Why Jesus? ~ When Pain Heals {My Goodbye}


It is a pain that both hurts and heals. I was just thinking… with my heart and my head about… that day. Praying. He reminded me. Then He asked me. Asked me to tell.

It hurts me deep, like a cut straight through, like a squeezing vice on my heart, like my spirit is crushed – to think about what Jesus went through. For me. For you. The pain I feel thinking about it brings my heart to tremble and my eyes to flooding like a raging river… I shake quite literally.

“Why? Why? WHYYY?” My every fiber cries out.

Then He reminds me with a peace that no word is worthy to describe in full but here goes…

Because the pain heals.

Can you hear my heart and soul quenching that? Can you feel me smile where you sit? Can you see the smile upon His face when we truly understand.

The pain heals.

I can’t really put into words how I feel when I think upon that day, that Cross, that Holy act of a friendship started that can last eternal. But I sure can give it my best effort. Words may fail but I trust that the Holy Spirit of God will fill in the rest that my words can’t fully portray. I would have taken His place, but I couldn’t. I can’t. All I can do is love Him back. And that, my friend, is all He asks.

*****

This is my last blog post. I want to thank my friends and family with ALL my heart for reading and supporting. You’ve been beautiful to my soul.

I just don’t see that I’m having the impact that I wanted to for God. Maybe it’s this or that … but whatever it is, I’m certain He’s not done with me yet.

When most of my family and friends ignored me, you stayed with me. I hope it’s my heart and love and desire to share Christ’s love that shined the most.

I may return some day, but I don’t see it in the near future. I’ll say goodbye to these dreams and concentrate on my health and loving whomever is in my path.

The best salutation – for those who know me best… you’ll understand the double meaning – is this:
Aloha, friends.

And Maranatha.

~ Heather

Advertisements

The Casual Love of Serious Christians


Where I’ve walked has not always been easy. Things I’ve seen. Things I’ve done. Things done to me. It certainly has proven that not all who speak of loving each other really mean it… for their actions speak louder than the words they proclaim. I’ve witnessed it by watching and first hand.

So I’m just more cautious and careful about who I connect with on any sort of basis. I decided it was time to put myself on watch. It was all getting me down, so I went off FB for a good long while this summer and I wrote only the very specific, VERY bold posts here on my site. I’d been thinking hard about whether I wanted – needed – to stay present here and on social media.

Would I even be missed? Is the junk I see on the web that brings me down worth seeing?

I thought long and hard about what I was doing and why I was doing it. I evaluated the “why” of connection and networking. I prayed over it and waited.

Am I even supposed to continue writing? What is on the path ahead of me? Am I even on the right path?

Things this last year turned out all opposite of what I thought was actually happening. I was let down terribly.

Terribly.

By those who committed to me and then waned. By those who said they believed in my mission and then turned out not to follow through. I was let down and turned out.

But not by God. Never by God. 

I was seeing this casual kind of love from other Christians that the world threw back in our face as an argument against Christ. I’ve seen it for decades, but it has bothered me more and more… and made me change to want to be more like Christ. To acknowledge. To follow through. To love.

God has shown me the lukewarm love I have seen is nothing like His love.

But how was I going to deal with all that I had learned in this last season?

Bottom line: if I’m not making a difference for the better for the Kingdom of the God I love, then what am I doing it for? 

I also thought about the social media aspects of what I was sharing. I thought about:

the bad articles that show up,

the things I learned about others just by watching,

the arguing,

the hatred,

the blatant self-promotion over just sharing the heart and soul of who we are,

the propaganda of agenda in haughty tones,

the “networking” for gain,

and the social dribble that not only pollutes the mind but fills it up with unnecessary regurgitated words.

I contemplated quitting sharing my life stories and things that I believe so important about life from birth to eternity.

So I listened and I learned.

And while I’ve slowed down considerably on writing and sharing until I know what I should share that truly matters, I realize that stopping altogether would mean denying who I was made to be, what I was made to do, and one big reason as to my purpose.

I’ve been through a lot. A LOT. A lot of pain and fear and strife and anguish and near-death levels of suffering. But I’ve also experienced a LOT of love – whether I’m missed or not. A LOT of forgiveness, and grace, and learning, and awesomeness that outweighs all the suffering. So stopping the sharing would just be denying it all. 

I just can’t be anything other than what I know is true.

I understand why it’s hard for those who don’t know Jesus to imagine why God would allow suffering in the world. Yet it’s harder to imagine a suffering world in which Jesus hadn’t come to suffer alongside us… to live through what we live through… and to give us a way out for all eternity.

I have mentioned writing about these things before, yet I knew I’d know when the time was right. Learning all I could from what God has been teaching me much through experience with others this past year and a half, I realized He had been trying to tell me very specific things. They all lead this soul to one thing…

I’ve always felt called to share.

It’s all about Him. Those words weren’t me. They were because of Him. I wanted to share what He had done in my life so that others could see His vast love… to honor Him. That is the most important thing to me.

Yes, Lord. I will.

I write because I love Him. Completely, without hesitancy, to the fullness of Him… I share.

So because of that I won’t stop sharing. No casual love will do.

Trend-Following-Christianity Dampens the Light

I used to follow some trends. Some fun ones like home decorating trends. Maybe some fashion trends too. But I also followed some not so good ones. God opened my eyes though. I saw how very important it was to be true to who He made me… to be more like Jesus. 

