LONDON OPENING

LONDON OPENING

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Healing Secrets

Healing Secrets

Deep, dark secrets.   No one has to know.    My secrets are not hurting anyone as long as they just stay here with me.
So what’s the point of sharing them?  I don’t get it.

Those were my thoughts as I sat across from my sponsor at her patio table one summer morning. I was working on what was probably my tenth cigarette of the hour– smoking like a train because #1, I loved cigarettes, and #2, we were talking about things that took me out of my comfort zone quickly.

We were discussing some things I had never shared with anyone, ESPECIALLY the people I respected the most… my parents.  They just happened to be coming into town that day to visit and celebrate with me my one year sobriety birthday.  My sponsor looked me in the eye and with a concerned, loving look said, “I think you need to tell your parents about everything. It’s eating your lunch.”

I looked at her straight in the eye and with a tone of determination and authority,  said, “No F’ing way in hell.”

In those days, the “F” bomb for me was quite common.  I was struggling in my recovery. I was depressed and couldn’t get out of it.  After throwing the “F bomb” in her face, she gently said, “Ok, how about this…go home, get on your knees before God, pray about it, and if you still feel this way, don’t talk to them about anything.”

I said, “Ok. I can handle that.” After all, I wasn’t agreeing to anything. Talking to God about it was not a problem at all. I could do THAT!

Walking back in the door of my duplex, I went straight to my bedroom and fell on my knees and started to cry. No…I actually started sobbing…overwhelmed with fear: fear of rejection…rejection from the two people I respected most in this world, full of frustration wondering why this was so important to say… couldn’t I just repent and let my past stay in the past?

“LORD THERE IS NO WAY I CAN DO THIS!  IF THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO, YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME THE STRENGTH TO DO IT.  I CANNOT DO THIS!  THERE IS JUST NO WAY!

Leaning against my dresser, I felt hopeless. Then, I heard it…coming from the kitchen: my sobriety song…the one I’d listen to when I felt discouraged.

My ipod was on the charger and I’d left it on shuffle that morning. It had been playing all morning from the time I’d left my house to go to my sponsor’s, until now. I hadn’t touched it. There were about 1,500 songs on my ipod and I was amazed THAT particular song started playing.

The next song right after that was “Happy Birthday.” It was my sobriety birthday! I sat there in awe of the two “random” songs I had just heard on SHUFFLE and hope started creeping in through those fearful tears. That defensive attitude I displayed just a short while ago started to soften.  Music is one of the most powerful ways the Lord touches me and He got my attention that day. He got me good.

Getting up, I walked into the kitchen and stared at my ipod.  The next song that came on began with these words:

I’m forgiven, because you were forsaken, I’m accepted, you were condemned. I’m alive and well, your spirit is within me, because you died and rose again. Amazing love, how can it be, you my King would die for me? Amazing Love, I know it’s true, it’s my joy to honor you in all I do, I honor you.”

If there was anything I needed to hear, it was those first words: “I’m forgiven.”
Then the next line… “I’m accepted.”

Wow, how powerful those words were to me in that moment. God was showing me that  the outcome of this conversation with my parents didn’t matter.  I am forgiven and accepted by Him.  HE is my security.  I started to cry again and said, “Ok God, I’ll do it.” I couldn’t believe how my mind had changed so quickly. All of a sudden I had total peace. I had the strength to do it.  Just leaving that small door open of praying to God made all the difference.

My parents showed up not long after. We sat and talked for over an hour and I confessed, making amends with them.  They were so gracious to me and we even prayed together when it was over.  I realize that other people do not always have the same grace given to them as my parents showed me that day and I will forever be grateful for that. But even if they had not responded in a grace filled way, walking in obedience to God was what had to take place in order for my healing to begin.  It still would have been worth it.

Because of my confession and amends, a new freedom and a new power rose up in me, leading to more healing. So THAT’S WHY His word says we are to confess our sins– so that we may be healed!

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16 paraphrased)  In other words, healing starts with CONFESSION. And you know what? The more I tell my testimony, the more freedom I receive EVERY TIME.

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There would be many more moments like this one in the years that followed and God would continue to show up and walk beside me during those steps of obedience. The more steps I took, the more freedom and confidence I would receive. I started experiencing His faithfulness, His peace, His joy, self-control, and His love. I started getting into His word and actually applying it to my life. Getting a taste of the fruit of His spirit only made me hungry for more. I realized THAT was the fruit I had been seeking for so long that I just never could find. I was just looking in all the wrong places.

