Sunday, August 16, 2015

not my journey

This journey that I have been on with HIM.... has been one where I have been high on the mountain, and led back down into the valleys, the rivers, and streams, that have led me to the deepest ocean I have ever been in.  This ocean that I have come to know as my humble place, the place where HE reaches into the deepest part of me.  

Deep calls unto the deep..... I read that last week, a week that was FULL of darkness.  A week that leveled me once again, yet because of WHO HE is in me, HE has lifted me up and out of the pit of despair, and poured HIS unfailing LOVE, amazing GRACE, and perfect PEACE into me, to show me, to lead me, to guide me with HIS SOVEREIGN hand that NOT only am I going to survive this unthinkable..... unimaginable..... unfathomable....loss of my precious son Seth, I, Heather HIS PRINCESS WARRIOR, BELOVED, CHOSEN, BEAUTIFUL in HIS EYES, HIS ROYAL TREASURE, HIS LIGHT SHINER, am going to conquer with HIM.  

"Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;all your waves and breakers
  have swept over me." Psalm 42:7
Deep calls unto the deep...... each and every single morning when I seek HIM, I find HIM, deep in the deepest part of me, speaking straight into my heart, HIS truth, HIS promises, HIS love for me.  HIS purpose, HIS plan, HIS calling for my life.  HIS mission has become my mission, and that mission is to know HIM even more than I already do.  To surrender fully to HIM, so that HE will renew, refine, transform, and redefine WHO I am in the world's eyes, because of WHOSE I am and this is HIS.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

Deep calls unto the deep..... and even though HE pours HIS promises and truth into me every day, I forget..... I forget that there is another path that is out there, one that is full of anxiety, anger, despair, jealousy, bitterness, and comparison.  A path that runs almost identical to the ONE that HE has CHOSEN specifically for me.  I know this because this past week, has been another dark week in my journey.  One of which that has leveled me, and rocked me to my core  Made me question so much of HIS promises, and seek HIM even more that I have already done.  A path that I had accepted as part of my journey....... that is until...... HIS truth was revealed to me that this subtle movement, shift in my path, has actually been a premeditated plan to trap me set forth by my enemy.  HE let me know that I didn't SEE this trap set before me, because I have been doing the best that I can in dealing with the overwhelming feelings of loss in this horrendously hard journey of walking through grief.

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

What started out as HIS message coming to me LOUD and what should have been clearly received yesterday, HE made sure that I would HEAR HIM LOUD and clear this morning at 3 a.m.   HIS message to me is simply this..... STOP...... STOP looking at everyone else's life, as their lives are NOT my journey.  Now I'll be honest when I first heard HIS message I was angry, bitter, and upset that it was so insensitive.  

For you to understand what I am saying, I should take you back into my day yesterday, and well really into what last week looked like for me.  Everywhere I went I was bombarded by sweet, adorable, precious, little ones.  Little one's who had mannerisms much like my sweet Sethie.  Whose hair might have looked like his, who said, "Mama" just as he did, who pointed their finger and said "look at that, what's that?"  to "look at me!!!"  I can tell you the more I encountered the harder I fell into the sorrow that was "trying" to overtake me.  I couldn't escape,and yesterday...... well between social media, and real life, in person encounters I had reached my breaking point.

D found me laying in our bed yesterday afternoon sobbing.  Concerned as to what had upset me so much, he asked me what was wrong.  I spilled out all of the bitterness, anger, jealously, and hatred I had towards anyone and everyone WHO was experiencing what we should have been.... could have been.... might have been..... had NOT our worst nightmare come true...... had our precious son Seth NOT been taken, and if only......... Sobbing, in agony of having to be happy for others seemed such a cruel punishment for my broken, shattered Mama heart.

