I was struck this week with this truth:
I do no know how to dream for myself, how to believe that there is a purpose and future out there for me to attain.
this is a bid deal. a big reality.
but rather than let this overwhelm me. get me down. I turned to God. lifted it to Him in prayer. asked for His hand on me to give me the ability to learn this skill.
I am accustomed to recognizing areas I have not exercised. and learning to exercise these weakened muscles. it’s not that I am without the ability to learn this. it is a skill I need to learn. practice. repeat. this I can do.
for me, it starts with prayer. ends there, too, for that matter.
here are the words God gave me in that first prayer.
“Use my hands for healing. My voice for boldness. My life for worship”
it is my daily prayer now. I know not what it means. YET. but I know as I practice taking this to prayer. process with my counselor and THE Wonderful Counselor. take the next right step. and the next one after that. I will begin to see this skill become a habit. a belief. a truth I live.
I am both excited and nervous to see how my life. my beliefs. my faith. is transformed as I make this new truth a belief. it is big. shaking the cobwebs off old beliefs and replacing them with new profound realities is big work. from inside out. in fact it is in the inside work that big outward changes happen. unmasking the false beliefs is always freeing. but it takes perseverance. daily recognizing when old lies creep in, attempting to worm their way back into my heart. daily reminding myself of new truths. repeating the TRUTH to my self. breathing them in. breathing out the old.
this is work I have done before. it is achievable. I will do this. I am accustomed to hard work. deep faith. I am daily being freed because I have forever been freed by the blood of my Saviour.
‘Use my hands for healing. my voice for boldness. my life for worship”
God often protects His people by leading them into situations of lesser comfort but greater dependence on Himself. Are you in an uncomfortable place you would not choose? Would you rather have a different spouse, live in a different city or pursue a different cause? God’s protection surrounds His people; His wise and good purposes can be trusted What seems like a wilderness to you may be your place of greatest safety.
What seems like a wilderness to you may be your place of greatest safety.
I read my notes from Bible study last week and was stopped in my tracks by this paragraph. I have been in the wilderness before. but somehow this season of my life I had missed the signs of wilderness.
In times before, my wilderness had the look of disease, chaos, destruction. I cannot say that about this wilderness experience.
this time it looks quiet, restful….but the aloneness is real.
so, as the realization dawned on me that THIS too is a wilderness experience, I was stunned. Stunned that I had missed the signs. Stunned that I was missing the blessing in the midst of the experience. because I didn’t realize the reality.
the blessing?? yep. it’s in that last sentence of the paragraph.
What seems like a wilderness to you may be your place of greatest safety.
I cannot deny that I am finally safe. finally free. finally at peace. but also, sweeter, quieter in refrain, is the fact that in being separated from all things family somewhere in that God is saying “THIS is the safest place for me”
I didn’t think it was possible to live in a place of non-communication with my kids. to be a mom with no real relationship. I thought my heart would stop. burst. die. that somehow I was “less than” in oh so many ways.
what I have found is I am still living. still breathing. still thriving and purposeful. my life didn’t stop. I miss them but I can rest assured that THIS place is the safest place for me right now.
I long to create safe, trustworthy, respectful relationships with them. but that is a two person process. a learning. a changing. a growing. we have never experienced healthy engagement with one another. it will take time. need counsel. and lots of practice.
for now, I am safe. I am protected. I am learning all I need for the next season in my life.
