Thursday, April 21, 2005
oh mom ... i've never felt second to Rob ... im glad u see me as strong as u do ... cus sometimes i dont feel it ...
I trust she wouldn't mind me sharing her words. How awesome this young woman is! God has truly given us an amazing relationship and we both credit Him with that gift.
It's funny ... for Christmas of 1999, Kelly gave me the most beautiful gift. I wish I could get a picture of it, but I seem to be somewhat challenged in that area.
She was married in June of 1999. During the pictures before the wedding, the photographer had Kelly and I stand close together and look at each other. She was (IS) so beautiful, my eyes filled up with tears. I was so happy for her that day! She leaned over and rubbed my nose and we both erupted in wails of laughter. That is so common for us ... we truly have a good time together.
The photographer caught it all ... but I didn't know because Kelly did not show me those proofs. Really, those pictures represent the friendship we have.
She cross stitched a beautiful mat for them and framed them. On the mat:
a dove - to represent my love of Christ
a cat - cause I love them so much, and
"You Will Always Be My Very Best Friend"
Beautiful and extremely precious to me.
That is the beautiful woman she is. I remember my Mother telling me how lovely our relationship was. We had that same friendship as I grew up. She didn't have to be a mother, I didn't have to be a daughter - and the relationship was not the other way around either. We were just friends and loved to do things together.
Kelly and I have often remarked how we have that same relationship.
With all the success I have achieved in Ministry and as a "Scholar" ... my biggest joy has been motherhood. Even with the loss of Robert for these years, I have still felt a success because I must have instilled enough strength into that boy that he had the confidence that he could make it on his own.
I pray that Kelly learns some day to see herself through my eyes. She is strong. She is a remarkable woman and mother. She is in a busy time in her life and one day she will look back upon this time and wonder how she survived in one piece. (We all know it is the grace of God!) But ... she will also look back upon this time and regard it as the most amazing time - raising Jadzia.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
She is the most amazing woman. She's 28, married to such a great guy, and she has the most amazing child - Jadzia. (Look in March for a picture of her, I still cannot figure out how to post to this ... blush)
She had her own moments in her late teens. But it did not last long. I will never forget the Mother's Day of 1995. She came around the corner of our garden after several months of "time out" with a beautiful plant and a hug. What a precious woman she is.
I had a lot of struggles during their youth. Broken marriage, shift work, single parenthood, financial insufficiency, and my own emotional, spiritual and eventually physical brokenness. It couldn't have been easy being my kids. But He gave them to me - what precious gifts they were during those years. Many, many times ... it was Kelly and Robert who kept me alive when things were so tough. Especially when my mom and dad died three weeks apart in 1992. I barely made it through those years ...
And what a call God has on her life!
So I wonder if she has ever felt second best to Robert? If her faithfulness and steadfastness are not appreciated? If I have told her enough how very deeply and dearly I love her ... what a precious bright light she is in my life. Sometimes we do not tell those who are so faithful in our lives how precious they are.
Kelly has been the glue that the Lord has used to hold me together these last five years. She's loved me as best she could from her understanding. When she became a mom, she really understood the grief and has been a consistent, loving support. She always let me know almost immediately when she had any news of Robert ...
She's a beautiful jewel in the eye of her mom and her God.
I love you, precious Kelly. More than I can ever express to you in the short time I have on this earth. Please, do not ever doubt that.
From Joyce Meyers' "Approval Addiction". This hit me between the eyes - again!
"A frail black woman about seventy years old slowly rises to her feet. Across the room and facing her are several white police officers. One of them is Mr. Van der Broek, who has just been tried and found implicated in the murders of both the woman's son and her husband some years before. Van der Broek had come to the woman's home, taken her son, shot him at point blank range and then set the young man's body on fire whle he and his officers partied nearby.
Several years later, Van der Broek and his men had returned for her husband as well. For months she knew nothing of his whereabouts. Then almost two years after her husband's disappearance, Van der Broek came back to fetch the woman herself.
How well she remembers in vivid detail that evening - going to a place beside a river where she was shown her husband, bound and beaten, but still strong in spirit, lying on a pile of wood. The last words she heard from his lips as the officers poured gasoline over his body and set him aflame were, "Father, forgive them ..."
