Overcoming Disappointment The Champions Way by Beverly Speaks

This is an awesome article about Jordyn Wieber, the 16 year old Olympic Gymnast who helped power the U.S. team to a gold medal yesterday has illustrated to the world how beauty can come from ashes when  we choose to press in for the prize.

Holy Experience – When All Hope Feels Like a Drought

 


When All Hope Feels Like a Drought

Posted: 25 Jul 2012 10:43 AM PDT

Aman can watch the sky like a plea.

“And we didn’t get nothing — not one drop.”

That’s what the farmer’s wife said to me before breakfast.

DSC_2577

DSC_0445

DSC_0024

How she headed home from town in a flat-out gully washer of a rain, thinking this was finally it — the whole dark sky like the ocean coming to find dry land, and she was just certain of it, the rain splatting across her windshield like a certain promise coming right now.

All the corn fields to the north and the south, they’ve been standing twisted right up for weeks.

Leaves curled tight and high in drought. Farmers, we call it pineappling — when corn leaves don’t hang relaxed, quenched and green and soaking in sun — but they writhe up like sharp pineapple spears — taut and parched and desperate to escape anymore heat.

It’s like the whole countryside’s reaching up like a begging.

But she said when she turned the bend, right there at the county line, not a mile and a half from the home farm, all that rain, all that hope, just evaporated into thin, clear air.

How there was nothing.

“When I turned up our lane, there was dust in the rearview mirror and rain coming down hard to the west.”

Hope, it can feel like a balloon string dangling over your head that you just can’t reach.

She shakes her head.

“I don’t think we’re going to make crop.”

That’d be like taking all of last year’s wage and investing it into a project — then putting in 12 hours a day everyday for six months, counting on it, and — and being told that you’ve just lost all of last year’s income — and you won’t be getting paid for this past six months either. That you’ll just have to go home with nothing — to a lot less — because the sky hanging right over your head, sky skirting with abundance just a mile to your north and a half mile to your south — it didn’t open up right overhead and let down your only lifeline.

Farmers in these parts are talking in days. How many days they’ve gone without rain. How many days left until their crop is futile in the field.

“We talked to a farmer who took his thousand acres and cut it down for silage — because when they peeled back the husks? None of the cobs — on a thousand acres — had even a kernel.”

Behind all the husks, there are a thousand ways that a life can feel barren.

Behind all the husks, there are a thousand ways there can seem not to be a kernel of hope at all.

The Farmer had emailed me while I was standing in a lobby in Port Au Prince, Haiti, in between blackouts, in between losing power in a country waiting for a gully-washer of hope. It had blinked up on the screen just before the dark: “We’ve never had a corn crop look so bad.”

And yet — hope is standing in the dark with a lamp lit with prayers.

The lights came back on.

I turn to the Farmer’s wife and I tell her what I had tapped back the Farmer: “So we pray.”

And the Farmer’s wife, she looks over at me and she says it in this sharp desperation of her own —

“You really think it works like that?”

Oh.

My silence, my interior groping — it must betray my confusion. She says it louder.

“You really think it makes any difference, anything you pray? It’s just going to be what it’s going to be.” She turns away.

“It’s just going to be what it’s going to be.”

She says it like she’s watching hope in the rear view mirror, hope headed away heavy for someone else.

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And I know that feeling, that witnessing. When I got home at 2:30 am on Sunday morning from Haiti, when after the sermon, I stood on the lawn with the Farmer, my sister and her husband and all our 11 kids, and we watched the sky grow heavy to the west and I begged “Oh, please, Lord…. please.”

And I’m another’s farmer’s wife too and how can I find it for myself and my prayer sounds more like a panic than a peace and I am the biggest mess of them all.

The Farmer’s got his hands in his jean pockets. He’s standing there where the lawn gives way to the corn field.

“I think we’re just on the south edge of this one. And it’s headed just a bit north of us…” He pulls a big Dutch hand out of his pocket, points towards the elevator bins across the fields. ” — See how it’s raining there on the other side of the highway?”

