My Sword : Adderall. What’s yours?

“If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

At first, Isaiah 1:19-20 can cause one to think of God’s wrath. It can cause a person to question all the other things that they have heard about their savior.

I thought Jesus was all about grace, mercy, and forgiveness? I thought only the god of Islam devours people who do not submit! What god is this verse talking about..my God?

Isaiah’s ministry was during a time when God’s people had forgotten him. The kingdom of Israel in the north and the kingdom of Judah to the south had both fallen to pagan worship. God’s people had gradually fallen into a state of serious moral and spiritual decline. (Does any of this sound familiar?) Isaiah’s voice was calling for the people to abandon their evil ways and to come back to God. Isaiah was warning Judah of the coming struggles if they did not change. Isaiah was used by God as a last effort to call his people back to Him before His coming judgment. They did not listen. In this verse, the “sword” spoken of would come upon them in the form of a Babylonian sword in the years after Isaiah was written. Judah was taken by Babylon in 607 BC. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar led his armies against Judah, killing many people and destroying the Jewish temple. Babylon took captive many thousands of Jews and left Jerusalem in ruins. What would history be like if the Jewish people had listened to God’s message through Isaiah?

What will history say of you after you leave this world?

Let us look at this verse in a fuller context to get some answers. Starting at Isaiah chapter 1, verse 18, the Lord says to the Jewish people,

“Come now, and let us reason together.”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Wow. and THAT is why our God – The ONE AND ONLY true and living God – IS a God of LOVE.

His judgement does not come swiftly. His judgement does not come after giving little. His judgment is a consequence of rejecting the most beautiful gift..a gift that will CLEANSE you..that will make you WHOLE. The rewards he will give you if you are obedient to him are great. He does not ask you to obey him so that he can make your life miserable. No. He asks you to be obedient to his voice so that He may bless you. So that you may have LIFE. So that you may eat the good of the land.

My sword is Adderall.

Adderall is a prescription medication for attention deficit disorder. I was first put on this medicine as a teenager in high school. Adderall is nothing but legal speed. God has spoken to me very clearly during the last few months. In many more ways than one, God has told me to lay Adderall down. His voice came at a time when I found myself addicted to it. His voice came during a time when Adderall stood between me and HIM. At a time when I called Jesus my savoir but at a time when I could not say,

Lord, you are my LORD.

this is how I look at the verse above:

Briana, if you are willing and obedient to me and lay Adderall down,
you shall eat the good of the land. Briana, I will bless you so! Don’t be afraid.
But, Briana, if you rebel and refuse to give your addiction to me –
You shall be devoured by Adderall. Adderall will destroy you, Briana. If you continue down this road Adderall will beset you and you will tread dangerously close to the land of blaspheming the Lord, your God.

What is your sword?

What is keeping you from being led to the heart of God?

Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. – John 14:24

This song really touched me. I urge you to watch it. Look at the path Jesus followed when he obeyed God. Let us lay all our weights at the foot of the cross.

Father YOUR will. Not mine.

cries from a soul astray – wandering without God – post 1

I have very few possessions left from my past. When I look around my house, it is difficult to find something that was in my house 10 years ago. There are a few reminders from my past hanging on the walls around me.. there are a couple of things scattered about in my kitchen cupboard,but that’s about it. Most everything else has disappeared along with the last decade of my life. There is one piece of my past that I still have in full though. Starting with a diary that my mom got me in 1992 (reading that one is hilarious), I have all of the journals that I have written into during my life. I am so thankful to have these still.

For some reason, I’ve started pulling them out lately. I feel like I should post some of the things in them. Sharing this stuff isn’t necessarily what I really want to do here.. wow, for once in my life, im actually kind of sheepish about sharing something. Facing and sharing these sad bits and pieces of my life kind of wears on me. The feelings I get when I see these old scribblings are bittersweet. A part of me is grieved for the time I lost. Running from God consumed all of my teenage years and many of my young adult years as well. I could have been whole if I would have only held tightly to my Lord. Its hard not to ask myself,

what if?..where would I be now if I hadn’t lived in rebellion against God for all of those years?

