(Written years ago
But still so true today!)
How can His face shine warm
Upon my wreckless deeds
How can His arms embrace
All dirt and mess of me.
Oh, my many tears
I hear Him call
My own true Name.
The Word He speaks
Your voice is sweet
Your face so beautiful
In streaming Light.
All anger, tears and pain
Deep wells of thirst
You've always hidden shamed
But JOY, my child is in the deep.
Come bare your face
In truth to meet my grace
For on that Cross I bled
To pour the Son's rays on you.
To cup and lift
Your downcast face
To tether wounded heart
And lay it bare.
My Presence warm
To melt the harsh
Of strength strapped taut
To free My Voice in you.
Washed in His blood
Is where you rise
Your heart uncovered, bare
Your thirst revealed.
Come follow me
My freedom find
In truth and grace
My decision to part from each of the friends God asked me to, is a decision I didn’t make based upon my own understanding. My understanding told me to stay by their side, as I have been where they have been and didn’t see that I was back in that very same place in trying to stay, where God was calling me out. Yoyoing between:
– that place of idol worship: of denial, pleasing and placating and
– that place of deep anger and bitterness and (suicidal) anguish.
I selfishly and pridefully wanted to be my friends’ “Rock” of truth and grace in that place. But now I can see that God wanted me to let Him become our Rock, in me stepping aside. Since these parting He has shown me so many ways I would go to my friends, rather than to Him (and my husband) and how that also placed such a big burden upon my friends’ shoulders that was never theirs to carry and how with these boundaries blurred, our relationships would became enmeshed and unhealthy.
I also see how He was also protecting my health (and theirs too) in setting us apart to teach me (and them) about healthy boundaries (which I am still learning so much about). I had the most awful attack on my heart in San Francisco (that deeply frightened my husband and I) and I can now see the direct impact emotional burdens – that are not mine to carry – have upon me and my body. Where I take upon myself responsibilities that only God should carry, my body suffers the brunt.
Yes: being angry used to be my way
of coping too. I was angry and bitter at my God and His Body (and that includes my own body which is His!) for years: I just didn’t see it because I was in blinded by sin denial. But these ways of coping have awful consequences for us, for our families, for our friends, who bear the brunt of our unhealthy and sinful coping mechanisms, as do our own bodies and minds.
And that’s why God teaches us to lean not upon our own understanding but to come to know and experience His understanding, as we follow His promptings to lay down our own desires and plans to let Him unfold His whole-hearted desires and good and perfect plans for us and for those we love. His boundary lines fall in pleasant places for us, so we can heal. He separates us from triggers of (past) abuse and trauma to slow to hear HIS gentle Voice of truth and grace.
After each parting He has led me through, I have been convicted of so much sin and God has brought such amazing fruit in my life – more peace, more patience, more self-control, more faith, more hope, more understanding, more gentleness and more love – especially in my relationship with my husband and girls, as God is teaching me how to place Him – and not myself or man – at the center.
I needed and am still needing to learn that my EVERY action AND inaction has consequences. I also think that’s why God has allowed my heart conditon to play up more recently: to teach me to number my days on this earth that I may gain a heart of wisdom – as I learn to entrust those I love most deeply into His hands. Just as my Mama did through her illness, as she openly boasted in her weakness, confessed her sin freely and lifted away the carpet of self-righteousness that was hiding the perfection of Christ for her, for me, and for all of us who had ever idolized her as our Rock.
And that’s what God asked me to do with so many He parted me from, and is still asking me to do – to trust that in the weakness of CPTSD and my heart condition – and my inability to be others’ “Rock” – that His grace is sufficient for us all – that this very grace for us has been raising up a barrier between me and those I so love, not to harm us but to bless and root each of us ever deeper in His love and healthy boundaries for us. For His desire is to replace every place of co-dependency with His all-sufficiency for us all.
And I am trusting God knows better than we do what He’s doing, when He keeps us physically apart- even when we each can’t understand it fully and it hurts both our hearts deeply not to “be there” for each other. But maybe that’s it also – you see, maybe we are in fact “there” for each other now in an even deeper way than before- through each others’ prayers for each other and each others’ families which are becoming so deeply rooted – no longer in our fleshly desires and in what we can see physically, but in Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s promptings and what He shows us spiritually.
