Sunday, March 19, 2017

He is MY Fairy Tale and He can be yours, too!

Someone asked me last week, "Who is Jesus to you?"
I had to think a few minutes about this one to formulate "EXACTLY" how I felt. I wanted to be sure I conveyed the exact perfect way of how He has changed my life. And thinking back on it now, I am pretty sure I didn't get it all out because it's bubbling up inside me again :-)


So here goes:

He is my fairy tale!

That's it!

I was dying.

I was at the last straw and the darkness was gonna break me. I actually believed one day it would get me and I would give in and kill myself - I felt as though it was just a matter of time before I gave in.


He rushed in on His White horse and saved me. (see The Book of Revelations and note the White Horse!) He literally picked me up off the floor and turned my life around! I was on my knees crying in my bedroom and asking Him for His help, for His will to be done.

As a little girl, I thought my fairy tale "knight in shining armor" was my Dad. But I would see and hear how he treated my Mother, the one woman who I loved so very much - the one who gave me life. Would my "knight in shining armor" really treat someone I love so much, so badly? I wrestled with that thought quite often. That was a struggle to love my Dad as much as I did and then see him treat her so badly....I remember running to my bedroom, and I was about 9 years old or so. I was crying, I was hiding and I was so scared of what was going on. They fought a lot while I was growing up and he didn't treat her very kindly. I lived a lot of my life afraid. I was so confused. Should I hate him for acting that way to her, or love him because he was my Dad? He never laid a finger on her but at times I'm pretty sure she wished he would have, instead of having to deal with the verbal abuse. It was awful, yet I still loved him. I vowed my children would never witness the verbal abuse in their childhood and they haven't, praise God. They may have witnessed other things I wish they hadn't but never verbal abuse.

And then I grew up and my Dad died!

So then as a young married woman, I always wanted this and thought this was going to come from my husband. Then my husband was struggling with his own sins and we were struggling with each other. And I found myself divorced

As a newlywed to my 2nd husband, I thought maybe this would come from my new husband.
Cause you know, maybe I just picked wrong the first time around? Then my new husband fell into his own sins and this husband failed me, too!

What flawed thinking I had. No one is perfect, no one. Why would I even expect perfection from someone? I know I'm not perfect so why would my expectations go that route?

Then remaining to focus on all the bad parts about me, all my flaws, all my sins, everything I ever gave into, everything I've ever said or done wrong to someone - all the "wrongs" stayed in the forefront of my mind.

I physically had pain. Did you even know mental illness hurts? It does and when you are in the middle of it, you want it to just stop and you'll do anything and everything to make it stop! Just end it, please! I thought my only way out was suicide, to make the pain stop, to make the bad thoughts about myself stop.

Recently my church shared my testimony on their big screen and it felt as though my story had come full circle. It's time to share it and yes, it's just a condensed version but my prayer is, "God! Use it how YOU see fit!"
There are parts of my story, some might judge, some might hate me for and some might be disgusted with. I am ok with that. The person I was before Christ was pretty disgusting. I did some not so nice things but the bright light in this story is Christ and His redeeming love. All of the bad situations I put myself in, will be talked about.....and then let go because God has forgiven me and I have forgiven myself! I'm free!

If you want to be free too, I can help you! Email me at godsgraceredeemsall@gmail.com or if you know my cell phone number, text me and I will point you in the direction of who can help you from here, or give you some ideas on what to do next in your walk with Christ.....to be "Free!" Or, if you just want to talk - we can do that too!

He is waiting for you!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Affliction Has a Purpose

"Grace means that all of your misakes now serve a purpose, instead of serving shame." Author Unknown

Thank you Jesus

Today, I am thankful for the stronghold depression had on my life.
Today, I am thankful my depression got so bad that I wanted to kill myself every single day. It was all I thought of...day in and day out.
You think I'm crazy for being thankful for this affliction, don't you ?
Jesus let this happen to me because He knew the outcome. He knew one day, He would send me another Mom, woman, friend, co-worker, even just someone on the streets (which has happened believe it or not) who is in the *EXACT* same spot I once was. And I believe and I know, He knew when I came out of the depression I would point it all back to Him. He knew I would share His love with those women & all would not be lost!

So, He continues to bring these women into my life on the daily. And every time He brings me another I get to whisper "Thank you Jesus for saving me so I can tell her all about your love for her."

And sometimes, He even introduces me to another Christian who has gone through the same thing, is on the other side now and we get to share with each other exactly what our Dad had done for us - He saves!! He saves lives for a reason and all for His purpose and promise!

I heard in a sermon this week, "everything is given to you to fulfill God's purpose" & I took that literal. I took it as all good AND all bad! 

