Perilous travel

“Where are you?!” I found myself shouting desperately to the gps app on my phone, which was loudly quiet. I was traveling in unfamiliar territory, a self-described country girl in the bustling city of Philadelphia, after spending an emotionally grueling day at the hospital as my husband underwent yet another surgery as well as a plasma exchange treatment that day. By the time I left, it was wintry dark and the windshield kept freezing up from the driving sleet. Though I held printed directions I couldn’t read them in the dark and was desperately trying to be vigilant of slippery conditions, oncoming cars and road signs, not to mention the icy windshield.

Even the poorly placed signs seemed determined to hinder my progress and hide my way rather than mark my way. A sign to a major expressway was covered by a heavy cloth and though I could see it under the cloth, I could not make out which direction it would have pointed towards. Is the cloth covering it because there is a detour ahead? What good is a road sign without providing a direction, I thought? Further down the road, I ‘happened’ to catch a small sign for the highway I needed, posted under a low trestle and had I missed it, I would have been traveling in the opposite direction! Why hide such a major sign, I thought? Shouldn’t it clearly mark the way?

As I strained to see in the dark, I slid through a stop sign, fearfully gripping the steering wheel as my brakes were outmatched by ice beneath the tires. Thankful there were no other cars, I slowly continued on in the dark. As I was nearing my destination, the gps finally came to life, providing directions for the rest of the way. Though I was grateful, I still wondered, “Where were you when I needed you? I could have lost my way!”

After I could park along the snow laden roadside and peer through the dark, I was relieved to see the house number for my niece’s house. Thank You, Lord, I breathed and relaxed my over-tensed shoulders.

As I lay in the warm bedroom, grateful to be safe and sound, I thought of how many times I could have made the wrong turn. Of how the signs were either hidden, inefficient, or not there for me.

My thoughts traveled to the path of life, and how especially in this election year the signposts seem hidden, covered or missing. Of how I seek clear direction for that, for Don’s health concerns, for the lives of our children. Lord, we need Your light…shed Your grace on us.

My harrowing experience left such a mark on my spirit and causes me to think of those journeying the road of life in general, caught in the dark as they try to find their way. Those seeing signs which may promise directions toward safety, but waylay and distract travelers. I thought about hidden signs that should proudly and broadly mark the way, rather than appear, almost apologetically at the last minute, near a bridge or fork along the way. I thought about the need for the presence of another who knows the way, yet of the silence of my gps partner, who I had been depending on and how frustrated I was to not hear the voice designed to help.

Lord, help me be a well-lit sign and confident voice toward life and safety to those traveling along the road of life; not silent or hidden, not absent or even apologetic. I want to be a bold and clear marker, a presence of accuracy, of genuineness and of comfort for those needing the compass of truth. For travelers along roads that are marked by danger and fraught with innumerable occasions to be wrecked or lead away from light, life, hope and safety. I don’t want to ever hear, “Where were you when I needed you?” as they travel through murky darkness. May no one lose their way on my watch, or lose opportunities to find You as the Way, truth and life.  May I be a beacon of light, a voice of truth, a sign toward hope for any I meet along the way.

Rest Assured

After months of waiting, we finally saw a specialist in Philadelphia who came highly recommended by the pain management doctor at Hershey. He is one of few who treat chronic pain through a particular type of infusion. He is very hopeful that this procedure will bring relief for Don. After 4 years of being in persistent, unrelenting pain and seeking various forms of relief, we thank God for hopeful news, knowing His hand is the one who ultimately brings strength and healing. We are thankful for the many who have sought to help along the way. Thankful for this promising possibility. Thankful for the Promiser of all Hope.

This procedure will be up to 3 weeks in duration while he is admitted to the hospital in Philadelphia. Which is approximately 2 hours from home. Because of needs at home with my kids, my mother, and other duties, I will be traveling to and from, with occasional overnights over the course of the 3 weeks. And so it begins….

