Posts tagged #healing

questions

i don't have many words today. yesterday was one of the hardest days i've experienced in quite awhile. and as i was drifting off into sleep, i realized much of what used to bring me hope now just leaves me skeptical. i posted the question on twitter: how do i fix this? how do i allow myself to hope & dream & believe when it seems every time i do my heart ends up in the corner, hiding?

the response surprised me.

i thought i was alone. turns out there's many of you struggling with the whats and hows.

i'm processing through some thoughts, and i'll be writing about them. but this video, sent to me by a friend, spoke to my anxious heart. hope it brings a little peace to your morning.

http://vimeo.com/5378334

what are some of your questions?

complete.

5:15 came early this morning. I did my daily routines: brushing, yawning, coughing, sneezing, changing, yawning, drinking, reading, writing...

I missed something, though.

Unable to place my finger on it, I wrote longer than normal in my prayer journal - begging God for guidance and wisdom. Just move in me - through me - I wrote. Finally, realizing my words came incredibly short to what I felt - I gathered my things, kissed Russ goodbye, and walked out the door.

And then it hit me: I felt lonely.

Which seems a bit selfish. I prayed this morning for God to move - and He has. This past month I've witnessed incredible reminders of His mercy and goodness and grace. He's reminded me consistently of His provision.

But I wanted more.

Some of my favorite verses in the Bible speak of God's thunder. Whenever I read these verses my heart takes notice. Something inside me retreats and bows in submission. Yes. This. I want His thunder. It's almost a craving, a need to fill an ache. And if I'm not careful, I'll take this craving and put it on others.

So this morning when the feeling of loneliness crept up and grabbed me by the throat, I literally stopped and closed my eyes. Please God - please. Show me. Breathe through me. MOVE through me. I didn't want this - I didn't want the feelings of inadequacy paralyzing me - that's a dangerous game I don't like to play. I waited until the feeling subsided and then continued walking to my car.

And then the wind starting blowing. I could hear it coming before I felt it. The whoosh of leaves rustling against the power of this invisible force. When it hit me - my whole body shook. And then, just as soon as the internal quake began it stopped and an incredible peace washed over me. It took everything to not fall to my knees right there in the middle of the parking lot. The wind was powerful, yes. But its power isn't what was bringing me to tears - it was His voice.

Do you see? He said. The wind, like Me, is invisible. But it envelops you. Shakes you. Moves you.You can never deny its existence - or its worth. Listen. My song plays through the percussion of the trees and the howl of the wind.

I'm with you.

I'M with you.

I'm WITH you.

I'm with YOU.

I smiled. I asked God to move - and He did. I asked God to breathe through me - and He did. I asked God to help me battle loneliness - and He did.

He did all these things - and not because I asked. He did them because He loves me. Through His love, I am made complete.

No one has ever seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us - perfect love! 1 John 1:12

Posted on May 7, 2010 .

prone to wander

when i was younger, my family had a pool. it wasn't fancy - one of those above ground barely over four feet deep kinda pools. but some of my sweetest memories of my father are in that pool. every weekend we spent swimming together as a family - my mom perched on a float, her legs dangling over the edge of the pool, her middle swollen with child and her arms blocking the sun from her face. my sister and i swimming laps and racing and jumping and splashing - sometimes we felt more comfortable under water than above.

but my favorite thing - the thing that would make my heart jump and squeal - would be standing on the edge of the fuzzy deck, waiting for my dad to give me the signal. i'd close my eyes, count to ten, and ignoring the rush of butterflies let loose in my stomach, i'd jump.

i'd jump because i know he was there.

but wait. there's something important here. let me see if i can paint this picture accurately for you because i don't want you to miss it. there's me - on the deck - knees knocking together with excitement and quiet giggles escaping my mouth. there's my father - hands stretched out towards me - beckoning me to trust and take the leap. he never once told me he'd catch me, and most times i'd end up touching the bottom of the pool before resurfacing - but i always ended up in his arms. he always reached down and grabbed me from the water, lifting me above his head and pulling me close to his chest. always.

