I’m Still Here

Ever feel as if you’re someone else’s throw-away? Especially someone you’ve held so dear? Did it leave you feeling devastated beyond comprehension? Yes? What should we do when we find ourselves so egregiously denounced and so readily dismissed?

Don’t give up! Don’t give in! You’ll feel like it! You might react irrationally! Okay, if you’re like me, you probably will over-react. Still, do not give up! Bow down! Humbly! Immediately and often, let us reveal our hearts to the Most High God, who is LOVE Personified. Cry out! Allow His LOVE to saturate and captivate the heart. Submit to Him for cleansing of personal thoughts, attitudes, and actions (Ps. 51). Cry out! Yield dread and agony to the One who knows us best and loves us most! Stand up! Shake yourself! Lift up your head (Ps 24)! Walk on! Cry out, “I’m still here!” Keep movin’ on. Bow down again! Immediately and often! Before the King of hearts.Reconciliation is the pure heart’s aspiration, but we are ineffectual to coerce others to desire our presence in their lives, no matter how much they should, or how much we wish they would. However, “since God is for us, who can be against us”(Rom 8:31)? His love will sustain us; His joy willstrengthen us (John 15)! “Love your enemies; pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44) is a stipulation, not an option.

It will take time! We might experience stunned disbelief. We will most likely feel betrayed, rejected, abandoned, angry, and depressed. Take courage. “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes; for our struggle is not against flesh and blood”–even when it feels like it is (Eph 6: 10-12). Let us vehemently press into the presence of the Lord God Almighty, Who was and Who is and Who is to come, the Ancient of Days, the Everlasting King of kings and Lord of lords. Even if it feels otherwise, we will have the power to outlast the enemy, if we remain attached to Christ, the Messiah, and His cross. Humbly yield to His correction, conviction, and cleansing.

Surely our persecutors will be restored to us after all that, right? Not necessarily, but that’s not the point. God is after my heart and yours, to capture every fractured piece. The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. We will survive, if we die to our own way. Not the safe way. Not the easy way. The only way. One day, we will be able to stand again and say what Joseph said to his backstabbing brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” (Gen 50:20). I’m still here.

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No Excuses

While continuing to enjoy full-time teaching of some incredibly terrific high school seniors, I have been enrolled in Stetson graduate classes three nights per week, have undergone at least two surgeries, and have dealt with devastating life issues severely threatening my well-being! With the exception of two current classes, I’ve completed the studies with all “A’s”, besides a single “B+”! To say I haven’t slept well or felt well is understatement, due to my concerns over my students, my studies, and life’s dilemmas. At times, I have been sure I wouldn’t be able to handle any of it. I’m still dealing with surgical matters, and as far as the devastation is concerned . . . well, all I will say about that right now is this:

I’m Still Here! God’s Grace empowers me to endure! Struggle will not be wasted!

I won’t give up! I trust the Almighty! He will perfect that which concerns me!

Others may look on or look away in judgment, but my hope is in Him, not others.

Graduation dates are on the horizon–for my students and for me–and still I sometimes feel frayed around the edges, frenetically working toward deadlines. British writer Samuel Johnson made the claim, “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” Apostle Paul admonished in 2 Tim 2: “Be strong in the Grace of Christ . . . Endure!” Endeavor requires diligent sacrifice, but it’s worth it.

I have a word for my students: No excuses!! HA! Love to ya!

I Love

I love Jesus. I love my family. I love people–even those who decide to turn against me. I used to try too hard to win them back, fought too hard to hold onto them, loved too much, or something like that. Learning to love letting go takes a lifetime, I think. I love teaching. I love my students. I love having a seriously crazy, good time. I love musicals and symphonies and circuses and theme parks and salmon and spaghetti and a juicy, medium-rare filet mignon. I love vegetables, cooked or raw, in a medley or solo. I love a fantastic massage, a great facial, a relaxing mani/pedi. I love reading, studying, and learning. I mean it. Seriously. I love playing the piano and singing, raising my voice and heart to worship the Jesus I love. I especially love being all-out silly and playing with my grandchildren, making up funny words and stories and making music with buckets, pots and pans, and wooden spoons. Love it when I get to be with those babies. Like their parents before them, my grands fill me–heart and soul–with sheer, unadulterated joy. I love my warm, salt-water pool after dark, before or after a grilled meal, always after 4-wheelin’, with or without the grands, but always with the Main Man.

I most indubitably love the times when it’s just all right to just be me. Isn’t that what being free is all about? Set free to be free. So relieved, God likes me.