The more I see “trends” going around among Christ Followers – in their everyday living out life and their vernacular – the more concerned I get that many will blindly and willingly follow some hip celebrity-like person trying to teach the Bible in a *new* way. One of those “new ways” that is off the path God intended for us.

It puts us all in a dangerous position of being led astray when things “look” like Jesus and sound cool and relevant. 

I don’t want to be relevant if it means losing ground with God’s Truth through His Word.

I pray consistently that He would keep my ears and mouth and heart from detouring down a road following and participating in the trendy banter that is designed to get noticed.


Only He should get noticed.

If we happen to be in the line of vision as He gets noticed while He works through us, then we get to be blessed by being lit up in His glory as His own.

But that’s only if we don’t go after the trendy to get noticed.

Father, You are still just that… Our Beautiful Father.

Holy Spirit, You are always the relevancy in our everyday life. 

Jesus, You are not trendy. You are unchanging, the same yesterday, today, and forever. The One to be honored in every word, every action, every post, every comment, every job, every relationship, every book, every talent.

Keep us pointing to You, God, not trying to get noticed, but sharing You. Honor that in all we do… we trust.

Live Blessed ~

 Heather

Our Scars Are Paralleled AND Canceled

Do you have scars in your life? Emotional scars? Physical scars? Relational scars? Hurtful, painful, knock-you-down scars?

I too have had deep emotional pain and deep physical pain – they have left scars.

But those scars are paralleled by His scars which have healed us. His scars cancel ours out. We need to feel that love the deepest.

When you think about the scars you carry in life what comes to mind first? Immediately? Is it thankfulness or sorrow? Is it joy or is it pain? Many times it is the latter choice in each, isn’t it? Losing someone in our lives is sorrowful. Chronic illness is painful. Broken hearts are … broken.

But I want to challenge you today to try what I’ve learned, what I received.

 

Joy and thankfulness – PEACE.

 

I wanted it. I asked God for it and I received. His will on earth as it is in Heaven.

Now, this doesn’t mean that when I think about my dad who took his own life when I was 9 that I don’t feel sorrow for having never had the chance to get to know him. It means that sorrow is covered in grace and love, so that I feel thankfulness that I had him in my life that long and that he loved me.

That doesn’t mean the years of depression early in life are blotted out of my memory. It means I smile when I think about it because He held my hand. He brought me through the fire refined. He healed me.

That also doesn’t mean when I think about the day my husband nearly died in the ER that I don’t feel pain and fear. It means the pain is swept away by the joy and peace that God has given this wonderful man to me to love a time longer.

That doesn’t mean that when I feel this chronic pain in my body that I don’t hurt. It means I instantly trust Him that I am His and His scars were for me.

I am healed spiritually and I am healed physically. I know physical healing because I have experienced miracle healing twice ~ in my life and my husband’s life. It means it could not be explained by the doctors. So should God choose to not heal me physically just yet this time, I turn those instant thoughts of pain into thankfulness that He will work through this to touch others and me. But make no mistake… I am healed and I know it will come to be in my life.

No, I am not thankful for all of my pain. That would be set inside my limitations of this earthly body. I am so thankful, however, for the going through it part that I wouldn’t change a thing because it all made me who I am today… because God brought me through it. Many times souls were changed including my own. That makes it all a worthwhile plan.

Our scars are covered in grace and joy. We don’t have strength within ourselves, BUT His Joy is our strength.

You can be thankful and full of joy and peace if you focus on what God has already done in your life. In those moments where you are broken down, crying out for relief, straining to see tomorrow’s light… ask Him.  On earth as it is in Heaven.

“… And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ~  Nehemiah 8:10

My New Age Wandering {Manna: What Is it?}

You’ve probably heard God provides. His provision is a massive part of Who God is… from life to eternity He provides for His people.

You’ve probably heard about manna. The bread-like substance that God provided to His people as they wandered.

But do you know what the word “manna” translates to literally? I laughed out loud when I heard this the first time.

“What is it?”

That’s what it means. And that’s what they asked God when He rained it down upon the hungry crowd. And I laughed because it reminded me of all the times we do that. We are so oblivious to what God is doing around us most of the time that all we can do is ask “what is it?”

We just aren’t that in tune with God and what He is doing the way we should be. This world consumes.

I remember when I went through the New Age bout 25 years ago. I thought I was so in tune spiritually. I was contemplative. I was connected. I tried to be aware of the higher power in the every day moments.

Of course there is a higher power than us. But not just a spiritual being connecting us from one way to another. Not just spirituality to find connection and fulfillment.

“WHAT IS IT?”

It’s not an it. It’s a Whom.

And I am so thankful that I did not lose Jesus in my New Age wandering.

So they WE stand…
Waiting…
Hungry…
Needing….
With their OUR up and down faith and their OUR wandering to and fro God’s plan for their OUR lives…
all mixed up with their OUR mini-gods-of-everyday-life…

In need of sustenance.

God sends a sign, a need fulfilled, a path, an answer.

And they WE ask…

WHAT IS IT?

God must laugh sometimes too.

Shouldn’t we know our Shepherd’s voice better than any other? Shouldn’t we already know what it is when when He sends it? I don’t mean the times in life when we are truly seeking His guidance and it isn’t crystal clear … sure that happens and that is when our faith is valued and called upon again and again. That’s called growth. No, I’m talking about the vast majority of the miracles big and tiny that we live in and around every day.

We ask.
He answers.

“Oh, Father, you have supplied food for nourishment. Thank you!”

They needed food. Something fell. Literally.

We need. God rains down.

