And then BOOM! A Mack truck flies through the room.

I’ve never mentioned it here. And, the truth is, I don’t mention it often. I try not to think of it, quite frankly, if I don’t have to.

 

But I was doing some cleaning yesterday and found my journal from last year.

IMG_6970

Lots of people journal. My Mom has kept one for years. She writes her ups and downs, her dreams and thoughts, answers to prayer and the ways God moves in her life.

I’ve never read it. But, I think of it often and wonder what it will be like when I read it. How will it feel to look into her head and her heart. To peruse through her life from her perspective, to see myself through her eyes.

And so, I don’t talk it about it much, that my oldest daughter has Multiple Sclerosis. Diagnosed at age sixteen, after suffering through it for at least two years, she battles like a champ. She has always been a champ. At everything.

IMG_6975

That’s why it was such a shock. A sucker punch. Yes, God, have my oldest daughter–the National Champion Gymnast. The one with I.Q. of 143 at age eleven. Take her brain, her body, use it how you will for your glory.

Did you ever have to say that? Has it ever occurred to you what it takes to say that? Do you know how...hard, it is to say that?

And so, maybe, letting you peruse my head–and my heart–from the private words I wrote in my journal last year, maybe that will help you see how it feels to say that. At least how it felt for me.

June 14, 2013

I do not want Erin to die.

And I hope no one reads this.

And I wonder why I have to step over throw pillows to find the couch. And where is the switch for the lamp???

And, as much as everything in my life is a story, I do not want this to be my story–my daughter is sick. My perfect, amazing, super-cala-fragil-istic over-achieving ninja daughter is sick.

And I understand what it means to be mad at God. But I wonder how long a person can stay mad at God? And is it really a sin not to trust God with all the bad stuff? When the bad stuff is gone, over and done with, maybe it’s easier to let go of it. When it’s going on, maybe it’s harder?

Does everyone’s life feel like a soap opera, or a bad mellow-drama?! It’s like, “What will happen next? Tune in tomorrow when Pam will say…’Oh, No!’…”

For real.

And even as bad as it seems, sometimes it seems not that bad.

And some days, I even forget the bad things.

And then BOOM! It’s like a Mack truck flies through the room.

 

Words can take us back. But they can also bring us forward. And a lot can happen in a year.

My daughter still has MS. And I am still trusting God. And some days it is easy. And some days…it’s not as easy.

But, I am still doing it. I’m holding His hand as I walk through this life. And, in that, there is life.

 

What are you walking through?

How is He holding your hand?

Leave me a comment so we can walk together.

 

Advertisements

Right here. Right now. Ash Wednesday.

IMG_3767

We are a dirty, filthy, wretched, broken—but beautiful—mess. It’s true. We live in fear and secrets, isolated in our brokenness and shame. At times, we try to stand only to find we have fallen back down again. It is a desperate existence we work hard to hide. We take great pains to cover up our failings and shortfalls, at times, extinguishing every bit of hope the Spirit is offering.

And while some of us (if not all of us, at one time or another) prefer the prisons we’ve fashioned, there exists also a desire to be open, to be unbound from our sin and shame. What we need most, is Permission to Speak Freely.

You won’t find it everywhere, but little by little, word by word, I think hearts are changing. In the beat-up and bruised place we call The Church, I see a glimmer of hope. The spark, though small, has the potential to spread like wild fire through a sea of dying hearts, dying lives, and a generation of dying faith.

So how do we kindle, instead of smother, what could be our Salvation?

I believe it’s with honesty; truth. By taking off our masks and letting the pieces of real fall where they may.

Oh, it may be ugly. And it will—most certainly—be hard. But at some point we have to decide if we want to continue to suffocate, or to take a fresh breath and breathe again, to live again. It’s been too long since we got to the heart of the matter, and the matter—or rather, what’s the matter—with our hearts. This denial has had us in a stranglehold for so long…

It’s fear. Plain and simple. Being real feels strange to us, it’s frightening. We are more comfortable stuck in our past regrets and failures than we are with any change, even for the better. But there is hope. There is, really. I promise. Although, it won’t come cheaply. It will cost you. I think if you’ll wager with me on this though, you’ll see it’s well worth the price required.

And today is a beginning. Today is a time for confession; truth. It’s a beginning of a fire that has the potential to burn down everything you were, are. It’s a chance for God to make Beauty from ashes in your life.

But that road to beauty is straight through death. There is no detour, no way around.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”       John 12:24

Unless—and until—we die to ourselves, we will never be fruitful. We will never live. We will never be able to reflect the glory of God who created us until we are able to leave behind those things that detour us, the sin that so easily entangles. We cannot run the race set before us in cement shoes. Those cinder-blocks that are keeping us mired will have to be broken.

So where do we find this freedom? This elusive tool to break our chains is what? Shall I dangle redemption in front of your thirsty soul and leave you parched? Or is there water somewhere to quench you? Is there Living water that will destroy your thirst forever? Is there…more?

Yes! YES! A thousand times YES! There is freedom! There is victory! There is Peace unending and Grace overflowing! And believe me it is for you, it is Him for you–His body broken and bruised for you, an offering for your offenses. Not a bandage but a cure, not distraction from the reality, but a healing, HELP. Help is on the way!

His Extravagant Love Pouring out on your soul. HELP!

Hurt Extinguished & Lives Purified—HELP!

His Eternal Light & Purpose. HELP!

It’s here and it’s real. Real with a capitol “R” REAL. Taste it, smell it, hear it, Feel it REAL. It’s like breaking through the Matrix and finding yourself Real. Climbing out of your tomb and seeing sunlight Real. It is open your eyes and smell the coffee Real. Real love, a Real life, a Real savior.

Freedom. Forgiveness. It’s real; HE IS REAL. Christ and Him raised. Knowing the Truth of all time—knowing Him—is your ticket to real; Real Freedom.

No matter what chains Tuesday held you in, today is new. Today is Wednesday. Today is the beginning of a walk towards Him. Today is Freedom. Speak the words. Right. Now.

There isn’t a minute to waste. Today is the day. Today, you start over. Today you move from darkness into light because you step over the fear of confession. Today we—you and I—together—we take out all our dirty, filthy rags, our wretched sin and shame, our lies—the ones we’ve told and the ones we’ve believed—and we say enough!

ENOUGH!!!

We refuse to let them bind us any longer! This, this is a proclamation. This, is our declaration of war. This—right here, right now—THIS IS OUR BATTLE CRY!

WE WILL BE QUIET NO MORE!

We are tired of wearing rags when our Father has adorned us with robes of righteousness. We are tired of false motives when our Father has given us deeds of Purity, good deeds He planned for us before the beginning of time. A pseudo life isn’t enough for us anymore. We are awake.

We are the body of Christ. The Body. The Church. Us dead in our sins and transgressions and RAISED with Him in newness.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT ANY LONGER!

Today.

Right Here.

Right now.

Choose you this day—this day—life or death—the blessing or the curse.

Choose Life. Choose Him. Awaken Church and walk forward. Speak freely~