BROKEN BY LOVE

 

Broken By LoveISA 58-6

I spent the week before New Years very burdened for many things–people, events in our country, events in the world. I had read an article about the call to fast during the days in which we are living, people like Anne Graham Lotz also urged that we begin this New Year fasting and praying. Throughout that week, it seemed that everything I picked up pointed to this urgency. I asked God to give me His heart into what to pray for and how to pray and things began to coalesce into what I believe is His heart for all of us right now. To begin with, He gave me Isaiah 58: 4-6 (AMP):

“[The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high. Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? [Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke?”

I began to understand what He was asking then. A part of my burden was that there seem to be some who are unable to get free from oppression, unable to get free from “every enslaving yoke,” though they seek Him and long for the freedom they see in others. Some have experienced this freedom from time to time but discouragement and disillusionment has set in, creating a barrier between their knowledge of God and their experience of God. I can relate to this. I was enslaved in the same manner for many years. Saved, yet never experiencing the joy and abundant life that Jesus promised. Just when things seemed to be looking up, life happened. And every time life happened, one thing or another that was going wrong would sabotage joy. Joy was unattainable it seemed. My entire relationship with Jesus Christ, who promised joy and life abundant, revolved around this waxing and waning of whether life was going well or not. Whether my prayers were getting answered or not. Whether my kids were doing well, or not. Whether my finances were secure or not. Joy and the abundant life were fleeting at best, absent at worst.

What was wrong? What was I missing? When I needed Him the most, He was mysteriously absent, or so it seemed. How is it that I finally broke out of this roller coaster cycle? I can remember the cycle well, though it has been many years. During that time I had been reading through the Bible for the first time and it was like lights going off everywhere. Then I read it through again for the second time. This time the story began to unfold and I could see Jesus, fully involved in it all, watching as His beloved creation continued to be on this same roller coaster. They would receive His blessings and be happy with His blessings and then life happened, and joy would get swallowed up by real life. Then they would turn on Him and murmur against Him, and complain that He didn’t really love them. It happened again and again. It broke His heart. Can we break His heart? Yes, and He showed me how I was breaking His heart as well, in exactly the same way His people did then. I would experience a little happiness (I would not call it joy— not joy the way He promises joy), but all of my joy or happiness or whatever I wanted to call it, revolved around whether everything was going the way I thought it should go. It was whether Jesus was behaving like I thought He should be behaving and when He didn’t, I went into a pout and behaved like the spoiled petulant child I was. Since life rarely goes the way some of us plan, we spend a lot of time in the pit, out of the pit, in the pit, out of the pit. It is exhausting. We finally give up.

The central theme of the Bible is that God wants a relationship of love with you and every person created. Loving relationship motivates God. But love requires several things— freedom, risk, and choice. That means God chose to subject Himself to the same emotional relational roller-coaster ride love subjects every person to— the possibility of rejection and heartbreak. If you listen to the heart of God conveyed through the Old Testament prophets, God uses every relational metaphor we can imagine so that we might understand how God feels about us. God pours out his heart to Jeremiah the prophet when the people he loves keep rejecting him to love and worship other things.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. . . . Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 31: 2, 20).

“I thought to myself, ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’ I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land— the finest possession in the world. I looked forward to your calling me “Father,” and I wanted you never to turn from me. But you have been unfaithful to me” (Jeremiah 3: 19– 20 NLT).

God loves us like a father loves a wayward child. Even though we rebel and run away, or break his heart, his Father’s heart yearns to show compassion, forgive, and take us back. But God uses even stronger relational imagery.

“As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62: 5).

God chooses our most intimate relationship to liken what he wants with us. As hard as it is for us to fathom, God likens himself to a love-struck groom who sings over his bride.

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3: 17).

Listen to the emotion in this passage that emanates from the heart of God— a wounded lover who just found out all he hoped for has been dashed to pieces on the shoals of adultery:

“My faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. . . . You have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel! You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband” (Jeremiah 3: 12–13, 20 NLT).

