On trusting God…

Bridge and River

When we are hard pressed on every side and we can’t see the way out or even the way through it can be so hard to trust God.

And our worries take us on a wild ride, don’t they?

As difficult as it is to trust in the dark we must.

Choosing with our will, the will that knows that God is good all the time and can be counted on time and time again.

And filtering it all through Love which is the greatest of all things.

We trust by relying on the faith that has been growing one day at a time, through good and bad. Faith in a faithful God who really does have good plans for us. Who has come through for us time and again.

With hope for the future.

So let’s just sit there a moment, shall we?

Still.

Shutting our ears to the lies that scare us.

Letting Him hold us as our hearts open more fully in trust…

~sheila

View from Longings End…Ocean of grace

OCEAN 5

OCEAN 2

Ocean of grace.

Water of life.

And the Spirit’s siren call beckons souls to come, walking on the water. Unafraid. Trusting.

I’ve only just dipped my big toe.

Because trusting can be scary. Even trusting God. Even though He’s always been good, always works everything out.

He keeps calling us to come further out. With Him into the deep.

Yet we are little Much-Afraids, aren’t we?

OCEAN 3

Broken like shell fragments lining the shore.

Fragile.

For that’s what happens when we get hurt or used. Disappointed and abandoned.

And we’ve been waiting all our lives for someone to say I really love you. No matter what.

And He has because He does. And He’s not going anywhere.

But life happens and the sun it slips away and darkness falls all around us. And the awful swirls like a raging storm on every side. Terrifying.

We don’t want to lose sight of the shore, get in over our heads, need to be rescued by the Only One who can save us. We would rather pretend we have it all under control.  So we keep on kicking. We are strong swimmers who can take care of ourselves.

Seeking survival instead of our Savior.

And we might last but we won’t be living.

OCEAN 1

Because those wild winds keep blowing and our fingers slowly slip one by one as we try to stay tethered to the dock.

Those wood pilings gone in a gale.

We need to hang our hope on the One who hung on that wooden cross up there at that place of grace where evil got shut down.

And He rose up.

He is our life preserver and He sets us free when we surrender.

And let grace swallow us.

Becoming vulnerable yet no longer a victim.

And falling in love and true intimacy with Him who can keep us from falling.

OCEAN 4

Wave upon wave washing over us.

Grace glistening.

Grace cleansing.

Life dripping real…

~sheila

We slipped away one glorious late summer day earlier this month. Tasting the salty air. Savoring the wind at our backs.

And  I’ve been asking myself how much of my heart does He really hold? How much do I still hold back? And why? And it is in Him that all these answers lie.

So we press onward until His grace swallows us completely, in over our heads yet breathing deeply.

Come along, won’t you?

Blessings on your weekend, my friends.

 

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When we look for a shortcut out of our misery and wanting…

DEPOT HILL 3

DEPOT HILL SWAMP

Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own way of doing life that we forget all about the One who is life.

We choose to sin, thinking it is a shortcut out of our misery and wanting.

It never is and we wind up going down deeper into a black pit of our own making.

Testing God and His goodness at every turn with little gratitude for who He is and all He has done for us in the past.

We whine, complain and moan, focused solely on our own soul’s longings.

What we lack, what we dislike, what we seek to change or control.

Instead of lifting our hearts and minds to the heavenly places where Christ sits at the right hand of the Father praying His heart out for our wayward hearts.

At times like these we stop truly believing in God and His glorious power to not only save us, but provide and protect. And give us joy in the journey even when the road is long and dusty and we keep twisting our ankle on the rocks strewn along the way.

But God.

And praise God.

He never forgets us and is never late.

And He is never remiss to catch us when we are falling, arms outstretched like they were on the cross. He knows what we need and supplies it all. He understands that our hearts and flesh are weak.

And in the weaknesses of our lower nature, we can choose to sin – in pride, fear or jumping to conclusions of the most negative sort. Yet we believe we are right as we fall prey to the lies of the liar. And it can take a while before we can feel, like Paul, the anguish in our souls from having fallen again.

Yet He pours out compassion on us time and time again, mercy unending.

So let us not forget that He is King over all, holding all, in control of all, and we are here to serve Him through our obedience.

Serving Him not us.

Bowing, recounting His blessings and humbly asking forgiveness…

~sheila

 For more reflections like this one, click here.

 

 

Your child could die! To wives who allow husbands to abuse their children and believe God wants them to stand by their man…

BULLY - Copy

In this life there are little boy bullies in big men bodies.

Mean and cruel.

They hurt their families and justify their actions. They let their anger rip and then they say sorry.

And the wife stands by her man.

Believing God wants her to.

Believing he will change.

Believing lies!

Abusive, angry men, unless they truly surrender their hurting, hardened hearts to Jesus which rarely happens, never change.

They keep on hurting those weaker and smaller than they are. They take out their own inner pain on defenseless women and children rendering blows that break spirits.

And blows that can kill.

Maybe when they were little their daddy or step-daddy beat up on them, or cursed at them heinously, or told them lies about themselves that cut tender spirits turning them savage. Or maybe their daddy sexually abused them. And the hate and anger in their heart comes out all lethal and loveless.