Now the woman stands in the courtroom and listens to the confessions offered by Mr. Van de Broek. A member of South Africa's Truth and Reconcilliation Commission turns to her and asks, "So what do you want? How should justice be done to this man who has so brutally destroyed your family?"
"I want three things.
I want first to be taken to the place where my husband's body was burned so that I can gather up the dust and give his remains a decent burial ...
My husband and my son were my only family. I want secondly, therefore, for Mr. Van der Broek to become my son. I would like for him to come twice a month to the ghetto and spend a day with me so that I can pour out on him whatever love I still have remaining in me.
Third, this is also the wish of my husband. I would kindly ask someone to come to my side and lead me across the courtroom so that I can take Mr. Van der Broek in my arms and embrace him and let him know that he is truly forgiven."
As the court assistants came to lead the elderly woman across the room, Mr. Van der Broek, overwhelmed by what he had just heard, fainted. As he did, those in the courtroom; family, friends, and neighbours - all victims of decades of oppression and injustice - began to sing, softly by assuredly.
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me ..."
Let me tell you why this is so powerful for me today ...
Yesterday as I was waiting for Robert to call, I was thinking about how it would work with us and Nancy since he is living there and she is still so controlling and angry with me.
I prayed, oh Lord - once again and again, that He would help me to truly from my heart forgive and anoint me to be His hand and heart extended to them both. I do not want to carry this anger and pain any longer.
Well, He dropped something into my spirit as only God can do.
"You have Nancy to thank for this day."
What? Are you serious, Lord!?? How can You say that! After all she has done, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum.
And it was more a sense than even His still small voice. It was a "knowing" that only those who have truly heard the voice of the Lord understand.
Had Nancy not continued to love Robert as a mother - where I was not able to do - he might have been dead by now. He could have been a drug addict ... in jail ... on the streets .. who knows? But because she provided a 'safe' grounding place all these years for him, he is alive and flourishing today.
I am undone.
Thank You, Jesus. Thank you, Nancy.
*sob* And with that came total and complete healing and forgiveness from my heart.
Only God can do that.
Glad you read this far ... isn't He good???
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
I just need to remember that nothing surprises God and He will anoint me to go through this. He knows exactly when Robert will call. He knows how much I can take. He knows, He knows.
I've run the gammit on emotions from the highest high to fear. I've really not been low because I trust the Lord to orchestrate this. What a journey this is. May He be glorified in it all.
Thank you for your prayers today. I truly feel them.
And I was not here.
He left his business card in the screen door.
Funny thing is, I only had one client yesterday and she was at 1:00. I tried to contact her to see me later in the day, but couldn't get in touch with her. I had to stay in the city until 8:00 to teach my final class at the College. So I sat in the city just lounging around my office all day.
I could have been here.
Oh Well. God knew. Maybe Robert needed to have the opportunity to leave his card.
What do I do? I have his telephone number ... I know he works nights ... I have his email address ... do I send an email first? Oh my. I don't know what to do.
I'm crying and laughing ...
Sunday, April 17, 2005
For my dear friend and sister, Carolyn:
Where is your perfect "dream vacation" spot?
hmmmmm, gotta think about that. Probably Hawaii or Israel. I love the thought of laying on the beautiful beach and eating exotic fruit. I love the warmth. But ... I so want to go to Israel to walk where Jesus walked. I'd have a tough time deciding!
When you were in a situation where something struck you as funny, but it was inappropriate to laugh, what was it and what did you do?
Oh goodness, you sure knew me when you asked this one. I have had this happen many, many times. I tend to really see the "funny" in most things.
How about when we were all sitting in the front row waiting to get our Doctorate degrees, all decked out in our gowns and caps and listening to speech after speech droning on and on. It was in early June and it was hot, hot, hot, hot. I had forgotten my lipstick, my lips were dry, we were squeezed in tighter than tight together.
Well, my precious sister in the Lord - and often partner in crime at the college - leans over and tells me how thankful she is that she took her dress off and was only in her bra and stockings under her gown.