“Make sure you wear warm enough clothes for work, clear the ramp of snow, feed the pets…..”

“Make sure you check on Nana. Here are some names and numbers if you need help. These are possible meals….”

Lists of things for the ‘kids’ to remember, lists of things for me to remember. Dare I trust them to follow what I’ve taught them, thinking about how I would handle things if decisions arise so things run smoothly? Is this how Jesus felt as He was preparing His followers for His departure? Trying to take them into unknown places when they didn’t know what was ahead, knowing only that He wouldn’t be there? Leaving them with so much more than they could grasp? Trusting them to make their own mistakes and get up and begin again? How did You leave them and be at such peace, Lord? “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (John 14:27) Wow! The Amplified version really hits me between the eyes!

Because already the unsettledness, the inner conflict has begun, foreseeing that when I’m with Don I will feel like I need to be here.  Knowing when I am here I will feel like I need to be with Don. What if this doesn’t bring about the expected results for him? What if he needs me and I’m here? Can my heart stretch the 2 hour distance? My energy?

“Cindy, rest assured that I AM WITH YOU. I am with Don. I am with Jordon and Karisa. I am with Mom. I span all distance, all time, any limitation you feel. Abide with ME and you will be at rest.”

 “But, Lord, this doesn’t look restful to me….”

“Cindy, I am never anxious, never frantic, never tired. As you put your trust fully in Me, you can be in that restful, sacred place where I dwell with you. Faith in Me means to inwardly rest assured. Assured that I have it all in My capable…Willing…Strong…Tender…Loving hands. Place it all in My hands, daughter. I will take care of it. I will take care of them. I will take care of you. You can rest assured in My promises. It is My pleasure! But remember: True rest is not passive. It is being mindful of Who I Am in the midst of unrestful circumstances. This is where the test of rest exists. This is where you overcome. Not when things are going according to your plans. And not focusing on the ‘what ifs.’ Trust Me, Cindy, My nature, My power, My love – and you will see Me, and know Me, in the midst of it all – with you. Trust Me enough to follow My lead and leave the results with Me.”

“I am looking, Lord. I am trusting. I am seeking to rest assured. To be still and know You are God. Help my fluttering emotions, my weak knees. I want an undivided heart that’s found only in You. Bless Don with rest, with strength, with healing power. Bless those at home with rest, with grace, with resolve. Thank You that Your wings carry and cover all of us.”

 

photo                    (A picture of being under His wings. Check out the wingspan, holding both close to heart!)

Which do I want – merely facts or marvelous truth?

I am aware of facts. They are right in front of my face. Always present.

Like the fact that Don is in fairly constant pain with chronic inflammation. Or that Jordon is agonizingly aware that he is different from many of his peers.

These facts also speak (or shout?) to me from medical journals and even teachers or doctor’s words. “Your husband’s disease is progressive and has damaged his nerves, possibly irreversibly” or “Your son has autism and will be limited for the rest of his life.”

Sometimes the facts bring people to opinions, which are then offered as factual – “There’s nothing else for your husband. We’ve done all there is…” or “Your son will never read, never drive, never….”

Despite facts – what is observable, visible, or what is known by experience – I seek truth. I want to see it with the eyes of faith, to hear it, to follow it, to believe it, to speak it. Even to breathe it. I need it to more than survive. I need it to live.

Truth transcends the limited information we derive through our physical senses or objective tests. Facts can bring bondage – truth will set free. That’s because Truth is alive, breathed by the Spirit of the Living God.

Truth is, You are Truth, Lord. You are the Way, Truth and Life. Only You. Your words, as the Word made flesh, are true. They are the only Truth I truly care about. Despite my limited perception of facts, of what I oberve or hear spoken, and despite my feelings. In fact, You take the 1-or 2-dimensional facts and weave Your 3- or more-dimensional Truth around it.

What I seek for I will find. If I seek facts alone, I will find them. I am not about to deny facts; however, I seek Truth, undeniable Truth, and will find the Source of Truth in the Word of God and seen through the eyes of Christ.

