My Ragged Bible

my ragged bible

Sunday mornings are my love.  I am ashamed that I haven’t written this year. Forgive me. As I sit here meditating, reading the word, and other reading tools that help me go deeper into God’s word I notice my Bible. I notice how worn it is, how the tears, nicks and picks have crept in over the years. I notice how the binder has completely ripped and the back of my Bible, my ragged Bible is falling apart. I notice how the faces of the women appear bubbled, out of focus and I smile. Well I tear up and smile.

The appearance of  my Bible is a replica of my worn-torn, war –wearied, heartbroken-heart and healed/healing soul. God has watched over me. God has pushed me; He has talked to me and He has loved me because He promised He would. His capacity to love us without the pull of guilt or you owe keeps me hinged to Him. God gives value to our souls.

In reflection, I purchased this Bible on July 7, 2007 and inside I wrote, “To understand God, you have to spend time with God.” (How God works.)  I began studying more of the Word in an effort to save the beginnings of a crumbling marriage; we had not made it to the seven-year mark. I wanted to find solace in the One Belief I trusted…if I just prayed hard enough—I would not break my vows. God could still trust me with the big things. I yearned for the big things. God will turn our selfishness into His greatest opportunities. Oh, how things got worse the closer I became to God. We were divorced two years later. Nevertheless, my Bible was still intact, still looked new.

My journey to return to school as a Business Major, older and as a single parent of four was challenging. Many a night, this Bible was read, yet not felt. We are required to read, to study, to show ourselves approved. I cannot tell you when the binder ripped but it hurt when it did. I refused to tape it, to add anything to it to fix it. I let it be —I just carry the pieces together. (How God works.)  Recently, my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling was granted on March 1, 2018. You would think He and I are even…that I have done the work and all is now within the realm of completion. The master’s program journey was devastating. It tore me apart and put me back together so different than I expected. My thought, let’s let the blessings flow, Jehovah. (Laugh) Nope, smh. I have submitted my application for certification in Clinical Pastoral Education—to be educated in spiritual care. I am not a minister…yet my gift is to care for those who are.

I am so far out of my comfort level. Shoot, I have been for years. These next steps of my life are huge and I am terrified. I am alone. This past week, I have endured so many attacks, spiritual attacks. It has been a whoa-Jesus kinda week. So much so that my deceased parents have visited me in my dreams. My mom, “You’re taking care of everyone else. Don’t lose sight.”  My Dad, “You’re’ not alone. Stick with it, Michelle.”

Yet, my ragged Bible, this ragged Bible, my, “Aspire, the new Women of Color Study Bible.” My ragged Bible is in pieces, tattered, pages bent, filled with love notes written by my kids; highlighted words that hem my heart…written for purpose of guidance, written for purpose to encourage, written for the purpose to build, written for the purpose to heal…my ragged Bible, is written for the purpose to initiate and cultivate purpose.

Our need, our individual want to prosper, to be better in life, to live brighter than yesterday cannot be done without Him. I encourage you to find your niche and allow God to incorporate the work, the journey; the balance required to live your greatest life. Again, I write, “To understand God, you have to spend time with God.”

Each time I read the story of Jesus healing, the man born blind I receive a number of different insights. My favorite verse, John 9:3, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might displayed in his life.” This had to happen. Our things had to happen. Our must go through is required. Know that what has become increasingly clear to me is that without self-evidence, without the pain and heartache, without the disappointments, the hurt, without the journey, without painful, historical insight I could not share with you that prayer —our relationship with God —is the very breathe of our greatest human existence. Spend some time with Him, your way.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Fractured, yet Healing

Intimately Wrded_picDecember 31…the last date of every year. I believe it to be more. It has become the date in which we tend to count our blessings, regret our mistakes, total up the losses. A date in which we ruminate over in regret…decide to regret or make executed decisions to do better while hoping for a grander life than previous. #2017

What if December 31, symbolizes other than “more”? What if December 31 meant to pause, that we actually live within the momentary time of gratitude. No adjustments, no planning, no goal setting.

