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Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why Do I Suffer? (Part 3)

So I've decided to take Terri (my laptop) to church with me every week to type down the sermon notes and then blog them, as they blessed a few people last week.
It came as a somewhat amusing realisation as we drove out the car park that today's message was on the same line as last week's.
Pray you're blessed!

Job 2:9 - Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!”


Because Job is written as poetry rather than prose, people think it's a story rather than a fact, and that God wouldn't allow these things to happen to someone. However, he's mentioned in other places in the Bible, meaning that he was a real man and did go through trials.
Job is the oldest book in the Bible.
The priesthood isn't mentioned in Job and Job offered sacrifices, therefore it was probably before Moses.
Job was the richest man in the East.
He had everything that we would say God would bless someone with.
God described Job as perfect, which doesn't mean he was perfect – just that he was complete (in his heart after God). He had an understanding of who God was and he served God.
No matter what happened to him, Job didn't deviate from the fact that he was going to serve God.
Job was mourning but looking forward to the resurrection (I know that my Redeemer liveth).

Satan said that Job would only curse God if God struck his body. God prevented him from taking his life, but allowed him to touch his body.
Job's physical condition was so bad that when his friends came to see him, they didn't recognise him.
Job was using a sharp piece of broken pottery to scrape himself because the irritation was so bad.
His wife came to him and doesn't comfort him. She tells him to curse God and die.
The word for integrity is similar to a Greek word which means 'continue steadfastly'.
If we're saved this morning, it should be said of us that we continue steadfastly. We should not be “fair weather” Christians.
We should say we don't understand it all, but God is a righteous God and a good God who will see us through this.
Can it be said of us that we continue in integrity, continue steadfastly?
Would we continue on in integrity if we met with Job's trials, or would we sink into such despair that we would blame others and blame God?
Our Christianity is tested in the workplace, at home. What people would say of us shows our testimony.
Are we living epistles?

The interesting thing about the book of Job is that he's so up to date, because all of these three friends and Jobs wife are putting forward philosophies.
Philosophy means the study of alternate reality – what is the meaning of life? Is it just an endless cycle of nothingness?
In Acts, we come across the Stoics and Epicureans who are still alive and well today.
We hear both of their philosophies put forward today – eat, drink, be merry for tomorrow we die, and face everything as it comes with a stiff upper life, so you live life calmly with no depression, etc.
Evolution and philosophy have brought us to massacres and death camps.
The problem with these philosophies is that they leave God out of the equation.
God tells us to beware of vain philosophies. (Colossians)
People tell us that just give man the right circumstance, he will blossom and bloom, but history tells us that isn't the case.
The world tries to push us into a mould, where we start to accept things that are against the Bible.
God created us and has given us His Manual.
The first thing you do when you take on an important job (or should do) is read the instructions. God has given us His Word. If we don't follow the maker's instructions, we end up in a mess.

Job tells his wife that she's speaking like one of the silly women who is moulded by the events of the time.
Why does God allow the bad things to come on Job? Because God is moulding us and making us to the people He would have us to be.
In Jeremiah, God tells us of the potter, who moulds and shapes and puts his clay in the furnace.
The firing makes the difference between the basic mug and the fine china teacup. Some of the china goes through the fire 20/30 times. That's the reason it's so desirable and admirable.
That's how it is with the most useful saints of God – God has allowed things to come upon them that they be used greatly of Him.
Job was allowed to go through all this – why? So that you and I can learn things.
There have been wonderful saints of God that have gone through terrible sufferings and persecution and deprivation, but the mark that they have left is still with us today.
Fanny Crosby – blinded from birth. If she had grown up and had her sight, would she have written so many glorious hymns or would they have had the depth they have?
JC Ryle had a privileged position as a young man – went to Oxford, father owned a bank. The bank went bankrupt overnight and he had to go and live with a relative. From then he went into Christian work. If he had gone on following his own plan, would he have left the blessing he has today?
Chris himself was taught by someone who was taught by someone who studied under JC Ryle.
The Apostle Paul went through beatings, starvings and famine.
We're being refined so God can use us in a mighty way. Our natural selves are enemies of God.
If we have everything in life, are we going to depend on God? No, we're more likely to depend on ourselves.

