Who The Son Sets Free, is Free Indeed

Some Sunday motivation for ya’ll. This prayer video is what I’ve been listening to for a few nights. I love waking up and hearing it still going. Helps me feel safe when I realize I still have the same problems as yesterday, but that I’m not in charge. What a relief.

https://youtu.be/VCH78TYf-Fk

“Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All the Things That Could Go Wrong.” ― Marianne Williamson

“Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is.” – Marianne Williamson

Where to Stare In A Storm

Where to Stare in the Storm

A few months ago, my husband and I were caught in a thunderstorm in Texas that left us stranded in our car for over an hour. I wrote about it in this blog:

http://samantha-waters.com/2021/05/16/drenched-2/

That storm ended up taking the lives of 2 missionaries later that day. I can’t believe how quickly I became fearful for our safety between the horrendous downpouring of rainwater flooding out the road to the high power lines above us just waiting to be struck by a lightning bolt and tumble onto our car.

I actually messaged my kids goodbye, just in case. I couldn’t believe this was how it was gonna end! I had no way of knowing if I would make it out, except that deep down I think I knew that I was being kept “afloat” until a solution could appear.

When we are going through a storm, all we can see is the chaos around us. We are caught in this tunnel of darkness that the tornado has thrust us into. It surrounds our physical and mental self and can be suffocating with the fear and dread. Sometimes we can’t see that the sun or Rainbow is right around the corner. Just like in our Texas storm- the rainbow. The promise of hope.

I love this meme because in our sincere pleading for the storm to end, we might be depriving yourself of the lessons or ideas that the storm might be leading us to. Thoughts and ideas that would not have came otherwise. Just hold on and get through it? Welcome what gratitude or appreciation for life that comes.

Listen to Max Lucado

“‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus” (Matthew 14:28-29).

Peter never would have made this request on a calm sea. I doubt Peter would have ever stepped out of the boat. Storms prompt us to take unprecedented journeys. For a few heart-stilling moments, Peter did the impossible. He defied every law of gravity and nature.

Matthew moves us quickly to the major message of the event, and that is where to stare in a storm. “But when [Peter] saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’” (v. 30).

Focus on Christ, you can do the impossible. Focus on the storm, you begin to sink.

Once you get through the storm – of course- it’s a matter of disentangling yourself from your ingrained habits, thoughts, & actions that were not made with a safe and clear head. Some people will hold those against you forever but what’s important is that you don’t hold them against yourself.

This is scripture from my particular church: Latter day Saints, which states how to rely on God through difficult trials. I love the art work.

https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/how-does-the-lord-make-our-burdens-light

If you’re in a storm, past the storm, or riding the wave of the storm please know that you can get through it intact, and even better than the storm found you! It’s so hard to imagine it while you’re suffering, but those are the times to rely on faith. Some people will only define you by what you did and said during that storm, and honestly that journey is on them. Forgiveness is a personal thing. Sometimes we only have the power to forgive ourselves.

Stepping Forward with Blindness

STEPPING FORWARD

By Michael Woods

The Israelites were stuck in the wilderness for 40 years because they couldn’t see God’s vision for their lives. They thought of everything in terms of their past. In fact, they complained to Moses that they wanted to go back to Egypt and return to a life of slavery because that’s what they knew. Can you imagine?

But God wanted them to get a new vision—a land flowing with milk and honey.

If you want to see change happen in your life, you’ve got to get a vision that goes beyond what you’ve already seen and experienced.

A good place to look for that vision is in the thousands of promises contained in God’s Word. Through obedience to His Word, you can claim each one of them for yourself.

Surrendered people obey God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Abraham followed God without knowing where it would take him. Hannah waited on God’s timing without knowing when she would have a child.

Mary expected a miracle without understanding the mystery that was taking place inside her. Joseph trusted God’s plan without knowing why he found himself in difficult circumstances.

Each of these people we read about in the Bible surrendered to God, and the end result of their surrender was a victorious fulfillment of God’s promises.

We must learn to encourage ourselves in the Word. That’s what David did in Psalm 27:13–14. Even in the midst of his troubles he said, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (NIV).

Our hope should not be based on what we can see or what’s in our past. Rather, it should be based on the Word of God and His promises for our lives.

