The effect of one Man, Jesus, in our lives. The beautiful transformation of our lives to that of freedom in Christ. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" ~ Ephesians 2:8
I grew up with the idea that our God was a magnificent being. Deserving of our reverence and fear. Overbearingly tall, Billowing white hair and robes that flowed as He walked. An angry crease on His forehead, as He looks down upon us, omnipotent, judging our every move, no matter how small. Dare we sin, the long hand of God would break through the clouds and with His long pointy fingers, His wrath would reign down on all of the unjust, which was everyone of us, because we could never measure up.
When I was in the first grade, I attended a parochial school.. the first year was indoctrination into the Catholic rules and, with a firm hand, and sometimes a paddle, we were taught how to be good little Catholic children. Now, don't get me wrong. I absolutely love many Catholics and there were wonderful teachers/nuns at our school. But, I learned much dogma, that in my later years, wreaked havoc with my soul and needed to be unlearned, exorcised.
For instance. I still remember, sitting at my desk, hands folded. Looking straight ahead at my teacher, who was teaching us about sin. The different levels of sin. I can almost hear her voice, as her words have stayed with me for all of my years. She said, "Every time you sin, the Lord will place a black dot on your soul. Some of these black dots will be taken away with confession, but some grieve the Lord so much that they can not ever be taken away. and when you soul is fully black, there is no way back to the Lord. So be good children. Do not grieve the Father, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, Mother Mary. St. Joseph."
I went to confession with every intention of being a good girl. Now, what kind of sins does a 7 year old have? I fought with my siblings? I didn't eat my dinner? Hmmmmm. It was in about the 5th grade that I finally got the full understanding of what confession really meant. My parents had not been able to drive me to mass every Sunday now. I can't remember why, but I knew that I should confess this. I wanted to go, but I could not. (The closest Catholic church and school were not in our district. The Catholic church I had to attend was 5+ miles away.) He told me that it was up to me to find a way, that there was no excuse. I could walk, ride a bike. He literally yelled at me. He raised his voice and told me I must find a way. I walked out of the confessional with all of my friends staring at me. They had never heard anyone get yelled at like this before. You would have thought I had committed a murder. My penance, laid down to me by this priest, was to pray so many Our Father's and Hail Mary's, that I was there, kneeling in church while everyone else left. I came to find out that year that this priest was known to drink. I also saw him chain smoking cigarettes on the side of the church many times after that. Needless to say, the way I looked at clergy was now not the same. They had fallen off of the tall pedestal that I placed them all on. They had fallen hard.
Speed up to the age of 14. When I had graduated 8th grade, my parents had decided that the local public high school would be good enough. I was excited and frightened at the same time. No more uniforms! A more lenient atmosphere. The kids I had grown up with were going on the the closest Catholic High School. I was terrified at relearning how to make new friends. Terrified at what to expect. It was all new.
I call these my black years. Young, vulnerable, wanting to please, scared. The mistakes I made were immeasurable. I knew at some point that those black dots had succumbed my soul. God would never take me back now.. so, I might as well....live like the world lives..I am a part of it after all.
a metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal.
the induced or spontaneous change of one element into another by a nuclear process.
Please note: a metamorphosis during the "life" cycle.... I have had so many women share with me ( and I have been here ), that they do not feel God present and/or working in their lives. They are bereft with troubles. Marriage struggles, children failing to launch, health issues, disappointments... I can go on, can you relate?
Please know, a seed is planted. Then it must be watered.
Watered with scripture, with prayer (conversation with God), with the Holy Spirit, with experience, with connection to others.
I am not one who's seed flourished upon planting. My walk with God has been a journey, albeit the changes in me took place without my noticing at first. Is this happening in your life?
A sprinkling of a ha's.. a noticeable change in how I react..a heart mending..acceptance of things once not acceptable..a softening of the heart..patience..compassion. Gifts of transformation given to me along the way. Beautiful gifts. For me...a journey, an impatient one at times, but yet a journey.
I was even angry that God did not just "touch" me and change me instantly for a very long time! I saw this happen to people. They would be healed of a hurt, an illness, or have something miraculous happen that would just absolutely change them and strengthen their faith immediately. I was jealous of these people...now, I am ever so grateful that my walk has been as it has been. Why? Because, for me, this was what God needed to do. He needed to peel away the hurts of the past and hold my hand and walk with me, open my eyes and show me things. It's not that I did not believe, or that I was not instantly saved when I accepted Christ in to my heart, I did believe and I did accept, I just did not get an instant download, and I want to assure you that not everyone does.
For me, the journey has strengthened my foundation. It is concrete and I am clothed in my faith in a way that I would not have been had my walk been any other way. The trials, the pain, the situations, the outcomes all make me who I am today.
Like a child who puts her hand in a candy jar and pulls out the most perfect candy..she is content and runs off. I didn't find the right candy right away. I kept dipping into the candy jar. I still dip into the candy jar. The sweetness of the scriptures that speak to me. Those that once meant little, now pop out at me. The sweetness of prayer. Once a seemingly one sided conversation is now met with a feeling of presence and an enveloping of love. And on those days that I don't feel, it's ok, because I now know. I just know.
This is a snippet of my walk with Christ. My personal walk. We are all so different and can not expect what we see "going on" with someones walk should be the same for us. We are all so intricately different. We all hear His voice in different ways. Don't discount that God is not working in your life because you are comparing your journey to someone else's. That is the worst thing you can do. And, don't let man tell you how your walk should be in its entirety, because God may have different roads and avenues for you to experience, You do not want to miss what God has for you because you are trying to copy someone else's walk.
I pray that today you find peace and solace in the fact that you have an amazing God, Who is an amazing Father. A Father Who loves you unconditionally and wants the very best for you. He wants you to have a beautiful life "now" and He wants you to be prepared for forever. I pray that you will walk this journey today, knowing that He is by your side and you are never alone. I pray that your eyes will be opened and you will see His work in your life today. I pray that you will realize the trans-formative nature of this beautiful walk...that you will look back and see just how much He has guided and directed you. He has and will always, hold your hand.
Bless you today and always. In love. M
"I am the Good Shepherd: I know my sheep and my sheep know me--" John 10:14
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
The Prayer To Our Father (Lords Prayer)
(translated into first century Aramaic)
“Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,
who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d’bwaschmâja af b’arha.
Let Your will come true – in the universe (all that vibrates)
just as on earth (that is material and dense).
Hawvlân lachma d’sûnkanân jaomâna.
Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,
Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna
daf chnân schwoken l’chaijabên.
detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)
like we let go the guilt of others.
Wela tachlân l’nesjuna
Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),
ela patzân min bischa.
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.
Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l’ahlâm almîn.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.
Sealed in trust, faith and truth.
(I confirm with my entire being)
This is taken from the following website:
If you have the time, please watch this. A beautiful share. Passion, experience, a hunger for God is so evident in this movie. I am so grateful for people like Darren Wilson and Todd White. I love their exuberance. Nothing lukewarm here!
Sometimes when we are struggling as parents, we need to remember that they belong to our loving God first. They were His before they became ours. We can pray for our children and remember that their Abba Daddy is the One true God and He loves them more than we can ever humanly understand...some struggles are too big for us, but never for our Papa. Praise Him, Love Him, Know Him....Talk to Him... release the struggle and Rest in Him.