Bringing Charges

I let a sip of water touched my parched mouth as I waited anxiously for a phone call scheduled at 1:00 in the afternoon specifically. I reviewed a mountain of paper works in front of me over and over. The more anxious I got when I scanned every piece. I glanced at the clock on top of the mantel. I had a few seconds to go. It was not easy to refresh the memory as I re-lived all the events, all the lies spoken to me, all the accusations that had no basis, all the intimidation and all the plans that had no purpose but to worry me and forced me to resign.

“How could I relate the events that occurred in a span of 8 months to only a few minutes as that phone call would only take a few minutes to an hour?”

I searched for His advice in the midst of this chaos. He was always the only One Who knew how to calm my fears and worries. He was the only One Who knew the deepest part of my heart and knew it all.

The truth of the words cried out before God thousands of years ago were mimicked by mine:
pic may be blurry but not the truth in His Word

“No one can oppose You because You have the power to do what You want. You asked why I talk so much when I know so little. I have talked about things that are far beyond my understanding.”
– Job 42:2-3 (CEV)


The anticipated phone call came. I made the person on the other line confused at one time as it was difficult to relate the events that took for so long in such a restricted amount of time with him. He understood. He heard it all.


“Go ahead and send me all the papers from your work,” was his last statement.


I sought advice countless times with the Advocate Who knew everything that had transpired. Though my desire to pursue in bringing charges against some powerful people was not the ultimate desire, I had to. I did not want them to do what they had done and continue to do with those who seemed to be powerless in their sight.


They took my silence as ignorance and lack of knowledge. They were puzzled as I returned their harsh words and evil plots with kindness and respect. They did not know that during those times they wounded me severely, I was being cared for by His pierced hands. I was being comforted by His unconditional love. I was being strengthened by His power and might. My tears He wiped. The unseen motives, He gave me discernment.


They were quick to bring charges against me. They did so many things that gave me little room to decide and subtly, wanted to force me to quit my job. They said so many words that were unfounded. But their plans would not go that far. They change my job status that benefited me more. I have more control now with my schedule the way I want to, when I want to, not the way they forced me to move to another shift and gave me a hard time every time. But even in those perilous times, I never said anything. I did the expected work with the best of my strength. I did it because He helped me and sustained me with His power and grace. They did not know that.


They brought charges against me who had not done anything. I worked well with all of my co-workers. I never slept at the job. I never complained when work assignments were given to me even if they were not expected to be what I should be doing. I always arrived on time. I was never on discipline.


It will be a long process. But I am the one to turn the table now. I am bringing charges against them. I pray they have good reasons for everything they said and all the plans they created. In all of this, I pray their hearts will turn to God for help.

“31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can defeat us. 32 He did not spare his own Son but gave him for us all. So with Jesus, God will surely give us all things.33 Who can accuse the people God has chosen? No one, because God is the One who makes them right. 34 Who can say God's people are guilty? No one, because Christ Jesus died, but he was also raised from the dead, and now he is on God's right side, appealing to God for us. 35 Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us? Can troubles or problems or sufferings or hunger or nakedness or danger or violent death? 36 As it is written in the Scriptures:
    "For you we are in danger of death all the time.
       People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed." — Psalm 44:22
 37 But in all these things we are completely victorious through God who showed his love for us. 38 Yes, I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers,39 nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Romans 8:31-39 (NCV)


God can also bring a charge against disobedient people. When He does, are you ready for that?

 "1 The Lord has an accusation to bring against the people who live in this land. Listen, Israel, to what he says:
   There is no faithfulness or love in the land, and the people do not acknowledge me as God.2 They make promises and break them; they lie, murder, steal, and commit adultery. Crimes increase, and there is one murder after another.3 And so the land will dry up, and everything that lives on it will die. All the animals and birds, and even the fish, will die." - Hosea 4:1-3 (GNT)

Yes, Everything Is Good

I felt the soft tap on my left shoulder the same way my husband felt one on his right scapula. It was during the beginning of our fellowship’s worship as the Worship Director paused and gave everyone time to greet each other. Warm “hello’s” and lots of hands met and shook as warm smiles were displayed. The drum kept beating. The piano kept playing soft keys. The guitar kept being strummed.

“How is the S. family?” followed those taps on our shoulders.

While turning my head toward the direction of that person who wanted to know, my mind was being flooded with a sure answer: “Not Good!” Thinking about this huge battle I had been going through from work, it seemed to be the appropriate answer. Nothing else.

