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Posts Tagged ‘Handling Challenges’

He’d pulled a knife on my son, in the 7th grade hallway. Pulled it and said he was going to stab him in the back and kill him next week. This boy ran away shortly after that. He was a habitual runaway. He’d run. Come back. Start the threats over again. This cycle continued through the year. This boy was screaming for someone to take care of him, to make him go to school, to scoop his emotional self up and put him back together each day. Youth rail at boundaries – yet cry out for shepherding.

I prayed for this runaway who had threatened my son – prayed for him like I prayed for my son.

I never imagined, though, my children would consider running – ever. I thought love, healthy boundaries, discipline, encouragement, knowledge of a loving God – I thought that would immunize them to a run-away heart.

Please click over to Cause/Pub ‘s Couch Rebel Project for the rest of the story – this story of a silent epidemic in our communities and churches – just click here.

Thank you, Beck, Amy and Karin for all your encouragement to do this!

238-wideCausePub has teamed up with Blood:Water Mission to fund-raise to clean water in Africa.

For every book sold, Blood:Water Mission, will be able to provide three people with clean water for one year. Blood:Water Mission is a grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against HIV/AIDS and the water crisis in Africa. Blod: Water Mission was founded in 2005 by the multi-platinum GRAMMY Award-winning band, Jars of Clay. Crowd Publishing for Impact is teaming with Blood: Water Mission to sell 15,000 copies of Couch Rebels . The sales from this publication will allowthem to impact 45,000 lives with clean water for a year.

What’s in the book Couch Rebels? That is to be determined now by you. They have asked for writers/bloggers to contribute about an experience that placed them outside their comfort zone. They review submissions to determine phase one of what articles/posts/stories go in the book. If your writer is accepted, you enter phase 2 where readers vote (not just click like but vote) to determine whether your article will be included in the published project.

There’s still a few more days for you to include yours – please do CausePub is accepting stories until 7/2.

Please – stop by and check mine out. Yes, I’m doing the happy dance that I made it past Phase one for 2 writing projects. If you are encouraged, please hit vote.

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bestill
Be Still
Stormless, hushed, undisturbed
Be Still
Satisfied, unruffled, peaceful
Be Still
Untroubled, composed, soothed

“Be Still” – He told me Sunday morning – Sunday morning after a week of big and little challenges. Some challenges were mine; some were second-hand, belonging to those that are mine.

The fixer in me twitched inside, stymied – wanting to take care of it now. Yet, not all challenges are right-now fixes. Some are journey fixes. Some are not even mine to fix.

Be Still

How do you do that? It’s like trying to stop my feet from rubbing together when I sleep. How does the fixer in me still itself? How?

Yet He tells me to be still.

Like I would tell my boys when they were little and the night terrors came, or their stomachs ached or life pulled sobs out of them. They trusted that I would make everything o.k. or show them how. Their hearts would stop racing, until finally they were relaxing against me, resting, being still.

Being still is a faith action. Being still speaks, “I give it to you; I trust you.”

My boys knew they could come to me. They trusted me. They knew me.

Oh, this mothering has taught me so much about the Father – about how I need trust Him and in the trusting Be Still and know [He is] God (Psalm 41:10)

To Know – realize, experience, recognize, understand, anticipate, believe

bestill22

I can be still because I know He is God, God who wants to be my Father, who wants to become the shade in the glaring, uncomfortable heat of challenges, who wants to shelter me beneath the feathers of His wing, who wants to bind my wounds scarless, who wants to shelter me in the storm – that He saves me when I cry out, like a Knight in Shining Armor.

When the big and little challenges come, first or second-hand, whether they are my own night terrors, stomach aches or life pulls sobs out of me, I know He is God, my Father – and my heart stops racing, the fixer in me lets go – and with Him, I can be still.

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Shalom is not Peace like a lazy river

Shalom is not Peace like a lazy river

When I was young, quite young, I prayed for Peace on Earth – that maybe in a single second, all the world would stop fighting, hating, irritating – and in that great single moment of perfect agreeableness, we would be transposed to heaven.

Peace today is a rain storm that brings a halt to all outdoor sports schedules. Peace is a balanced checkbook, a job with insurance, boys not ratcheting up good-natured interaction into a wrestling match into a fist fight. Peace is an absence of the bully in the bathroom. Peace is a clean kitchen, homework done, laundry folded, no-hiccup thing.

