Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

The “Perfect” House

Well….here I am God, humbly coming before you and praying for this house I want to rent because it’s just “perfect” for what I need.  So, ok, it’s already got a washer/dryer and I love my washer/dryer, but I can part with those. There’s no fireplace, but that’s ok….maybe someday down the road. It’s an electric stove and I so prefer gas, but that’s ok.  The fridge doesn’t have a water and ice dispenser in the door, but…I know how to make ice cubes old school. These are just things I would like, not things I need to survive but otherwise this house will be perfect.

Next morning came and no paperwork from the man who promised he would send it via e-mail by now.  Had he sent it, I would have filled it out, sent it back and not bothered to look at any other homes I had scheduled for viewing.  So I went back out to look at the house I made an appointment to look at first thing this morning.  Not so good, smelled pretty funky, and on a busy road, but I suppose I could make it work.  I fill out the paperwork, a little disheartened, but knowing God will come through with what I need.  What’s that creeping into my thoughts??  Oh, yea, this might be the best I deserve given what I’ve done.  No, no, that’s not a godly thought at all, that’s the enemy.  But, I can’t quite shake that nasty little thought.  So before I head out to the afternoon appointments, I get quiet with God and I give up the idea of the “perfect” house I thought was the one for me, since, I still didn’t have the paperwork in my in-box.  I tell God that I’m ok with the “perfect” house not coming through and I’m ready to accept the house He has in mind for me and I thank Him for going before me and doing what He does best and that’s take care of me.  No matter the outcome I know it’ll be ok.

The phone rings and it’s about another house I had called on but I had called on so many, I was confused at which one it could be.  So I agree to see this house after the two I already have scheduled.  And hey, I think I may have just gotten a part-time job in talking with this guy.  Cool.  When he asked if I knew where the house was, I said I would just plug the address into my GPS when I was ready to head over.

The first two houses were ok, they both had their pros and cons but I knew they weren’t for me.  I tell the Realtor who was showing me the houses why I couldn’t buy just yet and that for sure I did not want to live on the South side again.  She promises to stay in touch and we will keep looking.

Plug the next address into Sadie (that’s my GPS) and I start to drive.  Hmmm….this would appear to be taking me to the South side.  Didn’t I just get done saying, I didn’t want to live on the South side?  I keep driving and on the way there, I see the public swimming pool I loved to go to growing up.  That is, until that time I was going up the ladder and those girls pulled my bikini bottoms down for my oh-so-white butt to be viewed by all.  I was mortified, I ran from the pool crying my heart out.  As I ran off, I heard them laughing and I hoped they weren’t planning on following me into the locker room.  Luckily, I got out of there without anymore trauma.

I get to my destination and wait for the guy to come show me the house.  I was early so as I sat waiting, I thought about that day at the pool and the other times those same girls bullied me.  I wondered what became of them and what made them think what they did was funny?  I wonder if they ever thought to consider what it was they put me through.  I wonder what made me their target.  I may never know the answers to that, but I knew for sure I didn’t want to drive past that pool every day.  Who wants to deal with that kind of crap?  I may not have wanted to deal with it, but God did.  He loves us so much, there is not one hurt you have that He doesn’t want to replace with goodness and love.

My thoughts were interrupted when the homeowner showed up.  We get out of our vehicles and we introduce ourselves and shake hands.  Then this man looks at me, leans back and starts repeating my name over and over again.  I’m thinking…”dude, what’s up with you?”  And he’s like Trish (I get it, you know my name), it’s me….Mark (name changed) and in an instant I know exactly who it is; we went to school most of our lives together, but we didn’t hang in the same crowds.  So we laugh, and we hug and the rest of the time I’m just shaking my head and he talked about the house and I’m pretty sure I heard most of it, but I was just too floored by what God had just done.

The house that I thought was “perfect” now paled in comparison to the house God had in store for me—totally redone inside and out.  New carpet, new flooring, a gas stove, a real-wood burning fireplace, a gas hook-up for my dryer, and a fridge with an ice maker and water dispenser in the door; just like the one I left behind in AK, minus the stainless steel exterior.  In one room the walls were painted purple…hello, new craft room. Did I mention the color of my current curtains in my craft room is purple?  God wink!!  It’s located on a quiet dead-end street with a nice big, back yard for Gabby gurl to romp around where we can play fetch.  Not one little detail did God miss; a brand new existing home, for a brand new existing woman beginning a new chapter in her life.  And as if that wasn’t enough, I got to reconnect with an old classmate, AND I got a part-time job.

Beauty from ashes my friends, and you can best believe this is yet another wound God is binding up and healing!!  God doesn’t want us to just survive in this world.  He put us here to thrive no matter our circumstances. Being thankful everyday and praising Him for everything is the only way to live. He is with us every step of the way; we need only open ourselves to what He wants for us.  Are you ready for what He wants to do for you?  Are you ready to have your life forever changed?  Don’t get me wrong, God didn’t promise every day would be without trials, only that He will use the bad for good.  When He works in our lives we give Him all the glory and spread the word by being witness to His faithfulness, grace, and mercy.  We need God and He created us to be dependent on Him so that we could experience the unconditional love He has for us and in turn, we can share it with one another.  Now, who wants to help me pack and move??  Anyone?

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Ditch Diving

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After living in Alaska for 20 years, I can say that driving on the ice covered, snowy roads could be extremely treacherous.  The Dept of Transportation did their best to keep up with snow removal but sometimes I think the slick plowed roads were worse than the snowy covered roads prior to plowing.  Worse still, were the slick covered roads piled atop with fresh snow.  All in all, it was time to slow down, be diligent and listen to the road.

