My heart is cold and dark…

Friendships…What are they?

They are lies we want to believe because they make us feel better. Sometimes they make us believe that if sometime things were not okay, that our friends would be there to help us through it.
But when it comes down to it, we each have our own lives that keep us busy enough. We each have too much crap to deal with to actually help anyone else.

There are few moments of truth in this life, but there is one moment of truth that none of us can escape. Death. Death reveals everything. Death shows where someone’s priorities were. Death shows us where our hearts were while we were alive.

It is too bad we cannot figure out all that stuff while we are alive.

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Anonymous People

To the anonymous people in my life the last few years, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being there at just the right time. Thank you for doing what you did or saying what you said without ever knowing the effect you would have. Anonymous people, you touched my heart.

I’m even more overwhelmed because I know that so often I focus on outcomes, on results, on progress. I have probably missed a chance to be an anonymous encourager because I was afraid of either no response or a negative response.

Thank you, Anonymous people, for being a reminder that sometimes we can’t see eternal consequences. Sometimes, we have to travel to a dead end. Not because it gets us anywhere, but maybe because it leads someone away from that dead end.

Thank you, anonymous people, for being a part of my life. You were more a part than you will ever know.

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Lies That I Believe

Over the years, I have believed a LOT of lies. Today, I discover two more. I’m going to speak those lies and I’m going to condemn them. I’m going to speak God’s truth in place of those lies.

The first lie I believed today was that “I am not good enough today.” I’m not good enough to be recognized, to be loved, to be wanted. The second lie goes hand in hand; the second lie is that “someday, I will be good enough.” Someday I can earn recognition, love and desire. Someday, because of what I do people will notice me, and love me and even want to be around me. Someday. I just have to keep working until I reach that someday.

As you can see, these lies go together so well. They are appealing even. They accept imperfection for a temporary amount of time, but they also promise perfection in the future. The lies fit into two equations. First, me=not good; second, me+work&time=perfect. Those equations leave Someone out. Those equations leave out God.

You see, God’s Word says that “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:12) “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Satan always twists God’s Truth. Yes, I am no good in and of myself. I am utterly depraved.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:4-8)

You see, God said, “No, Melanie, you aren’t good enough for me or for heaven. But I have mercy and I sent my Son. I did not send Him into the world to condemn the world (John 3:17) but I sent Him to give you life and life more abundantly (John 10:10).” As a little three year old, I remember chanting with my fellow Cubbies “God loved us and sent His Son 1 John 4:10” (I also remember having alternating crushes depending on which guy cubbie said his verse the loudest, but that is besides the point! Course, at least even then I had somewhat decent standards! ;))

In later AWANA years, I would come to learn all of 1 John 4:10 which states “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The word, propitiation, comes from the verb propitiate which means to appease. God sent a sacrifice in my place. A sacrifice that satisfied His requirements.

If I had to pick one verse to pit against my first lie, then I would pick 1 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Now, on to the second lie (Someday I will be good enough). This second lie does not have truth in it. I can’t make myself better. I can never earn my salvation. I cannot earn anyone’s love for me.

The verses that smash the second lie are Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are we saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” There is nothing I can do, now or in the future. NOT OF WORKS!!! And why not of works? “Lest any man should boast.”

This second lie comes from my desire to be my own god. I really do not want to need God. I’m happy to need Him today, but I do not like needing Him for the rest of my life. I am not trying to be disrespectful or irreverent; I am just trying to be honest. But, in Exodus 20:5 God said “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” God is talking about idols. God does not want us to have any idols/other gods before us; this includes ourselves. What God does want is all the glory, because HE DESERVES IT!

So, as I wrap up tonight, I rest in His grace that He gave. He didn’t come into this world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Praise Him I am saved! I am saved today and for the rest of eternity!

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To My Mystery Comment-er

Dear “Dark One”,

A little over a year ago, you said to me

Ah, Melanie, melancholy Melanie of the dark brown eyes, whose name even means “the Dark One”. Melanie, Shade of the Valley. You touch my heart in a way that it has been touched, ever so long since, for few but myself. Yet there is hope, and there is Hope. Demons love the darkness, and they love to visit the Dark Ones, of which I am one, in watches of the night. When you fight them or fear them or flee them, they grow stronger, but when you shine Light on them, reveal them, expose them, write of them, speak of them, speak to them the Name, they must flee.

Reach out; make friends as if your life depended on it, because it does, but do not be deceived, as women will be. Find that one friend you can tell EVERYTHING, that you trust with your deepest and darkest secrets. Facebook is an energy drain. Pour your life out into people. I speak as one who has missed many opportunities. Melanie, you touch my heart like none has in a long time, perhaps because I see myself in you.

I’ve always wondered who you were. I tried to email you only to find you faked the email address. I wish I knew who you were so that I could thank you for your encouragement. If you only knew how often I’ve read your words.

You see, when words speak to me, I read them OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER until they have found a place in my heart forever to reside. Your words are there in my heart.

