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JOURNEY OF PAIN...The Desert that Heals.. In His Time

The following is something I wrote many years ago. It was a time in my Christian journey that I had come to a place...that I knew, that I knew Christ was real..Oh so real.. My faith was challenged by an incident in which I had no control. Some unforunate events took place in a church we attended and I was deeply involved in ministry there. It took me many years to get over the hurt and those involved have not a clue how this took me to the desert. I thank my Lord for this desert because when I finally came out on the other side... I was stronger in my faith and my journey in the desert taught me so much. Why do I want to share this with you... because I do not want you to give up. Rick Warren's book Purpose Driven Life starts out with a quote that says " It's not about you." Our purpose in life is to follow.. to pick up our cross and follow Him. No matter how difficult it can become. I truly believe the desert that I entered brought a healing to my life in other areas that needed to be healed. Had I not persevered..I haven't a clue what the out come could have, would have been. I only know my God is faithful and I hope I never have to enter that desert again.. If I do.. I KNOW HE IS FAITHFUL! If you have not read my " Journey of Faith" please do..it will update you on where I am today. Praise GOD!

October 12, 1994
I am broken with thought of what direction to go. Lord, I am very confused of what my purpose is? I don’t know which way to go. I thank you for the break our family had in Florida. When I think of all the people hurting in this world greater than I can ever imagine, I feel like a spoiled child, self centered in getting their way. Lord a lot of things have happened this last 18 months. My faith has been strong and at times non-existent. This is the first time in my walk with you; I have no place to run. Several years ago I would have quit the church community, as I have in the past. But, the world is no longer my home, I don’t fit in this world anymore and as I pen from my heart today I feel the same way in your church. Lord, am I to change churches, or what? The heart says no, but my mind is over loaded with unrest. My heart hurts for "working" in your church, but my ego, pride, and fear of rejection keeps me from going forward. Is it not your will at this time, or is it my will from keeping me from going forward? I am confused at hearing your voice. When I thought I was standing firm and hearing your voice several months ago, things went sour. I sought you and recommitted my life 3 years ago and you were there greeting me as a lost sheep. You know at that time I was in a place in my life of good friends, nice job, everything the world would be envious of. But, I was unhappy because I was so far from you. Lord, I turned an about face direction toward you and the standards of your word for my life. My fellow workers and friends did not understand and our friendship that was built on worldly ways no longer wanted anything to do with me. Then you gave me a new family, my church family. It started out so good, though as I sit here and write this letter to you I have no church family. Sure I have the few that I can go to for comfort and advice, that will listen with compassion and understanding. But, Lord they are not my bosom buddies as Annie of Green Gables would put into words. I know I am being selfish and unthankful as I write these words, because you are all I should need, but I can’t get pass these strong emotions. I thank you for my wonderful husband you have blessed me with, one that is my best friend and loves me as much as my own father and mother do, and even with more ways than they could.  Lord, as I think back on my life where we came from and where you have brought us, I just can’t believe we did it. Lord, you blessed us in a direction that gave us the comforts of this world. We have a home of many earthly treasures and comforts.  The peace of knowing we can pay our bills, the security of a safe neighborhood. Lord, I know what it is like not to have these things and I know what it is like to depend on you for our needs, when we did not have the resources to have them.  As I think about this world and all it's hurts and pains, I sound like a selfish person, because you have not once let me down. You always worked things out for us when times were hard. Lord, you have known me from the beginning of time, who I am, how I started out in this world, and you have the plan on how I will return to be with You for eternity. In my heart and soul I know you love me and have taken care of me more than I deserve. You have blessed me and in return I have cursed you for my own selfish unhappiness. Please forgive me and help me to be strong, show me where I belong in this allotted time you have given me on earth. Lord, I feel useless in this world, and I feel defeated and useless in your church. When in sincere ambition to change, serve, and reach out to others with your love, I learned my motives were misunderstood. And I learned that the motives of others were that of playing a game, I hate games and I can’t and don’t have the desire to play them. It is not me. I can’t pretend all is well when it is not. I can’t tell a person I love them and all is great when they have violated my trust. Lord, I have tried to make things right according to your word. I have forgiven in the only way you have showed me. But when things are still the same as they were and not followed through to completion, I am confused. Lord, forgive me of my doubt in this mess. I know it is not up to me, it is out of my hands. How do I put the pieces back together? To me at this very minute, my worldly friends I gave up 3 years ago, are no different than my church family. I have nothing in common with my worldly friends and I have nothing in common with the church. So Lord am I to live in solitude the rest of my days? If that is what you want, I will do that.  