When things don’t seem to go as they should

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A little song for you as you read:

As we are approaching Good Friday (the day Jesus was crucified on the cross) and Easter (his resurrection), I am astounded by what the actual story looks like to me at this point in my life.

It’s funny how we filter stories in the bible with our own life experiences. We see them in different and new lenses as our lives shift and change.  I don’t think is actually a bad thing, as long as we keep the truth in front of us.

When Jesus was taken to the cross, his 12 disciples scattered.  One had already betrayed him in the garden of Gethsemane, and the rest ran in fear for their lives.  Jesus was mistreated, given a sham trial with fake witnesses in the night and the Roman officials couldn’t even find any real charges against him.  Pontious Pilate even tried to release him back to the Jews and they would not have it.  Jesus was betrayed and crucified by his own people.  The very men and teachers who walked around saying they loved God and were the most holy were the ones to nail him to the cross.  Well that’s lame.  Religious people for the win.  Nope.

Jesus was beaten and mocked with a crown of thorns.  He was forced after all that, to carry his cross to the hill called, Golgotha to die.  Placed between two criminals, he was then pierced for our transgressions.  With his mother present, and a handful of those he loved, he let out his last breath.  As a mom, I can’t even begin to think what Mary must have felt, but that’s a post for another time.  Here’s a link to the whole story, the bible version of course.

In all this chaos, injustice and pain, it seems as though the devil has won, and good has lost the battle. It must have appeared that way to anyone who loved and cared for Jesus, his ministry or even just had a hope that God was really walking among them.

Their Christ was dead.

Their hope was gone.

And they were alone.

Alone to cry in their grief, with no Jesus to comfort them, to guide them, to speak truth to them the way he had over the last three years.  As they wrapped his pierced body I’m sure they covered it with tears, feeling like all they had believed in, must have been a lie.  How could it have turned out like this?  In death?  Such disillusionment they must have felt.  How was any of this God’s will?  What kind of God would send his son, just to die?  How is this a Kings burial?

How they must have questioned, yelled, cried and cursed.  It all looked lost and hopeless.

And then, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead.

There was a bigger plan all along.

He showed up to his disciples, he showed up to the women who had loved and followed him. Many saw him after his resurrection.  He then sent his Holy Spirit to guide and direct those who believed in him.  They became alive as well.

All of this.  What a tragic, gut wrenching, soul ripping story.

And I think, when has a similar thread played out in my own life?  When have I had hopes that didn’t turn out the way I’d believed they would?  When did I doubt God’s goodness and his love because things weren’t going my way?  When did I doubt that God was really at the wheel of this ship steering it in a good direction?

There are things in my own life right now that don’t make sense.  Nothing close to the story of Christ’s death and how hopeless it must have looked, but in seeing this thread, I am reminded that even when things look like chaos, look like the enemy has won, look like God has turned his back and walked away, He hasn’t.

He just has a better story.

I believe there’s a resurrection of life somewhere in my story and I just haven’t reached that chapter yet.

The truth about the enemy is that he comes to steal, kill and destroy.

The truth about God is that he breaths life and hope into everything he touches.

Every time Jesus is put into a situation, wether it be a dying marriage, a damaged friendship, a rebellious child – he brings hope and life.  Just try it.  I promise it freaken’ works.  You just say, “Jesus, I’m not even sure I know you’re good, I’m not even positive your real or loving or anything that you say you are, but if you are indeed real, would you come into this situation and bring life that I might see that you are real?”  It may be slow and grow like a tree from winter to spring, but it always begins with a promise of hope, and always ends in life.  If you invite him into any part of your life, you will most certainly see it change for the better.

He is King of resurrecting the very things that sin has killed.

It’s like his deal.

And so I look at some of the situations in my own life, where I had a set of expectations, a list of words strung together as prayers that I believe God heard, and yet even though something different has occurred, I can’t help but think the battle is not over.  That there’s something else, something better than what I could see coming around the corner.

I’m sure the disciples plan for Jesus was not the cross.  I don’t doubt it.  Anyone who’d spent five seconds with Christ and knew him would never dare to imagine he would or could be crucified. And yet, that was God’s redemptive plan.

