Saturday, September 22, 2007

Let's face it, it is super easy to get stuck on the ground in the muck and mire of "circumstance" in the day in and out of living on this planet called earth. I am not sure what life has dealt you, or what challenges you are facing (I hope you are facing them and not turning your back on them because that just breeds bigger problems) right now...but I am sure that God's word speaks to your situation. You may be experiencing health problems, financial crisis, loneliness, depression, you may have come out of a season where you took a great tumble into sin, you may be experiencing rejection, betrayal, problems at your workplace, there are just so many things that we face and what do we do with these things? Rod has a friend that Morgan is scared to death of and she saw him outside today and just hid under the covers in my bed. She just didn't want to deal with know what I mean. There are some things that I am scared of and some issues that I just don't want to have to face. I am so afraid of failure that sometimes I can literally freeze or just plain paralyze in fear. Like Morgan, I to want to just hide under the covers some days. I have heard a lot of messages on the "full armor of God" and the fact that we have no armor for our backside. The key to victorious living is only going to come with the power of the Holy Spirit and by putting on the "full armor" of God. Read for yourself:

Ephesians 6:10-18
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Growing up with a large family I was exposed to a lot of dysfunction. The bible is replete with dysfunctional families if anyone needs a point of reference just scan the book of Genesis for a start. One common denominator that I saw existed with certain people who seemed to have some mountainous problems was that they did not "deal with their stuff." I had a relative who was an alcoholic and I will never forget one night when life had just gotten to him and I saw him trying to take his life. When a problem arose he turned to the bottle to try to drown it out (please don't think this person was not a believer either...he was and he did have a heart for God). The alcohol was always a temporary fix and then guess not dealing with the problem...the problem just got bigger and bigger. It had a snowball affect. Starting out small at the top of a hill and by the time it rolled down the hill it was huge boulder of ice. I have done the same thing...just left certain things unchecked and turned my back on dealing with stuff and given the enemy an opportunity to come and pounce on me like prey that he was ready to devour. We can't blame everything on the enemy. Some of it is our own flesh...our own sinful nature. One area specifically that I think I have struggled with the most is rejection. I felt the sting of rejection from a VERY early age. Our biological father wanted nothing to do with us and at a young age I wondered why doesn't our daddy love us? I of course couldn't see then that it had nothing to do with me...he was just incapable of loving. Anyway, I have noticed a pattern in my life of self-protecting instead of allowing God to protect me. We are going to be hurt and we are going to face rejection it is just a fact. I have been dealing with this issue even today is why I am blogging this. I would make sure that I broke off every relationship in my past so I could know and feel that I was not rejected. And when the going got tough...I got going. I don't think I really knew that this is what I was doing but I did. I had to have the upper hand so that I could feel like I was in control and that no one was saying goodbye to me. Through hurt I would build walls around my heart...maybe a more accurate description would be fortresses. Anyway, one of the scariest things for me is to relinquish control of my heart to the Lord and trust Him. I am so willing to look like a fool to some if it may help a few so here goes with a very recent example. When I first held Shelby, my firstborn, in my arms it was one of the most heart wrenching moments of my life. I had to literally hold her as she died in my arms. My body was in shock literally, yet in those moments my heart was unlocked to feel something that I did not know I could feel...the love of a mother for her child. I never felt loved as a child so I did not know that I was capable of this capacity nor did I ever think I would be a mom. I was also faced with the fact that I may never be a mother. Well, after months of D-R-A-M-A (that is the only word I can find to describe the whirlwind of trials that I had to go through) on June 24th, 2005 at 11:38pm Morgan Hope made her way into this world. Sadly I guarded myself during the pregnancy just in case she too did not make it. Looking back I wish I would have believed God more during my pregnancy and doubted Him less over her arrival. I can not even begin to describe my feelings for this little 5 pound baby girl with pitch dark eyes. This five pound love of my life came in this world and took control of her mothers heart. The Lord has used this child to minister to my heart in more ways then you will EVER know. Grace, grace, grace...and hope fulfilled are a few words to describe it. Listen though, I stayed up for three days straight after having her I was so amazed that she was really here (we had several [SEVERAL] scares along the way that we would lose her to). I am talking I was so elated and after all I went through and all of the scares that we had she was finally here. Rod on the other hand was asleep an hour after we had her if that says anything about personalities. I love God's word because it says in Luke 2:19 "19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." It does not mention Joseph doing this just to show you a difference in gender. I am not saying that men don't but I am saying that women seem to cherish the tender things in life. Morgan was brought to my room after everyone had left and they told me that her temperature was really low and that I needed to warm her up by placing her on my chest so she could draw off of my warmth. As she lay there on my chest...I can not tell you the host of emotions and feelings for this tiny little creation that surged through my fact I thought that I just may go into cardiac arrest my heart was pounding so hard over that little thing. I completely one hundred percent had my heart opened to love this child in all of the fullness that I know how in my earthly tent...and it is one of the scariest yet most wonderful things that I have ever known. Since then the Lord has used her to show me "hey think you love Morgan...well, that is not even a drop in the bucket compared to how I love you." He loves us so much more than our human minds and hearts can even take. Yet we search the world over in vain to find the love that we can only find in Christ. So, now she is 2 and I am already having to constantly turn her over to the Lord. One of the worst things I could ever do is not love my child for fear of rejection or loss. The other day I had a horrible fear wash over me. Here is the part where I get foolish. My child is an escape artist. Well, I had envisioned (imaginations) that she might somehow escape from the playground, run out into the road, and get hit by a car. I know you may think I am crazy now. Anyway, I had decided that I was going to be led of the Spirit to not take her to Mothers Day Out that day because I just knew that if I could watch her that this fear would not become reality. Then I had Psalm 121:4 wash over me.

