Why?

How many times have you begged with somebody, why?  Why did you do this, or that?  Why did you hurt me?  Why did you betray me?  Why did you let this or that happen?  Why, why, why, why, why????  What a painful question to have to ask somebody.  Asking why, implies that you have been mistreated in a way God never intended for.   

I have come to absolutely detest starting a sentence with why.  There is no need to.  We will never fully understand why people do things or do not do things.  We will never grasp what is going on in other’s lives.  When we ask why, are we not being completely selfish?  Fighting for an answer to somehow make us feel better, give us some sort of relief.  Does our comfort really come from a watered down, not accurate answer to the question why?  What satisfaction will your heart receive when you finally hear some sort of response to your question: absolutely none (I happen to know this personally).

I remember a time in my life when I asked God, why?  I remember not even being able to speak the question, the pain behind that three lettered word was far too deep it left me speechless.  I believe God detests sentences started with Why just as much as I do. I believe we are not supposed to know why something happened.  God has a purpose and a plan for each of us.  By asking Him why, we are doubting that His plan is best for us, and better than what we think it should be. 

I just recently came across one of my journals from when I was going through a rough time in my life.  Each line on the page had a single sentence on it, all starting with the word, why.  I never found out the answer to any of those questions.  I remember when I wrote down each one of those questions.  I remember wanting peace, closure, comfort, resolution.  I realized something as I was rereading over all of those questions tonight: why questions are not where our comfort falls, our comfort is in God alone.  Knowing the answers will not leave a lasting joy, comfort, and peace to our hearts.  When God promises us that He knows and knows best, we can confidently believe those words.  Knowing God knows the answers to all of my sentences starting with why is what gets me past the wondering.  I am not meant to understand things, I am not meant to know the answers.  If I needed to God would let me know.  All he tells me, (which is more than I ever need to know) is that He loves me with an everlasting love, no matter what I do, and that He is joyful when I trust in Him alone. 

I do not just want to speak the words, I trust God, I do not doubt God.  I want to live out those sentences confidently.  I want those sentences to be backed up by every move I make in life.  I want those sentences to be the reason WHY I never ever, ever have to ask the question Why ever again!

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Letting Go

I realized something about myself. I hold onto things way too tightly. I want control over things. If I am holding onto it then it will go where I want it to go. You may think that is a good thing. Really, it’s not. If I do that then I am missing out on something better: where God wants ME to go.

I know exactly the things I hold onto with a tight grip. Everything that has once caused me pain. I do not want to feel that pain ever again. In order to somehow protect me from that pain I decide to never give up these areas in my life. If I control them, there will be no pain, right? Wrong!! Very wrong! The more I hold onto the things that once brought me pain the longer I am keeping myself from receiving GOD’S glorious blessings in these areas of my life.

Men. This is the area I hold onto the tightest. I have been so incredibly hurt by men. My heart cannot take another break. I think that if I control what men I let into my life (which right now is none) then I can be certain they will not hurt me. My relationships with men are awful. I don’t like to talk to them, be with them. I am so terribly awkward around them. I have no guy friends. The thought of having a guy more than friend relationship seems nearly impossible. The slightest chance that it will happen i completely ruin by forcing it to go somewhere it was never intended to be. It is all my fault.

Family. Another thing I hold onto way too tightly. I love my family more than you can imagine. My heart breaks when I think about my two brothers who turned from the Lord and do not call Him their Savior. I think somehow I can fix this deadly problem. I think there is something I’m not doing right. That’s the problem, I cannot change anyone. God does the changing. I need to give up so God can give them so desperately what they need.

Worry. I think I choose to worry. My life would be so boring if I did not have to worry about everything. But that’s the point I do not need to worry about anything. And life wouldn’t be boring, it would be better spent with God!

God. He is what I should be holding into with all my strength and all my might. He has never and will never hurt me nor will He ever cause me pain. By holding onto these earthly things aren’t I pretty much saying I do not trust God. I am. I claim to trust God with my whole heart, but if I am holding on so tightly to these things that is not trust. By keeping a tight grip doesn’t that mean I’m saying you can’t have these God, you cant fix these, these are my burdens to carry?