We need to realise that Job, through Chapter 2, does not blame God – he keeps his integrity, saying he doesn't understand it.
In some circles, we're told that sickness is of the devil, that it was conquered at Calvary, that any sickness we have can be cured – it's God's will for us not to be sick.
We know that God can heal.
But the question is, is it always God's will for everyone to be healed?
We are told that we don't have enough faith if we aren't healed.
The Bible is full of people close to God who were sick of various things.

The Bible does not teach that God keeps all His servants in a perfectly healthy condition.
-Isaac, eyesight in old age.
-Abraham and Sarah – could not have children.
-Man who was born blind (Jesus said it was neither his nor his parents' sin that was the reason of his blindness, it was so God's works could be made manifest.)
-Paul in writing to the Corinthians said that he had a thorn in the flesh. In Galatians, Paul stated that he wrote it himself and the largeness of the letters may indicate that he had an eyesight condition. He asked God to remove his thorn three times, and God said that His grace was sufficient.
In James, there are instructions given for those who are sick and suffering in the church.
We should use the practical natural remedies God has given coupled with faith.
But this doesn't mean God is going to cure us.
God will mould us to make us more effective in His kingdom.

The Bible tells us we have a problem called sin. It's universal. The Hebrew word for curse (in Job 2:9) means rebellion. The idea is not just to blaspheme God, but to shake your fist in His face.
Each of us is a rebel against God.
As we're created by God, He has a call upon us, but we have said we're going our own way.
However, He sent His Great Physician to heal us of our sin.

If we say we're following our own philosophies, we are denying God's call and shaking our fist in His face.
There is only one way we can know our sins forgiven – through the Great Physician. Through His stripes, we are healed.

Job said, no matter what happens, I'm going to serve the Lord.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 1:9

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why Do I Suffer? (Part 2)

I had to chuckle after last night's rather speedy blog post about suffering in the Christian walk, when I attended a baby dedication today.

More and more recently, I dislike attending church, but today was a feeding, refreshing and encouraging break. Which I wasn't expecting. After all, I'd only gone cause it was my sister Sarah's baby sister.

And the sermon was on Hannah and her dedication of Samuel to the Lord - very fitting, as the baby girl's name was also Hannah!

I took notes. *wrinkles nose at her ink dyed hands* The pen was leaky. :D

Anyways. It tied in EXACTLY with what I posted yesterday. Oddness? Eh! God is good!!!


1 Samuel 1:1-5

"Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord there.

When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb."


Faithfulness begins in sorrow and disappointment.
The darkness is scary, but children tend to be less afraid when holding their Father's hand.
It's easy to have faith when the light is on.
When dark times come, you begin to look for something higher than yourself.
God can change hearts, and it's usually the dark time that make us look up.
Hard times are a blessing; sicknesses and diseases remind us that we won't be here forever.

It's very hard when you're in the darkness and you can't touch the Father's hand. It's then you have to begin to trust His heart. A loving parent will guide you.
It's at the moment when darkness and discouragement come, that faith begins.
Faith is not an ambiguous feeling that you hope something good will happen. Faith is not based upon a feeling. Faith is based on a guarantee.
Faith is when you trust what God says in spite of the consequences.
Faith is where most people stumble at the point of becoming a Christian.
Faith is trusting that God is going to keep His Word.

1 Samuel 1:6-8

"Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

As Pastor Pickett said - the rest of it was good, but that last was a dumb remark! :D

A mark of a faithful life is when family members do not understand or (although advising you with good intentions) make things worse.

If your happiness is dependent on another person, you're a miserable person.
We must depend on God.

Most of the people you see have a brave and smiling face, but carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Your circumstances seem earthly but they are not. God allows catastrophes in your life to give you opportunities to see where you are with your trust in Him.

1 Samuel 1:10-11

'She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. She made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”'

Hannah's prayer was not sanctimonious; she told God what she wanted, what she knew He could do if it was His will, and vowed a return.

Pray honestly. Prayer is where your heart speaks to God.
When you depend on God, you take your petitions to God, not your demands.
A faithful life spends itself trying to honour God.
When God gives to us, He gives us so we can give back to Him – a life of giving.
When you trust God, you don't lose out. He honours you.
If God chooses to bless us with more suffering, honour Him with it.
When you become a Christian, things will get worse for you. Satan now hates you. There will be struggles. But the wages for serving God are eternal life.

1 Samuel 1:19

"Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her."

The next mark of a faithful life is that God remembers them and honours the asking, the seeking and the knocking.
Most Christians do it half-heartedly.

