Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Tea

My ponderings this week were quite dream-like as the mental picture came to me in that space between deep sleep and becoming awake... where Wendy said she could be found if Peter needed her in the movie Hook.

The images were so real, I felt I could reach out and touch them... images of a tree with deep roots (as if one could look into the ground and actually see the roots as easily as the branches) being fiercely blown about by hurricane force winds.

I sensed rather than heard a Voice telling me this is what I am if I spend time with Him and let my roots grow deeply into His Word (which I have been neglecting lately).  No matter how hard the winds of trials and tribulations of life come against one of His who clings to Him... they may be ruffled a bit but never blown away and lost forever.

Every once in awhile, I have had someone remark on my deep faith and how they desire the same and I tell them... I would not wish upon you what it took to gain that faith.  For only when the roots must grow deep... do they.  It is human nature that way, we tend to run after God when we most need Him... in the storms of life.

I tend to share a lot but not all for there are seasons which I prefer not to talk much about, such as the months we all spent living in one room of a cheap motel when we returned from Iowa... all of us with flea bites on our ankles because they lived in the carpeting.  Not what one expects when helping their husband through graduate school.

Then... years later... once again we had to give up a house (and this one my "dream home") at a loss due to a year with no income and move away when the only job available was in Detroit.  Would I still Trust and Believe if I had to give up the Dream?

A couple years later, after my husband lost his job due to 9/11, we found ourselves moving with absolutely no money in our pocket and having our "biker neighbor" run to us as we were backing the U-Haul out of the driveway to tell us he felt he was to give us "this"... that being a hundred dollar bill.

It was just what we needed for gas for the U-Haul and car (and McDonald's) to get us to our destination.  Did all go well immediately?  Oh, no... for my husband and I ended up living in another room in that same cheap hotel with Christopher staying at a friend's house... again... how could it be that after rebuilding a life we would find ourselves living in the cheap hotel room... again.

From there we moved to a town house living next to a drunk, a prostitute, and teenagers whom we suspected were making meth.  But something happened in that place as I knew I was living exactly where He desired me to be... His hands and His eyes and His feet... to those who are truly Lost.

One's faith roots either grow deeper or one gives up completely.  You can see why... when I have a week that fatigue has been worse than usual or the car has broken down (again) or my slightest of desires appear not to have come true... it doesn't matter so much.

For I live in a miracle, you know.  Our own house here at the edge of the forest.  I have known what it is like to only have oatmeal to eat for three meals and to come within a half an hour of not having a place to live (although Stephanie reminds me she would never let that happen).  I once ended up in critical care because I ran out of insulin before my daughter could call my pharmacy from far away with her credit card number. It just happened that quickly... missing one shot.

It was that incident that caused my husband to realize he must apply for Disability and which... as a result of him being accepted immediately due to his bipolar symptoms from his teenage years... opened the way for us to purchase this house with a special government low income grant.  I am thankful we live in a part of the country where we can still purchase a house we can afford.

Like St. Paul, I really do know what it is like to have a lot... and nothing.   When working in a corporation... I have worn nice suits (albeit purchased half price), advised corporate vice presidents, ate at the most luxurious of restaurants, and traveled.  Later as a homeschool mom, I have enjoyed living in my dream home... not overly expensive but nice... and had "enough".  Only to have circumstances come against us which took it all away... again.

The faith and the peace did not come immediately.  There were many... ummm... talks with the Creator of the Universe as I reminded Him we did all we were told to do for success... hard work, education, etc.  I mean, really... we were tithers for goodness sake!  Why did this happen not once but a few times... this "life falling apart" stuff.

I can't explain it but somehow I just knew... as if He downloaded Truth into my soul.  There is privilege in suffering that we will never understand this side of Eternity.  But somehow I know it was True.  As my fingers have been removed from stuff and things and then becoming ill and needing Him just to get through the day... Faith and Peace took the place of Prosperity.  Has it worked out so far?

