Sunday, November 25, 2007

broken down walls

He said, the Pastor had a message for you today.

The text was Judges 4, the story of Deborah. Impossible situation, but God had a plan. The people of God stepped out in faith and obedience and the Lord won the victory.

And the question then was, who is the enemy who is too big for you but not too big for God? Is God asking you to step out in obedience? Sometimes we stand and pray when God will move if only we would step out.

Where do I need to step out?

You know, I aways take these things too seriously. So I stood there and thought and thought and cried.

But I have no Deborah, telling me the specific word of the Lord in my life. My enemy is not in chariots. This message is not for me. I cannot even tell who the enemy is!!

I am standing naked in the chill. My walls are broken down. I hang my head afraid to lift it and look. Where is my enemy coming from? Who is my friend? Is the enemy inside of me? Like Job, I want to take the shards of the pot and scrape myself of my sin, anything to get the stain and stench off of me. But is it me?

Is it you?

No one is wearing signs and I cannot tell as I stand and shiver in my house of broken down walls. And even if I rebuild the walls, where are the boundaries? Who do I leave in? Who do I put out? How do I know?

I'm all out of faith, this is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You're a little late, I'm already torn

Beloved, tell me, let me lean back into You. Tell me who, show me the way, like the calm women's voice.

Left turn followed by a right turn.

I have gotten into a black hole again and do not even know the way out. Like I am underwater so far and so black I cannot tell up from down.

Recalculating route.

Tell me today, where to turn. Confirm Your voice with me. I am afraid and lost and cold.

Get me out of here, take me home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the stroller is outside

and so continues the saga of my battle with co-dependency.

My therapist suggested we both re-read Co-Dependent No More again together. Although neither of my parents were alcoholics or drug-users, I show many signs of the co-dependent personality as defined in this book. I read with interest the tendencies and issues of the co-dependent. But nothing is more telling than what happens day to day in my house.

For example, the stroller is outside. Since yesterday. I had been reminding her to bring it in, but today, as I see it damp and sitting in the rain at 10:30 pm, I realize that I am not helping. I so want to drag it into the house. Then it will dry and be safe. Or I want to remind her. Just my way of looking at the world.

Barbara Ruglio, Princess of Co-Dependent Kingdom.

Like the garbage at church, it started subtly. PJoe took out the garbage, and somehow, it became my job to remind him. Actually, we did it together every Wednesday after lunch as a kind of bonding experience only two dedicated church workers could understand, going through the building from top to bottom, collecting bags, replacing trash liners, dragging the big plastic trash containers to the curb. I would pay money actually, to do this with him again!

Then Joe went for his first liver transplant, Jeff had surgery on his wrist and somehow from a mistaken sense of wanting to help, I continued the chore on my own for way too long. I would point out that it was inappropriate for me to be needing to do this, but things would never change. No matter how many times I brought it up.

Finally, it occurred to me that even if the garbage stayed on the side of the church building for weeks, no one would really expect me to clean it up.

So I stopped. And that is exactly what happened. Several times it did pile up and no one asked me to clean it. And the people who did have to clean it, well, I guess it got them to remember to do it.

Last week, I looked and saw the garbage out on the curb and realized that I had forgotten even which day was garbage day. I'm healed! Yippeee! Until the next issue.

Now this may sound goofy to you. Actually, unless you think I work with meanies, no one ever asked me nor really expected me to take the garbage out. Only I did.

The same with the stroller. I love Gio but he is not my baby. It is not my stroller. If it gets wet or stolen, it is not my problem. No one asked for it to be my problem, and as long as I fix this for her, she will never remember to take it in. My daughter is not a meanie. Only a normal 19 year old girl with way too much responsibility for her slender shoulders. And as much as I want to help her, comfort her, console her, this is not the way.

The only way past this is a wet stroller.

Is there a Bible verse for this? If there is, please comment it back to me, I'd appreciate it!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Roll Away the Stone

Psalm 32

When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.

4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

He's forgiven me. I have confessed and although the temptations still dog me, He has forgiven me.

I need to believe that.

My sin, my troubles, are like a huge boulder, rolling towards me, threatening to crush me. It is too big for me, I cannot push it away. It is too fast. I cannot out run it.

But my Lord and my God is an awesome God. He is enormous, much larger than anything. He is more powerful, more merciful, more loving than I can even imagine.

So I crawl up onto His lap and leave my burden there. He will not forget it. He will not ignore it. I am not ignoring my responsibility here, I am acting in the most responsible manner because I am leaving it with the ONLY One who can manage it.

And as I roll the stone off my back, I feel such a relief. The stone, a huge boulder to me, is like a grain of sand to Him, my Mighty God and Savior.

So roll away the stone, onto Him.

6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
7 For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Come down from the roof

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her...

2 Samuel 11:2-3

Where are your rooftops? Beth Moore asks us in her devotional journal on David.

The siren's song of sweetness sings, but it is idols of romance and laughter--of pride and fame and fortune and adventure--it masks and cries over the joy, love, peace, security from Christ alone. He says---seek first the Kingdom.

Father, he is on the rooftop and he is summoning me. But You alone are King and I must not go. It might not be wrong of me to bathe on the rooftop--but just because he summons me--I need not go. Hold me, Beloved. Be my everything.

Later Beth says "Confessing wrong thoughts stops sin in the first stages, before it comes out of our mouths and then directs our actions...we are wise to aggressively confess our mediate on Him and His Word!"

And He says to me...

"No weekly therapy can replace daily bathing yourself in My Word and allowing Me to deeply love you. Present your sinful thoughts to Me. I love you. I already know them. I am not surprised or shocked, only saddened at your reluctance to lay them at My feet.

Come, My daughter, come. Let Me speak tenderly to you of My forgiveness and mercy, My provision and care, My great love for you. What more must I do to express it that you would believe? Turn and trust Me! I have given you everything."

I wrote it in my journal but needed to say it again. Maybe again and again to myself. I have been shaken because I have be negligent in my devotion to His Word each day. I am weary because I have not refreshed myself in Him.

Come, my Beloved. Help me down from the roof and hold me. Hold me. Be my Everything.