When I do find myself pondering the “what if’s”.. I am quickly reminded by a consuming peace from the Lord that there are no “what if’s” when he is involved. He has had his hand upon my life through it all.   Every rebellious step that I took.. as I desperately tried to run away from His call..every frantic stride that I made – they were all apart of the plan he had for me and the good of my family.

Jesus can change the actual course of our lives.  IF – we let him.

If we allow him to, not only will he erase the darkness and shame of who we used to be, but he will also cause great things to come from our new lives in him. Giving your life to Jesus will change the course of history..it will change the path of your family. He will tear down and destroy the curses that have stretched out for generations over your family .. all in an instant.

IF — WE LET HIM.

Thank you my merciful father for being patient. Thank you for giving me this song to sing. I pray that  – by your mighty works – others can hear this song and be drawn to the selfless and pure love that you have for us.  Thank you my merciful father for bringing me – a lost and forgotten little ragdoll back to LIFE!

This is the first of several journal entries that I will share over the next few days. This is the background of my life that I use to help me when I am trying to measure just how unbelievable the redeeming power of Jesus Christ truly is. The words that you will soon read are the words of a girl battered by years of living for herself..a soul aching without God.

I feel that I am nothing more than a ragdoll — A pretty little ornament that was once the center of my owner’s life.

In days past, DAYS FAR AWAY FROM NOW, I heard laughter, felt such love — because I was of such use.

Now, after some endlessly dark nights, I have become nothing more than a motionless pile.

Occupant of my lonely corner — where I am forgotten.

The crimson paint that once proved my beautiful smile has dimmed to be nearly erased — and I am expressionless.

Little Ragdoll eyes stare with such desire to see the one who once loved me.

No amount of hope will bring them back.

I’ll remain this discarded little doll until the wind comes and finally unravels my soul.

With a fierceness, I will be sent into the void of a damned eternity still forgotten and unclaimed.

– dated, October 9, 2004

No matter how long you run or how much you try to fool yourself as you fill the hole in your soul with other things..we all yearn for God. We are all programed with a gap in our soul that ONLY he can fill. If you find yourself in a place of solitude and longing for love, like what is written below..hang around these next few days as we work through all of this together. Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice on the cross so that we could be made “clean” enough to go before God. The cross that Jesus died upon was stretched out across the heavens to bridge the gap that once fell between God and his fallen creation. All you have to do is ask Jesus to reveal himself to you..and he will. Tell him that you believe that he died for your sins..so that you could be made whole. He will enter into your life and work things out day by day. Jesus is not a savior of confusion.. He is the opposite of confusion. He is freedom! .

rag

on Gods love of dirty shoes

 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How PRICELESS is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36: 5-7

Sometimes I forget about how much the Lord loves me. He loves me on a level that I cannot understand. So many times we get so caught up in the “technical” aspects of being a christian that we forget about the very important fact that God has his hand on us. God loves us when we fail..God loves us when we run..God loves us when we sin. I know this is true, because I am here writing this.

Yesterday, I was sitting at my parent’s kitchen table attempting to write this. Rory was beside me on the floor playing with whatever random thing that he could find. It seemed that between every sentence I would have to take something from him or tell him, “no,no.” Finally, my constant corrections just made him mad, and in a huff of baby rage he pushed aside the the chair that I was using as a make shift baby gate and crawled out of the kitchen into the piano room. I was actually relieved to have just a moment to complete the thought that I was trying so hardly to paint onto the paper that was in front of me. It could not have been more than two minutes before I put down my pen and got up to go retrieve my son. He loves to bang on the piano and it is usually one of his favorite activities when we go over to nanna’s house. However, I heard nothing but silence..every mother knows that silence usually equals trouble. When I walked into the piano room, Rory was nowhere to be found.. so I walked through into my dads study..still, there was no Rory. The size of my house allows me to keep very close tabs on my son; yesterday was the first time that I have ever “lost” my son.

