Tag Archives: perception

Alterations.

Almost nine years ago my world began to drastically change…it started with the unexpected death of my younger sister.  As I reflect on that time in my life, I realize that was some kind of a starting point for colossal change in my outside world and my inside life…who I was, what I believed, my…everything.  I remember who I was then and see that now, I’m not even close to who I used to be.  At the time I remember knowing God would see me through; I had no doubt of that…but I also remember thinking nothing would be the same. I had no idea how right I was.

Since that time, pretty much everything that was important, almost every significant person in my life, my ideals and perceptions, the way I approached and thought about things…literally everything is either gone or changed.  Even material things I held dear are gone; hopes for things and the way I thought things would be…gone.  My sense of fair, good and right are forever altered.  Even my faith in God is completely different from what I thought (back then) it should be.

Life takes unexpected twists and turns.  Stuff hits you, you have no way of seeing coming. You’re unprepared.  I never considered the fact my younger sister would die before I did; didn’t see that coming.  At my age (very close to 60) I never thought I would lose my job…get evicted…have to work 2, 3 and 4 jobs to make ends meet…didn’t see that coming either.  Who prepares for this?  To my embarrassment and immaturity (in Christ), I somehow thought because I had had some tests and bumps in my younger life that the rest of my life would be less difficult.  Go ahead, laugh…I am.  My faith was built on something false…something earthly – a false perception of what I thought I deserved and what I was sure would happen.

Over and over again “My ways are not your ways…” has played in my mind. “Lean not on your own understanding…” were the words I woke up to many a morning.  Through all this, I found truth, absolute truth, in those words.

The enemy wants us to think we’re unloved and forgotten when bad things happen but because I’ve been through this “desert season” in my life I can tell you with absolute certainty exactly the opposite is true.  When we find ourselves in extremely painful and terrifying circumstances those are the places where God…His literal presence can be more real to us than in seasons of joy.  Some choose to blame Him and run like spoiled children as far away from Him as we can; others choose to cling to Him for our lives and fight the good fight of faith even if our faith is less than the size of a mustard seed…maybe the size of a grain of sand.  Sometimes that choice brings a “curse God and die” mentality and a very real choice – sometimes on a breath-by-breath basis – confronts us.  It doesn’t look like we’re loved and cherished; it feels like we’re utterly alone and abandoned…so will we choose to press on based on NOTHING else but God’s word to us or will be choose based on our raw feelings and emotions? Those are the moments of spiritual life and death.

Sometimes we have to “get naked” before God, absolutely stripped in order to get to the nitty-gritty of what the real relationship is all about.  Sooner or later, I believe everyone will have a “season of Job” where there is nothing but you and Him.  Our suffering seasons may not look all like someone else’s – it doesn’t even matter what it looks like to others because this is between us and Him.  What matters is the result…will we allow ourselves to be forever altered?  Will we come out closer to Him or farther away?

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OVERRULED!

I’m one messed up person. I have been through a lot – anyone who’s my age that’s lived any kind of life has. We’re impacted by life events whether we know it or not. We start out as children with the purest intentions and love without any constraint…then life happens to gradually, sometimes unknowingly change all that. We have an inborn expectation that everything is going to be wonderful and easy, everyone will love us just because they say they do; our families will support us and be there for us no matter what we do, what happens or which way we choose to go.  We get a little age on us and experience behind us and we become tainted and broken, like a glass that missed a proper setting on the countertop.

We fight and argue, we choose to judge those who are different from us. We stop believing in good and start seeking the bad. We stop believing in pretty much everything for a while perhaps. We become selfish and prideful, even arrogant and demanding. We start hurting people out of our own perceptions and because of what’s happened to us.

I don’t want to love and turn the other cheek.  My “nature” is to get before I get got.  OVERRULED!  The Christ in my life, and His Spirit inside me trumps my want to on many occasions.  I find myself often at that critical crossroad where I must decide to LET Him have His way.

I don’t want to work hard to make a living. I’m tired and want things to be easy.  OVERRULED! My love for Him forces a decision, yet again. I must decide to do ALL THINGS as if doing them for Him.

I don’t want to take a chance on showing compassion or helping anyone because there were times I was in the same boat and found myself alone.  OVERRULED! I know in my Spirit that things have happened for this specific reason – to show what God has done in my life to encourage someone else walking the same road, otherwise it would result in bitterness and be for nothing.

The “BJ Barbie” (before-Jesus-Barbie) was a selfish, mad, bitter and hateful woman incapable of emotions related to compassion.  “My nature” – who I really am and what I really WAS, partly because of choice, partly because of what happened – was, IS vile.  She still exists, but I CHOOSE not to let her be evident.

More than ever, we must choose to live, act, work and talk to please HIM and not feed our emotions. Sometimes I choose correctly and sometimes I’m overruled; sometimes I choose to be “bad” and even in those times, God still loves me – and Jesus is still very much with me.

Think He’s not with you?  Think He’s going to toss you because you’re less than perfect?  OVERRULED!!!

Forgive our humanness, Lord. May we allow You to overrule and supercede anything about us.

What Was

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In all likelihood, this was a good storage building at one time.  Not anymore.  Full of who knows what, it’s dilapidated and forgotten now.  It captured my attention for some reason and when I go back, it reminds me of what was.

I see people all the time who have weathered many storms.  I wonder if any of us are even close to who we’re supposed to be.  The things life has brought our way, all the hurt, disappointment, tragedy, death, have taken their toll.

I look at my own life and wonder if there is anything worthwhile left.  There must be because God still has me here. Why, I don’t know.   My life, in some respects, doesn’t resemble my life at all.  The most important people to me have changed addresses, the things I used to care about I don’t anymore.  Sometimes I question the point of all this. What was makes me sad, in a way, but what still is, excites me.

I wonder what God will do next. I think I needed to be cleaned out, things needed to be removed. Perhaps I clung to things and people too much.  Perhaps they obstructed my heart and my view to what is really important.

I’ve learned that many things I valued have no real significance and that the only person who will never fail you is God.  The only love that lasts, in its intended form, is His.  I’ve learned, I really know that everything can be lost or taken, misconstrued or manipulated, but He can’t be.  He is true to his word and if all this hadn’t happened I wouldn’t know that.

I’ve learned that the choice to keep believing is ours. No matter what has happened, He knows the silent cries of our hearts.  He knows the truth – He doesn’t see through broken glass.  His picture of us, our lives, is the only real truth.  What He says, His view, is much more important than ours because it’s real and unaltered by anything that happens.

What was is gone and our view of what should be is tainted. No matter what is missing or changed, He still remains the same and if we let Him, He can rebuild what is left into the most beautiful dwelling.  He can heal all that hurt and create in us a new heart, not just mend but take the broken pieces and reconstruct a better us from the inside out.

This old building is a picture of what is left, the evidence of what the years have taken.  Others may see us as finished, broken, beyond repair but He sees something quite different:  a chance for a new creature and a promise for a better vessel in which He resides.  All the unnecessary is gone and a shell, a shell remains.  The lessons of what really matters are learned, not just survived.  That’s all He needs to begin the process of healing and restoring us into better than we were before.  I believe that. Do you?