It’s exactly what I’m doing. I must give up control and let God in. I must do what I say. I must live what I believe. When I choose to hold onto God and nothing else, everything else falls into place. Haven’t I figured that out yet? Lord, please help me to let go of everything I try to do/fix on my own. Please help me to truly trust you with my whole heart and leave everything else in your hands, that is the safest and best place for them to be. Only then can I truly be in your embrace, which is the safest and best place for me!

The only One I need

I love meeting new people.  I love meeting people who “get me” or get life the way I see life.  I love when you can relate with these people on just about anything!  They have been through similar experiences, or maybe they have been through different experiences but the way they got out on the other side of all of these experiences was with God, and that is the best way to relate.  In the past 2 years the Lord has placed several of these people in my path.  All the years I thought no one would understand or no one would get what I was going through, those thoughts were shattered when I started to meet these God-given gifts.  I think I love these people for many reasons, but most of all I love them because they are all a reminder of how God is the one I can relate with anytime any place any circumstance of my life.  They remind me GOD ALONE has been where I have been and he knows every feeling, high or low that is attached with every moment of every day of my life. 

God is perfect, he did not have to ever feel pain, heartache, loss, or any negative feeling.  I guess what blows me away is that he chose to feel every awful, painful feeling you could ever imagine; for me.  He wanted to be able to relate with me.  He did this all so I could have a relationship with Him.  He sacrificed His son, so that I may live eternally in Heaven.  There are no words to describe that awesome truth so I am not even going to try. 

For so long I chose to live my life alone.  I chose to keep every awful feeling hidden deep inside.  I did not want anyone to know what I was really feeling.  I thought they would think I was crazy.  I thought they would never understand or get what I was going through.  I did not want to burden them with my problems.  I do not recall when, but there was a day that came when I realized God knew exactly how I felt.  He knew every pain I was dealing with.  He knew exactly what my problems were.  That blew me away.  It was unfathomable.  I could not believe that God of all people purposely suffered every pain I was currently going through.  I could not get over the fact that I did not have to explain how I was feeling to God, he already knew.  That realization was beyond comforting for me.  I opened up to God, telling Him everything, and I could just picture Him saying to me, while I am wrapped in His arms, “I know precious daughter, I know how you feel, you do not need to feel this way any longer, give me your hurt, and I will give you my love, peace, comfort, and grace to fill every place the hurt once was.”  

God does not want us to be burdened with pain.  God wants us to open up to Him, tell Him what we are struggling with.  He knows your struggles by name, to Him they are all called Satan.  Know that God has power over Satan, and He will take away your pain.  God loves you so much that He chose to suffer, He chose to be able to relate with you in anything you are going through in this life.  He chose to save you from Satan. 

Galations 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  AMEN!  Thank you Jesus for suffering, loving, knowing, restoring, guiding, and being the only one I ever need in my life.

Three Elevens, Take me to the Heavens

October 11, 2011.  My day of complete freedom in Christ.  This is the day I watched the Lord take all of my hurt in his hands.  Never to be picked back up by me EVER AGAIN.

June 11, 2012.  This is the day the PFA I have had on a very dangerous man is over.  Three years ago I received this protection from abuse.  I have always struggled with knowing if that was the right thing to do or not.  That piece of paper did not protect me from anyone.  I have learned that GOD is my protection.  I do not need a piece of paper, I have God. 

If you would have told me three years ago that today, I would be living in my own apartment, decorated adorably, and ON MY OWN, I would not have believed you.  If you would have told me three years ago that today I would be working in a job I ABSOLUTELY love, I would not have believed you.  If you would have told me three years ago that today I would be free from this crazy, awful man who tried to destroy me, I would not have believed you.  I remember three years ago today, like it was just yesterday.  I remember being so scared, hopeless, depressed, used, unable to function, distant from God, alone, abused, fighting for the Diane I used to be, not realizing that was one of the problems in the first place. 