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

It was if the Lord was saying in my Spirit "Jenny, I will watch her. Remember me the ONE who does not even need sleep...I never stop watching or tending. Cast your anxieties on me. Show me where worrying has ever gotten you...did it control anything that you thought needed to be controlled?" No sir.

So, I took her to Mothers Day Out and I would lie to you if I told you the thought did not occur to me to do a drive by of the playground just to make sure there were no escapee children (named Morgan). Maybe the Lord wanted to use me in that way...just kidding. Here is the thing fear and wanting to protect her that day were rooted in a lack of trust. We can not live lives that hull up like hermits for fear of getting hurt or something happening. Case in point. Shelby's life was taken from us and I never ever had that fear cross my mind...yet it happened. The things that happen in life are going to happen. Yes we need to exercise caution and be filled with the Spirit but we also have to acknowledge continually who is in control. I literally shook my head that day and thought man oh man what has this little one done to me? I love her so much and it scares me that I can love someone that much and that they can be taken from me.

The enemy of our souls wants us to allow all manner of unforgiveness, hurt, rejection, bitterness, and the like to take root in us. He wants us to leave the gardens of our hearts untended until we have bitter roots and weeds growing all over the place choking the life out of us. So what do we do when we are faced with a decision to guard our own hearts? They need guarding but God as the watchman on the wall. Not us. We are prone to cut people off and close ourselves away to keep from feeling. We can be scared to death of pain so we just want to shut down. We choose to keep believing God. To keep entrusting our hurts and our hearts to Him. We have to or we will live miserable lives that are cold and calloused. In choosing to bring the hurts to Him we will know the Healer. He is the only one that can fulfill the deep longings of our soul and He is the only one who can truly heal us. Keep getting up and asking to be filled with the Spirit. Keep bringing your brokenness to Him. I am doing the same and I promise He is faithful. Keep walking in the full armor of God and DO NOT turn your back on the enemy because your backside is not covered and he is an opportunist. He wants to gain ground with you. Do not let the power of the Spirit is your victory!

Heal us, O LORD, and we will be healed! Save us and we will be saved...for YOU are the ONE we praise!!!!

Jeremiah 17:14
14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.


connorcolesmom said...

