Monday, May 30, 2011

Want Some Cheese With That Whine?

The darkness hangs thicker than the night, clinging to whatever it can latch onto. No pinpoints of starry light can be seen; no illumination of any sort is visible to help light the path.

Sometimes, in the rarest of moments, the darkness seems as though it is changing to grey - growing lighter, thinner and creating a twinkle of hope. Just as quickly, the black returns and envelops everything again.

In the chill of despondency, the fog rises and lines the darkness as a slip lines the underside of a dress. Fear rises, adding to the uncertainty. The ground becomes rocky and uneven, and steps become unsteady.

Dare I move forward? Dare I take a step? The edge of the cliff seems so close, but I don't know where it is. I don't want to move and end up falling.

The paths become jumbled, giving no real direction, with no destination in sight.

Where are you? Why did you leave my side? You stopped whispering; stopped guiding. I don't know where to turn, what way to go. I feel lost. I feel damaged. I feel alone.

I followed you from the beginning of this so-called adventure. I trusted. But somewhere, sometime, I sensed your abandonment - or are you simply hiding and watching from a distance?

I'm lost and I'm afraid to move, afraid I will plunge over the edge - afraid you won't catch me if I do.

******

For the longest while now, I've felt like God has abandoned me. I know He hasn't because His word tells me that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. I try to find comfort in His word, but in all honesty, it doesn't seem to be helping.

I'm trying to cling to Jesus, to put my hope in Him and remember that, ultimately, God is the one in control. He does have a plan for me - even if He doesn't reveal it. I know all that, but still...I see everyone around me being blessed, having prayers answered, etc. - even those who don't follow the Lord, those who aren't His children.

And it hurts. Big time. It feels like He cares about everyone except me (and yes, I am quite aware that He does care about me).

What I wrote above, at the beginning of this post, is how I've been feeling for a long time now. I put on a brave front, because I don't think people would really understand the extent or depth of how I'm really feeling. I hate when I do talk about things like this, and I get the ever popular "Christian platitudes" - they do not help in the least. I get sick of people telling me that I'm a good person, that I'm sweet and kind, and that God has a plan for me and I shouldn't give up hope, that God will reveal Himself in His timing, etc. I KNOW all of that. I've heard it many times (and have probably been guilty of saying some of them at times myself). It doesn't help, quite frankly, it feels like they are belittling my feelings, etc. - like I don't really matter and they are just saying those things because that is what a good little Christian should say.

I haven't given up my beliefs, my hopes, etc. I'm not turning away from the Lord, or denying Him or anything like that. I'm in a valley, and I feel like everything I've done, everything I've worked for has been for nothing - that I'm a complete and utter failure at everything I've done or tried to do. I've been praying and asking for wisdom for what to do in my situation, wisdom to know the direction God wants me to take, etc. And I just don't hear Him answering me.

Ok, enough ranting and whining now. I've probably driven off any readers I may have had.

What do you do when you are in the valley and all seems cloaked under clouds and fog and darkness, and you can't see to find your way out?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You Don't Need To Be Perfect

I remember when we (my dad, brothers, and I...my mom and grandmother didn't go) started attending church after moving to the city were I now live.  I was 10 1/2 (and yes, the 1/2 was very important at the time), and in grade 6. I was still quite shy, so I didn't talk to many people at the time.

One of the little old ladies - or at least she seemed that way to me at 10 1/2 - came over to me, bent down so she was at my level, smiled sweetly at me and asked "Have you accepted Jesus into your heart?"

Gulp! I'd better tell her 'yes' or I won't be allowed to come back here. I like it here, and I don't want them to kick me out of church because I haven't asked Jesus into my heart! I thought. My answer came quickly, and I told her, yes.

I lied. In church. Guilt immediately overwhelmed me and I quickly prayed a silent prayer: "Jesus please come into my heart!" I only said it so that I wouldn't feel guilty, and that it might somehow erase this whole situation as being a lie. And, I don't think I really meant it. Major fail on my part!

