Scars Hurt

I was thinking this too …

You see the scars on my feet.  one of them still hurts when it gets poked.  Less than it did a couple of years ago, but still … not fun.

And I don’t think that’s all that weird.  The doctor reset my bones and did some nerve damage.  The second doctor fixed the nerve damage (and took the screws out of my foot) as much as he could, but nothing is perfect.  (The scars are also smaller than they were.  Yeah, they were worse).  So, I don’t wonder why my foot hurts when you poke it.

But there are parts of my heart that hurt when you poke them, and that always surprises me.  Because I’m a Christian, when healing happens, the memories and the pain go away?

The scar on my hand doesn’t hurt, but it’s ugly.  I try to keep it out of the light so it will (maybe?) be less apparent.  It’s less than a year old.  Maybe it will get better.  I’m ashamed of the ugly, and ashamed of how it got there (I was stupid and prideful, and I got exactly what I deserved for my carelessness).

I can walk pretty well these days.  When I get up in the morning, or after a busy day and then sitting, I still am stiff, and I limp.  But I get things warmed up and move around just fine.

I expect the wrong things from myself.  I expect painlessness, when I should shoot for vulnerability.   And oddly, that keeps me from healing all that I should.  You know, the doctors told me to wear steel-soled boots and super supportive footgear, but the best thing for my foot has been all the time I spend without any shoes at all.   After all, I learned in physical therapy that there was bad pain and good pain. You work through the good pain (or accept it as a job well done) and you stop dead when you hit bad pain.

The goal of transparency, of not trying to protect myself … those things will come when I learn to relax and accept where I am, instead of trying to make it not-have-been.  It is when I accept my weaknesses and confess them that they are healed – not when I pretend that they are not there.

….

this isn’t the most organized thing I’ve ever written, but it’s an extended comment on the last blog to myself, mostly… so I’m going to leave it as is.

Digging Up the Past

 

Scarred Hand

Scarred Hand

Once upon a time, I am not what I was now.  Mistakes have been made.  Tears have been wept.  Lessons have been learned.

When I went through my Darkest Hour, I spent some time in therapy (and then went home and did my homework) working out how I’d gotten to where I was, and how one choice had led to another, in a spiral that went back decades to the First Bad Choice.  There is value in such a journey.  When I see weeds from that particular genus pop up in my heart, they get whacked off *immediately*, no delaying for perfect weather or loads of energy.

But sometimes I take out that strand of ugly decisions and fondle it.  “If I’d only done THIS or said THAT…” and that’s not useful.  Because that’s me trying to take retroactive control of my existence.   I’ve done stuff that I am deeply ashamed of.  K.  Can’t go back.  I can’t-have-made a different decision.  It’s over now.  And where I am is where I am.

Who I am is who I am.

Scarred Foot

Paul wrote about this:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God has worked a lot of beauty from my idiocy.  When I take that strand of ugly out and say, “if only” – I’m saying I know better than God.  (Because I come up with a fantasy version of my life if only I had been perfect).  Repenting of my many sins is useful, but … it’s over.  OVER.  I am washed clean.   I am made new.

I have scars of mind and body.  I have places that will hurt until it pleases my Lord that they be healed.  So what?  That doesn’t exactly make me unique.

When I try to take control, I’m acting out of fear.  I’m saying, “this place that hurts so much – if I rehearse in my mind the way I should have acted, I’ll never make that mistake again.  I can never be hurt like that again.”  Self-protection.  It’s not my job to protect myself.  Not. My.  Job.

It’s not my job to be in control of my life or make things new.  My job is to let go and let God live through me, using what I am in this moment.  Let Him be glorified.  And I’ll get back to work identifying fear and tossing it up to be burned until I run out of fear.  (Three minutes before my last breath, likely).

Love Well

Love cannot be earned, it is a gift.  (Trust can, and must, be earned – but love is invariably given).  How can we give what we do not have?  It has to start somewhere!

