Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Hug Runs Through It... Part 2

God, you know me way too well. 

I got that very much needed God hug today, and you didn't even give me a choice about it, either, because you know me so well that you knew if you asked me for it, I wouldn't have the courage to go get and take it.  But I'm so glad you love me this much, that you would choose a mighty woman of God to both give me that hug today and release your word yet again over my life.

I shouldn't be surprised that you care so much about what I have carried as a burden so long, but yet, I still have that wonder of, "Why do you love me so and care so much about my seemingly insignificant life?" But I KNOW. I know that you've got those plans for me, plans way bigger than I ever dreamed you would use me for. And yet knowing, all along the way, even before I was born, that you have kept my life. I can see you woven throughout my life.

So keep leading us. I know you've called us here, but not quite sure of your plan for what we're doing here in Houston. Give me that vision so I can run with it!

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Hug Runs Through It

"You can go up there and get that hug. He's calling you, Rachael."

Those were the words my husband had just leaned over to whisper in my ear as he gave me a side hug.  We were in a room full of people, and for the second time that week, we were being offered the chance to go up front and get a hug from God through one of the leaders.

I couldn't make myself step forward, though I felt God pulling me so strong to go get that hug. I'm certain I've never felt his pull on my heart as much as I did that day. 

Even after that week that changed my life and my walk with God forever, finally having a heart knowledge of how much my Daddy God loves me, I've thought about that hug. I know I'm His princess, and that I'm his favorite, and that I am really loved by the One who created me and gave me the precious gift of life.

This year, my prayer has been for God to show me how to trust him. It took my dad going to meet Him a month ago that God revealed the very root of the trust that I can't seem to find.

I have raged at God; I have raged at my dad. His death revealed things I've suspected were going on my entire life but never knew for certain until the week after his death. Things that I thought I forgave years ago rose to the surface with a fiery fury that would now be brought to the light where my healing could begin. Buried hurt hurts even more when it gets pulled into the light like a thousand stabs in your heart from a jagged, rusty knife. But it's the root of my inability to trust.

So I'm sitting in church a few weeks ago, and the congregation is singing a song about freedom. And that's when I heard him as clear as if he were standing right next  to me.

"I'm sorry, Rachael.  I am so sorry I couldn't love you the way you needed me to, that I wasn't the father that you needed.  I couldn't love you because I wasn't able to fathom God's love for me."

Yeah, I lost it. Me, who hates crying in front of anyone, especially in a crowd of people, lost it.  And then God said to me, "And that's why you couldn't go get that hug from me, too. You saw me as you saw your earthly father, through that hurt you feel right now."

Slowly but surely, my heart is being repaired. Little by little, my Father is leading me. The best part is that now I have my earthly father in my great cloud of witnesses to cheer me on as I run my race. And if God decides to ever again offer me that chance to go get that hug from Him on this side of heaven, you can bet I'm running to him unashamed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where did YOU go?

Sigh. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

I feel deceived. When I met you, you were on fire for God. You used to dig into the Word. You used to pray with me and for me. And then, one day, I found out it was all a lie to impress me. That cut me deeper than anything else. Because my heart's desire from the time I was a little girl dreaming about my future, I knew I wanted to be a Pastor's Wife. Which is what I thought you aspired to be. I fell in love with you because of that fire.

Yet here we are now. I can't say anything to you, not even about the great I AM. I'm listening to you, yes. And inwardly, I'm crying from the heartbreak as I watch your hope die. As I watch you become angry at God for all the ways he's disappointed you. No church. No bible. No praying. Only Anger. Only Frustration. Only Nothingness. I am watching you speak such destruction over yourself, I worry. I wonder. And I wait on the very God you now want nothing to do with.

If I could make the choice for you to wholeheartedly follow Jesus Christ, I would. But I can't. And so I wait. I pray. I ask God to show me how to show you kairos love, love in action. God has shown me how the enemy's attacking you. So thankfully, a good friend pointed out that really, it's never you I'm fighting with. It's always the enemy.

I wish you could hear the words of Jesus Christ, what he's saying to you. That he hasn't abandoned you like you thought. How much he really loves you. I know you feel your life is so crazy, so upside down, that you're questioning your own decisions.

But on the flip side,you have a wife that is declaring and speaking the Word of God over you. I am praying God will do whatever it takes to reach you. The clock is ticking down, and the last thing I want to do is to spend eternity without you.

As much as that is my heart's desire, I know it's my Abba God's heart desire even more. And I pray through my example, you are won over to Him. I'm not leaving. I'm digging my heels in and standing my ground. I will fight for you and stand in the gap for you until the enemy loses his grip on your life. I'm not going to abandon you in this fight.

