Finding Love Again

Just when a broken, frustrated heart wants to throw in the towel, love can come from the most unexpected of places.

Life kick-dropped you to your knees, all one can do is breathe around the pain.

On the edge of a parking garage, temptation reaches out – it whispers to jump.  Tears roll slowly down your cheeks as you consider who would actually miss you.

No one. The voice in your head assures.

Closing your eyes, two small children flash through your mind. Almost convinced they won’t even remember you in three years.

The person you chose to marry is a selfish liar.  Your heart screams for hope.  But hope has faded.

What once was yours, belongs to someone else.

All of the dreams you had, lay desolate as wasted space in your head.

Darkness clouds your hopes, you gave up on wishing for this to be different.

However, something keeps you from jumping tonight, and you return home to the baby who needs to nurse and the toddler who screams for their grandma instead of you.

Lonely nights in an empty bed, lying next to shadows on the wall.  Anxiety imagines they’re alive.  Anxiety fed to you by the man who says he loves you.

The same one who neglects his children and only needs you when it conveniences him.

As life continues to turn to rust, the bridge down the street calls out.  You imagine the water embracing your weary soul as it runs steady along the edge of another lonely town.

And that’s when you cry out for help.

The holidays pass.  The following year does not improve, and you find yourself standing on that brink again.

In your weakest moment, a hand stretches out, beckoning you from the brink of catastrophe.

A voice of reason and hope snaps you into reality.

Strength gently draws at you.  A promise that you’re going to be okay.

Two very specific prayers reach the Heavens, and within the next few weeks, you’re moving out of the darkness into a field of sunlight you didn’t even know exists.

Fear. Guilt. Anxiety. Each demon gnaws at you, pressing you to turn back.

The hope and love you found?  You’re not deserving of them. The voices snarl.  You’re an adulterated whore who “gave up”.  What makes you think you’re allowed to be happy without him?  The man who says he loves you?  The one you married?

Wrestling with searing guilt, doubt rises.  You question the God who rescued you.  You question your worth while holding the hand of the one who called you out of the darkness.

Gentle assurance warms your heart.  Love peaks for the first time.  Hope for a future where you’re adored.

After being used and forgotten.  Manipulated.  Tormented with fear.  Riddled by anxiety.  Reasoned into doubting good people exist.  Convinced people are watching your every move.  Terrified by suggestions put in your head.  Lied to countless times.  Blindsided. Emptied out and frail.


Degraded.  Berated. Forced to swallow your own hurt to take on someone elses.  Never being good enough. Questioning your worth.  Ignored.  Looked over.


What hope does a shattered soul have left for themselves, when everyone succeded to take it away?

Making excuses for the people who hurt them.  Trying to change and forced back by someones illusion of authority.

How terrifying it is to be left weak and helpless.

Without him, I wouldn’t have made it this far.  Someone to hope for me, when I didn’t want to hold on anymore.

Someone to persuade my worth was greater than I believed and I was worth holding on to.  Even when it hurt him.

How difficult it was to step out of the box and believe God wanted more for me than the mess I made for myself.

We are not without Hope.  The struggle is real.  But it’s inevitable that this broken heart was meant for more.

And love got me through.  Love I felt unworthy of.  Love that was persistent and strong enough to hold me, when I couldn’t hold myself.

That man who became my best friend, gave my broken heart something to live for.

Me.  My purpose.  My hope.  My own strength.

Nurturing and growing me when I had given up on my own dreams.

I struggled long and hard with the views of God we all know.  God hates Divorce.  God hates adultery.  God hates sin.

Yes.  It’s true.  He does not like these things.

But he is also a loving God, and does not want us to live abused and neglected.

I prayed specifically for God to remove me from the marriage I hated.

He did.

What do you need from God?

On Faith and Spirituality: What Is The Bible For?

Everything in our world requires a manual to understand it.

The Bible is the written evidence, and instruction book, to understand God.

