Tag Archives: truth

The Monster in the Mirror

There she is again.  Every time something goes wrong, even with something goes right, this wicked monster is the first to cast stones.  She’s quick to remind me of everything I’ve ever done wrong.  Every day, I must contend with her.

Every day, she reminds me of how weak and beaten up I am and all I’ve been through.

Minute by minute if I listen to her, I’m reminded of why I shouldn’t try, why I shouldn’t believe for better and should quit while I’m ahead.  With every new day, the old stares me in the face – if I focus on her long enough, her voice overpowers the God in me.

Perhaps the most important choice is at the beginning of the day, deciding who you’re going to listen to.  The monster doesn’t lie, she tells the truth…her version of it, anyway.

She wants to keep my focus on the past and all the pain affiliated with it.  She needs an excuse to make no effort.  Not because she doesn’t believe (she does – she knows God) but because she does and she knows if I choose not to listen to her (myself) and heed His word and His truth instead, efforts must be made, exercises in faith and trust must ensue.  She’s tired.  She’s weary and she’s discouraged.  She finds very little reason to believe a single word she says or trust even a fleeting thought of hope.  It’s all justified.  Just like a victim seeking revenge on her assailant, her actions would be righteously justified.

Here’s the thing, though.  She’s submitted to God so her right to herself has been relinquished to His right to her.  Her own actions to justify herself are null and void…She’s put her trust and heart into the hands of a Mighty Savior who has already won the battle with the monster.  All she has to do is believe it.  She knows she’s no match for fighting the monster but she’s sure her Jesus is more than capable for the battle of the day.  It’s not her strength against who she sees (and remembers) in that mirror that will have victory this day; it’s His.

Every single day, the choice is ours.  Who will lead us?  Who will we listen to?  Who will we believe?  Ourselves or our King?  The battle is won or lost with that one decision.  The truth is, we may have to make that decision on a minute by minute basis. It won’t be easy (the past will attempt to discourage); it won’t be fun (fighting ourselves is ugly and messy) but we will be victorious against our giants if we choose to fight with all of our armor on – trusting Him with everything they throw at us.  Are you in?

“…even if our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”  1st John 3:20 NLT


The Big Reveal

I used to pride myself on my faith – I’d tout what big faith I had. I was relishing all the good and all the blessings.  Even though circumstances weren’t perfect I was smitten like we get with our first love.  It was all good.  Then things turned very bad.  He allowed things in my life I frankly thought because He loved me He never would.  That’s the rub of the Christian life.

I’ve said it before while going through this desert – I doubted big time.  My “faith” crumbled and my hope faded.  What in the world had I done wrong, why, why why…poor little Barbie…devastated and messed up I found it a struggle to find a mustard seed of faith.  The whole experience thus far has shown me I’m not nearly as big a spiritual giant as I once thought I was.

There it is.  The reason.

I see all the time praises about God and how good He is when people get a good outcome.  What if we don’t?  Is He still a good God?  Some say losing a job, losing all material possessions, getting a divorce, children and other loved ones dying, addiction, homelessness and hungry is God’s will.  Is it?  If God’s good, how can those things be God’s will? It’s my understanding that God is good.  So why are things so bad?

All I know is this.  THROUGH all I have been through my shallow perceptions of Him have long since faded.  My notions of how He should handle me and my circumstances have gone by the wayside.  Through it all, my relationship with Him has deepened.  I had to die.  What I thought of Him and His ways had to be destroyed so I could have a heart, eyes and ears to see Him for who He is.

I believe He had to get me to a place where I had to let go of me, let go of my perceptions and my pride to see Him for who He is.  Had it all not happened, I wouldn’t have.  We don’t seek to have ourselves destroyed – we don’t like being wrong.  We think we know…and we don’t until we know.

I think He chooses many different ways through which we have opportunities to grow a more intimate relationship with him.  When we finally see that everything we thought is wrong and accept that, then He can begin to show Himself for who He really is, and His great personal love for us. His ways are definitely not our ways.  I had to come a hard way but it’s been a wonderful way.  Sorrow, loss and pain will reveal who we really are and what we really believe.


“Forgiveness does not create a relationship.  Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible.  When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgement, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.”  Wm Paul Young, The Shack

“I’m sorry” isn’t required but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?  Somehow someone acknowledging they caused great pain is great medicine for our woundedness but a lot of times that doesn’t happen.  Someone once said “when someone lies to you or about you, they feel you’re not worthy of the truth”.  That hits home…someone who lies about you and to you doesn’t feel you’re worthy of the truth.  Why would we want them in our lives, to allow them to make us feel more unworthy of truth and love than we already do?

I’ve never been one to just go along.  I believe forgiveness IS possible without ever having to see or speak to someone again and when it’s gone on for as long as one can remember, I think it’s best, especially when there is no change in behavior “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” Matthew 7:17.  Owning up to what we’ve done, taking responsibility, is the best thing.  Some are incapable of that.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t like admitting my atrocities… it’s unpleasant and humbling but I always feel better and KNOW it’s right when I do.

