For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Right Now Resurrection



Thank you for a chance to celebrate your power to resurrect dead lives, dead hopes, dead dreams, dead hearts, and dead souls.

 Thank you for a day given to celebrate your love that would rathe die for us than see us die.

 Thank you for the limitless power Jesus released when He hung on that cross and took our sins upon Himself so we could stand before you in His righteousness.

 Thank you for....oh, my heart...I lose words....

 Daddy, today there are people who need to hear your power, near to hear your hope, near to hear your love. There are people thinking their hopes, their dreams, their marriages, their kids, their careers, their callings, THEY THEMSELVES are dead or are too dead. There are people today GASPING FOR AIR thinking any moment it will be the last breath. Daddy, DADDY! Hear them. Respond to them. Pour yourself out on them. I pray the power that defeated eternal death on that cross would pour into these lives right now. RIGHT NOW! I bind these hopes and dreams to you. I bind these lives, relationships, purposes to you. Daddy, breathe life where it is needed. Make your presence known. Make it obvoius to these precious people that Resurrection wasn't something that just happened 2,000 years ago. It is something that happens EVERY SINGLE DAY IN YOU. Jesus is the resurrection every single day, and in Him there is resurrection for whatever seems dead. In Him there is life right now for THEIR LIVES.

 Daddy, this day is not about Easter eggs or even awesome family dinners—although you are ALL about family. Today is a day of resurrection, and there is so much you want to resurrect. I pray you would give the hope, faith, and courage to each person waiting for the resurrection that they might believe in what you want to resurrect in their lives.

 Thank you, Daddy. I love you.

 I see a husband who has made mistakes, not understood true manhood, not understood what a strong husband truly is, and he is wondering if he has blown it without possibility of redemption. The Lord says, “A broken spirit and contrite heart I will not refuse. Humble yourself before me. I will teach you to love her.”

 I see a woman crying over her family. I think it is her kids. She is sitting at a dining table, crying out. Oh, Lord, she is crying out. I hear Him saying, “Trust in me. Simply trust in me.” I believe He wants to teach you how to stop parenting in fear and start parenting in faith. You’ve created a chasm because you’ve been trying to control because you are scared for your kids. Your afraid of their going down the road you did or worse. He doesn’t want you to live in fear. Fear only kills. Faith heals and gives life. Pour yourself into Him and let Him pour into you. Let your prayer be for your trust in him to be increased, and as you give them to Him, you will see their hearts turn back to you and to home. More than that, you will see their hearts turn to Him, and He says not to panic over missteps or sidesteps. He has not abandoned them. Fathers don’t abandon their kids.

 I also see someone sitting by either a large lake or an ocean. Young woman. You’re heart is broken. I feel like you keep muttering to yourself that you’ve made such a mess of things and you are specifically referring to things you’ve done, the life you are now living, and you feel bound to this life, like you don’t know how to get out, like you’ve created this prison with friendships and choices. The Lord wants you to know there is no prison He can’t get you out of, and yes, the exodus can be challenging, but He can get you out and wants to get you out. He adores you. Did you hear that? He adores you, and if you put your hand out, He is all in. He’s ready to save you. Just set your face like flint and be prepared for a lot of changes. He’s going to get you out of that environment, away from those people, and He is going to give you a new place with new relationships. I also feel like He is saying, “Don’t believe the lie you are unworthy. Only I get to determine your worth, and you are worth this to Me.”

 I also feel like there is a drug addict and also someone who has had an abortion, and you cannot believe you’ve gotten where you are. You disgust yourself. The Lord says He knows the road that got you here. He knows the pain that led to your decisions, and not only does He want to heal you of the pain of those decisions, He wants to heal you of the pain that led you here in the first place.

 I see a sexual abuse victim. Young person, and He wants you to know your cries have not gone unheard. He has heard you. Daddy, this is hard for me because you know my heart about this. I am asking you to do what has to be done to reveal this abomination. I pray for you to remove this abuser from this person’s life. I pray for safe refuge. I pray for a safe place to heal. I pray the lies that this person is the cause of the abuse would be silenced. I ask you to slap down the person inflicting this pain. I ask you to heal everything that has been harmed in this victim’s mind, heart, and spirit. I pray for physical healing. I pray for complete restoration of identity and joy in who you made this person to me. I pray for the young man that you would restore his manhood, that he would not fear being a man, that he would not loathe being a man, that he would not see his manhood as dirty or evil but that he would rejoice in the gift of being a godly man with integrity and honor. I break the ties Satan has placed on him in Jesus’ name, and I ask you to restore him to the fullness of who you made him to be.

