Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sticks and Stones

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

I probably learned this saying when I was four or five years old.  Little did I know this would be one of the things that came to my mind after my real father called today.  I should not have answered the phone, but I did.  No looking back.  Keep on walking with the Lord.  Learn.  Trust.  Faith.

I will spare you all the details but essentially he called to start something with me.  Dog me out.  Cut me down.  Make me feel as bad as he does.  It didn't work.  I did not shed one tear.  I put up the shield and He protected me from the flaming darts.  

Joe calls me for the first time in four years to wish me a Happy Birthday.  I write him a thank you note for calling.  He actually acknowledged my birthday! Then he calls and has nothing nice to say all because I didn't tell him my husband lost his job.  The reason I didn't tell him is because it would just stir things up.  Plus I had not talked to him since I flew to Alabama to visit him in the hospital.

And all he could do was cut me down.  I pity him.  Really.  He is sick.  SICK.  He actually got mad at me because I was filling my salt shaker while I was talking to him.  Seriously?  I know in my heart that all he wanted to say was, "I miss you, Allison."  I guess more than ever I see how the Lord has changed my heart.  I don't desire to stir up fights or make someone feel bad intentionally.  I mean I do sometimes cause you know I am a jokester.

When I went to visit him in the hospital he actually said, "Allison, I know how to F with you."  That is the main reason I have not had any other contact with him.  He is not safe and he can not be trusted.  I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father has supplied me with oh, so much more than Joe ever could:)  Especially His word.  His Truth.

"But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.  As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned."  Titus 3:9-11

Closure.  I now know why God has taken me to the place He has over the past few months.  Closure on the pain my real father, Joe has caused.  It is over.  I will love Joe from afar.  That is ok.  I will love my enemy, because that is what God calls me to do.  I am ok with this.  Joyful obedience even though it hurts.  It will always hurt.  But, the beauty is far more than I ever deserve.

I will silently say, "Jesus" whenever Joe comes to my mind.  I will continue to pray for him.  But, I will not let satan win this battle.  Jesus defeated satan.  Jesus has won the battle.  I am claiming scripture!  It feels so good because I believe It and I am receiving It:)  I will continue to walk with the Lord, side by side, hand in hand.....looking over my shoulder with a smile and maybe a tear.  Looking to the future with a different kind of hope.  A hope that only the Lord can give.  A heart that is full of love and thankfulness.  A changed heart.  A heart that was once lost, but now found.  A new heart.  A love for Jesus that I never knew before. 

"It is important to note that forgiveness doesn't mean an automatic restoration of a damaged relationship.  Forgiveness must be distinguished from reconciliation and a restoration of trust.  In other words, in some situations you can genuinely forgive and yet not restore a relationship nor trust the person again with your life and heart.  Forgiveness doesn't mean reconciliation or a restoration of trust.  Forgiveness is an offer of mercy - to yourself and to the other person.  Forgiveness is merciful to you for it frees you from the bondage of the other person's sins.  It is merciful to the other person, for it offers them an opportunity for repentance.  Depending on the circumstances, your forgiveness may open the door to much more.  It may offer reconciliation, which over time may also lead to a restoration of trust."  Gospel Transformation, p. 280

I am choosing to forgive Joe.  I will continue to pray for him.  I will continue to hope that the Lord would choose to change his heart and make it new.  But, this chapter is closed.  Joe will no longer have any hold over me.  Closed.  My heart belongs to Jesus.  No one can snatch me out of His hand.  I praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I will raise my Ebenezers in worship for all the Lord has brought me through.  The good far outweighs the bad!  This is what my sweet and precious husband sent me yesterday after I told him what happened.
"Allison - Joe can be mean and can say hurtful things, but he cannot take away what you have - a husband and two kids who love you, some great friends, and the love and peace of Jesus.
Romans 8:28
James 1: 2-4
Isaiah 41:10
Love you
I am blessed and I owe it all to Jesus.  I owe it all to Jesus.  
Dear Lord,

Please give me the desire to build others up and not tear them down.  Lord, forgive me when I do tear others down.  Please heal the broken places in my heart that have been damaged by words that might as well have been punches to my face.  Help me to look to You for Your strength.  Your love.  Thank you for giving me Joe.  Thank you for showing me that You are my Father.  Thank you for Gregg.  Thank you that You gave him to me, so that I could experience what an earthly father should be like.  He is an amazing daddy and I am humbled that You chose him for me.  You knew he would be my daddy.  You knew.  Thank you that my children know what it is like to feel loved.  Thank you that they feel secure.   Thank you for letting me see what it is like to experience a life I never knew existed.  Thank you for the husband that You gave to me.  Thank you that I can see You in him.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Romans 5:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Romans 5

Peace with God Through Faith
 1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Pruning.  Pruning.  Pruning and more pruning.  Almost four years ago we moved back to Columbia.  We were so excited to be coming "home."  We bought a house with an eight week old and a three year old.  A momma who would soon lose her marbles (PPD, panic attacks, etc.)  Bottom line.  We bought a house that was too big for us.  We were different four years ago.  I know I am not the same person I once was.  I mean I am still the same, but my heart is different.  

The person who lived in our house before us was a landscape architect.  Yep.  Great.  She was so sweet to come by and go through the entire yard and give me the run down.  Only if my baby had not been crying.  Only if I didn't feel like I was going to have a heart attack.  I don't really remember anything she said except for, "this tree I use to collect the seeds and send them to a person in Augusta."  That was enough to intimidate me.  I mean let me tell you, when we bought this house, it was like the "secret garden."  It was amazing.  You could tell that Mrs. Rice loved this yard.  She took care of it like it was her baby.

Not me.  For the past four years I have spent the majority of my time trying to get to know the Lord better.  All along He has been pruning me.  But, I just realized this on Sunday.  I have finally taken an interest in the yard.  Guilt, whatever you want to call it, I feel a strong pull to the yard.  Maybe it is the sunshine.  Maybe it this sense of balance I feel right now.  Maybe because I am different than I was even 6 months ago.  Sanctification.  Whatever the reason, my yard has overgrown it's own space.  These bushes were growing toward the sun, but nothing except these two sprigs were growing underneath.  The leaves and branches were keeping new growth coming up from the bottom.  Another words, top heavy.  

So, I got to work.  I cut the good off.  Now I am praying that it will grow back healthy and strong.  I took a close up picture of one of the two new growths so you could see how the light hits the leaves.  Beautiful.  Jesus is the light.  He said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."  John 10:10.

Warren Weirsbe says, "We know that we are abiding when the Father prunes us, cutting away the good so that we can produce the best.  We glorify God with fruit, more fruit, much fruit."  With the Word (p. 700)

Read it again.

So when we are abiding, He will cut away the good so that we can produce the best.  

"By their fruit, you will know them."  Matthew 7:20

When I look back over the last 3 1/2 years, I see the Lord's hand so clearly.  It has been hard.  But, oh so worth it!   

There will be a part 2 to this because I worked in the yard all day yesterday.  Can't wait to show you the progress:) 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

7 years ago

Seven years ago Daddy and I were preparing for your birth, Mac.  Two days until the big day.  And let me tell you, you started out big.  We did not find out that you were a boy until the Dr. delivered you via c-section(you weighed in at 9 pounds 12 1/2 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long.....I am 5'2 btw.)  We were so excited!  Our whole family was there (except Gran da da...he came the day after.)  You were beautiful.  I know you are a boy and all, but you took my breathe away.

I never dreamed I would get married, much less have a baby.  I wasn't the kind of little girl that dreamed about being a mommy.  But, I did.  When I married your daddy something changed inside my heart.  I loved him so much that I wanted to see him as a father.  I wanted a little someone who was part of "us".  We tried  for a couple of years to have you.  We went through fertility treatments.  Tears.  Waiting.  Praying.  Growing.

We were so excited when we found out that we were pregnant.  It was a pretty difficult pregnancy.  I will save the details for a later date.  I just want to tell you how you changed my life.  Now that I look back on my pregnancy I can remember how gentle you were.  Very low key and easy going.  The moment you were born, I changed.  I felt a different kind of love than I ever dreamed about feeling.  You were such an easy baby.  You latched on right away and ate like a champ.  I was nervous about breastfeeding you, and it ended up being the way I bonded with you.  You needed me.  The Lord knew I needed you.

I love you, Mac and thank God every single day for you:)  You make my heart smile!