Exerpt from, "Unwritten"
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten...
Three months ago, my friend Jerri called, early, one Friday morning. She had felt like the Holy Spirit was prompting her to encourage me,... to close up the hole. The hole where the bullet passed from my room into Zach's room. I received this as her concern that viewing it daily, might keep me too entangled in the memory of it all. At the time of her call, I had been struggling with thoughts of relapse and even shards of despair. Actually, I had not been able to see it since late January. I know that it's there. But, I had moved a basket filled with blankets in front of it. I didn't purposely cover it. I just did not think a thing about it! As I was talking with her, I looked over and realized that the hole was no longer visible.
The truth is, for where I am today, I do not need a visual to know what I have been delivered from. I have visuals ALL around me that speak to who I am now! The sweet, honest, and tender relationship that I have with Mark. My amazing kids. Parents that love uncommonly. Precious friends. An unbelievable church family. But, most of all...I have a knowing in my heart...my gut...that speaks. And, sings... The Truth.
Sometimes, it's just a whisper. Or, a laugh. Other times it is teary. Silly or endearing. Firm. Purposed. My heart speaks and sings love. His love. The love song of one that has been radically changed. I am finding the ways to articulate how I know Him deeper, as a result of my choosing the darkness, for so long. Not, that it was the right choice. Obviously, not! But, when you have been changed from the inside out....radically, as I just mentioned. Fully recognizing what it was you were...... You can't not speak about it! I am grateful to understand and reconcile what I came through. I do not dwell upon it. Nor, do I wallow in it. But, I will speak and sing to it. As, God leads. I have come to understand that if had I not walked through this wretchedness, I do not think that I could completely understand the gospel. The cross. Who Jesus is. What He did. And, why....My heart's cry, is to be right with Him. I am beautifully saved. Deeply indebted. And, challenged to share. My story? Yes. At times. If it deems necessary or beneficial. But, as I watch people all around me... And, I listen intently, to great teaching. As I read His word. And, the writings, of authors that are aligned with my beliefs. I want to see, .......really see, peoples lives changed. Sharing Christ. That they may know Him. A lasting heart knowledge of Him.
Last Fall, my Pastor challenged our congregation to think of someone that we could/should lead to the Lord. I have taken that challenge to heart. As, Believers we should have a passion for the "lost". But, I had never felt the burden, like I do now. I look at each person, that I encounter, differently. And, with the Holy Spirit's leading, I share. You will have to trust that it's not crazy-like. But, more of a crazy-for! If not me...then whom?
I believe that we are in critical times. It's time for lackadaisical Christians to wake up! Do you really love God with all of your heart? Anyone can show up to church. But, is He showing up in all that you do? It's easy to act like a Christian in a Christian environment. But, what about the true nature of your heart? Does your mouth/heart speak sarcasm? Or faith? Sports? Or love? Movies/TV? Or integrity? I love the title of Brennan Manning's book, "Posers, Fakers, and Wannabees".......Are you? I'm not! Anymore.....
I have several stories of late, that have encouraged me to press on and keep sharing. Earlier this year, a man came to fix our shower. I call him, "Plumber Frank". Upon meeting him, I smelled him first. It was the strong odor, of a man that had worked a full day, without deodorant. His speech was not very educated. In fact, in one phone call, I answered the phone to his, "Where you at?". A person that most might easily "dismiss". As he worked on the shower, I folded clothes. All the while, knowing that I must share my faith with him. It took me a bit to get the nerve up, but I did. As we stood in the bathroom, something beautiful happened. It turned out that not only did he know Christ, as his Savior, but, in turn, he really ministered to me! He, too, had been delivered from addiction. And, with tears in his eyes, he shared his story! An amazing gift we both gave. Our authentic hearts for Christ, and how He redeemed us both! Even, my four kids were drawn into this precious moment........The last time he was here, we talked about how he works five jobs, but will never, not tithe! Oh boy! Well, then, there was the "Tech" that came to fix my laptop. He wasn't interested. But, I tried! :-)
My whole purpose for going back to the reunion was to share my faith. From the minute that I landed, for my layover in St. Louis, to the time that I got home Monday night....I shared my faith! No stone unturned. During the four hour layover, I sat with a woman who had lost her husband of thirty years to cancer. We cried and hugged. Laughing with and loving on my beautiful Lori, Ashley and Lauren. Every class/group that I attended, God gave me the words and the opportunities to make His presence known. In the end, I was asked to be on a platform, with some other ladies, at the brunch on Sunday. As our time to share, concluded, I asked to stand and speak. In less that four minutes, I spoke to Brookhaven's role in my recovery. But, I included that I had finally found the missing component....Jesus. In a room with about 140 women, they all applauded and some cheered. It was ALL Him, I tell ya'! There is nothing good in me, apart from Him! I want to thank, Dawn Dyke, again. Her love for God and what He has done for me, made it possible for me to go back to this reunion. You are a huge blessing, Dawn!
I just now got home from an Orange Leaf date, with Carol and the kids. I told her that I could not finish the, "Closing the Hole" blog, because I have not bought the necessary items to actually close both holes. She had a great idea...I am excited about it! We will "ceremoniously" do it. Special friends and family taking part. A "house blessing" of sorts. I can't wait to share that!
As I have mentioned several times. I am not perfect. But, I am embracing my story as it has given my life a different purpose. Helping people be set free!
The song, "Unwritten", was popular during my time at Brookhaven. Our times in the "druggy buggy" were priceless. Why? Well, we got to get off of the grounds. And, listen to the radio. Small, yet treasured delicacies! I love certain parts of this song. I have rewritten parts of it, that fit, for my faith. But, we all have some "dirty windows" that need to be opened. And, while, I do love the sun! The SON does "illuminate" though me. And, while He knows my story, and it's ending...I will enjoy embarking on, and "writing" the rest....
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5 NASB
He knew what I was going to do.... He knew who I was to be...He knows who I am.... He loved me through. He knows and loves you, too....Do you know Him? I'd sure love to know.
I am not boasting in this, but I just hit 6,000 views! Over 30 countries! Yippee! And, it's weird. I have not written since early March. But, I have had a huge following in the UK, during that time! Hello UK!! How fun is that?!?!
Blessing, peace, hope and healing to you all!