And for this young woman who wants to mutilate her body or hide her womanness either in manliness or with obesity so no man will ever find her attractive and hurt her again, I ask you to heal her I ask you to restore to her the beauty of her womanhood. I ask you to heal her from fear, heal her from shame. I pray that you would free her from the nightmares. Restore her to the woman you created her to be. There is gentleness and softness in her that is so needed, and I pray you would give this back to her.

Daddy, I bring before you this person who is being bullied. I ask for a steel canister to be placed around this person so that the verbal assault will fall on deaf ears and there would be no heart or mind damage. I know evil exists, and there is no perfect world, so I am asking for physical protection, that no contact would be made, and I ask that you would put a silencer in the ears of this victim so that the voices would not penetrate. I pray that the only voices this person hears would be voices speaking life and identifying this person as the gift YOU declare him/her to be, and I pray those voices would saturate the mind, heart, and spirit of this person.

I feel like there are so many who need a word from God, who need hope, who need to know God sees you and hears you. I’ve posted what I’ve heard specifically, but I feel like the Lord wants me to offer specific prayer to anyone who would like it. If you would like specific prayer, you can comment here or message me through my profile. I will pray and share with you what I feel the Lord says. If you would like the exchange to remain private, I will need an email where I can send my reply. I give you my word, I will share nothing with anyone else, not your name, not your need, not your email.

I pray today is a resurrection day for you. I pray you know more than ever that this day is about Jesus’ death for you because of His love for you.




Saturday, March 30, 2013

Resurrection--What It Means Everyday

Spent time this morning studying the word "resurrect".

surr--to move from a low place to a high place

We all started in a high place and fell to a low place. Through the sacrific of Christ, we are giving the option to choose the high place again.

Annoyingly, we can still fall...
...into old patterns
...old mindset
...old identity

When Jesus offered the wine and bread of the Last Supper, He said, "Do this to remember Me."
Remember in Me, you always have the option.

Wherever you are, however far you've fallen...He remains...and so does the option to choose Him...and be restored to the high place with Him.

How Does One Heal? Only One Way--The Healer

"People keep asking me how my children and I have come through everything we went through so well. How are we so okay?

One word : God

I believe it is impossible to be healed without the Healer.
You can try, but scars have no elasticity. They become tight skin with no give. Without true healing, a person can still move through life but will always be bound up by their inability to fully move beyond what hurt them."
--Warrior Undaunted, manuscript in process, Jerri Kelley Phillips

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lent Day 34--Remember: Love does not Dishonor

Love is patient. Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast. It is not proud.
It does not dishonor others...

Stop and consider the power of such words.

It does not dishonor others...

It is patient. It is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast. It is not proud.
It does not dishonor others...

Love is neither fixated on what it gets right or on what others get wrong.

It is patient. It is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast. It is not proud.
It does not dishonor others...

If only there were a gate over my mouth and the key to words getting through was to love...and not dishonor.

Love is patient. Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast. It is not proud.
It does not dishonor others...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lent Day 33--Love is not Proud

How can this cracked cup be proud of the wee bit of water barely offering a drink? If loving Him is offering a whole cup, I am wholly inadequate. And this flimsy flesh slaps another hard blow across my already bleeding back, and I lay the cover open for others to see the see the blood and the broken...and I am proud I know just how flimsy I am.

Pride is a lie whether it boasts too much or boasts too little.

And the broken cup I like to display is trash, not treasure, in the eyes of a God who leaves nothing broken because broken is ill-equipped but He fully equips, and this arrogance of need I like to flaunt as holy makes Him wholly ill.

If pride goes before fall, pride must go before I fall on my knees, and I confess it isn't about my brokenness but about His, and it isn't about my knowing I'm cracked but my knowing Him on Calvary. It is not about being mangled. It is about being masterpiece.

How can one bring glory as a Savior's masterpiece when I'm flaunting the arrogance of being a saved mess? The masterpiece is for His glory; repeatedly acknowledging I'm a mess is for mine.