What you may not have known was that I was intensely struggling with Satan’s lies and those lies were starting to cause deep harm to a special friendship. While some healing would come in the following weeks, total healing would not. Honestly, total healing could not come because I had yet to commit and surrender to God this relationship that I had.

This past month, I struggled again intensely with some of the same issues. I’d like to say I involved God, but what I think really happened was that God involved Himself.

He kept saying “Trust Me. Trust Me” and while I tried to trust Him and for a night I did, I would falter in my trust and I saw the same waves Peter saw when he took his eyes off Christ. For life is indeed like that Sea of Galilee, calm and then suddenly full of waves. I wanted to walk on water, but I took my eyes off Christ. I had previously experienced a peace about the action I was supposed to take. I had felt assured in my spirit that God had already prepared a response. But then, as I looked at the waves, I no longer believed it.

Yet, as I started to sink, I cried out to God and He reached down and saved me just as He did for Peter. Like I said, God got involved and I did what I knew He wanted me to do. As soon as I had finished, His answer came. AS SOON AS I OBEYED. Someone special told me that they had a card for me. If ever I trembled it was then. I wanted to ball, but could not.

A few days later, that card became as well read as some of my favorite Psalms. I’ll never forget it. Not just because it was special and healing, but because I knew the moment I learned of its existence that it was the answer God had promised.

Thank you again, my mystery comment-er. I wish you many blessings in your life and I will always thank God for the blessing of encouragement you gave me.

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In the Midst

When do I blog? I’ve realized a pattern in my blogging (FINALLY!!) This blog isn’t really present memories, thoughts and happenings. This blog is more present hurts, anger and struggles. I come to this blog to write when my journal just won’t cut it. The reason that my journal just won’t cut it is because I have too much hurt, too much anger, or too strong of a struggle. I need to shout, not quietly work it out in my own little corner.

That is kind of what it is. I’m a yeller by nature and by nurture. I’m a loud and open person. So sometimes, journaling doesn’t work! Sometimes I need to yell and those are the days that I blog. So maybe it is more like present hurts, rantings and struggles.

But you know what? In the midst of all this hurt that either I’ve experienced or I’m watching others experience, in the midst of all the anger that I feel, and in the midst of all those struggles I do have one constant thing I can count on (or maybe a couple, depending on how you look at it). I know that I can count on Christ and Him crucified. I can count on the grace that came from His death and resurrection. I can count on that! I can stand on that. It is enough because it was finished at Calvary.

So in the midst of hurt, in the midst of anger, in the midst of struggles, I know God is good ALL THE TIME!

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The Messiness of My Life

I used to blog during the struggle. I feel like lately I haven’t been blogging that struggle. Lately, I’ve been wrapping things up all nice and neatly. Sometimes I know that I honestly need to surrender and just acknowledge the attributes of God.

I know that I want to focus more and more on just WHO GOD IS! I want to know the I AM THAT I AM.

But at the same time, I feel like I’ve been suppressing the struggle. You know what? just because I “know” the answers in my head doesn’t mean that I know them in my heart. When it comes right down to it, I need to struggle through these answers. I need to be me. I’m not perfect, I’m not flawless or faultless. In fact, I’m very flawed! I have several dents in my fender and rips in my jeans (shout out to Francesca Battistelli :)).

Right now as I sit here at my computer, I realize that more than anything, I want to be known. I want to risk what everyone who reads this blogs thinks of me and I want to be known. I’m almost ready to risk it. In fact, you know what, I think I might be ready to risk it.

I’m just done. I’m done suppressing my struggle  or keeping it to myself when that just isn’t me! I don’t care what you think of my struggle. If you don’t like it or think you are better than me because you don’t struggle with it, then FINE! You might as well quit reading.

The point isn’t for me to get sympathy for my struggle. The point is to allow others to see this struggle and realize that it IS the destination that counts. You see, I am heaven-bound! My goal is Christ. My goal is to KNOW HIM in His death and resurrection. Knowing Him in His death, burial and resurrection is messy business. His death was messy! If you want some neat and clean religion you better quit being a Christian. Cause the Christian life is messy.

If your goal is know the Savior than my thinking is you will appreciate my honesty and come alongside me as we run with patience the race that is set before us. I pray that as I sometimes get out of breath and gasp for air, that you will be there pointing me towards that finish line.

So as I close this blog post, I want you to know that there will be times I might share too much. There will be times that I might not share enough. But when it comes down to it, in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is if you and I keep pursuing our Savior. Did we finish the race?

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Carrying Burdens

Tonight, I was reminded of a situation that nags at my heart. I feel some of my innermost heart strings pulled when I think of the whole situation.

I am severely tempted to allow this situation to hurt me and to alter how I view life and my faith. But if I do allow this alteration than what I’m allowing is people’s sinful nature to affect my view of God and my view of His Church.

More than anything else, I want to feel safe with His people, but safety never comes in human form. True safety comes in Divine form. True safety comes in the form of the everlasting arms. True safety comes from standing on the solid Rock. True safety comes from being in the same boat as Jesus!

Psalm 91:1-2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Psalm 121: 1-3 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 

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