The Blood that took it all yet gave it all

The new life is beautiful, really it is.  Raw emotion meets me at every corner and that isn’t a bad thing.  Things that had been dulled before are now bright, poignant and powerful.  

Life has new meaning, it encompasses more joy than it has…really ever.  Even before my first encounter with Christ because now in my 40’s I have lived enough life to know what to appreciate.  I don’t take a second for granted.

Or do I?

Two weeks of sobriety met me with open arms full of new experiences God had been bottling up for me to embrace when I was ready.  And I found that I was finally truly living.

But I found myself tired and not as “exciting” I was before.

Let us now check “before.”  

Was it real?  No.

Authentic?  Nope.

Guarded?  Yes.

A facade?  Absolutely.

So why?  Why did I fear the “me” of freedom and find myself wanting to run back into the arms of a crutch that came with a grim reaper knocking on my door at any given moment?

When I was living in the haze of an alcohol numbing existence I hated myself.

When i was living and breathing the life God had planned for me, I found myself…hating myself.

The core issue is….self-loathing.

But why?

To the average eye, I’m a successful author, loving mother, adoring wife and a smiley Christian who loves to serve and show up.  Peel away the layers and you’ll find a dark and much more grim picture.

 

I’m a fatherless daughter.  All because my dad had a better option.  I’m not  his “pick.”  

My mom and I have a very complicated relationship.  She is everything I’ve always wanted but something I’ve never had enough of.  

As much as I block out the pain of feeling like an adult version of an orphan when I look in the mirror I see both of their faces looking back at me saying,

“You aren’t good enough for us to love.  Therefore you are…unloveable.”  

The single greatest act of love I’ve ever experienced is being a mother to my six babies, four here on earth and two in heaven.  My heart bleeds for them, aches, grows, shines, and adores every breath they take.  So my question is if I feel such abandon for my own children how can my parents not feel that for me?

My conclusion is that I must not be good enough.

We give ourselves what we think we deserve.  If we “think” we deserve failure we will stuff that idea down our throats.  No matter the consequences or pain.  The result can be deafening to the ears and eyes of those that love the person who punishes themselves on a daily basis.

No one wants to turn to alcohol and drug abuse.  I know it is a bold statement and I may be wrong, but just as the over shopper wanders home with too many items or the over eater feels guilty after a meal went awry, or the gossiper said the wrong thing about someone they actually love, no one chooses a coping mechanism.  They cling to it.

I cling to a numbing fuel that propels me to pause and feel false comfort because in the darkness  I cannot bear to experience the feeling of unlove.

///Psalm 68:5///

Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.5A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation.

Yet in the darkness can I truly feel LOVE?  We all know the answer is no, but why do I have such a hard time embracing the reality that God wants me, just me, only me.  Not me plus some antidote that has false promises of a better version of me.

I’ll tell you why.  It’s because if my earthly parents don’t want me, don’t seek me. Love me unconditionally.  Therefore I hate the version of me that I feel they hate.  I disparage all the good long enough to allow the enemy in to tell me that I’m not worth the kingdom He has promised me.

Do they hate me?  No, of course not.  But do they fight for me?

No.  They do not.

Does God fight for me?

Absolutely.

Is He perfect?

Indeed.

Is He all I need?  Of course.

But am I weak at knowing such?  Of course.  

Am I disillusioned as to what to block out and what to take in?  Yes!  Hence the draw to not only numb the bad times but also the overwhelming good ones as well.

I’m on a very precious journey that takes time, faith, and a lot of acceptance to venture on.  I have to accept the flaws of my past, including my heritage yet embrace the lineage of my future, which as we all know is pure perfection.

I turn away from powers that beg me to come to them, to take the loaded gun and point it straight at my head and pull the trigger.  

I hold tight to the blood that took it all yet gave it all, and a promise that loves me unconditionally and wholly no matter what.

The Wish Flower

God’s beauty comes in so many forms we miss them every day. What if your ugliest of secrets could be used to be His most beautiful of testimonies? Join me in finding our inner wish flower!