And I am disgusted. And again, the pride goes, and I fall, and, God, save me from this mess I am and give me the mind of masterpiece so I live as a piece of the Master.

A masterpiece does not take pride in being magnificent or mangled. Instead, if finds joy and peace in knowing it is a loved and priceless piece of its Master.

Lent Day 33--Remember: Love is not Proud

Love is patient. Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast. It is not proud.

If there is nothing to boast of, there is no boasting.

Love is patient. Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast. It is not proud.

When love sees the wonder of the craftsman, how can the crafted be proud?

Love is patient. Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast. It is not proud.

Don't skip the scripture to see the words between.
The only thing between that matters is the love.

Love is patient. Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast. It is not proud.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prayer--Everything You Have Been for Me...

I love you.

I don't have words. My mind is simply reeling with the monstrous obstacles people I know and their loved ones are facing. Health, protection, relationships...Daddy, we can do nothing. There is no human way. We don't have the medical wisdom. We don't have the omnipotence. We can't make people do the right thing. If you do not invade these situations, they are hopeless.

Love always hopes.
Love always protects.
Love always believes.
Love never fails.

Daddy, be the greatest lover imaginable in these situations.

Hear me. Oh, Daddy, HEAR ME!

I'm on my knees, and I am confessing our desperate need. You never turn away people who need you. You never turn me away. You NEVER turn me away. Daddy, hear me.

I am asking you to be more than I know what to ask. I am asking you to be everything needed. I get focused on the need for physical healing, but you know the heart healing. You know the courage needed to face the giant. You know the love these people need to feel. You know how to speak it. You know how to lead them out of the dark place. You know everything. Daddy, I'm just asking you to be everything. I'm asking you to be the giant slayer. I'm asking you to be courage in every piece of them. I am asking you to be the victory cry in the nightmare. I'm asking you to be the peace in the worst part of the storm. I am asking you to be everything your Daddy heart wants to be for those you love in these situations.

Everything you have been for me, be for them.

Daddy...everything you have been for me...EVERYTHING YOU HAVE BEEN FOR for them.

Thank you...I am...your love leaves me speechless...thank you.

I love you.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lent Day 22--When Love's Purpose is Simply to Love

Today I posted on FB that I need a ratty old couch removed from my house and either moved to the dump or put in my truck so I can try to move it to the dump. I have had no volunteers. People are simply busy. I understand.

HOWEVER, I have received invitations to various walks, demonstrations, protests, Bible studies, etc. Obviously the explanation of what people are busy with.

Let me be REALLY blunt.

If I don't care about people's personal needs,
I cannot expect them to care about my political or religious agendas.

 If I am so busy protecting my constitutional right that I miss protecting those Jesus said we are right to care about, I've missed Him.

 If I am too busy with my social functions that I forget how the body of Christ is supposed to function, I am just a clanging gong taking up space.

If I am too busy reading about how Jesus loved to actually love in practice, I am missing the boat, and people are missing Jesus.

And sometimes the love of Jesus looks like someone moving a couch, mowing a yard, dropping off a meal, driving someone to the hospital, helping with a baby, picking up medicine, or just sitting a spell and talking.

Lent Day 22--Love Does Not Boast

I think of them, and my neck starts to tense. You know the people I'm talking about, right? The ones who give you their resumes while you try to find a gracious way to exit the scene, or maybe it's the ones whose Christmas letters sound like a propaganda page convincing you that, yes, indeed, they and their family can unsnarl rush our traffic, cure the common cold, and fix the national debt. Their lives are bigger and their accomplishments better, and you leave their little self-marketing session ready to never lay eyes on them again...or ready to never lay eyes on yourself again.

Do you want to know what I did that rocked the nation last year? I sat in kayaks with people I love in the middle of a lake...and watched the sun go down. I cooked hotdogs for friends. Wait. Not exactly true. The husband/dad of the friendly family cooked the hotdogs. BUT, I laid them out to defrost, so that has to count for something. I told my children I loved them I prayed...a LOT. I tried to encourage friends who were tired. I paid my bills. I laughed. I read some books. I helped out here and there. I listened. I handed Kleenex. I got on my face and cried for people. I went to bed with a smile on my face because my life is so good the joy in my heart had to leak out somewhere, and a smile seemed like a good answer.

Okay, so maybe that didn't actually rock the nation. Okay, so it really didn't even make the gossip circuit in the neighborhood.

