Sunday, December 23, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS

It's Christmas all over the world.  People running here and there, buying gifts, decorating and cooking and busy with all the rush of the season.  Yet, there are millions out there with no joy in their hearts because they have lost the true meaning of Christmas and their joy depends on things that are not of the original meaning of Christmas.

Imagine, having a birthday party for someone and not inviting them?  It sounds ridiculous but that is what many of us do at Christmas time because a huge part of the world does not recognize the reason for Christmas, The Birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I felt it all through this Christmas season.  Was told that I could not say, " Merry Christmas", at work.  For me, it was completely unacceptable and I was willing to loose my job over it.  At some point, we must take a stand in what we believe in and stand up for it.  I am a Christian and I am proud of being a Christian and I know that if it were not for the birth of Jesus, I would have no hope in my life today.

Over two thousand years ago, a Savior was born in Bethlehem.  A quiet and pure peasant girl, chosen by God, to give birth to our savior.  Imagine what it must have been like for her to find that she was going to conceive a child when she never had intimate relations with her bethroved, Joseph.  Imagine the ridicule and cruelty that she must have endured to carry out God's will for her and to have this child.  Joseph wanted to put her away but the angel of God spoke to him and told him that she had not done anything to be ashamed of and that she was only the vessel God chose to use to bring his son into the world.

How the people must have mocked and scorned them and judged them.  The King, Herod, was beside himself to discover that a king had been born and that one day, he would be the one people worshiped and bowed down too.  He sent his wise men to where the child was, to see what was going on.  The wise men followed a star in the east until it stopped, right above where the Savior laied in the manger. 

 

 

As soon as they saw the baby Jesus, they gave him gifts and praised him.  The angel of the Lord spoke to them and told them not to return to their town by the way in which they came because the King would do them harm.

 

 

A Savior, Christ the Lord, born to an earthly woman, by the conception of the holy spirit.  Un imaginable circumstances but because of Mary's obedience, the miracle of the birth of our Savior is a reality today.

How many times do we face circumstances that seem impossible by all appearances and become too afraid to face them?  How many times, I wonder, do we miss huge blessings from God because of our fear?

I know that there are many hurting this year and are weary and broken but the good news is that nothing is impossible with the Lord.  I pray this Christmas that each and everyone who reads this will know the true meaning of Christmas and find the peace and joy that comes from this miracle from God.

It's not about the gifts and the tree and the money, it's about the birth of our very hope and confidence in knowing who we belong too and what that means for us. I put up a tree with just lights on it this year, no presents.  My gift, my Christmas miracle is that my daughter is safe and warm and home with me.  I know that if it were not for my Savior, this would never have happened and I give him all the glory and honor for being so faithful.  This year, my gift is that my family is together again and I know with certainty that God is not finished and that his plan for us is for good and not evil.  Praise the Lord, our Savior lives.

Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you. May the miracle of Christmas be in your heart and minds and bring your great tidings of joy.  For unto us this day is born, a Savior, Christ the Lord.

 

Friday, December 14, 2007

PRAISE REPORT

It was December 7, 2007 at about 5:03 pm, 308 days, ten months and 4 days after my daughter left home, my cell phone rang and it was the voice of my daughter on the other end.  At first I thought it wasn't real, all I could hear was hysterical crying. I couldn't make out the words and so I asked, who it was??  On the other end, the voice said, " it's your daughter.  I can't even tell you what went through my mind because in an instant, I asked her, where are you, I'll come get you.

As I drove over to her house, I was praying and thanking God and focused on what God would have me say or do.  When I got to her apartment, the door was open and there she was, sitting on the floor,  crying her heart out.  The first words she said to me were, " mommy, I'm so sorry.  I wrapped my arms around her and held her and just kept focused on God and held her.

Today, it's been a week since she has been home and I am so thankful that she is some place safe.  The one thing I keep realizing is that through this whole time, I have not let go of God.  Those of you who read my journal know how much I have grown through this whole thing.  I went back and read my entries from way back when she left and it's the evidence I have that God has been my rock and my refuge through this whole thing.  I am so thankful for him and for the first time in my life, I have actually learned to trust the Lord with all my heart no matter what happens.

My children are both home now.  In a matter of seven days, both of them have come home.  The first night that my daughter was back, I remember laying in bed and thinking, as wonderful as it is to have her some place safe, nothing comes close to how it feels to know what an awesome God I have.  One that never leaves us nor forsakes us, no matter what.

There was a time when I only knew how to praise God in the good times.  Today I realize that I have learned to praise him every single day because of who he is.  I've learned that even in the worst of times, we must always keep our eyes focused on him and trust him with all our hearts.  I've learned that he is my best friend and nothing compares to him.  He is my best friend and my everything and no matter what happens, I trust him.

I don't know what is going to happen.  I asked the Lord to take her away from the people who were hurting her so much and restore our relationship and he chose to bring her home.  I feel so sad that she has had to go through so much suffering but I am also praising God that he kept her safe and watched over her when I couldn't.

My prayer is that God continue to work his will in this situation.  I pray that he continues to give me wisdom, love, patience and peace through this healing process for both of us.  Last night, there was a situation and she lost control and just started screaming and wanting to break things.  I was amazed at how God kept me calm and held my tongue so that I didn't say anything damaging.  I simply told her that it was not ok for her to behave the way she was and that if she could not control herself, she needed to go for a walk or get away till she calmed down. The next thing I knew, she was leaving, screaming she hated me and out the door.

After a little while, she called me to tell me she was safe and she would be home later. I went to bed and then to work today and we didn't speak again.  When I came home for lunch today, she came home a few minutes later and came over to me and cried and told me how sorry she was. That's a huge change in her.  God is working.

