Changling (poem)

Changling, changling,
who are you
replacement for the past
the future gifted anew
What promise do you carry
What tomorrow do you hold
Are you someone different
than your predecessor of old
Changling, changling,
are you a threat
opening yourself so easily
to lonely brokenness you just met
Can you piece together the puzzle
of a shattered yesterday
though the mess is ages old
and still can’t find it’s way
Changling, changling,
how scary you seem
Your vulnerability and humility
are a reoccurring scene
Years passed, spent with someone like you
Someone with a connection that clicked
But the connection snapped too easily
Excruciating, deadly, and quick
Changling, changling,
trust can’t be given to you
Punishing you for history not yours
is the only way to be safe from you
You may be perfect
You may never cause a tear
but changling, changling,
I thought that about another for many years.

Heather L. Flood
05.02.18

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“Make a u-turn, if possible.”

I opened a blank page to type another post  in the 365 writing prompts by thinkwritten.com.  But writing about going to galaxies far, far away does not seem to be what wants to come out of my fingers today.  Truth be told, I have no idea what will come out of my finders.  I know that there are words that have been sitting in my head for several weeks.  There has been a lot of stuff that I have not spoken about to my husband or friends because how I feel is strictly a product of my own imagination.

The Spring semester at school ended this week.  I am extremely happy about that.  I took on too much this semester, and my grades suffered a little bit.  Because of the amount of time I had to focus on my classes I have not been getting into my Bible as much as I should at all.  I have not been praying as much as I should at all.

My pastor says that times may come where we feel like God has abandoned us.  Yet if we take a moment to do some self-examination then we will find that it was us that walked away from God.  Perhaps it was not done intentionally. You just wake up one day and the realization of the situation hits you in the face like arctic wind.

I never decided, “today I will abandon my relationship with Christ.”  I simply woke up several weeks ago and realized that I had been ignoring God for too long . . . for months.  MONTHS!  How can the relationship grow, deepen, become more intimate if  I won’t give Him any attention?  I focused on reading textbooks, completing assignments, writing papers, and taking tests.  But those things did not take up every single waking moment.  There would be entire days where I would sit on my couch, watching television, and say, “I’ll get in my Bible tomorrow.  I’ll pray later.  Right now I just need to relax.”

It’s not that I focused on the wrong books.  Textbooks are necessary to learning when a person is in school and working toward a degree.  I just gave too much attention to the school books and no attention to the most important book . . . the inspired word of God, the most influential teacher I will ever have.

As I focused on Sociology, Intro to Social Work, and Intermediate Algebra, my bible collected dust.  My relationship with Christ collected a layer of dust to match my bible.

I was focused on myself instead of dying to self.

As a result, I have found myself to be completely out of sorts the last few weeks.  I feel like a puzzle that has been torn apart and all the pieces have been thrown to the wind.  My temper flares too easily.  I find it harder and harder to worship each week at church.  As a matter of fact, the only reason I have shown up at church the past couple of weeks is because I had to.  When I do pray it seems curt and perfunctory.  Thoughts about people and situations are tending to be more and more negative.  Old habits are trying to resurface.  Jealousy and bitterness are creeping back in.  Isolation is becoming more and more predominant.  I am getting a small glimpse at who I was before I found a relationship with Christ, and I know for a fact that I was a bad person with an ugly soul.

It is really easy to use the excuse, “there just isn’t time for me to get in my Bible today.”  After all I am a wife, a mom, a full-time employee, a student, a servant at church . . . but those are all just excuses.  We make time for the things we really want.  I have not been making time for Jesus.  So, does that mean I don’t want Jesus in my life.

Nope.  That is not what that means at all

I have been the worst kind of friend.  I have expected Jesus to do all the work in this relationship while I do nothing.  I have been lazy, self-centered.  I have not been an example of Christ . . . and it’s all been my choice.

That is what happens when a Christian does not give time to Jesus everyday.  When you don’t feed a relationship . . . when you don’t feed yourself with God’s word . . . the relationship atrophies.  It becomes a shell of what is used to be.