That’s what Jesus does, you know… we love Him for He first loved us.  He poured His love into us, giving us the ability to love at all.  We can then choose to love Him or not.  If we love Him, we display it by obeying His commandments (which is an impossible task without His Holy Spirit within us).  Loving truly is necessarily a journey towards Christ.  He gives us Himself, which enables us to love Him, which brings us closer to the source of the love… it’s a *good* spiral!

When we’re looking for the answer to “How can I love this person?” – the answer is “by loving as Jesus loved”.  Ask for help.  Ask for strength.  Ask for the wells of *your heart* to be refilled.  Take time to be with Him, to read and pray and just chill out.  (The just chilling out is important!)

It’s so easy for the Jello Salad Contingent to think that we’ve got it all together and that we shouldn’t bother Jesus by asking Him to fill our hearts up.   We try to love out of our own wells of heart, and eventually we come up dry – if we’re lucky.  Too often what we find instead of pure water is poison, either subtle or direct.  The truth of the heart pours out through the mouth… and the actions… -shudder-

When I try to take love into my own hands, I’m saying that I’m good enough to handle this on my own.  And we think that we ought to be “good enough” … without Jesus!  But that’s NEVER what He asks us to be.  He asks us to give over our wills to Him, to let Him act through us.  He doesn’t ask us to generate emotions, He doesn’t ask us to *not* have emotions.  He expects us to *give them to Him*.  All of them – and right away, too!

I can’t do this life thing on my own.   You know, we say that a LOT.  Christians do, anyway.  But do we act like it?  Or do we just do the mechanical stuff and pretend that we’re good to go after that?  Do we open our hearts to Jesus and let Him in totally?  Are we ready to obey the command to pray without ceasing?   You know, He commanded us to do that – so we’re pretty much *not* bugging Him when we obey.  :)

Opening to Him is scary  We can pretend to hide behind not-praying-unceasingly.  Keep that little gnarly thought to ourselves, confess it later if we remember it later… but if we’re in connection to Him, it’s going to get called out then and there.  So inconvenient!  And He might ask us to do things we don’t *really* want to do.   He’s such a gentleman, He’ll back off the very second we pull away.  How often we pull away…. how it must sadden Him.

There’s a goal.  To not pull away.  To let go, and obey that command, to pray unceasingly, to be in total communion with Jesus our Lord.  I think *maybe* that might improve my ability to love unconditionally.

What do you think?  :)

Rapture

Why I don’t argue about the Rapture much any more:

1) No one who is going is going to miss it, regardless of their position on the issue.  There’s no reason to get heated.  You also don’t have to pack!  Not taking anything with you.  :)

2)  BTDT, got the t-shirt.  I know what my position is, and why it is – all my arguing served the purpose of solidifying that belief.  But done now.

3) That said… I’m not wrapped up in being right or wrong.  See #1.  If Jesus chooses to have a mid-Trib Rapture or skip it altogether, He’s in charge.   My arguing changes what?  

4)  Being pre-Trib makes me that much more eager to pursue personal holiness and evangelism – but it doesn’t affect my life in any other ways that I can think of. 

So that’s why I don’t fuss about it much.   But I *am* pre-Trib, and I’m really looking forward to it!  Just so you know.  ;)

 

Letting Go of Who I Think I am

Another fairly personal post…

Spending a lot of time with God this weekend.   Something that came to me, as I asked Him to make me into what pleased Him.  I’m blocking His work by holding on to what I think of myself!

How much time are we encouraged in this world to spend thinking of ourselves, defining ourselves, saying, “this is who I am and what I do and what I’m for”.  I’m all ABOUT that.  Unfortunately I’m so all about that that I can finagle any personality test into the results I want, and my preconceived notions have wrapped themselves ’round me and are keeping me from moving forward.