. . . . and that is a fearful deception – that peace is a day, a life of simply humming sweetly along without irritations, conflict, challenges.
A fructose kind of peace empty true sustaining value.
In my early twenties, I remember watching a series on the Holocaust, where Jewish characters greeted and left saying, “Shalom.”
I liked the sound of that word – but it wasn’t my word. You know how sometimes you want to do something, try something so much on the inside but you feel embarrassed, uncomfortable – you’re not quite sure you have the right to it – and so the idea stops right there.
Yet, on the inside, you desperately wish you had?
I didn’t think Shalom was for me.
It is, though – Shalom for you and me
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Shalom. (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus was born and died so that we might have Shalom – not the fructose-kind of shalom – but the meaty, substantial shalom that nourishes the soul.
“For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend shalom to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream” (Isaiah 66:12)

Shalom is peace in the midst of a raging river

Shalom is peace in the midst of a raging river

Somewhere in each year, God gives me a Year of concept. There has been the Year of Refreshing, Standing, Walking, Little Blessings. It doesn’t always start on January 1. In early November, I entered The Year of Shalom.

Not a 60s,hippie, laissez faire-indifference to good and bad, not Hakuna Matata – a problem free existence. This Shalom isn’t peace resulting in perfectly balanced checkbooks, children never fighting, schedules that make don’t make time-contortionists out of us, never having situations that give us pause, frustration-free, never a batch of burnt cupcakes and having shiny, clean kitchen floors.

This Shalom like a calm core in the midst of a cyclone.

Life is sticky floors, bullies in bathrooms, minimized grocery lists, car-door dents.
Shalom despite circumstances.
Shalom because of Him.
Shalom in Him.

“Shalom I leave with you. My shalom I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful” (Hebrew Names Version: John 14:27)

In the midst of worldliness, of things going wrong around us Shalom assures completeness, even though that book isn’t published,  provision – even in famine circumstances, contentment – even in a rough and tumble brotherhood, even in a bloom-where-don’t-want-to-be-planted place, relationships prospering parallel to relationships faltering, wholeness, the security found beneath His wings in an insecure world.

Peace in us that isn’t contigent on what is outside us.

Shalom, He whispers to me, soothing me,
wrapped up in my blankets,
watching the darkness outside
my window
“lie down in my Shalom and sleep” (Psalm 4:8) –
let me protect
you,
stand guard
over you,
let me have the planning of tomorrow, He says.
He knocks on my doors and windows,
Let me in He calls
Allow my shalom to dwell
within your walls(Psalm 122:7)
When He is within my walls,
the alligators under the beds
He chases out.
“My little gentile daughter,
come swim in my Shalom,
Shalom that flows like a river
washing away the mud of worry,
the grime of imperfection,
the wornness of the muscles of yourself
trying to do my job,
immerse yourself into the flowing stream
of My Holy Spirit –
there my Shalom covers you
from head to toe
inside out(Isaiah 66:12)
I will make a covenant between me and you, He tells me, a covenant of Shalom – where your challenges that beset like evil beasts
will be chased out
of your mind,
chased out
of your words,
chased out
of your attitude,
my shalom deflects attacks
of those who come to hurt.
I will encamp about
your mind, your body, the walls of your house
and you will dwell in safety
in the wildness of the world,
you will be safe enough to sleep
in the woods for the coyotes,
the snakes, the spiders will be gone
won’t be able to hurt” (Ezekiel 34:25)
“Oh, daughter, greatly beloved,
Shalom I give to you
Use it
Live it
Grow strong in it
Speak it
Share it
Shalom”

This year, I am called to live Shalom, talk it, share it – even to the places where I needs must bloom-where-I-do-not-want-to-be-planted – shalom in the center of chaos, of challenges, of life not always happening how I want it o happen.

Shalom, my friends!

“YHWH bless you and keep you.
YHWH make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
YHWH lift up His face upon you and give you SHALOM.
In the name of Yeshua haMashiyach SAR SHALOM – the Prince of Peace” (Numbers 6:24-26)

The Year of Living Shalom

The Year of Living Shalom

“And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: Shalom be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me” (Daniel 10:19).

