>Lean Not

>Why is it so hard for us to believe what God says? I think that we because of this world we live in we say with our mouth that we believe, we say with our mouth that God can do anything, but alot of times it’s just lip service. We don’t let Him bring the wholeness and healing that can only come from Him.

I have spent the last week mostly sad, sometimes angry at my current situation. What are we doing? Where are we going? When is God going to show us what to do? I want answers as quickly as the questions hit my frontal lobe. I am a right now kind of girl, God should know that, right? He created me and since it is my nature to be inpatient, He should respond in kind, shouldn’t He?

My problem is that I want to understand the hows and the whys of what is going on in my life and to be honest, there really are not answers to a lot of the whys and hows right now. God has shown clearly over the last year in my life that his timing is perfect, even though I don’t usually see it until I am well past the situation.

My friend and I were talking yesterday and some of our words were “I just want to know where to go” “I just want to know what to do” “I know that God has a plan but I wish I was in on it” God gave me a scripture this morning that flooded my heart with peace.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 says: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (King James Version)

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (The Message Version)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (New Living Translation)

See, God knows I don’t understand every circumstance in my life. He made me that way on purpose so that I can “lean not on myself”; there fore I will lean on Him. Do I think that bad situations and circumstances are put on us by God, not always.

Our live are alot like those mystery books I used to read as a kid. You know the ones with the options? You would read four or five pages and then at the bottom of the page it would say “If Timmy should enter the cave and chase the burglar go to page 47, If Timmy should turn around and find out where the cave ends go to page 63”. God has a plan and a path and and ending that He desires for our lives, but we make the decisions so sometimes it take much longer to get to page 63 than it should. Sometimes we want to explore the cave and thus we fall into a trap or a hole that then causes us to ‘lean’ on Him.

What would we pick in our books today. Would we go the long path and see the ‘sights’ and fall in the holes or would we run to the end to where God wants us to be? Honesty, I would go the long path because for me, in my life, that is how I grow. If God made me who he wanted to be, completely and wholly today, would I really value what He had done in my life? I would hope so but I do know that through the storms of this life, it has brought me to a leaning place where I know He is my strength and my rock and my salvation. So today, I am going to lean on God and learn that He is directing my path in His time on His terms.

Blessings,

Shelly

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>Rug Burn ~

>God is funny sometimes, He really must have a great sense of humor that I just don’t get sometimes. He lets us believe the fantasies we build for ourselves and just when we are feeling really confident about those; the rug is pulled. Today it is hard to be thankful for the rug burn.

Brad & I have felt so prayed for and so lifted up through this truly hurtful time in our lives that we have almost become ‘immune’ to the fact that we have been so emotionally hurt and violated and used. Yesterday brought that immunity to a crashing HALT. We went to visit a church in Nashville with some friends. The church had most of the boxes checked on what we want in a ‘new church home’.

Friendliness ~ Check
Non Judgemental ~ Check
Lively and Annointed Music ~ Check
Timely Message for our Hearts ~ Check
Close to Home ~ not so much check (it was an hour away)
People we know ~ Check
Strong Teen Ministry ~ Check

So what was wrong with the church, nothing, it was us. The message from Nehemiah 1:3 was like a bullet to the heart. It spoke directly to the hurt we have felt over the last 6 weeks and let us know that God knows where we are and that we are hurt and that he wants to heal our minds and our hearts. It talked about although the Isrealites had been released from the captivity of Egypt their minds and hearts were damaged and that caused them to be unable to repair the walls of the city or rebuild the gates.

It made me realize that we have just been in shock for the most part the last month or so. We have walked around with our hands and feet free but our minds and hearts are still hurt so much ~ and that is kinda crappy. In fact, it’s alot crappy. I think I have not let myself feel the anger of the betrayal very much because I was concentrating on helping others who were hurt. I have seen my husband bury his emotions because that is easier than facing our hurts. I know that God wants us to go THROUGH this and not pretend that we are living in this rosy world of “all is well” and “we are fine” because today, we are not. We are tired, we are sad, we are on the floor with ‘rug burn’ on our faces and on our knees and elbows and on our hearts.