For years, I would look at lists like that side by side, and that you-are-so-insignificant voice would start its whispering and tearing at pieces of me, and I would listen. I mean, how was I supposed to say, "Oh, no, I am significant. It's just no one knows it."

But it isn't about what everyone else knows. It's about what *I* know.

I know love doesn't boast because love doesn't have to prove its value. Love doesn't have to show itself as better or more important. It doesn't have to prove it is important at all.

Love says, "I'm valuable, and I know it,
and even if no one else realizes it, I can and will still live my valuable life."

So I didn't make the news defrosting hotdogs. That doesn't mean I didn't make a difference.

Jesus didn't come to save the world. He came to save me, and unfortunately, the world news is not plastered with stories of what Jesus did for me today. Nonetheless, what He did is important to me. Love incarnate isn't filling the newspaper, but He's filling my world. He wasn't sent to make headlines. He was sent to be my lifeline. He has a purpose, and I'm it, and even if no one else knows what He does for me, He knows what He does for me is priceless.
...Who He is in my life is priceless.
...Who He is in my world is priceless.

...Who I am in the world He priceless.

Maybe others don't know the priceless things I do. It's okay. It doesn't change who I am. I'm still the priceless me making the important difference in the world He determined needed someone like me.

And you are just as priceless, just as important, and just as needed as I am. The fact that you are here proves it...and even if the natinoal news doesn't get the memo, I know. He knows. I hope you know because your knowing will be what makes all the difference in your living big, and your living big makes a different.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lent Day 21--Remember: Love Does Not Boast

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast.

Index card on the steering wheel.

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast.

Letters on white board erased one word at a time as they become permanent marks on the heart.

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast.

When You Envy the Idea of Loving Yourself

Self-loathing. I hate it. Lived in it for most of my life. When I looked in the mirror, all I saw was one big screw up. All I saw were the ways I failed, the failure I was.

Socially, self-loathing is almost a badge of belonging. Everyone hates something about ourselves, and our poor parents, no matter how long dead, are to blame.

Spiritually, it is a sign of holiness, the recognition of how amazing God is and how utterly amazing I'm not.

Self-loathing means we are normal, just like everyone else, and it shows we are self-aware, because we know how utterly completely pathetic we are. It is what makes us part of the collective, maybe even an elite part of the collective, or a collective of the elite.

Except, it's not biblical.

I have found nowhere in the Bible that says God wants me to hate myself. Think about it logically for a moment.
God is love.
God wants me to be like Him.
Therefore, God wants me to loathe myself. You know. The same self He loved so much that He put His Son on a cross for.

Oh, yeah, that makes sense. <insert eye roll and barely audible mutter, "Not.">

So where does the self-loathing come from? Simple. It comes from some voice, mine or someone else's, that declares me to be a failure.

I'm not the perfect student like my folks expect...or like my sibling is/was. Failure.
I don't get the lead role in the play. Failure.
I don't get into the USMC because of a knee injury. Failure.
I don't become a lawyer like Dad and Grandad and Great Grandad. Failure.
I don't ever own a Jaguar convertible. Failure.
I don't cook as well as dear old Mom. Failure.

Okay. So let's say I failed at all of those things. By definition, I'm a failure. However, I want to consider a different perspective.

What if I was never meant to succeed at those things? Does that make me a failure or someone trying different doors until I find the one for me?

Most people hate themselves for not being able to be what God never intended for them to be in the first place.

Instead of hating yourself for what you aren't, go to the One who made you and ask what you are.

I know a lot about failure.

I failed my physical to join the Marine Corps.
I failed to become a college basketball player.
I failed to have a very successful photography business.
I failed at my craft and quilt making business.
I failed to have a career as an internationally known journalist.
I failed to win a Tony for my performance on Broadway.
Wait. I failed to get on Broadway.
I failed to lose 30 pounds last year.
I failed at marriage.

Trust me. I know failure.

I also know none of that defines me.

Instead of looking at what I got wrong, I have gone to God and asked what He wants me to get right.

I don't ask what I got right in the past because that is like trying to weigh the good and bad in a balance and compare them. If the good outweighs the bad, I'm not as much of a failure as I thought, and I have permission to like me. But, folks, some days the stuff I get wrong piles high and deep, and the stuff I get right can be written on a Post It note. According to those scales, I am a failure. It isn't something I did. It is someone I am. And who wouldn't hate that?