We don't stop seeking until we find. We don't stop knocking until the door is open.

Luke 18:1-5

'Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’”'


Return the blessing, whether given, or the blessing of it NOT being given, back to the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:20, 24-28; 2:18-21

"It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the Lord.”

Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, although the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” And he worshipped the Lord there.

Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord, as a boy wearing a linen ephod. And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you children from this woman in place of the one she dedicated to the Lord.” And they went to their own home.

The Lord visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord."


Last year's faith has to grow, because you should be growing. Last year's faith should not fit on this year's Christian.

(At this point, Pastor Pickett attempted to put on the jacket of nine-year-old Nathan - and then got Nathan to put his on.)



God gives us what we need when we need it; no more, no less. If we're growing in God, then we will grow into our new "coat of faith".

The key to faith is staying invested in the things of God.

Hannah returned each year with a new coat.

Hannah started with nothing. Zero. 0. She honoured God by keeping her vow and God trusted her with more.
A walk of faith is where we're constantly trusting in the Lord and walking before the Lord. We need to trust Him for what He said.

God wants you. He's not forced to take you. Giving yourself to Him is worth it.


~Mademoiselle Siân

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why Do I Suffer?

IT'S PAINFUL! Oh, God, it's so painful. Why should I suffer like this? What have I ever done to deserve it? I've tried to follow You. Tried to do what You say. I've gone through my memories and I can't think of any sin I haven't repented of. So why am I going through this?


Those cries sound so familiar, echoed in the cries of those not born again..."If God was good, why do good people suffer?" And through the story of Job.

Maybe you've cried them. I know I have, guiltily.


And you know all the usual defending comments; that we are all sinners, that God grieves with us but that this is part of the curse.

Yes, He could stop it.


Do you know why He doesn't?

Because when you're living the easy life, how often do you turn to Him?

How often do you seek His face, to grow closer to Him and learn of Him?

How much is the value of earthly things to you, when you are in pain?


Because, to quote one tweet I read earlier:

"The truth is, He loves you too much to leave you the way you are."

The fire of the furnace. The cutter on the diamond. The storm and the sunshine.

You never learn the value of the light until you've known the darkness.


In Him,
Mademoiselle Siân

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When the Hole Aches

There are two things I have learned through this long and painful walk; that God does not fill all voids and God does not heal all wounds.
I wonder why?

I think He made us deliberately to have voids He doesn't fill. Which will of course be filled when we reach Heaven - the same as we cannot be sinless now, but will be when we reach Heaven...
Voids to be surrendered to Him and for Him to give us peace over, but not necessarily to fill...


Carissa: *thinks* I have felt that, too. I am not sure exactly how to put this, though.... one thing is that I think He does heal all our wounds--but that doesn't mean the scars are gone, or that it stops hurting, only that He brings redemption. It still hurts, and honestly I don't think it will stop completely till heaven. About the voids... I don't know. I think maybe it's more that we don't realize how sufficient He is... that He is there, and He is enough. Yet... there is still the longing for human friendships that He has given. And I don't think He is meant to fill that, quite. I guess... a big part of it is just so that we realize our weakness, and our need for Him. (hopefully that made some sense... :P) All I really know is that God is good, He knows what He's doing, and He loves us.


Sometimes when the pain gets too great to bear, I walk around numb and just repeating that to myself. God is good and God loves me.


Carissa: Elisabeth Elliot talks about that in Passion and Purity some. "If the yearnings went away, what would we have to offer up to the Lord? Aren't they given to us to offer? It is the control of passion, not its eradication, that is needed. How would we learn to submit to the authority of Christ if we had nothing to submit?"


I don't pretend to understand. I figured that I'd find out, and I guess I won't. But I know God uses everything, and everything happens for a reason.

Just hold in there, guys. Trust and faith don't come by seeing. I know you're dying for the feel of something secure, of something more real than the reality of pain.
Wait. Trust Him. Trust will become your security. Faith your reality. God's got your life. Keep going. Trust Him.


I wish I had something more than this to give, this burden of my pain.

But I cannot give you anything more beautiful than what God has. He has given Himself.

~Mademoiselle Siân

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

When You're In Love....

If you've been in love, and stuff happened. I think...I hope...we pray...this might help. Which is the only reason we're sharing.
Because God allows things to happen for a reason. And a lot of the time, it's so what we've gone through can minister to others.