I thought I was going to pass out ... we caused quite a stir with our giggling. It certainly was not very 'doctorly'.
What's the worst weather situation you've ever been in?
Bill and I used to sail a 30' sloop on Lake Ontario. I was usually quite seasick in bad weather and it was not unusual for me to be below with whatever is in my system coming out both ends ... sorry if that is too much info!
Well, this one time we were in the middle of the lake when a storm hit. It is a seven hour sail from Niagara to our home port, so that was a dangerous place to be. We had what they call "The Three Sisters" following us. That is a nautical term for one heck of a lot of water coming at one with great big speed from aft (or behind the boat) - three large waves, one after another. They were about 7 to 10 feet hight. It is very, very dangerous.
Bill screamed to me (I was below being ill) to come up and take the sails down as he was having all the time he could to keep the boat into the wind. So ... I had to come up - with only my shirt on because I was being sick. It was not a pretty sight. We almost capsized ... and the trip was dubbed - 'the trip from hell'. There we were praying with all our might. I can't remember ever being so afraid.
What's one thing that makes you really angry?
Read the rest of my blog! People who will not take no for an answer or who impose themselves in other's lives when it is none of their business. I guess in essence, someone who intentionally hurts another. I have no patience with that.
What personal religious/spiritual experiences have had the most profound impact on you?
Oh my. Without a doubt, being healed of Multiple Sclerosis at a retreat in 1998! I should expand upon this. It was not the physical healing that was such a profound experience, but it was the emotional and spiritual healing that preceeded it. I was at a retreat. I was so ill prior to it that the doctor suggested I not make the 7 hour trip to Pittsburgh. But I knew I had to.
God freed me that day from the pain of an abusive father. I was able to forgive him for the first time in my life ... and was freed from the intense pain I had carried in my heart all of my life. I had never known the freedom of feeling "worthy to breathe air". It was only after that experience that the Lord through a simple prayer, healed my body totally and completely of M.S.
I was pushed into the service in a wheelchair with braces, etc. (See my post back in March, I posted a picture of myself at the retreat just hours before I was healed.) I carried that wheelchair out! As a matter of fact, it was an ultra light titanium wheelchair and it is now in Africa on the mission field somewhere, blessing someone. I prayed before it left that every person who sat in it would be healed by the power of God's love! Amen.
That experience drew me to the Lord like never before and it was only a short two years before I was going to Bible college and pursuing full time Ministry. Ahhh, God is good. From wheelchair to pulpit. Only God can do that!
Fun questions, Gayla, so when do we get to read yours???
Friday, April 15, 2005
And she slams me right between the eyes. Then the Lord comes along and quietly says ... "yup".
Thursday, April 14, 2005
It turns out Robert is a bouncer at a local bar. Literally a few miles from where I live. ack.
And ... he is living with Nancy.
For those of you who know this story from the beginning ... Nancy was my best friend. She hated the fact that I had returned to Bill after we separated and managed to convince Robert that I chose Bill over him. ack.
The enemy is really yanking my chain right now. Now I understand why God has had me working so hard on forgiveness where Nancy is concerned. She has done nothing but control this entire situation from the beginning of when Robert left home.
She even lost her own marriage because her husband disagreed with her taking Robert into her home and not working at reconcilling him to his family. It was not a pretty sight five years ago.
The worst of it is, that woman sat in the same room with me not a few weeks ago during the Seder meal on Maundy Thursday. And she had my son living there.
You know what is really funny? When we took communion on Maundy Thursday, I really cried out to the Lord to give me a pure heart where she was concerned. At the little church, we all go up to the altar to take communion. i had purposed myself that I was going to walk past where she was sitting after communion and make some sort of gesture of reconcilliation as she had ignored me during dinner (well, not really, she and her 'guest' glared at me a few times).
But ... Bill took my arm and 'steered' me over to the other side where we were sitting. it was not the usual practice to walk behind those taking communion when you are finished, but the only way i could have gone to where Nancy was sitting would be to make a bit of a scene. i just assumed it was God's doing.
Kelly is furious. She said that all through their (her and Robert's) telephone conversation that she was carrying on a conversation with him, preventing him from having a decent conversation with Kelly.
