What’s In My Head

Its so weird. Blogging was my life line for so long, a way to put on paper all that rumbles through my head-space. But this last few months I guess I’ve just needed a break. Some time to deal with me and some time to face God and how I’ve felt about all things concerning my life.

It’s been well worth it. I’ve been able to take an up close and personal look at things from a different vantage point. Some things I like. Some…not so much. But the greatest coolest part of it all is seeing God be God in my world. He’s doin things He promised but that I didn’t really believe in my heart. He’s building bridges and making roads through the desert and all sorts of greatness in pretty much everyway.

usually i’d have some great lesson or insight from all this,but what i have right now is so simple:

LIVE.

Embrace life in all it’s fullness and richness. Allow yourself to experience it’s ups and downs. Just grab on, go for the ride,and live.

It’s starting to be fun again. More sweet than bitter. More joy than pain. More ups than downs.

I just know that i dont wanna miss one moment of God’s bigness and faithfulness. I dont want to find myself blind again to the things that have been such life-changers. I hope that thru the greatness I can remember His matchlessness and love.

I wanna hold on and let go all at the same time. i wanna be in the moment and still be able to clearly discern a change in direction.  I guess I get to learn all over again. I wonder how it looks this time, if it’ll be fun this season of growing…

anyway… just spilling my thoughts. I’ll be back 🙂

ro

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Balancing Act

So. I’m thinkin’ about this thing of preparing. What does it mean in this season of life? How does it look? What do I have to do? All that sort of thing…

My conclusions? I don’t have a clue. 🙂

It really is just a set of thoughts floating in my head and, as things usually go, one thought leads to another to another to another and I hit a rabbit trail…

let’s just journey down this one together 🙂

Because I’m such a high-strung, methodical, all-my-duck-in-a-row kinda chick, I find it extremely challenging to be in the moment and not get too far ahead in my planning and thinking…

But. Don’t you have to plan and think in advance of right now if you’re gonna be prepared for later on? Isn’t that how this thing works?

There’s just gotta be a balance. There has to be!

As all this crossed mind, I’m really finding myself mulling it over. And what I think I’m coming to believe – at least for me – is that the preparation part isn’t really about putting a plan down on paper or having all the ducks lined up nice and neat like little soldiers. It isn’t about creating a rigid set of expectations that leave no room for life to happen. It’s about sitting with the Lord, allowing Him to give the overview. Allowing Him to speak to the things that He wants to do in my life in the *insert time frame here* ahead. It’s about some serious praying and some spiritual dedication beyond just ‘thank  you Lord’ or ‘Lord you know I love you’ or some other generic form of routine interaction.

It’s really about being close enough to catch the glimpses and feast on the things that He reveals only when you make time to abide. Carving out time to shut everything else off and just be in  His presence. He’s the one doing the preparing. My only job is to be a willing recipient of His desire to share with me.

Somewhere inside I knew this. I’ve done this plenty of times before. Except I never called it preparing. I just called it prayer time.

Early in this Job season, when my life came to a screeching halt and all I had was time, I spent hours at a time at God’s feet learning to discover and discern Him. It was during all that alone time that I began to clearly recognize Him speaking to me and that I began to realize that He wasn’t giving me just a ‘right now’ revelation. He was giving me information to store and use when the need arose. So much so that there were times I’d think ‘nah. you’re just imagining that. that doesn’t make sense.’ and then I’d put it in the back of my mind – only to discover later that what I had dismissed as just my own mind had been the Holy Spirit giving me a heads-up.

Now that life is taking shape again and things seem to be in constant motion, that time is harder and harder to come by. Rather than having hours and hours, I have to be creative and intentional in how and when I focus in on the Lord’s revelation and guidance. I have to give the invitation and then make the effort to find just a few minutes at a time to drink up what He’s got for me…

All while – u guessed it – being present in the moments that make up life.

