What’s My Impact?

My counselor commented on something during her prayer with me in session. Whenever there is a breakthrough in my therapy or in my spiritual growth, things seem to fall apart. It’s a vicious cycle; the enemy attacks mercilessly. He attacks where it effects me the most. He knows my weaknesses. He has used my family and also hit my PTSD triggers.

What is it about me that the enemy sees so threatening? What is it about this small human, whose temper is like Peter’s, and who is like Jonah always questioning everything and runs away. I’m beginning to see that while the enemy is attacking me from all sides, I know that God is protecting me (even even as I stumble, question, complain, and fail Him); my testimony is only growing stronger.

I naively thought that my testimony was only going to be surrounding my past. Now, part of my testimony is my eldest daughter’s self harm and son’s drug use. I am 45 years old. My kids are almost grown and leaving the nest soon. What could God possibly see in me to use? And to whom?

My counselor sees me as a person who can make an impact and can lead. Wha what?!? Am I missing something here? I’ve got to trust God.

A Success Story

A local woman went to a candlelight service at a large church in the area. The pastor spoke for a few minutes; welcoming everyone and such. He stated that 100% of the offering received would go into their benevolent fund. It helps people with paying a bill, those in need, and it also includes financial assistance with the different programs in the church, which includes counseling services. As the pastor was talking, the woman reminisced over the last four years of her life and all the changes that took place.

Depression and anger was a constant companion for many years and was getting worse. Something had to be done; and soon. The kids were afraid of because of her verbal explosions. Her husband was very unhappy because she was always irritable. What was the root of this misery? But what stopped her from getting help? Finances. Fear. Pride.

One afternoon, she and her family went to Sports Academy to shop. After walking in, the family heads to the areas of their interests; she finds a chair and sits. After a few minutes, a lady friend, who just so happens to work in counseling office of the church, came in and noticed something was very wrong. The two women chatted a long while. She told her to come in and she will get her started in counseling and to not worry about the financial side of it yet. As they were chatting, the lady suddenly realized that the store she needed to be at was Dick’s Sporting Goods, not Sports Academy. She was at the wrong store. Was God working?

About a month goes by. She finally decided to call the counseling office and scheduled herself to come in. How was she going to afford this; what will people say? Stress, stress, stress. Finally got an appointment, and her sessions began.

The benevolent fund afforded her to have counseling for three and a half years with zero money out of her pocket! That’s over $9500 with a professional licensed (Christian) counselor. Her Christian life has grown immensely and her healing has been miraculous!

I firmly believe that God directs paths. Because of God’s direction, the generosity of people of a church, and an awesome counseling center, my life is filled with joy and purpose. My children and my husband have benefitted as well.

This church is very blessed to have these gifted counselors who can turn lives around through Christ!

Realization!

Last night I watched The Red Tent and then watched Women Of The Bible. As I was watching Women of the Bible, I saw Jesus walk with His disciples and amongst people and felt jealous. Yes, jealous. I saw Mary Magdalen talk to Him and follow Him. I thought, “I want to walk with Him and listen to Him and go where He goes”. I so wanted to be there with Him; just like His disciples.

But guess what?! I will! One day! One glorious day, my life on Earth will change into eternity and I WILL walk with Him. I WILL talk with Him. I WILL see Him! What a splendid eternal life it will be! To be IN His presence, and to no longer be in a world run by darkness!

I don’t have to be jealous. I don’t have to be bitter. I can allow myself to forgive my tormentor and be free from all these feelings and emotions that rise up from him. I can live my life with purpose! I know my worth! I KNOW my worth! Why did God send His son? We celebrate Christmas as a joyous time for Christ’s birth. But Jesus was born to die a physical death. A death that was overcome and Jesus lives again! Why would my King, my Lord and Savior come down from His heavenly realm? This King who has heard angels sing and saw creation become! Why would He come as a man and die? Why does He think and believe that I am worth, even His time, much less He give His life as a ransom for me?

The answer?? My thoughts are not His thoughts. I will only totally understand and comprehend when I see Him face to face. Until then, I will live as God intended me to live life! Free!!!!

Little Things on Black Friday Weekend

This was my first Black Friday to work retail in a major hardware store. Before I started working, I never even got out to shop on Black Friday weekend. So, to say the least, it was an experience. I was very nervous and I prayed about the anxiety I felt.

I could literally feel Christ with me. I was at peace and was calm this whole weekend. I worked late hours, which I didn’t like, but it was worth it. I received many compliments about my smile. I made it a goal to get the grumpier customers to have a smile before leaving my register. I was quite successful in my goal.

In this blog, however, I wanted to write about how this one little girl made my weekend. Her name is Kyla, and she came in with her grandparents. Beautiful big brown eyes. As they were paying for their merchandise, I started talking with Kyla. I told her how beautiful she was and asked if she was a big helper as they shopped. Yes, she was. Her grandparents paid and they left. About two hours later, Kyla and grandma came back in the store; they forgot some things. Kyla runs up to me, gives me a big hug, then motioned for me to lean over. I thought she was going to tell me a secret, but instead, she gave me the sweetest little kiss on my cheek! My heart just fluttered! How sweet! So, they go grab the things they needed, and came back to check out. I asked Kyla if she wrote Santa a letter yet? She says no. I asked grandma if I could take her to go write one, and then our store would make sure her letter got to him. Yes. She takes my hand and walks with me to write her wish list. We spent the next 10 minutes writing her letter (I had to spell everything, not grandma. LOL!). Kyla puts her letter in Santa’s mailbox and she gives me two more hugs and three more kisses on my cheek. My heart just melted!

