Saturday, March 21, 2015

life happens

"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

More than ever I am learning to identify the lies of the enemy.  The more I am living this life walking through grief with HIM, I am learning that the enemy is truly lame and predictable.  I say this because it never fails that on the days where I wake up feeling peace, as soon as I acknowledge that, and PRAISE HIM for it, something happens..... life happens.

"Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!  Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?  Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John 8:42-47

Currently D and I are parents to a 16 old daughter who is now learning to drive.  She just finished up her sophomore year, and in two months she will be starting her junior year.  She is on track to graduate this December, and attend college in the Spring of next year.  We also have a 14 year old daughter who is set to graduate from 8th grade in just two months, who is also starting to plan on what she is wanting to do after high school.  Our 10 year old daughter is going to be starting 5th grade in the fall, and is in the hard place of not being a teen yet, but not a little girl anymore either.  She desperately wants to be just like her sisters.  Our son is 6, and is just finishing up k5, and is so full of life, fun, energy, light, JOY, and yet in the midst of all of that incredible sadness overwhelms him on almost a daily basis. 

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

D and I are in our 16th year of marriage, and 20 years of being together.  Daily we both choose to LOVE, HONOR, and CHERISH one another, because of our overwhelming desire to please HIM.  We choose because of the covenant we have with each other and the LORD.  However, that doesn't mean that we don't struggle, as marriage isn't easy, but where two hearts are willing, it's totally worth it.  I can tell you that in our 20 years of being together life has truly happened to us.  

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12

" Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

On October 13, 2014 at 4 p.m. our family learned what happens when life happens, or in our case, death happens.  In thinking about the difference of the two there is one commonality that they share, and that HE is in both of them.  It was within the first few days that HE revealed to me that HE is truly in the details of each and every single aspect of our lives.  It was then that HE began to teach me that though I SEE life as, life happens, HE knew it was going to happen, and because of HIS great love for me, HE prepared me for it, with a SOLID ROCK FOUNDATION of FAITH for me to cling to, to stand firm in, to lean in, and press deep into, so that as life happens continued, I wouldn't be swept out to a sea of sorrow, sadness, anger, despair, and hopelessness. 

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;  my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

"For who is God besides the Lord?  And who is the Rock except our God?" Psalm 18:31

Looking back on  my life, I SEE a whole series of life happens events.  In knowing that, I can also look back on my life, and remember what it has been like since May 24, 2013 where HE began to take me through the greatest breakthroughs that whenever I began to experience another event of life happens I knew that I could TRUST HIM, as HE had taken so much time to prove to me that HE is indeed TRUSTWORTHY, and HE is indeed FAITHFUL.

"For the word of the Lord is right and true;  he is faithful in all he does." 
Psalm 33:4

"Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant." 2 Samuel 7:28

HIS Daily Teachings today is working hard on my heart about how I am responding to the circumstances in my life whenever the realization hits of life happens.  HE has been telling me, and teaching me, that it is inevitable that life is surely going to happen, that its guaranteed that I will experience many more events where life happens.  HE is wanting me to know that rather than just falling completely apart each time life happens, I must cling to HIS promises that HE will work everything out for HIS good.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 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.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." Romans 8:18-30

Currently D and I are in the process of purchasing a new home for our family.  A home that is a culmination of many prayers, and desires, even unspoken prayers and desires for our family.  A week ago yesterday we began to prayerfully search for our home.  I specifically prayed last Friday morning that HE would lead us straight to the house that we would be able to call home.  It just so happened it was the first house that we stepped into that tears welled up in my eyes, and I immediately felt at home.  Looking at each of my children's faces told me that they felt the same way.  

" Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”" Luke 1:45

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8

We continued our search for a house by viewing other houses, and in every single one, we ALL went back to the first house.  With each house we viewed I prayed, "LORD if this isn't the right house, SHUT THE DOOR, and lead us to the house we are to call home."  In each house, there were things that were just deal breakers for us, and always pointed us straight back to the first home we saw.  

