It has been a while since I have blogged and I am hoping with this renewed sense that I feel, I can pick back up and say what God wants me to say.
I intended to blog about the marathon that I had just recently completed but God is bringing it in a different direction and I am completely okay with that.
I am not sure the road that you are on today but I know that lately I have been down a road of loneliness and discouragement in my relationships. That may sound strange but to be honest, I felt this way almost my whole life up until I was born again in September 2002. I grew up in a dysfunctional household with my mom/stepdad and never really knew my real dad up until adulthood.
When I began this journey with the Lord, He showed me what real love was. He filled a void of that parental guidance, voice, and love I had not experienced. It was then that I realized the Lord has always been with me and that although my parents raised and loved me the best they knew how, they were human and made mistakes. God did not. I became a new person at that moment. Filled with confidence, joy, love, and renewal. I knew then that nothing could bring me away from my God.
During that process I also learned that Jesus was my husband first. Showing me the right way to love Jeremy. He was my guide to relationships and how to respect and honor and cherish my husband. I felt revived. I never had the right role model to show me how to love my spouse. How to fully appreciate and cherish what God had brought together. I got it!
I also discovered how to be a mother. Christ was my example on how to be gentle at heart, loving with words, quick to listen-slow to anger. I had some work to be done and still do, but Christ was patient with me and still is.
True friends came along when Christ became my Best Friend. When I confided in Christ with every ounce of my heart and trusted Him with that of which I shared, I was able to love others.
Many things I have learned about relationships through Christ, my only trusted source.
It was recently that I have forgotten those things and allowed the enemy to pick apart the things God has built up.
You see, a few months ago I had reconnected with some family members. It was awesome having these new relationships and I began to wonder where it had been all along. I started to feel myself holding on them tighter and tighter each moment. Not wanting to let go, I soon began to take those relationships into my own hands and they fell apart. I was left confused, hurt, and empty. I know now, I was confused because it was "treacherous" conditions. I was hurt because I gave all that I had and not allowed Christ to do His part. I was empty because I told Christ "it's okay, I can handle this" and He let me. I had tried to move forward and show my heart towards a few of them but I have since hit a wall and have not gotten a response back.
I have two really good friends that I began giving up on because I felt I was giving so much and was wearing down. I am getting to a point where I cannot connect with them much these days and to be honest, it hurts. This is just a mild overview of "relationships" and how difficult they can be when you take God out of the picture.
I was recently on a road trip with my family. On the way to where we were going I immediately heard the words, "black sheep" in my head. While I was meditating and thinking on that, I heard the words, "You have always been a black sheep. Think about it. No one loves you. All the connections you have made, they don't care about you. You are a black sheep." For a moment I began to side with that phrase. "Yeah, I am a black sheep. I have tried so hard to reconnect with people, love them, and give it a chance. All for it to be in vain." I then had sorrow come over me. I discussed it with Jeremy on how I feel and why it has to be that way. Just as we were talking the Lord revealed some things to me. God had shown me a "black sheep" and how it was wandering all over the place. Meaning, there was a reason I had not been in contact with those family members for so long. I don't know why but I know God knows me and MY heart as well as the others. He had been protecting it all along and as much as He was trying to get me to pull back, I kept going forward with it. I had wandered out of the "fence" which the Shepherd had set up for me. Inside the fence is green pastures, rest, and a place for me to be ME. I don't have to strive to be anyone and I don't have to go out looking for what I need/want. Thinking about that gave me a whole new perspective on Psalm 23.
After thinking about it, I wondered "what does it mean to be a black sheep?" and I came to a conclusion. It means nothing. It is a label that the enemy set up for me. I could have avoided a lot of hurt and anger but I walked right into it. Although it seems like such a horrible thing, the Shepherd was still with me and even sent out a "sheep dog" to help guide me back. The "sheep dog" once said, "The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Who knows what its like over there. Their dog might be meaner." That phrase not only stands for relationships, it can also mean in your job and in your church. When you feel like wandering off bc it may be "better." Just stay and wait for the Shephard. His job is to make sure you are safe, have what you need, and most of all, loved.
I came back to the fence but I came back all matted. I brought in some dandur, knots in my wool, and being far away, I had allowed the wool to grow over my eyes. But the Shepherd was gracious with me and still is. He is caring for me, cleaning me off, and He has taken his gentle shears and stripping away all that has entangled in my wool. Words cannot express what it will feel like when it is all taken away.
I am not sure what lies ahead for me. What I do know is that I am not going alone. I have a Shepherd who is concerned for me. Loves me for who I am. Forgives me. Honors me. Adores me. Most of all, He doesn't see me as a "black sheep" because I am His and He is mine.
When wool is sheared, it is used to make something. I hope this helps you in whatever you are going through. The Shepherd wants your wool. He knows what can be made from it and He knows how you will feel when it is all removed.
"Baa, Baa, Black Sheep have you any wool? Yes sir Yes sir 3 bags full..."