So wierd as I type it out. The balance seems to come almost a by-product of the need to make it happen:

  • early morning before it’s time to get up – be still and wait
  • driving to work – worship and talk to the Lord
  • @ my desk – listen to music and wait for Him to make Himself known
  • speaking w/clients – pay attention to my heart and intuition
  • restroom break (tmi – but let’s just keep it real) – ok Lord, I just need u to meet me for a minute or two
  • talking to Mister – one ear tuned to other than what’s being said; praying silently as we tackle decisions and plan for what we decide.
  • time just relaxing w/Mister – he’s sleeping, I’m praying. Not out loud, just taking the opportunity to rest w/him and cover him.
  • a thought comes to mind or a concern rises: Lord, show me what you mean. Lord, please blah blah blah.
  • before I sleep: kneel and begin to praise… lay down and listen for what comes next (because prayer is a two way street – a conversation between you and God). Sometimes I talk more sometimes not. Sometimes it’s just time to be still.

All this as life is moving and I’m moving with it.

There’s that balance.

Recognizing the opportunities to experience God and invite Him to meet you and being able to live out what He’s giving you instruction and insight about.

He told me this season would be this way. I just had no clue how it would show up or what it would take to tackle it…

Whole new way of doing life these days.

Excited and expectant. And glad about it. 🙂

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The Noise In My Head Tonight…

Ya know, as 2011 ended and 2012 is beginning, I have an awful lot of stuff in my head and heart. I’ve been thinking a lot about fear and a lot about grace and a  lot about fresh starts and hopes & dreams…

Every year ends and begins w/a time of reflection for me but this time, God is doing something different. This time, He’s asked me to begin the year by allowing Him to prepare me… Speaking to me differently. Cleaning house emotionally. Opening doors naturally and spiritually. Teaching me to dream and hope again. It’s just all different this time. My prayers, my thoughts, my confidence.

‘You have always suppressed pain in order to do what you believe is right. I want you to give me what’s left of the pain. Don’t suppress it. Let me take it. Let me replace it with something so much better. Give it to me so that as I work, you don’t destroy what you’ve worked so hard to see Me establish.’

‘Tell me what you want. You pray for what you believe is right. You ask for what you believe is righteous. Ask for what you want. It is ok to desire something for yourself. It is ok to trust your heart and to seek me for you. Your heart is broken before me and your desires are the result of My work in you. Ask me for what you want. Your prayer time will feel unispired and arduous until you are willing to be bold and give me your desires.’

‘Pray until you sense in your spirit that it’s done. You will know when it is finished. Dont’ stop praying until you know.’

‘Trust Me. I will not give you new pain. I will not break you anymore.’

‘Do not be afraid. It won’t hurt anymore. It’s ok to love…’

And all this is about so many things in my life. Everything really. The sense in my spirit that there is change all around me, newness to be uncovered. The knowledge that God’s grace in this Job season really has been sufficient. The beauty of the fullness of His glory. The excitement that for the first time in years, I don’t dread the year ahead and I’m not looking for the nearest exit.

The sweetness of the sense that freedom is right in front of me and mine for the taking…

It’s a heady feeling, this feeling of joy and anticipation. And it’s an overwhelming one, the feeling of all that’s gonna be different as things fall into place. The sense of responsibility and the unknown. The knowledge that it’ll all be new territory in uncharted waters.

I feel like an infant goin into this year. I feel like I’m gonna be taking baby-steps.

And instead of trepidation, I’m full of expectancy and wonder.

Such a change from the past few years. So much to learn and know and adjust to. But. Such a welcome change from the past few years.

God’s goodness is all around me an I’m just not sure how to flesh it all out. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe instead of trying to understand it, I just need to revel in it and allow myself to be fully immersed in the beauty of the experience.

Worship. In so many ways and shapes and varieties. It’s all that’s inside. All I want to do. All I seem to be able to do. Worship. Because He is who He said He was and because I have gotten the privilege of  my life being a living testament to His greatness. Worship can be my only response…

I’m sure I’ll be back sooner than later.

Happy New Year ya’ll.

