Two Roads

Photo from http://lacomunidad.elpais.com/pacifista/tags/caminoThis journey of daughterhood hasn’t gotten any easier.  Part of me has been waiting to blog until I had better news to tell you.  Then I realized, that’s not what this blog is all about.  It’s about losing me in favor of gaining all that God has for me.  It’s a messy business dying to yourself.

Today I find myself sharing a journal entry….again.

March 30, 2013

O Father in heaven, how much I feel I need to write with so little time!  Please multiply my time and efforts that Your complete will would be done.  First allow me to declare that Your hand is good upon me.  You are sovereign and trustworthy.  There is no one like You!

It feels as though I have two roads before me and yet I know not the road of truth. (John 18:38)  One road is one of admission.  I am daily made more aware of the reality of me.  I have such a natural bend toward self righteousness and false humility.  These to me are grievous sins, how I relate to Paul who called himself the chief of sinners!  I look at service last night and I am so tempted to wonder if I missed the boat.  

Did my self righteousness and false humility cause me to once again miss something?

 Was I rejecting myself before I got rejected?

 

The other road is one of declaration.  I am daily made more aware that Jesus is innately righteous and humbled himself (Phil 2:8) becoming the sacrifice for me that by His sacrifice I would perpetually be made holy (Heb 10:10-14) and because of this great truth I have the right to enter the Holy of Holies where I enjoy intimacy with the Living God. (Heb 10:19)

I look at service last night and I know that the work of the cross is complete.  I know that nothing was lost.  I know that Jesus really did give me a new heart, I know that it is the Holy Spirit guiding me.  (Heb 10:15-16)

Everything went exactly as planned.  I missed nothing!

Both roads have truth but only one IS truth.

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) Hebrews 10:23

The profession of MY faith is this:

There is a God.  You, O Lord are that God.  You are THE God.  Anything outside of Your will and good pleasure is sin.  You are perfect and cannot accept anything spotted by sin.  Indeed anything that is not holy dies in Your presence.  I was unholy and spotted with so much sin that there was nothing good even visible or perceptible.  I perpetually rebelled against You and even vaunted myself in secret ways.  Time and again You brought the truth to me and I closed my ears, unable to comprehend the length, breadth, height, and width of it. (Eph 3:16-21)

The truth is You sent Jesus, Whom You adored, Your Son, the Holy Uncreated One to this earth to die.  Yes His express purpose was to die at the hands of His own creation.  He was the sacrifice.  Jesus, Who walked this earth and declared that there was none good but You, Father.  Jesus, Who walked this earth in complete obedience counting the cost as nothing for the joy set before Him. (Heb 12:2)  That joy was me, His created being marred by my choices to be my own person and do what I thought best.  Yes, I was marred by a miasma of pride and selfishness.  My life worshipped the enemy who stood cloaked by self.  My Lord’s perfect sacrifice makes me perpetually holy.  His perfect sacrifice alone can work this miracle.  And this, Holy Father was Your will that I would be able to enter the holy place by His blood.  You have given me a new heart.  You have written Your laws on my heart.  No more will anyone say to me “know the Lord’ for I– even I, the least of all have been given the right to be called a son of God.  What greater intimacy is there than that of Father to child.

I am holding fast to this truth.  

No more will I ever entertain anything else.

SDG ~tj

 

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Rainbows and Butterflies

Going from orphan to daughter wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

I have gone from being an orphan “guest” in the courts of the King to being the daughter  in the house of the King.

I always thought that once I was received into a family it would be this wonderful happy ending a la Annie.  No where in that dream of mine did I ever imagine getting into trouble, or being chastised.  The very idea of chastisement brings every antonym of love and affection to mind.   I had never experienced loving correction.  Now I find myself experiencing the heavy hand of my loving Father.  What a wonderful hand it is!

True it is not fun in the cultural sense of the word but I have to say that when done properly it is in absolute harmony with real love.  Now, when I say real love, I am not talking love as in the selfish and self centered love that our culture has come to embrace, I am talking the self less and pure love that induced Jesus to step out of the unimaginable glories of heaven and pay the enormous debt we owed.

