Sunday, July 20, 2008


This afternoon I decided to do a little housecleaning. Not the vacuuming and dusting type, but sorting through files, paperwork, and things that have been stashed away. The day is hot and I spent time outdoors at the pool yesterday, so today seemed like the perfect day to stay inside, in the coolness of air conditioning, cleaning, moving forward, processing, and remembering.

My file cabinet was full of things that reminded me of my "old life". I found old Bible Study and Women's Retreat material that takes me back to a place that I have buried for the last three years. Due to something that happened after the worship service today...yet again, God beckons me to use my ability to communicate what He has done in my life to assist Him in bringing other's to Him. I have tried to pretend that this is not where He wants me as the pain of my experiences, my sin, and feelings of unworthiness make me want to set this part of my life aside for as long as possible. But God won't let me. A special friend, on the verge of accepting Him, searching and in need of one on one discipleship tugs at my heart. She has asked me for weeks, "What do I do next?" and I wait to see if someone else will answer her...but God keeps putting her in front of me. My answer to Him is "Oh, God...are you sure?"

This my attempt to ignore what God has challenged of me...He will not let me go. He wants me to remember. He wants me to learn and grow from what I experienced. I resist. I feel I cannot. I know He must be with me in order to move from where I am at this moment.

The words He brought to me, as I cleaned out the old paperwork, as I tried to bury my past experiences were words of encouragement, from one who hurt me.

In a letter written to me from the person who was closer to me than anyone, the friend I have loved like a sister, and out of that love, I have let her go. She wrote these words to me at a time when I had experienced something horrible and hurtful and discouraging. She wrote:

"...I see the spiritual warfare much more clearly. God does not want you to not minister. God does not want you to quit. God does not want you to quit our friendship. God does not want you to quit "Name of Church". God does not want you to move out of my life. Satan is attacking and to be very very honest I have been giving him fuel for the I've stayed in self-pity, selfishness, inwardness, jealousy, envy....definitely NOT what you would describe as fruits of God's spirit...
So, I say all this to say, if you were not my very best, closest fiend, if I had handled many situations with more honesty, integrity and Godliness, You would not be so frustrated now. To be extremely honest, I will 99% of the time, plead a situation so darn good that I will come out as best as I can even in being other people's cost...I do know that that stinks,...
Please don't mess up what God has started....
Liz, I love you. God loves you. Jesus Christ who rose from the dead who died for you, loves you. He knew that this day would happen, like a crisis of belief, and He knows how you will respond and react because of who He is in your life and what He's done in your life and wants to continue to do.
You are being challenged right now to go deeper, deeper with God, with relationships, you were getting bored with the old stuff anyway, right?
You are my soulmate, my sister, my friend. You are a joy. Love you with all my heart. "

Words, written some time ago, coming back seemingly to haunt me, but God used to remind me of Him, His plan for me.

Thank you, dear friend, for words that still speak to my heart, that address the exact moment that I am facing today.

I know that He is using all things for His good and His glory. He reminds me, today, of how He loves me, how He has gifted me, and that nothing, nothing in life with Him is happenstance.

God reminds me of who I am through the words also given to me by this same friend:

You are the friend that
I love to be around
I love with ALL my heart
comforts me in deepest darkest nights
brings a smile to my face
shows me myself, good and bad, pretty and ugly
puts up with me
pulls me up by whatever you can grab
is patient with me
is fun
is pretty
is beautiful inside and out
is respected among her peers and co-workers
is a great friend to many
is my pride and joy
is a gardening expert
is a cooking expert
is a great mom
is a great daughter
is encouraging
is caring (really)
is loving
is sensitive, even when you won't admit it
is the best friend anyone could have
is a blessing

These are the word I will hang on to. This is the friendship that I remember.

This is who I am in Christ.

the good.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Keep processing and hang on to what is good.

Mary Ann said...


Lysa TerKeurst said...

Dearest Liz...

Processing your calling is tough. Your friend's words are precious even though it sounds as if things have gone south between the two of you.

I once had someone tell me that I should never speak and that I was not meant to be in ministry.

It hurt so much.

But I made the choice to listen to only God's voice in that season of my life and I am so glad I did.

I love doing what I feel is exactly what God made me to do.

I'm not perfect but God knew that when He called me. And He still chose to use me.

I hope this encourages you...