When I Long for Times of Old

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“With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”… By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:15-25

I was driving down the highway this morning headed toward my college campus as this story played from my radio. Growing up in a Christian home, one can so easily miss the nuggets of truth that are hidden within God’s word. We so often over look the simple things within God’s Word that were placed there for our instruction. Thankfully, the Lord began to lovingly teach my soul as I continued driving.

Lot’s wife was obedient to the Lord in the beginning of the journey. She harkened to His words, and yet, stumbled at one microscopic level. She began the journey up the mountain. She did obey. Yet, she looked back and suffered the consequences of her disobedient actions. Just as Lot and his family were commanded not to look back at their former lives, we too as Christians are told, “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” Luke 9:62

A simple thought came within my soul as I heard this heart convicting verse,  “Eliza, have you looked back? Have you turned your back on your Savior to have one last glance at your former life? Have you promised yourself, one last pleasure, before following Christ with your whole heart? Why do you turn your gaze to the dried fields of your former life, where no beauty or fruit grew?”

Reader, have you, just as Lot’s wife, begun this journey? Have you answered the call, yet somewhere along the trek, looked back, longing for your former life? Have you turned toward your old ways?

Let me encourage you, dear one, God’s hand is withholding the outpouring  of wrath we all should have. Turn back to our Master and follow His lead up the mountain while you still can.

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Sufficient Grace~

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Poland… A place of beauty and a rich history. The smells of dark coffee and freshly baked pastries seep out of the country cottages. Gorgeous men, woman and children wander through the busy town of Warsaw. Their deep set eyes scan the surroundings as they greet each other.

Last June I had the amazing opportunity to travel with Wheels for the World to Poland.

It was there that God showed me that weakness is where His strength can shine forth.

It isn’t when we are strong that God works most mightily, but in our weakness.

Not when we are brave, but when we trust Him.

Not in our strength, but His.

Not in our athletic skill, but in His ability to enable us to fulfill our calling.

Not in our eloquence of words, but by His love.

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In the country side of Radom, Poland,  the understanding that God uses weakness began to drench my soul.

Wheelchair? No problem! Chronic pain? Yes, He can use that too. Past mistakes? He can handle it.

Maybe, you have some ashes within your life too. Maybe there are moments that you wish would be swallowed within the past.

Yet, God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

“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 Corinthians 12:9)

Dear Broken Girl

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To all the precious girls I know, who are facing this cruel world. You are worth fighting for.

Dear Broken Girl,

Today they laughed at you, not having a clue that their shrieks of mockery cut deeply within your soul. They called you worthless, and dumb. Swearing curses over you. They said you weren’t worth fighting for. They proclaimed a future of distress and failure.

The pain is real. The tears you cried while you sat in the bathroom alone speak of the crushed soul you bare. Yet I pray you will listen to my words.

You are not alone.

You are beautiful.

You are unique.

Your grades in English class don’t define you.

Your laugh brings joy to this world.

Please, I urge you, keep holding on. Keep fighting, because one day you will find a reason worth fighting for. The teen years will soon be over. This battle won’t last forever.

Don’t be afraid to reach out. You might just be surprised at the amount of others looking for acceptance.

“…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” -Psalm 30:5b (NIV)

Love you, girl.

Eliza

Beautiful Blessings

Thank you Krissie for this poem. I am so blessed to call you a friend. You captured my story in such a beautiful way that I could never do. Continue writing your poetry. Love you, girl!

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I danced,
The whirling, twirling song
Flowed through me, carried me along,
Applauded then the gathered throng
For me.

I leapt-
With gentle step, the floor
Below my barefoot feet was more
Sturdy then than e’er before
For me.

I fell,
And crumpled on the ground,
The doctors gave no way around
The death that me seemed to have found
Alone.

I cried,
“Why God? This blow You’ve dealt
Has taken all.” Yet still I knelt.
No more alone had I e’er felt
Than then.

I knelt,
Cascading, streaming tears
Fell down. I, laying down my fears,
Unshamed gave all remaining dears
To Him.

I thrilled!
With leaping, laughing heart
Rejoiced, though still my heart did smart.
An epiphany He did impart
To me.

I saw:
The sweetest face I’d ever known
Smiled down upon me from His throne.
I danced! I danced for Him alone-
My King.

I laughed,
I smiled, I prayed, I cried,
I thanked my God that I had died
To me, and found a place to hide
In Him.

I bowed,
I thanked Him for that tree
Where Life had suffered, died for me.
The next time that I danced would be
For Him.

