I have sure been struggling for the last 2 years in my faith in God. my trust. my ability to hope. I am a very black and white person - grey is hard for me. in or out - up or down - you get my picture. and can probably see why being a good mom takes so much work for me! ha ha!
So many people approach me and assume that I see God as a good and wonderful healer and great God b/c of how he has healed kyle. Well I have really been wrestling with that idea b/c in my black and white brain - if god is good b/c he healed kyle ... then who is God to my dear friend that desperately misses her son with each breath!
now I know in my gut - thank you mom and dad for teaching me and rooting this deep in me - I know in my gut that God is good. even in all the hurt and disappointment I walked through I could not walk away from him. I wanted to many times but could not. B/c I know that God is true and Good and right. I just needed that something to base this on - and it could not be about my circumstances.
it think until this last trial it has been. so i actually have begun to see this destruction of my faith as a godsend - purposeful. destruction of the God i had built in my head and an introduction to who he really is.
so here we are at "now". 3 weeks ago or so. I was at a conference (220 to be exact!!) and I as i worshiped and sang i could only focus on grief. all the hurt in the world - how could it be - hurt and worry over kyle - hurt over marriages failing - and the list goes on..... I could not get around it - music evokes so much emotion in us and this was a good way to measure my worship - prayer life and all - when the music was a song about hurt and hope I would just cry such tear of hope and deep sorrow. when a song was proclaiming praise - i felt disinterested - unable to feel anything. so I began to ask God - "why are you leaving me here. I feel like this is you - but why have you given me this burden of sorrow - what do you want with it?" right then a man came up to me and told me he was reminded of a conversation we had years ago about preparing to meet with God and what that looked like. he said that he was just in his seat praying and God told him to come and tell me that "God hears you. God wants you to know that He hears you." WOW - i felt so much relief. like a huge weight was lifted. that night the preacher taught about walking in the spirit. as I prayed about how (always wanting a formula!!!) and a friend of mine decided that maybe it looked like just being obedient. when you feel that urge to pray - do it. when you feel that urge to serves someone - a note, a card, a meal, money - do it. be quick to listen and obey. and then before you know it you are living by the spirit. not sure if we were right but I thought I would try it. still not much joyful emotion coming out of me but this was something I could do.
later that night - a girl is struggling and we are all asked to gather around a pray over her. I was not wanting to so I sat silent. then that pounding in my heart started. DANG IT!!!! i knew I needed to speak and I said I would so I did. opened my mouth and rambled out something about warrior angels. whatever it was I knew I was supposed to say it. ... .... ... ... there I did it. whew....
well - the next night - little did i know God would take me up on it... again. i felt burdened to pray for a woman in a hurtful marriage. my heart broke for her and her family. as I was praying the pastor walked up and asked if I had one particular person on my heart that I was praying for. and of course I answered ... "kinda".... with my best -"get out of here or I will shoot you" look on my face.
back story - after kyle's birth and rough NICU months I lost faith in praying - it didn't "work". i was supposed to pray, kyle was supposed to miraculously have the brain bleed disappear, and that was that. I was to pray and my friends little boy was supposed to live. my prayers didn't "work". my trust in what I trusted (although wrong) was destroyed.
Up to this week I had not prayed over someone with my hands on them with out being forced in almost a year and a half.....
Anyway - he (the pastor) says to me "I think you are supposed to anoint that person with oil and pray over them." I about had a cow! i think i even laughed at him. i didn't even know how to do that. well you know what kept ringing in my ears? obey... listen to the holy spirit. so my heart starts beating like crazy again. AHHHH! so i begin to make my way to where she was sitting and I procrastinate at the end of the row...
then the pastor comes to me again - and hands me the oil! he was not giving up. so I decided .. here it goes. and i went and grabbed her hand and asked her if I could anoint her with oil and pray for her. when I did a flood of words came out of my mouth that i'm sure she needed to hear. gentle words of love and hope that i guess the father wanted to tell her through me. I prayed over her and then we went back to our seats.
I kept thinking I should feel something - but nothing. still felt the same.
next day - yes! I know, it keeps on going! i knew i was supposed to pray over my friend - I was not sure how much she would appreciate it. awkward i know.... but I did - right in the middle of the songs I put my hand on her shoulder and prayed. i knew I had to obey. when I was done .. we went on singing and then sat down when the teaching began. in the teaching the pastor said exactly what I had just prayed over her.