8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernmentPhilippians 1:8-9.
I now FEEL a friend’s prayers for me, who God parted me from years ago. I just “know” when she is praying. Even though we are not together physically and God separated us from each other for good reason – our connection spiritually has grown. We are not cut off from each other, but in fact even more deeply bound together in God’s love as now HE is becoming the center holding us and our broken hearts together, as He continues to heal us both. And one day we will see with our physical eyes what we already know to be true with our spiritual eyes: we are One in Him.
I have always trusted Jesus to bring all those He has parted me from home (and me too) into His love, when we have been running away from Him, because my trust (Jesus) has never stopped affirming His Word to me through every accusation flung my way (against me and my friends), through every trigger of trauma, through every shaking of my body to reveal the beauty of His heart in me and in my loved ones.
Yes, wherever there is LOVE, there is Jesus and I see SO MUCH love in all those God has parted me from- always have- it’s Jesus in them that drew me to them all, even when we were SO different and it’s Jesus in me that drew them to me. He knew our hearts needed to be shaped and moulded by His truth speaking through each other – even when we couldn’t receive it at the time – because those who speak the truth in love, speak Jesus over us.
I was NOT placing God at the center of my friendships. I kept my mouth shut, when I should have spoken up and I opened my mouth when I should have kept it shut: not to lose my friends. I pleased and placated, when from the beginning I should have spoken the truth in love and defended them and myself from the enemy’s awful schemes against them that I saw were choking them and me, and hurting them and me and others too.
But in my repentance now, I feel no shame: only deep thankfulness to God for rescuing me and rescuing them because God keeps showing me more of His compassion (suffering with us). He keeps showing me more of His understanding of all I and my friends have been through in our lives and why He’s been and is still being so patient, so gentle and so kind to us, sending me testimony after testimony of others who are unashamed to declare the grace of God for them, unashamed to tell the truth about the horror they have been through (in the Name of our God) and unashamed to declare how deep and wide and high and low God’s love and grace truly go. Yes: I too am now unashamed to declare God’s righteousness (justice) for me and for us all.
I looked to my own interests (keeping our friendships in tact) and not to God’s (to break His bread apart to multiply His blessings for us and those we so love). I looked to my own “truth”, through the lens of past wounding and trauma that cried out for me to fight, to flee, to freeze and to fawn – to not enter into the sufferings of Jesus. But the only real truth – who can set us free from our bondage of trauma and sin – is the person of Jesus and HE is OUR truth, even when we are running from Him, and that truth is setting us all free, more and more, from our fleshly desires that the enemy has used to steal, kill and destroy.
Jesus is now teaching us how to sow and reap unto the Spirit and I am excited to see what He has in store for me and every friend He has parted me from, as no way is He finished yet! But I also better understand now why He set us apart (unto Himself).
He wants to become our Best Friend and Rock of salvation first and foremost, so that we can better reflect His heart of love into this world that is SO hungry for Him, just as my friends and I too are so hungry and thirsty for His love and healing – I just didn’t realize it, until our breaking apart – where the flood of God’s grace is now meeting me, again and again. Yes! May we come home! May we feel the arms of Jesus wrap around us to carry not just us home, but many more, as we open our mouths to tell our testimony – to strip away that lamp shade of self-righteousness and pride hiding the light of our Savior’s love for us all.
Papa, today (4 October 2022) I add this plea of my heart for every friend You called me to surrender fully into Your hands: For You are my witness, how I yearn for them all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that their love [and my own] may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment (Philippians 1:8-9). I receive Your prayer for us, from the lips of Jesus in Gesthemene and proclaim it now by faith, from my own lips, over us, over our families, over our other friends and over our neighbors. Let no one we know remain untouched by Your sanctifying and unifying power at work in us, for us, and through us (John 17:13-23, AMPC):
13 And now I am coming to You; I say these things while I am still in the world, so that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [that they may experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts].
14 I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world.
15 I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.
18 Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
19 And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.
20 Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,
21 That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.
22 I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:
23 I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.
24 Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me] may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me [Your love gift to Me]; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25 O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You [continually]; and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.
26 I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.