Monday, April 03, 2006

Life's An Interesting Ride

Some people look at me funny when I make comments like this title, but to me our life is one huge web of roads and God is the ultimate roadmap you can have! This past week has been an extremely interesting one, which was full of ups & downs and twists & turns. Sometimes it's really hard to know why things are happening and it's especially hard not to say, "Why me?" or, "How on earth did I get here?" I find it interesting that depending where you are, who you are with, what's being said, etc. truly colors not only the person saying the words, but it also deeply impacts the people around them who are taking those words, attitudes and emotions in. This may not happen for everyone, but I know in speaking personally, it happens to me a lot, especially when negative things are said. I've spent a lot of time this weekend in prayer and's amazing how God knows exactly what you need in each situation...He led me to various passages of the Bible and they were all right on line with what I needed to be hearing! He does the same thing for me through Christian music...I made a special trip to the Bible store on Friday to get a CD for this song...I like the group and the CD was very cheap and with the way Friday went, I was willing to pay whatever price to get this song, as I knew it was what my heart needed to hear.

Never Alone
by BarlowGirl, BarlowGirl

I waited for you today
But You didn't show
No no no
I needed You today
So where did You go?
You told me to call
Said You'd be there
And though I haven't seen You
Are You still there?

I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I'm never alone
And though I cannot see You
And I can't explain why

Such a deep, deep reassurance
You've placed in my life
We cannot separate
'Cause You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen

It was one of those things where I sat in my car and just listened to it over and over again. What it speaks is so very true! For me, there are some days where it seems like I can't feel God as close as He sometimes is...that's usually a time when I'm being's during those times though where your faith truly grows the most, because I focus in on the fact that He's there and I'm going to trust Him harder than ever, because you do have that deep reassurance that He's been put in our life for a very special reason! These last almost 7 months have been a huge growing experience for me and they have strengthened me and my marriage in a way I couldn't have fathomed! The one thing which I take the most comfort in though, is the fact that it's freely talked about in my new surroundings that a lot of times when negative things happen, when you feel like you're being hammered, it's usually our Adversary in this life, as his main purpose is to try and steal the glory from God in situations. You might think that's weird to take comfort in this, but up to this point, most of my churches and friends haven't really talked about this a lot and so when I did feel really battled in terms of illness, being depressed, etc. I felt an extreme amount of guilt. I felt I hadn't been trusting God enough or had went off track somehow, when in fact, this usually came into play right smack during a time when I was working towards doing something in ministry. If someone would have said it's an enemy roadblock or bump, that would have done so much to helping me through it. I take great comfort and assurance in a response my friend gave a few years back when asked if she thought she done something wrong and that was why she was battling through illness. Her response was, "I don't serve a God who punishes...I serve a God who's my heavenly father and loves me deeply!!"

So many times I was felt to think that I'd done something to "deserve" what was happening, as I went through a rough patch in life. We're supposed to walk alongside each other and help to uplift people and during those times, I felt so alone...I didn't always feel God, but I knew He was there and I clung to that and still do! I learned a very important lesson this week, especially about myself who has the blessing of having Mercy as my #1 spiritual gift...there are definite benefits and also definite disadvantages to this gifting and I've experienced them all at one time or another. I learned that even though we're supposed to walk alongside each other and help to uplift each other, that I have to be very cautious about the fact that I tend to take someone's burden on my shoulders and it ends up being becoming my the end it is a very draining experience for me and tends to bring me into a place where I don't like to be! This week I've battled through the whole question of how you uplift someone, but also how you stay focused and know when you need to walk away or separate yourself from this situation. How do you walk away from a situation and not have it affect the call of God to work together in unity to do His kingdom work? How do you open yourself up to the possibility of losing a friendship you have just started to develop? How do you have an understanding heart in the situation, when you don't know what you did and because you aren't "wired" in the same way, don't completely understand the actions going on?

I've received a lot of good advice this week on it from my family and friends. You see, I'd told my husband earlier this week that I was going to take a step back...I was going to isolate myself. His response to me was, "You haven't done anything wrong, why should it be you who takes a step back?" Someone else reminded me of this very important fact and one which I know very well... "My observation, both from personal experience and the testimony of others, is that followers of Jesus are vulnerable when they isolate themselves from other believers." In response to possibly having to choose between two friendships, a friend gave me this response, "Misplaced loyalty is satan’s counterfeit- it is illegitimate unity...misplaced loyalty may be that thing that causes us to try to not make waves by protecting a confidence, when we know that the protection of this confidence may result in a weakening of the body of Christ." I've spent a lot of time in thought and prayer over this one, both due to current circumstances and past ones as well. As this new week starts, I read this statement with so much clarity and it seems in my mind there's not really any question for how I need to approach things. As my sister reminded me yesterday, "Sometimes tests happen, because God has something that all parties need to learn from the situation."