" But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic." James 3:14-15

D looked right at me, and spoke the harshest TRUTH..... HIS TRUTH..... he said, "this is WHY you are in counseling.  Let your counselor help you deal with YOUR memories of Seth that wreck you, DON'T look at someone else's life and compare.  Don't let their lives become YOUR journey.   STOP focusing on what is NOT your journey."   To which I responded with even more tears, and feelings of nonacceptance to grieve the loss of our precious son.  I was angry with D, being another person who just didn't understand..... WHY LORD, WHY doesn't anyone understand how hard I am trying to accept and embrace this life, but these reminders.... these glimpses....... are breaking me even more... this world is cruel, harsh, and I hate it.... please JESUS please come back and rescue me from all of this suffering.  When LORD when will my time of suffering be over??????

"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." Psalm 119:50

"Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law" Psalm 119:153

I went to bed last night feeling so incredibly defeated, feeling as if though I weighed a thousand pounds, treading water in this ocean of pain, sorrow, sadness, and anger.... the ocean that I dreaded. Tears fell silently as I prayed, LORD JESUS though I don't understand YOUR plan, I TRUST YOU LORD, please help me, please relieve this pain from my aching, shattered heart.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

After HIS loving message awakening the deepest part of me this morning, I now know that HE was preparing my heart to hear HIS next message to me as to what the next steps of my journey are to be. HE made sure that my heart was ready to hear that hard work that would be needed to be done on my part.  Through a guest speaker at our church today, HE let me know that in my life, this path, HIS plan, my journey is going to be filled with events that I am NOT going to be able to control.  However, HE is going to give me the tools, and resources so that I will be able to control my response to the events that are designed by HIM to build me even stronger, but that my enemy is hoping will destroy me.

" However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9

The more I seek HIM, HIS will, HIS way, HIS plan for my life I know HE is building me stronger.  The more I soak in, meditate on, and breathe in HIS word, the more I am learning WHO I am, because I am understanding WHO HE is.  The harder I press in, lean into HIM, the more I am learning what HIS heart looks like, how HE loves, how HE helps me in my times of need, and just how amazing HIS grace truly is.  

"For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of theLord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel." Ezra 7:10

I can tell you that I only knew HIM a fraction of what I know HIM now before I lost my son.  Losing Seth has broken me, shattered my heart into a billion little pieces... and slowly but surely HE is restoring, repairing, renewing my heart.  HE is filling me with HIS promise that even though I will always have a hole in my heart in the shape of Seth, HE will expand and grow my heart to hold even more love than I could possibly imagine.  I know this to be true, as HE has been preparing my heart to love, care for, and train up HIS daughter Joy Abigail.  My daughter in this world.........another precious child to call mine.  

"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court." Psalm 127:3-5

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him" 1 Samuel 1:27

I am overwhelmed by HIS amazing, unfailing, relentless LOVE for me.  I am astonished by HIS plans for my life, and the path that HE is taking me on.  I am thankful to know and SEE that someone else's life is NOT my journey.   I say that because I really love knowing, and learning with each time I seek HIM just how and WHY HE created me the way HE did.  I am thankful for HIM leading me straight to a wonderful Christian counselor who is helping me learn to cope with, and honor myself and HIM in my grief.  I am thankful for a diagnosis of PTSD as I know it's NOT a life sentence, but rather a challenge to be proactive, as even though I couldn't avoid the event that happened in my life to lead me there, I can CHOOSE to FIGHT, with ALL that I am as HE WHO IS IN ME IS FAR GREATER THAN he who is in this world.  I am thankful that even when I am too weary to walk, to hold my head up, HE is there.  HE is helping me every single step of the way.  HE is setting me back on HIS path HE has CHOSEN specifically for my life, and through each new step I am taking HE is sharpening my mind, to know to SEE ALL that HE is doing, has done, and will continue to do in my life.