Can you hear the emotion in the heart of God? As God reveals to the Old Testament prophets, when we forsake our Creator to go our own way against his will, and when we love other things more than God, it breaks his heart (an idol is anything we put first before God). (Burke, John (2015-10-13. Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Promises, and the Exhilarating Future That Awaits You (pp. 156-159). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.)

This is how God truly feels about us. Ephesians 1 is a love story to us. I read it and put my own name in it—that is how personal it is!

But some never seem to be able to really believe it. Some, like the children of Israel appreciated the “blessing” but never loved the “Blesser.” Their appreciation only lasted until the next time life happened, and then instead of remembering and thanking Him for all He had already done in the past, they immediately began complaining and murmuring against Him. They murmured among themselves that He really didn’t care. They complained that their lives weren’t going the way they wanted and they never thanked Him. They never showed any gratitude when He blessed them.

They Never Loved Him.

(to be continued)

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CONSENT PART II

20140726_192713CONSENT PART II

What happens when we consent? I can only speak from my own experiences. Of course, I can relate with the experiences of many of the men and women written about in God’s word, and that corroborates my own in many ways. But until I consented to His working to “will and to do of His good pleasure” in me, their stories were only stories for me. As He allowed sufferings, disappointments, depressions into my life, their stories became real and they became mine.

Once I consented to Jesus Christ and told Him I wanted Him to take the reins of my life it became the wildest journey I ever imagined. He has taken me to the highest mountain peaks of “God Highs” and back down through wilderness valleys and dry deserts. His presence has left me speechless and His absence has left me lonely. I pouted when I had to leave the mountaintops and lamented in the wildernesses as He allowed sorrow and trials to invade. But He has been relentless in His pursuit of our relationship, carefully weighing every ounce of what He has for me on the mountain peaks and every ounce of all that He has stripped from me in the wilderness. Nothing has been wasted. He sometimes allows me a peek behind His plan, but most times He only asks, “Do you trust Me?” I see Him doing that with the men and women in His word as well.

He is white-hot love, but He also remains a mystery in so many ways, and so I consent to the mystery of Him. All of my pre-conceived notions of Him have long since departed as I have consented to His mysterious ways. I no longer accuse Him of unfairness or of not being good after all, or if I do, it is short-lived. Everything He does is right and good even though many times it is shrouded in above-the-line eternal things and even though I don’t always like His chosen process. I’m no longer trying to impress Him with my own good works and I finally get it when He says things like “my strength is perfected in your weakness.” I get that. It is true—it really is.

He has taken me to the precipice of an abyss so deep that I teetered on the edges and nearly dove in, but He rescued me before I could. I have experienced black depression and no longer fear it. I have learned that when depression comes, I can stand, eyes fixed on God until the water rises clear up to my chin, and then recedes again. It always recedes. It comes—to pass. And I have learned from His word that many of His chosen ones experienced the same. And it came—to pass.

He has spoken audibly to my Spirit in night watches until I was forced to get up and write it down, His presence, so near I could taste it. His word has come so alive to me that I gulp it in—food, drink and sustenance. Other times, I merely read it because it is my habit to do so. I no longer rely on my emotional juices to try to work up a spiritual experience of Him. All of the spiritual experiences are at His bidding, not mine. They are not necessary to the relationship but oh, how precious when they come. As with my husband, there were those times when we could go long hours just sitting in the same room without talking, and relationship was as strong as when we engaged in heated discussion or the excitement of shared love. I remember once early in our marriage that I realized I had fallen out of love with my husband. It frightened me because being “in love” was supposed to last forever if it was real. What I learned though, as I held onto the marriage anyway, was that falling out of love was the best thing to happen. It meant that I would learn to “love” without feeling the emotional part of love and once I got hold of that, I discovered that I fell passionately in love with him again and again through the course of our marriage. I was surprised by love—it was nothing like the romance books and movies portrayed it to be.

Lest I forget, in this process of consenting I have learned some things about suffering. I haven’t learned it fully, but I am in that process. I have learned that there is something in suffering that produces—or rather exposes—rare, beautiful and priceless treasure and I would not trade any of it—not for anything. The nearness of Him is most palpable in suffering—ask anyone who has suffered for His name. I’ve never forgotten my friend Judy, dying of a horribly painful spine cancer, being wheeled in for a final surgery. As I asked her “Judy, how are you doing this?” she answered simply, “Kathy, you can’t have the peace I have until you are where I am.” I didn’t get that, but I was in awe of it.Suffering drives you to the nearness of Jesus like nothing else can.

