Exalt Truth

This past Spring I walked thru a difficult circumstance which at times felt like too much to bear.  In the midst of it all, I had a drive to know the truth.  That’s not a bad thing to pursue, but you can go about it the wrong way.

In February I made a startling discovery that some expensive items were missing from my home.  There were no signs of forced entry and whomever had taken the items had gone to great lengths to ensure that their absence would not be detected.  Since I had not gone looking for these items in several months, it was hard to know for just how long they had been missing.  I made this discovery around 9PM on a Saturday night and an immediate unease settled over me as I felt uncomfortable and unsafe in my own home – something I had never felt before.  I picked up the phone and called the one person who knew of these expensive items and he denied any involvement in their disappearance.

In the weeks that followed I filed a police report, answering all of law enforcements questions.  I allowed them into my home to look around, take pictures and investigate the disappearance of my property.

One night I had a tearful conversation with my cat (you would too if you had my cat) asking him, “What did you see?  Who was in our house?”  It’s sad and scary to feel violated in your home.

IMG_2862

Overwhelming anger and betrayal came when law enforcement notified me weeks later that my property had been traced to a nearby pawn shop where it had been sold to them by my ex-husband.  The police detective was kind and patient with me providing me with as much information as she could, but my soul now had a vacuum and it wanted to be filled with an explanation.

The heat of a police investigation seemingly triggered more bad choices in my ex-husband.  At first he went missing, which prompted his new girlfriend to contact me in her search for him.  He was later apprehended by law enforcement following a high speed chase.  He was high on drugs and had committed numerous criminal acts just that very night.

The girlfriend and I communicated for a week or so – both of our souls hurting and looking for answers.  She looked to me for an understanding of his past and I was ingesting all of the information she shared with me concerning their relationship and these recent events.

But the more that I knew, the more my soul seemed to get sick.  And funnily enough, none of my questions were getting answered.  The more information I took in, it bred new questions, new curiosities.  I had “Why…” questions by the dozens.  I had a lot of “How…” questions too.  I was brought up in a sheltered home and largely have led a sheltered life, but I have an inquisitive side to me which if not submitted to The Lord, can lead me places I should not go.

Mercifully, sooner rather than later, I realized that my soul-sickness and encroaching depression was related to all of the information I was taking in – both from communication with the girlfriend as well as the detective work I was doing (a perfect example of my inquisitiveness not being kept in check!).  I had to remind myself that in God’s mercy, I am no longer linked to this man legally or spiritually and even though his decisions are heartbreaking, I am free to move on.

And I thought I had.  And a little over two months went by.

And then a letter was in my mailbox.  From him.

And it only took a nanosecond for all of the “How…” and “Why…” questions to come bubbling up to the surface.  Along with feelings of hurt.  Along with sadness.  Along with nostalgia and sentimentality over the memories of shared life with him.  And I found myself sitting at my laptop composing a reply letter.

And when I was done writing and re-reading and weeping over my broken marriage and broken dreams the Holy Spirit nudged me to pray.

And thru prayer and in His grace I saw replying to the letter as re-opening a door that God has closed.  I evaluated some of what could come to pass if I opened that door and with God’s help I chose to keep that door closed.  Even if I had sent a reply letter, who knows if I would have ascertained truthful answers to my questions.

But even more than unanswered questions, I was surprised and caught off guard by the neediness of my soul.  Something in me leapt when I received that letter.  The part of me that still wants to be a cherished wife and someone’s sweetheart is still deep down inside of me.  And what I had to process thru, was not only could nothing good come from re-opening this door and communicating with him, but he cannot meet these needs of my soul.

I’m learning to accept my neediness.  I want to be loved and cherished.  I want to be known and understood.  I want to be accepted and valued.  I want to be desired and liked for who I am.  What do I do with all these needs?

Well, in years past, I’ve pretty much done two different things.  I’ve looked to have these needs met by the wrong people or I’ve suppressed these needs thru distractions.  And in 2014 we have more available at our fingertips to distract us than ever before.  (Hello Candy Crush!)  But as I wrote before, I want to get somewhere in life and in my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ unlike ever before.  So, now, I take my needs to My God.

“O God, you are my God; My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” ~ Psalm 63:1

 I don’t allow myself to feel bad or embarrassed or self-conscious about my neediness.  I lay it out before my God in conversational prayer.

And when I read my Bible, I have the frame of mind now that it’s personal.  I take God’s holy written Word as personal, from Him to me, every time I read it.

