Puppets

So here’s the situation, life is going well, you’re feeling good, strong and confident and then BAM! Suddenly a jerk reaction you had no idea was coming has taken control of your emotions and you get dragged totally out of synch. You’re left thinking “where did that come from? Why did I do that?”

I have a nasty habit of doing this, and I was thinking to myself and praying about WHY I do this and the answer I was given was Puppets. Weird yes, but let me explain….

Imagine a person walking around, living their normal lives making their own choices and doing their own thing. Imagine that there is a string tied to their arm, maybe their foot, or head, or hand; the person can’t see this string, they have absolutely no idea it is there.

Imagine that it got there some time ago in the past, that day when they were hurt really badly, when they refused to forgive someone, when that sin crept into their heart, when they started believing something untrue about themselves. Imagine it latched on and quietly took root in their life.

Imagine that the person cannot see it, cannot feel it and cannot know that it’s there until YANK. The string gets pulled, they react like a crazy person, out of character, full rage or fear or anxiety. The string gets pulled and they become a puppet to the one who’s holding the strings.

Not God – the other.

large__7161239421

How many walking puppets are lying in wait ready for the enemy to use any time he wants to?

Lets cut off these strings! These ties to the past have to go!

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead,  14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 NLT

Jesus I pray that you will cut all ties between us and the past and that YOU have control of those places in us. Cut off the work of the devil in my life and in anyone reading this, set us free to choose to live for You.

photo credit: Send me adrift. via photopin cc

Advertisements

Cold Feet

I think it is now time to admit that I have a serious case of cold feet. I get married in 3 months and I am freaked out. A while ago I was worried, now I am petrified (read more here).

Suddenly after all this peaceful time of being engaged and working towards a new life together I am itching to run as fast as I can in the other direction. Molehills, which my rose tinted glasses were hiding, have now turned into mountains eclipsing my view of this wedding; all I can see are faults, my faults and his faults.

I see the look of doubt in people’s eyes as they watch my reaction to marriage, I’ve heard it so many times that I “must be so excited!?!”

But what if I’m not?

medium_2775868047

What if I dread the thought of being tied to a man who can hurt me so badly? What if I am walking into marriage out of obedience to God and not out of the rush of young love? Does that make our relationship doomed to fail?

My past and my present seem blurry and I simply can’t tell if my feelings are rational or irrational.

How does someone without a clear example of how a relationship should work know when they themselves are in a good one?

When does the memory of abuse stop shaping the life that you are now trying to live?

How do you find a voice in a relationship when you don’t know if you are imagining the problems that you have?

And yet I will trust in His unfailing love, I will love because He first love me.

Jesus is my answer, Jesus is my hope.

photo credit: Emery Co Photo via photopin cc

God or Chocolate?

First off let me tell you, I am totally and utterly in love with food. I love the anticipation of an amazing meal, I get such satisfaction out of cooking something amazing for my family and food for me is a real life comfort, something like a warm fuzzy blanket for my stomach which snuggles right into my soul. Why is this important? Because last week I attempted my very first fast day.

How did I get on?

I did it!!!! Woo Hoooooo!

My version of fasting involved cutting down my calories to a quarter of what I normally eat. I am quite hypoglycaemic and have a very demanding job, so I felt to jump in cold turkey would be irresponsible.

Here is how I found it……………

I thought that I would be hungry – I was, but once you reach that hungry feeling it honestly doesn’t get that much worse.

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate – I had oodles of energy and more concentration than on a normal day!

I thought I would feel faint – I felt mildly faint, but after a drink of water that disappeared.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep – I slept fine and fell asleep properly focused on God.

medium_2638831634

All in all I was amazed at how easy I found this. My day was a really hectic, stressful and actually quite upsetting one and the lack of food really didn’t feature too much in my thoughts, maybe the lack of my comfort food drove me closer to God! I feel free from this sugar addiction/dependence/love-hate relationship with sweets and chocolate. I feel clean.

I honestly believe God asks us to fast for a reason. I think it has real power. My day had a focus, and that was to control a natural urge to honour God. I thought about Him so much more. I prayed so much more.

I felt so peaceful.

