Category Archives: Testimony

The Grand Funk

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The Grand Funk

  THE GRAND FUNK
Have you ever felt it? Have you ever been in a dark place where any movement on your part will only bury you alive? Have you ever felt so naked, so stripped down, unveiled, exposed, unmasked, vulnerable, defenseless … have you ever felt raw? There’s hope.
When a person is in that state they are unable to articulate their pain. They become withdrawn and reclusive. Suddenly, they have nothing to say, no opinion to contribute. Nothing is worth the effort of stringing words together to form a thought. Everything they say and do comes from a place of emptiness, an emptiness that just can’t be filled by another human being, no matter how much they love you. You might not want to die, but the thought of continuing in life is exhausting. There’s Hope.
People seem to need a name for this “condition”. Some call it Bi-polar or depression. Others call it Seasonal Affective Disorder and some just refer to it as a lack of faith.
Against every bit of judgment, good or bad, I am going to expose myself. At the risk of worrying my family and friends, let me state for the record that I am not suicidal so don’t rush over or call; don’t worry and don’t feel guilty if we haven’t touched base in some time. 
Several times a year I go through what I call a grand funk. It is a state that I seem to slip into ever so slowly that I don’t even recognize what is happening until I am full on engulfed by it. Most often, by then, there is nothing anyone can do to help me for the most part because they don’t know what is going on. I have become quite adept at hiding the ugly little truth. For certain, there is that part of me that wants people to think I’ve always got it all together and I can handle everything that life throws at me – even though I’m sure no one actually thinks that. No, this “thing” takes hold of me. It wraps itself around me and squeezes until there is almost nothing left of me. My silence gives it power. I become fearful that people might misunderstand if I tell them what is going on. 
I’ve also become accomplished at changing masks, wearing whatever mask I believe needs to be worn at any particular moment. I’ve been afraid to be the real me so much so that there are times I’m not even sure where I begin and the mask ends. It sounds rather pathetic to say but when I’m in this state, I haven’t the foggiest idea who I am. I believe however that it is the very action of veiling my truth that becomes a generating station of denial that only serves to sink me deeper and deeper into the funk. Who am I trying to impress?
So, you might be wondering, why I am sharing this? Or perhaps you’re thinking you should call 9-1-1. Why am I exposing my pain for all to see? Why am I doing the very thing that I have kept private and hidden from so many, so well, and for so long? It hurts too much to bury it. I feel like I’m being pulled into it deeper. Keeping it in doesn’t seem to be serving me any purpose. The funk must have a function. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Do I actually benefit from the state of raw? Is there any good that can possibly come out of an experience where someone is so exposed that every nerve throbs and the thoughts they think hurt? I think there is.
I have heard some well-meaning people tell me that I should pray more or that I lack faith and that is why this happens to me. But they are wrong. Maybe this doesn’t happen to me but happens for me; maybe it happens to me for others. There is only one certainty when I am in the funk: by God’s grace and mercy, I will prevail. I will be victorious. Some would argue, what kind of God would allow you thrash about in quicksand for an indeterminate period of time? The fact is that only a loving God would allow it because there is something that needs to be learned and shared. Experience tells me that no matter how long the funk lasts He will rescue me and I will always come out better than when I went in. I have learned to ride the wave and hang on to Him for my very life. There are absolutely times that I FEEL I’ll not make it this time, but I KNOW that I will because He has NEVER left me or forsaken me … never. He is the Hope I hang on to.

Each time I go through this, I become a stronger person, but more importantly, I become a more compassionate person. I know what people are going through and I can usually see it coming before they become fully overtaken by it. My journey has taught me that I am able to stand along another and say, “I know Someone who can help.” Faith is believing in what you cannot see because you know it will be, even though it doesn’t feel so.
If you’re in a funk at this moment, I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that you’re not crazy. I want you to know that it is not a lack of faith that got you to this point but faith will sustain you while you are there and He will lead you out. You will overcome. You will be victorious.
Be the best you that you can be today and don’t measure your goodness and value by someone else’s standards. If you can barely “be” at this moment, hang on to all hope. Hang on for dear life because life is precious.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
My Hope is in Jesus.

 Why We Act The Way We Do

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To live in a world where people care about and spend a moment learning why they are the way they are….

What I wouldn’t give

A few years ago I hosted an enrichment class at my house for a ministry that I was involved in.  Each person was given a personality profile assessment ( Myers Briggs) and a spiritual gift analysis. It actually ignited irritation…and passive aggressive behavior. 

The truth is that people do not want direction or suggestions that do not fit their mind set. Their mind set is usually made up of selfish ambition. 

The truth is that being an ISFJ does not mean that I NEVER think instead of feel. It only suggests that I am naturally a feeler. I, in fact have many moments where I am very intuitive. That being true doesn’t erase the fact that I am naturally prone to sensing. 

And the spiritual gift analysis. Would you ask your foot to comb your hair? No. Can you use your foot to comb your hair? Absolutely. Your spiritual gifts are not meant to be a cage or an excuse. It’s a helpful tool. I personally score terribly low in mercy. That does not mean that I am excused from practicing mercy. 

My point is this… Love people for who they are, starting with yourself. Trying to change someone because they don’t think like you is an insult to them and to their Creator.   

I believe it best to have a teachable spirit and a humble heart. I do not believe nor do I mistake criticism for gentle directives. Constructive criticism is still criticism. 

but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:15-16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 I have been misunderstood my whole life through. People are quick to think they know me when actually they only know what they want to know. The good and the bad.  I am passionate, I am deep, and even if I am misunderstood, I am finally ok with that. 
  

Disappointed (Christine caine)

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I found this today. Only a few days have passed since I calmly told the Lord how very disappointed I am. I’m thankful to be reminded that He loves me.