The good news is that u-turns can be made.  Just because I have strayed from my walk with Christ, I have not lost my relationship with Him.  Repentance .  It is a word that many take to mean a person is begging for forgiveness.  Yes, to repent is to admit where you went wrong, ask forgiveness for those things, and then turn around, change your mind and behavior.  Repentance is part of resuming the line of communication that I alone shut down.

God created me and knows every single thing about me.  He knows me better than I know myself.  He knows that I will occasionally stray from the path.  But He also knows that I remember what it was like to be lost, and I don’t want to go back there ever.  He knows that I will look to Him to lead me back onto the path to Him.  And He is waiting for me right now, with open arms.

Until next time . . .

365 Writing Prompts, by thinkingwritten.com – Day 006 – Eye Contact

The complete list of 365 writing prompts can be found at thinkwritten.com

Take a moment to think about one of the most intimate moments in your life . . . a moment when you felt connected to another person.  I’m talking about a connection more intimate than physical contact.  A moment when you felt a connection in your soul.

It is said that the eyes are the gateway to the soul.  To make eye contact with someone, even if it’s just for a moment, is to connect with them.  Maybe you’ll be able to see something that they are keeping hidden . . . a sadness, a joy, a lie, a truth.  The mouth can lie, but the eyes can not.

Eyes are possibly the most expressive part of the body, and to make eye contact with someone is to reach them on an intimate level.  And that is the subject of today’s writing prompt.  Eye contact.  The assignment is to write about two people seeing each other for the first time.  So, without further ado . . .

 

The room was large, open, and decorated to look like the interior of a barn.  The stage at the front of the room was filled with musical equipment . . . a guitar, bass, keyboard, drum kit, speakers, and several microphones.  Tables lined each side of the room, and the center of the room was left open as a dance floor.  The space was used frequently for musical acts and dances.  Most of the entertainers who took the stage were local acts, bands that played together for fun and as an escape from the tedium of their day jobs.

She entered the room that night expecting nothing more than to watch her friend play with his band that night.  She was prepared for a couple hours of good music, maybe a little bit of dancing, and then to go home.  She looked around the room and noticed that most of the audience was quite a bit older than her, and they all were decked out in their cowboy boots, best jeans, pearl-snap shirts, and cowboy hats.  She found a seat at a table near the stage and people-watched while she waited for her friend to arrive.

She never saw the band members take the stage, but the lead singer greeting the audience is what finally grabbed her attention.  She spotted her friend on the stage and gave him a wave.  She noticed that the rest of the band members were all about the same age as the audience . . . every band member, except for one.  The keyboard player.  He was much younger.  He looked young enough to be the son of one of the guys in the band.  She was captivated.  He had dirty blonde hair.  Compared to the rest of the band he was short.  He was trim.  His Captain America t-shirt clung to his chest and shoulders just enough to hint at the solid muscles beneath it.  His dark blue jeans were worn and comfortable looking, like they had been worn during many a performance.  His black Converse high-tops had obviously seen a lot of life as well.

She had gone to watch her friend play with his band, but she could not turn her gaze away from the man on the keyboard. 

During the show intermission she went outside to talk to her friend as the band quickly smoked their cigarettes before returning to the stage.  She knew most of the other band members, having met them at previous shows, so an unfamiliar voice grabbed her attention.  She turned around to find the source of the voice and it was him, the keyboard player.  He was standing right behind her.  When he noticed her looking at him he gave her a quick but small smile and quickly looked away.  It was dark outside so she was unable to get any kind of impression from the look on his face.  She wanted to see him in the light.  She wanted to find out his name and talk to him.  Her curiosity was killing her.

The band went back inside and took their places on the stage again and soon their second set was under way.  Again, she could not take her eyes off the keyboard player.  She felt drawn to him, and like everyone else in the room knew she could not take her eyes off of him.  The rest of the set passed in a haze.  She did not notice a single song they played as she watched the keyboard player.

