Walking it Out – Part 2: HOPE

Twelve years ago, in February and March, two life changing events occurred. The first, was an encounter during our ending worship song, in which for a moment of earthly time, I was no longer in the room. I was elsewhere, but still in a worship setting, and I was beginning to see what I was Called to do. It was but the first piece, the second of which came later in the day with my introduction to Isaiah 61 through Luke 4:18.

Five weekends later came the second event. This one plunged me into the most devastating nightmare of my life. Had this been a one weekend thing, it would not have had as great an effect. No, this was the seemingly never ending nightmare, that just continued to unfold and get worse.

This began what unfolded as a strategic assault, not just on one front, but many. There were too many layers, and too many people and circumstances, and too many dimensions for me to sort out by myself. I learned things about people and situations I never wanted to know. All my core understandings and beliefs were shaken at best, shattered at worst. But, I still had Him. That never changed. That never will.

I did my best. It’s all I could do. Did I make all the right decisions along the way, I’m sure not.. I made many mistakes, but I was trying to be obedient as best I knew how in the midst of hell, and even my mistakes were counted as good in the trying.

There were things said by those whose words carried great weight, and I took a lot of them to heart when I really should have believed in me, and Him, more. But I was just a 40 year old kid in the Kingdom, actually pretty doggone naive. Turns out, I was in the middle of other peoples messes which only made more complications. And the enemy was directly and covertly in the mix. At some point.. the war became as well a battlefield in the mind.

Sooo… after about 18 months of this nightmare, things began to turn. A door opened for me to attend a new church closer to my hometown. And God began the healing process.

I remember just a couple of months into the whole ordeal, looking up at the night sky and saying to God.. “You’re not going to rescue me this time, are You?” I’d gotten quite used to Him as my rescue. As it now turns out, I was not quite accurate. Although walking through was the course, NOW the rescue is in full operation.

This is where my new son comes in. I said in the last post that he was helping me to sort some of this stuff. But in all actuality, it’s more than that. I’m being rescued from lies and pain and mindsets and even the grip of the enemy. More on that in a bit. The healing continues. I want to share what I wrote in my journal the other morning, as I was processing this current portion of the journey.

This statement had been made, oh about a week prior and then another. And they just kept resounding…  Here’s the journal entry…

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“True love takes risks”

“I will risk your anger to guard your heart”

OK – when did that happen – sitting here after writing that statement – I guess thinking about it and how profound and beautiful it is, and how incredible it is to be loved that much – Suddenly my heart swells with so much love, in a way I’ve not felt in a long long time.

And I find myself asking –

Am I really ready to have my heart wide open again? To Love without fear? To love without reservation, walls, guard or caution?

I don’t think I ever saw that as a possibility again. In fact, I forgot what it felt like. I really did.

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Much has happened since that morning, so I did not get to share it. Today I finally sat down with it again. I knew that morning I needed to share it. Maybe I just needed more pieces first. So here’s today’s journaling.. with and without maybe some editing. 🙂

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Perfect love casts out fear.

In this process, there are some things that have been presented, sometimes in type; sometimes – a voice over a phone line; sometimes with an expression, a look that can be recalled with the tone of voice and emphasis. These replay. Sometimes when I least expect it. Mostly, just when needed. They’ve become not only building blocks, but a sword in my hand to do battle with – truths to cut down lies.

It’s working – quickly and effectively.

It’s most often in the uncomfortable silences – seemingly left alone, that the thoughts come, the ‘voices’ that lie, that challenge, that try to unglue.

But these nuggets of truth – you are loved, you are safe, I won’t leave, I won’t harm you, I will protect you, your heart is important to me… You are important to me; you are important to God, etc – these are beginning to combat the lies. And these are beginning to combat words previously on repeat. [Some of those truths have been spoken outright, some ‘gleaned’ from other statements, but still given by God to me as truths to grab hold of.]

When fear says, ‘I can’t trust this’, I remember: ‘I’ve been given a son”… ‘Will you visit?” “Certainly”.

When fear says – “you’ve been abandoned” – Love says, here I am, I am, “I’m not slow, I’m patient”.

When fear says – I won’t be rescued, Love said I’m rescuing you now.

When fear says – I’m scared of …. the dark, what I don’t understand, the pain, etc. “I am your Protector”; ‘I am very protective of your eye”; “I will fight to the death to see your dreams and your calling come to pass”; “Have you been fighting for me?””Always”, “since the day I met you”.