His plan to save us.

What is it in your life that God wants to resurrect?

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As always, thanks for reading.

our baby’s in heaven

IMG_4538A while back, I felt like I should take a break from writing.  We had a lot going on with birthdays, vacations and the end of the school year.  I felt the Lord whisper to, “take a break and just rest”.  Funny, a week after I decided to listen, we found out we were pregnant… with our fourth.  We were excited and a bit overwhelmed at the idea of four kids, but mostly just stoked.  I was really wanting another baby… and so was Davin.

These last few months have been gloriously free from most social media, blogging and all the “writing thoughts” that go on in my mind during the day.  I took a step back from all that I was engaged in and just rested with my family.  I played with my family, took naps and ate snacks.  Not much to worry about except what I should eat.  Pregnant ladies get really, really hungry… all day long.  It’s a serious business, that eating.

A week ago, we discovered that our baby had gone to heaven… with… out… our permission.  He or she most likely went to heaven around nine and a half weeks, because that’s what the ultra sound showed the growth rate at the day before our miscarriage, information we didn’t have until the following day.  I was fortunate enough to have a natural miscarriage, without any medical procedures.  Since we had never experienced one, and still didn’t have the news from our doctor that the baby had stopped growing, we at first were still hopeful that maybe the baby was okay even with the spotting, since it can be normal in pregnancy.  (Warning: the rest of this paragraph may be TMI for you… warning… warning!)  By 2:30 am when my water broke, we were pretty sure things weren’t okay.  By 4:30 am, after much bleeding and contractions we knew I was miscarrying our baby.  By 8:30 that morning, my contractions stopped, and the bleeding subsided, our baby was in heaven.

We cried when it was happening.  We cried when we realized our hopes for our little Dude or Lady in January were crashed.  We cried to think of the sweet child that we would never get to know on earth.  We cried just thinking about telling our kids that the baby they loved in Mommy’s tummy was in heaven.

It was sad.  But you know what else?  It was inexplicably covered in peace.  Literally just how the scripture that says in Philippians 4:7,  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  A peace really did come over us and that transcended ALL understanding.  

I know it’s early in the process, and I’m sure there is more grieving to be done.  I am not minimizing that.  I am just saying that in the midst of physically experiencing a miscarriage and not realizing what was going on right away, in the midst of understanding the truth that our baby wasn’t with us anymore, in the midst of grieving the loss – I still felt surrounded by peace.  If that doesn’t transcend all understanding, I don’t know what does.

Worldly logic says I shouldn’t be able to feel any peace in the midst of this sorrow.

Here’s something else.  The day before when I was getting the silent ultra sound, (I say that because the tech only asked me three questions, then never spoke again…) the tech finished and went to see if the radiologist wanted to share any information with me, which he did not. While I waited, I stood there thinking, hmmm, this wasn’t like all my other ultra sounds where the sweet lady says, “ohhhh, here’s the baby’s heartbeat!  Here’s the hands!” it was just some weird dude saying not a word.  Thoughts started to cross my mind that the spotting might have actually meant that something was wrong.  When I started to panic and get sad, I heard the Nat King Cole song, “Smile” on the speakers in the hallway.  It’s a pretty tragic song guys, if you start playing it while you read this, you might just cry.  So only do that if you want a good cry.  Once I heard the sound of Nat’s voice, I felt this crazy peace rush over me and I was back at my grandparents’ house, as a kid, listening to their records.  My grandpa is already in heaven and I felt like that was God’s way of saying, “Yea, this is rough, but it’s going to be okay.  We go way back, I was there with you then, and I’ll be here for you now.”

Guys, I didn’t walk through this miscarriage alone.

God surrounded me with his presence in so many ways.  Jesus showed up in Davin as he sat near me the entire night, holding my hand, taking care of my every need, being unbelievably supportive, loving, amazing and strong.  He showed up in the love and support of my family and friends through texts, muffins, flowers, cards and a friend watching our three kids so Davin could go with me to the doctors to make sure I was healthy the next day.  God was gracious to take the baby to heaven earlier in my pregnancy, when it wasn’t as difficult to miscarry naturally.  He timed it so we’d still have space to heal before we go on the crazy awesome tropical kid-free vacation we’d planned for this summer.  I even still get to  look forward to and celebrate a baby right around Christmas, since my brother and his wife will be having their second then (#babyfix)!  And, I felt his grace when I held my three kids the next morning in the kitchen, thinking that some women experience a miscarriage, and don’t yet have a child to hold and thank him for.

