Thursday, March 17, 2011

Not Broken...Restored!

Lately I have been going through some changes and wasn’t exactly sure how to formulate my thoughts, but I did hear this song and I just started thinking about my newly restored intimacy with the Lord. You see, I was at the point of hopelessness and really in all honesty did not believe that God loved me. If you have read a few of my blogs then you may remember me expressing my great desire for God to do something that would cause me to marvel at Him. What I didn’t realize at the time, or over the last few years that this was developing within me was in fact, that of the beloved bride desiring the passionate pursuit of her lover.  I had felt true intimacy before with both the Lord and with a man. I’m not talking about physical intimacy but of a really “knowing” one another.  So I had experienced that in those two relationships previously and  now…both were gone.
You know the difficult thing about writing? It’s not so much of the putting thoughts down on paper as much as going back and rereading something I had written previously and thinking, “Wow, I sound like I know it all or like a child” in what I had written. I suppose that could be me being overly critical of myself or perhaps I should take that as a good thing where I can see the growth since penning that writing. While I will usually settle on the latter rather than the former, one thing is true, my understanding of God is ever changing. It’s like life, more of an organism ever changing, always adapting to new circumstances and not really something that you can hold in your hand. Next month my oldest daughter will be moving out and into her very first apartment and because of this our house will be reduced to three, plus the dogs of course. I think it is a great thing for her to leave the nest and move forward with her young adult life; however, it does make it apparent how our lives are always changing. That actually gives me reassurance with my understanding of how quickly things can change because I have learned that I will adapt! That is certain!
I heard a Bible teacher, Malcolm Smith who was teaching on the prayer of Jabez and he emphasized the point that the problem with Jabez was that he was given the promise of God’s blessing; however, refused to receive it because of the circumstances he had been handed.  He believed for the blessing for his friends and family but not himself. That sounded so very much like me! In fact, over the last year I don’t know how many times I have told others of how I could believe for a miracle for them but not something good for myself in my own life! Ha! Just call me Jabez!
So that was me, hopeless and loveless and just about that time the local church I had been attending was starting a teaching series on hope, so of course I was going to go! The most amazing, eye opening began that Sunday morning. As my Pastor, Randy Bezet began to speak it was amazing how timely this message was because, I kid you not, so many questions that I had spoke and thought that week, came out in his teaching. At one point it became so uncanny that I laughed out loud! Then one of those epiphany moments came, you know when the light bulb goes on above your head! When my pastor said he had had a similar time of not feeling God loved him so he just asked God to show him. You could almost hear the “click” over my head when he said it. You see I had forgotten one of the most simple guidelines of living this Christian life,  it’s the, “show me I’m from Missouri” understanding, as I like to call it, of if God said it and you are not experiencing it or are struggling with it then ask Him to make it real to you.  Needless to say, when I got home I immediately asked God saying, “You say in your word that you love me but I am just not getting that so I need you to show me how much you love me Lord!” I have got to tell you that ever since I did that, He has been showing me. Not to say that my inner skeptic has not made appearances too, but God has explicitly put his signature on His demonstrations of love for me. A lot of it has been through you, those who read my blogs and respond with support, encouragement, and love. I am truly blessed that you would take the time to read this blog and then to respond or to pray for me, that makes me feel tremendously blessed, loved, and appreciated! So,…thank you!
I also came to the realization that I had to let go of the guy. I had to come to the conclusion that I was unable to remain friends with him and had to let go. It was not easy; however, the next day I felt a tremendous weight was lifted and clarity had finally come. I was quickly reminded by Holy Spirit that, “until you let go of something that’s not so great, from you hand, it can not be filled with something great!”. That is really when the clouds seemed to lift and the sunshine shown through!  I began to trust God again! I realized that, once again, feelings had taken the wheel in my thought processes and selfish desires were at work. I had to remind myself that He is God and I am not. He knows what the future holds and what is hidden in the heart of man. I don’t know what people are capable of but God knows. I am resigned to not know why things happen the way they do or why I end up hurting so often, but I do realize that if God loves me like He says He does in the word, then He is working on my behalf for my best interests! I don’t know what would happen with that certain man but God knows. Maybe he would have ended up abusive, or perhaps a relationship with him might have hindered my ministry?  But I do know, that God knows and He will not let the world overtake me, it may knock me around with it’s circumstances and down to the ground with tragedies but they will not destroy me!  I am His and one day I will be going home!
Saying all this to say that the clouds have passed and I can see sunshine again. Some of you have been concerned and I appreciate it, but rest assured that I am doing quite well,! lol! I have a restored hope in God and every morning I read Jeremiah 29:11 and believe that God has plans for a future for me! I am cautiously moving towards ministry opportunities too and somewhere inside I know that He will rebuild my faith with each step of the journey. I have a great sense of excitement when visioning towards the future as to what God has planned coupled with a bit of cautioning  insecurity knowing that it will be all Him doing it because it’s too impossible for me.  “Lord have your way!” Eeeeek!  ;-)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Struggles and the roots!

