Find the light; to Make Our Burdens Light

John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

The darkness consumes my mind; it reminds of those times of feeling worthless. The pictures in my head of the past; the feeling of terror the thought of wanting to yell “STOP” but being paralyzed by the pain nothing comes out.

Then comes the loss of time and the feeling of not wanting to wake up again begging and pleading for the pain, the voices and the suffering to just stop please take it away from me. Nothing.

Happiness eludes me; why me? The idea of peace enters my mind then goes away again in an instant. Peace no more. Then I awaken not knowing how much more of this darkness I am able to take. I just want it to end.

Then in the moment of desperation and wanting to regain control of my life while being exhausted from not sleeping for days. I see where this is coming from. I crawl out of bed; pointing directly straight out of the house. Then I proclaim loudly, “Satan, I rebuke you from this home, from my heart and from my mind! My salvation is with my Savior Jesus Christ! I am saved for His glory; not yours! I rebuke you!”

Sheer exhaustion consumes me however there is still a battle to be fought in my mind; it just won’t shut off I decide to make it my purpose to regain what has been lost.
Time to go back to bed but again the continuation of my mind racing won’t stop. I have been fighting all day and I just want to sleep. I feel a hand on my arm; it is my husband desperately trying to keep me in bed quite aware of my exhaustion he just wants me to sleep. Then all of a sudden the break through moment begins; I am seeing the clouds of darkness shifting and the ray of light peeking through the clouds. Then begins the conversation with Jesus which should have taken place days ago begins;  I begin to pray giving Him the highest glory and honor. I am not worthy of His mercy and grace however I still receive it.

The exhaustion still consumes me in this moment of desperation I give Him praises for all of his blessings He has bestowed on me, both good and bad. Yes, the bad things in life because He continues to show me his redemption time and time again.

Then all of a sudden the feeling of my heart literally breaking in two. I don’t understand completely the circumstances of the situation I was praying for only there would be a new journey for those people I was praying for. I prayed so hard so hard for them and in the end all I could ask for was HIS WILL TO BE DONE. There is the bigger picture. His WILL be done. Then all of a sudden a peace falls upon me. The feeling of the Holy Spirit has me wrapped up and I hear His voice, “I am in control.” “I have you.” “Just sleep” my sobs were so hard it woke my husband; I reassured him I was okay. By this time I am saying aloud, “Thank you Jesus” “Thank you-“ I tell my husband to just lay here, can you feel Him, He is here with us; He is always with us; He is always faithful, He is in control; our Lord and Savior is in control. He is in control….”

Then the sleep finally came upon me finally my burden was light; I could feel the work of the Holy Spirit putting my heart back together making me stronger than I was before. Would this be the last time I encounter the darkness hard telling but, I knew in my heart Jesus had a message for me.

During this period of darkness it was scary, times of begging for peace to come upon me. But the peace came when I was completely exhausted. He allowed the darkness to remind me I need to continue to place my faith and trust in Jesus. Have the relationship with Him to allow him to be in control. This message was so resounding; I woke the next morning so full of the Holy Spirit I didn’t want to miss out on worship service. The message begins, Who is in control? You or Jesus? Wait? What? Is this really happening right now? Everything I had discussed with Jesus his message was being repeated at Sunday morning service. Jesus knows my heart He knows how I need to hear his message so, why not remind her, “She is not in control I am.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
There is a lot of people who face pain, uncertainty, sorrow and those who have great joys to celebrate.
In Matthew Jesus promises there will be rest for the weary. He wants for us to place our burdens on Him and allow him to be in control.
With the pain we feel at times there is no light in the forefront; then I remember the one light I can always count on is the Light of Christ. We must realize through the storm clouds, rain and valleys there is hope with our faith in Christ.
All too often we want to handle the situation on our own. We don’t need help from anyone. But Jesus tells us in verse 29, when we take His yoke upon us and learn from Him our burdens will be light and then we will have rest for our souls. By doing this we will grow spiritually in our relationship with Jesus. He wants that relationship to be at the center of our lives when we do this the burdens, sorrow pain and celebrations in life are shared with Him. Then we praise him in all things good and bad.
Praise Him in the storm; watch the storm clouds clear and see His light; He is always there faithful and true.

Darkness_Light

 

She Woke Up

Psalms 147: 3 He heals the broken hearted and binds their wounds.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Depression: (Noun) The fear of despondency and dejection

PTSD (Noun) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The feeling was exhilarating and scary at the same time. The fog lifted; she could see again but what was she seeing for the first time?

A mess left in the quake of her depression. Seeing her children again for the first time in years. What did she miss?

