Although I have been absent from this blog physically, my heart has always remained. Over the course of the last few months, various words and phrases that I’ve wanted to write about have been as fleeting as rain water soaking into the ground. Unfortunately most of it all has run off into the dirt and turned to mud! Prayerfully, there’s been a seed in there somewhere that’s just now sprouting into a choice plant that’s producing choice fruit. I’m asking the Lord to help me write this and I don’t believe He’ll fail me.
It’s been impressed upon my heart by the leading of the Holy Spirit to simply share some of my journal entries that I wrote beginning in early March. I don’t know a better way to explain all the emotions, struggles, fears and doubts that my family has experienced during this time. What I do know is that no matter how intensely personal this gets, may God be glorified through it all. May His Light shine brightly through what seems to be a dark time in our lives and that in the end clearly evidenced for all to see is that we are His workmanship.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10
Let me first begin by saying that I’ve never wanted this blog to be about me. It was (and is) intended to be a voice crying out in the wilderness for those who suffer for the name of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, we (and me, especially) need to be very careful that we are not glorying people above and beyond the Lamb of God. The One for whom ALL glory and honor is due. We do nothing of ourselves, but it is Him who works through us so that no one can glory in His presence.
“…God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption…” 1 Cor. 1:28b-30.
My purpose is to share how God is working in our lives at this point in time. Not everybody knows all that has happened with us. The why’s and the what’s have gone on for 3 months and it’s time to just be open and ask for prayers. Not that I didn’t want to do all of this before, but in all honesty, I wanted to internalize things and meditate upon most of it before making it public. See, there are no coincidences as a child of the Most High God. He works all things in accordance with His own purposes and sometimes these things are hard to understand for unbelievers. Unbelievers don’t understand spiritually how God deals with members in His family through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, they don‘t understand the spiritual battle for good amongst evil that goes on from day to day, nor the depths of love I have for the souls of men. I hope to shed some light on that in the journal entries below.
March 2, 2011:
“So many pictures, voices, imaginings in my mind. I can’t stop its racings. It keeps me from doing the most menial tasks. Peace in my brain, please! I need to, want to, give, hand over, release to God every day complete sovereign control of all events in my life and outside of it. I need to trust Jesus in every way. I give up all possible outcomes and scenarios. Whatever happens, whatever may be is because God chose and decided to do it that way. God rules over all, I am choosing to renew my mind on that so I can have peace and joy all the time inside and out. I don’t want control. I need to let go of the idea that I have it. If I laboriously endeavor to fall in step with God’s plans through prayer, there will be no regrets, no “shoulda-woulda-coulda’s”. I will stand before Him as a favored servant, who gets the “well done”. Prayer has to be done every day.
**A month after Brian got hurt, I realized that I had prayed heavily for him this day by a notation in my bible next to a certain verse. I don’t remember exactly what I prayed, but I know by the little written date of 3/2/11 that that was the verse God lead me to for him. It was 1 Corinthians 5:5. I did not realize I had meditated on this verse on that day, again, until about a month later. I’ll let you read that passage on your own. And no, I don‘t believe Brian to be a wicked person. However, I DO want him to bring forth the fruits of repentance, to be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, just like I do for all the people I love. He‘s my husband, of course I want: more. than. anything. in this world, for him to be saved.**
March 7, 2011:
Everything changed when Brian came home Wednesday (March 2nd) from work. He hurt his hip somehow so bad he can’t walk, use the bathroom or sleep. One ER visit and Dr. appt. later, we know nothing. They *say* its arthritic and the joint is deformed, but with almost the whole leg going number by the day, we don’t believe that. On my end, I’ve slowly slipped into robotic mode, I know I’m supposed to be leaning and trusting Jesus more than ever right now… Instead I’ve not prayed or read His Word, I’ve retreated into my own mind and stayed there. I just don’t know what to do. We’re lost at sea, with no oars. Just sitting there waiting on God to move the boat to shore.
March 15, 2011:
Unfortunately, I have not been praying and studying like I should have. Brian has had a difficult time with his hip. We spent all weekend in the hospital (St. Joseph’s – Pontiac). At least we have a diagnosis: FAI with dysphasia and two bulging discs. Picked up his last check yesterday . God was so good to us in that the application for state assistance went smoothly and everything will be taken care of as long as we get all the medical information to them.
March 20, 2011:
Praises! God supplied to us a wheelchair (through church) and a friend is letting us borrow a spare walker.