I haven’t blogged in a while and I have realized that when I’m really struggling with something I tend to pull back from people and resist blogging. So for future reference, if it has been a while since I have blogged, please pray for me because I am probably struggling and in need.

As I sit here and write this my eyes are full of tears, my heart is overwhelmed with pain, my thoughts are a jumbled swirling mess, and in reality I just want to quit! This life is really too overwhelming for me. I have been dealing with depression, ever since I moved in December. I have not been able to recreate a life here and that is something I desperately need. You see, in the last three years I have made some significant discoveries about myself.

I have realized that I am actually a very outgoing people person. I feel at home in a crowd of people. I love getting out and leading an active life. I realized through some counseling that I have received that I am, by nature, a people person. When I was a little girl I remember in Kindergarten, I was always getting into trouble for chatting away in class. The problem was that my mother didn’t like that so through a series of chastisements I learned it was only acceptable to be quiet and stay out of trouble. I became extremely insecure because in fact the person I was created to be was simply not acceptable.

So after making this discovery about myself, I made it a point to get involved in various activities. I knew where I could go every night of the week to interact with friends or just enjoy such activities as volleyball, art shows, or live music. I saw friends everyday and through them realized that my natural tendency to be a social butterfly was totally acceptable after all! I realized that this was not just a preference but an actual need that I have. When this social need is met, I found that I am so much more secure in my identity. By embracing how God made me as a social being, who really needs to be around people I had a sense of contentment and fulfillment!

The only problem with this wonderful realization about myself is the depression that I have been dealing with due to the fact that I have not been able to recreate such a social network since I have moved. My social need levels are critically low, which leads to huge insecurities and depression. With the added physical issue of the sciatic nerve problems for the last two months, it really has been extremely difficult. I don’t know if you have had to deal with depression before but it is that you see you need to do things and know you do; however, you have no desire to do them. It is a paralyzing effect upon a person and to get out of it is really a battle. Some people are fortunate and able to fight their way out of it and others are not as fortunate.

I dealt with depression after my second husband walked out on us. It was the most difficult time of my life thus far. It was such a struggle to simply wake up and take my kids to school then sit on the couch with my bible till it was time to pick them up from school. It became a process of adding one challenge at a time and just trying to be patient with myself. The next implementation was to stop at the park on the way home. After that I implemented counseling appointments, then a Pilates class, and eventually Wednesday night small group. Some days it was a good day if the only thing that got accomplished was that the kids got to and from school! It was like having to pull your body up from the floor; however, for some reason your body is likened to a piece of metal and the ground is a high powered magnet. Sometimes it took all the strength I had just to get up!  I say all that to say that here I am again, feeling those familiar paralyzing feelings that make me not want to do anything. It is just loosing the desire for life. It is coming to the point of having no desire for life, no direction, no purpose, but very, very lonely.

So of course, I ask myself, “Why and I feeling like this?” Well as best as I can figure there are a few aspects at play. Two are circumstantial and one is a root problem. I am one of those people who try to find the root of an issue because I believe, until you find the root of an issue, you can’t find a way to fix it. So the first circumstantial issue is what I stated above that I have moved and haven’t been able to recreate a good social network of friends and activities to alleviate the social needs I have.

