I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.~ Psalm 57:1
My friend Judy sent that scripture to me. As is I sit here in the retina doctor’s office once again I cling to that promise.
I have been thinking about Paul lately. Paul was the first person I ever studied in the bible. I was new to the Bible then. I was also new to Bible study class and having my first eye problem that first time I read about him. He went blind, I was going blind in one eye, he was healed and I was healed, talk about God and perfect timing that was the most perfect of perfect time ever for me to be learning about him. During that study I remember reading that Paul had some sort of thorn in his flesh I have often wondered why God did not take it from him.
Lately I am beginning to feel like these eye issues and health problems could possibly be my thorn. It seems like this past couple of years I have had more health problems than I’ve had over my whole life.
I am wondering why I can’t seem to be well of my eye issues. For over 3 years now I have had eye stuff of some sort going on. I get well and then something new comes along and not only do new eye issues come along some of them seem to be things that are ongoing and require a whole lot of waiting. I think I may be learning to be patient….This latest eye thing has been going on for over a year.
Something that I have recently noticed is that every single time I have some sort of health issue it seems like I usually end up I growing much closer to God during it. I also noticed that each time I also seem to come out stronger somehow than I was before. I realized as I sit here today what a huge learning opportunity this whole ordeal has been. Also how brave I have become.
I used to be afraid of the eye doctors, I remember being afraid for them to just look in my eyes. I feared they may touch my eye. To me eyes seem squishy and fragile and I get so squeamish to really look at or even think about them to much.
When my kids were young I could handle any crises with my kids like a pro. We went through a few broken bones and several stitches and I was actually very calm…. But if they got something in their eye I would freak out! I am the mom who drove her child a 30 minute drive to the eye doctor to have the doctor remove a stuck contact lens from the bottom of her eyeball because I was to squeamish to even look in her eye!
Now days when I visit the eye doctor they eye drop my eyes with drops that sting and then numbing drops to make them numb before they poke me with dangerously sharp looking instruments, while temporarily blinding me with the bright lights. I have had my eye washed out with soap and had 3 eye injections! As I write this I realize that I seem to be a pro at the eye doctor now because most of that stuff does not phase me anymore.
Question for myself…. If I am such a pro then why do I dread being here so bad today?
Answer…. Because even though I feel confident in God I still do not like all this stuff, and I can’t say that I think I ever will like it.
The truth is I am really afraid of the unknown in my future sometimes. What other new, painful and scary things will I have to go through? Often over the past year have thought of Paul and all the horrible stuff he went through. Nothing I have been through even comes close to the stuff he went through and yet he kept on trusting God, believing in him and telling people how awesome he was. Could it be that going through hard stuff is actually a good thing?
A lot of people have been praying that God will heal this. A week ago I thought he did heal me, the flashing in my eye had stopped and I started seeing perfect and I claimed my miracle. Now here I am a week later, sitting in the doctor’s office again with more flashing in my eyes, and a circle of light around my vision. I want so badly for all of this to end but oddly at the same time I feel thankful for all that it has taught me…rely on God and trust him no matter what… Though this is going on today i still hear his voice telling me that everything is going to be okay.
Today as I travel through this minor rain shower I know there are people who are in a full out storm… As I am writing this I pause and I look around this room. As I look around I realize the room is full of people going through a storm of some sort. Do they know they are not alone?
I wrote the above today as I sat in the retina doctor’s waiting room waiting for my doctor to come in and examine me. Where I ended it is where I was at when she came in the room.
This next part is what happened after she came in……
After my eyes were dilated and scanned the doctor told me that I had healed! She told me that the drug she ordered to release the vitreous gel from pulling on my retina was no longer needed and that the macular hole had shrank! She thinks the hole it is healing though she told me that it is very rare for a macular hole to heal by itself. I told her that it did not heal by itself that God had healed it :D I go back in a month to see for sure if the hole has healed completely, though I know already it will.
