The Abscission

nature_autumn_trees_landscape-wideIt’s October and the trees are beginning to change colors to brilliant reds, yellows and orange. It’s kind of my favorite time of year with the cooler temperatures, the dazzling colors, the harvest of pumpkins, squash and other delicious things, the anticipation of Thanksgiving and then Christmas. I especially love when the sun shines just right to show off God’s handiwork as the season changes. I know it was always my mom’s favorite time of year as it displayed all of her favorite colors. Taking long country rides to see the colorful transformation of leaves in Autumn was one of her favorite things to do.

The cooler weather approaching causes certain trees to go through the process of what is called abscission. This word is the Latin root word for scissors, which literally means to cut. We are in the season of cutting away. As I drink my second morning cup of coffee, I look out the window and watch the soft breeze gently help the trees to shed their leaves that are changing to brown, yellow and red. And God speaks. Watch the trees He says. They are a representation of all of humanity.

Then He explains. The Fall season is a needed part of growth and survival. Though sad to watch the tree lose its leaves, it must let go of what once adorned it gloriously with fresh, bright green leaves of Spring, the deep green leaves of Summer, and finally the reds and yellows of early Autumn. As the leaves begin to drop off in preparation for the tree to lie dormant for the Winter, remember that although it may look it, the tree itself is not dead but only its leaves. Only that which was temporary. Though a beautiful crowning glory for the tree in the warmer months, the leaves are only meant to be temporal for a season as part of its growth process as a whole. The green leaves soak up the warmth of the Summer sun to fortify and provide nutrients for the tree. As the temperature changes the glory of the color display in Fall comes forth, and even though some leaves may detach from the tree before they are brown and some may remain a little longer, they do not struggle or toil in angst against the grain of the process. For every leaf knows wleaf-1209841_960_720hen it is time for to allow the tree to cut it off in order to remain strong. The tree must shed what is no longer necessary. Not in the sense of permanently un-needed, but no longer necessary in the sense of its growth and survival for a season. It must let go of that which has become a hindrance to this survival process. The tree knows that if it did not lose its leaves it would not survive the Winter. When the leaves begin to change color, although beautiful, they are no longer absorbing nutrients as well, which is necessary for the tree. The shedding of its leaves means that now the tree can go into a type of hibernation to conserve its energy and the nutrients gathered from the leaves for its time of resting. It may look dead, but it is only resting. Inside the tree is still full of life and vitality that will visibly come into view again in the next season.

He went on to explain further. Once a leaf is shed from the tree, a protective layer grows over the exposed area. In other words, the “wound” is healed. With the cutting away – the letting go – the shedding – the abscission – the healing salve is applied. Then the resting can occur to survive the Winter as the tree awaits silently for its leaves to adorn it once again.

Wow! God is so good to show us His ways through His creation!

This simple yet profound explanation from God about trees speaks to me on so many levels in so many areas. I think I’ve heard some variation of it before, but not in this way with this detail. I hope that maybe it will speak to you also.

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The Raw Truth

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I haven’t written on here for 2 1/2 years. But I thought I’d start using it to journal again with so much going on inside my head and no where to go except outwardly in negative ways. I felt this would be much healthier.

8/11/16 – Journal Entry

Lately, I’ve felt like I’m barely staying afloat in a sea of uncertainty, disappointment and sorrow.

With all the difficulties, loss and heartache I’ve been through in my lifetime, and even with my melancholy personality, I’ve always managed to keep my head above water and come through being thankful to God for even small things that have overshadowed the negative. It is true that this year has been so painfully hard on my family as a whole. I know everyone has struggles and most are far worse than this. But these are our struggles, our hardships, our losses, our grief. And it’s very real. Very painful.

No, 2016 has not been good to me and my family. That’s no secret. Since the first of the year it’s been one blow after another. One devastation after another. One loss after another. From sudden death to unplanned for upheaval and loss to unexpected divorce. Too much to list between family and friends. The one good thing I can say is that after Michael lost his job this past spring after 8 years at Southern Company, God opened the door pretty quickly for a better job where he feels appreciated because of his vast knowledge and years of experience in his field. We were thankful and blessed in that the Lord provided for us financially in amazing ways during that time. We aren’t where we believed we would be financially through this job opportunity … yet. But we are doing okay.

