Life Happens

So it happened.
The thing you thought would never happen? 
It did, in fact, happen.
Maybe you messed up
Maybe you hurt someone beyond what you think can be repaired.
Maybe you were wronged, beyond comprehension. 
Maybe you crossed lines you never thought you would. 

Maybe you find yourself feeling alone, forgotten, uncared for. 
Or, maybe you are feeling crushed under pressure. Like, you have so much on your plate trying to balance being a husband/wife, mom/dad, employee/employer, run a house, run a company, provide for your kids, provide for your parents…
Pressure to perform, to manufacture positivity, to make the impossible, possible.  Expectations are high. In other words, LIFE HAPPENED.

Or maybe, the secret you have kept hidden deep inside,  never told a soul about, maybe left home because of,  maybe you even created a whole, new life because of it…
   well, maybe it has come to light.     

Maybe you feel caught, cornered, unable to run.
Guess what?
its ok.
No, really. It’s ok.  Maybe you need to hear someone say to you, “it’s not your fault”.  Maybe it really is, and maybe it really isn’t.  But maybe its not really about who really is to blame.  Maybe, for one moment, you just need to feel like someone, anybody, believes you.   Believes IN you

That secret you’ve been keeping, terrified to let anyone know about?  Guess what? God already knows.  Are you ready to go to God, tell Him all about it, and trust Him with your secret?  He already knows about it, anyway.

Some of you have never heard about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Some of you were raised, learning “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food”,  or the bedtime prayer “Thank you Jesus, for this day” –  which is all fine and good, but if, as an adult, you still haven’t learned how to talk to God, you’re still praying children’s prayers. Guess what?  When Jesus died on the cross, it was for EVERYONE.  When he arose, that third day,  LIFE HAPPENED.  Our life. Our eternal life, offered ONLY through Him.      The past few months, I have been walking through a valley I never thought I’d see. 
I was happy. 
I was content. 
I was planning to remain in the bliss I thought was real, for a very long time. 
Then one day, everything changed. 
Every single thing I thought was real, wasn’t.  Words I thought I could believe, believe IN, trust, I realized I couldn’t. 
I have often thought, if I wasn’t the one living it out, I wouldn’t believe it was true. 
There are only a couple people I’ve chosen to share *everything* with. 
It’s deeply personal. 
It’s raw.
It’s incredibly disappointing, 
sad. But, I can say this; I am still here.  I haven’t gone anywhere.  I have still woken up, everyday, put one foot in front of the other, somehow, learned to live with what is now my reality.  I have learned a lot, these past few months.  One of the most important things is this;  Don’t judge. Don’t jump to conclusions, assuming that you know everything.  I guarantee, you don’t.  There is always another layer below what you see, on the surface.  Don’t gossip.  Don’t buy into the possible fabrications, from others who have no clue.  And, please, please, please, for goodness sakes, if someone places enough trust in you, to confide even a LITTLE bit of their reality,  DO NOT UNDER  ANY  CIRCUMSTANCES REPEAT WHAT YOU’VE BEEN TOLD TO  ANYONE. The trust, confidence someone has placed in your hands is sacred.  Don’t betray it.  I have also learned that I cannot move forward, leaving the past, in the past, until I forgive.  Not just to the person.   Whether I am ever asked for forgiveness, or not, I have to make a choice to give forgiveness.  A local pastor I love says this, about it; FORGIVENESS: Letting someone out of the expectation, that they can fix the hurt they caused you.       Are you ready to give God all your broken pieces? Are you ready to let God in on your little secret, finally? Are you ready to lay it all out on the line? Confess it.    Because, He already knows it, anyway.  Guess what?  He died just as much for the person who wronged you, as He did for you.  This passage has been so helpful to me, the last couple of months…   

  PSALM 13 (MSG version)  Long enough, God—
    you’ve ignored me long enough.
…Long enough
I’ve carried this ton of trouble,
    lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies
    have looked down their noses at me.3-4 Take a good look at me, God, my God;
    I want to look life in the eye,
So no enemy can get the best of me
    or laugh when I fall on my face.5-6 I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—
    I’m celebrating your rescue.
I’m singing at the top of my lungs,
    I’m so full of answered prayers

What a beautiful reminder, that even when we FEEL as though God has “ignored” us,
left us in the valley,
 He has been walking right beside us. He has never let us go.
 What a great reminder, that even when we are hurt, 
we can run straight into the arms of the One who will never leave our side, 
or let us down. 
We can always celebrate Him, 
because He rescued us when it was the LAST thing we deserved. 
I’m so thankful for MERCY. 

“Never Once”

Standing on this mountaintop, Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step, You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground, Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory, Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful   Yes, Lord, You are faithful. Every day. 
Even when we are in the valley.

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