Each Friday I plan on sharing a part of my journey in knowing God and how it ties into Knowing Him.
My Journey – As Hannah
Years ago when I started studying Hannah and her two prayers I got to experience what God must feel when we thank Him.
We had gone to Six Flags Over Texas as a family trip experiencing the new place that we had moved to. While we were standing in line to go on a bobsled type roller coaster, my two Sons had two very opposite reactions to going on the ride. John could not wait to go on it, he had seen it in the parking lot and had to go on it. Brandon on the other hand was begging to not go on it, panicking as he was waiting in line sure of the coming doom, he was going to DIE. Once we got on the ride; John sitting in my lap, Rick by himself in the middle and Brandon alone in the back (this was his choice), and started down the track in the fast free run area things changed. Brandon was having the time of his life and John was screaming, “I want off.” I put my arms around him and held on to the bar in front of him and told him that I had him and he would make it through OK and that I would not let go of him. When the ride was over Brandon came up to me with a BIG hug and said, “Thank you mommy, for making me go on that. It was great! Let’s go again.” John still shaking and squeezing my hand tight, quietly said, “Thank you for letting me know that you had me and were not going to let go.” Both thank you’s touched my heart and meant a lot to me in different ways. They also helped me in understanding that there is more to prayer than bring our list of wants and needs to Him, we also need to let Him know how much we love Him for what He has done in our lives.
My Journey – I’m just like Peter
As I was writing about Peter being out of his comfort zone I was running not walking out of mine. Later that afternoon my family and I had an appointment with our mad scientist of a doctor which I’m totally fine with. I know that God has led us to him as our doctor. We even joke that he can walk on water because he knows where the stones are.
That morning I was sinking faster than Peter did. You see about the time we would be leaving his office a winter storm was suppose to hit. I have never driven in winter weather the 9 years that we have lived here in the Dallas area, my husband has always driven. We would have to drive back to my husband’s work which is like halfway. Due to the construction of the freeway between his work and home I drive the side streets. I was going to drop my husband off so he could get his car and have to drive in the winter weather. I was sinking fast into a state of panic. In my mind I was picturing every mile of the way with sleet and icy rain as the weatherman had predicted was coming. After two major car accidents I have lived with an underlying fear of the next accident and my mind was already going there. I could feel the panic taking a hold of my body physically and in one aspect was looking forward to seeing my mad scientist yet feeling it would all be a waste because of the panic. If only I had taken my husband to work at 5AM then he could have done the driving and I wouldn’t have to.
I was feeling like my head was underwater, that is when God threw me a lifeline. I received a message from my doctor asking if we needed to cancel due to the weather. I told him that I would ask my husband but I was glad that he asked because I was panicked about having to drive in that messed. Next message I goat was for me to come in at 12:30 and we will reschedule the rest of the family then. Since we were leaving this weekend for vacation, guess you could say that we were being snowbirds and leaving this frozen land for Arizona and the Valley of the Sun, I knew I would feel better if I went in BUT I was in a state of panic, trying to come up with an excuse as to why I should just go in after vacation knowing that I would enjoy the trip better if I did go in. I thought that my husband when he called would say just wait till we get back, instead he said that if he wants to see you then you had better go.
As I drove to his office I had gotten about halfway when I had started to relax somewhat and the panic was subsiding. I was now starting to think clearly. As I drove I realized how much I was like Peter focusing on the negative and fears and not on Jesus. Then I realized that when God held out a helping hand I tried to push it away because of the panic, something that is common to people who are drowning and I was drowning in my panic state of mind. Once I realized this the tears were on and off, along with laughing at myself the rest of the way to the office. I’m so glad that my husband encouraged me to grab that hand because I feel so much better because I did.
My Journey – Be Strong and Courageous
There are so many things that we face each day that we need to be reminded when we get up that we are going to need to be strong and courageous for that day. Seeing everything that is going on in the news is enough to make one stay in bed with the covers pulled over the head. Dealing with people that at times can seem uncaring in what they say. The negative self talk that we have going on in our heads can stop us from doing a lot that we would do otherwise.