As the evening came to an end and she prepared to leave, disappointed at not having even learned the keyboard player’s name, she told her friend goodbye and turned to walk away.

“I don’t even get a hug or a goodbye or anything?”  It was his voice, and he was talking to her. 

Her breath quickened as she frantically tried to think of a witty response.  Nothing.  Her mind was blank.  She turned around and there he was, standing right behind her.  He eyes!  They were such a deep brown that his pupil was almost lost in the depth of the brown.  He was staring at her, waiting for her response, but no words would escape her lips.  But his eyes said that he knew what she was thinking.  A connection.  Unable to turn her gaze away from him, she gave him a smile.

“In case you’re wondering, my name is Eric.”

“Carrie,” she responded, her voice just a bit more than a whisper.

“I hope I’ll see you again very soon, Carrie.  If you’ll give me your number, I’ll text you when I’m playing again.”

He typed the numbers into his phone as her weak voice spoke them.  She gave him a reluctant goodbye, and left the event hall.  Before she made it to her car she got a text . . . “I couldn’t stop watching you all night.  I almost didn’t say anything to you.  Too nervous, but your eyes drew me in.  When can I see you again?”

And it all started with just a brief moment of eye contact.

 

Here is a sneak peak at the topic for day 007:  The Rocket-ship: Write about a rocket-ship on it’s way to the moon or a distant galaxy far, far, away.

Until next time . . .

What he has taught me

Friendnoun

1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile
Those rather generic definitions don’t quite define what a friend is.  They don’t describe the way a friend can say just the right thing to put a smile on your face when you are crying.  They don’t describe the way friends can lose their breath and have tears rolling down their face, their stomachs aching, while laughing over something small and trivial.  They don’t describe the way it feels when you are with a friend and can say so much without actually saying anything at all.  Or what about the way that a hug from a friend can warm your heart like nothing else.
Friendship is something that sounds easy to come by, but think about how many people you encounter in a day.  Now think about how many of those people are your friends.  Think about how many people in your life have been there for more than one year, more than two years, more than five years.  Society today dictates that we don’t hang on to things that are old.  We throw them away and replace them with newer, faster, shinier models that can better suit or ever-changing needs.  Unfortunately that also sometimes means that friendships get left by the wayside.
When I was in high school I had some amazing friendships that i was positive would last for the rest of my life.  Now, twenty years later, I don’t associate with any of them aside from on Facebook.  I don’t know those people anymore.  As a matter of fact, besides my husband, there is only one person in my life that has been there for more than five years, and he is the one who made me want to sit down and write this post.  His name is Brian.
I have known Brian for six and a half years.  He and I have been through a lot together.  We met when he came to work for the radio station in Paducah that I was also working for.  It took a few weeks, but our friendship really started when we had that “You like Drum Corp?  I like Drum Corp, too!” moment on a Saturday afternoon.  Since then we have changed jobs.  First he moved to the Murray radio station, and then a year later I followed.  We have been through relationship ups and downs with our significant others.  We have shared secrets, hopes, fears, laughter, support, kind words, and very angry words.  We have been through ups and downs in our own friendship, including a period where we did not speak for about five months.  But no matter what happens our friendship always comes out stronger on the other side.
My friend is going through a tough time right now in his personal life.  A long-term relationship has come to an end, and it is not pretty.  A few years ago when my friend was going through this same thing with a different girl my natural instinct was to jump in a protect him from the big-bad hurt that was attacking him.  It was my job as his friend.  It was my way of laying claim to him.  I needed everyone else to know that he was MY friend, and I would take care of him.  All I really ended up doing was smothering him, something that took me a long time to see and understand.  I learned from that experience, and even though I want to jump in and protect him again, that is not my job.  My job is to be there for him when he needs me, not to force my way in and tell him that he needs me.  My job is to give him my ears when he needs to talk, to offer a shoulder if he needs to cry, and to have a hug at the ready if that is what he needs.  He knows, without a doubt, that I will be there for him.  He knows that no matter the time, place, or time of day, I will do anything I can for him.
I used to think that I had to always tell him that.  I used to think I he always needed reminding.  I didn’t trust our friendship.  But time and experience have taught me to trust our friendship.  After all, a true friendship can span time and distance without a word and pick up right where it left off.  True friendship is not in the empty words that are spoken, but the trust and faith that the friendship is built on.
Yes, I want to make everything all better for my friend, but the best thing I can do is step back and support him as he navigates his way through.  If he needs me I will be here, and he knows that.  Because that is friendship . . . love and support that does not need to be boasted of, but instead speaks of itself.  I love my friend.  I will always consider him a brother, and I thank God for bringing Brian into my life.  It would be a dimmer place without him in it.  I have learned so much from him on how to be a better person and a better friend.  There is a spot in my heart that belongs just to him, and always will.
 brian and heather
Until next time . . .