Graduations, weddings, celebrations and births but how could this be? She sees a glimpse of her daughter, the last time she saw her daughter she was about 5 graduating from pre-school. She is wearing the same dress, red, white checkered dress, with the letters A B C across the top. A proud moment; her oldest was going onto kindergarten. Now, her daughter has graduated from high school, married a young Marine; moved away and started a family.. This was only one child; they were three affected by this quake before she knew it the precious eight year old already had his future Military career in the works, she remembers the Lego planes in his bedroom; his dream of being in Air Force and before she knew he was gone. Graduated college and now a striking young officer proudly serving his country. Then the youngest was home; he was thinking what in the world did they do; the left me with her! He had a plan, he found his love at a church event but he heard the call to serve. He wanted to be like those others in our family he wanted to serve so, he joined the Marine Corp and short time later married the love of his life. Sure she was there for the picture moments, the smiles, the congratulations and the “oh how proud you must be” comment from those attending the social events of the year.

She also believed during her darkness she was maintained by a special relationship with Christ. She looks back and sees how He carried her. He held her close in His arms and when the smiled needed to be turned on it was there. He was showing her the way out of the darkness.

The day she woke up and the days to follow it was difficult for her to face. HOW?! WHY?! What in the world happened? The anger to follow “How could you allow this to happen?” Everything was a complete mess; what was she going to do next.

Facing each child and her husband who saw her at her worse yet stood solid as an oak frustrated at times but reassuring her they were not going anywhere.

The fear and anger has her running, the anxiety which pulsated through her body gave her the feeling of fight or flight so she decided she needed to stay strong and fight, the only way she would defeat the demon of depression was to face it. She wouldn’t face it alone but, it would be a challenge. She needed to WAKE UP and face the MESS!

Praying on her knees she asked God to please forgive her; asking for his grace and mercy to bring her comfort. She knows He is her redeemer and savior; He is with her at all times. Even knowing this comes the next part of this battle the anxiety she battles with PTSD, the trauma was real and but the memories are even more haunting; the trauma plays over and over in her mind. She finds at times, her mind has so much control she feels like she is walking around with a mark on her forward or more like a statement that says, “I’m Broke” waiting for repairs” Then the people will come around and pick at her, they pick at the broken parts, she feels uncomfortable when someone compliments her because she believes they have an ulterior motive and not a good one either.

The battle is just beginning for her; she won’t miss another moment of those things that are important to her but, the scars are still there. Not just the emotional scars but the physical scars of her trauma.  But she is not alone, she still has her husband; the standing oak in her corner that no matter how hard she tried to push him away he stood still on shaky ground. She has Christ; when she woke up the fire was reignited in her heart and soul.  Her children, the conversations with her children were the beginning of new memories and them reminding her of the ones she missed; the love and forgiveness which followed. The transformation  was so powerful for the first 5 days she was talking non stop; acquainting herself with those important in her life.

She looks for the signs of Christ in her life. She found them He will place on her heart a scripture one that reminders her that HE is with her. He reminds her the path to healing is also forgiving. What does this mean for her next path; going one by one to those closest to her and asking for forgiveness.  Working through hard work with therapy and identifying who she is for the first time. Not being defined by one tragic moment or several moments in history. But, by shedding the anger, bitterness and learning to combat the negative with the good.

She will walk with the diagnosis of Depression, Social Anxiety and PTSD however she will not allow it to define who she is as a person! She takes the courage and face each day with love and joy in her life. Not taking another moment for granted.

 

 

 

She Will Find Him

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

The Lord will guide you always; 

        he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land 

        and will strengthen your frame. 

You will be like a well watered garden, 

        like a spring whose water never fail.

As I read this scripture I am going to tell a story; she was looking for the one thing only the Lord could give her. She finds the strength she needs by finding unconditional love of her 3 children and a man the Lord brought into her life.

The Lord will guide you always;

She was young on the inside she always had so much turmoil. She always looked up to the only man she knew in her life for reassurance; her father. Whenever she thought she was on the verge of winning favor the little confidence she did have it was taken away. Apparently it was felt taking away confidence in a young eager to please child was a way to build character.

One day she would become a mom. She would  work hard to be a mom who builds character and not tear down. But what she didn’t realize was she wouldn’t be alone raising her three children; a very precocious eight year old would introduce Christ to her and her sons. By following her daughter’s lead she would learn to allow the Lord to guide her in life.

He will satisfy your needs in the sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.

