My Crossroads

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I was raised in a Christian home.  I have personally never had that moment of wondering if God is real.  I grew up acknowledging him and learning to recognize his blessings.  However, as I grew into adulthood I became lazy about my spiritual life.  Since I knew God was real and I had access to him anytime, I tended to take him for granted.  Of course I called out to him in earnest when I needed him to provide or work something out for me, but I didn’t have a meaningful relationship with him.  All my life I was in awe and reverence of Almighty God but it was a religious reverence.

That changed during our trials of 2012.  God clearly showed me I was at a crossroad in my life. The jig was up.  It was time to grow up spiritually.  It was sink or swim.  I learned how to LIVE “Pray without Ceasing”.  I rarely said “Amen” at the end of my prayers, instead I would just pick up where I left off and keep on talking to Him.  It was sincere.  It was earnest.  I needed God like I had never needed him before.  My prayers evolved from organized, clean, tidy lists to just talking to him.  As my prayer life changed, so did my relationship with Him.  Without taking away any respect for his deity and power, it was like God eased himself off his throne to sit with me on the floor.  He became my best friend.  He became personal.  I fell in love with him and before long I realized that nothing…NOTHING…is more important to me in this life than maintaining and growing my relationship with God.  I believe my trials were meant to test me, to see if I wanted to be more than a surface Christian.  But during the trial I think I subconsciously also began testing God.  I knew he was real, but did *I* matter enough to him?  He’s such a big God, could he really care about me?  The amazing thing is, He didn’t take offense.  Never once did he respond with “How dare you to question my love for you?!  I am God!”  Instead, every time I took a step into the unknown I felt his hand.  In the dark times I could hear his whisper giving me direction.  When I felt like I was being battered and beat up emotionally, I could feel his shoulder touching mine and I gained the confidence that I was not on the front line alone.

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Once life began to ease into some normalcy, the desire of my heart was to hang onto this new relationship.  I don’t want to feel a distance again.  I crave the closeness and newness of my personal relationship with God.  I love going to church and enjoying fellowship with my church family.  I am loved and accepted and challenged there.  But even more than church services, I cherish my early morning quiet time with Jesus.  I’ve learned to not listen for an audible booming voice from the sky, instead he speaks by drawing my eyes to a special scripture.  He encourages me with a song or a message.  Some mornings he is just quiet and lets me talk and talk.  Every morning I thank him for life and breath and for loving even me.

As I begin this process of blogging, my whole purpose is to encourage and bless others.  Some posts may be more serious and sincere and others may just be a funny incident that bears repeating, but overall if you leave my page with a smile I will feel like I have succeeded.

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Lest We Forget

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I wrote this journal entry 3 years ago, but I feel it also needs to be posted here.

Several years ago on my way to work, as I topped a hill a car was in my lane attempting to pass 3 cars at one time. Pure instinct kicked in and I started to take the shoulder but something stayed my hand. In a split second, that car took MY shoulder and flew past me on the right side as the three cars passed me in their correct lane.

I’ve heard it said in incidents like this that your life flashes before you.  My life did not pass before my eyes, in all honesty there wasn’t time for it to.  I remember gasping and before I could finish “God help me”, it was over.
I was shaking so bad I had to pull over for a few minutes and I clearly remember during the moments that I was thanking God for His protection, I asked Him to never allow the memory of that incident and how huge the miracle was to fade in my heart. Keep it always clear and real that this day you spared my life. Literally.
Many times in the years since, that incident has come back to my mind in such clarity that my stomach clenches and my breathing gets shallow. God has kept the memory and emotions very clear in my heart.
I pray the same thing now as our lives begin to take on more normalcy. Lord please don’t ever allow the devil to minimize how you have held us up and brought us through 2012.
Alisa did NOT “just have an accident”. Alisa was in a critical car accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury, 8 broken bones, 2 dislocated bones, and permanent hearing loss in both ears. The EMTs notified the hospital that they did not expect her to arrive at the ER alive.

And may I also say Mike was not just “sick”. Before we could complete one trial we were doused head first into a “Stage 3A colon cancer” diagnosis. CANCER.

Time and space have a way of smoothing the jagged edges, softening the memory. I do not want to wallow in the sorrow and sadness of it all, but I also do not want to lose the harsh reality of where God has brought us from.

I am studying God’s admonition to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8th chapter and the message God gave them is resounding in my life right now.
May I paraphrase Deuteronomy 8 to explain my heart?
8:2- “And you shall remember the WHOLE WAY that the Lord your God has led you…that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”
8:5-7: “Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of The Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For The Lord your God is LEADING YOU INTO A GOOD LAND….”
8:11- “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments…lest when you are full…and your heart is lifted up you FORGET The Lord your God who has brought you OUT.”

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Welcome! Let’s get this over with….

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Welcome to my new blog!  I’ve toyed with this idea for a couple years but have been too intimidated to start it.  My biggest fear is showing my ignorance to the world, but since I already do that on Facebook I suppose this isn’t much worse.  My honey believes in this so much he secretly paid the money to secure this domain name and set up this page for me.  He took the time to teach me what to click on and where to type.  Then waited for me to post my first blog.

I opened the page and looked at it.  I came back later in the day and ooohed and ahhhed at the pics of my precious family.  I tested out the tabs and explored a bit.  But every time I try to write my first blog I get nervous.  It’s like the first crisp, white page of a brand new journal.  I don’t want to mess anything up!  Once you write in it, even a dot…the new is gone.  It’s forever just another journal shoved in the pile of other half used journals.

I need to just get this over with.  Just write in it for goodness sake!  Just go!

So here it is.  My first blog post.  Done.  Now we can get on with the good stuff.

 

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