Tag Archives: reconciliation

Christmas freedom: Jesus in blessings and loss

Thank you for coming on this little journey into Christmas miracles. At the end of the last post I asked “So did this miraculous Christmas heal my wounded heart? Did these feelings of low self esteem dissipate?” Well first let me tell you a little about the nature of miracles. There is no time frame for a miracle it can happen in an instant or seem to happen in an instant when in fact it comes from an evolution over a period of time like my instantaneous Christmas miracle which was actually more than 45 years in the making. But then there are other miracles that happen so gradually and we don’t really know when the miracle took place we just realize one day it’s happened. It is often like that with issues of the mind and heart. These may take more time because we are holding them back.

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Such is the case with the healing of my wounded heart. About a year ago I was reading my bible, I couldn’t even tell you what verse but I remember thinking “I can’t remember the last time I had a negative thought, the last time I thought I was unworthy, unlovable, second best or mediocre. During the first several months after my journey I was still facing those issues. Then fourteen months of homelessness tended to distract me from any thoughts of myself. My concern became for my daughters and the new life we were welcoming into our lives if not our home as we didn’t have one yet.

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I did eventually overcome the depression and was able to regain the relationship with God which had dried up along with my heart with the end of my journey. I just didn’t know what to do with myself, or who I was after such an exciting adventure. But the fact remains, during those lean months of mind, body and spirit God did a wondrous work in me and healed my wounded heart, my feelings low self worth and set me free – from me.

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Once the words to “Beautiful” by MercyMe touched my heart, as if they were meant for me, now it’s just a beautiful song. I realized I no longer feel that way.

The days will come when you don’t have the strength
When all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart they’d see too much

You are made so much more than all of this
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful

Jesus came to bring life; he came to reconcile us with the father, to restore us and make us free. I hope you enjoyed my tale of a life restored and the miracles that come through Christmas, that is, the birth of our redeemer.

Joyce Meyer says “turn your mess into your message” and this is why I tell my story because…

No matter how dead, no matter how impossible, no matter how hopeless – with Jesus nothing is too difficult, nothing is impossible and it’s NEVER too late.

Christ came to set prisoners free, free from ourselves, free from all bondage. I have been set free, free indeed. (Luke 4:18, John 8:36)

Week 1 – A haunting of Christmas Past
Week 2 – The Fall: A Haunting of Christmas Loss
Week 3 – Christmas Restored
Week 4 – Christmas Reconciliation

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Christmas Reconciliation: A Hallmark Christmas revisited

The last three episodes in my little Christmas story were all a build up to this post, my very own Hallmark Christmas. Yesterday, December 23rd, was the third anniversary of my very own Hallmark Christmas.

The summer of 1964 was the last time I saw my father and all I remember is that he didn’t want me. For the next 46 years I would struggle with feeling worthless, unlovable and second best. Oh, you’d never know it if you met me but every once in a while these demons would rear their ugly heads. This wasn’t a conscience effort but like any internal infection it found a way to seep out. If life didn’t arrange for mediocrity then I would somehow sabotage myself. Deep inside I didn’t feel I was worthy.

In 2001, a friend confronted me about my negative attitude. It hurt and as usual I denied it. But it did serve as a wakeup call to my damaged mind and I would spend the next eight years letting Jesus transform my mind. Dealing with these self defeating emotions allowed me to the adventure of a life time.

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If you recall in part two, after the death of my parents I became obsessed with finding my father and experiencing my own Hallmark Christmas with the reconciliation of my long lost family. Then the summer of 2010 I learned my father had died two years before thus putting an end to any hope of my Hallmark Christmas. By November of that year, a dark cloud covered my spirit and again I became obsessed. His death may have provided closure to my mind but my heart was anything but settled.

In a series of coincidences, or what I refer to as “God sightings”, my numb heart and the prospect of a dismal Christmas, God moved mountains for my restoration and reconciliation.

December 23, 2010 I drove seven hours out of my way to find some closure. I found my father’s grave and I talked to him for some time but in me was a growing need to know more. I set out to find someone who could tell me something about him. My first stop was the cemetery office, after that I intended to visit the mortician and the pastor mentioned in his obituary. But I wouldn’t have to look any further than the office. Through tears I told the woman my story and by the grace of God she took pity on me. She contacted his wife who lived in the next town a conversation that would change my heart and life forever.

Was I really unlovable, unworthy? What I learned was an overwhelming NO. They had looked for me for 40 years until his death. I met my sisters and a brother and talked another brother, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews. Christmas is no longer lonely. I have a family. God took a dead situation and used it to his glory. He brought back a dead childhood dream and brought it back to life and at the perfect time for everyone.

Is this the way I wouldn’t have wanted my Hallmark Christmas? Well, meeting my father would have made it perfect for me but everything is in Jesus’ timing and that is perfect. And I know someday I will meet him again. I received the gift of reconciliation that year just as the birth of our savior is the ultimate gift of reconciliation to the Father.

No matter how dead, no matter how impossible, no matter how hopeless – with Jesus nothing is too difficult, nothing is impossible and it’s NEVER too late.

So did this miraculous Christmas heal my wounded heart? Did these feelings of low self esteem dissipate? Tune in next week…

Check out A Hallmark Movie Christmas to read the original story.

Next week – Christmas Freedom

Part 1 – A Haunting of Christmas Past
Part 2 – The Fall: A Haunting of Christmas Loss
Part 3 – Christmas Restored

Character of Gratitude: Joseph

11072010 630 (2)The Story of Joseph

Joseph was born to be blessed but through some youthful, but wrong decisions he created a jealousy in his ten brothers which would change the course of a nation. Joseph loved God and his father. He knew he was destined for greatness and enjoyed taunting his brothers with this fact.