I keep thinking of all the ways that he was so gracious to me, even in the midst of this sorrow. And, it doesn’t make me not sad that my sweet baby is in heaven.  That I’ll never hear this kid laugh or see he or she smile on this earth.  But seeing God show up in so many different ways made me feel like there must be something bigger going on than my plans and purposes. Because those weren’t my plans and purposes.

God is sovereign.

Does that mean he wanted my baby to die and my pregnancy to end in a miscarriage?  No. Not at all.

We live in a non-Eden world.  It’s not a perfect heaven just yet.  God’s given us the power of free will, making our world a messy, sin-filled, sometimes crappy place that we get to bring light into through Christ’s love.

God is sovereign means that he has a bigger plan that he is working out in spite of sin’s effects on this world, making room for his love in the tough stuff.  And because he sent his Son to die for our sins, we know that his whole plan is motivated around his love for us.  Even when it doesn’t look like it.  Even when it doesn’t make sense to us.

We toss the word love around like it’s whatever, but when you really, really think about it – God loves ultimately, fully, completely and perfectly, each one of us.  And somehow, I think that truth resonates with you, somewhere deep, deep down in your heart.  And if you want him in your life, you don’t have to be perfect, it’s as simple as this prayer,

“Jesus, please forgive me for all the stuff I’ve done that didn’t honor you.  I’m sorry.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Please come into my life and begin to make stuff right.  I want to see you transform my life into something beautiful.  Please be Lord of my life.  Amen.”

That’s kinda a, “Jesus Take the Wheel” type of thing, giving your life over to him;-)  It’s sorta a big deal, so If you did pray that for the first time, you should find someone who reads their bible and let them know so they can help you find a church.  Walking with Jesus is never an orphan experience, you need a big family around you, reminding you about God’s love and truth in word and action.  And, some churches are awesome and some are not, or can be super old-school and if that’s not your thing, keep looking until you find the one that feels like home.

And, like I told Davin after we’d finished crying, “Hey, that’s the BEST kid we ever raised!  That baby is in heaven!  SUCESS!”  God can bring good out of anything.  We high-fived with tears still running down our faces, knowing that there was still joy in our future.

Now I am a mom of four (actually maybe five, we thought we were pregnant before this one and then weren’t after a few days, so maybe number four has a sibling in heaven).  Either way, I have three little ones on earth to raise-up to know the Jesus that their little sibling or siblings are hanging out with right now.

And that’s a huge job.

Thanks for reading.

And for those of you who just love to cry… I give you

“Smile” by Nat King Cole

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile

God’s in your box

A while back, I started to read C.S. Lewis’ book, The Problem with Pain.  But at the time, I wasn’t IN much pain, so I lost interest and moved on.  The other day I was wishing I had read it.

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This last week, I was in a great deal of pain.  I had a four-day migraine.  It came and went, and was super bad at the beginning.  Like puke-in-the-sink my-head-might-explode bad.

All I could think of at first was, “whhhhy?”

“Why God, would you allow this to happen?  I thought I was healed?  I really was!  I’m so disappointed!”

Also, I just told like the whole internet that you healed me, soooo, that’s pretty awkward.  What am I suppos-to say?

Not like God is ruled by what goes onto the internet, that’s for sure, but I felt kinda crappy about the fact that I just finally announced my big healing news and was super stoked, and then I came back from a church retreat and I got a few headaches that week, and then one very enormous migraine the following week.

As my toddler would say, “supa lame.”

Here is what I do know, and why I am actually sharing this.  Because my life trails are not all that important in your world, however, some of the stuff I learn during them has been life changing for me, so I want to share.

On Tuesday, after I got over my pity party, I took some ibuprofen and thanked Jesus that he helped people invent medicine to make me feel slightly better when I’m sick. I then ate, and took a nap and threw away any guilt I was feeling that I wasn’t healed, or didn’t trust God enough to heal me and not take medicine.  I was able to go out to dinner that night with some friends, and felt mostly fine.