March 22, 2011:
I need to stop being such a crybaby. I need to grow up in the faith and realize God is bigger, stronger and more powerful that I or anyone can imagine.
March 23, 2011:
I’m so ashamed of myself. I totally flipped out and started throwing things. I couldn’t find an account number for a utility in that pigsty of an office I have. I’m just no good at being a bookkeeper! Ps. 100 keeps coming into my mind. “Serve the Lord gladly”, or with “gladness”. I certainly haven’t done that… I’ve just pushed Him away, and pushed Him away. I don’t know how to feel about anything any more. I’m tired of never having peace in my heart! Everything and everyone is wrong! I have so many concerns about so many issues and so many people… maybe I’m simply over-stimulated and need to focus on ONE thing and ONE person. Instead of… 50 things and 50 people. I’ve been very unthankful to you, O God. I’ve been rotten. I praise You for Your new mercies every day.
Is. 32:17 – “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.”
Jesus is my example, I am to walk in His steps. His number 1 priority was glorifying God. STEPS – Ps. 85:13 – “Righteousness shall go before him and shall set us in the way of His steps.” Job 14:16 – “For now, thou numberest my steps.” God knows the number of every step I have or will take. Wow!
March 27, 2011:
I am amazed by God.
March 28, 2011:
Brian’s leg is getting worse. Please show me the truth of Eccl. 10:13 in my own life. I want to get back to knowing Jesus and seeking the lost. I need to learn more about being, “In Christ”. Father, I need You to teach me this truth. I need to maintain memorizing one verse a day.
March 29, 2011:
Brian and I are working on taking up a Bible study together. I pray that You will work in our hearts and lead us into something that will magnify You and reveal more of Yourself. We give to You this time; help us to utilize it best for Your glory. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, think big in a spiritual sense. Seek for Himself and allow Him to seek the lost through me. Give Him unhindered sway to love others without losing delicate discernment for right and wrong. Thank You for Your Word! I delight in Your revealed… Self. I love Your Bible. I want to learn more of You everyday.
March 31, 2011:
Time. Such a big entity that cocoon’s us all… just can’t seem to escape it. I have to remember- ALL IS VANITY. Lord, set a watch over my lips. I find that as my stress level rises so does the decibel of my voice. I seriously want to scream my lungs off and never stop. My frustration is that high. I’m like Reuben and Joseph. Joseph’s brothers had so much contempt, they couldn’t speak peaceable to him. It says they, “couldn’t”. I don’t want to be like that even when stress levels are sky high. I understand my witness is precious and at stake and I’m destroying it. I’m so selfish and this ordeal with Brian is making me see how selfish I really am. I’m upset about so many things. I want peace to go in every direction, but all I feel is contempt- from others, from myself, I just want to break something. That is the rage within me and it’s not right. Dead people, crucified people aren’t supposed to “feel” anything. But its just not in me to pretend. Revelation 14:12, verse of the day.
**The verse says this: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
I’m just now reading this verse again since I just wrote the address and not the actual verse. Did I realize how much this verse meant at the time??? I don’t know, I don’t remember. But wow!**
April ??, 2011:
It’s 6:45am, Jesus woke me up for communion with Him and for that I am thankful… I have so many thoughts racing around my brain. They swirl and gel and part and collide over and over again. So much anxiety and it’s ALL over my relationship with my Lord. Brian’s health and everything else is secondary. Anything and everything I am hinges on Christ! My point of focus is Him, Him, Him! Everything I do or don’t do always revolves and swings back around to Him and His Will and Glorification. I am ashamed at being a runner, O God. I identify with Jonah so much- O what a precious story. I’ve meditated upon the fact that over the last 30 days I’ve done nothing for His Glory. I’ve been self indulgent and wayward during the most critical time of our marriage to date. In some ways, in the last month, I’ve run away from God to do my own thing without even asking Him, but its just not in me to waste time or be a sluggard. I want and need God’s blessing to prepare financially in the event all state assistance stops. I want to plant seeds and hope the Lord blesses them with growth! Like the VOM store; all those items are there, they’re available for purchase wherever and whenever He so wills to help VOM. I have enormous peace and even excitement over what Jesus can do in the shop developed through His grace for those who suffer for Him. My part is so small, but SUCH a big joy! Words can’t accurately describe all that I feel knowing I’m a part of the Great Commission in hostile/restricted nations. Nevertheless, I need to ask for God’s blessing. I want to ask for His blessing.
