Cancelled appointments…

The Lord spoke to me about 3 years ago. He told me that what I was about to experience, many, many, many others would experience. He said, but I will be closer to you than anyone else. I thought, I had heard wrong. Me? Why would you be closer to me? Lord, do you know me? If there is anyone you would want to be close to, you got the wrong guy. Of course adding my own list of sins, and failures. I have really not believed that for the last 3 years.

I have experienced a lot of pain in the last couple of years. A lot of rejection, loss of respect from others and even myself. It has been a tough road. I have cowered at times back into my introverted shell, because it is safe in there. No one can touch me, not even God. Like a turtle shell, I have come out when I was good and ready, or just stayed in my shell. Though, it is lonely in my shell, and dark, and I only hear my own voice. I have realized more and more that I am super judgmental, have no grace, or mercy for people, that includes myself.

In weeks past, I have been learning to forgive again. Its not that I have never learned before, it is just, another season of letting go of things from the past, and truly forgiving. It has been extremely hard, and it is a work in process. If I think about things long enough, I can get upset all over again. If I think of ways I have failed long enough, I will succeed in becoming depressed again. So, I have been really trying to forgive, others and myself.

The world can be cruel. You can do everything right, yet still be nailed to a cross. You can give your life up for the sake of others and those same people will nearly beat you to death in appreciation. At the heart of it all, is pain. The cliche “hurt people, hurt people.” if I am hurting, I am going to hurt you, once I hurt you, you hurt someone else. It is an endless cycle. It all ends when someone finally says, “enough!”. Well, that person isn’t me, unless, you look at how I have done it all wrong. I have said enough and gone back into my turtle shell. The problem, with that way, is I have only hurt myself. I’m still hurt, but with no one around, I can only hurt myself. If I have ever been successful at anything, it has been beating myself up, more than anyone else ever has. Others have come close, but nearly as bad as self torture.

Laying on the bed just thinking, I was recounting all the rejection, the pain, considering if things could have been any other way, and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit overwhelm me. I was taken back to the scripture of Jesus’ being arrested, having all of His friends walk away and deny having anything to do with Him. I remembered, Jesus, He has experienced way worse than me. He was hurt way worse, physically, emotionally, even spiritually, yet He didn’t respond with malice, or self-protection. His arms were open as His hands were nailed to the cross, and knew that in His pain, that others would experience freedom from pain. He accepted all of the pain of the world to prove that hurt people, don’t always have to hurt people. His example for us is to open our arms, it may be painful. It may even cause us to die, but there is good news. Jesus, didn’t stay dead, He rose again. If I can learn to die, allow the pain to help me die to my self. Maybe, if I am lucky, Jesus can live again in me.

I am glad that Jesus came here to free us from pain, whatever forms that may take. I hope, I can learn how to interact with Him also as a friend that sticks closer than a brother. My heart is always for redemption, and restoration. I unfortunately, have seen very little in my life, in the relationships around me, even in the church. As the Gospel is watered down, in many churches, the message of Truth, is becoming the same. Redemption and restoration is the story that the world hopes for, but doesn’t believe is possible. If only the church could be the example. If so, there will need to be more open hands nailed to the crosses of self.

It is still hard for me to believe, and have faith in what I was told 3 years ago. As much as I try to die to that voice in my head, condemning me, he is always trying to speak to me too. I hope that voice will be overshadowed by one of hope, restoration and redemption. If I am lucky, I can see those same things played out in the world around me. I can feel a new season approaching, and my heart is excited for it.

Galatians 5

1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery…13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Be free from pain friends,

daneK

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For the Loss!!!

Well internet, sometimes you may be the only one that understands me, or at least I can express and talk through my thoughts without interruption or being required to defend why I may think or feel a certain way. When you share with people there are opinions and altered world-views, sometimes there is even the opportunity if you are lucky to see eye to foot!

What has been on my heart the last week began in an email from a family friend. He is a missionary and has been for my whole life. He has taken Bibles into Red China in the 90s, Russia, Israel, New Zealand, I am sure the list goes on, those are the only ones I remember him telling me about. He always shares about how the Lord has provided for him in miraculous ways. He and I got to catch up a few years back, and it was cool to interact with him as a friend, versus my parents friend (as he is old enough to be their parent, maybe a young parent). He prayed for me in that encounter and we just enjoyed each others company, I love hearing the stories of just simple everyday ways that he has trusted the Lord in different situations.

Back to his newsletter, he is currently in Hungary. He spoke about how he worked with orphanages during the summer. He said some were run by good people, but many are not. He spoke of how the older girls in the home would take and prostitute the younger girls and boys. It is not a story I have not heard something similar to before. It is extremely saddening. I had been thinking about this all week, discussed it with Jackie and she said similar things happen in the Philippines. I was surprised as she had never told me this before. Normally, stories even bad ones, don’t stick with me too long, but several years back, I was having my time with the Lord, and He spoke to me. “You will be the father to the fatherless.” What does that even mean Lord? A couple years later, I had the joy of taking in Steven, his story is seen in previous posts. We definitely had challenges, but I learned so much and have been blessed by that experience, even in the pains that I experienced. Steven, after 3.5 years of living with him, he has moved on earlier this year.