“Oh that, Jesus! Thank you for that! I didn’t expect that answer. I didn’t even think of that. I’d rather have had another answer, but this is Your way which is higher than mine.”

I do think God understands our “what is it?” questions. That is called grace, and it’s a beautiful thing!

But being so closely connected to the One who provides our “every day” helps us to hear and know Him better. I need this more than manna? How about about you?

Living ALL IN,
Heather

2015/05/img_7855.jpg

Love Vs. love: Love Died

Love versus love.

Notice I capitalized that first one? That is because I see a complete difference in Love and love. By difference, I mean that I believe there are many kinds of love but only one of them is the truest. The Source.

Loving someone who loves you back is easy. I use that word ‘easy’ very lightly, because loving someone takes work and effort. There is no doubt that we all work at our relationships – with our spouses, with our children, with our extended family, with our friends, and might I add, with ourselves. (That last one is probably the hardest for many.) But what about loving someone when they don’t love you back?

Loving someone who doesn’t recognize your love or even someone who denies your love can be an excruciating pain for the heart to handle. You don’t get to see their smile towards your love. You don’t get to feel their hug towards your love. You don’t hear the words you long to hear,

“I love you, too.”

The hurt we experience when someone hides their love for us for a period of time, due to anger or fear or whatever else is getting in the way, is a mountain of pain to climb.

These obstacles to love are the same obstacles that happen to get in the way of Love at its source. The source of Love is God. No other Love could have sent His Son to die. No other Love could have died for us to save us.

Think about that for a minute. It strikes my heart hard.

He loved so hard, so fast, so unconditionally, so deep that He could not stand letting us go on without His Love.


So Love came down.
Love gave all.
Love died.

Hold on to your hearts though, friends!

Love lived! True Love, from the Source… LIVED.

Now stop and think about all of those who don’t recognize that Love, those who deny that Love. How much pain must He feel? We feel it when someone denies our love even for a moment, don’t we? Multiply that by a millions. Only His heart aches to that ultimate extent and knows how many have denied.

Now let me knock on some of your hearts. Get ready. This might hurt. I know it hurts me when I realize I am doing it.

What about all those moments — those periods, those seasons — when we, inside our love for Christ, don’t recognize His love?

The moments we are not in prayer time regularly, the moments when we make decisions big and small about life without consulting His Word for the Truth about it, the moments when we live out our lives without His True Love guiding us — those are the moments that make a lifetime difficult.

Loving someone takes effort.

Those efforts are worth it because it was worth it for Love to die.

2015/04/img_7552.jpg

Love One Another.

It is easier than we realize.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:7-10

Live and Love truly blessed,
Heather

The Edge of Everything: The One Thing That Brought Me To My Knees {NO ONE KNEW}

I was standing on the curb that day. The sun was shining. Laughter and voices filled the air. High school was out for the day, and I was standing somewhere in middle space – half way between “here” and the outer extremes. I was standing on the curb, but in my mind, I was actually teetering on that curb that bright sun shiny day ready to fall with the slightest whisper. NO ONE KNEW.

And the whispers came…

“I could step off this curb in front of that car coming up the street. No one would care. No one would miss me. No one loves me.” NO ONE KNEW.

“No one would miss you.” There was that voice again.

IMG_0552

I was standing next to a friend at the time, and it was his mom we were waiting on that was driving that car up that street next to that curb. He didn’t know. She didn’t know. NO ONE KNEW.

That curb. The one holding on for dear life of my beating heart. The one which I felt dissolving under my feet.

That wasn’t the first time I had danced with death in a prelude to the Edge of Everything. Everything that told me I was unloved, unwanted, uncared for, unworthy, un-me.

That wouldn’t be the last time either. I didn’t tell anyone in the moment. I rarely trusted anyone to tell them I even had those thoughts. Can I just call them what they are? They aren’t really thoughts. Sure, that’s what medicine labels them as. That’s what those who can’t fathom them label them as. That’s what Everything labels them as.

But they aren’t just thoughts.

They are the reality of a middle space that occupies a dying soul that has no hope.

I was in the middle of nothing listening to Everything. The reality for me that day was One Step. Just one. Right off that curb to …

“What exactly comes after this life? Am I really sure that there is anything beyond this? Would I truly be happier?”

Those are the questions the soul asks even if the mind doesn’t speak that language.

They are the same questions every soul asks when it is so close to death that it teeters on the Edge of Everything.

Maybe you are teetering on the Edge. Maybe you have in the past. Maybe, just maybe, your Everything Edge is the line you walk every day of your life. Your Everything… what is it?

“I am no good for my family.”
“Everyone could get along fine without me, even better.”
“I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
“I can’t get anything right with my spouse.”
“LIFE IS JUST TOO HARD.”

But then…

There are THOSE questions. The ones that your soul asks.

“What is on the other side of this life? What is next? This can’t be all there is. That would be going from pain to pain. It just can’t be.”

NO ONE KNEW. And I am certain that someone – maybe many someones – are reading this who could say the same thing. NO ONE KNOWS. Or maybe, like me, you began to give hints to those you trust the most. They help at times sure. But it’s not those times that consume the teetering. On that edge. For some it happens only occasionally. Life crud just gets in the way, right? And for others it becomes Extreme.

The car came within a parking spot’s distance away as she veered to her right, slowing down to pick us up, and from where I was teetering, I easily could have taken that One Step.

But I didn’t.

I don’t recall the exact in the moment reasons that I didn’t step onto the Street of Death that day. But I can tell you this … I knew I was missing something. I KNEW.

