Marked

I am being…
Unwoven
Unraveled
Unlocked
Everything I held close, held important….
Pulled away.
My brain screams “WHAT HAVE I DONE??”
My spirit knows
It’s way beyond that.
Holes everywhere.
Space everywhere.
Pain always.
Ideas I can’t find
Words I can’t grasp
But I know
Somewhere
Somehow
Sometime
I will know
The end of this road I’m on
I am not who I know myself to be
There is more
So much more
Raw
Ripped open
Grasping
I will sit here with You
I will keep asking
“Where are You in this?”
Show me…
Show me…
Show me…
I will not run away
From the hurt
I will push forward
I keep pushing forward
I am asking….
“What is the goal?”
“Where are we going?”
I want to go with You
Take me with You
Please take me with You
I see now
You are showing me
Yourself
Your heart
Your eyes
Your desire
Keep going
Keep going
Don’t quit
I won’t quit on You
I will stop fighting You
I will stop fighting the pain of letting go
I will stop
And I will let You…
Fill my broken places
Open my dark spaces
Please God…
Encounter me
Unweave me
Unravel me
Unlock me
Unlock me
Unlock me
Mark me

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The Trenches….

Do you look around you and see suffering everywhere?  What do you do when you see it?  Do you get in the trenches with those who are suffering and pray or do you crawl away and pray it doesn’t touch you?  Do you look beyond the agony and find the purpose?  Sometimes its hard to see anything but the pain.  I know.  I’ve experienced my fair share.  It’s easy to focus on how much it hurts and how we just want to not feel that way anymore.  It’s time to shift our thinking to another possibility.

I read a devotional this morning (http://www.intouch.org/magazine/daily-devotion#.VBr8dvldV8E) that shook my thought process.  Then it became the topic of conversation in a group message I have with some dear friends who get in the trenches with me.  It was about sifting.  How Peter was not ready to take over when Jesus left and so he was sifted in preparation.  It is so hard to look past the suffering and see that there is always a reason, a purpose.  There IS. God is not just about allowing people to experience pain for pains sake.  He wants us to experience more of Him, to grow in faith, to grow in love, to get prepared.

So here is the personal nature of God.  After all of this conversation, a woman walked into my office in obvious pain.  She had hurt etched all over her face.  I asked if she was okay.  She was not.  She poured herself out.  I poured back.  We sat here in my place of work and cried while she let me minister to her and love on her.  She needed God to show up today and He did.  He used another woman in pain to be the heart of Jesus.  He didn’t need someone who had it all figured out.  He needed someone who was in the middle of it to crawl into the trench with her.  So I did.

I challenge you.  Crawl in with someone who needs a personal touch from the Lord.  Be bold.  Be vulnerable.  Be real.  Be Jesus.  Not tomorrow.  Not next month.  Right now.

 

Sacrifice

Today I have a dear friend that God so graciously placed in my life who is embarking on the same journey we started not long ago….only hers is so much more than mine.  I sent one son to serve but had 3 beautiful kids still at home.  She is sending her two sons, her only children to boot camp at this very moment.  She will walk back into her home to be greeted by silence.  There will be no more crazy game nights playing chicken foot…no more arguments about silly sibling things…no more birthday cakes…no more family drives to Texas…no more lots of things like Easter, Mother’s Day, Birthdays…but there are new things that will bring joy too…

There will be pride in what her sons have chosen to do…there is the absolute unadulterated joy at that first letter in the mail and every one after that….there is the feeling she will get when she knows her boys have passed one stage, and then the next and then the last and hardest; the Crucible….there is the moment she will hear their voices for the first time since they left home…there is the sight of their new, manly faces after 13 weeks of the hardest recruit training in the military…there is the first hug that feels like home….there is the hours spent on family day just staring at their beautiful faces…there is the new way that they walk through the world…the way they stand at ease no matter where they are…there is walking through the mall and having a stranger thank them for their service…there is their presence in her home for a few precious days when it is all over.  It is like nothing else and there will never be anything else like it.