Going on 8 months since I faced many people who held high positions from work and who had been trying to oust me in this role as a Correctional Nurse, their plans were still on-going. Stripped of my benefits and usual monthly pay, they were sure they were doing everything right. But I wasn’t sad. I was not scared from the beginning. They could strip everything they wanted to take away and who did I have left but God alone?

I was rather thankful. Through this trial, it reminded me of my own limitations. It challenged me even more to serve the faithful God for Who He was, Who He is and Who is to come. Times that should have drowned me helped me aim to stay afloat.

This trial helped me realize that life here would never be my final destiny. This battle reminded me of His faithful promise that if He could demonstrate His power through my weakness, that truth alone was already a source of power and hope for me. This suffering propelled me to have more courage to face even the severest of this storm that could come. Through this trial, I learned to be stronger. I was taught to persevere.

Yes, through this battle, I learned Who could sympathize better. Who else but Jesus?

“Since He Himself has gone through suffering and temptation, He is able to help me…”
– (Hebrews 2:18, NLT)

I turned my head towards the back part of the Sanctuary. My gaze and that of my husband’s were met by a warm, deeply caring gaze as his face was painted with a wide smile. It was our pastor. He wrapped his right arm on me, his left on my husband’s as they both did the “pat on the backs”. Then, he took a few steps forward toward our son who also hugged him in return.

And I echoed my husband’s and son’s reply with a voice that I wanted him to audibly hear:

“Good!!!”

“ Yes, everything is good!”


In my mind, the more profound truth appeared: "Everything is good...Because God is good to me..."


"2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” ~ James 1:2-4 (NLT)


This was a song I penned on December 16, 2005 as my father faced his battle against colon cancer.


Help Me Get Through


We may never understand
Every trial that happens in this lifetime
Lord, You’re always there that I know
Giving us strength when giving up is all I want to do


Chorus:


Oh Lord, please be there for me
Help me get up whenever I fall
Oh Lord, draw me near to You
With this pain, help me get through


My hope comes from knowing You
In my dark moment, You’re the light that shines on me
Lord, You take away all my fears
Giving me the courage to fight all my battles


(Repeat Chorus)


Help me get through…

His Word

I read the long-anticipated email many times. I could not believe that they would make me go to work, starting this Friday. Only as needed. This plan was subtly executed to make me think that they were not getting rid of me. I knew better because what was said and what were done many times said otherwise.

They thought they could always plan things their way. They only selected those who they wanted to be in their team as long as they won’t cause a hindrance to their plans. They were known to intimidate those who didn't want to fight back and chose the easier escape: "they quit." They were doing the same thing with me but I had not done anything wrong. They couldn't go any farther. They seemed to be running out of plans. Because I had not resigned. I chose not to quit. And I chose to fight back. It won't be easy as it would involve exposing these deeds done in the dark. But I heard Him. The Truth. He promised He would be there for me and He had been there with me as I went through this trial. He already granted me His victory.

I read the Word again. My heart wanted to rebel but I had been warned many times to endure, to choose to forgive, to love, to show compassion, and to give revenge into His hands.

Without His Word, nothing else would have sustained me in this period of great battle I was in against some people who had been discriminating me. When they put me on a forced leave, I knew how important it was to even draw myself closer to Him. Through His Word, He healed my broken heart, He soothed my pain, He reminded me of His faithful promises, and He sustained me with all of my needs. What I lacked, He had given me even more.

His Word…Truly the lamp unto our feet…I must trust completely, knowing His ways and thoughts are higher than ours…

Do you trust in Him?

The Seven Tornadoes

I suddenly woke up with my teeth still clenched tight, my heart slightly racing still. The vision was very clear as if it did just happen. I slowly stretched the fingers of my right hand that in my dream was holding someone tight as I reassured her.

The skies above had a very ominous darkness. I had some neighbors over at our house except I did not know any of those people though it felt like I knew them all. One seemed to be my grandma who had passed away long time ago. They were all scared. They wanted me to look out over the glass patio door and see what was going on above us. Bravely, upon hearing the strong force of winds, I looked out as I told them not to panic.

Photo Credit
The sight was not good. I counted....1, 2, 3, 4....

"4 forming tornadoes!" I remember yelling.

"Wait, go you guys under the island! Seek cover! There are 7 tornadoes of different sizes. And....they're comin' our way!" I ran as I sought cover myself and held my "grandma's" hands.

I heard the swirling debris hovered above the roof of the house and all the sides. Loud as the deafening sounds were, I heard my prayers were more audible. I held the other person's hands tighter...

