Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pancakes that topple.. Feet that touch.. Love that Last!

Life can be so super duper challenging at times. Sometimes the difficulties are just one simple problem. Before the week is over they become stacked on top of each other. It looks like a rush of heavy carb loaded pancakes just waiting to topple. The difficulties one by one are not so tough. But when the difficulties are stacked and they tumble into your lap, that is when the burden feels uncontrollable. The heaviness brings on the darkness. We all have at one time experienced this cold, dark, needy pit. But I am talking the darkest of holes.

Who do you turn to or allow to pull you up when those overwhelming places enter your week and intensify?

I turn to the friends who have values, perspective, a life of prayer. Those who know me the best. Those who are very wise. Those who hear the Lord. Yes, I have several. I choose them!

What happens when you burn those people out and they are worn thin? What ensues when you listen to too many voices? What occurs when they are really truthful and you only hear your inner trapped voice and you think you have no way of escape?

                Darkness and the souls of men can pull you into such a vortex of hope deferred. Proverbs 13:12
In this last long season of repeats, I visualized a grain hopper. Where life is poured in the top and comes out looking quite different than when it went in. You think on the second try it will change and look different from the first since you thought you cleaned up the fray. Do you think it might be a pretty single pancake with sweetness deserved and not a heavy toppling stack!

I am referring to a 2 cycle season of really tough times in the last 11 years. It has lasted longer than we imagined and has stretched us, changed us and worn us down and given us a great prayer life. Health issues over and over. Financial issues over and over. Job changes and second jobs that helped the wallet and bandaged the soul. Family issues where the more we stayed out the more we were drawn in. Times just intensified and circumstances piled up. Long standing friends just could not relate or maybe watch. I do understand it could play like a horror movie where you cover your eyes. Maybe if they turned off the swirling movie it would go away. Poof! Who needs to watch that? Ha! At times the silent thoughts of you wondering if they were judging or perhaps thinking God was. We felt that too. Was Christ defining us? Disciplining us? Shaping us for our future? Those who stayed close to us, questioned as did we.

Oh, and did I mention God? He viewed it before we were made, and loves us still!  

There was those moments in the heavy darkness before the light streamed in when the clock said 3 a.m., when I felt so very grounded. Surprising huh? I felt my husband next to me and the true comforter of God himself in the spirit.  

“Do not be afraid for I am with you” Genesis 26:24

Recovery or repeat? Oh, that road so worn. As we started the second go around in 2013 we prayed and we asked and we listened. We so badly wanted to do the recovery right. We thought we were making the right choices. But we felt like we were spinning through that hopper with our foot out. We should have been able to put that leg down but it just was not stopping. The thing is, many times the spin feels comfortable and its the stillness when your sitting on your butt with the fall out of the grain on top of you that it wakes you up. Grain is very heavy. So is the darkness of the enemy of hope deferred.

Being on the ground is cold, lonely and dark unless you will allow yourself to be touched.
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” John 1:5

So we thought we had the comeback in place. The harvest was going to be sweet. But last fall my husband had a accident that had again taken us to the dark place. You know its bad when you are sitting in church and tears are streaming and the pain is on your spouses face. You know when those closest see the pain but don’t really feel what only you feel? And the enemy of you soul and mind speaks loser to you. Yep! That place! When you sit and stare into nowhere, with nobody and you're allowing satan to dump words and thoughts on you, and you just can’t move out from under the dirty, heavy grain! 

Pressing through the testing to breakthrough.
Then, more needed reality filters into the hopper by words from someone who loves you. Tough love words! It made me fall off the merry go round and skin my knees deeply. Eventually my spinning stopped. The spinning was replaced with days of tears… and more days of cleansing sorrowful heavy tears. I did not feel grateful for tough love in the pain. The tears are not done and the fear of the unknown has daily emerged. Again. 

I thought heavily of others and their sorrows and troubles and wondered how they managed?  Those without the peace of God? That’s how I got to grateful even in the darkness. Falling on the floor praying for my husbands pain and praying for others in other parts of the world going through intense persecution or even on this side of hell and heaven.

 “My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, 
where is your God?” Psalm 42:3

I floated back and forth from dark to distilled light for 3 days saying. “Really.. again Lord? “But in the dark of the night there are two touches I search for. I find each night I wait and rest for those moments to emerge. First, my husband then the spirit.
“By day the Lord directs his love, at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8
Seeking answers when one spouse is leery and one is trusting of something and you pray and pray. Then you flip the coin and one is trusting and the other is leery and you pray and you pray. How do you attempt to make the right decision? How do you re-structure the structure that was the new structure? God says, “All things work together for good for those who trust is in Him”

So here we sit again in our own reality show shoveling heavy grain off with another long stretch in front of us. We are exhausted! In their love our kids are exhausted! Our closest prayer partners are pooped! Now that we are on our bottom so to speak, we look at some of the ramifications and the advice we thought was sound and shake our head. We are going to figure this out and not use our usual means. Somehow God will be bigger than our choices. He promises a way out!.. Right??

I go to bed awake and in the darkness, with prayers on my mind, I fall asleep. It seems I must be praying nonstop in my spirit all night. I awake in the morning with the words on my brain. “Father save us, Lord help us, Jesus come. Holy spirit can you speak louder? Let me hear you!" 

 “He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man..the Lord Almighty is His name”        Amos 4:12

In a text one night at midnight last winter one of my high school girlfriends blessed me with hope. It's those messages that encourages you. She said, “I pray you will be like Job and the second half of your life will be more than the first!” May it be true! That is what we wait for, that is what we dream. 

Granola centered happiness! Is that really healthy? :)
So tonight when I go to bed before my next hard day emerges, I know I am next to the one person who shares this pain that others only see. I will feel his touch in the middle of the night. Possibly several times. It’s the touch of my husband’s feet searching for mine or mine for his. Oh the familiar.. It feels right, even when things are wrong! Then the spirit will touch me and I will sleep.

Everything will be ok I am told. If I will just stop and kick the fear out and dream of that one beautiful light pancake! No stack of toppling carbs. No heavy grain falling on me. Just awaken to a good thing. A God answer. A voice saying it will be alright.
I love you with a everlasting love!

Cherish the moments of love, even in hard places.
So stay with us as God continues writing our story even if it’s at a distance.We understand. Even if it appears to be the part of the intense movie where you cover up your eyes. While you are there say a prayer for those people around you in tough circumstances and those on the other side of the world. Do a hidden blessing of prayer. And know I pray for you also! 

We will eventually see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and it will be a great harvest!