Wednesday, August 29, 2012

That still, small voice...

...I am so thankful for that Still, Small Voice that whispers so softly to my heart when I need to hear it the most. To re-direct my steps so I continue to walk behind His steps.

You see, it's almost comical when I shared a few months ago how once I share something on my blog; the enemy takes those words and does everything in his power to ensure that the opposite happens. Though I hate giving him credit, I have to say... his tactics are good. He knows exactly how to get at you, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. This time, it worked.

A lot has happened over the last few months that have kind of shifted things for me in my heart. I have physically felt that shift, and I am working to fix this because I need so desperately to get back to where I was. To be grounded in the word, to change my attitude towards people who have done me wrong, to embrace TRUTH and not allow negative energy from other people’s actions try to drag me down to a place where I worked so hard to climb out of. To that beautiful place filled with peace in my heart.

My lesson in the hard stuff in my life was that I learned I can't control what other people choose to do, even if it hurts me or tears down trust, all I can control is how I respond to it. I'll be honest, I've had to practice this first hand more times in the last several months than I care to mention, and I have straight up stunk at it! I know as people that we are (all) broken, we (all) make bad choices from time to time... but it stinks when the same pattern repeats itself.. again, and again. There's nothing you personally can do about it, it's another person's lesson... yet, it affects you.. but there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening again. You then allow the fear to start paving the way of stealing your joy and your peace. No one wants to get hurt, no one wants to not trust.... but sometimes good people make bad choices & sometimes.... those people are slow learners & you seriously would do anything to plop them upside the head & say, "HELLO... FIGURE IT OUT THIS TIME!!!".

My heart is working through some of that muck right now. Everything it okay, I promise.... I'm just working through some disappointments, some set-backs, and start to climb up-hill again. I hate all that internal work that has to be re-done when I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I am working through some forgiveness issues right now which is hard simply because I'm so disappointed & frustrated. Ah, welcome to life....

I have noticed a decline in the amount of time we have been attending church. The once 3 times a week has slowly started to decrease. The enemy knew where to attack, and though I have worked through a lot of the problems, it has made the joy of going a lot less. I longed for church before.... as a family we were attending 3x a week. When you saturate yourself in the word, in His beautiful presence, He works in you.. He moves you... He fills you like no one or anything else could ever come close to. He has always been my life-source. The enemy caused some division with a few people in our church family which, I'll be honest, made it hard to get excited about going to church. It seemed like everything started happening at once, the pulling us away.. the enemy is good like that. I felt that we were under attack, and oh how I was right! It's been a few months and we've worked through this with the people it happened with. Relationships are being re-paired, still not the same.. but progress.. and progress is a beautiful thing. I hate conflict, I always have. But I felt like my family, my children, were being attacked and show me one Momma who won't stand up for her children. My point exactly.

. A few Sundays ago, one of the friends something happened with came up to me after service, hugged me & asked if we're okay. "Of course we're okay" I replied, hugging her back. My words said it, my body language said it, my heart however... still had some healing and working through to do.

Another situation occured  I've been working through is similar, but different.  Our family felt attacked by another person in our church who is a non-beleiver, but attends our church to keep a better eye on his daughter. Our daughters are good friends, and a situation happened that was blown out of porportion. This dad started making my daughter feel really threatened & started sitting directly behind us at church.  It made worshipping, the cleansing of my heart, and really focusing on the word really, really difficult for weeks. So, with that safeness invaded, and tention being high because both of these situations, our family started going to church less.  The enemy was on a mission, and it was working. I started feeling a lot of ugliness & resentment in my heart toward people I never dreamed of. I started feeling very judgmental which is so not like my spirit,, and I didn't like it. Church is peace for me, and I was feeling anything but peace while I was there. I'm still working through this, and it hasn't been easy, but I will get there. This past Sunday during church, I saw another person involved in this situation with the non-beleiving dad. She and I have always had a great relationship, but since this situation happened,  its been very tense between us & we haven't really spoken since.... God has a way of putting people in front of you when He knows its time. I left service to use the bathroom, I was a hot mess after worship & the make-up, I was certain, was running down my face.Why do I bother wearing make-up at church when I know it's going to be a runny mess before I leave?  As I was leaving the restroom... there she was, walking into the nursery, just the 2 of us in the foyer... a perfect opportunity to mend the broken relationship. I said hello, she commented on how pretty she thought I looked, I said "Come here" and started walking towards her to give her a hug. We hugged, smiled, and then we walked away..... progress.

