Tag Archives: prayer

Your Song

Related imageYou were born to sing His praises.  Through your music and through your life.  We all knew it.  We were all disappointed when you didn’t quite match up to the calling we thought you had on your life.  When you gave up worship in the church, we thought it was a waste of your talents and that you owed it to everyone to sing.  I suppose our biggest failure, was expecting you to change the world with your story, and judging you when you didn’t.  And maybe you didn’t change the world, according to our standards.  And maybe you didn’t perform miracles, in our eyes.

But what if you did.  What if you managed to change hearts, a little at a time, with each struggle.  You struggled with so many things, only He knows what your darkest moments looked like, and only He was there for you in those.  Your mom was there in every moment you let her be in.  She loved you like no other.  My heart aches for her now.  She was the one that God made especially for you.  She cared for you, and showed His love and His mercy more than anyone else in this world.  I wish you didn’t feel so lost in this world because of what you thought the world was suppose to look like.  I wish you hadn’t put so much faith in people, when He was the only one you needed to trust.  We get caught up in what life is suppose to look like, that we become blind to life and blind to love.

I will remember our times, sitting on the small back porch, taking turns churning banana ice cream.  Hanging on the clothes line, and yelling into the metal heating grate into the basement.  I will remember eating hot coffee can bread with butter.  I will remember stages of life that were blurry and not as sweet.  I will remember hurts and laughs, and disappointments.  I am so sorry your story ended so early.  I know that your life was a testament to the Lord, even though it wasn’t as some thought it should be.  Maybe people would say that you did this wrong or that you turned your back during this time of your life.  But no matter how I think your life looked, my life was pointed a little more towards Him for having known you.  Your life was a song to the Lord, sometimes happy and sometimes sad.  It was through your musical talents, but most of all through your struggles that I know that you had purpose.  And I know, that even though your story has ended, you would want us all to know….

Romans 10:9-10

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

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Rain, rain, go away…

I AM NOT THE SAME PERSON!!!!  Can I exclaim that loudly and often enough so that I will believe it?  She is me, and I am her.  I am not the same person.  And yes, Ms. 20 something, when you asked if people ever really change, and I look at you with my 40 something years, and reminisce on my 20 something self, I want to shake you and tell you yes, yes they do change.  Yes I did change!  But she is me, and I am her.  Stop accusing me of not changing.

You didn’t really accuse me though, did you?  You are just trying to find your way in life.  You are trying to figure out what you are doing and how the world pertains to you.  But in that moment, it felt like an accusation and a judgement.  It felt as though the past I have been running from, trying to forget, was rushing upon me and I will never escape it. Never. It will, with all of its intentions, good and bad, show up and crush me at anytime.  There is not a safe place on earth to be.  There is nowhere to run, there is nowhere to hide.  It will find me.  She will find me, that 20 something self I do not care to know anymore.  Will I ever be brave enough to stand up to her, face to face, and see her through the lenses of pity and forgiveness, rather than the feelings of shame and disgust?  I am her, she is me.

There are holes in my heart.  As I move along towards what is better, I often get sidetracked trying to seal the holes.  I think they were intentional and strategic so the past would continue to have access to my heart.  Call it a past’s act of prewar, placing cracks and holes while in disguise, sneaky like a Trojan horse.  During my post war years, I have tried to cover the holes with a dense brick wall, no, really more  like a heavy-duty iron molded heart cast. But somehow, I have not managed to conceal all of the cracks and holes.  

Daily, I drag around the heaviness of that heart armor.  I puff up and point it in the direction of my enemies, and especially towards anyone who is trying to find HER. She does not live here, I am not sure she even exists.  My ginormous heart armor temporarily deflects attempts to locate her, but the exertion of the deflection takes its toll.  I feel weary, and in that weariness, the sadness, anger and shame begin to overwhelm me.  She is me, and I am her.  

I can feel my heart getting harder and heavier with every challenge of my character, whether from myself, or from other life players, present but especially past.  Do not pretend like you know me past. You do not.  She is me, and I am her.  Do not expect that we can pick up where we left off, because we can not.  The past is where I want her to stay and now you have shown up here to try to lure her out.  I ran away, and I built a magic fort to ward off this villainess character.  She is not real.  I chose to build my fort far far away. I built the walls high and strong.  They contain today and all the stories that I choose to share.  Maybe some real stories, maybe some half-truths, certainly not everything.  I control what goes in my fort. She is a story, a character.   My fort is strong.  Stronger than you.  She is not real.  Do not stand at the gate of my fort.   I will come to you.  I will come to you swiftly and in control, do not come to me, for she is not real, here.  I have spent half of my life building a fort so I do not even see you.  I do not want to see you, I do not want to hear you.  I am not her.  

The only way to protect myself now, is to add a layer to my heart armor and keep moving toward the future. If I move fast enough, maybe nothing else will seep into the cracks and holes and this will be another story and that girl will jump back into the early chapters of my life and remain a two-dimensional character.  One who has length and breadth, but no depth.  I am not her, she is not me.