So as time passed by and my depression sucked my spirit in more and more, I began to give up on all hope of finding real joy for life. But I never stopped asking …

“What is next? What IS next?

The teetering of the Edge of Everything that I tell you about that day would repeat itself in one form or another at other moments; and each time I never took that step. I knew that there had to be more. I felt that I should just slam to my knees everytime and stop the madness, but I couldn’t do it. The knees would have to wait. They’d have to wait until the SOUL KNEW.

The other side was something I had no true idea about, but I knew that I had to know. Because if I took that step to the other side of the Edge… where would I be?

Happy? Eternallly?
Non-existant? Eternally?
In pain still? Eternally?

I knew those were the only three possiblities. So I HAD to find out more in my soul. Ultimately THAT is what stopped me from taking THAT STEP and the others to follow.

And so I went on a search for Eternity.
And I looked EVERYWHERE while EVERYTHING was screaming in my mind.
There was only one Eternity, after all my searching and wandering, that panned out true. Nothing else made sense. Nothing else was without fault. NOTHING else answered my soul questions.

I tried everything until my Everything changed.
Realizing that falling to my knees before Jesus was the only thing that would give me joy and hope and love and truth, I fell. And the Edge became this beautiful place where it didn’t matter who loved me, beause He did.
I KNEW.

Why Are We Here? Is This Life All There Is? ~ The Eternal Perspective

I think this bears repeating. So I’m going to do that in hopes it encourages you like it does me.

There must be more to life than just breathing.

Drone behavior marked by the rising and setting of each day’s sun. There must be more.

There must be more to this thing which we all step into the same way ~ as babes unknowing ~ and that which we all step out of the same way ~ as humans yet unknowing what lies on the other side.

After all my searching and the severe hardships I have had, after all my wandering into the depths of the human experience, I cannot see anything that points to this life being all we have.

For if it were, what would be the reason to carry on?

Legacy?
Invention?
Human progression?
Achievement for the greater good?

Why? What would any of those things give to a society ~ a whole earth full of people, generation after generation after generation ~ that could possibly make a difference?

IF that were true, that would make the only thing worth striving for ~ on this dirt mound we call home ~ a longer life. And to what end? More chance to suffer and live believing that we only belong to that very dirt mound?

No. The very existence of this dirt globe and everything in it cries out that it has a Creator.

And therein lies the journey to answer that age old question:
Why am I here?

The Eternal Perspective.
That’s why.

I fail. Daily probably. Disappointments. Let downs. Bad health. Financial problems. Surprises not wanted. The list can be long.

Not one of those changes the eternal perspective though.

I’m focusing every breathe on that. How about you?

Do You Pray Dangerous Prayers?

Can prayer be dangerous?

Greater Is He | 40YearWanderer | Heather Mertens

 

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; ~ Colossians 4:2 NASB

 

Depends on how you define ‘dangerous’, I think. If it is defined as ‘risky’ then it’s a resounding “YES!” If it is defined as ‘doing harm’ then it’s a resounding “YES!”

I once told my pastor that after all that I had been through, after all God had taught me, that I was absolutely “along for the ride, God.” He smiled and said, “that’s a dangerous prayer.”

He was right.

It’s risky from a human standpoint because most of us don’t really think we can give up our moments to be ready to be used, or we don’t think we are capable of being used, or that we aren’t good enough to be used.

I’ve got three words for those three thoughts of doubt:

Moses
Rahab
Paul

Moses told God outright “I can’t even speak.” But he was willing to risk it all and lives were saved.

Rahab was a prostitute. But she was willing to risk it all and lives were saved.

Paul gave up his life, his days, his moments to always be ready to be used. But he was willing to risk it all and lives have been saved.

So I decided… I’ve got only this moment. Risk it! Be willing. I’m living for His plan or I’m not living.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. ~ 1 John 4:4 NASB

I love that He calls us “children”. We are dear to Him so we know we can trust Him.

And if we go by that second definition – doing harm – then I’m ready! Let’s tell God we are ready to be used and do some harm to sin and hatred and the enemy.

The battle is already won. We just need to live it out.

Live Blessed,
Heather

The Eternal Perspective

I’m refocusing as I mentioned a couple weeks back. I intend to get back to sharing what God has done and taught me through the depression and healing, my marriage, my parenting, and the illness that I am living with right now. In all those circumstances, God showed me the real reason for living this life… the very reason of life…

The Eternal Perspective.

There must be more to life than just breathing. Drone behavior marked by the rising and setting of each day’s sun. There must be more to this thing which we all step into the same way ~ as babes unknowing ~ and that which we all step out of the same way ~ as humans yet unknowing what lies on the other side. After all my searching and the severe hardships I have had, after all my wandering into the depths of the human experience, I can not see anything that points to this life being all we have. For if it were, what would be the reason to carry on? Legacy? Invention? Human progression? Achievement for the greater good?

Why? What would any of those things give to a society, a whole earth full of people, generation after generation after generation, that could possibly make a difference?

IF that were true, that would make the only thing worth striving for ~ on this dirt mound we call home ~ a longer life. And to what end? More chance to suffer and live believing that we only belong to that very dirt mound?

No. The very existence of this dirt globe and everything in it cries out that it has a Creator. And therein lies the journey to answer that age old question:
Why am I here?

The Eternal Perspective.

That’s why. And I can’t wait to dive into what I have waited years to do. It is time.

My all new website is finally done! And my email newsletter {which you might be reading this in right now} will have an all new layout next week.