I want to work- Jesus was a carpenter, Paul a tent-maker. It doesn’t even have to take that much time. My hope is that God cant take my crafts and the talents He’s given me to conform it into something that’s glorifying to Him. So why do I feel such a sense of guilt? The Proverbs 31 woman was a keeper at home and was industrious still… I guess I don’t understand. I suppose I’ve taken so much time up on that and messed up my priorities. They haven’t been to pray, read or study. I’ve always been a “do-or-die” type gal. I struggle greatly to find a balance. When I feel an ambition for something, everything else falls by the wayside… and the first thing to fall by the wayside is Jesus. I can never seem to bring Him along in any endeavor. And Him blessing me is crucial! I’m scared that deep down, I’ve really proven that I don’t’ want God in my life and that thought alone breaks my heart and makes me feel ill. I’m so afraid that in my mind, I want Jesus, but in my actions I’ve proven otherwise. I’ve actually lived the last 30 days apart form Him in accordance with My Will and My Will has become my god. What shame! And if I shared this with anyone, this truth in my heart, they’d argue with me. And tell me “not to be so hard on myself”. Blasphemy! I actually despise this light view of a Holy God. Where a vile, sinful human being is held in higher esteem than a just and righteous Creator. Makes me so mad at men (men, as people in general). Where, O Where is there someone to stand in the gap for me says, God?!
April 8, 2011:
The enemy is having a hay-day in our marriage.
April 12, 2011:
Well… found out yesterday that rent will not be covered for April. Where we’ll get the money, only God knows. I don’t want to pray, I don’t want to read my bible, I don’t want to go to church, I don’t want to ask for help… This being broke thing is nothing new to me. What’s new now is that I’m a Christian. I shouldn’t have to ask for help from humans. My God is wealthy beyond compare, He owns this earth. Yet, I have to battle everyday to trust and believe that when everyone around me doesn’t. I’m SO tired of doubting, I’m so tired of believing ALONE. I’m so tired of everyone’s opinions and the “Why’s” and Brian’s, “You need to do this…”, and, “You need to do that.” His constant, “What are we going to do?” Looking to me for answers. I just don’t know. I just want to die. Yes, its melodramatic, but I’m so exhausted from carrying this burden, this weight around me as I’m buckling under the pressure and still wielding away the evil that surrounds me. How, O how does the persecuted church do this? Their battle is far, far, far worse than mine. I don’t understand?
April 13, 2011:
I’m struggling so much right now to maintain Christ-likeness. It’s really hard when things don’t go right, when people are mean, when disappointment comes, when uncertainty arises. I’ve been reminded of the sparrow quite a bit~ Sparrows know nothing of money, or worry, yet they eat, fly, nest, find warmth and go wherever they want to all the time… Jesus tells us to consider the sparrow. So I am.
April 19, 2011:
Brian can’t live like this anymore and neither can I. I’m so overwhelmed. Some people are just killing us. I’m becoming very bitter, not better… I have this hatred inside me, this confusion that can’t understand how some people can be so insensitive and cruel. I can’t do Master Club anymore, I can’t watch Jenna anymore, I just can’t anymore, it’s tearing me apart mentally and physically. Lord, what do YOU want me to do? “Serve Me gladly, Ps. 100” and, “Let Me handle it, Ex. 14:14”. I want You to handle it and I want to serve You gladly.
April 20, 2011:
Thank you for everything, Lord. Your love, Your grace, Your kindness. Help me to love you better. Help me to be like You to the Master Club children. Help me to be happy, kind, interested, vested, excited, tender, and glad. I’ve never been content to be a leader. It’s an uncomfortable role. Please continue to control hearts and minds for all involved.
April 21, 2011:
I pray that my journal is a testimony of Your love and power- not just a book of sour complaining by me. I love you equals “I search for ways to tell You how much I love You…” “Ah, the voice of my Beloved…” Song of Songs 2:8.
May 2, 2011:
Everything used to be so simple. Now, everything is so complicated.
May 3, 2011:
Today is our 14 year anniversary! Praise God! Love thinks no evil, bears all things, endures forever and never fails.
The Gospel is alive. It must be to “produce” fruit. Dead things don’t grow… aren’t seeds dead though?! Are people being drawn to Jesus by the way I live? Are people being lead to the Cross by me? By you?
May 4, 2011:
I feel very far away from the Cross… Thank You for demonstrating Your love for me on the Cross! Thank you for restoring my morning prayer time! Thank You for the nice day we had yesterday.
