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My Soul Waits in Silence

The Milk

Psalms 62:5-8 ‘My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God! Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him always, you people; pour your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower) Selah’

The Meat

In a recent conversation with my sister, she asked the question, why do we fear silence? Her research involved asking several people’s opinion including her young grandson. After research and pondering, the conclusion is this…we become uneasy in dark silence. There is just something unsettling about the silence. We don’t know what is out there. Silence is supposed to give us rest but yet it makes us anxious. Psalms 62 tells us to silently submit to Him and all hope and expectation are from Him. My sister and I talked about Elijah looking for God. Elijah failed God just like we do. Elijah feared and became discouraged just like we do. Elijah got scared just like we do. And he ran, just like we do. Scared of the unknown.

Show of hands, who reading this enjoys waiting? If you can wait, do you have the ability to wait in silence? Anyone? I’m glad that I’m not alone. Waiting…remaining inactive for a bit until something happens. An expectation of something. At rest, until you get the go-ahead to do something. At rest. Wait. I’m not a patient person at all. I’ve gotten better over the years but waiting, patience has never been a strength of mine. The reality is that waiting on God is completely different than any other waiting that we can ever do. It is so hard for us to wait on God because we have more confidence in ourselves than we do in God. Our actions during the time when we are commanded to rest can cause us more issues. The scripture states that we are to only wait patiently for God and submit to Him. Resting and waiting for God causes us to have a comfort that we cannot find anywhere else. But we don’t follow the advice of Psalm 62. Our stubbornness, our impatience and our lack of trust causes us to plunge forward without waiting. Our refuge is in God. Our hope is in God. If we have confidence that He will supply all our needs and we pour out our hearts to Him in all situations, what do we have to fear?

The Honey

God gave Elijah sleep. He was exhausted and he needed to rest. God gave Elijah an angel even though he was out of fellowship with God. It occurred when he was in the wilderness when Elijah was out of fellowship. It was when he was depressed and alone only with the best that his own strategies could supply–a scrubby desert bush. The angel of the Lord gave Elijah love, grace, and power. God provided nourishment to Elijah which he took for granted. Elijah was led to Horeb. He was given physical strength to make the journey. God restored his health but he still didn’t recognize what God was doing in his life. Silence in the cave is what God needed to get Elijah’s attention. The wind and rain swell around us creating white noise and yes, God speaks to us during those times but…God needs to get us in a cave to say hey, I got this. Why stress? Why worry? I told you that I would never leave you. Sometimes we need to hear from Jehovah Jireh, but we must sit in silence to really hear Him speak. I believe that some people thrive amid distractions and because that is where they are comfortable, therefore, they will create noise to keep from hearing the truth from God. My opinion on fearing silence? We are scared because we don’t know what is out there. It could be good, or it could be bad but either way it will change our lives. God will change your life. He sets you on a trajectory that this world cannot offer. The path is different, the grief is different, the love is different, the pain is different, and the hope is different. God is in the light, dark, chaos and the silence but He is always the same.