ImageLove.  Not the butterflies and rainbows kind of love but the kind of love that remains when there are no butterflies and rainbows to be seen.  I never knew that it was possible to feel so loved and cherished while being chastised.  It has given me a new understanding of this verse found in James:

James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience, But let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” 

That word “joy” there means cheerful or “calm delight.”  I have always worked hard at being “calmly delighted” in the midst of trials and afflictions but I find that it comes much easier now that I have a daughter’s heart.  I no longer fear being condemned, I welcome the instruction.  I am finding that it is in the instruction where we get the greatest feeling of intimacy.

ImageImagine being taught to hit a baseball or ride a bike.  Your father held you close, holding the handle bars and seat and ran while whispering encouragements and instructions in your ear, his whiskers tickling your cheek.  Then at just the right time he would let go and off you rode….unless you didn’t quite get it yet, then you fell.  The falling would be a great thing too because then your father would rush to your side and help you up while further encouraging you.

I finally have a Father.

Yep.

I’m living the dream!

Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, despise not the chastening of The Lord neither be weary of His correction:  For whom The Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom He delighteth.

SDG

tj

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They Prayed

There is much that I do not know of God but I do know that He moves His hand by prayer and as I enter the closet to pray for lost souls who do not know God because they do not want to know Him I begin to beg that my Heavenly Father would teach me to pray for these souls in particular.  He is quick to answer a prayer surely birthed from His heart.  Anguish grips my soul and travail erupts such as I have rarely known.  Then in the stillness as I ponder the great grace that I walk in and the marvelous mercy that brought me to it, my Heavenly Father reminds me that someone prayed.  Yes, before anyone preached, before anyone taught, someone humbly petitioned the Almighty and allowed their heart to be broken and they prayed.  They laid a groundwork in my life for the mighty workings of God Himself in accordance with His will and good pleasure, they prayed.  I, a stranger to them and yet they prayed.  In the dark, in the night, in the stillness and silence of solitude, they prayed.  Without hope of any reward except that The Lamb would receive His, they prayed.  I am eternally grateful that when God called, they obeyed.  

They prayed.   

Will you?

 

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  James 5:16b

 

SDG tj

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Coming Home

I am a walking miracle.

I am not talking an ordinary, “I’ve just watched my amputated leg grow back” or “I’ve been healed from a terminal illness miracle.”  I’m not talking, “my life was so bad it’s a miracle I am alive” kind of miracle.  I am talking of the greatest miracle known to man.  I am talking the miracle of not just a changed heart, but a new heart.

I have been an orphan nearly all of my life.  The word orphan has been used so much that it seems but a trifle so let me explain exactly what an orphan is.   An orphan is one who has been deprived of parents, who is without the resources of parents, and is in utter want of parents.

My life long dream has been to have parents.  For as long as I can remember my heart felt a deep lack because I didn’t have parents that poured their love and approval into me.  In my single digit childhood years I tried to show off how awesome I could be in the hopes that someone, anyone,  would take notice and make me their kid.  In my tween years I learnt to be crafty and did what I could to manipulate every situation to the end that I might receive the resources a parent would provide me with.  By the time I had become a teenager, I began to manipulate myself to fit into any mold that a prospective parent might have.   And yet every effort I made was utterly fruitless.  I was stuck on a hamster wheel of works based acceptance.

When I decided to follow Jesus I tried fervently to convince myself that I was now a child of God.  I belonged.  Still I found myself standing in the rain, my eyes gazing thru the window of His heart jealously watching as He lavished His love upon His children.  At times His eyes would meet mine and He would motion for me to come in and I, lost in the hope that it could be real, I stood motionless as insecurity paralyzed me.  Then there were the times that I would begin to walk towards the door, I’d put my hand on the knob prepared to turn it and then I’d see one of His children jump into His lap and then I would remember.  I was not the same as them; they were there first.  My darkest days were spent standing at the window grievously weeping, my sorrowful sobs echoing in the night and reverberating against the cold window pane.  How greatly I lamented that He did not come get me.

I had a siamese cat when I was 19.  Coolest. Cat. Ever.  One day he ran into a piece of furniture somehow and broke his foot.  I heard him meow in pain.  (He sounded like a cheetah!) I ran to assess the situation.  As I went for him he swiped at me with his claw while hissing and hopped away into a corner where I could not reach him.  I tried speaking softly and tenderly to him but nothing would convince him to come out.  I really wanted to help him but he wouldn’t let me get close enough so that I could.