I had a little time to prepare for rory..but, with Trinitee I became a mother overnight. I’ll never forget the time that i bent down to pick up something and when I came back up Trinitee was gone. We were at a large and very busy park in Pineville..I had never felt the “panic” of a mother before. In an instant..I was introduced into motherhood. Frantic would not describe how I felt to the full extent..I was running around that park crying and screaming..I must have looked like such a fool. Finally, her little head popped out from her hiding place..she had crawled inside one of the big tires that are at this park for children to play on. That day when I ran to her and hugged her, the feelings that went through me caused me to realize what it meant to be a mother.  The feelings that shoot through the  mind of a parent during that time are hard to explain. Words cant really describe the level of peace that you have as you hold onto your child; at that moment, the life that you are tightly clutching to your bossom means more to you than the air that you breath.

yesterday, my panic quickly turned to thankfulness. The stairs at my parents house are very steep, curved, and if an adult fell from them the likelyhood that they would be severly injured or even killed is high. My 11 month old son was sitting proudly at the top of these stairs with a huge smile on his face. I flew up those stairs faster than I have ever done before..I picked up my son and just cryed as I thanked the Lord for protecting him.

Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. – Psalm 94: 17-18

When I look down and see the beautiful face of my son, I forget that one day from his smooth little chin whiskers will grow..as Jonathan hangs Trinitee’s towel up to dry after giving her a bath, Im sure that the last thing he thinks about is how this nights completed bathtime is just one more check on a short list…before he knows it daddy’s little girl wont be so little anymore. No matter how much we beg for the clock to stop and for time to exclude our children it cannot be done. The little hands that reach out for me..the tiny hands that hold onto mine so tightly..this lays upon my soul such sadness to say..but, one day these sweet little hands could become the hands that push me away. I know that this is a reality because the hands that write these words once were small..my hands that once held so tightly to my mother became the hands that also pushed her away.

It is hard for me to pinpoint when I decided to walk away from my faith. Through the years i have tried to figure out what happened to me – what caused the drastic change…i have always failed to find the answer.  I was raised..or better said..i was born into loving Jesus. The example shown to me by my parents empowered me to have a deep relationship with Christ at a very young age. I loved the Lord – He was the joy of my heart as a child. The dark force whose one goal is to drag you and me to hell (aka satan) was far too smart to try and derail my salvation overnight – it was a gradual descent. It was a slow deception that led me into the bleak wasteland that nearly became my grave. I remember on multiple occasions crying out to God..begging him to allow me to just go back – to find myself – to find that little girl who had once loved him so. Sin had blinded me to the point that I, with great sorrow, accepted my self-imposed sentence of irreversible damnation. I was dead. Emotional death, mental death, spiritual death, the only one that the grace of Jesus allowed me to dodge was physical death. Even though there were many times I pleaded with God to end me – to snuff me out. Thankyou my most merciful Savior! He had other plans for me.

For almost a decade, I was the constant tears that flooded my mother’s heart. I was the pain that cut into my father’s soul. I was the constant prayer on their lips. My parents never gave up me..they never stopped praying for me. They never gave up on the promise they were given by God. If the love of a mother and father can be so unconditional…think about the love that God has for us. God’s love is so good. All those years as I climbed the trecherous staircase into sin, I could have died at any point. Living selfishly could have sent me to an eternity in hell so many times..BUT JESUS DIDNT LET THAT HAPPEN. Even though I didnt deserve it, he kept my foot from slipping. Even though my spirit was filthy he allowed me to find refuge in the shadow of his wings.

If any ladies are reading this who have children, friends, or spouses that are running from God..dont ever give up on them. Let their name be the constant prayer on your lips..regardless of the evil that has them blinded..dont ever stop being there when they reach out for you. No matter the distance into a pit of despair that they have fallen..never let their hand go. The progress and the change that the Lord has made in me shows the power a mother’s prayer can hold.

Or if you are reading this and you realize that you are a prisoner trapped in the despair of your own guilt and self hatred..just know..there is no distance that one can travel to that God cannot reach. There is no amount of darkness in any situation that God cannot bring light to. The shoes that you may find yourself walking in during this point in your life, may not be exactly what you had planned for yourself. But dont you know? Shoes dont matter to God! Your shoes could be filthy and have holes in the sole, but that would never stop our loving Father from making sure that the foot inside of it doesnt slip. His love will NEVER fail you. God’s love does not discriminate against us because of our past or because of our faults. God’s love NEVER ends.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3

