Unashamed

Unashamed

There is this girl I know, she was conceived in unfortunate circumstances, raised by preachers, who did not tell her she was adopted till he was 16 years old, engaged to be married and as her father was about to go into open heart surgery. She was sexually abused not only by a young man who called himself a christian, but right inside the church walls. She was bullied and made fun of by her peers, people who didn’t even know her believed she would never turn out to be any good. Adopted at birth,  She herself suffered from infertility, for 10 years. Struggling with body issues she was bulimic for a time, just to try to conform to what she thought the world expected from her, and to fit into a family that would never love her.

It seemed every time this girl would get ahead in life, something would knock her back down. People in the churches she was raised in rarely acted like the God that she knew. Her dad, kicked out of 2 churches, himself, should of made her hate God, she herself was fired from three jobs in her life,  and each time her father was asked to leave, it was as she herself had been rejected again. How could people that call themselves Christians act like this? She not only faced emotional bankruptcy but financial as well. She lived in 5 different states, and attended 9 schools in twelve years, living in countless houses but never really having a home.

Just looking for someone that would find value in her, she searched everywhere,  including an emotional affair. She lost the only father she ever knew and loved, when she was only 23 yrs old, and became the full-time caregiver for the next 33 years to her handicapped mother. While, homeschooling all 3 of her children one being severely dyslexic she felt again she had failed and blamed herself for her child’s challenges. Early in her marriage she and her husband with one child to care for, found themselves homeless, her family has rejected her, her church has rejected her, and her own mother has even rejected her, she felt all alone.

 Exhausted and tired from all the circumstances of her life, it is no wonder that she locked herself in her house for a season and refused to leave or answer the phone for fear of what the world was going to do to her next.

She had seen a lifetime of hurt and pain that no one should see their whole life, let alone before the age of 30,  and once this girl finally got brave enough to leave the house again, she did so, but not without putting up some walls in her life to guard her from ever being hurt again. Especially around people that called themselves Christians, because all this girl had ever known was to be hurt by these so called people who loved God. This girl finally put on such a hard exterior that no one could get through, and it’s no wonder she decided that she didn’t care if the whole world would die and go to hell.

Her plan was to just follow Christ like a racehorse with blinders on, laser focus to the finish line, because suicide wasn’t an option for her but a natural death or the rapture would be her only escape. Because,  after all, God was the only one who had never left her. With her hard exterior and protective layer she soon went in straight survival mode, guarding what she said, and preferring to be alone. She was hesitant about anything she would say around others,  because all to often in this Christian world, like a puppy that would just barely stick its head, out of its cage, she had all to often been slapped back in before she barely got her nose out the door.

She felt whipped, beaten and alone. She felt unsure of who she was and what she could ever do. There was a battle raging within her of what she knew she could do, and what she felt like would be accepted by those around her in her life. Her mind tossed and turned contemplating, what she wanted to do, and what she knew she had been called to do. So all to often it was just easier to step back and do nothing. That is when again, she drew up into a shell, and just really wanted the world to pass her by.

Until one day the Lord begin to show her in her own prayer time that He had great plans for her, that her circumstances were not a punishment, but a badge of honor to wear. Not proud because of her mistakes, but a victory that she kept going and did not quit,  that she was a fighter and a winner. So slowly but surely this girl would attempt to stick her head outside the cage one more time, maybe it was just saying “Hi” to a person, maybe it was just inviting someone over. But just as quick at she stuck her nose outside that cage, she would pull it back in, for fear it would get swatted again like it had so many times before.  

Over and over again she tried each time sticking that wet, scared nose out of the cage, a little bit further each time, with the success from the last. With each attempt to let the world back in,  she would stay a little longer outside the cage, looking around a little more, till finally one day she was totally revealed to the rest of the world. She had come completely out of her cage.