And I feel wild…

What if we get nothing? What if it is the way it is?

And he turns into all my angst storm and he can read me. He looks me in the eye and says it like a forecast:

When you know your Father’s loving — what can you fear losing?

He’s as calm as a man walking on water.

He hears us. He loves us. He has us. So whatever happens, He’s good and we’re good.

I look at him — He’s like a man completely resting on water. Isn’t that it? We pray to the Lord knowing His answer is Love.

And God is no genie and we don’t pray to God to pry something from God. We pray to God to be prepared by God for a purpose of God.

We don’t pray to get more from God — we pray to become more in Christ.

We pray because entering His presence is the answer to all our prayers.

Somedays just laying our head in His hands is the way we lay the burdens down.

The scars on His hands were made to be the perfect ditches for our tears.

The Farmer pulls me into him and wraps me in more faith and we stand together watching the sky, how the rain goes north.

How it comes down right here like a certain promise:

When your prayers look right into the face of Christ — every hopeless end turns into an endless hope.

Holy Experience – When All Hope Feels Like a Drought

 


When All Hope Feels Like a Drought

Posted: 25 Jul 2012 10:43 AM PDT

Aman can watch the sky like a plea.

“And we didn’t get nothing — not one drop.”

That’s what the farmer’s wife said to me before breakfast.

DSC_2577

DSC_0445

DSC_0024

How she headed home from town in a flat-out gully washer of a rain, thinking this was finally it — the whole dark sky like the ocean coming to find dry land, and she was just certain of it, the rain splatting across her windshield like a certain promise coming right now.

All the corn fields to the north and the south, they’ve been standing twisted right up for weeks.

Leaves curled tight and high in drought. Farmers, we call it pineappling — when corn leaves don’t hang relaxed, quenched and green and soaking in sun — but they writhe up like sharp pineapple spears — taut and parched and desperate to escape anymore heat.

It’s like the whole countryside’s reaching up like a begging.

But she said when she turned the bend, right there at the county line, not a mile and a half from the home farm, all that rain, all that hope, just evaporated into thin, clear air.

How there was nothing.

“When I turned up our lane, there was dust in the rearview mirror and rain coming down hard to the west.”

Hope, it can feel like a balloon string dangling over your head that you just can’t reach.

She shakes her head.

“I don’t think we’re going to make crop.”

That’d be like taking all of last year’s wage and investing it into a project — then putting in 12 hours a day everyday for six months, counting on it, and — and being told that you’ve just lost all of last year’s income — and you won’t be getting paid for this past six months either. That you’ll just have to go home with nothing — to a lot less — because the sky hanging right over your head, sky skirting with abundance just a mile to your north and a half mile to your south — it didn’t open up right overhead and let down your only lifeline.

Farmers in these parts are talking in days. How many days they’ve gone without rain. How many days left until their crop is futile in the field.

“We talked to a farmer who took his thousand acres and cut it down for silage — because when they peeled back the husks? None of the cobs — on a thousand acres — had even a kernel.”

Behind all the husks, there are a thousand ways that a life can feel barren.

Behind all the husks, there are a thousand ways there can seem not to be a kernel of hope at all.

The Farmer had emailed me while I was standing in a lobby in Port Au Prince, Haiti, in between blackouts, in between losing power in a country waiting for a gully-washer of hope. It had blinked up on the screen just before the dark: “We’ve never had a corn crop look so bad.”

And yet — hope is standing in the dark with a lamp lit with prayers.

The lights came back on.

I turn to the Farmer’s wife and I tell her what I had tapped back the Farmer: “So we pray.”

And the Farmer’s wife, she looks over at me and she says it in this sharp desperation of her own —

“You really think it works like that?”

Oh.

My silence, my interior groping — it must betray my confusion. She says it louder.

“You really think it makes any difference, anything you pray? It’s just going to be what it’s going to be.” She turns away.

“It’s just going to be what it’s going to be.”

She says it like she’s watching hope in the rear view mirror, hope headed away heavy for someone else.

