Deb’s Journey…

April 27, 2010

Sorting through old junk…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:23 am

Much of the last year has been a journey inward for me - some would consider that selfish.   I’ll confess I have wrestled with judging myself the same way, but I am learning that a healthy outward journey isn’t really possible without a cleansing, healing,  inward journey of renewal  alone with the Great Physician.

As I seek to understand, to make sense of my life now and ask the Lord what the next steps are,  I’ve been looking back at my own life’s story.  I’m examining the “cuts” that came into my life. I do this not because I’m a dark person or because there weren’t excellent, fun, lovely things that also happened to me- but because so often it’s the cuts/wounds/broken places  and how we deal with them that shape us into who we are and affect the way that we react to others around us.  I need to fully examine these to see if there are still places that need the Lord’s cleansing & healing balm and to examine how I am still being held back/ trapped by those places.  I want to “throw off what so easily entangles” be healed and free to continue running the race set before me.

My parents were high school sweethearts who married young (mom was 19, dad had been 20 for 2 days)…they had my older brother after 10 months, I arrived 21 months later and my younger brother arrived 26 months later.  Dad worked very hard at a meat packing plant on the kill floor butchering hogs often for 10 hours a day which allowed mom to be at home with us.  We lived in a quiet neighborhood in a small, central Iowa town 3 blocks from our grade school.  Both sets of grandparents lived within 20 miles and we saw them regularly.  My first 5 years were pretty gentle…

  • When I was in first grade my appendix ruptured, I nearly died and spent 6 weeks in the hospital with a long recovery.
  • The following year my paternal grandfather died.
  • Dad had a very hard time coping with his long hours of difficult labor combined with his grief…his way of coping was to self medicate with sugar - including liquid sugar (alcohol).  He was diabetic at a young age (early 40’s) and struggled with both depression and anger issues.  During my school years, dad’s health challenges were a major factor in our home and I grew up feeling afraid, unprotected, alone and often unwanted/unloved.  In his anger, dad often said hurtful things that cut deep - it felt impossible to please him no matter how hard I tried.
  • In grade school a neighbor girl sexually abused me many times.
  • I experienced recurring nightmares for several years.
  • To deal with my own pain and confusion, food became a source of comfort for me, I too was addicted to sugar (though not alcohol).
  • As a result of that addiction,  I was a heavy girl which helped to make Jr. High & High School especially challenging socially.
  • When I was 19 my best friend and her unborn child died suddenly.
  • Two weeks following my friend’s death, my fiance broke up with me.
  • In the 4th year of marriage my dad died suddenly.  Having been closer in my more adult years - I felt this loss acutely.
  • The following spring we miscarried twins at 13 weeks.
  • Two weeks after our son was born Tom got laid off and  had 7 jobs in the next 2 years.
  • In the 13th year of our marriage our only child died of cancer at age 7 yrs. 7 mos.

Each of those things have shaped me and have left scars that are still sensitive.  I can become very protective and sometimes aggressively defensive when they are accidentally bumped by unsuspecting others.

All of us have things that happened in our lives that shaped who we are today - your list looks different than mine, but you do have one.   Sometimes the hard things that happen can set us back and stunt our growth.  I definitely feel like a “late bloomer” and I  get really frustrated and impatient with the slow progress that I’m making- but I do believe that with God’s help I am making progress.

Pastor Scott has been taking us through a book called “Only You Can Be You” - it’s been a major challenge to me in this area, but in a good way.  I’ve found myself in many of the pages.  The first 7 chapters are on surrender - truly I thought I had surrendered everything - I was wrong.  The book encourages examining the areas of our lives  - the private messages that play in our heads, the longings and cravings we have, the many wounds and scars, our dreams and desires and how we see ourselves… taking them out of the mothballs and really looking at them and laying them all at the feet of Jehovah - Rapha - the Lord that heals.  The author compares this with moving - when we move we have to touch everything in our homes and do something with it…it’s a long and painful process when we don’t want to re-pack and drag around junk with us forever.  Sorting through a lifetime of junk takes time and energy.

I can also wrestle with feeling like the difficult painful circumstances in my life are somehow my own personal failures…that I somehow caused them.  Of course that’s not true but it is a lie that I must combat on a regular basis.

Reading Donald Miller’s blog yesterday about Owning up to our Successes… he challenged us to take a piece of paper and begin listing our successes…at the top I wrote “walking Ian Thomas safely Home”….began to weep and put the pencil down.