"Lord, protect us! Please cover us with Your Holy Blood and surround us with Your angels..."

The 7 tornadoes passed until we heard just complete silence. The skies turned bright. We got up one by one, all in one piece.

I took a deep breath. I was still praying as I woke up. I was not the type to interpret dreams but when it came to my spiritual growth, I wanted to know.

I had been going through a huge battle at work. I counted. I just realized I was against 7 people who hold positions and who got involved in discriminating me. Yet, I was never afraid because I knew that God would be with me always as I go through this ordeal.

And I had the sense of urgency in posting this at the wee hour of this morning because I know I'm not the only one facing "tornadoes" under this vast sky. No matter how little or how big the tornado you're facing, just remember that none of them is bigger than the God we serve.

That was the nightmare I would forever treasure. It was not a nightmare but more of a reassurance from His invisible tight grip on my hands.

"“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”- Romans 8:32 (NIV)

Many people still doubt God. Many still believe in different ways in searching for God.

If you are facing tornadoes or trials of this life, do you know where to seek cover? Where to run for refuge?

"My God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence." - 2 Samuel 22:3 (NLT)

Hear what happened to an atheist turned Christian, Lee Strobel, and what he had to say about his nearly 2 year investigation of evidence for Jesus:




















That's What Faith Is About

“Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.”
~Ramona C. Carroll


I just saw a little bit of what the Lord was planning for my journey at this point in my life. Sure it wasn’t easy being on hold as some people had put me on a forced leave. But it was a time of rest for me at the same time. It was more time spent with even a better quality with my family. It was also a time of reflection, of evaluating my walk with the Lord. As He placed me in the Correctional setting  from the hospital 11 years ago, it was the place where He strengthened me, empowered me, gave me discernment, protected me, and the place where He had shown His faithfulness, grace and love countless times.

Corrections are places filled with many evil spirits. It is a place devoid of God’s Light. If not for His Armor, I would not be able to withstand all the pressures there, physically and much more spiritually. It could be both mentally and physically draining. But by God’s grace, I always overcome. Except this time, I am beginning to see that not only He prepared me for those kinds of unseen battles I dealt with from inmates, but even a bigger one was to come. This time, with my own co-workers who hold high positions. Not one. A few. Against me. But being groomed and nurtured by His power, I was never afraid.

At that time when I had injured my neck from the hospital where I was working for almost 10 years, He replaced my doubts of ever finding another job as a Nurse by quickly answering my deepest cry for another opportunity. That was when He brought me to Corrections. It was a job I had not done. Nevertheless, it proved to be very rewarding and at the same time, helped me grow in my spiritual journey.

Now that these people are discriminating and intimidating me in any way possible hoping that I’m going to resign, I have kept my hopes high and I know the importance of ever drawing nearer to the One Who knows it all and the One Who is my Shield against all these darts being thrown. Each day that should have been filled with frustration is a day filled with thanksgiving instead. Despite the financial strain they want to cause me, He provides. Despite the fear they are trying to instill, He holds my hands and always tells me “I’m here with you.” Despite the lies they hurl, He reassures me, “The truth will prevail.” Despite the acts of seemingly kind and loving gestures, He warns me to be “watchful” for all things put on the table by enemies for they are deceptive.

One thing is for sure, if this door is to close on me, it will never break my heart realizing that it won’t be them capable of doing that, but God’s hands will. That is my prayer at this time, for Him to help me see where He wants me to go.

I know that in His hands, I can enjoy immense peace because Jesus had already overcome the world. That’s what faith is about. Faith makes us put our confidence, not on ourselves, but on God Whose ways we sometimes don’t understand. No matter if the bumps are too many in the roads we are walking on, He is constantly watching us, guiding us, and quick to reach out His hands when we fall.

In Gentle Ways

I miss dealing with inmates as I had not gone back to work due to a struggle with some powerful people used to intimidating workers who they deemed would not be useful for their purposes. However, if I had time with my family before even when I was working, I’m even more grateful to the Lord that despite this trial, He grants me more quality time with my family, especially with my child.

Breakfast is always a special time between us (as my husband leaves early for work). I try to keep the house quiet, just the kitchen filling with the aroma of toasts, or warming up hash browns, pancakes if he feels like having that or some scrambled eggs. I love lighting up tea lights and in the wee hours of the morning, it gives me some comfort to see the soft, bright glow that illuminates the familiar surroundings.