The site has so much to explore that will grow, and the newsletters will have new articles, chapters from my books as I finish them, announcements, and some other things like Bible studies and downloads that many have shown interest in this past 3 years. I’m soooooo excited about what God is doing!

If you don’t get those newsletters you can! Just sign up over here.

The long-time webbuilding gal in me is so glad I have finally finished my COMPLETELY all new website. The foggy-brain Fibro part of me is so glad I finally finished it too. But the happiest part of me is the Jesus-girl who longs to share God’s Truth and Love to everyone who finds my site. It is my soul-deep life experiences that I share about inside God’s Truth that get the most heartfelt discussions.

So while the site will evolve into more as it grows when I share more, it is far easier to navigate and search to share those things that God has called me to share. It is so different from ever before! The purpose jumps off the pages, and for that I am so grateful.

I pray what I share touches more hearts and more souls. I pray for you.

Come on over and browse around!
40YearWanderer | Heather Mertens

 

And, what do you think would be a good name instead of “newsletters” for all that is coming? I really don’t like that word… newsletter. How about “snippets”? I used to use that word before. Also I used “Wanderings”. Or “sharings”. Okay, another word maybe? Which do you like better? Maybe you have a better name? Come on by the blog on my new website and let me know!

Live and love blessed,
Heather

When a Woman Cries {An Update Full of Tears}

Last week I sent out a request here that flew on angel wings around this globe. And wow did you respond! It is a phenomenal love for God that a person has when that person, who is on the other side of world, would pray for me… a person they have never met in person. Phenomenal. And I have been overwhelmed with all the love and prayers. I haven’t had a lot of energy to respond to all the emails and texts and messages, but I have come beautifully undone in spirit with every single one of them. I have good news to report! But first let me share that day with you…I cried 4 times.

It was a hard day for all of us… for my husband, for my daughter, and for me. But God was with us every moment. And so were you. But I cried. And not for all the reasons that would first come to one’s mind.

I cried during prayer that morning.

I was so grateful that God has sent so many to pray for me. I have witnessed an outpouring of prayer many times in my life, but to witness such amazing love from people all around the world who only know me through what I share here was something I could not put into words. So my tears were my way of worship in thanksgiving.

I cried when we were on our way to the appointment.

There he stood at the intersection. His clothing old and tattered. The cold weather bearing down on him. His cardboard sign nearly easy to miss. His need written all over his face. My daughter handed me one of the hat and gloves set we carry in our car to bless others as I was getting the food gift card for the same purpose out of our glove box. Simultaneously, my husband begin to roll down the window and motion to this gentle man in need. As my husband handed him these things from the heart of our family the man smiled. As the light turned green and traffic proceeded to move off slowly we heard him say, “Cooool.” The smile he had worn grew much bigger. I cried. I knew that his response meant that he felt that someone cared enough to think of him before hand. We don’t have much, but we have plenty. We can always share our plenty.

I cried at the appointment that day.

The uterine biopsy was an extremely painful procedure. Extremely. While the Fibromylagia that I deal with likely made the procedure harder for me to deal with, I’d still have to rate it as one of the worst pains I have ever felt. Thankfully I was blessed with a doctor who was amazing and caring and so was her nurse. They were beyond even the most caring I’ve ever experienced.

And I cried when I got home.

Tears did not refrain from streaming down my face when I thought about how caring my husband and daughter are. Their level of sacrifice is pure. It is Jesus love in action. They carry a burden of love for me that cannot be put into words. And neither can my thankfulness.

I waited over a week for the results to come back. Because of the infection and this procedure, my body experienced a fibromyalgia flare up so I even did some crying during that week. Crying doesn’t make us weak. Crying brings us relief. I cried right into the arms of God.

And I cried in thankfulness when I heard.

Praise to my beloved Jesus! My biopsy and blood tests came back normal! No uterine cancer or abnormal cells, no PCOS or endometrial disease… and negative (in a good way) on a whole bunch of other things.

That basically leaves major hormone imbalance which is what I thought all along for the problems occurring. Hormone deficiency happens with both Fibromyalgia and peri-menopause (which I am in). They needed to check though to rule out the majors, and I’m glad they did even though that biopsy was a nightmare.

This leaves me with some difficult decisions on how to tackle it since my Fibromyalgia body can’t really take the procedure which would likely be the best option to help. I’ll be praying over what is the best route. God will provide.

I am so thankful that no major abnormalities were found. Praising Jesus! Thank you, thank you, thank YOU for your prayers. My love to you for thinking and praying for me and my family.

I don’t have a pretty picture to share this week. But I do have this:

If you don’t have this kind of love in your life, then please be open to it because there is truly nothing else like it. If you don’t have Jesus in your life to the fullness in truth that He is, I would love to share Him with you. I also would like to pray for you. Because I want to love.

~ Heather

The Only Choice That Matters

20130918-070159.jpg

I learned we can’t ultimately fail if we are seeking His Will with all our hearts. Just Let Him guide you. Hand in hand. Walking together. Smiling at His beauty.

Maybe that isn’t easy for some of you. I get that. It wasn’t always easy for me either. I made some really, really bad choices, and some really bad things happened to me that just made it hard to smile. Hard to trust that God was working in my life.

But when I read what He had to tell me in His Word, I realized there was no way He was a liar.

When He said, “I am with you always,” He meant it.

When He said, “I will remember your sins no more,” He meant it.

When He said, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” He certainly meant it. Most certainly. As certain as certainty can get.

