“Being Still” On The Red Sea Road

We are wayfarers, on the Red Sea road, searching for direction; searching for peace; searching for answers; searching for comfort; searching for truth; searching for someone we can talk to and someone who will listen. If you want those things, I’ve found a companion who gives me direction, peace, answers, comfort and truth. He listens and He wants me to talk to Him. His name is Jesus. He is the best travel buddy you will ever have. 

Let’s grab our backpacks and start walking. Before we get too far, let’s find a spot on the road to sit and be still. A whole new world will open up to you, if you will just be still. Look around you and look at Him right beside you. Take a deep breath in and ask Him to help you find your soul.

I am inviting you to look inside yourself, so you can connect with God. “Let nothing get in the way of your communion with God.” Voskamp When I draw near to God, He draws near to me. James 4:8  Your connection to God brings wholeness to your life. I can’t emphasize how important your time with God is. 

I have spent thousands of dollars on counseling. I take medication. I read books and I study. All of those things have been instrumental in my journey to heal, but the time I spend with the Trinity, listening and journaling, is where my soul is healing. My time with the Trinity is extremely important. So, I implore you to sit and be still on your journey. Ask God to meet with you and help you.  

You might be someone who has dealt with a lot of horrible things. You might not see a way through it all. But, I am here to tell you there is a way through what has happened to you. God is the “Way Maker ” and He will make a way through. There are lots of bumps in the road along the way, but every day you put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward, you are making progress. 

If you are weary, and you have to sit down right in the middle of the road, do it! Sitting still is a movement forward. Everything you do to heal your soul is a movement in the right direction. I’ve had to figure out which way I want to go and which way does God want me to go. He knows which path is the best for me.

Like the Israelites, I have been in “fight or flight” mode off and on for years. My dad was a psychopath. I don’t use that term lightly. He actually told my mom that he would have murdered her if he could have gotten away with it. And towards the end of his life, he wanted to murder me. I lived with a very deranged person for a parent and that does something to a kid.

I lived in self-protect mode most of my life. I didn’t realize the damage that was doing to me. Let me share what Ann Voskamp says about self-protection. “Keep burying how you feel and you’ll end up digging your relationships a pretty big grave. If you don’t speak your fears and questions aloud, they only grow louder in your soul.” 

I learned not to ask my dad questions and I also learned to bury my fears. I had no idea what all those years of self-protecting would cost me. “Strange how the trauma from our early stories lives on in our bones and bends the way we see the world. That trauma can bend the way I retreat and try to self-protect.” Voskamp

Let me say this…I self-protected because I wasn’t safe. If I didn’t feel safe, I didn’t speak. I’ve spent years developing my relationship with God so I could feel safe to talk to Him. I can tell Him anything now. I ask questions and I tell Him about my fears. I am still working on my feelings because I stuffed them for so many years, but I am getting better. God cares about our feelings. He gave us feelings so we could feel them, not stuff them. I am learning to recognize my feelings and process them with my Abba Father. 

Let me share something I wrote the other day. Maybe this will help you see what I talk to God about when I journal.

“I can tell my emotions are starting to surface more. I am beginning to feel more. I really don’t want to put my emotions away like I used to. I want to sit with You and talk about my feelings because You are safe. Your are my home. You are the only One who really knows my pain and understands how I feel. I want to give my feelings to You. I used to hide them from You. I realize now that hiding my feelings only hurts me in the long run. You gave me an epiphany the other day when I was journaling, that I felt shame for my feelings. When I was a child, I was shamed into silence because I knew my words didn’t matter. But, my words matter to You. You care how I feel. You gave me feelings to feel, not feel shame for. You are teaching me to find value in the pain. Feel the pain. I have to feel so I can move on.” 

I would also like to share this with you. “Many of us never had the support needed to learn how to feel our feelings—so we may have learned to think about them instead. Though cognition is an important part of our humanity, it can also be a way we bypass emotions, often without realizing it. May you come to access your God-given emotions in a way and at a pace that allows you to experience them without being swallowed by them.” Aundi Kolber

I know I didn’t allow myself to feel things for years. Then one day, my body went into panic mode. It took years of counseling to calm down. I still get triggered. I still struggle with anxiety. But, the difference now is I go to God and talk to Him. I tell Him how I feel. He is helping me make a way through.