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 11 – Your Current Relationship Status

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Irony is what today’s post is built around.  You see, “day 11” of my 30 day writing challenge was yesterday, but I never got around to writing it.  I had plenty of time to write it, but alas wouldn’t take the time  to actually log in to WordPress and tap out the letters to form this post.  Sounds like the first few years that I knew the man that would become my husband.
I am Rob’s wife.  We celebrated our 11th anniversary on October 29th, but I have known him for almost 15 years.

Day 11 – Discuss your current relationship status

I moved to Paducah, Kentucky on January 13, 2001 to take a job with Withers Broadcasting.  A few months later a man started calling to make requests.  He became one of my regular callers.  In October of 2001 I was at a motorcycle shop doing a live broadcast for the station.  About halfway through the broadcast a man walked up to me.  He was tall.  He was wearing black jeans, a black shirt, black boots, and a black overcoat.  He was a little scary looking, except for one thing . . . the sleeping baby girl on his shoulder, his daughter.  I knew who he was immediately.  He didn’t need to introduce himself.
For the next few years this man spent his time continuing to call me for requests, show up to my live broadcasts, and bring me gifts to the radio station.  The joke with my coworkers was that this man had become my stalker.  He would periodically ask me out and I would always find an excuse to blow him off.
In the summer of 2003 I starting dating a man, and by the fall of that year he and I were living together.  It was a bad relationship.  He and I never really liked each other.  It was a relationship of convenience.  I One day during the summer of 2004 I came home from work to find that the man was packing his belongs and moving out.  I was not upset by this sudden turn in events.  Again I say that he and I never really did like each other.
A few days later, while as work, I went through the prize winner sheets.  I was looking for information for one recent winner.  I found his name and his phone number, and made the call.  After almost 3 years of this man calling me at the station, showing up to all of my life broadcasts, and asking me out, I called him and asked him out.
A few nights later we went out for dinner.  The next night he went out to a bar with me and a bunch of friends.  We got engaged that night.  Yes, you read that correctly.  We got engaged on our 2nd date.
On October 29, 2004, we went down to the McCracken County courthouse and were married by Judge Clymer.  That day was also my sister’s 20th birthday.
On January 8, 2005 (Elvis Presley’s birthday), we had a wedding for our family and friends.  The dress, the tuxedo, cake, everything.  We went to Memphis, Tennessee for our honeymoon.
We found out in late March of 2005 that I was pregnant.
Our marriage has not always been easy.  There have been plenty of hills and valleys.  There have been many moments where I have been ready to throw in the towel and walk away.  But two days we celebrated our 11th anniversary, and I look forward to many more years together.
I may be a day late in writing this post for the 30 day writing challenge, and I may have been 3 years behind in seeing someone who was right in front of may face.  But here I sit, knowing that I am in love with my friend.  I am in love with a man who is good, devoted, strong, and kind.  I know that there are times of laughter and fights ahead, but I look forward to those days with my husband.

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Until next time . . .

Jana Kramer and my first boyfriend

I was in the studio today and this song popped up in my playlist.  I have heard the song a few times over the recent weeks, and never gave it a second thought.  Today though it made me think of Bill.  Bill was my first boyfriend.  This is not going to be a post where I wax poetic about what a profound influence Bill had on my life.  This is merely an example of what one little song can do to take you to a certain place and time and momentarily bring back long-forgotten memories.