So why didn’t I believe it? Why was it so hard for me to accept and realize that if I asked God for His will in my life that I might falter but I’d never ultimately fail?

Why? Because of guilt. Guilt is a life sucker. Get rid of guilt so the view in front of you ~ and in your heart ~ becomes extremely clear.

But “how”, you might ask?

Again. I go to His word. That book many call the Instruction Book for Life. I believe what He says.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 8:1 ESV

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5:1 ESV

We have a choice to read it.
We have a choice to believe it.
We have a choice to live it.
It’s all about the choice.

Choose Jesus. First, foremost, and in every moment. It’s the only choice that matters.

Live Blessed,
Heather

Prayers Are Like Glue That Binds The Hearts of God’s People

2015/01/img_7054.jpg

Prayers really are like glue that binds the hearts of God’s people. Asking for prayer should never be a hesitant request. Nor should asking for help. I believe in the power of prayer in the name of Jesus. And if you do too, I’d really appreciate your prayers for a couple things. I’ll be praying for you as well. Prayers. Are. So. Very. Powerful. That’s what faith can do.

Today I’d appreciate prayer that the medicine I’m taking will get rid of the infection plaguing me. Thankfully the infection I’ve been dealing with did not hurt my kidney… but the pain was a warning for which I’m thankful. This Fibromyalgia body reacts as if nearly everything is trying to full-on attack me. And it does not react well… just more fatigue and pain. But I try to find the goodness in all things, so I took it as a warning sign that my symptoms were an opponent I wasn’t willing to surrender to at all.

Also I’d appreciate prayer regarding the test I’m getting done … that it will all come back normal. And that I can make the best decision for a possible procedure I might need. I have always loved to pray for you. I love that prayer glue. May this day you find blessings like raindrops … too many to count.

Life finds me down, but not out. Hope finds me exhausted, but not emotionally bankrupt. Faith finds me weary, but not willing to stop pressing on. Health, you can try hard to drag me along, but I can’t be drug along when I’m in God’s hands. He holds me.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. ~ James 5:16 ESV

I have been feeling so much better on my treatment, but there are still moments and days when this list below, that contains the most bothersome of the full list, describes how it feels to live with it. It might not all happen at one time, but many times a majority of these symptoms can happen at once.

Joint Pain
Nerve Flares
Muscle Aches to an Extreme
Nausea
Pins and Needles Feeling
Cold, Noise, and Smell Sensitivity
Numb or Tingling and Achy Extremities
Headaches and Migraines
IBS

And this doesn’t inlcude the brain fog that makes me forget my own family member’s names or the 20+ other symptoms that are common. So if I don’t get to your email or comment or phone call right away… I want to. Just know that I am praying for and thinking of you. I am healed, friends! But in the wait, I intend to bless as many hearts and souls as I can.

I want you to know that no matter what you are not alone. It may feel like it sometimes with whatever ails your body, mind, or soul, but you are never alone.

God is with you.

Live blessed,
Heather

Handling Life and Its ALL: Call On Grace Himself

2015/01/img_7032.jpg

Anyone else? I’m clearly at a place where I can not handle it all. My normal leaning on God takes on a whole new level at this point. If ALL THIS is any indication that it’s true that the worst attacks come to try to stop the Big in the Plan, then I can’t help but wonder what will be on the other side of this.

In all this pain, I’ll be thankful. In all this dependency on others, I’ll be thankful. In all this waiting, I’ll be thankful. And in all these days where the tears flow from the pain, the frustration, the unknowing, the stress… I’ll be in love with the One who has it all in His hands. I thought maybe I’d been through enough of the bad in life to tell what He did to bring good from it all, but I surely will have more to testify to regarding God’s great goodness among the trials. My story isn’t over yet. And yours isn’t either. Because He is the God of ALL Grace.

I’m
Still
Working …
On that “changes” announcement.
On the specific things I said I’d share since the summer.
On telling you what I see God doing in my life and ministry… because I treasure you going with me.

Soon, Beloved.
Soon.

It’s just all there waiting for something. It’s there. I just need to get it from my brain to your ears.

I was overwhelmed with love by all the comments and messages regarding my last post – the “apology”. Goodness will surely follow you all the days of your lives.

Because when you love… You shine your Light.

#ALLIN
❤️ ~ Heather

How To Make Prayer More Than You Know

IMG_0211.JPG

Early ~ very early ~ in my relationship with God, I thought I was supposed to pray every night before going to sleep. It was what I was taught. It was ritualistic in a way, as so much in religion is, but the hidden gem in it shines on relationship. That’s what God wants. He created us for relationship.

Think about that.

He created us, each of us individually, with a hope, while knowing already whether or not we would love Him back. That we would desire that relationship. In His hope, He has patience. I’m thankful. Because those “things” I learned were just seeds planted. But mighty beautiful seeds, indeed.

It was a fine start ~ to pray once per day at bedtime ~ but not nearly enough. Not. Nearly. Enough.

As I matured, I noticed God working in my life… but I did not really appreciate the depth of His guidance.

Later in life, during my early twenties, I started to be amazed at what God did for me even though I thought, deep inside my mind, that I was incredibly unworthy. I did not really appreciate the depth of His Grace.

I had not understood that His Grace was a gift that had steadily kept my head above the rushing waters. I had been doing what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted; thinking it was all “ok” as long as I still prayed now and then.

Those nighttime prayers.

My eureka moment came not long after I got married. Later in my late twenties I had a revelation…well, I guess you could say a true epiphany.