 “You are part of My household, I am obligated to protect you”

“Michael has been sent to guard you in this process”

God wants me free, even more than I want to be free.

He said He was going to heal me.. every molecule of my being. Though I’ve ‘reminded’ Him, and me of this promise, I think I may have given up on being that healed and restored. But He’s doing it, NOW, in ways that are so much greater then I could have hoped for.

I’ve learned truth about Him in the last couple of weeks, much in part due to these truths that have been coming my way through Love. When the lies come, the truth comes also, and I can grab what’s true and choose it over what had appeared true. Some of that is choosing to believe in the someone whom was sent to help, with an overwhelming amount of evidence to back it up. Every time I’ve done this, more truth has been revealed. And in the process, that which was stolen or misplaced, is starting to get set back in it’s rightful place. I’m being rebuilt from the inside out.

For months I thought, this nightmare will be over soon. For years then I thought, anytime now, we’ll turn the corner. For years I had my eyes on the wrong reality. Cause for years, what seemed like a nightmare for which there was no remedy, was actually a time of preparation, to walk in the promise first given that year, before all hell broke loose. To be honest.. the greatest blessings and encounters of my life have come throughout the last 12 years (God encounters). New history being made with Him. New understanding released. You can’t walk anyone else through something you’ve not walked through, nor can you truly understand it. There have been giftings unwrapped and released. There has been teaching and exposure to Kingdom realities that might never have come, had I not had the catalysts for change.

Though I can’t say I yet understand what really happened, or why He allowed it, I can finally say, with full belief, that’s it going to be ok. I can breath. I’m going to be ok. Redeemed and restored to the fullness of His original creative purposes. I will walk in all that He destined for me. And I have this nugget to hold on to in the midst of the journey:

My son has seen my best, and will not stop believing in it and fighting for it, until the fullness of its manifestation is in the now. And when doubt rises, I will continue to knock it down, cause God is faithful. What He said He will do. His words will not return to Him void.

No one really understands your journey. Maybe not even those closest to you. But God does and He is determined to collect His entire inheritance. He is not bound by time, or anything other than our will. But, I think He even knows His way around that. He is not afraid to move Heaven and Earth and even “Hell” if need be, on your behalf. In the season of shaking, let Him shake it all. He will be faithful to rebuild if you let Him, and what remains will be unshakable…

“whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”  Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”   Hebrews 12:26-8 (NKJV)

In A Whisper

This piece is written by a dear dear friend, one of the adopted sons I wrote about recently. Love some of the insights he has, whether quite deep or just simply beautiful….  This post can be found at”

“Don’t Settle for Anything But Truth”

http://readthegreek.blogspot.com/   

I’ve set up a link so you can visit later for the most recent posts! See sidebar!

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In A Whisper

I’ve heard how men I respect and try to emulate pray when they are alone with God.  Some get fired up and loud.  Some just talk like they are speaking to another person in the room.  This has been a stumbling block for me in the past.  I’ve always whispered.  Even when I’m completely alone with Him, nobody around for miles.  I just whisper to Him.

Today He said to me, “You have no need to get any louder than you do when you talk to Me.  You intuitively know that I’m so close, all you need to do is whisper.”

Then I got all this imagery of lovers whispering.  There’s something intimate and tender about a whisper.  There’s an understanding in a whisper that goes beyond just intimacy.  It’s a trust.  Even in a crowded room, a trusted loved one will hear your whisper because they are always anticipating the sound of your voice.  I have fashioned my ear to hear His whisper and somehow I understand that He has done the same for me.

Well, Did I REALLY Do That?

Please, don’t shoot me… 

The title could be just a wee bit misleading. 

I can tell you right now that I may not even tell you what I did. But, it’s to protect the ‘innocent’ – no, not me. I need not plead the 5th – ha, this time.

I guess this is one of those parental confessions, or something like that. I just read an email a little bit ago, which was in response to a required and requested email that I sent. Not that I wanted to, I was doing just fine staying in the back seat on this one. But, the parental, ” yea, I do know what’s going on” was necessary. 

In actuality, the email was as much of a chance for me to support someone’s decision, which was well within the rights of a legal adult, as anything ‘required’. 

But wow, when the response came, with a ‘Thank you very much for your email…’, something happened. It’s like someone flipped a switch, for the second time this week. Suddenly, all the talk, and what was floating in cyberspace, was now a reality. Oy…..  I guess it’s kind of like when the divorce papers come in the mail, and the reality of it’s finality is sitting in your hands. (NO NOT MINE!!)

