This is just a friendly reminder that July’s Share the Love will be posted on Monday, July 1, 2013, Lord willing. I know I tell you how excited I am to Share the Love with the blog the Lord places on my heart every month, but it’s the truth. I am so blessed and honored that the Lord asked me to read and follow someone’s blog at the beginning of each month.
Each month, He places someone new on my heart, and I then go and read about the author of the blog, as well as his/her posts. After reading many posts, I then select the ones that are my personal favorites, to encourage you to stop by and read them. It’s truly a joy to read the posts of those that God has placed on my heart. Another part of the process is to notify the recipient ahead of time, so that he/she can tell me a little bit about him/herself, and share their favorite post(s) with me, and I can then pass them on to you as well.
Anyway, July is right around the corner – next week… so get ready to Share the Love with another wonderful blogger! Who knows? Maybe the Lord will lead me to choose you the next time.
With much love and many blessings, I remain,
Your Sister Cheryl
“Here is yourFWF prompt… I found this quote yesterday and posted it to my Facebook page. I liked the snarky feel of it and so did a lot of others. So I thought it would make for a great prompt! Here is your opportunity to vent. A chance for you to ‘write the wrongs’. Share a time that you have felt wronged or treated unfairly, either by way of a situation or another person.”
When I saw this week’s prompt, I felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I think it would take me days and days to write all of the wrongs in my life. I could write several books about those wrongs — maybe even several volumes. Shoot — I could probably write a library of the wrongs in my life!
But what would that accomplish? If I write the wrongs in my life, would it right the wrongs? I don’t think so.
If I write the wrongs in my life, would it help anyone? Would it make anyone else feel better? Would it make anyone happy? Would it change the course of history? Probably not.
If I write the wrongs in my life, will the ones who wronged me be sorry? Will they even know I’m talking about them if I don’t use their names? Will they even remember wronging me? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.
If I write the wrongs in my life, will it bring me joy? By writing the wrongs in my life and thereby hurting the wrongdoers, will it bring them or me peace? By writing the wrongs in my life, am I seeking vengeance? By writing the wrongs in my life, do I become like those who wronged me?
I wasted many years of my life living and reliving the wrongful, hurtful things that were done to me throughout my life, and do you know what it got me? Pain… and more pain.
You see, the more you dwell on the wrongs that have been done to you, the more you become entangled in them. When your focus is on your pain, every movement you make causes more pain, and each time you relive that pain, the wound is ripped open again, so that it never has a chance to heal… and as that wound continues to fester within you, it becomes infected, and that infection then begins to spread into other areas of your life, infecting them as well. Before you know it, other relationships become contaminated, and you are unable to fully trust and fully love…
Beloved, I don’t want to be tormented by the wrongs that have been done to me. Therefore, I choose to right the wrongs in my life…
I choose to forgive those who have hurt me…
I choose to love my enemies and bless those who curse me…
I choose to turn the other cheek…
I choose to think about the good things in life, rather than the wrongs…
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Hallelujah! As soon as I saw this word, the spirit within me rose up, and I knew that I had to respond to this#FWF Free Write Friday: Word Prompt… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do you know what it’s like to spend your whole life longing for purpose? Did you ever long to know that there was some reason for your existence? Yes, some people believe that we’re here by accident, but I’ve never bought into that theory.
You see, I’m one of those people who believe in absolutes. I believe in black and white… I believe in the existence of good and evil… I believe in absolute rights and absolute wrongs…
I believe that every man, woman and child was created and placed here on this earth for a very specific reason. I truly believe that every human being was created by God Almighty, and that before He even formed us in our mother’s womb, He had a plan for our lives, and I would like to share His plan for my life with you.
You see, while I have always believed in God, I didn’t always believe that everyone was created for a specific reason. I didn’t believe this, because for much of my life, I felt that I was a mistake. Indeed, there was a time that I hated to even look in the mirror, because I did not like the person looking back at me. I thought that person was an ugly mistake, and I tried for many years to mold myself into someone more acceptable.
For many years, I tried to be the person my parents wanted me to be, but I was destined for failure, because that was not who God created me to be. When I would meet people that I admired, I would try to take on the personality traits that I admired. I have a friend who is very meek and soft-spoken, and I tried very hard to be like her. The problem with that was that I am neither meek nor soft-spoken. I can be very loud and opinionated, which does not work well when you are trying to be meek and soft-spoken.