As sit here tonight I realize just how quickly things can change in a matter of minutes. As you are going through your life today remember everything here on earth is temporary but God is forever. Trust him with your life because he gave you your life. If you know him share him with everyone because someone shared him with you. Just as my doctor came in today I had wondered if the people in the room knew they were not alone, from this day forward I want to take the time to make sure everyone I meet knows that they are not alone. If you are reading this and don’t know Jesus take the time to find out more about him I promise you will be glad you did. Here is a good link with some information -> Know God. Or if you have questions about God leave me a comment, I will be glad to answer as best I can.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:1
You all know I have this eye issue going on, well today I found out that my insurance company denied the treatment that would have hopefully kept me from having 2 eye surgeries. The treatment only has a 50 percent chance of working but it will keep me from having to go through a surgery that could possibly cause me to be blind in my eye for 3 weeks to 4 months until some sort of gas bubble they will be putting in my eye dissolves and my eye fills back up with its own fluid (they will take out my own fluid).
As you saw in my last post I thought that the Vitreous gel had released off of my retina because the flashing had suddenly went away and also I could see better than I could in over a year and a half. On Wednesday of last week a new flash started but I still can see really good, though I can see really good the flashing means the gel is still attached but some of it has released. If not for the insurance companies denial I would have had that injection this coming Wednesday. As it stands now I have to make the decision to have the surgery or take a chance on my retina possibly detaching.
When I first found out this morning about all this I was furious, and still may be…How can the insurance company be allowed to play doctor when its MY eyesight at stake? After I found out this news the first thing I did was call my insurance company and argue with them, then cry and even yell at them. I will admit I let them see the side of me I usually only reserve for my poor husband. After that didn’t work I hurried up and sent my daughter a text telling her all about it. She sympathized with me but seriously what did I think she could do to help the situation so of course my next course of action was to go to my phone and post this angry Facebook status…
Of course you all know that was a great solution… Let me tell you I had a very large pity party this morning and I was inviting anyone and everyone who would want to join me. That would show those insurance company executives right?? After all I am sure they read my Facebook status every day and this mean comment with a lot of likes and comments that agreed would for sure make them rethink their decision~
I am sure you know by now I am just being sarcastic I know my insurance company does not see my Facebook statuses or my mean text about them to my daughter. I did discover though that there is one person who did see my anger and frustration and also he saw my facebook post and that would be God…yep he saw it… You know one time someone told me that in my Christian walk that before I did something I should think would I do this if God were sitting beside me? Well guess what??… HE IS! And sometimes he has this way of using other people to reel me in. As soon as I posted right away I got a few likes… oh that made me feel good because people were agreeing and I even got an agreeable comment….But then the next comment shook me up.. “Don’t give up. Remember you have the Great Advocate working behind the scenes.” I saw that comment on my phone just as I opened my curtains to a window that looks out over my back yard, my beautiful lovely green treed back yard with flowers blooming and sun shine streaming through it. Right there in the middle of my anger I saw God is still working and I can see just fine still! It made me feel ashamed because how did I manage to forget? … sheesh just last week I wrote a blog post about how I thought God had healed my eye. Yes I have had new flashing since that post but I can still see great! Better than in over a year! Just the other day I told someone that I had claimed my miracle and I wasn’t going to give it back and now just because my insurance company denied a claim for a treatment I am acting like it’s the end of it all.
After I saw the beauty in my back yard, and comment on my Facebook status, I decided it was time to visit with God so I grabbed my Bible and went off for some quiet time with him. As I was praying I felt led to open my Bible and when I did it opened to this page where for some reason a few things were underlined. I am not sure why or when I underlined them but today what I realized is those words were the voice of God and I realized I could see it so clearly WITHOUT my glasses on in a Bible with writing so small I could not see it just a few short weeks ago.
“I will be with you”
I went on to read the rest of the passage … Isaiah 43:2-3 When you pass through the waters I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned the flames will not set you ablaze, For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel your Savior.”
Wow after words like that I have nothing else to say other than, “I know God’s got this and thank you!”