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Gone are my needs for acceptance of this world.  For people to fill me with HOPE, with peace, with happiness, as with each new step I am taking in FAITH with HIM I am learning even more WHO I am because HE is instilling me a GREAT CONFIDENCE of WHOSE I am.  I am thankful to know that when the sorrow comes, as it will, as I have been called to walk a horrendously hard journey.  I have had an enormous calling placed on my life to BE HIS FAITHFUL FOLLOWER, HIS MESSENGER OF HOPE, HIS AMBASSADOR, even when it hurts like hell.  I am thankful to know that even on the days where sorrow is ALL I know and can SEE, HE promises to SHINE HIS light BRIGHT for me to SEE in the darkness, so I will know that even though I "feel" as if though I am ALONE, HIS promises to me are TRUE, and that is that HE WILL NEVER leave me, nor will HE EVER forsake me.  

" For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Romans 9:17

I am so incredibly grateful to know, declare, and SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS that HE is MINE, HE is my LORD and SAVIOR, HE IS FAITHFUL, HE IS TRUSTWORTHY, HE IS my PEACE and calm in the waves of life, and with HIM, I CAN, and will walk this journey, as with HIM I can do ANYTHING.  I am thankful to know that NOTHING that happens to me, no matter what my life's circumstances may bring to me, NOTHING can SHAKE me, NOTHING can take me from HIM.... FOREVER, ETERNALLY.... words that I cling to..... words that I can't wait to HEAR and SEE spoken from HIS loving lips when I meet HIM face to face.

"I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, oh my dear friends,, it is my fervent prayer that if you too are suffering that you will open your heart to HIM and allow HIM to speak HIS truth into your heart that you are NOT alone.  I pray that if you are wondering how or WHY you are where you are right now, I pray that you will have the courage to seek HIM, and that HE will show you where to walk, how to walk, as HE is pouring HIS strength, and HIS peace into you, and leading you with HIS amazing grace.  I pray that if you are feeling as if no one understands how hard your life has been, what you have been through, and what your struggles are, and have been, I pray that you will open your heart to HIM, and let HIS perfect peace flood your weary, aching heart.  I pray that you will come to know HIM, and SEE others a blessed, and when you do, you will SEE how you too are blessed, and that you will seek HIM and allow HIM to show you how someone else's life, though they may have what you want isn't your journey.  I pray that you will let go of bitterness, angry, and comparison, so that HE will show you what your own version of not my journey looks like.

Always with much love, grace, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Monday, August 3, 2015

"The Highchair"

Saturday night I went to bed, soaked in tears, and drenched in sorrow.  Dread was all I could think about when it came to getting up on Sunday morning to go to church.  Dread as I didn't want to cry in front of anyone, I didn't want to feel this pain anymore and I most certainly didn't want to hear any more advice, or even talk about how I am doing.  I went to bed, pulled the covers up over my head, and hid with every intention of remaining that way for well..... the rest of my life really.....

As soon as I opened my eyes Sunday morning however, HIS message to me came in loud and clear.  Courage Dear Heart.  HE was letting me know that HE would be supplying me with ALL the strength and courage I was needing to LIVE through my day, and that all I had to do was TRUST HIM.  Well when your so deeply wounded that is far easier said than done.  However, since HE has proven HIMSELF to be TRUSTWORTHY more times than I can count, I knew that HE had some great waiting for me.  

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

" And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7

"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does." Psalm 145:13

Immediately I began Desperately Seeking JESUS, thirsting for the entire toolbox not just Sunday's tools, but ALL of my days tools, as I am so desperate to NOT have to live with, or in this pain anymore.  However, since HE knows me so well, HE stopped me in my tracks and let me know that the tools I would be receiving would only be for today, and that the rest would come on their appointed days.  Feeling frustrated, but also curious, I quickly got ready, and "tried" my best to prepare myself as to what it was that HE was going to teach me.  

"Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them." Proverbs 4:5

Walking into the Sanctuary at church there was a table on the stage, and NOTHING could have prepared me for what I was about to hear...... nothing short of HIS courage and strength that HE continued to pour into me.   Throughout the message my Pastor spoke, my heart began beating faster, and more alive that it had been in months.  My mind was being sharpened, and my rebellious spirit was being challenged.  I was coming alive, from the inside out.  