DSC_2597

And I know that feeling, that witnessing. When I got home at 2:30 am on Sunday morning from Haiti, when after the sermon, I stood on the lawn with the Farmer, my sister and her husband and all our 11 kids, and we watched the sky grow heavy to the west and I begged “Oh, please, Lord…. please.”

And I’m another’s farmer’s wife too and how can I find it for myself and my prayer sounds more like a panic than a peace and I am the biggest mess of them all.

The Farmer’s got his hands in his jean pockets. He’s standing there where the lawn gives way to the corn field.

“I think we’re just on the south edge of this one. And it’s headed just a bit north of us…” He pulls a big Dutch hand out of his pocket, points towards the elevator bins across the fields. ” — See how it’s raining there on the other side of the highway?”

And I feel wild…

What if we get nothing? What if it is the way it is?

And he turns into all my angst storm and he can read me. He looks me in the eye and says it like a forecast:

When you know your Father’s loving — what can you fear losing?

He’s as calm as a man walking on water.

He hears us. He loves us. He has us. So whatever happens, He’s good and we’re good.

I look at him — He’s like a man completely resting on water. Isn’t that it? We pray to the Lord knowing His answer is Love.

And God is no genie and we don’t pray to God to pry something from God. We pray to God to be prepared by God for a purpose of God.

We don’t pray to get more from God — we pray to become more in Christ.

We pray because entering His presence is the answer to all our prayers.

Somedays just laying our head in His hands is the way we lay the burdens down.

The scars on His hands were made to be the perfect ditches for our tears.

The Farmer pulls me into him and wraps me in more faith and we stand together watching the sky, how the rain goes north.

How it comes down right here like a certain promise:

When your prayers look right into the face of Christ — every hopeless end turns into an endless hope.

Senseless Shootings in Colorado – Is God Still Merciful?


SO YOU STILL THINK GOD IS A MERCIFUL GOD?!

(Maybe, just maybe God spared my life because He loves YOU and wants you to hear this..He wants you to believe that He loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son that if you would believe in Him you would have eternal life.)

So, you still believe in a merciful God?”  Some of the comments online are genuinely inquisitive, others are contemptuous in nature. Regardless of the motive behind the question, I will respond the same way.

Yes.

Yes, I do indeed.

Absolutely, positively, unequivocally.

Let’s get something straight: the theater shooting was an evil, horrendous act done by a man controlled by evil.  God did not take a gun and pull the trigger in a crowded theater. He didn’t even suggest it. A man did.

In His sovereignty, God made man in His image with the ability to choose good and evil.

Unfortunately, sometimes man chooses evil.

I was there in theater 9 at midnight, straining to make out the words and trying to figure out the story line as The Dark Night Rises began. I’m not a big movie-goer. The HH and I prefer to watch movies in the comfort of our own home…where I can use subtitles and get a foot rub. I don’t like action movies. And I don’t like midnight showings.  But, as I wrote in my last post, parents sometimes make sacrifices for their kiddos and I decided I would take my fourteen year old and sixteen year old daughters who were chomping at the bit to see this eagerly anticipated third movie in the Batman Trilogy. Twice I had the opportunity to back out and twice I was quite tempted. But something in me said just go with your girls. I did.

So I was there with them, fidgeting in my seat, some forty or  fifty feet away from the man with the gun. It’s still a bit surreal, but I do know that when the seemingly endless shooting started, as my girls were struggling from whatever gas or chemical had been released, and we figured out what was happening, we hit the floor. I threw myself on top of my fourteen year old who was on the end of the row, straight up the aisle from the shooter.  In that moment, as the rapid-fire shots continued, I truly thought I was going to die. And I realized that I was ready. I have put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the redeemer of my soul, and there wasn’t the slightest doubt that I would be received into heaven, not because of any good thing that I have done but because of His merciful nature and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Still, as I lay over my daughter, I began praying out loud. I don’t even remember what I prayed, but I don’t imagine it really matters. I’m sure it was for protection and peace. It drew me closer into the presence of God. When there was a pause in the shooting, people began to clamor for the exits. The girls and I jumped up and joined the masses. We had to step over a lifeless body, not knowing where the shooter was. We raced to our car and I dumped my purse, frantically searching for keys, looking all around, prepared to hit the ground. I yelled at Michelle to call Matthew and find out if he had made it out of the theater next door. She did. He did. We booked on out of there.