Have a blessed day,
Since my last post “Leaving Panic Behind Under Palapa #39″ I have received many encouraging email messages and also comments on my blog. I am just so humbled and amazed at the outpouring of love and prayers that have surrounded me in the past few days, from not only friends and family here beside me, but also from people who I have never met in person. The love I have felt touches me so deep inside that I feel my heart just may burst and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you <3
I went to the Retina specialist Wednesday and the news was that I have a stage 1 macular hole caused by the vitreous gel in my eye pulling on my retina. My doctor has ordered a drug called Jetrea that will be injected in my eye to hopefully dissolve the vitreous gel so that it will quit pulling on my retina. The Jetrea has a 50 percent chance of working. If it does not work then I will have to have eye surgery to remove the vitreous gel. I may have to surgery to fix the macular hole also depending on how it looks once the gel is not pulling on it anymore. For now I am supposed to be watching for anything new that happens in my eye such as floaters or new flashes of light because while the gel pulling on my retina it can make the hole bigger or possibly cause my retina to detach.
I wrote the above 2 nights ago night but did not get a chance to publish it and this is what happened since I wrote that……
When I got up yesterday morning my eye was very light sensitive and blurry. I went to work where I spent most my morning on the computer. Some time during the late morning I realized that did not seem to be having as much trouble seeing and thought I was just getting used to my eye issue. When I finished at work as I was going to town and I noticed once again that I seemed to be seeing much better but I still thought it was because I was just getting used to it.
As exited the interstate I realized that the flashes of light that I have seen for almost a year were gone! I also noticed that feeling of looking through cellophane in my eye was gone too! I sat in a parking lot for 15 minutes moving my eyes all different directions to see if I could see the flash or the cellophane and no matter how I moved them I was right it had stopped! Those flashes in my sight have been very obvious every time I would move my eyes or blink but now they were gone. The feeling of seeing through cellophane started when the hole appeared but it was gone gone gone too! The only thing that I seem to have wrong is a small dot of vision right in the center of my eye is missing. 2 days ago the whole center of every word was blocked but now it is only a small dot on the center letter of each word and it is not very noticeable at all with both of my eyes open. I am pretty sure that the dot of missing space is the macular hole but I truly think the vitreous gel has finally pulled off.
I called my retina doctor with this news and she did not seem to be impressed or believe me and she said she will see me in 2 weeks unless I have new flashes or floaters. I am not a doctor but I really do think the gel pulled off and if that is what happened I will not have to have the Jetrea injection to make it dissolve. I noticed today that I am seeing much better than I have in over a year!
Anyway… that is the news I have so far and I hope I am right. If I am not right at least something has happened that my vision seems to be improved, so either way the prayers are working and if my eye is really healing (and I am sure it is) this will be the 3rd miracle that God has given me on my eyes, you would think that by now when I tell my doctor I think I am better she would believe me :D I will let you know in 2 weeks what she says, Maybe the hole will heal too :D
I also want to say something about prayer….When this first happened while I was laying there on that beach praying God immediately wrapped his arms around me and gave me such peace that I can never begin to explain it here. That peace he gave me has held strong through it all and is still here. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
I have no idea how many people have been praying for me I put a post on Facebook and have told everyone I know. I used to be so uncomfortable to ask people to pray for me, but I have realized now how can can people know to pray for us if we do not ask? I could feel those prayers so much and I know that every single one of those prayers were heard by God. He is answering them not only in the healing I have seen but I truly think it has even more to do with how much confidence I feel in him no matter what the outcome turns out to be. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Thank you for reading and once again for your prayers,
Psalm 27:13-14 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
I sit here in awe of the beauty and the spender.
White clouds of cotton floating over deep blue water
A sea gull crying while gliding softly, wings open, floating on the breeze
Your breath blowing softly in my ear whispering words of peace, “do not fear, I am here”
People from all over the world speaking different languages their voices mixed together like music.
The laughter of children playing,
A man selling his wares as plane flies over,
Parasail’s drift weightlessly above waves lapping at white sand.
I see your face in this place
When I close my eyes I still see you.
Images forever snapped from the camera of my mind.
A few years ago I had a blood clot in my right eye and lost some of my vision in that eye. At one point almost all of my vision in the eye was gone but God gave me a miracle and healed most of my central vision back though I do have only about half the vision in that eye. I never really notice it unless I close my good eye.