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

I left church knowing that the message I had just heard was a life changing message, ONE of which I would NEVER forget.  I have four other messages heard from different Pastors that were life changing, game changers that have led me on the most amazing journey of TRUSTING and knowing HIM, HIS ways, and building, and creating a deep desire within me to be much more like HIM, and so much less about me. 

Yesterday's message however, was like air for me, so needed.  It was THE MESSAGE HE had been preparing my heart to hear.  NOT only to hear, but to meditate on, soak in, and press deep into, so that I would be transformed in my thinking so that I could BE WHO HE has always intended me to BE.  Yesterday as I looked at the table, HE took me through the timeline that it took me to go from one chair to the next.

Chair 1 ~ NOT FOLLOWING JESUS ~ In late summer of 2002 I was at the end of my rope in my marriage, my mothering, and living life.  Thoughts of suicide consumed me, but fear of scarring my children drove me even further into the pit of despair.  I was desperate for answers as to WHY I was still here, and WHY all the pain in my heart... none of it made any sense.  Until one Sunday morning, the day before D and I were going to file for a divorce together, as we didn't know what to do, or how to do anything separately, and all we had was debt, and two sweet precious little girls.  I will NEVER forget that Sunday the Sunday where JESUS made HIS presence known in my life, and my life would NEVER be the same.  Walking into the Lakeside Auditorium at Willow Creek Community Church, the life changing, game changer MESSAGE came in LOUD and CLEAR. "Lay your sorrows at JESUS' feet and HE will take them from you."  This led to a massive ugly cry from both D and I as we wept, and sobbed as neither one of us had EVER experienced anything like this before.

We went home that day with our precious two girls, and promised ourselves, each other, them and JESUS that we would give it our all to work through everything and if at the end of it, we couldn't make it work, then at least we could honestly say that we tried.  For the next nine months HE began a good work deep within each of us, and I arrogantly "thought" oh we're all better now, so why not have a baby?  After all, didn't we deserve some happiness? On February 14, 2003 I gifted D a positive pregnancy test.  When he opened his gift and saw the test, a sadness was seen throughout his face, and what I now know as anguish filled his eyes.  Heartbroken, I prayed that the LORD would soften his heart and show D was a blessing this was for us.  

Our pregnancy would only last a little past 10 weeks, where we would receive the devastating news that our precious little one was no longer with us.  Devastated I sobbed, I cried, I begged,I pleaded, as D sat there with relief washing over him.  I was angry, bitter, and felt so incredibly alone.  Then in May of 2003 Randy Travis sang his song Baptism at Willow, and something deep within me came alive.  A desire, a desire to know, to love, to be like JESUS. So on June 22, 2003 my 25th Birthday D and I gave our lives to CHRIST and were baptized with almost 800 other people in Willow Creek's Lake.  A day of which I WILL NEVER forget as when my life truly began.

I sat in chair 1 for 9 months before HE prepared my heart to take the journey, the next step to Chair 2.

Chair 2 ~ NEW BELIEVER, or as I we were called back then Baby Christians.  Just learning to walk, eager, and willing to DO whatever, whenever, we jumped into serving, loving and being a part of a community of fellow CHRIST FOLLOWERS.  D and I were on fire.  We were getting out of debt through the blessing of Willow Creek, and were expecting our 3rd daughter.  Life was good, and we were determined to make it great!  Shortly after our 3rd daughter was born, people began to tell D and I how we were missing out on the benefits of being home owners.  In forgetting to be LIKE HIM, we abandon all of which HE was doing and working within us, and set out to achieve the American Dream.  We prayed diligently...... however, we prayed ONLY for what we wanted, we pushed, we begged, we pleaded for HIM to please let us have what we wanted.  

Arrogantly when the door opened to us purchasing our "dream home" we jumped at the chance and were so easily and quickly led into one of the darkest times of our marriage and our families life.  A journey that would last 10 years before I would finally understand, grow, and know WHO HE is would lead to me understanding WHOSE I am, and WHO I was created to be.