There are rare days, like today, when I feel like I am being pulled backwards.  Most days, I feel like I am just spinning my wheels.  The spiritual treadmill of life.  Always moving, sometimes frantically, but never arriving, or seemingly ever getting any closer to my destination, where ever that is.    I am on the treadmill, getting nowhere, and the pace is so slow, that I am not even burning calories.  It seems, useless.  

As I seek, as I pray, my heart asks, What do you want?   

What is going to cause me to jump off of the treadmill and run on the road?  What do you want Lord? Why do we keep coming back here?  What is going to strengthen my heart to the point of bursting out of this broken armor and knocking down this shifting fort?  What is going to make me STRONG, HEALED, REDEEMED, WORTHY?     

In the day when I cried out, you answered me, and made me BOLD, with STRENGTH in my soul. Psalm 138:3

What will cause me to pick up my sword and slay all of the pasts and all of their villains for all of your people?  I cannot be the only one.  Father, I ask that you make me bold.  And that small still  voice whispers, You are her, and she is you.

To God be the Glory.

 

Moving Mountains

“Most assuredly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, ’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”  Matthew 17:20

Do you fully believe in and rely on faith?  Do you believe the promises of the Bible?  I thought I did.  But part of me wanted to hold on to reality.  I have learned that my “reality” and my faith have no place to coexist.  Either you believe and rely on God wholeheartedly, or you don’t.

I discovered this through an ill family member.  He’s a young guy in his early 30s that is in need of a heart.  Who knew I could learn so much through his diseased heart?  He contracted a virus that invaded and destroyed his heart.  He went into the ICU and was hooked up to life supporting/saving devices.  His heart did not work, it gave up.  Without the machines, he would die.  I remember talking with other family members about his odds.  See, he had to be put on the donor list first.  And he was having challenges just getting on that list.  Then, can you imagine what has to happen after you get put on the list?

How does a donor heart get to me?

  1. A potential donor who has been confirmed brain dead must be identified
  2. Next of kin is told of the chance to donate their relative’s organs and tissues. They must give their permission
  3. An OPO – Organ Procurement Organization – is called to decide if any of the donor’s organs are acceptable. If so, they get the family’s official permission and attempt to match the donor with the most suitable recipient(s)
  4. Organs are surgically removed from the donor
  5. The donor organs are taken to the transplant center where the surgery will be done
  6. That’s where you come in as the potential recipient

taken from http://www.chfpatients.com/tx/transplant.htm

So you successfully get put on the list, but then you have to wait for a donor.  Then the donor’s family has to approve it.  Then there is the medical approval.  THEN, it has to match.  It has to MATCH.  I remember talking with my dad who had told me that the doctor’s had all but washed their hands of his condition.  They told his family, that it was in God’s hands from this point on.  His only hope was a new heart.  I remember thinking, what were the odds of that happening on time.

I come from a long line of Christians.  My family is inundated with believers and God’s workers.  It’s natural, that a prayer chain started.  Via email, via facebook, gospel singings, we all began to pray.  And pray and pray and pray.  I remember some of my first prayers to God were please Lord, let your will be done and let the family have peace.  Sound familiar?  That prayer that you say because you don’t believe God will intervene on someone’s behalf.  Not so much because of the person, it’s just your own lack of faith that keeps you pessimistic.

I guess when a situation seems hopeless to us here on earth, we pray for the best possible outcome as known to us.  I mean people go on donor lists for years.  Ryan doesn’t have years.  He can’t survive without the machines.  And they aren’t guaranteed for the long term.  He needs a heart now.  The doctors are at the end of their  abilities.  It is now in God’s hands.  Lord, please let the family be at peace.

I remember, walking one morning on my new found exercise regimen,  when I heard God speaking to MY heart.  He asked me, “Why are you praying for my will to be done?  Why aren’t you praying for a new heart? What are you afraid of?”  I kept walking and started thinking.  Why am I just praying for God’s will?  For peace for the family.  Why?  Faith can move mountains!  The bible says so!  And with that, I began to pray every day for him a new heart.  For God’s perfect timing.   That only God would know at what moment he would recieve the heart.  And that this journey would serve as a testimony to so many, me included.  Fast forward 1 month to an email to the prayer chain group.

“CALLING ALL PRAYER WARIORS…THANK YOU JESUS! GOD has answered a prayer…RYAN is getting his needed heart at 2:30 pm today! Please be in prayer for him during the surgery and his family that this surgery will be a success and that his body will not reject it. We already know when God does a work that it is perfect He just wants us to believe when we pray!”

He just wants us to believe when we pray.  He just wants us to believe when we pray.  HE just wants US to BELIEVE when we PRAY.

All of my prayers, from this point forward, will be to move mountains.  Those are the prayers where mighty things happen.  Where hearts are healed and restored.  Mine was.

He’s 15 minutes into his surgery for his new heart.  Lord, restore him.  Heal him.  Let him be your walking talking testimony.  Amen.