Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paper or Plastic...or Glass?

We had an awesome time in church this morning. I am always excited to see what God will do with the children in children's ministry. I don't normally go into it wondering what HE will do for me but I always walk out of there with something. The Lord showed me something right away this morning.

We only had one service this morning due to us celebrating our 6th anniversary as being Gracepoint. It was packed and we had to hold one class with 14 three year olds. My first child to come in the class was Maggie. She walks in with confidence and goes over to the baby dolls and begins playing with them. As I was preparing the lesson another teacher walks over to me with a baby doll in hand. She then says, "someone threw this in the trashcan and Emma took it out. I cleaned it off and was wondering if this was the one in your class." I told her it was and told her thank you. I took the baby doll over to Maggie and I said, "here you go Maggie, this baby was lost but now it's found." My heart was moved and right when I put the baby down next to her I noticed something. The doll had a "sheep" on it's clothes.

Think about this for a moment, we were once "thrown away" and "lost." Due to broken hearts, broken lives, and broken homes we were tossed out. Someone thought it would be a good idea to put labels on us and "throw us away." Are you the one who lives with a broken heart? You go after someone who says they "love" you and can make you "happy" only for them to use you or make you feel worthless. Then consider yourself like PAPER...all crumpled up and torn. Are you the one to live a broken life and chase after empty promises and goals? If you chase after a purpose that is not your own and come up empty, consider yourself like live a fake life and when touched by life's fire, you melt. Are you the one to live through a broken home of abuse, drugs, and divorce? Then your life, like GLASS...was shattered. While all of these areas are "labeled" and considered "done with", there was one thing the "labeler" forgot to see. All of these components, "PAPER, PLASTIC, and GLASS", fall under one category...RECYCLE. Do you see that? No matter what you have gone through and been labeled for in the past, there is still hope for you. From notebook paper to a novel, a 20 oz to a Culligan, and a Mason jar to a window, the RECYCLER wants you!
The enemy has labeled and enabled long enough. Allow Christ to find you and RECYCLE your life, there are bigger things HE wants to use you for!

"...I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."-Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

This morning the Lord, in all HIS awesomeness, showed me a lot about life...through a baby doll.

But isn't that where it starts anyway...through a baby.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Don't Panic...ATTACK!!!"

This past weekend has been one of the hardest weekends in a long time. 3 years to be exact. It was 3 years ago I experienced a flare up in Lupus that caused me to be in pain, heartache, and stress. I was beginning to feel scared and nervous at the thought of going back to that dark place.
I was experiencing loss of breath, heart racing, and numbness. I wasn't sure what was going on but it came in spurts and was a constant reminder that something was wrong.

I went to the clinic on Monday afternoon and did bloodwork for my rheumatologist who specializes in Lupus. He never called me back which told me it wasn't Lupus related. Monday night came and I did something I had never done before, I volunteered to take a field trip to the emergency 11pm! Wow, have you ever been to an ER at that time of night? Well, if you ever want to see drama-go there!!! It had hit me so hard I could barely stand up straight and Jeremy knew something was not right.

The ER doctor did an EKG on my heart which came back clean. My heart was fine. With that being said, "you are experiencing a panic attack." What? Really? But, I am not stressed. The doctor said that panic attacks can hit at any time and can last days, months, or random moments. I was shocked. He gave me pain management and explained that when your body goes in to overdrive to fight for relief you release carbon dioxide. You need that to calm you down. A thing I could do is take a paper bag and breath in it. When you breath in and out you are taking back in what you were letting out. I was immediately brought back to scenes from movies when you see people breathing in small paper bags and I giggled inside at the thought of me doing that. At that moment, I was willing to do WHATEVER I needed to do.

I have been trying to figure out the "WHY?" in this and I come up with no answer. I was at work today when a co-worker asked me how I was feeling and I explained my situation. She said that the enemy is threatened by me and is trying to distract me from doing God's work. I was stumped at that seeing as I don't feel as if I have modeled Christ very well. She explained to me that it doesn't matter. The devil is out to do 3 things...steal, kill, and destroy. God spoke through her by using the story of Job and his afflictions. I had forgotten about Job. Job was a man who, when I was going through hard years with Lupus, showed me how to stand strong for the Lord and prove the enemy wrong. When everything and everyone was taken away from Job he stood up and beside the Lord through it all. That was a reminder to me to stand firm in all that I believe.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5

That means trusting in the Lord with everything and not trying to "think" or "understand" it. TRUST. BELIEVE. FAITH.

So here it is...PANIC ATTACKS!?! Well, I have decided to let God be in charge of this battle. I am a part of HIS army and HE is saying to me, "Don't panic...ATTACK!!!"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Commander

Today I am not feeling to well. I am just here to vent my frustration with Lupus! GRRR!!!
(I wrote this yesterday on Jan. 16, 2010)

Today I am still not feeling well. I have been feeling overwhelmed, sleepy, and crying often. I called my doctor yesterday and he said he cannot tell me over the phone what is wrong but to go in on Monday to do some bloodwork. I haven't felt this way since summer of 2007. I want to thank my good friend Jamie for calling and praying for me tonight. I am standing with her in the prayer of casting out fear in Jesus' name. I know HE loves me and doesn't want this for me. I have no idea at how out of nowhere this happened but I am still sticking beside my Jesus. My favorite name to call Jesus is "My Commander." I trust HE is guiding me through a fog. I know HE has been there and I am holding on to it.
If you are reading this today, please know that no matter what tough time you are going through, Christ is your deliverer. That is why HE came. It wasn't just a one time blessing. HE was, is, and always will be...

"...perfect love drives out fear..."-1 John 4:18

Lord, please help me to remember this in times of distress. YOU are the only one who defines my life!