And they wrap me into sin, sometimes.  Hit James chp 2 today, where it says to not be a respecter of persons.  Do you do this too?  Do you look at people *like* the type of people who have hurt you in the past and immediately distrust them and hold yourself away from them?   If I read that chapter on the surface, I’m … well, I’m okay.  Not perfect, but efforts made.  But when I read it today, after getting conviction about holding myself away from potential hurt because of what those people look like… dang if I didn’t get hit between the eyes.

I need to see with Jesus’ eyes.  To see each person as a potential sibling in Christ, to be curious about them and open to relationship* and interested.  The reverse snobbery, “That person doesn’t want me, so I won’t open myself to that person” has to go.  If I’m going to be brave for Christ, I have to drop the “respect of persons” and just let Christ shine through.

And yes, I’m hoping to be one of those nutso holy people who wanders around shining God’s light like a blinding sun, someday.  Can’t do that if you draw the shades for fear.  Can’t be afraid of rejection.  Just have to be, and let God worry about what I am.

 

*Dude.  I’m so married it’s not even funny.  Relationship includes friends, acquaintances, people-you-witness-to, etc.  I *have* a husband, and I’m not talking about that.

Outlaws? Just getting out of the way…

Go visit pretty linkie.  Pound on the headphones a minute.  DH is getting me into Disciple… good beat, good lyrics.

It’s time to fly, folks.  Time to get out of God’s way in your life.  In my life.  To kick down the doors in my heart that have gotten between what He wants and what I find comfortable.  To rip the box labelled “Hearthrose” off the creation inside.   It’s time to leave myself behind.  To fly.

I see myself so often acting like a human and I don’t really want to do that anymore.  I see myself saying things to fill the silence when there’s nothing I honestly want to say.  I see myself coming up with comments just to be known as someone with a ready quip.  I rummage around my head defining myself and wrap myself up until the people outside see something and someone that I don’t recognize.  I quiet myself when I should speak up, I huddle in fear when I should step out.

And all the while, that still soft voice is urging me onwards.  Upwards.  Towards the next thing.

And then I decide that I see the new Christian box that I should be in, and I try to crawl into that…. but I’m not supposed to be in a box.  I am a vessel of Christ, yes… but I’m pretty sure it’s not a BOX.  I’m also pretty sure that I’m not supposed to spend this much time staring at myself.  Ever trying to improve myself and ever telling God that I’ve got this.  HOGWASH.

Do you ever just get annoyed with yourself?  Like, you know you’re not doing what you ought to do but it’s so hard to let go of what you’ve always done?  A nice pie crust isn’t filo dough, but it’s good… enough.. right?  NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  Not.

I don’t want to stop walking, just because it looks like I’ve gotten here.  I haven’t!  I want so much more.  So much more bravery, so much more transparency.  I want to make a difference in so many more lives.  This presses on me all the time… I want to be utterly transformed.

How can the materials transform themselves?  I’m not the Creator, I don’t know what the final product is, but I yearn.  Ach, I yearn.  My wings ache.

I want to give myself, my heart, my Lord, to so many others.  I see hearts broken, lives muddled, and I hold Light itself in my heart… why can they not see Him?  Why?

Lord, let me get out of Your way.  Please.  Make me transparent, so that seeing me, they see You.

 

 

NOTE:  I wrote this today, and I wrote tomorrow’s piece this weekend, but… they kind of work in this order.  So, go with it, k?  Thanks.  :)

We’ve already won

The Lord has already had the victory… we’re just hanging out until the final surrender happens.

It’s ugly down here while the enemy troops do their best to kill as many civilians as they can manage.  They’ve got many a person convinced that the King’s not coming back, that the dawn will never come.

But we know that’s all a lie.  We’ve already got our homes.  We’ve already got the victory.  And we can get as many of those civilians armored up in the Lord’s colors as will do so.  We can get those of our soldiers who have lost their swords up and moving again.  We *can* keep moving.

Sometimes *we* forget that we’ve already won.  Or if we remember, the horror of the battlefield makes it hard to rest in that truth and act like conquerors.    But ’tis true.  Remind each other, siblings.  And hold your heads up.  No matter how bad it gets, the King will be here soon!