Apparently love cannot break down all walls.
But prayer does.
1 Corinthians 13.
It breaks your heart.
Live it.
It brings you to the heart of love.
God.
You won't be shielded from the pain.
Pain is born to expand your heart.
To love ever deeper.
And thus know His heart.


Carissa: *hugs* I'm sorry, dear... I am praying. Keep close to God.

Me: *hugs back* Thank you. I'm trying, but my physical health is starting to fail now. I...found...something...out..accidentally. It hurts...
Praying...
He's not talking to me and I don't know why.
Trusting God and keeping refocusing...but it's very. Crushingish. Even though I'm at peace. If that makes sense.


Carissa: *sighs* That is hard. You are doing right. It does make sense...


Me: I knew you'd understand. *blinks back tears and smiles weakly* Thank you. *hugs* I just...wish my physical health didn't collapse every time he walks away.


Carissa: *smiles back softly* You are welcome. *hugs back* Yeah... I will pray for you about that. Try your best to keep your mind fixed on Him. It's the best way I know of reducing stress (and thus giving your body a break.)


Me: I'm really trying - keep giving him back, praying for him whenever my mind wanders, praying for both of them, reading the Word, focusing on waiting on God and praying and trusting He knows what's going on, but I can't help my body.


Carissa: Good. Keep on...


Me: Yes ma'am. *tiredly*


Carissa: I know how tiring it is... I still have to do the same things. Ask Him for strength.


Me: Hope seems indefatigable. I just keep wondering if it's the wrong kind of hope, whether it's planted by Him or whether it's me wishing...I bet you have the same...what do we pray?
I know WAITING on Him will gain strength. Still learning that. This is costing so, so much...yet...I'm growing more than I have in a while.
God WILL move if it's His will. If not, I'll keep doing what I'm doing where He's put me til He moves me. IF He moves me.
So scared He won't.


Carissa: I do have the same sort of hope... the prayer I am learning is "Thy will be done." And then, with that, choosing to delight in His will--no matter what.
And yes, the "no matter what" is slightly terrifying. I've prayed that prayer. Before all this. But I know this: His will is BEST. Even if we have no clue how it can possibly be.


Me: *nods silently* Oh, C'rissie..it HURTS.
I'm afraid I keep praying the first part, too..."If it be possible, let this cup pass from me" BEFORE the "Thy Will be done."


Carissa: I understand that. I really, really do... It's HARD. It hurts so much. I am astounded to think of how much more, even, He hurt and hurts for us...


Me: I keep thinking, you know...if I'm hurting this much over my love not being returned..and confused and not understanding the walls he has against me...then...how, how it must hurt Him when the world rejects Him....


Carissa: I know...


Me: I hate hurting. I hate the constant random crying. I _so. much. wish. for. both. you. and. me. that we could have had a normal relationship._
And yet.
What would we have missed if we'd have abandoned love because of the pain...?
Cause we'd have abandoned Love because of the pain...


Carissa: Yes... *smiles a little* I think... I think... ironically enough... that we've been especially blessed. Our lessons are much, much harder in this area than most people's. But they are all the deeper and sweeter for it... And I know that someday, maybe not here, but someday, it will all make sense and we will see the beauty in it. We will see the hand of Love that led us this way.


Me: "My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.

...

A cross, a bleeding heart, a crown.
What greater gifts are given?
Be still, my heart, and murmur not.
These are the Keys of Heaven.


Carissa: *smiles* I like that, in so many ways...


Me: *smiles back softly* Yeah...
Here's the other one...

Not ours to know the reason why unanswered is our prayer,
But ours to wait for God’s own time to lift the cross we bear.

Nor ours to know the reason why from loved ones we must part,
But ours to live in faith and hope, though bleeding be the heart.

Not ours to know the reason why this anguish, strife and pain.
But ours to know a crown of thorns, Thy grace for us to gain.

A cross, a bleeding heart, a crown, what greater gifts are given?
Be still, my heart, and murmur not, these are the keys to heaven.

'Tis ours to know the better part, whereby a crown is won,
Then loving God I ask not why, "Thy will, not mine, be done."

Yea, Thy way, Lord, not mine, I pray; I give to Thee my will,
And humbly seek Thy grace and aid, this better part to fill.

It was not always thus with me. I loved my way the best,
But that is past, Thy way is mine, in it alone is rest.