When I feel used or taken advantage of, remember the song, “Channels Only”, or “Make Me A Blessing”. I’m merely a vessel, God will supply my every need. I don’t *need* any friends, God is my friend, my very best. Because He blesses me so much, I can bless other’s so much. Maybe when I feel unappreciated or used, its God’s way of reminding me that I need to thank someone.
How can the name of the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified in me? 2 Thess. 1:12
Help to always do what is good and right. To be blameless.
Remove any hindrances in me that would prohibit fruit production and/or doing the Will of the Father. Be not weary in well-doing. No complaining or grumbling.
I need help, Lord to do what You’ve asked of me.
May 6, 2011:
Stop making excuses and do the work. Just do right, stop sinning!
May 9, 2011:
Thank you, Lord for helping me get right. Thank you for the graciousness of Oxbow. Thank You for my parents. How can I help Brian? Help to control my tongue, help me to be strong emotionally.
May 10, 2011:
We got our gas shutoff yesterday. Unexplicably, I was still able to run Nana a hot bath. Thank You, Lord!
May 11, 2011:
Ps. 25:3a – “Let none who wait on thee be ashamed…”
Jesus used the scriptures to defeat the enemy. He can corrupt our minds and tempt us to walk away from the simplicity of Christ! He confuses and complicates! Resist him through faith, and through the scriptures.
May 12, 2011:
Thank You, Lord for restoring our hot water. Thank You for helping us. Help me to not be moved away from the simplicity of Christ.
May 13, 2011:
My testimony is too precious. I have to protect it. The enemy wants to destroy it.
May 14, 2011:
Church this morning. Slept unwell last night; chest pains, hot/cold, thirsty, fearful, etc. Amazingly enough I woke up not that tired~ Went to church, then cried all the way home. I hate to cry over the dismal picture of our finances. So behind, hope so low, faith low, uncertainty plagues me.
May 16, 2011:
Lord, you’ve turned it all around. I always do this. I always let my heart be troubled and somehow, someway, you never hold it against me. You’ve provided a better plan that I could ever dream up. Please help us direct it in accordance with Your will, please help me to see if there is anything amiss.
It is You alone, Lord who gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding. It is You alone, Lord who allows me to see a better way, to see solutions to problems, to give creativity. It is You alone, Lord who gives us the resources and increase to take care of ourselves.
Don’t be lazy. Do the work, do what is right, be strong, have self-control, trust in the Lord with all my heart. Lean not unto my own understanding. In all my ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct my paths. Be simple, don’t complicate a matter. The Lord will make the plan, the path plain, easy to follow. He will guide my steps. He is the One who blesses and grants any increase. It is my responsibility to give of the first fruits of the work of my hands.
May 19, 2011:
Let Your light shine through me to all who see. Help me to do the important work and to set aside the unworthy things. Do what’s right. Slay the “little foxes” that ruin the vineyard. Leave them behind and continue the work. Make the sacrifice for those that actually want to be a part of my life and don’t merely want “something” from me. The ministries you allow me to have, Your work, Master Club, this park, VOM, my home, my kids, serving and supporting them. Stop dwelling or allow my attention to stay on those “little foxes”, or the people that have deemed themselves unfit, don’t matter. They are diverting my attention from Jesus – my prize! Jesus IS my reward, my inheritance! Everything should revolve around magnifying Him and His work in me. I’m allowing too many things to steal my joy in my pursuit of Him. I need more self-control. I need to continue to keep “short accounts” (keep a tight reign over those “little sins”).
How are the little olive plants growing in Master Club under my care? Are they dry and underfed? Neglected, growing wild? Dying? For lack of attention and food? No direction or cultivation? Must sacrifice the time. Seek the guidance, care, attention, tenderness that comes from our Lord. Be ENGAGED – plugged in! Stop giving my attention to things that don’t deserve it! Give my attention to the things and people God wants. Period. Dwell on Jesus and what He wants for me. Always ask, “What would the Lord want me to do?” Sometimes that’s easy. Sometimes that’s not. Help us to understand and know you better, Lord.
May 20, 2011:
Thank you, Lord for supplying our needs, for the love gift. How can I serve others? And do it with joy?
May 25, 2011:
I swore yesterday. I knew it was wrong, there’s no excuse. I’m so sorry, Lord. Will You forgive me? It’s so hard to ask forgiveness for willful sin.