When I began attending my current church (I stopped going to the other one at 12 years old, and didn't go back to church until I was almost 31), I was afraid to go. I was afraid to sit down in the pew, to talk to others, to tell them about myself. I was afraid that if they knew what I was like, what I had done, etc., they would kick me out and not let me attend (even though I really wanted to be there). I would look around the sanctuary at the people sitting in the pews and think they were near perfect, that there was no way they sinned, no way they are as bad of a person as I was. And I once again thought that I would get asked to leave because I wasn't perfect like they were.

Really though, where do we get those thoughts from? I'm certain it's the enemy trying to keep us away from God! The thought that you have to be perfect to attend church is a lie from the devil.

Now that I'm older (and hopefully a little wiser) I know that I wouldn't have gotten kicked out of church. They wouldn't have stopped me from attending.  In all honesty, it's where I belong. The church is full of sinners, full of people who have said and done horrible things - some even more horrible than anything I have done in my life. Church is were I belong, and it's where you belong...no matter what you've said or done in your life.

If you are reading this and have shied away from going to church because you think you aren't good enough, or you've done some pretty horrible things in your past, please don't stay away. Everyone has been through some sort of circumstance that makes them less than "perfect". In fact, no one is perfect - even people who go to church!

Remember, Jesus is the only one who is perfect, and it is through Him that we find forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.

Remember, you don't have to be perfect to go to church. You don't even have to have accepted Jesus into your heart in order to attend, so please don't let those thoughts pervent you from attending. Give it a try; go to church - you will be (or should be) accepted with open and loving arms.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Three Times in 24 Hours

Have you ever had a day or couple of days when you hear something specific several times - like certain song lyrics or a Bible verse, something that you feel might hold meaning for you? I had one of those days on Saturday.

Friday night, after I created my previous post I had to (yes, had to) go to itunes to buy and download "Days of Elijah". While there, I downloaded five or six other songs as well. I listened to them all later that night.  One of these songs was "Everlasting God" by Lincoln Brewster. I love this song, and so I listened to it a few times before I went to bed. Keep in mind I listened to several other songs after listening to "Everlasting God," so it wasn't on my mind at all when I went to sleep.


The next morning, I got up with only the chorus of that song in my head as I went through my morning routine and went to spend some time with God. During this time, after I read my Bible, I read the reading of the day from Our Daily Bread. At the end of the reading, a quote from Isaiah 40:31 is given:
Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Later that evening as I was checking out my facebook, I scrolled through my news feed. Somone on my friends list had posted this very quote on his wall (though to be honest, he did have an error and put "...with wings like angels" instead of eagles)! There was the verse/lyrics again!

Three times in the course of 24 hours. Is that enough to call it a "God thing"? I don't believe in coincidences.


I have no idea if God was trying to tell me something or not. But, I do find it curious/interesting. This sort of thing doesn't happen to me very often, so I did take note of it, but have no idea if it means anything. I've been mulling it over since then, but haven't come to any conclusions. Maybe I should pray about it...

Have you ever had an experience where a particular Bible verse popped up for you several times in a short period of time - in a way that felt like God was trying to tell you something or reassure you?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Singing For Jesus

I was in university when I first heard the song, “Days of Elijah” during worship chapel. I loved it, and it quickly became one of my favourites. Soon, one of the worship teams at church began to play the song as well – though they didn’t seem to play it quite as fast as they did at school.

Not long after I declared “Days of Elijah” to be my song, I had a dream. It was dark in my dream, and I was with several people inside a church basement. We seemed to be a choir, and we were practicing singing “Days of Elijah” because we were expecting a guest of honor – Jesus!

I was so excited that I was going to get to sing this song for Jesus! I could hardly contain myself. I don’t remember how many others were waiting with me, but it wasn’t very many – maybe six or eight of us.

We began our wait. And we waited and waited. I wondered when Jesus was going to come and hear us sing for Him. At one point, I walked over to the window to look outside and see if I could see Him. I looked up into the black sky, pinpointed with stars. I was looking for the clouds that He would arrive on. Nothing.

I craned my neck, still looking at the sky. It was then that I noticed it. Flying past, quickly, was a UFO – one like the Great Gazoo used in the Flintstones cartoon. I don’t remember if I could see anything inside, or just the UFO. However, the thought that ran through my mind, in the dream, was: “Where on earth did that come from? Doesn’t he know he doesn’t exist?” I gave my head a shake, and went to join the others.