But what if I put it in perspective?

Today I know there are more options for writing than that of a journalist.
I know I can use my stage presence for more than Broadway.
I know a pickup can carry kayaks better than a Jaguar.
I know I can fight for people and defend them and not wear a uniform or stand in a courtroom.

I know I still have purpose
even if it doesn't look like what I thought it would.

Failure addresses what I couldn't do or be in the past.
Possibility declares what I can do or be in the present.

Instead of looking at what I did not accomplish in the past, I choose to look at what God wants to accomplish in the present.

The key is choosing to be defined by HIS story, not my history.

And in His story, I was never written in as a failure. Neither were you.

I love that.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lent day 20--Love Does Not Envy

Different hair.
Different eyes.
Fewer wrinkles.
Curves in different places.
Maybe curves at all.
Maybe not so many.
A better body.
Better voice.
Better ability to cook.
Personal cook.
Bigger house.
Cleaner house.
Cleaner car.
Better car.
Sports car.
Car maker.
Decision maker.
Movie maker.
News maker.
Known people.
Famous people.
Popular people.
Beautiful people.
That is what I want to be.
Actually, I want to be...
But me.
Desiring someone else's gift, characteristic, or material goods

Love does not envy.

Remember with me. My "fast" for Lent is "give up everything you feel you have to do to get me to love you. Simply enjoy how much I love you."

Love does not envy.
God does not envy.

Seems absurdly obvious. What does God have to envy? What could He possibly want that He doesn't have? Anything He wants He can create Himself. There is nothing for Him to envy.

Anything...anyone...He wants He can create Himself.

So maybe what He wanted is exactly what He created.

Maybe YOU are exactly what He wanted, and He doesn't desire for you to be someone else.

Maybe what He is offering you is not another to-do on the Required-to-be-Holy Love List. Maybe what He is offering you is a chance to love yourself because you were made by the Holy.

Love doesn't envy.

Love enjoys being who I am as I am.

Love says I am amazing even if I can't carry a tune, don't have the body of a dancer, can't write like Ann Voskamp, didn't pass the USMC physical, and have never hiked a mountain. And love says I can believe I am amazing just as I am.

This isn't another thing to do. It is someone to be.

Someone who rejoices in who I am, the gifts I have, the characteristics God put in me, and the blessings He gives.

Envy is simply another word for wanting some soul plug to fill the empty places we believe we are lacking, but love understands a wholly powerful God makes us wholly amazing and nothing needs to be added. Nothing can make us more amazing than the hands of our Creator has already made us to be.

Love enables me to love the amazing gift I am...and enjoy the love of the One who made me this way.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lent Day 19--Remember: Love Does Not Envy

Three things to remember at the grocery place:


Three things to remember at the heart place:

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.

Be patient with yourself as you learn because brain hiccups happen.
Be kind if you forget.
Don't envy anyone who already has it all memorized. :-)

Got them?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bestie Kind of Love

I'm having a groovy hanging-with-God day, chatting about two things in particular that I want us to address. One of them makes my heart feel empty, and the other is a life goal He and I agree on but honestly triggers my desire to eat junk food or just go to bed. Neither are of Him, and neither are where I want to be imprisoned, and honestly, these little "coping" mechanisms or mental/emotional drugs are nothing mroe than socially acceptable prisons.

God and I take these things very seriously in my life. Something about this is keeping me from being all He created me to be, and I need to know what it is so I can let Him address it. I need to know how to see it through His eyes, how to stop agreeing with the negative and start agreeing with the positive, how to think the right way and act the right way to let it manifest in my life.

I've been known to call days or talks like this God-therapy, but honestly, it is just hanging out with my Best Friend sharing hearts.

His heart is for my healing, so as long as I get deep into His heart, I know I'm getting into my healing, and these two things are just going to be more stories of His faithfulness.

Yep. Very groovy day indeed.

Friday, March 8, 2013

When You Can Do Nothing But Heal--Part 2

Crazy how buying a birthday card can leave a heart laid open and a shirt wet with tears dripped down, but it did.

Next week is my late husband's dad's birthday. Yesterday we bought birthday cards. Today, I feel like a mess.