The world expects a person who has experienced trauma to “get over it”. I have been so hard on myself for years because I didn’t seem to be healing fast enough. Yes, you can heal. Yes, you can move forward. Yes, God helps us through it all. But, your journey is your journey. Do not fall into the trap of condemnation because your healing isn’t moving along fast enough.

We must have compassion towards our feelings and our pain. There is a reason why you have pain and feelings. God did not make you a robot. You are a human being who is fearfully and wonderfully made to have feelings and experience all sorts of emotions. God wants a relationship with you, so He can help you process all those things. He longs to hear from you. He longs to help you. Yes, we need counselors and all sorts of other things to help us, but a relationship with Christ is hands down the greatest gift you can give yourself. It is the gift that keeps on giving!

I could go on and on about this because I am passionate about it. So, I would like to end this post by asking you some questions. Are you in a state of self-protection? Are you burying your feelings and your pain while you journey down your Red Sea road? Are you taking time to be still? Are you willing to open up to God and have a relationship with Him? Are you writing down what you see and what you hear from Him? Are you lifting up your soul to Him?

You might feel overwhelmed by all of it. I certainly was. You might have never thought about being still; talking to God; listening for Him to speak; going deep in your soul to process your pain. It is a lot! But, my journey on this road has given me something that I consider priceless….intimacy with Him. As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t anything in this world that is better than that. My relationship with Him is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

There is healing for all of us on this road. There is hope and there is love. I can’t wait to share more with you! 

Until next time dear friends…. This is my journey to joy on the Red Sea road.

My Red Sea Road

I heard a song this summer by Ellie Holcomb called “Red Sea Road.” Let me share the lyrics with you.

(Verse 1)                                                                   

We buried dreams

Laid them deep into the earth behind us                             

Said, our goodbyes, at the grave

But everything reminds us

God knows, we ache

When He asks us to go on

How do we go on?

(Chorus)

We will sing to our souls

We won’t bury our hope

Where He leads us to go

There’s a red sea road

When we can’t see the way

He will part the waves

And we’ll never walk alone

Down a red sea road

(Verse 2)

How, can we trust 

When You say You will deliver us from

All, of this pain, that threatens to take over us

Well, this desert’s dry 

But the ocean may consume 

And we’re scared, to follow You

(Bridge)

Oh help us believe

You are faithful, You’re faithful

When our hearts are breaking

You are faithful, You’re faithful

Oh grant us eyes to see

You are faithful, You’re faithful

Teach us to sing

Many of us, right now, are traveling down our own Red Sea roads.  We are desperately searching for a way out. You might not see how you are going to survive and feel completely consumed by fear and anxiety. I am here to tell you that there might not be a way out, but there is a way through.

“The way through happens wherever we stop focusing on how to get out of something and focus on what we can get out of this to become Christlike. Freedom isn’t about looking for a way out, but the way deeper down, the way to grow into more, to be pressed into the narrow pathway through.” Voskamp

I find it hard to admit this, but asking for a way through and not a way out is extremely hard for me. I want to avoid as much pain as possible. I think most of us feel that way. Most of our crying out to God involves asking to be taken out of a bad situation. But… I am learning that I grow and learn so much more when I ask Him to hold my hand, walk down the road with me, and teach me what I need to learn. 

I know I’ve wanted out of so many things because I was abused as a child. Of course, I didn’t want a way through. I know there are some of you that are reading this post that feel the same way. I have begged God to take me out of this world; take away the pain; take that person away that keeps hurting me. I have asked many times, “How can I escape the torment that this situation brings me?”

“Facing waves, and finding a pathway through, has been part of the human experience from our very first breath. There is a wall of water in front of you not because you did something wrong or because you took a wrong turn; there has been a wall of water in front of us right from the beginning because this is the human experience. There is no controlling life’s storms, there is only learning to live with the waves. The real work of being human is mastering how to process losses while being in the process of moving forward.” Voskamp

The trauma from my abuse are the walls of water that I have been facing most of my life. I became enslaved to so many bad habits and behaviors because of it. My thinking was wrong; my view of God was tainted and my ability to process my losses was non-existent. I was stuck and not able to move forward for many years.