Bill was my first boyfriend.  He was my first kiss.  He was not the first boy that I liked or even held hands with.  But he was the first one (that wasn’t a family member) to really make me say “I love you,” and mean it.  People say that teenagers can’t fall in love, that they aren’t mature enough to know what real love is.  I heartily disagree with that.  Teenagers know what love is.  It may not be the mature level of love that adults experience, but the emotion of love has to start somewhere and evolve, mature with experience.  Each boyfriend or girlfriend, each broken heart, each first date takes that young man or woman one step further to knowing what mature love is between and man and woman, and I do not mean in a sexual sense.  After all, you don’t jump off the high dive without first learning how to swim.  Teenage love is still love, just as swimming lessons are still swimming.  I was in love with Bill as much as I was capable at the time of being in love with Bill.

Needless to say we broke up, but we remained friends throughout the rest of our high school years.  After graduation he went off to college.  I did not.  We saw each other for a couple of hours when he came home for Christmas break during his Freshman year.  That was the last time we spoke to or saw each other.  There was no falling out.  Nothing to drive a wedge in the friendship.  We just became different people in the 6 months between high school graduation and his Christmas break.  I heard through the grapevine that he married his high school girlfriend, a young lady by the name of Heather.

I have many times over the years since then thought about looking him up, but have not done it.  I don’t know Bill anymore.  I don’t know who the man is that he has become.  I only know the boy I loved at 14 years old.  I don’t know the man that may be a father now.  I only know the boy that for a short time went against his parents to go out with me.  I don’t know the man that has bills, a mortgage, and a 9 to 5 job.  I only know the boy that had shaggy blonde hair, liked loud music, and spent weekends with his parents on the beach at the river.

I got the boy.  Heather got the man.  To look him up, to try to see if friendship really does know no time, would be to look up a Bill that I have never known.

“I got the first kiss and she’ll get the last
She’s got the future and I got the past
I got the class ring, she got the diamond and wedding band
I got the boy and she got the man”

Invisible except to God

I have something that has been on my mind for a few weeks, and I have been debating with myself whether or not to write anything about this subject.  This week it has been especially heavy on my mind.  I’ve decided that the best way to get it out of my head is to purge it through my keyboard.  After all, isn’t that why A Tale Of A T-Rex was born?

I want to start off by saying that I love my church.  In the past year my church has helped me grow in my relationship with Christ more than any church had in the preceding 37 years of my life.  I knew that I had found my church home the first time I walked through the doors.  With it’s contemporary music, dedication to being the hands and feet of Christ, the pastor’s real-world style of preaching, and the acceptance of people that would be looked down on at traditional churches . . . I no longer felt like a trapezoid trying to fit into a round hole at church.  Yet, over the last few weeks . . . maybe it’s not the people at church.  Maybe it’s something in me.  I no longer feel that same welcoming atmosphere.  There are a few people that I genuinely look forward to seeing each Sunday morning, but most of the time lately I am back to feeling like that same old trapezoid.

I have always been a fairly insular person.  I am just as happy being alone as I am being with people in a social setting.  As a matter of fact sometimes I prefer to be alone.  I need quiet time to recharge, especially after being in a social setting.  Yes, I have tendencies toward introversion.  Because of those introverted tendencies I have a difficult time starting new relationships.  I have people that I would truly call friends, and those few people I consider to be very close friends.  But after a little more than a year at my church most of the people there probably couldn’t even tell you anything about me other than I sometimes wear pink sparkly shoes to church.  That’s sad, but I don’t know what’s sadder, that they haven’t reached out to try to include me in their lives, or that I haven’t reached out to them.  They are keeping me at arms length just as much as I am doing the same to them.

