My Journey from Within pt. 4

Part 4 of Lisa’s Testimony……

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During the last part of my recovery I had been walking every day , I had a route in Edon that I took every day and had taken on a habit of praying for the people I knew as I passed by their homes.  This one particular day God had put a young mother on my heart in my walking path that I heard had been sick, I wasn’t sure what was wrong with her, but as passing by her home I believe God put it on my heart to stop and see her, my first thought was “oh please, don’t ask me to do this Lord.” (We have this conversation a lot) but I found my self going up the drive of this home to knock on the door and try to explain who I was and what my reasoning was for visiting, I to this day don’t really remember what I said, but several months maybe even a year later, this young lady wrote me a note I received in the mail. 

She confessed to me that she had been in the middle of a nervous breakdown and at that moment when I stopped to see her she was praying, begging God to send her comfort, and I arrived at the door.  WOW, don’t ever think that you can’t be used in a situation when you feel weak and helpless.  God uses the small in mighty ways. 

At around the same time I also became one of five young women to start a woman’s ministry in the community; it became the beginning of a “mountain top experience” for me.  Young women growing up their families in the Lord together, we supported each other through thick and thin, reached out to others, experienced Women of Faith conferences, the love of God as I had never done before as a “family” unit in fellowship with Him. 

 At the same time I learned the coolest thing….I learned to love God’s word, I actually started reading the Bible, and liking it, not just doing it out of obligation but I liked it.  Then something else happened, I started to memorize scripture.  A wonderful young lady taught me about how satan sets up tents in our minds “strongholds of deceit” and that we have the power to overcome them by building our own towers of truth over the top of the tents, I started searching out scripture for those areas where I lacked, worry, anxiety, God’s love for me, trust, my life was changing as I had known it.  God’s word….hmmmm……..Oh the mountain top you think it will never end. 

Then came the change in the church, or maybe it was the change in me.  The Loss of what I knew church to be, a place to go to make myself feel better, to sing the songs I liked, to socialize with the people I so enjoyed, to do what I thought I was supposed to do, to fit into the conformity of what church or “religion” had always meant to me, and I realized in the midst of it all, I had been making it all about myself. 

Then “God how”, no not somehow I mean “God how”, I was introduced to grace once more, as it is supposed to be, a gift, not something I could earn, I don’t think I intentionally tried to earn it, I think it was something that was taught to me even in church, another deceit of sorts I suppose.

I learned about legalism, and tradition, mans rules verses God’s grace. 

 My eyes were open to something that I had never seen before.  It was once again freeing…truth vs. deceit, religion vs. a relationship with Christ, just another step to what my friend in Parkview had taught me; here I was still striving, just at a different level.  We began experiencing worship in a different way, making it about God, instead of ourselves, unfortunately many people didn’t appreciate the change brought about in the church, and for the first time in my life, I found myself in a church with much turmoil where the traditions of man and a building became more important than God’s word.

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TO BE CONCLUDED

My Journey from Within pt. 3

Lisa’s testimony continues…….

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I always wanted more children, but wasn’t able to try till I got off of some of my depression meds, so I had a 9 year wait where God continued to work on our lives.  In the mean time, Steve became Immersed and gave his life to Jesus, I became very involved in church, teaching youth group, directing VBS, doing doing doing, which wasn’t all bad but…. Well let’s wait and see how good can be over shadowed or can become deceitful once again…. 

In 2000 Faith came along after much wait.  She was supposed to be named Alivia or Alizabeth after all I had 9 years to come up with a name.  But in the learning process her name had to become Faith.  It came to me one night how my faith was a representation of what it took for me to have another baby, the pregnancy was long and held many hospital stays because of very high blood pressure and being labeled as a high risk pregnancy. 

I was tested for everything from A to Z but they couldn’t find anything wrong with this one.  I spent the last 2 1/2 months on bed rest and finally the last 3 weeks in the Toledo Hospital.  But all worth the ride as we came home with Faith Diane, again the representation of my total trust in my God.  Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

The next several years were spent at being a stay at home mom to our new baby and our pre-teen, complicated by the cloud of having a disability, she never fit in with the “normal” kids, or with the kids “labeled with a disability.”  In spite of it all life was pretty good, we took a big step and moved in with my mom and dad and totally redid our home, it took three months.  In the mean time I hadn’t been feeling very good and my family Dr. changed my depression meds, hoping it might help, which totally messed them up and it threw me into my second depression in 2003.  