In Anchorage, AK, the traditional stay at home “snow days” were rare.  No matter the road conditions, eventually you had to venture out and you had to be mentally equipped. It took a lot of concentration not just on what you were doing, but also in what everyone around you was doing.  Most winter days the designated lanes on the roads just didn’t exist.  You took whatever path you could follow that was marked out by vehicles before you and trusted that nothing would knock you off course.  Don’t get me started on the people who drove like there was no snow on the road…those speed demons.  You know them, you’ve seen them, you might even be them.  Don’t be them!!

If you weren’t respectful and vigilant of the conditions, it sure didn’t take much for the snow to pull you into the ditch or for a slick area to spin your vehicle out of control where you held onto to the wheel for dear life praying your vehicle didn’t flip,  or end up in the ditch.  Worse yet, you might collide into oncoming traffic or the vehicles beside you.  Chances were, if you spun out of control, someone was going with you.  So on those really bad days driving my son to school, I would turn the radio off and I would tell my son that mommy needed to “listen to the road.”

That’s a lot like life with God.  You have to trust that what He tells us is for our safety; our protection.  His Word is our road to life and our bodies are the vehicle in which He gives us to drive.  He knows the dangers life throws at us every single second of each day.  His Word equips us to go out into the world, maneuver on the roads of life and keep our “tires” on the path He wants us to follow.  Not because He wants us to suffer from the thing we shouldn’t do, but because He knows that if we swerve off course even a little from His commandments, that eventually, we are going to get hurt.

The enemy will take any opportunity he can get to grab onto our “tires” and pull us into a ditch.  He doesn’t care that we go into the ditch, that’s exactly where he wants us. Better still if we wind up spinning out of control and taking someone else with us. That’s bonus points to him.  He’s throwing his hands in the area saying “score!!”   I don’t know about you, but finding myself in the ditch on more than one occasion is enough for me to know, the ditch is not where I want me or anyone else.  The consequences are costly and not worth the price I’ve had to pay.  Ahh…therein lies the beauty of all the ditch diving I’ve done.  God was waiting for me with open arms ready to forgive and put me back on course.  I had to do my part, repent, hand over the wheel, and “listen to the Road.”  Now He’s doing His part, clearing the path and showing me the way home, which He’s been doing all along, but I was too busy being one of those speed demons!!  Don’t be them!!

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Dancing With Daddy

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Growing up, I can remember it was every little girl’s dream to be the apple of their daddy’s eye.  She wanted to dance as a little girl with her feet on top of daddy’s’, as he swirled her round and round as she giggled with squeals of joy.  At her sweet 16 party she would dance with her daddy first, and then her date as her daddy looked sternly over at the young man as if to say, “that’s my precious jewel” and “I’ll take you out if you hurt her.”  We would dream of the day we would get married and daddy would walk us down the aisle and shed a few tears as he handed her over to the man she would marry as he looked tenderly down at the daughter with pride and unconditional love as he lifted the veil from her face.  At the reception the traditional daddy-daughter dance would have all eyes watching and brimming with tears.  I’m sure a lot of girls had all or part of those dreams come true.

I, for one, was not one of those girls and it would take years to undo the damage of a societal and dream/fantasy filled mind ingrained by magazines, books, television shows, and movies.   When it came time for a decision to have children, I never wanted a little girl because I never wanted a little girl to experience the hurts of this world. To me, being a girl was hard, some days too hard.  Seemed like I had the whole world stacked against me and no matter the choices I made, my efforts were never good enough and no matter how hard I tried I could never garner the love and affection I craved.  The “prize” for me was a scarred heart with a fortress built around it.

In my grown-up girl world I would still see movies, or read books filled with lies about how daddy’s loved their little girls or by the end of the movie the relationship would be restored.  The last time I spoke with my father, he was drunk, and the conversation wasn’t pretty.  So after I heard enough I wrapped up the conversation by telling him the next time I saw him I would be dancing on his grave and then I hung up the phone.  As fate would have it, that was the last time I spoke with my father.  He died shortly thereafter and I can’t say as I grieved over it.  I was actually happy he couldn’t inflict his pain on others any longer.  There would be no restored relationship.

Now, that would all seem so very dark and depressing if that was the end of my happily never after. But this is just the beginning of my happily ever after.  I am not defined by the circumstances of my life.  The enemy cannot win by telling me I was not the cherished daughter I always wanted to be, unworthy of the love of my father, because that is a great big fat in your face lie.  My Abba Father, the Daddy of all daddy’s tells me I am adored, loved, redeemed, and renewed.  I’m precious, worthy, and chosen and I am His.  He thinks I’m all that and more.  He took my broken heart, bound up my wounds and sealed them with His love.

The unconditional love of our God is fathomless and once it gets inside you, you can’t help but see things through His eyes.  Love allowed me to reflect on the demons that haunted my earthly father and forgive him completely.  I can’t take back the last words I ever said to my father, no more so than he can take back the words he spoke, but in love and forgiveness I can press forward into the life God has planned for me.

Best part about this whole dance of life?  God gave me a whole world to dance on.  He’s been dancing with me since before I was born and He’s dancing with me now and I have no doubt about the dancing we’ll do when we’re face to face as He swirls me round and round and I giggle with squeals of joy.  I wonder if He’ll let me dance on His feet?

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