Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Speaking Truth To Your Issues Chapter 4

This week in Chapter 4 Speaking Truth To Your Issues, from Jennifer Rothschild book Self Talk Soul Talk was again speaking to my heart. So if you have been following along this is the second study I've done in the Yes to God study hosted by Lelia at Write From the Heart.

Issues, me of course we all have issues. Those things that cause us to fear, sickness, money, relationship problems. We all have them. Jennifer said this, "We find ourselves with one defining circumstance in our lives that becomes the headwaters from which many other issues originate and flow." So this has caused me to think a lot about what was my defining circumstance. I know for me it always seems to flow back to when my father died when I was 12. From that point life changed dramatically for me. It's from there that the many issues that have shaped my life have flowed. So that is where I will start my cleansing.

But it wasn't this part of the chapter that really stood out to me, but when she talked about the story of the bleeding woman found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It struck me because only a couple weeks back my pastor did a sermon with her story in it. It wasn't even remotely on the same topic, but still I felt a nudge this morning as I thought of her. Then tonight as I sat down to gather my thoughts for writing this blog post God showed me how much I was like her on the day I finally fully by faith only, relinquished my life over to Jesus. This is what I'm led to share with you.

It was Mother's Day 1999, I was 8 months pregnant with Brinn, I walked into the EV Free Church in Fresno because it was the closest to my house. I was by myself, the church was huge, and there were all these happy couples and families. I remember them giving me a carnation as I sat in the back row of the Church. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been to church. I knew of Jesus, and had even prayed the sinner's prayer, but the seeds fell in the weeds and had been choked. I cried my way through the service, and truthfully I don't even know what the sermon was about, but I do remember hearing that Jesus loved me know matter where I'd been, and that I was suppose to be there that day. I filled out a prayer request card asking for help, someone to talk too. I remember what I wrote: My husband had recently told me he know longer wanted to be married to me, that he'd found the woman he was meant to be with. I'm 8 months pregnant and feel completely lost and alone. Mark 5:27 When she heard about Jesus....

I knew about Jesus as the woman had, and that Sunday I had to be somewhere where I knew I could find Him, or someone could help me find Him. That next Tuesday I was desperate, I had called my sister she said why don't you call the church. So I did. That afternoon I spoke to Pastor Roy Pope, and we talked on the phone he told me that he knew how I could find help and that he wanted me to come meet with him the next day. So that next day I went to the office, and I met Pastor Pope for the first time. He listened as I cried and told him how desperately I wanted to save my marriage, that I didn't want my little baby to grow up in a divorced family, that I had no family close by and only a few coworkers that I knew.

He told me that God was not going to leave me and my baby alone, and then he explained the great gift of salvation, and why all the years of trying to earn God's love wasn't the answerer. He said imagine you went out and found the perfect gift for someone you love, you couldn't wait for them to open it and see how much you loved them by giving them this gift, but when you received it they said how much do I pay you for your gift. This is what we do when we try to earn God's love through good deeds, and other works. Jesus is the perfect gift that God has picked out for you, and all you have to do is open it and put your faith in that gift of Jesus that God will provide for all your needs and your child's needs. It was like scales came from my eyes, and someone opened my ears. "she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Mark 5:27 -28 I reached out touched Jesus cloak, because at that moment I knew out of sheer desperation, and being completely broken that He would heal my heart, as I prayed, and confessed my unworthiness "Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." Mark 5:33-34 I cried not out of sadness, but out of excitement over feeling a sudden overwhelming of peace.

So what does all this have to do with Self Talk and Soul Talk, partly nothing except tonight God laid this on my heart to share with whoever chooses to read this post. The other though is slowly over the last 9 almost 10 years God has been working me through my issues. He has changed who I am, the way I see things, and the way I live my life, and now He's changing the way I talk to myself exposing the lies that I've listened to from my thought closet over and over again. He has shown me many areas that we have worked my way through. And reading this book has opened my eyes up to the fact that I still try to take over and do it my self. I probably would have survived through the last 10 years had I not reached out for my Jesus, but the different scenarios that come to mind based on how I've controlled my life are to messy and depressing to go there. God has taken my life and turned it around, I have a life that I love, and I love it because I have a Savior who loves me, and His Spirit guides me (when I'm quiet enough to listen).

I like what Jennifer had to say as a reminder in these quotes, that soul talk is no just positive affirmation sayings you put on sticky notes around your house: "By faith we receive truth, By faith we believe truth. And by faith we act on that truth. ; Soul Talk can never be a substitute for faith. ; Soul Talk is faith's companion, not it's replacement. ; Soul Talk cannot be a replacement for prayer either.; Our issues can dictate our beliefs, color our actions, and affect our attitudes. But so can our faith."