What a heartfelt and honest post. I related to what you said about fear. I know we have to give it over to Him because as you quoted He does love us so much and watches over us always!
Much love,

Jackie said...

Oh, how your openness! You are one awesome girl..I so thoroughly enjoy reading your posts, they are always heartfelt and straight on.
hope you're having a GREAT weekend. praying for ya!!

love you.....
[and love the new look of the blog...]

Debra said...

big belief. he desires to write that on our heart.

pure love.

Abby said...

thanks for these words....and love the new look!!! i saw the flip flops when i was searching through that site too...they have some incredible free templates!

love the way you bless others through your words...such an encouragement :)

Tam said...

You lead me through such a myriad of emotions in your post Jenny! There is so much I want to say regarding this post - I wish so much sometimes I could just meet you face to many similarities girl!

On a side note...the whole time I'm reading this I pictured you physically speaking it to hundreds and hundreds of women...just a little vision I had...

Lord bless you friend!

Emily said...

hey Jenny :) Thankyou so much for sharing. I am so sorry you lost your little one. I went through 3 miscarriages and that was painful. I cannot imagine how hard it was to let go of that little life while she was in your arms. I posted something related on my site, you may want to check it out. Those little lives have so much purpose.
"From the lips of children and infants He has ordained praise" Ps.8:2
I am thinking through the armor backside thing. I never thought about the backside being open. What do you think about the glory of the Lord being our rear. I am thinking there is a verse that says that.Or... Psalm 139:5 You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid your hand apon me."
Forgive me, I am using your blog to think out loud :)
Ok, maybe our backside is where we are most vunerable because we don't have any armor to "put on" so that is where we have to fully trust God to gaurd us. I have been doing Beth Moore's tabernacle study for the 2nd time (with new videos) and I have been learning about the pillar of cloud that protected the Isrealites from the Egyptions in their flee. (in Exodus somewhere) Often the glory of the Lord is portrayed as a cloud...hmmm..just thinking, what do you think?
Anyways, thanks again for sharing, you have a beautiful heart!

Tam said...

Barnabas?! You have made my day Jenny! Really - that blessed me more than I can ever describe to you - you have no idea...Thank you...

Love ya too!

Emmy : ) said...

Wow Jenny,
Powerful! I LOVE your heart! I was was so blessed reading that! So transparent and pure! Thank you!
I totally understand...fear is my really ministered to me! Emmy : )
P.S. Love the new design! : )

He Knows My Name said...

my stronghold is extreme worry due to fear based upon the "what if senarios" these sessions i have with myself last way too long, just ask my husband. thru our head siesta beth i learned my problem is my unbelief. my addiction to worry is self worship, i am viewing God with a small "g" i am not in control, he is, he does not need any of my help, he does not meet in emergency session, my worry is sin. my joy is being robbed. i checked out your blog Saturday night and could not leave a response for my tears because dear one you spoke to my very weekend. when i worry i lay my armor on the floor and i am taking every shot from the enemy. my what if's may never happen and if they do, God will see us thru. i am truly thankful for your words they drove me to look to scripture for my worries.

the first thing i saw saturday was pink, and i thought she's got color then the flip flops and my spirits were lifted but my favorite is your prodigal daughter picture that really is quite a beautiful picture.

love ~ janel

The Preacher's Wife said...

Hey Jenny,

Loved how you mentioned that sometimes the terrible things that happen to us are not expected at all - and yet we live in dread of the things we anticipate. I can't imagine suffering a loss like you have but WOW has God made you a thing of beauty because of it..

No doubt so many girls are being encouraged by your faith..This really blessed me tonight!


Jean Stockdale said...

Thanks for sharing the intimate thoughts of your heart. You voiced every mother's fear and anxiety that causes her to doubt the power and presence of God. God is good and He is faithful. Through our children He is able to teach us powerful truths of His Father's heart towards His children. Blessings. Jean Stockdale

Leigh Gray said...

speak a word sister!!!!

love, leigh