JOY in the WAITING

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My word for 2018 was JOY so I bought a necklace with the word “joy” on it to remind me that no situation, person or event could steal my joy. I wanted to remember each day that Jesus was the source of my joy.

Some days I lived and understood that better than others, but there was a moment where I truly experienced indescribable joy. If joy could cover me from head to toe and penetrate every fiber of my being, this was it. 

I didn’t win the lottery or slap my knee with a deep belly laugh.  In fact, if you were with me that day, you wouldn’t have noticed anything different about me.  You would have missed the absolute dance fest party I was having on the inside.  I was in a room full of women and girls and I wanted to stand up and scream at the top of my lungs – “NOW This is JOY!”

I experienced true joy when I completely let go and surrendered a situation to God and waited for Him to come through for me.  

I came across a poem my daughter had written, and it broke my heart. I felt the pain in every word and I ached even more because I had no idea she was struggling or hurting! I knew she had written these words, but I didn’t know what to do with them.   

At first I thought maybe I should just go and wake her up! I wanted to ask her who in the world said these mean things to her? What made her believe these awful lies about herself? I wanted her to see and believe the truth.

I wanted to fix this, but I felt like God was telling me to wait.  

I couldn’t sleep so I just laid there praying throughout the night. Even as I prayed, I would think of ways to handle it and even offered my suggestions to God, but I sensed Him saying, “Wait. You just wait.” 

I could not stop thinking about it because it triggers me to think about protecting my daughter. I struggle with thinking I have to control keeping her from harm. With waiting, I had no idea how it would turn out. What if waiting didn’t work? I finally texted two friends to join me in prayer.

“Wait, you just wait.” I kept hearing it, and I knew I simply had to wait and trust that He was working behind the scenes and would answer my cry for “Help!”

He answered in ways I never could have imagined in His perfect timing.  

A few weeks later, we were at our Mother/Daughter Bible Study and I was surprised to see her raise her hand and offer to share what she had learned from the lesson.  She said, “I am not sure if this makes sense, but sometimes I feel like a Lego in a bubble. My bubble is school, church, family, friends, and soccer.  As long as that bubble is going well, then I am safe inside… but I can’t always depend on that bubble, because eventually if one of them falls apart then the bubble is gone and the lego will fall. Instead, I need to let God be my bubble. He is what keeps me safe and secure.  He holds me together.  

I sat there beaming as I listened to her share her heart and perspective. The whole time, I was thanking God for helping me to wait because He did far more in her heart than I could have ever accomplished on my own. I could hardly wait to text my two friends to tell them how God answered!

 “Waiting” is hard for me. My silent screams for help went on throughout my childhood and no one stopped the abuse. A very big part of me believes I have to control my circumstances, or else there will be disaster. For me, “being in charge” is not just a title. It truly feels like life or death at times.  

But Jesus is showing me something new. He is teaching me that I can let go of that “need to be in control” and trust Him. He is showing me there is joy in the waiting.  My word for 2019 is wait, and I am learning to practice it with joy. I am learning to let go, and wait.   

Waiting on God is not easy, but it changes everything.

Are you in a season of waiting? Do you struggle with wanting to take matters into your own hands when you sense God is asking you to wait? I would love to pray for you as you wait and I’d love to hear how God moves. Please feel free to comment below or email me at journeypink@gmail.com.  Psalm 27:14 encourages my heart as I wait. What verse encourages you?

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord.
Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!

Psalm 27:14 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Looking Back

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Flashback!

The awful memory pops up and crashes over me like a wave.
I kick.
The smell knocks me under and water pours in.
I can’t breathe.
Evil wraps around my ankles like seaweed and pulls me to the bottom into the dark abyss.
I sink.
My arms are raised but I am lifeless.

Still frozen.

A strong grasp.

He
rescues me.
His firm grip pulls me to the shore.
I hold on while
He
untangles the debris.
He
breathes fresh life into me.
He
pours living water over me.
He
Cleanses me in the brightness.