Depression meds take a little bit of time to come out of the body but a long time to get back into the body.  This is when I spent about a week in Wauseon on the 5th floor as an intensive outpatient in the stress center.  This is where I learned that I really wasn’t crazy at all.  A learning experience…..depressed but definitely not crazy.  I had a dr. that was, let’s see how do I put it, incompetent, to say the least, but she held all of the control as the inpatient dr. (which was responsible for the intensive outpatients) so till I could get into the outpatient psychiatrist I had to deal with her. 

We had words and she refused to see me, even after all of the counselors went on my behalf to her.  Well, once again God showed me that He was bigger than the situation, I was going down the elevator and when the door opened and guess who He delivered to me? 🙂 I got my meeting with her; at this point she had no choice.   After intense outpatient I was discharged, got my meds straightened out with my new psychiatrist and set out to put my days back together, with much support from my God, my family and my friends.

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TO BE CONTINUED

My Journey from Within pt. 2

Lisa L.’s story continues………

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In 1990 we had the Birth of our first born child, Jacob Steven.  10 days later we experienced his death.  This was total destruction and devastation, I still haven’t figured out to what good I can place on it, but I do know one thing that God never left my side, because I can smile and enjoy life today.  I just place my trust in Him and the fact that we have a child in heaven waiting for his momma and daddy to come home.

In 1991 less than a year later we gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Alitza Ann, a difficult birth with forceps and a true knot in her cord, resulting in Cerebral palsy.  Oh, but God I had the faith to move mountains, I trusted you in this pregnancy, you let me down, I didn’t deserve this, I thought God owed me something.  I expected to be let down by man but not by God!  He allowed more things to happen to me than what I could handle…Just what was He thinking?  Eventually, I even became broken. 

Just recently I figured out that I had misinterpreted a scripture “God won’t ever give you more than you can handle!” which is an old adage that people say to you.  The correct scriptureis 1st Corinthians 10:13 “the temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”  Deceived by what “I” portrayed a scripture to mean.  HMMMM……… 

In 1993 I miscarried, the road down hill…. Soon after Depression followed… looking back I see this as an overload of responsibility with little sleep and the body just shut down, I passed out one night with Alitza in my arms at a night time wake up session and this is when I became broke.  When you become this depressed you go back to all of the basics.  

God became my Rock, the only thing to hold one, nothing else could fill the void, no food, no shopping trip, no vacation, no coffee drink, ABSOLUTELY NO QUICK FIXES.  I was terrified to take medications as I had had a very bad reaction to one.  God led me to a terrific physiatrist and even got me into see him immediately when the waiting list for any Dr. was at least 6mths long.  

 This dr. suggested I be put on Prozac, which was a bad word to me and a couple of other meds which even terrified me more.  I was at home ready to take the first dose and I began praying about it…..as I was praying the phone rang.

 It was a lady from our church asking to use our card table for a church dinner….in the conversation, I don’t know how it came up but this person actually asked me if I had ever taken Prozac, I said, “well actually I’m just getting ready to pop it into my mouth right now, but I’m afraid”, she said, “oh Lisa don’t be afraid of it, it will help you.”  Bingo, my confirmation 🙂  I’ve been on it ever since.  God slowly lifted me from the depression with wonderful gifts that I couldn’t have otherwise received, if I hadn’t been taken to the point of totally relying on Him.

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TO BE CONTINUED

My Journey from Within

2 Fridays ago, I had the priviledge of getting together with other Christian, single young ladies that I know, for a time of fellowship.  The mom to one of the girls (Mrs. Lisa L.), spoke to us and gave us her life testimony.  I must say that when I first met Mrs. L, I would not have guessed her to have the story that she has! 

