Monday, February 28, 2011

Blame It On The Blanket

I'm blaming it on my new, soft, warm, cozy  blanket. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. It is another cool, dreary day without sunshine. We've had a long sequence of them lately. I don't handle that well.

I've lived my life with a veil of depression clouding most of my days. I don't know if I would have been like this without the abuse. But I know my past has been a big part of the depression..

Twelve years ago, God led me through several intense years of healing from the pain, loss, and unforgiveness of my abuse. After that time and with the help of antidepressents, I felt like a new person.

Five years ago, an extremely heavy and dark cloud settled over me and I couldn't get out from under it. It blindsided me beacuse I didn't think I would ever feel that way again. It has been one of the most difficult and uncomfortable times of my life.

It's beginning to lift. Looking back, it seems as though God has been using this time to heal me further, cutting deeper into my wound. Bad habits and negative thought patterns have developed from the defense mechanisms I had created as a child in order to protect myself. It is not an easy process going through these changes. But God is faithfully working on me, and someday soon I believe I won't have anything to blame on the blanket.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It Started With Matthew

When I was in my 20's and a new mother, I was still fragmented inside; battling negative voices, self-contempt, and irrational fears. I had been badly damaged by sexual abuse as a little girl, and I  was desperately seeking peace of mind and purpose for my life.

I was like a boat whose moorings had become untied and each wave was sending me crashing further away from being the person that I should have been.

I was in the grocery store when I ran into a young woman from my neighborhood. She invited me to a non-denominational Bible study called Bible Study Fellowship. It was in this Bible study of the book of Matthew
that I fell in love with Jesus Christ. I didn't know the Bible was so alive and relevant. I didn't know it could make me feel so alive.

As we studied Matthew verse by verse that year, Jesus became so real to me. I had been in church all my life but I didn't really know Jesus. As He began His ministry; turning water into wine, resisting Satan's temptations in the desert, preaching the Sermon on the Mount, I was in the crowd following Him, thirsting after His every word, soaking it up like a sponge.

And when His life culminated in His death on the cross, I realized that He had done that for me. He loved me when I was most unloveable and He wanted to show me the way to a better life. Jesus has been my best friend for over 40 years. He has never once let me down, never once failed to be there for me.

He saw a person in me that I couldn't see. Over the years, He's been chiseling away at my hard armor of distrust. It's been painful, and slower than I would like, but He's been faithful. He's not finished and I'm a work in progress and eternally grateful.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul", Matthew 11:28-29,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

He is Worthy

Jesus is my Hiding Place,

Shelter from the violent storms.

Like a soft blanket,
He wraps me tightly
and keeps away the coldness.

He covers me with a huge umbrella,
loving protection from
the biting rains.

And He is worthy,

has proven Himself worthy,

only He is worthy

of my trust.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Overcoming the Past

She was so young and trusting
that year the boys
led her to the secret place
and took her innocence.

After that her heart
ceased to live
and a thick hard shell
covered up her secret.

For a lifetime she labored,
spinning herself quietly
into a tight cocoon,
fearful of the light.

Until Jesus beckoned so brightly
He couldn't be ignored,
cracking the darkness,
uncovering her shame.

It wasn't her fault.
This settled her soul
and she began to believe
and determined to fly.

Patiently unraveling the layers,
she stepped hesitantly out
before spreading her wings,
soaring towards the sun.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Secret Place of Shame

                                                                 Secret Place of Shame

I was six years old when the older boys next door took me to their secret place. Although the memories are vague, they've always been a part of me, clear enough to imprint in me a picture of someone who was different, damaged goods, not like the other girls.

My clearest memory is when an older guy in my school told me, "I know what you're doing with them". The shame settled over me so totally, completely, and devastatingly, that I'm still, fifty plus years later, trying to get over it.

I recognize that time as a turning point for me, as forming a crack in my soul, as an off-balance sifting of my identity so that I never saw myself the same again.