The second is a rather big issue, of course it pertains to a man. You see when I moved here I was pretty fed up with the insecure, immature, and unreliable men I had been encountering, so I was of the mindset that I was through with men. I didn’t have any in my life whom I could count on and to be honest have just had to rely upon God and myself ever since I was widowed. I really desired to have a honest, mature, secure, and reliable man in my life; however, it just wasn’t a reality, even to the point that when my brother said to me, “you have family here for you now,” I didn’t really know how to react. So that was Lori’s mindset as of the move down, but then I met a guy. I didn’t meet him online through any website, but met him as my son would say, “the old fashioned way!” As I had previously posted, we really hit it off and really enjoyed each other’s company. We started hanging out quite a bit, and he called me every day and most days many times throughout the day. He would come over for dinner, we would play games with the kids and just have fun. Most weeks we got together every day and yes I fell for him. Despite the fact that he had stated when we first met, his affections for another woman, we grew closer and his constant attention was readily accepted. I thought that with all the phone calls and spending time with us that his affections were growing for me too, but a few weeks ago I found out that they weren’t. We had a talk and I admitted that I was investing feelings in him and he then restated his affections for another and I felt HUGE rejection. Since then, I have decided to keep a distance from him. We do not hang out anymore, we sometimes see each other at church. I don’t answer his calls more that once a week and keep it pretty superficial. He has expressed as desire to remain friends and not let go of our friendship; however, I have explained that I need time to sort through all this in my head and get my heart straight. I’m not sure if I will be able to be friends with him, but that will only be possible when my heart heals and I can look at him as a brother in Christ and only a brother in Christ! So that heart break, I’m sure plays a significant part in this depressive state.

The third and root issue is between God and I. Isn’t that the way it always is? The core issues with me always seem to boil down to a false thought pattern that doesn’t align with scripture. So here is the issue, I have a desire for a mate, severely! I have read books on singleness and finding a mate and the overwhelming understanding is that God is the one who completes you. There is a thinking that God is all you need and you need to be content with having only Him in your life. So for years I look at myself with the knowledge that there must be something wrong with me because, even though I know God is the maker, and giver of everything that is good, I still desire a mate. It’s not bad to desire a mate, and I’m not saying that my sufficiency will come from a relationship with a man, no it comes from God. However, I can no longer deny the fact that I have a desire for a mate, that is a HUGE desire but it is also normal and human nature. I wasn’t one of those who were created to be alone, but I started thinking that God was this authoritarian who put rules upon me. It was as if in my understanding, God would not give me the desires of my heart until I was able to be totally content with only Him. But that doesn’t exactly sound like scripture. It sounds a lot like legalism doesn’t it? “Well, Lori when you fix yourself so that you can be totally happy with me and me alone, only then will I think about giving you the mate you desire!” Hold on a second, that’s not God at all! 

You see with that type of thinking it is totally understandable to not believe that God love you anymore, because I’m not good enough. Obviously there is something wrong with Lori because this overwhelming desire to have a mate, is not acceptable. There is no wonder that I struggle with hoping that anything good would happen to me after so much disappointment. After, my beloved dies of cancer even though I begged and begged for his life, other family deaths, the abandonment of divorce, and various other rejections, why would I believe that anything good would come my way. But here’s the root, I took a chance, went out on a limb that I was scared to climb onto, it snapped and I slammed into the ground again. I feel cheated because I dared to believe again. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t blind hope. There were a lot of signs that led me to start to believe, like a little child, that my Daddy God would bless me, in the area of my greatest struggle, with a mate.