2012 – The Year of the Little Blessings

2011 – Entering the Year of Walking

2010 – The Year of Refreshing

2009- The Year of Standing

933) grandbaby girl scooting to me, wanting me to pick her up
934) tiny fingers pointing
935) little sounds trying to become words
936) baby girl returning scrunchy faces with her uncle, much to her parents dismay
937) tea with friends over the holidays, knitting
938) friends who share our Christmas table
939) nerf guns in Christmas stockings
940) just-right gifts
941) Christmas Eve muffalettas, a new tradition that finally made Christmas Eve seem well-put together
942) delivered boxes on the porch
943) That though time seems to be careening away – God tucks in time to savor.
944) Toscano Soup added to my soup selection.
945) My husband when I need it is like a wing that provides shelter

 

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For a bit of time during the last few weeks, I felt much like a tin water bucket left out in the rain, where each soft drip eventually wears away the outward coating, rusting and thinning the inner foundation, until it finally the soft drip has worn a hole. I don’t know why, but there is something about poetry, how it captures the groanings of the soul so much better than prose. As the challenges drip, wearing the thin skin covering my soul, I wrote poetry.

fuscias, oranges yellows and purples
flowering for me,
Blessings from the Father
But I have no heart for flowers today
No heart for the downpour of the rain
Greening my grass
No taste for the Worchestshire and lemon
Mixing with the pork
No taste for the chocolate hidden in the drawer
No heart to hear
The cricket choir, or the turtle dove
calling

My mother’s heart it grieves
For struggling sons
struggling independence training
struggling to find their place
in the race

How do you have the heart for
God’s love letters
Or blessings left along the path
Except to know He sits beside me
And if I believe hard enough
He holds me hand, catches the tears
That flow inside, letting me fall apart
For a few minutes
Until He puts me back together
Dries my eyes
And tells me not to give up
On His children
He loves so much.

Do you ever have days like that, where you just fall apart, just cannot fathom how you will handle tomorrow’s schedule? When you really want those answered prayers now because the challenges are growing, grOWing and GROWING? Those moments where it takes effort to just stop, where you just want to go crawl into bed and sleep the stress away but what you really need to do sit on the porch with the Father? No bird song blessings – just you, the Father – and a bunch of quiet? I have those moments. . . .

When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up” (Psalm 94:19)

725) Well, the Father, He sent me to the dr for an abscess – the results were increased energy level, no pain.
726) Making myself knit a few rows, even though I had to back lots of stitches out – because I just couldn’t get it right. Making myself find the sweet moments in just the knitting – I needed that.
727) Sitting on the porch, wrapped with a quilt, watching the stars, listening to the katydids, letting the stress evaporate.
728) The baby turning 12 in the midst of a few good friends, ice cream pizza, gummy worms and lots of noise – from after school until 10 p.m.
729) A red beet, yellow pineapple and honey fruit smoothie for a 7 a.m. ride to a soccer game.
730) That I made myself make that smoothie even though it would have been easier to have given up and let the chaos steal something delightful.
731) Trees swaying under a blue sky in a 6:30 a.m. autumn breeze on a Sunday soccer tournament morning.
732) 3 white geese, mouths wide open, reaching for bread crumbs
733) an impossible schedule, parceled out into a manageable size
734) not the moment of my son scoring the first goal at our tournament, when he usually plays defense. Not that his coordination and foundational strength have kicked in from years with a stomach problem – and now he can literally out-run any other teams offense – from behind. But that after half time, after he had scored, he took his usual second-string bench seat – and the coach said, “What are you doing?”  He answered, “Sitting on the bench.” The coach said, ‘Get out there; we need you.” There’s a whole post in there about never giving up, no matter how bad the challenge – never give up the hope or the dream. Don’t we all feel like sometimes we’re bench sitters, not first-string players – and serving God, well, we want to do a first-string job. My son, he needed a moment like that, a moment of over-coming.
735) the other son, being the youngest and littlest, the first time being a bench-sitter – shoulders set, mind set – to take up the challenge to get off that bench and not letting the challenge make him feel it is a permanent place.
736) Somehow in the chaos of this weekend, of all the schedules – there were moments of comfortable peace just hanging out with the boys.
737) The birds are quieter now. I guess their chicks have left the nest. They keep their voices down now. Today, though, when I took a break for sit with the Father, to find Him – I heard the birds singing a sweet autumn song – and I heard it right after I read this:
738) “You hear those little goldfinches chatting in the undertones without ever stopping? –Bird voices. –Talk to Me like that, ceaselessly, sotto voice. –Soul Voices” (Evelyn Brown, He and I)
739) A student-worker wearing a t-shirt, ‘Ask Me My Story” – and someone did. He gave hist testimony – how awesome is that!
740) That happened right after I read this: “Look at the stained glass windows. Some are in the shadow and have kept all their colors to themselves. Others have surrendered to the sun and are completely lost in its light” (Evelyn Brown, He and I).
741) An answer to a prayer unfolding, relief from a son – trying to wait with grace in the unfolding of it.
742) A soldier reservist son, finishing up a job – and finding a civilian one to get him set-up for taking college classes.
743) A candle lit – a message to the chaos that I will not let it control the atmosphere and mood of where I am