I woke up the next morning, at like 3:30 am, feeling nauseous and back in pain.

After praying for awhile for other stuff, I finally got the nerve to ask God what was up.  And although he didn’t answer me why I had to go through the pain I was going through, he did tell me the following.  It has changed how I see Jesus completely.

He showed it to me in a word picture, as he almost always does when he speaks to me outside of the bible or a sermon or whatever.

Here is the word picture followed by what I felt like was insight he gave me:

I am in like basically the visual of outer space, it’s black.  There is a clear very large box.  I am inside this box and it is able to seal completely, so nothing can get into it unless it is opened.  I can’t open it.  In the box, along with myself is what I call sunlight dust particles, the dust you see in the air when the sunlight hits it right.  In this word picture, they are pain particles.  Small particles, that God the Father allowed into my box, and is allowing me to feel.  He is outside of my box.  He said that he knows every single one, he knows the number, the size the weight of them all.  He didn’t let one more speck into my box than necessary.  He said he knows my pain better than I do, he can see it from top from bottom, from inside and out, every angle.  In moments where I forget my pain, he still is aware of it.  So I’m like, okay, but why?  I hate this box.

Then, I see Jesus in my box.

He feels everything I feel.  He feels the same exact pain I feel.  We feel it together. He allows himself to feel the same pain, every ounce, every nanosecond of it, so that he is always acutely aware of what I am feeling.  Even if I forget for a moment, he is always aware of it.

I have never thought of this before.  I always thought when the bible says, “he was a man of many sorrows, he was a man of great pain” it was just talking about his physical life on earth, which was indeed full of pain and sorrow.  I always thought he could relate to our pain, like, “yeah, there was this one time that one of my best friends totally betrayed me to death in front of all my bros, it was super lame, I got arrested and beat up so I TOTALLY know how you feel when you say that you can’t believe so-and-so tweeted blah, blah, blah about you and now everyone’s hatin’, I get it.”  And sometimes I’d think, How DO you know what those little kids being trafficked actually feel like, you were never actually trafficked as a kid.

Whelp.

What this word picture was showing me, was that no, Jesus actually allows himself to feel my very exact pain.  Now whether he really does or not, I do not know, this was a word picture to teach me something about how God works and who his son is.  However, I am inclined to believe that this is an actual truth.

If my littlest one had to experience something painful to make her well, and it was in my ability to feel it to, I would.  I would want to know exactly what it felt like, so I would know how to help her, how to console her, and give her the understanding that she was not alone, that truly, we were going through it together.  Any loving parent would do this if they could.

When Jesus says he walks with us through our trails, I don’t think he is just walking alongside us in ease, although he is God, it seems more like he allows himself to experience the very thing we experience, however painful, however sad, however deep and cutting to our soul.

In this word picture, he and I were head to head, and all I could do was put my head next to his.  At least we were together in this pain, I was not alone.  It seemed the more I focused on him, the less painful it became, he was almost a distraction from the pain, and then just like that the box was gone, and we were out of it together.

Here is what I have learned so far, and it’s really early, but it’s what he is showing me.

Jesus knows my pain, because he goes through my pain alongside me, with me. He’s not drinking a slurpee while I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, just holding my hand.  No, he’s walking alongside me, knowing my great suffering, we are suffering together.  He is choosing to put aside any luxuries he is given and rights as God and walks alongside me through everything.

When I pray, and I ask for God the Father to take away the pain, he sees his own son, Jesus bearing that pain as well, and his heart is moved to action.

Also, when I looked back at that box, I could see that there were times I’d sit in the corner of it and scream.  Totally unaware of Jesus’ presence.  I bang the box with my fists hard.  I cry and fight and yell at God, believing all the while that he is outside of my box feeling nothing.

Whether we want to recognize him or not, Jesus is still in our box.  He’s always been in our box, it’s just that so many of us fail to look up and see him there.  We are too busy looking at God the Father outside of our box and getting angry and feeling betrayed, doubting his goodness.  But he didn’t have to send his son.

