Just a thought...

Just a thought...
to glorify God... one thought at a time

Monday, December 14, 2015

Joy Comes With the Mourning

“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.  Weeping may tarry; for the night, but joy comes with the morning. “ Psalm 30:5

It was a Tuesday morning in the middle of July.  I woke up just as I had been each morning for months prior.  I was sleeping between the chair in my moms room and the couch in the living room.  Regardless of where I slept, it would take a few extra minutes to straiten my back before I stood up.  We moved her in with us last Thanksgiving to take care of her while she fought lung cancer.  When I walked into her room that morning, she was already awake.  She didn’t want to talk and wouldn’t take any of her pills.  She was just laying there, looking at me.  She was unable to get out of bed and unable to move.  This was surprising because three days earlier, she was walking, slowly and with help, but walking.  I tried to help her by changing her bedding but she was hurting too badly.  This was hard for me because she had been doing pretty well through her journey.  She stopped chemo about six months prior and we knew the time was getting closer.  The night before, I was pleading with God to preserve her from the pain that was to come.  

As I stood there just looking at her, I realized that this was the first time that I was unable to help her.   Frustrated, I begged her to help me help her, but she did not reply.  When I walked out of the room, the nursing aid called.  She could not honor my request to come right away but assured me that she would be there in the afternoon.  By the grace of God, a few friends just happened to stop by within a few minutes of each other.  Two of them helped mom get changed and the other ones sat with me and tried to cheer me up.  Another friend called and asked if she could take the kids to the park.  I told her thank you but they were fine at home.  A few hours later, she showed up with a chai latte and took the boys anyway.  Another friend, who was a nurse, came by to check on momma.  She confirmed what the two prior friends told me, time was getting close. The nurses aid and mommas nurse came shortly after and the rest of the day played out the exact way God would have it.  It was a day that I will never forget.  It was the beginning of a new life, one without mom.  The beginning of a journey that I am still on, full of ups and downs and so much emotion.  

My brothers and I had a lot of planning to do.  We spent a lot of time together as families which was nice.  There were unimaginable blessings coming our way.  My brothers and I were humbled by the way people loved on us during this crazy time.  The blessings came in the form of food, clothes for my children for the memorial, and emotional support.  So many blessings, that it was hard to be sad.  Honestly, there was a lot of joy.  I knew where mom was, so that made me feel so much peace.  It was truly a special time; a wonderful, awful time.

Fast forward a few months to Thanksgiving.  There we were at the year anniversary of moving my mom in.  It’s amazing how many moments can happen in just one year.  I felt like emotionally, I was doing fine then, in an instant, it was like I hit a brick wall.  Why was I falling apart?  What was happening?  It’s been four months for crying out loud, why is it getting so hard now?  I felt myself beginning to slip into a depression.  I set up counseling to help me through the holidays and talked with my husband about my feelings.  I realized how alone I was in my thoughts.  In prayer, I cried out.  I knew that God was there.   I knew that He would never leave me and that He would use this time for good, however, I was unsure how to sort through all of the thoughts and emotions regarding the loss as well as other life issues that we were dealing with.  I was overwhelmed. 

It’s difficult when you have faith and feel hopeless.  I know that this does not make sense to everyone reading, however, some of you are tracking with me.  I realize that I am human just like the disciples.  Through the word of God, I was reminded of how quickly they lost hope.  In Mark 4:35-41 where Jesus and His disciples get into the boat to go across to the other side.  (If you are singing Adelle right now, go ahead and finish and we will continue) Ok, so as they were traveling, a big storm came upon them. Jesus had been asleep in the stern of the boat.  They were very afraid and woke him up.  Jesus uttered three words that spoke to everything around, including the sea, “Peace, be still.”  He then asked the disciples what was wrong with their faith.  So here they were, Jesus’ disciples, overwhelmed and without hope as a storm seems to be the center of their lives.  These guys are the ones living with Jesus daily.  They just witnessed food multiply, a withered hand fixed, multiple people healed and much wisdom shared, yet they feared, they too were without hope in their minds.  So in this truth, I realized that I am human too.  And as I heed the words, “be still” I realize that God has blessed me beyond anything that I deserve.  He has supplied friends that check in on my to make sure that I am ok.  He has supplied needs for me and my family.  He has supplied help for me by way of talking through my pain and loss.  But most of all, He is still supplying me with joy.

