Tuesday, February 4, 2014

THE SECRET? It Really Is About Love

 I SPEAK because of LOVE
 A new friend and I were sitting at the table talking about our lives. Our daughters are friends which brought us together to visit while the girls watched the Super Bowl. We are the same age and God is important to both of us. Then the conversation got real. She told me her story and I shared mine. She is an accomplished woman, a former corporate climber of the ladder of success who became a Christian in her early thirties. She married a Christian man and became a homemaker mom who also home-schooled her daughters. Then life took a turn for the worse. The bubble popped. They divorced, she returned to work, custody battles and so forth and so on. She asked about my children, my life, how God worked in my life.   Tears welled as emotions surfaced while I related some of my story. "Three hours seem like fifteen minutes," she was saying to me. "You understand how hard it is. You're so easy to talk to." 

Yes, I do understand. Pain did that to me. Yet, it no longer owns me. I am free of its curse.
* * *
In our sharing, we both gave an explanation for why we help others. She uses her voice as a compliment to service. She helps others. While helping she often shares the grace of God. Right now she is helping a couple in their eighties with some pretty challenging issues. Her explanation was so beautiful that I want to remember it forever. ... She sees herself as a teapot. 

Her analogy is a perfect picture of how it works in being real!
Her words: "I am like a little teapot.
Christ pours his spirit into me and then I pour out to others what he has given me. It comes in the top--from God to me, and then it goes out the spout--from me to someone else. I do things for others things I would never have done before he came into my life. And, I am happy to do them. The important part is to keep myself open to God, to let him continually fill me so I have something to give to people he puts in my path."
 * * *
My story is a little different. The changes in me came as a result of a vow and a list. Both were promises I made to God from out of a wounded heart and after years of struggle. I decided that I would use anything he wanted to do in me or reveal to me for his glory, to help others who suffer in silence. I made the vow in February the week after my mate chose to leave our marriage of twenty-one years. The list was written on the day I was served divorce papers on my forty-sixth birthday.  I submitted the list to God in a prayer, asking him to do something I could not do on my own. I was on empty. I had done everything the best way I knew how--and it had never been enough. The list was my declaration of what I wanted God to do in my life with a plea to change me.  For all my trying, I hadn't been able to save my marriage, now I wanted God to save me from defeat and despair and from becoming a bitter old woman. As I sought God for all I was worth and he initiated change in me, surprisingly (or not surprisingly, actually), every one of the items on the list became true in my life. I received a beauty make-over!                     (The list is abbreviated)
My Vow: 2002 - My first journal entry.

"Gracious Father, Work on my heart and mind. Help me to learn to listen. Help me to push past my fear and to have eyes to see. I want to see Jesus. May my reality adjust and readjust as my vision for you changes. May I see you alone. May the work you are doing in me be used outwardly to minister to others. I seek you and you alone." 
         2002 - My List which changed my life. The Key - intentionality and surrender.
1. God first in everything. I want his power and strength in all I do. I want to change.
2. Healing in my emotions and deep inner spirit. I want to be free. I want joy.
3. Be myself. Let go of the chains and conflicts that bind me.
4. Become more self-decisive, less worried about what others think.
5. Develop more honest "transparent-real" friendships with godly people.
6. Seek deliverance from the bondage I've been under in this marriage relationship.
7. Pray for repentance which brings godliness, for wellness in all areas of my being.
8. Pray for God to change me. I will pray for awareness and humbling. 
It truly is amazing how God can take a broken person and breathe life into them. His life becomes their life. His Spirit renews and heals their spirit. These days I can not imagine living without God. He has become my breath and being, my sustenance. It is hard to explain how even the simplest of common things, like a dainty wildflower, can reduce me to tears of wonderment and joy. 

When we give God access to our lives, what God gives to us, in return, is his love. We, in return, receive a beautiful heart. After the healing transformation has begun, our hearts becomes free to love in a new way. Because of its swelling abundance it must share its love. It becomes an outworking of the love God has given us which replicates through us in an a sundry of ways. God makes something beautiful out of something ordinary. He is that way. We must trust him for the journey. I must say, though, it rarely is easy, and we are desperate at times. Yet, he walks with us right in step ... even when we can't see him through the fog of circumstances. It is such a privilege to help a sister who is going through the fire, to encourage her, to tell her that she will make it and life will get better because you know it is true, you've lived it. The more real God becomes the better it gets, even through the difficulties and heartaches. He touches us where we need touching, in our deep inner places. He frees us through his love, forgiveness, and life.

Because of love, true love, God gives us the most gorgeous Valentine of them all. 
Its words say, "I LOVE YOU!" 
Blessings ... Your friend, Norma
The Lord bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you. Never forget, you are loved. Norma
#When A Woman Finds Her Voice


  1. What a powerful post, and a strong voice. Love your courage and wisdom Norma. Bless you!

  2. Thank you. Desperate people do desperate things! I was desperate to turn my life around (not obvious to anyone who knew me...I was very self-contained). You have a strong voice, too! Blessings ...

  3. you write so well Norma, thank you for sharing your heart

  4. Thanks, Teresa. There is so much to say, isn't there... We live life, learn a few things, and then share. God bless you!

  5. Thank you, Norma, for this beautiful testimony of how God has led and transformed you. I really appreciate your honest sharing and your encouragement and example.
    Bless you,

  6. Love.love. this post, Norma! I love that you have allowed the Lord to come in and rearrange everything in your heart. The beauty that He has placed within you just shines through in the words of your testimony. You are an overcomer!
    Gay Idle/CaptiveHeart

  7. Beautiful post, Norma. Thank you for using your redeemed pain to help others!

  8. Thank you. It's so true, though, we look back and can see the marvelous in the things that came out of the hard places in our lives.