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For the zillionth time since our daughter died, another friend asked, “Aren’t you angry with God?”

My heart murmured, take a number and stand in line, but an automatic smile lifted the corners of my lips. I folded my hands and imagined angels singing over my grateful attitude to accept what God allowed. “How could I be angry?’ I answered. “My daughter knew Jesus. She’s with Him. No. I’m not angry with God.”

And for the better part of two years, I recited that platitude, never once questioning the legitimacy or origin of my attitude or wondering about the lump that seemed to swell each day in my heart, like a mound of sticky, rising yeast dough.

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‘Til that night!

That night when those secondary losses swept like a raging tornado and ripped apart the self-constructed shelter inside me. I stood gaping at the shattered glass on the floor and the tea dripping down the wall, horrified by the words that had exploded out of my mouth—YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS, BUT YOU DIDN’T!

And the glass dome shrouding the mound of anger inside me lay in fragments on the floor along with the shattered glass of tea. And I sobbed.

“I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart…for I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me” (Psalm 38:8, 17 NAS).

Lightning didn’t zing through the ceiling and fry me for admitting my anger with God—rather it was like the popping release and relief of a core from an angry boil.

I slumped to my knees, drained of the pent-up wrath, and cried for forgiveness for the sin my Lord and my God already knew I’d harbored—for two years.

Black and White Clouds

But, you know what? My anger didn’t change God’s love. Nor did my attitudes and those platitudes cause Him to be done with me. Though I attempted to conceal the rage in my heart, He knew—He knew all along. He knows my every thought, but I hadn’t been honest with Him or with myself. I sought to disguise, hide, and bury those thoughts.

But like a good Father, God didn’t leave me in my misery. Because, His love is greater than all my fears, pains, and yes, even my deep anger—at Him.

As I look back, I’m sure He sent those friends to ask me that aren’t you angry with God question to bring me to the point of acknowledging my festering fury, so He could comfort, help, and heal my soul. But I was determined to clutch onto every fragment of our daughter, thinking if I released the anguish she would be extinguished from my heart forever.

Grief always brings us to the crossroads where we must choose to accept what God ordains or allow ourselves to saddle our lives with bitterness. Oh, we don’t realize what’s happening when Satan slurs those if onlys or why murmurings. So, we store the pain like a treasured jewel in the depth of our hearts. Afraid if we turn lose we’ll loose our loved one forever. After all, pain is better than nothing, right? But when you knot your fists and try to hold on, rehearsing every memory, clinging to everything that bears their name, it’s going to hurt when God has to pry your fingers lose.

God numbers our days before we’re born. The hairs of our head are numbered by Him too. And we belong to Him—body, soul, and spirit. And we must learn to trust Him—even in the gut-wrenching pain and separation of death. And like in every other moment of life, we must come to the point of whispering goodbye.

Not long after that night I sat in the counselor’s office and she asked, “Have you told your daughter good-bye?”

The safety valve on my heart’s pressure gauge jiggled hard. “I’ve got to go!” I stood, but my legs couldn’t carry me out her office fast enough. I reached the car gasping, before the hurricane in my heart slammed me sideways. Tell her goodbye? This woman was supposed to help me, not inflict more pain. But the truth of the matter was, she’d hit the bulls-eye. I couldn’t accept truth.

Tell her goodbye? Tears choked in my throat. I don’t have to say—I’ll see her again!

But as I stood at the kitchen sink, struggling to get supper ready, staring out the window reliving happier times—His still small voice spoke. When Michelle came home from college, you always told her goodbye and waved as she backed out the driveway and returned to school, didn’t you? When you flew to visit her, you told her goodbye at the airport before you boarded the plane, didn’t you?

 By this time even I got the message. But she’s gone, Father. I can’t say … tears rushed out my eyes … go…goodbye! But in that moment, I knew I must. And then there was another great release in my heart as God’s comfort swirled in to fill the raw, empty cavern saying goodbye carved.

Was it painful? Oh my, yes. But God didn’t leave me to face this emotional upheaval alone. He carried me every step of the way…one moment, one day at a time…and He still does when I become overwhelmed during special days.

Crandall Sunset 2

But, do you know the great thing about finally saying goodbye? Knowing the next words we speak to each other will be shouts of joy and love, knowing we’ll never have to say goodbye again!

Do you find yourself shoved in the corner with seemingly no way out of this valley of the shadow of death? Look up and admit what God already knows. You’re angry—with Him. He stands with arms open wide to take your pain, soothe your broken heart, and welcome you home—because you’re His child and He loves you!

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NAS).

 

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GOOD MORNING MATTIE!

