In Him 2

In the previous blog post, I wrote about the challenges that I face in trying to love people after being disappointed or wounded. Outside of Him, it will never happen. In Him, it is difficult but not impossible. If I became a Christian, I took Him on. I decided we live in tandem. He dwells in me. This is the only way I can still love after being hurt when my human inclination is to give up. These were the verses from In Him Part 1:

“the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ro. 8:39

“it is Christ who lives in me.” Gal 2:20

“… if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8 :11

“do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” 2 Cor 13:5

So, I can’t say that I am incapable of loving and living like this. I just need to remain In Him even when every bit of my heart is resisting. Other people’s sin creates a darkness that is super hard to see through, but In Him:

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Jn 1:3-4

If I don’t stay In Him, my own sin becomes an issue but He never destined for me to lose my connection with Him. He picked me to be with him and to live as a free, sinless, uncondemned daughter:

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love…” Eph 1:4

Yet, it is up to me:

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you,” Jesus said (John 15:4)

“If Jesus must tell us to remain in him, then he seems to be assuming that it is quite possible not to remain in him. The common life is, in fact, a life lived separate from him. And that is a dangerous place to live. We cannot enjoy the fellowship of God, or his protection, or all the benefits of his kingdom unless we remain in him—that is, live in him—in our day-to-day lives. Vine and branches, Shepherd and sheep. Stay close. Stay with me, Jesus is saying. An old saint said to me years ago that the devil doesn’t so much care what particular thing he gets us to fall prey to. His primary aim is simply to get us to do something outside of Christ, for then we are vulnerable.” (from Ransomed Heart Ministries www.ransomedheart.com)

I am probably about the hardest headed and sometimes most hard-hearted person that He has to deal with at times. Still, I do believe that Love can live even in hurt and I believe that Love can exist even when trust is gone. I am not saying that truth can’t be spoken. In John 18, Jesus is on trial. He is asked a question and He answered. The response He gave resulted in an undeserved slap. Jesus challenged the official that did it.

“If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” vs. 23

He didn’t condemn or retaliate. But he did speak the truth in love about sin. That is the beauty of Jesus. He is honest but continues to love and it is that powerful Love that I harness when my own heart falters or altogether stops loving. So, things change after hurt, and Love takes on a different look. Not so much me, instead, it now resembles Him. I realize then, that I can still pray, serve, speak, hope for anyone in Love no matter what, but it is only possible In Him.

Love Always (even when it’s hard) ❤❤❤

 

https://youtu.be/jVAxCFeFFcA

 

 

 

In Him

 

When I used to think of my heart, it just never seemed, to me, that is was profoundly emotional. Comparitively, certain others seemed more willing to give theirs away and I am not like that. I think, though, I confused openness and trust with depth of feeling. Before Him, I strictly limited my heart’s capability. I super hesitated to risk it’s fragility.  When He came to love me and rescue me, I responded with the level of trust I had at the time. I believed Him but I was cautious too. I never knew that as He inhabited my being, my heart would transform to be what it has become today. My heart is the essence of me, but it is His essence too. He has folded me into Him and because of Him, I can live and love at full capacity. His Love is in me, as Jesus.

“the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ro. 8:39

“it is Christ who lives in me.” Gal 2:20

This is what I didn’t understand, but now I do. His Spirit is me too.

“… if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8 :11

“do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” 2 Cor 13:5

Even though, this is all true, I get to hold the reins. I wish I could say I yield to Him always, but I’m sometimes still afraid. I have seen huge changes though.  I mean I have handed my heart over pretty significantly in the last few years but even more so in the last few months.  He convinced me to loosen the death grip on trust. So, I did, slowly. Very slowly, but still. It’s given me beautiful experiences. I’ve been able to feel the kind of care, concern, compassion (Love)that I wouldn’t have imagined could grow in me before Him. If He wasn’t so devoted to my heart,  I would have missed out on true life.  That is what those experiences were and are, real life. He is Life and He is Love. So this is how I exist.  I am only truly alive in Him.  I want so much to hold on to this loving and living.  But I haven’t been able to override the fear completely because loving also introduced suffering.  Not from Him but from loving flawed people.  People just like me. I gave over my heart and it fell. So, it sustained breaks. Maybe it was dropped, maybe, I handed it over conditionally? I need to think about it. What is sure, is that I really did believe and that is why I took the chance.  I don’t know if in those cases, I regret it. I kind of do, but then I think that Love is never a mistake. It can’t be. All I have to do is look at His rate of return. He has  given His Love to all created beings from the beginning until now and the response has been notoriously low.  But, He hasn’t reneged or regretted. It’d be like He regretted who He is.