In so many ways, this relationship is like a marriage relationship. It has its ups and downs, its distancing and nearness. There are times when I pout and try to get Jesus to respond and feel sorry for ignoring my feelings. In busyness, I can forget to talk to Him. Like my husband, John used to do when busyness crowded out relationship, he would insist that we leave the house and go for drives. It worked every time. Jesus takes me on quiet outings and insists that I rest—mind, will and emotional rest. It works every time. I understand the Sabbath rest concept more and more these days and I understand that He desires it as much as I do, so I consent to rest. A Sabbath rest—deliberately ceasing all activity, all screens and entertainment for a day, is the cure-all for our furious busyness and stress.

I think that if we looked at our marriages as a mirror of what our relationship with Jesus looks like, we might not be so anxious about the twists and turns that marriage takes. We might look above the line of our own little selves and see the bigger picture that it paints and why God made it the sacred institution that He did. No wonder the enemy has attacked Christian marriages so vehemently.

This relationship, like a years-long marriage, only grows more fully developed and satisfying with my Bridegroom and the older I get, the more I long to finally see Him face to face—not merely to escape the pain of this below-the-line existence, but to fall at His feet and to understand finally, what it has all been about. Knowing that this is yet to come, I consent to the life He has planned out for me here, no matter how trying, how difficult, how confusing. He hasn’t wasted any of it—He redeems it all.

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CONSENT

march5I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)

I have had some things on my mind lately and as I have been pondering them from time to time, it seems that God is speaking some new things about old truths into my Spirit.

There are specific words and ideas moving around in this, namely: Consent; Sift; Repent; Overcome.

It began with the word “Consent.” In recent conversation with someone facing a downpour of family, finance and emotional, trauma, this person was lamenting that nothing ever changes in these situations and that the inevitable future was one of financial ruin, marriage breakup and a host of other things. The most recent crises were piled upon a host of other recent relationship sorrows. As I listened, I could hear the Spirit bringing to my mind “Consent.”

Another friend facing huge life crisis and potential life upheavals has been wrestling about in her mind with God, asking questions, facing that awful silence we sometimes face with Him and feeling that she is losing her faith in this process. Where is He? Why won’t He answer? Again, as she is speaking, the Spirit is whispering into my heart, “Consent.” A wise friend told her she wasn’t losing her “faith;” she was losing her “religion.” Amen.

So what does that mean then? I always seem to gravitate to Peter when I am faced with these things, and also to Job. Right now the world is in turmoil and the Church is also in a place of transition. Individual members of the body of Christ are feeling the foundations moving from under their feet and there is a sense of fear in this. I hear Jesus telling us that yes, this is happening, and that He told us it would which is why so often He repeated to His disciples (as God did to His prophets and leaders), “Fear not,” He is speaking this to us now. Peter was a brave man and he loved Jesus with everything that was in him to love. So, when Jesus said that He would be offered up as a sacrifice that night, Peter bravely defended him and vowed that he would never let that happen. Jesus, instead of telling Peter, “Thank you brother, I’m glad you have my back” said, “No Peter, you will actually be denying me in this process because you see, Satan has asked permission to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail, and when you return, you will be used as a strength to your brothers.” Can you imagine how Peter felt right at that moment? His brave desire to defend his Lord was turned into a rebuke and a warning.

Fast forward to 2015. I am hearing these words now I think. As we are being sifted within the body of Christ, I am asking many questions. “Lord, are we being sifted? Because it seems that the enemy has gained a whole lot of control and within the church, there are many teachings that don’t line up with what we have always been taught. There are many coming in as wolves in sheep’s clothing and as You told us in Jude, they would ‘come out from among us but not be of us.’ They would be spots in our love feasts. You warned us in Daniel 7 and in Revelation 12 that in these days, the enemy would go after Your saints and would ‘wear us down’ and overpower us. You exhorted us seven times in Revelation 2, 3 to be overcomers in the midst of the falling away of the church.