And here I am, one more time, finding I’ve done something I’d have never thought I’d go along with, well, not until a couple of years ago.

I grew up in a time where the playbook was quite clear, every play well rehearsed with little deviation in expectations that it will be run, like clockwork, just the way it’s always been, generation after generation. But looking back at the family history, I wonder why I would think such things. It seems we’ve always done things that were not necessarily upholding the status quo. Maybe that’s why I do not enjoy living in a box; do not do well trying to live up to others standards and expectations. So, why should I have been surprised that my children would be any less so? Ha!

So, once again, the norm for the day has now flown out the proverbial window, and we trod the path less traveled. 

I am though, yet again, astounded and even a bit stunned that I would go along with the flow of that which is out of the norm. Hopefully, there won’t be too big of an uproar, but hey, it wouldn’t be the first time. But sometimes, we just have to do what we have to do. 

Parenting is not a paint by the numbers or step 1,2,3 process, as much as we would like to try to make it be. Children are persons, each with their own unique personalities, make-up, learning styles, giftings, tolerances, etc. etc. etc. I had to learn very early on, that what worked for one, rarely worked for another, sometimes not even twice in a row for the same one. I didn’t think I’d ever get the hang of this parenting thing. We even had this thing called ‘life’ throw in it’s own set of wrenches on a regular basis. 

By the time the 4th one rolled on in, I actually thought I’d gotten it figured out. Then school came around and ‘life’ and it got a little harder. By the time she was a teen, I was like, OMG, the 4th teenager around, and I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I AM DOING, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME!!! For the answer, see previous paragraph, multiplied to account for age differences. OOOOOOOOOOOH and then there’s that other element NO ONE WARNED ME ABOUT. How to ‘raise adult children’. Seriously, someone should write a book on that… No, not me… I still didn’t figure it out, obviously – I failed! Over and over and over again!! But then again, maybe I could write a book on all the things you DON’T want to do. haha.

I can pretty much guarantee I’ve won a few worst parent of the year awards, and possible ‘bad parent’ opinions and judgements along the way. But, I’ve learned way too well in recent years, that parenting is so much easier when you are not the one in the middle dealing with things. When you are not the one deciding which battles need to be fought, which ones need to sit on a shelf for another time, and which ones need to be cleared from the books forever and ever; it all looks black and white and quite simple and obvious. Well it’s not.

Especially when you throw in the mix, that every generation is different. With each generation, society changes a bit, or a whole lot. When I was a teen, if you’d have told me values in the world around us would be where they are today, I never would have believed you, not this soon anyways. Technology presents it’s own issues. Morals or lack thereof their own set of standards and troubles are present more than ever. OH, if a parent even thinks about standing on the moral ground and values they grew up on, OH MY! We’re just out of touch, old fashioned, hypocritical, judgmental and the list goes on and on. 

So, we wait, for the magic decade that finally comes, when it is finally understood that the hard decisions that were unpopular and unpleasant, which spoiled everyone’s fun, are seen as protective love and who knows, maybe even wisdom. I’ve let go of battle lines, and made decisions I NEVER thought I’d go along with – realizing, hoping, and praying – while young people make their own mistakes, their own bad decisions – praying the price will not be too devastating or that they will not stray too far for return. [I should add here though, none of them are bad, miscreants, criminals etc – just on their own paths!] I never wanted to create out and out rebellious teens and make things worse. Put them on a long leash, and lovingly tug once awhile, well, that’s another story…

The hardest thing I think a parent may ever do (and do it fairly often) – is to let go, sometimes, completely. Even when you know that you know, that you know you should be hanging on for dear life – but it would only make things worse. Even when it’s hurts like hell while your heart is literally tearing in two. You love them enough to let them go, hopefully also trusting The One who will never let go, Who’s sight they are never out of, Who’s reach is never too short. 

And we go with it, whatever it is at the moment. We steer when we can steer. We cut off at the pass what we can. We remove or place as many hurdles as we possibly can at times we need to. We do our best. We succeed, and we fail. But most of all, we love them, with everything we have. And sometimes, we find ourselves doing what we never thought we would, not in a million years. No, I’m not talking about illegal or immoral things – although, it could mean loving them anyhow, if they do them – even when they know better. 

Each one is unique and fearfully and wonderfully made (and so are we), each with a path laid out just for them…

And yeah… I really did do that…