A Little Doctor’s Office Miracle

I got a miracle today. Not one you would expect, and not one most people would count. God is Good is not just the name of my blog, but it is also how I see life. So here it is (fanfare):

I went to my critical care pulmonologist whom I have been seeing for close to two years. I went for a checkup today and I don’t have to go back for 9 months!

The reason this is a big deal is because of how sick I had been for many years. I have had several dr appointments a week for a few years now. Now I am so much healthier and seeing less and less of the doctors.

So why am I talking about this? Why aren’t I talking about how I am healthier?

The reason is because we miss the little miracles God sends daily in the shadow of big miracles (healing). The big miracles are easy to see. The small ones we must be watchful for.

So for Lisa, my miracle is less running around and wasting much time in a critical pulmonologist’s office. Thank you, God! God is good!

 

What is a small miracle you have seen recently?

Fighting the Goliath in My Life

It makes no sense to give a bandaid to someone who broke their leg. The reason is that the bandaid  does not address the problem.  The leg needs to be set and given a cast.

I would prefer this to work in my life.  I wish I could put bandaids on my emotions instead of dealing with my issues. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.

The problem with this is that our focus is on the wrong thing.  We cannot bandaid something that has a much deeper problem going on, because the problem will get worse.  Instead, we focus on setting the bone and getting the cast on.

I was praying in my car today and I started thinking about David and Goliath.  There was an entire Philistine army against the army of Israel.  Goliath was standing out front taunting the Israelites.  None of the men of Israel were willing to fight Goliath because they were focusing on how big he was and how little they were.

Little David came on the scene to check on his brothers.  He was able to figure out what was going on, and to zero in on what needed to be done.  He didn’t focus on the Philistine army or the cowering Israelites.  Instead he saw that spiritually this was a battle, and spiritually he was going to have victory.  He picked up his sling and rocks but declared the power of God was the center of what was going to happen.

1 Samuel 17

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

David focused on what the real battle was (spiritual) and God gave him a mighty victory that is still talked about today.

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Our fight is not about what we see, it’s about what we don’t see.  We are ultimately fighting against evil, not people, and certainly not the giant.
I have a Goliath in my life.  I am a survivor of sexual abuse and it affects me every day of my life.  I get to looking at how much work it is to heal as well as how hard it is on a daily basis to keep going.  If I keep looking at the Goliath of abuse in my life, I will cower in fear like the Israelites did.  I don’t want to do that, I want to be strong like David, look the evil in the eye, and declare the victory in God.
If you have a Goliath in your life, ask God to show you spiritually what is going on. Get your Bible out and learn the promises and power you have to claim.  Only then will Goliath fall and be gone forever.  That’s where I am going and you can do it, too!
What are the Goliath’s in your life?  Please feel free to list them and I will pray for you.

FORGIVENESS

Survivors of abuse are inundated with well-meaning people telling them they need to forgive the perpetrators.  There are two problems with this:

1. What does forgiveness mean?

2. Why don’t people address the perpetrators in the same accusatory way they address the survivors?

Yesterday at church, my pastor gave the best sermon on forgiveness I have ever heard. He went through what forgiveness is not. He said that forgiveness is not entering back into a relationship with a person who did serious harm. That relationship is altered and will never be the same. It was so good to see someone understand that.

I agree with this completely. Why would I want my family around the person who sexually abused me? I cut off that contact to save my four children from that abuse. It would be irresponsible of me to reconnect that relationship because of the danger.

Question number two is why people don’t address the perpetrators. I hear a lot of talk, sermons, and opinions people share, making the survivor feel ashamed for the assumed offense of “you need to forgive”. I do not hear people getting on the abuser. This hurts the abused all over again.

Women who are raped almost never go to the police. That is because the survivor is the one verbally torn down in court, not the abuser.

Going back to forgiveness. The definition is squirrelly. It means different things by different people. Many people seem to think it means to not talk about the sexual abuse anymore and go back to the relationship as if it had never happened. That is just dangerous.

For me, I live with the medical and emotional fallout of my childhood abuse day after day. To me, forgiveness means I want the abusers to get right with God. I am not good with this, as for me forgiveness is a long journey where I keep going back to God and tell Him I forgive my perpetrator again and again.

What does forgiveness in a serious offense situation star

mean to you? Please leave in comments so we can all learn from each other.

 

 

FORGET

Today I am joining in a 5 minute Friday challenge where you get five minutes to write without any corrections. Here goes.

As a  Christian survivor of abuse I hear the word FORGET all the time. Christians love to minister to the abused people, with wholehearted intentions. But they focus on me forgiving and forgetting.

“You have to put your past behind and not think about it anymore.” (Translation:forget).

I could give you more examples, but I am already 2 minutes in. So let me get to my point.

I would LOVE to forget. Seriously. I would give almost anything to accomplish that. But I have found that healing from God never includes forgetting our past.

