Category Archives: Healing

Hungry Caterpillars and Transformation

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Our granddaughter Alyse has loved puzzles and Monarch Butterfies. When she was pre-school age, she liked to put together a floor puzzle of an illustration from the children’s book, The Hungry Caterpillar. I made happy memories of sitting on the floor with Alyse piecing that puzzle together.

The above photograph of Alyse was taken one Easter at her Grandma Doreen’s home. As you can see, she has a Monarch Butterfly perched on her finger. The Butterfly must have decided she was lovelier and sweeter than the nearby yellow hibiscus!

What do hungry caterpillars and butterflies have to do with Easter and Transformation? Hungry Caterpillars become beautiful butterflies by God’s design and plan. The crucified Christ becomes the Risen Lord on Easter morning to complete God’s redemptive plan for mankind. The Risen Lord transforms believers into New Creations. (See 2 Corinthians 5: 17)

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6, New American Standard Bible)

Like hungry caterpillars, Christians keep reading the Scriptures, day by day, year in, year out. It is their daily bread, and it satisfies them. This steady diet of God’s truth transforms their lives. Christ uses his words to make them new creations.

Sometimes a transformation in Christ can be very dramatic and sudden, like it was for Louie Zamperini, as I mentioned in my previous post. For most of us other believers, I think, the transformation is the slow, steady variety.

Oh, the wonders of God’s Creation! – caterpillars becoming Monarch Butterflies, granddaughters becoming beautiful young women, and believers being transformed into the likeness of Christ with ever increasing glory (2 Corinthians 4:18).

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New Beginnings

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This blog is dedicated to The One I love.  The One who makes all things new.  The Author of springtime, new mornings, and new beginnings.

Long ago that Author resurrected my marriage one Easter morning. ( You can read my story on the book page of this website.)   Before He could renew my relationship with my husband, a stone needed to be rolled away.  It was a large, heavy stone, a boulder really.  That massive blockage was resentment, and the force essential to removing it was forgiveness.

I approach this Easter with another relationship that is at risk for death without forgiveness.  Although I have apologized and asked to be forgiven, the person I hurt has not extended forgiveness.

Now I struggle with regret which is made worse by my desire to be perfect, my delusion that if I just try hard enough, if I do all the right things, I can be perfect.  I can endlessly obsess over what I did.  Why did I do that?  How could I have been so stupid?  If only I hadn’t done that.  If only I could live that day over.  If only, if only, if only, and the regret  strangles my joy.

I have always found it easier to forgive others than to forgive myself.   Perhaps the ability to accept God’s forgiveness, to embrace it, and to start over is dependent on my forgiving myself, the way God forgives me.

I think that before I can grieve the loss of this relationship and move forward,  I am going to have to forgive myself and get over being imperfect.

Lately, The One who makes all things new, has been reminding me of some great advice from the apostle Paul.  “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining forward toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”                   (Philippians 3: 13 & 14)

Lord Jesus, thank you for forgiving me.  Please give me grace to forgive myself, to leave the past with its regrets behind, and to strain forward for what lies ahead.  Let me let you love me and let me let you restore me. Amen

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The Reconnection

Is the reconnection in relationships accomplished through reconciliation?  One of Webster’s definitions of reconciliation is to settle or resolve a dispute.  God is resolving his dispute with mankind.  In his son’s sacrifice on the cross, humans can be reconciled to God and to one another.   A vertical beam bridging us upward to the Heavenly Father, and a cross beam bridging us horizontally to one another.

Hear the word of God on this matter:  * “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  *God, … has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  * God is love.  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

*Reading for February 28th from Daily Light, copyright 1998, by Anne Graham Lotz.  John 3:16, 2 Cor 5:18-21, and I John 4:8-11

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Treasure Reserved For Battle

There were two conversations at my table.  Each of the women made herself vulnerable, sharing with gut wrenching honesty.   One had been attacked and left with the symptoms of trauma.  The other, a mother, was feeling hopeless to help a foster son, reeling with maladaptive behaviors following abuse and neglect.  She wanted to feel compassion, but it was buried under the anger this child’s behavior arouses.

My heart ached for these women and this child.   I did the only thing I could do, the best thing to do.  I prayed, and as I prayed, God gave me a word of wisdom that I am still pondering.  “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?”  (Job 38:22-23)  Another translation used treasuries, instead of storehouses.