 

Good morning y’all and welcome to Moving the Ancient Boundaries. Today Mattie Colby of Gay Lewis’ Mattie’s Choice is joining us. Good morning Mattie, I’m sure my readers will enjoy learning a little bit about you before they read your story.  

Thank you for having me, Mrs. Gates, and as you said, my name is Mattie Colby. I grew up in a loving home. My father is English and my mother is Cherokee. My dad is a builder who patterned our home after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Most of Osage Country admires and envies it. My father acquired land in Oklahoma Territory during the land rush of 1893. He was too young to make the first one in 1889. My mother’s ancestors endured the Trail of Tears. I have a twin brother, Maury and three sisters. Maury and I are the first born. By intuition, we know what the other thinks and feels and he is my best friend. We were looking forward to graduating high school together, but I quit school and eloped with Jessie. Maury still grieves over my choice.

I’ve recently read a book about The Trail of Tears, so very sad. I too have Cherokee blood lines. Where do you live, and why do you choose to live there?

I was barely seventeen when Jesse Colby courted me and convinced me to elope. We live in rural Oklahoma, about fifty miles from Tulsa. Jesse’s family came from Kentucky. His brother tried to convince him to move us to Galveston, Texas, but Jesse decided we’d stay in Oklahoma. I loved Jesse so much, I would a followed him anywhere.

Will you share a quirk of your personality that people don’t know?

I’m smarter than most people realize. Well, Maury knows, but he’s the only one.

What obstacles did you overcome in order to reach your happily-ever-after?

Oh heavens to Betsy! I let Jesse rule my thoughts and actions. He became controlling and violent. I didn’t discover his temper until after we married. My sister-in-law and best friend, Ella, tried to convince me I was wrong to live with abuse, but I didn’t listen.  I was addicted to Jesse’s manipulation.

Yes, I know. When we’re in love we tend to overlook what we don’t want to see. But what characteristics attracted you to Jesse?

The first time I ever saw Jesse, I thought him handsome. And smart? Oh my! He can work wonders with a Tin Lizzy. He’s eight years older than me, but I knew he was a good provider. He’d already accomplished so much when we met.

How long had you known him?

Not long enough. We courted about six months before we married. Jesse tells me he fell in love with me on first sight. But silly me, stupid pride and jealousy got in my way. When he told me, he’d court a friend of mine if I didn’t marry him, I eloped with him. Looking back now, I should have waited till I was older. I should have gotten better acquainted with him. I’ve finally realized I let him bully me into marriage.

Oh, my dear, how did you make it through those years of turmoil and daily fear?

My faith. I prayed constantly. Divorce was rare in my day, and the church frowned upon it. God gave me the strength to do what I had to do.

Did you ever decide to stop Jesse and his tirades?

Yes, but it took me too long to make that choice.

Do you mind if we share just a short blurb from the book, Mattie?

Oh, please do. I look forward to others reading my story and hope they will learn quicker’n I did.

Jesse closed the short distance between them and bent to her eye level. Mattie’s knees grew weak as he trapped her against the cupboard. Her heart raced with the speed of a cheetah. If only she could step aside, but she found no place to move in the little kitchen.

“No more, you understand? You will not see or speak to that brother of yours again. I don’t like him, and he doesn’t like me.”

What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

Life and limb come first. Protect yourself and children. Don’t live in fear and danger. I hope there are women out there who will help women like me. We need more shelters. We need laws to protect us against partners who abuse us.

Mattie, you’re one brave and blessed lady. I hope my readers will tell their friends about the lessons you’ve shared, friends who may be following that long hard road behind you.

Mrs. Gates, thanks for letting me talk to you and tell you my story. I hope you’ll help me get the word out. I don’t want others to ever go through what I did. Tell young women to learn as much as they can about a man before they marry.

How can they do that, Mattie? Oh, what’s that?

The list I wished I’d had, but now they do. Three key imperatives—Investigate. Observe. Analyze.

Talk to your intended. Discuss how you will rear children. Ask and wait for answers about their faith and their church. Will you two have a budget? Who will pay the bills? And pay attention to the likes and dislikes of your family and friends. Do they like the man? Learn before you leap.

It has been so insightful talking with you today, Mattie. I am anxious to begin your story tonight. And dear readers, you can order your copy of Mattie’s story on Amazon.com. And remember Christmas is coming…order a couple for friends’ Christmas gifts.

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BUT WAIT… Gay Lewis has a gift for one blessed reader today…leave a comment here and Thursday, September 21st, we will draw to see who wins the ebook of MATTIE’S CHOICE!

So stay tuned to see if that reader is you!

—READER ALERT

Here are some fast facts you might want to consider about domestic violence…You probably know at least one woman who is being or has been abused. And we are responsible to teach our daughters what to look for and how to help them!

