Heart of the Paralytic

“17 On one of the days while Jesus was teaching, some proud religious law-keepers and teachers of the Law were sitting by Him. They had come from every town in the countries of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was there to heal them. 18 Some men took a man who was not able to move his body to Jesus. He was carried on a bed. They looked for a way to take the man into the house where Jesus was. 19 But they could not find a way to take him in because of so many people. They made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood. Then they let the bed with the sick man on it down before Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The teachers of the Law and the proud religious law-keepers thought to themselves, “Who is this Man Who speaks as if He is God? Who can forgive sins but God only?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking. He said to them, “Why do you think this way in your hearts? 23 Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 “So that you may know the Son of Man has the right and the power on earth to forgive sins,” He said to the man who could not move his body, “I say to you, get up. Take your bed and go to your home.” 25 At once the sick man got up in front of them. He took his bed and went to his home thanking God. 26 All those who were there were surprised and gave thanks to God, saying, “We have seen very special things today.”

Luke 5: 17-39

Last week I had a relapse. Money got tight again and I began to sink emotionally. This area is my biggest weakness. It cripples me physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is the area of my life where I am prone to doubt God and his goodness. It is an area I allow Satan to rule over myself. I slowly become withdrawn and sad. Then, I feel the waves of anxiety and fear that life will never be different. Finally, all hope is lost and the darkness sets in. Then, I find myself ready to leave this Earth and its suffering. I feel that I can not go on in the state I am finding myself. Over the years, you have head me talk of blessing in suffering, but this time I couldn’t remember my own words. The words I could remember had no power over me. I was void, empty, dead. In fact, most of the memories for that week are all gone. There is a black, blank space in my mind where those memories should be. 

This last week, I became angry at God. This was the first time I had felt suicidal while on my medication. It took more of a toll and struck fear within me. I wanted to withdraw from God. I doubted his goodness that he would allow me to struggle with something that would allow me to nearly take my own life again. I felt that he was truly testing me beyond what I could bear and I feared for the future. I even wrote a note to my family about the future and how this illness would eventually take my life. The burden was too hard to bear and I couldn’t bring myself to the feet of Jesus to turn it over. However, the days have slowly gotten better.

Each day I have made progress and found hope returning. I started to laugh again, smile, and feel love for those around me. However, I still put up my barriers to the Lord. I was angry and fearful. That was until this morning. I began listening to a talk given by David Platt about paralysis and forgiveness. I saw myself in the verses of Luke 5 and I wanted to share some insight with you. 

This man did not go to be healed on his own strength. He had friends. These friends knew his pain and knew his suffering. They also had faith that this man could be healed by the God of the universe. It so struck me because many who are suffering are abandoned by those who claim to know and love them. The years of pain and suffering hang on and people become almost afraid that the suffering is catching. No one can walk the journey of suffering alone.  They need people to really know and engage them, not to sit on the sidelines. It is not enough to just quickly check in or pray for someone in deep suffering. They need strong, deep friendships to lead and sustain them.

Second, these friends did not simply see their friends sin. In these days, people believed that it was the sin of the person or their family that brought suffering and hardship. There was no notion of grace, true healing grace. This is something that this mans friends and Jesus taught and demonstrated to the paralytic.  The were so certain he would be healed that they tore down the roof, just to get him into the presence of Jesus. We need to be that bold for those in deep suffering and allow the Lord to do his great work in and through these people. We need to lead these individuals to the feet of Jesus, even if it means tearing off a roof.

Also, you can pray for healing for those who are hurting but this is not God’s sole focus during seasons of suffering. Jesus healed the paralytic from his earthly malidy secondary to his true healing. Jesus wants to have our hearts. He wants our holiness before our worldly agenda. Jesus forgave this man from his sins before he allowed him to walk. The walking was the evidence of a greater healing. All of us long to be well and in the presence of God but his plans may be different than ours. This had the greatest impact on me. 

I was angry at God for not healing me and scared for the future. However, my future hope is not tied to anything this side of heaven. God is concerned with my spiritual health first and foremost. Now this is an area where I would tread lightly in a season of great pain. However, allow this to be the way you pray for someone who is hurting. God wants our healing to leave us mature and complete lacking in nothing. So, for me to experience true healing, I need to wait on the Lord for worldly healing though my hope is tied to eternal healing and sanctification. I need to trust God that he is with me in my pain and will use me to bring glory to himself. This is true restoration. This should be the desire of my heart and the desire of others. 

If you don’t understand that truth today, I pray that it will capture you and lead you to a place of repentance. God created us, we sinned and were separated from him, Jesus came to bridge that gap. He was a good man who lived a perfect life free of sin, but he was also fully God. He took the weight of the world’s sin upon himself and died, not just for all of humanity, but for you. He wants you to repent and walk into a life free from the condemnation of sin. He wants to spend eternity with you and with others. Take up your mat and walk. Remember and share where you have been and how far God has brought you. Give your life to him and ask him to restore you to a right place with him, where we can put our hope in the future glory of God’s ultimate healing of our worldly bodies in heaven. 

