Saturday, May 19, 2012

Worthy



This is a "poem" I found while searching thru the many wonderful things at The Market a few weeks ago. I don't know who the author is, or I would give her credit for writing it. All I know is that it caught my eye (and heart) and has become my "motto" of sorts for this season of my life. So much so that I decided to paint it on canvas. It was and is part of my healing that God is doing on my heart.

As some of you may know (or not know, whatever the case may be), I am doing a small group Bible study with a group of lovely, beautiful...and worthy....ladies. It is based on the book "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge. If you have not read this book, and your heart is in need of some good, old-fashioned healing, this is a MUST READ!  Aside from the Bible, it has been the most life-changing book I've ever read!  God has been doing a supernatural work in my heart over the last several (10) weeks, and I am going to be a bit saddened when this small group is over (this Wednesday). I have gotten to know some very beautiful women, some pretty broken women, thru this group, and I hope to continue the relationship I have formed with them thru it. We have talked about some pretty intense and shocking things, but have also witnessed some pretty intense and shocking healings by doing so. We've had plenty of opportunities to laugh with joy, to cry many tears, and to eat some pretty amazing food. Not to mention watch an even more amazing God heal not-just-a-few broken hearts.

For me to even write about this is just a small witness to what God has done in my life. I would never have, in my entire walled-up life, revealed anything so personal in such a public way. All my life I have kept my heartbreak and self-inflicted wounds to myself, or at the very most only revealed them to a very few carefully chosen, trustworthy friends. Or at least, who I hoped were trustworthy. Sadly, over the years I've come to realize that in my desperation to befriend someone....anyone....I have not always made the wisest choices in selecting who to reveal my heart to.

Just a sampling of what God has done thru this small group is give me a love for my mom that I have not ever experienced. Yes, I know what you're saying or thinking...."didn't you love your mom before this?"  In a word, no.  At least not in the way a daughter is "supposed" to love her mom. I think I tolerated her more than anything. There was a period of my life that I wouldn't even refer to her as mom, but would call her "mother" instead. As tho she were just the woman who gave me birth. Then eventually my tolerance turned to pity. I could tolerate her because I felt sorry for her. Maybe it was all part of the process of healing, but it was still difficult to actually love her.

And now, by the grace of God, I can actually say that I LOVE her!  I actually miss her. Yes, she's alive, but she lives several hours away so I don't get to see her but twice, maybe three times a year. We do talk on the phone occasionally. But since she has learned how to text, we do that almost daily. And almost daily she tells me she loves me. Which, by the way, used to irritate the heck out of me!  But now when those texts come, I cherish them. If I am able, I will text her back that I love her too.  It used to be that it was difficult for me to even to do that, as if I would question myself "Do I mean it today? Or is today one of those days I don't feel like loving her back?"  Oh, what a LIE from the pit of hell!  Now when those texts come, and when I reply with my "ILU2"...I totally, 100% mean it. THAT in itself is a miracle that could only come from a God loving me.

Another thing that God has been doing a work in my heart with is how I love other people....mainly, women. I have always had a compassion for people who are hurting. But if it wasn't evident in their lives, I often would resent them for having what appeared to be a "perfect" life. They had a husband who loved them. They had healthy children. They had abundance when it came to finances. They were healthy. BUT if they ever complained about anything that was less than what I deemed "perfection" or told me about how God has blessed them, I resented hearing about it. I would think in with my hardened heart, "C'mon, really? Your husband irritated you today? At least you HAVE a husband. I would do anything to have someone to spend the rest of my life with and to help around the house....even to irritate me."  Or "Please don't tell me how much you spent on that. When I barely have enough to buy milk and bread, and all we've had for supper for the past week has been generic cheerios or Ramen, I really really don't want to hear about your brand new vehicle that you paid cash for. And let's not even get into what bills have yet again gone unpaid."  I won't even begin to tell you about the litany of lies that bombarded me when discussing their health. YES, those thoughts did cross my mind while you told me about your life. YES, I did resent you and your blessings.  So much so that I couldn't handle being around you. I distanced myself from you. And "you" could be any number of my friends reading this. And for that I want to deeply and sincerely apologize. In my self-absorbed world, I considered your excitement in telling me what God was doing in your life as a way to make me jealous. To rub it in my face. I couldn't, or wouldn't, be happy for you. I realized it was another LIE from the father of lies. And I HATED that...that I resented you...that I pushed you away....that I would even think that stuff about you.  Please forgive me!  I truly enjoy hearing about you and your life, and I love what God is doing in it! If it weren't for you, my heart would never be full. I love laughing and crying with you. I love talking with you and learning about you. I love that you trust me to tell me these things. And I love YOU.

I have so many things to be sorry about, to regret, to dislike about myself. BUT God is so much bigger than all that pettiness. He deems me worthy. He has sent Jesus to the Cross to cleanse me of all unrighteousness, and that includes all my regrets, my sorrows, and all my heartbreak. He went to the Cross not just to heal me physically, but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally as well. I know there are so many other areas where I need His healing touch, but in His mercy He is doing a little at a time. I think I would be so overwhelmed if He did it all at once. Ugh...can you IMAGINE????  But I'm a work-in-progress, and I'm growing and being renewed day by day. And thankfully, His mercies are new every morning....GREAT is His faithfulness.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Worthy



This is a "poem" I found while searching thru the many wonderful things at The Market a few weeks ago. I don't know who the author is, or I would give her credit for writing it. All I know is that it caught my eye (and heart) and has become my "motto" of sorts for this season of my life. So much so that I decided to paint it on canvas. It was and is part of my healing that God is doing on my heart.

