Monday, September 2, 2019

The Culmination of Learning in Wilderness Seasons

        This blog has been left open without an ending until I could share openly with the revelations of my life’s journey thus far.  Today, I resolve to end this blog dedicated to my three children with the revelations and experiences I have learned along the way since I became a believer in Jesus Christ as a little girl.  

Dedication:


I dedicate the entirety of this blog to my three children who have shown me how to love the moments and rejoice in all things.  Thank you to my Heavenly Father for your relentless mercy and grace.  Thank you for sending me your son Jesus as your greatest expression of mercy over my life and my children.   I am proud of each of my children for the God-designed characteristics, compassion and kindness that each of my children exhibit.  Gabriel has walked this planet with a story of adversity, but shined joy throughout all medical trauma he experienced.  I have seen the power of God’s hands over His life.   Simone is compassionate, empathic and kind that she would reach out to the hurting to say "I care and you are not alone."  Yasmine brings humour, excitement, kindness and compassion woven together that shines the sun on any occasion.  Each of my children have been uniquely woven together, but have a story of a life once led that brought pain, sadness, and fear.  However, this cancer story brought us together as a family of intimacy and strength.  I pray that my children grow to know they are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”  I pray that each of my children grow to honour, glorify and seek Holiness and Righteousness above all in this world.  I pray they know they are each valued, significant, and worthy because of who God says they are and not this world.  My three children are a gift beyond measure.  

Life... The Battles and the Lessons

It has been said in various blogs, movies, and social media posts that “God never gives us more than we can handle.”  This statement from well- intentioned people is not in the bible.  Furthermore, I would have disputed this statement during some of my most difficult seasons as a child when I was physically and verbally bullied, moving out at 16 years-old and going on welfare to complete high school, attempted suicide, self-injured, abusive first marriage, seeking love in the wrong place with a female, hardships in my second marriage, miscarriage, and helplessly watching painful treatments and fearing the loss of my son’s life as he battled cancer.  1 Corinthians 10:13 is a scripture that is often referenced to “God not giving us more than we can handle.”  This scripture is often misinterpreted.  Paul was writing to the Corinthians and was speaking to sinful temptations, and not difficult seasons.   The scripture states, “He will not allow us to be tempted beyond your ability, but will always provide a way out.”  We are all at risk of being tempted to sin as 1 Corinthians 10: 14 (amplified) tells us to “run from idolatry (anything that includes loving anything more than God, or participating in anything that leads to sin and enslaves our soul). However, there are seasons in our life that occur without connection to sin, which we see that through the example of Job’s life.  My life exempflies the intermingling of both difficult seasons and choices I should never have made.  As a believer in Jesus Christ we can understand that the enemy is prowling about tempting us to willfully sin even in wilderness seasons that are meant to refine and draw us closer to truth of the Word of God.
I wrote many journal entries over the course of my life, but one particular journal at 20 years old stated that “I believed God only placed me on this earth to test how much one could endure.”  I believed God forsook me as I wandered the streets alone at night escaping the abuse in my first marriage and crying out in despair for God to rescue me.   I never stopped praying or battling my life without God, but I can certainly see that I made choices that were sinful in amongst the betrayals, abuse and suffering.  My life was complicated with confusion as most of my suffering in early life occurred within the church and Christian experiences, which Satan twisted and deceived my young mind easily as I was devoid of experiencing loving, holy and righteous influences during that time in my life.  Yet, I knew in my spirit I felt conflicted, and continued to seek biblical truth. One night when I spent the night at my parents the Holy Spirit took me to Romans 7: 14-25 as I was on my knees praying for an understanding of my circumstances.  God’s mercy came down upon me to validate my pain rather than condemn.  He graciously wrapped me up in His arms to remind me of another way.  Paul wrote: “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it.  Instead, I do what I hate.  But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.”  The Lord’s mercy continued when He sent an angel to comfort me one night as I sat alone in Owen Sound on a park bench at 2 a.m.   I sat alone in an open area where no person could be concealed.  I was crying in desperation for this life to be different, but could not see a way out as I was entrenched with suffering in all directions from my family, church, husband (now ex-husband) and loss of friendships.   I looked up to see an older lady who reached to comfort me.  This comfort felt foreign as she provided something that was indescribable. It was as though I felt the touch of God’s love in a moment.  During that time I was living a life filled with shame, but the Lord knew I needed His revelation of grace and mercy.  This small moment was God’s tangible touch of mercy and grace for me as I recalled how quickly this person (angel) came and left.  I was left with wonderment, as there was no spot for this person to hide.  I believed it was an angel, but Satan was really great at creating doubt when I was younger.  God graciously confirmed that it was an angel in 2018 (a story for another time). 
I sat on that bench desperately crying out to God to be rescued from my life. I did not have a story of drugs, alcohol or parties, but I chose to chase after the acceptance and approval of people even if they hurt me.  There came a time in my life after the end of my first marriage that I built walls, kept people out and was able to walk away from people that I felt would hurt me.  I realized this was not a great long-term strategy, but this seemed like the best adaptive response.
I grew up attending church my entire life.  I have a praying mother and father.  I had a praying grandfather and grandmother.  I had people coming to my residence each night praying over my apartment as I looked out my window.  Many were praying for me. I understood trials; tribulations and living a persecuted life were attributes of following Jesus.   I had already experienced bullying in elementary school and called stereotypical names “Jesus Freak” or “Bible Thumper” in High School.  I knew I loved Jesus.  I knew He would always be a part of my life.  It was a choice I made at 12-years-old at a Christian camp.   
My wilderness season continued in one of the greatest and traumatic experiences of my life.  It was when I was blindsided with the words “your son has cancer.” I had been through enough pain (so I thought) that I could not understand why this journey was added to my life.  During this season I went to study the book of Job, but the pain I felt and anger toward God became overwhelming.  I battled with God.  I felt things I could never have conceived feeling as I experienced the fear of my son dying.  Yes, I was angry, sad and scared.  I was in a fight for my spiritual life and saving the life of my son.  It was the greatest spiritual test and battle of my life.  In the years throughout I could not understand what was before me.  The first diagnosis with my son left me feeling more anger and fear directed to God.  It was during my son’s relapse in his Central Nervous System, Transplant, and Pneumonia without an immune system, and Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD) that had me on my knees.  I turned to God in intimacy and relationship that brought me to a place of the revelation of who “He says He is.”  I wanted an intimate relationship with the one who is my creator and the lover of my soul.  My previous years leading up to this season of pain I did not have the revelation of Christ Jesus.  I knew in my head about Jesus, but not in my heart.  I needed a deep revelation of the Father’s love through His greatest plan of restoration.  He sent His only son to die for me.  I did not realize that the culmination of my life experiences would bring me to a place I had to make the ultimate choice.  Will I follow Jesus Christ with all that I am even if it cost me everything even approval of humankind?  Would I stop chasing the acceptance and approval of others to fix my historical pain as a child, youth and young adult?  I believe this is a choice we will all face, but may surface in differet ways depending on our historical suffering.

