Would You Wait If Her Harlotry’s Known?

Beautiful lyrics to a beautiful song. Asking God to hold me in my weakness and my sin. Am I strong enough to stand in your love?

Jennifer Knapp-Hold Me Now
From glass alabaster she poured out the depths of her soul.
O foot of Christ would you wait if her harlotry’s known?
falls a tear to darken the dirt.
Of humblest offerings to forgive the hurt.
She is strong enough to stand in your love.
I can hear her say..I am weak.
I am poor, I’m broken Lord but I’m yours.
Hold me Now. hold me Now.
Let he without sin cast the first stone if you will.
To say that my bride isn’t worth half the blood that I’ve spilled.
Point your finger and laugh if you choose to say my beloved is borrowed and used
From glass alabaster she poured out the depths of her soul.
O foot of Christ would you wait if her harlotry’s known?
falls a tear to darken the dirt.
Of humblest offerings to forgive the hurt.
She is strong enough to stand in your love.
I can hear her say..I am weak.
I am poor, I’m broken Lord but I’m yours.
Hold me Now. hold me Now.
Let he without sin cast the first stone if you will.
To say that my bride isn’t worth half the blood that I’ve spilled.
Point your finger and laugh if you choose to say my beloved is borrowed and use

I posted this for my daughter who is not married and is pregnant. She is a christian and she is trying to do life. She hasn’t always done it well, like all of us. And her sin and brokenness are out there for the world to see. What surprises me is the ones who look for it, who shake their heads and think will she ever change? and this does not surprise them. What surprises me is the ones who say they love but don’t look for redemption in someone.

If you knew me in my teen years you would have not waited for me. You would have shaken your head and tsk tsked. In fact there were those in the church who did. They wanted nothing to do with me until I was fixed. The truth is though that I am no more fixed today than I was at 19 and pregnant living with my boyfriend. I am redeemed and I am forgiven and I have been afforded a grace that I do not deserve. But I am not fixed.

My shame goes deep. There are few people who know the depths of sin that I come from. Would any of my friends wait for me if they knew? Because if I am a new creation…..I think that means that my past is not counted against me, not that somehow I have been changed to the point that none of it ever existed.

Will you wait for me knowing my shame? will you wait for my daughter?

But Christ waited and He loved and He was strong for me. I am broken. So are you. So is my daughter and isn’t that the whole point of Christ’s story in all of us?

I love my daughter, I love my unborn grandson.
take a minute and listen.

Dumping the Shovel

About a month or so ago I found an amazing blog called soberboots.com written by author Heather Kopp. Heather is a recovering alcoholic. I am not an alcoholic but the more I read the more I identified with different little things she said. But I’m not an alcoholic. Sometimes I cried as I read because I thought finally someone is speaking the pain and confusion that is in my heart and mind. But I am not an alcoholic. Little ideas that pierced my heart and grew into big ideas as they took root. But I am not an alcoholic.

Or a drug addict
Or a sex addict
Or a spending addict
Or a gambling addict

When I read Heathers blog I could feel peace descending in my brain for the first time in …… forever? My brain never stops. It never stops thinking and speaking to me. It never stops reminding me of my failures, it never stops planning what I will eat, when I will eat, how I will eat, why I will eat, what I can eat, what I can’t eat, what I should eat and what I shouldn’t eat. My brain never stops warring between what I know is God’s best and my sin. It. Never. Stops….Ever. Until I begin reading this persons words that sound like they could be mine.

Peace….I don’t even know what that feels like. It is like I am a blind person trying to understand how blue the tropical waters are. I don’t have anything to go on. I’ve never felt peaceful. I didn’t think it was even possible.

On one her blogs I read that ( I am paraphrasing ) we reach our bottom when we stop digging. How does a digger stop digging? I dig to find the truth. I dig to figure a way out, a way to fix, a way to control. I dig to find a solution. A magical serum that will put everything in it’s right place. I DIG FOR GOOD REASONS DAMMIT! Isn’t it good to try and find out the why and the how? Isn’t it good to dig for answers?

