Safe in His Grace

November 5, 2016 (3 years, 1 week, 2 days later)

 

Safe in His grace. That’s a theme I picked up on last night. I do struggle with fear and protection and so the idea of safety appeals to me and seems unrealistic at the same time. And then there’s grace. I struggle with accepting it so much and try to walk in my own perfection and obedience. But that’s a theme in my life. I am safe in this grace. I have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and I can’t lose my salvation. I’m safe..in His…Grace. My life is full of evidence of this. When I found Amelia there were a lot of reasons to walk away from God or to take my own life even, but I’m still here today running this race of faith because of His grace alone. Even when I sat huddled in the lobby on the phone with the police it was dark and scary but I knew the Holy Spirit was sitting right next to me. The Father wasn’t giving me a giant comforting hug, but the Spirit never left me. I was safe in His grace. This summer when I walked in a lot of sin lusting and not trusting God with my sisters, I was safe in His grace. I messed up, made a lot of poor decisions, sinned and yet His grace covered me. He didn’t let me go there (walk away in LA). Jesus came and lived the perfect life. He did not lust, always trusted the Father with everyone and I get to rest in my Brother’s perfection, His righteousness. When I came home and was wrestling with letting go of my hopes, loneliness and depression, I was safe in His grace. He didn’t laugh at me and say “I told you so” and “that’s what you get for the summer.” The Holy Spirit came in as a lover and comforted me and held my hand through it all. He hasn’t abandoned me yet. I am safe…only by His grace. Even though I still have scars of PTSD and am affected by the stupidest things like Halloween decorations and I’m annoyed with myself, He is not annoyed and like a good Father He sends people like Silas and Kristen to pray for me, remove decorations etc. He protects and provides for me. I have been safe in His grace. I don’t deserve it. I’ve messed up and been obnoxious, and that’s grace. Favor I don’t deserve and I’m safe in it. It won’t end. I don’t need to fear Him abandoning me because He is faithful and His character is sure and He promised that I would be safe in His grace.

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:8

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God…So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace…But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,…so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life….And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10, Romans 5:2, Titus 3:7, Galatians 1:15, Romans 11:5

I’m safe in His grace.

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Protective Brother

November 1, 2016 (3 years, 5 days later)

It’s been forever since I’ve journaled. Silas is awesome. He has been so thoughtful and aware this past week. He chased after co-workers to protect me from Halloween decorations. He dropped everything and came to work to move the same decoration the next day. He kept checking in on me and sitting with me in the midst of my bad attitude and then kept my focus while at Old C’s to avoid the TV. He kept me from looking at things as we did our tour of Halloween decorations. It was very different from sitting by myself calling the police, opening the door, having to take charge, and being hit on, etc. 3 years ago. Silas protected, lead, and cared for me. It was crazy. I couldn’t believe that a male/person would actually care and look out for me that much. It flies in the face of my past experiences. Needless to say God has used him to bring more healing.

That being said…

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.” Isaiah 65:17

I honestly can’t fathom that. I can’t imagine not remembering finding Amelia or having that not come to mind. It’s so a part of me that it’s almost a part of my identity. I’m the girl who found the dead person. Even people I barely know, know that about me, so to not remember that seems crazy. In some ways it sounds relieving to b able to move on, but in other ways I don’t know that I can say I am who I am without that. I’m glad that “no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.” I can picture that and it will be glorious. I long for that day. I’ve been made for eternity and I can tell. I long for it.

Binding the Broken-Hearted

October 25, 2016 (2 years, 11 months, 4 weeks later)

Isaiah 61

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion-to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.”

First, this is talking about Jesus, but it’s also true of us as we walk in His righteousness.

This is another example of the Trinity. The Spirit of God is upon Jesus. Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit and I am filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus brought good news to the poor. He brought good news to me. We are told to preach the good news. He was sent by God to bind up the broken-hearted. That’s me. He binds/ties/fastens my broken heart whether that’s for Amelia, or whatever. One of His purposes is to bind our broken hearts.

We also have a role to play in binding other’s broken hearts. He was sent to proclaim liberty to the captives. He has proclaimed liberty to those held captive by sin, shame, fear, etc. He let the prisoners go free. We get to proclaim this same liberty to others.