 

on the child I lost.. the child who waits for me

Today I will share something with you that is very personal..something that I rarely speak of. Today my heart is grieved for the child that I lost. For some reason on this day, far more than others, I yearn to touch the baby that I never met. To say that I have refrained to speak of the child that I lost because of shame isnt necessarily the case..however, this statement does hold some truth. At the time when all this happened Jonathan and I were not married. We do not live in a society anymore where a young girl, without explanation, goes to live with a relative for 9 months..but still, the bible is clear about the fact that God created sex for married people and I knew that I would not be able to hide my disobedience. I remember the fear that gripped my heart as I walked the steps to my parents house..I was so afraid of their disappointment. I was so scared to see the look in their eyes and to hear my mother cry. I remember standing there for a moment trying to find the words to say..my mouth was dry and my mind was blank. With my parents just looking at me, waiting for me to speak, I finally just let the words, “im pregnant” spew from my mouth. After I said it,  I kept my head down almost like I was watching the words I had just spoken fall to the floor and shatter into a million little pieces. When I finally lifted up my head, to my surprise, my eyes were met by smiles. My mother took me into her arms. My father told me that he loved me. Yes, they wished that we had done things in the order that God tells us to, but they were not angry.. their rath did not fall upon me and my unborn child as I had supposed it would. My fear had caused me to forget something that my parents believed to be true.. something that all christians should believe to be true – For all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but in no way does this make the blessing of a sweet child any less precious. Today I stand up against any feelings of shame. Today I stand up for my precious child. Today I stand up for my sweet baby whose death helped me to see life again.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. – jeremiah 1:5

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.. your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book – psalm 139: 13-14 & 16

On the day of my first ultrasound, the excitement I felt was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The thought of seeing the life within me and hearing its heartbeat caused such  joy that I almost ran off the road a few times driving to the doctor. My excitement quickly turned to panic when they could not find a heart beat. My panic turned to sadness when they also could not find any indication of a pregnancy in my womb. I was 2 1/2 months when I lost my baby. Even though at 2 1/2 months gestation I was unable to feel my child move ..I still knew that within me was a life. The love and connection that I felt with something that I could not feel nor see was something that I cannot explain..it was something that caused me to lay in bed at night holding on for dear life to my stomach. How a woman recovers from losing a child late in pregnancy is something that I cannot imagine and something that my loss cannot fully relate to. No matter the stage they are in when it happens, one thing is shared between all women who have gone through this loss and that is the dream that is crushed with the loss of a pregnancy. Walking out of the doctor’s office that day, I was numb. It was early spring but still very cold out. Driving down the desolate stretch of highway that day was the saddest moment of my life. At that point, it was pain and sorrow that caused me to cling to my stomach not the never-ending love of before.  I had been traveling down the opposite side of the same highway just a short time before with nothing but hope and dreams for my new life..and just like that, as I drove home..everything was gone.

During that time in my life I was not living for God..I was running with all my might in the opposite direction of what He had planned for me. During that trip home something occurred to me that I had not considered in some time..I thought about my salvation. I thought about where it was that I would spend eternity. The loss of my child was a turning point in my spiritual life. It took something so important..a loss so painfully personal for me to realize how important heaven is. It was when I realized that I would only be able to meet my child if I made it to heaven that I began the slow turn around back to where my faith was supposed to be. Sometimes I feel so guilty when I think about my child who never had the chance to be born.. did the Lord send him or her just to die so that I might be able to find my way back home? All the days ordained for me were written in your book.. I truly believe that the life of my beautiful child that was never given a chance was not in vain. He or she was all apart of God’s plan. It was in God’s mercy that I went through all the pain and heartache of losing a child.

