Archive for the ‘darkness’ Category

After reading Matthew Malin’s post Severing the Chains of Regret:  Is it Possible?, it reminded me of times in my own life dealing with regrets and prompted within me a desire to shed more light on the subject…

Before I do, I will also share in one of many regrets of an attempt to impress a young girl as a middle school teenager.  I was riding my 10 speed bike and peddled as fast as I could by her as she watched from upon my porch.  I realize at the last second upon reaching the  6″ curb that I must brake = I flipped completely head over heels with bike following in tow over me into a heap as I landed hard on my back.  Yah, so much for that stunt.  I wonder what she thought about it?

And one more for good measure is my first date as a 17 year old taking a girl to a movie.  I have no recollection of what the feature show was called or what it was about. But what I do remember is taking her home, getting out of the car, gently placing both of my hands on the sides of her face, and the good intention of giving her a kiss on her forehead out of respect before saying good night.  However, she looked up to kiss me and I kissed her nose.  Yep!?  I attempted once more and the same result occurred.  Nope!  Not doing that again.  The next day looking at the doorway (as I sat in my seat in an empty classroom awaiting for its start) there she appeared and stood waiting for me as if she still cared for me.  Try as I might have wanted to -regret and embarrassment took over and I didn’t move let alone respond.  After a few minutes, she turned and walked away.  Needless to say, it was the first and last date I had in high school.

How to Respond to Our Regrets

I wholeheartedly agree with Matthew’s take on regrets (author of Confessions), that it factors into everyone’s life at some point if live long enough to deal with it, lose from it, fail in it, and have to face it. And he is right that JESUS is the answer…

HE is the answer to our dilemma of regret (past actions of our own doing or performed against us by others, present guilt or shame, and future handling of its weight:

  • pressing upon us
  • repressing within us
  • suppressing all positive forward response from us
  • and/or oppressing over every facet of our lives

 

We may not forget our regrets, yet we may still be forgiven, experience breakthroughs,  and thus find freedom to finally move forward into further maturity…

JESUS forgives to rescue our lives, forgives to restore our lives, and forgives to redeem our lives…

Peter experienced a rescue from JESUS when he came to believe and trust in HIM while following HIM.

Peter experienced a restoration after failing in faithfulness to JESUS (forsaking HIM 3 times) in moments of anxiety, confusion, fear, darkness, and weakness -yet gaining a deeper level of forgiveness after JESUS returned to him to continue the relationship with HIS faithfulness, HIS hope filled reunion, and HIS perfect love given.

Peter experienced a redemption when given the renewed responsibility to spread the Good News of salvation ordained by JESUS knowing HE had risen from the dead and still loved and valued him beyond the failures and regrets of guilt and shame he had harbored…

Our first and foremost response is to turn to HIM for forgiveness:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:16-17

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

HE forgives to rescue:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:10

As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:11

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13

HE forgives to restore:

Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, LORD, are good.  Psalm 25:7

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.  Isaiah 54:4

HE forgives to redeem:

For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.  Isaiah 50:7

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  Psalm 34:5

And so, I share this because HE is real; HE is faithful to respond and rescue when turning to HIM by grace through faith; HE is able and willing to restore hope to anyone’s soul through mercy and compassion; HE fully redeems anyone’s life changing the whole trajectory of one’s path onto the straight and narrow with HIS Light and encouraging Word and over time casting out fears with HIS perfect love that never fails…

With HIS forgiveness in being rescued, restored, and redeemed we may become inspired and motivated to tell others about what we’ve:

  • discovered to be the Way out of darkness and regret
  • found to be the Truth toward walking in HIS Light and back into the land of the living after each regret
  • experienced to be the new Life granted with purpose and with vision beyond any and all regrets

 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Romans 1:16-17

With forgiveness, all of us may continue to keep fighting and overcoming…

As you sit here after reading this, JESUS stands at the door of your heart and knocks.  Will you respond?  Regrets and/or embarrassment doesn’t have to keep you immovable like in a chair in an empty classroom as an awkward and lonely teenager nor keep you from the greatest gift of HIS unfailing love and forgiveness that may be yours for simply turning to HIM and asking for it.  HE doesn’t walk away, but is waiting for you still -here… now…

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2

HIS forgiveness is HIS key to our hearts:

  • with faith in HIM as our response to know
  • with hope toward HIM as our realization to grow
  • with love from HIM as our reward and to do unto others owe…
  • with HIS Word as our reason into others sow…
  • with HIS Living Water refilling our cups as a reservoir to overflow into channels of HIS grace, mercy, and compassion to show…

I walk past my dad sleeping on the couch.  He came to get me.  I open the door slowly, quietly.  I close it behind me.  I realize now that it was unwise of me to not get help and go it on my own.  But I didn’t think of getting help until it was too late.  Ask for help if you need it!…

I walk away further than I had been into the darkest night.  I had been walking away for quite some time.  Away from faith and trust in JESUS.  Late nights, barely any sleep.  Trying to get through my university classes and working.  Hadn’t been eating much if not at all for weeks.  Thoughts began turning against me until suicidal.  I realize now I was needing to eat and nourish my body and was part of the reason my mind turned against myself.  Nourish your body so as not to do it damage or cause the wiring in the brain to malfunction/misfire…

As I walked onward, the intensity of the situation became unbearable.  GOD seemed to be warning me and I questioned it wondering if I should turn back.  Then I made the decision to go farther at a quicker pace.  Swarms of mosquitos appear out of nowhere attacking my hypersensitive self to make matters worse and more dreadful than at first.  It was torturous and had never happened to me before nor anytime after.  I think about turning back again.  I continue on instead.  I believe GOD was trying to stop me, but I wouldn’t listen.  I realize now that it wasn’t GOD’s heart for me to do.  GOD doesn’t tempt us to hurt ourselves or to commit suicide and wants us to trust HIM as HE works in and through us to become who HE’s called us to be…

I understand though how someone can get so low as to commit suicide.  I don’t judge, yet I know that GOD’s heart is not for this to be the outcome…

I ended up in a field of abandoned cars.  Ironic that this is how I felt.  Abandoned.  An empty shell of my former self.  Wide open to the elements.  No more human presence.  Not able to go anymore.  Broken spirit like all the engines there.  I sat in one of the doorless vehicles contemplating for hours whether I’d take my life or not.  Then I contemplated what seemed like just minutes or seconds. 2 or 3 times got ready then decided this is it.  It was then as if the enemy of my soul took his heavy pressuring off of me as I attempted.  It was as if he pushed me to that edge.  Then I was left all alone.  So I thought.  I realize now that GOD doesn’t give up on anyone and will help us when we turn back to HIM in trust continuing to live on until HE rebuilds us… Place your trust in GOD to get you through anything by choosing to endure and persevere for there is great reward if you do…

 

I came up for air.  I realize now GOD wouldn’t let me drown, because HE had a plan for my life…  But I didn’t know it then.  GOD has a plan for a hope and a future for you too…

 

Confused.  What did I do?  I was scared.  Cursed.  Accursed?  That is how I felt.  I realize now that GOD has great compassion and enduring mercy.  HE wouldn’t abandon me like the car in the broken empty graveyard.  But I didn’t know it then.  GOD will show you great compassion and enduring mercy to the most difficult things you’ve experienced in your life…  Let HIM help you too…

 

I’m still alive.  Am I though?  I felt so lost, ashamed, and guilt ridden as I walked back.  I realize now GOD would find me, heal me, and forgive me further along the healing journey.   But I didn’t know it then.  At some point GOD will find you, heal you inside, and forgive you too if you ask HIM, seek HIM, and knock for HIM when don’t give up (took time over 19 years to experience healing of various aspects of my mind, heart, soul, and spirit). JESUS is faithful and true and I couldn’t do it on my own without HIM… HE’s brought me this far and I give HIM thanks in all things the good, the bad, and the ugly…

 

As I reached the nearest road, a person pulled over and took me to my apartment with my dad unknowing of one of the darkest moments of my life.  I was so desperate that I didn’t even tell him the seriousness of what I was dealing with.  I realize now that GOD moved on my dad’s heart to come get me traveling over 800 miles after I called my mom and let her know I wasn’t doing good.  If you need to be honest and tell someone you need help too, do it…  It’s ok when you’re feeling so very weak to get support until you’re better… Don’t wait (especially if you’re thinking of suicide and/or not eating…) It’s ok…  Getting help is being human and alive…  If you don’t have anyone, feel free to reach out to me…  Email me at:  jeffandtami@truevine.net

There are emergency numbers to call on this website as well.