Today I am fasting again, and my prayer request along with this fast is that God would bless me with some deep, deep healing in my broken places. I can feel an electric current flowing from me to God and I am so certain he’s going to do this for me.

So as I finish this post I want to leave you with a verse

29 And He replied to them, This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting” Mark 9:29 The Amp Version

Is there anything stubbornly sticking in your life that just isn’t budging no matter how you pray? If you have never tried it and are physically able, why not give fasting a try?

photo credit: PetitPlat – Stephanie Kilgast via photopin cc

Fasting – How will I Survive without lots of FOOOOOD?

I can’t say that I have ever really fasted before, or even considered it! I always assumed that it was just an old-fashioned, out of date bible rule (forgive me – I’m quickly realising God doesn’t do those kind of rules!). The only person I knew of who had fasted was my uncle who fasted for a week and said it was NOT a good idea to do it. It just wasn’t really on my radar as something worth doing.

medium_4085987081

Recently, fasting seems to have been invading my life, people from all sides keep coincidentally mentioning it to me. To the point where one lady at my work, who I respect and admire A LOT even if she is a bit unconventional, told me “oh, you must fast, your family needs you so much. Just go without one thing a day that you would miss and every time you miss it pray to God for them, so that you remember to pray”.

I’ve been dismissing this bombardment of “you must fast!” coming from left right and centre by clinging to the fact that my wedding dress fitting lady told me “this will fit perfectly – but DO NOT lose any weight!”. Well, it looks like I’ve been going a little too far with that statement as I have now got weight to lose *sigh*…..

So tomorrow will be my first experience of fasting!

I’m not cutting out food entirely but cutting my calorie intake down to 500 calories for a day (there’s a well researched diet out there that this is based on so I know it won’t harm me or kill me haha!).

medium_4147791422

I’m interested to see how this is going to go, what will I feel? How hard will it really be? How hungry is it possible to get? On the one hand I’m so excited because I get the feeling there will be real God stuff for me to learn here, on the other I am scared I’ll get to 11am and give up in a hypoglycaemic haze!

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes! P.S. any of you ever give fasting a try? Hints or tips or even tales of epic fails are more than welcome in the comments – I think I’ll need the encouragement!

photo credit: » Zitona « via photopin cc
photo credit: » Zitona « via photopin cc

The Forgotten, Rotten Potato

Yesterday I was so blessed by someone who took the time to share with me some of her testimony, and I saw the power that a transformed life can really, fully and concretely have to change someone else’s life. I thought that I had all my life in order and that I had fully let go of my past, yet this testimony seemed to reach right inside of me and jiggle something buried so deep that only God could know about it. God spoke to me yesterday and showed me the forgotten, rotten potato deep inside me.

A Potato? You ask… Let me explain.

medium_5343626853

When I was turning seventeen my friends kept asking me what I wanted for my birthday, and not one for presents in the end I blurted out “A Potato!”. Sure enough on my birthday there arrived a potato, decorated and dressed like a person. I thought it was great, so I took it home and placed it pride of place on my desk. Skip forward to August (my birthday was in September so there’s a fair bit of skipping to be done here). I had gone away for 2 weeks and when I came back my Mum was victoriously regaling the tale of how she had found the source of the smell in my room. My potato had lodged itself somewhere in my room, hidden from sight, months had gone by with no repercussions, but at some point it had started to sprouting, growing and stinking.

Do you know what the worst part is? I didn’t even notice the smell. It’d snuck up so gradually I didn’t notice the change. The rest of my room looked spotless, it was clean and tidy yet there was something hidden from view poisoning the whole area. And I couldn’t see, I had no way of knowing, that it was there.

This brings me back to yesterday, this testimony put a spotlight on the potato hidden in my soul. My forgotten, rotten, festering potato. And just like my Mum was the one to see, find and get rid of the potato of the past, I’m giving this potato straight to my Father in heaven. I honestly don’t know what to do with this, but through reminding me of this situation I can see that my God does! Amazing!

As you read this today I pray that you will be bold to share your testimonies with other people, because they have real power! I also pray that God will dig up any “hidden potatoes” in your soul today or in the coming days. Let’s live in freedom – He died so we could have it!

photo credit: Funchye via photopin cc

Anyone else get the Wedding Jitters?