Through talking to a dear friend today I made a discovery about myself again. To be honest I have not felt that God love me for years now. I mean, I have moments where I’m feeling it but nothing that lasts. In the past I have had times where I was so certain of God’s love for me that I would have willingly given my life to prove it; however, now things are not so. It all feels so cold and God seems so distant. I reach and reach for Him but for some reason can’t touch even the hem. In one counseling session with my Pastor he said, “You need God to do something that will cause you to marvel at Him don’t you?” The answer to his question was an apparently yes, when I started bawling. You see if I were to say my biggest way of receiving love or knowing someone loves me is through good surprises. I love good surprises! That is really the quickest way to the center of my heart. It tells me that someone thought that much of me to do that and I feel special, important, and tremendously loved! Knowing that, now you’ll understand when I say, I don’t know if God loves me because there hasn’t been those kind of moments in a long while! You can call me spoiled, but we all have differing ways of giving, receiving, and knowing we are loved and that is mine. I guess I didn’t realize that was the reason that I feel such a need for God to do something that will bring me to that childlikeness of marveling at how much my Daddy loves me. It’s not a want at this point, it is a NEED that I have. I know we are supposed to know that God loves us by His word and I do know that, in my head! What I need is to know, that after all the answers, “No” to my prayers, after all the disappointments and tough circumstances, I need to know with my heart that He loves me. Yes, I need God to do something that I will marvel at Him and believe He is on my side. I need to know that He cares not just about my character but about my heart more so, because He knows how He made me. He knows how to speak to the heart of His daughter and convey His love so that she will know Him.

As human as I am, I believe that the root issue is the source of the state of depression. For some reason, I have this thinking that the Christian life will get easier; however, it seems to just get more and more difficult. I used to think I knew things about God and all of this and the longer I walk with Him the more I realize how very little I know. All I know lately is that I am coming to terms with me being a very needy human and that I don’t understand God. So I ask for your prayers, Lord willing the depression will pass soon and I look forward to the day when I will marvel at God again and with the biggest smile on my face, know in my heart that, “yes! He loves me more than anything!”  Until, then I’ll embrace my weakness and my neediness, my depression, my lack of faith, lack of hope, and lack of feeling His love bringing all this to Him. I know this is a season and we all know seasons do change! Praise God they do!
Bless you in your journey!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I am finally starting to feel better and recover from the head cold that I have had all weekend. Yay! Don't you just hate that? We have a rash of cold weather, here in South West Florida, and then just as the weather begins to warm up and the weekend gets here,...a cold takes over and totally destroys the plans that were made for the weekend. Grrr! Well, oh well!

I have this thinking about when I get sick, it seems to be play time for Satan. Really, I am at my weakest and it never fails that I go through a cycle of darkness, we'll call it, when I am down with a cold. First, I get really irrational and start to overreact to situations that I would otherwise be much more composed in. Then I get tremendously emotional which leads into a depressive state, followed by the absolute in ability to stand up against sinful desires! So I imagine by now you are asking your self, "What exactly happened this weekend?" I won't go into detail, but I totally fell on my face and failed. In the midst of it I was kinda appalled at my own behavior and how quickly I succumbed; however, after some time I have come to a few thoughts that I will share.

First of all, I want to say that I did manage to advert some troubles or at least postpone them with praise. You see, being single is really quite difficult! I get lonely, really lonely and even though I have children, and they do help a bit, it is not the same as adult interaction. I was feeling particularly depressive the other day due to the oncoming cold and considering how I just moved, I was missing my friends in Pensacola/Gulf Breeze tremendously! So as I started to feel myself come unraveled at the seams I grabbed my guitar and sat down and thought, "I will not stop playing till I feel better!" It took a little while, and my fingers were a little sore but it had worked! I just kept repeating in my thoughts how I would praise my way through it, and I did. Yay!!!

The second thought I had was from a devotional entry by Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest. It mentioned that, God doesn't make us give up stuff for the sake of giving up stuff. I got stuck on this because I'm in the middle of the fast right now. I felt that this was a motive check. First, I got caught on that phrase, "God doesn't make us give up stuff". I just found that interesting. You see I decided to do this fast and year with God and have my preconceived ideas about what exactly that meant. I am a planner, some times, well especially when it comes to things I'm gonna do for God. LOL!!! Even as I just typed that, it sounds soooooo ridiculous!!! I know God is just smiling and chuckling about how silly His little girl is in assuming to know anything about what He is doing or what is best for her! I guess it brings me a certain false security to think that I have control over some part of my life! So, I am thinking that this was taking the temperature of my motivation in doing the fast and giving a year to Him. I also think it was to check my motivation for this blog and sharing with you all my struggles. I am not looking for any praise, or anyone to look at my life as anything more that seeing what God can do with taking a truly messed up individual and changing her life into what He desires. If you can look at my life and the things that I write here, and be encouraged in your walk then that is all I desire. I do not profess to be an expert on anything but feel that through taking an honest look at myself, the good, bad and ugly, God will be glorified! Especially in my weakness!
You see, I believe that when I am weak that allows room for God's glory to shine. So yes, in all I do I honor God, especially in my weakness!