Divine (Dis)Appointments 
by Christine Caine, Living Life Undaunted: 365 Readings and Reflections from Christine Caine

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” – Genesis 41:41

Isn’t it interesting that the word appointment comes from within the word disappointment? I’ve often marveled at that because I’ve seen again and again how disappointments take something from us: a dream, a piece of our hearts — maybe whole chunks of it. But disappointment leaves something too: a gift, an opportunity, the possibility of creating change.

This means we can move from the valley of the shadow of death to new horizons and bring others with us on that road.

The enemy would like us to feel such a depth of disappointment that we never find our way back to the plan God has for us. If he can convince us to stay stuck in our disappointment, we’ll miss many of our future God appointments. I realize that some disappointments seem so big that we can’t imagine ever being able to move beyond them. We ask deep questions and they go unanswered.

Joseph could have become bitter when he ended up in the pit, was sold into slavery, and thrown in prison through no fault of his own. His dream appeared shattered by disappointment. Yet, because he did not lose hope, he finally stepped into his divine appointment and was put in charge of Egypt.

We too will encounter many disappointments along our journey and must decide ahead of time that we will not allow them to derail us.

So much of our Christian walk has to do with learning to trust the goodness and faithfulness of God despite what happens to us or is happening around us.

This sounds much easier to do than it actually is. When your emotions are screaming and your heart has been betrayed, the door of opportunity has closed, or that relationship has broken down, the last thing you feel like doing is trusting God and continuing the journey. Can I encourage you todaywith these words? Even if people have disappointed you or circumstances have not turned out as you had hoped or prayed, know that God is with you, cares for you, and loves you. He is working all these things together for your good right at this very moment.

There are many future God appointments on the other side of this disappointment.

Think About It

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So today I’m thinking about what I think about. Are the 100million  thoughts that cross my mind really what  I’m thinking about or just  passing thoughts?

If you think a thought more than once are you worried about it or are you just thinking about it? What is the difference between thinking about something and worrying about something?

If God knows my every thought ( and He does) does He consider my thoughts to be prayers?  Do my prayers have to be verbalized? Does a prayer have to formal?  Does it qualify to speak out in the heart of the moment?

Why is it that I can’t wish someone to think like I think? Why do some people not think at all?  (Or so it seems) Should common sense be considered a superpower this day in time? Are people really as thoughtless and selfish as they seem?

If you stand falsely accused should you address the problem of being accused or just let your accuser gracefully bow out? Is it wrong to hold accusers accountable for their constant criticism?

These are the thoughts that I think. I think that they deserve thought. But what is the stopping point? How do you stop?  I’ll address these thoughts in the coming days.  Stay tuned.

Oaks

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Beat down, abused
down trodden, 
used, hurt and broken hearted;
You bought the lies
satan began telling in the garden.

You are more than a broken vessel.
Maybe you are completely unaware.
Maybe you hide the shame
deep inside your soul somewhere.

Don’t you know you are God’s temple?
You have been made clean.
You are forgiven and loved,
the bride of the one true King.

Surrender those lies and secrets.
Exchange that darkness for true light.
Let the One who created you purify you;
Come, He has already won the fight.

He offers beauty for ashes;
And Oil in exchange for mourning.
Recive a garment of praise.
Leave the spirit of heaviness behind.

Come daughter of the king
You were made to shine.

A Prayer for My Friend

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Come to this place that I will take you.
A place that is carefree.
A place of freedom and joy,
this place few will ever see.

It is in this place that you will find rest
Come, find freedom for your soul.
Lay it all down here child
give me your burdens
and your fears
You were never meant to carry it
But you have carried it for years

Let my Streams of living water
wash it all away.
Run now child. .
Don’t pick it up again.
It is time for you to play

You see my child it is gone now.
There’s freedom for your soul.

Foolishness

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I have learned:

I Corinthians 1:18 NKJV

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The Cross once was a myth to me
the story about a prophet
who hung from a tree..

I know now the truth
the truth has set me free
I have seen and I have known
the spiritual power of the cross
alive and active in me.

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Time Waits For No One

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Within 36 hours period I experienceed more emotions than should be expected from one person in such a small amount of time.

  After Sunday service at church I  boarded my jet…… Oh I mean my car….I needed to get to Arlington quick. I thought maybe if I arrived early to help set up my god daughter’s baby shower it would somehow make up for the sting of me leaving early. While I planned to stay the entire afternoon, that plan was diverted by a death in my family.
I needed to pick family up in Weatherford and get to Odessa by morning.

The anticipation of a new baby coming into the world is overwhelming in itself. This child will be born from a young lady who I watched be born. Her mother and father named me her god-mother. It seems impossible that she will be a mommy in a few short weeks.

I am thankful beyond measure for friendships that stand the test of time.  Over two decades and going strong until the “c” word threatens the atmosphere.  How much time we truly have left we don’t know. We refuse to let that impending death steal the time we have left. I will be there to bury my friend,  my best friends mother, and undoubtedly she will be with me when I bury mine.

Funerals are overwhelming. A lady dies at 91 and we were still not ready for her death.  I see Oaks fall apart in pain. The sting of death is no respecter  of persons. Sorrow lies in waiting. No one can avoid it forever.

I enjoyed laughter with my family. Dinners, guitars, laughing out loud. That is what family’s about. There is an absolute bond that family shares. I was overwhelmed by sadness at the realization that I would always leave my daddy there. Odessa is his home…7 hours from mine.  Time does not stand still my friends,  no time like the wind goes where it will.

Time got us home to Dallas safely but shaken none the less.  My heart overflows with emotion but still I am greatful for this beautiful mess.