Why would you think such a tragedy would make me question the goodness of God? If anything, both of my girls said it made Him a much more real presence to them; the youngest shared this verse: Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being caught.

He is not the cause of evil, but He is the one who can bring comfort and peace in the midst of evil.  It’s been amazing to see the outpouring of love from so many people after this unthinkable act.  Yes, there was one evil act, but it is being covered by thousands, possibly millions of acts of kindness.

We have not yet slept, so the girls and I are overtired and a bit emotional.  But overall, we are praising God and resting in His Goodness.   I love this word of wisdom and encouragement from a former pastor of mine:

Up to this point I haven’t had words to say that would matter. Of course we are all glad that you and the family are safe. Of course we would all state the obvious that this is horrific and senseless. But those words still don’t carry weight that remain in the midst of the questions. Then it hit me… Do you know what the difference was between Job and his wife in their response to the tragedy of losing everything… Job 1:20 Job was the only one that worshiped in the midst of it. Marie, I know your heart and I’ve seen your worship lived out before your family. Before the weight of this becomes unbearable… worship. Your profile pic was not coincidence, not by accident that you changed it on July 15th, but a beautiful foreshadowing of your need to hear the cry of your heart and give Him praise.  

Though we don’t have all the answers, we do indeed listen to the cry of our hearts: When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What  can mere man  do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

God is always good.

Man is not.

Don’t get the two confused.

We will continue to praise and worship our mighty God, anticipating that He will bring beauty from ashes, as only He can do.

If you want to know how to pray for us: first and foremost, we need sleep. Somehow our bodies seem too wired. We also want the life that God has graciously allowed us to continue to live to not be a gift given in vain, we want our lives to draw others closer to Him. We do not want fear to dominate, for God has not given us a spirit of fear. We want His joy to be seen and experienced in all that we do.

Pray for the families who lost loved ones, and for young people who witnessed such horror. Pray for this to be an opportunity for God to manifest Himself in mighty ways.

As for you…we will pray that YOU might know His goodness.

Still grateful for this wonderful life,

Marie

From Blog A Miniature Clay Pot

Life is unfolding before you….there are divine appointments you don’t want to miss.

Life is unfolding before you....there are divine appointments you don't want to miss.

I was reading in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 this morning where the Apostle Paul wrote,

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it(a thorn in his flesh) away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Trauma, stress, doubt, fear is all around us today. There are many things that are “thorns in our flesh” and hopelessness and despair can come in to cloud our vision. There is life after trauma, divorce, sickness and loss. I want to help you recover your joy!

 

Do you have signs of Post Traumatic Stress?

http://www.mentalhealthquizzes.com/ptsdquestionnaire.html

Take this simple test…

Email  me if I can help you recover your joy!
CinderellaReleased@gmail.com

Think how exciting it would be to discover a book that told all about you and your emancipation!

Six Week Course Coming in July! Reserve your Spot now!

Think how exciting it would be to discover a book that told all about you and your emancipation! The My Freedom from Trauma and Stress course book follows the six-week journey to help you discover joy, peace and freedom! Come join us and make such a discovery possible. There is freedom from trauma & stress and YOU can be set free! Imagine the UNFAILING LOVE of a supernatural God!

In this six -week journey you will find freedom from trauma & stress as well as the unfailing and unconditional love of God.You will come away with boldness, confidence and freedom! Join me in this journey together. Cinderella Released…from ashes to beauty.

Email me today to reserve your spot! CinderellaReleased@gmail.com

Carrots, Eggs & Coffee

Carrots, Eggs & Coffee
A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee…You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg.  Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?’
Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches. Most importantly, know that you cannot change people, but you can change the way you handle adversity…which just might encourage others to strive for change.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you; to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.
May we all be COFFEE!!!