God Bless 

Ashley

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It’s Not Your Fault

You can’t quite remember the day or maybe you remember it perfectly,
The day that the sun went from bright to dark, The day sweetness left the air
The day every step was forced and nights were long,
The day you lost a piece of yourself and it felt like the others vanished one at a time,
The day you color faded and darkness came in, it was a slow fade

The day he hit you,
The day the drunk driver killed the one you love,
The day you aborted your child,
The day you cheated,
They day you failed at the thing that made you who you are,
The day your self walked out the door,

You lost control that day,
It wasn’t a choice but it began slipping,
You didn’t notice at first, but then it was like a force pulling you in,
The you you had known was swallowed up,

Then pain came,
The locks on the doors,
Friends who never came around anymore,
The shame that grew inside of you,
The weakness that needed help but couldn’t ask,

He has you,
He owns you,
He feels in control,

You fight but without freedom,
You scream but in silence,
You reach but it slips away,
The life you knew is gone,

But God, he didn’t see the broken,
But God, he saw the whole
But God, he saw the whole journey
But God, he didn’t hold back
But God, he picked you up from the mire clay,
But God, he stood you on solid ground
But God, he healed the pain
But God, restores you now

Can you believe that? Can you be set free today? Can the darkness subside as you cry out to him? Can you trust, even if it seems like he won’t respond?

BUT GOD!

Memorial Day

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Memorial Day

What is today?

Is it friends, burgers, beer

Is it an extra day off work

Is it flags, songs, tv specials

Is it clothes, decor, or facebook posts

Is it red, white, and blue

Is it eagles and airplanes

Is it parades and celebration

Should it be taken for granted

No

Today is tireless fighting into the night

Today is bombs and sniper fire

Today is bunkers muddy and cold

Today is fear that today may be your last

Today is loss, grief, pain

 

Today is a father, brother, sister, mom, wife gone too soon

Today is arms filled with a folded flag instead of the one you love

Today is taps and gun salutes

Today is the celebration of the ultimate sacrifice

Today is freedom

Today is a gift, even if its cost is unknown to most

Today is for freedom but it wasn’t free

Today is Memorial Day, a day to be honored and respected

Thank a veteran today. Go to the cemetery with flowers to lay on graves of service men and women. Call your marine, soldier, airman, and shipman. If nothing else, remember the sacrifice of those that were taken to soon. Be grateful for your freedom that wasn’t free. Sleep well tonight knowing all sacrificed, but some sacrificed all.

Where Did I Go

Where did I go when I started my meds

My feelings, my emotions, myself

I didn’t know

I couldn’t see

I thought I was me

But I wasn’t

I was gone, absent, missing

I was numb, couldn’t feel

I saw but wasn’t present

I heard but couldn’t experience

My life, floating by like a dream

Then they were gone

The meds weaned away

The symptoms severe, the price barely worth paying

They held me in their grip

My body threatening me to go back

I couldn’t, I stayed strong, resisted

I could imagine, taste the other side

Vision blurred, mind scrambled, the meds clawing their way out

Then the storm broke

I felt it, like for the first time

Love, anger, joy, sadness

The emotions came strong and swift
I celebrated, couldn’t get enough

Then I was back

The part of me thought lost

I had been in their all along,

Hiding, now feeling, arriving back again

To You on Mother’s Day

You carried me,

combed my hair,

snuggled in when days were hard,

You wiped my tears and spoke kind words,

carried me when I was too weak to stand,

You stayed up late,

clothed me in love,

held my hand,

sang me songs,

You tucked me in,

You held me tight,

made my lunches,

educated me,

You walked with me through dark days,

You bought my prom dress

planned my wedding,

gave me courage when I had none,

You held my babies,

wiped away my tears,

You were there for me when others won’t,

You sacrificed yourself, devoted your life to mine,

You grew me, raised me, set me free to fly,

You were and are my biggest fan and best friend,
You gave me all you had,

You are mine

This Mother’s Day, mom, I want you to know how much I appreciate you. You have given me all of you. You have been my rock and my best friend. You are my constant. I love you more than words can express. This day and all days, I love you.

Love,
Your Daughter

My Mommy Used to Sing

This is another break from my story. I couldn’t bring myself to write today. Since I started this journey, I wanted to share my story and hopefully write a book. Today is a sneak peak at my other endeavor. I want to write a children’s book for families struggling with a depressed parent. This is my writing from today.

My Mommy used to sing,

She would sit holding me as we rocked back and forth, hand in hand

We would go on walks together on the beach, in the sand,

We would jump in puddles in the rain and laugh until we cried,

My mommy used to make me cookies with chocolate kisses inside,

The warm dessert melted in my mouth so warm inside of me,

My mommy would tickle my tummy as I laughed and squealed with glee,

We would climb up high together, making forts up in the tree,

I loved our time together, my mommy and me,

Now my mommy doesn’t sing,

She lays in bed and cries,

Her smile is gone, her laugh is to,

She sits in the dark, alone,

I try and make her happy, try to do what is right, I try to please her, to shine my light,

But she can’t smile anymore, she barely says a word, I wish I could make the hurting stop,

I think and pray for her,

I want her to smile again,

To give her my love, bring her back to me,

Then I know just what to do, I sit with her and she with me,

We snuggle close in the dark, I barely say I word,

I tell my mom I love her, and how sad I am she’s hurt,

She looks down at me, she takes my hand and then,

My mommy sings to me, our happy special song, then I see she needed me all along