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Do you trust me

After my last writing for our church it would seem fitting for me to expand a bit about the story and the dream shared.
Within the course of my recovery journey, I was often asked these words, “Do you trust me, and will you?”
When children grow up in non trusting or unsafe environments, trust does not come easy.
As an adult now I am able to discern when trust is safe and healthy and only by listening to my first instinct; have I learned to trust and follow.
The question was asked surrounding the healing process of memory.
It came from the Lord working through the Holy Spirit and also guided by my very trained and gifted counselor.
“Do you trust me enough that I can show you and walk with you into the hard places and allow me to reframe them into something more healing and healthy for you?”
When there is a lot of pain often times we want to hide. I sure did.
I wouldn’t offer anything to anyone about how I felt.
Someone would say to me, “how are you?” I would always say fine.
For I thought in my mind if I said, “not so good,” they might want to know why.
I wasn’t ready to tell them. I wasn’t ready to tell myself.
It was only when I hit a wall, emotionally, physically and in my health, that I felt like I had to submit.
God showed me slowly and carefully that I was not going to be harmed in the process of remembering.
Sometimes when you relive something years later you see it through adult eyes seeing it as the child might have experienced it.
There is power when you see something through the child’s perspective.
Have you ever watched the movie Scrooge, where the spirit of his past shows him the room where tiny Tim was sitting.
How Ebeneezer ‘saw’ him through different eyes; as an observer not as a mean boss.
Recovery from memory is a lot like that. It is re-framing and showing a scene in a new way.
Seeing and observing the child through different and more healing places of perspective.
Remember the scene when he said about tiny Tim, “but I didn’t know.”
Healing comes to us through accepting and allowing the places of memory to be exposed for what it was, what it did and how it made us feel.
These are very hard things to acknowledge. Remember: the only way out is through.
When the question comes to us, “Do you trust me?” It is like the question Jesus asked before healing someone.
“Do you want to be well?”
It arrives with many layers to peel back like an onion.
“Yes I trust you”… peel off…
“Yes I trust you” peel more…but my eyes are burning and my nose is stuffed.
The aroma stings our senses. We get choked up for the oil of the onion is strong.
Memory is very similar.
When we choose to remember the pain from our past, it is the beginning to a new and refreshing beginning.
Remember :The only way out is through.

It was a tear filled heart healing journey

MY BLOG WRITING FOR OUR CHURCH:
When we choose to take the next adventure, it can come with unexpected terrain.
Sharon Osterhoudt writes for the blog again with a deep and personal account of how she navigated an adventure where the Lord became her surgeon – the One to work over her and remove her “tangled and twisted old wounds”.
You all just need to stop by the blog and finish the story. It will leave you reaching for the hope only Jesus can give.