Ok, so I have 3 months and 2 days until my wedding day……. I have this massive mixed up knot in my stomach pretty much every time I think about it. My dreams are filling up with invites still not sent, the fact that we still don’t (and may not) have a place to live and pretty much anything wedding related that could go wrong.

When we got engaged I was Ecstatic! It felt so right, so peaceful, so calm. We had started organising early and everything was falling into place. 6 months, 3 hospital trips and dodgy lease paperwork later we are not in the same place. Things are HECTIC! More to the point I am hectic!

So my question to all you experienced bloggers out there is,

Is this normal???

medium_5483577072

I guess the spiral of my thoughts goes like this… Oh no we haven’t sent out the invites yet… What if people don’t turn up?…. Wow money is tight since he hasn’t been working, what if we can’t afford any furniture/food/fees and we end up miserably married?……. Things are looking dodgy with our flat, what if we have to live with my parents for a while? That will put a strain on our relationship!….. We haven’t had any fun quality time throughout this illness, what if when we get married we stop connecting??? What if we aren’t right for each other? Should we even get married when things are so up in the air??? End rant.

Anyway, the sensible part of me knows this is probably normal, I love him, he loves me, we are VERY different but most of the time it works great. But there is the nagging, cold feet inducing worry that maybe we are getting this wrong.

This evening we are being sat down by our pastor to take a marriage test. I kid you not, a marriage test – we pass all is well, we fail and it’s no wedding for us, we can’t be married in our Church.

Scary.

There is no way we can revise, no way of cheating (not that I looked into that or anything…. cough), and in the uncertain words of our pastor we should “pass with flying colours – or I hope so at least”. Hmmm, that’s encouraging!

In the meantime, people, can you help me?!?

Is this Normal?

photo credit: PhotKing ♛ via photopin cc

Spring Cleaning!

I work as an office monkey in a Care Home for people with Dementia, and yesterday I was merrily typing away when I heard sobbing coming from the reception lounge. One of our beautiful residents had tears dripping down her face, completely distraught; and this lady, who can barely put a legible sentence together spoke clear as a bell and said that she was “no good to anyone”, that “she was useless and couldn’t do anything for herself” that “everyone thought she was a pointless old woman”. It broke my heart, and as I sat there holding her tissues and praying in my mind I tried to tell her we loved her. That we loved her for just who she is, that even though she could do so much less that before we loved her, and nothing she could or couldn’t do would change that.

It was so clear to me and the people around her that she was loveable, yet to this lady she just couldn’t believe it. Her mind was soaked in so many lies about herself that the truth had started to sound like lies to her.

Cue a Lightbulb Moment for me. That whole morning I had been drenched in thoughts that people were annoyed at me, that they wished I wasn’t there, that I should never have reached out to this or that person; I would just disturb them. Where did I get those beliefs from? People had never said this to me!

medium_8564707318

So this morning I sorted through the cupboards in my mind. I looked all through the forgotten drawers, dusty corners and dark recesses. I found things I thought I’d thrown out years ago.

“You’re always a burden to people – you need to stop telling people your problems”

“You’re too shy – No matter how hard you try you’ll never really make people feel at ease.”

“You’ve got nothing interesting to say – Keep your mouth shut so people don’t realise how broken you are”

“You’re selfish, standoffish and rude”

“People are fed up with you – stop taking up their time”

No-one has ever said this to me. Just the nagging thoughts that pop into my head. These are lies, pure and simple; it’s time to clear them out.

Suddenly it dawned on me…. Oooooh so this is why I’ve been so oversensitive lately! This is why I’ve been struggling at Church! This is why I’m doubting reaching out to people my age about Jesus.

This is the devils plan to keep me silent. He’s a liar a great deceiver and he’s been laying traps for me.

Praise God who sets me free with Truth! I am innocent – because Jesus took my sins I will NEVER be found guilty. I am made in God’s image – introverted is how I’m made to be, and that’s ok! Jesus loves me independent of what I do, how I fail and who I speak to – He loves me when I have nothing to give. I am not unwanted – I am bought with a price into a family! I’m not just humoured I am adored!

Goodbye lies and dust and dirt – this mind has had a spring clean! Jesus is all I need.

photo credit: filhodejaneiro via photopin cc