Isaiah 43:18–19 NIV says,

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Give everything to God—your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, your dreams, your weaknesses, your habits, your hurts, your hang-ups.

Allow Jesus to take the driver’s seat and then take your hands off the wheel. Don’t be afraid; nothing that is under His control can ever be out of control. When you are surrendered to Christ, you can handle anything life throws at you.

God is always doing something new. Use spiritual discernment to follow His plan and stop following your own thoughts and feelings. Glance at your circumstance but spend more time focusing on Jesus. He’s the author and finisher of your faith.

Amen.

The Prodigal Son

For the story visit: Journeys.dartmouth

I had a dream last night.

I was trapped inside my house with some loud and intimidating people outside trying to get in. My family was there and I kept “trying to convince them”:

“Please don’t go out, please stay inside where it’s safe”.

My pleas landed on seemingly deaf ears, as my two eldest sons kept telling me,

“It’s ok Mom, we can handle it”.

Both of these beautiful boys struggle with SUD: one is functioning well and happy- the other is what this entire blog is based on.

I tried to pull them away from the door, like a worried Mom of curious toddlers who are determined to toddle out into the street. My boys went out anyway. In my dreamlike state, I remember thinking, at least they are together; which sadly, hasn’t happened in a year.

As I woke up from this nightmare, the following story was playing on my phone:

As I listened to the story of the prodigal son, tears stung my eyes. I didn’t put it on there, I didn’t search for it. What I did do- is pray daily – several times a day, for my son to have a spiritual awakening OR for someone to come into his life that could reach him, since I can’t. I pray for my family to come back together, un- fractured, cracking jokes again.

This experience is similar to This dream I had awhile ago.

What is the massage?

Faith

Patience

Surrender

Was this God’s way of telling me to BE STILL? God’s word spoken through a dream with my beautiful boys that I miss so dearly.

I suspect I need to stand down.

Allow for the work to be done.

"It's a relief to know I'm not in control anymore.......

Spring Cleaning

There’s something about washers.

It might sound weird, but everytime I hear the churn of it spinning, I get a sense of rightness in the world.

It might be the gratefulness I feel at having a comfortable home and even a washer, knowing that one of my flesh and blood doesn’t anymore😭. Or I might have always liked the rythmic sound of the washer as it washes away the days troubles, and just didn’t know it….

Quite possibly it takes me back to my pre-birth day as I was frolicking in my own “tub of water” preparing me for entrance into the chaos of the world. The washer mimicking the safety of the Mother’s womb with the steady rythmic movement of a portable love incubator with themuffled sounds entering into my safe space.

Then there’s the soap. The clean, fresh linen smell. Whether it’s the chemicals made to smell like a gentle breeze in a tele-tubby rolling hill grass field or a squirt of lemon onto a fresh leaf of lettuce; it brings feelings of comfort and peace.

Spring Cleaning, a much needed car wash the day before it rains, Saturday morning hair cuts with 20 other people waiting. All these seemingly mundane things are so important to our chafing off the struggles of the week & the dirt of yesterday so we can refresh and feel better even for a moment.

Spring is all that and more. Seeing the flowers peek through the ground makes the long hard winter a distant memory. Like chickens hatching out of a sharp cold shell into the warmth of the sun & breathing in the smell of the grass and frolicking in the refreshing water; we can use spring to breathe hope into our lives.

If you read my post on spring tides from Gary Lewis or you watched the trapped boats in the Suez canal on the news, you know that a Spring Tide came in to save the day.

Gary compares this to our ability to turn our problems over to a higher power.

“We enter the passage of our years seeking to float to our eternal destiny. Pride and selfishness obscures our view, and sin mires us down. Our unaided efforts are futile to effectuate our escape..

Our Savior’s atoning sacrifice comes to our rescue, if we choose to accept it. Like a rising tide, the blood of His sacrifice lifts our ponderous weight and breaks us free from the quicksand that binds us. We are damned in our progress no more.

Gary Lewis

Since it’s Easter week, I’m feeling very emotional and spiritual.