“It’s still dark, Mom. Can we turn on the kitchen light?” my son asked when he was descending the stairs, his backpack straddled over his shoulders. He saw two tea lights glowing in the middle of our kitchen table.

little glow that calms me every morning


“But don’t you like it?”

“It’s peaceful and there’s just enough light. How about I light up more of the tea lights?” I requested, as I got hold of the lighter and lit up some more. Brightness filled the tabletop and the breakfast that waited emerged to our naked eyes.

“There you go!” “Don’t you love it?”

lighting up all of them

“Yes, Mom. It’s better now and I can see well.” (Trust me...it was well-lit despite the dark picture I posted).

As he coated his scrambled eggs with a little catsup, I initiated the morning pep talk he’s used to hearing from his mother. As he put the fork into his mouth and stared at the tea lights, I told him that one tea light was his dad, one tea light was me, the other was him. How beautiful it must be if we share the Lord’s light together, just like with other believers letting their lights shine in this dark world. How bright this world would be!

He smiled as he took a few more bites and understood what I was telling him. He knew where I was going to, that here in this dark world believers are to reflect God’s Light in gentle, caring ways, not in harsh ways. Believers are called to share the Gospel with those who are still living in the dark. With gratefulness of being able to see, one can’t help but share that anyway among those who still can’t.

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
~ 1 Peter 3:15-17 (NIV)


“You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” – Psalm 18:28 (NIV)

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." - 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

Betrayal

"One should rather die than be betrayed. There is no deceit in death. It delivers precisely what it has promised. Betrayal, though ... betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope."
- Steven Deitz


Betrayal…That’s what I had felt since facing this struggle at work. She was one of my immediate supervisor at night. I fully trusted her and I poured out my heartaches after I was told some discriminatory remarks. I blamed myself. Out of pain and anger, I let my emotions be poured out in front of her. She never offered help. But that morning, I saw her took another supervisor to their designated office and only God knew what conversation occurred.

That person she talked to pulled me aside in the middle of my work. She had mentioned the same things, the same exact discriminatory words I shared with the other. I knew it was an opportunity for her to trap me knowing how that was her favorite thing to do: to cause harm and commit ill intentions among those who had gone their way and chose to just quit and exit as a quick escape from their intimidations.

One accusation became big. They were forcing me to do what they wanted, disregarding facts I had given them. Disregarding supporting documents given them. They tried everything in a subtle way. All acts, all words thrown at me to make me resign.

I haven’t…And I knew they haven't stopped planning other devises to cause my termination.

I haven’t done anything wrong. I had worked the same way I had performed on day one: work hard and give my all…

Betrayal hurts…They think that by doing so, they will make me paralyzed and not be able to do anything. But all actions have consequences. How do you battle lies but with truth? How do you get rid of bullies but to face them and not turn your back away? How do you avoid poison and deceptive plans but by being careful of what is being offered every time?

This morning, I woke up and thought about Judas. Why did he betray Jesus when he was one of his disciples? He must have seen his miracles. He must have heard Jesus’ divine wisdom. He must have seen his unfathomable acts of forgiveness, understanding, compassion and love. But why did he sell Jesus for 30 pieces of silver? If his love was for the money, then he must not love Jesus at all. He must not have believed completely in Jesus’ divinity. 

 “INRI…” It was placed up on the cross. Meaning “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum”…”Jesus of Nazareth, the King of Jews”…

People placed titles on the head of the cross to show the crime that crucified person committed and his name. That was an accusation they placed on Jesus’ cross. It was the crime they accused Jesus of. But in reality, that was the absolute truth!

I look at this road up ahead. Right now, I’m on a standstill. People I work with are also part of law enforcement. Ironically, they are not afraid to break the law…

I knew Who walked on this road before. He walked carrying a heavy cross as He bled while many spat on Him and wanted Him dead. Judas was wrong! People were wrong! They did not cause Jesus to die! It was already planned because God loves us all. Jesus endured and died on the cross so we may live.

He walked before us. He’s inviting us to “follow Him…” Let’s not betray Him…

Praying For Children

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
– Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)


The caffeinated aroma filled all corners of our kitchen as 2 cups and a glass were waiting on the wooden table. I arranged some cookies dusted with snow-like sugar and my child’s favorite chocolate muffin and banana-walnut for my husband and I were carefully stored in a white paper bag, to surprise a gnawing pang of late afternoon hunger for three tummies.