All the while, her mind battling against what she wanted to do, which was crawl back in her cage and let the whole world die and go to hell, and at the same time realizing that God had bigger plans for her,  and those plans would mean stepping out of the comfort zone of that cage and allow the world back into her life. That process took well over 40 yrs and she still is working through it.

But that girl doesn’t hide in her cage anymore, afraid to stick her nose out for fear it would get smacked because she isn’t good enough. That girl, now looks back on her past, not with shame,  but with gratefulness of what the Lord has brought her through, that girl realizes that she is a child of God, and no matter what man may do around here, or think of her, it doesn’t matter, because God is her ultimate authority and He calls her His child.

Oh! Does she still battle with the fact life would be easier, if she just stayed hid in her house and let the rest of the world die and go to hell. Sure she does! But she also realizes that the very reason she was created, and the reason she had to walk through what she did, was because she needed to know there was a God that could bring her out  and there are many that she needs to tell of this goodness of God.

So when you hear  this girl talk about how shy she really is, when you hear her say she really prefers to be alone, believe her. Don’t be shocked when you see her laughing in a crowd or sharing with a group of people. Remember at those times, what the Lord has brought her from. Understand that the girl you see today has not always had this freedom. You need to know that there is still a battle that rages within her.

But also know that she has drawn a line in the sand and she as decided that she refuses to allow her feelings to abort what God has called her to do.  And I know all this, because that girl is me!

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:25, But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 NIV

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REALITY CHECK!

REALITY CHECK!

Thursday Thoughts - Reality Check
Thursday Thoughts – Reality Check!

Recently, I was having a conversation with my daughter and it hit me . . . I said “You know, your dad and I probably only have about 25-30 years left on this earth . . .”

Wow! What a reality check! 3/4 of my life is over, and what have I done with it? What will I do with what is left? Have I made a difference?

The idea of dying doesn’t bother me. I feel confident in where I am going. In fact, being where I plan on going (Heaven) is the easy part and, frankly, something I look forward to a lot. It’s like when you plan an amazing vacation and you are just days away from leaving.

What worries me is the thought of the dying process: being bed ridden, memory loss, unable to take care of myself, etc.  Yeah. That, and what it will do to those around me, is what bothers me.

Now, I can choose to focus on that – which don’t get me wrong, I AM trying to live a healthier life style (probably 40 years too late, but anyway, I am trying, right?) so that I won’t encounter some of those things – but let’s face it: death is inevitable unless the Lord comes back first.

See, I have worked in the healthcare field for the elderly and in all my experience I have never seen one person, as they got older, get healthier, younger, or more active as they aged. No! That just doesn’t happen. God’s word even tells us, “It is appointed unto man once to die and after that, the judgment.” God also reminds us that, “To everything there is a season . . .”

So I want to live well! I want to live like I am dying! See, if we were given notice from the doctor that we were going to die in 30 days – 6 months – or even a year, how would we live our lives?  What would we do differently?  Would we be nicer to people? Would we be more concerned with pleasure – and maybe go to Disney World? Or, would we get the perspective we need and follow after the real purpose of what God has called us to do?

He told us to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” Now, does that mean we all need to run to the seminary and get a degree? NO! What that means is; we need to testify about God’s love every day to those around us. We need to let them know He first and foremost wants to be our best friend and He wants us to share the relationship we have with Him with others.

I can just imagine . . . if I was given my dream vacation for free and was allowed to take as many of my friends and family members as I could with me . . . who would I choose?  See, this is kind of like planning our trip to heaven: who do we want to go with us? We need to be sharing our lives with these people. Because, there is something else I have realized: the only thing in this life you can take with you to heaven is not money, fame, or gold; it is the people around us that we love and want to share His love with.

So what are you doing today? Who is on your invitation list? Who will you be giving that special invitation to today?  Because, one thing is for certain: this life isn’t heaven, but we can be sure we are going there if we give our life to Him. So, who is coming with me???