It also seems Jesus the only way out of that box.

If God allows suffering to bring us closer to Jesus, than this would be true.  As we draw near to him, the one who knows our great pain, we can find ourselves rescued and delivered.  And, although he may not ever take away all the pain here on earth, we can find rest in the son, because scripture says it is so.

So, I was in pain for four days.  But I walked out of it seeing that Jesus is always with me.  That is a gift I could never have hoped to have been given.  I don’t know that I will ever walk through pain the same.

It’s one thing for someone to say, I can relate to your pain.  At least that’s nice, and empathetic.

It’s another thing entirely for them to take it on themselves and walk through it alongside you, when they don’t owe you a thing.

He’s in your box y’all.

 

Healing and Jesus Fries

I have a migraine.

Why am I writing right at this very moment when I’m shaky and feel like I want to throw up?

Because I want to do the very thing I think the enemy is trying to keep me from doing.

Speaking truth about who God is.  Last time I tried to sit down and type out this truth, I got a migraine and didn’t finish it.

So this might be a super crappy post.

But I don’t even care, because it’s my best attempt at saying, “God is bigger and better then barf and headaches and pain and more pain.”

My head started hurting earlier this evening, right as I sat down for church.

I unfortunately get migraines on a regular basis.  After years of prayer, they are better then they were, but they are still not gone, and they can still be terrible and of course inconvenient.

I typically get them when I am in a place where I could enjoy myself and find rest, for example: my husband and I are about to go on a date, I’m in church, when I should be sleeping or when I have time to reflect and write.

I feel like there’s a pattern.  I feel like they might be spiritual and the enemy is trying to rob me in my times of peace.

But really, what do I know?  All I know is when I get them, I want them to go away and they make me question what I’m doing wrong in my life to have them in the first place.

They are also always on the right side of my head.  And it feels like a 1/2 metal rod has been shoved through my eye socket up and out of the back of my scull.

That’s descriptive and lovely.  Sorry about that.

In church tonight, as we were getting up to leave and go pick up our kids, I felt like the Lord said, “have someone at church pray for you, go ASK for prayer.”

I was like, ummmmm (drumming up some good excuses), “I don’t want to bother anyone, it’s not that bad, I’ll be okay.”  I added on for good measure, “my dad’s a pastor, and I love his prayers, I’ll have him pray for me” and then, “my mom is an intercessor, she will pray and mean it, (she wields a giant spiritual sword)” and to end it, besides, “my husband loves me and his prayers for me are like treasures, I love hearing him pray for me and I’ve been healed at different times by each one of their prayers.”  It wasn’t that explicit when I said it, but basically I was telling God, “I have like three super qualified people to pray over me, I am so blessed already, there are people here who maybe don’t even have ONE person to pray over them, why would I ASK for help from our church?  I don’t want to bother anyone.”

Because praying for people in a church is a bother.

And I’m an idiot who still has a migraine at 4 in the morning.

It’s starting to feel a little bit better.  But I’m still shaking.

Here is what I understand about Jesus and healing… not very much.

Why does he allow pain in the first place?  That is a ten-jillion theologian page book in itself, but sometimes Jesus’ answer is, “so that God may be glorified.”

But everything Jesus ever did on the earth, was to show us more of who God was, to bring us closer to God, his Father which in the process, made us healed and whole.  It really seems to me that the Father is glorified when we know who he is, and when we know who he is, we become healed and whole.  There’s something to that.  From the outside, it sounds like, “oh it’s all about God and his glory, but actually he sent his ONLY son, to die for US.  It’s not about our glory, but it sure sounds like it’s a lot about us being rescued and saved, healed and whole and his glory looks a lot more like the sacrifice of a dying soldier then a dude on a throne who people worship and throw flowers at.

Here is an interesting look at healing in the first book of Matthew chapter 15. verses 21-28.

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman.  Her story is a bummer at first, but it ends well.

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. 

Say WHHHHHHAAAAT?  Jesus legit ignored her.  That does not sound like the “nice” Jesus I know.

Does Jesus REALLY ignore people?  I thought he was always, super-nice-guy.  Ignoring seems so rude.