My son walked in, toting his semi-heavy backpack on his back, smiling and started spilling how his day went on his first day of school. He was so excited! His day was filled with seeing his old friends again, with some of them ending up being in the same class as his, his teacher in Graphic Design who was happy to know that his presence in his class meant he was there to assist him and to help out new faces in this new school year, and the patience he needed to have in going home as the traffic piled up in the loop and some parents or driving students tried to take advantage of each other at times.

How I enjoyed his moment of sharing and I was happy for him, the way he handled small trials with confidence, strength, and “not going with the usual flow of this world.” We were so caught up in our sharing that we almost forgot he had an Orthodontist appointment. I was thankful my husband remembered and in short 15 minutes, barely made it to his appointment.

The small tension that arose in our hearts, wondering if we would make it because of the large volume of traffic out on the road was replaced with laughter as we were relieved to arrive right on time. On the way home, we both were laughing so hard about how much we got so lost with his stories that we almost forgot about everything.

I smiled at him and I told him how proud I was of him for always working hard and never forgetting the things of God and that how he did well with his driving to and from school for the very first time, all alone.

In between pauses of a deafening laughter, my heart softly cried in prayer as my son taught me another thing:

“For me to always be excited in His presence and spill how each of my day goes…”Oh how much He must long for each of His children to come to Him and talk to Him with all their hearts and minds the way I expected my child to do with his father and mother.

“Thanks Mom. I love you,” my child uttered which interrupted my secret prayer.

“You’re welcome,  Kristian. I love you, too.”

Off he ran toward his father waiting in the garage and gave him a hug, as I carefully tried to park my car in the designated space. I was alternately looking at the direction I was supposed to be watching for. Yet I couldn’t help but look at my child who was already half-child, half-man.  Gratitude overwhelmed my heart upon his sight. Thankful to be given this precious blessing and at the same time, I was thankful to be given the opportunity of becoming a “mother.”

 A role that is not easy but at the same time is an important part in shaping the precious life entrusted to me and that of my husband’s. With his figure still present in front of me, I saw a little bit of me. I saw a little bit of my husband. But what was not obvious was his heart being shaped by His Word. That was the best way to train a child! His way!

Help me us as parents, Lord, not to neglect praying for our children. Help us remember that the best way to train them is to nurture them with the kind of love that comes from You. Guide us Lord with Your wisdom to help us teach our children about You. Thank You Lord for Your love and grace. Thank You for being our heavenly Father Who loves us unconditionally. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.



A Mother’s Prayer (HANNAH'S SONG) Words by Rachel Aldous
  Music by John Mandeville
Verse:
My sweet baby on loan from above.
No better treasure could I more love.
I stand here beside your bed as I pray
I lay my hand on your head and I say:

Chorus:
May you grow up to serve Him
all of your days.
May He lead you and guide you
in all of your ways.
May His hand bless your future with
friendships that last.
May you cherish your youth
and not grow up too fast

Verse:
I stare in wonder at your tiny frame.
Just to think that God knows you by name.
He knows every hair on your beautiful head.
He knows your thoughts before they are said.

Chorus:
May you grow up to serve Him
all of your days
May He lead you and guide you
in all of your ways.
May His Hand bless your future with
friendships that last.
May you cherish your youth
and not grow up too fast.

Prayer:
May God grant you peace
in the midst of a storm.
May God give you strength even when you’re forlorn.
May you answer the door when
Jesus comes knocking.
May wisdom guide when
your mouth is talking.
May discretion protect you
and keep you pure.
May you never stumble
or fall for a lure.
May your heart remain humble
to the very end.
May uprightness and truth
be what you defend.
May the world not ensnare
or change who you are.
May the light that's within you
shine like the stars.
May angels surround you
body, spirit, mind.
May favor and peace be yours to find.
May rejection and pain
never reach you.
May your spirit grow bold
for what you’re called to.

Chorus:
May you grow up to serve Him
all of your days
May He lead you and guide you
in all of your ways
May His Hand bless your future with
friendships that last.
May you cherish your youth
and not grow up too fast.

Singing:
As you rest in God’s care I will rest, too.
Knowing that Jesus is watching over you.
Amen

Hannah speaks: I love you, Mommy…

The Car Of Life

Amidst the misty atmosphere this morning, my husband and I, side by side, walked out into the driveway to wave goodbye to our son who was leaving on his first day of school. He wove and did a “familiar gesture” that only this family could understand and was meant as a joke. He froze his left hand by the driver’s window forming a shape that resembled a “talking mouth.”

“Talk to the hand!” we’d say whenever we heard things that were nonsense.