That’s why when Jordon says (daily), “I will always have autism, won’t I Mom,” I can reply, “But…” (and he will fill in the rest with truth I’ve scripted to him over the years) “…but, I can still do great things.” Yes, that is where the focus lies. Or rather, speaks truth.

And we don’t settle for seeking only ‘why’ questions with God regarding Don’s condition, as if we want Him to fill in the blanks with pieces of information. God has graciously offered us the peace of Truth – our life mission is unchanged, and though the facts can limit us, the truth sets us free. He has offered us Himself – the Life of Truth for us to embrace even in the unknowing. Facts may be always present; Truth is ever-present, breathing life in times of trouble, sending hope in trials, and even joy in the midst.

Why settle for mere facts when you can know the One Who is Truth?

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God with us

 

“Shhhhh…it’s ok. Mommy’s here,” I would coo when my babies were upset, crying frantically from hunger, or a wet diaper, or whatever babies cry over.  As they got older and woke up from a nightmare, crying in the night, feeling alone and afraid in the dark, I would whisper it soothingly into their ears. Mommy’s here. Hearing my voice, knowing my nearness somehow set things right. I didn’t have to explain or bring answers to their difficulty – I just needed to be there. There is something to be said for the presence of another, even that of a loving mother and her nearness, that is reassuring, that speaks peace.

Of all the wonderful names of Jesus, I think Immanuel is one of the ones most precious to me. It brings reassurance and steadies my restless, fearful, or weary heart. God the Father bends down toward me, and joins me in my darkness, in my aloneness, and whispers, “Hush, My child. All is well. I AM here.” Now in fact, the Word came forth, and there He is – Peace on earth, splitting the darkness into the Light of His presence.

I have been in a season of darkness, where I have anxiously looked for His light to guide me and navigate us through Don’s health challenges and all its implications It is a time of feeling helpless, and alone. There are times where the news is not good, and even distressing – even this past weekend. We were informed our insurance coverage is ending and we are ‘on our own’. So amid the papers to fill out, decisions to be made regarding what we can afford, we, like the kings following the star, or the nation of Israel looking to the pillar in the darkness,  lift our eyes. Cindy, I AM here, God reminds me I bring light into the darkness, My profound presence into your aloneness, My help into your helplessness. I AM the light of hope, the light of wisdom, the light of comfort. I Am, and all I bring with Me, with you. Peace to you, Peace for you, Peace with you. I am here with you. I am here for you. Be not afraid, do not look anxiously about you. Look to Me, Immanuel.

“Shhh…it’s ok. All is well. I AM herefor you.” Let His words bring comfort to your heart, His presence bring light and hope and peace this season.

Let this song whisper in your darkness, your need of light, of truth, of hope, of comfort. Of His presence, Immanuel. Merry Christmas!!

Seeking – and Finding

As I make yet another trip to the ER, I am once again filled with emotions. Lots of details run through my mind, recollections of being here numerous times, concerns that I will remember important info I may need to share, concerns of details beyond these walls to be sure there is coverage for others for whom I provide care. And of course, concerns regarding what Don is experiencing yet again. He has been through a lot already in these last four years, visited ER rooms and doctor’s offices, too many to count. Do I even want to? And now here we are once more…

I glance at those around me. Each one of us had a different idea of our what our day would be like when we awoke this morning. There are likely more questions looming and hidden in the depths of each soul – many which will go unanswered. The host of illnesses and injuries and traumas represented here demands much inner and outer strength from the staff seeking to bring physical relief and emotional support.

‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…’  God reminds me. Yet as I look around for the goodness of God it remains hidden, buried beneath my emotions and questions, though I take comfort in that it remains – Present. Steady. Permanent.

