Trusting A Friend –

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”
Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

 

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Sunshine friends, there when the sun shines but when the weather changes for the worst, they leave. Good friends are there no matter what, they stick around, they support you, they give advice that may or may not be what you want to hear. Never giving up, the strength of their arms is there for whatever you need. I know one who meets these criteria whom I’ll call Big Daddy and who others call by many names, especially – “God”. I won’t give my trust to someone until I’ve seen them in action when the crap hits the fan. If I want to trust Big Daddy, by my own definition, I should wait to see him in action. In other words, how can I know God’s a provider unless I’m in a place of lack. How can I know God’s a protector unless I need to be defended. How can I know God’s a healer unless I need healing. These things I’ve described: lack, vulnerability, and sickness were initially viewed as such severe acts that I shouldn’t have to go through them, but if that were so, how can I ever trust, especially one who I cannot see?

Trouble in our lives is necessary if we’re to know the personality of God. Here’s where I’ve seen Big Daddy work in my life. When I was molested, he saved me from death. The rapist and the molester could have killed me. As for the mental scars, which are severe, God helps me to recover with patience and love during my midnight breakdowns. When I was attacked and feared for my life from both spiritual and physical situations, God intervened time and again and let me recover from physical and psychological pain. When I was heartbroken by lost love and betrayal of friends, God stepped in to provide direction and comfort. When I was destitute, by my own hand and by the hand of circumstances, Big Daddy provided food, clothing, and housing. How did all this occur? Some instances of His help are beyond explanation, and some came by the hands of others around me.
Why did he use other people instead of just stepping in and making this or that appear out of thin air? Because in the turmoil of life my heart will harden to loathe people and hate their company. This is contrary to the family life that God wants for us. He used other people to overcome the tendency to harden myself, isolate myself, and hurt people who had nothing to do with the original problem. It’s human nature to want vengeance and exact it however we see fit. It’s God’s nature to promote family and unity both with each other and with ourselves. The end of the thing is this, in my life I’ve experienced great pain and terror and this is my testimony: Big Daddy was always there, in the deepest, darkest, lowest depths to reach out and give me love, hope, and help. Let this be your experience as well, call on Him and He will help you. The help doesn’t always appear like you may think, but it works out for your best.
First Published in Opinions of Eye

Unseen Damage – Abuse leaves problems, don’t ignore them

 “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone actually change. I’m talking about a drastic, spin around, burnout, going in the other direction, change. Then I realized, the change needed to happen in me. It’s amazing how a simple change like an attitude adjustment, can affect how you see others. Now the change part, I had things I needed to change long before I realized that I needed to change them. It’s that way most of the time, in fact, if I see the need to change, I’ve already begun to live the miracle. I’ll explain in a practical example from my experience: If I’ve been the victim of a violent crime, especially a sexual crime, I HAVE something that NEEDS to be dealt with. I was affected, regardless of what I think, regardless of how I have “handled” it; it has affected me in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. I’m not saying I have “victim” mentality, only that I must realize that I’ll have damage that I’m not aware of. This damage can go unnoticed for years at times. I’ve seen numerous signs of this damage throughout my life: fear for no reason, addiction, depression, loneliness, despair, confusion, hyper vigilance, violent outbursts, and an evil foreboding whenever I’m happy. These are some of the effects and each of us may have more or less damage, but, damage none the less. To deal with this damage, talk about it with someone who has gone through it or has experience helping those who have gone through it. I’ve found spiritual pursuits to bring some relief, i.e. prayer, and church support groups. Writing and music helped me through the dark days. There are many ways to get through it, but, you must actively address the issues that have damaged you. May God give us direction in healing these wounds. Be strong my friend, we can be whole again.


Triage

In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.” – Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.” William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
I gather the wounded, from near and far
Giving my gift, no matter who you are
There are those who hurt, rip, break and maim
Even when slashed deep, I’m still the same
Reaching out in the raging battles night
With calm words healing, bringing compassions light
Warriors hardened with ease they kill
My talents bind the bloody that is my skill
So go with your swords, by them you’ll die
I come with second life, breaths from on high
I’ll relax on that day, with friends all around
People I never knew, in the field I found
They made it through with unsightly stitches
My helping hand, pulled them from the ditches
Triage is my name, and I wear it with pride
The next skin I save, may be your ugly hide