Sunday, October 26, 2008

If I had a Soap Box

If I had the opportunity to stand on a soap box and speak...I would talk about the importance of life giving language. What is life giving language? Life giving language is language that communicates both encouragement and truth being spoken into someones life.

I work with the homeless. A few years ago, I had a client who come to the shelter after he had been discharged from the hospital. He had drank too much alcohol and became very sick. He had no where to go and was still too sick to be out in the elements. He was in his late sixties, by his appearance you could tell he had lived a difficult life.

When we sat down to do his intake, he begins to tell me a tall tale...I stopped him mid sentence and gently said let's just be real here. We both know you came here via the hospital because you were so ill because you drank too much alcohol yesterday. Then, I said excitedly, but today is a new day and a great day! You are literally at a crossroad in your life - you can return to the street and hope you don't get sick again or you have the opportunity to make a radical change in your life and go somewhere to receive help for your addiction. I said -- society needs you -- you are such a valuable piece and we need you. Please get help today. As I was talking I could tell something had happened...he literally looked ten years younger and he seemed so at peace.

He looked down and quietly said OK. I left the room to make the phone calls to get things set up. When I returned to the room, I let him know he had an appointment at the local treatment center and to go and get his items packed. I then told him I was so happy that he was taking such good care of himself today. He looked at me and thanked me for helping him and then he said in the meekest voice..."thank you for telling me I was valuable."

Please seize every opportunity to speak life giving words...they can radically change the course of someones life.

The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chapter 7: Walking

Walking in forgiveness is such a process and journey! Initially, I did not do this! I thought if Eric would just…then my daughters and my life would be on track. What a lie!

Through a process of revelations I began to realize that I had to get my eyes back on Jesus and off Eric. God was the answer. God promises that He will take care of the orphan and widow. When I began to refocus on the truth, the walk became hopeful BUT still a journey. I began to focus on what I needed to do in my life to get my house in order.

By this time Eric had left the rehab center and been on the streets for over 10 months...I did not have any contact with him during this time. God asked me to do somethings for Eric, which seemed outlandish and weird. I had very limited financial resources at this time and He asked me to drive 30 miles away from my home and drive a route (that God showed me) through the neighborhood where my Eric hung out. I went and I prayed in tongues and drove the route once. The next day I drove and prayed in tongues twice…until the 7th day. On the seventh day, my daughter and I drove the route 7 times praising the Lord. This was an act of obedience on my part and very humbling for me. It was also a faith building exercise. I spent money on gas that I could have used other places but God so provided for our needs. Also I may not know until I get to heaven how our prayers and praises impacted that neighborhood but I stand in faith that we did some spiritual damage. I look back now and again just think what a privilege that God would use me.

Days after completing this assignment, God gave me another one. I was to pray for Eric daily for a month…..I was mad! "Lord, I have already prayed for him and I have driven the streets releasing your power and glory AND now you want me to commit to pray for him for another 30 days. OK my heart was still HARD and I heard these words, “This is not about you.”

This humbled and broke my heart tremendously. So many times in my head when difficult circumstances have risen – I have heard these words –"Its not about you." I know for a fact it is not about ME – we are to stand in the gap for these hurting individuals.

In walking in forgiveness, God allows you to see the individual the way He sees them. He will reveal to you how He sees that person without the cloak of their sin – often times it is a picture of a very wounded child. The sin in the person’s life is not who they are but this is a dark cloak that has come upon them...they are wounded and hurting individuals.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chapter 6: Restoration

As I tell my journey, I could easily point to others in my life that have caused me pain but that would not be the WHOLE story. My sin in my life was very hidden and no one really knew about it. I had my own set of issues!

I desired freedom and continued to pursue God. I was at a Texas Ablaze conference. Keith Miller asked if anyone there had an addiction, and to please stand up. My world stopped and I knew this was a moment that I had to make a choice...continue to walk out death or decide to choose life. I stood up, petrified yet so desperate for freedom. As Keith came up to me, he asked me what my addiction was -- I told him I had an eating disorder. He called his wife Janet over and they both prayed for me. Instantly, the ridiculous thoughts that would twirl around in my head and drive the eating disorder were gone. I was completely healed at that moment.

Sadly, I continued for another 18 months practicing my eating disorder because I believed that my body would not work correctly. I believed a lie. I had abused it for so many years and I was gripped by fear. I came to a point that I realized that I was not choosing life...I was not believing I had a full healing. I became accountable to a friend and stopped practicing that hideous habit.

God is so gracious, all I had to do was step into the full healing. God's grace was waiting for me to make the complete leap.

He said to her, "Daughter your faith has healed you. Mark 5:34