After two major accidents driving on the freeways was my least favorite thing to do. I avoided it like the plague, still do somewhat, it is the construction zones that I don’t like to do. However when we moved out to Texas from Arizona, I had to drive one of the cars. Each mile built up my courage that I could do this the negative self talk stopped about getting into another accident. I knew that God was in this move so I had to trust Him to get us there safely.
Unlike the cowardly lion going to Oz to get courage, we find our courage and strength in the knowledge that the Creator of the universe in constantly with us. We have a good reason to be strong and courageous with Him by our side what we face that may seem like a giant shanks to the size of an ant.
My Journey – Confidence
When we are born we don’t know that we can’t do anything. As a matter of fact people are encouraging us as we crawl, start to talk and take our first steps. With each step that we take our confidence grows and soon we are no longer walking but running. We are unstoppable or so we think. As we get older we start getting boundaries put on us and we start hearing, no, stop, don’t touch, you can’t do that….. That is healthy when it is done for our safety, it becomes unhealthy when we are constantly being told that we can’t do something right or that we don’t know what we are doing and not given the direction on how to do it.
In growing up all I can remember is that my dad telling me how I couldn’t do anything right. When my great aunt was painting these wonderful landscapes I want to start painting too. So I got all of the equipment and started painting a desert landscape, he took one look at it and told me that I was doing it all wrong and how I was not any good at it, so I quit oil painting in the 5th grade. In the 6th grade we had to do a book report and make a float for the report. When it came to parent involvement I don’t think the teacher meant this; He decided that I would write the book report and he would make the float because I don’t know how to do it. He designed, painted and built the float, I wasn’t even allowed to do anything with it, just write the book report. When I turned it in I felt empty, worthless and embarrassed that I was not good enough to do it. In 7th grade one of the classes that I took was painting on a ceramic plaque. I really liked the one that I picked out and enjoyed painting it and was proud to turn it in. The night before I turned it in I had gone to bed to wake up to find my dad had taken and did his finishing touches to it. I was angry, and once again felt like I nothing that I did would please him. Even though I got an A for it I felt like I didn’t earn it because he did his thing to it.
Everything that I attempted to do from playing tennis to playing the piano I was not good enough at or it was too hard for me to to according to him so I gave up on trying. He had made it know in several areas that nothing I did was ever accepted by him. Either he was better or someone else was better than I could ever be, according to him. This created a lack of confidence that carried into my adult life.
My lack of confidence was so bad that when I went out with a good friend one time to eat she noticed that I was afraid to even look at the waitress and quietly gave her my order. She told me that the waitress was not going to get upset with me and that she was there to help me. She encouraged me to look at the waitress when she brought the meal and to say thank you. You know hat wasn’t so bad, even freeing. Yet, I was still intimidated by life and did not trust myself to make the right choices. This is an area that my doctor/life coach, Dr. J. J. Gregor, has been working with me for over a year with. There are some areas that I am confident in while other areas even though I know I can do it I just am afraid of failing. That is where I am like Moses and can think of all kinds of excuses for me not even attempting to take that first step out of the comfort zone. I do have to say that by taking the step of writing this blog has been one of the biggest confidence builders in my life. So like Moses when we do step out of our comfort zone we can find confidence in that God is with us each step of the way.
My Journey – Purpose
When bad things happen to us the first thing that we tend to do is ask “WHY?”, what is the purpose of it. I’m sure Joseph was wondering the same thing as to everything that he went through. I know over the years I have.
Along my journey there have been several times that I was asking God why. When I had a car accident in which after flipping end over end five times I lost three inches of bone to my ankle which left me with a fused ankle. How frustrated I would get because I couldn’t go run any more when I was upset. Why did this have to happen to me? My first thought was that God was punishing me for my pride. A year and a half before I was hit head on by a 16 year old and my other ankle was shattered to the point that I was told I would not be able to walk yet when the cast was removed I was able to walk without a limp. So then when I got my settlement I was like showed her. Till this accident and the SUV that I bought with the settlement was destroyed along with my other ankle. Yup I was convinced that it was because of my pride over getting the settlement.
One thing that it took me awhile to grasp was God was not out to punish me but that He wanted me to slow down and spend time with Him. As I spent that time getting to know. Him more I got to the point where I could agree with Joseph that. God used it for good. Now with years to look back at it I can see that all that happens is to bring glory to God. We have to be willing to let God weave it together and not try to take it into our own hands.