So as her boys swear in and say goodbye, I thank her.  I thank her for her sacrifice, for her way of being graceful in the choice her children have made.  I thank her for allowing herself to be drafted when they made that choice.  I thank her for the children she and her husband raised…the way they are strong and willing to do what others cannot do.  I thank her for giving her boys to our country, because that is what she has done.  They will always be her sons, but she has given them to us so that we may remain free.  I thank her when thanks is not enough.  I pray for their well being…that they remain healthy and strong…that they hear the voice of their Father in Heaven when they are struggling…that they lean into Him when all else fails.  I pray that they have the strength to put one foot in front of the other when there is nothing left inside to continue on. But most of all, I pray that they feel the love of those who are far away but stand behind them in everything they are endeavoring to do….that they would know without a shadow of a doubt that they are not forgotten and that they are loved!

Seasons

I am in a season of strangeness…somewhere in between where I am not quite sure what is going on or how I feel, but I know that God is working and the moment He chooses to reveal the mystery I will be here, waiting.

There have been some unexpected things that I didn’t see coming…hurtful words, omissions that I have had to fight tooth and nail to fend off the offense that wells up in my heart.  I want so much to entertain the hurt, to cozy up to it, to hang out with it and make it my best friend, to wallow in it…but that is not who God has grown me up to be.  If I want to go forward and deeper with Him, I cannot walk backwards.

I am also living in the land of the unknown….and the scope of that keeps growing.  Pretty much all of you know that my son Tyler is now in the Marine Corps and he is about to start the school portion of his training.  For over a year we thought that he would be in Pensacola for that, but literally at the last moment, he was assigned to a school that is located in North Carolina….AND the school that we thought was going to be a year is now only 12 weeks.  He was able to bypass all the preliminary portions of school that we all expected in Pensacola that would determine what aircraft he would be assigned to.  He has been assigned to an aircraft and will be starting school for that in April.  Needless to say, I am learning that there are LOTS of unknowns.

There other unknown is Brad’s work.  He has started working out of town and there is no set schedule to it.  It’s not a job where he works 3 weeks on and has a week off.  He just works until they are done or are waiting for another delivery truck or things like that.  Please hear me…I am NOT complaining at all.  I am so grateful that he has work in this rough economy.  I am just finding that I don’t like the “not knowing”.  I don’t know when I will see him, I don’t know when I will see Tyler and I just get so tired of telling my friends I don’t know.

Even though it isn’t very long, this post has taken me several days to write.  When I started it, I was just feeling really alone but now I am feeling God working…I am just not to the end of this learning stage yet.  I just want to get to the other side of it, having learned everything I am supposed to learn, so that I don’t keep going around the same tree over and over again.  I want those days to be over.  I want seasons to be seasons one after the other, not repeat winter after winter after winter.  Until next time…

The End of This

I’m tired.  I have made other people tired with my emotions.  I am struggling and I have made others struggle.  I am trying to stand on what I know to be the truth, but some days it is difficult to see the forest for the trees.  Do you ever have times where you know God has changed so much about you and then in one fell swoop you just walk right back into what you have always done?  I have a particular issue in my life that I keep doing that with.  I will go months at a time keeping it in check and walking away from the ugliness that clouds my life, but then, when I start getting tired or feeling stress or failing at something, it rises up and takes out everyone in its path…I revert to that young girl who never felt heard or seen and I lose control.  I become so emotional that there is no making it better.  I want to hear the perfect words that will fix it but they never come because I’m starting to realize that they don’t exist.  I put this responsibility of perfection on ones I love and they cannot fulfill the demand.  There is something inside me that needs fixed (don’t we all) but I don’t exactly know what it is.  I know there is always a reason for things but sometimes the water gets so muddy with your own dirt that you can’t see which direction to go.  I guess I am saying this because I really need prayer.  I need to get victory over this thing that I cannot even define yet.  I know that God loves me, even in my weakness.  I feel like I am seeing what this weakness is really doing for the first time and I don’t like it.  My love for my family is so great, but this junk covers it up sometimes and I hate that.  I hate that I am grieving God.  I hate that I am grieving my family.  I want to be better.  I want to love better.  I want to love well.  I want to do what God wants, but somehow I know I cannot come into His fullness while this thing is still within me.  I want to come to the end of this.  I need encounter…