I sat in chair 2 for 10 years before HE prepared my heart to take the journey, the next step to Chair 3.

Chair 3 ~ Mature Believer, I was ON FIRE.  My heart, my desire to know HIM, ALL of HIM, to be JUST like HIM blew up over night.  I began making time every single morning dedicated to HIM to teach, lead, and guide me on this journey towards wholeness.  I began speaking HIS word, reading HIS word, and LIVING HIS word.  HIS word was all consuming in my heart, soul, and mind.  I couldn't get enough of HIS word, I was thirsty, hungry, and inhaled as much as I could each and every day.  Thus this is when the blog was born.  I now know the significance of sitting in Chair 3 was to prepare me for the hardest part of my journey, the deepest most agonizingly painful loss I had ever experienced in my entire life.  I couldn't have possibly known that moving to Chair 3 and allowing myself to become teachable to take a seat at the table in Chair 4 would mean that I would suffer the unimaginable, unfathomable, unthinkable...... that it would mean I would have to give HIM back one of HIS precious children gifted to me, I would have to say goodbye forever in this lifetime to my precious son Seth. That HE would take me on a journey where I would be leveled, crushed, and shattered, and slowly because HE is SOOOO GOOD, HE would rebuild me, renew me, refine me, and restore me to BE WHO HE has always intended for me to be.  I now know and understand that this journey has always been about HIM, and NOT so much about me, and HIS mission for this world, and my part in HIS mission as HIS FAITHFUL FOLLOWER.

I sat in chair 3 for 3 years before HE prepared my heart to take the journey, the next step to Chair 4.

Chair 4 ~ Leadership, is a scary, but exciting adventure.  A seed of thought planted in my heart two years ago, HE has been preparing my heart for this part of my journey with HIM.  Preparing me in ways that keep me in total and constant awe as to how I could live through, survive, and rebuild after such a massive loss.  How I could still be HIS light, and HIS ambassador as HIS living vessel WHOM HE would build strong to SPEAK, THINK, ACT, and LIVE out HIS word to be one of HIS bus drivers to show this world that even though bad things happen, our pasts do NOT define WHO HE IS, or WHOSE we are.  This journey has taught me that I am HIS, I am chosen, I am loved, I am safe, I have a place, and because of that, a deeply immense,intense desire has been created deep within me to BE more and more like HIM, and so much less and less about me.  This journey has led me to where I am now, and that is giving up my ways, my life my dreams, my hopes, my plans, to seek and know what HIS ways, HIS plans are for my life. As that is where my dreams will come true, as HE is the creator of my dreams. HE is where my HOPE is found, and I have made it this far only because I have remained anchored in HIS hope.  

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19

" You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

So, while I am excited to be moving into Chair 4, HE opened my heart, ears, and mind to another chair that is away from the table, and that is "The Highchair."  Currently "The Highchair" in my life is my grief.  HE is letting me know that I allow myself to be led away from the table when my grief becomes all consuming, and all of my thoughts, words, and actions become more about me, and less about HIM.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6

To be honest, this frustrates me as aren't I the one who is grieving?  Am I NOT the one who lost her precious little son?  Am I NOT Sethie's Mama?  Am I NOT the one who found my sweet precious little one lifeless in his bed?  Am I NOT the one dealing with the aftermath of the massive trauma our family endured that day, and for the past almost ten months?  Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this my life?  Am I NOT the one who is hurting, and so unbearably, unbelievably heartbroken? Am I NOT the one who receives so much "helpful" advice on a daily basis?  Am I NOT the one who deals with people being offended by the way I am grieving, and whom question and continually say they are worried that I am grieving too hard?  Am I NOT the one who deals with insensitive people whom don't even realize how painful that is for me? Am I NOT the one who is having to forgive people for not knowing what they are doing, and forgiving them so I can move forward, and not live in bitterness, anger, and rage?  Am I NOT the one WHO is being transformed, and renewed, in this exhausting journey of walking through grief ? Am I NOT that one?