When Robert showed up last summer, Nancy wouldn't let him visit alone with Kelly but drove him there and followed them around Kelly's house from room to room. They couldn't have a private conversation. *sigh*
My heart was soaring this afternoon and it is breaking tonight.
I know I need to forgive and release, but how does one forgive this sort of betrayal? I've tried with all I have, but the pain is so intense. This woman has controlled my son and denied me five long years of his life.
Tonight when I came home from work, my neighbour was standing outside with her son. He is going into juniour kindergarten this fall. He's big and strong and beautiful and smart. And he was born one week before Robert left home.
That is how much I have been denied ... that precious child's entire life. They are non-refundable years. *sob*
*sigh* I can't say anymore. This is so difficult.
It seems she had a visitor yesterday. Guess who?? ROBERT!
Apparently he is looking fantastic. He's a body guard or security guard, one of the two, I'm not sure. But he called and asked if he could see her. She said he looks amazing. Mature, fit, neat. Clean - no drugs. I'm so thankful ...
I'm doing a happy dance!! Wannna dance with me???!
This is amazing. Do you think he's close to home??!!! No wonder I've been praying so very hard. This is the most amazing thing and the most I've heard of him in almost 5 years! How many ... 5 times in 10 days! Yiippeeeee ... I can barely contain my excitement.
One of my friends last night - actually SaltnLight said that she thought all my recent struggles are because Satan knows Robert is close to coming home and he's trying to steal whatever joy I've got. I wonder ...
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Thank You Jesus that You created such beautiful, delicate flowers. You could have made everything shades of grey, but You gave us lovely, intricate colours to enjoy. I pray that when You look at our lives, you see those hues and shades of beauty in us, your creation.
Matthew 6:28 - 33 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you"Consider the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor sow. But Solomon in all his glory is not as beautiful as one of these."
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
"I have heard Ephraim moaning:
You disciplined me, and I have been disciplined like an untrained calf.
Restore me, and I will return, for you, Lord, are my God.
After I returned, I repented;
After I was instructed, I struck my thigh [in grief].
I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
Isn't Ephraim a precious son to Me, a delightful child? Whenever I speak against him, I certainly still think about him. Therefore, My inner being yearns for him; I will truly have compassion on him.
[This is] the Lord's declaration. Set up road markers for yourself; establish signposts! Keep the highway in mind, the way you have traveled."
Monday, April 11, 2005
So ... I see the doctor. He was interested in my foot ... no, I tell him, it's my tummy. He's not sure what it is ... sure sounds like gallbladder stones he tells me, but the ultrasound was negative. Oh well, I'll have to see the specialist and if it acts up again, I am to take my body to the hospital. Ack. Five or six hours in the hospital in agony, can't think of anything else I'd rather do.
So he says to me ... I saw Robert again this week. Hmmmmm, now why would my *well* son be seeing the doctor again? He couldn't say, but he did say that he told Robert my reaction to hearing that he was safe. And he did say that he told him to call home. (yup, ET, call HOME!) He said that Robert did not react ... I wonder what was going on inside of his head.
I head home from my appointment. I'm not sure what to make of this development. Robert knows that I know. Does he miss me at all? How can a kid appear to close his heart so much to his family? It's not just me, it's everyone! Dr. says he is so mature and seems to have a decent job ... can't imagine because I thought he quit school, but who knows what is happening in his life?
I miss my boy.
Some days I am so full of hope for his return. Other days I am so full of pain missing him and wondering if I will ever be reconciled with him again. God promised I would. I even had prophecy in January from a Pastor who knew nothing of me that there would be restoration in my family. So ... I have to choose to trust.
It is this waiting that can be so difficult.
One of the Scriptures I hold onto comes to mind ...
This is what the Lord says:
A voice was heard in Ramah,a lament with bitter weeping-Rachel weeping for her children,refusing to be comforted for her childrenbecause they are no more.
This is what the Lord says:
Keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears,for the reward for your work will come-[this is] the Lord's declaration-and your children will return from the enemy's land.