I want my life to matter…I long for significant purpose…an important and lasting contribution to make -  especially now that my “legacy” isn’t going to look as I thought.  I wrestle with my weaknesses and long to be healed yet I recognize that God shows up in my weaknesses too…His power is made perfect there.  How I long to be on the other side of this dark valley…yet I do know He is with me even here, even now.

April 13, 2010

Battle weary…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:44 am

This “transition season” is long and painfully hard and I am weary.  Yes God has a plan -I do believe that, but I’m impatient, He isn’t telling me what it is and I’m ready to pull all my hair out!

I’m wrestling through anger, frustration, confusion, deep loneliness and weariness… I’ve been asked to surrender my precious treasure…asked to surrender all the dreams and hopes that surrounded having a son… to surrender so many relationships that were part of my life because of him…to surrender my daily role, routines and duties…I’ve sacrificed greatly…made major adjustments…for all outward appearances this past year has been “gentle” and yet truly the war has  entered the deeper recesses of my heart…others are unaware of my private agony…it’s a bloody battle, long and hard…

Lord, I’m really tired of  battle…ready to have life be peaceful & easy for awhile…wanting to have dear gentle ones  surround me who love me and are trustworthy…want to have an essential role to play…need to be needed…need to love others and be loved in return…need to feel and be safe.

Show me Lord what You have for me…I don’t want to come up with my own plan and then ask You to bless it…I want You to share the plan You have had from the very beginning for my life…it’s not like there isn’t a master plan…I know You have one…won’t You please give me a glimpse of it?  Lead me into all You have for me…open doors no one can shut…bring divine appointments into my life…guide me, show me, teach me, I’m trying so hard to keep my hands open before You…You’ve emptied my hands, surely You will fill them…give me courage while I wait…show me if there are still areas in my heart that I haven’t surrendered…bring your gentle, faithful ones around me …thanks Lord!

“The first time I heard You call my name I saw the man that I could be My life was like a gift that You gave to me

But now I’m haunted by the memory of a promise I thought I heard from You and I’m not as sure of all the things I thought that I once knew

But I don’t believe You brought me this far to give up so everyday I keep on fighting for it show me again what I was made for help me to see how You’re moving me

It’s hard for me to walk by faith in the face of all that I can see sometimes I fear I’m just a fool for my belief but then I feel You come and move in me I hear You whisper in my ear and for a moment I can see just how You brought me here

And I don’t believe You brought me this far to give up so everyday I keep on fighting for it show me again what I was made for help me believeYou’re still moving me

With each passing glimpse of Your promise You’re leading me on don’t let me falter now…I don’t believe You brought me this far to give up so everyday I keep on fighting for it sometimes it’s hard to tell if I’m faithful or a fool to believeYou’re still moving me- help me to see how You’re moving me I still believe ‘Cause You’ve carried me this far…” - This Far by Jason Gray

April 5, 2010

The greatest poverty…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:38 am

“The opposite of love is not hate - it’s indifference” - Elie Weisel

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody- I think that is a much greater hunger- a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.“  - Mother Teresa

True or perceived doesn’t really matter because the end result is the same… being or even feeling ignored, overlooked, forgotten, abandoned, excluded i.e. other people’s indifference makes a person feel unwanted, unloved and uncared for.  This creates a deep hunger & thirst - a desolate poverty of the soul.

I recognize this poverty not only in my own life, but also in the lives of others.   Perhaps we are not even consciously aware of it, perhaps we fill this emptiness with addictions or entertainments that never satisfy, perhaps we have been dehydrated in our wilderness for so long that we don’t even recognize the symptoms anymore…I am deeply saddened and frustrated that this amazing poverty goes unnoticed or unacknowledged and therefore unassisted.

Jesus alone has the Living water that slakes the thirst of the soul.  Jesus alone can feed the multitudes…His love alone must fill, quench and satisfy.   Yet, if He does not come to us through His Body…if His hands are not reaching out…if His feet refuse to go… how will the world know Him?  Doesn’t He still work through His Church - His Family?


Listening to James MacDonald today… he spoke to this …he was talking about understanding God’s ways…his text was II Kings 4: 1-7 about the widow’s oil… when I acknowledge a need, God asks me to bring what I have…He will use and fill empty things I offer to Him.  God asks me to do what I can and trust that He will do what I cannot…so my heart began to question - “What do I have?”  &  “Have I offered it to Him?”

***I share this journal entry in the hopes that others will speak into it their thoughts and observations…

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