Monday, April 30, 2012

I had a basic idea what I was going to write about this week and then it all went out the window yesterday afternoon, which made me late in posting my blog. So, I’m starting over and telling it like it is to give you a glimpse into our daily experiences.

For those of you who know our situation, you know what type of confrontations and encounters we try to avoid. For those of you who don’t, basically we’ve had an unfortunate past year with my husband’s family. They live within walking distance from our house and live on the same property that my husband works on. My husband is a dairy farmer and comes from the elusive “dysfunctional farm family”, plagued with dysfunction and abuse. All of this dysfunction and abuse has been hidden from family, friends and neighbors for the past 35 plus years. My husband’s parents are very well-liked and come from a prominent political family, making this situation very difficult. After confronting them with a letter last year, we spent over half of 2011 in a counselor’s office and mediation meetings. Then, after a final meeting in June of 2011, we came to the unfortunate decision to cut ties with my husband’s family to try to break the cycle in our own family and to mend our wounded emotional health. In order to continue moving on with our lives and to continue healing, we try to avoid as many confrontations and encounters as possible. Unfortunately, since the last week in March, we’ve had some sort of issue at least once a week or more. Yesterday afternoon another one came our way.

Yesterday afternoon I was in our kitchen baking cinnamon muffins. I was enjoying the sweet smell of cinnamon and sugar wafting through the house. I love that smell! The Christian radio station played in the background and I could hear the kids laughing and talking downstairs. Despite being ridiculously tired, I was having a great Sunday afternoon. And then it happened…

I was standing by the kitchen sink looking outside as I washed the dishes. I saw the gold car slowly inching its way up the county road highway. I took a closer look. Yep, that was their car. I silently pleaded in my head, Please keep driving, please keep driving. The car turned down our road. A tinge of panic shot through my veins. I told myself to ignore it. Listen to the music. Listen to the kids. Smell the cinnamon. I tried my hardest to go about my business and remember the calming techniques I had learned in our counseling appointments. And then the car stopped. My heart raced and my palms got sweaty. Thankfully the car didn’t stop in our driveway, but the feeling of being imprisoned in my own house was more than I could bear.

At this point, many of you may be asking a very logical question. ‘If you’re not having any contact with them, then what’s the big deal? Who cares if they drive down your road and stop at a neighbor’s house?’. I wish with all my heart I could feel the same way!

A few months back I posted my story. I shared details about a traumatic experience I had ten years ago out in Denver, Col. I was raped and repressed the whole thing until last Mar. Being raped was a very out-of-control feeling. The whole situation with my husband’s family leaves me with the same feelings. With my rape memories coming out in the height of the drama with my husband’s family last year, that same fight-or-flight defense mechanism became interrelated. When we get a letter, phone call, text, email, drive-by, confrontation, encounter or even a sighting, this fight-or-flight state is triggered. Do you follow me? It’s a little confusing… Emotionally, I can’t blow off any of those things like others who haven’t had traumatic experiences, like being raped, can. A huge part of being able to heal is developing a “safe place”. When I can’t feel safe in my own house, this fight-or-flight mechanism is triggered. It’s very difficult going on a walk, going to the grocery store or anywhere else in town, getting the mail and many other daily activities that shouldn’t cause stress. Since I haven’t been able to establish a safe place in the place thatshould be my safe place – my own house – these little drive-by’s or encounters are very stressful. Just seeing their car out our window sent me into a state of panic.

By the grace of God, I was scheduled to watch my friend’s baby at virtually the same time. In addition to having my kids, it was nice to have a baby to snuggle. I thank God that my friend was able to come and give me a hug only 5 min. after my husband’s mom came down to our neighborhood. I was able to calm myself down quicker than I normally would have been able to.

That brings me back full-circle to what I was originally going to write about. I wanted to further explore various venues in regard to the art of waiting on God. In the midst of all of this chaos and when I feel under attack, I need to feel like I have someone fighting on my behalf. I NEED to feel safe and to have the goal in mind that there are blessings on the other side!

Luckily each and every one of us has Someone who shields and protects us on a daily basis. Even when the situation appears grim, He’s always working. And, the best part is, when we obey Him, He promises huge blessings are waiting for us on the other side. Our Someoneis Jesus!

Excerpt from the March 2012 “In Touch” magazine:

Isaiah 64:3-4

3 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
4 Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

Even when it seems like God isn’t answering our prayers, He’s working. He orchestrates circumstances, changes people’s hearts, and protects His children (physically, emotionally and spiritually!). He keeps them from making hasty decisions that will have disastrous consequences.

When we obey, He…pours out His blessings. When He knows you’re ready to receive His blessings, they’ll flow into your lap.

There are so many encouraging words from that excerpt! When I feel under attack, I want Someone on my side who makes the mountains tremble. He can stand in front of me and take the piercing words that sting like arrows or the disapproving glances. Hecan hold my hand around town and lead me safely through whatever situation comes my way.

Is anyone else getting emotional?! I’m crying like crazy as I write this post...

We have an awesome Savior who loves us so much! He’s on our side, working things out. And, when we’re ready, He’s going to literally shower us with His blessings. Blessings we didn’t even expect or couldn’t even imagine. That’s what keeps me going each day! There’s a reason for all of this insanity and someday – hopefully sooner than later – He’s going to bless us for obeying him, for waiting on Him and for not taking things into our own hands.
And so…my family and I continue to wait… But, while we do, we’ll remind ourselves that we have the ultimate team player on our side – Jesus. When there’s nothing else left to do, we'll give it all to Jesus and wait for Him to work it out!