 

Every now and then in life, a wish has the potential to manifest into reality.  Possibly, a plush garden that we are set free in and given free reign to grow and prosper.  But in all reality, nothing of the sort comes without a lot of hard work dedication and sacrifice.  A short time ago I clearly heard the voice of God telling me that He has extraordinary plans for me…perhaps a stunning garden of my own to dance and sing in if only I was ready….  

I saw a vision so magnificent chills prickled my skin to the point of ache.  My eyes filled with tears filtered through a colander crafted by Hope.  The kind of desire only God’s promises can bring, those created with the purest of gold.  The sun formulated shadows on the stunning Wisconsin landscape as I envisioned my dream turning into reality, for as we all know God doesn’t lie. Holding on to the peak that God had just given me, I imagined myself right where my Maker had told me I could be…

But under one very important condition, one that I wasn’t sure I could meet.

I had to give up my last vice, the one that had been plaguing me for the better part of my adult life.  My poison, my escape, my greatest lie yet what I oddly considered to be my very best friend.

God clearly told me “no more one foot in, one foot out!”  He declared that in order for me to fulfill the destiny He has laid out in front of me I had to stop blowing on the wish flower hoping my dreams would come true.  It was time for me to become the wish flower.

Early in springtime, our green grass is filled with bright yellow weeds we call dandelions. Most of us find them to be a hassle, an annoyance, and something that eventually turns into a feathery mess that only creates millions of more ugly weeds.

Each and every one of my four children in the innocence of childhood found such “ugliness” to be a flower that they could pick for me.  When my three boys were little they would run to me with a handful of the golden weeds, proudly handing me what they saw as a dozen yellow roses.  Of course, my eyes lit up and I kissed them harder than they liked.  I’d put those darn, hideous things in a cup of water and place them where all could see.  They were flowers from my sons after all.

Recently my youngest child, my one, and only daughter discovered the brilliant abundance of flowers everywhere her eyes could scan!  The same glory shone on her face as she picked as many as her small hands could hold to present to me.  I smiled and warmly held on to the memory of my older boys doing so as preschoolers and finding myself so blessed that I got to be the recipient of dozens and dozens of dandelions one last time.

As the weeds went to seed I taught my daughter to pick one, close your eyes tight, make a wish, then blow!  We had so much fun running in the meadows captivating our wishes and watching them fly in the wind.  A few days later my daughter and I were on a walk and she declared with her sweet angel voice:  “Mommy,  let’s pick the wish flower.”  As she tugged on my hand dragging me over to a dandelion that was resigned to nothing but a bunch of white seeds held on by a frail material that would scatter with the slightest of winds, she picked one for herself and then one for me.

“Blow, mommy, blow the wish flower.”

In sweet unison we sent the seeds out to pasture with all the breath we could muster. Fragments of the once robust weed were sent in every direction to cultivate the next season of the ugly weeds life.

I took great pause looking at a stinky old weed through the eyes of my children, and in that moment I realized how similar I am to that “flower”.

Often times I feel less than desirable and misplaced.  An annoyance that shouldn’t be adored as a “real” flower, but merely one that only looks like one from a distance.  

Standing there watching the tiny buds of future life fly in the sky destined for their landing place I realized that is how God uses us.  He takes our “yuk” our undesirable and unlovely things to plant the earth with His mercy, grace, and beauty for all to look on in awe.  I’ve discovered through struggle and past turmoil that our past where we no longer live, but where we can be used in tremendous ways.

Of course,  the catch twenty-two is we can’t live there anymore if we are destined to do the work God has in store for us.  We have to move past the comfortability that holds us back, whatever the last straw is, we have to break free and move into the light and testimony of the calling He has on our lives.

A few days later I did it!  I leaped into the arms of promise and purpose giving up my crutch and truly began living, soaring toward the woman God has in store for me.  I’m ready for Him to breathe new life into me and blow my seeds all over this world.  For every part of me, broken and beautiful is wonderfully and fearfully made and God has promised me that He will use it all for His glory.  

For as a daughter of God, I am His wish flower.