By this point, I was starting to feel disappointed and let down because Jesus hadn’t arrived yet. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to sing my song for Him, and I really wanted to – I wanted Him to hear me sing “Days of Elijah” just for Him!

I woke up with that sad, disappointed feeling that Jesus didn’t show up, and I wasn’t going to be able to sing for Him. I really felt these emotions (in real life). I mean, I’m not a good singer, at all, but I wanted so badly to stand in front of Jesus and sing for Him – and I knew He would like it. I knew that even though I can’t sing, He would still be honored that I was singing FOR Him.

What came to mind after that dream was that maybe Jesus didn’t show up (in my dream) because we were expecting Him - we seemed to "know" that He was supposed to return that night. In reality, we don’t know when Jesus is coming again. No one does (and I don't care who you are, you do NOT know when Jesus will return. Only the Father knows). But, we do need to be prepared anyway, because He could come back at any time – today, tomorrow, later this month or year, or 100 years from now. The point is, we need to be like a boy/girl scout and "be prepared" for when Jesus does return.

How do we become prepared? We need to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and invite Him into our heart. We need to ask for forgiveness for our sins. If you haven't done this yet and you would like to know more, or talk about this, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this post. I would be more than happy to help you.

Have you had any dreams with Jesus in them? I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Rocking Chairs, Baby Dolls, and Mother's Day

When I was little, I used to have this one particular doll. Her body was sort of a cylinder shape with soft arms and soft legs sticking out. Her neck and the middle of her body had sand or something similar in it so that she would gradually fall over if she was sitting up. The eyes in her soft plastic head closed. When she would "fall" over, her eyes would close and she would "go to sleep". She wasn't a particular favourite, but I liked the fact that she could close her eyes, and she was small - like a little baby.

Also, ever since I was little I have loved rocking chairs. My mom used to rock me (and my brothers) to sleep. Even to this day, I will choose to sit in a rocking chair if there is one available. I find them to be very relaxing. I heart rocking chairs.

One of the"rituals" I had when I was little, was to get ready for bed at least an hour before I would actually go to bed, sit in my rocking chair (to help me relax and get sleepy), put my little blanket over my lap, and cradle my doll as if she were my baby. Since her eyes closed, it seemed more like I was rocking her to sleep. It was like she was my baby, and I was her mother.

Today is Mother's Day. I have always found this to be difficult - well, for at least twenty years anyway. I'm more than happy, on this day, to celebrate all that my mom is, because she is AWESOME...but, it's bittersweet for me.

I have no kids (other than a 4 legged furry baby). I'm 42 years old and I'm not married, and I have no kids. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a wife and mother. It's been a huge desire, probably all my life. And it hasn't happened. Will it? I have no idea. And, it hurts when people try to tell me that it will happen one day - in all honesty, unless they are God, they don't.

Usually this doesn't bother me a lot.  I try to deal with it, and not let it affect me, but there are other times when it hurts to the very core of my being - like Mother's Day. Like I said, it's not something that bothers me all the time; usually there is something that triggers the pain - someone getting engaged or married, especially if these are people I've watched grow up and are years younger than me; or someone having a baby (doesn't matter if it's a first or sixth baby). And that can be difficult to deal with - and accept.

So, as I hold back my pain and hurt (because, really, it's not about me), and try to turn it over to God, I would like to wish all the awesome mother's out there a very blessed and happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I've Been Writing Again...

I've been working on another poem lately. It's not the best, I'm certainly no professional poet - if that even exists. But, I figure I have to start somewhere and learn and grow in the process. I figure, you can't learn to write poetry unless you actually write it. It's one thing to do research and study how to write poetry (or anything for that matter), and another thing to write it.

This new poem doesn't rhyme, and I didn't want it to. I don't know how well it turned out because I've never really tried to write non-rhyming poems before. But, hey, I've got to start somewhere!

If you'd like to read the poem (and I hope you do), head on over to my blog, Ink Scrawls, and check it out. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.