As some of you may know (or not know, whatever the case may be), I am doing a small group Bible study with a group of lovely, beautiful...and worthy....ladies. It is based on the book "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge. If you have not read this book, and your heart is in need of some good, old-fashioned healing, this is a MUST READ!  Aside from the Bible, it has been the most life-changing book I've ever read!  God has been doing a supernatural work in my heart over the last several (10) weeks, and I am going to be a bit saddened when this small group is over (this Wednesday). I have gotten to know some very beautiful women, some pretty broken women, thru this group, and I hope to continue the relationship I have formed with them thru it. We have talked about some pretty intense and shocking things, but have also witnessed some pretty intense and shocking healings by doing so. We've had plenty of opportunities to laugh with joy, to cry many tears, and to eat some pretty amazing food. Not to mention watch an even more amazing God heal not-just-a-few broken hearts.

For me to even write about this is just a small witness to what God has done in my life. I would never have, in my entire walled-up life, revealed anything so personal in such a public way. All my life I have kept my heartbreak and self-inflicted wounds to myself, or at the very most only revealed them to a very few carefully chosen, trustworthy friends. Or at least, who I hoped were trustworthy. Sadly, over the years I've come to realize that in my desperation to befriend someone....anyone....I have not always made the wisest choices in selecting who to reveal my heart to.

Just a sampling of what God has done thru this small group is give me a love for my mom that I have not ever experienced. Yes, I know what you're saying or thinking...."didn't you love your mom before this?"  In a word, no.  At least not in the way a daughter is "supposed" to love her mom. I think I tolerated her more than anything. There was a period of my life that I wouldn't even refer to her as mom, but would call her "mother" instead. As tho she were just the woman who gave me birth. Then eventually my tolerance turned to pity. I could tolerate her because I felt sorry for her. Maybe it was all part of the process of healing, but it was still difficult to actually love her.

And now, by the grace of God, I can actually say that I LOVE her!  I actually miss her. Yes, she's alive, but she lives several hours away so I don't get to see her but twice, maybe three times a year. We do talk on the phone occasionally. But since she has learned how to text, we do that almost daily. And almost daily she tells me she loves me. Which, by the way, used to irritate the heck out of me!  But now when those texts come, I cherish them. If I am able, I will text her back that I love her too.  It used to be that it was difficult for me to even to do that, as if I would question myself "Do I mean it today? Or is today one of those days I don't feel like loving her back?"  Oh, what a LIE from the pit of hell!  Now when those texts come, and when I reply with my "ILU2"...I totally, 100% mean it. THAT in itself is a miracle that could only come from a God loving me.

Another thing that God has been doing a work in my heart with is how I love other people....mainly, women. I have always had a compassion for people who are hurting. But if it wasn't evident in their lives, I often would resent them for having what appeared to be a "perfect" life. They had a husband who loved them. They had healthy children. They had abundance when it came to finances. They were healthy. BUT if they ever complained about anything that was less than what I deemed "perfection" or told me about how God has blessed them, I resented hearing about it. I would think in with my hardened heart, "C'mon, really? Your husband irritated you today? At least you HAVE a husband. I would do anything to have someone to spend the rest of my life with and to help around the house....even to irritate me."  Or "Please don't tell me how much you spent on that. When I barely have enough to buy milk and bread, and all we've had for supper for the past week has been generic cheerios or Ramen, I really really don't want to hear about your brand new vehicle that you paid cash for. And let's not even get into what bills have yet again gone unpaid."  I won't even begin to tell you about the litany of lies that bombarded me when discussing their health. YES, those thoughts did cross my mind while you told me about your life. YES, I did resent you and your blessings.  So much so that I couldn't handle being around you. I distanced myself from you. And "you" could be any number of my friends reading this. And for that I want to deeply and sincerely apologize. In my self-absorbed world, I considered your excitement in telling me what God was doing in your life as a way to make me jealous. To rub it in my face. I couldn't, or wouldn't, be happy for you. I realized it was another LIE from the father of lies. And I HATED that...that I resented you...that I pushed you away....that I would even think that stuff about you.  Please forgive me!  I truly enjoy hearing about you and your life, and I love what God is doing in it! If it weren't for you, my heart would never be full. I love laughing and crying with you. I love talking with you and learning about you. I love that you trust me to tell me these things. And I love YOU.

I have so many things to be sorry about, to regret, to dislike about myself. BUT God is so much bigger than all that pettiness. He deems me worthy. He has sent Jesus to the Cross to cleanse me of all unrighteousness, and that includes all my regrets, my sorrows, and all my heartbreak. He went to the Cross not just to heal me physically, but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally as well. I know there are so many other areas where I need His healing touch, but in His mercy He is doing a little at a time. I think I would be so overwhelmed if He did it all at once. Ugh...can you IMAGINE????  But I'm a work-in-progress, and I'm growing and being renewed day by day. And thankfully, His mercies are new every morning....GREAT is His faithfulness.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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