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed about Jesus.  In the bible, he does everything for the benefit of those around him (and for the future readers of the bible, like you and I, he is multifaceted like that).  In this case, the best thing for this woman to have a real encounter with Jesus, was for Jesus to ignore her.  How crazy is that? 

Let’s read on.

“And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 

Again, she is ignored and the excuse is because she is not a Jew, the people group chosen by God.  Canaanite’s according to the commentary on biblegateway.com were, “bitter biblical enemies of Israel whose paganism had often led Israel into idolatry.”  But she doesn’t care, she even goes so far as to bothers his disciples, so much so that they, “came and begged him saying, “send her away” for she is crying out after us.”  She must have been determined, insistent, over-the-top obnoxious, not caring about social rules or status, not caring about looking like an idiot.

I can just hear her screaming like a crazy woman, “SAVE MY CHILD!!! Don’t you care?!  HELP ME!!!” – reminds me of reality-tv people going for good ratings.

Yet, Jesus says no again, replying, “I was sent to the lost sheep of Israel”. (strike 2)

But there’s more

“25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 

26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 

He is still telling her no appears to be speaking to her as the Jewish leaders might have, putting her in her social place. (that’s 3)

“27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 

A humble and wise response, she is attempting to persuade God, And humbling herself in the process.  Now her heart is in the right place, she has moved her attention PAST herself, and onto Jesus and his business.

28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith!   Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

I seriously doubt that the Jewish fancy-pants leaders would have ever prayed for healing for her, so Jesus was basically breaking down those social barriers but anyway, that’s another type of commentary. This story is crazy.  I used to think that Jesus was all about going around and healing people instantly.  Fixin’ stuff.  But healing is not what she really needed first.

Why does he draw her out, make her wait?  She goes through the motions of seeking, asking, and begging, she gets rejected BY Jesus, three times.  What could be worse then getting rejected by Jesus?  How awful in your life story, “This one time, I was rejected by the Son of God, three times…”  But she wasn’t ever really rejected was she?  He knew she wasn’t going home without what she came for.

Sometimes Jesus heals people in an instant: BAM healing.  Other times he first says, “go, your sins are forgiven”, while they sit there still crippled, then he heals them too after a sec (Mark 2:1-12). In one instance, a lady touches his robe (Matthew 9:20) and she is healed without him saying anything and he acts all surprised saying, “who touched me?”  Do you really think he didn’t know?  No, the dude is God in the flesh, but he responds that way for her unique benefit, and she humbles herself in her response to God.

Back to Strike 3 Lady.  Why did he tell her no three times?  I thought when we ask God for something, he wants to give it to us right away if it aligns with the bible.  The bible is pretty down on people being possessed by demons, so we can assume it was God’s will to heal this little girl of demon possession, so why did he wait?

Perhaps to grow the Canaanite Woman’s faith in the process?  Jesus is always saying in the bible, “by your faith you are healed”.

Like me, tonight in church.  How much faith did I really have?

Well, what does faith mean?

Hebrews 11:1 says, “now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Sure and certain.

Those two words.

When I am sure and certain of something, I will stop at nothing to go after it.

I WANTED my migraine to go away.  I assumed it would get worse as they normally do until I am crying and have to make myself throw up just so I can fall asleep again in the middle of the night and get at least the nausea to go away.  But I didn’t stop at nothing.  I stopped right at the doorstep of pride.  Pride is the doormat you have to walk over to get into the house of healing.  You have to get over your pride before you can get into God’s healing.

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Big girl shoes on the doormat of pride, probably a little bit of how God sees us.

I wasn’t sure and certain enough to humble myself.  Really that’s the truth behind the “facts” I told God.  It’s not that I don’t believe my family can pray for me and heal me.  It’s that I didn’t want to have healing the way he directed me to have it.  I didn’t want to go up to some nice strangers and tell them I needed them.  To say, “Hey, I have this problem, and I’VE prayed about it and it’s NOT going away.  I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed, and I STILL need help. I’ve done everything in my mind I can do, and it’s still not fixed.”  How humiliating is that? Maybe I’m just prideful but I don’t like the idea of going up to super nice strangers who ARE THERE TO HELP ME, and telling them I need help.  I want to solve it in my own way. (There are SO many biblical examples of that, so at least I’m not alone).

