Hope, passion, joy

Those three things I have not felt in a long time. I feel like I may be finally, finally coming out of the desert. My divorce 6ish years ago, lead me quickly down a path so far away from my relationship with God that I never thought I would find a way back.
I missed my relationship with Him, but struggling with depression, less than intelligent life choices, and a crazy illness, plus a million little “bad” things made me believe that He didn’t really care and wasn’t listening.
Which sucks because I know better.
It seems like one horrible thing brought me to this place and another horrible thing seems to be the thing that is bringing me out.
One conversation reminded me of the passion I used to feel. Reminded me of why I was put here on earth. Reminded me of promises prophecied over me. Prophecies that I believe wholeheartedly will happen.
The song, “You Make Me Brave” by Amanda Cook and Bethel Music has been speaking so powerfully to me this week. I swear that song was written just for me.
It is the only thing that has made me smile, laugh, be excited about God and what he is doing in a long long time. I can barely contain my joy while singing that song to God.
Some of the lyrics:

You make me brave, you make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves

You make me brave, you make me brave
No fear can hinder now the promises you gave

As your love, wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
You are for us, you are not against us
Champion of heaven you made a way
For all to enter in

I feel like God is calling me to a new place in my life, a place where I have to be brave because I don’t like being pushed outside my comfort zone. But it needs to happen for Him to make me who He has created me to be, to fulfill the desires he has birthed in me.
I’m now starting to looking into the future with hope and expectation.

Thanks

No deep or remotely thought out blog today. Long day selling at my favorite craft show and very emotional day seeing all the pregnant women there this soon after losing my baby. Got her name tattooed on my wrist tonight. Kinda cathartic. It is the only thing I have of her. Don’t even have an ultrasound.

Just wanted to thank all of you who have followed my blog. You guys are awesome.

Tired and slightly sunburned and logging off.

Galatians

I think I need to read Galatians again even though I just finished it. Paul has so much to say!!!
You could practically pick one verse a day to meditate on and you’d be good for a couple months.
That but the way is something I need to work on. I’m sure a lot of others do too. Meditating on His word. How often do you take a verse from the Bible and spend time thinking about it, praying it over your life, posting it all over as a constant reminder?
Some references on what I’m talking about:

Joshua 1:8 >>
And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.

Psalms 119:55 >>
I meditate on your name all night, GOD, treasuring your revelation, O GOD.

Websters:

Meditate: to engage in contemplation or reflection, to focus one’s thoughts on: reflect or ponder over. to plan or project in the mind

Not saying you need to sit in some yoga pose and chant (used to think that when I was younger). But to seriously take a verse or a couple of verses and pray over them, ask God to open your eyes and heart as to how to apply it to your life, asking Him to provide revelation, maybe even take a day where your whole goal is to live out that verse.
I don’t do this at all but I’m looking forward to trying!
How much better would we be as Christians if we always had God’s word at the forefront of our mind?
God’s word is the living word. The words on those pages are not just flat and dead, but active and applicable to our lives.
Take a verse tomorrow, write it down, carry it with you. Find a picture with the verse on it online and use it as the background on your cell phone, cause if you are like me, you will see it a million times each day that way.
Ponder this verse, pray for God to reveal himself in it, and reveal more to you than what it says on the surface, pray that He will make he verse applicable to you and your situations that day. Memorize it. Maybe you will have to spend more than one day on that verse. Some verses are more pertinent to us, and more impactful and therefore require more time.
Be accepting of the fact that sometimes, it could reveal things about you that you don’t want to deal with. Been there done that. But that being said, deal with these things no matter how much it sucks. God wouldn’t have brought them to life unless they needed to be taken care of! And He created you, so ask Him for help with whatever He brings to light.
I have my verse all picked out for tomorrow. Be looking for another blog tomorrow or Friday to hear about my experience. I would love to hear about what you guys picked and how it went for you as well!