I cant wait to get to heaven. I cant wait to walk through those pearly gates and to see my little boy or my little girl running up to me, arms stretched wide screaming, “mommy, mommy..Ive been waiting for you!” My child was precious in the eyes of God. My child was created with a purpose. Maybe you have lost a child or maybe you have made some bad choices that you now deeply regret. Dont drown in sorrow or in guilt. Your child was fearfully and wonderfully created by God. There is hope to one day right a wrong from your past. There is hope that crushes any pain felt by anyone who has lost a child because of any circumstance. That hope is Jesus. If you are already a christian, be comforted in Him. If you are still seeking..just know that if you choose life in Him..one day the beautiful words that I long to hear you will hear also..”mommy, ive been waiting for you..mommy i love you.

and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. – John 10: 27-29

 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. – Revelation 21:4

I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days – Isaiah 65:20

on sadness and redemption part 2

Before I go any further I must make a few things clear..first off, I am not a bible scholar. I am speaking from my heart..from my own personal experiences. I pray that the things I write are pleasing to the Lord and that they match the direction that He would like me to follow..be it so, I’m sure that some of my lowly mortal ideas are not one hundred percent on target. Please do not hold any of my opinions as being undeniable truth unless, of course, it be a direct quote from the bible or a statement obviously made with biblical truth to back it..for example- ”Jesus loves you.” How I interpret things may be completely different from how you see it..but now, that is why I started a blog..so that I can say what I feel like saying. The second thing, which I’m sure my writing thus far has already proved..I am not an english major,if I was id probably be failing terribly. My grammar is ”briana grammar” and if you know me..then you know nothing about me is proper…ever. I may need to copy this onto the front page of my blog because I’m sure that the need to say this will be a repeated one. So now..after all that is said, let me move on to why I am really here..sadness and redemption part two.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. – Jonah 2:7
The story of Jonah and the whale is a story that children who are taught the bible (which unfortunately is far too few these days) are fascinated by. The idea of a man being in the belly of a whale is an exciting concept for children and i was reminded of this the other night. Trinitee and i have an illustrated childrens bible that we read every night before her bedtime..i think i enjoy it almost as much as she does..but, a few nights ago we read the story of Jonah. She clung to every word..her eyes grew wider with excitement the more i read. It got me thinking..as an adult,you really don’t hear about ol’ Jonah too often. Could it be that the idea of a giant fish throwing up some dude on a beach somewhere is just too far-fetched for a sophisticated adult to believe? This is a perfect example why the Lord urges us to come before him as a child would. The story of Jonah is breathtaking..it is a story so many hurting, lost people need to hear. The bible does not lie. The truth it holds is so concrete that even the catastrophes of Armageddon could not (and will not) shake it. It grieves my heart to think of all the souls that are blinded by pride or by scientific “reason” who curse our Lord and spit hatred onto the sovereign word of God..it will take these catastrophes of Armageddon mentioned above to finally open their eyes to the bibles truth..and sadly by that point, it will likely be far too late for many of them to recant their stubborn choice to refuse the Lord’s invitation to lifesaving redemption. Why so many hate christianity i just can’t understand. It is a message based on selfless love and nothing else..so many people skew the word of God to make christianity into something that it is not..but it is simple..God loves us so much he sent his son to die an agonizing death so an evil humanity could have the choice to believe and to be freed from the chains of sin. He loves us so much he had his son butchered just so we could choose to have life.
If i woke up tomorrow morning to news reports proclaiming the outbreak of a virus that, without exception, was deadly..a virus that every baby born on this planet would have and every person alive would eventually catch, i would be devastated beyond description. But what would be even more devastating would be a knock on the door from men telling me that Rory was the only human on this planet that possessed the supernatural antibody needed to create a cure but “unfortunately mam, the child will have to sacrifice his life for us to have access to the antibody, this is humanities only hope of survival..the child will feel no pain..it will be like he is going to sleep.” I cannot even imagine the affliction that would drown my soul..but i would have to say yes. i would first make sure that my son’s life would not be taken in vain..i would mandate that this miracle cure be given to EVERYONE, whether they want it or not. If my son is going to give his life to save humanity then this virus shall not make a mockery of his life! Not one person shall die from this virus if my son gives his life! Any parent who reads this i’m sure can understand. Think about God..God is not some all controlling dictator who forces us to accept the cure that the death of his only son has granted us. He loves us so much he allowed his son not to be painlessly “put to sleep” but to be mercilessly slaughtered just so we could have the choice to live. And Jesus.. before his resurrection he was a mortal man..he could have chosen to walk away. The night before he was crucified he was scared..our Lord was scared..he cried and begged God to let his fate be different. but, it could not be different..Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for us. The blood that dripped down the cross..the cross that Jesus died an excruciating, agonizing death upon..was filled with the selfless, pure antibody that is our only hope for life..the only cure..yet so many reject it.
Just like Jonah, my life was being chiseled down..almost to nothing. I was so barred beneath my sin..but through that black void of my life i continued to cry out to God..even though i was sure that i had gone too far to be recovered..even though i believed that i was too torn and dirty to be refurbushed..i knew he was there. My cries..the prayers that came out of my filthy mouth – He still allowed them to enter into his presence – He heard them. That selfless, pure blood of Jesus.. it reached down into the hopeless pit of death that i was in and it cured me from the certain death that i deserved.
 WORTHLESS. HOPELESS. INSIGNIFICANT. ABANDONED.  BARREN. DISGUSTING. DIRTY. FULL OF SHAME. EMPTY.
 Jesus does not discriminate..he does not reject one who asks him to save them..no matter how filthy they are..no matter how dark their sin. The redemption that has brought me back to life is available to ANYONE who asks. Jesus loves you no matter how much you belive that you don’t deserve it. What he has done for me he will do for any who asks. Because of Him i am now
WORTHY. HOPEFUL. SIGNIFICANT. FOUND. FRUITFUL. DELIGHTFUL. CLEAN. FULL OF LIFE.