As in the recent conversations with the two mentioned above and others besides, I am sensing that just as Satan had been given permission to sift Peter like wheat, we will also be sifted like wheat. And just as Jesus told Peter that He was praying for him—that his faith would not fail—He is doing the same thing with us. Yes, He is allowing our “religion” to be sifted like wheat, because the only thing of value is our faith, and Jesus Christ will pray for us, that our faith will not fail. And that the end result He is after is that we will be encouragers to others who are facing these same things.

If he has permission, then is it time for warfare?

Or, is it time to consent? Not to Satan, but to Jesus, who has allowed it? And anyway, what is this sifting all about?

Sifting the wheat in the ancient Middle East was a process. It began with the gathering of the wheat and then the threshing of the wheat—breaking the hard outer hull of the wheat corn, and finally, taking the grain that was left after the threshing out to an elevated place and tossing the wheat corn and the hulls up into the air where the wind would carry away the chaff away while the good corn of wheat would fall to the ground to be used in the feeding of many.

I believe this is the process we are in. And thankfully so, because hard days are coming and Jesus wants us ready. He is not going to leave us lying around blowing leisurely in the balmy winds of the wheat field to be mowed down. He is not content to let us lie in heaps of stalks near the threshing floor to mold and rot. He is certainly not going to let us continue in our relationships with useless hulls of chaff. He is going to thresh us, in order to hammer out the hulls and to bring forth the solid edible wheat corn.

He is creating His last days overcomers.

And so, He is asking us to consent to the threshing. I am finding that this is different from what we call “surrender.” How many times we sing the hymn “I surrender all” only to walk out of the building completely unsurrendered. Consenting is telling God, “I am ready for You to go after everything in me that has been built on a false premise—my wrong definitions of You, my long held prejudices and judgments and critical spirits; my misuse of Your word, my cold love. My love for the world. All of it. I consent. And it is completely up to Him to determine what to thresh out. All we do is consent.

Consenting involves repentance but not the kind of repentance where we just agree that we have fallen short. It is the kind of deep, grieving over what we have allowed into our lives that have leaked in and built up strongholds around our hearts and minds and emotions. I am going to continue this thought in another blog as I attempt to unravel the mystery of sifting in my own life and in the lives of bewildered pilgrims along the way.

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Meaninglessness?

THE LORD HIMSELF GOES BEFORE YOU!They rejected the LORD’S statutes, the covenant that he had made with their ancestors, and his warnings that he gave them. They pursued meaninglessness—and became meaningless themselves—as they followed the lifestyles of the nations that surrounded them, a practice that the LORD had warned them not to do. (2 Kings 17:15)

At the risk of sounding like an Old Testament prophet, I read this verse the other day and then was drawn again to it this morning. It is speaking something profound and in this particular translation, the wording from the Hebrew adds even more depth. “They pursued meaninglessness—and became meaningless themselves…” Meaninglessness—Without meaning or value. Meaningless—Lacking any significance; having no real importance or value. They pursued things, values, entertainment, and fulfillment, in things that had no meaning or value. Because of this, their lives began to lack significance, having no real importance or value. They did this by following the lifestyles of the nations that surrounded them.

It is how I feel sometimes when I observe things happening around the world, and even within the body of Christ—pursuing meaninglessness and becoming meaningless. Meaningless. That word is haunting me as I look into my own life. Someone once said that we can tell a lot about ourselves when we look at what we do when we have nothing else to do—what do we turn to for entertainment, for pleasure, for filling up the gaps in our lives?

What constitutes a meaningful life? Speaking from personal experience, a meaningful life is a life that is lived full-on, all-in for Jesus Christ. It is a life that has learned from hard experience that there is nothing meaningful in the world system—not the music, the entertainment, the value system, the women’s movement, the demand for rights to be met, the temporary satisfaction of sex, drugs or alcohol—none of it fills up the empty gaps; it only leaves the gaps wider, emptier and craving the next false promise. These are the “gods” today, and just as the golden calves under the trees that offered nothing real, they promise fulfillment yet leave us meaningless.