And that little boy broken who grew up to be a bully has hurts that no doubt run a mile wide. But his sins run wider. Yet he runs away from the only One who could ever heal him.

And everything in life is a choice.

We choose to love.

We choose to hate.

We choose to break cycles of violence.

We choose to perpetuate cycles of violence.

And the wickedness continues to the next generation and the next for those abused often become abusers themselves. Or they marry abusers.

ANGRY MAN

Angry men who had issues with their own fathers, or mothers, are allowed to hurt children and teenagers because they can.

The women that they married are as broken inside as they are. As needy for someone to love them as the next broken heart. And in her neediness, fear, ignorance, and in her choice…she stays.

And stands by as her husband physically harms her son or daughter. Making her guilty, too.

And those precious babies that grew in her womb and were fed at her breast, the ones she says she loves with all her heart forever, are abandoned to the monster living in the house.

Year after year. Decade upon decade. Marking anniversaries that are a sham overshadowed by anger, violence and unrepentant sin. And she prays and quotes scripture, and screams and cries and threatens. One day she hates him. The next day she tells herself and anyone who will listen that he is the best husband and dad in the world. And the dysfunctional, co-dependent cycle continues.

Even abusers can sometimes do, say or buy nice things for their families and behave appropriately.

But mostly they steal from their families joy and peace. robbing children and teenagers of the security and stability of growing up loved.

And some abusive men even claim to love God in one breath, and then in the next spew evil words of death to their children or wife demanding that everything go their way.

The craziness perpetuates and wives justify their husband’s actions, refusing to acknowledge the truth.

Abusers are fearful, little men who wreck big havoc on their families.

They throw their weight around and throw punches that one day might kill a child. Or a wife. They kick and scream and through temper tantrums like the hurting, sinful two year old they are inside. Kicking wives, children and maybe even the dog, rendering internal injuries that one day may prove fatal.

Fatal!

Narcissistic, they only love themselves for shame and pity’s sake, having no real idea that God loves them very much while hating their terrible deeds.

And a wife who stands by her man as he destroys the souls and bodies of herself or her babies, whether they are newborn or 18, is unwise and mislead about her role of following her husband.

God will NEVER call a wife to submit to torment and terror. God NEVER says it is okay for a man to beat or abuse a woman or children. 

NEVER!

Please wake up, Wife.

This man that you married for better or worse is not a godly husband or dad.

He may wear a mask in public and at church, he may even go forward for altar calls all teary eyed, but the changes are never lasting. He may be kind to neighbors and friends who believe he is a great man but behind closed doors — watch out!! Nothing EVER gives a man the right to physically or verbally harm his family.

Dear wife my heart cries out to your heart — all hurting, fearful, and angry inside — You claim to love your kids with all your heart. And I know you do, but the love got twisted long ago and you are allowing abuse.

Parents are called to protect, nurture and guide their children to successful adulthood. And there is NEVER an excuse for an angry man to ever lay a finger on a woman or child unless life is at stake.

But the only life that is at stake is the life of the one abused.

GRAVESTONE

Do you really want to attend your child’s funeral someday, Wife?

Try to imagine for moment how you will feel the day they lower your son or daughter’s coffin six feet under and you realize you had the power to prevent their untimely death. And no amount of tears will ever bring them back to you.

If you truly love God and your babies, then leave. Today.

Get out and get help before it is too late.

And in your leaving — not going for counseling again or asking the pastors to pray again — you just might shake your spouse awake so he can see how evil and broken and small and hard he is inside.

And you will save the lives of those you love.

Reality is that you live with a ticking time bomb.

He doesn’t respect you, but exploits you.

He doesn’t love you, but uses you.

He’s not proud of how lovely you truly are, but flaunts you to boost his own fragile ego.

And you let him.

But God.

DAD SON

God truly loves you and your children so let Him be your Maker who is your Husband and the Father of the fatherless. God will never leave you, He will make the way, He will provide and protect you and your babies if you will only let Him be the One that you cling to.

Please open your eyes to the hideousness at home and be warned that more than four children DIE EVERYDAY in the United States as a result of abuse.

Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.

As many as two-thirds of adults in treatment for drug abuse report having been abused as children.

LEAVE the abuser that you live with and let God deal with him.

Or would you rather wait until your child dies at the hands of a man who is no man at all?

Pick up the phone, Wife, and make a call to change your life for the better.

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

For adult survivors of childhood abuse these resources can help.

And here’s an article When Fathers Kill Their Kids

Other information can be found at ChildHelp.org

May God our good Father bless you and keep you and give you grace and courage to leave. Now.

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

~sheila

Photo credits:
Bully
Angry man
Gravestone
Dad and son

 

When a wife is frustrated and hates being married…Part one

PORCUPINE

Something he did has made her unhappy again and inside she’s seething.

And wrestling with fear stemming from his decision.

And not a little hurt. He really didn’t discuss this with her, just mentioned it and went ahead and did what he felt was best.

Now look at them — adversely affected in several ways and the family suffering.

