Monday, September 08, 2008

Confession and Lamentation

God days are a rarity for me these days. I guess that's why the Sisters have become a solo act. I am struggling through a time in the desert. I am a proud mom who has seen many successes over the last several years and in a few weeks I will see my firstborn off to the Navy Special Forces. I should be on top of the clouds! But, instead I find myself being swallowed up with darkness. Warfare is on and lately, I feel like I am losing the battle. I am just thankful that I know the war has already been won and this season will pass as all the others. I have been overcome with selfishness and lonliness. God wants me to let go of things I hold so dear and I can't. I can't trust Him...if only I had the faith of a mustard seed right now.

I have suffered much heartbreak this year and it just keeps coming. This I know is a time of emptying before the filling. I am praying that this trial will be like the birthpains that will soon be a faded memory once the blessing arrives. Sometimes, I worry that this time there won't be a blessing...but, God has never let me down in the past and I know He is in the eye of this hurricane in my life. I need to be like Peter. I need to stop thinking so I can stop sinking. I need to focus on the Lover of my soul and just run to Him. I need to be so focused that I will walk across the stormy waves as if they were solid ground....but lately...I just think and sink.

Today started out as a wonderful day in the Lord. I felt the heaviness of depression lift from me if only for a brief time. As I felt light and hope again...the test came and I failed miserably. Will I ever get over myself enough to testify to God's grace again? Where is my witness now? Where is my testimony? How will I ever get through this? What is wrong with me?

I called a friend tonight who has put up with all my emotional garbage faithfully for the last 8 years. God has a huge reward waiting for this friend who has done nothing but deal with my grief...and done it so lovingly. I wish there was some way I could repay her for all her kindness.

She told me to go home (I was up to no good lol). And to write down anything I could think of to praise God for in my journal. She didn't say it couldn't be a public journal. So, you get to journey with me as I seek God's presence in the power of here it goes...


I praise you for your forgiveness and mercy more than anything right now. I am so undeserving of my position at the right hand of God in Christ. I praise You because you died and gave me the opportunity to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. You live in me. Because of the shed blood of Your One and Only, I am called the righteousness of God. I praise you because I complain and fail constantly but you just keep loving me. I praise you because you never leave me and even though it seems you are so far away...and even sometimes that you don't care at all, I know that's a lie because you promise to never leave nor forsake me. Your word says that You loved me first! You knew me and loved me even before you knit me in my mother's womb and I am created in your image! I want everyone to see that image. I have a place above the angels you send to protect me. Oh Father, I have no right to ask you for anything more, yet you hear my cries and gather my tears. I make idols out of the gifts you give me and you stand with open arms waiting for this prodigal to return to you. You celebrate and lavish more blessings upon me that I do nothing to earn or deserve.

I praise you, Lord for people like Dave Gushee who has never failed to be an encourager. I praise you for the phone call today from a lady I hardly know who called just to tell me that you have laid me on her heart to pray for me. Then you led her to call me and tell me that. Why? Why did she call me? Why now?

I praise you for the church in Franklin that has been so amazing during this time of trial, the messages you have been giving and the connections you have made. I praise you for the work you are doing at the church where I work. I praise you for pastor Steve and Marsha and the messages they have been getting to me. I praise you that I got to meet pastor and his wife last week and tell them how much you are ministering and speaking to me through the messages. Christ in me...the hope of glory. Lord, I want to fully grasp Christ in me the way that you intend for me to. I don't want to miss it...not one little bit.

Father, the hardest thing to praise you for right now is this time of emptying. I think this has been the most difficult time of growth ever...but I praise you because even though my faith is so weak right now...even though darkness surrounds me. I know you are hiding somewhere on the other side of that cloak...with treasures I can't be lavished at just the right time...when YOU think I'm ready to have them. I know I'm far from being there. I know I am not empty yet. I still have so much of self keeping me away from the filling that awaits. I have to be completely empty. I want to be (did I really say that?). I don't want you to fill me until me is completely out of the way. I want no part of self to take away from the glory that Christ is in me. I keep pushing Christ aside and reaching for other idols.

I praise You because you don't give up on me. I praise you that even at this very moment, as I sense darts of doubt, lonliness, pain, jealousy, envy, depression and confusion flying at still stand strong and firm. You have such a hold on my heart. Everything is a lesser thing compared to you so how is it I ever worship anything above you? How is it I ever want to take my eyes off of You?

What is wrong with me? You made it known to me today that You have not abandoned me and I rejoiced...then in the first moment of the first trial I turn from you. I push you aside and placed my biggest idol on the If you are not angry with me. If you are not hurt that I have abandoned my first love...then what right do I ever have to be angry or hurt by anyone who hurts, or turns away from me? How can I ever feel alone or empty if I am filled with and abiding in You? I can't! That's how I know I am not allowing the fullness of Christ to consume me and I am not abiding.

Father, I praise You because You are Lord over my emotions. I give them to you. I can't do this without You. I can't let go of anything or anyone. I can't do anything apart from the vine. I can't even abide in You without You abiding in me. Help me to abide. Father, show me Your glory. Reveal to me all Your hidden treasures that I might see how truly blessed I am. I am in such things that are not of You. I want to be in bondage only to You. But I can do nothing on my own. Oh, Father help me to surrender once and for all...all of it. Please take it from me and help me to find peace and rest in You.

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