Fast Facts on Domestic Violence

http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. (“Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report,” Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)
  • There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters. (Schneider, 1990).
  • Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers. (“Women and Violence,” Hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pt. 1, p. 12.)
  •  One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1991).
  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

 

Gay Lewis head shot

 

A native Texan, Gay’s written and produced videos and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field. As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. She also writes articles for Texas Hill Country.  Gay is a published author for Pelican Book Group in romance and fantasy fiction. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles. Her latest books, Mattie’s Choice, and Clue into Kindness are not fantasy and romance. These books are women’s fiction. The stories are about abusive men and women who are addicted to an unhealthy relationship.

 

The books are available in print, eBook, and audio.

For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/

Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog.

http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/gaynlewis
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.

Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand

 

 

 

REMEMBERING AND THANKFUL!

 

 

A praise and glory to our Sovereign God and our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of our tearful remembering.

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On the morning of September 11, 2001, I lived in Army housing at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, taking care of my two grandchildren…one a year old, the other five, and my son-in-law. Our daughter…their  mother…SIL’s wife, had suddenly passed away in February of that year.

While getting the five-year-old ready for kindergarten, I remember my son-in-law shouting “get to the living room…NOW!” I remember seeing the burning building, then the second plane crashed, and the third…and the horror continued! The cries. And like you, my heart filled with fear. Fear for all the men and women surrounding me that I knew would be called into action. Fear for their children…for my children…both son and son-in-law were military…and fear for our nation.

But God always has a purpose and a plan. And we watched our nation humbled and her people filling churches and turning back to God–for a brief time.

I began meeting with the Pioneer Women of the Chapel…a wonderful, group of Christian military wives who for long years have met to study God’s Word. And over the course of that year God taught me so many life lessons it will take a book to recount.

I remember sitting in the middle of my bed one night during that time, doing my Precept homework and feeling sorry for myself, and frightened for my children and grandchildren, when I read:

 “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5)

Sitting  in the comfort of a warm room, with my grandchildren sleeping safely in the next room, on a military post in Kansas, surrounded by patriot soldiers, and protected by the Sovereign God of the whole universe, I heard Him speak loud and clear through His Word. “Fear not!”

I repented and chose that day to keep my focus on my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to stand with courage…never to cower in fear again.

Coming Storm 2

And I pass that message on to each one of you reading this post today. God is and always will be on the Throne… ”Fear Not!”

Prophecy Snobs

Those of you keep a focus on the Word of God, the nations, and the skies will appreciate this blog by my friend and writer, Ernie Carrasco.

Ernie's Musings

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3:3-4)

I admit it! I am expecting and am excited about the possibility of my Lord’s return in the very near future. I have written, on and off, about this in the past, but more often here lately.[1] Let me be clear; I DO NOT KNOW when Christ is coming back, and neither does anyone else. Anyone who even suggests that he or she knows the date of Christ’s return, should be viewed with a good measure of skepticism, but perhaps not altogether rejected. I believe that if it “sounds” plausible, according to Scripture, then I will watch and see…

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Another riveting read…a must read for all who wonder “what in the world’s going on?”

Ernie's Musings

Here’s something to think about. Could the hurricanes hitting the USA be the result of the USA pressuring Israel on a two-state solution?

Source: CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD: BULLS-EYE ON AMERICA

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Open or Nope…that is the question! And one we should all answer…by my friend and author, Julie Cosgrove.

Where Did You Find God Today?

If you have been following my blog for very long, you know I love words. Today, God brought a thought to my mind as I pondered the letter tiles P-O-E in a game I play with friends. The only space I could place them was off an “N”.

I could play

OPEN 

or

NOPE.*

It all depends on where I place the N.

One reveals possibilities, the other shuts them down.

It all depends on where I place the N.

What is your “N”?  When faced with a challenge do you react with positive anticipation, or do you immediately turn to the negative?

Are you open to looking at things from a new angle, perhaps God’s way instead of your own, or do you sit down and shut down? “No way, can’t be done, nope.”

Are your arms stretched out in a “show me, Lord” gesture, or crossed over…

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Is the Bible Allegory?

Definitely a must read for those of you contemplating if God’s Word is truth or not.

Ernie's Musings

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

A young woman wrote me and claimed that God told her that the Bible is allegory. She claimed that people misinterpret the Bible when they take it literally. “The Lord” told her that the creation account recorded in Genesis represents later events in the Bible. I suppose, if she received a word from God, then it must be true. However, is she right, and did she really receive this instruction from God?

Volumes have been written and reams of paper spent defending the inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy of the Bible. The problem of misinterpretation comes when people think they know what the Bible says, without really knowing what it says. The Bible is very clear and easily understood on its own without any kind of special interpretation. The problem is that people…

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