Ro

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Friendship

That’s one of those words that I don’t take lightly; a title I don’t bestow easily or often. I am that person that, when she calls you friend, you know you are cherished and special and important to my daily life…

One of the things I’ve really had to come to grips with in my decision to weather the storm and give my best and all to my relationship w/Mister is that my friendships wouldn’t be left untouched. That’s actually probably been the oddest part of this season. I had already begun to feel like I was being isolated from the women I had been closest to for reasons other than H, and just when I thought that maybe we were building bridges and finding our way back to the friendships we’d held so tightly to, they all seemed to start showing themselves right and left…

So many variations of the same thing: a lack of understanding for God’s work in my life, a lot of criticism and judgement, and not enough regard for the fact that – whether or not they agreed – what I needed was for them to have my back and be on my team.

That need obviously went unmet.

But there have been that few (very few), who – even when they’ve questioned this season – have stood by me and had my back no matter what. They have cried with me and prayed with me and been mad with me (and for me). They have had my back. No matter what. They’ve been the friends and accountability and encouragement and shoulder that I needed.

Where’s all this comin from, right?

Well. One that I thought was one of those few has shown me something different. It didn’t make me angry, her defecting. But it DID offend me. Because she’s been there since the start. I’ve shared truth and heart with her that I haven’t shared w/anyone else. I gave her a significant level of trust – which is monumental seeing as how this past few years has driven me to be even MORE private than I already was. What I thought was a heart for me seems to have shifted into the heart and carelessness of a critic and a judge. In the moment that she proved herself to be what I hoped she wouldn’t become for me in this journey, THAT is the moment I most needed to be reminded of truth. Not hit in the face with ill-considered advise and words of defeat and bondage…

I’m not even sure where I’m headed with this; maybe I’m just still wrapping my head around these relationships shifting from almost daily parts of the fabric of my life into relationships where my love for them is unchanged but my ability to share life with them is stripped, at least for now.

I don’t know that we’ll ever be the friends that we were; I DO know that my priorities now lie elsewhere. When my life was more like their lives the bond was easy, natural. But life is different now. My perspective on faith, friends, work, family, intimacy, finance, decision-making, life in general is just not the same.  And that shift in ME is the reason there had to be a shift in US…

I knew that my relationship w/Mister would play a part in those relationship dynamics changing and I wasn’t sure how’d I’d feel about that – if I’d be angry @ him again, if I’d resent that there was another part of my life that became a casualty to the bad choices, whether it would make me bitter toward them or leary of new relationships. I just wasn’t sure. But as things are unfolding, the sweetest of things has rested on me: I’m none of those things I was afraid I’d be. I am at peace with my choices and sure enough of my steps to keep going forward. I’m willing to let go of the things that could (would) be a detriment to my future and to put my heart and my trust where it belongs for now: God first, Mister second.

Stripping away the old has pressed me to connect and confide differently in Mister. Needing a confidante and not having the ones I’ve always relied on has left me with one option: give him my heart. And the most beautiful thing ever is emerging. We’re the friends I’ve been praying for us to be. Better than before.

I guess I’m just realizing that it’s time to make the final choice in my heart to let go and move forward, knowing that the friendships we shared were right at the time and trusting that whatever we will have in the future will come back around if and when we need it most…

In all honesty, I want to cling. I want to reach back and grab them and bring them into this new life with me. But I know that I can’t. I know that it would sabotage my growth and my ability to move beyond the difficulties that have plagued my personal life. It would poison my ability to forget and to embrace the transformation of my beloved. Taking them with me would be inviting malignancy into what is mean to be vibrant and healthy and delicious…

That realization makes me sad. I miss them. A lot.

This is bittersweet, this moment of clarity. Uncomfortable too. In all our history, I have never clung so completely to Mister. It makes me uneasy, this complete openness. But right now, it’s what we need. We need to be all we’ve got. We need to learn to hold so tightly to eachother and to what we share that noone and nothing can divide us, and I’m coming to realize that that has to happen on an individual level first. Separating from those who don’t support us and standing tall as we support each other. 