And as I look past my own hurts and concerns, it also appears to be  hidden among all the sufferers here in the waiting room. ‘If you seek Me you will find me, if you seek with your whole heart…’  God whispers again. Lord, I know You are everywhere but it must be hidden in plain sight. Help me to find Your goodness here and now, my heart quietly responds. To be truthful, my heart feels more fragmented and fractured rather than whole, but I will be vigilant, for I need His goodness that accompanies His presence like I need air to breathe. Especially now, especially here.

And so my breathing turns into silent prayers of intercession for the people around me – painful, fear-filled faces in need of faith-filled comfort and courage. And prayers for staff needing the wisdom beyond their experience. And prayers for doctors with knowledge, yet many unaware of the Source of the true knowledge. And prayers for patients who occupy each bed, many receiving life-altering news today. Even prayers for visitors breathlessly arriving with few words but a deep desire to share a moment in time with a suffering loved one. All of us have something in common – we are needing to see the goodness of God in the land of the living.

And as I partake of His heart for them in silent prayer, I begin to see His goodness unfold! His goodness and mercy waiting to be poured forth, released through the prayer of one of His kids commissioned in a place like this to partner with Him and look beyond. Beyond the present tears and fears, beyond even false bravado. To bridge the will of heaven upon the earth. And as I pray forward the goodness of His love lavished on others, I, too, taste and see the redemptive goodness of the Lord. Toward me. Through me. Through a simple prayer lifted up in offering to Him. How good He is! Who’s to say that there isn’t at least one among these thousands who needs a prayer of intercession to intervene in this seeming interruption of their life today? I personally would not have breathed a prayer for any of these individuals had my own plans been uninterrupted today. Could our emergency be used to provide the answer to someone’s silent cries? Could we see beyond our pain and be part of a bigger purpose and mission than we could imagine? Is this where what Satan plots and plans for evil, God brings forth good?

But surely not this way, Lord!

And yet the goodness of His heart chases away the shadows from my own. And I actually thank Him for this precious and sacred opportunity to minister as anonymous priest to those who are unaware of their deepest need, unaware of His love specifically shed abroad for them. May there be an awareness that this day, in this sacred place, someone joined the Spirit of the Living God in intercession for them, being a shield bearer in the battle for their spirit. And I wonder how many others of His kids are in this place also joining Him in offering up prayers, joined together without even knowing one another by an eternal bond that transcends time and space. This sacred, chaotic moment in time where heaven and earth were bridged through one desperate prayer to see the goodness of God in this place.

I wish I could keep this perspective once we move out of emergency into ‘normal’ life (whatever that might be).  I don’t want to lose it. Then again, what if we move out of emergency into further personal urgency and my eyes and heart want to stay closed from the rest of the world?  I continue to seek Your healing touch for Don, for wholeness and peace – and eyes to continually see Your goodness.

So in this moment, I thank You for Your invitation to join You on this holy mission. For Your Presence which brings goodness and wholeness and light into desperate places. May Your goodness be revealed in tangible ways in each of our lives for the glory of Your Name.

 

 

 

Yet Will I Trust You

Lord God,

Hear my prayer expressed from the depths of my soul and lifted to You in a form not unlike Habakkuk 3:17-19.  A prayer acknowledging my perspective and somewhat of a lament. A prayer looking at the waves, not wanting to sink and looking to You beckoning to me – and reaching for Your outstretched Hand. Toward me. Inviting me. Lifting me. Holding me.

Even though in reality we daily we deal with Don’s chronic condition, where:

      -the pain is persistent both day and night with no consistent relief in sight (consistently persistent, but not persistently consistent);

      -griefs are more than I can say as life’s dreams and lost opportunities fade with each passing day;

      -I’ve lost count of things, people and plans I’ve had to let go, wanting to say yes, but needing to say no

      -feelings of isolation are compounded by those who are well-meaning but lack well-understanding.  (Yet how could they? We each have our own path to travel and others travel paths of suffering, the reality of which I truly cannot imagine)

      – energy and time wanes though duties wax and pile high, bringing with them another deep weary soul sigh

      – seemingly endless trips to the doctor or Emergency Room produce not answers …..   but more questions;

 

                    HOWEVER ———— Troubles within or without – it matters not.