and this was my favorite part.

is it any wonder i have a hard time taking leaps of faith now? is it any wonder, in my own limits of who God is and what he can do through me, i cling to safety and protection and comfort?

i remember the thrill of the leap. i remember the rush of crashing into the water only to have my daddy rescue me - pulling me to safety in his arms. i remember laughing while sputtering and clearing the hair from my eyes, begging for him to do it again. i would anxiously await my turn for another chance to jump in feet first.

i don't know if i can say that about me now. i know i too often look the other way. i know too often i find the stairs and walk in the water that way - slowly, gingerly, preparing my body for the cold in a way that breeds comfort.  sometimes  i just stick my feet in, barely getting them wet, and then move on my way - too distracted and busy to really get deep.

i think He's calling. i can hear Him in the distance - crying out for me to trust Him - reminding me He is always there. even if i don't have floaties to keep my head above water, He will always pull me to safety.

The safety of His arms.

__________________________________

Are you needing to jump in deep with me? May we never be too comfortable to jump to our Father's arms.

Posted on April 12, 2010 .

the inner you

i am so excited to introduce you guys to my friend kelly. i met her on twitter - and there's never a moment where i don't feel encouraged because of her words and authenticity. her story? incredible. her struggle with self-image? parallel to my own. i encourage you to get to know her. go check out her blog. look her up on i-tunes. i promise you won't be disappointed.

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It’s Tuesday, March 2, 2010.  I am 33 years old, 5 foot 4 inches tall and I weigh 210 lbs.  I know this because I had to go to the doctor last Monday, and the nurse announced after writing “210, obese” on my chart “wow, you really hide your weight well.”  My first thought was to punch her.  My second thought was “really? Because I feel like my weight is an announcement to the world that I am a mess.”

This past Sunday, we had family drama, and my 7-year-old son walked in the room and laid cookies on the table in front of me.  Even at his age, he knows I eat when I’m upset.

I have been “overweight” since I was a child. I was put on my first diet at 11 years old. When I started driving, I would go through fast food restaurants, binge the whole way home and throw up when I got there. My Dad was a boxer, owned a gym, and hired a trainer to try to help me when I was 15 years old.

Last time I was at my parents’ house, I found a pair of pants I wore to a dance in 11th grade. I remember crying that night because the boys made fun of how fat I was. I looked at the tag in those pants. They were a size 8. I am now a size 16.

A few weeks ago, a person who loves me a lot told me I was codependent.  They recommended that I read a book called “Codependent No More”.  I freaked out. I am a Christian.  I love Jesus.  I lead worship and sing songs about God for a living.  I’ve been through DELIVERANCE.  I’m not supposed to worry or be anxious or need medication. RIGHT?

I bought the book and read these words: “A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is OBSESSED with controlling that person’s behavior.” Um, hello mirror.  Codependent people neglect themselves because they are so busy controlling everyone around them, usually because of trauma and/or hurt.

I have had damaged relationships with my parents, my sister, my husband, and friends, and I have always blamed THEM.  But now, I’ve decided the skinny girl inside of me deserves a voice.  She deserves to be whole and well and healed.  I will be in counseling, going to Celebrate Recovery, talking more about what’s wrong with me and letting everyone else deal with their own problems.  Not because I don’t love them, but because it’s time to love ME.  It’s not selfish.  I can’t give anything from an empty well…or from a well that’s full of ice cream.

Jesus, in His loving kindness, knew when I was ready for this season.  My time is now.  I am praying anyone who reads this will prayerfully ask the Lord if it’s time for the person inside of you who died because of fear, rejection, pain, betrayal, abandonment, etc. to come to life again.

when whispers turn to thunder

With all my might I should up to God, His answers thunder from the holy mountain.  - Psalm 3:4 I read this verse today and my heart grabbed me by the throat and begged me to pay attention. I read over it - again and again and again - letting the words seep into my soul, allowing my heart the rest it needs.