I was a little girl who had to develop instincts to keep herself safe from harm. I watched and observed constantly to learn how to operate efficiently in my home. I did everything I could to keep the peace. I became a slave to pleasing and performing to keep myself safe. I did whatever I could to protect myself and my brothers. I did whatever I could do to control my environment. I became what I needed to be. I had dreams. I had plans. But, I couldn’t pursue them because it wasn’t safe to do that. I wasn’t safe to be myself. 

I see that little girl standing on the Red Sea road. She is turning toward Jesus and walking with Him. She loves holding His hand and talking to Him. She loves listening to what He has to say. He is her friend. He loves her unconditionally. He loves to hear what she has to say. She can trust Him with her feelings. There is joy in knowing He is there. He is making a way through for her.   

That little girl decided to give up what she knew to follow God just like the Israelites did. She wanted a better way to live. She wanted a new life. She decided she didn’t want to stay enslaved to her sin. She wanted to be set free and started walking down the Red Sea Road with Him. Even though there were walls of water surrounding her, she decided to look forward, hold on to Jesus, and ask Him to make a way through for her.

The Red Sea road can be a way of deliverance for us. God delivered His people from slavery and He can deliver us too… if we let Him. We have to be willing to turn away from the things that enslave us and ask Him to help us move forward. We have to cling to Him and trust Him.   

I know it is scary to leave what is comfortable behind. We might think we can’t live without whatever is enslaving us. Believe me I know. It was very scary for me. But I have to tell you that it feels so much better to be set free than it does to be enslaved. I have given up a lot of things and frankly I don’t regret giving them up. Some days are easier than others, but I want to be on that road walking with my Savior. I want to walk with Him and watch Him work in my life and in the lives of others. 

I haven’t written much this summer while I have been walking down my road. There have been some pretty big roadblocks that needed my attention and prayer. I have been digging deep to get around them and asking the Lord to make a way through for me. My circumstances haven’t changed, but I am changing and growing and learning. I am learning that the only way I am going to make it through the detours and roadblocks is to keep my eyes fixed on the One who is leading the way. 

I am actually praying more than I ever have for a way through instead of a way out. You have to get your hands on Ann Voskamp’s book called “Waymaker“. Her book is opening my eyes and teaching me how to live with the waves of life. I can’t control them… but I can move forward in them.

I am going to be sharing what I have learned this summer in the next blog posts that I write. So, stay tuned for them. I share because I care. Whatever you suffer from, there is hope. We have a “Way Maker” who is making a way for us. If we allow ourselves to hold on to Him and trust His way, He will bring good out of it.  He is always good because He can’t be any other way.

Until next time dear friends. I”ll be walking down my road with Jesus and my friends by my side!

What My Trauma Did For Me

If you would have told me, I was going to write a post about what my trauma has done for me six months ago, I would have said, “There is no way that is going to happen!” But here I am, writing about it and hoping I can help someone out there who struggles with it.

So, let’s talk about trauma. It isn’t the usual topic of conversation that you have with others. But, it is a topic that needs to be discussed because so many people are suffering from it in the world today. I think we can all agree that our world has dramatically changed in the last few years and because of that change, there are more and more people suffering from trauma and the repercussions from it. 

Before I go on, I want you to know that I understand how painful and debilitating trauma can be. I am not in any way trying to minimize the havoc it wreaks in our bodies. Trauma is awful and to live with it day in and day out is horrible!! It takes a very long time to deal with it and heal from it. The trauma that happens to us is bad, but God can bring good from it. 

I was born into trauma. I lived in a war zone every day of my life until I was old enough to get out of my house. I developed very destructive habits in my younger years that stuck with me for a very long time. Then, in my thirties, I started dealing with depression. My doctor suggested taking medication, so I complied. The medication helped, but there was still a deep sadness inside me. 

