Wednesday, March 31, 2010


My last post spoke of rejection, and of fellowship with the Lord experienced. Through knowing rejection I shared His suffering and pain—horrible, deep, raw pain.

The Lord is merciful. He allowed me fellowship in His suffering, and He gave me fellowship in His love. If the last months have been a time of unprecedented agony, they have also been a season of previously unknown intimacy. This blog began as a chronicle of moments when the Lord’s presence embraced me in moments of anguish (though I wasn’t able to share the worst moments.) And I suspect that like childbirth, the intensity of pain will one day be forgotten. I won't lose sight of the fact that it really, really hurt. But the more enduring memory will be of love which overshadowed the pain.

Sorrow often overwhelmed me beyond comprehension. I continually turned to a reliable haven of safety, my God the Lord. Abba. Jesus was there too. And the Holy Spirit is always present. Each of their distinct personalities enfolded me in comfort with a different touch, a particular manner of speaking, a separate dimension of love which pressed into my soul, reaching a place no human can touch.

Paul said, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:10-11 NIV)

To again experience such love, I now know I am capable to endure such pain. I could face it without fear, knowing I'd not only be not alone, I'd also be carried.

I'd be held.

The sweetness of intimacy with the Lord is a taste of Heaven—a promise of what is yet to come in the resurrection of the dead. Like a lover's kiss that infuses one with desire for all that will follow, drawing desperately near to the Lord ignites a hope for all He's promised which infuses strength for the hour.

My other blog will say more tomorrow, with a different tone for a different audience. But both posts will include these words from a song which compels me to affirm "Yes Lord!" when asked if I will wait upon the Lord, however long the hour.

This is what it is to be loved
and to know that the promise was
when everything fell
we'd be held.

If hope is born of suffering—
if this is only the beginning—
can we not wait for one hour
watching for our Savior? *

*Lyrics from "Held" by Christa Wells © 2001 Weimarhymes Publishing Inc.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Personality quizzes peg me as evenly right brain / left brain. I'm analytical and logical yet sensitive and emotional (an intense mixture).

When problems surface, I plumb the depth of emotion and then rationalize solution: what's the core, the root issue to be addressed? And because I spent five years as a cop, where analysis was performed and executed in minutes (not days and months and years), I apply what I learn with immediacy: dive on in to the emotions, then resurface and get to work on the solution; if there's misery to traverse, let's go through it, learn from it, and then get on with life.

In January I took a day away from life to pray and fast about overwhelming problems. The Lord asked me, "Are you willing to go through this suffering with Me?" I could only think, "Dear God, is there more? More than this?" But I also could not resist a personal invitation from the Lord.

In the days to follow one word became huge: Rejection. I analyzed what I was experiencing so I could work with the Lord on the solution. I began to see every hurt as a form of rejection. The past came to the forefront, and I looked anew at hurts through this lens. I understood that over and over, as I had reeled from hurts and bounced back with forgiveness, I had missed a step.

My pattern was to accept the pain of offenses and analyze only my own culpability, because I'm only responsible for my actions. I'd A-B-C: Admit my sin, Be repentant, set about Change with the Lord's empowerment. I didn't dwell much on what could be behind another's sin, because I figure that's between them and the Lord.

By no means am I saying that it was wrong to not evaluate the offense on the part of someone else. (I'll talk about that another day, perhaps on my other blog.) But when confronted with the past's path to present problems, I was forced to go back and analyze what hurt me then, what was hurting me now.

Rejection rejection REJECTION!

Whether or not it was intended, someone had communicated rejection to me in the past—and in the present. Billows of pain continued to wash over me, and I understood something.

We reject God. Over and over, in a million different ways.

When He asked, "Are you willing to go through this suffering with Me?" I thought He meant more of my own suffering. I was given the opportunity to experience His suffering. My heart felt pain that was not my own. I recognized the pain as that of God living within me. Horrible, deep, raw pain. The pain of pouring out blessing, love and sacrifice—and have it rejected.

Since my M.O. is to accept the lesson and move on, I expected to do so. God has another plan. He is allowing me to experience continued rejection, morphed into new shapes and words. Every time I think I've turned a corner, I face a new form of rejection, such as these:

From a trusted friend of many years, unfounded accusation, and admonishment to seek the Lord, prefaced with the words, "I have your best interest at heart";

From a confidant, disbelief that I've heard from the Lord at all;

From one to whom I've been a mentor, withdrawal, because I'm superfluous if I'm weak.