Adventure: Rugged Terrain

In the 1980’s this song came out and it has always been a part of my journey.
“You are my hiding place, you always heal my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you,let the weak say I am strong in the strength of the Lord.” (psalm 37:2)
when I was asked to write about my life with the Lord as an adventure.
I was not sure what to say. so I prayed and ‘you are my hiding place’ came to me.
My husband and I often like to take a drive with no idea where we might end up.
It’s a bit unsettling for me as I like to know the end result, he likes the adventure of not knowing.
In my early thirties and forties, I went through a very rough stage with health issues.
The doctors were unsure of why I was very ill, they thought it might be lupus, as I had a positive reading for a connective tissue disease. They said it could be an auto immune disorder or chronic fatigue, they just didn’t know.
At that time we had our two children and also I did full time day care.
When I look back now it amazes me how much was going on.
The adventure/journey began when Jesus alongside the Holy Spirit showed up in a dream, a very intense one.
He told me I would go through an emotional ‘surgery’ guided by the Spirit and I would be healed when it was over.
It scared me. You know those kind of dreams that seem very real?
In this ‘vision’ I saw (The Lord) working over me slowly removing tangled and twisted old wounds;
and as He did the surgery, He would sing over me.
[The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.] Zephaniah 3:17
It was a tear filled heart searching intensifying series of songs.
As I began to slowly heal; the Spirit showed me I had to not only deal with the physical issues but my emotional issues too.
Depression and pain, followed me like a crutch on each side walking with me as I took each step.
When memories of childhood flooded my daily walk often times I would sing, “you are my hiding place, you always fill my heart with songs of deliverance.” It was gentle and healing to my heart.
I needed the assurance that throughout the years of working with a skilled therapist and with the guiding of the Holy Spirit; I would remain protected and safe.
Any time trauma comes to the surface it is stored not only in memory but also within cells.
So my body was remembering what my mind tried to hide but couldn’t forget.
As the uncovering took place God continued to work with me and strengthen me, taking away old ‘lies and replacing them’ with words of truth and affirmation.
Memories flooded me, and truth exposed the ugliness and as we walked through the hard places it was very much like a back packing adventure.
The journey would be rough, I would say, “I can’t do this” and the Spirit would encourage me, and whisper;
‘YES you can, I am guiding you.’
During this time I was lead to read a little book called, “Hinds feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard.
It touched me in such a deep and profound way I knew it was meant for me.
It took years to heal both physically and emotionally.
It took trust to form for myself towards my counselor, and for me to understand the ‘little girl’ who had a hurt heart, and it was up to me, the adult to change/heal her story.
The journey took a long time but it was worth each and every step along the way.
I also learned and came to understand, it was never ‘the little girls fault’.
The journey of healing was from the inside out and I was healed on every level.
The connective tissue disease not only went into remission but was not visible through any test.
I know without a shadow of doubt, God healed me.
It has been a journey filled with hope, healing, truth telling and powerful love.

To infuse and inspire one another

In my last writing there was a description that said, to infuse or belong to, and it was speaking about a friendship.
Looking up the word infuse: Dictionary.com says it is to ingrain, pour in, cause to penetrate; instill and inspire; as if by pouring; to steep or soak as to extract; to undergo infusion.
I looked up the word friendship and it said that it is to value the state of being a friend or association with friends.
When we choose to invest in others we choose to pour into their lives and infuse our caring, our encouragement and our prayers towards them.
I like the thought of infusion because it is a steeping like a hot cup of water with a tea bag, slowly allowing the contents of the bag to pour into the clear water, merging and changing itself.Friendships are like that too, they are a reflection of ourselves.
We choose to inspire them with words of affirmation that says, “you can do it I believe in you; or I have thought about you and want you to know it.”
We ingrain and pour into them with our hopes, our prayers, our compassions and concerns.
To instill and inspire someone; is giving them a belief in themselves maybe they can’t see.
I see it as an internal process from an external source.
Infusion could be similar to a change within like that tea cup.
Hope fills within and removes doubt. Peace removes confusion and belief removes disbelief.
Oh that we may see and take seriously our choices in who we invest in.
I personally do not want to waste time in a relationship or friendship that is not mutual.
We can pray for others from a distance and let them know, but if it’s not a good healthy relationship for us to be involved in; then we need to let it go.
Choosing wisely who we invest in and how often is a choice we all have to make.
To infuse in one another is not a ‘light thought’.
It’s a challenge, and a determination for us to make good choices to infuse and inspire one another.
Let us be encouraged as we go through this process.

What do we choose to invest in

When I search the word ‘invest’ and it’s meaning; I am challenged by what I need to do to make it more real.
Dictionary.com says: to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something:
to endow with a quality or characteristic: to invest a friend with every virtue.
to infuse or belong to, as a quality or characteristic: Goodness invests his every action.

