Abba Father

My heart was frustrated, so I cried out, “I don’t know what I want anymore!” while praying last night. The sun was setting, so I simply sat and stared into the western horizon after blurting out my heart’s frustration. God not only held my attention but put on an amazing display that made me forget about everything but Him. A powerful thunderstorm had just rolled over the mountaintop, and the sky suddenly lit up in a breathtaking way. In the stillness and awe of the moment, I stopped crying and remembered that He is Abba Father. I sat and watched the sky in silence soaking in His loving presence.

Coming to the end of my wants allows me to reach out for God. He showed me last night that I know what I want, and I know what He wants. It isn’t complicated. I want to be loved, and so does He. So do we all. His love defines who I am; it always has and always will. I’ve grown dizzy looking for love. My heart is like little Mylah spinning in circles; it causes me to lose my balance. I end up on the ground every time, but that doesn’t stop me.

I was grounded last night, but God’s love and grace lifted in a beautiful way. The Holy Spirit brought my heart a sweet sense of peace as the sky went from a frightening stormy gray to a beautiful pink and to a soft white before finally fading into night. Turning off the lights and letting the room darken naturally brought a sweet sense of sleepiness. It took a while for darkness to come because God turns off the lights much better way than we do:)

A lingering flash of lightning came from a distant storm as the sky darkened completely. God reminded me the Holy Spirit’s comfort comes slowly at times and in a flash at others. I lost sleep Sunday evening thinking about future worries and past regrets. Last night, I slept like a baby knowing that Daddy could and would take care of my heart. Abba Father indeed:)

Light Hearted

My heart is light, and that’s a new sensation for me. I am learning and growing in ways I never could have imagined on my own. God placed John 3:21 in my path last night, and it blessed beautifully.

“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” NASB

The beautiful verses before this one command a great deal of attention, and I love them dearly; but this one set my heart free. I know I’ve read it many times, but as I read it last night, it seemed I’d never heard it before. God’s Word is alive and often catches me off guard. It never ceases to amaze me, and I love that about it.

Truth is the heart of love. I was brutally honest with God last night, and He placed the comforting words before me. Truth brings me to the Light where I can be His vessel. Peace came as my soul settled and left me in a sweet puddle at His feet. He lets me cry out, and when I do, I always find myself empty and ready to be filled.

I slept like a baby for over ten hours after a cup of warm camomile tea and a hot shower. Truth brings out my deepest feelings, and that includes my deepest fears. God catches each tear, feels each fear, and calms my heart and soul with His presence. The service yesterday morning and an afternoon of Christmas baking was very therapeutic:) Preparations for the sweet gathering with family on Christmas and thoughts of time with Mylah and Lillyann today lulled me to sleep. I could feel mama’s presence as I settled into bed, and my heart breathed a sweet sigh of healing release.

Being light headed is not a good thing, but being light hearted is a wonderful feeling. It’s like floating. I had to smile as I drifted off to sleep because I knew I was experiencing true self-differentiation. I wasn’t fused or confused any more. Tethers were gone. The truth set me free, and it was the most exquisite feeling I’ve ever felt. I want more of it, and I know the way to get it is to practice the truth, come to the Light, and let God manifest His deeds through me. Amazing:)

Cry Out to God

I have alluded to the service for Andy several times in my posts this week, so Pastor John graciously agreed to share his notes so I could pass along the healing words that helped me so very much as I searched for answers this week. For those of you also seeking to understand why, I pray you find comfort in these words. This brief post is but a very small shadow of the powerful service. I wish you could hear the message of truth and forgiveness spoken with love from the heart of Andy’s and my dear friend.

December 18, 2012

John Alden Tagliarini

(Taken from the service for Andrew Ivor “Andy” Parris)

“Why?” Moses asked, “O Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt?” (Exodus 32:11 NASB)

The psalmist asked, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1 NASB)

We have to ask, “Why God?”

We have to ask, “Why, Andy, did you take your own life?”

And, we have to admit to no satisfying answers.

In fact, the only answer I can find here is to encourage you – in whatever trials you are going through – I encourage you to know that suicide is not the answer. Call someone, call out to God!

We usually acknowledge our lack of vocabulary as we try to address circumstances such as these. Then, without sufficient words, we continue speaking as if the sound of our voices might somehow sooth our souls and prompt some insight regarding the meaning of it all. My sense is that God is grieving with us. His anger is kindled over the evil results of our deeds.

God gives life. God desires that we enjoy abundant life. Yet, God also gives free will. The consequences of our choices sometimes leave scars. Jesus bears just such scars. His hands, His feet, His side, His brow show the results of evil running its course. Yet, God forgave, and He forgives! This is the only grace I can offer this afternoon, God’s love.

Someday, God will bring into His world the fulness of abundant life which He began in Christ Jesus. Until that day, let us find ways to affirm life, to accept others, to listen deeply and to stand firm against all that destroys the life God intended. Let us trust God to heal our hurt, to love and to forgive.

Speaking as we have of love and life and suffering and pain, God reminded me of the picture painted by the prophet Isaiah of the suffering of our Lord. Though stark, Isaiah’s words are laced with hope. It is the hope that God heals us through the suffering of our redeemer. It is the hope that Jesus bears our sins away.

Let us hear the word of the Lord.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
 And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
 He was crushed for our iniquities; 
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, 
Each of us has turned to his own way;
 But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all 
To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
 Yet He did not open His mouth; 
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
 So He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:4-7 NASB)

As a result of the anguish of His soul,
 He will see it and be satisfied;
 By His knowledge the Righteous One, 
My Servant, will justify the many,
 As He will bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11 NASB)

In Christ Jesus, God bears our sins away and offers forgiveness and love and comfort.

With the psalmist, we ask, “Why?” The psalmist answered his own question with honest trust in his God. He said, “O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed” (Psalm 22:2-5 NASB)

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7 NASB)

Whenever God’s people are hurting or are in trouble, they call out to Him for deliverance. The people of Israel experienced times when it felt as though all the blessings of God, all the good work of growth in the Promised Land after Exodus from Egypt was wasted, and that God had rejected them. Yet, the people called upon God. They prayed that God would shine His face upon them in renewed blessings.

Hear some verses from just such a psalm of petition.

Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel,
 You who lead Joseph like a flock; you who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!” (Psalm 80:1 NASB)

..stir up Your power 
And come to save us!” (Psalm 80:2b NASB)

You have fed them with the bread of tears,
 And You have made them to drink tears in large measure.” (Psalm 80:5 NASB)

We cry out to God today. “O Lord of hosts, restore us; Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved” (Psalm 80:19 NASB)

We have an affirmation of faith, penned by the shepherd David in Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd,
 I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; 
He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;
 He guides me in the paths of righteousness
 For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
 I fear no evil, for You are with me; 
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
 You have anointed my head with oil;
 My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
 And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. “ (Psalm 23 NASB)