Naturally, I thought that was the fulfillment of the Word that God spoke to me. I however, am feeling otherwise now. I had seen a story this past Thursday, of how refugee children are washing up on the shores of countries in Europe. I was shocked. That tidbit has been added to the heart tank with the kids in Hungary. Then today, I saw a news post of the drowned refugee children on the beach that had floated up. My heart sank, we got ready for church and I just kept thinking about that. It came time for communion and we are supposed to pray about our sins etc. I quickly moved past that just to plead that the Lord would move, that He would have mercy, and that He would save. The Lord, knows, but as my wise friend Nate, once said, He believes our prayers release the power of God to work in the world. Not that God can’t or doesn’t otherwise, but, intercession is a powerful place. I just still don’t feel at peace.

While there is no way I could adopt all of the children of the world, I know the Lord has some part for me to play in the next generation. I don’t know why He has chosen me, and He has probably chosen wrong, but even if its only to intercede, prayers from things on God’s heart should lead to action. I remember back when I was heavily involved in the student ministry and its associated prayer ministry, the Lord called me out of the ministry I loved. I did not want to leave, I had fallen in love with the kids I was ministering, and it was a blast. The Lord however, had other plans, as I had been laboriously praying for my lost, estranged family members to come to know Christ, He led me to alter my life to see that happen. I didn’t lead any of my family members to the Lord, but welcomed them into community that did see that happen, it was awesome. I still to this day, miss those kids from that student ministry, they are all in college now, and when I left, none of them really understood. Sadly, none of them have anything to do with me.

At my previous church, at the point that I had realized that I could not follow the leadership of the pastor, I knew I could no longer stay in leadership under him. The way I see it, was that I did not want to lead others astray, at that point, I did not know if I was wrong or right, but the kingdom of God was more important than how I felt. I prayed about what I should do, and the Lord led me to step down from leadership. The leadership team, twice, successfully talked me out of it. Finally, I just did it didn’t argue, and people looked at me with pity. It was sickening to me, but again, the kingdom needed to be preserved, I believed my part was be quiet, and wait on the Lord. There was a broken relationship between me and the pastor and he had hopes, once I took care of my emotional issues, that I would return to leadership. My problem wasn’t my emotions it was the broken relationship and disagreements in interpretation of God’s word. An additional problem that has caused much pain is that I never got to explain that to those I was leading, or the church as a whole. I have had few people ask why I left afterward, and am met with sarcasm from many, or just plain old rejection altogether. I really miss alot of those people, yet they will never understand and at this point in time, there is no hope for restored relationships.

So, I am growing more weary of hearing and obeying the Lord’s voice. I obey, I am persecuted. I obey, I may see great things, or I may be sent into deep depression for 2 plus years. I am not seeing a good pattern here. If it only gets worse, I guess, I could be dead next time. I am hoping for the bipolar affect here on out. I have experience the bad from obeying God, time for some good. Like me praying and Jesus Himself, rescuing all those refugee kids, or creating a home for the orphaned children around the world. The only thing is, Jesus, He totally will! He just does it through us, His people, who are obedient to Him. He provides the resources and everything we could need to do so. Its just so hard to trust and believe. In my 20s, I may have dropped it all, to go and do. Post marriage however, there are other worries. Paul spoke of how a married man must take care of his wife and pleasing her, it is true, it is right, it is obedient to God. When you don’t see eye to eye on things that are on the Lord’s heart however, it does throw a wrench in what God could do. Thus, I am left with intercession, as Jesus said, the harvest is plenty but the workers are few, I must pray that the Lord would send workers into this great harvest.

I would judge others in my former life, seeing the abundance here in the states. Asking to myself, why if they have so much, do they not help in dire situation like this? There are so many layers to life, and ministry. I definitely, can have grace for the American who sits idly by, I don’t have to be satisfied with it, but I can extend grace for it. In that grace, I must intercede more, because, maybe, just maybe, he/she that sits idly by, will be sent to harvest a field that is so ripe.

Next generation,

First off, let me say, blessings. God has and will continue to pour out His Spirit and power over you as He has been. I have witnessed with my own eyes. I can’t wait to watch as  you welcome Jesus back to take us home with Him. You are experiencing so much pain, it honestly breaks my heart. The world has taken innocence from you and uses it as currency for its political wars, pleasures, and to glorify what is right in its own eyes. It is unlikely we will ever again, see a world with the innocence of a child. While I am not much older than you, I want to apologize on behalf of the generations before. We have not placed the future generations as a priority, yet we have focussed on self, and our own preservation. We have raised up and worshipped the idol of sexual idolatry. We have gone through great lengths to assure our freedom of immorality. In this self-seeking mindset, you have fallen prey to many who worship this idol of immorality. In this, your generation in its lack of innocence, has disbelief in a value other than what you measure up to when knelt before the god of sexual immorality. We have fostered a culture of confusion versus instilling who it is that God has created you to be. We present choices that shouldn’t be choices as they will destroy your life. We deny that they will because, they will feed into our justifications for worship of this god. In a nutshell, I apologize, because, we have looked you in the eyes, and given you the middle finger. I do however, want you to know this. There is a remnant of those who do want to see you become who you were created to be. You are not ready yet, but the time is coming. We want to help you develop to become men and women who will change the world as we know it today. We will pray for you, and for some we may even be a father or mother to you. Most importantly know that we above anything else, will do our best to point you to the Father who will help see you through the difficulties you will walk. Blessings, God has and will continue to pour out His Spirit and power over you as He has been. I am here to cheer you on, and watch as you change the world.

-daneK

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