It’s good and it’s right. That’s the way it oughta be.

I love my girls, but … it’s time to move on… and move forward…

just my thoughts.

Ro

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2011

I have wanted to post for so long, and my head is so full of a LOT of stuff… but it seems that blogging has just gotten lost in the busy-ness of life these last few months. So much is happening, so much is changing. So much good stuff and I just needed time to adapt and to savor. But now I think I need to get the words outta my head; I need my outlet back 🙂

This is the end of the year and more than usual, I’m in a very reflective place. I constantly find myself thinking of just how things have moved from having me on the edge of my sanity to this place of almost impatient anticipation of what’s coming next. I find myself recalling all those moments when God spoke to me in the dark and the valley as I watch the mountain top come into focus more and more. I find myself laughing and being silly and relaxing – feeling more like the ‘me’ I’ve missed so much…

I’m really amazed at how strong I’ve become.  I’m stunned at how confident and comfortable and free. I’m totally blown away by how faithful God has been to me and how absolutely believable He’s continuously proving to be in my life.

It’s been a good year.

Then there is the reflection on the parts that haven’t been so great… I think of how deeply  my faith was shaken. I think of how much my relationships have changed and how many have been a casualty of this season of life – even recently. I think of how many fears I’ve had to confront (and am still confronting in some ways). And I wonder why this road has been God’s choice for me…

And again. I’m really amazed at how much I’ve been stretched and how resilient my spirit has been. I’m appreciative of the truth that God has revealed about the people in my life and grateful for the grace to face down the fears that have for so long wanted to hold me hostage to a life that made better sense but that wasn’t what God has for me.

It’s been a good year.

There hasn’t been a pain that I’ve endured that was without purpose. There hasn’t been a breaking that has rested on or in my life that hasn’t produced ripe fruit. There hasn’t been a tear that’s been shed that hasn’t been seen by the Lord and cherished. For all the relationships that have shifted and fully fallen away this year, the ones I value the most have remained intact and have become stronger than I would’ve ever believed at this time last year.

My heart has been broken in so many ways, so many times this year. My heart for God has been so brutally attacked and my ability to keep going forward was almost destroyed. His grace has had to be given daily; I have had to hold on tight with both hands just to wake up and put one foot in front of the other most days. Even the smallest of His mercies has been great to me. Escape was my heart’s desire.

I remember all that, then I remember how the most important word was ‘almost’. I was ALMOST overcome. But then I wasn’t. I ALMOST turned away from God. But then I didn’t. I did let go, but He held on to me extra tight. I ALMOST drowned in the anguish. But then it started to hurt a little bit less and I’ve been learning how to swim.

There have been a lot of  ‘almosts’ for me this year. But every one of ’em was met with a ‘BUT GOD’…

It has been a good year.

I still have my days when I wonder how worth it it’ll all be in the end. But when I consider how faithful He’s been so far, it gives me courage to keep going and boldness to dig in and move forward until I can fully believe again.

This has been a good year. Because this is the year I wrestled with the Angel and found victory in my life.

This has been a really good year. =)

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Ramblings…

“participate in your life”

I’ve really been thinking about this. It’s a direction God gave me a few months ago now and I find myself being reminded of it every time I have an opportunity to do something and start to decline the invitation or find a reason not to.