I see that although I've received fifty or a hundred times more messages of encouragement and hope from loved ones, a single message of rejection from a loved one devastates. I see that while rejection from those with whom we rub shoulders stings, rejection from those to whom we've opened our hearts stabs.

And I wonder if those who hurt the Lord most are not those who reject His sacrifice and refuse salvation, but those with whom He is intimate by His indwelling Holy Spirit, who accuse Him of disengagement, who doubt His Word, who seek His hand and not His face.

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
~ Job 13:15-16 (NKJV)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hello Again

This blog was started in January 2010. At the time, circumstances prevented me from writing for my blog "Building His Body," where I’d posted Bible insights daily since March 2008. Though I willingly paused writing about the Bible when I knew it necessary, I found myself far more devastated by the loss than I’d anticipated.

I am a writer. Others call it my gift and I’m inclined to agree. While writing is not my primary identity, it nourishes my soul in a unique way because it affords the opportunity to share with others the things God shows me that are just too good to keep to myself.

Sharing about my God is happily done via other avenues. The rare invitation for public speaking is a treasure, whether to lead prayer among citizens and community leaders for National Day of Prayer, to talk with familiar faces filling any sized room, or to preach at the county jail for women once or twice a year (my favorite).

Talking one-on-one is nearly the opposite kind of sharing. It is impromptu rather than prepared, for a moment or for hours, and may affect one or both of us for a lifetime. The Lord amazes me by what He does when I suddenly face a treasured friend, a nearly forgotten acquaintance, even a complete stranger, and suddenly find Him ministering to them through me. It fosters a special dependence on the Holy Spirit. On any given day, some appointments are written on my calendar, and the divine ones are written on the Lord’s.

How else do I share the Lord? At church, there's children’s Sunday School, drama team, and sometimes the praise or dance teams. Among relatives, sharing is by turns candid around dear ones with whom I’m most at ease, or cautious because they best know my failures. At home I feel my every move is a sharing of God with husband and children. I am keenly aware—often painfully aware—of how much impact I have on their lives, for better or for worse.

But my primary identity is also not wife and mother, or any one of those other multitude of roles I enthusiastically embrace. My core identity is ambassador of YHWH—of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Synonyms for ambassador are representative, diplomat, emissary, envoy. ‘Ambassador’ carries connotations the other words do not. It is derived from the Latin ambactus which means “servant.” And the Oxford dictionary defines ‘ambassador’ as “a diplomat sent by a state as its permanent representative in a foreign country.”

This is a permanent servanthood assignment rather than missions trip. My citizenship and nativity are of another place. I’m in close contact with my kingdom but don’t receive furloughs at home.

I live among foreigners inclined to misunderstand me.

When I paused Bible writing for my other blog, a friend suggested I keep writing anyway, even if it wasn't shared. Writing, for me, has never been about the recording, but about the sharing. So I started this blog to simply share what God was teaching me personally. I quickly discovered that God had far more in mind than I did. He took me through the darkest of deep pits, and there I heard the Lord speak more clearly and frequently than I ever have in my life.

I've felt exposed. I've been misunderstood. And I've been called to account by more than one person who alleged improper motives where I knew myself guiltless.

I’m by no means sinless. The Lord does a plenty adequate job of calling me to account where needed. My desire is to be blameless—that is, to settle accounts with the Lord as soon as they come to my attention. I've no reason to resist the One I trust implicitly. I respond to Him as He enables with confession, repentance, and change. I never do so adequately. He nonetheless assures me that I am not condemned.

When I felt overwhelmed by exposure and accusations, I quit posting here and took the blog offline. I’m ready to go back online with it. It will be a chronicle of things I learn on a personal level while I continue my wayfaring as an ambassador in a foreign land. I leave in place the private, precious conversations I had with the Lord in my darkest hours, labeled "Abba Whispers." In days to come the blog name will change. Though the comments remain off indefinitely, I've no objection to emails when a situation calls for it. I'm praying about what else this blog should be.

For the next few posts, I’ll simply tell what the Lord’s taught me in recent weeks that I’ve yet to share.