God patiently waited for the perfect time that my head would come above the water and I would take the breath that made me SEE.

I finally did just that. It was the year I turned 27. I remember what happened vividly like it was just yesterday. That was the year that God said…

turn off the tv and LISTEN to me…

tune out the world and HEAR me…

And I did. Those “nighttime” prayers weren’t just for me to talk and ask and request… they were for me to LISTEN. And LEARN. And LOVE.

They were meant for much more than nighttime. They were for LIGHT time. They were meant for ALL the time.

Not only did He work a miracle of gigantic proportions in my life that year, but my head came above water and stayed there!

It suddenly came clear to me that this was not about a prayer in a time of need and some thanks along the way. It was all about living in prayer.

I started to think about God in a different way. I knew that if He were literally standing beside me in my life on this earth, He would be incredibly sad that I didn’t talk to Him as much as I talk to family and friends. I had always called Him a friend, but I was starting to see the truth.

I called on Him only at certain times – that nightly prayer and the distress prayer during a terrible day. I did praise Him and thank Him on many occasions but there was certainly something missing in my life.

It was the simple realization that I should be LIVING in prayer that changed it from religion to relationship for me. It really is that simple.

I don’t mean praying more times a day.

I don’t mean formalities of praying certain things.

I don’t even mean scheduled prayer.

I mean…
living every day ~ all day, 24/7~ in a way that is wholly and holy the Lord’s.

I mean turning to your divine friend who understands every thought you have.

I got out of my head and sunk my soul into an eternal truth:

What could bring me closer to God and make my life infinitely better than simply relying on Him for my peace every second I breathe?”

I urge you to try it and in no time your outlook regarding everything will change for the better. It is all a choice. You will know that you do not belong to this world, so why should the worldly things affect you in a detrimental way?

Things won’t go perfect because He clearly tells us that in His Word. This world has the repercussions of sin that we must deal with – our own and others.

But I promise you, if you make it your life’s purpose to befriend the Lord, then it will be your nature, your true created nature, to praise Him in every second of your life. It will be the personal relationship you need to succeed. That hope He had in creating you will bloom into the eternal love you were meant to experience.

I know His love intimately. I speak with Him throughout my days. I listen to Him.

~ I stand at the kitchen sink and pause…

“I love you God. Thank you for the beauty of your world.”

~ While I am driving my mind turns to Him…

“Thank you, Father, for loving me first. Thank you for my life.”

~ When I look at my child, I am thanking God for the joy I have in watching her beautiful light shine while she gives it her ALL for Him.

~ Doing the laundry, I thank Him for the guidance He provided in a seemingly everyday decision, but an important one for our family.

~ As I noticed the item I went to the store to purchase was on sale significantly to give a real blessing to our tight financial budget I would say…

“Thank you, Father, for you know our needs.”

~ When my child, at age 4 told me, “Mommy, don’t worry about the Christmas tree. God is watching over us,” I told Him, “Thank you so much!” I was worried that the 7 foot Christmas tree that had a leaning problem and had to be tied to the wall would just give way to gravity. It towered above my little one, so I tied it down even more. But God told her to remind me of who was in control!

And He showed me that she was LIVING in PRAYER.

I listen for His voice in everything.

As we walk through our homes in a rush to get the laundry going, the clothing put away, the meat in the fridge to thaw for dinner, things ready for the next day… talk to God during the midst of all that. Listen for His voice. Praise Him through joy and a smile.

I love to think about how God has planned every step in my life and how even when I made a wrong turn or a mistake He waited patiently again for me to find that path He had already laid out. I will be the first to admit that on my path through life I have taken some REALLY long routes that later turned out to be a diversion. If only I had stayed on His path it would have been so much shorter and easier. And the tide would have not seemed so large.

Be keenly aware of His presence at all times; make it a point to be… want to be. Appreciate every second He has given you. Live in thankfulness and peace. Life gets hard and tough, but if you turn to Him immediately it gets easier every time to do as He knows best.

I just can’t forget what He has done for me. I just can’t forget my truest Friend.

Be LOVED, Beloved,
Heather

The Answer to Life’s Issues

I think in sheer grief about the multitude of people who have, and still do, and will sit in a church that teaches that just because they believe there is a god or higher power and because they have good hearts to do good things… that those things will lead them into eternal life. There are deceptive pastors and churches out there fooling these people because maybe they are fooled themselves, or maybe it’s intentional that they choose to spread their way instead of God’s Way.

There’s only One to answer to and He’s watching.

They are turning in to themselves for a better life, just as so many Christians are doing sadly. God’s answer to life’s issues is not ~

“turn in to your self for help”
or
“do good deeds”
or
“just go to church”

The answer?

He says… “seek Me”.

Leaving Him out of the process of healing and finding answers, or even just occasionally including Him, is a sure way to fail. Just “doing the church thing” isn’t going to develop that beautiful deep down heart-covering relationship He desires to have with us.

This is real stuff…

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ ~ Matthew 7:22 NASB

Now:
Think of the Christians around the world who are living out their faith. To the death. Christ Followers, brave and true, are dying for their faith around the world.

Tough questions: Do we walk within a peace and readiness if that enters our part of the world? Are we just “doing the church thing”?

It is never too late to get right with Christ. He loves us too much to make it “too late”.

Be Loved, Beloved,
Heather

#Thankful. In a Very Different Way

In my mind I can think of a million shards of memories that try to come together to remind me of a life in torture that I used to live. Those moments. Those which found me screaming out in wretched pain. Those which found me wanting to just sleep and never wake up.