About a year ago I started to see flashes of light in my other eye and gradually over the past year my vision has been having all sorts of odd things happen. I also started to have a bigger blind spot in my other eye and a constant flicker. According to my retina specialist all of this is do to the vitreous gel pulling on my retina. My doctor tells me that what is am seeing is the light reflecting off the gel. Over the past year I have had all sorts of odd things happen in my vision and it seems as if my vision has been getting worse and worse as we wait for the gel to finish pulling lose from my retina.
This past week my husband and I were in Mexico and the second day there I was noticing that I could not really take the bright sunlight a whole lot and my eyes seemed different. A little while later I was reading a book and I realized I was having trouble focusing on the words. It was as if they were jumbled or not clear after a while I closed my right eye and realized that with my left eye the letters in the center of every word was missing. Then I realized that anything I looked at seemed to have a small missing place right in the center. Needless to say I went into a panic I already have an eye which is half blind and now my good eye is missing the center!
Of all the things that have happened to me in my life, vision loss has to be about the scariest thing I have ever been through. Right after this discovery of the missing vision I went into a panic, I was on the beach with my husband, sitting there with my journal and my Bible and just could not bear to open my eyes to read, write or look at the beauty around me. It was like the blind spot in my eye was the only thing I could see. It is very hard to not think about something when it is right there in front of your eyes.
A little while later my husband went and joined a ping pong tournament leaving me alone on the beach. For the longest time I just lay there with my eyes closed, begging God to make this blind spot go away. After a while the sound of the ocean and the people around me started creeping in to my brain it seemed to relax me a bit and then I heard a voice say “open your eyes!” As I heard that voice I knew it was God, I was like “um no I can’t bear to look,” but he kept insisting I look so I finally reluctantly opened my eyes. There before me was the bluest water I have ever seen in my life. There was a storm off in the distance and the clouds were hanging low over the ocean, it had to be just about one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. As I sat there looking at the painting before me I realized that the blind spot does not show so much when I am looking at scenery unless I blink.
Shortly after that I grabbed my journal and managed to write a few things down without looking to closely at the page as I wrote. What I wrote was what you read at the beginning of this post and also yesterday’s post. God still amazes me how he manages to pull me back time and time again to realize that no matter what is going on it really will be okay. The rest of the day was a good day, my husband came back from ping pong and by then I was in a new frame of mind. We went for a short walk down the beach and watched the storm come in and then we sat under the palapa in the rain laughing as everyone else left the beach…Question…. if you have your swimming suit on why not just stay out in the rain?.. :D Later the sun came back out and we went for a swim and the rest of our evening was really great.
I seemed to be in great peace the next day and until we came home Overall I think we both had a great trip. Once we got home I seemed to have peace until this morning when I realized my eye is getting worse. When I woke up this morning I was so upset I decided I was going to stay in bed with my eyes closed because I could not bear to be seeing what is missing in my vision. I had the television on and there was a preacher speaking, I was not really paying much attention but all the sudden I heard him say, “The only way to be delivered is to get your eyes off yourself and keep them on Jesus.” At that moment I realized that I was laying there panicking worrying about something I have no control over. About that same time a friend of mine who is very very sick with cancer sent me a text, I spent some time with her and oddly I was able to talk to her without thinking to much about my eye. After that my mother called and said she and my dad were close to my house and wanted to come over, and two minutes later my son called saying he was coming over. I ended up spending the morning happily with my family. Today was a great day. I know God sent me those people in my time of need to distract me. No more panic and I truly am at peace about whatever happens. I can not say that I like it, but really I am sure it will all work out in some sort of good way. It always does.
My doctor seems to think I have a macular hole which she says if fixable. I am seeing her on Wednesday to get the for sure diagnosis. Until then all I can do is wait. I think I may be getting pretty good at that.
Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading,
The wind is raging, storm clouds looming over the waves and in my mind.
I see where I don’t see and it frightens me.
The waves crash the shore and inside my mind they crash my sanity.