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Church is a No-Go

Reasons I may never go to church again

1. The church is just a building. I do not go to church to worship a building. The church is supposed to be the people. Be the church. Once you are saved, you are a member of God’s church. You are that church inside or outside the church building. Many churches do not walk through the doors of a church building on Sunday morning.
2. The church does not meet my needs and/or hurt me. I hate to break it to you, we do not live in a perfect world. The church building is ran by imperfect people and there are imperfect people who attend. Each and every person has an opinion on how things should operate, right down to the color of the pencils at your guest table. Many people have a perception that the church is perfect and perfect people attend. You will get hurt. You will not get all your needs met at a church. The reason? A perfect church does not exist. It never has and it never will.
3. The family structure has changed, and the church hasn’t. This one can be tricky. The Bible states one man and one woman. Children are born to that one man and one woman. A perfect family. The problem is that this family unit very seldom exists anymore. Families are blended. She has a child, he has two and they are both divorced. I believe in what the Bible says for our instruction for our families, but the unit looks different. I don’t mean that the church needs to change the rules, but I believe that the church needs to adapt and accept people where they are.
4. God is missing. We sing a few songs, shake hands with our neighbor, hear a message and then leave. Many times, I’ve left church, got to my car and thought, wait a minute, did I hear from God? Where was God in all that? His spirit wasn’t there. I did not feel His presence. God wants to show up. He wants to bless us. The structure of the service sometimes gets in the way of His presence. What if we threw out the set list and tore up the sermon notes and just done what God wanted? I guarantee it would be a different service and you would feel God’s spirit dwelling.
5. I’m going to church not a singles club. Although its good to meet a fellow believer and build a life that God wants for you, I’m not interested in being chased in church. Don’t follow me around or join a class just because I’m there. Don’t join the choir because I’m there. Just don’t.
6. My God is not a genie in a bottle. God wants us to have a prosperous life. He desires for us to be happy. He does not want us to live a defeated life and He does not want us to use Him for our gain. He is a sovereign God who guides our path and does not respond to ‘I wish’ statements.
7. Fake people. Church in the morning, bar at night. Worship in the morning, cussing in the parking lot. Do you know people like this? You cannot talk out of both side of your mouth. You do not get to pick and choose when you will be Christ-like. Christ wants all moments of your days not just the ones that you want to give Him.
8. It’s a show. There isn’t popcorn. Or coffee. Or stadium seating. The only thing missing is the guy walking around selling foam fingers or souvenir t-shirts. Church is not entertainment, it’s not meant to be. It doesn’t mean that you cannot laugh and have fun but rather focus your attention of why you are there. Learn, grow and fellowship. Its not a pizza party with 500 of your closest friends nor is it a concert where you use the lighter app on your phone. Its supposed to be pure, unadulterated worship and reflection time with lessons that are life-changing.
9. Scarlet letters. We all have sin in our lives. We have all done things that go against what God’s word teaches. The rumor mill church will make sure that all members know what is going on with you and place the appropriate letters on your chest for all to see. There is no forgiveness, compassion or hope for you, just condemnation. We should all get shirts with the entire alphabet listed on them. I’m no better than you and you are no better than me. We are all equal and searching for the same thing.
10. We count people because people count. No, we don’t. The church counts people because numbers are important to them, not people.
11. What if? What if we prayed rather than giving tips on prayer? What if we gathered around the table expecting Christ to be present rather than adding more screens to keep people engaged? Or if we practiced authentic fellowship, including accountability and discipline, rather than a two-minute greeting? What if preachers turned to Scripture rather than TED Talks to find fresh material?