Because what if the nice people at church think I’m pathetic, and not good at praying, and wonder if I really know Jesus at all because if I did and he really talked to me, I’d be right as rain this very moment.

But they don’t wonder any of those things.  Because when I get to pray for someone I am delighted.  I am so happy to stand with my brother or sister in the Lord and intervene on their behalf.  It’s makes me feel like I still have a purpose.  It is a reminder to me that God is using me, that I’m still USEFUL to him, which is what I desire most in this very world, to be someone that God still says, “hey, I can use this girl”.  Some of my most favorite, best experiences in life have to do with being in the presence of God. He is so beyond peaceful, beyond all the distractions, beyond all my doubts and questions and misunderstandings.  Even when I’m in his presence for just a second, I begin to feel better.

What if God wanted to use someone tonight to help heal me?

And I took my reasons and handed them up to God in list form.

And I didn’t get to experience healing.  Because I wan’t humble.

According to the dictionary, humble means: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

Like we aren’t the one’s who are most important when we go to God and ask him for things. We hold the position that HIS will is still the most important.

And sometimes, I don’t think we always want that.  We want our will, with a side of Jesus, like he’s the fries in our delicious meal of self.  Jesus fries.

Jesus is never the fries.  He’s the whole meal.  We aren’t even the fries.  We aren’t even the ketchup leftover stain on the table from the meal prior.  And yet he loves us, and wants to heal us and to give us what we ask for.

But not until we stop negotiating with the Lord.  And I didn’t hand over that migraine to the Lord tonight, I held onto it and said I knew how to fix it myself, I had the solution.

And where did that get me?

Barf city.

I should have said, “Okay God, I REALLY want THIS (healing in the comfort of my own home by my family’s prayers), BUT, seriously if you have something better (nice strangers praying for me), something that is more your plan, even if I don’t like it – I’m down, let’s go that route, I’ll step out of my comfort zone, I surrender.”

And I have to mean it.

And I have to act on it.

It totally doesn’t count if I just say it like a wish to the sky.

This usually involves part of ME dying.  Myself.  My will.  My pride.  And me saying and big fat, “YES” to God and his plans.

Because it’s not my will, it’s his.  Because it’s not about me.  It’s about him.  When my eyes are on him, I get better.

So maybe you want something really bad, something that is good and lines up with the bible.  Maybe you’ve been asking for a long time, and you FEEL like he’s ignoring you.  He’s not.  He might be waiting for you to simply humble yourself and give it over to him, saying,

“I trust you enough that even if I NEVER get this thing I want the way I want it, I still trust you, and believe that you are good.  I’m giving it to you.  I surrender.”

And if you can’t say that prayer just yet in all honesty, tell him you can’t, but that you wish you could, and then ask him to help you get there.

Then, if he tells you to go to church and ask the nice strangers to pray for you, listen to him and go, don’t be dumb like me and hold onto your pride while you suffer in pain.  Don’t be dumb like me!

And, by the way, somehow over the last two hours and a bowl of Joe’s O’s, the migraine is gone.

See how much I know about healing?  Not very much.  The migraines I tend to get usually last three days.  Fortunately, God knows everything and I don’t have to.  I just have to know him.

And, side note, in church tonight, we learned that we are the introducer guy, the one who introduces others to the one who can actually help them.  So here’s the introduction for whoever this post was actually written for, because the enemy did everything he was allowed to do to stop it from being written.  So if it’s you this is written for, run to God and do whatever he says.  He had some big plans for you whoever you are.  Don’t even wait, find a bible and go right now to the only one who can help you, heal you and make you whole, his name is Jesus.

a made for tv movie

I LOVE horribly cheesy made for tv movies.  Especially Christmas ones.  I like the mix of predictability, mediocre acting  and always ending on a happy note.  I also love that they can’t include gratuitous shots of people not wearing enough clothes, there is nothing I despise more than movies where people are acting like they are getting physical.  So tacky, so gross, so not the real thing – barf.

Back to point.  The other day I convinced my husband to watch a made for tv Christmas movie with me. I had delicious snacks, so he was lured in.  I’m pretty sure the soundtrack was the same gals that always did the Gilmore Girls, so it was on par with my standards in many, many ways.