I slowly began to understand the call upon every believer: 
·     He wants to be praised, glorified and honoured, as He is worthy to be our all.
·     He wanted/wants me (us) to surrender to Him throughout all adversity. 
·     Praise Him even when it is hard and praise Him when it is good.
·     Experience pain (sadness, anger, grief, etc.) with Him in relationship rather than outside of a relationship with God.  Relationships with people can bring comfort and support, but only God can restore circumstances that may not be, as we desire.  People are not meant to be a replacement of Him, but with the right support can be an extension of His love and truth.
·     He is our redeemer and restores all things.  He brings comfort, peace and joy beyond all understanding.
·     He wanted/wants me (us) to surrender all that He designed in me (us) to serve Him.  It was never for me.  It is and always will be for the Kingdom of God.
·     He wanted/wants me (us) to choose His acceptance and approval rather than others.   I learned that chasing acceptance in people who were just as fallible as me would result in a “dead end street” and entangle me (us) with pain. 
·     He wanted/wants sanctification that grows fruits of the spirit.
·     He cares more about HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS above all.

February 2009 and onwards has been a time of deep understanding of how my history had unfolded from personal choices to seasons of refinement. I welcome this refinement even though it is hard.  God reveals all blind spots as the seasons’ come and go.  We will all enter into multiple wilderness seasons to refine us into a Holy and Righteous people.  It hurts, “But take heart as God has overcome the world (Romans 8:28).”  The greatest journey I am walking is the healing of my soul to become more Christ-like.   He is healing, repairing and providing revelations of who He is.  Today, I am still traveling this journey as God continues to draw out what may be hidden, but I having a willing and teachable heart that is allowing God to permeate and change me.  Hardships and trials still come, but with a heart that pursues that almighty God it is a different path compared to a past filled with pride.  The refiners fire creates "rivers of living water" that flows for the Kingdom of God.  It has always needed to begin with me and not others.  I am still growing and learning as we all are until Jesus returns.  


Today:

I am honoured that God uses me to restore hope in others as someone who has believed as a young girl, teen and young adult that I was insignificant and had no value.  I am honoured and blessed to walk hand-in-hand with those that need a tangible presence of the Lord within the Body of Christ and the world that does not know the face of Jesus.  Today, the intimacy and living with the revelatory knowledge of the One True God is beyond comprehensible.  It took have a willing heart, surrendering and seeking Him in all times.  He has been recreating me.  Telling me that He has always had a plan for me, but has been waiting for me to fully accept His divine plan over my life.  I sit fully immersed in Him with curiosity as to what He will continue to show me that remains unresolved or growth He wants me to achieve in Him and through Him.  I won’t tell you I enjoy trials or wilderness seasons, but I do have a different perspective as I now see what He is doing in me from a Kingdom of God lens. I always ask the Lord to show me what needs “to get out of me” that does not reflect Him and what is He teaching me.   The sanctification journey is hard, but so worth it as God is glorified throughout this process.  

I pray if you are reading this today that you experience a great revelation of our Heavenly Father's plan for your life that is unique to you.  He desires you completely to trust in Him with all of your life.  He is for you.  Remember, emotions are your human experience needed to be supported and validated.  These emotions are fleeting and can deceive your soul by making your mind believe thoughts that entrap you.  God designed you with emotions, but to be expressed in relationship with Him and the right people who always lead you to Jesus.  Walk it out with Him.   Trust in Him who brings comfort and peace, but speaks only truth beyond the emotions.   Choose God's truth.  Allign your will to His.  He loves you so much!  

I pray you choose to WALK A SANCITIFICATION JOURNEY with the only one that can PERMANENTLY change you, SUSTAIN YOU, and give JOY and PEACE beyond all understanding.  Sending you all so much love and prayers.  Bless you as you walk this Life awaiting Jesus' return.

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3 comments:

  1. Wow, Tina. Very insightful. Some things in your life I never knew about.
    Thankyou for sharing your heart. Choosing to be vulnerable and transparent.
    You have learned to overcome thru the pain, and look at what you have learned thru it all yo help other's.
    I hope one of your goals is to write a book. This would encourage so many people.
    I would buy it. 😊
    Thankyou for writing this BLOG.
    Bless you.
    Julia V.

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The Culmination of Learning in Wilderness Seasons

        This blog has been left open without an ending until I could share openly with the revelations of my life’s journey thus far.  Tod...