Tired and emotionally exhausted; every muscle ached, she had no where else to draw strength; three little ones looked so lovingly in her eyes eager to have some undivided attention. In this moment she drifts away dreaming of a time there would be another in her life; someone who was strong and would be an example to her children of what unconditional love really means. 

She was alone, no faith and her trust account was empty. Anyone she would or could turn to found one way or another to hurt her. When she looked into her she daughter’s hazel eyes; she would pray for the day she would be a strong young woman; she would find the true meaning of love. Her mom couldn’t teach her afterall, what did she know of love. She was broken; she would work day and night to provide to the point at times she would feel like the sun-scorched land. 

She would be saved, she learned to become the strong woman her children could look up to and be proud to call mom. The Lord knew she was tired; she knew the only place to draw strength from was the Lord. He was able to give her new life with this new found relationship. Now she remembers even though she is tired the Lord has given her renewed strength to rise above and trust him.

You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.

As she continues to grow and walk in her faith; she reflects on the moment she is reminded that no matter the luggage life has brought her;  in her heart she loves her children and strives to be the best mother to those 3 little ones.

At the time she doesn’t realize God would introduce her to a man who would walk with her in her relationship with Christ and join her in raising her 3 little ones. He developed an unconditional love for her along with her children. He would become this example of what love looks like; through the good and bad. He would be the example to her sons on what love should look like for the day when they would decide to marry.  He would build character in her children; teach them the bible along with history. So on those long strenuous days he would build her up and pick up the slack. He eventually becomes a second rock in her life. He leads by example, reminds her of how important she is not only in his life but in the life of 3 little children.  The Lord allowed him to bring life back into her, finally she learned about true love.

No matter the road she was on, she allowed God to guide her. He made her stronger by satisfying her needs. As she continues to satisfy her thirst for the word of the Lord she will continue to be awakened and grow like the garden.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

Though one may be overpowered,

  Two can defend themselves.

A cord of  three strands is not quickly broken.

Hands wrapped by a piece of cloth reminds us as long as they are walking with Christ hand in hand no man can separate.

Unconditional Love =Forgiveness

Young relationships have a lot to learn about forgiveness and unconditional love. The greatest gift any child could give a parent is when they call and say, “I get it, I understand what unconditional love is.”

So let’s talk about the truth, forgiveness and saying I’m sorry.

John 8:32 Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

The truth can set us free. I use this statement to discuss the importance of forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness and forgiving.

Recently I ran into my husband with a laundry cart at the Laundromat. First words out of my mouth was, “I’m sorry.” this statement was the nudge I needed to write about forgiveness and how this relates to unconditional love.

No matter the situation when you say I’m sorry you are asking for forgiveness. I have found recently I have been saying these words a lot because even though my words are unintentional I do not like to cause pain to a person. If I see someone hurting, I want to help by wishing I could absorb their pain. So I say I’m sorry you feel this way is there anything I can do to help ease the pain. This is a way of showing someone empathy and compassion.

I have also found that when you show empathy a person is more likely to trust you and will allow you to take a sneak peak into their heart. Unconditional love, allowing the person to have ownership of their feelings which leads to the beginning of healing.

In 2006 I wrote, “Often times this is how forgiveness works, having the power to forgive without being asked is a sign of unconditional love for others.”

Have you ever had to forgive someone with out them asking for forgiveness? For me this was the hardest thing to do in my life. I had a person in my life who was very abusive to me and one day with the help of my loving congregation I learned who to set myself free and I ended up saying out loud I forgive you.  There was a long list of people I had to forgive, those who disappointed me and not being there for me when they should have been. The ones who assumed they knew what I was going through and called me horrible names. I learn my normal was not normal at all, I was living the life of being a victim. one day my Pastor’s wife pointed out to me I was living my life as a victim and when was I going to allow God to take over the healing and move forward. The first step was to forgive my abusers. Once I did this I felt for the first time I was set free. I would make strives to serve the Lord and teach others the importance of forgiving.

Ephesians 4:32 Be Kind and compassionate to one another forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Jesus is our example of mercy and unconditional love as our relationship with Jesus grows we want to become more like him.

Two Point

  1. Ask for forgiveness to be forgiven will allow us to unload those burdens.
  2. To give forgiveness is to be set free.

I building a relationship with Christ we want to be more Christ like. We become a better person by making changes . Remember what God did for us.

John 3:16 “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal love”

This example of God’s love demonstrates unconditional love and forgiveness.

We believe that there are sins that are so horrible and we will never find the grace of God’s love however in Psalms 103:12 As far from the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Remember to Say I’m sorry and forgive just as the Lord would want us to do with a spirit of unconditional love.