I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moment of Truth

Last week, one of my aunts passed away. I spent the latter part of the week surrounded by family. That is a good thing. However, there is one family member that always leaves me a little anxious to be around. You see, this person hurt me when I was a young child. I am past this hurt, rarely share this hurt, have tried to forget this hurt, but have never forgiven the person who hurt me. I didn't think God would care if I didn't forgive this one person, after all, I rarely saw this person.

At one point during the week, I was hugging and offering my sympathy to several people. As I went from one person to the next, I quickly realized I was face to face with the one who hurt me. I immediately knew I had a choice. I could just walk away, or I could pretend like everything was fine and hug this person also.

God had a bigger decision for me however. He spoke to my heart and told me that I could forgive this person, or live with the unforgiveness for the rest of my life. This was my moment of truth. I could chose to forgive, just like God has forgiven me, or I could walk away and continue to carry this burden. I chose to forgive and to hug.

I walked away from that moment overwhelmed with relief and freedom. I had held myself prisoner for years, and hadn't even realized it. It is not for me to decide who is worthy of my forgiveness. Jesus died that we may all be forgiven and set free.

In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part. Matthew 6:14-15 (The Message)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rotten Meat

The first summer after I graduated high school, I worked as a checker at a grocery store. A common occurrence while working there was to see customers walking in carrying a bag at arms length. Inevitably, they would walk up to the first available employee and ask them to smell what was in the bag. It was always meat that had been purchased recently, but was bad. Not just bad, it was rotten. The smell that came from that bag reeked! Do you have a vision of this? Can you imagine the offensive odor?

As you think of this, read the following verse:
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4 (NKJV)

As I read this verse recently, I immediately thought of that rotten meat from years ago. I also realized that in my seventeen years of marriage I have often missed the mark as the crown to my husband. Instead, I have been the rottenness... I have been like that decaying, stinking, foul meat to my husband.

God designed me to be a helper to my husband. My job is to encourage, advise, work with, serve (yes, ladies, I used that word), build up and bring glory to my husband. When I spend time nagging, whining, demanding, or any other selfish term you can think of, I am not being the crown.

It is my desire to be all that God designed me to be... It is my desire to be the crown of my husband.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Phone Call

I used to wonder why in movies people would sit down before receiving bad news. I always thought it was odd that people thought words would knock them off their feet. Well, I don't think that anymore. I received a phone call seven years ago that literally dropped me to my knees.

It was a Friday, and it was Valentine's day. Jason was working with the youth banquet at church, so I had a date with a very handsome 2 year old. Jason and I had planned on going out the next night. I was teaching at the time, so after school, I picked Ethan up and headed home. Jason was already at the church setting up. As Ethan played and I was getting ready for the evening, the phone rang.

My niece Amanda was calling to tell me that my niece Charlie and nephew Hamp had been in a car wreck on the way home from school. Charlie was being transported to the hospital, but Hamp was dead. He was 12 years old. After a few questions, I hung up the phone. That is when I fell to the ground. I felt like my legs had been swept out from underneath me.

As quickly as I could, I got myself under control and tried calling Jason. He didn't answer his cell phone, so I called the church office. I don't know who answered the phone to begin with, but when I asked for Jason they went to look for him. I thought I had my emotions and voice under control, but I must not have. In just a few moments, one of the deacons, Butch Kee was on the phone. He started his conversation saying, "Kerry, we can't find Jason. What is wrong?" I told him that my niece and nephew had been in a car wreck and that my nephew had died. I never told him their names. He found Jason for me and sent him home. We quickly packed and headed to Camden.

Butch's son Jeff Kee was the band director for my niece and nephew. Butch called his son, and before most people had heard the news, Jeff was at the hospital to check on my family. That weekend, Jeff, his family, and other families from the band ministered to my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and all of us.

I don't have the answer of why Hamp died that day, but I know without a doubt that God was looking out for those of us left behind grieving. I don't believe that it was a coincidence that Jason didn't answer his phone or that Butch Kee was the one I spoke to. God laid the ground work for the team of people that ministered to my family. I would like to thank each person that stepped up that weekend, changed their plans, and just took the time to allow God to use them to help us.