Well... oh, poop!

It's always been my earnest hope that I would be transparent through my journey, so others would  not be lonely or hopeless.  So, I suppose with a title of "Well... oh, poop!", there isn't much more room for transparency left in this post.

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be a incest, abuse or trauma survivor... or, are you a survivor seeking the slightest hint that you are not alone?  Well, I'm just in the mood to tell you that you are not alone - and all because of a toilet paper roll.

I find inspiration everywhere... well, almost anywhere. Over the last several days I have found commonality with the toilet paper roll.  You may be surprised why! 

1.  Have you ever spun and spun a roll of toilet paper, looking for the end?  It seems endless and, at some point, nearly impossible to resolve what should be a simple solution!

Just like abuse or trauma, I think that we are constantly running in circles trying to heal, protect or defend ourselves from others.  I know that we often spin out of survival, but if we were able take life one square at a time, we would find what we are looking for without the frustration of not knowing which direction to go or where we just need to stop.

2.  I don't know why, I resent replacing an empty roll in my bathroom.  But, in our guest washroom, I nearly always enter the room with a reviled cardboard interior, but I don't seem to mind the mundane task of replacing it.  I thought about this and began wonder why there was such a difference!  Well, here is the only difference: in my bathroom the paper hangs beside the toilet and in the guest bathroom the toilet paper hangs in front of the toilet.  So, this is my conclusion... I can ignore the empty roll in my bathroom because I don't have to look at it!  However, the roll that hangs in front of me.. I can't help but seeing.

Disassociation, pain and not facing what has happened are sometimes the only way to cope with the tragedy and offence of abuse.  It easier to put things, consciously or unconsciously, behind us so we don't have to attend to the inconvenience or hurt it will bring.  However, not taking care of something that needs to be attended to brings its own issues.  Leaving something alone because you can't see it doesn't change the fact that it is there and doesn't solve the problems it will cause in the future.  (And, sometimes we need to rely on others to help us, renew us and provide for us!)

3.  Toilet paper is expensive.  When I think of expensive paper I think of watercolor paper or construction paper - not tissue paper or toilet paper!

We have been bought with a price - a price that has already been paid!  The God in Heaven created use to be fragile, transparent and durable.  Although we can't control the crap (excuse the language) that happens to us and around us, we were only created to be able to withstand so much!  And, not to handle it alone!

We have a long life with many opportunities to be used to show someone else they are worth more than they may feel!  You are worth more than you'll ever imagine!


Day Eleven

Sometimes, you just seem to get stuck on a page in this book of life.  For whatever reason, life just doesn't ease up or give in. 

Last year, I bought the book Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore.  Like the friend who recommended it, I wish I could be on my second or third time reading it through.  But, every time I read it, I hold the letter (an actual letter that my husband recently mailed to me... in the real mail) that marks my place with one hand and the book with the other... hoping to flip pages and make a different page its home.  But, I am just stuck on the chapter "Day Eleven" and my letter is getting quite comfortable in its place.

The chapter begins with these words, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."  Yeah!  So, how do you think the author's thoughts are going to relate to that?!!

Well, this is the part of Beth Moore's insight that gets me every time I read Day Eleven... she writes, "Romans 8:26 (quoted above) does not say the Holy Spirit will intercede (to intervene [or act on] the behalf of someone in trouble) for us when we are too busy to pray, too angry to pray... or too disappointed in God to pray... it says the Spirit intercedes for us when we are TOO WEAK to know how to pray.  He intercedes not because we simply don't pray - but when we don't know HOW to pray."

Whether this is a new or familiar thought to you, this is where I stop and can't turn the page every time I read.  Early on in my journey of abuse recovery, I couldn't pray and I was told that was OK.  I could never understand why it was OK not to pray! 

1.  Prayer is the first resort I have always had to safety and protection.

2.  Why should I not want to talk to God?  He allowed man to sin against me, but the abuse that happened to me wasn't His fault!  Why should I punish God for something He didn't do to me or wish upon me?

So, I'm stuck on Day Eleven... why?  Because the words of someone I respect confirm that it was OK for me not to pray... because, then, I just couldn't.  I was too weak and too broken.  It isn't a place you decide to be in, you just are.  I was devastated and lonely.  I had no strength, direction or comfort in my journey.

I'm thankful that the years before and in the years that have followed my prayer-less days, I have been able to trust and seek in a loving God.  I am thankful that He allows us moments and years of weakness and doesn't discount our lives despite it.

I don't know how much longer I will be stuck on Day Eleven... but, its wonder strikes me every time I read its words.  Maybe I need to know I am worth being interceded for... or, at least my circumstance are worth a painful and merciful exception.

Faith and time will tell...

Quote:  Romans 8:26


The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms

"With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us." 

Today's post was written by the Apostle Paul via The Message Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.


Knock, knock! Who's there?

I was looking out my window this morning.  I noticed my neighbor's cat, "knocking" on their back door.  It is an outside cat, but I thought it cute she knew where to go.

I watched as the cat sat in anticipation.  But, I had noticed that one of the neighbor's cars had been gone for several days and thought no one was home.  I felt a sad for the little cat, wondering if it needed to eat or wanted attention. 

It made me think how it feels... to sit and wait.  Silently hoping someone will notice.  Wondering if anyone knows I'm there and that I'm needy of something.

To my surprise, I saw the door crack open.  I felt so happy for the lonely cat.  But, more than that, I was reminded on this quiet Saturday morning, that as we wait in loneliness or fear at the door of someone to notice, it is important which door we choose.

I believe that there is a door like no other... a door that is before us where ever we are. I believe in a God that is always open His arms to every want, need, concern and hurt we have.  As we sit in shame, even if it looks like no one is home, He is always ready to open His arms for acceptance and forgiveness.


Courage again tomorrow...

I came across a Tumblr page that I love this morning.  I wanted to share one of my favorite images from this page.  Have a courageous day, Rayne

Image via tumblr and Healthy Place.


This season called living...

Sometimes it is unbearable.  Sometimes it is pleasant.  Sometimes it is just living in the moment.  Sometimes it is not having a moment to live.  Sometimes, it is not being able to.

As my journey continues, I find my disassociation taking over again.  I wish my life were like a cool spring or fall night full of cool breezes, the sounds of crickets being crickets, the sounds of occasional neighborhood cars driving by and bright starlight surprising even the darkest of skies.

I can enjoy those things...

I love listening.  I think listening is a habit of protection I developed early in life, but it has its advantages.  I think the all of the senses help us experience the best things in life... and protect us from the worst, or at least warn us.

I wish that was what my life were like... even a cool summer night - I'm not too picky!!

I know once and a while thunderstorms roll by or a mosquito may make me his dinner, I'm not saying life should be perfect.  I just wish life were not like a hot summer day that exhausts and squelches desires, the ability to be present, remember what it feels like to get a sunburn or laugh when something is an inconvenience.  The temperature defeats the smells and sounds of its positive features.... you just live for getting to the next coolest place, the next errand, the next breeze.  At the end of the day, you realized you spent your day so uncomfortable and so much energy fighting against what you couldn't control that you missed the day all together.

I hope disassociation is like a season... passing and bringing new experiences to life.  I hope disassociation isn't a life of hot summer days.  I don't like those.