There is hope for your future -[this is] the Lord's declaration-and your children will return to their own territory.
I have heard Ephraim moaning:
You disciplined me, and I have been disciplinedlike an untrained calf.Restore me, and I will return,for you, Lord, are my God. After I returned, I repented; After I was instructed, I struck my thigh [in grief]. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
Isn't Ephraim a precious son to Me,a delightful child?Whenever I speak against him,I certainly still think about him.Therefore, My inner being yearns for him;I will truly have compassion on him.[This is] the Lord's declaration. Set up road markers for yourself;establish signposts!Keep the highway in mind,the way you have traveled.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
i fell on Friday ... i'm embarrassed to tell you that i was wearing my brand new lovely pink shoes - which matched my brand new lovely pink and black suit ... and i tripped coming off a curb.
it's quite funny now that i think about it. i was meeting a new client and we decided to go to a restaurant because i couldn't find a male student to join us - i try never to counsel single men alone unless i know them very well - even then, but that's another post.
so ... we're walking out of the restaurant and i find myself on the pavement. it was funny ... i laid hands on the foot right away, so did he, and we prayed that there would be immediate healing. the Lord did not co-operate. lol
the worst of it is, this is my right foot. I cannot drive?? after many hours in the hospital - and it would have been worse had i not been one of their on-call chaplains - i am told i've torn the ligament across the top of my foot and i am not to put any weight on it for one whole week. almost a hundred dollars later - prescriptions, tensor bandage and crutches (hey - , isn't the medical system supposed to supply these??) I'm back home crawling around ...
to add insult to injury ... i had another gallbladder attack that night. now ... didn't the doctor say it wouldn't be a problem anymore because there were no stones? i was tempted at 3:00 am to call and tell him, but i couldn't get up off the bathroom floor.
so ... tooo much information?
i wonder ... what is the Lord trying to do? does He have something to say i'm not listening to? is He trying to 'save' me from something? i just don't know.
one of my best friends said ... what have you done to make the enemy so mad? ... i'm not sure that's it.
as i was laying splayed out not so delicately on the pavement outside the restaurant, Psalm 91 went through my mind ... He will not cause you to dash your foot on a stone ...
the Lord knew this was going to happen. He knew it would be my right foot and i wouldn't be able to drive for two weeks. He knew it all. So ... He has a plan. He always does .. that part is very clear in Scripture.
i was supposed to go to a Pastor's retreat tomorrow. i just don't know if i am going to go. for one, i cannot drive, for two, i don't know if this gallbladder thing will act up again. Sr. Pastor says ... come, you'll get prayer. my brain says, i really do not want to hobble around their long halls on crutches and be in agony in a strange place.
something is happening .. the Lord is mixing things up and i feel so 'out of the loop' with His plans. i know i hear Him ... but i have this expectancy that there is a purpose behind all of this ...
it will surely be interesting to see all of this play out.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
how the vague "they" are not loving ... how "they" are not inclusive ... how "they" do not extend the hand of Christ enough ... how "they" were rude ... how "they" did not say hello to me .... usually there is a specific person or persons in mind, but that specific person or persons remain unnamed.
this is not being critical of my friends. I understand their concern and frustration, but, i find it interesting because suddenly i realized how much *i* used to say this. as i type, i have the picture of the faces of many "theys" over the years. and i remember the pain.
but ... who is the church? what is the church? is it not me? is it not you?
i saw the hipocrisy ... i saw the division ... i saw the pain ... but i did not see myself. i was right in there with "them". when i went to church, i was only interested in how people treated *me*. or i saw how "they" treated others ... somehow "they" did not have to include "me".
see what i mean?
then i asked the Lord. what? what is going on? why will "they" not change? how can i make "them" change? throw a bomb in the church service will you Lord and stir "them" up???!!!!
you know what He did?
He stirred *me* up.
He called *me* to bring unity. He called *me*" to do the things that "they" had not been doing. He called *me* out of the world and a high paying job. He brought *me* to Bible College and anointed me to get a doctorate. He yanked on *my* chain to show *me* the new person in the pew who needed some love and attention. He took *my* time and *my* income to minister to provide professional counselling at a drastically reduced cost. He gave *me* the anointing to provide incredible healing to these precious people in record time.
