I didn’t even know I needed that!


Have you ever been broken? We live in a broken world. We often come from broken families. We often see a broken justice system. Everywhere you look you see something broken. A broken body, a broken smile, a broken soul… 
Brokenness has the capacity to taint our outlook. Just like when glass shatters if is hard to see through it, yet it is often with broken glass that you can see a rainbow.
I feel like I should name this year “The Broken Year”

There has been a lot of breaking in this year. Broken relationships, broken path, broken career, you name it and it’s pretty much been broken. My heart has been left in pieces trying to make sense of it all. At first, I was weary to even pick up the pieces for fear I would be cut…

“God, what a mess. I don’t know how to fix this.”

I want to share with you what I’ve been learning in hopes that it will encourage you… 

I received an email from a godly man who I was able to receive some counsel from. He said this:

This Scripture is for you, Christine, from the gentle and humble King who loves you dearly:

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30New International Version (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 New Living Translation (NLT)
 

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. 

My friends, I didn’t even know that I needed that word; but let me tell you, I did! This man said, “You had a yoke on you that you were never meant to carry”  

Those words hit me like a wave of sheer relief. How many of us have been carrying yokes we never meant to carry? You may be carrying the yoke of your family or the yoke of a career or a yoke of you name it. But is that the yoke God asked you to carry? Or is it a yoke that someone else put on you? Maybe it is a yoke you out on yourself. This man prayed for me and asked God to take off the yoke I had been carrying and put His yoke on me.

I went into work that same day and it felt as though a weight had been lifted. The pressure I had felt the whole time working there was no longer rearing its ugly head. I was so incredibly grateful! But the amazing part that I didn’t know I needed those words. I didn’t know I was carrying a yoke that was never intended for me.
I didn’t know that was an area that still needed to be healed.

My friends, God sees our brokenness. He sees our wounds. He sees the damage done and He knows how to heal us!

“For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal” Job 5:18

“Let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.” Hosea 6:1

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

God knows where we are still broken and where we need healing. He sees our broken heart and knows how to bind us back up.

So as you look at the shattered pieces of your life, family or heart, you can know that God knows what He is doing. He knows what you need to be healed from. He knows you, your situation and the work that needs to be accomplished for you to continue moving forward. You can rest in Him. Rest in His promises. Trust God and do good because what He started He will complete. Just keep in mind that sometimes in between the start and the finish work there is brokenness. Give it to Him. Keep trusting Him and He will make your paths straight!

Be encouraged dear friends! You are so dearly loved and cared for and God delights in YOU
! He is our healer! He is our restorer! He is the only one who can turn our mourning into dancing and our Brokeness into something beautiful! 

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A Test, A Grumble and God’s Unfailing Devotion!

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“Lord, I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to deal with this. I want this to be over…”

This was my prayer just a few weeks ago. I felt like I was in the olive press again. God was allowing me to be squeezed so that I would be more useful to Him and possibly to others. I wish I could say I responded with, “Thank you Lord”. I didn’t. I complained. I wrestled. I kept saying, “I don’t want to deal with this…I don’t want this and I know you can take it all away”

Then I heard a message on Philippians 2:13-30. The verse that stuck out to me was verse 14 which says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing”. Ouch! That hit a nerve. I remember praying not too long ago, “God, do what you want” But when He does what He wants, I complain? His will is not always butterflies and flowers, sometimes, its gut wrenching.

The pastor went on to say that the people who do not grumble or complain are some of the most beautiful people on this planet. Have you met anyone like that? I have. I have always looked up to her because of her attitude. She of all people could be extremely bitter and she is extremely kind. When she walks into a room she brings joy. No matter what season she is in, she gives, she loves, and she cares! I told her last week how much I admired her and she said, “It’s not me. It’s Jesus in me” I have a long way to go, but what God starts He WILL finish!

