Being alone, no more…

Since I moved away from home a billion years ago, people have lived with me. Before my man child was born, there were other wanderers and friends that occupied empty spaces in my home. After he was born, it continued initially with my people/friends, and as he got older, with his people/friends. My home has always been a resting place for weary souls who longed for safety and security – and a good meal, who am I kidding. 😉

When the girls left (DIL and grandbabies) in August last year, without warning, I was shattered… and alone. I grieved hard and long for the loss of them in my home and in my everyday life. Of all the people who ever passed through my home, this loss was the most devastating. Not only was my home empty, but I truly felt like my soul was empty. I was angry. At me. At her. At man child. At God. A lot mad at God. I stopped going to church. I stopped believing that anything good would ever be for me. I stopped believing that He cared for me, truly. I mean, how could He? I remember asking a friend during that time why God thought it was a good idea to let me walk around feeling so brokenhearted all the time. I was hurt.

Then, in January, I had a surgery that left me immobile for a time. I realized later that I really needed a time of true rest, true reflection, and, ultimately, true surrender in order to come to peace with so many losses, including the girls – and it came by way of a seriously broken foot! I had a lot of time then to reflect and think about so many things; including my relationship with my Creator.

He brought me to a place where I was finally able to embrace my home and empty space there as a gift and no longer as something that would just hurt me day after day. Lots of good things have come from that space since then! I started to write more, read more, study more, exercise more, eat better, pray more, etc…

And then…

My empty home was needed. Some weary souls needed a resting spot. And, of course, my door opened.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to figure out why my spirit felt all out of whack… little reading, no exercising, eating has been meh, no writing or studying… ah-ha… my solitude and empty spaces, that I’ve learned to cherish over the last several months, have both been filled. I was able to finally come to terms with the emptiness, and it’s been difficult to readjust to the fullness. I was finally able to dedicate my whole self to chasing Him completely, and now have to switch up and redirect some of that dedication to something else again.fa0560f81d8aa15497248bb5808e465b

While I’m figuring out my new normal, the enemy would like me to lose some footing and to fall into a place of complacency and possibly set me up for another period of grieving when the getting emptied happens again. I’m not a fan of purposefully challenging the enemy, but I am a big fan of reminding him how big, loving, and amazing my God is and how he might try to pull me off track, but he won’t win. Not this time.

Galatians 5: 7-8 says: 7 You were running [the race] well; who has interfered and prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 This [deceptive] persuasion is not from Him who called you [to freedom in Christ]. 

This specific scripture is referring to false teachers and allowing them to pull us off the path God has set aside for us, but I believe the enemy falls into that camp as well. The devil can use anything in our lives to try and destroy us. We have to continually be alert and keep our eyes wide open, our hearts tuned into God, and our spirits filled up on the Word.

1 Peter 5:8 reminds us, Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.”

Not today, satan… not today.


Removing Fences

As I was driving home from the grocery store today, I passed through one of the more affluent areas on the way to my apartment – far on the other side of the tracks. =]

I do appreciate beautiful homes with landscaping perfected for magazine covers. Some of these communities had brilliant water features with small ponds and lakes. When I was younger, my mom and I would wander through model homes just to marvel at how lovely they were; the floor plans, the kitchens, the bathrooms, etc…

But today, I saw something a little different. I saw barriers and fences. I saw restrictions and cages. I saw separation and exclusiveness.

The communities I drove by today were all gated. Access code needed. In other words, I wasn’t welcome there. Of course, I didn’t try, but even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to – unless, of course, I was given an invite from a specific person inside the community.

There was suddenly a separation. A me and them. A low people and a high people. A division in classes. It’s always been there, I know… but today I just saw it differently. It was eye-opening. Heart-opening.

I was suddenly aware about how we do this. How Christians do this. How we create a me and a them. A low people and a high people. The houses and the people who live in them didn’t make me sad, I was sad about us as people. As Christ lovers and followers. How many fences and barriers have we put up to keep out the riff raff? How many people feel like they can only approach us with a personal invite? How many people feel incapable to come to us because they fear judgement, harshness, and condemnation?

We are called to foster love, peace, kindness, forgiveness, on and on. And on and on. I wanna be a woman who envelopes the lost, who helps others find freedom, and who is always inclusive. I wanna be a woman who is approachable, unrestricted, and without fences of separation.

That’s what we’re called to do and be. It isn’t always easy. We find comfort in our safe places and in our comfort zones. Gosh, I feel like I know this so much more now after being recently uprooted from my own safe, comfort zone. It’s important to be and stay in community with one another. Yes! We are critical to each other’s growth and we nurture one another. But it can’t stop there.

Can we examine our fences? Can we double check our invites and make sure they aren’t exclusive, but rather inclusive. Let’s gather with people on both sides of the fences. The mes and the thems. Let’s have communities with less separation and more invitation.