A Momma’s Broken Heart…

Sometimes I think I share too much…isn’t the unknown sometimes safer?  It’s like Tyler going off to boot camp.  As scary as it is, you don’t know exactly what to be afraid of so you find that maybe it’s not quite as bad as you’ve imagined.  I have thought several times that if I had done what he is doing, I could not have gone forward if I had known what was ahead of me.  Sometimes the unknown is not so bad.

But here I sit, wondering if I have given too much of a glimpse into what lies ahead for some people.  Have I only talked about the hard parts of it or shown only the pain of it?  I have to admit, at the beginning, despite the pride in the choice that he made, there weren’t a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings.  It was hard.  Really, really hard.  But I made it through that part.  It went fast.  It didn’t last forever.

But what if you are about to say goodbye to what feels like your whole family?  What must that be like?  I said goodbye to one son.  I moved one son into the rest of his life.  What if it was all my children?  All at the same time?  God didn’t ask me to do that.  I have someone so dear to me who is facing that.  God has asked her to let go of all of her children all at once.  They leave home on the same day.  They start the journey my son is on all at the same time.  Together, with each other.  She must say goodbye to them both and send them into the rest of their lives.

I know some of you may say I am being dramatic, but when she came to see me today, I saw it in her eyes.  It is there.  The fight within her heart to do what is right and let her boys go, to let them grow up, to do what God is asking her to do…to give them back to Him.  But her momma’s heart is breaking.  It will never be the same and I think she knows it.  I know she will do what is best, but this is the part where I wonder if I have said to much, given her a glimpse at the hard part of it, made her see what is so hard to see with clarity that she doesn’t want or need right now, made it harder for her to let go.  I talked about the end of boot camp, the end of boot camp, the end of boot camp….then it was over and then something else came…the realization of this new life – that it wouldn’t be over after boot camp – there was still so much more to go through.  And now she must walk this road times two…and all at the same time.

Maybe I have shared too much.  Maybe I was so focused on what I was going through that I didn’t think of the consequences for someone else, but I know that God gave her to me for a reason.  So even if I did share too much, I can now be there for her the way she was for me.  I can love her, I can cry with her, and most of all I can pray with her for her boys and for her.  I will lift her arms up when she cannot.  I will stand when she cannot rise up.  Because you see, we have  Christ in the middle of us, so whatever the mistakes or wrong steps, He can make it all work for good.  This I believe.  I love you Patrice.

Every Time I Turn Around pt 2

I just had to share and update on Shawna and Ryan that I posted about yesterday.  She posted this to the Marine Moms page today…

“Great news, ladies!!! I was at work last night, had my kiddos tucked in bed and breathing well (it’s respiratory season), and started opening my charts when my phone rang.  Guess who it was!!!! My wonderful son, my Marine!!! We had a very long conversation and talked about so many things.  He started off saying how ashamed he was, which I stopped him short and told him there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and that I am more proud of him today than I was when i spoke with him last weekend.  I told him it took amazing strength to get back up and move forward.  He sounded great!!! He sounded confident, yet humbled and he talked a great deal about faith.  Goodness, I could go on and on about our conversation.  Since I am extremely sleep deprived, I will keep it short in hopes my post will make some sense.  I do want you all to know that I told him about all the prayers you ladies were saying for him and how proud you were of him.  I could hear the smile in his voice when he said “please tell them I said thank you.”  May God continue to bless all of you wonderful Marine Moms. :)”


Just when you think it can’t get any better, God blows up the box we put him in and exceeds all expectation!  Lord, keep encountering Shawna & Ryan and every other Marine and families!