Oh How He Loves Me!

Who Am I?

            Once upon a time there lived an unhappy young girl. Her mother was dead and her father had married a widow with two daughters. Her stepmother didn’t like her one little bit. All her kind thoughts and loving touches were for her own daughters. Nothing was too good for them – dresses, shoes, delicious food, soft beds, and every home comfort.

But, for the poor unhappy girl, there was nothing at all. No dresses, only her stepsisters’ hand-me-downs. No lovely dishes, nothing but scraps. No rest and no comfort. She had to work hard all day. Only when evening came was she allowed to sit for a while by the fire, near the cinders. That’s why everybody called her Cinderella.[i]

     As a little girl, my faith was so pure an innocent. My nights and days were filled with laughter, love and hope for the future. I loved the outdoors and it was exciting to put my face to the crisp spring wind and listen to the leaves rustle in the trees. My body felt light, alive and free of cares or worry.

     I loved climbing orange trees and talking to God..  We had a love relationship and I saw everything through the lenses of God’s love.  I also believed everyone was kind, good and loving like my brother Doug. Villains and evil people only lived in fairy tales and “happy endings” were the only “real thing.”  If anyone or anything tried to hurt me, my brother would come to my rescue like he always did.  When the two twin boys from down the street cornered me one day after school, my brother came barreling to my rescue ready to save me!  Oh how I felt so love, so protected and free!

      Because of my parents alcohol abuse I was never taught there was  danger in false beliefs and expectations. I constantly found my belief system and my reality at odds with one another.   Because alcohol addiction is such a trap from Satan, the tendency is to cover truth.  You don’t speak or even think bad thoughts, especially about your parents.  You only learn to respond to performance based love.  This is how you were raised.  The parent is grieved and sad because of their behavior, so they have a tendency to buy your love the next day or so after they have sobered up.

      I learned early how to attract relationships that were unhealthy and unstable and based on performance.  If I performed well, I got rewarded.  If I said no or didn’t perform well, I got beaten.  It seemed no matter how hard I worked or how good I was I found myself on the Cinderella side of life.  I’ve learned the hard way the only way to encounter a happy ending is through the power of the Holy Spirit whose seed was planted in my soul when I was formed and created by God.

     Even though my personal belief system was skewed, the Lord had deposited His seed of faith inside me to lead me and guide me into His truth.  The One True belief system.   He established me with great faith and the ability to trust in Him.   Through Him I believed anything was and still is possible!  I could just turn to Him, pray, make a wish, a pact with God and believe and it would come true.  Unfortunately as we grow we allow the lies, untruths and sin to cloud and distort our faith in God and the purpose and reason why He sent His Son Jesus to save us.

         I remember climbing up into a navel orange tree in our back yard. God would talk to me. He would answer my questions and let me know how very special He thought I was.

“If only, I  thought, if I didn’t have to grow up and could always stay in this special place with Him!”

     My conversations with God continued throughout the day while I played with my hero and best friend, my older brother Doug.

     My affection and adoration often irritated him. Sometimes I talked too loud or too much. Other times I might beat him at arm wrestling or racing around the house on our bikes. Sometimes he just wanted to be alone with the boys in the neighborhood or his best friend Mac.   In spite of these times of rejection, I always knew that I could depend on my brother Doug. He was full of laughter and life. He was my hero and the one I looked up to for help and advice. He would show me how to spit orange seeds better, or make a slingshot shoot farther.  We would spend the springtime practicing our shots in preparation for the big potato wars that occurred daily during the summer in the woods in our neighborhood.

One time I remember asking him,

“Am I going to die?” He asked me, Why do you think you are going to die?” I proudly told him I had just eaten a huge mud pie I had downed with a hose full of water. His reply, Probably, I’ll tell mom what you did after you are dead. This way you won’t have to get a spankin’.” My brother’s wisdom was so empowering!

