Have you ever been stymied by a step you’ve taken realizing later that it was the wrong step, a mistake? I’m in that boat right now. I did some calling yesterday to find what steps I needed to now take. As I was told I thought, that’s not what I wanted to hear, I wouldn’t take those. They are too troublesome. Well, this morning in my journaling as I was talking to God about this, I was reminded that I wanted direction. Was I now going to determine what that direction should be? Is there a reason I wouldn’t simply take the steps I’ve been told to take? These questions quickly reminded me that if I want help, I need to follow through on the Light given to me trusting that God was in this just as I’d asked Him to be. No one is trying to take advantage–just giving clarity to the problem.
As I’ve processed this morning I’ve quickly seen how much this reaction of mine has been applied to so many areas of my life. Going way back to the years of abuse and the subsequent years, I wanted the memories to be erased. I knew I should get help, but help would tell someone, maybe more, how weak and vulnerable I was. Little did I listen to God’s still small voice asking me to take the step of help. When I finally did take the step I was opened to a new reality–God’s. He wanted the memories to be used to help others, not to haunt me. Instead of memories being a curse, they are now a message God uses to help others take their own step whether its their first step or continued step.
I’m working on learning to be a better responder to God’s messages to me.
January is coming to an close, but winter is well into itself today. It is 10 degrees outside. I’ve already been to the airport and back taking our neighbors who are headed to Hawaii on a cruise ship. Good place to head in this kind of weather! In my journaling this morning I was thanking God for such nice neighbors. They watch our place when we are gone and we can return the favor for them. In addition, the ones across the road put up my mailbox post this past week. I don’t know how he did it. I tried with my posthole diggers but the ground was frozen solid. Someone had plowed into their box and ours during the night last week. This was the 2nd time this has happened in 6 months. Nice neighbors are a gift from God.
While I’m thanking God, I also thank Him that winter doesn’t need to stop gardening. I’m planting tomato seeds today even though it is only 10 degrees. I already have onions up and peppers should be up any day. I’ll transfer all of these to the greenhouse in March when the nights are closer to freezing temperatures and the heater can keep the greenhouse warm. It makes my heart happy when I can see these little fellows called seeds come to life which will grow into what I love to pick and eat during the summer and fall.
God’s blessings are all around us if we will just take time to look. How amazing He is!
Yesterday was one of those days that when it started there was no letting up until evening. It began with a lengthy counseling session which was followed by a funeral for the dad of a very good friend. Immediately after the service I needed to leave to get to the place where our quartet was singing. When this ended it was later afternoon and time to get to one of my grandson’s birthday dinner party. He turned 13—a teenager! When all of this ended and I got home I was spent. However, being spent in this case was a rewarding one. All day long I got to watch Jesus at work. I might be spent, but the gratitude of getting to be counselor, friend, singer (messenger of God’s Love through song) and grandpa all in the same day was its own reward. Our God is so GOOD!
It is written in the Bible that God’s Word is alive. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” I can’t help but read this and apply it to the richness of what God is teaching me of late. I can read this verse and know it. The question is do I believe it? If I believe it to be true I would never question a nudge from God’s Spirit for He is alive within me. The Spirit of God helps me separate the difference between what man says from man’s wisdom to what the Word of God says from the foundation of wisdom which is God’s Word.
When I think of something being sharper than a double-edged sword, I think of pain when it would penetrate my body. However, when I apply this statement to wisdom I realize that the truth goes right to the heart of what the wisdom is being applied to. It isn’t so much painful as it is totally enlightening. There is nothing to question when God’s Wisdom is applied. I am anchored. I am not only anchored in my mind, but much more deeply, I am anchored in my spirit.
The deceptions of Satan can be identified when they are applied to God’s Word. Helping oneself and others believe the truth of God’s Word over the “thinking errors” is the step of healing God is waiting to give when we take this step.
Moving from knowing to believing. God is truly wanting me to grab ahold of this and anchor into believing. I am well aware that childhood abuse which extended into multiple years has crippling effects of one’s belief system. This is what man has said all along. But, this is not what the word of God says. The word of God says that “all things are possible to him who believes”. Mark 8:23.
I would have to write another book in order to walk one through all that God is having me realize in these present days. The thinking errors I wrote about yesterday need to be tied to God’s Word. They are the distortions of truth which Satan thrives on and we take hold of. However, God is making it abundantly clear that we no longer need to hang onto these errors of thinking. Knowing something is too often left in the flesh of our being. Believing is something that is of our spirit and God’s Strength is found in His Spirit within us. Believing is a portion of this Strength. I’m staying with believing and working to help others do the same.
In our counseling program I continue to sit in on one of the sessions led by a retired licensed counselor. I always walk away from these sessions with insights. Some of these insights are new applications I can use or the session reinforces for me the steps I’m taking with a client. Last night was one of new insight I can use AND I can apply to me personally.