Surely if there is a God, he’d impress on his creation to write about him, yes?
Some people believe in the Mystical forces of Nature communing with us.  Through ancestors, through nature, through the elements around us– why wouldn’t the Creator of the Universe whisper to the hearts willing to hear him?  Why couldn’t we attribute the callings and impressions to BE from that Creator?

The bible records several key moments when Man communed intimately with God, and God reached out to Man.

In recent centuries, Science and philosophy has done a number on drawing mankind away from the concept of God.  The need for God.

The bible is not a history book.  Or a science book.

It has one purpose.  That purpose is to study and understand the amazing, powerful El who has created all things, lives and breathes in all things, and to equip the followers of Christ with what they need to understand.

It is foolishness, Paul states in Corinthians.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense that we’re stuck here on the planet, with an invisible God somewhere across the Universe, watching over us.  And the only way to get to this God is by believing in Him and His son, Jesus Christ.
In the book of Job, that God, somewhere across the Universe, stands up and says WHO are YOU – little man – that you can know me?  ((Job 39-41))

Job was without the bible.  He had the oral traditions of his fathers, and his Faith.
For 6,000 years, people have been believing in God.  For 6,000 years they’ve been passing down the oral and written accounts of that God.  And in the early turn of a new Era, less than 2,000 years ago, it was decided that God’s word would be in the hands of the people.  He moved on the hearts of man, and together they decided which written scripts, carefully preserved through years and years of re-recording, would end up canonized to become what we call today, The Holy Bible.  The Word Of God.

One, CONSISTENT invisible being, after shedding the blood of his own son, gave mankind a book so they could learn about Him, get to know Him.  Understand Him-even if just a little-and come back to Him and his undying love.

His words are consistent.  Sin separates us from Him.  But following hard and fast after Him is enough to save our broken souls.

In our broken, hurting world, it’s obvious none of the religions we’ve established for ourselves are getting us anywhere.  Perhaps if we turned Religion aside, and just spend time studying the Bible, taking it at Face Value for what it is – the written account of the Creator of the Universe, and treated it as the Manual to understanding God, we could finally grasp a handle on Hope.  On what is Right, and what is Wrong.

Stop picking and choosing what you want to read, and contorting it into reasons why you DON’T want to follow God.  If you truly want to know, then read beyond the book of Dueteronomy.  Read the books of the prophets.  Read the New Testament.  Read the first four books of the New Testament.  Anybody can pick up a manual, read the first five chapters, and claim they understand the whole picture.

That’s not what the Bible was designed for.  The Bible was designed to study.  To cross reference.  To examine.  To underline.  To search.  To know.

And God says you don’t need more scripture beyond that book to know who he is.  Because HE established the writing of it.

 

Either you take it.  Or you leave it.  It’s a personal biography of a great and mighty God, who exists beyond the Universe.  And it’s there.  For you.
Don’t know where to start?  Start with Jesus.  Start with Ephesians.  Start with Romans.  Start with Proverbs. Start with someone you know.  Start alone.  Wherever you start, don’t let what you’ve already decided get in the way.
Read it for yourself.  God is so much more than the box Liberal America has Him in.
Discover it for yourself.  You never know what will come from opening the pages.

Writing Prompt Response

Writing prompt: In 500 words, There’s an island where all lost things end up.  Today, you wake up, cold and wet, on the beach of that island.