To be honest I was caught off guard that this house was the one we were to pursue,as it's street name is the same as the town we purchased our first home in ten years ago.  However, in knowing that HE truly does have sense of humor and knowing full well that HE is truly in the details, I asked HIM, "LORD, really?  Is it possible that we found that name too soon, it just wasn't the right one?"  Hmmm, perhaps, but more than that I would like to think that though how much easier it would have been for us to just keep waiting for HIS timing to find that particular house, and how much we could have avoided all the instances, and events where life happens threatened repeatedly to tear our family apart. Even in thinking that I can't help but to thank HIM for all of the life happens moments in our families lives, as that is how HE grew my FAITH in HIM, to prepare me to HOLD FAST, HOLD TIGHT to HIM and HIS Promises when I would experience the most horrendous moment where life truly happened.

Thankfully somewhere along the way of life happens HE began to teach me that HE is indeed SOVEREIGN.  I didn't really understand what that meant for my life for the longest time, and instead of just TRUSTING HIM, I worried, and worried, and worried that I was worrying to much, and in worrying about that, I continued to worry even more.  It was if though I would get through a life happens moment, and the next wave would hit.  

For ten years our family has been through continuous tests, trials, and storms, all of where we experienced the harsh reality of life happens.  However, in looking back on the last ten years, I can tell you that HE truly has made good out of ALL the bad that has happened to our family.  I had this very conversation with my 16 year old daughter the other day.  

"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

I know that HE is truly working hard on my heart, to change me, to mold me, to understand that HE doesn't promise that bad things won't happen, as it's inevitable as this is a broken and fallen world.  However, HE does promise that when life happens HE will be there, and HE will help me through what ever the circumstances may be. 

" I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11

I can tell you that in the first few weeks of losing Seth my FAITH was strong, as HIS presence was truly felt.  However, as time passed by, and phone calls became less and less, and life continued on, as the whole world failed to even miss that Seth was gone, my anger began to rise.  Around the 5th month of mourning and grieving Seth, I was in a deep pit of anger, despair, sorrow, sadness, pain, anguish, and yes depression.  I was most angry at the fact that depression was trying to take up residence within me. 

Every morning I would wake up and beg HIM to make it so that life happens wouldn't kick my butt anymore.  So naturally when life happens reared its ugly face, I grew angrier at HIM, and though I loved HIM, and trusted HIM with so much, I was beyond devastated that HE could have possibly done this to me, to my family, after all weren't we doing exactly what HE wanted us to do in raising our precious five?

What do you do when you are so angry with HIM that you can't even SEE straight?  What happens when you can't even lift your head to SEE HIS light?  What happens when the bitterness, the ugliness, and the animosity of ALL things good in the world happening to others, is thrown in your face, and all you can SEE is another wave coming at you?  What happens when your so far out into the deep ocean of despair that you know that if you let go of your FAITH in HIM, you will surely drown?  What happens when you have LIFE SPEAKING people that HE has so lovingly placed in your life speak HIS truth to you, and all you want to do is scream, "YOU HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA!!!!  YOU have NO idea how badly I want what you are saying for my life!!!  You have NO idea how badly I want to be DONE with this!!! Over and over so many wonderful soul-sisters and brothers spoke HIS truth to me, and over and over my rage grew a little stronger each time, and yet even in my anger, I still cried out to HIM "LORD please I beg of you to take this from me, I beg you to rescue me!!!!"

This was my life, until two weeks ago, as two weeks ago, I made the choice that I was NO longer going to live my life in sorrow, rather I was choosing to live my life in HIS light, full of HIS JOY, where I would be overwhelmed and soaked in HIS amazing grace, and endless peace.  It was then that I felt HIM speak to my heart that I needed to admit to HIM how angry I was at HIM for what HE had allowed to happen.  I needed to admit that I was devastated by HIS plans of life happens to be my reality once again.  I needed to admit that I was so full of bitterness, and hatred towards HIM, and everyone around me.  It was only then that I had to face the harsh reality that once again I was living through another event, the most tragic event of life happens that I have ever known.  