HE is letting me know that the answer to ALL of that is YES, YES I am that one, however in it, through it all I must remember WHO HE is, and remember that ALL of this pain, sorrow, anguish, and tears serve a purpose, HIS purpose to teach me how to be HIS light, to show other's that even when it hurts, HE is still good.  To show them that even when the unthinkable happens HE is still good.  HE is wanting me to know that HE knows how badly I am hurting, and TRUST HIM that HE is with me always.  HE is wanting me to TRUST HIM with and in my pain, that HE has a plan, and it is amazing.  HE is telling me that HIS plan for my life doesn't include me staying in the grief forever, but rather to press through, work through, accept and embrace, cope with the pain, so that HE can expand and stretch my heart so that I will be able to BE WHO HE has always intended for me to be. 

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

" And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

This morning HE is letting me know that the ONLY way I can ensure that I will stay out of "The Highchair" is by keeping my eyes, ears, heart, and mind focused solely on HIM.  HE is telling me that this means I must choose to be led by HIS HOLY SPIRIT and NOT by the flesh.  HE is reminding that in choosing to be led by the flesh that is when I am led straight back into the pit of despair, and locked in my own prison with a key.  HE is telling me that in order to remain in my chair at HIS table, I must choose to be led by HIS spirit, and not by my flesh.  HE is wanting me to know that HE hasn't brought me this far to make my life all about me, but rather to sharpen my mind, and renew my spirit to make my life, to surrender my life to BE ALL about HIM.  

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry," James 1:19

"The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18

Looking back over the many years of my life with HIM, I can SEE through HIS vision where I have allowed, and how I have allowed myself to be placed in "The Highchair."  I can SEE why its taken me so long in this journey with HIM to get to where I am now.  I can SEE how and why I struggled for so long with PTSD the first time around.  I can SEE how I felt defeated the other day when the same diagnosis was placed upon me as I could remember how long it took me to get through that same diagnosis almost eleven years ago.  Ten years of heartache, pain, and struggle was daunting to me, and to have to go through that again, seemed impossible, and unbelievably unbearable.  However because HE is WHO HE says HE is, and I know that HE has been, is, and will continue to work deep within me.  I know that through HIM, and with HIM I am strong, I am much stronger than I was ALL those years ago.  I know that my mind is much sharper in being able to identify what is from HIM, and what is not.  Through soaking in, meditating on, and breathing in HIS word daily, HE is preparing me, preparing the way in to which I am to walk, to think, to breathe, to speak to act.  HIS way for me to LIVE, truly LIVE my life with HIS True Confidence, as I am walking in HIS True Freedom as I know and TRUST HIS word to be TRUE.  I know and understand as HE has proven to me time and again that HIS word is TRUTH!  I am no longer living in a prison without a key.  I am recovering so much faster from spin outs, and setbacks than I ever have before. 

" I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8

"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff  that the wind blows away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction." Psalm 1

Therefore I must choose to remember that the greatest way I can be led by HIS HOLY SPIRIT is to T.H.I.N.K. before I speak.  I must ask myself is it true, honest, inspiring, necessary, or kind?  I must choose to speak HIS words, words that breathe life, and NOT death.  I must choose to surrender ALL of me so that I will become more like HIM.  I know that through my surrender that is how HE will renew and sharpen my mind, and will avoid that trap that my enemy has set in placing me right back into "The Highchair."  

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, it is my fervent prayer that each time, each day you seek HIM, and HIS will and surrender yourself to HIM, that you will know that HE is giving you the tools that you need just for today.  I pray that you will know that with each new tool you are given for your own toolbox, that you will know that is HIM preparing you to move to the next chair.  I pray today that if you too are hurting, instead of lashing out in anger, despair, and anxiety, I pray you will give it all to HIM.  HE knows you are hurting, HE is holding you, HE wants to take it from you, and pour HIS living water into your aching and open wounds.  HE wants to bind them up and heal you, so that you too can walk with HIS TRUE CONFIDENCE, as you too will be living in HIS TRUE FREEDOM.   I pray today that you will choose to live in HIS TRUE FREEDOM, and choose to forgo "The Highchair" your enemy has set to trap you.  