I always knew something was wrong with me. From the moment I started to cry as a baby, to the moment I laid down to sleep last night.
The voices of my parents never quite matched the rumblings of murmurs I had heard in my nine months of watery incubation. Between being born, and going to the hospital nursery, I had somehow ended up with the wrong family.
I’d been lost my entire childhood. I was lost during the trying adolescent years when I started to realize I looked nothing like my brothers.
Some people say it was “adoption”, irregardless, I call it lost.
Especially when I opened my eyes an hour ago to find myself in a place cluttered in lonely socks and other miscellanious items.
All your life, you wonder where mismatched socks, bobby pins, hair ties, buttons, shoes, slippers, and family pets end up. Well, wonder no more – they still exist, stranded on a surreal island in the middle of nowhere.
After blinking several times, relentlessly pinching my arm, and roughly smacking myself across the face once or twice, I decided to spend my time a bit more productively and find out where the heck I was, and if I was the only one here.
“Have you seen Joe?” I heard a voice ask.
“Shelley? Shelley where did you go?” Another cried from somewhere behind me.
It was certainly an odd sight, the endless piles of things scattered about everywhere.
A dog ran past my legs, bumping into me as he went. He was shaggy and gray, with a floppy ear hanging down, and the other perked, listening. Barking this way and that as he threw his head side to side, looking for something.
I knew a great deal about what that was like. The anxious pounding of the heart, as you plow through a crowd of people trying to find something—
The voices caught my attention again as someone else called out for Frank.
Curiosity piqued, I hurried in the direction of the voice.
For being an island of lost things, you will immediately understand the irony which ensued, as I /never/ found the sources which belonged to the voices I heard.
I pursued them until I felt my sanity begin to drain from me. The oddest part of all was the magical sort of “poof” sound that happened right after their cries cheered up.
Cheered up. That was the best way to put it. Almost as though they had been found again, and no longer needed to be here.
Some people try to “find” love, others try to “find” God. In a way, everyone feels just as lost as I do. At least, in one way or another. Unfortunately, I had never known the cheer I’ve just described to you. Nobody has ever made me as happy as the voices that have come and gone in the last two hours.
I wonder how people end up here anyway. In fact, as I stand on this strange island now, I still want to know how on earth *I* got here….. I wasn’t /really/ lost, I was just trying to get from 52nd street to Broadway, and stopped to ask for directions.

Shattered Pieces Never To Be The Same

Lost.  Empty.  Frozen.
I’m going to break now, I’m feeling a break down.
Wandering alone, broken.
I’m going to melt now, I’m feeling the melt down.

I want to destroy everything you built.
I want to burn your horizons until you start to wilt.
Shattered, doesn’t even matter
Nothing stops this bleeding
Battered, heart-wrenched torn and tattered
I can’t keep from bleeding
Nothing stops this bleeding
What are we going to do?
(Can you feel how much I hate you?)
Where will we go from here, now?
(I’ve lost my way from here now)
Hopelessly bound, no light shining through
(What are we going to do?)
As darkness hides the way out, what are we gonna do?

In broken faith I look up to the one who turned away
Holding my breath with a prayer I don’t have the strength to say
It’s so daunting to have to look towards the empty sky
When I’ve never felt like God has ever heard my cry

You’ve destroyed my hope in reaching out for help
When it all broke down you were just trying to save yourself
I hope someone will call you out for all your lies
That someday everyone might see through your righteous disguise

I want to destroy everything you built.
I want to burn your horizons until you start to wilt.
Shattered, doesn’t even matter
Nothing stops this bleeding
Battered, heart-wrenched torn and tattered
I can’t keep from bleeding
Nothing stops this bleeding
What are we going to do?
(Can you feel how much I hate you?)
Where will we go from here, now?
(I’ve lost my way from here now)
Hopelessly bound, no light shining through
(What are we going to do?)
As darkness hides the way out, what are we gonna do?

What’s left to trust,
When it’s clear you’re not like us?
What’s left to hold on to,
When the world’s filled with people like you?

Empty. Hopeless. Frozen.
Shattered pieces none can fix.
Abandoned. Volatile. Broken.
Karma will make you pay for this.

Church Hunting

It seems the worst thing a person could put themselves through, is the experience of church hunting.  Finding a place to call “Home”, and a church “Family” to be apart of.

Several things that stand out as you walk into a church, is the interior.
Where are your children going to be during service?   Is it easy to find?  How many hallways do you have to wind through before you find it?
Where are the restrooms?
Is there carpet?  Is there concrete?
Will your expensive cup of hot coffee have to cool in the car while you sit through over an hour of service?