I’d love to say I wonder why He’d give me such a direction, but in my heart I know. I’m a loner by nature. I trust myself in a way that I’ve never trusted most others and I really am like a fish outta water these days. My social circle has changed drastically – the friends I had when this journey began are not there in the same capacity anymore. The ones I have now are so… new. We’re still learning and still building trusts and such between ourselves. And the one person I’ve longed to be with and enjoy… well… it’s happening 🙂 …but i’m still just a little bit gunshy…

God gave me the direction because He knew that if He didn’t, I’d do what’s comfy: enjoy my own company, see a friend or two on occasion and build a new intimacy w/Honey very haltingly…

so interesting how well He knows me…things like ‘go ahead and enjoy yourself’; ‘don’t resist your heart…. ‘ … you’d think this would be a no-brainer when u consider the last few years. I should be chompin at the bit to have some fun, but it’s only reinforced my natural bent for privacy and reticence about my personal life…

I’ve learned so much in this season… one of the  most amazing things seems to be that for every freedom I’ve gained, I’ve also discovered a new place in me that needs work. My dependence on God is startling. And how much absolute humanness exists in me is even more startling…

Not even sure where this post is (or was) headed.. guess i just needed to get it outta my head.

Love ya’ll

Ro

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Through The Fire

April will be the seventh anniversary of my season of refining.

This fire has been hot and the last two years have felt like hell on earth.

Now that the flame is dying and the phoenix is rising from the ash, I thought I’d take some time to really reflect and make note of some things about me that I didn’t know or wasn’t sure I was really ok with…

I am strong and resilient. I never considered how true those things were until this journey. I have stood under pain I would’ve never imagined before in my life. I have lost every natural thing and gained so much spiritually and the strength that I didn’t believe I had has risen up and is showing itself in every area of my life. I love hard, I work hard, and I fight hard for what matters to me. Six months ago, I wondered if I would ever recover from the aftermath of this past two years. I am recovering and it is sweet.  I’m so much more than I gave myself credit for …

My God is faithful and just to fulfill His promises. I believed it for other people. I did not believe it for me. I’m watching Him do it now and I repent daily for my unbelief. He is exactly who He told me He would be to me.

I am not ambitious, nor am I particularly driven – at least not in the ways of the world. However, I AM passionate about the things I value. I am tenacious and I am authentic. My heart gives itself fully to the things it holds dear. I will never be that woman who strives for earthly success; it just doesn’t matter that much to me. But I will ALWAYS be that woman who fights for what gives life -because it’s who I was made to be and what I was made to do.

I have a deep capacity to love and a deeper need to give myself over to that capacity. I have always held back, not wanting to give too much or risk too much. but in the last six weeks or so, I find myself not wanting to hide anymore from a heart that beats for freedom. Instead, I seem to be opening up wide and giving in to myself in an intensely intimate, personally liberating way. And it’s not bad. It’s being honored instead of tampered with. It’s breeding growth and newness. It’s what I always hoped love would be and never dreamed I’d have the privilege of experiencing.

My truth is beautiful just as it is. It isn’t too much. It won’t distance people from me. Those who are meant to be present will be. Those who aren’t won’t. And that’s alright with me.

God is enough. Everything. All in all. And I’m not satisfied with the little I’ve learned in this season. I want more of Him. As much of Him as He cares to give. Even though it just might cost everything all over again someday. This time of struggle has been worth every ounce of God that I’ve been given.

It’s all been worth it. I haven’t even seen all the promises manifest yet. But what I’m seeing now, even that little bit… it’s all been worth it. I have questioned for so long whether it was wise to choose the path I chose. I have wondered the same everybody in my life has verbalized: Am I really following God or has this just been some misguided attempt at a leap of faith and martyrdom? Turns out, I was right! 🙂 The leap of faith was the right choice. A martyr I am not. A bond-servant I most definitely am – and by grace, will continue to be.

It’s been so long in coming. So long that I dont even quite believe it’s real yet. But it’s so worth it to see all that I’m seeing, so beautiful to have a smile again, to be able to find joy in small things, to share my heart w/my man as my bff – like it’s meant to be. So incredibly amazing to look at myself and see a new woman emerge – beautiful, strong, confident and whole. No work left undone. No sacrifice left incomplete. No loyalty dishonored. And no faith put to shame.

My God is a good God. His love for me is overwhelming and the beauty from this pile of ash is proving to be breathtaking.

Thank you Lord for new life and freedom. I love you and I’m sorry I doubted Your intentions toward me. With my life. Rosheeda

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