Category Archives: Touched by God

God has touched me in some unexpected and unusual ways. Awesome!

Laugh or Cry?

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I had to laugh. There was no getting around it. Living with my helplessness had become the hugest laughing matter I could conceive. Not that I had become a superstar. I still had times when the imagined zits on my face, plump nose, and head full of cowlicks made me feel like an idiot merely suitable to take out trash and sweep the basement floor. But deep in my heart I heard an almost silent, unexplained and nonsensical chuckle. Do I laugh or cry?

I’m sure you will agree with me when I say life is not always clear-cut? Some days the black clouds hover over our rooftops and we look up to see nothing but trouble. We pull down the blinds, go back to bed, and cover our heads, escaping the darkness.

“God, I can’t take anymore!”– and that’s the end of my prayer, as if I was running low on strength, dependent on the crumbs at the bottom of my barrel.

After the short prayer I do some self-talk: “YOU can do it. YOU can make it through this painful mess.”

Oh my! Thunder. Lightning. My electricity is out. No lights. I plop my body on the couch, hoping to be comforted by the overstuffed pillows that have served my tired soul for years. INSTEAD, tears of anger and fear flood my eyes, fall down my cheeks, and dry on their own. I hear something at my window, get up and look. It’s a hurt bird. I can’t touch it. I would make it worse for the little one. It has to depend on God–like me.

I cry out, “God, please help me– and my little friend. We can’t make it on our own. Please.”

The little bird suddenly takes off, and I smile, and I laugh, and I cry tears of thanksgiving.

“I love you, my child. Tell me where you hurt,” God whispers in my heart.

“God, please forgive me for not coming to You when I fell on my face.”

He filled me with His comfort and strength. Then God stood me on my feet and directed my steps, one at a time, with His feet in my shoes, too.

 

“Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called ‘The rejoicing of hope'” by William Gurnall (1617 – October 12, 1679), an English author and clergyman born at King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Sincerity of Heart

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The easiest thing to say is “I love you.” It’s such a common expression, read on billboards, labeled on key chains, and yelled across parking lots to passersby. But what does it mean? Why is it written? What’s the purpose of yelling it across the parking lot?

At times I get sick of seeing the word in multiple print forms, and hearing the love word paraded in audio format can be wearing. But there are exceptions. Those times the love word comes with a sincerity of heart are treasured and unequaled.

The photo above leaped in my face.The beauty and transparency I saw in the two people’s faces penetrated my soul with an unusual warm glow. Their interaction reminded me of what I’ve experienced when I sat quiet with God, who–to me– is a person: trust, safety, openness, vulnerability, a highest of esteem.

Sincerity of heart:Freedom from deceit. A true gift from God. And you don’t need two good working arms and legs to engage in this gift.  All you need are two lives willing to unwrap themselves for each other.

Day is Done

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Each evening I take a few moments to roll outside right before sunset, look up to the sky, and think about the  experiences that cross my path when day is done. Times of laughter, serious conversations, and inspirational moments  surface in my mind. Then there’s those trying situations that insist on being acknowledged., too. But this evening is different for me. This day I ask myself, “What in the world is  behind all of these human exchanges? Is there more than meets the eye? Am I too occupied with the tasks at hand to hear God’s quiet, holy voice?

Tonight I’m serious. No laughing. No joking. I grab my sweetened tea and wheel a few yards from the domesticated living space to the great outdoors to join the crickets.

God, I’m listening for You. Please make your presence real to me. I’m dense, Lord, but I don’t have to tell you that. So please make Yourself obvious to me.

Suddenly the sound of a child playing nearby makes me turn my head and watch her play with her darling puppy. Snuggling with the cherished newborn, kissing the baby on his wet little nose, and petting his soft coat warms my heart. The tenderness between the little girl and her new playmate– strong, yet delicate — sweeps through my spirit.

I talk with my special friends. Their bond is too special to not be shared. So I suggest that they visit our next door neighbor.

Day is done, and  I heard from God.

Don’t Give Up and Don’t Give In– But Why?