In Christ, I am complete. I am His workmanship. Should He come today, it will be sufficient to understand His work is done in me. (Col. 1 & 2)
May 27, 2011:
I am to be a maker and a keeper of peace. Avoiding strife and vengeance. I must not fulfill the lust of the flesh in any form of retaliation. I am to overcome evil with good and practice meekness (power under control). I have to keep in mind the preciousness of my witness and testimony and do no harm to the cause of Christ in any way or for any reason. I represent Something and Someone so precious. May all know the love of Christ through me, and may I never tarnish, mar or damage His Gospel, ever. But live in love through the avenue of edifying. May everyone see in me what’s not seen in anyone else: Jesus Christ.
I have to trust Jesus and commit to Him the state of __________’s salvation. Leave that burden at His feet, He’s more than capable. Leave it and walk on rejoicing, not sad. If the Lord starts anything, He will complete it. Not me. May God begin the work in many hearts because of my faithfulness. A gift He has given me.
Later on tonight, we bussed in 15 children from our park to watch, “The Jesus Film – for Kids”. I was able to show through the scriptures to four little girls how they can know salvation in Jesus. I’m praying for the Lord to water those seeds and bring the growth. Praying for a mighty work in their hearts and in their lives. Please, Lord. Let them, give them, the desire to know You and Your salvation. Take them to heaven.
I’m not quite sure how or why God has chosen me, or how or why He blesses me so, so much. His Great Love is constant, but sometimes He lavishes it upon me in greater measure. And when that happens, it’s a wonderful surprise!
May 29, 2011:
Not going to church. 1) no ride, 2) didn’t arrange for a ride. Lord, You know our needs. I hate to keep asking and asking. Yes. Of course if and when we get a car, we will go to church like you’ve commanded.
Help me to show love to the Master Club kids through hugs and smiles. Don’t teach me just to love, but fill me with the operative Spirit of the God of Love. God is love and He dwells within me!
June 1, 2011:
We had a set-back in Brian’s insurance. We were not able to see a doctor the whole month of May because of it. Not that it was anyone’s fault. A surgeon didn’t work out due to a mistake that I made, so in my humiliation, we just had to wait until today. The appointment yielded three new steps. 1) new neurologist, 2) physical therapy (when he was in the hospital they told us he wasn’t a candidate for it, but now apparently he is) and 3) continue with the orthopedic surgeon we originally saw. I will keep everyone brief on the results of all this as best I can.
I keep seeing and reading about Jesus being a “friend”. It’s impressed upon me. Thank You, Lord Jesus for being my friend.
Master Club tonight.
I want to be possessed by the Living God. Not just to save myself, but to save others. I may not understand all that happens during the process, but I’ve committed to Him everything that I am and everything that I have in my desire to see Him magnified. Ps. 40:16~
June 4, 2011:
I want to do so much more… But I feel stuck in my flesh.
There is a little bit more written in my journal since this date, but it’s a little long about a dream I had. Maybe another time I’ll share it.
I hope and pray that these entries encouraged you. I’ve had the privilege of meeting through a precious brother in Christ, a sweet lady who is in a similar situation as mine. Ordained through God, I know I’m not alone. I never was, actually. Maybe you feel alone in whatever circumstance you may be in. What I want to relay is that our walk with Jesus is seldom covered in rose petals everyday of our life. It’s been said of the persecuted church that as a flower is bruised and crushed, it’s fragrant perfume comes out all the more from it. I don’t think that’s the exact phrase, but it’s close. It is in our weaknesses that God’s grace shows so abundantly, not in our strength! Many times I feel so weak, but that is where God can use me best. As difficult a pill that is to swallow, it is the way He works. He chooses to give grace to the humble and to resist the proud. I pray that you can see through every post that no matter how much I struggle, I never lose touch with what matters and neither should you.
In the world there lies a popularity contest, in Christendom there lies greatness and blessing in serving. I will never be popular in this world, I don’t aim to be. I suppose to some degree I’ll receive flack or disdain for baring some very private things that I’ve made public, but it doesn’t matter. After all, when we stand before God, our very secrets will be declared anyway, our very thoughts and the intents of our hearts over the courses of our lives. While many seek to exalt themselves, I seek to exalt The One who made my very life possible in the first place. All to Him I owe.
Please keep us in your prayers. I don’t know what God has planned for us. Brian and I are doing our best to remain hopeful and optimistic. We know someday soon, God will reveal to us what is going on medically.