiencing the same.

Unless you’ve walked within my shoes, you really shouldn’t judge
you haven’t an inkling or a clue upon the path I’ve trudged.
It’s God who looks upon the heart and sees me as I am and for that reason
I’ll profess He is the great I AM!