As my mom was going through this journey of cancer, God kept bringing a verse to mind, “…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b  This verse has taught me that joy is something that goes way deeper than a smile.  It’s a truth that resonates within the walls of my heart which determines that the Lord is Sovereign and He is good!  There was joy for Nehemiah as he was having the people rebuild the wall, and there is joy for me as I rebuild my life.  Joy does not mean that I am happy about anything that has happened, it merely affirms my recognition of the Sovereignty of God.  It affirms my trust, even in the storm.  Oh yes, He has to remind me that my faith needs a checkup but He is always there to remind me.  When I fix my eyes on Him instead of the storm, I have eyes to see His love and care, which brings me great joy.

I wish mom didn’t have to die.  I wish her cancer never came back, let alone took her life.  But I can see, through her illness, she began to understand the Sovereignty of God.  I could see that through my sometimes stubborn willingness to serve her, she got to see the hands and feet of the One who has died to forgive us all.  I watched momma humble her past, present and future right before my eyes.  I watched her walls of anger crumble and her walls of faith go up.  There is so much joy in that alone!  I spent nine months with a woman that I had difficulty loving in the past and God did supernatural healing that I am having a hard time even wrapping my head around.  I got the honor of loving my momma right into the arms of Jesus. 

I sit here, five months, to the day after her death, and I am sad.  We celebrated her birthday for the first time without her this past Friday.  There is still a void in our home.  I am struggling to enjoy this season of Christmas, but in all of this, I still have joy.  I have the joy in knowing where she is.  I have the joy in knowing a Savior that reminds me that as hard as this life can be, this is the closest to hell that we believers will see.  I have joy in knowing that my mom is whole again, without pain and tears.  God has placed a few close friends in my life that I am able to walk along side them in their journey of loss, and that brings me joy as well.  I am thankful for so many that have been and continue to love me during this difficult time.  I do not know what you are going through today, but I can tell you that joy does come with the mourning.  Hold on to hope and trust the Lord.  Let’s pray:


“Oh Father, this writing is probably the most difficult one to write as You have had me to open my heart to share with anyone willing to read.  What Your purpose in it is, I am not sure, but I will walk obediently where You ask me to go.  Lord, I pray for each reader, especially those who have lost hope.  I pray that You speak loud and clear to their hearts as they journey through the Christmas season.  I pray that anyone who does not know You as Savior, would find out what that means and that You would open their hearts to Your Son.  God, everyone reading has experienced loss, whether it be a person in their life, a job, an injury or pain that limits their physical ability.  There is loss all around us.  Help us to look to You in it, instead of at the hurt of it.  Help us to gaze and fix our eyes upward and seek the true joy that only You can provide.  I ask this in the name of Your Son~Amen”

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Be still and...

Sometimes, God uses one single verse to speak volumes over our lives.  Did you ever hear a verse for like the thousandth time, resulting in you looking up toward heaven saying “Really God”?  Well friends, I have been here for a while now.

Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”, has been coming at me for quite some time.  I, by nature, am a busy person.  I love to be busy, so I was sure that God was telling me that I needed to rest.  You see I lost my mom to cancer in July of this year.  It was the hardest season that I have had to date.  I was talking with my brother the other day about how it doesn’t even seem real yet.  She lived with us for almost nine months before she passed away.  It was an interesting, difficult, wonderful, awful time.  You want talk about busy, this time was busy.  

Over the last few months, this verse from Psalms kept coming to me by way of memory, a friend, my devotions, the word, you name it…I heard it all the time.  I have really tried to not do as much, partly because I have been so exhausted, so when the email came in to help with our ladies day retreat, I declined.  I had led the last one, so I was ready to just sit and soak.  God had other plans.  A few months ago, I received a call asking me to help again.  They had a prayer room and they believed God wanted me to help with it.  Guess what the name of that room was called? Yep, you guessed it, “Be Still”.  I knew that I needed to sit in there and pray for the allotted time.  Easy enough, right?  Wrong!

I went into the day thinking it would be easy.  I was in a joyful silly mood and was excited for the day.  I was just to pray as others roamed the building, visiting other prayer rooms for a short time.  God, in His mercy, took me through quite a few lessons in a short period of time.  So I will share my lessons over the next few devotions.  Grab a coffee and enjoy!