I haven’t always been so religious. I was raised halfway going to church and halfway not. In times of despair and stress, I turned for comfort in my higher power, such as when my brother took his own life when I was 12. Most times I was a anti-“fair-weather” friend to God. Some might say a hypocrite.

But whatever it is or WAS, now I find myself reveling in the calmness and sheer relief of turning over my problems and my Son’s journey to someone more able to handle it.

Powerlessness and pain will do that.

So this spring is different.

I have finally asked God for forgiveness of what I see as my sin’s and mistakes. I finally, at 53 years old, believe that Jesus sacrificed his life so that we don’t have to keep reliving our shame & suffering over & over again.
He wants us to give up our pain & let go of our prideful stories of victimhood or even martyrdom.
It’s disheartening to him to have us be miserable when he gave us this gift to be FREE of our pain.

I think it’s called Redemption.

The dictionary defines redemption as: 1. the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. 2. the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.

Found at crosswalk.com

Johnny Cash defines Redemption as:

“The blood was the price that set the captives free”

Even if you aren’t a believer, anyone can follow the act of redeeming themselves in order to make the best version of ourselves and spread goodness to those around us and especially to those suffering souls.

“The world is where the souls of men are held captive so no man is free. There is only one liberation and liberator of the souls of men in the world and it’s by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Men do not fight for liberty, but fight to remain in their captivities which they have grown accustom to. To be free is a spiritual reality not a physical one and so men fight wars and strive in vain thinking that wealth, might and individual rights set them free”.

Wayne Barrett- Wimkin
Happy Easter, Happy Spring

A Deep Dive

Before I discovered Addiction so intimately within my own family,  I would have written off this Video as just another religious kook.

But when you are dropped to your knees with such utter powerless & deep despair, you find yourself seeking out a God, any God- real fast.  The sheer pain & fear along with the loss of someone you love dearly Even though that person is still alive, is humbling to say  the least.

After basically going through the 5 stages of grief with the loss of this relationship, you start to actually have some compassion for them. Or at least I did…..or do. That s kindof where I am now.

My son. I miss the son I remember & love sooooo much. And even though I’m incredibly grateful that he is still breathing, the son I know & knew is not available right now.

He has an out to lunch sign on the door.

When I finally came to the realization that my adult child isn’t the sweet, innocent perfect person I had held onto believing for so long, I was devastated.

So to watch that passionate Addict turned evangelist video tell me that in God’s eyes they ARE! It was refreshingly freeing!

They ARE still worthy!

They ARE still loved immensely! And the biggest blessing Is that they CAN CHANGE at ANY time!

Hope.

HOPE is a wonderful thing.

It’s all we got really.

Having a bad day? Hope gives you a new day tomorrow.

I’ve heard addicts say that is what they lacked the most( & needed from people) more than anything was hope. Because their illness tells them that it’s too late, they’re too far gone, why try anymore. Just get high and numb out then everything will be ok.

I am hoping that I can begin  to have this kind of Christlike compassion for my boy and other addicts. Even when they don’t ACT as if they should deserve any mercy, they are still human beings having a horrible existence right now. Having to lie, cheat, steal to support a stupid evil powerful drug that has held them hostage for way too long.

Jesus is always available. If only we would seek HIM.

I can’t imagine losing your mind that way, your Freedom, your family, everything you once cared about to become a slave to a THING.

Can you imagine the freedom, the love, the sheer JOY of being saved? Of having that hope spread through your body with more power than any Evil drug? Can you imagine how that would feel?

Consider the powerful artist painting above by Stephen Sawyer. It’s titled “Calvary”; meaning “it’s a pain that we associate with not only great sorrow but great victory.”

One interpretation in THIS article states that at this point the addict isn’t feeling any pain but it hurts Jesus when we hurt ourselves.”

He wanted to demonstrate that “When you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” In my past religious teaching I would have taken this as a ” oh well then it’s too late, I’m worthless because I have sinned against God & his son. But isn’t that the whole point of Calvary?

The artist went on to say “The Temple of God is within you …and … IF WE ALLOW IT – we can create a magnificent home for the Presence of God in our lives.”

I think there are many ways to interpret the message, one being that Jesus will take all our pain away if we only reach out.

Please pray for ALL who are suffering. 🙏

God bless us all.

©Samanthawaters