Carissa: That is great too. Well, I'm heading off... Thank you for sharing those poems. They encouraged me. I'll be praying.

The Mud-Puddle Muddle

Never in my life have I felt so blind and helpless, and not in a very long time have I felt God's presence this close.


It's been a while since I've blogged properly on Walk With Us. Because to truly blog means sharing my heart...and my heart hasn't been in a place to be shared for a while.
Not that it is now, for what I have to share is delicate and sensitive on raw issues, both for me and for others, so I will have to try to pick my way lightly through the lines of this tale, and for this reason even now I am procrastinating as I try to write.

One of the things that convinced me to share is a prayer I prayed on the way home, asking God to help me remember what I was to write, if He wanted it. My memory is a sieve on two legs, and I let the evening hit me. When I sat down to write alone, the thoughts are still here.
Another is a quote from a very wise lady.
"Our story is who we are, & if we deny it, we deny ourselves – and the very Author Who's writing this redemptive epic." ~Ann Voskamp

There will be many things in here that you will find hard to accept or even understand. Please, accept them as you read - if not believing them. This is where God has lead me.

Walk With Us is not just a blog about where I walk; it's a walk with me and the Lord. It is on my heart to share this with you tonight.


As I pick up the dangling and tattered threads of my life to weave together into a tale for you, I would introduce you to two of the guys in my life.
Let me remind you of a man I've told you about in many blog posts; a wonderful man who God called me to love without that love being returned. We called him Mr. C.

Also, another guy who I met last year. We'll call him Greg. He's a nice guy, not a Christian, but weak. Nearly a year ago, on our second meeting, through a sudden and shocking twist of an afternoon, I lost my virginity to him. We met up a couple of times after that, kissing etc happened but God held me and my friends fought with me and for me, and in December I finally cut contact. Bar Facebook.

How do I explain to you the depth of my love for one man and the despair created by the dark and wild floods of life that often rocks me off my feet? How can you possibly understand how I can love one man so much and be so blinded by pain that I fall weakly into crazy and sinful traps?
*half smile* I cannot defend myself. God knows. Maybe He will whisper it to you.

I am what has been termed spiritual-based in my relationship with God. It hurts and makes me cry when people doubt His existence and I cannot build a logical argument to fight for Him.
I used to be quite a reasoned person (able to fight for my faith logically) as well as emotional, but one day, on returning from my backslide, He took that ability from me. I still don't know why. I remember when.


At this point, I have to explain something which many people will find hard to accept...

I "see" things. Not often, not globally and not clearly. Just an impression. "Seeing things" is a hard way to describe it. More, I get an innate feeling that something is about to or will happen. Not once has this been wrong.

I had the...consciousness, then, if you will, for about a month that Greg would be returning to my life. Not just that...but when I didn't shun it out of point-blank terror, I saw that...myself pregnant, with his child.
I know that seeings can be warnings and avoidings. And I tried to focus a mindset around this, to that.

My work shift changed about then to a 3:30pm til 8:30pm shift.

Then one day, he messaged me. I was unsurprised, though slightly (as usual) freaked about the implication of the "seeing" with that.
I messaged him on the Saturday after, just briefly to check what times he was working so I knew whether or not I was liable to bump into him.
Monday morning, I thought about it, realised the idiocy of what I'd done and was going to delete the message. By the time I remembered later that morning, he'd responded. And we ended up arranging to meet up. He said he'd wait after work.

I walked around the house preparing for work in a total daze, begging God to forgive me for being so stupid and asking - begging His deliverance. A peace came over me that He would look after me and protect me in spite of myself. As I walked down the alley on my way to the bus stop, I stuffed my earbuds in and started my MP3...and the song that began to play? "Mighty to Save".
Consequently, laughter through tears. I knew, though I still feared a little, that we would not meet that night. And we didn't. He apologised the next day, initiating a longer conversation that left me in no doubt of what he wanted.

Things with Mr C have been in a cyclic bad wave for some time. And it's no longer just me kicking him away. First, we'd had a problem, I'd sent him a long email, and things levelled out for a week. Then there was a scene where he was chatting to a mutual friend, who accidentally misinterpreted some of it back to me, and another rupture broke out. Somewhere in the middle of this, the following happened.