Well, when Christopher graduated from homeschooling... his three minute speech was about our "biker neighbor" supplying our need when church people had not always been kind.  After years of being homeschooled from the sofa at times, he is on the Dean's List at the University.  My daughter is compassionate and always willing to help one in need. Neither are bitter and both understand what it is like to be in need.

Right now life is a little stormy but nothing like those hurricane force winds that have come against us at times.  But it was in the the Category 5 winds that the roots in Him had to go deep enough to sustain life, to not fall over the edge.  What happens when your roots grow deep?  You are strong enough for others to hold onto when the storms appear in their life.

Sometimes it is just good to know... He is enough.   If we only end up with Jesus and nothing then that is fine, one could not ask for more.  It is not the American way but perhaps if it had been... things would be a lot better.


Susan said...

Thank you for this post. It's clear that the message comes from a place deep within - and it's saturated with wisdom. I'm grateful to read of the amazing faithfulness of the Lord to you in such difficult times. God bless and thanks for blogging.

Mrs.Rabe said...


I don't envy you those trials that God gave to you....but you are right. It is in these deep waters that we have the opportunity to grow, to put those roots down deep...

Have a wonderful Sunday, Brenda!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Thanks so much for sharing...we have been there, still going through many storms and yet, God is faithful. I feel my roots are growing deeper and my hearts cry is that I will be able to turn to others when they are there and encourage them through their trials also.
A friend sent me an email this morning telling me to read your post, she knew it would encourage me...thanks so much!
Blessings and Abundance in Him

Denise said...

I want to thank you for posting what the lord spoke to you and sharing your trials.I want to thank the Lord too.

Sharon said...

Thank you Brenda for sharing this.You cannot imagine how much this has encouraged me.Love~Sharon

Dawn said...

Amen! I too have come to realize that slowly God has been removing all the little things that make me feel secure in order to cause me to grow deeper. Not always what I had envisioned for my life, but ultimately the best way to grow closer to Jesus. Thanks for reminding me that all that matters is Jesus..everything else is just icing on the cake.

Peggy Lorenz said...

Thank you for sharing, Brenda! I am going through those "hurricane force winds" right now, but I do feel my faith being stretched, and I always feel the Lord next to me. I'm so glad you keep reminding us there are always things to be thankful for, even in the midst of the storms.

Anonymous said...

Our journey has been different though also fraught with loosing and ill health...and a child who is not in the fold. But some of the worst of times financially were the best emotionally too. The FATHER knows who are HIS and never sleeps...sometimes I thought perhaps HE has lost track of our address for a time...but the end was ok, even good...and our final destination will prove that all of this, which we will also someday leave will end up OK!!

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

What a very touching post. I have found this to be SO true in my life. The things in my life that have brought the most pain have brought me into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and I am so very thankful for that.
God bless you and your family,
Lisa :o)

Suze said...

Thank you for being a light of faith to me.

Ann said...

What a wonderful post! You put into words exactly how I feel about my life. It took a long time for me as well to develop a deeper understanding of what this "walk" is all about and the One who is always with us even when we feel alone. Thank you for sharing.

NRIGirl said...

Hi Brenda! I am glad to stop by your porch and have some tea. I also truly appreciate your testimony. He is Mighty to Save! Amen!

And when you feel like having some Coffee with Jesus please stop by.

Love you in Christ,

BusyBee said...

Dearest Bren,

You Know I know what you're talking about... we have matching tee-shirts don't we? :o)

During our study in the word yesterday we were comparing the 'days of Noah' past and future and we reminded our selves that the tests are trials are for 'our' benefit - to strengthen us, to refine us, to sculpt us to the Father's ultimate purpose. When we pass a trial, we are strengthened in our faith our roots go deeper - when we do not pass a trial, it is the Father's mercy letting us see a weakness that exists and giving us an opportunity to work to correct it so that the next time we pass will the test. With the help of the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding and the intercession of Yeshua (Jesus) we are equipped and fitted according to the Father's purpose and we find that peace that passes understanding, walking in the path the Father created us to walk. It is enough. Amen

Hugs from your sister/friend

Yvette said...