 This is my declaration of trust and hope in You alone.

 BECAUSE of this I will choose to draw near, sending roots deep into the soil of faith,

DESPITE this I will choose to feed on the manna of Your Word

ALTHOUGH THIS challenge is wearying I choose to call upon Your grace which is deeper, stronger and all encompassing,

EVEN SO I choose to listen to Your voice above the thunderous storm, above the threatening doubts and fears

SO…. I whole-heartedly declare

YET WILL I TRUST YOU –

I choose to rejoice in You, the Lord and the God of my salvation.

I choose to rest my wavering hope on the absolute, unshakable truth that You, God, are my Helper, my shield, my strength.

I choose to set my eyes upward as You alone are the Wise and purposeful One Who holds the answers to the questions, You hold me to comfort in the dark and early morning hours; You alone gather my tears, abate my fears, renew my strength physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.

I will set my heart and hope and wait on You – YOU are God alone.

On this truth I stand. I am Yours, YOU are mine and I am kept safely by Your Hand,  in Your Hand – a Hand that is always purposeful, eternally loving, tirelessly mighty and flawlessly tender. Held together by You. Held together with You.


So long, summer

Precious moments shared over the last two months – together
Our fingers seemingly inseparably laced as we shared scenic heights in awe of majestic cloud formations, sunrises and sunsets
Eyes full of wonder drawn upward as we gazed at the beauty of the expansive clear night skies
We have tasted of the harvest from jointly sowing and nurturing seeds, smelled the fragrance yielded by the sun-kissed flowers
And now, sweet Summer, my dear friend, you cast shadows, foreshadowing the moments that draw ever nearer for you to leave, shadows admittedly I do not look forward to as I breathe in the last of the newly-mown grass
I draw a sweater around my shoulders and gaze wistfully at your seemingly swift departure, thankful for the gifts you have given me, yet longing for more time to linger with you over the glow of campfires and catching lightning bugs, picking berries and licking ice cream conesReluctant to release my hold as our hands are slowly separating, saying goodbye …..for now…Feeling somewhat disloyal yet capturing this moment in time as you gently loosen my grasp and graciously pass my hand over to another, the one who follows our steps at a distance but also draws nearer each passing day

You tenderly beckon me to embrace the next season with all its joys and expectations and delights of unique sights and sounds and smells and tastes

Encouraging me to be present and mindful as new memories are to be made

Sunflower in a storm
Sunflower

Cherishing the former moments, yet anticipating this next season with renewed resolve

Now instead of looking up at the leaves that have newly bloomed, waving in the wind

I will dance with them as they too, loosen their grasp and float onward on their journey.

 

 

 

Cindy Riker

August 23, 2015

Praying it forward – the many faces and graces of God

An elderly friend of mine has been in the process of moving to a retirement community. It has been stressful to downsize, to make decisions regarding placement and disbursement of her belongings, and very wearying on a physical and emotional level. Just before leaving home to help her to pack, I had a strong compulsion to bring her something that would be meaningful to her, to strengthen her spiritually and encourage her emotionally. I looked around at my things, praying for what I could bring or even pick up along the way there but nothing stood out. Food? Flowers? A book? None of these would meet her immediate need, and I realized that I had nothing to give her that would meet her true need.

“Lord,” I cried, “what can I bring to her? I have nothing.”

“Cindy, your hands may feel empty but your heart is not. Abide in Me. You have Me to bring. I am everything she needs.”

As I pondered these words, the prayer of Arwen in Lord of the Rings echoed in my mind. Frodo was in great need physically and his life was fading as she was desperately trying to bring him to the help he needed.

 

                           Arwyn “Whatever grace is given me, let it pass to him…”

 

God then reminded me of some conversations I had in the past. Others in similar times of stress told me that God’s presence in strength, in gentle wisdom and in peace was present as I was with them. I didn’t do or bring anything of myself, I clearly knew, but His gracious presents were available as I brought them awareness of the Presence of God.

