Friday, February 26, 2010

With every goodbye, you learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul and you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead, with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure, you really are strong, you really do have worth, and you learn and you learn. With every goodbye, you learn

by Veronica Shoffstall

A friend of mine many years ago sent me this poem to help me get through some stuff I was going through at the time. I recently found it again and still love it.

Thoughts and Misconceptions

I am so lost. There are so many thoughts and misconceptions in my head and I need them all to leave. For so long, I have let an evil force control my outlook on life. I have let Satan have too much of a strong hold in my life and as a follower of Christ I have had enough. Christ alone should be enough and is enough for me. Why should I believe Satan’s lies? All the struggles I have been through in my past are in the past and forgiveness has been given where needed. I need to accept that and quit letting Satan use it against me time and time again. One lesson I should take from those past struggles is this, Christ never left me alone. He always helped me through and he will always help me through. I need to quit fighting a battle that I am not meant to fight alone. One of my favorite songs, The Warrior is a Child by Twila Paris, is a favorite because it reminds me that even though I am grown up, I am still God’s child and we will always need help. His help. The song says it all in the chorus. They don’t know, that I go running home when I fall down, they don’t know, who picks me up when no one is around. I drop my sword and cry for just a while, cause deep inside this armor, the warrior is a child.
Another lie I have believed for a long time is that I am not “successful” because I am not married with a family. I have let the fact that many of my friends have graduated college, gotten married, and started a family upset me. That is their life. That is were God has placed them now. He has me exactly where He wants me right now. Even though I don’t understand it, because anyone who knows me well, knows that I desire to be married and have a family. God knows that this is a desire of my heart and hopefully somewhere out there in the future He will give me this desire. But for right now, I am a young, single, professional working in my desired career field. I have been truly blessed with a great job, a great church, a great group of friends, a great family and so much more. Why then should I even want more? Why can’t I just be happy with what I have at this moment? If God has provided for me in the past and up until now, why should I think He would stop? The truth is He has taken great care of me and I act like the spoiled child I am and still want more. Now saying all this, and knowing my desire to be married and have a family, something I don’t understand is my fear. In the past, any time I have gotten close, I completely panic and sabotage either the relationship or possible relationship before I really ever give it a chance. Fear is not something God puts in our life. That is an attack from Satan. I have recently started to understand that I am where I am in life because I have given into the fear and believed the lies that Satan put in my head. I need to take back control and stop living in fear and in the shadow of lies and my past failures. I wonder why I ever started being so scared of something I want so much. What could have happened in my past that still negatively affects me to this day? How do I move beyond this fear?
I know that I have the ability to get beyond all this. It will take time and a lot of prayer. But if want to draw closer to God, then okay, that's what I will do. All this came about when I started reflecting on my life on my birthday earlier this week. If I want things to change for the positive then I need to start thinking postively, quit living in the past, and stop worrying about what others have. I need to be happy with what I have now and with what God is doing in my life.

Hearts Cry to God

I wrote this note on the afternoon of Wednesday, 3/25/09. Read it and then I will go into how He answered me Wednesday night.

Note beginning:

Okay. So, what do you want from me? I am asking for Your guidance. I need Your help! I am crying out to you for forgiveness and mercy. I know that lately I have been going through the motions rather than living the Christian life you call me to live. I ask for forgiveness from that. Set my heart on fire for you again! Lord, if there is anything in my life that isn’t pleasing to You, please convict me of it in my heart so that I may ask for forgiveness and move on. Lord, if there is any unconfessed sin in my life, please forgive me of it. Bring it to mind and I will bring it to the foot of the cross and leave it there. I ask for forgiveness for all the worrying I have done when I know that You have all things under control. You Father take care of even the little sparrow, so why then would You not take care of me. You have in my past, right now in my present, and will in my future.

