I will not drown

When I gave my heart to Jesus 9 years ago, I couldn’t wait to dive head first into the Bible.

For some odd reason 😉 I didn’t choose to start at the beginning.

Before I believed god existed, I had tried to read the bible from the beginning on many different occasions with smashing failures. I’d get only a few chapters into Genesis and quickly lose interest. Or I’d read a bit of Revelation and become terrified.

So which book did I choose first?

Job.

I know, right?

But you know what? God knew exactly what He was doing. He’s clever like that.

After spending 26 years shaking my fist at Him, 26 years cursing Him, 26 years trying to figure out if He was even real, it was absolutely, unequivocally, imperative I read Job.

Have you read it? If you have, you know what I’m going to say next.

I got to the end of that book. I was thoroughly humbled, on my face crying, thanking God for saving a wretch like me.

Like Job, I had only ever heard about God. Like Job, I finally got to see Him face to face.

This last year has been a tough one. I’ve been transitioning back into USA normal, depressed for months, holed up, anxious, dealing with the past I didn’t think I’d ever need to deal with again.

But I want you to know, I know my Redeemer lives. I have hope. I will not drown because my God is with me. My clay jar is being re-filled as we speak. Do you see the Light pouring out through the cracks? I hope so. Because He is good.

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20

Linking with Jennifer Dukes Lee 4 #TellHisStory.

I didn’t die

March 3, 1980. He went to surgery. I went to school, despite loud, vehement protests. By the end of the day, he was dead. She was too devastated to speak to my baby sister. So I told her her daddy was never coming home again. I was 16 years old.

I shook my fist in God’s face. I swore I would never speak to him again. I questioned whether He even existed at all. After all, the others (Santa,tooth fairy, bunny) were myths.

But the belief in supernatural forces was reinforced by weird, unexplainable things that occurred in our house that first year. Things moved around, noises heard, smells. My uncle swears he walked up to the sliding glass door, peered inside, walked away — weeks after he died. How do these things happen?

Everyone went to Disney that summer. Not me. I wondered how they could forget him so easily? I stayed home alone with a friend. The weird noises continued.

I met a guy when they were gone. He was older. He seduced me. I was 17. Looking back, I know he took advantage of me. I was so lost. Turns out he was bisexual. It was the beginning of a mysterious sexually transmitted disease called AIDS. Add this fear to all the others I was dealing with.

Then I met my ex-husband. I didn’t let him take advantage of me. I waited until I was in “love”. We were inseparable from the day we met. He’s a year older than me. Highschool graduate. We had a very turbulent relationship from the very first day. I was too needy. Afraid of people dying, afraid of not being loved. Afraid of AIDS. Afraid.

I slept more and more as the year wenton. One day I woke up and believed I would die the following May. Out of the clear blue sky. I was convinced. It consumed my thoughts all day everyday.

She seemed determined to poison his memory that year by telling me some of his secrets. I just loved him more and loved her less. She kept pointing out how I was just like him, contempt on her face as she said the words. I felt so alone. So lost.

I sank deeper into depression. When the anniversary of his death came, I was looking at the pills in the drawer, telling myself they wouldn’t miss me when I was gone, they would be better off without me.

I don’t remember how, but I told one of her sisters what I was thinking about. She told her she had better do something, find me help.

I saw a therapist. He said part of me wanted to die because I never got to say things to him that needed to be said about the time he went crazy. Never got to say sorry. Never got to say I love you. Never got to say goodbye.

His words made sense, but I was still convinced I would die in May.

I didn’t die. Twenty five years later on May 15, 2006, I was baptized. The old Michelle went into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and rose again into Jesus Christ. Born again. New. I’ll always wonder if the Lord was showing my child self a vision of something I couldn’t fathom?

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20

Linking with the writers @Chronicles of Grace 4 Unforced Rhythyms.

pieces of me

1979. The heart attack. Eleventh grade started with the normal routines I needed so desperately, summer band camp, focusing on all the complexities of formations to make beautiful mosaic patterns set to music on a football field. Back together with the group of friends I loved, doing the routine things I loved.

I had spent the better part of tenth grade trying and not liking boyfriends for very long, each being dumped in the only way I knew how, silent rejection, a behavior I learned at home, unkindly ignoring them, pretending they weren’t there so they would go away and leave me alone.

But eleventh grade was a new year, a new beginning with new friends to meet, new teachers, new band trips.

By now, I was a very possessive, clingy, needy friend, not knowing how to share love with others, being jealous of my friends’ other friends, fearing their other friendships would lead to the abandonment of ours.

One day early in the school year, my worst fears came to pass when the girl I considered to be my best friend at the time stopped talking to me, for no apparent reason.

Suddenly, the world became even less than I already believed it to be. Someone outside my house was treating me the way my mom treated me. My instinct was the same, beg this friend to tell me what I did wrong so I could apologize and fix it. But there was only painful silence, the ultimate rejection.

And all this while life at home was spiraling downward into the abyss of my dad’s illness and demise.

I was adrift on a stormy sea of teenage angst, rejected and rejecting others without a clue that a wall was being built, brick by brick, layer by layer.

I knew who God was, heard about him on Sundays, but I didn’t know him. Didn’t run to him. Didn’t know I could run to him. I was doing life alone.

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20