Finding Healing in the Midst of Bitterness 

The other day as I listened to a sermon the words jumped out to me: “It is when you are getting close to God coming through that we turn the other direction.”

Heard these words preached, posted on social media, in writings, and in songs more times then I can remember. But this time the words had my attention like never before. 
See God has had me in some really hard places over the last four years. So much pain came from those years. I desperately long to be healed of the pain. But more than not I find myself in anger over the time I lost. 
If those four years had not happened I would be:
-Employed with benefits. 

-Going into my third year of my Masters, which I just might have been in my last year. 

-Able to take vacations. 

-Have a savings.

-Out of debt. 

But instead the opposite of everything I listed above is what is currently going on plus more.
Therefore, in order to break down the bitterness of what has been taken from me the Spirit finds ways to lead me into deep reflection for healing and to let go. 
I sit here now full of Jesus on the inside but empty in my surroundings. I wonder does Jesus really hear my prayers? Does He really see what I am going through? Am I that bad of a person that I made so many wrong choices to be where I am today? For the one that stands and boost how great their life is with little blemishes in their years, are they better than me to have not seen the life I have? 
One thing God has shown me is the things that I prayed for others He answered. Not only did He answer the prayer He used me to help the answer prayer come about. 
That sounds heavenly doesn’t it? I should feel some type of awe. But I don’t. Instead I say, “Lord, did you see how they person persecuted me? Remember Lord when they did . . . Because I do. Lord, do you not remember how they slandered me? Lord, do you remember when I could not get out of bed because the oppression weighted me down too much and they skipped with smiles living their life in my face?” His response is, “Wendy, I answered your prayer on their life.”
I just stopped pleading my case and just started repeating what He said…I answered your prayer on their life. 
Tonight as I am cleaning out drawers I came across this prayer spiral. I had committed a certain time to pray for specific things for certain people and places. 
When I first came across it I was like I am not even going to read that. But I found myself opening it up to see what I prayed for excepting to see how my prayers were answered like before. 
Instead, I saw how my prayers cause me to be rejected by multitudes because what God wanted to do they would turn the other direction instead of letting Him have His way. 
I found that mind boggling. How one prayer was answered exactly like I asked. One prayer was answered totally opposite. 
I thought back to this devotional I read by Joyce Meyer. It was in regards to everything works for His good. As I read it she pointed out that His good does not mean it eliminates the bad happening. It means that in that bad He is bringing good that you can’t see for His glory. Because of that in faith we can be thankful and praise Him while it is bad. 
One thing I have learned through it all is I might have many dreams and plans that God agrees with but my first obligation is to go where He tells me in faith to save souls no matter the pain I have to go through to save them. Just trust He has better to come but I got to see His work in my life not the pain of the past.

Listening To God

Life with a Boom!

It is Summer! image3

Time for outside entertainment. Barbecues. Swimming. Hanging with friends. Then right in the center of all the summer fun is July 4. A moment of remembrance for American’s Independence, celebrated with fireworks.

Fireworks where families travel to see a magnificent extravaganza. Fireworks people go buy, putting on their own personal show.

For our family, we do them ourselves. There are two holidays you will find us at the waterfront setting off fireworks. Although, there are years, due to planned activities, we go elsewhere to enjoy them.

image1 (4)This year, with my son away at camp, my daughter and I elected to go to Fair Park in Dallas, to view the fireworks. We had gone several years prior and started remembering the wonderful day we had. As we conversed about the memories, it was the most pleasant experience in our life. Then with concern in my eyes I questioned, “Do you remember the traffic to get out of Fair Park?” My patients could not handle her delay response, “It took us over an hour to get out of the parking lot. As we sat in the same area, in a hot car, filled with gas vapors from other engines, while we were amused by people playing soccer and football.”

After recalling the incident, I was not convinced going to Fair Park was an excellent decision. But my daughter had put on “the look”. You are aware of the look? Where no sounds are heard but the facial expression produces the silent phrases, “Mom this is such a great idea and I would be heartbroken if you broke these plans.” Yeah, so my brain went to work. Trying to figure out how to overcome the obstacle of getting out of Fair Park after the 4th of July firework display.image2 (1)

We considered many solutions, but agreed that we would have a picnic by the lagoon while basking in the evening. We had it thought out. A blanket to sit on. Dinner outside. Card games as we waited. My favorite, observing people around us. Surely, we could get out of the park within reasonable time.

As the evening unfolded, our plans went contrary to what took place. Our picnic turned to eating inside a fast food restaurant. We ended up parking inside Fair Park, opened the rear door of my CRV and watch fireworks from my vehicle.

Yet our plans varied, I was still seeking the strategy to defeat the difficulty of getting out with little wait time.

image2The distances to exit Fair Park was visible from where we were. I parked, so all I had to do was travel straight to the gate with no reverse action. Told my daughter when the Fireworks are over close the doors and we will go as quick as we can to the gate.

We were set.

Fireworks ended and our course of action begin. As I drove through the gates to leave with no traffic, I could hear trumpets going off in my ears.

But there was one issue. I did not realize the street I turned on you could simply go left or right. My intention was to go straight. As I pulled closer to the light I had a choice to make. Right, which would bring me into the Fair Park traffic and was the route towards going home. Or left away from the Fair Park traffic. I picked left. 

Turning left only brought me to the unavoidable traffic. My car claustrophobia set in and my strong will felt crushed. I became aggravated, frustrated, angry, and disappointed in myself. To escape having to sit in traffic, and my struggle within myself, I would turn on a street in which I was convinced was the way to get out. Only to make a full circle and be taken right back to where I was. Eventually I yielded, with my daughter’s aid, and remained in the traffic.

What I preferred to not deal with, I ended up facing… sitting in traffic for over an hour after enjoying the firework display at Fair Park.

When I came upon the freeway to freedom I was so furious at myself. My meditations were induced with negative thoughts about myself. Wendy, if you had turned right instead of left you would not have made circles all over Dallas just to get home. If you would have given further regard to the routes, this would not have occurred. 

With sorrowfulness in my soul we made it home. I was worn out. The reality that it was late was an insignificant percentage to why I was tired. I was mentally broken down and weakened. All I longed for was to lay down and escape.

As I crawled in bed, I picked up my phone to go though mindless post on Facebook. The first post in my feed was about a shooting at McDonald’s by Fair Park. Not only a shooting, but a gang fight. One that created chaos. People running away from the shots being fired and into the street.

Instantly, I took a deep breath and became thankful.

See if I turned right I would have been in the center of that, I know I checked the time. Instead I turned left and believed I made the worse decision in my life. But, it was the best decision, even though it did not look that way as I went through it.

In Psalm 32:8 it reads, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go. I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”

I have been going through the Psalms which states on many occasions about God being with us and having His eye upon us. As I read that post about the shooting and fight I could not push back remembering how God’s eye is upon me. But in my anxiety and uncertainty I mentally take a sword out. Then in my thoughts start negativity cutting at my worth when it does not look as if I heard correctly, yet God clearly said it. In addition, I make every effort to get out of the precise place God permits only for me to end up right back in the place I left.

When listening to God on most occasions it’s like taking a left at the light instead of a right. I do not completely comprehend why He took me the way He did, until after it is all over.

In the comment section below share your thoughts over what your read. Here are some questions to help you get going:

1.)    How do you spend July 4th?

2.)    Have you ever thought you were going the wrong direction in life, or in a situation, to only find out you were exactly where God wanted you to be? Explain.

3.)    During times of uncertainty, or you think you have heard God wrong, how do you respond?