God really used your post to encourage me today. I'm in the middle of some of those hurricane winds. Thank you for sharing. I've been a "follower" for awhile and I love your blog.

*Our house loves the CIS shows too. ;)

freetobeme - Anita said...

Dear Brenda: Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. God loves you and so do I.

Anonymous said...

Here in Canada it's Thanksgiving day. Though God has sent us all some troubles (most recently a flu bug all around that turned into pneumonia for my husband), He has also sent us many blessings.We're thankful for God's care, family, home and especially-antibiotics :)

Donnie said...

The Lord has instilled in you a powerful writing style along with your deep faith. You move me as I feel you must move others. Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Your post was tremendiously inspiring and filled with great truth. The last paragraph was a real zinger...Oh how I wish we in the country..this world.. did hold on tightly to Him. We would know a world unlike any we have ever lived in. Let us as individuals come to Him with praise and keep seeking His guidance and give out the love He teaches us to. Sarah

Vicki in UT said...

What great insight you have. Thank you for your post.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Brenda, thank you so much for sharing. Your sisters need to be reminded of that. A few years back I wanted faith like I witnessed in my friend, who trusted God, come what may. I asked God for it. The next thing I knew my husband lost his job, we went through some very strong trials, as did our four children, and I remember thinking, "Oh Lord, what did I ask for?" LOL, God answered my prayer in His love and Sovereignty, He has enabled our roots to grow very deep in him. One of my daughters who has left home, married, and is now a mommy herself, had to weather some serious storms of her own when her baby was born premature. I can't help but think back to all of our trials that our children went through and thank God for forming their faith also. Come what may we trust Him.
Thank you again for sharing. What a blessing you are!

The Journey said...

Oh yes deep roots. A lot of us have a story how deep roots came about. Painful. I don't want a repeat but now as I look back I can be thankful for those times. I do ask him please I'll take the yrs quietly please. Don't ask this or that. I am thankful he holds me in his hand and knows future.

Anonymous said...

"He is enough. If only we end up with Jesus and nothing then that is fine." That is enough. All else if fluff, and we are blessed by the Lord that He gives us fluff. God bless you and your fluff! :)

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

This is your best post -- and that's saying a lot. We've been through some tough times when we were young and are facing challenges now. But having said that, I can NEVER thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, enough. Even when I don't understand, I still trust Him -- I'm ashamed to say (but this is no secret to God for He knows my thoughts) that a LOT of anxiety accompanies the trust. That sounds crazy I know, but I just pray that God understands that I trust Him even if I am so scared and fretting about some things. I know I shouldn't, but it is a struggle for me -- sometimes an hourly struggle -- to "cast my cares." Thanks for this keen and insightful post.

God IS faithful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Brenda for your faith and wisdom. It is what I need right now, away from family and home and without a home.

Heather L. said...

Thanks Brenda. This was very encouraging for me to read after a tough night and wondering when the trials will start to back off. As you know, not all is shared on blogs, and there is more weighing on us than just our health. I'm praying I'll keep trusting and not doubt.

marsha said...

Thank you, Brenda, for once again sharing your heart. As I can see from all the comments, many of us have been through some major storms. I keep reminding myself of God's faithfulness and all he has done for us in the past. The future is uncertain and I don't know what is going to happen if my husband does not find a job soon; but I do know my God and he will not fail us. I was wanting to send you an email to share that I have a blog now but don't see an address for that. I hope you won't think I'm being too presumptious to leave the name of my site here. It's with google; Heart Song, and I would love it if you would visit sometime and give me some of your creative input.
Thank you much and may God bless you and your family,

Anonymous said...

This was timely for me as my marriage is falling apart and I feel like everything is crashing down around me. I want to be at the place you are, but I am not, not yet anyhow. I know the Lord desires to do something in me through these trials. I hope I have the courage to move past the pain into what he has for me.

Martina said...

Thank you for this outstanding post full of encouragement! Blessings, Martina