Now since failing so miserably this past weekend I am confronted with the question, once again, "If this is truly all about grace, then why am I so concerned with what I am doing?" I believe that sometimes God lets us fall so that we look up and reach up and refocus on Him. Perhaps I was getting too focused on the what I was doing instead of the who I was doing it for. Maybe I was too concerned about what I was doing instead of whom I am seeking.
You see this whole God thing, this whole Bible and Jesus dying on the cross thing, is all about RECONCILIATION, in reality. It is about reconciling people to God and people to each other. Which means that some relationship was broken due to a wrong and through the process of humility, repentance, and forgiveness, restoration can happen. The end result and the achievable goal is just that, restoring what was once lost!

"Lord let my seek you and you alone. Restore the years the locust have eaten in my life and in my relationship with you. Be my strength, all the time, as I explore this weakness called humanity and venture to rest in your arms. My heart longs for the day when I can lay against you and feel your heartbeat as one with mine. Thank you for your love and mercy, for how you protect me and provide for me. Thank you for being willing to say no when I whine and kick against the goads. Thank you for giving me life and my identity as your beloved. Thank you for teaching me what real love is, each and every day. Thank you for not abandoning me and always loving me through my craziness, pain, and sorrow. You are my refuge! I couldn't make it one step without you and I am so sorry for the times when I think I can! You are my life! You are my breath! You are my everything!"


Thursday, January 13, 2011

What an Interesting day!

Today was a day I would call, Interesting! Interesting is one of those words that can have various connotations. One may use the word interesting to mean, intriguing, thought provoking, and an all around positive set of circumstances. It can be used to mean odd, undesirable, inadequate, challenging, or and overall sense of disappointment. A third way that interesting can be used is in describing a day that maybe indifferent, indescribable, and outwardly neutral.

When I use the term interesting to describe today I am referring to the third definition, meaning that there were times where it was interesting according to meaning one and times when it was interesting  according to meaning two, but I really can not discern whether either one was predominant!

There were some challenges today on many fronts. I wasn’t sure if it was the first hurdle of the fast, that my back is still hurting pretty bad after three weeks, or if it was because I woke up to a freezing house today? No matter what the reason, I faced some pretty big challenges.

The back pain that I have been dealing with is some sort of sciatic problem. You see when I moved back to Bradenton, I decided to get my life in shape, not just my spiritual life but my physical life as well! In the last few months I have become what I would call a beer connoisseur. I ventured years ago in the world of wine and felt I had a pretty good handle on that so I merge into beers this past summer and fall. Needless to say when one of my friends says he works out so as to eat cheeseburgers and drink beer, he wasn’t kidding! If you are not working out and you start to drink a few beers, boy do you put on the pounds!!! So I decided to work on my physical body as God works on my spiritual body. Well I have a tendency to really jump into things with both feet, and wouldn’t you know it I injured my back or sciatic nerve, so of course, no more working out! I prayed and asked God to please heal me and help me loose the weight that I have gained because I’m struggling with getting rid of it! Living in constant pain for weeks and taking ibuprofen every day just to function is really wearing on me. Then yesterday I remember back to when I did Pilates how they always talked about flexibility, so I thought perhaps that would help? So I signed up for a class and went tonight. It was great and afterwards I felt wonderful! I thought about how perhaps I would not have thought of going to Pilates if my back had not been hurting me this much. Sometimes God will use pain to push us in the right direction. I thought about the gym and the personal trainer and how it never felt quite right, but I wanted results, now! Then God said, “Lori, some things, take time, and it’s going to take a little time to get to where you want to be.” “You always want to rush things and most of the time that just doesn’t work,” He continued. “Just be patient with things and with you. I know what you and your body can handle!” He quickly reminded me that this is a physical representation of what is happening in my spiritual life! I need to be patient and learn the lessons that come in the in between times, in between beginnings and endings.

