Please welcome guest blogger, Melanie Moscicki, as she shares a post that originally appeared on her site "From Faith, With Love"
God the Potter…
I’m nearing the end of wrapping up my Mending Your Soul class, though I am well aware the real work is just beginning in me. It’s been a long emotional journey, but is not without the reward of comfort and endurance that can only come from Him. For someone who has spent countless years fighting to stand strong WITHOUT God, laying all the brokeness and shortcoming out at His feet has been mortifying, humbling, and healing all in the same breath. May the words of my heart give hope to those still trapped in the prison that is your past.
~A Poem by Melanie Moscicki
Mending the Soul 2014
a million tears,
so many times she’s tried
To fix the broken little girl,
she buried deep inside.
He says to her,
“Come follow me,
I’ll make you new again”
but the walls she built are far too strong
to ever let Him in.
She hears the sounds of laughter,
of joy she’s never known
Could it be? A girl like SHE
should live on LOVE-alone?
So many scars from trusting
cracks from being dropped,
cast aside as nothing
but an empty, broken pot.
But He says He’s a potter…
The best there ever was,
and He says I’m HIS daughter…
and His work has just begun.
Isaiah 64:8 says “Yet you LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hand.” I pray that each of us can grasp this truth in the depths of our soul. We are not finished friend, we are each works in progress by the creator of ALL that IS and that ever WAS, the God of miracles, the God of redemption, the God that makes ALL THINGS new.
~ From Faith, With Love,
***Physical, sexual, verbal, spiritual, or neglectful- abuse deadens the emotions, slays the self-worth, cripples the mind, even destroys the body. Mending The Soul is a Biblically grounded and psychologically informed first-of-its-kind comprehensive approach to understanding and treating every form of abuse. You can find out more about the program and where to get plugged in HERE.
Video about Mending The Soul
I love starting my day off early. You know, at the trailhead around 5:30 am, head-lamp strapped on and dog in tow (or dog towing me.)
My Charlie-girl loves hiking, jumping up rocks and watching the sunrise with me. This past Monday was no exception. After our trek up the mountain and down, back around the base, and then up and down again, we returned to our car to find the passenger window smashed in, glass all over the seat and the glove compartment open with the contents throw on the floor of the car.
I stood at my car, staring in disbelief and said to Charlie-girl "Well, this sucks!" I then noticed that the car next to me had also been broken into and the thought of this other vehicle being violated caused my heart to ache more than the reality of my own loss.
As I called the police two women walked up. As they approached, the owner saw the reality of what had happened. At this realization, her eyes welled up with tears, her heart dropped and I could see the sadness overwhelm her.
My reflection of this incident leads me to these thoughts. I saw my smashed window, stated a fact, called the police and went on with my day. Was it a hassle? yes, but as I told my friend "It is what it is."
Yet, the very same incident to another women caused tears and heart break. You see, the reality for her was that they had her home address, her car registration, they knew where she lived and were they to show up at her house (which we later discovered that they probably had while we were still hiking...but for the grace of God) they would find her teenage daughter home alone sleeping. That is cause for distress.
The exact same incident caused two completely different reactions, because even in the similarities, the extenuating circumstances that surrounded our individual lives caused their own unique reactions.
How many times does life happen to someone we know and we wonder why they are not handling it as well as we did when the exact same thing happened to us? Why is it that one person can lose a job and bounce back and another person loses a job and their world falls apart? How does one person loose a family member and seem to be resilient enough to wake up and go back to work while another person loses a loved one and they become immobile, bitter and angry with the world?
My car break in reminded me that we all handle things differently. There isn't a cookie cutter way to grieve or process. We may not always know the internal struggles and circumstances surrounding a tragedy or struggle in someone else's life. Today, I am reminded to be patient with others in their distress and allow them to deal with tragedy in their own way, the same way that I hope others will give me grace if I am not dealing to well in mine.
So today, whatever you are going through, may you receive the grace and the space to go through it at your own pace and in your own way, knowing that you do not walk alone, but that you have the outstretched arm of God before you and beside you to comfort you and to guide you. Friends, you are not alone.
Now, as for Charlie-girl... her take way from the whole incident was the great joy of getting to ride with the window wide open. Yep, even Charlie and I process things differently.
I love you in the Lord, Mia
There are a few rules of etiquette that I have learned for hiking. For instance, hikers going uphill have the right of way, if you hear someone on your tail, step to the side and let them by, keep your music confined to your headphones and it's always a good thing to acknowledge those you pass.
Not everyone follows these unwritten rules, but when they do, it makes for a great experience.
I was making my way up the Piestewa Peak Summit trail in Phoenix yesterday morning. For those of you that are not familiar with this area, it is a nice 1.2 mile, 1,200 ft climb to the top. As I hiked, I was reminded that not everyone is aware of hiker etiquette, as evidenced by the fact that I found myself giving the right away to hikers that had already made the climb and were on there way down with no intention of stopping for those of us making our way up, panting and dripping with sweat.