Sacrifice of praise

Such and interesting concept and topic that I am so looking forward to delving deeper into.
Tonight I got to talk to a new friend and vent about my miscarriage and just talk in general. I got to talking about how at church had I tried to sing I would have been sobbing hysterically but I can sing worship sings at home and I’m fine. But, I said, I don’t think I really mean them right now. I’m singing them just to sing even though I’m mad and hurt. And she mentioned the sacrifice of praise.
Praising God when the circumstances don’t warrant it. Praising Him when you think He has totally lost it. When you are so hurt by life that you can
hardly breathe. When you feel abandoned, in a dry time, alone, confused, angry… You name it. When you feel like anything but praising God.
Hebrews 13:15 says,
15Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased

I’ve read several commentaries on this and I’m looking forward to learning more. We are to continually praise God. I intentionally play worship songs and sing to them at home. Not because I want to. But He is still my God. Still on my side.
And worshipping without feeling “worshippy” isn’t hypocritical like I thought it was. I’m sacrificing my feelings, my emotions, my pain by worshipping when I don’t feel like it. I’m sacrificing my time. I’m giving it back to Him to take care of.
It is hypocritical if you don’t believe and do it as a show, but when you believe and do it even when you don’t want to, it becomes a sacrifice.
Which makes me feel better about how I felt in church on Sunday. Cause I would have rather died than gone and it was torture to sit there. Church is usually my refuge but since the miscarriage it has no longer been a comfort but a constant reminder of what I have lost.
I’m going to keep going and I’ve been assured that this does get easier.
All of this will now make leading worship a very different experience as well. How many times have I been up front while someone struggled through the service as I am now doing. I pray that God opens my eyes to those situations. To those hearts so if onto thing else I can pray for them. Or even better, leave behind my introverted self and talk to them. (I’m not super sure that talking is better than prayer, but it is cathartic. I suppose I can pray with them as well if I talk to them.)
So the next time you don’t want to/feel like worshipping, remember that it is your sacrifice to God when you praise him through the storm.

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Miscarriage is hell

That is the only way to describe this. On Friday we went in to see our baby only to be told that there was no heartbeat. I haven’t stopped crying since. If for some reason I’ve manage to stop crying, I am totally numb. I’m struggling to just keep breathing.
I’m sure it gets better. I’m sure it does, but right now there is no light at the end of this tunnel.
I can’t fathom going to church on Sunday. I don’t think I can handle hearing another “I’m sorry” or “God has a plan”.
It was my birthday on Tuesday and my son’s birthday today. On my birthday I distracted myself with painting my kitchen but today I couldn’t even get off the couch. The house could have burned down around me and I probably wouldn’t have noticed.
A million times over I will be told that I did nothing wrong, that it was just a genetic defect, that she never would have survived and yet I have and probably will replay everyday of my pregnancy trying to figure out what I did wrong. What I can avoid doing so this doesn’t happen again.

Depression is a bitch. I thought I was through with all of this but here it comes again. Like crazy waves after a storm. I refuse to go on meds again so I have to find something else to deal with this. I’m at the point today where I’m seriously questioning if anyone beside my family would notice if I was gone. I hate this point. I want to start smoking again or jump off a bridge. Thankfully our bridges here are really short and would put me in two feet of gross water. Definitely not fatal. I want to run away and start over. But I’ve done that and it doesn’t work anyway. I’m in the middle of our Wednesday night service which is my favorite part of the week and I don’t even care. I’m barely even hearing the music. And if you’ve been to this service you know that it impossible to miss it. You can hear the music down the street. I wish I knew what brings this on. Is it just satan messing with me? Seems likely.
I just can’t seem to pull out of this gold today and I the fact that I can’t get out of it upsets me even more. Yay for vicious cycles.
I just keep saying over and over that something has to give. It has to. Cause life isn’t meant to be like this.

Changes

So I moved back to Minnesota from Northern California almost exactly 8 years ago.
And I have hated every minute of it. Even after I remarried. Even after we bought a house.
I hated living here. I felt so disconnected. My friends and “family” were all back in California and so was a huge piece of my heart.

And it occurred to me today, after almost 8 years of sulking and dreaming of the mountains, that I no longer hate being here.
I may not have super close friends but I have a group of people that I love being with.
I have a church that I love.
I have a husband and a house.
But ultimately am finally starting to realize why God moved me back here.
What my “calling” is.
Because for 8 years I had been totally lost in that regard. He has always, always made it clear that singing was my thing. But small town Minnesota doesn’t have many options for that.
I’ve been singing at our Wednesday night service for most of the year but recently I’ve realized that I want to be more than just the background singer. I want to work within our worship ministry.
I have huge dreams for our church and our town and I see God moving more and more.
This is the place in my church, in my life that God wants to use me. Where I can minister to others. Where I can be useful for His kingdom.

All these missing puzzle pieces from years ago when I first started school are now falling into place.