She is so outgoing and energetic; smiling and laughing, and you can tell she really loves the Lord…so as I sat there, listening to her testimony, I was amazed at how, after going through everything she went through, she could be the way she is…..but as you’ll read, it is only by the Grace of God that her life is what it is today 🙂  

So, without further ado…here is part one of Lisa L.’s testimony 🙂 

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My Journey from Within

March 19, 2011

 I was Baptized into Christ on January 17th, 1978 I was 12 years old.  I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit and so it began…my obedience and in some cases my disobedience.

 In the beginning, it was simple, church camp, youth group, Sunday school, going through the motions, living on the coat tail of what I had learned about religion. 

In the early 1980’s I prayed for Wisdom this showed how unwise I was.  A big step, but I didn’t know how big.  I actually had no idea what I was in for, which was a good thing or I wouldn’t have asked for it, and would have missed out on such blessings.

 In July 1986 I married Erik A.  We had been dating for three years; he had been diagnosed with cancer just months before we were married.  He was in remission by October and back in the hospital by the first of the New Year, the cancer had come back with vengeance.  We swiftly moved from Bryan to Parkview in Fort Wayne, it was a night never to be forgotten.  I spent the night in the hospital with Erik, he slept soundly while I kept the man in the bed next to him up all night, we talked of many things, Bob had leukemia, and he was an elderly gentleman and a wonderful listener.

 We mostly talked of God and I proceeded to tell him about how hard I was trying to keep up with what I thought I was supposed to be. It tired me as I strived to live up to what I thought God expected me to be.  I told him I was thinking about just giving up on the religion thing, it was just too hard. 

 I’ll never forget the look on Bob’s face, he paused for a long time and said, “Lisa, have you been immersed, have you accepted Christ into your heart?”  I said, “Well ya, why?”  His next words changed my life forever.  “Then why are you trying so hard?”  This was my light bulb moment; my eyes were opened to a grace I had never seen before.  Grace is a gift, not something you have to work for.

 We were sent to Indianapolis within a day, during this time I was introduced to two different scriptures by my Aunt Linda.  Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your pathways straight.”  The other one was… “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28.  I carried these words around like they were Gold.

 Erik was gone by the end of February.  It was a snowy night I was 21 years old, I ended up in the hospital chapel trusting to God to take me to another place, I just basically said, “Well God you took care of Erik now it’s time to take care of me.”

 In June of 1988 Steve and I were Married, we had come from different church backgrounds, so before we had children, we had decided to make a commitment to one church or the other.  I had conceded to become catholic, but I think Steve at this point decided it would be easier for him to follow me.  So that was the turn we made in the road.

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TO BE CONTINUED……

An update…finally :)

It has been so long since I have updated my blog!  I’ve received a few comments and e-mails from my readers saying they miss hearing from me, so I figured I’d better update 🙂
 
3 months ago today I was working on getting my bags all packed and last minute preparations made to be able to go on Journey to the Heart.  3 months…God has worked in my heart and life so much in that time…building me into the woman He wants me to be and step by step, showing me His plans for my life 🙂 
 
I remember on December 2nd, when I was anointed, just having so many questions as to what God would do, where He would lead and just what all He would change, or ask me to surrender to Him.  It was a challenge and a slightly scary step to take, but He has poured out blessing upon blessing; His mercies are new every morning!! (Lamentations  3:22-23) 
 
Those things He has asked me to surrender, He has replaced with things far greater than I had imagined!  I’m not saying it has been an easy road though…I’ve had my share of heartache, struggles, pain, and just plain not wanting to fully surrender at times…but my relationship with God is the most important one in my life and I am going to do whatever it takes to build that relationship and make it stronger 🙂 
 
The other day, we had some friends over and we were playing piano and singing, and one of the songs we sang really touched me…I’d sang it before, but there was something about the words that really hit home.  I’ve played it on the piano pretty much every day since then…not only singing the words in my head, but letting them sink into my heart as well.  It’s called “Rejoice in the Lord” by Ron Hamilton
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“God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.
 
 CHORUS
O Rejoice in the LORD, He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried, And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

 
 CHORUS

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.
 

 
CHORUS
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I know this update has been a bit jumbled, but it pretty much catches you all up on what God has been doing in me lately 🙂