Category: Life

Give Up Your Life But Don’t Give Up On It!

Earlier this week I was with my amazing sisters in Christ and at the end of our evening of being in God’s Word, we broke into one of the most powerful prayer sessions we have ever had. We prayed for many lost hearts for friends and other loved ones that we want to see in heaven someday. We prayed for their salvation. We prayed for prodigals to return to the Lord. We prayed for healing. We prayed for protection against the invisible enemy who tirelessly roams around seeking to steal, kill and destroy every one of us.

Remembering the powerful presence of God the other night prompted me to write this post. My heart is so heavy for the lost. Especially those who have lost or who are losing the desire to live — those who have lost all hope. I am praying against the enemy – he will not win this fight!

Like so many have, I almost gave up on life. Sometimes I wonder what might have been for those who could not hold on.  What if they held on long enough for God to intervene like He did in my life? I try not to spend too much time thinking about what could have been for people I do not know. It can mess with my mind and heart too much and I have enough trouble with that on my own. I have been through a lot of painful healing and growing through the past six years of this sober life I live, but I do not regret one moment of it. I am free from the pit of hell. I am sober. I am ALIVE.

Someone out there needs hope. Someone needs the hand of God to move in a mighty way. I can feel your pain in my heart at this very moment. It is gift – it is not one that I asked for and it is not easy to deal with, but I am grateful for it because I can stand in the gap and pray for many who are like I used to be. I don’t know who you are or what you are going through, but God sure does. He knows your name. He sent His one and only Son to die for you on that terrible beautiful cross. He wants you to give up your life to Him. He wants to give you His best. All He wants is your heart. He wants you ALL IN. He’s an all or nothing God.

If that someone is you, it is the devil’s lies that have brought you this low. He is a good liar. He is a powerful liar. But God is LOVE, TRUTH, and much more POWERFUL than any enemy we face. God’s Word promises that we will enjoy a long life – that all will go well with us IF we obey all His laws and commands. He wants to be our one and only God. We must love Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength and we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly (Deuteronomy 6:2, 4-6). I am so grateful for what He has done for me. It took me a while to get to where I am today, it is definitely not an overnight transformation. But my first 44 years of life did not go well on my own. Thankfully the pain of staying the same finally became greater than the pain of changing. I almost died in my unwillingness to surrender all control to Him, but I finally surrendered. I believe I’d be dead today if I hadn’t. And loving and trusting and giving my life up for God gave me life like never before. I am glad to be alive and living on purpose today. Sometimes I go through a lot of training that is difficult and brings tears. Sometimes I feel like it is in vain. Sometimes it feels like I am not making any kind of difference in this world. More lies of the devil! That is why I never give up. That, and because I choose life today and every day because of God’s amazing grace and love. I thought this tonight…what if He spared my life so I can pray for YOU? Wow. If I am alive for just one person, that is a life worth living. My pain is not in vain!

Friend, I pray for God to touch your heart and change your life like He has mine. Give up your life, but don’t give up on it! God loves you! May He bring amazing men and women of God into your life who will help you to keep seeking Him wholeheartedly and may you also become someone who is willing to pray for another heart who has lost all hope. Imagine how many lives God may save because we said yes to Him – Yes to His precious gift of life. I think I can hear heaven rejoicing again. God bless you friend.

Thank You Lord, for bringing me and so many others from death to life…  ♥♥♥

 

 

God promises that joy will come in the morning, but I couldn’t feel it…

 

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”~Psalm 30:5

I am so glad that I have learned that joy is not a feeling based on circumstances. Yesterday, I had to make the difficult choice to end the life of my kitty Sam. It was not expected that he would get that sick so quickly. I have been caring for a blind kitty with cancer over the last few weeks and I was trying to prepare my heart to let her go, but Sam took me by complete surprise. I am grateful I was strong enough to be there loving him until he drifted off completely. Right before the first injection, Sam had kissed my forehead one last time. He stretched out his paw onto my arm. I could swear he knew it was time to go and wanted me to be okay with it. At least that thought helps me a little. It was a sweet and peaceful rest for him, considering the circumstances. Man, I cried like a baby letting go of him. It would have been cruel to keep him alive since there was nothing that could be done for him. But even so, it didn’t make that decision any easier. The pain of having to make that choice is cruel to my heart, but that’s life. I am trying to focus more on the blessing of having such a long time with that wonderful creature. I have good memories and I am grateful for that. I cried way past midnight. I would be okay for a bit, then the tears would come again and they came hard. As the night went on, the pain in my heart got worse. It has been a long time since I had to say goodbye to a beloved pet. It was like it was a first time again — soooo hard to deal with.