God made my weekend by sending me that sweet little girl and her grandma! Things like this remind me how blessed I am. We all get so wrapped up in this holiday season and the pressures we put on ourselves, that we forget about the little things. The sweet joy that one little girl can give. And what an impact it has made on me.

Thanksgiving

Each thanksgiving, we get together to enjoy a feast, fellowship, and tell each other what we are thankful for. Some years it’s hard to say we are thankful. In particular, 2013 was one of those years for me. 2014, however, has been just as challenging; maybe even more so. 
Knowing that we will vocally say what we are thankful for, I’ve put a lot of thought into what I was going to say. So, I decided to write it out, because I don’t want to off on a rabbit trail, or get distracted when I speak. 
1. I am thankful for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. GRACE. His favor for me, blessed through unconditional loving kindness.
2. I’m thankful for HOPE. It’s not a hope that means “I hope I pass this test, or I hope there’s cherry pie this year”. It’s a HOPE that’s secure. We know the outcome of our spiritual battles. Hebrews proves that no one can destroy that. What can anyone do to me?! We are held in His Hands.
3. I’m thankful for the cross. My legal debt of my sin is death; physically and spiritually. I will still face a physical death. But, Jesus showed mercy and paid my debt, so I will not suffer a spiritual death. Then Jesus showed grace by giving me a new life! What a sweet blessing it is to know that I will never be separated from my Heavenly Father!
4. I’m thankful for His Resurrection. Jesus fought a battle in the grave, and walked out a victor! Death has been overcome!
I don’t have a lot of money. I don’t live in a million dollar house. I have a Dodge, not a Mercedes. But I am content with what I do have! I have a home with a roof over my head, running water, electricity, a/c and heat. I have a car that runs great. I have a beautiful family that loves each other. I have a husband that loves and sees me for who I am. I have a Heavenly Prince who dances and sings over this wallflower! My husband and my Prince have neither left me or forsaken me!
I’ve realized to wake up and say thank you to Him. Thank you a new day. Thank you for my car starting. Thank you for the birds singing. Thank you for my family eating together today. Thank you for protecting my family. Thank you for all the bumps and bruises. Thank you for the learning curves. Thank you for my PTSD; so I can minister and show others what Christ’s Hope looks like. Thank you for allowing to things to happen so I can see You. Everything that happens on this planet, in our daily lives, fails in comparison to the eternal life we will live.  Thank you my enemies; so I can pray that the Holy Spirit will touch their lives.
I breathe in His Grace. I breathe out His Praise! Psalm 7:17, “I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.”

Thankful for my Husband

It’s coming up to the thanksgiving holiday. Everyone is listing what they are thankful for on social media. I normally don’t participate. However, I want to make an exception tonight.

I am very thankful for my husband. I am not an easy person to live with, to say the least. I have a type A personality. I had a short temper fuse. I was very outspoken and opinionated. I was very OCD and a clean freak. I had trust issues. And I have PTSD.

When I met my husband, I tried to run him off. I just came out of an abusive relationship and was an angry person. I drank alcoholic beverages and smoked cigarettes to calm my nerves and numb the nightmares. As our dating relationship progressed, I realized that God arranged our relationship. So, I quit smoking and drinking. I started to take care of myself. I let myself become happy with my new beau.

I got married and had three beautiful children! For me, it was, and still is, marital bliss! To know God arranged our marriage, is proof enough. He has blessed my husband and I in so many ways! We definitely have had some real struggles and challenges. My PTSD has got in the way so many times. My sweet husband has stuck with me through my deepest hell of my trauma recovery, and has seen my hell turn into healing and blessings over the last four years.

Mark is like no man I’ve ever know! He loves me, faults and all. He shows me through his actions and how he takes care of our family. We all have days where we are ungrateful, took for granted, unlovable, and even unlikeable. But my husband has a sweet spirit, that can see through my ugliness and temperament, and can see who I truly am; I am important to him. Too many couples would have split and even divorce with the struggles we have gone through over the last five years. There were times where we were extremely distant from each other. But over the last year, through fervent prayer, being humbled (many times), spiritual growth, and a lot of hard work, we celebrated our twentieth anniversary this year. Mark didn’t give up. I didn’t give up. Our marriage was arranged by God; our marriage is sanctified and is worth fighting for.

I am thankful for my husband! He is a blessing to me!

Character

I had an interesting day yesterday. I work at a major hardware store as a cashier. There was a customer who verbally and physically took his frustration out on me. What this man did showed his true character and heart. BUT, I’m very thankful! Yes, thankful! My Heavenly Father was there! He provided protection over me! He also provided encouragement and showed compassion through my coworkers. Seeing the support from the management and the associates had an impact on me.

Another blessing is that I didn’t have a PTSD response. I felt angry. I embraced the emotion and controlled it. I did not lose control. I shredded paper and did a therapeutic technique to help calm down. Then at my lunch break, I meditated on positive and peaceful things. Read in my Jesus Calling and in Psalms. When I returned to my shift, I was better, but I did still have some anxiety. I was very ready for my shift to be over. I was in bed by 8:30.

I’m so thankful that I know to Whom I belong! He has blessed me with a beautiful family, church family, friends, and work family! Life has it’s ups and downs. And sometimes it seems like it just goes in circles. But my Savior and Redeemer is with me! I am so blessed!!