I’m Dripping in Self-Absorbsion

Like a sponge I soak in myself.

What about me?

That’s not fair.

Why, God, Why?

Questions without answer.

Answers without question.

All focused on ME–oh, and my friends Myself and I.

Why do I selfishly center my focus inward?

A word that recently captured my mind and is taking up residence is this:

Center

Meaning Jesus Christ at the center.

Center of my thoughts.

Center of my prayers.

Center of my intentions.

Center of my actions.

The central character in the play of my life.

God, help me focus on you and not on me.  

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Time Does Not Heal All Wounds, But, Jesus Does

I had a dream some three years ago.  It was in no way an ordinary moment of unconsciousness, checkered with ramblings of the day without any sense of reason, No, I believe it was Heaven sent.

July 16, 2012:  

Awkward would best describe the way I feel. Like wearing a pair of high heels the first time. You recognize that this is not normal for your feet and it takes concentrated effort to gracefully maneuver. Make sense?

I had a dream the other night.

I stand close to the water. I see below the surface to the bottom. It is full of rocks. The water is clear and calm. I lean in for a closer peak. It feels as if time stands still. Maybe it is because of the stillness of the water. I don’t know.

I only see my lower half (a good thing) as I either have my pant legs pulled up or I am wearing capris. I gently place my painted toes into the water as if checking the temperature. Ripples move outward.

As with dreams, the scene abruptly shifts. I am on the other side. People are with me, but I do not see their faces. Only the ground as I guide them to pick up the now dry stones to build an altar of sorts.

I wake up.

My dream feels familiar. I know this story.

Joshua, Moses’ successor had a similar real-life moment. He was about to take a journey to the Promised Land. The River Jordan was high; at flood stage. The water was rushing. I am confident his adrenaline was rushing through him just as fast.

God encourages him to take a step. He will go before Joshua on this journey. Joshua and the people move forward in faith. The water parts and a thoroughfare opens. The rest is history.

The water is still. No huge storm or rushing water in my dream. I am still. He wants me to take a step of trust. I attempt to hold back the waters of His workings instead of allowing Him to miraculously move the water.

It is time to put my foot into the water.

It will take courage to move forward and enter the land of promises He has in store for me.

Yet, I want to walk in these new shoes. They are too valuable to just sit on a shelf.

I am ready to take the step.

Will you join me?

Lord, help me be the person you have called me to be. Give me the courage to move forward on the journey you have marked out specifically for me. Forgive me for standing when you are stepping. I want to be like Joshua. I know it will require more of me than ever before. I know you are with me. You will not abandon me on this journey. You always keep your promises. I am ready for the next step. Help me maneuver in this new terrain. In Jesus name…

Present Day, 2015:

This dream seems to have sat on the shore for some time.  You see, while I desired to take a step forward, shortly after this divine encounter, God took me backward in time. A difficult season delving into the way, way back of a past checkered with health and harm.

But, the dream lit up in awareness today as my heart awakened to further meaning. 

The Israelites were in a land of in-between.  They were no longer in the desert.  Still, they had yet to cross over into the Land of Promise.

They were on the edge.

That is the best description of this excursion of the last three years.  On the edge.  Not completely well, and well, not completely a basket case.

When another light appears in my mind as I am reminded of my recent birthday.  No, not the BIG 50.  Not for another 3 years.  But, what kind of healing could take place in the next three years if I intentionally pursued Jesus on the pages which document His time here on earth?  Where would my soul reside when the monumental milestone rings the 1/2 century mark?

This is when the light begins to laser in focus to a particular passage where Jesus asks an injured man a question (various versions)–

“Do you want to be well?”

“Would you like to be healed?”

“Dost thou wish to become whole?”

Well.  Healed.  Whole.  

Well, #$%@ Yes!

So, what if I journey with Jesus and document my findings of what I learn.

When the laser beam transitions into a lightbulb moment–

The people with me pick up these stones–while I cannot see their faces, it is obvious they accompany me, their leader.  And we are all on the edge–together.

So, I have decided, to document these milestones toward health, wholeness, and wellbeing.

The thought makes me sick and giddy at the same time.

What this will look like–who knows?

Still, we have no time to waste!  Three years will be here before we know it.

Remember–

Time does not heal all wounds, but Jesus does!

One day Jesus entered the synagogue and was handed a scroll in which he read the words prophesied in Isaiah about Himself. I hope they minister to your heart as they do mine:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Let the healing begin continue.

Josie

Is it Acceptable to Color Outside the Lines?

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When I was a wee young lad, before I would color a picture in a coloring book, I would use my crayon to draw a dark line over the top of the black bolded edge of the drawing, careful not to run outside the line, but stay right on top with my Crayola.  Then, I would shade in with the same hue, but with light pressure, so the contrast was just right.

This is a wonderful strategy when we are talking coloring books, but, I think I may have managed to keep up this technique of staying in the lines an acceptable practice throughout my adulthood.

Don’t ever allow my coloring utensil to veer off the edge of the pattern on the page–and into the dangerous blank space.

It isn’t safe out there in the area outside of control.

A year or so ago, I had a dream of a wall that had black scribbles covering a large portion of the white drywall.  The scribbles appeared similar to the ones my little ones (years ago) attempted to decorate while alone with temptation and a couple of crayons as their guidance.

In my hand was a roller dripping wet in gray paint–similar to a hue found in West Elm.  My attempt appeared simple:  Cover up the scribbles with a nice coat of semi-gloss.  Nothing redefines a space like a fresh coat of paint.  It can literally transform a room.

But, my mind wonders, “What were those scribbles all about?”

Is it possible the mess was the accumulation of things my subconscious was attempting to uncover, that my conscience wanted to remain under wraps?

Is it possible the adult, being me, still attempts to keep the walls of my heart clean at all costs?

My early childhood was partially nice pages of color, while other areas were scribbled in darkness outside the lines of acceptable.

Both define me.

But, I denied the scribbles existence.  As a result, many hues have made their way to the surface slowly.

For instance, I was molested by a handful of individuals.  I did not acknowledge this up until this year.

This played a part in my childhood but instead of addressing the scribble, it was covered over in nice fresh denial.  Over time though, the color began to emerge through the covering, because the intensity of darkness was darker than the coverup.

So, while I am healthy in many areas, there are a few that still harbor hurt.  And I sometimes revert to the little girl who remained silent, while silently dying.

 

Healing is not about being healed, but becoming healthy.  

Let yourself read that again.

Healing is not about being healed, but becoming healthy.  

God can, and will, use all things for good.  Even scribbles.  Look at all the varieties of art out there.  Some are clean, while others are edgy.  Some are naked.  

Some require a tilt of the head to see the beauty.  

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Maybe, just maybe, scribbles are the abstract art of God’s Kingdom.