Thursday, March 21, 2013

When Winter is your Spring

Bonnie wants us to write about "spring".

Honestly, when I read the prompt, I had nothing to say, at least nothing good to say.

We are still in the throws of winter here, well my definition of winter anyway, temps in the 20-30's, blizzard warnings and 3-6 inches of snow!

And as I was sitting next the fire drinking my morning coffee, the snow started to let up and the room brightened just a bit. What happened next nearly sent me to my knees, literally. I spoke these words aloud: "I won't be fooled by this light, I know there is still more darkness coming!" And with that my spirit wailed within me, because this is how my heart has been for a while now.

The few rays of light that have entered, I have refused to believe and to trust. Instead of enjoying the break in the storm, I have called it false hope and have sunk deeper in my pity. I have said I wanted to live full of joy and excitement for Christ, but really only if it is on my terms...happy feel good comfortable living.

These verses from Matthew have been rolling around in me since August and God has been digging up roots and exposing Truth.

Matthew 6:22-24

New International Version (NIV)
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.(A)

It has been the second part of verse 23 that has slayed me time and time again. 

At first, fear gripped me and I truly was afraid, that all this time, my life in Christ had been a charade. (The enemy loves to wield fear to keep us trapped in bondage.) As the Holy Spirit worked in me and showed me Truth, the fear subsided and true repentance started as God revealed where my heart needed change.

I no longer fear when the Spirit calls me out, like on Monday morning. I know God is good and gracious. I know He wants me to draw closer to Him. I am still surprised, however, by my own lack of faith and trust.

Funny how that we are surprised but God is not. Ridiculous that He still chases after us when we are so blind. Transforming that HE loves us still.

Verse 24 has not been lost on me either, considering our financial mess. (my wanting a happy feel good comfortable life...)

God is good. Always. He wants only the best for me. He wants a bright light in me to shine for HIM and HIM alone.

Sunday is Palm Sunday, and there is no false hope in Jesus.
I am so glad that God does not leave me in the dark, but that He shines HIS light into my dark places that are parading around as light.

Winter may be hijacking my spring, but Jesus is transforming my heart.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Messy Days

The calendar has turned five pages since the last time I placed words on a screen.

It seems like forever ago, and at the same time, only yesterday.

Life gets messy when we get honest with ourselves and God. Hours turn to days, days into weeks, and weeks into months.

Winter darkness lends a hand with the slipping of days, being stingy with the sun light and more than generous with the biting cold wind.

My year named "strength", ended with me using every bit of strength I had to admit that I needed medical help. Depression's equally sinister sister, Anxiety, decided to take over. What I presumed to be depression was actually anxiety...very tricky thing...they go hand in hand and mirror each other well!

My new year, I call "endurance". The old language would call it "long suffering". My favorite definition is "patient power"...we could all use that!! When God gave me this word, I first thought it was just me going with the next common thing after strength. But HE was faithful and revealed it three different times, using three different avenues, each one louder than the previous one. I love how HE is so patient with us when we keep asking, "Are you sure?"

The medicine is helping. I am husband is children are thankful I am not so angry all the time.

Life is still hard.

Ailing parents a thousand miles away, a dog with cancer, a husband who is bored and still trying to maneuver our way through the financial/housing mess.

Just the other day, my husband tells me that the attorney we have been working with, for over a year, can no longer help us because he doesn't handle cases like ours. We have to start over. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  I have just reached to heaven and yelled "LORD!", and as I am falling back onto the couch a sound like a cynical/manic laugh comes out of my mouth. Instantly I am reminded what this year is called and I smile weakly. God has his ways and they are not my ways.

Each day I choose...choose to let Anxiety win or choose to TRUST in HIM who knows my days for he has made each one. Some days I don't choose well. Some moments I don't choose well. Most days I ask for more faith to choose HIM. This is messy but honest. The enemy has used this against me and will try again in the form of shame and guilt. Each day. Patient Power. Endurance.

This is how I follow Jesus. Each day, sometimes messy, sometimes the sun shines so bright and I laugh so is wonderful!!

He gives me the promise of spring and of a new life...I am counting on that promise! So I continue to follow, messy.