My Gross Heart

October 4, 2016 (2 years, 11 months, 1 week later)

It’s like my brain tries to find anything and everything to be moody about this time o year. I see my failure all over the place, I get upset by the smallest things my friends do including caring too much and too little about the anniversary coming up, etc. I find myself daydreaming about what could make it all worse and what will happen this year. I’ve thought about Henry taking his life, Macey dying, Grandpa dying with an open casket funeral, etc. the list goes on. It’s like my body and soul crave depression as if that’s a good way to mourn or handle an anniversary. I want people to think I’ve moved on and that I’m not stuck in the past, yet I don’t want to forget or let go mostly because of all the attention it brings. I get so confused, conflicted, and emotional; it’s annoying. I’m selfish. And my relationship with God suffers. I don’t put effort into it as if it doesn’t matter or as if I’m saving my energy for October 27th to make it more special. I sound idiotic and I hate it, yet I don’t really want to change my attitude. It’s finally justifiable and why should I look for things to be grateful for?

Isaiah 46:4,8-10, 12-13

“even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear, I will carry and will save. …Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purpose.’ …’Listen to Me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness: I bring near My righteousness; it is not far off, and My salvation will not delay; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.'”

The God of high school and Amelia is the same God who is persistently with me. He made me knowing not only my burdens which He would have to bear, but my faults and imperfections as well. He created my personality and He will own that and be responsible for it. The suck up, the one whom “everyone loves”, the David in the spotlight who always gets recognized, the leader. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask to be seen and others not. God did and He said it was good.

In light of all the Amelia stuff, mourning…poorly, He does tell us to look back. He wants us to remember the former things of old, not to ignore them. We are to remember that He is God. When I look back it shouldn’t be a remembrance of despair, but of redemption. God was faithful through all of it. He brought life from death in my life as well as Macey’s and others.

His purpose will prevail. His purpose for Amelia. His purpose for my personality and gifting.

As for my sin and failings, I am far from righteousness, but He brings righteousness near. Jesus did it all perfectly and I get to claim His righteousness because of what He has done. And that’s the gospel.

What’s the point of my story?

June 30, 2016 (2 years, 8 months, 3 days later)

 

…Well, a lot has happened today! Today at prayer Mabel told us she was going home. It triggered so many memories of me sharing that I found Amelia with my house church. I don’t even know why, but it did so I was crying through the whole thing since I haven’t processed through that night in forever if I ever had. Then in the middle of the meeting Henry responded back after a week saying he would like to Skype. I had already decided I would probably never talk him again, though I did pray that God’s will be done and it felt weird not talking to him. But I was overwhelmed with emotion when I received his message. I am terrified. I don’t know what to say. I got to talk to Dani afterward and that was good to have her ask me what the purpose is. I want to care for him and I want him to know God. I still don’t know what forgiveness mentioning looks like here. I guess I want to share that God has been helping me process through a lot of things about finding Amelia and has brought a lot of healing in my life. I would want to ask how he is doing in regards to all that happened since I never did check before. Based on that I would want to share how since then I have fought with God and questioned His goodness. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety-PTSD since then, but God has shown that He is real/near and good by giving me supportive friends and answering prayers. He taught me about depression, and the selfishness of me thinking no one else could love me as much as I could and then healed a lot of fear after watching Gladiator. He let me meet someone else who found a girl who took her own life so I felt understood, but mostly that I struggled with figuring out why I should continue my life and I realized that Jesus is life. He is satisfying. He will never fail me and I deserve hell which anything other than that is pure love. He is worth living. I think that’s what I want to communicate. That I care about him/what we went through and that Jesus brings hope.

Question: How does the gospel bring hope?

Faith Still Protected

June 8, 2016 (2 years, 7 months, 12 days later)

 

Romans 8:31-29

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We just did the listening part of prayer and if I did hear God He said, “Trust Me.” “Trust Me with the girls, trust Me to overcome your sin of lust. Trust My power.”

It has also been sweet to remember that, no, God did not protect me from all the trauma, but He DID protect my faith and that is more valuable.

Anyways, back to the verse. God gave up His Son which shows us how much He loves us, not how little He loved His Son. If God is for us, no one can be against us. Satan and sin are not too powerful for Him. No one can bring a charge against us. We are not condemned. We have Christ’s righteousness. We have a perfect 36. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. He adores, values, and treasures us. Trauma, stressful situations, temptations, danger, Satan, none of that can separate us from His love. He will still love us and He will still pursue us. We are free to confidently walk in that love.

“God didn’t create us so he could get joy-he already had it.

He created us so he could share it.” ~Sally Lloyd-Jones

Protection Issues (aka Bitterness Issues)

June 7, 2016 (2 years, 7 months, 11 days later)

I confessed/read what I wrote to God and then I “clunkily” prayed to forgive Him. I’ve been saying I have protection issues for the past few years, but really I had bitterness issues. Now I have chosen to forgive God and Henry and so now I get to move forward. I cannot use this against them and can’t take my hurt out on others (especially brothers which is what I’ve been doing by assuming they will fail to protect me)

Lamentations 3:21-33

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust-there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the LORD will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.”