“God is Love.” 1John 4:8

I am praying to be like Him because I know that loving is true and right and that it is essential to life. It is Life. In fact, I wouldn’t have been living if I would have missed out on or rejected those opportunities. I am a blessed woman who had the chance to love like Him. Everything that I am is found through Him.  I’m convinced that it is only in Him that I live (love) and move and have my being.

No matter what,  Love Always. ???

 

 

Truth In Love

Truth in Love. It is something that I believe in with every part of my heart. In the past, I have written about Truth and Love. How essential it is for Truth to accompany Love Always. It has to in order for Love to truly be Love since Love is from God and He is not a liar. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1John 4:8 “God is not a man, that He should lie…” Numbers 23:19 When Truth is absent, Love fails. It’s true for any kind of Love but almost everyone can acutely identify with Romantic Love. -You know how it begins. You are intrigued and you want to know more. As time progresses, you begin to really enjoy who they are and the substance of their being. The attraction is complex and deepens as their thoughts and ambitions, dreams and hopes become more fascinating. You find great joy in their humor. You appreciate all of the nuances of their personality. When you think of them, they are present in your spirit and you desire to spend as much time with them as possible because it is never enough. And as your souls explore each other, you fall in love and you innately give your heart. You do it fully and in total trust. It seems the most natural and beautiful thing because you know how singular and remarkable they are. To you, they are priceless and so you desire to hand yourself over entirely. – If Truth and Love are present, then this Romance becomes a lifelong gift. But if it isn’t, Love can’t last. Love has to be sincere. “Love must be sincere.” Romans 12:9 If Truth is missing, then falsehood, deceit, and lies are in it’s place and nothing can drain the life out of Romantic Love faster. Since Truth is not present, Love weakens and if Truth never returns, Romantic Love dies. When it does, the heart mourns just as it does for any close death- I know not everyone has a capability for Romantic Love or experienced this but I bet that many have.

Yet, there is another type of Love that everyone, without exception, has capacity for and that is Self-Love. Self-Love almost seems anti-Christian. Yet, it is completely biblical since it is the standard by which we measure how we love others.  “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 So, the more I thought about this, I wondered how it would be if we looked at ourselves the way we do a romantic partner. Some elements can’t apply like the attraction and intrigue. But look at all the others that do:

Enjoyment of my substance

Belief that my thoughts, ambitions, dreams and hopes are fascinating

Joyful in my humor

Appreciation of my personality

An understanding of my uniqueness and immeasurable worth

What if I recognized these things and Loved myself? I can, but not without Truth. This means that I have to eradicate all of the lies that bombard me, both the internal and external ones. Think about all the lies that we are subject to over the course of our lives. Lies that say:

You are not good enough

You are not as ________ as ___________

You need a partner to be whole

You do not reflect the world’s standard for ____________

You have no talent

You are not loved

No one needs you

You are past the point of recovery

You will never change

You are common

The chances are I would not say these things to another person because that would be hateful and untrue and incredibly unloving. But if I believe these lies about myself, that is exactly what I am saying to myself. How can I then love another as myself? I can’t because there is no love there. If my heart and mind continue to accept lies about myself, Self-Love will diminish and eventually die. If it dies, I experience sorrow over the loss like in Romantic Love or more commonly, I might begin to hate myself. Truth, though, can bring the Love back. Not self-centered, self-consumed, self-focused, selfish Self-Love. Instead, Truth brings an honest, candid and real understanding of who we are rooted in the Agape Love that God has for us. That is where it all starts. He made us invaluable because of His Love. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 He made worthless Me into a woman of incalculable worth. In order to know how to love another, I have to look at myself from His Truthful perspective. If I do this, I can then love myself as He does and this newfound Self-Love becomes the Love standard that I am to strive for in loving others. Truth in Love is crucial in order to grow and progress in all areas of Love because as a follower of Christ, we want to bring them all under the umbrella of Agape Love. From Wikipedia:

“The Christian usage of the term agape comes almost directly from the canonical Gospels‘ accounts of the teachings of Jesus. When asked what was the great commandment, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love (agapēseis)  the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love (agapēseis) thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

I think that loving myself is another way of giving Agape Love to God so that in turn, Agape Love for others will manifest itself in Me.

