Refreshing

I had found myself in a bad place.  My heart was discouraged and pretty much giving in to pity parties on a regular basis.  Although I knew that God loved me, it felt that I was being forever punished for the sins of my youth.  “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”  (Psalm 13:1-2 NIV)

One of the struggles that I deal with in my walk with the Lord is feeling that I am walking alone.  That’s a pity party in itself!  I attend church with two of my siblings and several nieces and nephews as well as have a close relationship with my youngest sister who loves the Lord.   My heart, however, longs to talk about God’s goodness at my dinner table and with my children.  I want to have prayer times with my husband and talk about what God has for us in this life.  Yet, because of my own decisions, I am not married to a Christian man so that is not part of our home life.  I believe that God has blessed me with a wonderful husband who has been a big part in my settling down and not running in circles any longer.  I know that God’s plan was not for me to marry a non believer, but He works plan B when we make decisions that abort plan A.  It wasn’t until I married this man that that I stopped wandering around lost and took time to fully listen to God’s instructions.  He filled me with His Holy Spirit and has enabled me to be a good wife as well as work in the church albeit as a separate part of my married life.  I still have hope and pray that someday, my husband will come to a place in his life that he reaches out to Jesus. Until that time, I will continue to love my husband and take comfort in having someone who is as honest and trustworthy as they come.  For someone who doesn’t believe in God working in the lives of people, my husband, however unknowing, is a vital part of God’s blessings to me.

This explanation of how I got here has actually cheered me up counting my blessings!  Now let’s get back to the heartache.  I have children and grandchildren who are far away from God.  Some are trying to find acceptance in all the wrong places.  Some are working in societies fight to break down the absolute truth of Christianity.  Using the sins of people who have claimed to be Christian, they are pointing fingers saying that Christianity has caused much division and hate in the world.  That breaks my heart because I know the Love of God and feel like I have to race to His defense when I hear people accusing Him of hate crimes.  Yes, that is how it feels to me when people say that it’s all about JUST love one another and accept everyone’s differences as their own journey to their own God.  I emphasis JUST because we are called to love everyone but it’s not the only thing we are called to do.  We can’t just love people and “let it be” so to speak.

God is the creator of all things.  He created the world to be in perfect harmony.  The trouble began when man exercised their “rights” to disobey the creator.  That is the reason there is rebellion and strife in the world.  It is not that people who were trying to please God messed things up, it was that people who tried to “be God” caused a rift between that perfect harmony and us.  God is love and has offered a way of redemption back to that place of perfect peace with Him, but we have to bow down and submit ourselves to Him. Even today, that is the place where people find difficulty.  It all boils down to us wanting to be in control rather than releasing control to God.

We must hold tight to the Holiness of God’s character that cannot tolerate sin.  I can love you and be kind and reach out to help wherever I can, but don’t ask me to stand up and defend your way of life if it is contrary to God’s laws.  I will defend your right to make those choices for yourself if they only affect your life.  I cannot sit back and condone your “right” to say have an abortion because that is taking a life of another.  I know there are many arguments that sound “right” such as someone being raped should not be forced to carry and give birth to a child that brings her pain.  My answer to that is that she will have pain regardless of whether or not she carries that child until birth.  That person needs to have lots of support and love to get through this tragic time of her life.  She does not need the added pain of one day realizing that in her time of pain she took the life of another.

I’ve had an abortion.  That can be a very traumatic experience and one that can haunt you forever.  I was a single mother of three.  My children’s father did not visit or support us in anyway.  It was a time when I was rebelling against God because what I thought was going to be my Christian husband and family turned out to be a lie.  I began dating several men and not planning to commit to anyone again.  When I found myself pregnant, a girlfriend of mine immediately told me that there was no way I could have another child.  She said that she would come take me to a clinic that could end the pregnancy.  It all happened so fast that I don’t even remember making the decision.  My friend made the appointment and drove me to the city.  I remember going into a small office for a few minutes alone while my friend sat in the waiting room.  A woman, who seemed rude and rushed, gave me something to read and she asked me a few questions that seemed to be statements of fact needing my approval.  After signing several documents, I was taken to an examining room.  I remember laying there with my feet in stirrups just like I was having a pap smear.  As soon as the suction began though I felt the life being sucked from my body.  It was a horrible feeling.  I felt lifeless myself for the trip home and the tears began to fall.  Many tears have fallen over that child since that day.  As I watched my children grow up; the two girls so close in age and my son a few years younger, I often wondered if I had robbed him of a brother that would be right there pushing those hot wheels beside him.  I have a history of molestation as a child and rape as a teen, but I can tell you that the haunting of taking that baby’s life is much greater than the memories of abuse perpetrated to me.

This blog post has brought up many topics that prompt more posts.  I know that even mentioning “hot wheels” when referencing my son, brings up thoughts that will require a post of their own.  However, it’s past time that I leave this chair for some productive time for my business.  Before I end, I need to get back to the heartache and the wonderful time of refreshing I experienced yesterday.

Earlier in the week, my grandson told me that he had decided to be a Christian again.  My grandson is on the autism spectrum and processes ideas in his way and time.  He grew up wanting to me to tell him his favorite bible stories and loved going to church with me.  In the last few years he has struggled with ideas of faith and had decided he didn’t believe in God.  So, you can imagine my relief and excitement when he announced at the beginning of our date night that he was a Christian again.  However, the last ten minutes of our evening was spent in heartache because he stated that I had tried to push “religion” down his throat all his life.  Just the fact that he said that would not have sent me into such a downward spiritual defeat in itself, but I have been feeling alienated from other children and grandchildren also.  That night I sunk so low that I told my husband and my daughter that I wish I could just turn my back on what I knew to be truth so that I could live in harmony with my children.  It was hard for me to understand how God could really love me and be working in my life when it seemed so many I love think of me as an unloving bigot because I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven and righteousness.  It’s a terrible feeling to believe so strongly that God is truth and the things I have learned from His Word are causing me to appear to be intolerant and unloving to those who I have helped raise.

Then yesterday, I went to my Aunt’s funeral.  My Aunt loved God and lived a life working in church ministries such as bus ministry to children, prayer groups, and she and her husband gave of their time and money to help start a church in their town that is now serving a large congregation and leading many to the Lord.  As I sat and listened to the story of her faith in Christ, my heart began to be uplifted and encouraged.  While a young lady, who had been one that was won to the Lord because my Aunt began taking her to church as a child, was singing a song that I remember my mother and her sister singing, God reached his arms around me and lifted all my cares onto His shoulders.  He enveloped my spirit with His and renewed that joy and assurance that regardless of how dim things seem at times, He is in control and will ultimately bring about results as I submit to Him daily.  Thank you Lord for your amazing grace and love.  “Until Then” my heart will go on singing.  “What a Day that will be” when my Jesus I shall see.  Even though it doesn’t seem like many around me are interested in hearing my story of salvation right now, I know that if I am faithful (and I will be!) God will work out plan B to His glory.

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:11-12 NIV)

 

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