My Something is not Like Your Something

luke 15It all came caving in…

The tough exterior that she kept so well in place had cracked and before she realized what was happening she found herself broken and in a heap of anguish and tears. In one a moment of weakness she had allowed something that she thought she’d put behind her a long time ago to rear its ugly head and sneak back into her life once again.  That moment had now turned to weeks and suddenly it had all come to a head, she was a mess and the accuser was standing there taking full advantage of the situation and throwing lies at her.

How could she have allowed this to happen again?  She felt as if she had slide backwards years in only a matter of weeks and she felt numb, heartbroken and upset with herself.  She felt like such a failure and nothing as she knew it felt the same anymore.

As she set there trying to make sense of it all it suddenly occurred to her that she wasn’t alone anymore… She felt a presence…a presence of love and she could tell he was feeling her sadness along with her…She realized Jesus had joined her and he was calling out to her, telling her that everything was going to be okay. His voice was kind and loving, and began to drown out the voice of her accuser. He told her nothing was too big for him and that even when she was at her weakest he is still stronger than anything she could possibly encounter.  He told her that if she were to come to Him and lay her burden on His shoulders that He could take it all away.

So she did…She laid it all down.  She poured out her heart and she told him everything that was on her mind and no matter what she said he stayed right with her and he listened to every word.  And once it was all said and done he let her know that nothing had changed and that he still loved her just as much that day as he always had.


As I sit here typing these words on my blog, words copied from my journal, I still feel the power of God’s love in that moment as if it had happened today.  I am sure you guessed by now that the lady in that story was me. It still blows me away to know that no matter what kind of messes I have managed to get myself into in my life, God still thought that I was worth loving and worth saving.  A few Sunday’s ago my pastor talked in his sermon about how the shepherd will go after one lost sheep…

Luke 15:4-6  _ “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

As he was speaking I realized that there were many times in my life that I was that lost sheep and Jesus did not allow me to stay lost.  It’s sometimes hard to believe that he didn’t get angry at me and just let me stay lost … He could have, but he didn’t … Instead He came and he found me because he felt I was worth saving…. I could never have the right words to explain how that makes me feel…. Humbled… thankful… tears of joy…_____…_____.

As you are reading this today I would like to ask you….do you feel lost?  Do you feel as if you are so deep that you could possibly never be able to pull yourself out?  Just so you know you do not have pull yourself out alone.

There is someone who is ready and willing to come in and rescue you right in the middle of whatever you are in. Whether it’s a something of your own doing or maybe you are just caught up in the something’s of life in general.

We all have a something and my something may not look like your something, but what I do know from my own experience with Jesus is that he will and he can help you!  It doesn’t matter what your something is, nothing is too big for him and you are worth so very very much to him! I promise you if you trust him and give it to him he can take it, every single bit of it, no strings attached; and what you will receive is a full out, all-encompassing love, like nothing you can ever imagine.

This song below is written about a woman the Pharisees brought to Jesus who was caught in adultery (read John 8).

She was made to stand in front of the crowd, she was being shamed and scorned, about to be stoned, but Jesus told her accusers, “whoever of you is without sin cast the first stone.”  One by one her accusers began leaving until they were all gone.  In the end only the woman and Jesus were left standing. He then asked her   Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She answered, “no one” and then Jesus told her that he did not condemn her either.

I have read the passage before and often wondered, what was going through her head when Jesus stood up for her? What did she think at that moment, did she feel disbelief at what had just happened, shocked or amazed?? How loved she must have felt to know that she was good enough for Jesus…wow. He was the greatest of the greatest, the best of the best, sent by the father of all the world and now he was here to save her, she was worth so much, she was loved and now she was free!

Guess what?  We all can be free, we all can have those chains that bind us broken and removed.  God’s grace and love is here right now for every single one of us to have… All we have to do is give our ‘somethings’ to Jesus, ask him to help with what ever it is.  Whatever it is he can take it. He can take our burdens, away, he can heal where healing is needed and if it is a sin problem then he can take that too.  All you have to do is call on him. Tell him what your something is, ask for his help, ask for forgiveness if that is what is needed, then release it to him and move forward following his lead. He really truly cares about you and he loves you because you are worth so very much!

Have a blessed evening,

T

Sitting in the Window Seat

I have two jobs.

Job number one I am the secretary at my church and job number two I am a travel agent.  Since I just told you that I am a travel agent this next part may sound very strange to you….I am afraid to fly. Yep you read that right… I am a travel agent and I am afraid to fly.

But I fly anyway.