You know...sometimes we just need his thunder. Not the quiet peace we so often feel. Not the joyful exuberance of celebration. His thunder. The gut-wrenching drop you-to-your-knees thunder of His grace and perfect will. It happened for me last night.

The worship service was different than we had experienced in a long while. Partially because for the better part of the last three years - it has been us leading worship - not sitting in the congregation. It was also different because for the first time in quite awhile - I was hesitant. 

Oh I needed Him. I knew it. My heart certainly knew it, too. It was beating so fast as we walked into the gym I could scarcely sit down before taking a few deep breaths to calm my spirit. I closed my eyes against the waging war inside me and squeezed my husband's hand for reassurance. He looked down and caught my gaze - giving me a half smile.

Yeah. He felt it too.

The minister got up and welcomed us - and the music started to play. People started singing all around me and hands were lifted as high as they could possibly go. I opened my mouth to join them - and no sound came out. Nothing. I glanced around to see if anyone noticed. If anyone even cared. Nope. Everyone around me was lost in singing songs to the One I so desperately wanted to feel. The One I so desperately wanted to push away and cry and scream and ask why? I stood there. Silent. Because, well...I knew. I knew when it happened. When I felt Him - I would break.

Because not only had it been awhile since I'd been in the congregation, but it had been awhile since I had felt His touch.

And oh my heart was ready. It was giddy with anticipation...just knowing I wouldn't be able to hold out forever. You see, my heart knows me.

Music has always been something that moves me. You send me a mix CD of songs I have never heard and quite possibly you will be my new best friend. My friends use to laugh at me for this obsession. They created this game of, "what songs does Elora not know?" And they would turn on the radio, hit scan, and see if I could figure out who was singing and the name of the song. I usually got 4 out of 5 right. I am always playing music. It's how I escape. Stick the earphones in, grab the laptop, and let the music flow through me as the words develop on the screen.

I guess you could say music is well...my muse.

But it's also how I speak to God.

Don't really know the words to say? Play a Brooke Fraser song and sing along: "though the world is falling out from under me - I'll be found in You - still standing." Had a hard day? Let's listen to Kristene Mueller: "take it all...take it all away - just give me Jesus." Fighting frustration and hurt? Phil Wickham will do: "I will wait for you here - down on my knees where I met you."

Every time I sing How Great is Our God I'm transported back to the day of my wedding - walking down the aisle with my new husband - beaming...my heart bursting with the joy of the song played by the praise band in the background. "How great is our God...sing with me! How great is our God!"

Every time I sing Heart of Worship I think of Matt Redman and his church taking a sabbatical - a sabbatical - from worship...praying instead. Music would have no part in their church until he knew - they all knew - it wasn't just for show. I hear this song and the words fall from my lips and I can't help but pray: King of endless worth - no one could express how much you deserve. Though I'm weak and poor - ALL I have is yours - every single breath.

So last night, in the middle of this worship service, holding a vice grip on my husband's hand, I felt the tiny crack in my heart grow bigger until I couldn't take it anymore. Song after song I was firm. I wasn't going to cry. I wasn't going to let it affect me. To let it affect me meant I was soft - that it couldn't just be brushed off as something simple.

And then the song started.

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, And I realise just how beautiful You are, And how great Your affections are for me.

I collapsed onto my chair, my head in my hands, and wept. I couldn't sing. I couldn't raise my hands. But my heart burst and began to sing - I could feel it "turning violently inside my chest" at the thought of just how much He loves us. Even though we suck at life sometimes - He loves us. Even though we are alone - He loves us. Even though we fight His touch - He loves us.

Oh how He loves us...

I lost the battle with my heart last night. So this morning, when I was reading through Psalms and this verse jumped out at me - I paid attention. Because, if I am to run in full pursuit of His love, I'm going to have to let Him heal me. And that means listening to my heart for what it needs.

Even if it's the gut-wrenching-drop-me-to-my-knees thunder of His grace.

And these are but the outer fringe of his work; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of His power? Job 26:14

Posted on January 4, 2010 .