      Doug still has the best laugh in the world and during these younger years it was these deposits of laughter, love and security that would make my days and nights bearable in the years to come.

     During the times Doug was busy or didn’t want to play with me I would climb either the navel orange tree, if it had orange trees or the big oak that was in our front yard.  The big oak was great because it had a limb that hung over the roof of the house and I could climb onto the roof, lay in the sun and watch the cars go by.  No one ever knew where I was.  It was my hiding place.  God would deposit thoughts, ideas and affirmations in my spirit and I grew strong in Him.  Sometimes when we weren’t talking I would sit and think about what my life would be like in the future.  For a while I wanted to be a nun, even though I never had been to church and didn’t know  anything other than a nun helped hurting people.  I knew that they couldn’t get married and the nun in the movie was so beautiful I couldn’t figure out how in the world she could give up having a handsome husband (she was that pretty) and children.  This beautiful nun also took a vow of silence, which I didn’t understand totally, but I knew she wasn’t able to talk to anyone, except to pray to God for a whole year. I knew this would probably be impossible for me to do since I loved to talk.  My daddy would often say, “Marlene, your tongue is loose on both ends.”

Cinderella used to spend long hours all alone talking to the cat. The cat said, . Meow. , which really meant, . Cheer up! You have something neither of your stepsisters has and that is beauty.. It was quite true. Cinderella, even dressed in old rags, was a lovely girl. While her stepsisters, no matter how splendid and elegant their clothes, were still clumsy, lumpy and ugly and always would be.[ii]

     My mother wasn’t as nice talking to me and I always felt like I irritated her.  I felt like I was too tomboyish for her liking and somehow I wasn’t the pretty little princess she had imagined for a daughter.  Looking back now, I can see a deposit of distaste was put into me as a little girl.  During my toddler, adolescent, teen and young adult years, I can see how this deposit or seed manifested in my life and how I allowed it to continue to grow and would eventually become entangled in a bitter root toward my mother. Thank the Lord that there is no root so bitter that can not be sweetened by the presence of God. “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”[iii]

I remembering running through the yard imagining that I was an Indian princess or had supernatural powers and could fly as my brother and I would climb up on the garage roof with our capes and jump off to the ground below.  We were invisible to the world around us and our laughter would fill palace made of sky and trees. Only the girls in these stories got their wishes. Little did I know how precious these memories would become and that they would be the experiences that the Lord would use to set me free.

     How did this faith filled child wind up in the ashes?  What happened to destroy the little girl’s faith and belief in God?

     When I was a young girl I always wanted to become a detective, actress or a nun. It’s funny because looking back over my life, I’ve experienced parts of all of these careers. e older I got, the more I realized that a part of me wasn’t there.  Part of my soul had retreated or had been taken captive. Who, what, when and how did I lose part of my identity?  Like Cinderella something that I

was entitled to had been stolen.  My mother was dead, my family scattered, my marriages failed and my children grown and on their own, and I was alone and vey lonely.

When did this evil beast arrive? It’s hard to remember but I believe the fir doubt and unbelief only because the days and nights were led by a faith I believed that everyone

worked hard, grew up, got married and lived happily ever

Waiting on The Face of Glory

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.  Isaiah 64:4.

Kasper ten Boom and his daughter Corrie stood waiting in line for the train to Amsterdam.  Kasper ten Boom was a watchmaker and would regularly travel to Amsterdam to set his watch.  On this particular trip his daughter asked him a peculiar question.  “Father, how will I know I would have enough courage to die for Jesus?”

Corrie’s father reply was simple,  “Corrie, when do we buy the ticket to get on the train for Amsterdam?”

“Just before we get on the train,” said Corrie.

“With God it’s the same way, He’ll give us the grace we need just before we need it, even if we are to die for Him,” said Corrie’s father.

Little did Corrie realize that one day she and her older sister Betsie would be waiting in line to board the Ravensbrook death camp.  Many times her father’s face would be the constant reminder to trust in Jesus, to supply the grace she would sorely need.