“I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.'” ~ Isaiah 41:13

And it wasn’t but just a few days or maybe a week after I threw the letter away and trashed the Word document on my laptop when I read this:

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” ~ Hebrews 4:13

And those words literally jumped off the page at me.  And in an instant, a need within my soul was met by TRUTH.  Ultimate truth which is God’s truth, the Word of God.  And so I could let go of my questions because I don’t have to chase down answers. I don’t have to try to enforce accountability.  God sees all and knows all.

And so, I read that Bible verse aloud and declared it to be my truth regarding this situation.  I spoke out loud so I could take in the sound of my own voice.  I declared that I lay down all my questions, the ones that my soul had been holding on to all this time and whatever questions might pop into my mind later on, and I exalt this truth from the Word of God over any questions or thoughts that could ever arise regarding this ordeal.

And graciously, this has truly settled the matter in my mind and soul.  I believe that this is practically and literally how you renew your mind.

“We use God’s mighty weapons {the Word of God} to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning…” ~ I Corinthians 10:4

I want the stronghold of my life to be God and His Word.  I do not want to have strongholds of fear or human reasoning holding me back.

“The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread?  The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” ~ Psalm 27:1 Amplified

“Every high thing must come down – Every stronghold shall be broken – You wear the Victor’s Crown – You have overcome!”

 

His Grace to me

I am a blog reader.  Yes, I am one of those.

But am I a blogger?  I’ve wanted to have a blog of my own for a long time, but what would I say, I wondered.  Would my writing be good enough or my words worthy enough of a blog?

I’ve journaled off and on over the years.  More off than on.

I walked down the note book aisle at Target tonight and smiled.  I pretty much love all things paper.

This caught my eye.

IMG_2984

And it made me laugh.

But in all honesty, what am I doing here on Friday July 18th 2014 writing my first blog post?  This is just one more small new thing I am incorporating into my life.  You see, at this time in my life, I am desiring a future that does not resemble my past.  I am trying to get somewhere in: 1) my personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and 2) my life that I’ve never been before – and getting somewhere new often requires doing something new.

Just about two months ago I lost my job.  I had not “lost” a job in 15 or so years and even then it was a lay off where numerous people were being let go.  No, this was losing a job – and under really bad circumstances – as a measure of discipline I was transferred, demoted and had my pay cut.  I had never experienced anything like this before.  It took the company I work for nearly three weeks to settle on a measure of discipline.  The voice of pride in me says the measure of discipline was too harsh.  Grace says I still have a job.  Somewhere around the second week, I was in my car during my morning commute, and I was talking aloud to The Lord saying how this must be what it feels like to be labeled a criminal, or when a seemingly one-time blunder renders long-lasting or ever-lasting consequences.  I said, “This job is like a never-ending punishment.”  Immediately I heard in my spirit the voice of the Holy Spirit, “Receive this job as my grace to (for) you.”  Woah.  I responded with a nod of my head, “Okay Lord.”  And since then I’ve realigned my thinking…and my words…and when I get out of alignment (with what God said) I must repent and get realigned.  This job is His grace to me.

Why or how is it His grace to me?  Well, surely, I could have been left without any job whatsoever.  Unemployed.  No steady paycheck.  Those unsettling thoughts plagued me many a day and night while I awaited my employer’s decision.

But my new job is His grace to me because He said so.

Bottom line: God is God and I am not.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” ~ Isaiah 55:8

I sit here and think and type and part of me says, “I wouldn’t have chosen this for myself.”  If only I could turn back the hands of time to April 7th, not do the act that got me into trouble and life would have gone on as I know it.  Hmmm…but maybe not.  I’ve already come to the conclusion that I was comfortable, overly comfortable in my last position.  I wasn’t looking around for anything other than what I already had.  My face was not looking upward to my Heavenly Father.  My gaze was on my little-safe-comfortable employment.

Well, I’ve been plucked from comfortable to uncomfortable.  No more crutch.  I gotta look upward now.

A friend asked me tonight, “Have you asked God why He placed you there?  He has a purpose.  That job is your mission field for right now whether you like it or not.  You are overqualified and underpaid, but don’t you remember those three weeks?  Don’t you remember day after day wondering what would happen?  This job is an answered prayer.  This job is a blessing.  Find out God’s purpose and plan for having you there, ’cause He won’t move you on until it’s accomplished.”

I responded that her words tasted about as good as I imagine kale to taste.

She laughed.

I got quiet.

And then I came home and started this blog.

I’m wrestling some things out.

My flesh didn’t like hearing what she had to say.  But I can’t run away from hard truths just because my flesh is screaming to be pacified.

I’m trying to get somewhere that I’ve never been before.  Wait…I said that earlier, didn’t I?  Hmm, well, maybe the problem is the word t-r-y.  Perhaps the route to this new place begins with the word y-i-e-l-d.

“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.” ~ Job 22:21