Thursday, February 26, 2009

40 days...

February 26, 2009

40 days of prayer and fasting…

Prayer and fasting… just what does that mean? For me it meant examining my life, I mean really examining my life in Him. And examining the “things” that were getting in the way of going “deeper” with Him. I had to deal with some stuff… it was hard. Not the actual fast… dealing with the stuff. Sure I dealt with “wanting” what I had given up as part of my fast but really that was easier than I thought. It was even sort of fun exploring new foods as I gave up others. I have learned to like some new things and realized that I can live without a lot the junk that I was eating. That wasn’t the real issue though, the issue was the stuff that was getting in the way of moving forward with Him. But first, God intended for me to rest, rest in Him awhile…

Dealing with the “stuff,” now that was hard. At times I even felt like He was silent, even distant… now that was painful. I realized that He wanted me in a place of listening, learning and reflecting. I have also learned that some lessons, probably the greatest ones are learned when I am flat on my face with my mouth SHUT! I so want to see and hear Him every step of this journey. I have never longed for Him more.

The stuff or my thoughts as written in my journal…

February 2, 2009

~ Jesus gave up His rights for me, what right do I have to be angry or resentful ~ I don't
~ How can I be excited to spend time with Him or even be ready when He comes if I am angry ~ I want to be excited when He comes
~ the last couple of weeks I have felt blah, like I have been stuck with my wheels spinning and getting nowhere, the word I have been looking for and couldn't find is apathy ~ I don't like it
~ I have felt idle, even numb again ~ I don't like it. At first I thought and think that this idleness was so I could rest, I can't. I sleep and still don't feel rested, how can I when I am up at 1:30 for a couple of hours at a time or just sleep fitfully. The other night after being up for a couple of hours, I almost had a nightmare, if you can call it almost... It was my dad with blood all over his face and all I could think in my dream was that I was going to see Rachel next, as Chris found her... That scared me. I remember waking myself up and thinking please don't let that happen... I prayed myself back to sleep without seeing her that way, which is very selfish on my part. I also often pray that God would take that image from Chris.
~ I am not sure I will rest until I can let go of this anger/resentment ~ yet I can't
~ Before Rachel's death I had become complacent ~ I don't want to be like that ever again
~ how can I be "one" with Him, when I am angry at Him and her ~ I can't
~ my anger/resentment is keeping me from being "like minded" and surrendered to Him ~ I don't like it
~ I MUST surrender this anger/resentment, then I will have intimacy with Him again ~ I want to, I really do but I can't seem to let go. I longed to be able to do so yesterday, yet I couldn't
~ Now I am probably a little angry with myself too ~ I'd rather be mad at me than Him or her

I stayed here awhile; numb, angry, apathetic, idle, confused, angry some more… My anger and resentment are keeping me from being “like minded” with Him. That’s an uncomfortable place to be… I know that I need to work on the anger and resentment in order to have intimacy with Him.

February 3, 2009

I was challenged to read and meditate on Job 28: 12-28 & 38-42: 1-6
Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind… Job 38:1a

Just as the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm He speaks to me in the storm, when I need Him the most.

As I read and meditated further on these scriptures I began to realize: who am I to question Him? After I felt like He told me to “put my big girl panties on and listen up (38: 3b),” it was His turn to question me. His questions were tough… Did I participate in creation? Can I take care of the animals He created? Can I control the behemoth and the leviathan? What power do I have? What understanding? What control? What dominion? What authority? What wisdom? What providence? What knowledge? What freedom? What creativity? He demanded answers from Job and from me. Job felt unworthy and didn’t have any answers, neither did I. Who am I to question Him?

Job was honored by God ~ God could trust Job to remain faithful in spite of everything. Can He trust me like He trusted Job? I am trying to be thankful right now for this journey. At times it’s been easier, right now NOT.

However, I am learning and realizing the He has a purpose in all of our suffering. He wants to show me His wisdom. He wants the trial of our faith to work patience. Patience is not one of my gifts. I am learning… He wants to reveal character.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will sour on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

February 7, 2009

I am up at 2 am. Again…

Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1: 2-3

Remember the song Spirit of the Living God? Read the lyrics,
they became my prayer…

Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me
Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Fall fresh, fall down on me
Fall fresh, fall down on me
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me
Fall, fall, fall, fall down on me
Spirit of the living God
Fall afresh, fall afresh, fall afresh on me

Today in Exodus I am reading about the Israelites and their pilgrimage into the Promised land. It always amazes me how He speaks to me not only through song but more importantly, His word.

In all the travels of the Israelites whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift they did not set out - until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels. Exodus 40:36-38

The cloud guided and protected the Israelites. They traveled and camped as God guided. I want to follow His guidance. I want to know I am right where He wants me even if it means staying put. I also know that I need to quit asking “what am I supposed to do next?” Instead I need to be asking “God, what am I supposed to be doing while I am here?” He has a purpose for this time, such a time as this…

I feel like the Israelites right now… the cloud is hovering and I am supposed to stay put for now. It’s hard. He is also reminding me that He never sends me into a situation alone. He always goes before me, as He did the children of Israel when He led them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He always goes before me in any journey that I encounter. He is never caught by surprise, He has always been there. He is prepared to meet my every need and knows exactly what I need for this journey. Even better, He is with me too. I am never alone.

February 9, 2009

Back to Job 28: 12-28

Trust and obey, it purifies our faith. Quit asking why ~ He is beyond my comprehension and I cannot begin to know why He allows this suffering. My part is simply to remain faithful. He may never explain why. I can’t have His wisdom. To fear Him IS wisdom. It’s better to know Him than to know the answers. This journey is shaping me for something special ~ something only He can do.