You may ask, “Why do I still choose to fly? ”

My answer is…I fly because I have chosen not to let fear consume my life and stop me from missing out on the good stuff. Dealing with the fear is always worth doing because what usually waits at the other side of the plane ride is usually something fun and exciting. I love to travel, I love seeing different places, experiencing different cultures and just going places that I have never been.  I am not sure how I could experience all that awesomeness without flying so I swallow my fear and make myself get on the plane.

Though I say I am afraid to fly my fear is not quite as bad as it used to be and I have actually come a long way.  Years ago I when I flew I would close my eyes the whole time the plane was taking off  and pretty much hid my face under my sweater (because everyone knows that hiding under a sweater will save your life if the plane crashes). Once the plane was at cruising altitude then I would just sit in my seat frozen in fear the whole time counting down the minutes until landing.

One time on a flight to the Dominican Republic the plane we were on hit an air pocket just as we were preparing to land and the plane felt as if it did some sort of free fall for miles with the captain seeming to lose control for what seemed like forever.  He finally got it under control but then it happened again! It was nighttime and did I mention we were about to land??! I thought we were going to smash into the ground any second… but we didn’t.

Also to top that off during that week while we were in the Dominican Republic it also happened to be the week that a plane in New Your City hit a flock of geese and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed the plane into the Hudson River (story here), so the whole time we were in the DR every time I turned the TV on I would see news coverage about the plane and by time we went home I was petrified to fly home and just knew we were going to hit a flock of geese on take off.  I got on the plane anyway and we made it home safely as you have probably figured out by now, because if we hadn’t you would not be reading this story

I have flown many many times since then all of them without incident but I am still fearful of flying. I have come to the point that I still don’t like taking off a whole lot but once the plane is up I am okay. . A friend once told me to try to imagine when I am in a plane that I am just sitting in a room.  That theory seems to work pretty well as long as we don’t hit any turbulence… most rooms I have been in do not move unless there is an earth tremor or…..unless they are in the air at 37,000 feet!

This past week my husband and I went to Mexico.  On our way home the plane wasn’t full so my husband and I ended up with a whole row of seats to ourselves.  One thing I never do on a plane is sit in a window seat because I just can’t bear to sit so close to the edge of the plane (Ya I know… you just rolled your eyes 😀 )  About halfway through the flight my husband got up to go in the bathroom and I am not sure why I decided to do this, but I bravely moved over into the window seat while he was gone.

I only planned to sit there for just a minute but then I glimpsed out the window and I noticed how the clouds seemed to be flat, almost like a fluffy white blanket and we seemed to be gliding along on top of it.

I got out my camera and took a picture.20150629_140353 (1)

And then another20150629_140246

And another20150629_140259

I am not sure when it happened but somehow I became lost in the beauty outside the plane and I completely forgot that I am scared to fly AND…I stayed in the window seat for the rest of the flight!  There was something about seeing the world from up in the air that just left me in awe of just how great God is.

I mean like how wow is it that the sky and earth just seem to go on forever and ever. 20150629_142435

The different configurations of clouds 20150629_143015

The way the land goes on and on with ever changing landscapes. 20150629_145709

It’s just so magnificent the way the clouds are puffier above them then below them.20150629_145219

Something about what I saw from the window of the plane felt so freeing.

I had already had a weekend of soul searching and this flight home was like the icing on the cake. It was like God was speaking to me and saying, “why do you continually worry and try to control things? Why do you continue to let scars from the past reopen? Those old things can not hurt you anymore. You have got to move forward and quit looking backwards!

Sitting there on that airplane looking out over that huge world made me feel so small and it felt like I was just sitting there perched in the palm of God’s hand looking out over the edge. It was as if I was looking out over something so much bigger than I ever could begin to imagine.

If God is big enough to have this huge huge world under control why would I not think that he had my teeny tiny life under control?

“Look out the window! I have all of this under control!”20150629_150713 20150629_150928 20150629_150750 20150629_150935 20150629_151016

I even stayed in the window seat and watched all the way through the landing! Wow! God always amazes me!

I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
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 41:9-10

Peace in Your Strength

isaiah 41;10Most of my life I have had panic attacks.  When I have a panic attack most of the time they come out of nowhere and most of the time they seem to be about nothing. At times they can be so strong they cause me to lose a grip on the reality that I am having a fear about nothing.  When a panic attack starts usually at first I will feel an overwhelming sense of doom, and then the fear will start to come in really fast eventually overwhelming me. Over the years I have learned how talk myself out of having a full blown panic attack. After Jesus came into my life they seemed to not be as severe anymore though I did still have them from time to time.