One friend and I were speaking one evening about how being a Christian is like having a part in the orchestra. We are in such a hurry because we want to learn our instrument and our part and do it well to please the conductor. But then it occurred to me, what if the symphony, the masterpiece, is not in the ending, but in the along the way? Just a thought!

Praise God that the heat is working!! Thanks to my Dad and Brother who spent most of the day here fixing it so that we could be warm tonight! And I really wanted to stop for a beer and a real nice meal after my Pilates class but I didn’t. There was one challenge that I simply had to run from today, but I think that is okay. I stumbled a little before I ran, but I think when you can’t stand up against a challenge it’s okay to run, because God has got your back! He’s got mine! And I know He’s got yours!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Checking in!

Have you ever had one of those days in which you felt you were exactly in the right place and doing exactly what you should be doing? The peace and the joy floods your soul, the fulfillment leads your spirit to soar, and everything is right in your world! Well that is how I felt home schooling…yesterday! LOL! Today? Not so much!

It was a little stressful today; perhaps it was the pain in my back? Maybe pms? Lack of caffeine? Whatever it is, the memory of the goodness of yesterday lingered long enough for me to realize that, “yes, there will be days like this!” On the grand scale it really was not that bad of a day, I mean no tragedy struck so I guess I am extremely grateful and thinking it was a great day after all.

I’ve just been tired and the last two days not able to get up before . Right now I am reminded to be patient with myself and to really think of all that was done today. Home schooled two children, cleaned the living room, vacuumed the house, drove to the next town for a text book I was missing, bought a 7 by 10 rug for the living room and put it down, cancelled the cable, shopped for and cooked dinner, and now I’m putting in a blog entry before bed. Whew, it makes me tired just thinking about it!

I guess my thoughts take me to two places, one knowing what I still have yet to accomplish and that I didn’t take my devotional time with God. I realized that I absolutely love my cup of coffee with my devotional time! Absolutely love it! However, now I am joining with so many of you in that 21 day awakening Daniel fast so, I am not drinking coffee. I thought I could get away with tea but upon checking the acceptable food list I find herbal teas are a don’t! Today I was driving to the store and really missing my hot cup of coffee, I mean now is the time when it’s best, when it’s cold outside! I thought of possible alternatives, hot water with dried cherries?? Just doesn’t get the same response does it? I have to ask myself, if that is my association, a warm cup of coffee as I do my devotionals, and now on the fast I don’t have that, what am I supposed to be seeing here? Is it that the fast is interfering with my devotion, when it is supposed to do the exact opposite? Or is God changing His meeting time with me.

Years ago, after Dan died; I had the most wonderful devotion time with God, so wonderful that sometimes it lasted for hours! Lovingly I would sit in my Father’s lap while He taught and spoke with me. It was outstanding!! However, one day I went to meet Him at our usual spot and He didn’t seem to be there. I tried and tried, but got nothing. I asked for days what was going on. Then I tried to have my devotions at a different time, and God spoke to me saying, “You can not put me in a box! I will change what I want when I want to and I don’t have to consult you to do it Lori!” I remember thinking, wow, (gulp) okay and what an amazing adventure! It is like hide and seek! God is waiting for us to seek Him and find Him! But beware; He may just change the plans!

I’ll close with this, many of you are struggling to find work right now with the economy like it is. Well, I have a few friends who have been looking for work for a long time and one called me today. This friend called just to let me know he had a second interview for a job, and later I found out from his wife that he did indeed get the job. The thing that was interesting was that he said it was like that scripture, “God’s ways are not our ways and neither is His timing!” I can so agree to that! Praise be to God! The giver of all good gifts!! ;-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First day of the fast!

Today was the first day of my 21 day Daniel fast. Many of you may have begun this same type of fast to join your church in a concentration for direction and vision for your local body of believers as well. Individually, in my experience, I have received personal growth during times. I remember hearing a few years ago, that a person starting a fast should have clear cut plans of what they expect or desire from God for this time.