Hope is a wonderful thing.  HOPING someone will change and see what they have done then change accordingly is always in order.  Praying for them is always, always right.  Ask God for them to open their hearts and eyes to see the realness of what has been done and ask Him to give them the desire to change and the courage to act upon that desire.

Until then, it’s okay if you don’t get back in with them.  We need to just be sure we’re “clean” – we must deal with our anger, hurt and disappointment in a godly way and the only way to do that is to take it to Him until it’s gone which sometimes takes a very long time.  I’ve found I don’t feel anything but pity for those who hurt me because they’re blinded by their version of self-justification and the lies they’ve come to believe.  We don’t have to be that way.  “It is what it is”, is one of my favorite sayings and that means to me, ONLY God can change it, I have to accept it and what I DO WITH IT is paramount.

We can allow that hurt to fester in many ways and change us, or we can truly desire to heal from it, forgive and get on with our lives.

We can choose forgiveness.  We can choose to let it go and go on and be better because of it and thankful we survived it.  Some didn’t.

I choose forgiveness; I pray you do too.

“Then Peter came and said to Him, Lord how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22

What You Don’t See

20140928_083402 Several months ago, a sweet friend gave me a “pinch” of this beautiful plant that consumed her kitchen window. I put it in water and it rooted so I placed it in dirt. To date, there have been no new leaves, no evidence of growth whatsoever. Every day, I look at it and expect to see some indication it’s going to live and thrive and every day, I’m discouraged. Today being sure I had failed at something else I pulled it out of the dirt to find this:20140928_083630healthy roots!! I was sure the cutting was dying and I was ready to throw it away. The growth I so longed to see was happening underneath the dirt. I couldn’t see it, had no visual evidence there was any sign of life or change but the plant is thriving.

This is a perfect analogy of our lives at times. Every day we do all we can do to keep our faith up believing things won’t always be as difficult as they are now but we see no change. Day after day, we mosey along, longing for better and making the best of what we can make the best of right now. We rise determined to see the change…BE the change we long for and BOOM! We get blindsided, become discouraged and wait again to try for the next day…and the next. Soon we can’t see beyond the now and begin to wonder, based on what we see, if the light will ever come invade the darkness.

Here it is…God may just be working on the INSIDE where you can’t see because very often that’s where the growth and change is more important! The “root” of ourselves is our soul, our mind, our heart which to Him is the most important part. No matter what happens on the outside if the inside isn’t changing and growing even the good we see will be unsustainable and very often, misleading. With my plant, I believed what I saw with no regard of what I didn’t and I was ready to throw the thing away and start all over again. I wonder how many times discouragement based on what we see made us stop or worse, give up and “throw away” things in our lives right before God allowed us to experience some of our biggest blessings?

Hold on my friend. Don’t make decisions solely on what you see or the emotion of what you see produces. Faith is believing what we CAN’T see, feel, touch, remember? Maybe we need to search ourselves “underneath” making sure our “roots” are stable and growing. Are you staying close to God as you walk through what you’re walking through? Do you believe Him literally? Do you know the truth?

Sometimes a little fertilizer is in order for the plants. The same is true for our soul. Take care of the root and soon we’ll see the evidence of growth and the better on the outside. But when you don’t trust that God IS with you working in and on where you can’t see.

And Barbie

I listened to Charles Stanley this morning describe John the beloved’s description of Christ in Revelation chapter one. I never really thought about it but Mr. Stanley pointed these scriptures out to be the only physical description of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. If that wasn’t enough just to read the description he expounded on it. (Revelation 1:12-17). He said John was seeing the unveiled just-as-he-really-is Jesus. The REAL Jesus, as Judge and Righteous Jesus whom we will also see when the time comes. Jesus in all His glory.

Verse 17 says when he saw him he fell at His feet ‘like a dead man’. Precious Lord Jesus, in John’s moment of face to face confrontation with his beloved servant placed His right hand on him and told him not to be afraid. This touched me deeply. I have a reverent desire and expectation to see our Lord. There are days when life is hard I just want Him to come and get me. There are also days when I look at myself and see the places where I have really missed the mark and wonder how it’s possible for Him to love me and STILL love me and even have a desire to see me!

This morning, I imagined what it will be like to see Him in His glory. Don’t we all? Do you rehearse the things that didn’t make sense and the questions you’ll ask Him when you see Him? I realized how silly that all is. After meditating on this all morning, I’m quite sure I will fall as though dead at His feet. I also thought about the fact that I in no way deserve to see Him and the weight of that truth will fill me like never before when we’re face to face. I have nothing upon which to base my right on that promise of a face to face encounter other than HIS word; HIS promise and solely because of who He is. In that split second, it will be unquestionably clear who and what we REALLY are when in His physical presence.

What touched me so is that, even I will hear His voice and feel His touch physically in spite of me! THANK GOD! Jesus could have spoken anything to John in that vision but look at what He chose to say! “Do not be afraid…” I think there’s a good chance that’s what He’ll say to me first, as well.