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It Wasn't Me

Life After Redemption

Month

July 2015

Woman of integrity…

Woman of integrity, hear me now. You are not alone. This world we live in is broken and dirty and cruel. It may have robbed you of joy, it may have raped you, and it may have beaten you down. You may have stood on the front lines of a battle waging on beyond your control. Darkness has crept in and is eating your soul. You may have given away little scraps of yourself in exchange for a glimmer of recognition.

 

 

I see you there in the shadows and I tell you… you are NOT alone. There is no wrong, no loss, and no grief so great that I have stopped seeing you. The clouds that pursue you, the rains that threaten to drown you, are not enough to separate you from me. In all of your mess, right where you are… broken and bloodied, I say to you… You are NOT alone. I see you. And you are mine.

 

 

 

I was with you in the darkness. I was with you in your pain. I have heard every broken sob and caught every fallen tear. I see you through the dust, I see you through your shame. I see you hiding from me, and I tell you… do not be ashamed. My love will change the world. My touch will heal your heart. Each day may be a struggle, but do not give up the fight. On the other side are wholeness, redemption, and light.

 

 

 

You may have said you don’t know me, that you never knew my name. With every hair counted, I have always known you were mine. Lost in the darkness. Chasing broken dreams. You pretended not to care as you turned another trick, pouring down a fifth of something to drown out every thought. You think you’ve gone too far, that this is the point of no return… one more day or nothing, it matters not at all.

 

 

 

From the ash and darkness, I can bring forth new life. In the empty grey oblivion of a broken shattered life, I can work a miracle and set your path aright. The cost is a sacrifice, a price already paid… it is yours for the taking if you will just take my hand. I will not forsake you or leave you. I will not exploit you nor betray you, my word is my bond. The perfect promise of salvation, the only covenant not undone.

 

 

 

If you stumble, do not fear, I am there by your side. To hold you and to guide you with a perfect love and eternal plan. I will teach you new things of grace, hope, and life. You will cling to your old ways until you see the way. Your heart of stone will melt, your bricks will fall away. The armor you pick up is holy, and the fight you will fight is mine.

 

 

 

Woman of integrity. This is who I see. Standing in the darkness… the lost daughter of a king.

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Life… unboxed

There is something amazing that happens to your spirit once you get out of the box… anytime you feel the walls closing in, your spirit begins to resist. Mine occasionally screams in warning, “This will make you LESS! RUN!!”
In the post-divorce apocalypse, there was a season of complete dryness. Everything that had been truth was stripped away to below the roots. What once was, was tossed asunder. I couldn’t find Jesus on my knees so I lay flat on the ground, broken and needy and lost. My soul calling out, oh how long must I weep Oh Lord before You hear my cries?
I didn’t know. I didn’t understand it. It was so raw and messy and frankly? More than a little bit unsanitary. Yet, so vital to the process of restoration. Everything had to be razed. It all had to go. Like Holy Fire, He burned through all of me leaving nothing but my faith in Him and the tiny flicker of hope that there would be something of that looked like life remaining at the end.
My integrity had been shaken, my reputation had been shattered, and my sanity had been questioned. Prophecies of doom had been declared over me and my children, curses were flung wildly and I struggled with doubts and wrestled to find truth in it all. I knew at my core, that change was required so I moved forward, one millimeter at a time.
Stumbling in the darkness and crying out for the Light eventually the smoke cleared and I found myself on a path of restoration. It was more than just a bandage over a seeping wound. Parts of me that had died along the way were given new life. My spirit had withered and died; it had become smaller, crawling into a box with ever shrinking walls. In a relationship with impossible standards, it adapted and retreated and became less.
Now… it is free. God restores all that was lost. He rebuilt my spirit and is growing it beyond anything I could have previously conceived. I am free to step out and serve. I can commit my life to seeking God, growing deeper, wiser, foolisher (not really a word, but I like it) and living, truly living, saturated in Him. My faith is uncensored… and the freedom of THAT, my friends, is the biggest most abundantest (also not a word) gift of them all.
Today, when I find those walls of conformity sneaking into my world… the box of becoming less, my spirit does NOT retreat. I will NOT be silenced. I will NOT be less than. I WILL NOT become smaller. My God does NOT call me to a small life. He calls me to a life of abundance. He calls ME to be more than my past. HE CALLS ME. ME. Broken, restored, colorful, bejeweled, radiant and growing. HE CALLS ME.
Where I am inadequate, He equips me. Where I am confused, He clarifies me. HE IS WITHIN ME and I WILL NOT FALL. I don’t have to have all the answers. Other than this one… He IS the answer.
Whatever storms come against you or before you, KNOW GOD… and you will know He is with you and for you. He works ALL things for good. He doesn’t give you second best… He gives you HIS best. ALWAYS. AMEN.

All my efforts…

There are days when my best efforts are simply not enough… I am not perfect, I definitely make mistakes but I do the best that I can and somehow muddle through. then I am reminded, with a quick reality check, that there is one way through this messy world… and I am not the solution.

I live a grounded in Jesus life, I serve in ministry and I feel like I am growing into the kind of person that Jesus would be proud to say “that’s MY girl.” I stand on the strength of my convictions. I seek to counsel and guide others to finding Truth and a relationship that is supremely intimate with Jesus. In the midst of experiencing blessing and connection to other believers AND actively seeing His hands at work in my life and the lives of others around me, I still find that stumbling block.

It’s more of a hurdle, a hard-hearted conflict, the kind that leaves your knees bloodied when you don’t manage to successfully clear it. You find yourself winded, the wind knocked out of your lungs… and suddenly you now longer wish to adult. As if that were an actual choice to be made. And here I sit, fuming and raging… venting and bitter. In the midst of a blessed day, I have been derailed by a single encounter. I cannot EVEN imagine extending grace or love… I am happy to say that the source of conflict is NOT technically my “neighbor” because miles exist between us. I know in my heart that Jesus is shaking His head and weeping over my pique of uncharitable thoughts and plots to overthrow all who dare come against me.

Here I sit. Unsatisfied. Irritated. Wanting justice. A lightning bolt. Something, please God something. Anger is that nasty infection that once inflamed does not easily subside, it burns red hot… starving for more fuel, consuming everything. Peace is lost. And found again.

The lightning bolt is this… my best efforts are never going to be enough. I am not righteous enough, evolved enough, or even adult enough to power through conflict or storms on my own strength. I am human, fallible and flawed… I cannot do this in my own strength. There is a prevalent darkness looming in the world, seeking to destroy us with our own best efforts and intentions. So, pouting maturely, I submit to Jesus my need for this “justice”, I will release my anger and let Him sort out the details.

Jesus, I am not enough. Please, please, PLEASE, carry me over, around and through the storms that come before me. Give me the words to speak the truth in love, even to… ugh… especially to my “neighbor”… because I am not doing this on my own. Thank you that your love is sufficient for all of my needs, and it is your love that drives out the darkness and quenches the flames of anger. AMEN.


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