Her family hid Jews during the holocaust and Corrie would be the only survivor in her family. Corrie learned to wait on the Lord.  She became a servant and a witness to those both the other prisoners and her captives.

She was waiting on the face of glory. Waiting is an action word.

The Hebrew word for waiting is Chakah (khaw-kaw). It is described as to await, tarry, ( as in ambush) or simply to long for the time of release.  Another form of waiting is as in wait staff as in those who serve others. When we serve others, we are waiting.  We are waiting for a release at each point in the event to the appointed time when we are to do our job.  Sometimes waiting doesn’t come when we want it, but when others have completed their tasks.

The last time the word glory is used in the Bible is just prior to the birth of Jesus.  Malachi 2:2 gives a warning about only giving glory to God’s name.  Emmanuel or “God with us” refers to Jesus who is God’s son and His name sake.  He is the glory that was sent to the earth. God is with us here on earth.

Glory is about honor, abundance and perfection.  Jesus is all of those things.  His desire is to know those He created.  Each individual will have an “appointed time” when they will have an opportunity to meet Jesus “face to face.”  The following is a story found in the Bible about a woman who came “face to face” with Emmanuel.

In Luke we read the story of Simeon and Anna who were waiting for Jesus and serving in the temple day and night.  Simeon had been promised that he would not die until he saw the Messiah.

Anna served as a prophetess and intercessor right beside Simeon.

For one moment imagine Mary and Joseph bringing Jesus into the temple.  They wanted to dedicate him in the proper Jewish manner, at the proper time according to Jewish law.

Little did Mary and Joseph know that two servants Simeon and Anna had been waiting their entire life for the day when God had promised them both that they would see the promised Messiah. Perhaps they thought he would be an older and wiser man.  The Messiah would have to be very old in order to be older than Simeon and Anna.  Perhaps they imagined Jesus to be a great king and deliverer for Israel.   I would have loved to see their faces when they looked down to dedicate Jesus and realized they were looking into the face of God, the creator of the universe. Simeon was overtaken with joy because God had promised him that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Messiah. Once Simeon gazed upon the baby Jesus, he that told God that he was ready to die.  He had seen the face of glory.  His waiting was done.

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was of great age, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity; and she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years (84 years), which departed not from the temple, but served or waited on God with fastings and prayers night and day.  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.  She had seen the face of glory[iv].

There are several interesting facts here:

Ÿ  Anna’s name means grace.  She waited for the face of grace and glory to arrive.

Ÿ  Prophetess – God used her to “see” things others were unable to see.

Ÿ  She was faithful to the call.

Ÿ  Phanuel – her father – his name means “face of God”   God ordained Anna to see the face of God – and His glory through His son Jesus Christ

Ÿ  Tribe of Asher – means happy – Anna’s joyfulness in serving in the temple revealed her true heart. She was happy to serve simply and without a lot of material gain.

Ÿ  She was married for seven years.  Perfect number and had been a widow for 84 years. If she was only 12 when she married – this meant she was 103 years old.

Ÿ  Scripture says she departed not from the temple.  This displays her faithfulness to “wait” on the Lord.

ŸIn Acts the Bible tells us “It said unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.  Jesus was the reason they were serving night and day.  They were looking for his coming.  As believers today we need to be serving in the local church.  We need to be instant in and out of season.  When the face of glory showed up on Anna’s doorstep, she recognized the season.  She instantly knew it was the “face of God” and the world’s redeemer.  She presented herself and made herself available to the world.  She prepared & presented herself for service.

She spoke to all those who were waiting for the redemption of Israel.

This was Anna’s greatest moment.  The very moment she had been waiting for.

Can’t you imagine that she might be a little tired?  Afterall fasting and praying 24/7 for 84 years is no little task.

Can’t you see her holding up baby Jesus before the crowd?  I can see her presenting the “face of God” before all the others.  She had waited patiently for this moment.

In Mark we read where Joseph of Armada (an honorable counselor) was also waiting for the kingdom of God.