The next thing people note, are the people.
They look friendly, but are they going to talk to you?  Is the church even small enough to know when there are guests?
Will the Greeters be the only people who make your acquaintance?  Will they care if you come back next Sunday?
Are you going to meet somebody genuinely interested in who you and your family are?
Will the person who told you you can’t have your coffee in service be the only person who reaches out to you?

And then you sit down, and service starts.
Why do churches spend so much money on a sound system, when no one knows how to use it?
Either the acoustics are too loud, or the sound is muddy, or you can’t hear the vocals…..
People around you worship God, oblivious to you and who you are.  Wrapped up in their moment– not even realizing you’re there for the first time.
Never taking the moment afterward to reach into your Life.

People don’t go to church to sit through service.  They go to find people who will connect with them and help them find the things they are looking for.
They come in, wanting to be poured into, and leave empty.
When the emptiness continues, time after time, eventually they stop trying to find something new.  They stop going altogether.

The “greeting” comes around.  Your hand might be shaken, you might be nodded at.

And then the pastor gets up.

Now, going into a non-denominational church presents several problems.

1) The pastor is waaaaay too Charismatic, and you sit through what feels like a televangelist service.  It includes prophetic “messages”, or escatology and “the end is upon us!”
((Which I believe is highly possible….. but not quite the same as they do))

2) The pastor starts mistranslating scripture, taking things out of context and pushing modern ideology instead of sound theology held strong through the ages.

3) The pastor goes into political moments and asks for the wrath of God to fall on our Nation’s leaders.  Also not biblical.

4) Prosperity preaching.

Non-denominational churches seem like they all spring out of the Pentecostal movement.  Where are the Spirit-led, Baptist background churches with sound theology, but openness to the Gifts?

5) Universalism

At any rate, it’s so hard to find what you’re looking for, when there are so many options….  and you’re tired of looking.

I’m tired of looking.
I’m tired of going to church, never being talked to.
I’m tired of going to church and only ever being talked to by the guy who tells you you can’t have your coffee in service.

The lack of friends in my Foresaken home in the High Plains becomes even more than obvious as our second child prepares to come into the world and we lack EVERYTHING for a little girl, because the first was a boy.

The lack of a church Family with people we can talk to as our life stands on the balance of Change, is also highly frustrating.
Man was not intended to be alone.  Even Jesus surrounded himself with friends.

Jesus was highly extroverted.  He was a natural people person and confident in who he was.
Unfortunately, mankind is not at all like Jesus.  And you walk into a new church and walk out of a new church still waiting to be reached into.

Writing Prompt: Rewrite a story in history

As the sun was setting over the village of London,Westminster Abbey chimed the hour.

One. Two. Three. Four….. Nehemiah Whipple squinted against the momentary beam of sunshine, concentrated through the spires of the church.

Suddenly, a howl rang out from the forest.

Six. Seven…

The eighth chime from the bells had been changed to alert the citizens to lock themselves in their homes.

Nehemiah, perched on the top of the London Wall, ducked down for cover.

Another howl, this time much closer.

He picked up his crossbow as quietly as possible, holding his breathe to sharpen his hearing.

Slowly, the wolf-creature stepped into the light. It sniffed the air, and howled again.

Fear threatened to over-take Nehemiah’s heart, he listened as it came closer to the city gate. The rustle of grass turned to the sound of gravel. Nehemiah prayed to God that it couldn’t smell him in his hiding place.

The sound of sniffing and snuffling was just below him now. The man almost cried in terror when the next howl ripped from just underneath his hiding place.

Recently, the threats of horrifying creatures had reached London. It happened to be around the same time the Puritans stepped forward and told the Church of England and the Holy leaders that they would not worship in any fashion, but that which they were convicted by God. King James was angered by this declaration, and saw to it that these “Puritans” were persecuted for their blatant disrespect to the Holy Church. Rumor had it that the Puritans were to blame for the appearance of these evil creatures.

Nehemiah Whipple was out to prove the rumors wrong, as he inhaled deeply, yet quietly, and then rose into a crouch position.

The beast was ugly. Much larger than a normal wolf, but with the appearance of a furry human body.