The evidence of the war raging inside slips down my cheeks, and I type an honest email to my friend trying to find a way to undo this knot of emotions that keep me tied to his family's cruelty. And I confess things I hate to admit because I'm trying to live the Jesus I profess to believe, but ultimately I have to confess beneath the blood of a Savior is a bleeding heart that needs to be saved, and I am confronted with the question of whether I believe He loves me right here as I am...even when where I am is right in the middle of a storm of thoughts and feelings that look nothing like Him.

And I do believe .

I believe His love is greater than my lack of it.

And right now, I feel lacking.

I don't want to buy a card for someone who is cruel, and if they just disappeared, I wouldn't care because if I disappeared, they wouldn't care. Honestly, that hurts me, and more than anything, I don't want them to hurt me anymore.

But the fact is broken people break people's hearts, and I can do nothing about that, but I refuse to live in it.

So I pick up my laid-open, gaping heart and lay it in the hands of the heart Healer.

Daddy, I need to talk to you. This has been going on for over two years now, and you and I both know they are not going to make any effort to fix this. I'm tired of this being a source of pain to me, so I need you to deal with it. I need you to take the lie that is killing my heart and set me free from that prison and speak the truth into me because you are Truth and in you is all the freedom I need. In you is the healing. Your truth is my healing, so, Daddy, give me your truth.

These are the lies I know that are being dumped on me.

I'm not important. How else could they dismiss me like they did?
I am a selfish, horrible person. How else could they justify their actions and accusations?
I am not important enough to apologize to and restore.
People are better off without me. That is what they were saying when they decided Rob was justified in leaving.
I am simply a means to an end. They have a relationship with me because of the kids.

Lord, I know I am important to you. You show me everyday. I know I am important to people in this world as well.
That whole self-ish, horrible thing...moving on.
People's lives are not better without me. I'm here because YOU say the world needs me. YOU say the world is a better place because I'm here. YOU say I'm an answer to prayer. YOU say I am invaluable in invading this world with goodness.
I am not a means to an end.
I am an answer.
I am a solution.
I am purposed.
I am the image of Almighty God.
I am the reasons Jesus came to a manger, lived among people who didn't understand Him, and died on a cross.
I am the one You had in mind when you wrote that love letter we call a Bible.
I'm the one you were thinking of when you wrote all those stories of restoration.
I am the one you painted the sky for this morning.
I am the one you sing over at night. I am the one you give good things to.
I am not a means to an end.
I am the one you searched for until you found.
I am the one you respond to when you hear my cry.
I am the one your heart beats for.
I am not a means to an end.
I am a child of the Almighty King.
I am not a means to an end.
I am YOURS, and that is the end of it.

As for not being important enough to restore, it's important enough that you crawled up on a cross and died there for it. I am important enough to die for. I am important enough for you to fight these battles and get back everything they try to steal. I'm so important that the God of all creation cares about ME. It doesn't get bigger than that.

Daddy, I choose to live in YOUR truth, not their lies. I am not asking you to remove them. I am asking you to remove what leads me to agree with their lies. What they say and do is only painful if it does damage to who I really am.

I am asking you to restore everything to me that their accusations and actions either stole or damaged.

I don't need their apologies to restore me because they have no power over me. You are the only one who has a right to define me. You are the only one who has the right to determine who I am and who I am not.

And, Daddy, show me any way that I agreed with them. Show me how I have taken the identity they tried to dump on me. Show me where my thinking is wrong, and show me how I need to think, not just about me but about them, and I don't just mean not thinking how much easier life would be if they fell off the planet. Lord, show me how you see them. Show me how I give their words and deeds importance they shouldn't have. Show me where I put them in a place as an idol. An idol is simply a person or thing I decide I need to please and from whom I need approval.

If what they say about me holds more weight than what YOU say about me, they are more important than you.
If I remain imprisoned to their lies instead of chooseing the freedom of YOUR truth,
I have made them my gods...
and you just become a Santa Clause who gives nice gifts when I'm good enough for you to be nice to.

Lord, show me where I've made them an idol, and show me how to put them in their proper place of importance.

Lord, I choose you.

I choose to be healed in you rather than broken in them.

Thank you that none of this repulses you. Thank you that you are not disappointed in me. Thank you that my confession  of need pleases you.

Thank you that you are excited to heal this situation in me.