Even so, this spring ended and led into a summer being the worst on record. Even worse than the summer of 2008 when my Dad passed away that August, (hard to believe it’s been 8 years this month – I sure miss my Dad, my friend) and for the months before as Michael and I had been experiencing immense personal turmoil, as well as his Dad having major physical problems. Then the following summer after we had filed for bankruptcy, lost our home and had to move into a rental home, still going through personal turmoil. Even worse than the summer of 2014 after my mom died after a traumatic event and I had to go through all the years and years and mounds and mounds of stuff accumulated at my parent’s house to have an estate sale that September, with the memory of her death still fresh in my mind, and my life in personal turmoil at home once again. (Note to self: never leave behind that kind of accumulated mess of belongings for my kids to deal with when I’m gone.) Even still worse than the summer of 1989 when I realized that my first marriage had become a disaster and was inevitably headed for an ugly end.

In a sense, this summer has been worse than all those put together in that there is no positive ending at this point. No light at the end of the tunnel. No sincere, heartfelt feeling of “all things work together for good for those who love Him”. Right now, I can only feel heartache, loss, disillusionment and disappointment with many unanswered questions for so many things that have happened this summer. For the entire year, for that matter. And still ongoing in nearly every way. My faith has seriously wavered. I’ve been shaken to the core and I have been unable to find much positive, few hidden blessings or something of real value to be thankful for in all that has happened. Though I’ve tried.

I prayed so hard and so diligently for my family and friends through all of these things. As usual, I was the “prayer warrior” and friend everyone had always been able to count on, and would spend my days going through my list of things and people to pray for beseeching the Lord on behalf of family and friends. And, along with a few close friends, I prayed desperately for weeks and weeks with great hope that this particular situation in these last 3 months would turn around for the better. But it only continued to dramatically escalate and worsen. It has resulted in the unexpected, the least desirable outcome, and me throwing out everything I’ve ever believed before about Christianity, church, prayer, my personal walk with God, my children’s walk with God, even things I believed about myself. I’ve been here before. I’ve started fresh from a clean slate before. But this time I’m out of words to pray and feel literally upside down in my world in the worst way. Maybe it’s an accumulation of everything that’s happened throughout the year, but I’m truly struggling to find comfort and the kind of “peace that passes all understanding” no matter how many times I hand it over to God.

I once had someone I greatly respect tell me I get too personally involved in things in order to try and control them, and therefore keep repeating the same old cycles. Well, all that has undeniably come to a screeching halt. I have no control over this situation or the people involved. They will have to walk their own path, as painful as that may be. And it will be. I cannot fix it this time. I cannot fix the one person that needs it the most. I’ve done street ministry, deliverance ministry, been on prayer teams, prayed for, counseled and helped drug addicts, prostitutes, ex-cons, troubled teens, struggling couples, even a daughter in devastating pain from personal loss of her own. But I cannot help this person, this time. This person whom I love from the depths of my heart and know all too well the road she has chosen. It will not be glamorous as may be believed. The hardest thing to do is to sit back and watch it happen. But that is what I have to do. I can’t even control my own story, much less this one. I can only walk the dimly lit path before me to the best of my ability. And my only word from God at this time for this person is to ‘love her … like Jesus’. I’m not even sure I know exactly what that means anymore.

Yet, I do know God isn’t finished with this book. It may feel like the end, but the end has not yet been written. Even though this one chapter has ended with sadness and grieving for what was and what could have been, and the next one will be incredibly difficult to get through, as well, God is the author who holds the pen. This is HIS book. He can write it much better than I. Only He can make the necessary changes in the characters and in their situations to give this story a beautiful ending. Or not.

I will continue to try and find the courage to keep treading water, (more like flounder about without a life vest). And if I go under, my only hope is that I will not fall into some dark abyss but deeper into God. I’m holding out for the latter.

In conclusion, I can say that at least our family has their lives. There is breath within each of us … still. For that, I am thankful. And will be thankful for every breath after. God is still good. I can honestly say I still believe that. I believe He is the author and finisher of our faith, of all things. So for that I am also thankful. He hasn’t done this to punish anyone. None of this has happened because He is mean or because He is mad. But He doesn’t always do things the way we want or expect or that we in our human mind can conceive is best. Only He writes a person’s story from beginning to end the way He knows is best for them. He won’t break someone’s will, but He does change a heart and can rewrite the story better than before. If we allow Him.