Fear overwhelming, the roar of the ocean matching the roar in my mind
Threatening dark clouds in the distance much like the dark blur obscuring my vision of the beauty before me.
The beauty…you are so big you created this
I feel so small right now,
I know you are so much bigger than me and even more bigger than the small blur.
I feel the breeze starting to cool as the storm in the distance calms the storm that is raging inside calms too.
The blur still threatens to get in the way but you won’t let it.
Even if I can’t see I still see you perfectly.
I was reading my Bible this morning when I stumbled across this verse in Luke -
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. Luke 10:9
I have read Luke before but for some reason this verse never caught my attention like it did today. How awesome it is to know that with the power of Jesus I have authority to overcome the power of the enemy. I don’t ever have to listen to his lies and as long as I choose to not listen to him he can never harm me.
I can Trample on feelings like
Rejection, Uncertainty and failure.
When the enemy tries to say things to me like “you are worthless”, “you are ugly”, “you are unimportant”, or “Nobody loves you” I have authority to trample all over those lies because the voice of Jesus tells me, “I am beautiful”, “I am worthy”, “I am important”, and “I am loved”
Pretty awesome huh? :)
Now it’s your turn
Trample on this –> “
I am worthless” “ I am ugly“ “ I am not important, “ Nobody loves me“
and instead KNOW this –>“I am beautiful” “I am worthy” “I am important”, “I am loved”
Because its true, you are beautiful, worthy, important and loved. Nobody can ever take that away from you.
Have a blessed day ,
Most of my childhood life was spent moving around the country. Sometimes our family moved twice a year and one year we moved three times! I was always a bit of on outcast because I never seemed to talk or dress the same as the other kids. A lot of the time I was picked on and I hated gym class because I was always picked last for the teams or made fun of because I was not really much of an athlete.
Friends where something I did not have a whole lot of and usually if I did make a friend it was with the new kids or the ones like me that nobody else liked. It was really hard moving around and I never really became to close to anyone and I never really had a whole lot of self confidence and I never felt like anything was permanent. The feeling of nothing being permanent was a good thing though because if I did not like where we were I always could count on that we would be moving again soon.
At the beginning of my 9th grade year of school we finally moved somewhere that we stayed for 3 whole years. Things started the same way for me in this town as all the rest, nobody wanted to be friends with me so since I had a brother I hung out with him and his friends. Because I hung out with the boys soon the girls in the neighborhood decided I was chasing after their boyfriends and so one day they decided to send a little boy as their messenger to invite me to come up to a little get together that they had planned… His exact words to me where “Terri, those girls up there are paying me a donut to tell you to come up there and they said they are going to kick you’re ass.”
Like I said earlier I never really had a lot of confidence and a fight was not really something I ever had any practice at either but I think something inside of me snapped that day, because I went up there. I soon arrived at the top of the street where about 6 girls and most of the neighborhood kids were waiting for me, I remember being petrified but determined not to show it. Still to this day I can hardly believe I went.
The girls began accusing me of stealing their boyfriends and other things that were not true and I remember telling them, “You all won’t talk to me so I hang out with my brother and his friends, and I don’t want your boyfriends!” I can’t remember a whole lot more of the conversation but what I do remember is that nobody laid a hand on me that day. I acted tough, they acted tough and I walked away with my dignity and a new sense of bravery. The following day I was riding my bike down the street and one of those tough girls called me over and asked me to come to her house and hang out. I did and from that day on we became friends and I became one of them. It felt so good to be a part of a group.
I went on to become a real jerk after that day. It was a time in my life that I figured out that acting tough kept me safe from being picked on. All my years of being a nice person never got me anywhere except shoved around and picked on and now here I was acting like a meany and people “liked” me. Being liked was what I always wanted. I see it now but did not see it then …I still never really fit in and I am not sure if I was really ‘liked’ it was more like I was just left alone because they were scared to pick on me. I still never was that popular girl everyone wanted to hang out with first and I usually was still chosen last for most things.