In the movie, the main gal hits her head, and gets an amnesia dream where her life is totally different (absolute predictability) from her mean/selfish/ambition driven life and she in the end realizes that she wants to change who she is and have the dream life where she is nice/selfless/semi-philanthropist.  All ends well.

During the made for tv movie, there is a point where her long lost love is telling her all the things he did after they broke up and she moved away.  He saved the grocery list she wrote on the chalkboard in his house, he kept some old mayo in his fridge from when they were together, he even bagged her pillow to always have her scent.  SO kinda creepy, but hearing all the ways he treasured even a memory of her made her realize that she was truly loved by him. All that time she thought he’d moved on and he hadn’t.  Game changer.

Later on he lists the things he loved about their life together and why he wanted her back; how he wanted to be there when she went to sleep, and watch her wake up each morning, to be the one who was there when she needed him, to catch her fall when they ice skated because she was always so clumsy and he knew her better than she knew herself… there was a laundry list of things he stated which included lots of qualities girls hope for in a man, all the little things that say, “I ADORE YOU”.

This made for tv movie summary totally has a worthy point;-)

It was during this movie that it hit me.  When the dude was listing off all his awesome qualities and ways of affirming his love for the main gal, I thought, “Whoa! That’s totally what Jesus does!  He IS that dude that all girls dream about!”  Not in the creepers save your pillow kind of way, but in the, “there for you when you need him, and never lets you down” kind of way.

Now, I love my husband, he does do a lot of the little things that are blockbuster movie worthy.

When he has to get up early for work, he makes a stack of pillows to hide the bathroom light from my face so I can keep sleeping while he gets ready.

He fixes my fuel filter when it smells like diesel in my car before I can notice there was a problem in the first place.

He watches silly movies with me like Pacific Rim and lets me “ELBOW ROCKET” him and doesn’t get me back.

He brings me cold water from the fridge before I go to sleep.

He is totally the guy I was meant to marry in a million-trillion ways.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s super dreamy handsome either.

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a match made in heaven.

But he’s not perfect.

And neither am I.

But I still want perfect.

Sometimes he just doesn’t get me.  Sometimes he’s gone for work and really can’t be there when I need someone.  Sometimes I still feel alone in something even though I’m married and have three beautiful children and an amazing family and friends.

Guess who stands in when other people can’t?

Jesus does.

Other people were never meant to fill all of the voids in my heart.  They were meant to fill some of them, but even in those people meeting my needs, Jesus is behind it.

He is the one who gave me my husband to stand in as a physical representation of how much God loves me.  And when my kids come up to me and say the sweetest most angelic, heavenly things at just the right moment, I have to chalk that up to Jesus sending me a sweet one saying, “Hey, I love you.”  Because normally they do things like this…

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father-son resemblance?

Jesus is behind so much, and we don’t even see it.

Jesus has been there for me in so many moments when no one else could be.

We all long for someone to love us, adore us and to think that we’re special.  And someone does.

When I stood in my littlest one’s room tonight and held her and sang while she rested her head on my shoulder, I was overwhelmed with how much I loved and just absolutely adored her, but my next thought was, Jesus adores me even more.  That is astounding.

He adores you even more.

He adores each one of us even more.

He’s the one who’s going to come dashing in and rescue you from danger, to hold the elevator for you in the building, to wipe the tear from your eye, to kiss your owies, to snuggle you to sleep and to sit with you and watch a made for tv movie with you and not eat all your snacks.

He’s there all the time.

And he’s perfect.

Sometimes he’s demonstrating his love through other people and their actions.  And sometimes it’s just you and him and he covers you in peace as you pray and ask for what to do next.

He’s the made for tv dreamboat we’ve always wanted, only better!

So, if you find yourself lonely in something this season, maybe it’s that someone isn’t understanding you, or getting it, or saying just the right thing at just the right moment… tell Jesus right then, and let him step in and be the one that meets all those hopes and dreams in being loved perfectly.

And, have grace on those who aren’t perfect, because they are just giving Jesus a chance to step in and fill that role.

Thanks for reading!