Giving Thanks

“It is easy to be thankful for the good things in life”.

I have no idea whether I heard this or read it, so I can’t give credit. As I scrolled through all the Facebook posts about thankfulness, it got me thinking.  Can I be thankful for the hardships in my life?

Let’s find out.
1) I am thankful for my parents divorce. It destroyed my faith, because it was weak. Since I drifted so far I now have no doubt that God is real, that He is good and He is trustworthy. For that rock I am very grateful.
2) I am thankful for my divorce. It helped me to better understand my mother and why she did what she did. I have been blessed to share this story to help other women see what abuse really is.
3) I am thankful for the day He brought me to my knees in repentance and tore the sinful heart from inside me. The pain and suffering of redemption and forgiveness is nothing in comparison to the pain I caused myself all those years.
4) I am grateful for the heartache of missing friends and family. This means I am capable of love.  For many years I was so numb I felt no emotions except sadness.
5) I am thankful my Oregon family (The Macy’s). In their home God taught me unconditional love and what reliance on Him looked like. it was here I truly learned to live.
6) I am grateful for my family. In-spite of our brokenness, God is bringing us back together in a more healthy version.
7) I am grateful for my years of singleness (yes, this one is hard). In it God has changed my view of relationships and marriage. I have learned that physical attraction really doesn’t matter in the end. The spirit in my mate and how he treats me does.

I have always loved the song Hallelujah, but never really listened to the lyrics before.  If you don’t have time to listen, at least read the lyrics.  At the end it declares that love of God(paraphrasing here) is ” a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah”.

So maybe God really doesn’t want our praise for the good things in our life.  But He longs for us to praise Him for the hard times. For truly loving Him is is to see His hand in the hard times and praise Him as your heart breaks in two and the tears stream down your face.

Hallelujah Video

Hallelujah Lyrics


What do you think about what God wants to hear?

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What does depression feel like

I want to be real on here.  That has always been my goal.  This week has been hard though and I am not sure how to put it into words.  The depression has swept in like a beast and almost destroyed me.  As I work through and find the words for this week, I wan to share a picture with you.  One that explains what depression feels like.  I wrote this in 2012 and the imagery still rings true.

“I see it roll over the hills.  The storm brews on the horizon.  I brace myself as the storm engulfs me.  The dark murky mists entangle their fingers in my hair, as I cry out for God to deliver me.  Silence echoes as the light goes out.  In the dark I begin to cry out names of those I love.  The clouds do funny things to their voices.  I can never seem to find where they are.  Through the fog I can hear them pray.  They seek God’s face on my behalf, they throw scripture into the mist.  In desperation I cling to those words and slowly the light begins to return.  I rise in hope that the onslaught is over.  But the clouds linger on the horizon.

After some time I feel lighter.  I believe the war is over, the beast has fallen.

But he waits, lulling me to sleep with his light gray clouds.  Some days they rush in and almost over take me.  Other days they seep across the horizon and I am in their midst before I am aware.  I have lost my focus, my connection to reality.  Vainly I ignore their presence, confident my focus is clear.

Then he grabs me, sinks his talons deep into the fat of my back.  I struggle, and realize I have lost the light.  I have let him get to close.  I try to regain my focus, to find the light.   I cease any effort to find my focus, hopelessness and self pity become my nourishment.  I have lost my will to survive.  My grip on reality slips from my fingers.  Anxiety wells in my soul as panic overtakes me.  I feel lost, out of control, as  if something else is controlling my body.”

Still this doesn’t do justice to the reality of severe depression.  Before you get worried, I am working with my doctor to get my medication worked out and have several people watching me like a hawk.  Not to mention I have God on my side!

If you know someone with depression give them a hug today, let them know you are still there.

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When God says No

I’ve fought this post all week.  I dislike talking about things I haven’t fully resolved yet.  And I really don’t like living what I’m preaching.  This week I have been living the whole Fear of the Lord thing; it’s been a hard week.

You see, over the past month God has systematically removed any hope I have of meeting someone.  He made it clear that He did not want me on-line trying to find someone.  He has placed me in a job that I am isolated in.  And He even brought a good man into my life.  One who makes me laugh, loves Jesus and has that gentle and quiet spirit I long for in a mate.

On Sunday, I took a walk and begged God to let this man be my mate.  I pleaded and I bargained; “I will loose the weight, put on more make-up, I will do anything to not be alone.”   “No” thundered from the heavens.  When I reached the house, I fell in a puddle of tears and cried for what felt like eternity.  This resounding NO rattled my soul and shattered my heart.

As the no resonated in my soul, the anger quickly welled.  The tears fell until there were none left to fall.  Each sob rattled my body, my heart ached, and my soul dried up.   I screamed at him “you made me this way!  You have given me this desire for a mate to love and encourage.”  The only thing I have heard since is “Fear the Lord”.

I know He answered this way for a reason.  I crossed a line and He wants me to let it go.   My singleness is a constant battle between God and myself.  The last time this happened, I was able to pick myself up and stop fighting.  But this time it felt like His NO sucked out all hope I had, and replaced it with nothing.

As I pushed, bit and struggled to get away, He just held on tighter.  His grace filled arms wrapped around me.  And once again He held my heart as it shattered.  Exhausted, I collapsed into His love.  As I laid my head on His shoulders, He whispered “Fear me”.  I slumped in defeat.

I am still angry.  I don’t understand why this is His plan.  I do know two things though.  He is the air I breathe and I love Him more than life itself.  If you wondered what it looked like to Fear the Lord, here you go.  I don’t have to feel it, and I don’t have to like it.  But I do have to choose to Love Him in-spite of my broken heart.

As I said last time (Here) Fear of the Lord is a choice.  The choice of His will, over my own.  I don’t like His will right now, but I will always choose Him over me.

What does fear of the Lord look like in your life?

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Brave is not a word I would use to describe myself.

I hate making decisions or going outside of my comfort zone.  So much so that it can take hours, sometimes days, for me to decide where to get gas.  A major decision can take months, some even take a lifetime.  I even struggle after the decision is made.  Waffling back and forth over whether I made the right decision or not.

Yeah, I’m not brave.  But, people repeatedly call me brave.  Each time it happens I am taken aback.  I respond with a shy smile and a quiet thank you.  What I really want to do is laugh “ha” and say “I’m not brave, I’m desperate”

I’m desperate to stay in the will of God.  Sometimes, my motives are out of adoration and love for Him.  Most times though, it is because I dread getting out of His will.  I remember the 15 years I ran in darkness.  Desperate to escape His gaze and the angry and hateful God that I knew.  I lived in terror of what He would do if He ever got a hold of me.  One day I gave up, let Him catch me, and now I live desperate for His presence.  But I have to choose each day which God I am going to fear.  The all powerful, all knowing, loving God that He is, or the angry judgmental God I used to envision.

You see this viewpoint results in two types of fear.  The first moves my focus onto myself.  It fills me with terror, anxiety and a desperation to claw my way out of my circumstances.  The second is when my focus is on God.  This kind fills me with an unnatural peace and a strength to walk the path He lays before me.  This is the desperation I want (you could say I am desperate for desperation, haha).  This holy fear is based on His word and who He has proven Himself to be.  He is a grace filled God who truly is working my life out for my good.  A holy fear draws me to my knees in awe and adoration; trembling as His grace and love wash over me.  Each day I have to choose which type of fear I want.

Am I desperate to be near Him or desperate to escape His gaze.  What are you desperate for?

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