So I sum up…when you meet someone who was or is currently abused, don’t push the forgive and forget. Give them a hug and tell them how sorry you are that that happened to you. And that they will never forget.

 

 

 

 

 

Let Me Tell You About Me

It is easy to start a blog and tell people about God without ever letting them know who you are or where you have been.  I have nothing that can validate me or lift me in anyone’s high esteem.  I am a normal person living a normal life and following God with all my heart.  So let me tell you my story…

I was born in Ohio and was surrounded by zillions of family members from large, Catholic families.  My grandmother had eight children and always felt gypped because she had wanted twelve.

When I was little we moved to the northern part of Michigan. I grew up in a very little town that had a lot of snow, and I mean A LOT of it. That meant a lot of snow men, snowball fights (which always ended when someone got hit in the face and got a bit crabby), snowdays, sledding and snow forts.

Summers were cool but great for picnics, library runs, and going to the lake.  It wasn’t really hot until about two weeks in August when all the fans in town would get sold out.

I had a stay at home mom and a dad who owned a pharmacy, along with two brothers.  Family was of upmost importance to me, always.

People looking at me would see my life as idyllic and say no wonder that I write a blog about God being good.  But there was a lot going on under the surface.  I was being abused, starting as early as I can remember.

At the age of seven we switched to a church that taught the Bible and how much God loves us and wants to have a relationship with Him.  At the age of seven I got saved (meaning giving my heart to Jesus and living for Him) at a puppet show at our church.  I was rather young to do such a thing, but something inside knew that it was important.  I followed Him in everything I could: reading the Bible, praying, pleading with Him to allow me to hear His voice as clearly as Abraham did when he was going to sacrifice his son on the altar, taking notes in church, and listening closely to my pastor.

I cannot tell you enough about how wonderful Pastor M was.  He literally changed my life with God, gave me the tools to grow in God, and gave me a great love and respect for the Bible.  At the age of twelve he prayed with me to receive the Holy Spirit, which put inside of me great power and guidance.  There is no one in my past that I look up to more or had a stronger impact on my life.

God sent Pastor M into my life, I believe, to help me to survive the abuse.  With the knowledge and understanding of how much God loved me, I was able to hang on to God through very difficult years.  A psychiatrist once told me that the sexual abuse that was done to me was in the top 95% of severity from all sexual abuse reported.  That is how bad it was.

I thought I was holding onto God throughout those years, but really He was holding onto me.  Casting Crowns has a wonderful song Just Be Held that talks about just that.

I pushed the abuse down so far that I forced myself to never think of it.  This helped me to survive the abuse, but made it difficult for me as an adult. After marrying my wonderful husband, Patrick, the past abuse started working its way back into my consciousness.

I will stop there and just tell you it was horrible, but I survived.  My body took the toll (read The Body Keeps the Score) and I had medical crisis after medical crisis through the years. I still go in and out of counseling as needed.

So how do I blog God is Good if I have had such a life?  It is because through it all, God took care of me. He was there with me every time I was abused, I was never alone.  Every time I was suicidal, He held me and gave me the courage to not do it.  Every time I looked at walking on a wrong path, He gentle showed me the right way.

Throughout my life, God has been good to me.  Not only has He kept me alive and brought me to my wonderful husband and children, He continues to draw my heart closer to Him.  After all the years of asking to hear His voice, He has answered and I do.

God is good and I love Him so much.  No matter how hard your life is, turn to God.  He really is good.

WHY AM I DESPERATE FOR LOVE

 

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This is the time of year when you are faced with a very primal question: Have I yet found the love of my life?  If we have, we happily plan Valentine’s Day to make it the best ever.  If the answer is no, we go into depression and wonder why everyone else can find love when we can’t.

Everyone is desperate for love. It is an essential truth that we have deep down inside, and it cries out to be met.  Children cry out for it to their parents, adults go to great lengths to find someone to fulfill it. That innate cry can be temporarily met by people, but it can only be permanently met by God.

 

1 John 4:8

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  

 

There is the answer: because God is love.  Love defines God.  It is who He is, not just something he has.  I have love for my husband, but I am not love.  My husband loves me, but He is not love.  That is a big difference between us and our God. My husband cannot fulfill my desperation to be loved anymore than I can for him.  Only God can do that.

So what is God’s connection of being love to us who are desperate for it? He knows we are not going to be able to grasp Him BEING love, so he tries to go through our human understanding.  It is really important that we get this.

God gave us a love letter: the Bible.  It is filled, page after page, with His great love.  John 3:16 tells us that, “God so love the world He send his only begotten son.” That’s Jesus.  He sent his son to pay for our sins.  That is love.

The Song of Solomon is a book in the Bible that tells about an incredible love between a man and a woman. They go to great lengths to find each other and express their great love.  This is God connecting us to what we know and understand.  We see ultimate romantic love on earth as a love between a husband and wife.  God connects to this knowledge by showing us that He is going to those great lengths to love us, and we go to great lengths to find Him and love Him back.