What treasure does God reserve in the cold and difficult circumstances of our lives?  How does this treasure help us as we fight the battles of our lives – battles to trust – battles to save relationships – battles for emotional wounds to be healed.   Quoting an old Scottish preacher ( forgive me for forgetting his name), there are only two kinds of prayers – birthing and battling.

I am reminded of Viktor Frankl, a survivor of a concentration camp, who wrote so compellingly in Man’s Search For Meaning that the one right, the one freedom that no one can ever strip away from us is our right to choose our own attitude, the meaning we give to our own pain.   Is our will to choose the way we will think about our heartaches, losses, and the injustices we suffer, the treasure God reserves for the day of battle?

May God give light to those we battle in prayer for.  May that light give them courage to believe that God is good and that he will give meaning to their suffering – to believe that he heals and re-creates – to believe that he can restore what the enemy plunders.

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Spiritual Healing

We took our son Jim, his wife Heather and their children to a pottery studio.   Alyse, Miah, and Isaac decided to do mosaic birds.   Mary Kay, the owner and former art teacher gathered all the supplies, gave them instructions, and then kept returning to our table to make suggestions, check on the progress, and give encouragement.  I loved watching the children pick out their broken chips of pottery and glue them on their birds.   The project and the teacher called forth the creativity in each child.

In Psalm 31 David said, “I have become like broken pottery…”   I, too, have been like broken pottery.  The spiritual healing I experienced was the work of  The Divine Artist who took the broken pieces of my marriage and made it new and beautiful.   The One who said all things work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28),  cared to pick up the many colored chips of my heartaches and used them to make me a songbird.

Weeping may last for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).  When that morning of restored joy arrives with the sunrise, I  sing the new song He gives me.

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Spiritual Healing Prayer

We were grieving the loss of my husband’s pastoral ministry when we first saw the art print with this spiritual healing prayer: “Lord make me like your bread, your body. Take me, bless me, break me, and pass me around among your people.”* Later we grieved the death of our love. (You can read our story on the book page of this website.) Our lives were broken, like the loaf of bread on the altar in the art print. The prayer was healing because it gave our pain significance. As heartache carved a deeper well for compassion and mercy in our hearts, we yearned to be nourishing gifts that our Lord could indeed pass around among His people.

Our story is our bread. We think of it as a loaf given to Jesus to divide and multiply as He chooses to feed hope to other couples in crisis.

*1977 copyright by Floyd E. Hosmer

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Spiritual Healing

I am recovering from a nasty upper respiratory infection given to me by my generous husband. My throat feels raw. This morning for breakfast I ate a mix of frozen blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The wonderful flavors exploded on my tongue, and the cold fruit made my throat feel better. The fruit’s Vitamin C with its antioxidant properties and support to my immune system made my breakfast choice a good one.

The scriptures tell us that if we abide in Jesus, we will produce much fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (See John 15:5 and Galatians 5:22)

These fruits will have spiritual healing and protective properties in any relationship. They will enrich any marriage.

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Spiritual Healing Prayer

My husband and I attended a memorial service yesterday. The mother of the stillborn son thanked the family and friends who had assembled. She told them that their prayers had been effective when she was drowning in the anguish of her heartache. The power of those prayers had helped her begin healing as she journeys the dark valley of grief.

I know the power of spiritual healing prayer. I thank God for an intercessor who prayed for me and my husband when we were in crisis. You are welcome to read my story on the book page of this blog.

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Spiritual Healing Protection

Last evening I needed to protect my flowers which came up early with the unseasonably warm March weather.   I am glad I covered them with an old quilt and towel because it was only 29 degrees this morning.

Relationships, as well as flowers, need protection.   I believe the spiritual disciplines of  Scripture reading and prayer are protective.  Beginning Again, my story on the book page of this blog,  documents the spiritual healing protection of those disciplines.

 

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Spiritual Relationship Healing

No one loves me like my Heavenly Father.  He loves me perfectly.   I used to expect my husband to love me like God does.   Eventually, as I grew up as a woman and a wife, I learned to accept the limitations of my husband’s love.  I extended to him the same grace I needed him to extend to me for the limitations of my love.  I learned that God’s love was sufficient for all my needs.  This change in expectations was a crucial part in the spiritual relationship healing in my marriage.   I invite you to read the story of the death and resurrection of my marriage on the book page of this blog.

 

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