Strength for Tomorrow

 28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan.Romans 8:28 (GW)

All things work together for good but that doesn't mean all things are good.  It just means God can use that awful tragic thing somewhere down the road.   It means we all have the opportunity to make the choice....I won't be what happened to me, Ill be what I become.  

We all have the choice when we are living in the pain of our "today".  When memories are sometimes as painful as physical wounds, we often carry our wounds and scars deep in the hidden recesses of our hearts. 

They are locked in our hearts as memories, we cannot live without them, but we cannot live within them either.  

Those scars are just that, scars.  Proof of what we have lived through but not proof of who we are.  Those wounds heal over time if we are willing to do the hard work, to dig out even the slightest splinter of unforgiveness, to push love deep into the wound so that it can heal instead of fester.  

Once that wound has healed, once that scar has closed and time has worked it's plan that scar is proof of faithfulness, recovery, restoration and hope.  You have survived, what you thought would kill you.  

When you look back at yesterdays pain you suddenly realize it has given you strength.  God has been there, an ever present help in time of trouble.  It was still brutal and bloody, messy and ugly.  You may have been hemorraging with pain and lonliness, but upon further reflection you can see the shadow of the Almighty.  

You can come out from being frozen by shame and held hostage to silence.  You can let out a victory cry and a painful howl for everything lost and yet to be found.  Because both are true, things have been lost but victory is coming.   

Everyday you have the choice to grow from your pain, to put to death pity and self loathing.  To embrace the healing journey and wear the scars as a badge of honor. What was meant to destroy you has only made you stronger and better.  
Don't live in the pain of yesterdays bad memories, allow them to heal, allow them to make you stronger, braver, wiser.  Yesterday teaches us what we need to carry into the future, yesterdays are full of seeds for destiny.  The pain you are currently feeling is temporary, each day healing and strength are being restored and what you planted in the past is bringing forth hope in your future.  Life, like a mighty river keeps rolling along with all it's twist and turns, with the pain of disappointment raging, but suddenly you will come out of that and see the beautiful scenery.  You realize life has taken you to a better place, and joy has been restored.  
Life never looks quite like what you expect, you can't plan it all out.  Sh*t happens, you just have to choose to live in hope, and become. 

It's tough, but you are tougher.
It takes the whole story to get you there, to round the bend                                        and become the new you.                                                                                                              

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

These words flash through my mind over and over again....unintended journey.  I am on an unintended journey.  A road less traveled, that's for sure.  I am not sure where it is going to take me, but I am excited.  I am full of hope for the future.  I have just spent the last one hundred days of my life in some of the darkest of days.  Pain that creeps upon you and paralyzes you, tears that won't quit.

No one likes to talk about the raw truth of how ugly and painful and shameful things can be, but I will.  Because many of you have felt that too.  You have known the hurt of unexpected journeys, of loss and disappointment.  Like me you have walked through times of silence from God, but like me if you press on one step at a time you will hear His voice again.  You will feel His presence again. Be brave friends the promises of God are just around the bend in the road.

On this unintended journey, understanding was critical.  It is just how I am wired, how God created me.  How did I end up here?   I have split my heart open and examined it loathingly and fearlessly.  I have seen my failures, my flesh, my selfishness, my pride, my desires, my codependency,my blindness, my works mentality, etc.  I have looked at it with new eyes, fresh eyes born of the spirit.  I have had a Damascus moment.  A life changing moment.

I can fix no one but myself.  I have no responsibility,  but for my own heart.  I cannot change what has happened, but I can change the pain.  If  I don't transform the pain I will transfer it to others.  I choose to follow the Healer, to repent for anything I have done and transform the pain to gain.  I choose to believe that somewhere over the rainbow the healing will come.  I can trust the God of the universe to point me in the right direction.  I may not be able to see past the curve in the road but I can trust Him to keep laying the road out in front of me and leading me to the promises.

These days it is not so brutal, these days it is easier and easier.  These days the Lord gives me dreams and visions and fills my nights with song.  These days He gives me friends to carry me on my mat to the healer.  Take a look at Matthew 2 where the four friends carried their sick, broken friend to be healed.  We all need those friends.  These days there is less carrying and more walking it out.  I am still carried in some ways; by prayers and laughter, small gestures and big hearts. Jesus is strengthening my heart daily in the sweetest of ways.

This I know, we shall overcome. Every last one of us that profess the name of Jesus shall overcome.

So I give myself broken, damaged, humbled, to the Holy one who says.....when you are weak I am strong and I say in all honesty I am weak and He strengthens me with the one thing that is so easily lost....HOPE.

I am a laid down lover of God and no amount of hell is ever gonna change that because GOD IS GOOD.  Circumstances suck, consequences affect us all, this world is really messed up, but God is still good.  The best is still yet to come.

Be filled with hope friends, Joy always comes in the morning!  Laughing again and loving my tribe.
Let's be brave together, let's be kind to one another, carry the broken, humble ourselves and let's just focus on the speck in our own eye.  Love better and bigger than ever, expect nothing in return.

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