 

God bless and Love Always

—I’m not saying that I totally have this down.  That’s why yesterday I wrote on Instagram about lies that I allowed to hold me captive because I so much wanted them to be true. But, I’m getting there.  : )

Image courtesy of Southeast Christian Church

 

 

Te Consolaré

 

Tristezas de la luna

 

Esta noche la luna sueña con más pereza,

Cual si fuera una bella hundida entre cojines

Que acaricia con mano discreta y ligerísima,

Antes de adormecerse, el contorno del seno.

 

Sobre el dorso de seda de deslizantes nubes,

Moribunda, se entrega a prolongados éxtasis,

Y pasea su mirada sobre visiones blancas,

Que ascienden al azul igual que floraciones.

 

Cuando sobre este globo, con languidez ociosa,

Ella deja rodar una furtiva lágrima,

Un piadoso poeta, enemigo del sueño,

 

De su mano en el hueco, coge la fría gota

como un fragmento de ópalo de irisados reflejos.

Y la guarda en su pecho, lejos del sol voraz.

 

Autor: Charles Baudelaire

 

 

Fulfillment

Every soul pursues fulfullment spiritual or otherwise. We spend our time here striving to meet that desire; each of us driven by what is the most compelling to us. The number of  ways that we seek to achieve completion is almost limitless. I think in the effort to find fulfillment, we chase multiple things. I guess, in a way, we are hedging our bets because experience reveals that just one isn’t enough. This is true for unspiritual pursuits.  I’ve proven it and so has everyone who has wasted so much effort running after temporary fulfillment.  You come up short so you have to decide to either keep trying to get full drinking from an empty glass, or start looking for another way to be filled.  I lived like this before I knew Christ. I am guilty of living this way at times, even now.  In thinking about this, I remembered the concept that I’ve heard taught regarding the void in each of us that can only be filled by Him. But I do not believe that it is a void as much as it is a connection to another being or beings that we seek. Fame, money, power, popularity, influence, followers, romance, acceptance, charm, etc, are ways to connect in some form to others.  When connection fails, we keep trying or seek some other option to alleviate the pain. That is why sometimes food, alcohol, drugs, physical satisfaction, etc are secondary or companion pursuits. I believe most souls want to link with others.  For a Christian, the Perfect Fulfillment is Christ.  My Jesus.  But I can’t see, hear, touch Him in the way my earthly self is accustomed to connecting. We are only together when it is spirit to Spirit. When I am fully with Him, I don’t need anything else. Yet, disconnection is possible even when I  have experienced His total Love. It’s the human part of me. That is not to say human fulfillment is bad.  Motherhood, friendship, romantic love, service, ministry are good. But not as replacements for Him. I am susceptible when I separate from Him because I’m leaning more into my human side. My soul misses Him when I lean there.

Lord, I want to want You, 100%. That is what my soul needs; You.  It’s the human me that separates from You and starts pursuing another form of fulfillment.  Lord, there is not one thing that You created, that is better than You. When we are totally one, I understand this and I see the futility of seeking fulfillment in things but especially in humans. They are just like me. Incomplete, without You.  Even if I receive love, affirmation, attention, confirmation, it is never enough. They will feel the same, and will seek fulfillment in someone or something else. It’s inevitable.

Help me Lord, to let go forever of everything that causes me to disengage from You.  Jesus, You are so beautiful and satisfying in your Love.  We’ve been fully together in recent months, and then I intermittently separate.   Away from You, nothing is the same and I cannot fulfill my soul or my purpose. You never move.  We are the ones who are drawn away. You, though, know this and will give us what we need to stay in You.  I expect it because I know You.   You never replace me even if I disconnect.  Lord, all of You is mine even while it is with all other connected souls.  So, I will pursue it with every part of me, but I need you to help me.  I need You to save me from anything that can pull me away.  I don’t want to give my soul to anything or anyone more than to You. You are so forgiving and faithful and Your LOVE is absolutely enough. ??????