But this morning, my son did that to make me smile. And his dad. Knowing it was the very first time that he was going to school sans the “mom as the usual driver.” Not today. He was stepping into a new adventure where the car would depend on someone’s decision. His. Alone. He knew we had mixed emotions as I sipped my early morning coffee. My face was showing off a big smile but my heart was tinged with a little sadness yet was also filled with joy. Joyful for a new milestone his steps had to take. Joyful for a new road he needed to take.

“We must learn to let go…” I whispered to my husband, who was so excited to see his son drove off in the usual pace he mastered before getting his license.

A pang of pain pinched my heart again. Letting go seemed to be difficult because it was coming from being protective of your own flesh and blood, knowing how cruel and evil this place could be. As parents, it was a natural instinct to guard the children from any harm. But doing so would be inevitable.

Someone has to fall first before he can get up. A rose with red petals shows off its beauty but along with it come the thorns. A heart learns to mend only after it is broken. 


The car was long gone. The fume still lingered. My heart's ache also vanished as I let go of my son.

To His hands Who would direct his car of life.

“Proverbs 3:5?” I quizzed my son after breakfast and before we all prayed together…


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding!” he quickly replied.


“Verse 6?”

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

I heard my cell phone had an incoming text message...

“I’m here now. Luvu…”

“Luvu too…” I slowly typed and sent the message.

My heart by then was completely in peace, surrendered to the One Who could see my son and protect him in all his ways. Here I was teaching my child about Him, but in the process, I was the one who was learning to trust more and depend more on Him Who also had let me go in my own ways before… Yet readily welcomed me upon my return into His loving arms. No questions asked...

My Heart's Deeper Wounds



“God never uses a person greatly until He has wounded him deeply.The privilege He offers you is greater than the price you have to pay.  The privilege is greater than the price.
~ Helen Roosevere, April 13, 1993

I searched for more areas in my heart that bled. This process had been becoming more common since being involved in a huge battle at work, with some people desiring to cease my career as a Correctional Nurse using the power they were in. Lies upon lies were poured out in front of me, accusing me of my own inability when it never prevented me from performing my tasks for so many years.

I found one…I quickly opened the Kit (Bible) and tried to find the best suiting remedy to soothe the searing pain I felt upon seeing that cut. And how I was impatient! Carefully, I read the Instruction in a rush and then, I slowed down and let every letter coat that pain.

“Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O LORD our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.”
– Jeremiah 14:22 (NLT)

And how my heart struggled to not be soaked in this right dose, begging for His answer to come quick!

As my heart was still trying to avoid that needed dose for its wound to be exposed then be healed, another part showed up: “anger”… I was not worried at all with whatever outcome this battle would produce. I was becoming more upset with the unfair treatments, the bias, the discriminating actions or words I heard over and over, not only for me, but for those who had left long time ago…

“Nurse G. might quit…She applied for another facility and she is going to move there,” one co-worker called me and informed me the other day.


Nurse G. and I had shared so many frustrations when I was still going to work and she found out about the mistreatments I had been receiving from the same people who plagued her with same dilemma.


“That’s sad. I am sad because she said she was going to fight but I understand, too. It is quite tiring and it is a long process. It seems it’s easier to just quit,” I replied.


“Ouch! What was that?” I looked and saw that part of my heart pulsing with more “anger.” The opened Kit in plain sight directed my vision to what cure it needed.


“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”
– Proverbs 14:29 (NLT)


I was barely done reading that verse and another one showed up, as if an invisible Finger kept pointing at another remedy for me to choose:


19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” – James 1:19-21 (NLT)

“Aww..." a soft cry emanated from deep within me, realizing the truth that exposed more of my heart's core...


I closed the Kit not in protest but I knew I had enough treatment for the day of my heart’s deeper wounds. The pain that I thought came from those evil intentions from work was not true. The pain came from His truth…His Word! It is taking away the areas in my heart that needed to be removed. No wonder it hurts! And I must let it shape my life and the only way to do that is to allow His Word to reveal who I am and what I’m not. 


“For the Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.” – Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)

Authority

“…for I have passed on to them the words You gave Me; and they accepted them and know that I came from You, and they believe You sent Me…” – John 17:8 (NLT)



In my email to one supervisor, I demanded to know why my claim for 8 hours from my holiday account was not approved and not paid. The rest of the hours were without pay as they had put me on a forced leave.