So I believe God for a suddenly move in your life. That you are completely set free and healed entirely from your past. That you are indeed a mighty man of God. That the blessings of God will overtake you. That the favor of God surrounds you as a shield. That God did call us here to Houston, and that His purposes for our lives will prevail, both individually and as a married couple. That you hear God's voice and are quick to obey it. That you are slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to become angry. That God's perfect love casts out fear. That we're seeking God's kingdom and his righteousness first, and all these things will be added to our lives.That the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. That God's joy is unspeakable for you and full of His glory. That you will run to him and not be afraid to cling to Him as he rejoices in your return.

I never thought in a bazillion years I'd have to stand alone, believing God for you, as my heart feels like it's breaking. I miss the way.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Generational prayers...

I love those nights when I dream dreams about my boys.  We don't get to hang out nearly enough for my liking, but either way, I know my Daddy loves me so much that he knows how I value my time with them that He'd give me fun dreams where I get to hang with them. Even in the moments where my heart aches from missing them, I know the day is coming where we'll be together for eternity.  At least that is my prayer.  My boys all know the truth of God's word, and that He is the way, the truth, and the life.  I'm sure every mom who knows Jesus Christ as their savior has had to pray their children will know Jesus Christ as their own savior and that their lives will be lived worthy of the calling that He has called them to purpose for the kingdom.  And I'm very sure grandparents who pray have even more of an effect.

You see, I have the most incredible grandmother in the world.  I don't get to see her as much as I'd like these days either, and it's hard to watch the effects of time bear weight on her health.  This woman was the one who made sure friends from church got to come over when I was little for slumber parties.  She'd let me completely wreck her hair playing beauty salon with her to the point she'd have to go the salon the next day to have it professionally fixed again.  She'd always encourage us to sing in church.  Never a day goes by that I don't remember how much fun and joy I've had at her house growing up.  I remember the more recent trials in my life, how she encouraged me by her example to live my life worthy of the calling God gave me.  I like to think I got my sense of humor from her, too.  I asked her one day how she shows respect to her husband.  She said, "Who says I respect him?" which made me laugh.  I know she loves Paul dearly and is one amazing wife to him. 

So grandma, I just have to tell you how blessed I am to be called your granddaughter.  I'm so thankful for your example.  I'm so thankful you let my daughters still play beauty shop with you when we come to visit.  I'm thankful for every holiday we have the honor of spending with you.  I'm thankful for the legacy of Christ that you left for me.  And more than ever, I look forward to spending eternity with you in your new, improved body.  I know God blessed me when he put me in your family line. 

I love you!

Friday, May 3, 2013

My first love...

God has a way of confirming what He's told you over and over again until you begin to listen, hear, see, and understand.

Not so long ago, one of my dearest friends in the entire world gave me a book called "Jesus Calling." It's short, quick devotionals. Today's really hit home for me, and ties into my earlier blog post this week.

YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS. If I am truly your Master, you will desire to please Me above all others. If pleasing people is your goal, you will be enslaved to them. People can be harsh taskmasters when you give them this power over you.

If I am the Master of your life, I will also be your First Love. Your serving Me is rooted and grounded in My vast, unconditional Love for you. The lower you bow down before Me, the higher I lift you up into intimate relationship with Me. The Joy of living in My Presence outshines all other pleasures. I want you to reflect My joyous Light by living in incresing intimacy with me.

(Taken from Jesus Calling, Page 130)

I'm sitting here this morning, kind of frustrated because the job server for my main contract is down. I have to complete at least 200 pages of transcription every two weeks. I'm way behind because life has thrown us some curveballs this week. But then this stark reminder. My first love. The lover of my soul, who longs to share intimacy with ME, his beloved daughter. What love this is that He has for me, and I must BE in that light. Wow.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

God's Lavish Love for me...

(Disclaimer:  You know, I'm not God.  I would encourage you to go to the Word of Truth yourself (AKA the Bible) and SEE for yourself what God has to say on marriage.  Don't take my word as His absolute truth.  These are only my thoughts.  Just a thought before you waste money on another marriage retreat, or a book, or what some guy has to say about marriage.  The answers really are in the Bible.)

As of late, I've been hit with a revelation about marriage.  Saying there is something wrong with your marriage is like saying something is wrong with God himself.  He created marriage, so it is already perfect.  What is wrong is there are two imperfect individuals, where the enemy begins to hide in their individual issues and secretly tries to divide and conquer a one-flesh bond because he knows the danger of this great mystery.

My issue?  I have idols.  An idol is anything that comes before God in your life.  And if you thought a man could be jealous for his wife if any man should try to hit on her, that pales in comparison to how jealous God is for your love, to be first in your life.  My idols are seemingly innocent things.  For example, getting caught up with what is going on with my husband and making his issues my issues.  Missing my three boys from my first marriage as a battle to even see them continues to rage.  Raising a large family.  Throwing myself into countless hours of working from home.  All of these have taken priority over my Abba, who is my first love. 