Thank you that you did all you did to reach me because you wanted me to be able to reach you.

Your love overwhelms me. And being "overwhelmed by love" is an awesome identity to have.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When You Can Do Nothing But Heal--Part 1

They accused me of murder.

When all the tests results were in and the investigation finished, the final conclusion for his death was the first conclusion--massive heart attack resulting from blockage in the artery in the front of the heart often referred to as "The Widow Maker" makes widows.

But to them, I wasn't his widow. I was his killer.

He had chosen to move out.
He had chosen to pursue divorce.
He had chosen to tell our kids God can fix anything...except our marriage.

But surely if I had not been too hard to live with....
...too demanding...
...too difficult...
...too unappreciative... blame....
he would have never made those choices.

Yep. He was dead, and it was my fault.

And believe it or not, it got worse from there, but then, I had only been their daughter-in-law for 19 years. What can you expect? Right.

I was utterly stunned at how cruel they were and the horrific accusations they made.

That was two years ago.

In the two years since, they have asked to see the children, asked to talk to the children, asked about the children. Sometimes they ask about me. They have sent the children gifts, and even sent some to me. Whether they are being nice or being conniving, I don't know. Because of the horrible things they did and said, I assume the worse.

What they have not done in those two years is apologize.

There has been no mention of any of it, and if I even act like I am about to broach the subject, the conversation is abruptly ended. If there is remorse, no evidence of it has seeped into my world.

Still, the fact remains these are the grandparents of my children, and I want my children to have an option of a relationship with them, so I endeavor to keep a relationship with them.

Next week is Grandfather's birthday, and I must say, of all the grandparents (four total), he has been the most open to relationship. He initiates conversation, sent me a birthday card, and talks long. I've always enjoyed our conversations. He was a huge blessing after my dad died. He and Dad liked the same country music, and talking to him helped fill the Dad-size hole in my heart. But I confess, for him to make the accusations he made, for him to be as deceitful and he was, broke my heart in ways my words cannot express. The choices he made and the relationships he chose and abandoned had a devestating effect.

And he is not going to do anything to fix it.

None of them are.

There will be no apologies.
There will be no attempts to explain.
There will be no recognition of the pain they caused.


And there is no way I can change that. In fact, there is nothing I can do about it at all...except heal.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When God Hijacks a Blog Post He Writes a Story of Healing

Two years later and the heart wound still gapes, and buying a birthday card shouldn't be so hard, so I take a deep breath, hold the head high, and march right in like I own it because if I don't own it, it'll own me, and the cards sit on the counter waiting for address and stamps, and I wait for some magic tick of the clock to make this wad of emotions I don't want to confess either become sensible or simply disappear. Is disappearing too much to ask? Evidently, because I've asked. Oh, goodness how many times I've asked, and still, this wad sits there tying me into a knot and causing tears to slide.

And all because of that blooming birthday card!

Except it isn't about the card. The card just just a box of gritty sea salt poured on the heart wound.

Two years of gaping heart hidden under my Super Jerri costume, right under the big old "J" for Jesus-liver who knows she is whole in Jesus and healed and Jesus and has it all together in Jesus, bleeding through the blood that is supposed to make it all okay is the reality that all is not okay.

And I hate writing these words. I hate crawling up on this altar, and I hate laying my heart bare because some stories I don't want to tell. There are things I don't want people to know, but there are people who need to be known, and they don't need to know my story as much as they need to know God knows their story...

...And God knows your story...

...He knows the heart wound gaping and the emotional knot that has you tied to the pain and the excruciating gritty sea salt burn. And He knows it isn't just a card...or a gift...or a call just to see how someone is. He knows it is Everest right where you live, and He knows you'd rather face Everest than this, but this is what stands in front of you. And He watches you with tears hot and drippy as you breath deep, hold head high, and walk in like you own it because you can't let it own you...

And the only way to become free is to call the prison what it is...

And the only way to healing the heart wound is to show where life drains...

To be whole in Jesus is to embrace all His wholeness, and how can He be the Healer if I never need healing?

And just why is it so hard to tell someone I need the heart Doctor to doctor my heart when it is this sick person He came for in the first place?

So I lie on the altar and ask what story to tell because I know my story is really His story, and if people find their story in my story, they find their story in Him. They find themselves in Him. And isn't that where we all get healed from what ails us?

In Him.