When I was 37, my world came crashing down after my brother committed suicide. When I heard the news, there was a shift in my body that I really can’t explain. I remember my heart sinking, my heart racing, and my body was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I felt out of control and lacked the ability to deal with what was going on inside me. It was my first experience with a panic attack. 

From that point on, little by little the anxiety got worse and so did the horrible panic attacks. By my 40th birthday, I was really suffering. I couldn’t hide from my feelings any more. It took days for my doctor to help me find a medication that could help me function and calm down. I was a mother of three daughters and I desperately needed to be able to take care of them.

One night, a good friend of mine was with me and witnessed me having a panic attack. She took me aside and strongly encouraged me to seek counseling. She gave me the phone number of a woman that she talked to. So, I called the number the very next day to set up an appointment. 

I want you to know that it took desperate measures to get me to pick up the phone and dial that number for counseling. I really thought I could handle my life, until I couldn’t. So, I know how hard it is to reach out for help. But, to be perfectly honest, you have to have help. You really don’t have a choice if you want to get better. I’ve spent thirty years on medication and twenty years in some form of therapy. 

That’s what trauma did to me physically and emotionally. But what I want to share with you is another side of trauma. A side that is is hopeful. I know when you see the word trauma, it’s hard to imagine seeing the word hope next to it. The two words side by side don’t compute in the brain, especially when you are in the midst of living in your misery. 

But… I have found hope and a purpose to my trauma. It has taken me many years to say those words. In order to explain why those words go together, I just have to talk about Jesus. I’ve read the story about Jesus dying on the cross since I was a little girl. This year, the verses about Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, jumped off the pages and burrowed into my heart. The words I am about to share with you gave me new meaning— a new revelation of Jesus. So, let’s get to it!

He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. And He said to them, “My soul is crushed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting Him might pass Him by. ”Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:33-36

This Easter, for the very first time in my life, I looked at Jesus and realized He knows trauma. (You are never too old to learn something new!) He knows from first hand experience how horrible it is. Peter A. Levine says it best. “God-man is distressed, troubled, overwhelmed to the point of death—the very definition of trauma.” 

He was deeply troubled and distressed. He knew what was going to happen and even sweat drops of blood over it. He said His soul was crushed with sorrow to the point of death. Because of His distress, He wanted His friends to stay with Him so He wouldn’t be alone. He even asked for God to take away the suffering, but then said, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 

Jesus knows how we feel when we suffer. He can relate to every bout of depression, every panic attack we experience and all the anxiety we feel.  He knows what it is like to feel intense pain. He knows what is like to be deeply distressed and troubled. He knows how to feel extreme sorrow. 

The bottom line is… He knows. The day He died on that cross, He became so much more. He became our way through. He became our way through anxiety, depression, panic attacks and so much more. When you feel like you are alone in your pain, you have someone who knows how you feel. The men that Jesus asked to be with Him kept falling asleep. So, He knows what it feels like to be alone. He wants us to turn to Him because He knows. When no one else understands, He understands. 

I’ve been on a long journey with God. I have been trying to understand His ways. I’ve been desperately searching for answers to my questions. But what I didn’t realize, was my seeking and searching was giving me so much more than I asked for. My searching gave me more of Him. My seeking brought a deep attachment to my Trinity and that attachment is giving me healing.

“We don’t need answers from God like we need attachment with God.” Voskamp

Yes, it is nice to have answers. Yes, we need counseling and sometimes we need medication. But, the attachment I have with God is what is truly healing me. The time I spend with my Trinity is giving me the insight and the growth I desperately need to endure my life in this world. 

“Let our mysteries lead us to deepen our relationships, heighten our gratitude, strengthen our God-attachment, and grow our soul resilience, this is the way we find meaning and keep standing. All is meant to grow the soul toward the goal of God.” Voskamp

When I attach myself to God, sit at His feet, learn from Him, listen to Him, talk to Him, wrestle over issues with Him, give Him my struggles and my will—the trauma lessens a little each day. I have realized that everything that has happened to me is meant to grow me not destroy me. 