This is my truth. The raw truth. And life goes on …

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My Journey of Grief – A New Perspective

315504_247802921938131_133149703403454_754493_1046962039_nMarch 26, 2014 – Journal Entry Two:

Well, I started this journal so I suppose I should post another entry. But what a difference a week can make when you are walking with the Lord! There seems to be so many more urgent matters going on that make my small journey seem not quite so important to write about. Today I’ve taken down all those beautiful, comforting sympathy cards sent to me that have adorned my fireplace mantel for the past month or more. I greatly appreciated them, but I’m ready to move on. It’s a new day!

I cannot in all honesty sit here and write about my “Journey of Grief” as though it were consuming me. In doing so, I selfishly make it more significant than anyone else’s situation, or more vital than anything else going on. I am okay. Or, at least I will be. I know that. Yes, I do realize that everyone deals with grief differently and everyone cannot just “get over” it. I know that everyone cannot always quickly shrug off whatever their struggle might be at the moment. And I also know that there are still many things for me to deal with concerning my mom’s Estate and in doing so there may be times that I will sense sadness, pressure and irritation. I might even consider writing about it or telling someone about it. But I do not want to be someone who is a moaner or whiner, forever so disabled by grief and despair that I incessantly share with the world my misery on every anniversary of my mother’s death or birth date. For me personally, I want to change my mindset…no, I have to change. I have the mind of Christ, and therefore, I should not allow any thought or thing to rise up and try to exalt itself above the knowledge of God! Yes, I am human and will have my moments. But I also have the DNA of Christ coursing through my veins and He pulls me out of the pit and the miry clay every time I call out His name!!! JESUS!!!! THAT NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES!!!!

As I’m still in a skirmish with this crud, which now includes a slight case of vertigo, I’m shouting that Name alot here lately whilst I ingest my second round of antibiotics. However, after receiving extraordinary revelation over the weekend and then while sharing this revelation with a dear friend and talking through it, I realized that this stuff that is trying so vehemently to pull my body down into the muck and mire is not just about me. Feeling I was on the mend, my husband and I went to a meeting at our church Saturday night, including the Sunday morning service and fellowship after. I am forever changed by the message God brought forth from the mouth of our guest speaker!!! And of course, while trying to apply this revelation in a practical way to my life and walk it out by faith, the enemy throws this crud right back in my face! Isn’t that just like him? But I’ve got news for that sneaky, lying coward…I AM A BLOOD BOUGHT CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH KING AND WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED OR TRICKED BY his RIDICULOUS SHENANIGANS!!!! YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED, devil, AND I AM RESISTING YOU, SO you MUST FLEE!!!!

Since I am an intercessor and am often led to pray about the events occurring in the world, I feel sure that God has shown me that this illness affecting my body is a prophetic sign of the topsy-turvy (vertigo), clogged-up (congestion) state of the world, and as well, that there are infected components trying to inflict the Body of Christ. I need to refocus, because I have some intercession to do! You see, there are things lining up all around the world that are prophechies coming to pass before our eyes, and right now so much is happening so quickly that will bring it all together and to a head. Many things are diversions for something else going on that will blow up in our faces if we are not focused and have pin-point precision in our prayer times. The Body of Christ – the Bride of Christ, should not be limping around in tattered wedding attire always looking for someone to help us mend ourselves. We should know who we are by this time and know that as a blood-bought bride we are made whole by that blood Jesus shed 2,000 years ago! He came so that we would be whole, not so that we would keep going back time and again asking for prayer for the same old things, always being immersed in our problems, keeping our focus on ourselves rather than paying attention to what is going on all around us. We are becoming like Chirst, that is why He came. In becoming like Christ, we should be ministers of His love. We should be givers of hope to the world rather than needful of ministry every time we fall down and skin our knee. Now that’s not being calloused toward those who genuinely have need for prayer. But why can’t we get prayer, receive it and be done with it? Or better yet, why can’t we believe who we are, not what our circumstances dictate?! What will the world do when they are seeking answers while everything they thought they knew to be true is imploding, if we, the Bride of Christ are still hobbling around like wounded warriors wishing He would hurry up and come back and take us away from all of this? Really?! WE HAVE A PURPOSE AND A DESTINY – RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!! Let us finally be able to walk in wholeness to fulfill that purpose!!!

Okay, so that is my soapbox from the revelation I’ve received. I’m still walking it out by faith, too. So I promise I’m not trying to be critical. Just being real. I know there are those who need prayer from time to time, and those who need to be comforted and encouraged. Even me. But I have joy, I have light, I have hope, I have destiny, I have Christ in me!!!! I’m ready to start acting like it!!! Who’s with me?

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