Last night I had an entire house to myself, a rare thing in my life right now. While it can be a bit lonely, it’s also a great time to do things for myself – like watch cheesy girl movies and eat bad Chinese take-out. All in all, it was a nice refreshing change from the busy, hectic pace of family life.
Late that night before bed, I reached for my tried and trusty Bible, something I don’t have the luxury of doing much these days. It was like sitting down to read letters from a friend. You see I bought this Bible for myself back in 2000 - eighteen years ago, when life wasn’t so peachy keen.
This book got me through the toughest of times. All those years before I was diagnosed – those long years of silent suffering, no place and no one else was there for me like God was through his word. I reference this in one of my speaking engagements, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church's Woman's Health Conference.
“The one awesome thing about going undiagnosed for so many years is that I clung to God’s Word like nothing else.”
Truer words were never spoken. In an earlier blog, I wrote about how suicide was a dark thought that crossed my mind many times pre-diagnosis. I was that miserable. My post, 'This is called the I wish I didn't have to write this,' post, references some of the verses that were especially important to me. These are the ones I laid at God’s feet waiting for the day when he would answer all the prayers that sometimes felt like they were falling on deaf ears, even though they weren’t.
The thing about God’s Word is that it’s living and active and, no matter how many times I’ve read a book of the Bible, or read verses that have been dated and underlined, they still speak to me. You see, the Bible isn’t just some dusty old thing I pull off the shelf every once in awhile when I feel guilty or need some divine intervention. It truly is a life preserver for me, a compass, a love letter from a Heavenly Father who adores me more than words can say.
I think when I write my posts I’m drawing on all those years of being in his word and hiding it in my heart. They are truly the place of wisdom that one can’t find anywhere else. If you’ve enjoyed anything I’ve written over the past several years, if it’s inspired you or encouraged you, know that it didn’t come from me. It truly didn’t. It came from the wellspring of life flowing up within me. It came through the pain and suffering that made me wiser than anything else could have.
So, do yourselves a favor. Open your Bibles, and find wisdom, and solace and truth there. And if you don’t particularly care for the translation you have, find another. The Bible pictured above is my copy of the New Living Translation, and I find it quite refreshing. I hope that you can find the same wisdom and knowledge I’ve found in the pages of God’s word and that when you read it, it blesses you beyond measure. Peace to you until next time.
For those of you who have been on this journey with me for a while, you know that I’ve been pursuing my Master’s in Special Education for some time. After this semester which is about half-way done, I have only one more semester before I graduate. That’s the good news.
The bad news? This last semester is promising to be a doozy. I have to take a class, do my internship, and now, thanks to the blessed state of Iowa, I have to pick up an extra practicum to make sure I get the endorsement I’m seeking. On top of that, I have one of the toughest professors I’ve had yet for this next semester’s class. I had to laugh when I went to sign up for the class yesterday, because it was the very professor I hoped not to get. Add the stress of being a special ed teacher and writing lots of IEPS this semester and well, you get the general idea.
I do believe that, as my husband puts it, I can do anything for a semester, but I will have to say that this upcoming one is not a semester I’m looking forward to. For now, I’ve settled in and am accepting that life will be a bit crazy. Truth be told, though, yesterday I had a few dozen freak-outs about it. Yesterday, I was overwhelmed in the knowledge of what I’m up against.
1 Thessalonians 5:22-24 New International Version (NIV)
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
I don’t know about you, but when I start to doubt God and his guidance and leading, I feel a bit guilty, like, how dare I doubt him when he’s done everything to prove that he is worthy of my trust. But the above verse is one that is tucked a way in the corner of my mind when it comes to feeling guilty about what I am or am not at this point in time.
Because it reminds me that I am not the one in charge of my own sanctification. That’s God’s job. I don’t have to be perfect. Through faith in Jesus I already am. And now, God’s growing me in goodness.
Instill: To introduce by gradual instruction. To pour in slowly by drops.
You see, all the lessons I’ve learned in life that have “stuck” are ones that I’ve learned over the years. The ones that have been instilled in me didn’t come all at once. It took time, to grow and mature and be all that I am now. I’m not exactly who I want to be, but there is freedom in the knowledge that right now, I am exactly who God has made me to be. And I don’t have to feel guilty about what I’m not, because God is in the details of changing me into who I want to be.
So, don’t get down on yourself for all that you’re not. Thank God for all that you are. Trust him to change you - the parts of you that need to change. And let his peace dwell in your hearts and minds as you realize it’s not about you changing you, but about God working in you what is pleasing to him.
When something significant rears its ugly head in our country, I find myself wanting to write about it. But when it’s a controversial sort of something, there is a still small voice in me that says hold back. ‘No one wants to hear what you have to say. It doesn’t matter. It’s inconsequential.’ Perhaps all of that is true, but still something in me is compelling me to sit down and write, so here it is.
I hope I don’t come across as being of one particular bend as far as politics go. I don’t like political rhetoric, so I will do my best not to spew any. But this whole Kavanaugh thing has me up in arms. So here are some thoughts about this situation.
When I was 18 years old, I was sexually molested. It happened on a trip to Mexico when my group went snorkeling. It was my first time ever doing this and I was having trouble securing my mask. One of the guides took advantage of that. He held me back and separated me from the rest of the group and proceeded to “feel me up” without my consent. I was scared. I was afraid. I was deeply embarrassed and humiliated. To this day, writing about it brings back some sting.
Here’s the deal though. I can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for the man who did this to me. I prayed for him shortly after this happened. My prayer wasn’t one of revenge or exacting justice. It was simply a prayer that he would never do to another woman what he had done to me. Ever.
Don’t know if that prayer was answered but I’ll tell you what I do know. Forgiving him freed me. It helped me to heal, to let go of the pain and the humiliation of that wretched memory. I’ve been so free from it for all of these years that I rarely call the incident to mind. Until now. Until this.
I don’t know who’s telling the truth in this situation. The fact is there is only three who know what that truth is. Two live on this earth and One does not. But in the end, His is the only Truth that matters.
So here’s what I decided to do. Pray. Pray for the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. The problem in our country is we do entirely too much debating, and blaming, and pointing fingers instead of praying.
See prayer is what gets it done. Hearings don’t. Debates don’t. Broadcasts don’t. God is the one who gets things done. Do you want to see an end to this debacle? Then pray, along with me, that the truth shines brightly for all to see-that justice would be exacted and that the innocent would walk away unscathed.
Maybe what I’m saying seems too simplistic. That’s all right. I’m a simple girl. But the truth is I can’t live with how we as a nation act when a disgrace like this happens. Prayer people. It’s powerful because no one else can do bring the truth to light like God does. Amen and Amen.