I truly admire people who can completely, whole-heartedly just follow and trust You by faith. It seems that I give it all over to You and then take it back again. I am so scared right now. I feel like I am falling down into a black hole and that I am never going to stop. I feel so out of control and that is a hard thing for me. I have never been good at sitting still and listening and waiting for You. I know that is definitely a lesson You are teaching me.

Abba, Father, I need you. I need to know that you are caring me through this right now. I need to feel Your love. Please draw me closer to You. Help me to understand and see what You are doing in my life. Give me a patience and a peace that only comes from You.

End Note.

So, Wednesday night was my community group night and we have a lot of girls so we split into 2 groups. My group had 6 girls. God placed each of us in that room for specific reasons. We started with prayer request and by the time we were finishing up I had the overwhelming sense to not do our lesson for the night but to just lift each other up in prayer. So, that is what we did. We lifted each other up to our Father in Heaven and just cried out to Him on each others behalf. After the prayers, we read each other some of our favorite verses and God spoke. Each verse or chapter that was read held a very strong message for each of us and He just reminded us that He has it under control and that where we are weak, He is strong. I left feeling so much better, truly at peace. It was the reminder that I needed.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


I have wasted so much of my time trying to be the perfect student (in college) and then the best videographer/associate producer/worker I could be. I threw myself into my job. I gave it 110% and then some. What did that get me? Not much. Oh, I had a great time, a fantastic boss, wonderful teammates and made some really great friends. However, 3 years, 3 months and 3 days later(11-7-05 to 2-10-09) I was let go, "laided off". It didn't matter how hard I had worked, nothing was enough. Now, I should definitely say at this point, I know it wasn't my supervisor's decision and I believe that all the events that happened was a blessing in disguise for me. I do not regret my time at Walmart. I thank my team, the Shows & Events team, for the friendship, the lessons and always helping me become a better individual. You each played a huge part in my life and for that I will always be thankful! I love you guys and gals so very much!

How different would my life be though if I would have devoted myself to God like that? You know, given Him the 110%. I should have been trying to be a better Christian, better daughter, better sister, better granddaughter, cousin, friend, niece, insert title here. What would my life look like? How much happier could I/would I be? I should have been striving for my best in my Christian life and everything else would have followed. How many blessings have I missed? How many lessons missed? God has definitely used this difficult time in my life to teach me a lot about myself. Most recently, He taught me how to be vulnerable. I was at Ravencrest Summer camp in Estes Park, CO last week (6/28/09-7/4/09) with the youth from Fellowship Bible Church. One night during worship, God met me there and broke down all my defense's that I had built up to not have to feel the pain of what happened and all those emotions come flooding in. I literally broke down and cried, then laughed and then gave it all over to Him, the One who knows my sorrows and pains better than me. And I felt free. Praise God! He freed me. I have learned that mountian tops and valley lows are better and easier when looked at and shared with Him. And that most of our time is spent inbetween those mountain tops and valley lows. It is what we do with that time inbetween, those climbing up and climbing down that matters most. That is where our testiment of faith is tested the most and where everyone is watching.

Please forgive me for my misplaced drive for life. May that 110% drive be towards my walk with You. May I walk according to Your plan instead of my own with rest stops with You along that way. Please help me to remember that You have my "storm" in Your hands. I called, You answered, You came to my rescue and I, I want to be where You are. You have it under control. I do not know when I will be out of this storm, but You do and You guide me, love me and protect me. Remind me that there are always eyes watching, ears listening and feet following. Thank You! I love you! Amen!

Closed Doors/Open Doors

God, I need You!

Father, please hear the cry of my heart! My heart is broken and I know that I cannot be the one to fix it. That comes from You. I am crying out to You. I need You to wrap me up in Your loving arms. All of this "stuff" in my life right now is way more than I can handle. Life itself is more than any mere man or woman can handle. You want us to daily rely on You. I have felt closer to You these last 6 months sincing lossing my job and I know You have a reason for this "storm of life" right now that I am going through. Here I am, Your child, crying out to You. Please Father send me one of Your angels. Even if its in the form of a human here on earth, I need that. I am opening up for all to see. The vulnerable state that I am in right now. I know that You have a Perfect plan for me. Help me to find it. Guide me to that path Father.