Today, I am happy, hopeful, loved, secure, safe, free, joyful, and thankful to God alone, that I am all of these things today.  I have learned in the past three years, that as badly as I wanted to go back to the way things were prior to making this man a part of my life, that would never be a reality for me.  It is not about going backwards in life.  It is all about moving forward, in the direction God so gently guides you in hand in hand.  Yes I will in a way always be the Diane I wanted to go back to so badly, but I am even better now because I am embracing the Holy Spirit in my life.  He is guiding me to Heaven.  There are many moments in these three years that I have seen God.  The times when I was able to see Him, feel Him, know He was there, are the happiest times and memories of my life.  I cannot wait until those are all of my memories.  The day that I am in Heaven with my Mighty Savior, spending every moment feeling Him and seeing Him.  The day all the distractions will be gone, and all that is left is Jesus’ hand in mine.  I am so thankful to the Lord for the miraculous transformation HE has done in my life.  He is my complete satisfaction, He is my all in all, He is all I ever need, He protects me, He keeps me safe, He loves me unconditionally, He is guiding me to Him in Heaven.

I love you more than I could ever describe in words.

Today could have been very different for me.  Truly, three years ago, if you would have told me I would not be here today, that I would have either been destroyed by that man or self destructed myself, I would have believed you.  It is by the grace of God alone, that I am here today with the story I have to tell.  The story of embracing God’s love and letting go of all that desires to keep me from finding the love He has for me.  Have you found God’s love today?  It is my prayer that you grasp tightly the love of God that is never out of reach!  I found and continue to find His love just in time, now you do the same.

Proverbs 18:10 The LORD is a strong-tower, the righteous run into Him and are SAFE. 

Thank you Jesus that I am safe! 

Ugly Gossip

One feeling that really does not settle well with me is the feeling that someone I care about, love, know, or trust, is talking badly about me behind my back.  There have been many times that someone is purposely trying to hurt me, break me, and get enjoyment out of watching me cry over careless words that they say without a clear thought put behind them.  Please do not feel sorry for me.  Feel absolutely no pity for me.  Because, I have spoken those same careless words about many dear loved ones, friends, or even strangers.  My intentions were never to hurt them, but I often wonder what are my intentions when I foolishly choose to speak words about another person that are definitely not lifting  them up, honoring them, or pleasing to God’s precious ears. 

I am constantly praying the prayer, “Show me what is keeping me from you, show me the impurities of my heart Lord.  Help me please to get rid of them.”  This is a prayer I encourage all of you to pray daily.  You may not like what you see afterwards, but I promise you if you let God into help you with your “ugliness” you will LOVE what you both see after it is completely gone: a pure heart of God, graciously serving and loving Him and others.  One of the ugliest things about me that the Lord has shown me, is that I talk about people.  It is always a result of simply not thinking before I speak.  It is never mean, horrible things I talk about it is just simply things I should not be saying.  You may be thinking oh my goodness, this Diane is awful.  Who does she think she is talking about others?  Well, you would not be out of line thinking those things about me.  I willingly admit that I am not perfect but God is perfect.  I willingly admit that I do things that are selfish and dishonoring to the Lord, but the Lord forgives me and loves me even so.  It is in times like this when I choose to see the ugly in my life, and replace it with God’s beauty.  We all have ugly, mine right now is gossip, a month from now it may be something else, no matter what our ugly may be (pride, lust, addictions, money, divorce, abuse, the list goes on and on) it is never ugly enough to destroy us.  Our ugly is powerless over our lives.  We are the ones that give it power to rule over our life daily.  We are the same ones that must choose to give the power to God, so that he can transform our ugly into HIS beauty. 

This is what I am doing right now.  James talks so much about taming your tongue.  I am choosing to spend time studying out this book of the Bible.  There are one week devotionals out there about gossip, I am choosing to do one.  There are many prayers I have sent to God, asking Him to help me to really watch what I say before I say it.  I am noticing His aid in many areas of my life.  There are bits and pieces of truth about gossip that the Lord is teaching me through His word, and my beautiful sister.  What are you choosing to do in order to give up control, and give all power to God over the ugly in your life? 

Today something my sister said really stuck in my head.  “When you gossip, what you tell someone is the result of someone else’s gossip.  Everything comes full circle.”  How true is that statement??!!  Now, I do not think I go around begging to hear gossip so that I can run off to that person or someone else and share all the juicy details.  I do not think that I use that persons poor decisions to make it ok that I am making the same poor decisions.  BUT I DO KNOW THAT I HAVE THE CHOICE TO KEEP MYSELF OUT OF EVERY CONVERSATION THAT IS NOT PLEASING, AND GLORIFYING TO THE LORD.  I DO KNOW THAT WHEN I AM TALKING WITH PEOPLE I CAN LET MY WORDS COME FROM THE GOD I GIVE POWER OVER MY LIFE TO AND NOT SPEAK THE WORDS I LET HAVE POWER OVER MY LIFE.

