Saturday, April 27, 2013

Onion Peeling

Ever peel away the layers of an onion? I have, well I started to. Slowly I have removed layer upon seemingly endless layer of onion. As I got closer and closer to the center of  the onion I got frustrated and just pulled the layers apart. Sometimes I feel just like that onion.

God starts peeling away layers of my life. He slowly removes things from my life that don't need to be there. They might be fears, hurts, or even people that He peels away. There are times when I welcome the peeling, but most times I don't. Even though I know the removals are going to bring healing and freedom, I also know they are going to hurt. They are going to take me out of my distorted comfort zone. They are going to make me see things and admit to things in my life that I may have buried years ago or even just recently, but I wanted them to remain buried.

In the last few weeks I have felt some of these peelings happening. Part of me wants to rejoice, and part of me wants to go running through the streets screaming at the top of my lungs. I guess I figure the running and screaming thing will get me committed or something. No matter which way I want to react I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is God at work.

This morning I said a strange little prayer, "Lord please peel away a layer." I don't think I have ever asked for anything in a prayer like that before. I have asked Him to make me more like Him, which would result in peeling, but I have never asked for peeling. I want freedom in a certain area, a major area, of  my life. I want to move forward and I don't want to waste anymore time doing so. So I have asked a daring request and let the peeling begin.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dealing With Stuff I Didn't Even Know Was Still There

Do you ever feel like no one gets you? Yea, I know you do. I think we all do. I know there are times when I don't get other people. I don't understand decisions they make, words they use, or how they just acceptt things without hesitation.

This past week I did a spiritual gifts test. I've done similar ones before, but somehow this one clicked for me. Maybe it was that I did it with people I knew and knew me. It was good to discuss what their tests showed about them and what it showed about me. Previously I had done the tests by myself or with people I did not know. But it was more than just being with people I know. I finally understood some things about me. A bit of how I work came to light.

There is more to me than that though. I have a childhood that has shaped things in me, both good and bad. I know we all have, but we tend to either have more good or more bad shaped in us. Some children actually live really good lives, with good parents, and very few trials of childhood. I would think that wasn't true, because it wasn't always true for me. I would think that is just a myth, but I know someone, actually a few someones, who had that kind of childhood. I still am a bit amazed by that. I work with kids and see some who come from hard places, hard homes, and then I see the ones whose lives are practically perfect. I can practically picture their futures based on what I see now.

I do not know what struggles they will face in the future, and their childhoods don't have to define it anyway. Yet for many of us it does, both good and bad. I know that God has healed some things from my childhood, things that affected my adulthood. Yet, there is more healing for Him to do.

Unfortunately, the feelings of being misunderstood are still there. Yesterday, I ended up spending the last few hours of the day crying and crying. The experiences of my childhood and my main spiritual gift ran smack into a suggestion that affected me in a way that I didn't see coming. My response was "no". It was a no brainer for me. But the aftereffects of emotions were not expected. I certainly didn't expect to have the feelings.

They spoke things to me that I thought were gone, but were really just buried. They made me admit some things that I thought I had overcome. They made me admit a major truth of something I believe. A hard, hurtful truth. Not what I believe is true, because it isn't. I mean I truly believe it and I need God to deal with it.

I wished that others understood me and wouldn't have even even made the suggestion. At first my reaction was directed at a person. I wished that I was understood better and then maybe it wouldn't have even been made. Then I realized it really had nothing to do with anyone else. God uses everything, e-very-thing, to work His purposes. He was doing some heart work, He is doing some heart work. Not sure how this is going to go. I am still reeling from the feelings and know God is still working on my heart. Hopefully, soon, healing and Truth will bring the healing that God is bringing.

This living a life of letting God heal your heart is not easy, but it is so worth it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fiery Darts

The truth is the glass is half empty and half full. We spend time trying to figure which way we look at the glass, but it's both. It's not one or the other. Yes, the optimistic person sees it as half full and the pessimist sees it as half empty. But is that really the point? I don't think so. I think it is about the fact that it is both.

Why is that important? Well, on the way to work today I was thinking about how I need to learn from the fiery darts of the enemy. They are bad and meant to kill. But they also are good. What? Yup, they are good.

You see satan meant them for bad. He thinks they will get us off track. He thinks they will destroy us. God however, will turn those darts for good. He uses them to get us off a track that we shouldn't even be on. He uses them to drive us back towards Him. He uses them to chip away at something that shouldn't been in our lives. He uses them to bring freedom, peace, and life.

Those darts are like the glass. The glass is both half empty and half full. Those darts are both sent by the evil one and redeemed by the Holy One. I wish that the darts weren't necessary. They hurt! They bring out things I want buried deep. The pain though can be a healing pain and that I do want. I do want God to do a work in me. I want Him to chip away at the things in my life that do not belong there. I want them to drive me closer to Him.

I am not going to lie. I do not like the darts. Occasionally after I pray a prayer to become more like Him, I instantly regret it. I think, "oh man, what did I just pray for!" Lately, this has been the case. I have a problem with emotions. I am not overly emotional, just the opposite. But that is not where God wants me to be. That's not where I want to be. The last few days darts have been flying. This morning one hit home and hard. I was at work so crying really wasn't an option, but I did let myself feel the pain. I didn't try to convince myself that it was bad to feel it. Satan meant to take me out with that dart. He was unsuccessful. Instead, I let myself feel the pain, even though I couldn't express it then. And, most importantly, I turned to God and shot a quick prayer to Him and He heard me. He gave me a peace. That is the most important point. He took the dart and He won. The best part is He always wins. Now it's time to walk in it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sometimes You Just Need To

I have been debating for about two weeks now whether or not to go to a baby shower tomorrow. The shower is for one of my favorite friends and I adored her. So why wouldn't I go to her baby shower? Simply because it would not be good for my emotional health.

Baby showers, weddings, engagement announcements, bridal showers, and the million of Facebook statuses and photos often send me into an emotional tailspin. I went to a shower for a co-worker several months ago and it took me awhile to recover. Then once she had the baby my whole team decided we need to go over and see him. Ugh! That wasn't an easy adventure. The baby was sweet and I was the first to hold him. I couldn't pass him off fast enough. Holding that baby set me back for a few days.

The last wedding I attended, coincidentally the same friend who is having the shower, I cried all the way home and then some more when I got there. Honestly, how I didn't get in an accident I do not know. There were a lot of windy back roads.

Was I happy for my friend? Overjoyed for her. She is an amazing person and God brought her the perfect husband for her. I was thrilled for her, and yet my heart broke all over the place. Was I happy for my co-worker and her newborn son? Of course! She is the sweetest, kindest person and I think she's great. Yet it hurt badly to hold that child. It was hard to comment about how sweet he was as my eyes burned and longed to cry.

This past Christmas I turned down a trip to Disney World, some place I enjoy. My brother and his family invited me along. I told them "no thank you". How do you tell someone that going on family vacations rips my heart in two?

I have decided. I am not going to go to the shower. I will give my friend a gift for her soon-to-arrive daughter, but I can't go. I have to make the decision based on the effect going would have on my heart, my emotions. I hope she will be understanding, even if she can't really understand the why of it.

Sometimes you just need to do what is best for you. For me, this is one of those times.