For so many years, I didn’t know who I was, or what I was here for, and I envied those who had purpose in their lives and walked confidently and comfortably in their skin. I spent so much of my life trying to be acceptable to my family, to the people I looked up to, and to the people that I went to church with, and the truth is, I was miserable, though I was very careful not to let anyone see it.
Then, out of nowhere, as I was preparing for a Sunday School lesson that I was about to teach, I had the serendipity of discovering a truth that changed my life forever!
13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. ~ Psalm 139:13-16 NASB
God choseto reveal the answer to this problem of my existence that had haunted me all of my life serendipitously, as I prepared to teach a Sunday School lesson to teens. He revealed to me that He formed all of my inward parts, and that He had skillfully woven me together…
That meant that He had deliberately given me buck teeth, which required braces when I was younger. I wasn’t just some ugly freak. He had skillfully created me like that for some reason that I didn’t understand. And the scoliosis that caused me to wear a back brace as a young teenager, He had deliberately created that curvature in my spine. Again, it wasn’t just the result of some freakish accident – this was a result of His divine plan…
Now, here is the most amazing part of all of that:
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. ~Psalm 139:14 NASB
I am fearfully and wonderfully made… With all of my physical problems, my back problems, the arthritis, the crooked teeth I had as a child, I was and am still fearfully and wonderfully made. I was created in His image. I wasn’t a mistake. He deliberately created me, with my loud voice (it’s the voice of a prophet and preacher), with my strong, uncompromising beliefs (a prophet cannot back down from what the Lord commands him/her to do, no matter what the cost).
He wasn’t surprised by all of the suffering that I’ve gone through in my life. I’ve been abused, rejected and lied about. I’ve been cursed and ridiculed and belittled. And God not only allowed these things to happen to me, He ordained it!
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance ; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. ~Psalm 139:16 NASB
That’s a hard thing for many people to swallow, and you may wonder why I would find comfort in knowing that He ordained all of the painful events in my life, so I will try to explain it to you.
I was a prison minister for almost ten years, and God allowed me to love and minister to those women because of what I had experienced in my life. You see, if I had never suffered rejection, abandonment, and abuse, I wouldn’t have been able to relate to those women as well as I did. If I hadn’t had those experiences in my life, I may not have had the love and compassion for those women that I have. You see, when I went in the prison to minister to them, I never felt that I was above them. I knew the truth — that it was only by the grace of God that I wasn’t an inmate.
If I hadn’t suffered the things that I’ve been through in my life, I might never have known the love of Christ. I might have never realized how desperately I need Him, if I hadn’t suffered as I did. If I hadn’t suffered the things that I’ve been through in my life, I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t be writing as I do.
You want to know something? As I write this, I’m not even sure this is a good example of serendipity, because the truth is that I didn’t just find this wonderful news without looking for it. The truth is that it found me. God sent His only begotten Son to find me, and if He hadn’t purposefully sought me out, I would never have discovered these wonderful truths.
Can I share just one more thing with you? Did you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Did you know that God skillfully knit you together in your mother’s womb? Did you know that God has an ordained plan for yourlife? Please don’t let what I’ve shared with you scare you off, because I saved the best news for last.
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28 NLT
Isn’t that wonderful? Because I love God and I’m called by Him, He makes every bad thing in my life work out for my good! Do you love God? Have you heard Him calling you? If your answer is yes, rejoice! Because He will cause everything to work together for your good too!
If your answer to that question is no, then I pray that God will open the eyes of your heart, and that He will reveal Himself to you. I pray that you will believe in Jesus, His one and only Son, who died to pay for my sins and yours, so that we would no longer be bound by them. I pray that you will know that even though Jesus suffered, bled and died for the sins of all mankind, He rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God, and that He is coming back again to reign and rule over all the earth. I pray, in Jesus’ mighty name, that as you read my post, you serendipitously come to know and love the Almighty Creator of the universe, and that you know that you are no accident.
Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!
