The Harvest Days are here! I love the rich red and orange colors and the cinnamon and clove smells. I love all things pumpkin and the fun of the patches that beckon our family for fun. We love the picturesque opportunities and memory making corn mazes and sipping of Apple Cider. This, coming from a Southern California girl who has very little season changes but oh, it is just right for my temperature sensitive body. Today it was low 80’s and in the shade it was just right for my tired body.
There has been so many wonderful parties and plans and ministry fun but this body can only handle so much. I am a slow learner and learning my limits is not an easy one. Strength and stamina can change at the drop of a hat for me. It’s just my reality as of late. I pick up something and move it and I can, oh, I can do it but boy, oh boy, I pay for it after I’ve conquered it! Oh, I can’t tell you how often I do that.
So today, I count my blessings. The blessings in smelling the piggy wigs that raced and hearing the kids cheering, the eyes that could see the vibrant colors of blooming flowers and herbs bursting forth. I rejoice in the stability of my legs to walk the corn maze and chase after my busy boys. Oh, how I am so thankful for Fall and Love and God’s joy in the midst of trials.
It is only in His loving presence that we have fullness of joy. He came that we may have life and life more abundantly.
He is Love!
As long as we have Him, we always Life!
I was a young, teenage girl searching for the avenue to which my bleeding heart could be healed. The gashes of Daddy moving away and being raised in a single parent home ran deep into my being. It didn’t matter that I knew I was loved and daddy wasn’t far and that I had him every other weekend and Wednesday and sometimes days during the week too. It was broken home that broke me. The wound was deep and it bled onto each boy I had a relationship with. I clung to each one as if he were my last hope. Hope. They never told me not to put my hope in a boy. He might crush you and you, you might be the one to crush him. My veins cried out for rest from this crazy wave of impulses and heartache. With one such situation I wanted to end it all. I didn’t want to keep moving forward with this life. Why did it matter anyway? This life? What was I here for? Would anyone really miss me?
Alcohol was already luring me. Just a swig could numb the pain. Just a swig here and there and I wouldn’t get caught. Just a cigarette here and there and mama wouldn’t know. Addiction was grabbing at me and I was slowly being pulled into its grasp. Escaping seemed easier than facing the pain. I wasn’t desperate or daring enough to do the job.
Friends and fun weren’t lacking but as I stood surrounded by a crowd of friends the loneliness hovered around me, the emptiness deep. I was still lacking to be known or really it was to know. To know how much there really was to this life. To know the Giver of Life.
Religion wasn’t foreign to me and either was Jesus. I was raised in the Catholic church. I was involved in the youth group and loving it. I was a church going girl with a wild side and deep wounds. Because of my involvement in the church my sweet friend Crystal came to me with questions about heaven. I answered honestly. I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to get to heaven. I knew that I wanted to know.
And then I was invited to a Harvest Crusade by my best friend Cheree and her family. I borrowed her adorable clothes and dressed to the T to impress a much older boy who was going with us. I was going to impress and instead I was impressed upon by the Holy Spirit of Truth. I stayed in my seat at the Angels Stadium but I was struck by the words from the Pastor’s mouth and there was no shaking this electricity flowing through my veins. The following week I went to church with my friend and I had to sit on my hands during service. I couldn’t wait to go forward and surrender my life to Christ. I couldn’t wait to receive His gift of love. I was overcome. I wept as I met my Healer. That day was the beginning of my healing.
The simple, sawdust filled Velveteen rabbit was trying to understand what “real” is. the Skin Horse tells him, “Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?”, asks the rabbit.
“Sometimes. When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.
But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Being real is when we experience God’s love and receive His love in the deepest way. We become real. We may not look pretty anymore. People see the flaws, the scars, the ugly past but the beauty is so much greater, so much deeper now. We no longer hide behind religion or false pretense. We no longer hide behind our nice “stuff” we own. We just own up to all our junk and the ugly shines beautiful. The beauty isn’t seen by all. It is seen mostly by those who want to be real too. Those who are real too. Those who have received the love too.
I want to be real. Don’t you?