I don’t know anyone who has found their truth at the bottom of a muddy pit they have sunk themselves into. I don’t wonder if it is in dumping the shovel and looking up and out too the light rather than down and into the pitch black.

I am not an alcoholic…..or a drug addict……but I seem to think like one…..I tend to have some of the same behaviors……so what does that make me?

I don’t know. I know I have some serious issues with food. I believe there is a component of food addiction in me. I wish I could just peg everything on being a foodaholic, but I think there is more underneath the surface of this for me. I know that just below the food addiction is the image issue and all of that is tied into a bundle of shame and anger.

On Friday I reached my breaking point. I could not carry this anymore. The years of trying to figure out all of the angles of the food addiction or image obsession. The years of trying to manipulate it or control it. The years trying to find the answers and solutions. It is overwhelming and tiring and I am weary. So I went before God and confessed my sin and my rebellion. I confessed my need to control things in me. I confessed that I needed Him because my life had become unlivable in and of itself. I could not live with my brain and my heart the way it was anymore. I confessed that food and weight and image were my foremost thoughts, not Him. I confessed that I couldn’t carry the burden of my brain anymore. It sounds so holy up there, all those words but what it really looked like was crying and snot and the words—please God help me I can’t do this anymore—-

I admitted that I was powerless over food and that my life had become unmanageable. Then I stopped digging and put down my shovel and asked for the grace to embrace whatever He had for me.

Leave and Cleave

I recently wrote a post about the struggle to let go of my kids and the fact that I didn’t feel like I was ready to be done raising them. I wrote about feeling as if I hadn’t had enough time to right all of my wrongs as a parent and that I wanted a do over.

I suspect that large percentage of the mothers in the world to some degree or another feel the same way. I would really like to write a nice, long, poetic post about swimming in God’s grace yada, yada, yada, and I will when I find that grace pool but for now I am still mud walking.

Recently a job opportunity came up in a different country for my husband. HOW EXCITING!!!! Oh but it would break my daughters heart if I left the country. I can’t leave my kids. I never wanted to be that kind of a grandparent. You know the absentee one…I had planned on being hands on with all of my grandbabies ( you may see a common thread in my posts about “my plans” it leads to most of my problems ). Then here I was contemplating relocating to a different country.

Finally last night I got up the nerve to talk with my daughter about it and she didn’t even blink an eye. She said what an exciting opportunity for you!! wow. But in my ego centered heart my feelings were hurt a little because truthfully there was a part of me that wanted her to cry and beg for my presence. Because if most of us are honest, if there is any hurt and rejection issues in our lives we usually tend to like being the center of someones universe, especially our babies. I certainly am guilty of wanting/needing that fulfillment.

I felt a sense of not being needed and a sense of having been replaced. I know there are many moms out there who don’t have to fight through their selfish flesh and who always say/do/feel the right things in regards to their kids, I however am not perfect. What I am though is a fighter. I will fight my selfishness and choose selflessness as much as I am able. I will fight to put aside my selfish needs in order to be able to build up the good things in my kids. Good things like leaving your parents and cleaving to your husband. Good things like going to Germany and following what God wants. My selfish heart wanted my kids to live down the block and come visit on alternating holidays and sunday dinners. Even though I don’t do sunday dinners, but i might want to. But it is a process for me to get from my initial reaction, allow a little rational thought, reason with my self-seeking heart and come out on the other side. Unselfishness does not come naturally to me in the area of my children and the plans I made for their/my lives.

Leave and cleave. This morning I woke up with that heaviness of heart from a bad nights sleep and the first thing that came to mind was that verse where God says that a man will leave his parents to cleave to His wife. Well that made my heart a little heavier! God in His goodness went on to flesh out those words for me. That is what my kids are doing. They are leaving and cleaving. One to her husband and one to God……It is a principle that my husband and I stubbornly infused into every aspect of our kids lives. It was BIBLICAL for crying out loud. As like many of us though I tend to write or wrap the idea of “biblical” in a neat little package that gives me what I want. Then when something that is actually biblical occurs i am not ready for it. Because it doesn’t look like my kind of biblical.