When I was 17 years old I met my husband who I am still married to and began my life as an adult. Over the years as I grew older I feel as if I did a pretty good job of raising my children but no matter how good I was at something I never ever had that feeling that I fit in or was good enough. I had friends but I stayed on guard never letting anyone get to close. I always seemed to have a feeling of insecurity following me around that I could not shake.
In the early 1990’s I was running a very successful Tupperware business. I had moved up in the company to an Executive manager position, had earned a company car, won many awards and was in the top 10 managers in our region. On the outside life was good but inside I cringed at my success. I did not like being on stage in the spotlight. I really never tried to be successful it just seemed to happen. I loved Tupperware and told people how much I liked it so they bought it, they booked parties and the people at the parties would decide to join me in the business. I remember at the time just being shocked each week at our sales. I would be excited at how well it was going but at the same time I would be scared to death because the more successful my business became the more I had to be on stage at our meeting each week which really made me sick with fear.
You would think that success would have given me more confidence but instead I think what happened is I saw myself standing alongside people who I thought were really good, people who I looked up to and I did not feel worthy at all to be standing alongside of them. Each week I would go on stage with a smile on my face while fear trembled inside of me.
Eventually one day the fear finally caught up to me. I was standing in front of a group of people at one of my Tupperware demonstrations and my ears began to roar. I barely remember anything much after that except for me standing in front of everyone telling them about a product, ears roaring, my heart racing and all the sudden feelings terror inside of me so strong that I wanted to run and hide. Run and Hide is exactly what I did…. I looked at my hostess and said, “I don’t fee so well’ as I excused myself to go into the bathroom where I stayed for the next 30 minutes sitting on the edge of her bathtub trying to pull myself together. I remember thinking I was going to die in there because I could not breathe, I was sweating and my heart was pounding so hard in fear I thought I would have a heart attack. I did not know it at the time but that was my first panic attack of many more to come in my life. I did eventually come out of the bathroom and I told the guests that I had a stomach bug of some sort and went home.
From that day forward I feared being in front of people because I just knew in my mind that it would happen again, the fear snowballed and eventually I quit selling Tupperware and found a job driving a school bus where I did not have to be in the spot light ever.
I spent about the next 15 years of my life staying away from social occasions. My panic filtered into many life things like baby showers, weddings and funerals, I still went to what I had to go to but I spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom and always sat by the door at most events so I could escape easily if I panicked. It eventually got to where I could not even go with friends shopping unless I was the driver of the car. I had to be the one in control. If I was not in control I would panic and end up making up the ‘I am sick lie’ and leave. Eventually I found myself running out of meetings at work, and avoiding most social occasions It just kept getting worse and worse to the point that I would get an upset stomach so when I said I was sick I truly was physically sick now too. I lived this nightmare alone, I never told anyone except my husband, one friend and also my doctor who diagnosed me with social anxiety and gave me medicine that did not help.
I went on like this for many years and then….I discovered wine…..
I never was much of a drinker but it just so happened one day I connected that drinking helped take the edge off my panic, actually it took a lot of the edge off. When I drank I became a social butterfly. It did not take much just a few sips before I went to the gathering and I would be fine, but the problem was I never could stop at just a few sips.
When I drank I was bold, I was free and did not care what anyone thought about me. It drowned out a lot of things one being my common sense. What I did not realize at the time is that the drinking did not fix a thing. It just masked things. No matter how I tried to cover it I was still the same person I had always been. I still hurting from all the years of rejection and I was still afraid of people. I had no trust in people or confidence that someone could actually like me for who I was.
It sounds really silly doesn’t it? But that is how I lived for many years. I became a social person I knew lots of people but I just could not attend anything social that I would involve having to sit in a room with other people that would notice me leaving unless I drank or if I did not drink I sat on pins and needles trying hard to keep myself composed. Over the years I was also a Realtor. I know this makes no sense but I could meet with strangers to look at homes and actually had moments that others would probably think I was a very outgoing person. Around the office I was friendly with everyone and even managed to teach a website building class at another real estate office but most of the time if you were to put me in a room for a meeting and I would fall apart in seconds and be running out of the room.