“I’m sorry…It was a mistake on our part…”

I read again and let it sank in. I could not believe that excuse. I knew it was intentional as their intimidation has not ceased at all. A part of a choreographed performance to make me miss my step and cause me to fall except I had discerned their steps way even before they performed some of them.

I carefully pulled the badge I was given 11 years ago and I stared at this golden emblem behind the rays of light penetrating the window covering. I pondered at the thought of how this perceived “authority” could change someone a great deal if not careful. The problem was not having this piece of shining metal with the word “Sheriff’s” embossed with a nice blue color and some also golden.

The problem was having empty minds, they let pride crept in and filled them like a dry well in desperate need of water. They also let evil intentions that arose from sinful nature to fill their empty hearts. I knew it too well as I lived that life before I came to the realization that nothing in this world can ever satisfy the needs of our hearts or minds except God’s love.

“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.” – Romans 8:5-8 (NLT)

“It’s only a badge…” I thought to myself.

“The authority it gives someone from work or myself can be taken away at any point. It just doesn’t last…”
glancing at my badge...

“Lord, I know where I stand. I know my true self-worth because of You.” I prayed as I felt some warm tears on my cheeks. Tears from mixed emotions. Tears of gratitude and tears of being tired of these people’s evil intentions. Though I was never afraid.

Holding my Bible close to my heart, I softly talked with Him in the stillness of the night, as my husband and son had been both asleep for a while.  

It’s during quiet time like this, when I am chasing good-quality sleep and peaceful rest that I know the truth that an infinite, powerful Authority up above backs me up and strengthens me. The world declares I’m a loser. He says otherwise: “You’re a winner!” My Authority? His Name is Jesus…

 "12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them." - John13:12-17 (NLT)

His authority did not tell me to sit up high on a pedestal and enjoy that kind of power. His authority tells me to put myself in the least position. He tells me to serve. He wants me to not promote myself but instead, has given me His authority to imitate Him in all ways. Knowing that His kind of authority is everlasting, I must choose to obey.



The Grasp

"Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand." - Psalm 20:6 (NIV)


I couldn’t sleep last night. It was just like some other nights since I had this battle at work. The intimidation has not stopped. All of the people in power’s efforts were so evident trying to force me to resign on my own. There were times I wanted to quit. There were times I wanted everything to end by turning over my badge and electronic key from work. A quick way to drop this matter. But I never did. That would be a defeat when I had not done anything wrong.

The monitor shone its light on my insomnious face with my eyes just glued on the picture right below my posts. I had been staring at Peter who by faith asked Jesus if he could also walk on the water to approach Jesus who he and the other disciples saw walking despite the winds getting stronger and the waves becoming heavier, as their boat was crossing the lake. (Matthew 14:22-33)

“Why did you doubt, you of little faith?” Jesus asked that to Peter as he reached out his hand and grabbed him…

As I thought about my situation, I asked myself.

“Did I ever at one point doubt You Lord?”

(I know I never did…).

“Did I take my eyes of You Lord?”

(I know it had been fixed at the only Source of strength, courage, wisdom and discernment as the battle started heating up knowing how very limited and inadequate I was against my opponents)…

I know that I may never walk in water like Peter but I surely am aware that I am also walking through a tough situation. I know difficult circumstances surround me but never I once doubted that He is going through this with me. My problem?

Patience…I want all of my evidences thrown back at them. I want to end all of their accusations and stop them with the truth. I want to show them how wrong they are and that they are breaking the law. Like…Right now!!!

But that’s not what He wants. He is telling me to “wait…”

“Wait some more…”He always tells me whenever I ask Him, “When? I waited already…”

“Then, keep waiting and trusting in Me…”

Waiting is tough. But through this period, God is teaching me to trust even more in His perfect timing. He is drawing me nearer. His timetable is different from what I know. I’m thankful His ways are higher than mine.

I focused on Peter’s hand holding tight to Jesus’ grasp…He shouted, “Save me Lord!” as he started sinking. The Bible says Jesus “instantly,” “immediately,” “at once” or “straight away” reached out His hand and grabbed Peter. That is the truth that penetrated my heart. As a believer, being in a battle comes as no surprise. To know that He is the “ever present help” in times of danger, should replace any growing doubt or lessening faith…Because it’s only by belief that we come to God.

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” –Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)

“Ho…hum”... I yawned almost breaking my jaw. Sleep that eluded me finally came as my heart rested in His faithful promises. I glanced at the time illuminated by the tiny, soft glow of amber light and could not believe it was almost morning...Just like the dark nights, sleepless nights, another bright day would come...Each day that He has made...

