Spring in Tennessee means flooding. The rains pour down and the rivers swell. I hear the water rushing past our homestead like a raging river tearing down anything in it’s path. Destruction is its song. Our house is built on the side of a big hill and it towers above the floods wrath. This flood was not as devastating as the 100 year flood about 4 years ago here. Homes and barns were ripped from their footing and torn to pieces. The waters crept into other homes to penetrate every possession and consume it. It is good to know our home is built on that solid rock.
“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Matt. 7:25
Faith is the foundation in which we are planted. And as I look out my window to see the floods I think of my faith. I think of how I am steadfast and sure. My footing is bore down into a solid rock and I am safe. But-there was a time when I was not grounded and there was a time when I was not secure in my faith. My faith was like a house of sticks on a sandy shore. The rivers would swell and sweep my little house of sticks away. I had fear and shame and no real footing to save my life. Every wave of doctrine would come and I would be confused. Emotions were running free like how the sea billows roll, tossing my heart from one whim to the other and my faith would crumble and sink away. Any person could come along and I would give them every piece of my heart and they would trample it under foot.
Here is the forward to a book that I have been writing about my life…
“Life happens and it just seems so ordinary. For some. But not for me. My life has been nothing of the sort. Normal I was not and my experiences have followed much in the same. I had a good life but it took half a lifetime to realize it. Many things have happened, much was lost. In turn much more was gained. In life there are all kinds of rejections and injustices but it takes a special kind of understanding to rise above such things. And only something that can be understood by a newness of life in Christ alone.
I never thought I could possibly write about my life because I would never want to seem ungrateful. I have had so many strange and hard things that have happened that I surely would not want to glorify them as if that was everything I was. Truth be known, I have had a great deal of blessings, many more than I can recount. The sad thing is that sometimes horrible things happen to innocent people and it becomes them. They had no choice, but it defines who they are. I spent my lifetime striving always to redefine myself. To find where I fit. But I discovered through the course of life that I could not belong anywhere but to heaven itself. I never could, nor ever will, understand how people can be so exclusive and so cruel. The ability of finding joy in unfortunate circumstances, finding beauty in a sea of ugliness, finding hope in moments of utter despair, and love in reproach is something I have chosen. There is a great deal of ugliness that needs to be told in order to realize the beauty that came out of it. Understanding the depth, the breadth, the height of God’s love and how I fit into His picture has come piece by piece. It is nothing that could be learned in one moment for it takes many trips into the valley to realize the depth. Many hard climbs up the mountain to know the height. A lifetime of stretching one to their breaking point to grasp the breadth of this mysterious love. The Love of God.”
It is hard to write about my past. I actually hate it because it seems like I am looking into someone else’s past, not mine. I have changed so much. I used to be crazy and my mind was so irrational. My thoughts were so self absorbed and pitiful. Floods of puke. “Puke” is a horrible word, so crude. But “puke” is the perfect word I can think of when I think of all that came forth out of my mouth, out of my heart. It is embarrassing to even think about the things I used to believe about myself and about life. I was so crazy, that I would look for things to complain about. As if life did not give enough troubles, I had to look for more. I found things to be depressed about. My conscience was nagging me like a loud drip from a sink, never ceasing. Drip, drip, drip, and my weary soul would slip away into darkness. Why does a person stay there? How could I waste my days like that? We are only given so many days to live. Every beat of our hearts brings us one second closer to death. Each day is a gift and some of us choose to crumple that gift and toss it into the trash. Why do people “puke”. They puke because there is something toxic building up in their stomach. A poison or virus. It is overflowing inside a person. Negative thinking, selfishness, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, and distrust are the toxic fuel behind the disease. It is not meant to be there and it wears a person down. You feel tired and worthless. No one likes to be around a sick person because we know we could be infected. And that is how the poison of the infection spreads.
“But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22
Mothers sow these bitter seeds into their husband and into the lives of their precious children, and the infestation strengthens consuming everything like a flood of rushing waters. As the flood rips everything in its path, the infection destroys joy. A very old friend of mine left her husband not too long ago. She also had bad things happen to her in her past. Her mind was infected and her faith was movable. I tried to warn her. I begged her years ago to choose joy. Instead the poison spread to every area of her soul until reality faded. It grieves me to know that those children will drink of her “puke” and poison. And yet, she seeks it. It is foolish. It is sin. How many souls will break under this curse of bitterness and shame? How many times will they wish for some other life than what they were given? And never be satisfied. Their thirst never quenched. Only because they do not go to the well of life and draw the pure water that cleanses the mind and fills the soul.
g a good husband, good kids, and good breath, is not my song today. My song is joy. I want to help others find it. Maybe by sharing my life, my story, the ugliness of where I was at to where I am today, I can show the way to the light that is always there to lead us into truth, peace, and real Joy. When floods come, I know I will stand on the rock. Every high and stormy gale will not prevail. What was sinking sand has been fortified with heat and pressure. The molten rock of God’s mercy has fused between the loose grains of my foolish heart, creating something that can not be shaken and my faith builds on that solid rock. Now, I sow seeds of joy and contentment into the lives of others. Joy can be just as infectious as poison. Choose today what you will fill your cup with. And remember, Christ died to set us free-to give us- life. Start living like you mean it.