Fast forward to 2010….I found Jesus. You can read about that here http://astorybyme.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/your-gift-2/
Since 2010 I have been learning to trust again. I have found confidence in Jesus. I have gone into meetings and had him take over my fear allowing me to do what he calls me to do. There is so much more I left out of the story on my journey begins page because it is a crazy story and I will tell you some of it is not very pretty, but the outcome thankfully is pretty. I am not bold enough to put it out here on my blog yet but what I can tell you is that many times over these past 4 ½ years I have made a lot of huge mistakes that I was sure God would never forgive me for but he did forgive me and I have learned so much about his redeeming love, his mercy and his grace.
Over this past year I have had a lot of health issues and a lot of instances that I felt sad over my mobility issues I felt afraid sometimes and lonely. As I told in another post I kept my sad feelings to myself and my closest friends the ones I had let ‘in’ seemed to be going away. Let me make it clear that no friends dumped me or anything they just have their own lives going on but because of my past I gradually I began to feel those old feelings of rejection creeping in and my confidence started going down again. that coupled with the pain in my legs just made a recipe of sadness inside. To top that off one day about 6 months ago I found myself running out of a Bible study class having a panic attack. After that first attack and it happened again and again until eventually I quit going to Bible study class. It made no sense at all why I would act this way because I am in a whole church of people who love me and I love that class and wanted to be a part of it really bad. Oddly I only had panic attacks when I was a participant in class, If I was in teaching a class I never would feel that way. It sounds crazy I know….
I actually worry about hitting the send button on this post because it will let anyone who reads it see the real me… it’s really hard for me sometimes to allow people to see the real me. I am not very brave, I am weak, and I am not always right where God would like me to be. I know when I am strong that it is only due to his power.
Today at church our pastor gave a very powerful message about forgiveness. I realized something while he was speaking…I think I have been carrying around feelings of rejection and anger for a very long time. I realized I had put my hope in people when my hope really belongs in Jesus though I do believe that God puts people in our lives to help him and also sometimes they help hold us accountable to him. If not for some of the people he put in my life who obeyed him and were there for me holding me accountable to God I am not sure I would have gotten as far as I am now.
I have a friend who is very humble, this friend was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I was trying to quit drinking. I know that my friend will say that it was all God…My friend will be right because it is all God, I never could do a thing without God’s strength, but I also know that in the beginning, I would have caved so much more easily had I not had a live person to hold me accountable and remind me that God loved me.
I got to thinking today why doesn’t God just wave a magic wand and just fix it all? After all he is God and he can do anything right?? I think He wants us to help him do his work; He wants our loyalty, our faithfulness to him. He wants us to be able to give up our own life plans to do his plan. If we do not take care of what he puts right in front of us we can never be at peace because it’s up to us to show others the HOPE that only he can give… He puts hope right in front of us to give away when he gives us someone who needs him. He is the hope among all the hurting and suffering people and we have a job to do. We pass that hope along and I am so very thankful that someone took the time and helped to show me the hope I have in Jesus.
I started this post talking about my past and how I still get old feelings of rejection inside even when I know in my heart that I am really an okay person. I think that the enemy knows my weaknesses so he gets to me where he knows he can hurt me the most. Thankfully I now know my weaknesses and by knowing that it makes me stronger. I also know I am a child of the King and he loves me and guess what!? NOBODY can ever take that away from me.
Today after the sermon my pastor offered the chance for everyone to give their lives to Jesus. He also offered those who had already given their lives to Jesus a chance to start over again. Today I found all of my past insecurities boiling up to the surface and I found myself forgiving all those past hurts from many years ago, things I never even realized I had been carrying around for 30+ years . I found myself asking once again for God to make me new and told him I wanted to start over and one more time I asked Jesus to be my savior. I am not sure how many times it will take but if I have to start over every single day for the rest of my life 20 times a day then that is what I will have to do.
I know my blog post today is very long and all over the place If you are still here reading you will be happy to know that it is almost over but not before I tell you that your past does not have to define who you are today. You can rise above it. It may try come back once in a while but you can choose not to revisit it. There is no reason to ever look back because you are not going backwards, you are going forward. Remember most of all that you are loved and worth so much more than you can ever imagine.