They came back pretty strong again when I woke up one morning almost 4 years ago with a bright glow in my eye due to a blood clot in my eye (story here). As I went through my eye issues over the next few years at first I spent a lot of the time in panic. Gradually over time God started really showing me how he was there with me during those times and eventually I noticed I did not have many panic attacks anymore and if I did they were very short lived.

Today I was driving my car and suddenly I noticed bright glow in my left eye…you know how when you look at the sun and then look away, how for several minutes you will see a glowing spot in your eyes??  What I saw looked like that.  Because that glow is what I saw the morning I woke up with the blood clot in my eye now sometimes a glare off the sun or a light bulb will send me into panic.  I know that sounds silly but that is how my mind works.  So as I was driving down the road today I must have been looking at something that caused the glow to happen. The minute I noticed it panic started to grip hold of me. But suddenly the words “Jesus please take this” came out of my mouth and then I began to thank him for all he has done for me.  Within a matter of second’s peace replaced the fear.

It took me a few minutes before I realized what had just happened.  I remember a time I would go and cower in fear at the first inkling of panic with it eventually turning into a full blown panic attack.  I realized today that I didn’t do that, I realized that somewhere along the line I have learned how to face my fear with strength in knowing God has it under control.  Wow it was so cool to realize that I now take security in the fact that panic does not own me because I chose to let go of it.

Over the years I have found out that a lot of people don’t understand my panic attacks and to some people a fear of nothing seems silly.  But to me the fear I feel in a panic attack is very real and is something way bigger than I can deal with.  I now know that the fear was never mine to deal with in the first place.

When God created us he did not give us fear instead he gave us strength. He gave us the strength that can only come from him.  All we have to do is call on him, trust in the fact that he is bigger than our fear.  Once we believe and trust him we can relax and live in his peace.

Dear Jesus
Thank you for the peace that you just gave me. I know that if not for you sometimes panic would overtake me. Thank you for giving me security in knowing that when I call out your name you will grab onto my hand and lead me back to peace. I trust you and I know you are faithful. I know that nothing here on this earth can separate me from the peace that I have in you. When anxiety and panic sneak in and try to grip me I know where to turn to find peace. When I turn to you, your peace wafts over me, and takes away my fear. Thank you for loving me and surrounding me with you power.
Love,
T

31days

#write31days

Falling Off the Mountain and Landing at the Top

Sometimes life hurts

No matter how good things are going sometimes things just happen to ruin a good day.

Things are going great then out of nowhere something or someone blindsides you.

Today I was having a great day and then out of nowhere something happened that just blew me right off my mountaintop.

Within a matter of a few minutes it seemed as if everything around me was spinning out of control and it just kept getting worse and worse. I tried to make it stop but it was out of my hands. One minute I was flying high and the next I was tumbling down the side of the mountain as the valley below seemed to open up and suck me in until I couldn’t breathe.

I needed air.

I had to get away from the situation.

I ran out of my house and got in my car and just drove….

I had no where to go but just kept driving, trying to catch my breath and figure out what had just happened.  Every way I looked at the situation none of it made sense.

It just hurt.

I hurt so bad I wanted to just drive…

Drive away as far as I could go…

Drive and drive.

How could this happen?

I asked God why?

I told him I didn’t know what to do.

I asked him for help.

God I know you are here!  Please show me you are here, show me you have this under control!

And then I saw it

This….

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You know it was not that long ago I would not have seen this as clearly as I saw it today.  Less than a month ago God gave me a miracle, one that I will never forget.  He gave me the gift of my perfect eyesight.  Something I have not had for a long time. Something I would never have been thankful for until I lost part of it and received it back.  In the midst of the storm God reminded me of that.  He reminded me He is big and though things right now may seem out of control he still has everything under control.

As I write this I am back at home again.  After seeing the rainbow light in the clouds I pulled over for a while and hung out with God as the sun set.  I still feel sad about the bad stuff that happened today, but I do feel comforted by the fact that right in the middle of something so dark God’s light was still shining bright and I know that know matter how this all turns out I will be alright.

4 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.  ~ Psalm 23:4-6

 

Disaster’s Pass

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Retina scan September 3, 2014 – Vitreous gel pulling on my retina stretching it into a cone shape.

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 😀  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

healed

Retina, scan September 17, 2014 – Vitreous gel released, retina back to normal.

Leaving Panic Behind Under Palapa #39

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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,

Lovers kissing,

A man selling his wares as plane flies over,

Jet skiers,

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?.. 😀  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.

20140829_12495820140828_11240820140828_111243 (1)birds

meeeMy 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,

T

I Still See

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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.

20140829_124958Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico