|Oh, the joy of the healing streams.|
"See, I am doing a new thing!
It springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19There were many roads that led me out of my desert dry. They came in increments of help and belief. I was never alone even though I felt alone. There were people who joined me in my fight for survival, and there was God. Without God, I would still be a wounded woman on the inside pretending through a spiritual facade (and not realizing it!), wearing the mantle that says I am Okay...(but not really). It had nothing to do with a lack of faith, I was a strong woman of faith, no, that wasn't it. It had everything to do with being wounded, those areas deep within me that I couldn't see or understand, and God. Then, it became an active desire on my part, to let God reveal the internalized messages so He could change me in those hidden places. It took time and willingness, both were required. It is so absolutely wonderful to be free. Amen.
~I wrote out a short-list to show what was used to heal my soul with its hurting, wounded places.~
A bouquet. Being loved can be a balm for the wound during times of heartache and stress. My family has walked with me through some hard moments in my life. One in particular stands out, and there are many that could be shared. On the day my divorce was finalized my siblings sent me a bouquet to comfort me during my sadness. They knew how hard the day was for me and how much I didn’t want the divorce. The bouquet made me cry, it was a comfort to me, a small healing stream in the torrid water of life. That night, I lit some candles and watched a movie with my children and spent some time writing. My identity had changed from married to divorced and I didn't even believe in divorce. It hurt. Every time I looked at the flowers in the bouquet, I found myself surrounded by the care that whispered, we can't be with you in person but we are with you in spirit. It is so wonderful to be loved. It means all the more when your world is upset.
Thank you, Mom & Dad, Juanita, Marilyn, and Paul
A phone call. Though-out the years there has been one person who has kept me in balance spiritually. He seems to call me just when I need it. His advice always ministers to me. He always has something to give. It starts like this. “Hello, Norma, How are you doing?” We talk awhile and then he asks about each one of my children. He is my pastor. I’ve been under his teaching for twenty-one years. His advice is sound, practical, something I can use. Every conversation has given me something to chew on, to think about that I can apply to my circumstances. Most of these phone conversations last thirty minutes or so. Then he will pray for me and also my children. I have learned, been validated, and encouraged in my spiritual walk by his ministering grace to me.
Thank you, Pastor Peterson.
A time of silence. Reading my Bible has been a practice of mine over the years. Praying is a main-stay. However, meditating on scripture has been a deepening discipline for the last decade in my life. Times of silence and listening with a journal and pen in hand, the Word open to a passage that talks to me, tools to record the fleeting thought, are a pool of streams in the desert. This has become my practice, the most meaningful of all. There are many days when a large chunk of time is devoted to this practice. I almost always light a candle and keep the room silent as I seek God with my heart, mind, and soul. Much goes into this time of meditation. Confession, repentance, surrender, openness, singing, deep concentration, dissecting chapter and verse, meditative focus, blend together with an active asking and seeking--listening. Thoughts of consolation enter. I write them down. They are warm in tone, rich in expression. Being quiet before God and listening for His still small voice is what makes me feel close with my Beloved, in a friendship relationship which speaks to my inner self.
Thank you, Father God.
Forgiveness and healing. Seeking God for my healing came when I was ready to take the next step forward. I asked God to heal me of the wounds in my heart, if that was possible. I didn't know if it could be done and I didn't really know what they were. I wasn't harboring bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness. I didn't know what it was and just asked him to show me. That simple. Scary. I wasn't sure what would happen, if anything. I asked God to show me the lies I had believed and internalized. I asked God to remove the pain that had seemed to wrap around my heart and stifled my ability to experience life. I asked for joy and truth, over and over.
First, it was the forgiveness that came, in a deeper way than ever before.An intense few sessions it took, revisiting the old wounds so God through Christ could set me free. By His stripes and by His wounds I was healed. I was set free. I am whole.
Next, it was the sorrow for my part in causing pain to others, in a deep cleansing tide.
Last, it was a process of my emotions being healed through spiritual interventions.
Thank you, Christ of the cross, God the Father, and Holy Spirit, my helper.
A family place. You loved on me. You carried me in your hearts. You lifted me up when the burden grew greater. You prayed for me, over and over, day after day, year after year. You accepted me when I was feeling lower than a snake’s belly. The day you all gathered around me and prayed for every member of my family, that God would work a miracle and keep the enemy at bay and from destroying what God had blessed, was a day I will remember forever. The healing streams you sent my way were a warmth of love that cascaded down my shoulders and into my heart. It meant so much to be prayed for by my sisters and brother in Christ, my loving church family. We've been through a lot together, your stuff and mine, and you've always held me up and prayed as faithful friends. You are one big heart of love.
Thank you, Vina Community Church.
At the table. What would I do without the ability to learn? I’d die. I’ve learned and learned and learned some more. How precious is the ability to learn. The things I have learned are the things of life. From my pastor I’ve learned what it is to live out the Keys of the Kingdom found in Matthew 18.
Bind my thoughts to the mind of Christ.
Bind my emotions to the Holy Spirit.
Bind my will to the will of the Father.
Loose that which is not of God, my wrong thinking.
the lies I’ve believed, the Enemy’s strongholds in my life.
Bind me to You, dear God, loose what is not of you.
Learning to differentiate between a thought and a feeling. To know what is a thought and what is a feeling. To discern what is true and what is not true about me, circumstances, and the past. To be able to discern what is best, not just better. To determine what is “best interest” and what is self-serving. Learning the parts of my soul that need remedial interventions that I might become healthy and whole in my personhood and as a spiritual child of God. There is so much more, this is a drop in the bucket of truths learned. Surrender to God must be all encompassing.
Reading and reading, thinking and applying. I've learned so much, been exposed to variant writings of Christian thought, absorbed truth with an eager longing for more. I read people who are inflamed with a desire for God that shouts to the glory of God, writings so rich that they make me weep, so deep that I have to wade into their depths. How blessed I have been by people, both past and present, who dared to live authentic lives of faith.
Thank you, Christian-thought writers and teachers
It is wonderful to be free. It is a joy to be full. It is humbling to be loved so much. Praises to God. Healing Streams in the desert wasteland. But! God doesn't waste anything. He needs us to trust Him and then surrender ... everything. Joy comes in. It replaces the sadness and sorrow. New life in the inner places can be had. Don't give up too soon. Seek and seek, then seek some more. Open up to God and He will open up to you. I believe this with my whole heart, and it is why I write my streams in the desert.Yes, I am blessed. Praises to God for His abundant mercies and healing grace. I don’t know if I would have made it on my own without these many helps. I
am blessed and fortunate.
* * * * *
Written in connection with JoAnn Fore's "When a Woman Finds Her Voice."
To purchase this book: AMAZON LINK
#When a Woman Finds Her Voice
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