On the following Friday, I sent Greg a message. We nearly arranged to meet that night, but I said I was busy and gave him my working hours for the next day. I came out of work Saturday to three calls and a message saying he was waiting for me.
Even then, God was working against my evil side for me. I had train tickets bought that day, and I'd have to take the bus to meet him.

It's hard to explain the way my head works. It's hard to figure out how much is the evil side of me, how much the abused. I know the good and evil fight a lot but I get confused pretty easily, and I think that's one reason why God's so close, fighting for me. Because I really, really do want Him more than anything. Just I get lonely, and scared, and hurting, and stuff. :P And when Mr C goes, I kinda stop caring what happens to me.
Judge me if you will. I'm glad He doesn't.
Half led by the fatalistic thing I had about the "seeing" and the fact that I'd agreed, I chose the bus. Chatted to Brendan (who didn't know) and Fionale (who did) until I arrived. They were praying.

We met. Went into the pub for a drink. Talked. Talked a lot...about what I was doing, what he was doing. He told me about his previous relationship and just how torn up it had made him. We kissed. Talked some more. General conversation.
But... *smiles slow* interspersed through this. He kept looking at me and telling me I was too good. He didn't want to hurt me. Too innocent. Too cute. Oh, believe me. I assured him I was not.

But I think...he could see something I cannot.

Because you know what one thing he said to me stuck in my head?
"If it was any other girl, I'd have asked her to my apartment by now. I say stuff to you online, but when I meet you... you're too good. Too...into Christ."

Ouch. And bliss. Can one have an ouchful bliss? I did. I admit to some shame at that point, knowing I had come knowing what he had in mind and only wanting to alleviate the pain, uncaring what happened to me and wanting revenge on myself for loving Mr C. I'd gone there expecting nothing good, though hoping at the same time it wouldn't happen. And then...he told me I was too into Christ for him to do anything.

Yes, I was blessed. In a weird way. That...people can see that much of Christ when I'm...being...so...me.


That day, or the day before that, the news came back to me from the mutual friend that Mr C had decided he only loved me as a friend. I attempted to close the friendship, and he refused. We chatted again the following evening - I haven't chatted with him since, though we did swap a few messages over the past week and a half. (Which means I'm doing really well for only my physical health to be collapsing. :P)

I was chatting to Brendan on the bus the night after that hurt dropped its fiery darts into my heart. Removed my "protection" ring on the trip back - with the slightly-amusing-slightly-horrifying approach of one man later on the trip. Decided to take up the dreary course I had previously prepared for something such as this. And to leave myself open to short term relationships - but making it quite clear that I didn't want, and would refuse, any long term ones. Just to make do.
The hollow feeling that left me with is probably pretty well known to those of you who read this far.

We had to divert around some road traffic before pulling up at my bus stop. I stepped off the bus and turned left to start walking down the road. And blinked as I saw a random tire cover fastened to the back of this road-surfacing truck - a tire cover that didn't even fit there. And written on it was the last name of Mr C.
I hate crying in public, but I did. And I heard God speak to me, clearer than in a long while.
"What do you think you're doing? Have I told you to stop loving him?"
"No, God. But it hurts! I can't take the pain any more."
"Does that matter more than following me?"

No, of course it didn't. And I knew where He had called me. So I prayed, walking home, again. Repenting of my attitude and recommitting to what He'd called me for for as long as He'd called me to it. Unsure what to pray about the entire mess, so just praying for him and to fix things generally.

Then last weekend, another bombshell dropped out of a totally blue sky which practically destroyed the little hope I had left.
Here are a few phrases from the diary entry I made that day.

'I can't deny the constant agony in my heart, the why, even as I'm praying blessed be the name of the Lord, the why I couldn't have even one beautiful thing in my life. One earthly beautiful thing. God wants me entirely focused on Him and this is His method of purifying me but oh God, my God, it hurts.
I keep crying Eloi, Lama Sabacthani, and He keeps whispering, I haven't left, Sian, I just want you to lean on me. He's close.

I will pray... but God, God, oh God have pity on me.

I keep thinking that the love for him, the deep, deep love is fading, replaced with friendship. Then there's nights like tonight. The pain, the depth, the pain, the pain...and the knowledge of what it means to me to let go...and the knowledge that I can because God will give me strength to love him the best. I am growing tonight. Two months – two weeks – a week ago, I would have said I had let him go and still be fighting unconsciously. But after that recent splash...and the admittance that he only loves me as a friend, and my telling him that I love him enough to let him go...