The power of God to restore people is amazing to me.  What he is doing in me, in my children and in our lives is so powerful.  Things have not gone as quickly as I had hoped they would but I knew the whole time, God was in control.If my hope was in the situation or the people that are involved, I would be afraid and anxious but my hope is in the Lord.  No matter what happens, I know he is in control. I am so thankful for those of you who have read my journal and gone all this way with me and prayed and been there for me.  I hope and pray that God can use this situation and how I have reacted to it, to encourage another heart and give hope to the hopeless.

Six days ago, I had absolutely no clue that my daughter would come home.  Still, I felt the same peace that I do today with her here.  The reason is because my focus is on the Lord.

Your prayers are still needed because the healing process will take a lot of time but I am confident that he is faithful to finish the good work he has begun because his word tells us he is.

I pray for anyone who is reading this and in a situation where they feel hopeless because that is not from God, it's from the enemy. He wants to beat us down and make us give up because he knows that if we have faith, the size of a grain of mustard seed, we can move mountains.  Never give up, never stop praying and never stop seeking God's will in all things and the peace that passes understanding will keep you through it all.  God bless.  Thank you for all of your prayers.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

REMEMBERING WHO'S WE ARE IN HIM

How many times has the enemy tripped us up and caused such tremendous, huge sufferings in our hearts, we loose our focus and open our hearts to the flesh?  The enemy whispers a lie in our ear and then places his evidence before us and before we know it, we become so focused on the negative, we loose our footing before the Lord.

I know this from personal experience.  Sometimes I have to seek the Lord's help minute by minute to not hate the people who have had and have such a negative influence on my daughters life. 

I can't tell you how much that grieves my heart and crushes my spirit.  I want to shout from the mountain tops, NO, STOP, PLEASE JUST COME HOME.  I can't do any of those things and even if I could, it would do no good because my daughter is lost and confused and believes with all her heart, she has found love.

It's amazing how the holy spirit brings knowledge to me about her.  I use to resent it because my thought was that I was being tortured by the very God I serve and love.  I purposed in my heart to find out where God was in all of this, how it could be happening, why he wasn't saving her. The only true thing that I know is that through all of this, patience has it's perfect work.  Through all these things, I see that I have yet to arrive and God still has to break me and get me even more focused on him and build my faith.  So many great things that God is doing in such a tragic situation.

Sometimes I think it would be wonderful if we just came equipped with all the faith and focus and trust in God that we need.  Never having to experience suffering or pain or anguish.  That's when it hits me and I realize that if life were that simple, how could our character be built?  How could our faith be strengthened but most of all, what need would we have of God?

There are two laws that govern our world, good and evil.  The scripture tells us that we can serve only one master, light or darkness, good or evil.  The world wants to take that simple truth and turn it into some kind of huge complicated mystery but really it's not that difficult.  We know right from wrong as small children and as we grow and life brings it's circumstances into each step we take, the challenges become more difficult in what we choose but the truth remains the same.

I use to question how in the world can I possibly find joy in my heart when I face such a heart break every day of my life?  Oh, the circumstances are different for each of us because Satan knows the weaknesses of our individual hearts.  Still, we can all have joy because of the mighty God that we serve and his power to save and to protect and to teach and to guide each of us.  We serve an awesome God.

Just today at church, I went in wondering how I could sing and be happy when I feel such a heavy burden for my daughter. Sometimes my heart grows so weary from the pain I feel over my child, I have to just shut down and curl up with the Lord and remember that it's because of him I breathe.  People kept telling me how sweet and loving I am but in my heart, I felt the anger I struggle with over the people who are hurting my daughter.

Lord, I have a reason to be angry and Lord, the pain is real and Lord, it takes my breath away.  God ever so gently reminded me that he understands, he see's and he is working but I must not allow even one tiny seed of anger or bitterness to grow in my heart.

How many times do we find ourselves questioning what is happening in our lives?  How many times do we find it easy to praise God for the easy goodness we see and yet shake our fists at him over the difficult times we face, believing the lies of the enemy that God doesn't love us or find favor in us because we are struggling.

My little girl has been gone 300 days this past Friday.  People seem to think it's amazing that I know that and I find it hard to understand because this is my beloved child that is gone.  Only God see's the struggle that I face each day because I do purpose in my heart to let my light shine and trust God.

I would be so happy if today was the day that she decided to come home.  I would be so relieved to not have to worryabout what someone mighty ask her to do in the name of love.  Oh how I would love to just slap those people and boldly rise up against them but it would not change a thing for the better if it's not God's perfect timing for her.  I would loose my testimony and favor in God's sight and I would be no better than they are.

I pray for her every single day.  Sometimes I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and pray for her because she is so much on my heart.  The world thinks I have over come and gotten over and put behind me that my daughter is gone but God knows.

Love bears all things, is patient, kind, never selfish or demands it's own way.  Love is long suffering, never boastful, jealous or cruel.

Sometimes, I just have to allow myself to think about everything so I can remind myself that I am very deeply effected by all of this but the power of God and his grace for me is sufficient for me and gives me that peace that passes understanding.  Reminds me of how powerful God is.

I pray that those of you who read this and are suffering for one reason or another, will find the love and comfort and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I pray that you can be encouraged to know that there is a power greater than anything anywhere and it's the power of God.  He loves you and cares for you and he waits for you to call on him.

As for my daughter, who really isn't a little girl but she will always be my baby ........  I pray for you faithfully, believing with all my heart that you are not where God wants you to be and he will bring you home to him.  His power and glory and perfect plan for you is in the works and he will not stop until you are with him.  I stand in the gap and no matter how long it takes, I will never give up.  I plead the blood of Jesus over you and place a hedge of protection over you in the name of Jesus and I am confident that God will have his perfect will for you.

 

God will never leave you nor forsake you.  Our hope is in HIM.