No one has any inkling, even when I put into words, how horrible… and lonely… it was for me all those years ago.

But I’m so thankful. Beyond words.

Why? Because those memories do not come together to form that same puzzle anymore. I am actually thankful for those memories. For they remind me…

They remind me that I looked up and chose to continue on. I was always walking in the Plan… and I finally saw the Truth. I’ve got the Puzzle Maker… the Plan Maker. The Architect.

Jesus was always in it.

IMG_6481.JPG

Now those shards come together, perfectly glued to form a picture that I love today. Those parts and pieces were allowed to shatter for what came later… and what is to come.

I’m set aside for this. Exactly this. My long lonely life has prepared me. How could I not be thankful for that.

No question. No question mark.

Don’t give up if you are in the middle of a million shards, Dear Hearts. The Plan Maker is right in the middle of it with you. #ALL IN.

Live blessed,
Heather

The Every Second of Living {Why I Don’t Let One Pass}

Appreciating every second is a little overwhelming if you don’t take a deep breath and really think about what that means. Especially in those times of trouble and trials. Life can throw it at us, can’t it? But I’ve come to know that if I appreciate everything in the moment I am living, noticing what is in that second of time, then appreciating it all is where I find the most peace in my seconds. I could expend all that worry I used to do, or I could bounce that time and energy into looking for what I can appreciate and be thankful for in those seconds.

40YearWanderer_appreciating_2

 

I remember when my daughter was born and I decided then that I would never let a moment go by without appreciating it. I had seen how others had missed so much of their children’s lives and those amazing once in a lifetime jewels that occur with no notice whatsoever. I am so blessed to have been able to stay home with my daughter for most of her growing up years. Her father and I sacrificed so much so that I could be home with her as much as possible. God provided help in various ways, and for that I will be forever grateful. But the sacrifices were what made the entire choice and experience so rich in those seconds.

 

“I know we don’t have much. But we have God and with God all things are possible.”

 

Those seconds… that I didn’t let pass… those were the richest.

Through those years, and to this very day, I have tried my hardest to not miss a detail. It was not always easy but it was never terribly difficult. Oh, we had our days where it seemed awfully difficult, but those were usually the days in which we didn’t trust or lean in to God enough. It’s just a different life when we do.

My heart is full to the brim with thankfulness that I saw those defining moments all along. I remember her first words, her first steps, her riding a bike for the first time, and everything… every second… in between. I can’t stress how huge the impact is of savoring every second with your children. I have a life experience others miss. I hear them with heavy voice claim the sadness that they let it fly by all too fast because their kids are nearly grown or already moved on with their own lives.

So lean in… listen close…

How does one appreciate every second, really? Truly? It sounds so hard.

 

You choose to. It’s that easy.

You just choose.

 

#ItsAllInTheChoice

 

Lived blessed,
Heather

 

 


 

Coming Next Week: 

Part 2 in the Beating Chronic Pain Series and the official unveiling of ALL IN.

Coming Soon:

Part 2 of Trading Hope for Sex to Find Love {50 Shades of Grey in My Real Life} … yes, I do go deep into that world of memories, but only in hopes to help those who are living inside of it.

 

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share, you can get me in your email inbox… Well, not really me. ;)

 

 

Have you gone ALL IN yet? I invite you to the ministry that has been in my heart for a decade.
It’s different than anything you may have ever seen. It’s #ALL IN for Christ.

GoingALLIN.org

 

BIG CHANGES… How Could I Say ‘No’?

Dear You,

Yes, you, in your AMAZING prayers and messages and thoughts for me while I go through this treatment for my Fibromyalgia, while I zone in on what Jesus is doing in my life for this ministry, while I pray over what I am supposed to be doing inside the beautiful territory He has given my soul:

You have been a part of all of this.

You have ~ too numerous to count you are! ~ poured into my life’s calling with encouragement and prayer and true friendship.

You have lifted me up to the One who is sending me on this mission.

I want to thank you a million times over. You’ve been there when I couldn’t do anything but cry out. You’ve been there when I was the one who needed a push up because I felt so heavy with all of this. You’ve kept me in heart and mind and soul everyday. I know who you are and I’m praying for you. I’m thanking God for you ~ because you are a gift from God.

IMG_4229.JPG

It’s lonely where I am many times. Ministry can be lonely. Fibro and chronic pain and illness can be lonely. It’s in those lonely moments ~ even when you have an amazing loving family as I do who is there for me every minute ~ that you should focus on what and whom you are thankful for in life. God’s will for us is to be always thankful. Cry out to Him but always be thankful in the tears, in the fear, in the unknown, in the temptation, in the trial. That’s how I got through the depression 20 years, the near-death of my husband in 2008, the painful heart ache of things my daughter experienced the last several years, the unknowns of not having an income for two years… always thankful in the every-moment He gave me.

IMG_5311.JPG ME and my EMMY

That’s what I am. Always thankful.

Big things have been happening. And many great things that will be revealed in an ongoing heart and soul effort. Big changes in my ministry. Big changes here on my website. Big changes in the book plans. It is a slow process…. this whole life thing.

BIG.

HE HAS REVEALED MUCH.
And I’ve been listening.
How could I say ‘No’?

I say “Yes” to Him.
For Him.
For you.
For love.

Love love love you all.
Thank you for hanging around me and for me. Just wait until you see what’s coming!

Blessings right into your heart deep,
Heather

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful to walk this journey with you… You can get me in your email inbox… Well, not really me. ;)