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Don’t give up and don’t give in. But why?  I couldn’t stop thinking these words, words I had heard from God in the past. As I rolled down a long, endless road, with no thought of  where I was or where I was going, a divine meltdown had finally overtaken my heart. After years of pushing some painful realities under the rug–safe and sound, and just concentrating on the good stuff, I had become Humpty Dumpty, having a great fall. The crash wasn’t visible to the naked eye. No one could view me hit the floor and tell me they could understand what I was going through, or stay away from me to avoid contact, since they had no idea what to say.

Every element of support I ever had appeared to dissipate into nothingness, like soft wet snow falling on an area of ground warmed by sunshine. My countenance had wilted. Happy “me” was gone. I had a brand new face, a strange one–not recognized– and a massive renovation had perforated the fiber of my soul. A weather-beaten warrior, I asked myself, ” Who have I been? Who have I become?”

Frozen in time, I still had enough sense to realize I needed divine intervention. No one but God could search my heart and tell me of the deeper truths, those only detected by the Almighty. God–my Best Friend, my Protector, my Teacher, the One who loved me most–was here.

I sat alone, in silence. How long? I don’t know.

A strong, yet warm presence came upon me. It was clear and sweet and tender. I had met this presence before.

Like hallow boards used for the framework in a house standing on borrowed time, my flimsy life was similar in fragility–blistered, torn, and going down into darkness. So I cried out to my Shepherd, “Oh, God! Help me, please. I feel numb and I’m shaking.”

His authoritative voice instructed me, “Don’t give up and don’t give in!”

“But God?” I felt abandoned by God. Those were the only words He had spoken to me. I wanted more details, but that was it.

“But why, God? Why won’t you tell me more? Do I HAVE to ALWAYS live by faith?”

And God remained silent, like He always did when I protested.

Today, nothing has changed. A different year, but the same God with the same message.

Are any among you feeling destitute? Lifeless? Hopeless? I’m not a preacher or an evangelist. I’m actually an author and and artist. But more specifically, I’m Mary and I’m sometimes called Pixie. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life, yet God continues to bless me with cherished relationships and opportunities to serve Him. As I have shared with you, I have fallen flat on my face, like Humpty Dumpty, and relied on God to raise me up again and again and again.

I can’t promise you that God will make it all better in your life. That’s His choice. But, I do encourage you to do what He told me to do: “Don’t give up and don’t give in.”

I pass this message to you because I believe it’s from the Divine. Why do I believe it’s from the Lord? Because God has made it plain to me that He will honor our lives as we walk in faith.

Don’t give up and don’t give in.

Wrapped in Freedom

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Every time I pray I’m wrapped in freedom. Not walking doesn’t matter anymore. I can’t hold the laughter in. I’m so delighted! The very act of quiet time with God? Well, it blows the tires right off my wheelchair frame, stands me up straight and tall, and coaches me to fly.

Crazy, huh? Well, you try praying. I’m serious. Maybe you don’t use a wheelchair, like me. Perhaps you lean on education and the things you were given in the program to make you competent to do the work. Or job experience or accumulated lessons gained by much blood, sweat, and tears may award you the right to perform tasks placed before you. Finally,  an inherited position may have zipped you up the ladder, promoting you to a prestigious position. These three examples of support may offer us more choices and increased autonomy, but all of them fall short of the freedom gained in earnest prayer with God.

Freedom gained in earnest prayer?

Yes!

For those of us drawn to “just the facts,” dig this: Among the multitudes of ways freedom is gained in prayer, science has taken a step forward in affirming this truth, as noted in Dr. Debra Williams’ article, “Scientific Research of Prayer: Can the Power of Prayer be Proven?” (http://www.plim.org/PrayerDeb.htm)– “The results of the study are not surprising to those of us who believe in the power of prayer. The patients who had received prayer as a part of the study were healthier than those who had not. The prayed for group had less need of having CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) performed and less need for the use of mechanical ventilators. They had a diminished necessity for diuretics and antibiotics, less occurrences of pulmonary edema, and fewer deaths. Taking all factors into consideration, these results can only be attributed to the power of prayer.”