I looked once more on the picture. It was not Peter’s grasp that saved him. It was Jesus’ tight grasp. Same hold He has on me. And you who believe! Storms would come and go. No matter what...He is always faithful to reach out His hand to save those who call on Him. And believe...

Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him (Peter)...Matthew 14:31

I Lift My Friend To You

“He spread out the earth on the seas. His love continues forever. “ – Psalm 136:6

“C’mon, just come with me,” I invited my friend as I planned to park in a favorite spot my family had enjoyed, too occasionally whenever we wanted to take a break.

I took the tong and started picking up some chicken wings from a nearby grocery store. Being kept hot inside the warming bins, I asked my friend to tell me what flavor she wanted. We decided to share and ended up stashing some in a bucket: honey flavored, teriyaki, buffalo and some plain ones.

Finding the perfect spot which thankfully was empty as the whole row was already crowded with a mixture of cars and RV’s, some late afternoon surfers and swimmers were enjoying the warm day in the cold water down below and others were taking a stroll on the sandy shore. The sun’s glow was so beautiful and calming as the rays kissed the oceans and our surroundings.

“Talk!” I commanded to my friend after we devoured the chicken wings.

“That’s the reason I invited you. I just wanted you to get out of your house and be able to vent out. I know how much suffering you are going through. I am stressed out, too, you know that…from my work.”

Silence…Her smile vanished. She let out a deep sigh and started letting go of the heaviness residing at the core of her heart. Tears flowed as she related, my eyes taking turns to stare at the ocean and look at my friend.

“Sometimes…I just want to go to that ocean and just not swim…”

My heart was pierced with the familiar desire. Once, I thought of ending my life, too when I thought I faced the “dead end” on a road I was walking on.

Clearing the lump in my throat that formed, I looked at her and said, “I know how you feel. I know you believe in God. I know you may doubt Him at times because of a tragedy. You know how I thought of ending my life once. But instead, He gave me that strength to end my life doing everything on my own. He led my steps to go near Him.”

“Okay, you tell me, too if you had anything to say,” she requested.

Despite the building up frustrations on what was going on from my workplace, I felt it was not the right time to say anything but…

“I love you. You know that. And I had already offered many times that if I could be of any help, please call me. I want you to know that you’re not alone. If I love you, God loves you much more.”

“Thank you…”she wiped the last bead of tear that fell and a faint glow of smile started appearing again on her face, wearied with everyday’s battles. She is a good person who believes in God and I know that cord that links her to Him always makes her feel she cannot wander away without feeling that thug…Thug of life. Thug of love. Thug of grace.

“Thank You, God for this,” I heard her soft whisper. I couldn’t help but paint a smile on my face, too and prayed quietly, “Lord, I lift my friend to You…”

view from inside my car yesterday

I glanced to the ocean which was right behind my friend’s face and the horizon truly was endless. Like God’s love and mercy. Cars and bikers passed by on my driver’s side so fast. I wondered if they enjoyed the scenic spot and what a blessing it was to souls hungry for peace. Like the ocean, God’s love had been revealed already and His grace made available to all. And it is sad when no one takes notice and does not see what was already done for all…

Hands

“The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God”

- John Fitzgerald Kennedy


I’ve seen those hands…Hands that killed…Hands that abused spouses and children…
Hands that stole…Hands upon the heart’s being bathed with grace, were folded and prayed often in darkness…Hands that were idle…

Hands that opened doors they were not supposed to…Hands begging for mercy…Hands that wove with pride…Hands that were rejected…Hands that were humiliated…
Hands that did not extend to forgive…Hands that were quick to accomplish evil intentions and thoughts…

Photo Credit
But I was also touched by those Hands…   

Hands that created everything…
Hands that turned water into wine…
Hands that delivered a man in the synagogue from demonic spirits…
Hands that cleansed a leper…Casted out a dumb and blind spirit…Fed 5,000 with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish…Made a blind man see in Bethsaida…Healed a woman with an 18 year infirmity…Calmed a storm…

Hands who served and willfully obeyed what His Father wanted…Who died and was raised up and now is sitting at the Right Hand of God…

Hands that were pierced and wounded by nails and because of that, we are healed…Hands that are faithful to complete the plans He promised…Hands that shield the poor from the storms…Hands that saves anyone willing to surrender…

The hands which choose to receive His gift of life and hope, will in turn raise their hands to heavens and with thankful hearts praise His Holy Name…

After all, one’s life rests on His hands…

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
- 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends