Friday, February 26, 2010

Grace Embrace

Friends, some days we just need a detour off the regular path. Since our individual healings come in different sizes and shapes and forms, so sometimes do my methods and words and heart beats.

Praying for all to find the only One who can truly apply the healing & renewing balm...

one storm lingered

past the mopping
and sopping

an obvious
and apparent mess

through seasons
and years

raindrops continued

they dripped and splattered

one dark night

i had enough

and went
through heavy wooden
church doors

to Him

and also found a friend

who helped me
lay my burdens down

literally at the cross
on my face

in a puddle
my tears
and fears

and pain and agony and guilt

finally they fell

cascading rivers
of a twenty-two year old storm

mixed with His blood

and His love

in the midst
of my alter mess

He pulled me onto His lap

heart to heart
we sat

He turned my face

and I felt the torrents
of forgiveness
pour down

and wash away

my sins and dread and past and shame

to drown my sin
and set me free

He rescued me

from mired murk

so dark and deep
ugly and brown

He pulled me

by the heart strings

now i sit right here

in the grace
of His embrace

In order to truly feel His Grace Embrace,

what journey are you willing to walk

and what doors are you willing to push open?

* This poem was originally a non-thinking heart response to a question posed about really feeling God's grace. My heart wrote it, via my typing hands, straight into a comment box. Later, I went back and copied it for you.

* Photo by me. The actual door I pushed open for my Grace Embrace.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Aroma of Truth

lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble,
and by this many become defiled
Hebrews 12:15

And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good
and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2

Sanctify them by Your truth.
Your word is truth.
John 17:17

Do you wreak with the stink of lies or do you permeate with the aroma of Truth?

When our internal tape player constantly repeats the same tune, soon, it becomes part of us. It becomes part of our blood, our heart, our minds, and our souls. Basically, we wreak with the sink of lies. For me, a big lie that ingrained my brain and lodged within my soul was this: What I have to say doesn't matter.

In hindsight I can now see how and when that little-bitty lie first started to stink and fester. And when the sore got too big to be contained in my head, the sickness of it spread throughout my body. Soon, it coursed through my veins and infected nearly every aspect of my existence. Some of my symptoms were as follows: I was defensive, argumentative, harsh with my tongue, rude with my heart, and I really did master the art of "making something out of nothing."

I could look at a pair of dirty socks on the floor and wonder why they weren't in the laundry basket. Then I could hunt down the culprit and unfurl a mouthful of words that cut through the air and straight into the heart. Obviously he doesn't care what I think or he would have picked up those dirty socks. Yeah, that is right, he doesn't care. Yeah, he is an uncaring, ungrateful man. How can I get him to change? Ugh, why won't he just listen to me--and change and pick up those socks?!

Oh yes, I was that woman. Actually I was that teenage girl first. I could take almost any instance, misfire the real connection between my unhealed heart and brain, and as a result, smear my stinky lie-wound from myself to those around me. What a mess.

One day, by the grace of God, He laid it upon my heart to dig out the origin of my nasty root of bitterness and resentment. In peeling back layer after layer of the wounds and setting the sores to weep with all my prodding, I found that a whole lot of my "issues" actually stemmed from a couple of times in my life when I really needed to talk and/or tried to talk, but out of a perceived sense of shame in both instances, the other person effectively shut me down, closed me off, and figuratively taped my mouth shut. So what was I to do? I simply let the stink of a lie wreak, fill my nostrils with an unyielding stench, that seeped into my pores, and become part of me. You have nothing important to say-Nobody listens to you-Just be quiet because you don't matter. (See how the lie grew and took on a life of its own over time?)

About one year later, when I laid my heaviest burden down at my Lord's feet, that lie was effectively nailed to the cross too. The impact of meeting Christ at the cross and exchanging my post-abortion traumas for freedom, forgiveness, love, and mercy immediately permeated my soul with His wondrous aroma of Truth. I literally felt the weight of many burdens lift. And I was free from that stinky, festering lie. My relationship with my husband changed that night too. No longer was the weight of my past so heavy that it dragged our relationship into places of ugly stench. I could let go.

Socks were finally just socks.

What about you?

Do you wreak with the stink of lies or do you permeate with the aroma of Truth?

Once God's gracious Truth filled me, cleansed me, healed me, restored me, and renewed me, I was indeed a new woman in Christ. I was finally free to be the woman He intends for me to be. Do you have a yucky ole record repeating ugly lies that stink up the place? Isn't it time to fill not only your nostrils, but your heart and mind with an aroma that wreaks of righteousness and Truth?

Let us humbly pray:

Father God, Your Word says that where two or more are gathered, You are in their midst. Please engulf us in Your Truth and permeate us with Your divine aroma of love this day as we set out to replace lies with Truth. Give us the ability to discover even the little-bitty lies and to be free from their stinking, strangling grip. Lord, heal our minds and renew our hearts with Your Truth. We ask this because we want to become the women You designed us to be and because Your Son died for our sins, all of our sins. Be with each of us this day as we are knit together in love, Your love. In Jesus' name, amen.

* wonderful resource:
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Monday, February 22, 2010

His Gift

Oh, friends, it is so good to be back. And please forgive me for such a long absence. I never meant to be disconnected from your hearts for so long. Our recent move, a husband's injury near the end of the move, outlandish rural satellite internet costs, and more, all mashed together to form quite a blurred three-week period. How I have missed you. And wondered about you. And prayed for you.