So as I continue to plow through the mine field of issues I have, I will not be in their alone, I will have the Holy Spirit that God sent to me on that day in May 1999, to take me by the hand. "But when He sends the Counselor as my representative-- and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit--he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you." John 14:26

Jennifer reminds us of the 4 roles of the Holy Spirit:
He is our Counselor : "He is safe, He is wise. He is objective. He is absolutely committed to our ultimate good. And we can trust Him never to lead us off course."
He Represents Christ: "He mirrors God's truth. His guidance always lines up with the truth of God's Word. The Spirit never leads us in ways that oppose Scripture."
He is our Teacher: "He stamps out ignorance, replacing it with wisdom and discernment light-years beyond our own. He's a Mentor who teaches and guides with greater understanding than our own."
He Reminds us of Truth: Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Following God's Spirit has always led me down the right road, following my own well let's just say it always ended up in some kind of train wreck at the end.

So as I turn my battle of my issues of; fear, worthlessness, low self esteem, denial, self doubt, feeling inadequate and the list goes on, I know that I'm in there with the ONE who will never leave me, never give up on me, never tell me that he doesn't love me, but will carry me through and patiently cover and replace and remove all those things that are in there now.
I pray that you know my Jesus too.



Gail W. said...

This was absolutely beautiful, Carol! I'm so glad you followed the Spirit's prompting and shared your story. I often need reminding that, as you say: I'm not where I need to be, but by the grace of God, I'm not where I used to be. Take heart, friend - He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion!

grey like snuffie said...

Carol, thank you for sharing your story...it was precious to read. I think God probably wanted you to share it because we silly humans need our altar of remembrance moments...glorifying Him, remembering our past with Him, encouraging us that nothing has changed....He is still with us and whatever comes He will be there also. Wonderful post.

Laura said...

My precious friend...

I cried as I pictured you alone in that pew. I remember how it felt to be 8 months pregnant. And to have that abandonment on top of it all. You reached out for him, dear one.

And look what He has done.

Your beauty shines.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Oh my friend,
Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for sharing your story so openly of how you came to know Jesus, and fall in love with Him. Thank you for sharing from your heart about your struggles, your past, and Christ's victories in your life.
I love you so much, and am so glad that we are on this road together. Let me know anytime when you need specific prayer for something. I have you on my prayer list, but really, if there is something specific, let me know!
God bless you my friend,

Sue said...

I thought your personal story fit quite well with the lesson. At that point in time, you were desperate for God's healing, just as the woman who touched Jesus' robe was. I think you tied it in that way, too. Thanks for sharing that with us.

I could have written your last paragraph. I like what you wrote for the comment on my blog about forgetting how far the Lord has brought us. It really is faith building to look back and see that we really are not who we used to be, just like the title of your blog.


Pamela (His maidservant) said...

Carol-how did the story end with your husband at that time? Did I miss that?

God is all we need and I am learning it is that "active faith" as you demonstrated in your brokenness in that pew, an active, alive kind of faith that grows us and strenghtens us and makes even the worst in our life righteous.

It has been a blessing to stop by here today!

In His Graces~Pamela

Liz said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I,too, believe your story to be much like the woman who reached out to touch Jesus. You were desperate, unhappy, and talking to yourself, like Jennifer said. And you found Jesus!
Wonderful, post.
Love and hugs to you!!!

HIS Daughter said...

Thank you for allowing us to see GOD in your testimony. I love how it all points to HIM and HE gets the glory and we get to live our lives in love with the one who never abandons.

I have been some places as well, my friend, but GOD knew I would go there and HE knew you would go there...HE knew it before you were even thought of to be born. HE knew what things we would try and fail and try again .....and still...HE chose us anyway to love HIM and to love us! Before the foundation of the world...HE planned for you to be here glorifying HIM with the words of your testimony!

I love that!

By the way, I'm coming out your way next week. Daughter's birthday and she is major depressed because alas...no job yet.

Do you know of any good organizations that would consider or need a volunteer there?
She's left the faith that she once began...everything choked it out, but GOD is not done with her and I know HE will finish what was started.

Love and blessings,

Jen Mc. said...

Carol, that was awesome!! And I love seeing how your transparency is blessing so many other women! Yay, God!!! :)
You have an amazingly lovely & complete family, and your home is such a peaceful and joyful place! So obvious that God lives there, too!!! He is so obvious in your lives!

Connie said...

Carol...thanks for sharing your story. Our pastor says we need to tell our story so that we can share Christ with others. You are being obedient and blessing others. I am so glad that you are changing and seeing God daily. It is amazing when we quit trying to do it ourselves how we see God in everything and we are blessed beyond belief. Your Brinn is precious too! Happy to be your blog friend. COnnie