February 14, 2009

I feel like He is keeping His distance from me. These last couple of weeks ~ no comfort or little comfort. He could do something, yet He doesn’t. Why? Maybe it’s to deepen my desire for Him, for His presence, to strengthen my passion to pursue Him, to help me see how preoccupied I have been with filling myself with something less than Him. I know God has a dream for my life, why can’t I just be patient and wait? He wants me to have true joy.

So I have sat here ALL day watching sappy “chick flicks” on TV and realizing Rachel would be parked in her bed or on the love seat snuggled up under a bunch a blankets watching all of them with me. She would laugh at me when I cry. After all they are pretty corny, but she knew what a bawl bag I am and got a pretty big kick out of it.

The feeling of numbness is wearing off, quickly I am afraid. The hurt, the pain, the missing her, the heartbreak of NEVER seeing her, hearing her sweet voice, seeing her precious and vibrant smile again all come flooding back. And no card with a five dollar bill in it from my daddy. I find myself in her room, in her closet taking her all in, looking at all the photos, touching her clothes. Her smell is still there. I know I will see her again someday, but I long for that moment right now!

February 18, 2009

You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1: 6 & 7

Dear friends, when the fiery ordeal arises among you to test you, don’t be surprised by it, as if something unusual were happening to you. I Peter 4:12

Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. I Peter 5:10

Bear with me, I am all over the map today.

This month has been a struggle… I have walked silently though this valley of uncertainty. I haven’t always understood, but the longer He has walked and talked with me the clearer things have become. He has reminded me that this “shattered dream” is for my benefit. His presence has become more real than ever; it is only when my dreams are completely “shattered” that I am able to see more clearly, the only ONE who really matters ~ Jesus.

The memories are flooding back… the Sunday afternoon one last kiss before I left for work, calling one more time after I left, I heard her voice for the last time. I can almost hear it now. The phone call. The girls at work gathering around me to pray, helping me get my stuff together, making phone calls and taking me to my daddy, then to Parkland. Telling my daddy. The drive over to Parkland, telling Marianne she was going to be okay no matter what, even if we didn't get to keep her. I told her that over and over again. Arriving at Parkland at EXACTLY the same time Chris did. Seeing his face. Feeling his embrace and love even in his own anguish. Going into "that room" and hearing what the Dr had to say about my baby girl. Seeing her in the ER. Telling her goodbye, one last time. Telling her I love her and she was the best girl ever. Telling her to go be with Jesus over and over again. Resting my head on her chest until I could no longer hear her heart beat. Praying scripture over her... "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and For I know that plans I have for you..." Kissing her on the cheek on more time, kissing each of her fingers and yes her toes. Being overwhelmed by ALL the people that came to be with us. Telling Chris that we would not let Satan have us. Promising him I would NEVER blame him. Feeling his guilt. Seeing Andrew for the first time. Oh, the relief. So many memories, so many firsts... Watching "chick flicks" without her. Valentine's Day without her this year. Hard.

The anger, the apathy, the numbness, the resentment; all gone for now… Now there is just pain, the pain of missing her.

Why does it get on my last nerve when people say, “when you lost Rachel?” Why? Because we did not lose her, she will always be with us. She will live on in our hearts and memories, always. Always. I see bits of her everywhere. I see how she touched and changed lives and continues to do so. She is still changing mine. I love that!

I want to quit dwelling on her death. I want to dwell on the sweet memories and the life she lived with us. I want her life to change others. It is our hope and prayer that His story, her story, our story changes hearts to accept the love and protection that come only from HIM!

Have I been resigned or surrendered to this journey? Or to this grief? Honestly, at times both. I want to be surrendered. I don’t have to understand, I just have to be surrendered.

Back to Job 38 – 42, who am I? He is either sovereign in my life or not. This last month I have been resigned to it. I want to be surrendered. I am ready to be surrendered.

I want… ONE heart, ONE mind, ONE passion, ONE covenant. I want to be surrendered to His plan. I want Him to show me what is next. I want joy that permeates this sorrow. I want this…

You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my heart may sing you to You and not be silent. O LORD my God I will give you thanks forever. Psalm 30: 11-12

He keeps leading me back to this:
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3

February 21, 2009

Finally took down the Christmas stuff today. It was easier than I thought, until I got to her stocking… I gazed at it hanging there, I took it down and held it for a moment. I clutched it to my chest and cried. Then He gently reminded me that we are walking on new ground and He is doing a new thing… God is up to something big, bigger than me. I am reminded of the words to the song

“Whatever You’re Doing”
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace
And it's hard to surrender to what I can't see,
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone, time to begin again, re-evaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will or just climbing aimlessly over these hills?

So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything - I surrender

Time to face up, clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out that I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but I believe ...

You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life, something heavenly
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life
Something heavenly

I am excited to see what this new thing is, it’s new ground…

February 22, 2009

40 days… WOW!

Add Comment

LJ says...
"I sigh! Heart wrenching to read, but am so thankful you are continuing to seek His guidance and know this journey is for you and yours. You know so many of us are living this journey with you, in the only way we can live it, praying, loving and lifting you all up. Having our memories we can hold onto, and knowing we will see her again. Thanks for sharing from your heart, your 40 days. Much love!" (3/4/09)

Emiley Wright says...
"My heart ached to read this.. But I'm so glad I did. Like the comment says below, THANK-YOU for sharing your heart. Many Prayers & love sent your way!!! " (3/5/09)

No comments: