Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

You Can’t Out Maneuver God

Has anyone ever told you not to pray for patience because God will give you situations that will require…well, patience? This is me, raising my hand. Is that truth? I can’t really answer that for you, but I have seen a few instances in my own life where it seemed true. Just put me in a car and you’re sure to find out! Ha!

I’m a retired military gal. Being a strategist was part of the job. 

Lately I find myself praying strategically. I’m in the middle of a heartfelt prayer but then I step on my mental brakes and really think about what I’m asking. It’s like pulling back on a horse’s reins and repeatedly saying, whoa, whoa, whoaaaaa, now!

You’d think this would be a good thing, but truth be told, after I ask the Lord to (fill in the blank) I start playing out all the scenarios of how He might answer. Pretty soon, the praying stops, and I find myself in a panic and I try to rewind what I prayed. Do I really want my loved ones to know Jesus at ANY cost? What if God hurts them? What if He makes me sick? What if He takes everything from them like in the book of Job? And the list goes on and on.

Next thing I know I’m wading through my worry pool.

Lord, help me. When did I become even remotely like God in knowing how He’s going to do anything?

Control is something that gives me comfort.  Even though I know at any given moment my illusion of control can be obliterated, I still try to hold onto it.

Janet Jackson’s biography recently aired on tv. Can I just say how much I loved her style, her music, and envied her beauty?! What an icon!

Her song, “Control” was off the hook back in the day when it came on the scene in 1986. Okay, I may have just showed my age a bit. Do people still say “off the hook?”

The words to that song became an anthem to many who were tired of being controlled. Like Janet, we all wanted to be the one “in control.”

During the documentary I learned she dated and eventually married a man who seemed to film her every moment and “controlled” a lot of what she did. It was exactly the opposite lifestyle of her song. Side note. Since I wasn’t there I only gathered this snippet of information from her documentary. I’m in no way putting this phenomenal woman down.

My point is, it’s not so easy to be the one in control because there’s always someone who wants to be more in control. Take a look at the current world situations and you can see exactly what I mean. One power play after another. It’s exhausting to be part of someone else’s power trip.

It’s like when I pray. I know God is omniscient. I know He’s truly the only One in control but I don’t always act like it. I don’t want things to get uncomfortable for people. Yet, I desperately want them to know Jesus. So, I try to out maneuver how I think He’s going to move. That worked out really well for Pharaoh, right?

I don’t know anyone’s full story or relationship status with Jesus, but somehow I feel it’s my duty to tell God how to do what only He knows best to do.

Thankfully, God knows my heart. He knows where my misguided love of control comes from and we’re working on it. He’s so patient, loving, and kind as I learn to release my whole heart to Him.

When I start to panic over something I prayed and think I’m controlling any of the way He answers it, He reminds me who I am by showing me who He is.

I don’t know when in this journey with God I became fearful of Him in all the wrong ways. I do know it’s changed the dynamic of our relationship. It’s not because He’s changed, it’s because I allowed fear to creep in between us and build a wall.

Once again I found myself more comfortable being the one “in control.” Except it didn’t bring me peace. It brought anxiety, fear, and doubt. Every time I made a move I questioned it. I fretted over being in God’s will. I sought the things of this world over the One who has ALL authority over this fallen world.

Maybe like me, fear took a hold of some part of your being and it’s pushing you around and trying to back you into a corner. It’s ok. God knows exactly where you’re at and He’s still with you. He’s still for you. How do I know? Let me share one of my favorite heart verses from Him:

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

I call it a heart verse because it speaks directly to my heart and makes my eyes well up with emotionally charged tears.

God will never force us to trust and obey Him. He graciously gives us a choice. Personally speaking I’m learning more and more that trusting God’s plan for me and anyone else is the very best plan of all. And that my friends, will give you peace!

Have an amazing day! You are loved!

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Internal Bleeding

I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy yesterday.  It was an older episode and since I’m no doctor or any other type of medical professional, I have no clue how medically correct it is.  I just really like the show.  In this episode, there had been a train wreck.  A woman was in the ER, but not as a patient, though she had been a part of the accident.

She was walking around the ER, talking on her cell phone, yipping at the doctors; she appeared perfectly fine…on the outside. But inside was another story…though outwardly she had no symptoms, or obvious signs she was hurt, inwardly she was bleeding to death. One minute she was “fine,” the next, falling to the floor…dead.  Though the ER docs attempted to resuscitate her, she was gone.  The internal bleeding had been happening for hours and she bled to death.

I remember the first time I put make-up on.  I stole my mom’s Cover Girl foundation and a handful of other make-up items.  I went in the school’s bathroom and pulled out the make-up, all kinds of excited to be a cover girl. I shook the bottle of foundation, unscrewed the lid, and swiped the liquid lovely all over my face having no clue how to really apply it. Didn’t matter, I knew when I was done, I was going to be cover girl pretty that day.

My plan was to remove the make-up before I was caught wearing it by my parents.  My plan failed.  Not only did I get caught and berated severely by my father, I also got a good moccasin butt beating. If you’ve ever been beaten with a leather soled moccasin, then you know when I say, I wore the imprint of that moccasin on my behind for weeks, it’s a true story.

Sometimes discipline can have the opposite effect. I was more determined than ever to wear make-up.  I liked the way it made me feel pretty.  I liked being part of the girls who wore make-up “club.”  Who were my parents to keep me from feeling pretty?  Clearly, they didn’t understand the pressure I was facing by not being allowed to wear make-up.    I wanted to feel pretty and make-up was just the palette of color I needed to do the job! Putting “my face” on, became my art. Who needed super powers, when you could wear make-up?!

Years later, I was running late for work.  My boots looked horrible.  Dull, no shine and dull boots in the military was a bad thing back in the 80s.  Boots shined, I ran out of the house to work neglecting to put “my face” on.   I didn’t wear a lot of make-up, so really, who would care if “my face” was left behind?  Apparently, my co-worker cared because he said, “what’s different about you?”  I explained I was running late and had to shine my boots so I didn’t have time to put my make-up on.  Simple truth.  He replied, “next time, put your make-up on.”  Ouch! I had become a walking banner for make-up–“don’t leave home without it.”   American Express touted that motto for their credit card…I applied it to my make-up since I didn’t have an American Express card.

More years later, still in the military, in a new state and career field, for whatever reason, I had become allergic to something and when I went to the doctor, his prescription to my itchy eyes and red eye lids was no make-up for 2 weeks.  Excuse me? What? Flashback–“next time, put your make-up on.”  This doctor was asking me to put my hideous, naked face out into the world for all to see!

Do you see what happened? My co-worker back in the day never said I looked hideous, but I internalized it, added it to the wounds he never saw, and now, in my  mind, I was a walking mutation of a human being who without make-up was less of a person.  Words matter my friends!

The next day leaving for work, playing in my head over and over again was, “next time, put your make-up on.”  Instead, I put my shield up and prepared for the worst.  No one could hurt me anymore than I was already hurting.  No way was anyone going to see how vulnerable I felt.  So, shields up, I was mentally prepared for snide remarks.  To be honest, I was the one who brought it up.  I was the one who pointed out the obvious before anyone else could.  Weird way of protecting myself, by being my own worst enemy, but it worked and things went pretty well that first week.  Whew!!

The next week, I was getting somewhat used to the no make-up thing and so I let my guard down a bit.  One more week…I can do this.  And then it happened…a co-worker said, “how much longer before you can put your make-up on?”  I explained I had a week left.  He said, “thank God.”  And not in the get on your knees and thank the good Lord way.

I didn’t wait the week out, I put “my face” on the very next day.  I let make-up and snarky comments define me.  I let them define my comings and goings.  Everything revolved around “my face” being on.  Make-up had become a chain in my life. I trace it back to the day those many years ago, I first put make-up on.  The day after a boy at school told me I had a better mustache than he did.  Ouch!  Already wounded by a dysfunctional home life, this is the moment, “my face,” became victim to internal bleeding.

Make-up can cover up flaws on the outside.  But no amount of make-up will fix the wounds on the inside.  Just like the train wreck victim who appeared fine on the outside, no one knew the internal battle she was facing inside.  She was dying on the inside for hours.  What you say, can leave a person dying or dead on the inside for years.

I’ll say it again.  Words matter.  “Words kill, words give life; they either poison, or fruit–you choose”~~Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

It’s funny how God will drop something into your brain so He can get closer to you.  You just never know when He’s going to use something and then in your quiet time with Him reveal things you locked up.

And then He shows you things that hurt you. Things that separate you from the love He wants to give you.  You realize once again how amazing He is and after the tears flow,  you give the hurts, and the snarky comments to Him.  Forgiveness begins and now He can bind up those wounds from the inside out.

The things the enemy tried to use against you are now weapons to help someone else.  I don’t know who this is for…but if you’re reading this…know that Jesus loves you and He’s pursuing you and He’s waiting for you.

 

 

 

 

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