One Brief Encounter

copy-dance14.jpgHer pain, her shame and her own sense of worthlessness, and the memory of it all, was suddenly, once again, upon her.  For years she had masterfully crafted out a lie that she told herself, and others. She had believed her lie and lived by it her entire life, and now it was over. Running and hiding–pretending and denying reality–were about to become a thing of her past. In one brief encounter, with a man she had never met, she was completely and fully exposed. In the blink of an eye, she was never again to be the same.

Hold that thought! I want to show you something, but first, consider the following story from John 4:

7. A woman from Samaria came to get some water. Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

8. His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.

9. The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew. I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” She said this because Jews don’t have anything to do with Samaritans.

10. Jesus answered her, “You do not know what God’s gift is. And you do not know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would have asked him. He would have given you living water.”

11. “Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t have anything to get water with. The well is deep. Where can you get this living water?”

12. “Our father Jacob gave us the well. He drank from it himself. So did his sons and his flocks and herds. Are you more important than he is?”

13. Jesus answered, “All who drink this water will be thirsty again.

14. But anyone who drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty. In fact, the water I give him will become a spring of water in him. It will flow up into eternal life.”

15. The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water. Then I will never be thirsty. And I won’t have to keep coming here to get water.”

16. He told her, “Go. Get your husband and come back.”

17. “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.

18. The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you have now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.”

On what appears to be a chance encounter, this woman meets a man at a well who asks her for water. He seems to know her whole life’s story. With kindness and compassion he approaches her and draws her into conversation. A conversation which eventually addresses her deepest secrets and her inner most need. Certainly, she is aware of her own heart’s desires and longings. She must know where she lacks and hurts the most. But, how does he? In a simple statement Jesus reveals something she has been running from her whole life. He says, “Go. Get your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replies. Jesus says to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you have now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.” (verses 16-18)

Pay attention to what is being revealed here–five husbands and the one she is now with is not even her husband! This truth demands that we look beneath the surface. I cannot help but wonder about her and what is going on in her life. What is truly driving her along this destructive path? Did she struggle with her value and worth? Did she look to men to fill her need for love? Did she believe she was worthless with no real significance? What inner wounds and traumas drove her that demanded healing?

We can only imagine the answers to our questions, but the answers are not really the point. The conversation between this woman and Jesus is revealing and exposes things about us as much as it did this woman. We all have a story to tell, just like she did, we all have experiences in life that have wounded us in numerous ways. We might go looking for love in all the wrong places, we might find ways to numb our pain–we might turn to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, work or shop-till-we-drop, but the point is, we are searching for something to quench our inner thirst. This deep inner thirst must be quenched at all cost and sometimes the cost might be at a cost far greater than we are willing to pay.

In one brief encounter, in the blink of an eye, without judgment or condemnation, Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter. Gently, He guides her to see what she needs to see the most. Her deepest desire, her need, her thirst, was a spiritual need. It was about her inner, spiritual journey and not just about her external physical desires. Our tendency is to focus externally to find what satisfies. Jesus redirected her to look inside to find what truly satisfies.

What answer does Jesus offer her for all of her pain? We are given the answer to that question in John 4:10, when Jesus tells her He will give her “living water.” What He offers is none other than Himself. He recognizes her pain and all her longings and He points her to Himself. In essence, He is telling her that He is the One that satisfies; He is the One that loves her, He is the One that gives value and worth—He is the “living water!”

No doubt, our journey is physically here on this earth, and at some point in time, will involve healing from past and/or current wounds. BUT, the journey is still about our spiritual need first and foremost, as well as what satisfies and what does not. I do not dare make light of anyone’s emotional or physical pain–I’ve moved through my own, but I can say with certainty, our longings, our desires, our thirst, reveals something to us about our spiritual condition, and the answer is always the same.

Only One can truly satisfy and heal us where we are wounded most, only One can truly quench our inner thirst, only One can truly love us the way we desire to be loved, only One can give us value, worth and significance. Only He, Jesus, the “living water,” will quench our thirst!