By the gods, what the hell is that? Nehemiah swallowed back a gasp before it could escape his throat.

Suddenly, Nehemiah was conflicted as to whether or not he should kill the beast, or tranquilize it in order to find out what kind of spell this creature was under.

Slowly passing through the gate, with it’s ears pinned back, the beast wandered over to old Farmer Tack’s sheep fence.

Running out of time before it fell into shadow again, Nehemiah placed the bolt, aiming for the beasts shoulder. Taking another deep breath and holding it, he sighted his aim, steadied his hand, and then let the bolt fly.

The beast went to the ground with a yelp.

Pleased with himself, Nehemiah waited to see what it would do next, before melting into the shadow of the wall and making his way down the stairs.

By the time Nehemiah had run to the beast it was sound asleep.

Sighing in relief, he studied the creature closer.

It’s paws were larger than normal, at least the size of his own hand, with sharp claws extending beyond the paw. It’s long, lean torso was very human like. It’s gray fur looked manged, falling out in large clumps. And it’s face was the most frightening thing of all. Though Nehemiah couldn’t see it’s eyes, he could only imagine they were just as vicious looking as it’s long sharp teeth. Fang-like, long teeth protruded from it’s snout on either side, and the rest of it’s teeth were embedded into inky black gums. The face was wide, like a cat’s, instead of long and narrow like normal dogs.

What kind of evil is this? The man asked himself, working to pick up the beast.

He had to take it to someone who would know what to do with him.

Branson Miller’s eyes went wide, “No! I refuse to have that thing wake up in my house.” He pointed at the door, “You get him out. The King will have our heads if he found us with the beast. We would be exiled for sure, or worse, King James might murder us all. He wouldn’t be proud of you for shooting it down, he would have proof to blame you for these things.”

“This is the proof that we didn’t bring the beasts.” Nehemiah laid the creature across the table.

Branson Miller not only worked as a veterinarian, he was one of few who supported the Puritans in their decision to do what they felt was right by God. He was also one of few who thought it quite ridiculous to blame the Puritans for the wolf outbreak.

“It will never work, and you know it.” Branson stepped slowly up to the table, his hands shaking violently, fearing that the beast would wake up at any moment.

Nehemiah met eyes with Branson, “It’s our only hope, Bran. If we don’t prove we didn’t bring cause the outbreak, we’ll be exiled for sure.”

Sighing heavily, Branson met eyes with Nehemiah, “I want to help you. I really do. But I can’t. If you think it’s going to work, then you take it to the King. Otherwise, forget this fool hardy idea, and please, for Christ sake, get this beast out of my home.” Branson’s eyes widened again, “I think it’s waking up.”

Sure enough, the beast began to writhe, as it came to life again, scratching at his shoulder with his massive paws.

The men screamed in terror, running from the house.

After the beast ransacked Branson’s home, it went in search for the scent of Nehemiah Whipple, ripping open doors and windows all around the town.

In the morning, when all had calmed down and the beast had been killed, as Branson had predicted, King James exiled the Puritans to Amsterdam.

Ascribe To The Lord What Is The Lords

He has carried our hearts, our pain and anguish.
He has done great things for us and instructed us in the ways we should go.
His staff protects us from the things that would hurt us.
In Him is life, hope, light and love.
Without Him these things cannot exist.
Because of His great love for us, He wrapped himself in flesh and came to the World to know us.
Because of His great love for us, He came to understand our pain, our heartache and our agony.

Because He stepped down from heaven, we have the freedom to come before Him and ask of Him anything we need, and He will provide according to how great our needs are.

Sometimes it’s just a gentle, “I’m here.”
Sometimes it’s the money to get by.
Sometimes it’s the hope that He’s got us covered and nothing is going to hold us back from the great things He has planned for us.

His hand stretches to the end of the universe, He put them there.
He greatness is more than we could imagine, and His plans are better than ours could ever be.

Ascribe to God what He does, don’t mistake His Will for yours, stand firm in righteousness and never, never let go of the Promises He has made to you.