I feel like when God is in the center of our lives & not just a 2hr. "fill-up" on Sunday mornings, but really-really in the center of our lives, things are just so much easier. I was in prayer every single day, multiple times a day, in the word daily, listening to Christian music almost any time I had the radio on, devouring encouraging devotionals online..... and really digging deep in my heart. Our Summer started off with both of the divisions I spoke of above. Then, less and less we started going to church. Sunday mornings begin to be the only day we were attending (It was summer, that's okay.. right? *sarcasm*), and then... we found ourselves missing several services due to vacations, and once, we simply missed "Just because". I started feeling the shift.... my radio shifted to country music and just a dose of Christian music here & there. I found myself getting more carefree & compromising on a few things that I normally wouldn't have.... a daughter in shorter shorts than I would normally condone, eye-shadow for another daughter who though I felt she was too young, allowed it to happen. More openness to Top 40 music (yet still changing the channel when needed...), wasted time on the computer that I know firsthand what that does to my peace & contentment.... Just little things like that... but, the shift.

Several weeks ago I was visited, yet again, by that annoying "people are going to disappointment you" reality, which slightly opened up an old wound that has been trying to close for years. This in return, stirred up a lot of emotions & fears that I worked so so hard to get through. It happens... Which then caused a wide range of emotions to come over me, but I refused to take 20 steps backwards, so... I did the best I could & only took 5 steps back. (smile!) I processed my feelings & the disappointment for about a week... not really speaking to this person, because if I did, the anger & disappointment would have fumed out of me. So, I sat on it... I kept busy.. I did the things that make me feel good about myself.. Hair, Nails, Tanning, Shopping.. you know, all the topical, meaningless stuff that you try to fill yourself with to help ease the feelings of disappointment your heart is trying not to deal with? Yeah, that stuff.... Oh, and I also decided to get my cartilage pierced with the 16 year old daughter, something I've wanted to do for years & just never did. And, oh.. yeah, one other small little thing, I finally went out and got that tattoo I've always wanted that was on my bucket list! It's a small little cross on my neck and I love it!!! I felt spontaneous and just went for it! That spunky Chrystal who wasn't really thinking sort of invaded my body for a week and a half, and yeah, the "I need everything planned out & I need to consult with the husband before I do anything" side of me kinda flew the coop for awhile. It happens. Though I was having fun, and spontaneous, enjoying time with my girls & not really focusing on the person who caused the disappointment, I still had that unsettlness in my heart. Shocker, I know. I was trying to "fill up" on other things and not go to my source who brings me peace, clarity, calmness, and helps me sort out the craziness in this brain of mine.

... when it's quite, and it's just me and my thoughts... I can hear Him. I hear what He is speaking to my heart, I know that my ways.. though innocent & not harming anyone, is not His ways. No, I'm not saying I'm feeling convicted because I went out & got a piercing or a tattoo.. or I got my hair & nails did :)... I'm saying my attitude. The ugliness in my heart. My inner being trying to focus on meaningless things so my heart is consumed. My peace can only come from Him. Restoration no matter how big or small can only happen with Him in the center of our lives. People are going to mess up, people are going to hurt you... but as I was reminded last night... "You can't control what other people might do, but you can control how you react to it!". My Heavenly Father whispered to me that I need to Seek His Face more to find the truth.. His truth. Only He can offer forgiveness in my heart... it's nothing that I can't get over-it's just people that have disappointed me, I've disappointed people in my life too... we all have. So, the forgiveness part isn't what I'm struggling with right now, it's just disappointment more than anything else... and just the hard stuff that I now have to work through to get through it, if that makes sense. He keeps whispering to my heart and I hear it several times a day and I am so so thankful for The Holy Spirit and His amazing way of keeping us focused on the One who matters, and the only One who knows the right steps for each of us to take, and that He cares enough about ME to guide me, to whisper to my heart... I'm thankful...

I am focusing on the things that are most important to me, and trying to let the rest of the stuff go. I'm trying to filter through emotions and disappointments... and, start walking that upward hill, thankfully I was only knocked down a few feet and not all the way down. If I keep all this walking up-hill stuff going, Sister is going to be looking goooood and be all in shape! :) (Sorry, couldn't resist). My challenge to you is if something is causing you hurt, or disappointment, or is taking up wasted brain space by over-thinking things whether you can control the issues or not,.... dig deep in your heart, turn it over to God-- cast all your troubles to Him--and every day thereafter, do the same thing until you feel that peace. It's never easy to work through ugly things, but it's so beautiful once you do.

Here's to that first step.....

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