Monday, January 24, 2011

The tough stuff

For those of you who might have been wondering, I have not been neglecting the blog.  God is really dealing with a huge area of hurt in my life, and I have struggled with this one for a long time.  Pretty much all my life.  And it is incredibly intimidating to share with whoever cares to read this blog, because I know that I am leaving myself open to criticism here.  I am about to be incredibly vulnerable...not easy for me at all, and I think that to be open, honest, and vulnerable is going to a step in the right direction. 
For all thirty years of my life, I have always wanted to know that my father loved me.  Not my Heavenly Father...I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that He does.  But my earthly father.  Growing up where and how I did, it was easy for a lot of people looking on from the outside to assume that our life was pretty great, and that we had the best dad on planet earth.  Now, I have to say here I am not writing this to out my dad or openly criticize him, but to explain how I got here, and how God is dealing with me.  I very much love my dad and always will, and I realize that no parent is perfect. 
I understand to a point how they came to that conclusion, because on the outside things were great.  Very few people actually saw beyond the exterior of appearances to how they really were.  And I'm going to be very dad was married to his piano and the church we attended.  Again, nothing wrong with either thing...I happen to love playing the piano and I love God deeply and very much enjoy our times of fellowship and learning at the church I now attend.  But I also believe God does things decently and in order, and my first commitment is to my family....God gave them to me first for a reason. 
But to the topic at hand...for a long time my dad has loved other things more than he has loved me, my mom, or my sisters.  It has affected us all differently.  I have come to discover that I am a daddy's girl at heart, and I have always longed for his approval, hoping it would bring with it his affection and attention.  And for a little while in my adult years, I enjoyed a taste of it.  I very much enjoyed it.  And I very much miss it. 
Yes, I have talked to my dad about this more times than I care to count.  It's never made a difference.  And I have come to the realization that short of a miracle, which I very much believe could happen, it probably never will.  Not being pessimistic or boo-hoo, just being honest. 
Soooo....God is really digging this one out.  And it hurts.  A lot.  It has taken a long time for me to let go of my hurt and let God really deal, because I have never wanted to face the reality or deal with all the pain.  And yet that is exactly where I find myself now.  I have wrestled with even writing this openly, but for a long time in my life I have had to pretend things were fine when they weren't.  And I would be lying if I only wrote about the things in life that are wonderful and hunky dory if I was not also real about the pain and struggle.  Cause we all have them.  Life hurts sometimes.  I came across a wonderful quote by CS Lewis this weekend that in a nutshell says that God never promised that we would not have hurt or pain...He actually promised that we would when He said "Blessed are those who mourn."
This is where I am at.  It is a deeply painful process, but it is also wonderful because I know it is for my good and my healing.  One of my favorite song lines says "I know there'll be days when this life brings me pain, but if that's what it takes to praise You, Jesus bring the rain."  I am here to say I am freely letting God do His thing here and dig this one out.  It's rather deeply routed, and your prayers would be coveted.  For me and my dad.  I do not want anyone to read this and make it critical of me or my dad, but rather to cause you to pray for us both.  For tender hearts, open eyes, deep healing, and even reconciliation and a restored relationship. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Verse for the Year

Soooo, this is the time of year when a lot of people make resolutions, many of which will be forgotten, broken, and/or abandoned within a few weeks to a few months.  It happens, we're humans.  The only lasting covenants that I have found are the covenants of God.  I don't do the resolution thing...I'm terrible at keeping them, and I really loathe making a promise that I am unsure I can keep. 
I thought I knew what my verses for the year would be this year, but God gave me a resounding answer today that left no doubt that I had been a little off track and like always, His thoughts for me are not what I can expect or predict.

So here it is:

God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out.  He created the earth and everything in it.  He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth.  And it is He who says, "I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate My righteousness.  I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them.  And you will be a light to guide the nations.  You will open the eyes of the blind.  You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.  I am the Lord; that is My name!  I will not give My glory to anyone else, nor share My praise with carved idols.  Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again.  I will tell you the future before it happens.  I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way.  I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them.  Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them."
~  Isaiah 42:5-9, 16

I cannot tell you how excited I am for this new year!!  God has confirmed some things in my heart and I will joyfully follow my Savior wherever and however He chooses to lead.  :)