 

As a result, today I no longer walk in shame or guilt over my past mistakes. I don’t have to keep secrets for fear of rejection from others. I realize that my purpose on this earth is to GLORIFY HIM. Because God is the center of my life, I’m able to accept His grace for the times I mess up and then make it right with the people I’ve hurt,  Experiencing Him overrides all my fears of not measuring up or worrying about what other people think.  It’s so much sweeter that I’ll take the risk.

Now the question remains…will you take the risk? I hope you will…because YOU’RE WORTH IT. Join me in risking it all for Him. He is faithful and waiting.

God Bless!

Christy

 

Dancing Naked

Dancing Naked

Dancing naked around the house, burping and laughing, performing balancing acts on various pieces of furniture, making a mess everywhere possible, and loving every second of it… that’s the life of a toddler boy. At least it is for my son. He is all about experiencing the next moment and what it has to offer. He lives life with complete abandonment. He hasn’t a care in the world except for the adventure that awaits him.

There is one exception that brings his uninhibited ways to a screeching halt. It’s when he notices… I’m not there. When I leave the room where he’s playing, he is fine for a short moment but when he realizes I’ve left, he starts crying and running through the house searching for me. When he finds me, his tears stop almost immediately, he’s relieved, and his peace and childlike joy come back. He just needs to know I’m there. That security gives him the confidence to dive head first once again, sometimes literally, into his next adventure.

I’ve also noticed that when he is playing on the playground, he is not comparing himself to the other kids. He doesn’t care if he makes a mistake climbing up the steps to the slide. If he has an accident in his pants, it’s not a self-esteem or self-image crusher. He doesn’t see himself as a failure or embarrassed because of the red snow cone syrup all over his shirt. He doesn’t care about meeting the expectations of his peers. All he really cares about is getting the most out of each second he possibly can and that I’m there beside him through it all.

The only downer that I see about my son’s toddlerhood is that he will have very little memory of such awesome days of living securely with complete abandonment. He can’t truly appreciate how good he has it right now. How tragic that he won’t remember most of these days! God gently shared something with me in the midst of my “Debbie Downer” moment. He said, “You too can experience life the same way as your son is experiencing it now. You already have the ability to live in complete abandonment but you choose not to. I am right here beside you. Do you trust me the same way your son trusts you?

BOOM!!! Yep. He hit me good with that one.

God was asking me to forget all my surroundings and live life for Him with complete abandonment, knowing and trusting that He is right there beside me. HE is my security. If I can step into this reality, because it IS A REALITY, I can live in true freedom every day no matter what comes my way. The possibilities are endless! The side effects would be peace, joy, comfort… I could go on and on. I can just watch the joy on my son’s face and that is enough confirmation for me.

Complete abandonment? How can I do that? What would it take to make possible what seems to be such an unreachable way of living? As I started asking myself these questions, a few key qualities that I would need in order to experience this freedom started coming to mind.

Humility
I believe this is the number one quality that has to take place in me. If my ego is in the way, I’m toast! After all, doesn’t ego stand for “Edging God Out?” 😉 Matthew mentions this one FIRST in The Beatitudes. It was listed FIRST for a reason. He knew we can’t hear God if we don’t practice this key ingredient. He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. In this short but powerful verse, He’s telling me I’m blessed once I realize I’m broken and that I NEED Christ. If I know I NEED Him, I am open to experiencing Him, and there is no greater blessing than that.

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9b

Security In Christ
Knowing who I am in Christ is essential to carrying out His purpose for my life. Because of His amazing grace… because of what He did on the cross for me, I am made new every single day. Once I am His, He only sees me as pure and white as snow. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”

And just as my toddler son was able to carry out his next adventure because he knew I was there, I am also able to carry out my next adventure for Christ because I know He is there for me. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Vulnerability
For me, vulnerability means putting myself out there regardless of what others might think or say. Being real, sharing my story, and being honest can be REALLY DIFFICULT. But if I know who I’m serving and I know He has me covered, all others lose their power over me. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” -Psalm 91:4

Accepting God’s Grace
Sometimes it’s so much easier for me to give grace away to others than to accept it for myself. God gives me a new dose of grace every day. If he’s giving me that gift, it’s because he wants me to use it and that doesn’t mean only using it to bless others. It also means accepting the blessing for myself. This gives God glory.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 12:9a

Sacrifice
What is harder than laying my own thoughts, desires, and wants down every day for another? I’ve come to realize this might be the hardest thing in life I ever do because it’s not a one-time thing. It’s a daily, lifetime thing. But it’s essential if I’m going to carry out God’s purpose for my life. He has a job for me to do… and a job for YOU.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –Ephesians 2:10

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through us.” -2 Corinthians 5:20

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. -Hebrews 12:1-2

Will you join me on this journey of living in complete abandonment for Him? Let’s see what He does in and through us. I have a really good feeling about it…

With love and grace,

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 Christy

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