God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19

For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Psalm 107:9

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs. Isaiah 58:11

“Seeking satisfaction in Christ alone serves two purposes: It is for our good and for the glory of God. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” As we drink daily from the cup of Jesus, it becomes evident to those we interact with that Jesus is enough and our hearts will “flow rivers of living water” John 7:38.” (From desiringgod.org)

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Love Always ❤❤❤ (You)

 

Withdrawal

He has given me a road to travel on and together we go forward. I wish I knew more about the trip and the details of what will happen before we get to the end. I especially want this when the way is harder than I anticipated. If my faith is strong, I am step in step with Him. Then there are the days I just want to go off by myself on a more secluded path and escape for a while. I could if I wanted to. He isn’t going to coerce me into remaining on the main road. But I already know that as appealing as it seems from this vantage point, if I do this, I am going to face more hardship trying to avoid hardship and I will face it alone. I’ve done it before, so I can’t pretend that I don’t know how it turns out. It’s just that it looks good at times. This mindset, though, isn’t like Jesus’ when He went off to lonely places.

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16

It was lonely, but He wasn’t alone. Early this morning I realized that this is what I wanted; a purposeful withdrawal from my own perspective and sight in order to allow Him the occupation of my heart. I can do this without leaving the road. There are spots where no one is around and He and I can be together even closer than when we are walking. I have had some moments where I am so deep into Him, that I can see His Spirit in my mind’s eye. I can’t describe it as a visual appearance, and yet it is. When He and I are connected like this, I cannot hold another thought or see anything else. It is like a profound fall into Him and I can allow my spirit to be absorbed by Him. I think it was always meant to be this way. He and I merged as soon as I accepted His offer and was reborn. Our communication is spirit to Spirit.

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”  Isaiah 65:24

Experiencing that melding isn’t meant to be an anomaly in our relationship. We are closer than I have ever acknowledged. It is His Desire that we stay that way.

“…that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”  John 17:21

I’m certain that my soul instinctively understands that Oneness. Withdrawal can be a deterrent or the key to Oneness. It depends on what I withdraw from. I’ve been eyeing that little solitary path, but instead, I am going to pull away from myself and draw closer to Him.

Love Always

—-

I was hiking and I saw this path off in the distance.  It made me think about where my thoughts have been.  I didn’t have the freedom to check it out because the park service set up a perimeter of light almost symbolic fences to protect the area. You can trespass easily, but most people don’t.   Maybe, that’s what He has been doing in my life but the protection is really for me.

You and Me

Everything always comes back to Him since He is the underpinning of life. It is where I inevitably end up, after wandering for a while spiritually.  One of the best things about Him is that He watches me as I’m diverted and He doesn’t leave His spot.  He stays true. But even more unbelievable, is the effort He puts into reeling me back in.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14

I am a woman who recognizes His Romance, but when my spirit is distant, it fails to appreciate it. He, though, does not have any reservations about expressing how He feels about me:

“The LORD appeared to (me) in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

How can I not “get” how devoted He is to me?  When I reflected on this, I had to admit that it always stems from misperception. My spiritual comprehension is distorted because I am perceiving life from the wrong angle.  I’m looking at it with finite vision and His version of my life is infinite. This last time I wandered off, it was triggered by a desire to have certainty and confirmation here on earth.  Yet, He isn’t of the earth. He wants to keep me close and He needs me to stick with Him even when it is hard.  I’ll never remain with Him if I keep looking to this world to give me what I can only receive from Him. He draws my heart back with His Words:

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34

He knows what I need to hear. He has me constantly in His thoughts. If I set mine on Him, He coaxes me back to Him.

“I will give them a heart to know me, for I am the LORD; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:7

He has every intention of completing His Love in me.  I won’t experience it and be fulfilled by it ,though, if I stray.

Please keep me constant, Lord. Don’t ever stop calling me back. I can’t promise that I will be constant all the time. You know how I am. You can give me the heart to want to and that is what I’m asking You to do. I don’t want to hurt You and I know it must when I intermittently abandon us.  I will never get through this life without you and in the core of my heart I know this.  All of what I have chased outside of you has been worthless.  When I return, our reunion is so sweet.  That’s when it is so obvious that it should always be You & Me.

Love Always ♥?????❤?

 

 

Storms Don’t Last Forever

The storm comes and I cannot stop it, control it, avoid it or redirect it. My only option is to find refuge. I seek shelter in the safest place and I find it in His Heart. He has shown me His Heart and His intention for me in His Words which are greater and more powerful than any storm. He tells me that nothing in my life is greater than His Love.