Thank you for reading,
If you have never asked Jesus to be your savior and would like to have him come and help you change your life, all you have to do is ask. Ask him to forgive you of your past sin and then tell him you would like to live the rest of your life with him leading you. If you have said that prayer before and need reminding as I did then say it again and again. If you said it for the first time let me know, I would love to hear about it. Also don’t ever forget you are loved and adored by the creator of the universe. That is a pretty awesome feeling isn’t it? <3
Here is a really good song by Francesca Battistelli I think you will enjoy.
He knows My Name
Rays of golden light
shine down from the heavens
you don’t have to see them
to know that it’s me.
you feel it
you breathe it
come to my safe place
blowing through you
like a cocoon
billowing in my breath
Father I feel your spirit
It takes my breath away
“Today as I sat on the deck His voice was rustling in the trees. It was cloudy day but all at once golden rays of sunshine lit up the woods. He then spoke to me, telling me to trust in him. He filled me up with peace almost taking my breath away at times yet at the same time I was also breathing him deep into my soul. It was awesome.”
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant – Matthew 18:21-35
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
When I first read the parable above the last two verses confused me. At first glance I took it to say – ‘if we do not forgive someone we will be put in jail and tortured.’ Is that how you read it? After all it does say in verse 34 “in anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he paid back what he owed.” It then goes on to say in verse 35, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
When I asked to be forgiven of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior I know I did not become a perfect person. I still continue to make mistakes and yet he always forgives me. There also have been times in my life that I was so hurt by someone that I had a really hard time forgiving them and it took me a long while to do it. Thankfully eventually I did forgive them but what if I hadn’t?
If we don’t forgive someone is God going to throw us in jail and let us be tortured until we do? Or if we ask God to forgive us for not forgiving them are we then forgiven and given a get out of jail free card?
I would like to say that forgiving is an easy thing to do, but when we feel like someone has taken something from us, or they have done something that hurts us, we want them to know it and we want them to pay for it. I often see in the news about horrendous acts of violence in which someone has been murdered and then later I will hear that the family has forgiven them, I know that has to be a really hard thing to do. Something that terrible has never happened to me so I have no idea how that feels at all but I do know that to forgive is what Jesus has said we have to do here. We have to forgive the debt, no matter how big and no matter what it is.
After thinking about this scripture for a while I got to thinking about how I have felt in the past when I have been angry at someone and did not forgive them right away. What I realized is that when I don’t forgive someone anger and resentment starts building up inside of me and gradually my vision becomes clouded to the point that I can’t see God as well. With all that anger clogging my mind it separates me from him in a way that makes it really hard to be at peace.
If we don’t forgive someone as time goes by we may think those feelings of anger and resentment went away but when we see the person again or think about them it comes boiling back up. Not forgiving someone boils underneath the surface, it never ever fully goes away it just sits there festering until it takes away our joy and it takes away our peace.
In a way isn’t that like we are locked up in a prison of our own making?
So could this parable mean that when we don’t forgive we are allowing ourselves be in our own prison right here right now until we choose to forgive?
This scripture doesn’t say we won’t get into Heaven or that God will be mean to us if we don’t forgive…what it says is ‘He turned him over to the jailers to be tortured’… So maybe #34 & 35 mean to us that by not forgiving we are allowing satan to torture us with these feelings we harbor of anger and resentment and that we will not have peace until we pay back what we owe which is forgiveness.
The forgiveness that we owe is the forgiveness that Jesus gave us on the cross. Jesus died for our sins while we were still sinners, so we need to die to our feelings of wanting to be paid back by others in what we think is rightfully ours, such as an apology, revenge or money.
God wants us to forgive others without expecting to receive anything at all back in return…forgive from our heart. When we forgive from our heart then we can fully let all the anger and resentment go. When we let all that stuff go then that is when we will experience true peace and the full gift of the forgiveness that God has given to us.
What are your thoughts on this parable ? Let me know what you think by leaving your comment in the section below.
Thanks for reading,