God bless you and may you never thirst again!copy-dance14.jpg

Kiki

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Amazing Grace

Girl in Field of flowers shutterstock_24343759I read an excellent post today on a blog called, Joyful Musings, titled Grace-Filled Families-Part 1, & Part 2. The author, Barbara Moon, is teaching how to raise a grace-filled family, with the ultimate goal being that of introducing our children to the love, acceptance and grace of God.

In her post, Barbara, defines grace as, “favor that is not deserved.” She goes on to say, “Giving grace to those around us draws them to God and His ways. Children who grow up in a family filled with grace are more likely to want to know God.”  She further states, “a home without grace leads to “perfectionism” which breeds many other problems down the road.” Beautifully stated, and I can’t agree more! This post hit home with me on many different levels and caused me to reflect on my own struggles with perfectionism.

I developed an attitude of “perfection” early in life. My perfection or performance was designed to give me the acceptance, love and value I deeply desired. After many exhausting years, I came to understand that perfection/performance actually blocks out love and grace. I was unable to let the grace of God enter into my heart. Why is that? Because I knew the ugly truth about me–I wasn’t perfect! The lie I believed about not being perfect caused me to hide my face from God, instead of embracing Him and moving towards Him!

I lived out my life believing I was trapped for all eternity in the lie of perfectionism. It was not until I admitted the truth and started letting go of the lies I believed that I was able to accept the love and grace of God. Then, and only then, did I begin to heal as His love and grace entered into me. Love and grace are intended to draw us towards God and not away from Him. As I stated above, perfectionism/performance blocks out love and grace.

In her post, Barbara, further states that perfectionism is a “killer of joy,” and leaves a person believing they are “unworthy, unimportant and inadequate.” I find this statement to be absolutely true. Not only do we believe these things about ourselves, we assume God and others see us this way, too. Instead of living and operating from grace in our own lives, and in how we relate to God and others, we assume and believe we are totally unacceptable, unloved and of no value or worth. The bigger tragedy is when we begin to expect and demand perfection from other people because of our own faulty beliefs. When we live as if we are perfect then we expect no less from others. Nothing will wound and damage our relationships quicker than demanding and expecting perfection from the ones we love and care about the most. We become like puppets on a string or robots at best. We go through the motions and we perform; however, there is no life in us!

It has been an incredible discovery to realize that perfection is only found in God Himself. He never expected nor placed the demand of perfection onto us. The truth of this discovery has been both healing and liberating. Without His healing touch I’m convinced I wouldn’t have survived. That might sound extreme; but it’s not, because perfection is a destroyer of life and is destructive beyond words. It truly threatens to consume and destroy everything in its path!

I am so thankful for the unconditional and grace-filled love of Jesus! Without the healing of His grace and unconditional love, I wouldn’t have allowed His love to penetrate my wounded and broken heart. His unconditional love and His amazing grace are gifts freely extended to each of us. The only thing we have to do is, by faith, through Christ Jesus, accept what Jesus has already done for us! Since the beginning of time, God’s plan and purpose has always been to draw us towards Him. His desire is for us to enter into an intimate and unconditional love relationship with Him–He desires our company–how amazing is that!

God bless you and may you know His amazing grace! Girl in Field of flowers shutterstock_24343759

Kiki

P.S. I do not pretend to know all I need to know about love and grace; nor, do I “perfectly,” live from grace. But, the good news is I do not have to! We are a work in progress and daily we are being transformed (changed) into the likeness of Jesus. And, I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8

The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Barbara Moon’s blog, Joyful Musings

Lies, Deception And Other Tangled Webs

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Lots!

PTM.org  Plain Truth Ministries, teaching God’s amazing grace!

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

Learning to Dance

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Learning to Dance

Dancing Ballerina

Much of my life I spent running from God and hiding from Him all because I feared Him. I feared Him because I did not know Him. It has taken me a lifetime to discover God for who He truly is and learn that He is not the God that I thought I knew based on my own preconceived and faulty notions.