Today was the first day of Spring semester for me. Bad timing!! It was very hard to put my broken heart aside this morning and show up to be a student for 6.5 hours. My eyes were red and puffy and I was tired from crying so much last night after losing Sam. This morning, my heart was just not feeling the student thing. This is only my second year after quitting 20 years ago, but I wanted so much to blow it off. I wanted so much to numb myself again, but reality kicked in and I know how much I stand to lose if I go back to my old ways. So, I pushed through the pain again. As hard as it was, I got out of bed and I showed up. And you know what? So did God. He always does and that is why I continue to push through tough times even though quitting sounds really good sometimes.  God gave me what I needed to be a student today. He put the desire back in my heart. I like my professors and the students. Even being the oldest in the classes did not bother me. I may entertain thoughts of quitting at times, but I am so glad that I know better. Even though I walked with a sad heart today, I was encouraged at how I was able to push through and focus on my mission of being in school to earn a degree. That is surely God’s strength in me. I am way too weak on my own.

When the long day ended and I sat in my car for a moment, I completely lost it again. It was weird how it seemed to come so quickly after being strong all day. I cried…a lot. I got an errand done, and when I got home, I cried some more. I really thought after last night’s tears that I had run dry, but nope. Even as I write this, my eyes are welling up. I hate when my heart hurts and I cannot do what I used to do to lessen the pain. Of course I can if I really want to, but deep inside, I really don’t. I don’t want to undo the great things of God in my life. I am alive and sober and I don’t want to go back to the darkness of being dead and drunk. I just can’t go back.

I am grateful for how God’s Word helps me through the night. The Holy Comforter is with me. Listening to “Joy Will Come” from our worship songs at church makes me cry more, but I find comfort since it’s about God’s promise that joy always comes in the morning. His joy always comes even if it’s the kind of joy that we can’t feel. I hold on to that promise along with many others because God’s Word never fails. So I keep giving my all to Him no matter what because I believe His promise that He is with me and will never leave me. Today was amazing proof of how He helps us through and gives us a supernatural strength to move forward even with such a heavy heart that without Him, would have had me going the wrong way.

I’ve got 21 days to the 6 year mark of sobriety. I will not throw that away. Satan cannot have me ever again. I am holding on even if I have to cry through it. It’s the only choice worth making now and I will keep making this choice to keep pressing on and keep feeling my feelings no matter how much it hurts being sober. I will have to do this all over again when Zoe shows signs that it’s time to let go. Before letting Sam go, I didn’t think I could handle it at all, but now I know I can even through a river of tears. Thankfully I can remember clearly that numbing always made things worse for me. The temporary relief was always followed by much worse pain than what I have been experiencing since yesterday, if you can imagine that. I think some of you can.

So tonight, when I’m all alone and it’s quiet and the sweet creature from the last 17 years does not come by again, I will remember and believe that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning — just as it always comes in the mourning. The Joy of the Lord is the only joy worth holding on to. The Lord has promised to always be there for us no matter what we’re going through and I believe Him. I pray more of you will believe too. I would not be here today if that were not true. Thank You, Lord. ♥

I just needed to pour out my heart again, thanks for listening. This is me and my boy Sammy moments before he fell asleep with his head resting on my hand. 😦 It was a bitter sweet moment, but my heart is still grateful for the blessings.

Sammy
So Long, Sweet Sammy

A Christmas miracle, no matter what…

God blessed me with an incredible miracle this year. I’ll be sharing more about it, but in the meantime, click here for a little preview: The Holy Spirit of Christmas 2015

I know God can touch more hearts like He’s touched mine so I am praying for your Christmas miracle no matter what you’re going through. May your heart be filled with the Holy Spirit of Christmas and may your Christmas miracle come too!

 

“I wished he would have hit me” — My personal story of abuse…

When people think of an abusive relationship, they mostly think of physical abuse. Normally, people just think of a man beating a woman and/or sexually abusing her.  But I would like to share some thoughts about another type of abuse that I don’t hear a whole lot about. I want to talk about emotional and mental abuse. In my opinion, this kind of abuse can be just as distressing and painful as being consistently hit. It is so difficult for me to admit this on this blog, but this is what happened to me. It is my hope that by sharing my own heart and experience about this horrible and devastating form of abuse, that others who may feel ashamed or embarrassed may be encouraged that they too can find hope and freedom and know that there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

