I heard this song for the first time on the way home from Indianapolis, I have no idea how long it’s been around… it was on my daughter’s play list.
I had a fabulous weekend (thanksgiving) but started getting the puke/nervous stomach on my way back. And I remember thinking… this is not my year, it certainly isn’t ending the way I thought it was going to. It still isn’t… but then I remember I am not the fourth part of the Trinity.
This year did not come without it’s challenges, that’s for sure.
The beginning of the year I was in the doctor’s office making sure I wasn’t having a heart attack or a stroke.
I changed jobs in June
3 mission trips
2 months of puking because of stress
I remember at one point screaming “I didn’t ask for ANY OF THIS!!!!” and just bawling my eyes out. What a mess! I had enough. I remember thinking “no day I had as a non-Christian” was harder than it is right now. And I honestly thought about leaving it all behind. I had days of knowing who God is, knowing He is worthy of all my praise. No matter what. And thinking I’ll raise my hands, but I don’t know if I believe it. I wondered why God had left me. My light was barely smoldering. I had even said “someone stole my light bulb”. I thought during a song called “Not dead” that I was. But I am not the kind of person who gives up. So on my face I went, crawling, reaching, with all my strength to Him. I looked in the mirror and saw a shell of who I was. I smiled, but was sad.
At some point I could have been this verse:
As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly (Proverbs 26:11)
I thought of just scrapping it all. Thankfully I knew enough to send out an Army of Prayer Warriors to intercede on my behalf.
And at some point something broke through. It wasn’t the kind of break through like football players who run through a sheet of paper at a football game. It was at the moment that I said “I believe You when you say And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) I had to change things in my life, and one of the things that had to change was the way I looked at things.
During all the time I was feeling like a giant pile of mess, puking, I never stopped reading His Word, I continued to do the things I had the strength to do, and the things I didn’t have the strength to do, I leaned on Him (But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:9)
Things still are not easy. I still have moments when things are so overwhelming that I have a hard time taking a step. But thankfully those days are fewer and further in between the renewed Joy I have. One thing I did learn was to listen more.
I’ve also learned to give me. I’ve learned to love more. My friend Katie, in the middle of a mess told me this: I love you every day. No matter what. And in those words, I learned to accept grace and love like I never had from a human being and I learned in that very moment how to give it like I never had.
I had the choice to return to the vomit of my old life or return to the Arms of the One who loves me like no one else. Thankful for His forgiveness, mercy, grace, and love.
Luke 15:10-32 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”