Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Afraid of Hope

Have you ever wanted anything so badly that you can't imagine not wanting it?
Yep I do.
Have you ever needed allow yourself to be vulnerable to more hurt in order to keep wanting it?
Ugh, yes!
And then start to wonder why in the world you want it anymore?!
All the time.
Do you ever beg God to give you something, anything, to let you know if you are still in submission to His will?
More than I should.
And then He answers, what is your response?
Um, fear.
What?!?!?  Yes, I've learned this week that I am afraid of having hope. 
I spent the weekend begging God to give me a reason to keep on keeping on.  I see nothing, am I crazy?  Why am I standing firm for my marriage anymore? 

God answered me.  His precious presence answered a long standing prayer.  And while it is not a full answer to everything, to me, it is something that spoke directly to my heart straight from my Father - in a direct response to what I asked Him. It may be small, and others may argue that it was nothing.  But to me, it was answered prayer which makes it huge.  And I thank God for his answer!  It spoke loud and clear that God can do anything He wants and at any time, it can happen.  My God is able and my God is Big!
Satan is actively trying to steal and distort my hope and trying to prevent me from giving God the glory for answered prayers.  I want it so bad, but I'm afraid to really have any hope.  Why? Because I'm tempted to keep hoping in something, or someone, other than God alone.  I've been let down before.  I try to manipulate and control.  I've read into things before that were not facing reality.  Hoping means I could end up hurting even more and I don't want to hurt anymore.  It even took me a while to be able to name that as my response. 
I've been so afraid to hope.  Mark 4:40 "He said to them, Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" 
I confess my sins of unbelief and little faith.  Mark 9:24b "I believe; help my unbelief!"
Because of God's work in me...satan has lost this battle.  My God is victorious! I claim my victory over this as God's child.  I do have hope because my hope is in God, not in people or circumstances.  I'm clinging to Jesus. I'm rejoicing in the answered prayer. I continue to pray and leave it all in God's hands.  What God does with it, is God's story.  And I am resting in the casting of that burden.
A dear friend texted me some of these verses, and it hit home for me... Lamentations 3:21-26
"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him;
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord"

Father, I'm waiting and hoping in You alone.  You Lord are able.  You Lord are doing work that I can't see.  Thank you for allowing me see my sin of unbelief and misplaced hope and for giving me the grace to turn from it.  Please give me the grace to sit here in this place of hoping in You as the only way.  You are not good just because of what You are able to give me, but because of who You are. Give me strength to stand.  In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.

Friends, keep standing.  Allow yourself to hope in Him.  To God be the glory.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Letting Go of What?

My awesome sister-in-law gave me a cd for Christmas that I love.  It is Matt Hammitt Every Falling Tear and the whole cd makes me cry, but I love it.  At the end of this post is the "video" of the song Let Go.  You will be blessed by just sitting back and listening to it.

As many of you know, I am on a hard journey. Some days by God's grace I am very strong.  But it would be deceiving for you to think that I have it all together.  God IS good, which is why I can be broken before Him.  I have been wronged.  I have been sinned against.  I am rightfully hurt.  Other people have chosen to cause hurt to me and my family and are able to justify it to themselves because they are so blind to the truth.  Some days I pray that God would have mercy on them, and other days I want lightening to plain old strike them down.  Oh, sins will be revealed and truth shall prevail, praise God for that!  But that doesn't take away the hurt.  It doesn't take away my kids & I crying together and the reality of pain & confusion that exists.  It doesn't make it ok.  Some days all I can do is cry in fear & hurt, some days I am so incredibly angry, some days I'm numb, and other days I cry while resting in His arms.  Which leaves one thing left to do.  Let Go.

Let go of what?  That's my question.  Do I let go of my marriage as in give up on it?  No, that's not what God is asking me to do.  Continuing to pray for a restored marriage with the man God created my husband to be is a good thing.  I've let go along the way of ways that I can fix it on my own, so that's not it; although that is an ongoing process!  The frustrated feeling of just wanting to know what I'm suppose to let go of is too much to take some days!  Do know how many times I've cried out "God just tell me already!  I'll do whatever you want, just tell me!"?  As many have pointed out, my blogging has almost taken on a sense of being prophetic. (Don't get all worked up.  I'm not claiming to be a prophet or anything).   When I blog something, within days, God makes me live out that my words are not just words, but truly the way I want to live.  So even knowing that risk, I think I have my answer.

I need to truly let go of me & my plan.  What I thought my life would be and how I think my life should be.  I can't just let go of trying to fix things to fit my plan, I need to give up the whole plan all together!  Guess what, what those people did to me was, and is, pure evil.  It is the work of Satan in this fallen world.  It messed up my plan for me and my kids & my life.  There is a huge wake of hurt and consequences everywhere.  But the glory of God is that he takes what Satan intended for evil and uses it for my good!  But if I keep holding on to my stuff, I can't get to the good!  And this song speaks to that.  God knows so much more than I know.  He knows the big picture, he can see whole quilt not just my one patch.  He knows what I don't, because he knows everything about the past, present and the future.  He knows every thought and every action and every everything.  I'm not meant to know it but because I am a child of God I can rest on His promises to use it for my good.  I can trust Him.  While I hate everything about this whole situation, I have to trust that God is laying protection around me.  He is using more evil actions & sin to protect me & my kids from whatever is coming down the pipe in the future.  And I have no idea what that is, but I can confidently say that for me & my kids, it will be good.  Our suffering will not be for nothing.  And I can't let go all on my own, that is only by God's grace. 

Father, please help me to let go of me.  To stop being so self-righteous, arrogant & proud that I actually think I know better than you of what is good for my life. Give me faith to let go and surrender to your ways for your arms are the ones I want to be in.  I do have more questions than answers right now.  But what I really need impressed upon my heart is that You Father are good, and faithful, and strong, and right and able.  I can let go because you are  - who you are.

Don't forget to watch the video!