There is a great return when we pray for His will to be done in our lives. We gain His wholeness when we give Him our brokenness. We gain more of Him to help us with our pain and our suffering. He is truly our way through the trauma. 

I feel so much as I write these words. I am grateful. I am in awe of God. I am proud to be His child. I am excited to learn more. But most of all, I am deeply humbled at what God has done  in my life. My mind is blown away by how good He is. How faithful He is. He has been so kind  to me when I have questioned His every move. There is nothing on this earth that compares to Him. He is my reason for living. 

I could go on and on. But, what I want to leave you with is hope. Hope in Him. Attach yourself to Him and don’t let go! He is the Way through our messy lives. 

I love you dear friends!  Until next time…This is my journey to joy!

The Best Decision I’ve Ever Made

Have you ever gone through a stage in your life where you are filled with so many questions that frankly make you feel a bit overwhelmed? Questions that plague your mind and your soul. Questions that you desperately would like to have answered. Questions that you are asking yourself and questions you are asking the Creator of the Universe to answer. Life just seems to get so desperate sometimes, and if you just had an answer, it might just help your life make sense. 

The question “Why?” haunts me. It rises up within me because I’ve done a good job stuffing it for so many years. It rises up and won’t leave me alone. This question demands an answer.

I instinctively go get my pen and my spiral bound notebook, that I call my journal, so I can get my thoughts and questions down on paper. I go before the Holy Trinity and ask the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to help me find the answers I am searching for. I know this is a holy work. This is hard work. This is the core work of my being.  

I knew when I accepted Christ into my life that I would never be the same. I knew it in my bones. I knew exactly what I was doing. I was only twelve years old, but I knew that having a relationship with Christ would be the best decision I could ever make. It was actually the first big decision that I made in my short twelve years of life on this earth. I attached myself to Christ. I knew He was going to make a huge difference in my life. I just knew in my soul that He was my life.

Let me share with you something C.S. Lewis wrote. “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” 

That statement by Lewis makes so much sense. I was not made for this world. This world is not my home. It will never satisfy the deep longing in my soul. 

I long for a world where everything will be made right. Where we can worship God all day long. Where there will be no disease. Where no hate exists. Where good will triumph. Where there will be no more hurt or pain. No more addiction. No more sin. Truth will prevail. No more wars. No more lies. No more killing and especially no more evil!!

That is where my heart is. But, I am living on this earth right now because this is where God wants me to be until the day He calls me home. So I ask, “Lord, why am I here? What is my purpose?” And every single time I ask those questions, He tells me my purpose is to spend time with Him. Share my life with others. Share what I am learning and share what His word says. So, that is what I will continue to do.

This world will never satisfy me because I yearn for so much more that it can give me. Everything I am and ever will be is tied to my relationship with Christ. I am attached to Him. Nothing else on this earth will ever fulfill me the way Jesus does. My life only makes sense because of Him. 

We are created for connection to others and connection to our Trinity. When our connection is broken, we feel loss and that loss can feel overwhelming at times. There is a deep hole within all of us that only Christ can fill. I have tried to fill mine with other things and they have never truly satisfied me.  

When I am with my Trinity, asking questions, learning, seeking, finding, listening and writing, there is Communion. There is safety. There is love. There is truth. There is revelation. There is deep attachment. There is intimacy. “Healing comes through the closeness of hesed-attachment because He knows how close we need Him to actually experience His healing touch.” Ann Voskamp

Psalm 31:7 “Lord, you see my affliction and know the anguish of my soul. I will be glad and rejoice in your love that attaches itself to me.” 

Did you catch that? God’s love attaches itself to us. I have been on a healing journey for twenty two years. I have read countless books. I have finished many Bible studies. I have sought wisdom from counselors. All of those things have added to my healing. But…. the time I have spent alone with my Trinity has been the most profound experience of healing in my life.

I can’t put into words how much we need to attach to the power of the Trinity. The Trinity listens. They speak. They give wisdom. They enable me to do things in their power that I normally can not do. They enlighten me. They ask hard questions. Everything they do brings healing to my shattered heart. I have struggled with many things in my life and I know that I would not be here if it wasn’t for the divine love of God. 