That is what ultimately fulfills our desperation for love. God. Nobody on earth will ever completely fill you with it because it doesn’t define them.  It defines God.  Without His love, we will keep searching for it and never find it.  With His love comes an incredible relationship with the Almighty God.

Are you desperate for love regardless of your Valentine’s Day situation?  If so, give your life to God and see what it is like to have that need filled. God will saturate you with His love. It will fill that need for love that you have. You will never regret it.

Today is the Day

By Lisa M. Meister

Today is the day

I fall upon my knees

Today is the day

I cry for my bad deeds

Today is the day

My heart to you I give

Today is the day

Without you I won’t live

Today is the day

From your will I will not shrink

Today is the day

On your Word I will think

Today is the day

I give to you my all

Today is the day

In sin no more to fall

Today is the day

No more will I stay

Today is the day

In cold or warm to play

Today is the day

In hot to you to please

Today is the day

Your fire in me not cease

 

 

Today is the day

Your throne to will I go

Today is the day

My crown to you I throw

Today is the day

At your feet I kiss

Today is the day

Your presence no more to miss

Today is the day

I dance before your throne

Today is the day

My life is yours alone

 

 

Today is the day

No more just is I

Today is the day

For others will I cry

Today is the day

Intercessions will I make

Today is the day

From hell you want to take

Today is the day

Your will in this I crave

Today is the day

Those around me you will save

Guest Vision Sharer

This is an amazing and powerful vision written down by a godly man who is pursuing God with all he has.  He has chosen the name of:

BY ANONYMOUS

I opened a door and walked into a room. The room was dark. In the room I stumbled around in the darkness and I came to find a book. I opened the book and started to read it and as I did a small candle started to flicker. The more I read the brighter the light became. I found that the light was in me now. The light shown into the dark room. I saw monsters. I was not scared of the monster but upset at them for robbing me of life. I accepted what the book said. I was royalty a son of a King. The King sent His Son to pay a price for me, for my freedom. I believed this and proclaimed it with my mouth. I held the book and it became sword in my hand. I used it to kill the monsters in the room. I read more. The light grew, I saw more monsters that needed to die. I also saw myself, the biggest monster of all. Slowly the Book changed me from and ugly monster into more like the Son of the King that was sacrificed for me. I saw myself in the room with many other light bearing beings around me in a big circle. Way outside of that circle of light there was still darkness and monsters yet to be slain and I saw others in darkness and I was told to carry my light to them. I looked close and I saw a person on my right shoulder and on my left shoulder. I asked what are they? One looks angelic and the other is in chains but is very loud. I was told the angelic one is your new life, it is free and tells you and guides you in the good things that God has for you. And the other I asked? Well the other is your old self. It has no power unless you free it but it has a voice that you can listen to if you want. It will put doubt and fear in your life. It will guide you back into you old ways. I said well that’s stupid. Why should he be there? What power on earth keeps him there? The reply…you do!!!!! Find the light!!!! Christ is the light!!!!

What to Say in the Pit

I sat at the bottom of the pit.  I had climbed out many times before, but this time I looked at the walls and knew there was no more energy and I wasn’t getting out.  I was so tired that I didn’t want even want to try anymore.

So there I sat, hopeless.  In that pit I did not have anything…my husband, kids, homeschooling, friends, etc. I sat there and even though my brain was sluggish, I realized I had one person left: God.

I looked up and saw the sky and amazingly enough it hadn’t gone anywhere. So I talked to God and made a declaration, “Even here Lord, I praise you and love you.”

The energy involved in that short statement was huge, and I wish I could say a giant hand came down and pulled me out of my figurative pit. (It didn’t.) But I did feel the power and importance of that statement.

Daniel was put into the pit of lions by his tricky enemies.  He spent what I am sure was a very long night with very hungry lions. When he was brought out of the pit in the morning, he gave glory to God for sending angels to shut the mouths of the lions. He praised God before, in, and after the pit.  A wonderful lesson for us.

Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, were thrown into a fire pit.  Before they were thrown in, they made their declaration:

Daniel 3: 17-18

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

 Regardless of outcome, their declaration was to follow and praise God.

The strongest declaration from the place of despair comes from Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Mark 14: 34-36

34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

 Life puts us in those pits, no matter how strong of a Christian we are (even Jesus wanted his circumstances to change).  It is in those places where we look to how strong our relationship is with God.  Our relationship with God isn’t tested on the highs of the mountaintops.

Sometimes we look to the mountaintops (or the sky) from whatever pit we are in.  The writer of Psalm 121 was in his own pit, a place from where he needed help. He made his declaration:

Psalm 121: 1-2 (KJV)

121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

 Whatever pain or circumstance that puts us into our worst places, our scariest places, that is where our mettle is tested. That is where we need to tell God we trust Him and let the enemy know that he didn’t win.

My declaration did not immediately get me out of my pit. What it did was show me that I am with God no matter what. No matter what gets stripped away in our lives, let us made our declarations boldly: Even here, God. Even here.