What was it that the children of Israel had done that led to leading meaningless lives? In verse seven it tells us that they feared (were in awe of) other gods, then in verse eight it says that they began to walk in the ways of these other gods. In verse nine, we read “And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God” It goes on in this downward spiral to actually setting up images of the other gods under trees, burning incense to those images, and last of all—they worshipped the creation rather than the Creator. They became awed by the gods of the world; they started walking—taking steps toward, the things (gods) of the world, then began secretly absorbing those other gods into their imaginations, and finally moved into actual worship of them. This scenario is repeated in Romans chapter 1, just in case we want to draw lines between the Old Testament God and the New Testament Jesus.

God, in His infinite love, sent prophets among them to plead with them to return to the LORD, Yahweh, the God who loved them deeply; the only God who could meet their deepest longings, yet they hardened their hearts and finally after pursuing meaninglessness, they became meaningless—without significance or value.

When life disappoints, when life expectations elude us, it is a dangerous place to be. The enemy can sneak in—unawares—and send in the “little foxes” which promise to fulfill our dreams. He’s a master at this. Trust me, I know. I have lived full on in both worlds; I have also lived a split personality with one foot in each. Meaninglessness almost always begins with disappointment. Disappointment dissolves into disillusionment, then into depression. Depression dissolves into despair—the feeling of utter meaninglessness; having no significance or value. From this downward spiral, we can add bitterness to the mix and it becomes toxic. Anger wells up, turns on those who love us, criticizes those who want to be there for us, embraces the failures of others, which temporarily soothes our own feelings of worthlessness.

My own experience with disappointments, disillusionments, depression, despair and bitterness is burned into my consciousness—something that God has never removed because in the remembering I can detect the symptoms which precede the spiral. Looking back at it now, there is absolutely no temptation to ever return to that dark place. He wants me to remember from where I came. Oh, I didn’t get there because I had never known Him. I had known Him. My disappointment began when He failed to answer my prayers for my marriage, and it grew deeper and darker as I fed my bitterness and embraced the false security and promises of the world.

Just as He did with Israel, He sent prophets to me, to gently speak His words to me from time to time. I recoiled at first and rejected the words, but slowly He begin to penetrate my feelings of abandonment and disappointment and worthlessness and He brought me out of that darkness and into His marvelous light. (2 Peter 2:9). And He didn’t leave me there—he set my feet in a large room–a “spacious place”; “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19); “You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place” (Psalm 31:8). The spacious place—the “large room” is filled with brilliant light, with meaningfulness, with thankfulness, with praise, with powerful music and He is there, because He is the large room and I can live there every day of my life—filled with meaning and purpose and love and forgiveness and peace and hope and joy and service to others. It is what He longed to share with the children of Israel; it is what He longs to share with us.

May I then play the part of prophet to someone today, bidding you to hear Him again? To call you back from the lure of the world’s meaningless attractions and into His marvelous light? He has not given you into the hands of the enemy—He has set your feet in a spacious place—because He delights in you.

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BLOG HOPPING!

Blog Hopping? What?


Really I'm FineAt this age I fall into a “cyber-world gap”—somewhere between writing out all of my thoughts by hand in my journal of years gone by, to entering into this invisible world with millions of others who I have never met and likely never will, to put my deepest thoughts out there for the world to see. I’m still navigating it, getting frustrated with it and many times just giving up on learning the terms, the language, and the mind-numbing brain-drain that it takes to keep up with all of the latest technology.

Blog Hopping Buddy-Kit Kit Hinkle

My online-blogger buddy, Kit Hinkle, has forced me to stretch myself in this arena more than once. This time she emailed me to ask if I would join something called Blog Hopping with her. Kit is an absolute fireball of energy. She has a deep walk with the Lord and after the death of her husband, she channeled the abyss of overwhelming grief into a website for widows called A Widow’s Might (www.awidowsmight.org), where grieving widows could congregate. Within a short time, widows were checking in with each other, helping each other, crying with each other, praying for each other and it became a place of healing and refuge for the unique kind of pain a widow suffers. Recently, Kit also realized that there were widows who had begun to peek out from their widow’s mourning garments to a new world that God seemed to be opening up to them and that that there is life after loss and its ok to move on. So, this past year, she started the website www.anewseason.net for those who are testing the waters of New Seasons in their lives. I have written with an amazing team of widows on both of these websites and believe me, these women are cyber-huggers!