I recently tried to step out of my comfort zone and went to church one weeknight for a meeting of a women’s group.  When I got there I was looked at like I was a bug, and one woman actually spoke to me as if I was not welcome there.  I was cutting gift-style ribbon for a project we were doing and she tossed a length of it back at me and very curtly informed me that the particular length of ribbon was unusable, as if I were hired help.  It hurt.  It reinforced my belief that me reaching out in friendship to those people would be as welcome as the plague.

I am currently taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class through my church.  My class meets on Wednesday nights, and this past Wednesday not one person spoke to me while I was there.  The son of one of the other class attendees was talking to me, and we were playing together with his cars, but his mom was trying to get him to leave me alone, and make him sit next to her.  It made me feel very small, like she thought something was wrong with me.

Most of the people at my church have known each other forever.  They grew up together, went to school together, work together.  I am a complete outsider.  I am not originally from Kentucky.  I don’t even live in the county where the church is and most its attendees are from.  Our pastor is always stressing how much we need to welcome new people to our church, but after the “new” wears off then what?  New people get a handshake, a warm smile, maybe even a we’re-glad-your-here-hug, but after a few Sundays the “new” people are shoved aside for the comfort of the established relationships already formed in the church.  Yes, it’s that evil and much dreaded work . . . clique.

I am determined not to let these feeling (of insecurity?) drive me to leave the church.  I love it there, but I feel like I am missing an important aspect of the church family . . . the church family itself.  Instead I feel like the weirdo that crashed the family reunion and stole the last hotdog.  I don’t know how to breach that barrier between them and me, and it’s frustrating.  My pastor is always talking about the people within the church “doing life together,” but most of the time I am invisible inside those four walls to everyone except God himself.  How do I process and deal with that?

Until next time . . .

Healing heart (poem)

One day the memories won't hurt
when they rush forward so fast
One day those memories will mean nothing
And will stay forever in the past
One day it won't take my breath away
or feel like a brick wall caving in
One day my heart won't stop
when the memories start to spin
My heart will never let you go
You'll always be somewhere in my mind
But one day I'll be able to look forward without you
Instead of waiting for your memory to sneak up from behind.

By:  Carrie Leigh
12.08.14

Finding the lost spark

Last night as my husband and I were laying in bed I asked him when the last time was that we’d had a good ol’ fashioned make-out session.  Take a moment to think back to the beginning of any relationship you’ve had.  There was something glorious and about just making out.  I’m not talking about foreplay leading to sex.  I mean just sitting on the couch while some stupid show play on the t.v. in the background, or the never-goes-out-of-style making out in the car.
I’m not trying to gross you out or be all pervy.  It’s just that last night I realized that my husband, somewhere along the way, have misplaced that spark that all relationships start with.  Our intimacy has fallen into a routine of quick pecks before falling into a snoring slumber.  After almost 10 years of marriage our conversations are mostly, “how was your day?” and “what’s for dinner?”  We have fallen into a comfortable rut.  That may be why I turned to another man almost 3 years ago.
I will admit that I got bored in my marriage.  There was nothing exciting left, I thought.  We both worked so much and then had to come home and be mom and dad to our son.  At the end of the day there was nothing left for the husband and wife.  So I turned to another man.  I turned to someone who wanted nothing from me.  I turned to someone that for a little while made me forget that I was a wife and mom.  With that man I was just a woman.  It felt nice to be just a woman.  That “relationship” went on behind my husband’s back for almost 2 1/2 years.  It ended in February of this year when God held a mirror up in front of my face.
Since February I have struggled to let go of the things that were toxic to my life and to my marriage.  It has been difficult, but things are turning around slowly.  I’m not proud of who I was, but that girl is dead and over the last several months I have started getting to know the Carrie that God wants me to be.  He is slowly restoring my family, bring us closer to Him and to each other.
Part of the restoration to our marriage is, of course, intimacy.  Hence the realization last night that we have not had a good make-out session in ages and ages.  To restore what has been misplaced we must strip it down to where we started and rebuild our marriage.  We have to rediscover what it is about each other that we fell in love with.  We have to find the man and woman that are beneath the “mom and dad” and the long hours at work.
God showed us both the road to each other 10 years ago.  Somewhere along that road we got lost.  God is the one who will get us back on the road to Him, and to each other.
Until next time . . .