I will not always be in this wilderness.
until then I can rest in my Savor’s protection and care in this wilderness. I can look around with eyes that see the daily encouragement along the way. and the knowledge that the wilderness never lasts
it’s no surprise that on new years eve morning I spent time in reflection over the past year. it’s that time of year when most folks do some sort of reflecting. it’s also no surprise that I found myself in tears, in humble adoration of my Lord, this morning as I reflected
its hard in the moment of day to day living to really see your growth. the changes you have made. how each little turn to the right makes HUGE strides in the overall course of your life.
so today I took time to see just that
last year this time I was 6 weeks newly divorced. 10 months out of my home. numb. exhausted. scared. overwhelmed. living alone. working. managing life. really well all things considered.
this year as i look back I see the ripple effects of learning to extend grace and forgiveness to myself and to really love myself. there have been huge moments of clarity in counseling along the way this year. there have been small turns to the right. but all of them have added up to tremendous growth and change from the inside out for me.
as I have learned to extend understanding, acceptance, grace, forgiveness and love to myself, I have seen others through newly clear, wise, open eyes. I have been able to love others as they are, understanding they too have wounds that i cannot see or even understand. that they too are doing the best they can with the tools they have. I have learned to care for my needs and not look for approval from others. I can take damn good care of myself. because truly only I know what I need. it is not up to someone else to fix me. I tend my own wounds. and it is good.
I have learned the art and the need for strong boundaries. to hear what others are saying and recognize their actions really are backing their words up…and I have protected myself accordingly. not ending my love for them but keeping my heart safe while they do their own stuff.
I have seen I have courage. big courage. and I intend to practice that a lot more this coming year. I will move again. I will have my own place again. I will hold my head high in the courts knowing I have nothing to hide from, be embarrassed by or run from. knowing I have always carried myself with integrity and honor.
I will engage in new relationships. with grace and respect. I will not tolerate mis-treatment. I will make new friends, find new interests. I will not run from life, nor will I hide from it. life is to be embraced
I will practice embracing new things. trusting my gut. trusting myself because I alone know myself. I alone show others how to treat me.
I will do this knowing I am loved deeply by my Savior. that He never leaves me nor forsakes me. That He always goes before me. and He never leaves my side.
I will do this with grace. and courage. and integrity. and peace.
and in doing so, I will continue to become all that I have been created to be.
He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
i read this today during my quiet time and was stopped dead in my tracks. did you catch the nugget of wisdom that slaps you in the face?
He who neglects discipline despises himself
what?? when i neglect discipline i despise myself? i have pondered that for hours now. how opposite to the worlds wisdom. we like to think we know what’s best for us…and so begins the fall into neglecting discipline. how could someone else, or God, know better than we do, what is best for us? if i neglect correction its only because i know best, i cannot be wrong…and i certainly do NOT despise myself.
or do i?
could this nugget of gold be true. could it be that when i neglect discipline i truly do despise myself? first i love that it says “he who neglects” we know right from wrong, we know what we need to do, we choose to neglect truth in the search for happiness. so what does the neglect truly say about me?
the more i sit with this truth, the more i find myself agreeing with its infinite wisdom. when i choose to neglect discipline, correction, truth, it really does show i despise myself. i like to think it shows i know best, that i am so wise, that i know myself better than another. but in the end, it shows i despise myself enough to want hardship, hurt, heartache, hard consequences. if i truly loved myself, deep down, love of me, then why would i ever choose pain, discomfort, disciplining, why would i ignore truth and right and instead choose self?
too many excuses to that question. too many reasons i choose harm. but ultimately its because i despise myself enough to think i deserve the harm that comes with selfish unwise decisions. the world wants us to believe we have all the answers inside, that a higher being is not only ridiculous, a figment of our imagination, a tool of the stupid.
but the more i read the Word. the more i am convinced that the wisdom of old is true and right. it is for my good. always.
it leads me to see myself thru God’s eyes. to love myself enough to do whats right. to love my God enough to trust His ways over my own desires.
i have been on a journey of self discovery thru the divorce process (and before) and i can for the first time ever say i really love myself. that i like who i am. that i have much to offer.
these were not always things i could say or believe about myself. it has been a journey. one of unpacking and truly looking at all that i have believed up until now and the reasons for those beliefs.
and i see the truth in the nugget of gold, He who neglects discipline despises himself.
i have lived it out. paid the consequences. and i am now learning the joy of obedience. the joy of loving myself. accepting myself.
may i always accept, and not neglect, discipline.
because i love myself. and my God