My December 31: I am fractured, yet healing. From here, I will continue to grow in my healing. I will continue to let God have His will, His way regardless of how I feel, how dramatic I may get. Regardless of my hurt, my guilt, my disappointments. I will let Him win this for me…this life, these expectations.

What if? I know that God’s love for us is bigger than we realize. What if, I just take this date, this last day of the year to let Him love me with His thoughts, His plans for me…for they are never to harm me.

This thought process has not been easy to achieve. My hurts this year have been gargantuan and not because I am wrong or off path but because He has more in store. Tonight, I will see my life from His perspective—fractured, yet healing. #perfectlyimperfect

Vulnerability is not an easy path. At times, the vulnerability is to get you where He wants you to be…His best work is when we are open, wounded while processing. I have learned that there are connections I cannot be without; spiritual connections do not break. {bfk}

I have learned that God’s opportunities look very different from ours. I am learning that getting closer to God does not necessarily mean that I know Him in the depth and realms He knows me. It will hurt, remaining on your path. Yet, you must remain however fractured your soul is. We are forever healing, forever growing in Life processes.

December 31, you are on the right track. Trust me. #Trust Him Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. May this New Year bring you face to face with God’s purposed plans for your life. I wish you prosperity, grand fortune in love, happiness and peace. #continuedblessings

Intimately wrded,

Michelle

Living in Brokenness

We all do this. We do not allow ourselves to heal…not all the way. We believe we have had enough, done enough so we wait in hurt. We dream for better in the same routine, the same rut. We fight so hard to get what we want that we fight even harder to keep what damages us so.

This post is heavy. I have pondered not to write it but alas here’s my heart: Living in brokenness determines so many different avenues that our lives will take. Faith and courage are more than stepping-stones. Faith and courage open doors. So many doors. The last few weeks, relationship woes have found their way to my listening ear. I refuse to give relationship advice. One, I am not in one. Two, No one knows a person’s true ordeal. People tell you what they want you to know and if the advice given does not match up to their true wants and what they want to do…the advice given is deemed wrong. Three, my experiences and my level of want may not match up to another’s level of love. Therefore, I listen.

Her experience Woman I: “I am in a committed loving relationship. Twenty years, a sinful committed relationship. He still married.”  She laughs, “Now you know I know better.” Beautiful woman, late 50’s, a therapist.  (He is not legally divorced.)

Her experience Woman II: “Thank you for wishing me happy birthday. My husband has not said one word about my birthday. I have been dealing with this for 20 years and I am not going to remind him.” Its 11:30 pm when I receive her text. This saddens me so. I want to respond, “Tell him.” Yet, I do not. I text, “Hugs. We’ll celebrate when we go out.” I know that did not ease her hurting. Beautiful woman, late 50’s, wonderful heart. She will give her last to a friend not expecting a payback. Beautiful spirit.

My experience: I hide. I dare not show the deep levels of my heart. As wide and forgiving as it is, my heart hurts quickly and the consequences of that hurt makes me very decisive. It is difficult for any man to penetrate my heart. If I am hurt, I retreat. I do not argue and I do no fix people. My intent is never to hurt anyone. I live my life with those intentions. Yet, I know that I am capable of loving with the best of them. God’s timing is with purpose.

Living in brokenness becomes factual, routine and monotonous without us being aware. It is a cycle of self-protection and longing. It is very understandable and livable. We all do it. Our coping mechanism, our coping techniques are a greater companion than anticipating change. I truly believe if my first marriage had not ended the way it did I would still be there praying, hoping, hanging on and suffocating simultaneously.

I believe the ones who have the ability to break our hearts should not have nor be given the credibility to keep us in that place of brokenness. Living in brokenness is a place of growth, not a permanent place of stubbornness and “if-wishing.” God will do so much more with our heart matters when we faithfully move within our trust of Him.

Peace your heart and love in hope,

Michelle