Funny thing occurred to me as I was pondering the rather heavy thought. As far as I can remember that command was given before Adam and Eve had kids. It was not given to the kids it was given to the parents. There is a significant purpose in every single thing that God does and says. He is not random nor does he have a “just in case” plan outlined anywhere in the Word. Why would He bother to say that to the parents and NOT to the children?

I believe that God was looking straight into Eve’s heart and He knew that letting go of her children would be the hardest thing she would ever go through. I believe that He was preparing her for that time when her babies were no longer her babies. I believe that He looked at her mamas heart with compassion and into her eyes with an understanding of what He was asking of her. I believe that instruction is for us as parents more than it is for our children. It is an instruction to hold your babies in an open palm, do not grip them to tightly, do not let them stay tied to you, do not keep them so close that they are afraid to venture out. Let them love and leave. Let them leave you and let them Cleave to Me.

I always looked at and taught that verse as if He were instructing someone else. He was instructing ME. We so often read the Word with someone else in mind. Someone who needs this help or that correction. We read the Word in terms of how We can use it to help someone else but not necessarily to be instructed ourselves. Sometimes when we need comfort or strength we may look for ourselves but more often than not I think we tend to read the Word and want to define Gods instruction in terms of others. I always say though that on the day I stand before God it will be just me. I won’t be allowed to bring up others with me to deflect what I have or have not done.

Sooooo on further reflection of this verse I am beginning to understand that this instruction was given for me, not for some idea to teach my kids. Somehow I love that. I love the idea that God knows my hard things and He has prepared for them already. I love that God knows my selfishness and has provided me with His Word to combat my natural tendency to keep my kids a little to close in my selfishness. Because the thing is is that if God is asking me to do something He has the grace i need to do it and to do it well.

So here is to letting my kids leave——and it is biblical after all.

Giving Up or Giving In?

I will apologize early on in this post because today I am bound to exhibit some bitterness on my chosen subject. Most days I don’t allow this subject to ruin my life but on days when it has been two and a half hours since I awoke and I am just now having my FIRST cup of coffee my uglier starts to come out.

HEALING. I posted on my facebook that I am indeed an addict when it comes to coffee and I tend to not take it very well when it is withheld from me. I have people all the time tell me it’s bad for me I shouldn’t drink it etc.. and the sugar-free energy drinks that I have just before I workout are going to kill me. OHHHH and by the way the ambien I take to sleep a few hours every night won’t help.

Sometimes I feel like Elvis. Uppers to get up in the morning, and downers to sleep at night. I feel hopelessly caught in a cycle there is no out for. But it wasn’t always this way.

There used to be a time when I literally cried my way through my days. Nights when I wandered the house at 3 in the morning. Nights I rolled over and checked the clock—it is 2 in the morning if I fall asleep now I can sleep for x amount of hours. 3 in the morning if I fall asleep now I can sleep for……4 in the morning….5 in the morning….6:30 oh it’s time to get up.

I don’t even know what it feels like to wake up “refreshed” I don’t have a clue what “not tired” really means. Most of the time when I do sleep it is filled with vivid mostly bad dreams. I wake up feeling like I lived an alternate reality while I slept. I don’t sleep.

But the fatigue is deeper than that. It is bone deep and then throw in whatever the heck “amplified pain syndrome” is and a little EDS 3 which produced it’s own special fatigue and you kind of get why I am a little attached to my coffee.

My doctor actually prescribed me a wonderful little pill to help with wakefulness during the day. It was a little slice of heaven I can tell you. I only took it a few times but I was cautious with it. It is a drug and a powerful one. I think I may have taken a total of 5 in 3 months. Then my liver got damaged by a sweet little anitbiotic named augmentin. At that point I threw the rest away……bye bye happy pill. It wasn’t worth the risk of further damaging my liver.

