The Doors of Our Life

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Doors are funny things, at least to me. They swing back and forth, they slide to and fro, they creak, they groan, they swish, they slam, they let people in and usher people out, ultimately their sole purpose is to open and close.

Why is a door important?

A door is like a portal leading from one place to another place. A door is the transition from outside to inside, from hot to cool, from cold to warm, from wet to dry, from exposed to covered. Unfortunately, it can also be a place of fear, sadness, hunger and pain for many…

Some of the doors are chosen for us, especially as we are children. While someone else is caring for us, we have no say in what is behind the doors for us, we just follow the ones who are supposed to be protecting and loving us.

As we become adults, the choice becomes ours alone. We determine which doors to walk through and how the other side will look. Yes, there are times when as a result of a bad choice, our situation looks bleak and hopeless.

Herein is where our God steps in… if we let Him.

Yes, I said let Him…

God is ever present with us, but we still have free will. Because of this,  it is also necessary for us to cry out to Him, when we are in need. He feels our pain with us and even catches our tears when we cry. He is there, but He waiting… waiting for us to invite Him in.

Scripture is full of verses about doors. I have only listed references  in order to provide a sampling of what is in God’s Word. The meanings are as diverse as the number are bountiful.

There is the open door (Matthew 7:7) and the closed door (Matthew 6:6). There is a door that is likened to the mouth, eyes and possibly even the ears (Psalm 141:3). These doors are also places for opportunity and encounter with Jesus (Revelation 3:20), or sin and turning the way of the enemy (Genesis 4:7).

Doors are ever abundant and available, as doors often represent opportunities. Opportunities lead to decisions… decisions lead to blessings or cursings. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

My life has been full of many doors, as I am sure yours has as well. Some of the doors that were not meant for me, well, they led to very difficult times in my life. Some of the darkest, most hopeless times were on the other side of these doors. Were these doors part of my destiny, or did I mess up my life by walking through them?

Here are my thoughts on that…

One of my most favorite verses, and one that many of us are very familiar with is Romans 8:28…

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Essentially, anything we do, God will use it for our good… even through the darkness and the pain. The coolest part though is in looking at the verses around this particular verse.

 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that [b]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

After reading this I am filled with such peace! Yes, we are weak and we NEED Holy Spirit even in our talking to God. But, HE knows that and knew it… and even still, we were already tagged to be HIS, and so He works it out. In fact, He glorifies us! WOW! Even in our bad choices, we will be glorified because we are sons and daughters of the KING!!!

Walking out the extent of opening a “bad” door will probably result in the need for repentance and possibly some pain and hardship for a season. But, there is hope and with God, there is also still a blessing. I have seen it many times in my life where out of a bad situation in my life came something beautiful! For me, it also became such a season of growth and ultimately drawing even closer to the Lord.

Another key to opening the “right” doors, the doors that lead to our destinies, is make sure they are easy to open. The ones that you force open are not for you. I have done that as well and ended up staying in a place where I was very unhappy and even watched an opportunity pass me by.

God is love and in hindsight of this truth, we will always find open doors to our destiny. This love is so HUGE that it will almost reach out and grab you. Once again, it is still up to you. Your choice will lead you to the love or away from it.

Jesus is waiting for you to ask Him which way to go. Just trust in His love for you and then let Him walk you through the next door of your life!

I know not the way the LORD leads me, but, well do I know my GUIDE. Martin Luther

 

My Process – Part 1

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I have now been in California for about four and a half months. And, attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, BSSM, for 3 months. Amazing, crazy, beautiful, painful things have surrounded me and covered me, around me and inside me. Not a part of my being, physical or spiritual has not been affected. Not at all what I expected, but exactly what I needed and I think subconsciously hoped for.

God is the all knowing, all seeing Father, also known as omniscience. In this nature of His, because of His extreme love for me, me being here right now is all part of His perfect timing. In addition, my heart was ready in this season to process and receive all of this stuff going on around me and going through me. Any other time in my life, this continually life-giving water would not have flowed through me freely, but rather lay stagnant in a puddle beside me.

Process…

In the Bethel community, this is a word you hear often. Initially, I was not completely sure what it meant or that it was something for me. It was for everyone else, they had stuff to get through, I was fine. After all, I had spent 10 months before coming here dealing with all of my stuff. Right? Ha! That’s what I thought! The Lord knew better, as did the leadership around me.

Within the first 2 weeks in, I realized that God had started me in my process and that I had so much more stuff in my heart that needed processing…

So what is process? Oxford dictionary defines it as a series of steps taken in order to achieve an end result. Makes sense. Maybe? What was I trying to achieve and what steps did I need to take? Or, better yet… what did God want to do in me and how was He going to do that? WOW. I began to see clearly that I had quite a bit of work in front of me.

The journey began. It started with things that I felt I needed to deal with, fear being one biggie for me. Interestingly enough, as I highlighted fears, Holy Spirit revealed to me how basic those fears were and then went deeper with me with each fear. As we looked at each fear, my eyes were opened for the first time in my life… fear had taken root in my heart many, many years ago and from it had grown a tree which had essentially controlled my entire life. My entire life, 40 plus years, had been rooted in fear! So many different moments, emotions, actions and reactions from my past made sense. I was living out of a place of fear.

To those of you who have never dealt with fear, or at least fear to this degree, this might not seem like a big deal to you. But to me and to others who have been there, this is something that is often immobilizing, both physically and emotionally.

I was literally afraid all the time… afraid to talk to someone because they might not like me, afraid to go to a social event because I was afraid to talk to people, afraid of how I looked, afraid to ride with someone because of anxiety in cars, afraid to speak because I might sound stupid, afraid to go place because of fear of heights, afraid to go places outside because of my fear of spiders and on and on and on. Essentially I was a 24/7 basket case full of anxiety and self-hatred who was often in a state of depression.