Bonus assignment: do you keep a notebook next to your bed? Good. Tomorrow morning, jot down the first thought you have upon waking, whether or not it’s coherent. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Who is this Murphy anyway?” she thought as she angrily wiped the tears from her eyes and tried to focus on the task at hand. It seemed that no matter what she did, it was wrong. She had spent her whole life trying to win her family’s love, and it seemed that no matter how hard she tried, she always came up short.
And now, she was at a crossroad. She could make one more last-ditch effort to win everyone’s love and approval. She could make this all or nothing play, and maybe, just maybe, everyone would see that she really wasn’t so horrible. Maybe, if everything went just right, maybe if nothing went wrong, her family would finally see that she was indeed, worthy of their love and affection.
Perhaps, if she played by all of their rules, she would finally win their approval. “Oh God,” she wept in misery, “why does it always have to be so hard?” She thought back to all of the years when she had tried so hard to make them love her, even though it meant losing herself in the process.
She remembered the time her mother had made a bet with her. “I’ll quit smoking if you bring home a report card with straight A’s,” her mother told her. Oh, how desperately she had wanted to win that bet. She had worked and studied so hard, not only because she wanted to win the bet and have her mother quit smoking. The truth is that was just icing on the cake. What she really wanted was to win her mother’s respect, but if anyone lived according to Murphy’s law, it was her. When her report card came out, she saw that she had once again fallen short… She got all A’s and one B.
Her mother had laughed with derision when she saw her report card. “I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about,” she told her daughter. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to pull it off,” she said as she launched into yet another story of how she had gotten straight A’s all year when she was in the third grade. Her daughter felt like such a loser.
Throughout her childhood, she tried to fit in, but again, Murphy’s law followed her wherever she went, and she always fell short of what she tried for. She wanted to sing in the County Chorus, but her nerves got the best of her, and her singing fell flat. She tried so hard to be the funny one, so people would like her, but again, she always seemed to miss the mark.
The only place that she ever felt acceptance was at church. For some reason, no matter how badly she messed up, those people seemed to care for her, and they tried to tell her that God loved her too, but she knew better. If her own family couldn’t stand her, how could a holy and righteous God love her? Though she wanted to believe that He loved her, she couldn’t believe it, because she knew the evil that lurked inside her heart, and she knew that God knew the evil within her too, so how could He love her?
She was a funny little child. No matter how many times her family rejected her, she was always able to find a small reservoir of hope within her that never ran dry. “Maybe this time, they’ll love me,” she’d think as she tried again and again to win their love.
When her stepfather molested her, she was told that it was her fault, and she believed it. She was told that she must keep the secret so that others wouldn’t be hurt and so her family wouldn’t be destroyed… And she kept that secret, too, because she didn’t want to destroy her family, and she didn’t want to hurt them either. “If I let him do this to me,” she foolishly thought, “maybe he’ll leave my sister alone.”
She got married at a young age, to a young man she’d only known for a few months. Her mother told her it would never last, and a part of her was afraid that this would prove to be true, after all, hadn’t her whole life been a prime example of Murphy’s Law? But thankfully, in this area, she beat Murphy’s Law…
It seemed that after she married, Murphy’s Law seemed to have a far lesser hold on her, as though it didn’t operate outside of her relationship with the family she grew up with. She discovered that she didn’t need to work hard and jump through hoops to keep her husband’s love. For some crazy reason that she couldn’t understand, he seemed to love her whether she was good or not. He loved her when she burned his dinner or forgot to take his laundry out of the washer and caused it to get moldy.
And then, she began to know Jesus. It was a relationship that began slowly and gently, as He wooed her and drew her to Him with gentleness and love. He began to speak words of love to her heart, erasing Murphy’s hateful Law, and writing His Law of love on her heart. “You were created in My image,” He spoke to her, “and it was I who formed you in your mother’s womb. I knit you together, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Before then, it had never occurred to her that there was anything good about her. Indeed, whenever she looked in the mirror at herself prior to this, she saw nothing but ugliness, but after He spoke those words to her, she began to see herself as God saw her.
“Beloved,” He gently spoke, “You are precious in My sight. I have redeemed you and called you by name,” He said. “You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”
Christ gave her the strength and the courage to be all that He had created her to be. She was no longer a slave to her past… She was no longer a slave of Murphy’s Law… And now, these many years later, as she stood at this crossroad, she had a choice to make.