It takes intentionality and thought to invest in something.
If I have an investment in something it is has to be what I believe in, have hope in and find a future within it; whether that be a cause or a relationship.
Relationships are like that.
To say “I believe in you” to someone; is making a choice to invest in their character, their spirit and the world that surrounds them. Building up who they are.
We have six grandchildren and each one have the promise from us that we will invest in them to the best of our ability and resources.
Our friendships require intentional phone calls and dates set on the calendar to continue our caring and relationship.
Family too, putting it down and setting it aside as a sacred day not to be changed or modified for something else less important.
Our anniversary is coming up soon and we will invest in it as a day for us to remember ‘us’ and our life shared together.
What we choose to invest in tells us a lot about our personality.
We have three little girls in Haiti that we invest our money for their schooling and health care, my husband has been in Haiti and knows the need is great.
We have a local soft ball team we invest our time and our funds so they can become who we believe they can be, and of course our grand daughter plays on the team.
What do we choose to invest in? It’s a great question to ask ourselves.
Perhaps every January we can set this question on a calendar and plan around it, as the new year begins.
I know I am taking this challenge very seriously.

As we move forward

As we move forward in cleaning, purging, finding a space for peace and quiet, it is good for us to find our ‘comfort’ zone.
What makes us feel more centered? This last week my husband and I have been doing applesauce together.
Washing jars, lids and apples that were given to us free.
In creating a home space part of that is creating ‘healthy’ food and habits for both of us.
As the apples cooked the room filled with warm apple smells, and it was peaceful in the middle of the mess.
We did pickles about six weeks ago and that was a new and different experience.
For over two years we have been purchasing healthy ‘whole foods’ and natural meat.
It is way more healthy to buy from a known farm who treats their animals right than a market.
It takes intentional effort to look up natural resources and stores but in the end it is worth it.
I see part of my job is to find sales and cut our cost in the best way possible.
How is that working for you? Have you tried new resources and new ways of doing things?
As we move forward into our retirement years we are finding what calms us and also what creates ‘chaos’.
I am trying to keep the clutter down and the rooms less messy.
It is a challenge at times but it is also very doable. Calm rooms create calm hearts and peaceful spirits.
It is very important especially now that the holidays will be here soon to create safe and nurturing homes.
Family time is important. Sharing meals with friends and family builds relationships and helps us to get to know each other on a more personal level.
I want to be intentional in relationships.
Taking time for lunch dates, notes in the mail and adding in a quick chat on the text or phone.
As we move forward into fall, let us try our very best to identify what we need to do to make our homes more quiet, peaceful and secure.
Let us encourage one another to make this a new priority.
Family, friends and community groups all play a role in our lives. Let us not give way for neglect or excuses.
What is important is what we invest in.
As we move forward together let’s invest in what really matters.

Restoring a place of quiet

The word quiet is mentioned in the Bible 66 times.
Seems like a pretty significant number to me.
Perhaps it is a desire for us to slow down, and return to the peace that only God can give.
I know I talk a lot about finding peace, quiet and solitude moments.
It is nurturing to our souls.
Some people love to have a hot cup of tea and read a good book wrapped up in a favorite blanket.
Now that it is fall weather and soon winter we will have many opportunities for those ‘restful’ times.
Other people love to knit or crochet, or sew or like me, write.
Could there even be a place just for those moments?
A favorite chair you always sit in, a favorite reading room, a coffee shop or even a library.
I don’t find peace in public places so my spot would always be at home.
Right now I am in our ‘trailer’ looking out at the roaring waves of the ocean.
Whatever it takes for you to create your space. Restore it, and give it value.
[My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.] Isaiah 32:18
I love this promise.
Peaceful habitation and quiet resting places.
In secure dwellings… yes so very important.
When we used to go camping it didn’t feel safe to me to sleep in a tent.
I want a solid wall and a lock on our door.
Especially now that we are older and the world is so crazy and unpredictable.
We can also restore our ‘quiet spirit’ within ourselves.
There are many voices now telling us many things either on the news, or social media.
The test is how we can restore the quiet.
Our Pastor was sharing that social media has been disappointing to him; as it seems that people are talking not only to get their opinions heard but talking over each other and with louder voices.
I think we need to focus on the soft words, the gentle attitudes with the tones that encourage.
It is a great challenge for us to restore a place of quiet.
Are we up for the challenge?
[but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.] 1st Peter 3:4