The crazy thing is, I really did not see this until about 2 months ago. This is when my process began and Holy Spirit began revealing all of this to me. Then, we began the difficult process of breaking all these fears off of me!!! Before the fears began to leave though, the Father and I had to talk about why they were there… I realized that it was really based on my trust and trusting that God was in control. I had no reason to be afraid, because of Him. As I stayed in Him, fear wouldn’t be there, first because in love there is no fear and the Father is love, (1 John 4:18 ) and also because the Father was my protector and He wasn’t going to let anything happen to me. (Psalm 18:2)

In these moments, I also felt His amazing love that was so good… I will talk more about that another time. His love for me was the reason He began to take me through this painful process of getting rid of the fears that had controlled me for so long. The two things that I really thought had been so big, my fear of heights and my fear of spiders, were the first things the Lord and I worked on.

Spiders would freak me out and I would scream and I would usually not go anywhere near a spider. I remember one time when my husband got a spider for me by merely squishing it between his fingers and I said to him, I wish I could do that. Well, crazier things have happened… I actually had one crawling on my couch one night, about a week into school, and not only did I not freak out and jump up, but I reached over and squished it with my fingers! It took a moment for that to process through my brain and when I did, I screamed in victory!!! It was so good. Since then I have had spiders in my apartment, that I have not even killed, because they weren’t hurting me! I release that testimony over anyone reading this who has a fear of spiders.

Now, the heights thing was a bit more intense. There was a moment one time in the Dallas airport when my husband, Roy, and I were going up an escalator, and my body went into a panic attack mode. I froze and my heart began racing just crazy fast. When I finally reached the top, I barely was able to lift my feet to get off the escalator but then proceeded to fall to the floor and crawl over to the side in a corner and was consumed by tears that raked my body. I shook and sobbed for about 10 or 15 minutes. I was terrified for the remainder of the day and filled with anxiety. This was the norm for me throughout my life. God was ready to change that! As a part of our building relationships and trust not only with God, but also within our revival groups at BSSM, each revival group was to spend a day at a ropes course close by. I was somewhat fearful, but not like I expected. The morning of the day we were to go as I spent time with the Lord, I heard Him in that still small voice so clear… Irene when you come home tonight your fear of heights will be gone. I didn’t question, but instead trusted because I was filled with so much peace. Well, with the presence of the Lord and the support of my group, I was able to make it through the entire course, and was only slightly afraid about 3 times. It was the most amazing and freeing feeling ever!!! I actually want to do things up high now!!! I also release that testimony over anyone with a fear of heights!

In reflecting, I see how the Lord is working so close with me in this process. He is slowly and gently peeling of the layers that have covered my heart for all these years. My Father is lovingly showing me things and allowing me to cry, be angry, repent and just let go. I already feel stronger and more sure of His love and my love for myself. I am excited about meeting the true me once the layers are gone and my heart is revealed and fully healed!

In part 2 of this blog, I will go deeper into some of the things that have been revealed to me by the Holy Spirit that were hidden fears and how we are processing through those. I pray that sharing my process will help catapult others into freedom from fears while realizing that no one is ever truly alone, God is always with us and so are the people around you. Thank you for reading… may you feel His love, peace and blessings today!!!

The Ultimate Cleanse

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My new season is definitely a time of soaking and receiving. It is also a time of cleansing. In fact, extreme cleansing! I am sure many of you can relate. As I am processing all that is going on around me and in me, the Father is pulling out of me all of that stuff that doesn’t belong. Haha, yes! He is cleansing me spiritually and it is not easy.

I knew when I began on this journey that there would be things I would have to deal with, sort through and heal from. I did not realize what a crazy hard but also amazingly freeing experience it would be! I am finding in the last few weeks, that I have 40 years of stuff inside of me that the Father is lovingly purging.

Now, let me be clear. Purging means to get rid of something. As you get rid of it, you look at it one last time and then you say goodbye, at least metaphorically. So, in my process of being cleansed by Papa God, we are looking at each event, emotion, hurt, characteristic, and then letting it go. Again clarification in this is important because I know that each of these things are part of my history and essentially part of me, so they are still part of me, but they no longer control me… that is the key. With my Daddy, we sort through, we remember, we cry, we feel the pain, but then He helps me let it go. And, not only let go, but put it behind me and walk away.

This cleanse is such an important part of my claiming my inheritance and walking into the fullness the Father has for me. Only as I am full and complete, will I be able to fully receive. The incredible side of this is that God, who has immeasurable love for me, is right beside me in this often very painful season. And without Him, I would not be able to do it. Because not only is He ever present, He has surrounded me with a beautiful family as well.

So, as much as this spiritual cleanse is icky and painful like a physical cleanse is, I will do it because of the promise the Father has for me…and what is waiting for me.

  “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t
give them a second thought because God, your God, is
striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He
won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)

I CAN Forgive

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How can I FORGIVE?

You took all I had to give…

I feel so very empty

Hurt is all that is inside of me

Anger is now consuming

Swirling around and growing…

How can I possibly let go?

So confused… I don’t even know…

But then in the darkness

Comes the ONE who loves me

JESUS takes away the hurt, the anger

HE replaces it with something better

Love, His love, 

The love that loves anyway

Forever and Always

Even when it hurts

Even in anger

Love eases, comforts, heals

Love strengthens, reveals

In that love we see how He loves us and once again we live

Once more, surrounded by the love of the Father

I can forgive…

love-mother theresa