The first lesson that God gave me was “Be Still and…humble”.  When the time came to pray, I realized that there was some kind of a blockage.  I couldn’t even lift my head to pray for others because I was struggling to want to approach Him.  The speaker taught on the right view of God earlier and I realized that I had a wrong prospective of Him.  I was aggravated and irritated.  I was struggling to see how big He really was.  I would look ahead at the cross on the front of the room which appeared to be small, yet my problems and emotions were bigger than I could handle at that moment.

So before I could pray for others, I needed my heart to be cleansed.  I needed to lay my feelings and thoughts at the foot of the cross.  I went to the edge of the alter and knelt down on the ground with my elbows on the stage.  I poured my heart out in anger and frustration.  My head was so heavy, I had to lay it down.  I asked Him what He was trying to tell me and I tried to listen.  Sometimes, the sound of our junk is so loud that it drowns out the voice of the One we need to hear.  So I begged Him to quiet my head.

He revealed to me that I was angry and that I was not content with my role.  Two years earlier, I was in women’s ministry.  This was a ministry that I truly enjoyed.  I have a passion to work with women and to help them to see the lies of the enemy for what they are and to learn the truth in the Word of God.  That summer, I could sense that He was asking me to surrender this ministry to take care of my mom.  When I would hear that small voice, I would tuck it down deep and move on to another thought.  God’s voice continued and so did my response. 

That October, I heard Him loud and clear as we made the decision to move mom in shortly after.  I reluctantly set women’s ministry down as mom’s needs grew.  This was the hardest thing that I ever had to do.  I loved ministry.  I love women!  I love being able to help people through situations and to teach people in the Word.  So to be home taking care of mom would be my new life.

So as I knelt, I wept.  I mourned the loss that I was feeling and recognized the Sovereignty of God.  I know He is leading me in a different direction for my ministry and the crazy part is that I am totally ok with it, but it was the just something that I needed to sort through.  After pouring my heart out, I wiped my eyes.  I raised my head and looked up.  This time, I saw something that I had never seen before.  The cross hanging on the wall appeared to be larger.  John 3:30 says “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  These words have never been more true.  You see, the lower that I got, the closer I got to the cross, the bigger it appeared.

I needed to learn a whole new level of humility.  In a weird way, I began to understand God’s Sovereignty so much better.  I need to surrender everything to the Lord, my ministry, writing, everything!  I need to do this every day.  Here I was, a year later, and still mourning women ministry.  I need to submit myself to the Sovereignty of God and take my place, which is on my knees and at the foot of the cross.  Only then, will I be in the correct posture of where I belong.  Humble and ready to serve where He wants me, not where I think I belong.

So what does this say to you?  Is there something in your life that God is asking you to lay down?  Is He asking you to “be still?”  Get quiet and ask Him if there is anything in your life that He wants to be bigger than.  Let’s pray:


“Lord, thank You for lessons.  Thank You for the ability to “be still” and hear Your still small voice.  Thank You that even though You are a Holy God, You still speak to us.  The thought still amazes me.  We ask that You help us to be brave enough to “be still and ___________” help us to fill in the blank.  Keep us focused on You, God.  Keep us to always make You greater and us smaller.  We pray this in Jesus name…Amen”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Great news!
“Just a thought…” has a website!




Hi!! It’s Connie Kovach, here with exciting news!  I am branching out the ministry to concentrate on writing and also speaking publicly.  Please visit my website and let me know what you think!  This has been a journey and it has been hard to take the next step, but I am learning to trust, …one step at a time.  I am super excited to see what God will do next!  






A few changes…

I will need you to sign up to receive devotions on my blog.  You can sign up on my blog by visiting me at http://conniekovach.blogspot.com or at my website at justathoughtbyconniek.com and hit the blog tab, you can follow there.

Once you sign up, you will receive an email.  You will need to confirm your request.  

Also, I want to thank you for being patient with me as I have been on somewhat of a sabbatical.  I was caring for my mother who is now with the Lord.  I pray you continue with me as we grow together in God's word.




Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Bridge to Nowhere


I have spent most of my life in Northeastern Ohio.  From the age of seven on, aside from one year, I lived in Lake county.  I was surprised to learn a few years back about a beautiful bridge that sits behind my good friends house in that very county.  When I asked her where the bridge went to, she answered, nowhere.  This bridge, which adds to the picturesque scene from her back window, literally sits over the lagoon, going nowhere.  According to www.lakecountyohio.gov, this bridge was built in 1924 by a group of investors from Cleveland.  They invested more than $1 million dollars to develop the lagoons into an area to be known as “Venice of the North”.  There was to be a road that led up to this bridge which would lead to a developed area, however, that road was never started and the area was never developed.  The plans for this development came to a halt when the stock market crashed in 1929.  Since then, this bridge has been known as “the bridge to nowhere”.