I pray these words from one of my favorite Casting Crowns song.

I was sure by now / God You would have reached down / And wiped our(my) tears away / Stepped in and saved the day / But once again, I say "Amen" and its still raining

As the thunder rolls / I barely hear You whisper through the rain / "I'm with you" / And as Your mercy falls/I raise my hands and praise the God who gives/And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm / And I will lift my hands / For You are who You are / No matter where I am / Every tear I've cried / You hold in Your hand / You never left my side / And though my heart is torn / I will praise You in this storm

I remember when / I stumbled in the wind /You heard my cry / You raised me up again / My strenth is almost gone / How can I carry on / If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls / I barely hear You whisper through the rain / "I'm with you" / And as Your mercy falls/I raise my hands and praise the God who gives/And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm / And I will lift my hands / For You are who You are / No matter where I am / Every tear I've cried / You hold in Your hand / You never left my side / And though my heart is torn / I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eye unto the hills / Where does my help come from? / My help comes from the Lord / The Maker of Heaven and Earth / I lift my eye unto the hills / Where does my help come from? / My help comes from the Lord / The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I'll praise You in this storm / And I will lift my hands / For You are who You are / No matter where I am / Every tear I've cried / You hold in Your hand / You never left my side / And though my heart is torn / I will praise You in this storm / And though my heart / I will praise You in this storm?/

Father, I am submitting it all over to You. I really don't have the strength anymore. My heart has been broken into so many pieces that only You know how to restore it. You are my Creator and You are the Great Healer.

If you, my friend or family member, are reading this, I am asking for your prayers right now. Please intercede on my behalf and ask for direction in my life. Ask for comfort. Pray for God's will to be done in my life. I do not pray for the "storm" to be calmed unless that is God's will. Only He knows when it is time for this storm to end. If there are still lessons to be learned, I pray that He will begin impressing them upon my heart. Pray against Satan's attacks on me. Thank you for your prayers!

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Come, O Come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel!

~Exodus 15:2 This verse and the story of the Israelites starts this song. They have been lead to the sea and just when it looks like they will die there God steps in and saves them. Now look at the verse...The Lord is my strength and my son; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt HIm. ~ Notice the word become. Their salvation and ours has become a personal thing. When they were in danger, he protected them.

That mouns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appears.

~Revalation 1:4,8,17,18
v.4 - is, was, is to come
v.8 - Alpha and Omega
v. 17 - First and Last
v.18 - Living One

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Colossians 1:15-17 - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ~He was there before the song. This sets the song up.

Psalms 16:8-9 I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, ~This is where we join in the song. The song will play regardless of if we join or not. Emmanuel = God with Us. In good health and in bad, in happy times and in sad, in joyful births and mournful deaths, when our jobs are great or when we lose our jobs, in the good and in the bad...praise God that He is Emmanuel...God with Us.

On that day when we celebrate the 2nd Christmas, I will choose to join in the song again and at that time for all eternity. Praise God that we will be ransomed.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel
and ransom captive Israel.
That mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appears.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!

If we are the world and we want to help, why is there still so much hate?

With the new release of We are the World to help bring focus to Haiti and raise funds for their devastated country, we are reminded that there are more countries that need help than those that do not need help. Why is it that it takes such devastating events for the rest of the world to take notice and want to help? Why can't we always come together and help each other instead of hating because we don't understand each other and fear their culture.

Why does it take a major natural disaster to pull us together? Why do we terrorize other countries simply because they are different from us? If we are the world and we want to help, why is there so much hate?

An earthquake in Haiti? A tsunami along the coasts of many Asian countries and even Africa? A hurricane in New Orleans? Mudslides? Tornados? Floods? Blizzards? Why do we wait for one of those events to care?

We need to come together and help those less fortunate than us without waiting on a reason. Just get in there and help because you care.