So today, as I'm hit with the very fact that it is time to make Jesus my first love again, I am drowning in His love that He has lavished on me, that I should be called a daughter of God! It's so nice to KNOW God all over again, to be in intimate fellowship with Him. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

From a Mother's Heart

Yes, usually this blog is about being a wife. But today, I feel a strong need to write a letter to each of my children.

Dear Chase,
I can't believe you're almost 15. Wasn't it just yesterday I heard your tiny squeak, rocked you to sleep, laughed every time I burped you and you sounded like a clucking chicken? I look now at the young man you've become. You are stubborn and strong willed, and you have an amazing sense of humor.  Never again can I walk to the front of our church as we pray over our tithes and offerings and not remember the moment when we got done praying and you put your hands in, saying, "Church on 3!  Break!" I laugh every time.  I love how your mind is so bent on science and the wonder of how God made things work.  I love to experience life with you.  My prayer for you is Proverbs 2:10:  For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Don't forget what you learned about God when you were young, and do not depart from it now. God is your ever-present help in times of trouble. You are so amazing, Chase. I'm so glad God gave me you as an wonderful gift!

Dear Abigail,
Your very name means "father's joy." You truly are your father's joy, both here on Earth and in Heaven.  You are my joy too.  You have grown into a young woman over the past six years I've known you. You long to please others.  And I pray that longing turns into a strong desire to please your Daddy God. My prayer for you is Colossians 1:9-11:  For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,to  please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.  You have also a very compassionate heart for others.  I pray that this trait is grown in you.  You melt my heart every time you tell me you're praying for my boys to come home.  You see things and feel things.  I look forward to watching you grow and mature in Christ, my daughter.

Dear Hunter,
You, my dear son, are what is known as a peacemaker.  As Matthew 5:9 states:  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  You are already a son of God.  I had the unique privilege as a parent to pray with you as you made the choice to decide for God and accept Him as your savior.  You are strong-willed yet you do not stand for injustice.  You have a spirit that draws people to you.  I never see you lacking in friends.  You work quickly to mediate and bring peace to any situation.  My prayer for you is I Timothy 2:1-6:  First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.  I pray that as God takes you before kings and all authority, Jesus Christ will flow through you as mediator.  I look forward to watching you grow and mature in all the knowledge of Christ Jesus.

Dear Rachel,
I never thought I'd be so blessed to have a daughter with my name. Funny how God worked that one out, huh?   Your very name means innocent lamb.  You are very innocent.  You are very caring towards others.  And you have a great desire to love and to be loved.  My prayer for you is Ephesians 3:14-19:  For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. I pray that you know this love of Christ through both your earthly dad and mom, that you are able to comprehend and accept that love and feel secure in that love.  I love that you persevere through so much and still manage to show love and compassion towards others.  You truly are a gift from God.  And I pray that one day, you will be able to accept me as God's gift to you as a mom.  I love you to the moon and back, kiddo.

Dear Caleb,
I love how silly you are.  I love every face that you make.  Your expressions are priceless.  I love that even at 7 years old, you still want to snuggle up with mom. I'll never forget the five million and ten times you've come up to me and said, "I love you, mom," with an awesome strong bear hug.  I also love that every time I see you, you just HAVE to tell me a knock-knock joke.  My prayer for you is Psalm 32:11:  Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart. May your heart grow and rejoice in the Lord! I am so grateful that I get to call you mine.  What a blessing you are!

Dear Hannah,

I know I've told you this countless times, but you are an answer to prayer of a desire of my own heart. I prayed for you for ten years.  God's grace and favor truly does rest on your life, even from the time you were conceived.  The docs told me immediately that you weren't going to survive.  And yet there you were, nine months later, screaming your head off when you were born.  You may be tiny, but you are definitely very intelligent already, and you have a very strong will.  I pray this trait will be used for God's kingdom and not by the enemy to destroy your life.  But you are giggle box at heart, and you love all things girl.  I can't forget all the stories about Sarah, your best imaginary friend, who lives in a sparkly purple house.  My prayer for you is 2 Corinthians 12:9:  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  I pray that God's grace is perfected in your life through weakness, and that you always know that His grace and favor continually rest on your life. I love you, little one.

Dear Nate,

You are the only kiddo God specifically asked me if He could send.  I knew that if your dad ever had a boy, he wanted to name you Nathanael because of Nathanael in the Bible who saw angels ascending and descending from heaven.  Even at 3, you're always telling me that you see angels.  We have never talked much about angels other than in me praying over you at night.  But my heart is warmed because I know without a doubt that you see them.  I love all of your snuggles at night.  I love that you're learning to gain your own identity and independence.  I love that you're all boy and don't want anything to do with girly stuff.  My prayer is for you is John 1:49-51:  Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He *said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” I pray that you will always see greater things in life and in everyone.  You are indeed a great gift to your mom. I cannot wait as I watch you grow and mature.  I love you!