P.S. To read more of Krissie’s writings go to https://apilgrimsheartsong.com/category/blog/

When God’s People Cause Pain

Note from Author~ To be clear, this post is not written in an attempt of revenge to those who have caused harm to my spiritual growth. It is written with the only purpose of reminding those who have been wounded of God’s promises and how we should react.

 

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Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat within my gray-walled room. “How could they, God? Why did they fail to show Your love during this time?” It was one of those bone cold, Colorado days when I had been informed of the actions of some Christians in my life. Their actions had, in fact, been soul-crushingly painful, causing distrust to build up within. Their actions brought about no desire to go back into a church building, let alone trust any Christian again. Walls were quickly built around my heart as I attempted to protect the broken remains of myself.

We have all been hurt by Christians in one way or another, whether you trusted someone in your weakness and were trampled upon, or you asked a leader for guidance and they failed to shepherd you, or you received a harsh word from a Christian friend.

As I have walked through heartbreak caused by other Believers, the Lord has graciously brought to remembrance a few points about Christians.

  • Christians are not perfect– not your parents, not leaders, not even yourself.
  • It is helpful to remind yourself that they fall short daily just as you do.
  • Remember the times that you have caused heartbreak in others.
  • Even with the pain, you are commanded to not forsake meeting with other believers. (Heb. 10:25)C
  • If another caused your hurt, please approach them and inform them of their actions. Often the most hurtful wounds were unintentional.
  • If they are unwilling to work towards restitution, either forgive them and move on or Biblically handle their reactions. (Matt. 18:15-17)
  • You are not ‘married’ to one church. If a church is not willing to walk in restoration, you have freedom to change churches. I found a community and loving Christians that I would not have found if I was ‘bound’ to the previous church I was attending.
  • If a church is unwilling to make restoration and continue causing harm, it is not spiritually healthy to stay within that church body. It will cause emotional and spiritual harm to yourself and to others under your charge.

Some practical ways to bring about healing when you have been hurt.

  • Don’t run from God just because His children have burned holes within your soul.
  • Use this as a step of learning how NOT to treat others.
  • Read and pray all the more.
  • This is a time that the enemy wants to bring about lies. Be on guard against anger, bitterness, and resentment of those who have harmed you.
  • Write a letter to the person who has caused pain. You may or may not send it to them. However, getting your thoughts on paper can often help bring healing and forgiveness.

 

Be willing to be open with others again. This can be one of the hardest things to do. We, as humans, are often afraid to be genuine, especially after our backs have been stabbed. Yet this is where true freedom and trust can be found again.

 

Photo Credits- Jesse Mockler

The Cry of My Broken Heart

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10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
    they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.” (Psalm 107:10-16)

Jesus is a Chain Breaker. He is a freedom bringer.

You may not see the dawn approaching. However the sun will rise.

You may not see the chains broken.Yet the time will come.

You may not be witnessing the salvation of nations. Nonetheless He is moving.

You may not see healing. But He is bringing healing.

Rest my soul.

Photo Credit- Jesse Mockler

 

He is Not Going Anywhere

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Dance… It brought freedom to both my body and soul. It was the perfection that inspired me. Calling me to attempt combinations repetitively until perfected and even then more perfection was to reached.

Yet one day, dance was snatched from my hands and with it, my dreams. There are moments that even now, I close my eyes and imagine the sensation of a plie’s at the barre or performing a grande jete across my studio’s blackened floors.

This morning I ran across a video by Casting Crowns entitled, “Oh My Soul.” Within this song, a beautiful dancer performs a dance along with the lyrics. Amazingly, the song contains the declaration of my soul as I have journeyed through losing my lifestyle of dance. It was encouraging to hear this song play on repeat throughout my day.

Here are the lyrics to one of my new top favorite songs. Enjoy and know that whatever trials you are trudging through, you are not alone.

Oh, my soul
Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming
And no one would blame you, though
If you cried in private
If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows
No one will see, if you stop believing

Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone

Here and now
You can be honest
I won’t try to promise that someday it all works out
‘Cause this is the valley
And even now, He is breathing on your dry bones
And there will be dancing
There will be beauty where beauty was ash and stone
This much I know

Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down

I’m not strong enough, I can’t take anymore
(You can lay it down, you can lay it down)
And my shipwrecked faith will never get me to shore
(You can lay it down, you can lay it down)
Can He find me here
Can He keep me from going under

Oh, my soul
You’re not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone
Oh, my soul, you’re not alone

(Image from Google)