Yesterday at church our Pastor urged us to come forward to be prayed for...he preached a sermon which had me deep in thought, so y'all know I'll be blogging about it in the near future :) !

The funny thing was that the last few weeks, there have been times to respond to the message and even though I was feeling prodded to go, for various reasons, I didn't. Throughout this week, I felt a still small voice saying, "If there's a time of response, you need to go forward!" I was singing yesterday and even though there was a time of response, I went up on stage with the worship team anyways, but as I sat there and saw people coming up and was listening to the music playing, I knew I had no business being anywhere, but down at the front on my knees, so I went. God's love washed over me and the tears came...probably would have been more, but I don't remember crying as much as I did on Friday, so I was a little "dry". Our intern prayed with me for wisdom, direction, encouragement, etc. and throughout yesterday, God revealed a lot to me and I know He's going to continue to. The main point revealed was that I don't need to take a step back...I need to continue to walk through the doors to His sanctuary and meet with Him and His people, my friends and church family. He also said, "Just be yourself! The people who want to truly be your friend, will be there and will accept you for who you are and and no matter who you are friends with. You need to continue to serve Me in love and devotion and not worry or fear about what those around you think, not worry about whether someone will continue to walk alongside you in friendship, depending on how you react to a situation. The last can't continue to take on people's burdens as your own, because it's going to hurt you in the long run!" He's showing me the route I need to take and as always, because He's the one doing the leading, it brings you to a place of real peace.

I'm going to end off with another song from the CD I speaks about what we need to do in this's human nature to hold onto things and to try and do things on our own. The truth is that we need to surrender everything to Him...our dreams, our need to control all situations, our fears and worries, etc. We need to trust in the deep reassurance that He's always there and He truly know what's best for us!

by BarlowGirl, BarlowGirl

My hands hold safely to my dreams
Clutching tightly not one has fallen
So many years I've shaped each one
Reflecting my heart showing who I am
Now You're asking me to show
What I'm holding Oh so tightly
Can't open my hands can't let go
Does it matter?
Should I show You?
Can't You let me go?

Surrender, Surrender You whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but can't You see?
My dreams are me, My dreams are me

You say You have a plan for me
And that You want the best for my life
Told me the world had yet to see
What You can do with one
That's committed to Your calling
I know of course what I should do
That I can't hold these dreams forever
If I give them now to You
Will You take them away forever?
Or can I dream again?


Kc said...

I'm so thankful you've been blessed through this adversity and I pray your newfound knowlege will continue to be a comfort in the years to come.

It's good to be surrounded by people who know we all struggle and can relate their understanding when it's needed. It seems you've been blessed with many.

The song lyrics are great too. ;-)

Cinder said...

Kc ~ Hey there Kc...good to talk to you...Happy Blogging Anniversary (I'll drop by and leave a comment on your blog later...I didn't get time this morning!)

I am very thankful that even though you do go through adversity, that God will bless you through it and that He'll bring you new knowledge and new tools to know how to deal with the future things which will come down our paths. I know that the newfound knowledge I've gained will continue to be a blessing, provide me strength and discernment in the future and for sure it will bring me a lot of comfort in the years to come.

I have been truly blessed to have many people who offer me their friendship...they do realize that we all struggle and do relate their understanding when they see that it's needed. I can only pray that I'm able to offer them the same through friendship and that I'll recognize and be there to help when they might need it!

I like the song most can see, music, along with prayer and writing, are my main ways of "zoning out" and getting back on track with God. These lyrics spoke volumes to me in so many ways this weekend!

I hope you have a great, God-blessed week :o)

Corry said...

There is so much wisdom in this post and I thank you for sharing it!

God has truly blessed you to come to this understanding and knowledge. And He blessed us with you:-)

Have a blessed week, dear sister.

God's Grace.

Cinder said...

Corry ~ You're welcome! It's been extremely therapeutic to write this out as I worked through it. I feel so blessed to have met you and Kc and to be able to get to know you! I also feel very blessed and humbled at what God's doing right now in's one of those times where you can feel yourself getting stronger and you begin to see things with a crystal clear outlook.

I pray that you too sister will have a very blessed week :o)!


M. C. Pearson said...

I once heard it said that "May you have an interesting life" is a curse in some countries. But, I believe it is a blessing. How boring to stay on a safe road all your life. I know exactly what you mean about the ride. Yep...I'm a twisty turny girl too...and loving it! Oh, and I like the Barlowgirls too!

audrey` said...

This post is a great gem.
Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Cinder.

Shall we let Jesus take the wheel in our lives?

God bless.