“Then Christ will make His home in your hearts, as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Ephesians 3:17

‘You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God Himself is a present in you?”  1 Corinthians 3:16

I share these verses because I need to be reminded, and maybe you need to be reminded, that if you have a relationship with Christ, He is in you. He is a present and a presence in our lives. We need to develop intimacy with the Trinity and attach ourselves daily to them. “Lose connection to your loved ones, your dreams, your community, your maker, and what you will always find is trauma.” Voskamp

I’ve lived through a lot of trauma. Trauma caused by people and situations I couldn’t control. Please listen to me when I say this… I have survived because of the connection I have with my Trinity. I have endured because of the attachment that I have with Christ. It’s so hard to put into words what they mean to me. 

This period of my life has brought a lot of questions to my mind, but also a lot of clarity. I was reading the other day in Ann Voskamp’s latest book The Waymaker and was reminded of Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness…to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.” 

I know there has been a tremendous number of days that I have wandered in the wilderness. My heart has been tested many times, but what I’ve learned is… I want Christ more than anything else in life. I want a thriving, growing relationship with my Trinity. I want their ways and their truth to reign in my life. I want to trust them even when what I am seeing sends deep fear inside me. 

I have situations in my life right now that are shaking me. I have to dig deep and trust God because it’s impossible for us to please God unless we trust God with the impossible. Hebrews 11:6 He can do the impossible. He can do anything. My job is to choose to trust His ways and then choose to trust Him again and again. 

Easter Sunday is quickly approaching. Have you taken the time to think about what Christ did on that cross for us…the horrible death He endured for us…the sacrifice He made for us…the way He loved us and still loves us…His desire to be in a relationship with us…The fact that He lives in us. The fact that our body is a temple and we should honor that temple by the way that we live. 

It has been fifty years since I made my decision to follow Christ. I can still say it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I am in love with my Savior. I can’t imagine my life without Him. Oh, how I long for everyone to know Him and love Him.

He deserves so much from us. He simply asks us if we would like to be in a relationship with Him. We have the free will to say “yes’ or “no.” I will say “yes” over and over again!

I am going to leave you with a statement by A.W. Tozer. “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So, what comes into your mind when you think about God? Let it marinate inside you as we approach Easter. 

Until next time my dear friends. May this journey we are on together bring you much joy! The joy that can only come from Him!

HE IS RISEN!!!!

Waiting To Heal

Have you ever realized how much time you find yourself waiting? We wait in the grocery line. Maybe, you are waiting for the right job offer. You might be waiting for positive test results. We wait in huge lines to go to sporting events or concerts. We could be waiting for a loved one to stop their addiction or destructive behavior. We could be waiting for a miracle. The bottom line is… waiting is a huge part of our lives. 

I think waiting can be one of the hardest things we do in life, but it can also be a life changing experience. I have been watching the Winter Olympics since they started a few days ago. I love watching the athletes compete, but what really inspires me is each individual athlete’s story of what they’ve gone through to get to compete at the Olympics. No matter what sport they are competing in, each athlete has had to wait for this moment in time. They have faced many challenges in life and have persevered to get where they are now. They’ve learned to wait. 

We can’t all be Olympic athletes, but we can learn to be good at waiting. Let me share this quote I saw on Instagram yesterday that Toby Mac posted. “Healing takes time. There is a reason the Lord waited 22 years to reunite Joseph and his brothers. The lessons were found in the waiting.”

After I read that quote, I knew I needed to sit down and write. I fell apart 22 years ago when I started experiencing panic attacks that completely took over my life. If you have experienced panic attacks, you know how scary they are. I felt like I was going to die. I really didn’t know what was happening to me. I just knew I needed help! I finally got some relief after my doctor  prescribed some medicine that calmed the attacks down and I also started seeing a counselor.

I had a major misconception in my mind about healing from my abusive childhood. I thought it might take a few years and then I should be better!!! Boy was I wrong! The panic attacks continued for years before they went away and I am still in counseling. People that I love have made comments to me about why it’s taking so long for me to heal. I have beaten myself up over those comments. I have pleaded with the Lord to heal quicker. But, I have finally realized that there have been many lessons that I’ve needed to learn the past 22 years.