To be continued…

 

Oceans deeper than I knew

At the surface shallow depth of blue

 

Darkness fades into black beneath

Starkest sins forgiven sink to bottom soon left bequeath

 

Touch of sun’s glow at dawn rising and dusk falling

Much unknown below of bygones; capsizing? -reach in trust calling

 

You’re not meant to carry the weight of magnetic pull to the ocean’s floor

HIS plan will bury the bait/hook/line/sinker you fell into; empathetic full motion of waves send you back to shore

 

Space where stars and moon have no access to shine no need to ever know

Grace through faith to Heaven will rise you above to see freedom from, no longer blind, to forever go

Why am I inspired late at night

Why not when the sun is bright

I guess the darkness is what you saved me from

I profess YOUR Light given is what has brought my freedom

It’s YOUR blood poured out that has bought my life back from the dead

It’s YOUR Word of life that has taught me to renew my mind to offset dread

It’s YOUR Spirit that has caught my undivided attention to walk on ahead

It’s YOUR Presence that has sought my soul deserving punishment to restore instead

It’s YOUR touch that has given my life vision and purpose to be mission led

It’s YOUR love that has chased away the fear and how now life is lived and interpreted

Dusk to Night

Chase the firefly

Capture in a jar

Where you are

A child’s fun to know

 

See the light

Embrace the why

After glimpse the stars

Doesn’t seem that far

Set free from so low

 

North to South contrite

Face it to still try

Stature broken within did mar

Never give up if just restart

Stand, up to par, run to grow

 

Must remember the fight

Race that I might comply

Gather in from the dark

No matter what their scars

Faith, hope, and love will show

 

Mercy anew ignite

Grace take flight

Rapture within compassion’s spark

Go relentless win their hearts

Keep refilling cups to overflow

 

Gain wisdom’s insight

Trace HIS steps that I might

Rather serve to save as state of the art

Teach the Word faithfully so won’t depart

All I am to live as Christ and die as gain bestow

 

With truth deny the lies

Soar above lows to reach on high

Matters in life the course you chart

Seek for Heaven’s pure wisdom to impart

Remember to rescue those fallen lost below

 

Let go the fireflies

Before they die

Scatter freed from the fortifying rampart

Worthwhile to shine set apart

Never forget to glow

 

Dawn to light

Chase the prize

Recapture all who’ve missed the mark

More faith is given to embark

Pressing on so others follow -Heavenward always go

 

Once so crumbling devastated

Then to be humbly elevated

Thankful for HIS grace…

 

Once so broken inside fragmented pieces

Then to have faith’s security, hope’s clarity, and love’s sincerity that increases

Thankful for HIS mercy…

 

Once so trapped in the deepest pit

Then to have the fortitude to never quit

Thankful for HIS compassion…

 

Once so alone in shock doubting and questioning all of reality in total darkness

Then to be brought near to HIM contrite into the Light rescued so my mind works with new ability and noble sparked interests

Thankful for HIS giving me faith…

 

Once so wavering in turmoil thought I’d been tossed out to sea with Heaven now closed

Then to be set free with destination in fact now open forevermore so my soul alert to HIS faithfulness knows

Thankful for HIS giving me hope…

 

Once so fearful, empty, selfish, and filled with self-hatred 

Then to be at peace, fully restored, reaching out, and overflowing fulfillment so my hearts desires come true of its longing created for, awaited for, and elated for the sacred

Thankful for HIS giving me love…

 

Once so weak sinking beneath the pressure and stress anxiously in agony left to my malady of bankruptcy almost a tragedy

Then in renewed strength rising above accepting my spirit beyond measure to profess consciously in cadency my testimony of amnesty about HIS remedy

Thankful for HIS giving HIS Spirit reuniting mine…

Darkness doesn’t stand a chance

Against the Light

Making all things seen

 

Evil doesn’t stand a chance

Against One’s Love

Setting captives free

 

Depression doesn’t stand a chance

Against new Life

Accepting oneself even in misery

 

Mental Illness doesn’t stand a chance

Against lessons learned

Pressing on despite its history

 

Suicidal ideation doesn’t stand a chance

Against my cries coming to YOUR ears listening

Letting go to live on in future’s Mystery