Others, though, kindly stepped to the side as I made great strides and stretches over the uphill rocks. For that, I was grateful and squeezed out a smile in the midst of my exhaustion.
There were moments when I thought, "I have gone far enough, I should just turn back now" but, the fighter in me doesn't like to quit until I make it to the top (which last week almost got me into some trouble). After making the 1,200 ft ascent, I was able to rest and take in the view.
There is that exhilarating feeling when you make it to the top, when you reach your goal and have survived to conquer your mountain. For me, I think about the fact that 1.5 years ago, I could barely make it to the top and if I did, it took me twice as long with many stops along the way. This day, though, being in better shape and living a healthier lifestyle, I pushed through without stopping. I made it and I made it well.
After a nice break on top of the summit, I made my way, with the grace of gravity pulling me back down to where I started. I smiled at those making there way up and I stepped to the side to give them the right away as they struggled upward. I allowed those who were descending faster than me the opportunity to go on by and at times I was afforded the same courtesy, as those who were going a bit slower than me, let me pass.
And then it got me thinking (as hiking always does) about the difficulties in life that we have, the mountains that we climb and the "etiquette of struggling" that we so easily forget.
There are times when I, one who has been through the fire, see others going through the same battles I once went through and wonder why they are not conquering it as quickly as I did. There are times when I know people are struggling and I fail to give them the "right of way" in their pain and I expect them to move out of my way and "get over it" so that I can continue living my life. There are times when people are making uphill strides in their situations and I forget to acknowledge them.
There are times when I, because I already made it to the top of a certain mountain, forget what the struggle was like to get to a place where you have a birds eye view and greater perspective.
There are so many times that I am simply the worst hiker in the world.
It is good to be reminded that we all hike (through life) at different paces, we all have mountains to climb and battles to win. When I am more conscious of those around me, it makes this hike of life a little more doable, a little less difficult and a lot more encouraging for everyone.
I can't climb someone else's mountain for them, but I can step out of the way and not be a stumbling block in their journey. I can reach out a hand and give encouragement. I can allow them to feel their pain so they can move to a position where they can see the view of the joy to come.
I pray that we all will be a bit of the grace that gravity brings in someone else's life as they are struggling uphill.
Let's go hiking! I love you in the Lord!
On Saturday, I read from John chapter six. Jesus was teaching that He was the Bread of life and that "...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day"
At this, some of his disciples said "This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?" and some of them fell away. But Jesus said to the twelve "Do you want to go away as well?"
The response from Simon Peter reminds me of what my response should be in the face of this world, in hard situations, in matters of truth and bearing my cross daily, when I want to cower and go with the flow, when I want to quit, give up and not fight the good fight and when I feel like truth gets hammered at every corner in the media. May I like Peter always say.....
"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."
Remembering this truth spurs me on to continue to speak the truth in love, in love for friends, for a city, for a nation who so desperately need the words of eternal life.
Today, Monday as I re-read this passage, I was able to simply sit in my back room and sing it to the Lord. Declare it for my soul, strengthen my heart and renew my mind. Join me in my backroom. #BackroomPrayers
Going to worship this past Sunday and sharing communion with my church family was powerful. My pastor preached the word of God, reminded us all that the Word, His Bible is the source for all truth. My favorite moment was when our church handed out a new Bible to everyone in the congregation and our Pastor had everyone read silently to themselves John 17. The beauty of the silence in the presence of the spirit at that moment as the Words of eternal life went through all of our hearts, renewing our minds was, in a word, AMAZING. That was the the true Fellowship of believers.
There are things that I know and there are times when these things that I know hit me in such a profound way that it changes me completely. I sing songs like "In Christ Alone" where I belt out the lyric "The wrath of God was satisfied." I read the Word of God which says "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" I rejoice because my faith lies in the resurrection and the truth that Jesus died for my sins and rose that I might live with Him eternally. That's good stuff.
But, this past Sunday when the Pastor was preaching he said these words "If Jesus took the punishment of the world and received the FULL wrath of God at Calvary, Is there any wrath left for my sin?' The answer is NO, there is nothing left for me. So, now when I sing these words... "Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied. For every sin on Him was laid; Here in the death of Christ I live." ...I sing them reminded of the depth of His love and the completeness of Christ's Gospel. God has no wrath left for me for I am in Christ Jesus!
There is a special joy in being part of a Sunday church worship team, especially when you do multiple services. We open up the service with music, we worship, we get to listen to the Pastor preach and then we get to do it all over again, but the second time, we lead the worship from a place of having been preached the Word of God and the words we sing take on a new meaning!
This past Sunday when I sand the song "Man of Sorrows" in the second service, my heart fluttered and my eyes welled as I sang the truth of God's wrath being fulfilled with a deeper understanding and renewed passion. If it were up to me, we would have done five more services, listened his sermon five more times and sang the songs with a new passion every time.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh,could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:1-11
*In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty
The importance of realizing that God's wrath has been satisfied in light of this song LINK
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.