So this week, I felt like God was leading me to do something very difficult. The very thing I told God I didn’t want to deal with was now staring me in the face. I knew I needed to surrender my will to His.  I prayed for strength. I prayed for courage. My trial day came. My task involved a phone call in which I would have to be very honest and yet extremely cautious in what I shared. You see in many situations we face there are always other people involved. The bottom line is our actions; our words and our behavior affect others. At the end of my life I have to stand before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and give an account for my actions, words and behaviors. So this task was extremely weighty for me (that is why I didn’t want to deal with it).

When I got off the phone, I felt like a weight had been lifted. I knew that I had done what God had asked me to do. My friends, God moved in a way I can hardly believe. Many of you know that this past year has been one of the most painful year of my entire life. But, God is NOT finished. And God has been so compassionate, kind, gentle, loving and abundantly gracious!

Yesterday, after I got in my car to head to work, I just cried tears of joy thanking God for caring. Thanking Him for fighting for me. I was able to thank Him for the hard times because when the situations of our life are in His hands, He tends to do what we can’t even imagine. My mom said sometimes we just have to take a baby step and God comes running towards us to pick us up and twirl us around while holding us in His steady embrace. That is exactly how it felt. I wrestled with God on taking a baby step, but when I did, He came rushing towards me and showered me with His love and unfailing kindness.

As if that were not enough, He gave me an opportunity to do something fun and get paid for it. It was almost like God was giving me a gift. I honestly feel spoiled by God. Like my Dad has been lavishing me with not only His love, grace and kindness but also with things or opportunity that He knows I would enjoy!

I also am well aware that God owes me absolutely nothing. He could have not answered my prayers in the way I asked. God has already done more than enough. He died for my sins and for that I owe Him everything, yet, He decides to bless me. I honestly don’t understand it, but I am so incredibly grateful that God is…

My Savior, My Defender, My Restorer, My Courage, My Friend, My Beloved and My Everything!

My prayer is that this life is not about me. I want to reflect Christ because that is what true beauty is. In the pain, suffering and heartache, we can be the hope for someone else. We can be a reminder of God’s love to someone else. Life is hard, but Jesus is no wimp! He helps us to be brave. He helps us to love fearlessly and courageously! Take heart my friend. You are loved. Your life has so much meaning and you make an impact every day!

I want to share some verses that I have encouraged me:

  • I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Philippians 3:10
  • Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21

“The making of you may be the breaking of you” ~ Lysa Turkeurst

What are we doing and what is the plan?

I say another night writing out my thoughts 
“Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?” My stomach almost in knots 

“God, you’re providing but not in the way I expected”

“Is there a step I may have neglected?”
Life is a whirlwind 

Things seem unpinned 

Is there a method to what seems like madness?

More often then not I’m seeing sadness 
I feel like I’m staring at pieces to a puzzle 

But they seem unlink with no place to nuzzle 

Am I supposed to pick up those pieces 

Or wait on God’s mercy that never ceases 
I don’t feel like there is a step to take 

But to be faithful and let God mold and make 

But what about the pressure to be and do more?

Is that from me? Or is it something I should explore?
Life is confusing and chaotic too!

Sometimes I wish God and I could have a face to face rendezvous.

One where we could hash out our next direction 

And decide together what would be the best selection. 
I know God is here and He is in charge 

And He is the one who gives the discharge 

But it’s not always easy to not know the right answer

But I should trust him otherwise worry becomes like cancer
So into your hands I commit my spirit 

And my requests at your alter, I’ll leave it 

Help me to be faithful, true, kind and caring 

And help me to always be one whose sharing. 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Walking is…

What do you think of when I say walking? 
Take a moment and think about it…Do you think of a leisurely stroll? Do you think fresh air? Do you think of walking as comfortable and easy? 
I have… until today…
I partook in a silent protest. Everyone participating had to remain silent during this protest/stand. In fact, many of us had tape had over our mouths.
What were we doing? Walking…in silence. 
As I was walking (in a single file line with over 100 people in the center of Hollywood, Florida) I realized how bold, brave, and difficult walking can actually be. 
What do I mean? 