" You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

always in love, support, understanding, grace, and compassion,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

desperately seeking JESUS

Today...... my soul is downcast....... and my spirit is oh so crushed.  Today the heaviness the weight, the burden, the walk, the steps...... its all too much.  Today I have spent over half of it laying in my bed, drenched.... soaked..... drowning in tears of anguish and sorrow.  Tears from not only losing my sweet Sethie, but also from my life in general.  Tears of questions of why was I created this way, why is this my story?  How am I ever going to survive this?  Do I really hear from HIM?  Am I really walking each day with HIM, or is this just me desperately seeking JESUS???

There it is right there...... the soul crushing, heart wrenching truth, do I really hear HIM, do I really TRUST HIM, is HIS word really planted, and rooted deeply and firmly in my heart? Questions that strike my every nerve, and make me cringe for even thinking.... let alone asking.... speaking out loud, or writing in my journal..... yet they are there, tormenting me to tears.... and it makes me even more determined to seek HIS truth.  It leaves me needing more than ever to be desperately seeking JESUS.

This morning I poured my heart and soul out to HIM.  ALL the ugliness, bitterness, rage, tears, you name it, I spilled it out into my journal, my Psalms to HIM.  As my thoughts spilled out of my mind, I couldn't hardly keep up with all that I was thinking and writing, I was overwhelmed, and when I finished, I sat, with tears streaming down my face..... waiting...... as this was another soul crushing moment where all I knew to do was to dig deep and begin desperately seeking JESUS.

"As the deer pants for streams of water,so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, or the living God.When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,my Savior and my God.  My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan,the heights of Hermon—from Mount izar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock,“Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God" Psalm 42

I reached for my daily devotional, and felt HIM speak to my heart..... 

Write this down..... I know how alone you feel in all of this, but hold fast to MY word, dig deep into MY word, and let it wash away any of the lies the enemy has told you.  I am here with you, I am holding you, I am with you always.  I will NEVER nor have I EVER left you.  I am with you....

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

"No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5

"May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us" 1 Kings 8:57

"As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord." Isaiah 59:21

I know how heartbroken you are, I know just how downcast your soul is, and how crushed your spirit is.  Trust ME, I have a plan, and it's good, when it's all too much come to me and find rest.  Let me carry this burden for you, I will give you rest, seek ME, and you will find ME.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" Psalm 34:18

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

"“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" Matthew 11:28

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

I know how traumatized you are by all of this.  This is why I have opened the door for you to receive help in coping with all of this.  Help to SEE all that I am doing, have done, and will continue to do in you and through you.  I promise that even on the days where you don't feel it, I'm there pouring MY love into you, as you Heather, are MY beloved, you are MY treasure.

"Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice." Proverbs 13:10

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

" Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." Deuteronomy 7:6

I should tell you that I didn't hear all of that this morning, I only heard a portion of it, the rest of it came while writing today's blog.  Hearing HIM speak to my heart even more, I am taken aback.  HIS treasure..... me, Heather, middle child born into a family of three children, more commonly known, or well at least to me as the forgotten one.  Later in life, the lonely one, the sad one, the serious one, the unfun one, the unplayful one, the uninvitied one, the unaccepted one...... so many one's and HE'S pouring HIS truth into me that I am HIS treasure.  The Treasured One.

"But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me" Isaiah 49:14-16

I can't even begin to process that..... yet HIS word is sinking deep into my heart, TRUST it, BELIEVE it, KNOW it, you, Heather are MY Treasure.   Hearing this is so overwhelming to me, as I have just spent my first session, yesterday in therapy.  I came out with a diagnosis familiar to me, as I have already walked a previous journey with that same diagnosis.  This time however it is daunting to me. As I know just how hard, and how long it took to overcome the heartache, sadness, sorrow, pain, and anguish from my past, and that wasn't even a fraction as hard as this journey of walking through grief has been.  Though I am extremely grateful, I deeply saddened and disheartened in knowing just how badly I am wounded, there's a word for it even..... PTSD.  