If I am not, please give me peace. I am demanding from the creator of my Salvation and Creation. I have some nerve. You are not to serve me, I to serve you. But, I don’t know how because of this selfish ambition of my own hurts and pains; my demands of what Julie wants, please forgive me Lord. Lord you gave me 10 days rest in Florida. I felt a peace just being away from the problems, but being away did not make them go away. Thank you for the rest, even though I was unworthy of it. Lord, as I walked the ocean on the beach with the sounds of waves crashing into shore, the sounds of nature you created singing a chorus mixed with the mighty waves, blocked out the sounds of this world. And in the sounds of nature came your quietness in my spirit, but none of tears for this world. As I walked on the shore, I could only see broken shells and pollution mixed in with your creation of earth. I could feel and hear your heart beat crying with pain for this world. The broken shells became your flock. And as I searched for whole shells, I could find not one. As I thought back to my childhood, I could visualize the ocean as it was back then. Finding shells that were whole, the spirit of a child with no worries. I closed my eyes took a deep breath and smelled the breeze as it blew gently and warm against my face and went back in time to the simple care free life of our world when I was a child. My heart ached with yours Lord, as I looked down at those shells all broken. Why Lord? Why can’t it be as it was? Why does this world hurt? Why are we all broken? And as I looked up and turned my head to the north, south, east and west I could only see sin. People serving self. Trying in all different ways to please their needs, from wearing skimpy bathing suits that showed all; men and women.  Lord, I could hear your voice say they want your attention, to take notice of them. Their heart is crying out in ways they do not understand, as they exposed their bodies to all. People will take notice. Many will lust and take notice, but as I looked through your eyes Lord, I cried for the broken heart in these people who had no other way to find love. The empty beer bottles and cigarette butts that were left here and there; I could only sense and feel the need of the hurting in using these things to help their pain. The sin of escape from reality.  Turn to beer to feel good, “please self.” Nothing matters not even God, only self. As I felt the hurt for these people, I realized that the world could no longer help me when I hurt. None of these things could meet my needs for relief. Only you Lord, can help me with my spiritual pains. But as I looked down and saw the broken shells, thousands of them, I was over whelmed. Lord your tears burned in my soul. "My people are broken as these shells are. They smile, party, run and run with full force into sin. And as they smile into the winds, their hearts are broken." The ocean waters that flowed and tossed onto the shores mightily, the sounds, the smells, and the warmth of the sun and the breeze of the wind, gave me rest in you Lord. But, as I opened my eyes, my heart cries with you. I thank you for sharing your heart with me Lord. Your love is beyond no other's. Why do we make things so difficult? Why is it so hard to surrender to you and forget the ways of the world? When in all my heart I know if we do, hurts would be less painful.
October 13, 1994
Lord as I read over my prayer-discussion from yesterday, I feel it is not complete. As I think of the shells and remember the broken hearts of all the people on the beach, as I think about all this through your eyes and heart, I wept for those I saw at bars, jogging, and at the beach. I realize this world is no longer my home. In the past I could escape as all these people did. I no longer can turn to the world for help, because I know it is no longer my home. Lord, I remember all the encouragement you gave me at the beach, to go forth and press forward toward you, and go as you have called me and not worry about the rest. "Serve me" you said," and you will be blessed with peace and I will give you rest in your hurts. Don’t serve self by trying to protect self." You told me you would teach me and show me that as I pressed on, you would give me peace. As, I returned home and have gone to church twice, self has been still running from you. Lord, I pray you will give me strength to go for forth to serve you. Lord, if it is your will for me to return to Children’s Church open the door. If it is your will for me to sing in the choir, help where ever I am needed, open the door.  Give me strength to go through pain with my head held high. I can’t do it without your power. If the door is still closed I will rest in you. Lord as I remember the dream I dreamed at the beach one night in my sleep, I feel unworthy of your forgiveness of my lack of faith. Lord, I want so much to be used by you as I dreamed. Lord, it was not so much the visual part of the dream, but it was the ache I felt in my heart. Because it was not my heart aching but yours exploding in my heart. It was so strong. As I looked at the child as it laid face down with bruises on its back I could feel your love and compassion for the hurt of the child. It was not my love reaching out, because I don’t have that kind of love in my being. And as the hurt of that child rose in my heart through Your Spirit, and I looked at the bruises, I reached out and touched the child’s back and you took the bruises away. They disappeared as I laid my hands on the child. Lord is this only a dream, or do you think I can ever have your heart and love for a child as I did in my dream. I want it, but self is so weak, I pray you show me you will. I pray for Jim too. Help him to work through this as I am trying too. As I tried to share my thoughts and emotions with Jim in Florida, He informed me he has never, ever opened his self up, as he did for the church. And he was hurt, and he will never let it happen again. Lord he is doing the same thing I am. We are both protecting our ego, pride and everything self needs to protect self. But in doing so you have showed me we have sinned. Help us both to go forward with you, in whatever you have for us. Because you have showed me this is where my peace will come. Lord, help me to decrease less and you increase more, as painful as it may be at times. Lord I will place my trust with you.

2012: We did move forward and it did not turn out like I thought it would. My Lord had a better plan for me that I could never, ever have dreamed. It took many years and though the world called my name to give up on my Christ.. I never did. Did I do it perfect?...NO.. God's grace carried me through and that same grace will do the same for you.. if you open your heart to His direction and follow.