I still hear him whispering… “Wait. Trust. Just a little bit longer. I’m working. Hold my hand... ”.

Have you ever felt under attack? What visuals did you have to help you through the situation? Or, what visuals do you wish you had? Hearing your stories would be hugely encouraging.  Please share!
Until next week, God Bless!

Break of Dawn

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Waiting on the Lord

Have you ever had to wait for something?  Maybe it’s as simple as waiting for the light to turn green, for something to come in the mail or for the elevator door to open.  Or maybe it’s something a little more serious like waiting for the doctor to call with your test results or waiting to see if the stick will turn blue.  No matter what you’re waiting for, waiting can be hard!  We live in a fast-paced society where the virtue of patience has gone by the wayside, which makes waiting even more difficult.  What happens when you face a major life-changing moment and God asks you to wait and to wait joyfully?

Our family has been in a season of waiting.  From our perspective, life isn’t working and something needs to change.  We’ve been praying our hearts out for the last year, crying out to God for answers.  We’ve gotten clear answers here and there, but when we’ve moved forward on those answers, doors have been closed and some of them with a slam. 

Right now our life could be pictured like a long hall of doors.  Our family is standing in that long hall.  There really aren’t that many options and some of the doors we’ve peeked through look unpredictable and unclear.  The hall is very uncomfortable.  We’re all getting impatient and tired.  Ultimately, we’re standing in the hall, waiting on God to show us which door we should open and walk through.  God keeps whispering, “Wait.  Trust.  Just a little bit longer. I’m working.  Hold my hand... ”

The hardest thing for me this past year has been to submit to the fact that God rarely works according to our timetable.  I’m very independent and like to think I have control of my life.  Up until getting married and having kids, I’ve been able to do things according my timetable.  Sitting here and waiting for God to work everything out for our family, when our situation affects the precious children we have, is hard!  Waiting for the Lord’s timing takes courage especially when it affects those around us.   I’ve noticed out of desperation, our fallen race gives God deadlines and, if He doesn’t come through when we expect Him to, we take matters into our own hands.  Taking control of the situation or taking forbidden shortcuts to escape prolonged difficulty or suffering is never the answer to our dilemmas.  The only way to receive the full benefits God has for us is to trust Him through the delay and wait patiently for Him to act on our behalf. 

I hear God whispering again.  “Wait.  Trust.  Just a little bit longer. I’m working.  Hold my hand... ”.

During this past year, we’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster.  As we get farther out, the amount of lows are decreasing, which are welcome blessings.  But, there are still days that are difficult.  I have days where I don’t feel like getting up and facing another nasty email, phone call or text.  There are days where I’d love to hop in the car and start driving and never come back.  There are days where I feel just plain beaten down and weak!

But then God reminds me of Isaiah 40:28-29:

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I love verses 29-30!  “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.   They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Do you ever wonder why Isaiah made the analogy of our strength being renewed like a soaring eagle?  I did so I hit the Internet.  I found and interesting article online at

”An eagle learns to soar by using thermal currents of air. These warm air patterns are created by the surrounding terrain. They will spread their wings and their tail feathers and let the wind carry them to new heights, and then glide down to catch another upward thermal. Soaring saves an eagle energy because it does not have to flap its wings as often.

If you notice the scripture says, those that WAIT upon the Lord shall mount up with eagles’ wings. (Isa 40:31) It seems like that is the hardest lesson in life, to learn to wait upon Him and not do something in our own strength. Sometimes He wants us to wait because it is a matter of timing, like for instance we are losing our baby fur and growing eagles’ wings. But other times He wants us to wait upon Him because He wants to carry us so we don’t suffer burnout in flapping our wings! The truth is, when one learns to abide in Him, he or she learns the secret of waiting upon Him for everything one does.”

That’s the key – let God take control so we don't exhaust ourselves.  In other words, we need to give God the steering wheel and trust Him to lead us.  Let God do the work since He's much more capable than we are.

When we hand over the control, it also helps to switch our focus.  Instead of looking at situation or circumstances we’re facing which bring us down and make us weak, we need to turn our eyes upward.

How does our perspective change when we focus on God?

We remember His power and majesty and we’re naturally in awe.  We can remember that He has EVERYTHING in His control and in the palm of His hand.  It’s comforting to know that we don’t need to try to take over because He knows what’s best for us.  Our pity-party can turn into a praise-party.  Our crying can turn into joy.  Making it a priority to spend time with the Lord and being in His presence each day – morning and night – helps us hear His voice and stay in step with Him. The more closely we walk with the Lord, the better we can hear His voice and slow down to keep in step with Him.

In the midst of our difficulty, we know God is working for our good and He will sustain us during it.  Without patience, we’ll never become the people God desires us to be or achieve what He’s planned for us to do.  God’s always faithful and will provide for us in the best possible way at the perfect time!

A friend shared a very wise quote with me:   “God’s never in a hurry, but He’s always on time”.  Anonymous

Due Time

How often, Lord, I've wanted life
to be as I preferred,
impatient to reach all my goals,
insisting I be heard.
How many times I questioned You,
embarking on a feat,
unwilling to be passenger,
but in the driver's seat.
How seldom I was patient
as I begged that life be calm,
not believing all along
that I was in Your palm.
How fast possessions slip away,
though often I would cling
to things thought safe instead of trusting
what Your will would bring.
Be with me, Lord, as I search for
another hill to climb.
I know rewards will come to me,
all in the Lord's due time.