It has taken a lot of years and a lot of God's love for me to see myself as a child of God, a beloved daughter of the King, a person of worth, and not someone damaged beyond repair. Some days, even now I forget.

 On those days I need to remember my testimony: "God reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy; from my foes who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place, He rescued me because He delighted in me", Psalm 18:16-19. NIV

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Like Waves-Gulf Shores, February, 2011

 White crested waves crash powerfully
into soft sand,

rearranging the landscape one pebble at a time,

sifting, pushing,

relentless in their control of the land.

It reminds me of Jesus' work on me.

He never gives up,

pounding and stretching me mightily,

painfully at times.

Until I'm sifted and softened,


to fit the mold

He has carefully fashioned for me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Basking In Son-Light

Have you ever seen a butterfly
mounted on a flower
spread it's wings
and bask in the sunlight?

That's like me, not alive
until I take time
to sit in Jesus' Son-Light
and fill with His essence.

I crave His light above all,
desperate without it,
too prone to darkness
and fears stirring within.

After time in His presence
I'm lit up and strengthened,
changed from within
and passionate about living.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Solar Powered

I started this blog and then was waylaid by a contrary computer and 20 inches of snow (and feeling that I couldn't do it). After a week at the beach in Gulf Shores with my hubby I feel like trying again. We decided last winter that we would start taking a vacation in the winter because we hate the cold weather so much.

It was sunny, clear blue skies every day at the beach. Oh, glorious sunshine. I love it! I can't go long without it. I'm how my friend describes herself, "I'm solar powered. When the sun doesn't shine, I don't shine." And when it does shine, I perk right up.

I often imagine myself as being a flower, droopy and bent on cold winter days, my petals half buried in the frozen soil. Or parched and thirsty in the dry, rocky soil of summer. Until Jesus pours His Living Water over me, saturating each petal, every leaf , flowing down my spindly stem , until I'm filled with Him. Like a "fresh, bubbling spring within, giving eternal life", John 4:10 NLT.

I understand why butterflies (another image I connect with myself), love to lift up their wings and bask in the warm sunshine. If I had wings, I'd do the same thing. I love to sit outside in the cool air of early spring and lift my face to the sun, letting it seep into my pores, spilling all the way into the center of me. "Calling me out of the darkness into His wonderful light", I Peter 2:9 NLT.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day #2


As I sit here looking at the snow-covered ground, I marvel at how the whiteness shines with such pure clean beauty.

All the dirt and mud, barren limbs and crumbled leaves, dying plants and brownish grasses have disappeared and in their place is a covering of true white wonder,

perfect in it's covering of all imperfection,
thorough in it's blanketing of of all misconception.

I marvel at how this is a picture of what God has done
in my life, to my heart. Jesus' blood has covered all my imperfections,
has washed away my confusions and confessions.

has restored my brokeness, and renewed my barreness,
has turned the crimson stain of my saddest sins
into a robe of white beauty
and restored my heart to newness.
Thank you, God.

Sun Gone Missing

The sun has gone missing for a week now. I HATE WINTER! I can't help it! I know-I know-snow can be beautiful and all that. And in fact it is, covering all I can see with it's white purity.

But this time of year, I feel like a lump; shapeless, undefined, cold. Depression hangs too heavily over me to not succumb to the weight of dreary, dark days.

Were it not for my great God, who pulls the heavy cloud off daily by reminding me that He is good and life is worth living, I'm sure I would freeze in my spot.

I sit, numb, unable to see over the dark cloud, until I remember that God shows up when praise begins. As I read through the book of Psalms, praises fill my head and the dark cloud is lifted.

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies", Psalm 18:2-3. NIV

I have had a life-long battle with the ominous foes of depression and childhood sexual abuse. Only God has saved me from myself, my battles fewer now with more victories, and this blog is my story.

My hope is that you can see that GOD IS GREATER than anything that has happened to you in your past and because of Him you don't have to fear anything the future brings.

My favorite Bible verse (NIV) is Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope". My life can testify that this is true. I'd love for you to join me as I reflect on my journey through writing, poetry, and paintings.