Precious Gifts

Most of these blogs have been very difficult for me to write and have involved great upheaval of body, soul, and spirit. There have been a few happy thoughts sprinkled here and there among them, but the majority of these posts have dealt with me and my struggle as God worked in my life. Last week I wrote about how God worked on removing a black speck from my heart, directing me to do a difficult job which I accomplished with great love and peace. God used me to provide comfort for one in need, and then He surprised me.

Driving home that day, I reflected on how great God is and enjoyed the knowledge that I had been obedient. Feeling very tired and very happy, I pulled under my carport and discovered a gift there for me. It was my cat, the one that had been missing for two months. She sat there, looking at me as if she had never left, never disappeared from my life. She looked exactly the same—no ribs poking out, no scars or wounds—as if someone had just picked her up one day, cared for her for two months, and then gently deposited her back under my carport.

In my heart, I heard God say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Here is your reward.” What joy filled my heart! I know that this sounds crazy to some of you, but I cannot describe the love I felt at that moment flowing from my heavenly Father. I was humbled by His gift, and excited to work even harder toward my goal of a spotless heart.

Soon, I received another reward for my efforts to remove that black speck from my heart. God gave me the opportunity to minister to someone else, someone who was going through exactly the same cleansing that I had just experienced. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our afflictions so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (NAS).

With this other struggling woman, I described my personal challenges and my depression, and explained to her about the black speck in my heart and what God had called me to do. I encouraged her to follow my example so that we could be free together. I prayed for her, and told her that I loved her, and promised to be available to her any time she felt the need to talk.

So many people had ministered to me throughout the past year. I knew that I would not have come so far in my journey without their help—without their encouragement, without their taking me to the grocery store or counseling sessions, without their believing in me when I had lost hope. They continued to be my friends even when I could not be much of a friend myself. And now God was giving me the chance to comfort someone else with the comfort He had given to me.

This was huge. Finally, I began to see that there WAS light at the end of my journey. Oh, what joy! I was finally able to look around and see the needs of others and to have words to share with them because I had been there myself.

God wants to give you precious gifts because He loves you so much. Sometimes He gives us gifts for no particular reason, and then other times He rewards us for some work we have done for His glory. And then, as we are comforted by God Himself, we are able to comfort those around us. Is there someone God wants you to comfort today? All around us are men and women who have been hurt, molested, used and abused, and who struggle with the same woes as we do. Perhaps they are traveling along journeys toward healing and need our words of encouragement. Allow God to show you today. Comfort those who need comforting. Let us do that today, because I am here to tell you that there is light at the end of this journey to healing. I can see it, just around the next bend.

Blessings – Lisa

Happy Thoughts and a Great Reward

Today I awoke feeling as if I should write about happy thoughts. But somewhere along the way I got busy, busy, busy trying to get ready for a trip. I’ve been too distracted to focus on any one thing and haven’t gotten anything accomplished. Finally God spoke to my heart and said, “Enough is enough. I want you to stop now and write. You will be ready for your trip when the time comes, but I want you to write this now.”

So, here I am, sitting and waiting to hear from God what He wants me to write. Happy thoughts? I ask myself to recall some of the good things that have happened during this journey from depression into freedom. And, as I look out the door this morning, I see one of the gifts that God has brought me. He brought two cats into my life. They literally just showed up out of nowhere. You may not think that there’s anything extraordinary about that, but they have become very special to me.

All of my life I have been highly allergic to cats. If I were in the same room with one I would have an attack of some sort and then have to leave the premises. But God, in His infinite wisdom, brought me two cats that live outside. I pet them and hold them, but I have never had an allergy attack. They have brought such comfort to me, especially during the days when everyone in my family would be gone and I felt so alone. The cats never cared if I cried; they just sat in my lap and purred. My husband and daughter thought I had gone loony when the cats showed up, but I know that God brought them to me. I cannot imagine life without them now.

Another happy thought that God has brought back into my mind has to do with music. Looking at my journal, I am reminded of all the times that God gave me just the right song at just the right time on just the right occasion. One song in particular would come on the radio for me to hear on some of my darkest days. Once, when I really needed encouragement, I heard that song twice in just a few hours, on two different radio stations. My amazing God orchestrated that for me.

At certain points in my life, a few particular songs held bad associations for me, reminders of a very hurtful time that caused deep pain that I feared would never be resolved. But the happiest thought I have today is how God has taken away my hatred for those songs. There was a time when just hearing those songs made me angry and I would have to turn off the radio, but now I am able to appreciate them again.

My intense hatred for those songs and the anger they stirred inside me had really surprised me. But the Enemy can use anything to cause hurt and pain and agony. (There are other noises that still bother me today, noises that I associate with my molestation. I have learned that certain smells, colors, or images can trigger memories and bring on a violent reaction.) But with God’s help, there has been forgiveness and resolution of that hurtful situation, and that relationship has been transformed and made new. So today, as I rushed around trying to pack for my trip and get the house in order, I heard one of the songs that had had such a negative connotation for me. I stopped in my tracks. When I heard that song, I was amazed. I no longer felt the pain and the agony, but was able to enjoy that song once again.

Oh, what a happy thought! What a joy! It was as if God were saying to me, “Yes, this difficult situation has had healing and, yes, you can have a song in your heart once more.” Isn’t that a wondrous thing?

Is there something in your life that the Enemy is using to cause you grief and agony? Let me share Hebrews 10:35-36 with you today: “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (NAS). You see I had to endure and work through my situation. Don’t throw away the confidence concerning your own situation.

Do the will of God, work hard, and believe that God can take any noise, any color, any smell, or any song and turn it into a happy thought. His Word calls it a great reward, a promise from God Himself. He wants you to sing a song in your heart and be free from hurting, pain, and agony. Sit with me now, and let’s think about the happy things that God has brought into our lives. Be still. Listen. He wants to whisper those happy thoughts to you right now.

Blessings – Lisa