This summer, my husband and I went on a boat ride with our friends.  I took this picture as we travelled under this bridge, while I marveled at the thought of it’s history.  I was also sad to learn that there was a possibility that this bridge would be torn down.  According to a News Herald article, there were studies done to determine whether or not this bridge would be considered historical.  If they could determine that it would be, there would be grants and funds to keep the bridge up, but unfortunately, the  proof fell short of supporting this.  Because the bridge needs repairs and is becoming a danger to boaters, the bridge would need to be torn down.

The demolition has begun as of this week.  If you look the bridge up on the internet, you will see pictures of it, however, if you look outside my friends back window in a few months, you will no longer see the bridge.  I thought about our faith and how this applies.  Over 2,000 years ago, a man walked the earth, his name was Jesus.  He lived like any other man, sleeping and eating.  He got up in the morning and went to work, just like everyone else, but there was something different about this man.  He was the Son of God, the second part of the Trinity.  He was sinless, pure, and perfect.  He lived among those who just couldn’t get it right and those who had no desire to.  He worked to spread the news about His Father in Heaven.  He healed the sick, freed the bound and gave legs to the lame.  He became such a threat to the religious leaders that they searched for ways to condemn Him.  They aresseted Him, beat Him and killed Him.  But something happened, He rose to life.  He did not stay in the grave, He walked out and He still lives today.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life according to John 14:6.  The word says that if we believe that He is the Son of God, we will have eternal life (John 3:16).  He is now at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Acts 2:33), but He is still with us, holding us up (Isaiah 41:10).  The sad part is, not everyone believes this.  The saying goes “I’ll believe it when I see it”, and unfortunately, that’s how many people think of Jesus.  Philippians 2:10 says “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth”.  But because some can’t physically see Him, they do not believe that He exists.

One of my very favorite verses is Hebrews 11:1 “now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see”.   When I think of the bridge, one day we will not see it.  It will be gone.  The remnants and even tire marks from the demolition equipment will be no longer, but did the bridge exist?  Does this mean that it was never there?  Not at all, I have this picture to prove it.  You see, we have a picture of Jesus too, the Word of God.  John 1:1-3 says “In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God, He was in the beginning with God”.  Who was in the beginning?  Jesus, that’s who. So we need to believe that as much as that bridge stood for ninety years, our Lord has been standing for over two thousand years, even if we can't see Him. 

So as you ponder your thoughts on your belief, remember that sometimes we need to trust beyond what we can see.  Just because there is no visible proof of our faith, we need to press on in our belief, knowing that many years ago, Jesus stood on this earth and now stands in Heaven.  Unlike the bridge that was determined to have no historical value, Jesus’ life was proven over and over again throughout history.  And if we put our faith in Jesus, we will live with Him eternally. 


Connie,


Just a thought... by Connie Kovach

Sunday, September 7, 2014

4 GIVEN

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19

I was talking to a dear friend on the phone one day.  They were telling me how disgusted they were about a friend who had found God.   They said that it was wrong because this guy and his wife were doing horrible things before, and finding God was just a way to make them feel better, a way out of their guilt, shame, and old life.  As I pondered his statements from months ago, I wondered is this how people feel, are we just making ourselves feel better?  I have been praying to God “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24) for months when those thoughts would occur, but last week, God went above and beyond.  He helped me to not only believe, but to understand completely.

I was driving with my son.  As we passed a Laketran bus, I noticed the advertisement on the back.  It said 4 GIVEN on an oversized license plate.  The small print read about an insurance company and accident forgiveness.  I worked at an automobile insurance company for about 10 years until my son was born, so I started thinking about accident forgiveness and how it worked.

If someone had an at-fault accident and had no other violations, the insurance company would not charge them for it.  So their insurance premium would not increase; it was like it never existed.  However, the accident certainly did exist, and there was a wake of evidence to prove it.  Bills from the automobile repair shop, the new fender on your car, the stiff neck that tends to flair up when it rains, the list goes on.   So back to the policy; the premium is a legally bound contract between the insurance company and the insured.  The fact that the premium does not go up, is only known by the person who caused the accident and the insurance company.