For those of us who value seasoned authors who know their “stuff,” check out Philip Yancey’s book, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? The gutsy author explores the frustrating, often confusing place where we meet with God– who knows everything that was, is, and is yet to come. (Yikes!) And, can you even imagine, the Keeper of our souls invites us to an everlasting relationship with Him through prayer. Wow! Connected with God?!
To think of such an opportunity makes the relationship with my wheelchair, educational programs/degrees, and job preparedness so much less important to me. Granted, in the physical world we live in I need my “wheels,” and for you and me the “programs” and “job experience” are, more often than not, a definite plus in attaining desired careers. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the scientific research studies’ powerful results derived from prayer. Further, who can miss the realization that a partnership with Christ is unequaled to all other relationships. These findings lead me to ask myself (and only you can ask yourself, because this is personal), do these things and accomplishments have the potential to wrap me in the abundance of freedom I have gained in prayer?
My answer is no. For me, only prayer continues to be the solitary time God uses to wrap me in His freedom. I am amazed and so thankful.

 

Fulfilled!

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God knows our futures, and the all-knowing, all-powerful Shepherd understands exactly what it will take to bring about His will in our lives. A step back into history reveals multitudes of people who performed their callings through activities orchestrated by the mighty hand of God.

In I Chronicles 12-14, the Lord sent men to help David, which manifested an impressive army. In God’s wisdom, He had each man serve at different and much needed tasks in the battle. God also shed His grace on the upcoming King by allocating tremendous generosity through Hiram, King of Tyre, with messengers, cedar trees, masons, and carpenters in place to build a house for himself and David. Obviously, God had a single purpose for David. This young man would be King.

Can you think of a time God was preparing you for a purpose? A unique role. A calling. A reason for living. Our Master, in all-wisdom and all-power, knew what it would take to bring His will into physical reality.

As a little girl I had an intense interest in how adults’ minds ticked. At three years of age I could detect the nervousness and tension in big people’s hearts. What I particularly recognized, though I had no words to express my awareness at the time, was their frequent  on-edge feeling, uncertainties, and push to do their best to come across adequate–with a plastic smile. I guess I was aware of where they were, because it seemed to be where I was, too. You see, I also wanted to appear “good enough,” because I wore “inadequacies” on the outside of my being–my physical “handicap.” So I tuned in to others’ feelings and empathized with the big people.In a certain sense, this likeness made us unspoken friends.

Growing into adolescence didn’t change this described position I usually held with adults. I continued to feel their burdens to stand up straight and walk the line. Years passed, I became an adult, and still carried the condition of fragility on my exterior for others to eye at will.

Following my teenage years, I stepped into the exciting stage of young adulthood, which included career identification and development. The people who knew me best declared that I was destined to be a social worker, clinical psychologist, or writer–and I wasn’t sure. I ultimately became a vocational evaluator (for a season), while as time permitted, I wrote short stories, essays, articles, and novellas, getting lots of rejection slips, with a few acceptances here and there.  Some divine direction was taking place, clear to God, but still fuzzy to me. But God wasn’t finished with me, yet.

In my early thirties, I was graced with a loyal friend and writing mentor, who encouraged me when I wrote and stood back and assured me that she would always be there for me when I returned from other work: “Pixie (one of my nicknames), you know your calling and you will do it when you’re ready.”

She was right.

So what holds us back from our callings?

My biggest resistance to serving God as a writer has been twofold– fear of failure and fear of success: God, what if I use the wrong words, say the wrong things, and waste years saying nothing? (Fear of failure.) Lord, what if I actually succeed? What will I be in store for? Will I have to be someone other that who I am familiar with?And God, You never want me to be a bestselling author, DO YOU? (Fear of success.)

Being transparent about my fears have unshackled me from the chains that once held me back. Entrusting my feelings with true friends and associates have strengthened the muscles in my legs, enabling me to jump the hurdles. For example, my blog, “The Opportunity to Be Real,” continues to be a platform for me to be “real” and encourage my readers to grow in their authenticity, too.

God knew exactly what David needed to become King–and He provided it. You may be facing doubts and questions regarding an emotionally haunting and recurring calling on your life. You may be scared, dragging your feet, delaying confrontation and embracing your purpose. If this sounds anything like you? Trust me, I understand, but I also encourage you to press on. God will provide what you need to meet His call on your life.

Just think how exciting it will be for us and King David, when one day God calls us home, wraps His mighty arms around us and shout, “Well-done, my child. Fulfilled!”