I tend to shutter at that thought because the longer I walk this earth I have realized two things. One thing is that I am totally incapable of making any sort of demands upon the God of the universe. I learned this when I prayed and prayed for my beloved Daniel to be healed from terminal lung cancer. I prayed to the point of making my self sick. Then again when I prayed for God to restore and reconcile my marriage after my second husband walked out. I asked, begged, and pleaded with God but He remained unmoved by my petitions. I am understanding of why He did things the way He did, and in a lot of the cases He was protecting and growing me. Which leads me to the other point, that is that I am a finite and totally unqualified to decide what is best for me. I mean if I had received the prayer of my second marriage being restored or with my husband returning instead of filing for divorce, I would not be me right now. I would be so doped up on antidepressants and constant drinking to anesthetize the fact that whom God created in me was not acceptable in that relationship. In short, it would have totally destroyed me by now if God had not allowed the end of that marriage, but He had to make it so that I would have no say in the matter. You see my ex husband walked out, never said goodbye to the children, just told me how it was, inconsistent with who he was as a person to remain in this marriage! Then he simply left, and refused to speak to me, go to counseling, speak to a pastor, all of it. Then five days before Christmas, I got the petition for divorce. It was one of the most horrific times of my life and I almost did not survive. I guess that is what I look back at now and realize what an unhealthy and immature relationship that truly was! Therefore, who am I to decide what is best for Lori? I have to totally rely upon God, even for the direction of the fast and every moment, really.   He knows it all and owns it all, so why not trust the Author?

So in conclusion, I am trusting God for each step of the journey, and the strength to not only go the right directions but to also take the steps! Especially when due to this fast I could not have my cup of coffee this morning, ugh! But I realized that I only have to think about the fast today and in all actuality, what's 21 days? what's one year? Blessings to you all! Love! ;)

"just remember till you're home again, you belong to me!"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Challenging day!

I just had to write about today and the challenge I faced.

I have a certain friend, who is a man, whom I am attracted to. I'll tell you a bit about him. He is a christian, I mean he truely believes and relies upon God's grace and his relationship with him. He is strong and secure in himself. He has the wonderful gift of exhortation to the point that he will not let you say something negative about yourself. He has had a rough childhood and life so he appears to be very appreciative of little things. He is into details. He is honest, like me and sometimes quite blunt about things, but truth is hard to find! He is really quite helpful and one of those individuals whom, if you asked to do anything, would do it! A little southern gentleman, maybe somewhat redneck, big blue eyes and extremely funny(which you know is big points with me!). He has the ability to be a very intense individual; however, he lives a very simplistic lifestyle. He loves kids and my younger two children really enjoy his company. He is tremendously gifted musically and loves to worship the Lord with his guitar. An amazing child of God!

Well, we met when I moved here, some friends introduced us. He helped so much with organizing thoughts and helping put things together. He visited frequently and has expressed a desire to be a part of the children's lives, especially Nick's, as a male figure. I have felt total peace about this. Have you ever met someone who just seems to fit in? He does. He says he feels comfortable around us and we feel the same way in return. It's pretty amazing!

As you can tell by now I am attracted to this man. He now knows it. Previously he has expressed his interest in another woman whom he has be dating off and on for approximately two years. Up untill recently, I knew where he stood and that put me where I stood. Well, as of late he has been expressing interest in me and tonight he came over to hang out with the kids. After a little while, we went to the store to get some items for dinner and a conversation ensued. He said he got the feeling that I was not wanting to be around him and asked me what was going on. I assured him that it really had nothing to do with him and shared what God had laid upon my heart with dedicating a year to Him. This gentleman related that he totally understood and would respect my decision and what God and I agreed upon.

This was a HUGE deal for me and a growth opportunity! To look a man in the face, whom I am attracted to and would be interested in a relationship with, and tell him that I am focusing on God and Him only! Wow! I really, honestly felt empowered by the entire event and through it I was able to express my desire to be friends and continue to hang out since we do enjoy eachother's company so much. He agreed. I was also able to share a weakness, take responsibility for it and remain faithful to the commitment I have with God. This also led to an evening with me being more relaxed and enjoying his company as a fun brother in Christ. I am so blessed!

I am so thankful that I was able to stand. The bible talks about the devil attacking and how we should put on the armor of God, then it simply says for us to STAND. Honestly, I was so weak and starting to feel all those feelings of loneliness, but God was my strength and I was able to stand. I may not be strong enough to mount an offense but that's not what I am charged with doing. He will go before me; all I must do is stand!