My Journey – Moving
As I was growing up we moved several times and I can remember being excited about moving. There was something that I found exciting in moving into a new house and making new friends. However, when my husband’s job was moved to Texas from Arizona I was totally able to identify to Abraham in packing up and leaving your family and friends behind. I so didn’t look forward to this move and leaving everyone behind. I was very active in the women’s ministry at my church there. I had one of my sons and both dogs with me while my husband drove the truck towing the other car.
We headed out across the Arizona desert and the only blessing that I could see the only blessing was that my husband still had a job. Now seeing the growth and the wonderful men that God has put in my sons’ lives as the become young men of their on I am truly blessed. The fact that my husband still has a job is a blessing. We still make the pilgrimage back to Arizona to see my Mom and friends back there. Yet we are blessed with friends at our church In Texas.
My Journey – One of Life’s Storms
There is no way as we can’t go through this life without experiencing some storms along the way. There have been several major storm in my life yet the one that I have seen God’s grace the most in is when my oldest son was diagnosed with hydrocephalus when he was 18 months old. The pediatrician basically gave us very little hope. According to her, he was going to have to have surgery to have a shunt put in, and never be able to live a normal life because of the shunt. That there are several things that could go wrong with the shunt and he could die because of this. It seemed like wave after wave was crashing over my head and the dark and gloomy clouds were getting darker.
The first sign of God’s grace was that the neurosurgeon that we took him to was not a surgery happy surgeon. In the CT-Scan and MRI he couldn’t see what was causing the extra fluid back up and since he was only a centimeter out of the normal growth curve he decide to wait and watch my son for the next 6 months. Each monthly visit saw him following the curve and the separation between were he has and the normal get smaller.
Then when my son was 2 years old the neurosurgeon had another CT-Scan done. Another sign of grace appeared, the extra fluid was gone. Once again the surgeon had no clue as to why it cleared up. Outside of some learning delays he was fine. The surgeon was glad that he had not gone by the book but by his heart.
We started pushing him on his delays. God showed more of His grace in that one of my friends at church was a lady that had her Masters in Special Ed. She was also a homeschool mom and helped me as I homeschooled him so that we could focus on the problems as they came up.
Watching him play soccer as a young boy was more of God’s grace because if he had a shunt put in he would not have been able to do that because we would have been off to ER when he got hit in the face with the ball full force to make sure the shunt was ok.
About 3 years ago we met the most amazing young chiropractor, for another storm in my journey that I will share later. When he started treating my son, he gave him an exercise to rewire his brain. What a difference in his ability to comprehend his school lessons mostly math was a lot easier for him. He also began to be more social. One of the best signs of grace yet. Now as he turns 18 in a couple of weeks what an amazing graphic artist he has become and media tech. I can see the rainbow after this storm.
This picture is one of my biggest fears, I’m so out of my comfort zone on mountain roads when they are dry much more with snow. When we go back to AZ and take the northern route, I-40, we always have that mountain road on I-17 that we have to take going down the mountain into Phoenix. For me this is an E ticket ride, white knuckles, screaming on the inside as we go down. That is when I’m thinking that if we just took the southern route on I-10 I wouldn’t have to be on this mountain road. So what if it is boring, at times a stone’s throw away from Mexico, at least it is flat.
How much I find life is like taking a road trip. Doing the same boring thing day in and day out, safe nothing exciting going on. Then God throws a curve in the road, move to Texas, then another curve in the road, start writing for Him, and another curve in the road, start taking what you have been writing and do a blog with it, SCREEEEECH!?!? Did I just hear God right? He wants me to do a blog??? I feel like I just missed that turn on the road and am heading over the cliff.
When I left Phoenix and headed to Ft. Worth, I left some great friends behind. Thanks to Facebook we keep in and bounce things off each other when something comes up. So when I told them that I was fighting with God about stepping outside of my comfort zone and create this blog, one of them told me, “I think you know the answer 😊 It’s time to step out of your comfort zone into the DANGER zone!! Dangerous for God’s Kingdom. Onward Christian Soldier!!!!!”. We need to have those people around us to encourage us on to do what we know God has called us to do. I’m lucky to have a couple of these good friends. Winnie, thanks for the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone. Bonbon