744) Windows, in my office, in my kitchen, outside my bedroom window – letting me see the blessings of God all around me, constantly moving, constantly there – even when the challenges bring me low, He stops in the midst with me – and we sit together, the Father and I.

745) “Our day. . . when I shall work in you more than you work” (Brown, Evelyn, He and I)

746) The soft drip of the challenge . . .and I can no longer hold it all together in this rusted mess – so He holds it together for me.

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harvesttableThe pewter tulip bell that used to hang beside my grandmother’s front door, it fell to the ground the other day beside my back door.

The flag bracket for the flags that herald the seasons and moods of home beside my garage door – it fell to the ground, too.

When the rains came yesterday, we put buckets on the floor to catch the evidence of a family room roof leak.

These growing up challenges my boys to men face, there are broken things there, too  – I’m supposed to be teaching them how to fix them – and sometimes, the lesson is a mess all around.

My kitchen table, instead of looking how I know it can look, is mini-piles of many messes. It’s more than a dinner table. It’s a work table, a business desk, an art table, a celebration table, a lecture table, a prayer table – and I just can’t seem to make it what I want – a neat, tidy, polished harvest table with 3 white pottery cups filled with zinnias.

There is so much evidence of the outside-of-myself brokenness.

For a moment tonight, a long moment, beyond a pause, a lie tried to slip into my mind – and, if it were to slip into my mind, it would try to drip into my heart where it would try to crowd out all hope.

The lie? Oh, it’s an old lie – like ants in the summer sneaking from the outside in, the lie tries to sneak in when I least feel equipped to handle it.

Standing in the kitchen among the near-last clippings of zinnias in mason jars, pottery cups and vases, and a green tin bucket of tomatoes that needed to be cooked, the lie, it crept in, uninvited, unwanted.

I wrapped myself in a quilt and crept out to the porch. In the darkness, I wished for a real-live, on-earth dad who would have made me feel awesome about myself, who would have fought for me, hugged those old lies away.

The Father, though, He didn’t leave me out there alone. He came and sat beside me, reminding me, “I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me” (Isaiah 45:4)

Though you do not know me, like I know you, He says.

I don’t know how to fix the bell or the flag bracket. I can’t fix the roof or patch the ceiling. That kitchen table with its mess – what do you do with the mess?  I can’t even fix my children’s growing up challenges. All the things I really, really want to do – I seem to be coming up empty of what it takes.

“I have chosen you and have not rejected you” (Isaiah 41:9)

I sat there, blinking at the star, listening to the neighbor’s dog and the katydids, wrapping the quilt tighter in the crisp coolness.

“I equip you, though you do not know me” (Isaiah 45:5), He reminds me.

“Listen to me – Listen Close, ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me” (Isaiah 45:5)” – His word pursues me, reaching out to pull me close.

You are equipped, He tells me – nothing you are going through is a surprise to me. Nothing your children are going through is a surprise to me. I made them. I made you – and I equipped each of you for each journey, each challenge.

You are not fatherless, success-less, you are worthy of first-class dreams that I put inside you – that is why those dreams are there – because I put those dreams inside you before you were born.

I knew the challenges the boys would face. I made sure you were equipped to handle them – I knew about them before you were born. I knew you wouldn’t give up on them – I put that inside you to – that not-give-up-ness.

You just don’t always know my plan for your life. You have to trust me. I don’t reject you. I chose you. I named you. One day, you will hear me say the name I gave you – and you will love it! I gave you the best equipage available in the universe to handle the precious responsibility I gave you – you lack nothing; you have the best of everything.

Don’t believe the deceiver’s lies. Know me more. Trust me better.

And, the Father, he sat beside me, watched the star in the sky with me as I let that hope drip into my heart.

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A Seed Emerging Fragile (Click here)

I confess – I enjoy a front row seat to how these boys communicate to each other in this house of mine. Their tag-team humor, their eye-popping honesty to each other – sometimes it un-nerves me. Other times it humors me beyond measure. At times, I just want to pack up my chair and exit. Every now and then, it just wows me.