As I thought about this process, it became evident to me that freedom in Christ is the same way.  When we confess our sins to each other, and pray in faith we will be forgiven (James 5:15-16).  What does that mean?  It means it is gone; the blood of Jesus has washed it away.  Does this mean everything caused from our sin will disappear?  Unfortunately not; the wake of evidence will again be there.  The health issues, injuries, people who were hurt or saw you live a sinful lifestyle will remember, possibly judge and maybe even condemn you for your past life.  But we must remember that our relationship with Christ is a divine document sealed with faith that is between only Him and us.  When God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross, He did it to wipe your sins away.


So when I rethought the comments made by my dear friend, I realized that they were absolutely right.  Remember they said that opening their life to God would just make them feel better?  This is true because the burden lifted from confessing our past to God gives unbelievable peace (Matthew 11:28).   They said that it was just a way out of their shame and guilt.  This also is true, there is no guilt or shame in Christ (John 3:17, Romans 1:1-4).  You see, no matter what your past life held, once you repent not only will your sins be wiped out, but refreshment will follow (Acts 3:19).  To repent means to not only confess your sin, but to turn from it.  So I thank God for my new life in Christ and I will thank my friend who challenged me to believe, on a whole new level.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Trust

What a word!  So few letters, yet so much work.  I am in a season that screams this word. What are we to trust?  I mean, I know that I need to trust God, but what is He asking me to trust Him with?  The answer is deafening...everything!

If you are like me, then this word makes you cringe. The only things that I've put my trust in have been my determination and my disappointment. These are two things that haven't let me down because I've come to expect them. Does that mean that I am dissapointed in God?  As a dear friend told me "Be real with Him Connie, He can handle it". So, real I am, and Sovereign is He. You see, sometimes our plans for our lives don't shape up the way we hope they will. Don't get me wrong, God answers prayer, just not usually in the way we picture it.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11 God is saying, I God, know the plans that I, God, have for you.   He did not say, I know the plans we have for your life.  He did not say, I know the plans you have for your life. His plans, His will.

If you read the chapter this passage comes from, you will find that God is speaking, through the prophet Jeremiah, to the people of Israel after they were taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar, who took them to Babylon. God is telling these people, you are held captive, and it's all good, I allowed it to go this way. Get married, have babies, live life. Most importantly, pray for this city and wait for me to set you free after many years. I am guessing, that was not the answer to prayer that they wanted to hear.

I don't know where you are.  I don't know what you are facing.  I don't know how anything will turn out for either one of us, but I do know that God loves us.  I know that the storms that continually hit are not a reflection of His love.  He loves us no matter what, even if the storms are brought on by our own circumstanses.  All over the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, it tells us how God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to free us of unrighteousness.  It tells us that God is righteous and holy and He cannot come near sin.  We are sin, it's what we were born with.  There is nothing we can do to remove it, except to trust.  To trust that Jesus suffered and died on the cross to take the place of that sin.   That He is the catylist that connects us to the Father, only when we have eyes to see it and hearts to believe it.  So what do we do with that love that has been extended to us.  How do we respond?  Personally, I will choose to ask God to show me how to trust Him.

Let's pray: "Lord, there are a whole lot of people hurting right now.  Many have no answers to prayer, including myself.  God these are tough times for so many people.  BUT, God You are bigger than it all.  Your word tells us that You win!  That all we struggle with will be worth it if we believe.  God Your word tells us that You love us no matter what.  Help us Lord, to be a people who believe it, who live it.  God help us to learn to trust You with the plans You have for our lives.  We thank You for Jesus, who taught us to trust.  Amen"

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lessons

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 


The weather is finally warming up and it is extremely welcome.  As we sit on the cusp of June, I am finding myself in the same place that I have been for the last six months, winter.  I realize there is no snow on the ground anymore, I am speaking spiritually here.  God has been using this season to teach me many things about myself.  Things that I didn't understand and things that I didn't like very much.  There were lessons about God as well, teaching me about His love and grace that He has just for me.

Over the last year, there have been circumstances that have brought me to my knees, realizing the ugly sin of pride in my life and heart.  My outward tantrums that reveal my inward unbelief and pain have become visible in the spiritual mirror that God has allowed me to see.  I have spent this time frustrated and feeling unsatisfied, downright angry.