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When Life Hands You Lemons

September 1970
A young girl was born in Chicago, IL to a woman that did not have the financial resources to care for her. The woman chose to give her daughter a better life and decided to give her up for adoption so that she could be taken care of properly. As she grew older, she realized that money doesn’t buy everything. It doesn’t buy love, security, hope, honesty and normal mothers. She remembers thinking about her mother in hopes of trying to figure her out. She remembers thinking about why a mother would hide from her when she got off the bus and then saying, “what would you do if I was really gone?” “If I wasn’t so chicken I would kill myself,” the mother would say sometimes. You must clean the entire house on Saturday she would say, and then there was the dreaded white glove test. Learn how to give me shots so that I don’t have to go to the allergy doctor. The mother would attend doctor’s visits and say, he said that he never saw anything like me! There is no point in joining that club, you can’t stay after school, you must be home to take care of me. The list goes on. One constant lie, hurtful word, and manipulation after another for 47 years.
October 2012
The daughter dealt with all she could handle. One part of her heart still felt compassion for her mother. Compassionate people are the ones that narcissistic people prey upon. She always expected the daughter to treat her like a queen. I’m the most important person in this room, the narcissist will say. The daughter had a broken marriage had to move back home with her mother. It was a bad move in more ways than one. The daughter once again felt like a child. If her shower took too long, the mother would yell. If she stayed out too late, the mother would yell. If she left a crumb on the counter, the mother would yell. If she spent too much time with her art, the mother would yell. It was like being let out of prison for a while only to find yourself back there serving another sentence. The daughter’s life was a prison with no chance for parole. Never. It was a for better or for worse, ‘til death do us part type of relationship. It was always the worse and death will be the only way to break free. The warden did everything she could to keep the convict in her place. Verbal and mental abuse was her choice of punishment. The convict often referred to the warden as a porcupine. The warden would allow the convict to get close enough so that it really hurt when the quills came out. Over the years the warden took advantage of the convict by pulling her into drama, not allowing her to live, treating her like she was clueless and degrading her every chance she got. She hurt…. on purpose. I’m counting on you, text me in the morning and make sure I answer. I could be dead. I get so scared at night, you need to be here. I don’t know what would happen to the convict if she ever gets the opportunity to live. What will she do? Where will she go? Set free from the prison life. Will she grieve, or will she be relieved?
November 2017
Although the abuse continued, the convict kept in touch with the warden. Compassion fueled the fire. The convict prayed for the warden in hope. The convict never gave up on the warden. Eventually, this drained everything within her. She cringed with the phone rang and let it go to voicemail. She would read messages and not respond to the drama. She would pretend she wasn’t home when she came by. There was never a place to truly rest. She avoided her at all cost but eventually they would have to talk. In researching about narcissism, the convict learned terms and their meanings.
Gaslighting found its way into the research. A persistent manipulation. The convict realized that over her lifetime, she had jumped from one career to another. She even pursued careers because that is what the warden wanted her to do. The convict doubted every decision she ever made. She always worried that she would hear the dreaded, I told you so. She was convinced that she could never do anything right, so she quit trying. You will never be good enough, so she thought, so just give up. Let life knock you down, its ok, that’s what you deserve. If narcissistic predators can get you to believe this about yourself, they have won. They will sit there and look down their nose at you in satisfaction.
Any conversation that you could possibly have was always one-sided. There was always an interruption and the conversation always turned back to the warden. I know you are facing foreclosure but let’s talk about what I have and how I always managed money successfully. Here let me rescue you and give you money. The more she gave, the more power she had in the convict’s life. She loved being the center of attention. She loved having people worship the ground she walked on. She loved being in control.
Hoovering happens when you least expect it. Hoover vacuum cleaners are made to suck up things and that just what narcissists do, they suck you back into drama. If the convict wanders too far, the warden will suck you back in using guilt or other similar tactics. The goal is to get the convict back under their power and control. Sometimes they admit that they are wrong or that they will change their ways, but this convict has never gotten an apology, only blame.
Sometimes a narcissist will become like you. They want to dress like you, do their hair or makeup like you, or mimic your behavior. It doesn’t make sense that the narcissist wants to consume your life, ridicule you and then want to become like you but it happens. Jealously plays a key role in mirroring. What are they jealous of though? This convict was raised by a narcissist, but I’ve worked so hard to not become her. I recognized the narcissistic characteristics and have chosen to be something different. I do not want that negativity in my life. I do not want the drama and I do not want the pain.
Sometimes the narcissist will take anything adoration that they can get. They need, not want, to feel in control. If something goes wrong, they only resolution is to blame their problem on their victim. There is no way that the narcissist is at fault nor will they take responsibility. They must have a scapegoat. I’ve taken the blame and apologized for her behavior for years. As a result, people assume that I’m the same way which is very frustrating by the way. Again, I’ve worked hard to not become her but, yet I justify her behavior. Am I the enabler?
This process has led me to believe that I cultivate this personality glitch in her. But then I remind myself that she was already broken before I came around. Speaking to her sisters has reaffirmed the fact that she has been shattered for years. So, did she create drama when something happened that she didn’t like and then she got her way? Where is that fine line? What causes the behavior?
My youngest granddaughter is almost 2. At the age of 2, she tends to be the center of things. For more than one reason (but that’s another story). At some point in time, proper rearing of this child will include transitioning her to believe that you don’t always win every time and the world does not revolve around her. You see, early childhood ‘narc’ behavior is normal. The parents fail when they don’t cut the child off at appropriate times. Do I think that my grandparents are to blame? No, not necessarily. Do I think that my aunts and uncles are to blame? No. What about my father? No. I really wish I could narrow down the why. I love solving problems, but this is one that I have waved the white flag on.
According to Psychology Today, there are the following reasons for this behavior. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/warning-signs-parents/201701/childhood-roots-narcissistic-personality-disorder
• persistent bullying behaviors such as making fun of, threatening, degrading, or scapegoating people (including parents and other adults)
• persistent need to win no matter who is hurt
• persistent lying to benefit oneself (will lie about lying, turn lies into someone else’s fault, deflect accountability by attacking messengers who point out lies)
• egotistical view of extraordinary self-worth
• preoccupation with getting own needs met over other people’s
• entitled attitudes which lead to acting as if they deserve special treatment and to get whatever they want, no matter the circumstances
• aggressive responses to being criticized, wronged, or upset
• repetitively blaming others for bad outcomes
• and being much more competitive than cooperative
I would never say that this is anyone’s fault, per se, but where did it come from? Why wasn’t it stopped? Does the person or persons that caused this behavior know what they were doing, or did they simply not care? Did this go back more than one generation? Something in their lives that bruised their ego and chipped away at their self-image. Intentional? I’m not sure. Reality? Yes. An unbroken cycle? Yes. Create the same problem for generations? Yes. Healing begins when someone recognizes the problem and makes a conscious effort to change the pattern.
Narcissists are incapable of true empathy and true love. They cannot exist outside of themselves. They align themselves with a weaker person to elevate themselves. At the end of the day, their goal is to look good and feel superior to others.
I have heard and read that the best way to deal with a narcissist is to cut the tie with them. To be honest, this bothers me a bit. It may be good for some to do so but I live my life with compassion. I believe that a person can set a boundary and stick to their guns. Does this make me weak? I don’t think so. I believe it makes me strong. I do not deal with the drama. I do not let things bother me as they have in the past. I know who I am and what I stand for. To answer my previous question, will the convict grieve or be relieved when she passes? I think both. I choose to see good in the warden despite everything, there is good. It is a glimmer of good, but it’s still there. But yes, this convict will be relieved because the abuse will finally be over.