As I walked, I made a statement. I realized that when we walk the Christian life we make a statement. 
When we walk steadfastly — people are watching. 

When we walk faithfully– people will eventually turn their heads. 
We walked around a park circle seven times. Each time around was driving our message home. The same is true for our Christian walk. Each year we live we are making another statement with our lives. 

Our statement: I believe that Jesus is Lord, and He is the author of my life! He is the conductor of this train! 
This year, I have come to see how difficult this walk can be and today I was reminded why. 

Psalm 23:4 says,

Even though I WALK through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me;Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Isaiah 43:2 says,

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you WALK through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.
There are times in our lives where we walk through hard things. The good news is it says through :)! There is an end. But sometimes before we get “through” we have to remain silent. Yet, in the midst of that silence, our walk speaks louder than our words! 
We are also called and commanded to walk–
Micah 6:8 says, 

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you. But to do justice, to love kindness, and to WALK humbly with your God…
Deuteronomy 5:33 says, 

You shall WALK in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.
We have a life to live and a walk to walk. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it. If you feel like walking is too much to handle, just take one step. Once you have taken that step, take another. Focus on one step at a time. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Ask God for strength and keep putting one foot in front of the other. You have God and a cloud of witnesses cheering you on! Ultimately, we are walking towards God 💕

 
With God we can:

  • Walk on the water (Matt 14:29)
  • Pick up our mats and walk (John. 5:8)
  • Walk and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31)
  • Walk without fear (Psalm 23:4)
  • Walk by faith and not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) 
  • Walk in love (Ephesians 5:2)
  • Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17)
  • Walk through the water & fire (Isaiah 43:1-2)
  • Walk in God’s ways (Deuteronomy 8:6)
  • Walk with God (Micah 6:8)
  • Walk in the light (1 John 1:7)
  • Walk in truth (Psalm 86:11)
  • Walk in a manner worthy of our calling (Ephesians 4:1)

Be encouraged and keep on walking!

Heartbreak, Suffering and Silence!

***My first post was not written in a Biblical framework. I want to clarify what I was meaning to say and apologize for any confusion I may have caused***

“No temptation [Trial, proving, integrity, fidelity, virtue, constancy] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

 

There are some painful things we face in life. If God is sovereign, and He is, He could keep us from hurt.

 

But sometimes, God allows our heart to get broken. Sometimes God allows a thorn in the flesh when we beg for it to be taken from us.

In Job’s case, he allowed him to lose his children, livestock, and health. Could God have prevented that? Yes, but he allowed it to happen.

And where was God when Job was crying out? For most of the book of Job, God is silent, not actively involved. Nowhere in Job’s suffering does he detect God’s presence. Have you experienced a season when God is silent? I think I’ve just begun that season. I honestly hate when God is silent. I want Him to be talking to me constantly. I want Him to tell me to go left or go right but I believe that season of silence deepen our walk with God.

I was thinking about silence between relationships. When I shared an apartment with my roommate there were days when we would be in the same room, but neither one of us spoke for hours. Occasionally I would be say, “Hey Rach, want coffee” or she would say, “I’m making lunch if you’re hungry”. However, for the majority of the day, we would be silent. We were with each other in the same room, but we didn’t need to talk and neither one of us were offended. We knew each other well enough that if we were silent it didn’t mean either one of us were angry or irritated. I could be silent and I wasn’t judged. I could just be.

Have you ever been around people where you feel like you cannot be silent and just think? You feel pressure to always say something or be in the thick of the conversation? I have and as an introvert it’s absolutely exhausting. But I realized in the time of silence maybe it is on me to be growing in the process or circumstance I am placed in. I want to know God better. Maybe He wants me to trust Him even when He is silent. Silence does not mean a person has changed. God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So, in the midst of the silence, I can remind myself that He is still worthy of my praise and worthy to be served!

Life comes with suffering. We will experience heart break. We will experience loss. We will experience death. We will endure hardship.