 

“Lord, may Your gifts of strength in her need, Your wisdom in decisions, Your peace and comfort in her stress be evident as we are together. I don’t want to rely on my own strength but on Yours, for without You I truly bring nothing. I don’t want to do anything of myself. Fill my hands, my heart, my words with only what You bring through my vessel. Whatever grace is given me, let it pass to her.” I prayed. “Amen.”

Amen means “so be it” and is more than just an ending to a prayer. It is a stamp affirming and concluding with surety of what has been stated or sought.

 

And God tangibly added His ‘Amen’ that night, graciously pouring out His Presence and His Presents to both of us. I marvel at His grace and creativity. While packing together, her stress in decisions wasn’t draining her but draining away from her. My stress in feeling like I had to bring something, do something, to fix it all also faded away and life and lightness was renewed to both of us. After all, He created all things, all life, from ‘nothing’, yet breathed His very life into us. And shines His light through our clay vessels. And as we share His life, His presence, His breath, we make His joy complete. It is an act of worship, a reflection of the Giving-ness of God. In us. Through us. And we find great joy in the process!!

I love how God’s expressions of Himself and His nature are uniquely displayed in His kids so we can bear His likeness. That in itself is a picture of grace – the receiving of His ‘DNA’. As His child, it is not a thing that could we have earned or achieved, but is all completely from and of Him!

 

Thank You, Lord, that we are never truly ’empty-handed’ when we abide in You, bringing You with and in us. You provide all sufficient grace that is needed in such a custom-designed way. God’s divine grace wrapped in mortal flesh, the extraordinary spiritual life of God delivered through the ordinary physical life of His people. You are our joy. You are our Amen!

 

What changes, what doesn’t

In light of recent Supreme Court decisions, I wonder what the implications will be, what changes to our society. I see fractioning and polarization. Fear-based responses, anger-based reactions. And yet, despite the possible societal changes, there are things personally that I dare not change. I will choose to continue to seek and follow the example of Christ, loving God, loving others. One of my favorite life verses is, “ And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and dwelled (tabernacled, fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.” John 1:14 Amplified

John’s use of the Greek ‘tabernacled’, suggests to me several things.

–     The tabernacle was designed and purposed  to be the visible, earthly ‘housing’ of the Shekinah glory of God.  As am I.

–     The tabernacle was a temporary structure, not separate from, but nestled among, alongside, and within the community, thus by its presence and purpose impacting it. As am I.

–     The glory/splendor of the presence of God served to guide, comfort and be an identifying mark of the people gathered by Him. As am I.

Christ became flesh for many reasons, but stated here, tabernacled and dwelled among us SO THAT we could see and experience the glory of God, literally in-the-flesh. SO THAT we could behold – ‘contemplate, observe intently, especially to interpret something (grasp its significance).. so as to impact (influence) the viewer.’* Jesus was on display, as the manifest glory, majesty, goodness, and splendor of the Almighty Creator Father God.

What set Him apart in their eyes? He came full of grace and truth. Full – focused, undistracted, purely permeated, abounding in and completely occupied with:

–          Grace – favor and kindness. The Greek renders it: freely extended to give Himself away to people; favor, disposed to, inclined, favorable towards, leaning towards to share benefit“) and

–          Truth‘not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness.* [Personal side note: It doesn’t state He came full of grace and law, which was already given – 17 ‘For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ.’ The ‘supernatural-becoming-natural’ reality of morally, internally living out of law is truth. ‘In ancient Greek culture, (aletheia) was synonymous for “reality” as the opposite of illusion*. Hmm, could the illusion be in determining which laws to follow and/or enforce upon others, or possibly having an external image of a law-abider, rather than internally embracing the principle at heart-truth level?]