She could go back to her remaining family, back to the life that she had escaped from, and become a slave once more to Murphy’s Law, as she tried to earn the love and approval of those who were left, knowing that no matter what she did, she would never measure up to what they wanted and expected from her…
Or, she could walk away from all of the rules and expectations that she could never live up to, and walk to the life that God offered her… a life where she was free to be the woman He created her to be… a life where she was loved and accepted by her husband and her children, and the family of God… a life where she didn’t have to work and struggle so hard to earn the love of others, because God caused them to lavish their love on her regardless of what she did… Really, it wasn’t such a difficult decision for her to make.
My Beloved Readers, Followers, Friends, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My mother suffered a mild heart attack last night. Please continue to pray for Mom, my sister, and me. Mom is really having a difficult time, with the dementia, loss of independence, and failing health. She must be so scared. It breaks my heart, because I love her so much, and I hate to see her suffering.
My sister also needs your prayers and love. She is carrying a lot on her plate, between caring for Mom, as her POA, and work, and her family. Please pray that she feels the Lord’s love, strength and comfort during this difficult time.
Please also continue to pray for me… I love both my sister and my mom very much, and want to be there for them and help them as much as possible, but pain is hindering me. Please pray for the Lord’s strength so I can be there with them and help them both.
I’m going to try to rest some now – much love to you all. I am so thankful to be a part of this great family of believers, who continue to edify and pray for me though we have never seen one another face to face. Much love to you all!
My beloved friends and brothers and sisters in Christ,
Thank you for the prayers that you are lifting for my mother. We didn’t have a good day today. It started off pretty good, but it soon took a turn for the worst.
Mom became very angry and frustrated, and I became frustrated and hurt too, because she wouldn’t let me help her. She said some hateful things, and I let it get to me… In hindsight, I now know that she was starting to feel worse, and she was getting frustrated, because she wasn’t able to do the things that we all take for granted, like feeding herself and caring for her own personal needs. She was feeling weak and probably frightened, which caused her to snap at those closest to her… my sister this morning, and me this afternoon.
Because of our past history, I took it personally, and missed what was really going on. Tonight, at around 9:30, she went into acute distress, having difficulty breathing. She had to have another breathing treatment, and more tests and meds.
Please continue to pray for Mom, my sister, and me. Pray that the Lord gives me wisdom to recognize what is really going on, so that I don’t take things so personally, when she says hurtful things. I love her, and I know she loves my sister and me too. This dementia can be both a blessing and a curse.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers… I know that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, and if two or more will touch and agree, according to God’s will, it will be done.
It’s about 1:15am on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, and I am getting ready for bed, but I just wanted to give you a quick update on my mom. Her fever is down, praise God! However, she still has some “crackling” in her lungs, and she is coughing now. My sister and I are praying and believing that the coughing is a good thing, because it is breaking up the fluid in her lungs.
Please continue to pray for her. She asked me if Dad came to see her last night, and I said no, and then, later today, she asked my sister why Dad hasn’t been to see her. My sister didn’t want her to think that Dad didn’t care for her, so she reminded mom (who has dementia) that Dad had passed away.
Please pray for my sister too, because I know that was hard for her to do, and she really misses Dad (who died more than a year ago) too. I love her. She is a good, strong woman, who has been a good daughter to Mom and Dad, taking care of them on her own, when I couldn’t be there for them. I pray that the Lord will let me be a blessing to both my sister and my mother.
At any rate, this has been a difficult day for Mom. Dementia can sometimes be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing, because Mom is able to forget her grief a lot of the time, but it’s also a curse, because whenever she is reminded of Dad’s passing, it’s as though she begins to grieve all over, and for her, it’s like it just happened.
I need to go to bed now, but thank you for praying, and please don’t stop. We all need your prayers.
I pray that the Lord continues to bless each one of you, my beloved brothers and sisters, for sacrificing your time to pray for my family…
One final thing – although I hadn’t planned to write anything today, the Lord gave me a strong word, which I posted a few minutes ago. Please pray for the word that He released through me tonight, that it will touch the hearts of each one who reads it, and accomplish all that He has sent it to accomplish.