on sadness and redemption part 1

To begin this entry I am going to share a very private journal entry from my past. It is from a time in my life that I am not proud of…a period of somber darkness. The date I wrote this was December 18, 2008.

What do you do when you feel as though I do? Heartbeats stop all together. The severity of this situation has consumed me entirely. I am a mess, truly damned beyond return. My world is nothing but a crumbling Atlantis. The never-ending fiery arrows of hate and worthlessness have maimed my being beyond repair. I will never again be worthy. Oh! how I pray to be still worthy. At what moment in this whirlwind of happenings, that i call my life, did i wave a solemn farewell to my Lord? Does He remember my face? Is my name still moist upon his lips? Or has he cast me aside like the unwanted trash that i have allowed myself to become… The tides of survival have washed my sand castles of hope into oblivion. The true disease of my well-being is something that my pen cannot breathe life into. But still – I mark into this book a stamp of my current mind.

WORTHLESS. HOPELESS. INSIGNIFICANT. ABANDONED. BARREN. DISGUSTING. DIRTY. FULL OF SHAME. EMPTY.

I have composed this mortal symphony of waste, and now in this mournful requiem i must reside.

When I opened my old journal the other day, to say that the things i read were shocking would be an understatement. The declarations of despair held between the leather bindings of that book is my life – or better said – was my life.

The soul who sins shall die…the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. – Ezekiel 18:20

It is hard for me to pinpoint when I decided to walk away from my faith. Through the years i have tried to figure out what happened to me – what caused the drastic change…i have always failed to find the answer. It definitely was not like the stereotypical scenario that many think of – a child stands in the candy isle, a pack of sweetarts clutched tight in a shaky hand..the child has no money..but no one is watching. On one shoulder a little man in a red cape dances around – above the other shoulder floats a beautiful blonde lady wearing white. It definitely wasnt like that. I was raised..or better said..i was born into loving Jesus. The example shown to me by my parents empowered me to have a deep relationship with Christ at a very young age. I loved the Lord – He was the joy of my heart as a child. The dark force whose one goal is to drag you and me to hell (aka satan) was far too smart to try and derail my salvation overnight – it was a gradual descent. It was a slow deception that led me into the bleak wasteland that nearly became my grave. I remember on multiple occasions crying out to God..begging him to allow me to just go back – to find myself – to find that little girl who had once loved him so. Sin had blinded me to the point that I, with great sorrow, accepted my self-imposed sentence of irreversible damnation. I was dead. Emotional death, mental death, spiritual death, the only one that the grace of Jesus allowed me to dodge was physical death. Even though there were many times I pleaded with God to end me – to snuff me out. Thankyou my most merciful Savior! He had other plans for me.

My rambling mind is far too long-winded for me to finish this tonight. I will continue tomorrow, Lord willing…until then I will leave you with this:

In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
 You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me. 
 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’ 
 The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head. 
 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit. – Jonah 2