 

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
2 Timothy 2:3-4

 

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

 

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all

2 Corinthians 4:17

 

Moses led the Israelites but only after He suffered with God’s people!

David led a kingdom but only after he raised sheep and was on the run for the majority of his life from the hand of Saul.

John prepared the way for Jesus, but John lived in the desert and then was beheaded.

And Paul suffered with a thorn in the flesh and through beatings and imprisonments and rejection!

 

So instead of looking at this season of heartbreak, suffering and silence with dread, I’m praying that God will help me to see it as a season of growth. Also, I am trying to look at this season with a thankful heart. God has a purpose for pain, suffering and silence. God does not withhold good from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 86:11) so this, although painful, is for my good and for His glory.

 

It was…

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“If you stay quiet, this will only hurt you” my friend said with compassion, knowing the environment I came from. Write it out. Say what happened. What happened was wrong, you were not wrong!

It was a normal hectic day and I walked briskly down a hallway until I saw a certain individual. He said, “Christi, every time I see you, you always look busy” I smiled and said, “Oh, sorry, I will try to slow down” I smiled and then immediately thought, “I hope this doesn’t get back to so and so”. I imagined me being called into a meeting because people had been commenting on how busy I looked and how I shouldn’t be because I wasn’t given that much work and who was I to look busy? I am not sure in that moment if I prayed, but I panicked a little.

Then there was another moment in a hotel when we were awaiting our ride for the seminar that we were attending, “You look negative” I was just tired. I hadn’t slept off jetlag, but to prevent anymore comments, I did what I had been training myself to do, slap a smile on my face and pretend that everything was good and there was nothing wrong. The fact of the matter is: there was a lot that was wrong.

I hate to even use or say this word because there are a lot of situations that are a thousand times worse than mine. Their situation left scars on their bodies, mine only a scar on my heart and mind. Although I heard it was confirmed by several people, I still didn’t want to say it because it is a powerful word. You should never use this word lightly or in any dramatic way. I looked up the symptoms; I looked up what it was. I watched videos explaining it. Still I didn’t really want to say it. I did not want to believe this could happen. Again, there are others who are facing worse. I sought counseling and when I was struggling with the hurt of the situation, I texted my counselor asking her if we could meet [again]. “I’m struggling. There is so much hurt” I said.  She said, “It’s going to take some time to work through some of those memories, because what you encountered was abuse”. I think that was the moment, I decided to call it what it was and what it was, was abuse. There are no scars on my body, but there are scars on my heart and mind.

But by the grace and the kindness of God, I have been able to process a lot of what happened. So you may be wondering how? How were you abused? Maybe it was just your perception! Maybe you interpreted what happened wrong. I wrestled with this a long time and I don’t even want to write this right now, but I feel I need to.

Most abusive situations don’t start as abusive. There are little signs here and there. For example some things don’t quite sit right, but you think, oh there are a lot of positive things. Maybe this is just a hard situation and if I can endure this, I will be better for it. There were a lot of things I grew in because of the situation I was in.

As I was talking to a close friend I said, “I feel so stupid for not seeing it sooner” She said, “Christi, it’s like a frog in a pot of water on the stove. Then the water begins to get hotter and a little hotter and a little hotter until the water is boiling and the frog is being boiled to death” It made so much sense. That’s exactly how it was. Things got a little harder, then a little harder than that then it got to the point where I could not do anything right, there was always something wrong and it was my fault.

