Monday, May 7, 2018

Finding Courage to Forgive, Finding Courage to Heal

Gratitude, the path to Humility

When we re looking to improve, especially in relationships, there is a mountain of accountability to swallow, it's overwhelming sometimes. How can we find the courage and strength to face it? The prayer with the 5 phrases helped me. It reminded me of what I am in need of forgiveness for and who can help me do it. So the short answer is: prayer. The longer answer is: we ask God to fill us and surround us in His love so we can rely on the perfection of Christ and the strength of God's love. When we stop trying on our own perfection, the realization of our guilt is not so overpowering because we are letting the Saviour bear the load only He can carry.God's perfection is what makes His love so pure. Our love is tainted by blame because we seek, even subconsciously, to excuse our sins and that taints the way we see others, including God. Coming to Him in true contrition and gratitude brings us into real humility, and humility is the threshold to a change of heart. 

No Way to God Without Humility

When we want to come to God, we have to go through the porch of humility to knock on the doorway of Christ. We can't even lift the knocker of the door without having gone through humility that brings us to the truth that we are not capable of carrying the burden of our own perfection. Letting go of that belief, letting go of our sins and letting Jesus carry and dissolve them in the perfection of His love and redeeming power, frees our strength to be put into seeking God.
Picture yourself coming up to the door carrying on both arms 5-6 gallons of milk -your sins- you can't reach up to the knocker unless you put down the bags. In this case, Jesus is there saying "Cast your burdens on me." He takes the milk and makes cheese, whey, yogurt, butter, whipping cream, and sticks them in your room in God's house. 

Casting off Our Burdens Gives us Strength

We cannot even knock on the door of God unless we have let go of the burdens we're carrying. We can say the words, and there is a point to saying them even when you're not sincere yet, but we aren't completely open until we've cast the burdens of our sins, everything and anything that make us reluctant or doubtful towards God and His desire and intention to bless us. Resentment, fear, blame, anger, hatred, etc. are sins becuase a sin is anything that keeps us from connection with God.
Jesus took upon himself our sins (all of humanity's) to make forgiveness and redemption possible, to make it possible for us to forgive others and for them to forgive us so we can let go of resentment, fear, anger, blame, etc. and have the courage and strength to knock on the door of Heaven and receive all the blessings God has already prepared for us. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Overcoming the Terror of Change and the Anguish of Loss

My last two childbirths were vaginal births after cesarian.  My first two births were good and I learned a lot about the strength of my body, of my womb.  My third baby was born cesarian because my obstetrician was unwilling to help me help the baby move, though she was head down but slightly at the wrong angle.  My next birth experience was okay, until my uterus simply stopped functioning in the middle of pushing.  Terror swept through me as I did not know my own body.  I felt betrayed by it.  Maybe it felt betrayed by me for not insisting my doctor help me avoid a c-section (every doctor who reviewed the conditions of the c-section afterwards said it was unnecessary).  But when I use the word terror, it isn't lightly.  It was like driving a tank into battle and realizing you were in a minivan and you had your kids on board. Thankfully, by God's literal grace, I birthed my last two children, I literally asked God to bring the babies out and that is how they were born.  My body had quit.  It lasted less than an hour (the final stage).  It took me years to get confidence back in my body.

As I've faced severe adrenal and thyroid fatigue with severe anemia these last few years, it's been a bit like that labor experience.  My body has not been what it was, it's been simply incapable of what I "normally" do.  In some ways it's been like going through puberty all over again with my body changing and not feeling at all the same, only this time it was losing abilities, not gaining them.  In both situations, I had to cry out to God to deliver and heal me.  He did it in His time, but He did it.  I've improved so much that now I have many consistently good energy days and I recover much quicker, this happened in about half the time it "should" have.  Only this time, it wasn't an hour, it was a few years, but like the delivery, I had no idea there was something wrong until I was in the "thick" of it.

In my pride and arrogance, I had retaliated against God for all I saw had been done to me.  The passing of my mother was the last straw....I made it the last straw.  In the highest of arrogance, stubbornness, and self-will I behaved as if God had taken her from me, rather than remembering God had leant her to me and she had returned from whence she came and to whom she loved to be with, and where it was time for her to be.  This was a far harder pit to dig out of, for with the trauma of the birth I had leaned into God, not away.  This time, I had leaned away, it was much harder to come back from. I believe the fatigue would not have been as severe had I leaned into God instead of away.  Who knows?  Only God.

  • What could have been better in my life?
  • How could it have blessed my children if I had held fast to God?
  • How much more healing could I have experienced and what mysteries could God have unfolded to me?

Why do these questions matter, how can they be productive? 
They help me, and hopefully you, to remember that blaming only makes it harder and I never want to go there again and miss all the blessings open to me as I lean in, not Away.

How can I recover now?
Lean in, not away.