Jesus came –  demonstrating the love of God, declaring and freely living and revealing the Truth of God, displaying the works of God. He did so inclined toward others, leaning toward them, not standing with arms crossed and fingers pointed. Not calculating who deserved it. Nor shrinking back, but embracing others with grace, embracing the fullness of truth (for isn’t He the Truth – that sets us free? Free from the bondage of self, of sin, of shame, of Satan’s deception?) I believe it was His compassion toward others that provided the environment for His authority to declare the Truth among them.  Imagine being confronted with the promise and hope found in solid, eternal Truth, delivered by His face of compassion. He was loving and gracious – and simultaneously real, boldly living and proclaiming the truth. Not acting on His own behalf, but God’s. Not in His own name, but in the name of the Father.

‘Truth’ delivered in an army tank is generally sent from self-centeredness – centered on fear, pride, judgment, desire for control. And elicits the same defensive and/or offensive posture in the receiver. The message gets lost. Can truth really be packaged this way?

The message of Truth delivered in a florist vehicle – or even just an ordinary, everyday vehicle – is an invitation, not a threat of attack. And is more likely to be received, no matter what the outcome.

And as He was called to do this, so am  I.

As He was sent and commissioned, so am I.

As people experienced the glory of God wrapped in flesh, inclined toward them through His life, so I, too, am God-in-the-flesh to others. Not my own ideas and words, but only those He speaks. Not my actions, but only as I see Him act. Just like Him. So others can see Him too. And can see His glory!

I wonder what would happen if the people in our world were to behold and capture the glory and presence of God among them through His children, truly leaning toward them with favor and spiritual blessing, sharing the glorious truth that frees and releases life with God towards them? Now is the time to be that incliner and leaner – inclined toward and leaning on God, leaning toward others, permeated distinctively with both favor and truth. Joyfully living the Truth of God, demonstrating the love of God, displaying the works of God.

So be it, Lord.

*HELPS Word studies

https://youtu.be/oSJoMvr3ToQ

 

 

And God says….

Today’s conversation in the car – June 2, 2015

Jordon: “I really like going to CADD, Journeys and Joni & Friends because they accept me and are understanding of people like me. I don’t always get that from others. Know what I mean?”

Mom: “Yes. And I am glad for them, too.”

Jordon: “But you don’t go there.”

Mom: “Let me tell you something about being a Mom. Moms feel every pain and injury their kids do – in a very deep, sacred place in their heart. They feel every joy and accomplishment in the same place. When others receive you, its like they receive me as well. When they don’t, then they don’t receive me either. It’s like I am with you, in my heart, wherever you go. As your Mom I would do anything, even to my own hurt, to see you successful, joyful, well-received. This goes even when you make some poor choices, even when you hurt me – my love for you wells up from that deep, sacred place and goes on and on. So I am very happy that you feel like you belong there, that you fit in. It makes me truly happy, too.”

 

And it’s so like God to speak to me through the words that come from my mouth – my heart: “Cindy– you only know and experience love because I am love, because I first loved you, and even the capacity for it is because you are fashioned in My image. So… let me tell you something about being your Father. I feel every pain and injury you do – in a very deep, sacred place in My heart. I feel every joy and accomplishment in the same place. When others receive you, its like they receive Me as well. When they don’t, then they don’t receive Me either. I am with you wherever you go. As your Heavenly Father I have given all to see you live life to the full,  fruitful,  joyful. This goes even when you make some poor choices, even when you hurt Me – my love for you wells up from that deep, eternal sacred place and goes on and on. So I am glad to see you blessed and joyful, discovering where you fit in your place in My purposes.

Let this ‘knowing’ of love in that deep place as a mother that you feel toward Jordon and your family be a reminder to you so that you need never question My devoted love and commitment to you. There is no way you can earn it – no way you can lose it. It is abiding in that deep and sacred place that no one can take away. It is ruthless and tender, My love for you. Unchanging. Ever-lasting. Faithful. Unconditional…. yours.”

I love you….. forever……