Monthly Archives: April 2017

Is it now time to heal? 

Ephesians 2:8-9 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

I’ve been tied up in all sorts of convoluted knots. Knots that are tied so tightly they seem impossible to untie… it’s taken a lot to coax these knots out and unloosen them, the string is thin and the knots are as tight as they can be. 

 bit by bit the knots are loosening but wrong thinking is ingrained and hard to change. 

A few weeks ago with my job, I went to see quite a feisty old lady in her nineties. As we casually talked about Easter she suddenly became animated and threw her arms in the air. As she was gesticulating she demanded:

” if God the father loved his son, why on earth did he abuse him in such a way?”

This was such an amazing gift which I wholeheartedly accepted. We talked about sin and the need of a perfect sacrifice. We talked about God’s overwhelming love in sending his son and how Jesus willingly obeyed his father’s will. As I got her into bed, I asked her if she wanted to pray. Her prayer was:

“Lord, teach me the things that I just don’t understand.”

As I think about my situation and the knots that I’ve got into which seem impossible to untie, I have prayed the same prayer. Why did God allow my husband’s sin? Why such hurt to the church? Why did he allow such a catastrophic thing to happen when my prayer was that we would be above reproach? 

These are questions I can’t answer but the prayer that Doris prayed says it all. But rather than asking God to teach me all that I don’t understand, my prayer is:

“Lord, help me to accept all that I don’t understand. Help me to accept all the things that up till now I haven’t wanted to accept.  It seems a disaster to me, it seems like nothing good will come out of it. I feel hurt that I prayed to be above reproach and you have given me the opposite of what I prayed for…”

And there it is…. the knot that is tied so tightly. The knot that hasn’t yet been confronted. 

I have been hurt and angry. I prayed for so many years for something that I perceived was right and good. I prayed that we would leave our church family rightly. That we would always be welcome to go back. Never barred. It seems that God has dealt with me harshly; it seems unkind that God ignored my heartfelt plea. I prayed that we would never sin and disgrace Christ in the church in which we served. But we have. 

All I can pray is: 

” Lord, help me to accept what I don’t understand!”

This morning I found a dead bee by our back door. I got a spoon mixed with sugar and water and pushed the bee onto it. To my delight I saw it move and drink the liquid. It revived and flew off. 

This is what I need today. I’ve been so overwhelmed and beaten down. I need the sweet nectar of grace to revive my soul. 

I’m thankful that God has revealed this to me today. It’s painful to confront, but maybe now, like that little bee, God can begin to heal me in a way he never could when I was fighting him.

I didn’t want this situation to happen, but it has. God is bigger than our mess and I ask God for healing  as I go forward, and to help me accept the things that I will never understand.

I pray that with this prayer, healing and restoration will come. 

It’s time to start living. By God’s amazing kindness we haven’t blown it, but I do need to accept the rich gift  of grace and forgiveness that has been given us through Jesus. 

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Grieving with hope 

Grief is so unpredictable. It strikes when we least expect it. A thought, a reminder, or news through the grapevine can start a rollercoaster ride, full of overwhelming emotions that are difficult to handle. Our grief marches on. I’m not sure when it will end. It catches us out and knocks us over. 

I’ve been knocked over this weekend. Meeting with friends and hearing news of my past life. I felt as though I was drowning and longed for what has gone. Ups and downs, peaks and troughs. 

It takes many years to build relationships. Longer to really know people and be understood. It’s difficult to feel part of a new community, hard to infiltrate and get past the superficial. Time has gone by, yet I’m still not known and understood by many. 

Grief is hard. It isn’t predictable and catches us out. As my mind wanders, I think about the fellowship that I’ve been plucked from. I still feel displaced, isolated, lonely and unknown. As I stand in church, sometimes my grief is so raw I can’t sing. I stand rigid with tears rolling down my cheeks. Such a strange and dreadful thing that’s happened. I’m so grateful that despite my sorrow I have many days  which are  full of hope and joy which fill me with thankfulness. 

There will never come a time when thoughts of the past won’t bring sadness, but by God’s grace, acceptance will eventually be given. One day we pray that dreadful sin will be turned around to help others, and as we look back we will thank God for the growing that went on in the wilderness. No experience is wasted and our pain keeps us near to our saviour. 

Im learning that grief doesn’t  have a timeline and can never be managed. We learn to live with the sadness caused and look to our Heavenly Father to help us all through. 

Confronting the issue! 

When the news broke and everything fell apart, I went into panic mode and wanted everything mended. I wanted everything to be back as it was. As a pastor’s wife, our role wasn’t to cause hurt and damage, but to lead in love and come alongside the hurting. Having the knowledge that my husband had caused the hurt suffocated me.

So we went from being “the helpers” to “the hurters”, A terrible title that I never wanted to acknowledge. I balked at the hurt caused and I balked at the shame.

It felt like the sin commited was so bad that we would never be accepted again. People’s opinions mattered more than they should have done, and I became paralysed by what people thought of us. The shame has paralysed me from the beginning, I have been aware of it, I’ve talked about it, but up till now I’ve not dealt with it.

My biggest fear was not God. Before God I knew we were forgiven, loved and accepted, I knew his kindness and the hugeness of his mercy.

My fear was of man. I craved acceptance from those we knew. Silence is always misconstrued and it drove me into a pit.

This has been a long journey for me, and I have had to face many hard things. No doubt I will continue to struggle with shame in the months to come, but I pray that God helps me to see that validation from him is enough.

As our lives continue, It’s not for me to understand why God allowed this sin, yet this is what I know: God is the great forgiver and he buries our shame.

As we live with brokenness, I pray that we will never take our eyes from the finishing line. God has been kind to us and will continue to help and love us in the years to come. With God on our side we have nothing to fear. Man is entitled to his opinion, and in the eyes of others we may always be looked down on, but never by God. On that last day this struggle will seem futile. God’s opinion will be the only one we care about.

Jesus has taken our shame. He paid the price and I dare not go back to the cross anymore to pick up the shame again, even though the urge at times will be great. I pray that this will be the beginning of really leaving it behind. I am Praying for ongoing help and grace as I leave the shame at the cross.