The Journey is…just one of THOSE days!

I heard this song last night & it reminded me of this blog I began around Thanksgiving Day, but never finished.  I came home & finished it last night & I would like to share it today, on this Thankful Thursday:

Have you ever had one of THOSE days!?!  In this case…it’s one of those days where you KNOW God is working in your life.  He directs your steps & YOU really can hear from God!

Well…yesterday was “just one of THOSE days”. 🙂

I am so thankful & would like to share it with you.

I was listening to the radio after dropping the girls off at school & had the thought…”You should put one of those praise & worship CD’s in that Matt made you a long time ago.”  I really didn’t want to, but when the thought didn’t go away I decided to anyway.  I just reached in the console & pulled out a random CD & popped it in.  It only had 3 songs on it, but two of them were some of my favorites!  “Your Love is Unconditional” & “When I Think about the Lord”, both by Christ for the Nations.  When the second song played it just got stuck in my spirit.  I played it the rest of the way home.  In fact, I played it ALL DAY long!  When Emily got home from school I was still playing it, and kept saying “I’m just going to play it one more time”.  She caught me later STILL playing it, BUT I had turned it down very low so not to annoy her.  This is the song:

That evening we had a special Thanksgiving service at church.  Of course I snuck my song in a few more times on the drive there.  Emily just smiled & shook her head at me.  As praise & worship began the words to the song flashed on the screen at the front of the sanctuary.  Emily said, “Oh my goodness…I think I just saw the words to your song!”  I laughed and said, “I doubt it!”  Well…it WAS!  Not only that, after we sang it once…they decided to sing it AGAIN!!!

That is all I had written.  Here is the rest of the story:

Being a special Thanksgiving service, the rest of the evening was spent with people sharing what they were Thankful for.  As each person took their turn, it quickly turned into an evening of people sharing their personal testimony, of how the Lord did just what the words of the song stated.  “How He picked me up and turned me around How He placed my feet, on solid ground…”

WOW.  It was a beautiful time of remembering the faithfulness of God to each of us.  There were stories of VICTORY over alcoholism, abuse, lack, job situations, expectations of others, great loss…many things we didn’t know about each other.  Different situations, same devil.  Same feelings of utter hopelesness.  Same God who restores(just as if I’d never missed it), fills us(with His presence, peace, love), heals us(to the uttermost…even better than our own dreams for our lives)!  It was a blessing to us to reflect, and in turn gave hope to those currently in those situations who thought they were alone in their struggles.

Then there was that couple who’s testimony I’ll never forget.  I should have written my thoughts that night, but this is the best I can remember.

The wife:

She was thankful to be part of a crying church.  A place where it is common to see people cry.  In some places of worship, people might think there is something terribly wrong.  At our church, it most likely means the Lord is really working & blessing you.  She said there was a time about 8 years ago when all she could do was come to church & cry.  Not because she felt the presence of the Lord…but just because that’s where she was in life.  AND SHE WAS THE YOUTH PASTOR’S WIFE!  It truly was a “sacrifice of praise”.  To make herself utter the words of praise, when all her senses told her not to.  She thought it was pointless….a feeling of hopelesness.

She was thankful that the Lord loved her & as she allowed Him to…in his sometimes unusual & creative ways…the Lord was faithful to wake her up & bring her out of the darkness.  All these years later, as she stood in the back of the church the last week…doing a job she DOESN’T LIKE, but KNOWS it’s importance(greeting people as they come in the door)…she was able to witness a beautiful sight.  Her church family praising the Lord from the heart…each in their own way.

As she stood there, she realized the Lord had replaced the heaviness with HIS joy & she was able to enter into praise with a happy heart.  Her point?  Keep doing what God is telling you, what you know is right, even when you don’t feel it.  You do your part, God does the rest.  He is faithful.

The husband:

There was a time when he had experienced great loss.  Some from his own poor choices, some from things beyond his control.  The whole time he was serving the Lord & doing what He thought the Lord was leading him to do.  He felt that he had let his wife, kids & GOD down.  The devil tried to tell him he was a failure & just to end it all…that everyone would be better off without him.

God sent a missionary to his church, who simply said something like this(the Julia translation), “You are God’s son, He loves you & there is nothing you have to DO to be well pleasing to him.  You please him, just because you are his kid.”  The husband’s message that night was, “Don’t quit.  Don’t listen to the lies from the devil.  What does God’s Word say about you & your situation?  That can be the only standard for your life.  God says you are a winner!”  He went on to say, that as he continued to follow God, the Lord has & is restoring what the devil stole.  While it wasn’t/isn’t always easy or fun…You do your part, God does the rest.  He is faithful.

Of course, I’ll never forget that couples testimony, because it was mine & Matt’s.

Many times in life the devil would have us to believe it’s the end & leave us in utter hopelesness.  I marvel at the extreme measures the Lord goes through to help us all, His children.  I am so thankful for the people, places & events that He puts in our paths to encourage us in our journey…but that’s a whole other blog!

The devil is a liar, pants on fire….

GOD IS FAITHFUL!  There’s so much more!  God always has a “NEXT” for you. 

Don’t forget it!

….and I’m thankful that I had “Just one of THOSE days!”  I love it when God does things like that, don’t you?

From my heart, filled with love & thankfulness….

~Julia

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20-21



“When I think about the Lord, How He saved me, How He raised me

How He filled me, With the Holy Ghost How He healed me, to the utter most

When I think about the Lord,

How He picked me up and turned me around

How He placed my feet, on solid ground

It makes me wanna shout Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus

Lord You’re worthy Of all the Glory, and all the Honor And all the praise”

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The Journey is….Healing.