My soldier-son, he went to visit my people in Louisville. He admired the girls there. Thought he might find himself a Louisville girl.

“That’s what your dad did,” I quipped. He decided maybe he really shouldn’t find himself a Louisville girl. Those are the one-on-one, light-hearted conversations.

Then there’s the two on one talking. A brother talking about the challenges of working at a camp, a worker spitting on the floor he’s mopping, wondering if leadership realizes all the trees he’s cut down, the grounds he’s mowed and how this son is frustrated with hypocrisy but wanting to live faith.

Moments like those are sometimes the “wind-whipping- moments, when either because of our choices or others choices, we are “tromped, hoof pressed, storm weathered pressed leaf pressed, water pressed, gravity pressed,into soil blackness”

“Get used to it,” said the soldier son. “That’s life.” He paused and a few seconds later added, “Pray about it.”

We looked at him, not sure how serious he was taking this conversation. This son who rolled his eyes every time I said, “Pray about it.” This son who wasn’t sure how to handle the Prayer for a Solder son I sent him last September.

The conversation continued. In the midst of life’s challenges, living faith came in the form of a crying camper whose walking stick was broken by a bullying camper and how this joyful son struggling with challenges that threatened to distract him from what he considered his real mission – showing God’s love to these campers – searched for another stick from the stick pile, crafted it into something awesome and gifted it to the camper or how he carried a camper with a twisted ankle to the nurse and then carried him back to the cabin.

“They say they want to be like me,” he said about these campers.

That is where “the core of itself remembers light and flimsy roots push upward emerging fragile. . . reaching ever light upward.”

That’s life, I thought, the good fruit of life, that is. Where walking faith rises above the challenges like cranberries in the water in the harvest.

Soldier Son says from the kitchen, “Pray about it.”

And we both look at him, “Are you mocking us?”

And he repeats, “Pray about it. I’m serious.”

And I am just overwhelmed at both of them, these seeds emerging fragile, growing faith, using that faith, no matter how imperfectly, despite real or imagined challenges, to live hope in an imperfect world.

They both seemed so fragile to me this weekend, these young men 6 ft 3 and 6 ft 5. God was reminding me that no matter how fragile they seem in the challenges they face. No matter how they are just young men, seedlings and saplings on so many levels, God’s word, that faith seed within them, is more mighty, more strong, more than enough to grow them out of these fragile times until they are to the world what an oak tree is to an acorn –

because God is just that big, that powerful, that faithful to us.

 

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Forgiveness tastes salty. Sometimes, unconditional love tastes salty, too. The only thing I know to do when hurt comes, not offense, just hurt – is to call on the Father, maybe sometimes in a Knight in Shining Armor kind of way to save the damsel in me. Because sometimes when hurt comes, love and forgiveness are overwhelmed and need saving, He is the only one who can do it.

Prayer for when Love and Forgiveness feel Overwhelmed by Hurt

“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler
and rise for my help!
Draw the spear and javelin
against my pursuers!
Say to my soul,
‘I am your salvation!’”
(Psalm 35: 1-3)

Father, yes, contend against those who contend against me. Champion this damsel in distress. Let me feel your protection from the fight, the battle – you are my salvation. You are the only Knight in Shining Armour who can win this battle. But let your spear and javelin be the spear and javelin of truth that pierces hearts, lancing untruth, prejudice, negativism and applying the healing balm of your spirit.

“Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek after my life!
Let them be turned back and disappointed
who devise evil against me!
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away!
Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them”
(Psalm 35: 4-6).

Father, if there is shame or dishonor, let it be only in the recognition of the truth and love of my heart. When turned back, let it be with peace and rejoicing in truth. Do no let them become like chaff before the wind, let not the angel of the Lord drive them away. Let their way become sure-footed, truth-footed, God-footed, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them for salvation, not destruction. Let your love and forgiveness be meted out by a heart embracing truth and love.

“For without cause they hid their net for me;
without cause they dug a pit for my life.
Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it!
And let the net that he hid ensnare him;
let him fall into it—to his destruction!”
(Psalm 35: 7-8)

The evidence is before you Father, the nets hid, a pit dug – all without merit. Yet, let not destruction come, let not traps ensare into destruction. Let Salvation ensare, captured by your saving grace. Let truth and love permeate  souls Father. Let redemption be found through your ways.

“Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his salvation.
All my bones shall say,
“O Lord, who is like you,
delivering the poor
from him who is too strong for him,
the poor and needy from him who robs him?”

(Psalm 35: 9-10)

My soul rejoices in you Oh, Lord, exulting in your salvation. All my bones, from my toes upward cry out, “O Lord, who is like you” for you deliver me from situations too strong for me, from situations that seek to rob me, from situations I cannot comprehend.

“Malicious witnesses rise up;
they ask me of things that I do not know.
They repay me evil for good;
my soul is bereft”
(Psalm 35: 11-12)

 I try to love Father – in words, actions and thoughts. But my words, actions and thoughts are mis-interepreted, mis-used or lost in translation.  My soul is bereft: beggared, destitute, left without, impoverished, disinherited, barren, cast off, without breath.

“But I, when they were sick—
I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting;
I prayed with head bowed on my chest.
I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
as one who laments his mother,
I bowed down in mourning”
(Psalm 35: 13-14)

Oh, father, I can only love the way I know how. Is there more? Is there a better way? I have tried every love language, tried to love your way, through you, sometimes graceless like a dancer with wounded feet, but always full-hearted, a no-holds barred loving.

“But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
they gathered together against me;
wretches whom I did not know
tore at me without ceasing;
like profane mockers at a feast,
they gnash at me with their teeth”
(Psalm 35: 15-16)

At each wrong foot unintentionally placed, at each word imperfectly chosen, at each moment awkwardly loved – offense was taken, resulting in retribution that tore at me, constantly. Not forgiven or overlooked, like spilled milk at a feast where it is cleaned up and camaraderie continues – but my gracelessness, my imperfection stays center stage, judged, ridiculed, continual bruising and scratching of my heart, no moving forward, no loving forward, hurt that nips and pulls at my soul. Who cares but you, Oh Father, about these wounds? Who but you can heal them?

“How long, O Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their destruction,
my precious life from the lions!
I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you.
Let not those rejoice over me
who are wrongfully my foes,
and let not those wink the eye
who hate me without cause.
For they do not speak peace,
but against those who are quiet in the land
they devise words of deceit.
They open wide their mouths against me;
they say, ‘Aha, Aha!
Our eyes have seen it'”
(Psalm 35: 19-21)

If there is something barring you from interceding on my behalf, open my eyes to it Lord. Is there a reason I am to walk through this Father? Please rescue from this destructive hurt. You have told me I am precious to you, a favored daughter. Rescue me,  Father. I will tell the story of my Knight in Shining Armour who rode out of heaven to lift me up, who saved me, healed blindness, healed embittered hearts, healed wounds – and restored.

Let restoration be true Father. Not a 6-year-old, “I’m sorry” to escape punishment – but real heart changes. Let there be change, deep soul-change: restoration where love flourishes, words embrace, peace flows from a Holy Spirit stream of heart – oh, Father, let us embrace each other inside the circle of your family with loving intent.

“You have seen, O Lord; be not silent!
O Lord, be not far from me!
Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication,
for my cause, my God and my Lord!
Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
according to your righteousness,
and let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not say in their hearts,
‘Aha, our heart’s desire!’
Let them not say, ‘We have swallowed him up'”
(Psalm 35: 22-25)

Rescue me Father. You know the truth. Champion me, Lord. Ride to my rescue. Be. With.  Me. – be with this heart that strives imperfectly to live your cause, to live as your daughter, to love all your children. Vindicate. Exonerate. Defend me, Oh, Lord. You have said I am your daughter, a daughter of the King, the creator, the great I Am. You have pursued me, told me I belong to you, that every hair on my head is counted, that every tear is collected. In your mighty love for me Father, that is too much for me to comprehend, to big for me to fathom, in your mighty love father, rescue me, redeem me, restore me, save me from this battle.

“Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who rejoice at my calamity!
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
who magnify themselves against me!
Let those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad
and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
and of your praise all the day long” (Psalm 35:26-28)

As I try to live love and forgiveness, Father, I ask for shame and dishonour to not be brought against those who hurt me. I ask that shame and dishonour be replaced with forgiveness and redemption, that hearts are changed, that souls are changed – and that love prevails. Thank you Father for surrounding me with those who encourage me, who know the righteousness of my heart, my intents. I thank you that they rejoice with me that you delight in the welfare of me, your servant, your daughter – and I will tell the story, the continual story of your Hero to my damsel in distress.

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