ALL OF THIS was amazing confirmation to me that God was in on this. not that I was fixed - not that this would fix me - not that I felt right emotionally - but God had a plan. I was not ruined for nothing - he would build me back. this week was like my rainbow - my promise that God would complete a work in me.
leaving this week i felt like i could breath again.
then 2 weeks later i was at another conference (220 again! - I know... these weeks are great!) a week of huge spiritual warfare - unlike anything I have ever been a part of. teenagers, adults and parents even dealing with abuse, molestation, incest, and sadly so much more. But most of them hungry for healing. what an amazing week. I spent the week learning and soaking up as much as I could from some great minds and hearts this week. but I went into the week saying to God I will be obedient again.
same emotional problems in the beginning of the week - I continued to pray and seek God - what Lord - what would you have me do - i felt nothing and one person challenged me that if someone asked me to pray why didn't i ask the holy spirit what to pray and how to intercede. so i tried that - when nothing came - I did not speak.
I do not have the ability to pray empty words anymore - i will not speak a word b/c it sound good - I will not send messages to those listening through my words in prayer, I will not use God's name or a beautiful cliche as a comma or filler. I just can't - I have to know what all this means and how God intended this communication thing to work.
A strange thing happened one night - i started to feel jealousy towards john as he ministered. this was a struggle of mine - a huge one - several years ago - 6 or so - after jadon was born.
(isn't it sad how we start to measure our time spans by when our kids were born or by when we were pregnant with who! haha!)
I would see john minister to so many and me want that attention from him for myself. It became a very big monster very quickly. but the grace of God we made it through that in our marriage. So I decided to sit behind a curtain that night so I could not see and I could focus better. and I began to ask God "why in the world am i even having these thoughts now?" i am over this? what is going on? " I had no desire to deal with that again!
and then the most amazing thing happened - God showed me or told me or whatever you call it when you have a thought that you think is from him! that the individual attention and affection that I was craving from john was actually what I was desiring from God. and what I was missing. the intimacy from my relationship with God. I was learning the listening and obeying - that was black and white but the intimacy and trust. that is what I was wanting.
so i began to ask God for that - and I was laying it on thick. I told God I needed one of those really intimate relationships where you know what each other are thinking, you know each other are there, you have inside jokes or info. You just know each other. you know the sound of his voice. I told God i needed a way to feel his spirit to sense it - to FEEL close to God. sounds totally cheesy but if you are a girl or maybe a guy too - you know what i mean - that relationship that is so close you know what each other are thinking or what might be the next move or you can sense when the other is there. that is what I was longing for. so I asked!
next day - trying to wrap this up but not miss detail! - i am talking with an amazing woman about this conference that she went to on spiritual gifts. the guys speaking was talking about the steps to move into gaining or using these spiritual gifts... the point is not that - it is this - she told me that the conference teacher said that the first step was .....
1. intimacy with the father.
my jaw dropped. not b/c that surprises me but what did God just show me I was longing for the night before?! and don't worry about step 2 - that wasn't the point. God was again confirming what he was doing in me.
so i went buzzing into the church service that night ready to seek intimacy with my father in heaven. I have an amazing earthly father - i mean amazing!
and for some reason - i think my personality - or maybe a wall or something - it has always been weird to think of God as a father, abba, daddy. all that was really weird to me - too intimate and vulnerable and weird. he was God - if I wanted to get to know him i would read a book. and that works too - but this was different!
so into the worship service I go - on my quest. and let me tell you - I worshiped with a smile on my face like I have not done in years. I laughed as I worshiped b/c I felt like dancing before God on his throne. now - I didn't b/c well I don't know why but i kinda did dance there in my spot. but I felt like dancing in the aisles! that is the joy that I felt - the love - the connection.
I was able to pray over those sitting around me - some one came to me and asked me for prayer - God gave me a verse for them and I think it was to me too - it was a warning not to return to that yoke that held you as a slave. WOW - what a warning.
now - have i felt joy since that day - no - sorry to say - but when I do get angry or really frustrated or disappointed or want to act in pride, hurt, grief, or whatever might be going on - i remind my self that I don't want this to rob my joy. so i take a deep breath and remind myself that God created me for an intimate love relationship with him. not to be angry - he did not create me to live in grief. he did not create me to have a poor self image. he did not create me to mistrust or build walls around me.
what a set of weeks! there is a song we sang that I finally could rest in by the end of the week that says "oh how he loves me so!" and I believe that.