I have been very impatient with my process. I have gotten angry, cried a lot and pleaded with the Lord to heal me. But, the bottom line is… I want to know God. I want to learn. I want to understand. I want to change. I want to help others. I am determined to move forward and I will do whatever it takes to move closer to a deeper relationship with my Lord and Savior. He is my gold medal. He is my reward. 

I want to share a story with you that is in the Bible. This story is about a paralyzed man in the book of John. I’ve read this story so many times, but I have learned a new way to look at it. This man, and several others with disabilities, were lying by a healing pool of water. Jesus enters the scene and learns that this particular man has been paralyzed for 38 years.

John 5:6-9

Jesus walks over to him and asks, “Do you want to get well?” 

   “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

   Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The question that Jesus asked the paralyzed man is the same question that He asked me 22 years ago. “Do you want to get well?” My response was a little more challenging than the paralyzed man. “Why would you even ask that question? Of course I do! Why do you think I am sitting here shaking all over?” (Thank goodness the Lord is patient and kind!!)

The next words that Jesus says to the man are, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 

My response, again, was a little more verbal than the paralyzed man. “Do you see that I am shaking over here? I am asking for healing, but I want it right now! I can’t keep going on like this! I am going to have a heart attack from these stupid panic attacks. Get me out of this mess!!! How am I supposed to just get up and walk?” 

I am laughing now, as I remember those words. I was a very desperate woman! I didn’t want to wait. I wanted healing right now! But if He had healed me at that time, I wouldn’t have the lessons I’ve learned while I was waiting. I wouldn’t have the journals, the books, the Bible studies or the counseling that He has given to me. I wouldn’t have the relationship I have with Jesus and I wouldn’t be writing this post. 

I wanted to be healed immediately, just like the paralyzed man. That was his story. My story is different. I have had to wait for my healing. Now that I can look back at those really hard years, I am so grateful He has gotten me through them. I have learned that His timing is not my timing. His will is good and perfect even when it is really hard to understand. 

At times, the waiting process can been excruciating. The paralyzed man waited for 38 years to be healed. When Jesus came to him, he had a choice to make. Do I believe this guy can heal me or will I ignore His question and just keep lying here? He chose to believe Jesus, so he was able to get up and walk away from his spot by the pool.

If you are waiting right now for something to happen, let me share some things that have helped me in my waiting process. First and foremost, I have to spend time with Jesus. I have to talk to Him. I journal because it helps me get my feelings out. Counseling is crucial. Find a reliable friend or friends to support you and pray for you. Spend time reading and studying the Bible. God’s words bring the truth that you are desperately searching for. I have read countless books that have really inspired me to keep moving forward. If anyone wants a specific list of books that I have read or studies I have done, please contact me. I can give you many to choose from. I am here for you! I want to help you move forward. 

May I also add that friends and family mean well when you ask their opinions, but God is the One who truly knows the right answer. We need to ask ourselves if their opinions or comments line up with God’s word. I know I have fallen into the trap of listening to others more than God. 

Let me leave you with some very wise words by Oswald Chambers and Jim Cymbala. 

Chambers  “Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason—a life of knowing Him who calls us to go.” (Or, get up and walk!)

Cymbala  “Faith enables us to see God on top of all our problems. If we see only the problems, we get depressed and start making wrong decisions….”Unbelief” talks to itself instead of talking to God…. When we talk to ourselves, we’re not talking to anyone very smart, because our outlook is very limited. But if we talk to God, we’re talking to someone who knows everything. He knows what He promised in the beginning, and He knows exactly how to fulfill those promises no matter the circumstances.”

If you asked me if all the time reading, counseling and studying is worth it, I would definitely say yes! My mental health is worth it and so is yours!! The lessons I have learned have gotten me to where I am today. I won’t be completely healed till I die and see Jesus. So, while I am waiting, I will keep moving forward towards that finish line where Jesus will be standing with my gold medal in His hand. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!

Until next time….This is my journey to joy!