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:”  John 1:12

In receiving Jesus and believing that He is Who He says He is I was given the power to become His daughter.  Keep in mind that that word power, means “right.”  He gave me the right to be His daughter.  The problem was that I was still thinking and acting like an orphan.  My heart could not believe that I would be anything other than an orphan while I remained on earth.  Once I realized the flaw in my thinking I began to try to change my thought process.  I tried to behave like a daughter even though I didn’t know how to even begin behaving like a daughter.  I never had a father that loved and cared for me, what ought I to expect or hope for in such a relationship?

The turning point came in a way that I was reluctant to engage in.  The Lord gave me a type and shadow.  Let me tell you dear reader, if there is one thing this orphan heart had learnt it’s that people are deeply flawed and even when having the best intentions they still hurt you.  Sure you forgive them but you don’t forget the lesson, fire burns!  Even with this realization I could not deny that this type and shadow was fashioned for me “for such a time as this.”  I stepped lightly while I strategically held myself back just enough to still be in obedience.  As time passed I began to see that holding myself back wasn’t an option.  I had to learn to ask for what I wanted and even what I felt I needed.  And so I did, with one eye shut in wincing fashion, I engaged.  I unrealistically hoped that I would never again feel the sting of being denied the parental resources I felt I needed, while in my heart I knew that it simply must come.  It was the fear of the pain; after all, that caused me to stand outside the window of my Father’s house and prevented me from running into His arms in the presence of His children.

Two very unexpected things happened upon my expected disappointment.  For one, it didn’t hurt as much as I had feared.   Somehow what I really needed was to practice walking as a daughter by not being afraid to ask.  If you don’t believe something is genuine you won’t ask of it’s promised resources!  Two, I found that the failures of past parents were my proof that this new parent could never be genuine.  You see, the parent that God recently gave me had been living in the shadow of everyone else’s failures!  This revealed God’s purpose in leading me to this point.  If there were shadows cast upon this person there certainly must be shadows cast upon my Heavenly Father.  In His largeness it was not easily evident to me, but when cast upon the normal size of a human being the shadows of those failures were readily made clear.

I retreated and wrote a series of lists.  The first list was of everything I hoped to receive and experience from a parent.  This list was sort of a shopping list, kind of like the “Nanny” list that Jane and Michael Banks wrote in the movie Mary Poppins.  Next, I wrote a list of every expectation that I had of each person who attempted to take me in as their daughter.  This list was personalized to fit the circumstances I found myself in when each person took that parental role in my life.  I titled this list “things I hoped for.”  The last list was titled “how it really was.”  In this list I wrote how each person had failed, mostly miserably, at parenthood concerning me.    Then I read over each list and to my surprise I found that my expectations were quite reasonable, I wasn’t expecting a pony for every birthday or an endless supply of chocolate!  This helped me to see that it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t wrong to believe each one was genuine and somehow this gave me leave to believe again.   When I was done, I tore the papers to shreds and threw them into the sea.   I wrote a poem.  I drove home.

Upon returning to my life I felt very weak and raw, like I had just been through surgery.  Indeed, I had been through surgery, I had had a heart transplant.  Now I have overwhelming evidence of the undeniable unconquerable power of Jesus Christ beating right here in my chest.

I have the heart of a daughter.

I have come home.

I am an orphan no more.

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”  Ezekiel 36:26

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Nothing Remains

Nothing remains of the past but the

Ever Present Savior Who directed my steps to an

Abundant future

ripe with everything good, noble, and pure.

Wrapped in love evidenced by

The Life spent on a cross

Proven by the guiding presence of

His Holy Spirit

that I would follow

The Way that proclaims

The Truth that sets all men

Free

Nothing remains but Jesus!

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O Lord~ Grant not courage to My prideful heart, Slay the selfish beast within; Destroy my false foundation, That true building might begin.

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Loved this so I thought I’d share…

Revival Bible Study

We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, yes, before the sleepless, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts.

We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a masculine Holiness, one of…

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I’ve never be…

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I’ve never been good at evangelism. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I just end up sounding like a used car salesman. “What’s it going to take for me to get you to buy this car today?” Even in prayer, … Continue reading

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Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; Wisdom is humble that he knows no more. -Cowper

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Insecurity

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In recent posts I have looked at the lives of the Elder Brother, Cain, and Martha of Bethany.  I have found that it was the Elder Brother’s self righteousness that kept him from intimacy with his father, it was Cain’s … Continue reading

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