Anna’s heart was to know and serve God.  She waited on Him hands and feet.  She gave praise honor and glory to God.  She saw the face of Glory in the temple that day!

Many times we have to wait for things.  Scripture tells us in Romans that I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why does he yet hope for it?  But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

 Ÿ  You might have a promise you are waiting for.

Ÿ  You might have a son or daughter who is on drugs or is unsaved.

Ÿ  You might have struggles in your marriage or finances.

Ÿ  Perhaps you have a loved one who is aging or ill.

ŸŸ  Whatever the case we are called to wait….or to serve with gladness, day and night.

Are you waiting for Jesus with hope in your heart?  Or are you grumbling and complaining with no hope in sight?

Fanny Crosby lost her sight as a baby.  Born in the mid 1800’s she wrote over 9,000 hymns, worked as a teacher for the blind, wrote poetry for presidents, generals and other dignitaries.

She dedicated her life waiting on the poor and needy.

When asked by a preacher one time if she was disappointed because Jesus never healed her – she replied, Oh, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I want Jesus’ face to be the first face I ever see!”

 

Fanny Crosby waited on the face of glory.

 

Just two weeks ago a precious woman of the Lord say the face of glory.  Anna Hathaway beheld his face and fell into His precious arms.  Jesus wiped away her years of waiting and replaced them with a song of joy and victory.  Anna whose very name means grace had been a “lady in waiting” for years and years.  She is dancing and looking into the face of Jesus.

 

In Closing I would like to tell you a story about Anna who went to work for the King of Siam.  The story is set in the nineteenth century.  Anna, an English woman became the tutor to the King’s offspring.  There were many.

Anna who helped King Mangkut prepare a state dinner to show Britain that Siam was ready to enter into the affairs of the world.

The King had waited a long time for this and Anna was instrumental in serving and helping him achieve his goal.  She waited on the King.

The table is laid in the finest English style – silverware, tablecloths, candlelight, and, at the end of the meal, ballroom dancing.

When the feast was over it comes time for the first dance.

The king stands and extends his hand to Anna.  Honor and glory are extended.  He invites her to dance with him.  He fixes his gaze upon her and is distracted by nothing and no one else.

He waits for her response. He waits for her response.

You can feel the expectation in the air.  Anna having helped the King prepare for this once in a lifetime event.

She is clearly surprised, taken back, but has the grace to respond and stand.  As they walk past the long table, the king’s eyes never stray from hers, a smile playing on his lips.  Others are upset that he hasn’t chosen her.  Some watch with contempt, others with pleasure.  It is of no consequence to the king or to Anna.  The king escorts Anna to the dance floor.

Anna was prepared when she came to the ball.

She was beautiful in a striking gown that shimmered like starlight.

Ÿ  She spent hours getting ready to “face the king”

Ÿ  Her hair, her dress, her heart.

“As they reach the dance floor, Anna expresses her fear of dancing with the king before the eyes of others.  “We wouldn’t want to end up in a heap,” she says.  His answer to her questioning heart.  I am king.  I will lead.”[v] Captivating

Jesus is extending His hand and His face to you.  He is inviting you to dance with him.  He says, “May I have this dance with you…every day of your life?”

Some days may be longer than others. Maybe you’ve been blinded by what others say or think.  Maybe you’ve been serving and waiting for a very long time.  You are tired and weary.  God’s promises need to be fulfilled in your life.

But Jesus eyes are fixed on you.

Je is captivated by your waiting.  He is smiling.

Jesus cares nothing about the opinion of others.  He is standing beside you inviting you to dance with him.  He will lead if you will follow.  He awaits your response.

When you least expect it…the time of waiting will be over and you will see the face of glory.

“My lover spoke and said to me,

“Arise, my darling”

My beautiful one, and come to me.” (Song 2:10)

To tell us your story email me at CinderellaReleased@gmail.com


[iii] Hebrews 12:15 (New International Version)

[iv] Luke 2

[v] Captivating, John & Stasi Eldredge

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