Let’s Pray:

Lord you know the life I have lived. You know that my ways have not always been your ways. God I ask you now to come into my heart. Forgive me of my sins. Help me be a new creature in you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!

If you prayed that prayer then you are signed up for heaven and God is looking forward to growing His relationship with you. Get into a Bible-believing church where you can learn more and grow in Him.

Maybe you already have your ticket for heaven but you realize by reading this that you need to share with others about the reservation you have made. Know that I will be praying for you and I am here for you in the comment section if you need any advice or encouragement.

God has great things planned for those that believe! So, even if you and I never meet here on this earth, I’ll see ya in heaven! Be sure to stop in at my place and say, “Hi!” I’ll be the one with the fixer-upper mansion and an unlimited budget, since God knows how much I like to decorate, and an unlimited budget would be heaven to me! LOL!! 🙂  Oh, and if you get there before me, tell my family members who have gone on before me I said, “Hi, & see ya soon!”
Until then,
Alesa

My Wild and Crazy Side

303684_10151780519840487_356408458_n (1)It was the summer of 2013 and I did it! I went wild and crazy maybe it was the fact my daughter had just graduated from High School or my youngest son was about to turn 16 and would start driving on his own soon or maybe it was that my oldest son was about to get married and I was also going to be an instant grandma on the same day, but no I think it was just the fact that I wanted to look my best for the wedding and be as cool as possible since the wedding was outside on a hot summer June day in Oklahoma, But whatever the reason I did it! “Yes, I went and got a spray tan!! I know it was wild for me! (don’t judge) LOL!!

If you have been around me at all, you have probably noticed the numerous scars all over my arms that glow like beaming lights. I have a natural-olive completion, but after a severe case of chickenpox as a child. I was left with light colored scars all over my arms. I usually wear at least three-quarter length sleeves, if not long sleeves year round because if it.

But as I stepped out of the tent and looked into the mirror,  after I had been sprayed. My blemishes were all gone! My completion on my arms was perfect!! I almost cried, it was unreal the feeling of an unknown weight I had been carrying on my shoulders was suddenly lifted an overwhelming sense of joy filled me and I was flooded with unexpected emotions. I asked Amy to quickly hand me my glasses so I could assure that they were all gone. As I put my glasses on , just as quickly as they were gone, the blemishes returned. the view through my glasses revealed the truth that they had only been darken a little but it was clear they were still there, and just as quickly as the joy came and the weight was lifted it returned, perhaps even heavier than before. But never the less I will never forget the feeling of that weight being lifted off me, I had not realized how much it bother me until, suddenly I thought I would never have to cover up my scars again.

As my mom celebrated her first birthday in Heaven yesterday, I know she must be feeling that same freedom, from the weight of her sickness and disease as I felt those few seconds in the tanning booth. As she celebrated her birthday with my dad and her mom and many other friends who had went to heaven before her and then even some who have followed her in the short 7 months she has been gone. See, I don’t think it is by accident that I had that experience less than 30 days before my momma took her last breath here on this earth. I believe God wanted me to feel just a bit of the freedom and peace that she feels everyday since being in heaven.

So this one thing I am certain of, there is no way I would want her to come back and carry the weight of her sickness and disease, she no longer feels the shame of being handicapped she is truly, truly free!

Does it make me miss her any less, no but it brings me comfort to know she is ok. In fact she is more than ok, she is perfect! Does it mean I don’t cry, no but as I do, I focus not on my loss but on her gain. I rejoice in the fact I have the assurance that if I continue to follow Christ, I will see her again and I trust that not only I will see her again, but I will be bringing the generations yet to come in our family, to heaven with me. They will follow me there one day, because I too will tell them, like my parents taught me about the love and grace of Jesus and like my parents I will do my best to show them how to follow Christ by not just my words but my actions too. One day there will be a great family reunion in heaven, all because one couple chose one little girl who had nothing to give them and yet they gave her the greatest gift- Jesus

Happy Birthday Momma!