"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

I wish I could say that I was able to learn this straight away, however since I have already established in previous posts that I am indeed a slooooooow learner, it took some time.  It was because of HE amazing LOVE for me, HIS perfect LOVE for me, that HE knew just how to teach me all about HIS unconditional LOVE for me, and no matter how angry I was at HIM, no matter how hard I tried to push HIM away, HE was always going to be there.  HE taught me this through my a series of life happens events with my 10 year old daughter.

My breakthrough came on a particularly hard day of arguing, and total heartache in our relationship as Mama and Daughter.  I was truly ready to pull my hair out, as WHY oh WHY couldn't she SEE that NO matter what she does, she will NEVER lose me, I will NEVER turn my back on her, as I love her so fiercely and deeply, as HE has taught me that LOVE, because that is HOW HE LOVES me............ it was in that moment that the light bulb came on and HIS LIGHT began to SHINE BRIGHTER than the SUN, that is exactly what HE is wanting me to know about HIS PERFECT LOVE for me.  

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

" Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

It was then that HE spoke straight to my heart, that ALL of my anger, HE could handle it, that even though I was falling apart from continuous events of life happens, HE is SOVEREIGN, and that means NOTHING, NOT one thing EVER catches HIM off guard.  HE was wanting me to know that HE knew how angry I was going to be at HIM, LONG before I even knew.  It was then that I learned that NOTHING I could EVER say or do would EVER drive HIM away from me, or take away HIS PERFECT LOVE from me.  It was then that HE taught me to let go of my FEAR of HIM leaving me.  HE taught me that HIS PERFECT LOVE will cast out FEAR!

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

For the past two weeks HE has been teaching me how I can forgive HIM, how I can SEE that HE is indeed good, how HE is truly in the details of each and every single aspect of my life, and my families lives.  HE has been reminding me of this by leading me straight to HIS word, to meditate on, to soak in, to lean in, to press in, to TRUST in, to BELIEVE in ALL because of HIS PERFECT LOVE for me.  

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace" Ephesians 1:7

I can honestly tell you that I have indeed forgiven HIM, and am choosing DAILY to TRUST HIM, as I know as HE has proven to me time and again, that HE is indeed TRUSTWORTHY, and HE is FAITHFUL!  In knowing this HE is building me strong through HIS promises that are teaching me of HIS PERFECT LOVE so that when life happens I will know that HE is truly hiding me under the shelter of HIS wings, and HE will FIGHT my EVERY battle, and because of that I will have NOTHING to fear.  

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:4
This I know, and understand is HIS purpose, HIS plan for my life.  To build me STRONG, in HIM, and with HIM, HE will lead me through a series of life's events where life happens, and I will NOT waiver nor will I shrink back in my FAITH and TRUST in HIM.  This I know and understand is the very reason WHY HE has prepared in the exact way that HE has, as HE knows my potential, and has taught me that so does the enemy, and that is when the choice is laid before me each and every single day of my life that I am given by HIM. 

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. " Psalm 40:2

"I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself." Psalm 89:2

" But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved." Hebrew 10:39

HE is wanting me to know that the choice is this, when life happens, I can either give into the enemy, the evil, and live oppressed, depressed or I can cling to my FAITH in HIM, and TRUST that HE has me, and with HIM, and through HIM, HE will use me to overcome evil with HIS good.  It is NO coincidence to me that the message at church has been Whats GOD's mission?  To overcome evil with GOOD.......  

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

"I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one." 1 John 2:14

Today my Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, it is my fervent prayer that you will come to know and experience HIS PERFECT LOVE for each and everyone of you.  It is my prayer that even in the events of life happens, you will know that HE is indeed SOVEREIGN, and even if you are angry at HIM, HE already knows it, and is waiting for you to confess, so HE can show you HIS goodness in all of it.   My dear friends, I pray that you will be able to read my testimony of HIS FAITHFULNESS in how HE REDEEMED me by HIS PERFECT LOVE, and know that HE wants to do the same thing for you.

" The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Always in love and prayers, with much compassion, and grace,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

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