I got to the point where I didn’t know who I was anymore. I couldn’t take it anymore. I called my Mom and told her everything that was going on. “Christi, what is being said is not who you are. I know you” she said. When you are lost and confused by someone who uses their authority over you and someone says, “No, this is not who you are, I know you” It is like finding refuge in the middle of a tornado that is ravishing through your heart and mind. At the peak of the abuse, I was being verbally, mentally and emotionally abused almost every day for three weeks. Of course, I was almost always alone, except for one other person, who didn’t really know what was going on and stayed out of it. She didn’t speak much English. I was under so much pressure, I remember waking up and praying to God that I wouldn’t have a mental breakdown. If I messed up one thing, I would be “corrected”. I apologized for everything I could think of, but it didn’t matter. I was convinced everything was my fault. The enemy would constantly tell me, “This is your fault. You are getting what you deserve”. I have never been so broken. After I got out of the situation, I had nightmares. The first day after, I woke up sweating from a nightmare I had. The first time I heard from the person, my stomach was in knots. I couldn’t respond. To this day, It is hard for me to see pictures and I cannot hear the voice of that individual. It is too hard. My abuser is the voice I heard in my head: “You are untrustworthy”, “Only you have this problem. So and so never makes this mistake”, “Stop making excuses”, “You are a hypocrite”, “I never tell anyone about the problems we have”, “You are Judas to me”, “You’ve turn every blessing into a curse”, “You need deliverance”, “You, you, you”, “I was going to…” … At the end of the day, I was never good enough and there seemed to be no hope for me.

Only a couple of times the abuse was seen by others. “I saw that Christi, I lost my appetite”. I felt relief. Maybe I wasn’t such a horrible human being? But what was I supposed to do? I didn’t know it was abuse until it was full blown in my face. Would anyone believe me? I didn’t think so. I didn’t have anything left to fight it anyways. When you are ripped apart by someone who you think you are supposed to trust and they tell you they are telling you these things because they “love you” or they are there to “train you” or they keep buying you things after they “correct” you, it gets confusing. You feel so much hurt, but they are telling you they love you and keep reminding you of the things they do for you. I felt my entire life was under investigation. Boundaries were non-existent. I was told, “The reason we are in this mess is because you don’t speak up” I don’t know what they wanted. I tried to do everything I could to the best of my ability and whenever there was an issue, I prayed that God would help me to get through it because I never knew when I would most likely be called into another “meeting”. A lot of the times in order to keep myself together, I would leave the area for a bit, cry, wipe my tears and go back to what I was doing. However, sometimes, I did not have that luxury and that was a luxury because I could step out and get a breath of air. Twice I got trapped. I could not leave- if I did, I’m convinced I would have been followed and told to “stop dwelling on the negative” or to “shake it off”. So, I held it together until I got alone and burst into tears to let it all out. I’d wake up the next day, slapped a smile on my face and acted as if nothing happened. If I didn’t I would be talked to and every talk got harder and harder to handle.

I am extremely grateful though. Not many people have the strength to leave and God gave me an abundance of support to leave. My family played a huge role- especially my mom. I remember calling her at 4 in the morning her time because I was in a different time zone and she picked up. She kept her phone on after she knew what was going on. She and another confidant said, “Christi, you need to leave and you need to leave immediately. This is no longer healthy” I had to get out. Many people don’t have that option and if they do, they often have terrible things happen in the process.

I understand now why victims leave everything to get away. At first, when you get away, it still doesn’t feel far enough. I felt like I had to always look over my shoulder to see if they were behind me. The first time someone knocked on my apartment door after I fled the situation. I was frozen in fear. My stomach dropped. My roommate answered the door and it was a friend. However, I didn’t know what to say, I’m sure my face was sheet white. I felt like I was going to pass out from sheer panic. It is an awful feeling.

The hardest part about it all was that there was a lot of things that were good, but there was also a lot that were bad. When people stopped seeing me at the places they assumed I would be, questions were asked. I didn’t know what to say. Why, because there is a relationship between you and the person who is abusing you. There are two people involved and for so long you learn to keep things to yourself. For so long you were loyal. If and when you spoke up just a little, it would come back to bite you. When you find the strength to talk about it, it feels wrong, but like my friend said, “Christi, you did nothing wrong. This was abuse” I still feel uneasy saying that but at the end of the day, I know that is what happened.

There is no reason for you to be humiliated, condemned, played with using mental games, have digs at your character, and accuse of things you never did. My reputation was tarnished after. I looked like the devil or demon possessed – you choose which one you prefer. I looked like the bad guy. Am I perfect? Absolutely not, but was there abuse – yes.