“We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. God is love. When we take up permanent residence in … love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us… There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear.” 1John 4:16-17

Fear does not own me. But He is also saying to me that I will only survive if I gamble it all on Him.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27.

I am not going to hesitate or find another way to obtain protection or safety. “I will hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest.” PS 55:8  I really have bet my life on Him. He will come through for me and I will not just barely outlive the storm. I will see His Sovereign Love prevail and convert the Storm into a place of Praise.

“I will love You, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;  My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;… I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;  Psalm 18:1-3

One day, in faithfullness, I will see the end of all storms.

Love Always♥♥♥

https://youtu.be/PO-2pZ8va1g

 

Beauty & Pain

Beauty and pain. To me, this photo expresses it so perfectly. It’s always both in life. It seems like one is greater than the other at times, but neither one is ever totally absent. Obviously, it’s only a challenge when pain appears to outweigh beauty. If I concentrate on the hurricane, I’ll lose sight of the beach. My life is like this picture. I have a series of storms raging but that beautiful shoreline is still intact. The place where He is and where I gain peace and stability. If I forget or if it’s no longer visible, I will get lost in those storms. He never wants that happen. All I need to do is call.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.He stilled the storm to a whisper;the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” PS 107:28-30

Sometimes when they’re back to back, it seems like I’m calling non stop. It’s what He wants, to hear in my voice my trust in Him and His Love. I cannot understand why He has me so deep in His Heart that He is always aware of me and ready to listen before I ever turn to Him. When I seriously think about how He feels toward me, it’s hard to believe He actually loves me this much. This is why pain is never without beauty. He is the beauty.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; Isaiah 33:17.

It doesn’t matter where I am, His beauty is on display and available for me to see.  I see it in His Forgiveness, Concern, Devotion, Provision, Protection. Currently, I cannot avoid the pain altogether, but He doesn’t allow it to exist without accompanying it with His Beauty. I wish I could just have the beauty. But I can’t since I live in an imperfect world. But one day, I will be Home and then I will only experience His Beauty forever.

“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” PSALM 27:4-5.    ss

LOVE ALWAYS ???

————

Right now, in my part of the world, it’s a perfectly sunny, hot day under a beautiful blue sky. Looking at it, my perspective gains peace. It’s nice not to have to wear a jacket or drive in the snow. It makes me want to go get ice cream. But truthfully, I’m not miraculously resolved in these life issues that affect close family and friends, yet, I’m also not drowning in fear and worry. I started to, on Wednesday and also early Thursday. I let Him know and He heard me, and the voices of my friends and heartmates. I feel certain that He is going to take care of all these situations. Even though, I am still concerned, I am putting these concerns and the people involved at His Feet. In doing so, I am enjoying this day and the beauty of Him in it.

May Day

My fears range from silly to serious:

Fear of losing love

Fear of heights

Fear of making a mistake

Fear of being vulnerable

Fear of spiders

Fear of misplacing my trust

Fear of being betrayed

Fear of wasting my time

Fear of harm

Fear of people

Fear of squandered love

Too many more to list.

This morning I’ve already confronted 6 of those fears. My quality of life and love diminishes when fear dominates. So, f*%$@ fear. I do not care what form it appears in today. It can show up in the actions/inaction of others, words I hear or read, or memories of things past. It won’t matter because I am not a slave to fear. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15 The way He has loved me and loves me, is infinitely greater than the fear that is attempting to shroud my heart. I have to be entrenched in that truth. When I let fear rule, I get irrational, I question everything, I try to take over and sometimes I eat too many Reese’s peanut butter cups. (this week) The thing is, I can’t misuse my life on any of that. I believe what He told me regarding my purpose. It is significant and it is sanctioned by Him. I am not idealistic. I know it will be a battle the rest of today. There is a part of me that wants to give legitimacy to the fear. It seems justifiable especially if it has to do with people. Still, I’m not going to let it poison what I know about Him and His Love for me. He already told me:

“Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

I am going to take joy in this day. I’m moving forward in the direction He’s given me for this ministry. I am enjoying that it’s sunny outside even if it is cold. The snow on the ground is melting and I’m going to out for a while today. Oh, and it’s May Day but not 3 times since He already rescued Me.

Love Always