Though I know through reading that it's sadly not at all uncommon for bereaved parents to suffer from this, after all our worst nightmares have come true, and we have lived through the unimaginable, unthinkable, unfathomable....  could write about the surrealness of it forever.  I prayed fervently that this would NOT happen to me, and it has left me desperately seeking JESUS to please SAVE me from that level of heartache and pain..... and yet here I am.  Facing it, head on, work boots on ready to do the work..... well at least I was... until...... 

So I have this problem within me, and well that is I am human, filled with human emotions and well herein lies the problem for me, because of these human emotions, I have these days of what I call spin outs.  Today is most definitely a spin out day.  A day that actually began late last night, as words were spoken that only discouraged me, and made me feel even further from the finish line...... words that made me question whether or not what I feel, think, say and do really are HIS truth for my life. Words leaving me so desperately seeking JESUS for relief, rest, and refuge from this massive, unimaginable, soul crushing storm.

Knowing, trusting, and living out HIS truth has been my mission my goal per say.  I have poured so much time energy and effort into speaking, breathing, and living HIS word in my life, and deep into my heart.  I have spent so many hours meditating on HIS word, soaking in it, so that it would plant, and root deeply and firmly into my heart. I have spent so much time in prayer desperately seeking JESUS to teach, lead, and guide me so that I would be able to put on HIS armor to fight the good fight, of which would bring ALL praise, honor, and glory to HIS name.  I have spent so much time living in the seriousness of my journey, in dedicating myself to doing the hard work, that I have forgotten that HE wants me to SEE the JOY in each day as well.

My mission has been to live out HIS mission in hopes that the harder I worked to understand to know, that my heart would TRUST and know that HE is indeed WHO HE says HE is, that somehow... someway.... this pain would lessen..... sooner..... when the reality HIS truth is, that there is NO timeline........... ugh......... which leaves me desperately seeking JESUS for a count down of how many more nights I will have to endure this heartache, and soul crushing pain.  How many more days of sadness, anguish, and tears will be upon me..... come on JESUS, how many???  Seeking HIM, desperately seeking JESUS for ALL of my life's answers.  Not anyone else's just well I am a selfish human, and it's my pain.... and well grief is all consuming..... 

I wish so badly that I could write that HE has indeed answered my questions...... alas HE has not..... but that doesn't mean that I won't ever stop desperately seeking JESUS as I know each time I do, I find HIM even further into my FAITH than I did before.  Which each venture into the unknown, and TRUSTING HIM, HE is building me stronger, making me brave, and building the tenacity in me to teach others how to live their own lives desperately seeking JESUS.  

I know there is a purpose, HIS true purpose for my pain. I know that I am going to be a bus driver someday, when HE equips me with ALL the tools I am going to need. I know HE has amazing plans for my life, and I know that even on the days where my soul is downcast, and my spirit is crushed, and I can't even hold my head up..... I know, I TRUST HIS word that HE is there, and when I'm ready HIS anchor will lead me straight back into HIS arms, where HE will set me firmly on my feet, works boots on, ready to work, ready to run..... until then, I seek and find solace, comfort and rest in HIM.

My Dear Brothers and Sister in CHRIST JESUS, in CHRIST alone my hope is found, and I pray that is the same for you today.  In CHRIST ALONE is where my comfort and peace live, and I pray this is the same for you today.  In CHRIST ALONE my TRUST is found, and I pray this is the same for you today.  In CHRIST ALONE I know TRUE FREEDOM awaits from ALL of this sorrow, sadness, anguish, and pain, and I pray that is the same for you today.  In all of your life's circumstances I pray that you will have the courage to be desperately seeking JESUS.

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5

In HIS loving embrace,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,