I have nothing left. I am not fighting for him. And this isn't a I-don't-care-I'm-not-fighting-because-I-want-him-to-pursue collapse.
This is an I-have-nothing-left collapse.
I am not messaging him, not shutting him out. Just...numb. Until now.
I have nothing to give, nothing to say. Only wordless sobs and tearful cries to God. Cause He hears me. He will heal me.

I have no internet on the train. No Brendan to rant to. Just the silence. God. Just the music. The folder on my MP3, which...praises God, and prays for him, and reminds me to keep loving. Songs like “Blessed be Your Name”. “Our God”, Tomorrow, “Worth the Wait”. It hurts. But it's a hurt that will draw me to God and not poison my existence in dark retreat this time. That is where Satan always drives me – and this is Godly love. Oh God keep me.
And my Bible. And my tears. And praying.'

So now I have no idea where I'm going. No idea what's going on. Literally living from day to day, grieving randomly, but with a new trust in God born. Finally, He has brought me to the place where I cannot squirm another inch. I will not fight because I think...it's up to Him now. Whatever He will do is right.
And yes, I get nervous. Yes, I think about all the people who will tell me loudly that God didn't make our lives to be lead by Him, but for us to make a path ourselves and that that was His will because He already knew it. I feel terrified that it's all out of control and all in this terrible, heartbroken mess. I loathe being this vulnerable, and I laugh with sorrow at the fact that this love for this man is the one point God uses to crack most of the stuff in my life because it is the most sensitive, most vulnerable and most open-to-Him spot that I have.

Then I look back to Him. And I look back on this small recent saga of miracles, and the closeness of His Spirit to me. And I know it's in the best possible Hands. Oh yes, I'm grieving. And my soul and body are crumbling. But I won't...spiritually collapse. Because...the Hands of the Healer are underneath, and the Everlasting Arms are around.


I guess...I wanted to share this. Not because I like exposing my dark side. Not because I wanted the respect of people to go and to be shunned. But to show you...what God can do...what God does do...to deliver.
We'd like to believe He doesn't leave a door open. That we control our own lives and He sits there and allows it all uncaringly.
No.
He loves us. And He guides us.
If we leave our hearts and wills open to that leading.

Because faith sometimes means stopping clinging onto God's promises and letting go completely. Because then we fall back onto Him. Nothing else to hold us. We're not doing the holding then. He is.

And that's the best place to be.

Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall soar up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not become faint; they shall walk and not become weary.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.


I won't pretend to have grasped all of this, but here's what I'm feeding off.
When you delight yourself in the Lord, He becomes the main focus and desire of your heart. Trusting in God is being driven to the uttermost extreme of durability, having no place left to run and the entire situation/life look black around you, and still turning to God and saying, I trust You Lord.
And as we wait for Him to move, helpless, hopeless, but fixing ourselves onto Him, He does indeed strengthen us.

I hope that my sorry retelling will have done what I prayed it to do. That it will lead you...closer...that you will see even through my crippled form, the steady Hand of God and the depth of His Love.
I pray...you will know that love.


In His Name,
Mademoiselle Siân

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Ebbing Low

I got off the bus, both ear pieces in, and began to quickly stride across town towards my second bus to work.

A dark-skinned lady who got off the bus with me, paused next to me.

"Don't you come from T-?"

I stopped, puzzled.

"Sorry?"

"Don't you come on the bus from T-?"

Me: "Oh! Yes...?"

Strange Lady: "My husband and I used to live in T- area and we used to see you reading your Bible on the bus in the mornings and it really encouraged us. I just wanted to tell you, don't stop!"

I blinked back tears and gave her a hug.


It's the little things in your day to day living, that testify.
My Bible reading had dropped again recently, schedule packed, sleeping on the bus because I was tired, etc. Her comment both encouraged and shamed me.
It's funny...how much you fail to realise...even the tiny things can bless someone...just an effort to read a few verses, where and when you can, and chew them over and think on them.

Don't give up, just because you think life is a monotony, an endless boring cycle, because you're not out rescuing girls from sex trafficking, ministering to drug addicts, giving out tracts, street preaching. They're good. They're a calling.

But maybe your calling is to live life as you are. Focus it on Him. Draw near to Him. And simply, live in His presence. He'll shine out of that - cause oh, no, you can't stop Him. *smiles*

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16


In His Name,
Mademoiselle Siân