7 years ago while visiting my brother in Californina he convinced me to try ambien. He is a paramedic and i trusted him. Up to that point I had never taken anything to help me sleep It was just to dangerous to think about being on drugs while my little ones were sleeping. I just slogged through my days waiting for it to be over. It may surprise you to know that I actually don’t like drugs but you know desperate time.

OH HEAVEN I SLEPT FOR 6 WHOLE HOURS——-IN A ROW. That was the first time in at least 15 years that I could remember that happening. I went home and talked my doc and I have taken it ever since. I wish I could say that solved the fatigue issue, it didn’t. But it did allow some rest for my body which helped.

So what does all of this have to do with healing? everything.

I spent years on my face before God begging for answers, begging for healing, begging for a yes or just a no. Begging for wisdom in how to deal with it. I spent years in quiet bitterness. I spent years seeking my healing, demanding that God do what was in the Word. Show me OH GOD how am I supposed to pray?? Give me the right words and attitude so I can ask just the right way and my prayers will move the hand of God on my behalf and I will get my healing.

I have endured well meaning Christians telling me that I must have some hidden sin. REALLY!? because I can tell you my “hidden” sins aren’t too well hidden. I am pretty open about my issues. But just to be sure I beseeched God to show me my hidden sin.

Those same well meaning christians pointed out my lack of faith. God can’t meet me because my faith isn’t good enough. So please GOD GIVE ME FAITH……….makes me wonder how I had enough faith to keep my sorry butt out of hell. It seems to me that it would take more faith to get into eternity than it would to heal a temporal thing like my body.

Then there is the confession of my mouth. I am cursing myself with sickness by my words……..I guess God is only as big as what I say He is……

And then against most of my christian friends advice I stopped praying about healing my body. I was tired. Just tired. I still am and to this day I can’t bring myself to pray that God heal me. I gave up. I just quit. Some people consider that I have quit running my race……if you say so.

My quest now is how to get through a day and accomplish what God has put before me. I am fortunate in that I don’t have a demanding life. Many others who deal with worse than I do have more demanding lives. I have had a demanding life but right now things are so quiet I can hear a pin drop in my life. Even so my daily pain levels and fatigue levels have been on the rise lately.

God’s victory in my life is that I continue to go forward to do His will every single day. God does not always heal us on this earth. He just doesn’t. I still have scars and wounds in my heart from childhood that will likely never completely heal on this earth. I have scars on my body that will never be completely pain free. It is what it is.

I have faith, I believe God. I LOVE HIM and I am so grateful for everything He has done for me and will do for me. He is God and He is good. Always.

Which brings me back around to my caffeine addiction and my lack of apology for it. I am not functional without it. It is not a cute little habit it is a life line. God has not healed me for whatever reason. I could take real drugs and be even worse. I just need it in the morning or things can get a little ugly in my heart.

My addiction to ambien? well. Oh well. That is another thing that God has chosen to remain silent on. I raised 4 kids on 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night. Let me tell you what, it was nightmarish sometimes for them, and for me to be that way with them. So yes, if I have to take it for the rest of my life and it helps me be a better mother and grandmother you better believe I am not giving it up.

Do I like it? not a bit. I would rather that God had miraculously healed me during those 15 long years of arguing and praying with Him. But He didn’t . I would rather that after having every medical test known to man more than once that there would have been some concrete answer that would help me develop a game plan. But that is not what happened.

What happened was that I finally gave up fighting, gave in to Christ and encountered a grace that I had never known before. All the fighting turned into strength to accomplish what God set before me in a day.

God does not heal everyone of everything. He just doesn’t at least not on this earth. Heaven will be a different story and let me tell you I long for that day. But until that day…..well…..I have to keep living with what I have. Caffeine and ambien and hope for a heaven with no pain and fatigue. I still think I get the better end of the deal.