As a victim of a “white collar crime” I am coming to the realization that the violations that we encountered feel alot like being abused as a child. You feel unsafe at every moment and you trust no one. Until this person was put into jail I did not feel safe. I had to check my email every five minutes and my website for my office just as often. I spent hours in my workday going over every electronic device i have checking for bugs and keyloggers. My business suffered from my lack of ‘really being at work’. Oh, I was here, but I was either talking to detectives, gathering evidence, copying files, not really working. I used to think that it was silly to worry when someone hacked your computer but until it happens to you, you have NO IDEA the magnitude it impacts your life.

As we take the steps toward healing, we get pulled back because the next arraingment or pre-trial hearing, or phone call reminds us where we are trying to move away from. Every phone call of, “hey what’s the news?” makes me more tired. A story told too often becomes a tale of woe and now we are just tired and with the trial still months away, I know that it wont stop anytime soon. So how do we do that, how do we heal and move ahead and still have to be bogged down from the past. I have had to bog others down that have been hurt by this same individual and have tried to move past as well. I have had to reach out to these folks because only they know the pain and the anger and the frustration that come with this kind of betrayal.

Please continue to pray for us as we go through this journey ~ because I am going to serve notice on anyone and anything that thinks that this will beat us, IT WON’T ~ because He who holds our broken hearts and our hurt minds knows He is walking with us and when we have a day like today and we are just ‘over it’ ~ He will see us through to another day and when the ‘rug burn’ is stinging He will help it scab over and soon we will forget we were flat on our face crying into the rug. We will pick each other up and brush each others knees off and wipe tears of each others face and turn and limp into another day because we are a team ~ teamdeason has seen some bad days and some good days and the good outweigh the bad.

I once had a friend who had a tattoo that said simply W>L ~ our wins are greater than our losses. Our blessings are more than our trials. Our love is more than the hurt we feel today. It is just a little rug burn.

>What if. . .

>What if things turn out the way we always want. . . . we could never appreciate it.
What if things always went wrong. . . . . We could never have hope
What if our dreams are just in front of us . . . . and we never took the steps.
What if life was passing us by. . . . and we were too busy to notice.

The what if’s have plagued me lately. What if I had noticed more? What if I had asked more questions? What if I had demanded to get to the bottom of things? What if I had not waited so long?

When my mind starts going there I have to turn to the word of the Lord. Proverbs 16:9 tells us “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” My plan was to grow a church, to reach a city for Jesus; I shut a blind eye to the destructive spirits that were surrounding me, making excuses because I was not soul searching each aspect of my life. So, I could not notice more until I prayed more. I didn’t pray more because I was comfortable. I didn’t ask questions because maybe I was starting to see the answers already ~ God had to put a burr in my boot so to speak. He had to make me uncomfortable, he had to make see start to see my surroundings for what they were. Then and only then, did I start talking seriously to God about the things that should have been a priority from the start.

I have to realize that God knows my heart and my mind and He had to get me to place of readiness. A place where I didn’t care if there was egg on my face and and a place where I would stand for what is right, no matter the cost. I told Brad just Saturday, we are rebuilding our lives, we based all of our friendships and activities around our best friends who we considered family. Now that we know the truth and have walked away, we had successfully made ourselves friendless. But we are okay with that, we are building a new circle of friends (some old ones we’ve renewed and some new altogether). But we had to be at a place where God got us ready for that. We all have a place of readiness and we all have a section of What if’s that run through our mind.

Brad taught an awesome lesson about Darkness and Light this past Sunday and this scripture really lifted my spirits:

Psalm 126:

1. When the Lord brought his exiles back to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!
2. We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
3. Yes the Lord has done amazing things fr us! What a joy!
4. Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renewed in the desert.
5.Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
6. They will weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

We have wept as we’ve began to plant a new life for ourselves but we know that joy is coming with the harvest. We have cried for the friends we have lost; but rejoice in the new ones to come. We have regret that things never could have been different, but we are excited about the future.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” Psalms 30:5

So for today, what if we lived like it was our last day and we approached each situation and each person as such? What if we loved unconditionally? What if we prayed without ceasing? What if we let the light of Christ shine through us? Those are the What if’s I am going to try and concentrate on today, how about you?

Joyfully,

Shelly