The insecurities of the one abusing were thrown on me. When I started to see what was going on and started to stand- not fight- but stand my ground and seek outside help, I was told I was rebellious and going out from under their authority. If I had a problem and was finding help, why should I be chastised for finding help?

So I said it, I was in an abusive situation. But what I have come to realize is that God will never ever abuse me and it was him that was the one who protected me. He held me when I wept. He accepted me when I was rejected. He stood by me when accusations were flying. He was with me in the fire. He made sure the waters did not overtake me. He was with me and He never abandoned me and I know He will use all this for my good and His glory.

I write all this to tell you that today, I am doing much better. Yesterday was the first day, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. My mom told me later today when she saw me laughing (yesterday) “I thought to myself Christi is back” God has turned my mourning into dancing- literally. I have come to know that Jesus is more than my Friend. He truly is my Savior from sin and abuse. He protected me from what could have been much worse. His kindness is making me whole. He was my strength when I had nothing left. He is my everything. I would rather have Jesus than anything. I feel like I have had to start over, but with God, I cannot fail. His Word has been my healing balm and writing has helped me process the memories. God has also given me an incredible family and friends. They have walked with me and encouraged me and helped me. I could never repay them for their kindness and support. I hope that these few words will help someone else. You are precious, friends. God sees you and your situation. He does not turn a blind eye. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. You matter and you are worth everything to God. He fought to have a relationship with you and He can be trusted.

I want to share an article that helped me face what I suffered, which was in fact abuse- I even decided to take a test they offered, I scored the 2nd highest for emotional abuse. I was only a few off from the highest scoring:

http://liveboldandbloom.com/11/relationships/signs-of-emotional-abuse

Thank you for being on this journey with me. It means more than you know!

Like a Spider on the Windshield 

I was on my way back to the office. I had been running errands for a trip I was going to be taking. I was on the highways when I saw a spider on my windshield. Poor guy was hanging on for dear life. As soon as I got off the highway and slowed my speed, the spider got up and ran for safety.

I felt like I should glean a lesson from this little spider but I didn’t know exactly what… 
Then, it happened. My life seemed to be shaking. I was beginning to feel the wind kick up and I didn’t knew what would happened but I remember crying out to God saying, “I can’t take this much longer”. I knew I had to hold on to Jesus for what felt like dear life! I knew in that moment when life felt like a hurricane, I was supposed to just “endure”- just like in Ephesians 6:11, 13 & 14 when it says to “stand firm”. It doesn’t say keep running forward, it doesn’t say shrink back it just says stand firm. Sometimes that is all we can do and that is hard enough! 
I had to pray every day so many times, God help me to endure. Help these days not to be wasted because I can do nothing else but endure! Have you had those days? Those days that getting your feet under your feeble body feels is like you’re attempting to climb Mount Everest? And when you do you feel like you’re being pelted so standing is the only thing you can do? Have you had those days? 
I was living in the midst of wind that felt as though I was going to fly off if I tried to move in any direction. I remembered the spider. I’m sure that’s how he felt. He knew he couldn’t move until things calmed down, otherwise he risked death. So by God’s grace, He gave me the strength to endure and when I knew the winds had done what they were to do, and when I felt the chaos begin to calm, I ran into my refuge. He was in the storm but He also was my place to heal from the storm. 
The winds of life change us. They break us apart and break us down. I used to think life was about being whole, but now I’m beginning to see its about being broken. When a vessel is broken, more light can shine through. As John Piper says, “The quickest way to the heart is through a wound” so if in my brokenness God reaches me quicker, than I pray to remain broken. Because even in our broken and wounded lives God allows us to be broken and wounded healers for someone else and that is truly living! 
Don’t be afraid to be like that Spider on the Windshield. I would never want to experience what I did again, but I can tell you on the other side of the winds and the rains, I am thankful for the storm. I’m thankful for the hurt and I’m thankful for an amazing God who held me in the winds and held me after the winds- He never lets go!