Eventually, life’s circumstances gave me two choices as far as I could tell, and they were: One, stop running from God. Second, if not, then surely I would die! I chose to stop running and do the work laid out before me. I am here to say, it has not been an easy path, but it has been worth it. Worth it because I have uncovered the most incredible truths about God and in the process discovered the truth about myself.

God, as I now know Him, is a God of grace, mercy and unconditional love. I desired unconditional love and a relationship where I was known for who I truly am in spite of all my faults and shortcomings. I hungered and longed for a relationship where I could be real and authentic, removing all of my masks or false-faces. I just wanted to be deeply known and loved passionately. No matter what I did or didn’t do something always remained missing and hurting deep inside of me. There was a void that was constantly longing and needing to be filled within me, yet, I did not know what the need was or how to “fix” it.

My experiences in life have taken me down many paths and while I have had great joy I have also known great sorrow. During the times of great sorrow, I learned more about myself, God and others than I ever thought possible. It was during the times of great sorrow that I came face to face with God, as revealed to us in the person of Jesus, and as I let go of my fears and moved closer towards Him, I entered into the most precious relationship. I discovered a passionate God and found His passion was for me, and for you. He will pursue us without ceasing in a desire to capture our wounded and broken hearts. He will restore us and transform us so that we can receive His love, learn to love and care about ourselves, and in turn reach out and love others.

Dancing Ballerina Feet

I’ve discovered He pours out His gift of grace to each and every one of us. We did nothing to earn His grace. As a matter of fact, there is nothing we can do to earn it. No act on our part, no amount of performance, no works or good deeds can earn this incredible, and often times hard-to-understand and misrepresented, grace.

Typically, humans teach “religion”–a type of living whereby human beings try to make themselves acceptable to God through their own actions or works–God reveals something totally different and more beautiful than the human mind can imagine. Through the Person of Jesus Christ, who reveals to us the Father, we discover God’s grace, His love and His passion for us. As we discover the truth–the Person of Jesus–we begin to enter into an intimate and authentic relationship with Him. We come to know that love, grace, mercy and truth is a Person and His name is Jesus. By intimately knowing Him, as He intended, we begin to gain freedom from the lies we believe about ourselves, others and God.

We all have a story to share and this is mine. I invite you to step into my story and journey with me towards this passionate and unconditional God who loves you–and me–passionately!Dancing Ballerina

Come along with me and learn to dance!

Kiki

39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! John 5:9

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8 NLT

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Forever Changed ~ Part II

Heart of Butterflies In my last post, I shared with you that in January 1996 my son, Alan, died. In the blink of an eye my life forever changed and it would never again be the same. No one has influenced my life in a way that promoted growth and change in me as much as my son. Today, August 16th, would be his 41st birthday and naturally my thoughts turn toward him. The following letter was written in memory and honor of Alan.

My Son,

I find myself thinking of you often. I miss your presence in my life and your big hugs. I miss your love and your laughter. I miss the sound of your voice as you would say, “I love you, Mom,” and I miss seeing your foot prints in the carpet. Oh, Alan, how I long to see your face!

In life you gave me much joy and in your death I have known great sorrow. In the first moments after you died I fully understood how utterly helpless and powerless I truly am. I had a gut-wrenching pain and sorrow like no other. In an instant my world stopped and I thought I would die.

Within hours of your death I find myself alone, I walk into my closet, I collapse on the floor, I curl up in a fetal position, and I scream, and I scream. I find myself screaming out to God, this God I have believed in and trusted my entire life. Yet, for the first time, I felt tested in ways unlike any I had known. Everything was spinning out of control and I felt shaken to my core.

I began to give God everything, I gave Him all of me and I gave Him all of you. I begged Him to do for me what I knew I could not do for myself. I had no idea how I was going to get up off the floor much less how I was going to live out the rest of life. How was I to live each second, minute, hour, days, weeks, months and years that were to follow?

At the time, I did not understand what I was asking God, or even what I was screaming about–I only knew I did not know how to survive and God had to do it for me. I began letting go of my need for control and trusted God and Him alone.