~ Mary, have you felt God wrapping you in His divine comfort and holding you close?
~ Tracey, are you seeking God's direction in a ministry that fits your heart?
~ Tlk2006, did you let God bathe you in His love and forgiveness at the conference?
~ Tina, has your healing and renewing continued in both heart and mind?

Then I said,

‘I have been cast out of Your sight;
Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul;
The deep closed around me;
Weeds were wrapped around my head.

I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
O LORD, my God.
Jonah 2:4-6

Let us humbly pray:

Father, oh how I have missed this place, this very ministry that You gave me as a gift shining with Your love and glittering with Your forgiveness. Lead me back into the hears and minds of wounded women. Show me how to gently hand them the same treasures I have found in You and mercifully direct them along the only way out of the entangling weeds, enveloping waters, and barred hearts. Please bind each woman in Your beauty, Your promises, Your peace, and especially in Your Truth. Wrap each heart with healing and fill each mind with renewing. These precious women are Your gifts--for Yourself, for the world, and for me. Please sign Your name with that amazing indelible ink, so they too, know it is True! In Jesus' name, Amen.

And a gigantic hug and thank you to Jennifer for her guest post. Isn't she something?! Please add her young daughter, Emma, to your prayers today. This little one is quite ill and in need of some divine intervention...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lay it Down

Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer and I met Darlene through a mutual friend while doing a guest post on a blog. As post-abortive women our hearts were entwined and here we are! God birthed this blog through Darlene and I am so excited to see what He is going to do through it.

I am a certified leader for Surrendering the Secret and went through my own healing journey just over a year ago. Over this past year God has ignited a fire in me for post-abortive women and it continues to grow everyday.

I’ve been thinking about what to write all week. Asking God to give me something. I am giving you a little bit of me through my quiet time and journaling with God:

“Lord, only you can heal these women-You and you alone- I can get the message out about the pain and heartache of abortion and the restoration and freedom that only comes from you. I believe you have led me to this ministry because I am a post-abortive woman. I have suffered severely-physically, emotionally and spiritually- my innocence was taken away- my life was never the same, but you Lord- you have taken me from the darkest depths and healed me- you have shined your light into my soul, into my secret places and that is what you want for other women. Living the way I did for so long should not be the norm- Women need to be set free, set free from their pain, from their pasts. We are a new creation in you but if we don’t let go of our past, if we don’t deal with it and give it completely to you, then we can never truly be free. You want all women to experience total freedom in you. It is your gift to us”.

I’m involved in a weekly Bible study every Wednesday morning. This semester we are working on “Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed” by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur. This week Beth was speaking about Moving on with Brave Obedience.

Many post-abortive women are stuck. We are stuck in our past, stuck in our pain, and believe that this one sin is unforgivable. This just isn’t so. There are no levels of sin. In God’s eye sin is sin, plain and simple. Beth stated that Satan is banking on us staying “there”, for us “there” is our abortion. The enemy wants to keep us stuck and will pull whatever he has to too keep us there. He will fill our head with lies, feed us false information, and take away our self-worth.
However, we serve a God who is much bigger than this. We serve a God who loves us so much that he sent his one and only Son to save us. All of us, there is no exclusion for post-abortive women.

This road to healing is not painless. Going back and looking at what we have done is not easy, but the healing and freedom that can only come from Him is so much more than I could have ever imagined.

Come to the cross, lay your burdens down, He will pick them up and carry them. He wants all of you, not just certain parts. Complete surrender. He will be with you every step of the way. It's time...time for the captives to be set free.

"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" Colossians 1:13-14

Let us pray:
Father you are Jehovah Rophe-the God who heals. You see these women and your heart breaks. You feel their pain, know their secret places, and you want them to bring it all to you. You Father want to set them free. You have plans for their lives, each one of them, good things, plans to prosper them and not to harm them. Father God, you want them to lay this heavy burden down, to lay it at the foot of your cross. Lord, I pray for each person who comes to this site to come to know you. To know that you are God and you are good. To lay down the burden that they have carried for so long. True healing comes from you. You and only You. Thank you Father for loving us so much. More than we could ever possibly imagine. We love you. In Jesus name-Amen

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meet Jennifer

But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
Psalm 59:16

Friends, please know that my heart and prayers are with each of you: those suffering and searching for redemption, those seeking and reaching for encouragement, those wounded and wondering what to do next, those finally free and fending off attacks of the enemy... My lack of time at this new ministry is not due to a feigned heart, it is due to a move! My family is in the midst of our second move in less than four months due to a relocation of my husband's job. We are country folk and establishing an internet connection takes some doing (and praying!). Today I will unplug my trusty Mac for perhaps a week. Rest assured, I am leaving you in very trustworthy hands.

Let me introduce Jennifer at The Spirit of Truth. In my haste to post this message, I am not doing her proper justice with this introduction. (I will make up for that later though!) She and I met through an on-line friend (Melinda at Traveling the Road Home). Melinda graciously has held both of our hands throughout our post-abortive healing and renewing. God divinely wove our hearts together for this ministry.

Jennifer leads Surrendering the Secret studies. Please, if you have any questions on that women's ministry, she is the one to ask. You will find her contact information under the Share Your Heart button on the navigation bar.

May God richly bless you all. Please turn to Him for Truth, love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy this day!

Let us humbly pray:

Lord God, here we are, gathered in your presence. Please minister to these precious women, these sisters of mine. Shine Your light of Truth and love deep into their hearts. You know their wounded places, please bind them in Your grace and mercy. Please salve them with Your ointment of redemption. And Lord, please bless Jennifer with all You want her to share this week. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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