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new hallelijah

When I was younger, I gave up easily, the world all around me seemed impossible to penetrate, and I couldn’t see any possibilities. My attitude towards believing in myself was empty. So much was going on that there was a thick fog wrapped around my mind, and I wasn’t able to see through it.  Instead of moving forward like I wanted, I kept taking steps backward. There is this spirit of persistence that has steadily grown inside of me with time. My understanding of my younger self is fuller and more forgiving.  Every day, He fills me with a new song, some of them are loud and some are whispered. Each time I run to the desert, he comes looking for me. He knows where all of his children are. His mercy goes on forever.

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Deep Beauty – Part 1

Ever since I was a little girl, I long to know I was beautiful. I desired to know that I was lovely. I even asked my Dad if he thought I was. I didn’t see my beauty or worth, and I ached to have someone like him to help me make sense of where I fit in. Everyone else was more important than I was, and on the road to somewhere. I wanted to jump on the fast track too; it’s just that Jesus had other plans for me. Living in poverty doesn’t just have to be material, most of us live in poverty because we haven’t experienced His love, which heals our invisible wounds.

The last two years, I have been wandering in the desert. Jesus is the driver, and I am the passenger letting the wind whip my hair all over the place. I am a passenger on this journey, longing to be a part of the beauty that exists here in austerity.

It’s the surface that many people live in, most of us are too busy with work, relationships,

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and stuff considered more important. Letting the world dictate what you should do, eventually will push the desires of your heart further away until it will not be a part of you. This desire will float around you like an oasis that you can no longer reach onto what is good.

 

I completed a Lectio Divina. I don’t remember the verse, but what stayed with me was how I would respond to what I had received. Jesus wanted to teach me how to dive into the deep with Him, to trust in him, and in the process taking my ability to love Him deeper. Taking my fragile trust, and plunging it into deep waters. I guess you could call it freestyle diving. Essentially, I felt the Lord was calling me to do the same, except He would be my oxygen.

What I wanted the most was to love Him with all my heart, mind, and soul. Still, I am out of breath and the strength to love Him as I know He desires, but I am learning where and when to rest, and listening to him when he says, ‘Let me do it’.

I know that I can trust the Lord with all my heart, but then comes ‘lean not on your own understanding.'(v.5)* Interiorly, I am learning that my physical beauty pales in comparison to the beauty that lies on the inside of me. Much like the burning that the men from Emmaus** experienced, who spoke with Jesus, and yet did not realize their hearts burned within themselves until Jesus revealed himself, only to then disappear from their sight.

 

*Proverbs 3:5

**Luke 24:31

Published previously in 2014

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Reading Books and Trusting God

“It was one way of keeping God at a distance, so I could be the poor little girl who had a rough time of it. I’m not diminishing the suffering that I did experience, but she (the little girl) needs to know her place.”

                      “You can’t really put trust in a jar and sell it, it needs to be learned.”

The words above come from an email that I sent to a friend with whom I am reading a book. At the end of each chapter, we’re discussing how the particular chapter has affected us individually. The last chapter was about identity, and I was kind of surprised when my inability to trust came up. I didn’t think trust and identity would be paired together. I am starting to understand why I need to know who He is, in order to know who I am, and how this merges with trusting in Him.

I have a bad habit of skipping parts of the novels that I read to make sure that it ends the way that I want it to. I have been known to stop reading a book if it doesn’t end the way I think it should. I want just a bit of perfection in the books I love to read; after all they’re not in the romance department for nothing.file5601348715744

By skipping parts of the book, I realized that I wasn’t trusting the author who has promised me a romance to keep her part of the deal.

In the last five years, my concept of who God is, and what, where, and who He really is, has been redesigned for me, even though I resisted the in beginning.

Change

It sounds simple to alter something in your life, but thinking about it and doing it are two different cupcakes. When I heard God’s voice beginning to shift, I  didn’t realize what was happening.

It didn’t occur to me that trust has to be learned, but when you think about it, it makes sense. In order to trust anyone you do need to know who you are, it’s the idea that in order to truly accept the other person, you need to receive who you are in the image of God, and yes, it’s a life long process.

If you want to have a relationship with a person you need to be able to trust, this I knew, but I didn’t realize it was my stumbling block – my brick wall. I learnt from my Dad how to be evasive and hide from who I am.

Growing up, I always wanted to be married and have a family, but it never occurred to that I would be still single at almost 40. For a long time, I thought that God was punishing me for what I knew was missing in me.

Trust in Me

Everything began falling away about 4 1/2 years ago, when circumstances beyond my control caused me to take a closer look. At first, it wasn’t anything that really concerned me, in fact, it was quite the opposite. As my experience of God began to intensify to the  point I was overflowing with Him, but everything that goes up must come down.

As I have spoken of having problems praying, and I don’t know why that happened. I didn’t realize in the beginning that I didn’t hear or sense His voice. I stood still and my focus reminded me of the ride, “Tilt a Twirl.” I didn’t know where I was going, and how I was going to find God. He was anywhere but where I wanted him to be.

I could imagine all kinds of possibilities and ideas right in front of me, but they weren’t for me. Beauty in all it’s stages kept slipping by. As a monarch butterfly that floats in front of you, it captures your imagination as it sashay before you. It’s wings are weightless as it hovers over each flower before it moves to the next blossom. The butterfly moves in slow motion, and it isn’t too busy to visit each bloom.

