Here I am Lord, Send Me

I walked to the front of the room my body trembling.  As I turned to face the crowd a bead of sweat trickled down the side of my face.  I felt my feet about to turn and make a run for the door but just as I was about to make my move heard a voice whisper “look into their faces, you have nothing to fear.”

I paused moment to catch my breath and reluctantly looked out into the room.  I looked out into the faces I had been avoiding and that was the minute I saw Him.  At that very moment I saw Jesus, He was right there smiling back at me. He was sitting there in the sea of faces that were lovingly smiling back at me.  I saw His love radiating, shining out in the smiles of my church family.

The pastor introduced us all and then we turned to face the alter for the ceremony.  As I stood at the alter I felt hands begin to lay on my back.  I had no idea whose hands were touching me but then I realized that though the faces were unseen the hands belonged to Jesus.

We all knelt down together and I bowed my head in prayer.  As we prayed somehow the room seemed to disappeared and I began to feel His spirit flowing through me filling me with His love.  As we all prayed together it felt as if we became one.  We were all Him.  We were all His hands, His feet, His body.  We were all His love.

Today in that room full of my church family Jesus surrounded me.  Together our voices sang His praises together.  In that room we all stood as one.  His loving arms wrapped around us, lifting us up, tying us all together.

Today the love of Jesus plunged so deep into my heart it ached, filling me with a love so strong and overwhelming that it poured down my face in a flood of tears.

As I looked around the room today I saw Jesus.

He was in the faces of my church family

He was in the touch of their hands

He was there in their hugs

He was there in the love

He WAS the love

The love of Jesus seems so overwhelming to me at times that I could never begin to explain how it feels.  All I can seem to say  is that it feels so good I never want to go back to the place I used to live.  I want to live right here in this moment I want to only move forward from here on out, going where ever he leads.

Isaiah 6:8  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

 

I Surrender

* A Note before the story…When I started this blog last year I started it because I felt like God wanted me to start it, I had no plan and honestly did not understand why God would ask me to do it because I am not a writer and I am pretty shy person.  I have never really been the type of person who shares my personal feelings.  Though its almost been a year since I started blogging each time I start to hit the send button I feel butterflies in my stomach but then I feel the whisper of The Holy Spirit telling me to do it, so I do. 

Sometimes I go a long time without writing because I wait on Him and though I have blogged a few assignments for Compassion and I am second I still only post here what I feel God wants me to write.   Last fall I wrote a story that I felt prompted by God to share but I did not share the story here because my human pride would not let me, The thing is most of my close friends and family do not even know this about me and many would probably say its not a true story because I hid it so well.  Instead of putting the story here where I know God wanted it to be in the first place, I started a different blog and posted the story there and then about 2 days later took down the blog.

It has been several months since I posted that blog and more than a year since I wrote it and I have not a clue why, but God is still bothering me to post the story here so I am doing it today.   Something I am learning the more I continue on this journey is that though I have free will to do what I want when I do not stay in his will I can not seem to have peace.   Below is the story I posted on my other blog Sept 12, 2012. 

I Surrender

I never fully surrendered the alcohol. I don’t know why because I really know I don’t need it. It does not fit in with the plan God has for me. I can’t keep going on day after day with the thought in my head that one day I will be able to drink again.

Last night I made myself a rum and coke.  It made me sick, and it did not make me feel like I thought I would feel. It made me feel so awful, not only did it make me feel physically sick but I felt spiritually sick too.  The truth is last night I realized for the first time ever that I had not ever wanted to be released from its grip.

Looking back over the past year I asked myself, “why do I ever want to go back there to that place”?   It was a terrible place.  It was full of nothing but loneliness and pain.

I realized last night I can not keep taking God for granted after what He has done for me.  I can’t waste another second of my life anymore with such nonsense.  I can not keep putting my trust in a bottle of lies.

I am not sure why I thought I may need that stepping stone again one day, because I know today I don’t need it.   Its a stone on top of  quick sand.  The more I drink the farther I sink down to the bottom of a pit of despair.  I know the only way to survive is I have to be strong in Him. It has to start with me giving it up, using only God as my crutch turning to Him and only Him, not that poison I drink.

I am not the type of friend who breaks promises so I am not sure why I keep breaking promises to the best friend I have ever had. God would never break his promises to me. He always has mercy on me, he always has grace and Always keeps his promises. He can be my victory if I stay in his army because He is my rock and my firm foundation.   He’s all I have that will remain in the end. I know I have to let that awful part of me die so the good part can live. When I live the old life I am dead when I live His life I am alive. I am not if sure I will ever get over this struggle while I am on this earth but I know I have to try.

“Please God give me the strength help me put it away. I feel like I have a war going on in my mind. I know I have the best weapon in that war. I know I have the best armor for the fight, I just have to remember to use it.  I have to walk only with you holding my hand, not a bottle in my hand. Today I admit I am an alcoholic.  I have to stand sober so I can stand strong. You God are my victory, Please help me,  I need and want to win this fight”  Amen

** Note  of  Joy**  I wrote this in my journal over a year ago.  Life can sometimes be tough and I know that if not for God I would not be where I am today still not drinking and truly living for the first time in a very long time.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.