Her growing prickly as a porcupine and the seething making her heart seize. And she is stuck.

Yet he says it will all work out. He has said that before.

But now she has lost hope. No longer believing and she feels like she just doesn’t care.

So she nurses a grudge with negative feelings and thoughts that torment, keeping her awake through the wee hours.

Each morning she is happy to see him out the door. Yet her stay-at-home-mom routines bring little joy outside of her babies’ smiles, and housework boring makes her feel a little more justified in her frustrations. And at the end of the day he seems to always have a headache.

So she starts thinking she might be better off without him.

Because maybe he doesn’t talk to her the way she wants him too. Or bring her flowers. Maybe she thinks he should ask for a raise instead of telling her to serve pasta for dinner three nights a week. Maybe he’s gained a few pounds from all that pasta and she loathes his lack of self-control. Maybe she can’t see anything good about this man to whom she has promised her life.

And she feels like giving up and moving on.

To greener pastures.

To find the man of her dreams.

To a life lived independent of a husband. Or at least this husband.

She reminds herself she is educated and talented and worked before the kiddos came. Her mom, retired, loves her grands and has often said if full-time daycare was ever needed she is available.

And she sees her recently divorced girlfriends having fun dating on weekends when their kids are at dad’s.

And she can’t remember when she last felt truly happy. Or wanted.

She loves her babies and delights in them, but she is miserable in her marriage and if something doesn’t change soon she thinks she’ll lose her mind.

Or maybe all the stress has turned itself against her and her body gives up and she can’t understand why she is so tired all the time or losing her hair until the doctor pronounces her sentence: autoimmune disease or worse. And then she gets more angry and more scared.

All she wants to do is scream. Loudly. But that would frighten her little ones and wake her snoring husband. So she stuffs it all, entertaining thoughts too dark for words.

Yet the thought of divorce isn’t an option.

Not for her, the Bible-toting, Sunday school-teaching mom and wife who juggles soccer practice and choir practice and helps friends in need, always wearing her Christiany mask complete with plastic smile.

SHIMMER

God hates divorce.

Ad she feels He will be terribly unhappy with her if she left her man for he hasn’t really done anything divorce-worthy. True, some of his decisions aren’t the wisest and the effects are serious, but if she sets aside her anger and thinks straight and narrow for a moment she knows he is a good man trying his best in a world hard and cold and all he wants and needs is a little warmth and tender understanding from his bride beloved.

Her helping him become the best man he can be.

So she tries to do her best and puts on a happy face and says the right words and does what any good wife would do. And she fools herself for a week or two until, like Eve, she starts listening to the relentless voice that whispers lies.

Lies seduce and she gives in and lashes out angry words. Or spends too much money at the mall. Or leaves the dishes all day in the sink because she knows he hates seeing them undone.

DISHES

Or maybe she suffers silently as her depression grows darker and deeper. She’s not sleeping well and isn’t eating. Or maybe is eating too much. She dislikes her mate so she loses herself in a couple of glasses of red after the children are asleep and spends too many hours online playing Candy Crush.

Escaping the pain, the fear, the frustration, the seeming hopelessness of her situation. And she spirals deeper downward.

And all of it a lack of love.

But God!

He is her hope even when she resists Him.

He will not fail her though she has failed a million times.

He will not leave her an orphan child to survive the wilds of the world even when she finds it hard to receive the Father’s love. And nothing she does, nor anything that has been done to her, will ever separate her from his embrace.

It’s a dim glimmer for her to see hope in an unseen God when for too long all she has seen are her own demands, wants and needs.

Desperate after a long, cold night of the enemy’s taunts, she calls out the name that is above all names.

Jesus.

She breathes it barely audible for her family is sleeping, but He hears.

She knows she needs help and there is no where else to turn. She and her spouse have talked and prayed and fought. Fought a lot.

She has read words from the latest woman’s magazine offering tips on how to have a better marriage. She has sat with him in their pastor’s office on many occasions for counseling but if truth be told she wasn’t seeking help to change her marriage as much as she was there to vent her disappointment and change her husband.

So she asks God for help only half believing that He can even though He has never once failed her.

Still too angry for tears of her own repentance, she tiptoes out of bed in the early morning darkness and laces up her running shoes that have sat still all winter. Peeks in to check on the kids. Steps over the sleeping dog and heads out the door and down the road.

ROAD

The chill wind at her back makes her run a little faster. And she starts to feel free. Pounding the pavement for a while boosts her endorphins, lifting her dour mood just enough for her to catch an honest glimpse of herself in her mind’s eye.

What she sees is not pretty but disfigured and deformed.

Ugly.

And she spiritually pounds her chest while her arms keep pumping by her sides, stride after stride, and the sun slowly shows its luminous face, clouds clinging all peachy and violet in the eastern sky. And right there, on that empty road a few miles from home, she drops to her knees.

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned…

~sheila
All our longings end in love

Tune in for part two of the Frustrated Wife series tomorrow which focuses on true beauty, a peaceful, respectful spirit and the most important thing you can do to help your man and your marriage be the best ever.

 Part 2

Part 3