I got to the point where I think I became afraid to ask the Lord any questions because of my lack of trust; so no hearing his voice. Scripture was no longer the treasure it had been. Staring at the space between each word, and trying to will ‘it’ to be what only God could infuse with His life. Instead, the words that appeared; were dull and hollow. I kept asking him what he was showing me, and all I heard was: Trust in Me.file9991303336088

I took those words, those precious three words with the spaces in between and began sloshing them around in my mouth. As I did that I tried to focus on what they meant to me. The beavers dam inside of me needed a little boost to break. Allowing His spring of New Life to bring down the barriers that stopped His infusion of love.

Courage

It began with starting this blog, and I had no plans about what it would be about, but he soon showed me what He desired. He wanted me to use the gifts that I had tried to return because I didn’t feel I deserved anything that He gave me. Through others, he has convinced me that this is indeed His gift to me and to be shared with others.

I was entering territory that I had denied myself beforehand. Somehow, I made this decision that I was unqualified or irredeemable. I chose this out of anger and bitterness, and I determined that it was what I deserved. My fear and anger sheltered me (very much) to all the choices that God offered. My trust in him, my ability to act in it was buried underneath.

It seems ironic that He was waiting for me, I mean God of the Universe who made the Earth in seven days – is waiting for me! For a while I was convinced it was the other way around.

Waiting still…

My friend remarked that she knew that this growth in trust didn’t come easy. She’s right, it came through taking what was old and making it new. Taking away what was familiar to me and bringing me to a new place that is still being built.

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Let’s Begin!

It’s official!

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I have started my journey, well it began when I was born, but the no longer knowing which way to go was initiated quietly. This month I have griped, complained, screamed and given up altogether. When I saw the quote below something seem to nod inside of me. Maybe I am beginning to retain that I am not the one in charge of my big adventure: The universe is bigger than I thought and no I am not descended from the stars.

When we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.
Wendell Berry

The air I breathe is hot and dry. The thoughts running around in my mind blame me for not being more disciplined, kind, thoughtful and strong. It’s as simple as needing a word of affirmation from my supervisor, who in a straightforward manner has never told me that I am a good worker. Each day, I set out to do my best, and every day the Lord challenges me to go one step further to give His best to the clients, to give my all to him.

“Christ with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me,

A few weeks ago, the words of Isaiah 30:15-18 wandered into my heart, reminding me that I am to be quiet and trust in Him because that is where my strength comes from. Don’t be the wild horses that Isaiah warns the Israelites about because His graciousness won’t come near, and or allow the graces to trickle down on them. Instead they will rage, which leads them around in circles in an aim to find something that will calm the fire that is burning in their souls.

Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,

Maybe it’s just the January blah. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to spend time in a place that was near to the warm sun, blue skies and clear blue waters. I’ll have a drink of Pina Coloda with one those little pink plastic umbrella’s floating around in sweet frothiness.

No, I don’t think that will solve my problems except prevent the inevitable, which is something I am learning about in trying to discipline myself through doing the things I don’t want to do. Fours years ago, it wasn’t like this, but truthfully, I don’t remember how it was or if it really was a concern for me.

Prayer is normally what upheld me, but it didn’t in the beginning, and as time continued, it kept falling and falling until it was broken. My  prayers, which I claimed was how I ‘breathed’ disappeared into some kind of far away land that sucked it out of me. I can’t ever go there. I didn’t even know if I believed that God answered prayers.

Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,

The almost physical sense of God passed into oblivion, and a silent, invisible guidance has replaced its place inside of me. Even that definition doesn’t do it justice. His being resides inside of my soul, and he doesn’t demand control over me. Stay where you are because he will come for you. He will not forget his promise, unlike us who promise but seldom deliver. Comfort is easing itself back into my life, but there is still much work to be done.

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Rule of Life

St. Benedict is known for many things, but it’s his Rule of Life that he wrote for his religious community that is most familiar to me. My Spiritual Director suggested that I construct my own Rule of Life. Something that will and can lead to my heighten awareness of Him in my everyday life.

Christ in every eye that see me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”

– St. Patrick

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Deep Beauty – Part 2

When all the noise is gone, there is only God.
Author Unknown

His love whispers like a butterfly fluttering in the recess of my soul, Jesus pulls me to himself, and patiently waits for me. Just like Mary, I sit at his feet.

Stripping me of what I have always depended on has led me to trust what I can’t see or touch. When He does speak, I doubt myself because His voice comes from a place that I wonder if I’ll ever reach in this lifetime. My hands bleed from holding onto the rope that leads me back to Jesus. Echoes of His guidance fade into nothing. The beauty of suffering rips into my neatly arranged life, leaving fragments all around me. His smile challenges me to understand how joy and sorrow can exist together.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope

I hear no words, no nudges, or pick up any sense of direction. It’s as if I have been forgotten about.

Then you will call upon me, come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord,

I want the silence that I had when His voice was a whisper that intoned inside of me, instead of knowing of every weakness and sin that is a part of me. Not experiencing his everlasting goodness has me dying in a swamp of my own self-hatred. I want the silence that instructs, purifies, humiliates and above all loves. It is then that I know I am safe in the Lord’s arms.

and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you back to the place from which I sent you in exile. Jeremiah ~ 29:11-14