Live Second Day 29: Release ~ I Have Nothing to Release…or Do I?

fb-60daysofSecond-24-300x300In November I told you about a project I was going to be a part of in which I and 14 other bloggers would be reading and blogging together through a new book called ‘Live Second: 365 Ways to make Jesus first’ by Doug Bender.  This is the first of my 4 posts.  You can also go to the I am second website and sign up to follow along as the other 14 bloggers and I journey through the book.  You can also get the ‘Live Second‘ book in stores NOW.

 

Day 29 of My Live Second Journey:  Release ~ I Have Nothing to Release…or Do I?

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ Matthew 18:32-33

This Week’s Live Second – 365 Ways to Make Jesus First focus is on relationships.  The topic today is ‘Release’ based on scripture from Matthew 18:21-32.  In the scripture it talks about forgiving others as God has forgiven me.

When I read today’s topic I honestly thought I did not have anything going on in my life as far as forgiving or releasing that I would be able to work on. As far as I knew I did not think I had anyone I that needed to forgive…plus I usually forgive others pretty easily, at least that is what I thought when I read it.  Little did I know that in less than an hour I was going to have one of those days where God shows me I just might be wrong.

Shortly after I read today’s page of the book my husband said something to me that hurt my feelings.  Before I go any further rest assured that I am not going to use this blog to slam my husband, the assignment is to write about how I am going to apply what I read today in my life.  I will try to do the best I can without giving you all the unimportant details.

Within about 2 seconds of my husband’s hurtful comment I fired right back in a not so ‘WWJD’ type of fashion only to be met with a more hurtful statement than the first one.

Since the book reading was fresh in my mind I was a perfect angel and I was quick to apply what I had just read by forgiving him immediately and then apologizing for my own behavior… I wish I could say that statement was true but instead I fired right back at him in perfect ‘Terri’ form with things I am not so proud to say I said now and then I proceeded to carry the hurt and anger around for 3 days.  Yes you read right day 2 took me 3 days to figure out how I was going to ‘release’.

Forgiveness is really hard when you have been hurt.  Words can cut a person in half sometimes cutting clear to the bone exposing so deep you can almost feel them hit your soul.  How can I forgive when I feel so torn and ripped apart?   Especially when the person who did the hurting can not see they have caused a hurt so deep that I am still carrying it around?   How do I forgive when I am so darn mad?!?

Yesterday I started to think about what I had read and I asked myself ‘was I treating my husband with the same sort of grace that God has given me?’  I then prayed “God please help me to forgive my husband.  After praying I reluctantly decided to forgive him but then when I saw him before I could catch them the words “I forgive you for being an ass!” fell out of my mouth.   My husband then said, “You forgive me for being an ass??” as he kinda laughed. I know what I did was not really what the author of this book had in mind and I am pretty sure it most definitely is not what God would want me to do.  But in this instance it broke the ice… the ice on my frozen heart.

As he said the words “you forgive me” with a glimmer of humor in his eyes at that moment God convicted me of my behavior… Yes you read right, my own behavior.  My husband had hurt my feelings but it was not until that moment that I realized that I was carrying around so much more anger at him than I even knew I was carrying.  I am not sure why but I think I had been keeping a tally of every thing he had ever done or said to ‘hurt’ me.   The problem with that is when we have arguments I go back to seeing those past things instead of focusing on what is going on right now at this moment.   The minute I asked Jesus to be my savior and to forgive me of my sins the slate was wiped clean and now it was time for me to do the same.

A few minutes later found my self apologizing to my husband and the next thing I knew he said he was sorry to me also.

I know this will not apply in every circumstance and our issue was a minor compared to what others may be facing. But I do know that when we release that anger and live with the same type of forgiveness God gives to us it allows for wounds to begin to heal.

How will I live more second today?  By trying to remember that the only way I can have peace in this life and be able to let the light of Jesus shine by giving the same grace to others that God has given to me by forgiving and then learning to truly release it. 6358_10151161186987337_818276027_n

Come visit tomorrow for Day 30:   Love ~ Love Across the Miles.

Thank you for reading.

#IASrealease

His Gift

Every single sin that I have ever committed Jesus died on the cross for.  He died for all of my lies, greed, gluttony, broken promises, hate, lust, envy, fear, drunkenness, judging, addictions, selfishness, gossip, cheating, prejudice, laziness,  and pride.

He hung on that cross feeling all of the shame and the pain that should be mine.  When they came to get Him to torture Him He did not hide in fear.  He was not afraid of the pain he would have to bear.  He took it all every single bit of it, to save my life.  How do I go about my life ignoring what He did? He put on the garments of my sins and wore them for all the world to see.

It’s hard to think about His suffering isn’t it?  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

That’s a huge gift He gave me.  It’s the biggest gift anyone could give anyone ever.  How do I repay that gift?   Do I show my thankfulness in my actions? Do I take up my cross daily?  Do I show Him to the world in the way I live?  Do I wear his kindness, compassion, caring, honesty, kept promises, goodness and generosity?   Do I wear Him as he wore me?  Do I show Him to others in everything I do? Or do I keep it a secret?   Do I worry about what others may think of me because I chose Him?  Will I worry about the suffering I may have to bear for choosing Jesus?

What would have happened if Jesus had been afraid of the shame and suffering He would have to bear?   What if He had hid?  What if He had not stepped up for me?  What if He had not stepped up for you?

Mark 8:34-35  Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.