THANKFUL THURSDAY

I’m thankful that

When we acknowledge pain,

present it to the Lord….

& do what He says.

                                                                                       -HEALING FOR ALL BEGINS.

                                                                                    (to be continued…)

The Journey is….pain.

PAIN IS NOT THE ENEMY

They call me “weird”, but I don’t care.

Today, Grace asked me to hold her….so I did.

I gathered her in my lap & wrapped my arms around her…even closing my eyes & breathing in the moment.  What does this feel like, what does it smell like…how do I feel at this exact moment.  I would say that I am trying to mentally take a photograph of the moment to cherish.

Later, Jessica said, “Hey mom, want to come see my powerpoint presentation?”  I was busy, but I stopped because…I really DID want to take 5 minutes of time to enjoy her presentation.  That moment brought me great joy.

It seems I do that a lot lately.  Making my family stop…pause…savoring the moment.  They say, “You’re weird”, and we laugh…but I do it anyway.

After my Butterfly Lesson (where I realized the way I dealt with all pain in my life was by ignoring it), I now see pain everywhere I go.  If interested, you can read some of my observations about pain by clicking  here.

It’s similar to buying a new vehicle.  After it’s purchase, you suddenly notice that many people own the same car.  A fact that had eluded you before.

I’m not IN pain.  I’m just aware of it more.

It seems the more that I am aware of pain…the more I am able to appreciate JOY.

A fellow blogger, Grief: One Woman\’s Perspective ~ Perceptions on life after the death of a child, & I were discussing this somewhat the other day. I don’t think she would mind me sharing her words.  This was her comment on my blog about \”Olivia\”:

“Ohmigosh! My heart just breaks for this little girl…and for the way I see some parents treat their kids. I just want to get in their faces and say, “Don’t you know what a precious gift you have?”

My husband was in a store one time when he overheard a little boy ask his dad if he could have a toy. The dad responded, “I don’t think you’re even worth it.” My husband stopped, bent down, and said to the little boy, “You ARE worth it!! I think you are very worth it.”

I can’t help but think…There HAS to be another way to cherish the simple joys of life, all the many things we have been blessed with…all the moments we have to be thankful for, the people we love the most!  Surely accepting pain, is not the path to true thankfulness!  But for me, in my own life…that seems to be the reality.

What do you think?   I’m not sure how I feel about this yet.

So, for now…if you see me at my favorite park, just sitting there in the wind with my eyes closed.

…or…

You give me a hug…and I don’t let go right away.

I’m just taking a picture.

Savoring the moment.

Being thankful.

and

weird.

*Disclaimer:  I DO believe that pain is the enemy if it takes over our lives.  I do believe that the devil would like nothing more than for us to sit in sorrow & die.  My own experience is, that the Lord takes us & walks us through the pain.  He finds a way to miraculously do “surgery” on us, taking the “sting” away.  During that process…just keep moving forward!  Keep breathing.  Keep doing the right thing despite your feelings.  You can trust that the Lord is leading you to Victory!

10-24-11

Before sharing this blog with you all, I asked my dad what he thought about it.  He said that he thought I was wise, & that I should share it.  Here is part of our conversation that followed:

Thanks daddy…but what do you think about the concept that acknowledging pain is the path to true thankfulness.  It seems the more pain I see…the more grateful I am…TRULY GRATEFUL & thankful for my blessings.  I just think there HAS TO BE be another way to feel thankful than through pain.

To which he answered:

The short answer is, no there is not.  Its only through pain that we really know joy and thankfulness.  We never understand our blessings, until we have the pain to weight them against.  How can you know sweet, unless you know bitter?  In our modern culture, people do everything they can to avoid or deny pain, which is precisely why they are so unappreciative of the blessings their lives are filled with.  Its pain that tears away our illusions and allows us to see Life clearly.  One of the things we discover in the process is that we are not the center of the universe.  That sole discovery opens the gates of our eyes and soul to begin to understand the marvelous wonders and blessing Father has surrounded us with.  It may sound odd, but it is the presence of pain (of all types and most of it bittersweet) that keeps our eyes and soul open.  It is the pain in our lives that allows us to have the freedom to laugh and enjoy our lives.

I think he’s pretty wise himself 🙂

So what do you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Pain

Some of the pain that I have observed:

~Having a few minutes to myself at Books-a-Million, I was excited to thumb through a book showcasing the iconic photographs taken throughout history, I imagined it would be so interesting.  The reality is, the book was filled with sadness.  One image in particular is branded in my brain…of holocaust victims on the day they were forced to leave their homes.  The street was filled with women & children with their hands raised.  The fear on their faces was evident….one child in particular will forever be a part of my thoughts.

~Stumbling on a web site that is filled with angry people.  Angry adults, who were adopted, & treated with such injustice.  Seeking to vent & find answers to “WHY?”  Why were they unlovable, why weren’t they wanted, and why do they even care so much….

~A fellow blogger Grief: One Woman\’s Perspective ~ Perceptions on life after the death of a child, who’s son was senselessly murdered at the hands of a drunk driver.

~Friends…with struggles of their  own….seeking answers.

This is something I shared with a fellow blogger the other day, I believe it would be appropriate to insert here:

WHY?  Sometimes the only available answer is…because.

If allowed to, the Lord will help bring peace to your spirit when there is no viable answer.

I believe the Lord does have a plan & often people choose not to follow it.  I believe the devil has a plan also….to steal, kill & destroy.  I believe that when things happen that will never make sense…the Lord is still able to put the pieces of our life together & turn it into something beautiful.