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)
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Bryan’s Gems – Who Told You You Were Naked

Here’s one of Bryan’s posts from a few days ago… I keep coming back to it. At first I didn’t know why… but God and I are working that one out…  I pray it speaks to the deep places in you as well.

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Who Told You You Were Naked

In Genesis 3, just after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and clothed themselves with fig leaves, we find this exchange between The Father and Adam:

Genesis 3:10 So he said, ” I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “ Who told you that you were naked?…”

We still fall into this trap today.  It’s important to chew through the events that transpired here one step at a time in order to see the dynamic.

  1. Adam and Eve were naked.
  2. God had fellowship with them while they were naked.
  3. Adam and Eve’s eyes are opened and they see they are naked.
  4. They attempt to hide their nakedness.
  5. Adam vocalizes to God that he and Eve are naked.
Nowhere in that set of events does God declare the nakedness of Adam and Eve.  He knew they were naked and had no problem with it.  In fact, God created them naked and called them “very good”.  It was Adam who had a problem with being naked.  Adam made it an issue when God had not.  
How often are we passive accomplices to finding something objectionable that God does not?  What did God find objectionable about what Adam and Eve had done?  Was it that they were naked or that they had given away their innocence and suddenly felt shame at being naked?  When God covered them with animal skins did He do it for His sake or for theirs?  Remember that nakedness wasn’t a problem for God, but it was for Adam.  Adam could not see himself as God did, so when he saw his naked body, he felt shame.  God knew that He was bound by His Word and could not undo what Adam had done, so He clothed them.
Who has told you that you are naked?  Who has called filthy what God has called “very good” in you?  If there is any part of you that you consider less-than, ask yourself who labeled it.  Men and women alike struggle with self-esteem issues because they have taken as gospel what another human has said about them either in word or deed.  Many people take as dogma and doctrine in Christianity many things that are not found in the Bible.  Search it out.  Find out what God has said and what He continues to say.  You may find that the person who passed down judgement never had the authority to do so…

Tears in a Bottle II – Psalm 130: 5-8

This is Michelle’s testimony today. I’ve been around for some of her journey in recent years. She’s a sweet, beautiful and generous, gentle woman of God, and the road has not been easy… And she is a genuine worshiper of Christ … Be encouraged!!

Psalm 130:5-8

I wait (tarry, hope, trust, expect, be patient, remain in anticipation) for the Lord, my soul does wait (to wait for, look for, expect, and hope). And in His word, do I hope (expectation, something yearned for and anticipated eagerly, confident expectation based on a solid certainty). My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, yes more than watchmen wait for the morning. Oh My people, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy (kindness, loving kindness, unfailing love, tenderness, faithfulness) And with Him is ABUNDANT(have in excess, greatly surpass, excel, overflowing surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, more than sufficient) REDEMPTION (deliverance, setting free). And He will redeem (liberate, release, preserve, rescue, deliver, cut loose, sever, to free, to ransom, God’s desire to free His people) you from all your iniquities (evil fault, sin, guilt, blame, moral illness). **I also like to put sickness, disease, depression, etc…It is all not from HIM. 
The correct way to hope and wait on the Lord is to STEADFASTLY expect His mercy, salvation, rescue; and all the while, not taking matters into your own hands. Waiting on Him can sometimes be long and tiresome and it is easy to want to give up or lose hope. Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick. I know, I have been there. In fact, up until just recently, I was so way past the point of waiting and I just felt a complacency. I knew I was loved and I loved Him, but I just didn’t feel it anymore. I was tired of waiting. I was done. I had been focusing on me, my health, my circumstances, my problems….of course I was weary and discouraged and wasn’t seeing Him in anything that involved me. But He was always there. He was always around. He was always speaking life over me. I was always on His mind. He paid an amazing price so that I could be set free. He had not forgotten me. I just forgot Who He is and had allowed me and my circumstances to get so big that I couldn’t see past them to see the TRUTH was always there. I knew in my head/heart He was there and occasionally would feel Him totally surround around me(especially when I fully surrendered in abandoned worship), but I just was tired. I know it is hard when you are physically going through a daily, moment by moment battle that seems to last forever!!! And for some of us, it has been years. And you just aren’t seeing those mountains move! It is hard to keep your eyes focused on Him and Him alone. I had to switch my perspective and view. When I began to look beyond myself and began to worship Him, to read His word with new “glasses”, began to Know HIM again… everything changed. Do I still have issues? Yes. Do I have a renewed hope? YES. Do I know that He has me in the palm of His hand and I am never alone? YES. Do I still believe that He is faithful to keep His promises to me? YES. Do I still believe I will walk in complete wholeness and healing? YES!!! There is a place where we can wait patiently and still have great expectation that He will redeem us, heal us, restore us, sozo us to the uttermost. And we can live in such sweet peace in the process. We can rest and abide in Him, and wait in expectation and hope knowing that He is good and faithful and we will see it come to pass. We can be that sweet fragrance of Hope to others and we can see Him move mountains in our lives and theirs. But how do we get to that place? One day at a time, moment by moment, day by day, year by year…reestablishing our intimacy with Him through constant communication, reading His word, praying and interceding for others, worshiping Him despite what we feel, and standing on His promises. These things will bring about a renewed hope and we will be taken with Him to higher levels where we can see ALL things from His perspective, and we will be changed!!! So if you are in that place where I was in, I want to encourage you, don’t give up, put your hope in the Lord. He is faithful and He will move the mountains for you. Trust me, you are not alone or forgotten. He loves you and so do I!!