Son, because of you I am facing my fears. I am learning fear is the opposite of love–we live from fear or we live from love. I can now see others with love and not fear or judgment.

I have shed one false-self after the other removing my masks and false-faces. I no longer have walls around me locking God and others out. I now know incredible joy and I enjoy my relationships with others to the fullest.

I am learning how to receive what is truth and discard those things that are lies. I stay in the present and do not mentally and emotionally come and go when things get too hard to bear. I fully experience life where before I only survived.

In the years since you have been gone, I have discovered and learned to receive God’s incredible unconditional love, and I know my value and worth as someone chosen by Him. I am able to receive His grace and tender mercy, and enjoy intimate, authentic relationship with Him and others.

Because of you, son, I have allowed God to bring healing and restoration to my wounded and broken heart. He has filled my heart with praise, turned my ashes into beauty, and my mourning into joy.

           Alan, my son, to you I am eternally grateful for through you came my greatest gifts.

On our journey through life many will enter into our journey with us becoming apart of our story. Some will come and stay–some will come and go–and some will impact our lives in such a way we are forever changed.

God Bless!

Kiki

P.S. It is my heart’s desire that in sharing my story others will see whether it is spiritual, physical or emotional, at some place in time, we all need healing and restoration. My prayer is it will point all toward Jesus, the Healer and Restorer, of our spirit, body & soul. We do not live as those without hope. We have a hope and we have a future. Jeremiah 29:11Heart of Butterflies

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The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
planted by God to display his glory. Isaiah 61 The Message

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Forever Changed ~ Part I

Heart of Butterflies Many people constantly move in and out of our lives. Its been said that some come and stay for an entire lifetime while others come for just a season. Some will have a life changing impact on our lives while others might leave little or no impression whatsoever. I believe that all who enter into our lives are there for a purpose. Maybe that purpose becomes known to us in time and maybe it doesn’t. Regardless, I believe that somehow, some way, other people have an impact on our lives just as we will impact theirs.

This impact we have on others raises some questions: What kind of impact or influence will we have on each other? Do our relationships create growth in us or do they create negative results? Do our relationships affect what needs worked out in us, or do our relationships leave us angry, bitter, full of hatred and revenge?

In my life, I have seen many people along the way motivate change in me that has completely changed the path or direction my life was taking. I look back and know for a fact had certain people not been part of my journey I would not have arrived at this place in time being the person I am today. I am thankful for all of these that have come across my path. But, no one has influenced my life in a way that promoted growth and change in me as much as my son.

To those of you who are parents, if you are anything like me, somewhere deep inside when you ponder your greatest fears your mind will turn to your children. Just the thought of something happening to them, the thought of potential harm of any type, can leave all of us paralyzed, shaken and very afraid. For many reasons, that was a fear alive within me, and for as long as I can remember it had always been there. Then one winter day, in January 1996, my worst fear became my new reality. My son, Alan, died and in the blink of an eye my life forever changed and it would never again be the same.

How in the world is a parent supposed to bury their child? How do we get up the next day and finish living our life? How do we put the shattered pieces back together? How do we take another breath of air since it hurts to breathe in and breathe out? How do we live with intense pain that is not only mental and emotional it is also physical? How are we to survive without our child? How do we survive for our other children? How do we keep from literally going insane?

Since Alan’s death I have spent many years pondering these questions and more. There is a path out, and although it is not an easy path, the journey is worth it.

In life we are guaranteed to have many trials. These trials can change life and how we do life and nothing will ever again be the same. They can cause us to turn bitter and angry for the rest of our lives. They can cause us to flee from the God we thought we believed in. Or, they can cause us to fall on our face at the feet of Jesus. We humans usually do one or the other–we flee–or, we fall on our face before our God. And me, well, I fell on my face before God.

In my next post, Forever Changed Part II, I would like to share a letter I wrote to my son, Alan. This letter speaks to ways that I am forever changed for having known him and loved him.

Heart of Butterflies

God Bless!

Kiki

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 The Message

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1 Corinthians 13:12 The Message

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Message

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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