Joseph was only a teenager when his brothers plotted to kill him but God had other plans and instead they sold Joseph into slavery. He was taken to Egypt where he would live the rest of his life. He was later sold to an Egyptian named Potiphar. Joseph flourished in Potiphar’s home; he was promoted and given responsibility over much. Again, Joseph would be at the hand of another who wished to control and hurt him. Accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife he was put in prison.

DV_furnace creek village2-001Joseph was still being blessed by God, even in prison he excelled and was placed in charge of much. One day the pharaoh’s baker and wine taster were put in prison until it was determined which was guilty. These men both had dreams and Joseph interpreted the dreams as he was given this gift by God. The baker was found guilty and the wine taster set free just as Joseph had predicted. Joseph asked him to put in a good word for him with pharaoh but he forgot.

Sometime later pharaoh had a dream that terrified him. None of his magicians or wise men could interpret the dreams and then the wine taster remembered Joseph and told pharaoh about the man who interpreted his dream. Joseph correctly interpreted pharaoh’s dreams and was released from jail as a result.

11072010 671 (2)Joseph’s gratitude is rewarded with promotion, reconciliation and restoration

Because Joseph was faithful, because he was grateful to God and didn’t complain he was promoted in the land of Egypt. He was in charge over all of Egypt, second only to pharaoh. Just as Joyce Meyer says, “complain and remain, praise and be raised”. Joseph praised God in times of trouble and was raised above more than he could imagine. He never gave up and never blamed God.

The dream he interpreted foretold of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Joseph was in charge of the food storage during the years of plenty and of giving out the food during famine. Among those who came for food were the brothers who sold him into slavery. God took all of Joseph’s troubles, his hardships, his damaged reputation and he turned it to good. Joseph was the instrument through which two nations, Egypt and Israel, were saved.

What is God love to do? Why the Jubilee Journey? Reconciliation and restoration. Joseph was reconciled and restored to his brothers and to his father.

Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50.

Day 121: Oct 29. “Jubilee Birthday – Devine Restoration”

I haven’t heard from any of my family in Georgia in more than ten years, haven’t seen any of them in 20, not since my Dad’s funeral in 1988.

I remembered some road names and plotted a course. Nothing looked the same and I didn’t know my way around. I remembered Old Waynesboro Road where my grandparents lived, Proctor & Gamble’s winking blinking lights (my childhood landmark) and Crepe Myrtle Dr, the house I grew up in.

Driving slowly I caught a glimpse of my grandparents house and the farm where I played when I was a girl. It looked so different, the store’s porch is now enclosed and the trees were gone from the old farmhouse. There was pasture across the street; now a school. I turned around in what was once Uncle Jr’s drive, now a house on either side where fields and horses once were. The road was overgrown the horse fence gone. It used to remind me of Tara in Gone with the Wind. The once large brick house seemed so small now. Everything seems so much larger when we’re children. We joked about someone coming out with a gun; it is rural Georgia after all.

I turned around and went back to Nana’s house, pulled in and headed back toward the barn. Told stories of the games I played, the barn, what it looked like 45 years ago. Again we were afraid we’d be shot for trespassing so we headed for the road.

We saw a lady walking from the road to the house and I waved nervously. Amber asked “why don’t you ask her if she knew your family” I replied “I doubt it, they’ve been gone since Nana died in ‘97”. I agreed to back up and if she came out of the house I’d ask, otherwise it was on to the next stop. She did come out and I asked “Do you know the Johnson’s who used to live here?” She perked up exclaiming “I am a Johnson”. My eyes lit up and shock took over, who could this woman be, “which one” I asked as I fumbled with the seatbelt and door handle. The reply was more than I could hope for; she was “Angela”, a cousin I played with on the farm as a young child. I always had a soft spot for her. As I fall out of the van I exclaim, “I’m Wyatt’s daughter”. We hug, I ball.

We talk a few minutes and she asks if I want to see “mom & dad”. Confused I asked “whose mom & dad”. I thought, “My parents are dead, her parents are dead: who could she be talking about?” With a puzzled look she replied “mine”, tears well up again. I nearly lost it. I saw Aunt Hazel and balled, again, and then Uncle Jr, and Angela’s sister, Linda, came over. We all talked and looked at pictures. How much everyone has changed. How I have missed them so.

We then stopped by Aunt Sara & Uncle Carl’s, they now live next door in one of the houses in the field. We chatted and ate the best soup ever.

My daughters were so excited to meet this long lost family and ate up the stories. They’ve missed their whole lives being with them.

It’s on to cousin SuAnn’s. Oh, I’ve missed her so much. I was probably closest to Sue; we lived close by each other when we were young, just a road apart. She was the closest to me in age and we remained close to her family for years after we moved from Georgia. I was Aunt Martha’s (Sue’s mom) precious and I knew it. She adored me and I her. We visited with Sue, her husband Mark, and daughter Jesslyn who is now married to Zack.

We decided to stay the night and met up with everyone the next day for BBQ & hash, then to the cemetery where Dad and my grandparents are buried. After we went to where I had lived on Crepe Myrtle. Everything was so different, so rundown.

There were so many delays getting here, but Jesus arranged it that way, because if not, this restoration may never have taken place. It was a surreal experience. To be with all my family, for my girls to share this with me, for them to know my roots and theirs, and to know those I loved and believed long gone; this was the best birthday ever, the perfect jubilee day.

My jubilee birthday – Jesus returned me to my homelands and restored me with my family. Jesus restores and returns us all we have lost, all that has been taken from us or that we have allowed to be taken.

Jesus is our Jubilee – a life of freedom and restoration.