Blog Hopping Thoughts and Questions

In this blog hop, I am asked to answer four questions on my blog and then invite three more bloggers to do the same on their page. Because my life is crazy complicated most of the time, I have not been keeping up with my own website as I should, but my readers are very forgiving.

So, here are my questions:

1. What am I writing or working on?

Well, good question. I should bow out gracefully right now because at the moment I am definitely not writing like I know I should be (this is what all book publishers and agents will say). I have written one book, Into the Mist: Journey Into Dementia, and all the “experts” tell me I should already have the second one in the works. Well… I don’t. I do have many online contacts with other widows or with those experiencing dementia in a loved one and our online correspondence certainly qualifies as writing I think. I tend to fall into insecurity when it feels like I’m not “doing” enough blogging or writing or working on another book, but Jesus always reassures me that I am exactly where He has put me for this season and He is ok with where I am. I do have a book in mind and will hopefully get motivated to put it out there. I’m also writing a Bible study for the book of Ruth for this coming fall session. So, I am writing—I’m just not “working on…” a big project.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Book Cover angledMy “work” has always risen out of some kind of ash heap of what is happening in my life at the time. I have been journaling since 1992, long before cyber-space, and my journaling was a private place where I could talk about all of my “stuff.” When my husband began showing symptoms of some kind of dementia in 2004, my journaling became really raw—really intense. Everything I believed was challenged, put into a food processor and pummeled into fine powder, then sifted through a fine mesh strainer. Seems God had a whole lot of refining and sifting to do and He chose that very time to do it. My book rose out of those ashes of scratchy, prickly, years and so did my online blogging world. I don’t think I have a genre—my passion is to see women of all stripes, sizes, colors discover the reality of abiding in Jesus Christ, learning to let Him live His promised abundant life out from us, and setting us free from the lies and baggage we have believed. His “genre” is to speak His living water into us so that He can pour it into the life of another beleaguered pilgrim in this temporary world system. So, my genre I suppose could be called “Freedom in Jesus Christ” or “Our Identity in Jesus Christ” or something like that, and this can go in many directions, and often does.

3. Why do I write what I write?

I write as God leads me to write. Often in the middle of some painful event I might be facing and then learning something new about God, or about me, or both and then realizing that He changed something in me that He wants me to pass along. It can’t be just academic for me—it has to be Real. Authentic. Personal. I can be a mess, but God uses my messes to redeem something of value—precious stones—cut out of the hard earth of my heart. I love His word, the Bible, because there are lots of messed up people in there and I love how He truly brings beauty from their ashes as He writes their stories. He is writing my story, and I try to get it down on paper. Maybe someone a thousand years from now will pick up that parchment and read it and cry because it brought hope that even our messes can be redeemed, and that He values every single thing He created—even me. He is in the business of redemption.

4. How does my writing process work?

This makes me chuckle. Writing “process?” I have been to several writing seminars and listened to some really great writers. One author talked about the different styles of writers and I found out what my “process” was! He said that some people are “dumpers.” They just dump all their thoughts on a page and then go back to shape it into a style. That is me—I’m a dumper! I literally spew it all onto the keyboard, walk away from it, feeling pretty good about getting it out of this “washing machine on the spin cycle” called my “mind” and onto a page. Beth Moore in a weekend conference I attended, pointed to her head and shouted in frustration, “Do you know what its like to live in here!” That’s pretty much me. Then I go back and fine-tune it—trying hard to not sound as crazy as I actually feel. That might turn into a blog, or a letter to someone who is feeling like a mess. Sometimes it just remains as is to be filed away somewhere, only for me. And Jesus is the only One who gets to read it.

Hopping Along…

Thanks for walking along with me as Jesus works out all of my “processes.” And hey, while you’re at it, go and take a look at www.awidowsmight.org and www.anewseason.net and read some of my blogs right here on www.intothemistbook.com. You might even want to try writing some things yourself!

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