If you too struggle with gossip from time to time, know we are in this together.  The more honest you are about your ugly, the faster you get rid of it, the faster you let God transform you into SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL!

Why Am I SO Lopsided??

Have you ever heard of people leaving their coffee cups on the roof of their car and driving away?  I have seen it first hand.  Things like that always make me smile, and think to myself, how does one do something like that??  Well, I think I have found the answer to that question.  I had my very own “leave your coffee on your car roof and drive away moment” on Sunday although it was not my coffee, and it had nothing to do with the roof of my car.

Stress.  I hate everything this word represents.  I know hate is a strong word, but really I HATE everything this word represents.  Stress is no good for anyone.  Stress is poisonous.  Stress is something I seem to have in my life a lot, just when I get rid of it, something else happens that causes new stress.  Stressed is definitely an accurate word to describe how I have been feeling lately.  Saturday night, all I wanted to do was sleep.  Would you guess I had a stressful day on Saturday?  So much, that I had huge stomach pains all night Saturday.  This is what happens when I am stressed.  So instead of sleeping soundly, I was tossing and turning and getting so irritated that my stomach would not stop hurting.  By the time Sunday morning rolled around, it was time to get ready for church.

You know, something really weird happens when I am stressed…it is like I am unable to function.  I do things that are just strange.  This behavior is probably caused by lack of sleep, food, energy, and God!  So, Sunday morning while running around my apartment like a mad woman for the shoes I wanted to wear, I realized they are not in my house after all, they are in my car.  So I put on a different pair of shoes to walk to my car in, locked my door, and headed to church, praying that the Lord would comfort my weary soul.

I am driving along and am stopped at a red light for a ridiculously long time.  Perfect time to change my shoes!  Now, I only changed the left foot.  Trying to change the shoe that was placed on the foot that was placed on the brake would have been a very dangerous endeavor for me, my shoe, my car, and the poor innocent car in front of me.  By the time I get to church, I am not thinking about anything other than the fact that I am late for church.  I HATE (there is that word again) being late for church.  I get out of my car, start walking (I take about 4-5 steps) and I am thinking to myself, why the heck am I so lopsided?  My goodness, this is so strange!  Then all of a sudden, it hit me.  I FORGOT TO CHANGE MY OTHER SHOE!  I would like to take the time to point out one shoe is a wedge, the other is a flat.  And there it was, my very own leave your coffee on your car roof and drive away moment.  If I would have made it all the way to church (thank goodness I did not) that is exactly what people would have been thinking, with a smile on their face, How in the world did she manage to do that?

I totally get it now.  People have these moments in life, because they are lopsided.  Yes, I literally was lopsided, but we are all lopsided when we focus too much of our energy, time, and life concerned with the stresses and day to day circumstances in this world, and not enough time absorbing God’s truths, love, care, strength, and help.  How lopsided are you?  I am seriously thankful for this silly shoe and for this awful stress because I figured something out on Sunday.  After I changed my shoe to match and had a slight break down, a very dear woman from church helped me realize even with the same shoes on, I was still oh so very lopsided.

I was involved in so much, yes they were all great amazing opportunities I was blessed with to serve God, but it was consuming my time.  Here I was doing, doing, doing, and there was no rest, no more time to spend with God, and no peace.  I never thought trying to satisfy the desires in my heart would lead me further away from God but that is exactly what my overbooked schedule was doing.  God placed those desires in my heart of that I am certain.  Instead of waiting for Him to fulfill each one, I tried to do it on my own and in the process ended up completely overwhelmed.  Anytime we choose to do something over spending time with God to keep us  rested, strong, peaceful, and filled with His love, we will be lopsided.

Think about your lopsidedness (yes I think I just totally made that word up).  Think about the areas of your life you need to get rid of and let God into so you are able to walk the straight path the Lord has planned perfectly, just for you!

Psalm 37:4-5

Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.