*HE* did the work. It's His job anyway.
Monday, April 04, 2005
I went to see the doctor this morning about my tummy. It seems I either have an ulcer or gallbladder infection ... he has sent me to get an ultrasound this afternoon. Unfortunately, I had to cancel all of my appointments ...
Since He is in control, this is not going to matter, is it?
Well ... on to my story ...
Dr. AhNow has been our family doctor for almost 20 years. Robby was just a little baby when we moved out here and first came to his office. He's been through it all with us ... my illness, healing, returning to school, Robert's disappearance, getting my own doctorate .. it all.
So, he walks in the office and he says ... 'so, you've found your son!'
I said 'what?!'
It turns out that Robert came to see him just a few weeks ago for a check up. He couldn't tell me any more - you know, confidentiality - but he did say that Robert is healthy and looking very well.
I've got to tell you ...
I immediately knew by the Spirit of the Lord that this is proof Robert's heart is being turned back to home! Yeah, God! See how much God cares about us? When I'm feeling lowest and needing a hug, He sends one in the form of good news. He is indeed still on the throne.
Not that I ever questioned it ... it is just nice to receive a message from the Throne Room from time to time. Praise Be His Holy Name!!!!
This is, however, my feeble attempt at expressing my thoughts over this incredible man.
I come from one of those Pentecostal type denominations where there are some people who have some negative things to say about the Catholic Church. It has always broken my heart, and I am sure, the Father Heart of God Almighty when brothers and sisters act so. I've always preferred to focus on the unity of the faith, rather than our divisions.
I have so many beautiful friends who love the Catholic Church and her style of worship. They love the Lord so much ...
The more I learned in Bible College through three degrees, the more I understand man made doctrine just plain stinks. We all have our favourite verses and doctrines ... well, I digress.
I have been impressed in the Spirit with few people in the way I have been impressed with Pope John Paul II. Not that that puny approval really matters, I am just flesh. But this man ...
When he came to Toronto for World Youth Day, I was intimately involved in the transportation side of things. I watched with great interest the individuals who had journeyed to see this man. The youth ... who usually will not give an adult the time of day, let alone an elderly man ... well, they were enthralled with him.
His presence .. oh my ... even over the television ... oh my. No wonder those who were blessed by him left in tears. Each one told of feeling the love of God in such a way ... all they could do was cry.
I believe that the Spirit of the Lord was alive within Pope John Paul II and certainly was all over him in his incredible capacity as leader of this great group of Christians.
I have never had any Catholic training. I do not know much about the office of the Pope, other than a vague understanding that he is believed to represent God on earth. Well, I believe God honoured that position in him.
The world has lost a truly great man.
His work on earth is done. And it was well done.
I pray wholeheartedly that the Cardinals hear the voice of the Lord and elect a man who will truly be God's man for this hour. Pope John Paul II, I believe, has taken us into the end of the end of days ... he has left a legacy of love and peace and unity that will be a tough legacy to pick up ... but God's person for the job will do it.
Funny, I just finished reading 2 Samuel and am into 1 Kings. The writer of "The Message Bible" - I wholeheartedly recommend reading through the Bible in this translation! Awesome! - anyway, the writer talked about the Kings ... how they were not God's plan for man ... but how God's plan was realized anyway - in spite of their fleshiness and mistakes.
I find great comfort in that.
This is truly an amazing time in history. And we have a front row seat. Wow. It humbles me beyond humility and I want so much to hear the voice of the Lord clearly in these times.
May He continue to anoint us to complete the work He has given us all.
I know that Pope John Paul II heard .... "Well done, good and faithful servant, now enter my rest."
My sincerest condolances to my Catholic friends. I know that you feel very much like you have lost a Father ... and indeed you have. My prayers are for you today and always.
Friday, April 01, 2005
It looks like it could have been a gallbladder attack because it subsides, but I will choose to believe the Lord will heal me completely of it.
Hey ... wait a minute ... isn't gallbladder disease an old woman's disease??? Blech again. tee hee.
I'm just thankful to be without that awful pain today.