When I was with my brother-in-law a week ago he asked if I ever found the insights I share with a client equally applicable to me? These are times when The Holy Spirit gives advice from your own mouth that make you wonder where that came from? You just know its source–God’s Holy Spirit. Yes, often I found this to be true, I told him.
Last night in the session I observe, the counselor used a tool called Thinking Errors. I knew this term from my educational years as it applied to students thinking about their learning ability and for teachers and their teaching abilities. It was used last night in the context of ones being stuck in a belief that isn’t true, but it is for them (in their mind). As I heard this I knew I needed to go deeper into this for some of my own clients as well as for myself.
This morning I downloaded a pdf outlining these thinking errors and each one’s definition. In it I found a gold nugget! It clarified for me a belief I’ve had tied to yesterday’s post. I don’t need to fight a belief that isn’t true. I simply can yield it to my Savior who created me to be the new creation I am today. I can believe this because this is the real truth. All of Satan’s deceptive ways can be yielded to Jesus who has conquered this deception. My action is not to be to fight, but to yield.
This morning as I was praying over my prayer list, I came upon the name of a young person with their name circled. I do this when the person has specific, difficult needs so I remember to bring the needs out in my prayer. As I was praying I asked God to not let their struggle determine their life journey. As I prayed this I couldn’t help but think how much of my own life had been determined by my own struggle.
Satan has very devious ways of making a struggle into an identity. When this happens we feel helpless to live life with the struggle staying in that category. We might as well give it full reign over our lives for this is the way we were created–this is the victim’s thinking. I know this. Even though I didn’t step into my struggle, I kept it a secret until it was eating me alive for I thought it was my identity. When I finally got help, it took several years to get the struggle back into a place of struggle so my identity was in Christ alone.
My struggle was a same sex one tied to my childhood abuse, but I now know that most if not all addictions can take the role of identity if we don’t face it and find Christ’s identity for ourselves. The journey is not easy, but the Light at the end of the road is always CHRIST JESUS and HE is worth all effort on our part!
The intimacy of God has no limits. Yet, why do I put so many limits on my own intimacy? This is a huge character defect I possess. Touch and proximity are areas I’ve always struggled with, especially when the touch is unexpected or someone wants to linger with their touch. My red flags scream at me. However, God wants to be intimately close to me and His Spirit lives within me. As a new creation I am beginning to now see my need to let this struggle come into the Light of God which is His Healing Light.
God has given to each of us a discerning spirit. The sins of my past taught me things that were never to be true lessons from God. These are things like–touch is always abuse, touch leads immediately to sin, a lengthen hug means I want you for sex. These disgusting lies are ones Satan wants me to keep. God, on the other hand, wants me to allow Him to heal/remove them by not hiding them, instead, He wants me to give them over to Him so He can bring the healing His Intimate Light provides. He wants me to use His gift of discernment to notify me when red flags are flying. Touch is a gift of intimacy and I am seeing that so much more clearly today.
I didn’t realize how emotionally drained I was until I got up this morning. I had a moment where I thought Folgers may not be enough to get this old man in gear! However, I’m up and at it, just a little slower paced.
I lived a long time not understanding how devoted God is to relationships. Everything about Him is connected to relationships. Even the universe is created to have relationship with itself. When we get to the intimate relationship God wants to have with us, well, it’s not different. We are created with emotions, intellect, flesh, spirit, senses, and more. God wants us to use all of what He gave us to worship and be in fellowship with Him.
When I was younger I thought I could only share some of my thoughts with God because the others “perverted”, sometimes angry ones, sometimes selfish ones, etc. I could only share with God what were the thoughtful, loving ones which seemed like Him. I’ve learned over time that the creator who created us wants all of us to be shared with Him. He created a way of escape for all of the thoughts and actions to be forgiven and erased if we follow His Lead by accepting Christ as our Savior and confessing to Him. He wants our relationship to be complete with Him. Our God is so amazing! The intimacy and care He gives us is beyond what we can humanly understand, yet with what I do understand, I give Him PRAISE!
It is now the day after. Yesterday’s service for Debbie Wolfe was one of the nicest, finest celebrations of life I’ve ever witnessed. The church poured out their love for her family members and the family itself did a wonderful job expressing their own love. It was a moment in time to treasure. Following the service and the fellowship time , the family gathered at Debbie and Dwight’s home to continue connecting with one another. God was greatly glorified and a servant who loved Him well was honored.
I’m always touched and amazed when I see God at work. It seems most, if not all, families have their areas of dispute. However, God is never glorified until these disputes are addressed and settled. Some of that took place during this time and I love seeing this. How God uses all things to soften the hearts of His kids is something to behold. Helping His kids to express this heart softening is another tremendous miracle. Only God knows how to do this with His children. I know He will use this time to grow His kids too. What a loving Father we all have!