Now

I watch the waves, unafraid.
Taking slow, deep breaths
Going deep, never alone
I resurface, clean.

In the Sonshine
Sand dancing between my toes
Soaking it all in.

Loved.

 

Getting Unstuck

Journey Pink

I’ve been stuck. 

I haven’t posted much this year and I feel like I am so behind. I don’t even know where to start. I haven’t shared much here because I wanted to focus on writing my story. 

I came to a defining moment in my story and I struggled to write it.  

There were all of these emotions and personalities, and I was trying to write without saying too much. I always feel like I have said too much, as if I’ve already said it all.

But, when I look back at my blog posts I see they are all written in code.  If you can relate, “code” language means I haven’t really said much.  I say just enough to safely pull back if needed.

I am fluent in the language of code. It was my survival.  

When I reached this defining moment in my story, I found myself writing in code again.  I was trying to say just enough but not too much.  

And, I couldn’t do it.  

I closed my laptop on that chapter, and didn’t want to pick it up again.  I didn’t pick it up again.  

In the stewing, I came to realize that I can’t tell that moment in code.  It has to be real, even if it is messy.  

I couldn’t understand why I would write so many words, and then suddenly feel this overwhelming burden to be real.  Really real.  

God, really? 

Really. 

So, I am writing it with this new perspective and it is challenging. 

Writing (or speaking) in code shields my own heart from delving into the emotional sea of betrayal and pain. If I can keep it as flowery as possible, then I can smile as I type as if I am dissociating from the words on the screen. 

But, when I deep dive I usually end up in tears and I struggle to pick it up again.  Why go there, when you can watch Netflix and eat ice cream? 

It’s a vicious cycle.  

So today, on my walk I was listening to a sermon and when the verse in Hebrews 12:2 was mentioned, I thought … “Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.”   Jesus, the author.  

Let Him be the author. I want to be in control, but what if I let Him write it and be obedient to what He is asking me to do? God, be my author. Help me to write it. Write through me and help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and not on fretting.

As I snapped some pictures along the way, these images spoke to my heart and my struggle.   

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I was in bondage. Hidden. Afraid. Tangled in lies, fear, shame, and secrets. It was so dark. Remember what it was like? 

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I dared to believe that there was hope. I realized I was not alone. There were others like me. I wanted to get to the other side. I wanted to be free. 

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He rescued me. He brought me out of the darkness and into His light. I Am Loved.   

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He set me free, and I am clinging to Him.  I am no longer hidden, but out in the open air of freedom.  

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Obedience makes a difference. Am I willing to obey? Imagine the impact of obedience. What does that look like?  

The other voice in my head smirked, “Who do you think you are? No one cares and it’s already been said. There’s too much risk.  Are you crazy?” It’s loud, but just as I round the corner there’s more beauty.

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The harvest is plenty… but the workers are few. Don’t believe the lies. Do the work.

Are you feeling stuck? We all get stuck at times, but we don’t have to stay there. The first thing I tend to do when I am stuck is isolate myself, but that is not helpful at all. What helps me the most is to admit that I am stuck. This last time, I went to small group and it was just the leader and I. She started asking questions that led me to share what I was going through with her. She prayed for me and continues to encourage me. She also continues to check in with me and it has helped me tremendously. We were never meant to run the race alone.  

What about you?  What helps you to get unstuck?

 Scripture: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for delivering me from the pit. You are the author of my story. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and to give you my all. My heart is encouraged when I imagine running across the finish line and jumping into your arms. Your love amazes me.  

Worship: This song has been my jam, especially the remix.  God Only Knows [Timbaland Remix] by for King & Country…

Grave Clothes

IMG_1467Today at church, on Mother’s Day, I shared how Jesus removed my “Grave Clothes.”  The Pastor’s sermon was on the power of Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead.  At the end of the sermon, I shared my personal testimony of how Jesus removed my grave clothes.

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”  John 11:43-44