I noticed that when I would wake up, there would be a constant heaviness upon me.  The day would begin with thoughts of frustration and feelings of irritation.  I can't truly explain what I mean other than that I would prepare to fight for a good morning.  Every conversation would be on the defense, including the ones in my mind.  I would pray for God to just allow me to enjoy my day or better yet, just make it through.  This is crazy to me since I just let our ladies retreat concerning the topic of "Joy", but apparently, God wants to take me deeper into the lesson and reveal some unhealed territory.

During this last week, I hit an all time low.  Each day seemed to get darker and more depressing than the next.  I found myself barely making it through my workday and hiding away at night, dodging calls, texts and social media.  I didn't quite understand where this heaviness of heart was coming from because I had just come off of an amazing weekend full of close friends and celebration, but boy did it hit.

As I was tucked away in my own pity party, feeling like God didn't truly have plans for my life, I was interrupted by a few texts and calls from friends.  These friends had no idea what was happening in my life and walk, but the prompting that God placed on their hearts to reach out was truly appreciated.  Once again, God was showing me how much He loved me, to reach out in the darkness, specifically to me.

Reluctantly, I went to the word and asked God for something new.  Psalm 23 is the page I felt I needed to go to.  I have read this so many times, even written about it, however, I really felt I needed to go there.  So I prayed, "God show me something new please, I need a word".  He answered that prayer and then some.

The first verse came with a lesson "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want".  I googled what a shepherd was and it was described as a person who tends, herds, feeds, or guards herds of sheep.  Right away I was moved.  God is my shepherd.  The word of God says we are His sheep.  This means God tends, herds, feeds, and guards us.  When I looked up the word tend, it was described as to attend as a servant or to apply oneself to the care of.  Wow, that's  the truth.  I looked up the word "herd"  the definition was to gather, lead, or drive as if in a herd.  At this point, I knew He was speaking directly to my hardened heart.  The Lord is my shepherd.  He is the one who takes care of me, He leads me and gathers me with others so that I am not isolated.  He feeds me, not only by supplying much needed food, but spiritually as well.  As I sat in my dry, thirsty place, He brought life to this passage that I've read many times before.   So asked God for more, and then I read on.

Four words somehow jumped off of the page like never before, "I shall not want".  Um, yea, about that... God what are you saying?  What shall I not want for?   He has been removing my wants for a long time, how much more can I not want for?  I feel that God has been toppling idols or "wants" in my life.  From the want to be appreciated or liked, to the want to be in control of my finances, He has toppled every last one of them.  Then I realized, that there is one more, the idol or want that I have.  It is to carry my past hurts into today.

What am I talking about?  I will try to explain.  As I shared with you a few paragraphs ago, I led our ladies retreat and shared my story of anxiety, freedom, hope and healing.  In doing this, I had to revisit some painful places in my life.  Though this was part of the healing, I still allowed it to be part of my life today.  Last weekend, I revisited a different part of my past.  A part that revealed to me God's Sovereignty in tribulation.  A part that explains how He tended to me as a young child.  So to revisit so many memories that blessed me, really messed with my head.  It's as if my past pain didn't know how to share the spotlight with the past blessings.  I realized that I had been carrying my pain around in a backpack, so to speak, just in case I needed to pull it out on a rainy day.

I know this sounds crazy, I mean who would cut open a wound once it's healed just to feel something?  Many people, actually the numbers of people who cut or self harm is on the rise.  The problem is that most people who suffer from this, do it in quiet.  They don't realize how the pain is not the ground we are meant to stand on.  They don't realize that God wants to herd us away from that faulty ground and lead us by still waters, where we can properly heal.   God showed me that I needed to live as I believe.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."  If I truly believe this, then why do I carry that old Connie in a backpack?  What good does it serve?  Where is this disconnect that separates the old thoughts of Connie's life from the new creation, the truth?  Why do I feel the need to separate the good memories from the bad, when truthfully, they are meant to work together in order to shape my future. 

Let' stop here for prayer and continue later:

"Ok Lord, I just want to stop and thank You.  Thank You God for loving us each individually.  It seems hard to comprehend that love You have for us.  How can You love so many and share that love with each of us?  Then we look at the role of a shepherd.  He tends, herds, feeds and guards each and every one of them.  We thank You for doing the same.  We thank You God for the healing, though so painful to walk through, it is necessary for joy.  You provide still waters to rest by when we are overwhelmed.  Thank You for this journey and please help my random thoughts to be understood.  We love You Lord, and it's in Your Son's name that we pray...Amen"