Stepping stones

Finances . . . the bane of many relationships.  If you are struggling to make those ends meet than you know exactly what I mean.

I will be honest and say that my husband and I struggle every single month to get the bills paid.  We shouldn’t be struggling, because he picks up several hours in overtime every week at work and we have tried cutting out some unnecessary expenses.  But once you get into that hole you know that it’s really hard to climb back out of it.

Last Thursday my husband and I got two letters in the mail from the bank that holds the liens on our cars.  The bank was letting us know that our cars would be repossessed tomorrow unless we got the past due payments caught up immediately.  We are behind by two payments on each of the cars.  I panicked and, in the spirit of honesty, will admit that my faith wavered.  I was trying and trying to climb out of our financial hole and was face-to-face with falling further in.  Instead of going to God in prayer and asking for his help and guidance, and for the strength to deal with the situation I immediately started imaging the tow trucks hauling our cars away in a parade of shame.  I pictured my husband and I losing our jobs and home because we couldn’t get to work to earn our paychecks to pay the bills.

Do you see how quickly Satan can set up camp in our head if we let him?  All it took was me opening those envelopes and before I knew it Satan had himself implanted in my mind and was making himself at home filling me with doubt and fear.  Why does he do that?  He does that because that is the easiest way for him to turn us away from God.  If we are doubting ourselves then we are not focusing on God.  We are putting ourselves ahead of what God can do for us.  The longer we let that go on then the more ground Satan gains in our head and the further we are pulled away from God.

I was pretty deep into my pity-party when it was my husband that reminded me that I needed to go to God in prayer over the situation.  I could feel Satan start to pack his bags and begin his pouty escape from my head.  By the time my husband got home from work that evening I was much more focused.  We sat down and talked and worked out a plan of attack to deal with the potential loss of our cars.  That night I prayed.  I didn’t ask God to save our cars or to send us a well-timed windfall of money.  I asked him to give me the strength to handle the situation no matter what happened.

Fast forward to the next day . . . last friday . . .

We called the bank that holds the liens on the cars.  I imagined the person on the other end of the phone thinking some very bad things about me.  I felt so small and so weak.  The strength that I prayed for was quickly escaping me as I started to cry.  The woman on the other end of the phone reassured me that the bank wouldn’t take my cars, and that they wanted to help us get caught back up on the missed payments.  When it was all said and done I got off the phone, went into my co-worker’s office, sat in a chair and took a deep breath . . . and cried.  They were not tears of fear or heartbreak.  They were tears of relief.  God had gotten my husband and I over a scary hurdle even though I was afraid to trust in him to get us there.  He basically said to me, “Carrie, look what I can do for you if you will just trust me.”

Every experience we go through is a lesson from God, a chance to learn and grow for Him.  I thought that I had no problem putting my complete trust and faith in the Lord, but he showed me that I was wrong.  He used the experience with the cars to point out a weak area in my life that needs attention.

After further discussion with my husband, and prayer, we decided that the best course of action to climb back out of our financial hole would be for me to take a second job for a little while.  I am hesitant to do it because it will take me away from my family even more, but in the long run it will be what is best for my family.

God wants to be the number one focus in our life.  As long as we are focused on other things . . . our careers, friends, enemies, possessions, anything . . . we are not putting God first.  Financial strain can pull you away from God because you are focusing on the problem.  God will lead you to the solution, but you have to trust him.  You have to have faith in him.  You have to go to him and tell him that you can’t do it on your own, that you need his guidance.  He will guide you so that you can fix the problem and then focus on Him.

Why will he do that?

Because he loves you.  You are his child.  He doesn’t want to see you weak and hurting.  He wants to see you strong and happy so that you can exalt Him, so that you can share Him with the world.

What is pulling your focus away from God right now?  Share it with Him.  Ask Him for help to overcome it so that the things that are making you weak can be your stepping stones to the One who will make you strong.

Until next time . . .