While I was in the midst of it, I was never able to tell anyone about the constant mental and emotional abuse I was facing. I felt so humiliated by it. I couldn’t believe it was happening. I truly believed that nobody would ever understand what I was going through. I really wished he had hit me. I thought that if he had, then it would be a better excuse for me to explain my pain. I was definitely in denial. I also believed that I didn’t deserve any better (I wrote about that for the first time in an earlier blog entitled “I was a lost soul – a mentally abused woman who didn’t deserve better”). I was worthless and a loser, so I took it. I took it for 4 or 5 years, and it about destroyed me altogether. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Even though I was already battling through years of depression and low or no self esteem and using alcohol to temporarily numb the pain, I still managed to be a strong woman – suicidal perhaps, but strong. Well, that was until I started dating a man I had settled for. Little by little he started to destroy what was left of me. It was a horrible nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. It was sudden when I had found myself so weak. This is when my depression and drinking were heading to bottom. I really thought I needed this man in my life. I didn’t want to lose him. I thought I loved him. Looking back I have no idea why I thought that. He didn’t show me much love, he just wanted sex. He sure had a hold on me somehow. I had to drink my way through the relationship to survive it. I will never understand how I got there. His manipulation started at the very beginning of our early communications, but unfortunately, I didn’t think much about it. I completely ignored it. I didn’t think enough of myself. It’s sad to remember just how lost and desperate I was back then. I didn’t want to end up old and alone, so I ignored every single sign. And, it almost killed me.

It didn’t help to hear from others what they thought about abusive relationships such as, “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” “It’s her fault for staying around.” “She doesn’t want help.”  I confess that I used to think that way about domestic violence situations. I am so sorry for my judgmental attitude toward women of abuse. Please forgive me. Before it happened to me, I just could not understand why someone would stay and continue to take it, day after day.  I swore that it would never happen to me. I would NEVER become like one of “those women”.  Sound familiar? All of a sudden, there I was. I was exactly what I swore I’d never become. I was so ashamed that I had allowed myself to be in such horrible circumstances, that there was no way that I felt safe to reach out to anyone to talk about it or to get help. I figured “well, at least he’s not hitting me…” so I just kept taking it and drank it away as much as possible. Recently I was thinking more about the possibility of getting hit. I thank God I will never know if that was going to come into play or not, but I discovered recently that I had ignored another sign. After a family party turned violent one evening, (I described this event in that previous post I mentioned earlier), I remembered that days later he had reminded me that he had been letting me know that he was feeling anger building up inside of him. He told me though, that he was keeping it under control.  I was slowly discovering that he had anger issues and was just keeping them inside. But because I had never really witnessed it in him, until that frightening evening, I again didn’t think much of it. But it’s what he had said days later that kind of gave me the chills when I remembered it recently. He said “I warned you…”  I remember he was telling me that he had been warning me that he was about to break. Like it was something that I was supposed to know and just “watch out”. Don’t abusers who hit usually tell their women that they had been warning them? I know I’ve heard it before in stories of physical abuse. I then started to recall that he had told me that when he was young, he would see his father beating his mother. So I now think it was a good possibility that hitting would come next had I stayed.

So how did I get out of it? I have no doubt that it was a God thing. I believe God’s hand was on my life even though I didn’t know Him yet. I had been crying out to Him because I was definitely not going to cry out to anybody else. Interesting when I think back on it, how I was crying out to a God I didn’t know and I am grateful I took that chance! He set me free. And later, he set me free from alcohol abuse and severe depression. It took a rock bottom kind of moment for that, but I’m not complaining. I am grateful to be free.  I am now seven months away from celebrating my 5th year of sobriety. I am also celebrating my 4th year or so of being free from that abusive relationship.

So that’s some more of my story that I hadn’t had the courage to share before.  I’m glad I did now. I don’t know what else to say except that if you’re in the midst of this right now, there is hope in Jesus. There is a way out. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Please reach out to someone! Reach out to God! You don’t have to keep living like that. You deserve much better. If you don’t know God, it’s not too late to start knowing Him now. Call out to Him with a sincere heart and He will hear you.  He will help you like He helped me and has helped so many others. I don’t know you, but I’m praying for you. Please use the below contact form if you’d like to send a private message.

I’ve been through a lot of hurt in my life. I buried most of it for decades and just recently in my recovery program, it’s all come out to the surface so that I could get healing. In therapy, I was asked to write a letter about victory. I’m thinking, if I can be this vulnerable and share this part of my story, then I should be able to share that personal letter too. Perhaps I will share it in a future post. Again, I’m only doing this with the hope that others will be blessed by it and have courage to take a step in the right direction like I did. ANY kind of abuse is NEVER OK.

That’s it for now, thanks for listening to my heart.