And when you get to that point of seeing your life's purpose, of walking out His calling on your life - you know He was with you every night you laid in bed and cried because of the person you thought you had become. He was right there with you when you were being bombarded by the lies from the enemy to just "do yourself in." He was right there with you when you cried to Him telling Him, "I am a Mom, why would you let my kids be taken from me? Why would you let that happen when you knew just how badly I longed for them, from the beginning of time! Why would you let that happen?" He was right there with me, through it all AND He will be with me through my next season of life as well!
Are you at this point in your life ? 
Can I help you ? 
Can I point you to THE one who will save you? 
Your spouse?
Your child?
Your boss?
Your Mom?
Your Dad?
No, those people will not save you but He is all of those, yet even more!
1. He knows every single hair on your head! Luke 12:7
Every. Single. One.
Let that sink in for a moment. If you are like me and you have a lot of hair - isn't that amazing?
2. He wrote your name on the palm of HIS hand! Isaiah 49:16
Think of that one, me? He wrote Delinda Mishall Clark Sowder on His hand! Kind of like a tattoo, my name will forever be etched on His palm.
3. He believes you to be the most beautiful person! Ecclesiastes 3:11
You see, He doesn't make mistakes - He only makes beautiful- just look around you at what else He has created! Who actually thinks the sun, moon, stars, mountains, oceans, babies, animals, the elderly, the young, the middle aged people - who actually believes any of these are ugly? Not me!
4. He made you in the image of Himself! Wow! Genesis 1:27
5. He made you knowing the outcome before you were even born! Jeremiah 1:5
6. He made you for a purpose whether you know what that purpose is right now, or not, if you ask Him to share that with you - He will! But you have to be open to hear Him! He might tell you through a song, another person, a sermon at church or a child but you have to ask and then be prepared to hear Him. If you are, I guarantee you will hear Him! Jeremiah 1:5 (again)
7. Never, ever, ever, ever underestimate what He can and will do through you to help save another person. Acts 14:22
You don't have the power to save lives but He does and He will use you! He used a couple at church to speak straight to my husband and I when we were deep in our "issues" and He used them to help save us. We know this because we lived it and I'm here to tell you, it can be done!
8. In order to have great relationships with others, you really should start with Him. John 1:10-13 
He will lead and guide you to the people you need in your life. I always find it funny how I said earlier, He brings women directly to me who are struggling like I once did. 
9. Once you are in His grasp, He won't let you go or leave you, or divorce you or say bad things about you. 
Jeremiah 29:11
He will do the exact opposite. Then He will bring others to you who will speak life into you - who will help you, walk next to you and teach you all about His love for you. And once you hear it and continue to hear it, you just might believe it.
10. And.....then......you will use those gifts He has given you, to help another and you too will say "Thank you Jesus for saving me, so I can help her and tell her all about you and your love for her!"
1 Peter 4-10
If you need help too, like I once did, please reach out to me so we can talk and I can tell you all about His love for you!
Your story matters!
Godsgraceredeemsall@gmail.com

Thursday, October 27, 2016

8 years ago

Do you think our bodies know the reason for our tears? By that I mean, if I'm crying because I'm heartbroken, or if I'm crying because I'm happy?
I believe my body knows.
From 2008 to 2014, I cried everyday.  I cried so much, I made myself sick, on many occasions.  I cried for what I lost. I lost my identity, my children, my love for myself, my marriage, my friends, and many family members. I honestly believe I cried so much I gave myself these auto-immune conditions I now suffer from.....
Is it the truth, did I really cause all these medical conditions?  I'm not sure but it feels like "my truth" to me because of how I felt for all those years. It was awful, desperate and like I've said many times...at the bottom of myself. I am not sure others can understand the depths of those feelings, unless you've lived it yourself and that is why I try to explain it to as many people as possible.
I no longer cared about anything in my life. I put on a fake smile, so people would like me because who wants to be around a depressed person? No one! I kept it all inside. I rarely told anyone my children didn't live with me. I was so ashamed of my sin. I was certain others would think I had done drugs, or was an alcoholic and that was why my kids didn't live with me...which was far from the truth. I don't drink and I don't do drugs. We don't even have alcohol in our house.  I hate the taste of it and in the past if I ever did drink, I would fall asleep and that's no fun! 

Whenever I would come across another woman who didn't live with her children, we would instantly bond & I have remained very close with a few of them.  It's not normal for a Mom to not live with her children and it hurts deep and cuts to the core.  I felt like they had died, a part of me did die. I always felt like God made me specifically to be a Mom. I cherished every moment with them and I still do. I don't take them for granted, and I never have. They don't get on my nerves and I never get too much of them, even when we lived together.....I felt blessed being their Mom and I still feel blessed to be their Mom. And I have found, despite the miles between us - it doesn't matter.  WE are still in each other's lives - fully and daily, aware of what is going on and always texting, talking or messaging. I'm still their Mom!

I knew God before all of this happened but I never really met Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I never really understood Grace. I never really felt His love until I was at the bottom of myself.

When I found Him. I changed. My entire life changed. My beliefs changed. All of them, political beliefs, beliefs about abortion, beliefs about what was important and not, beliefs about love, beliefs about loving others....you name it, it changed in my life, once I met Him and learned about Grace. My beliefs about addicts, people who cheated on their spouses, liars, homeless, affluent people, poor people....all of it, did a 180 pretty much overnight - which tells me that it was all God's doing. Not my own, for sure, I'm not that good but He is!

The truth is all of us women are the woman at the well. We all are. Whether we share our sins with one another or not, we all have them.  Now, I've only been saved a couple years but I don't believe God measures sin (maybe I'm wrong and I'll learn later but I did ask my smart friend who knows the bible much better than I do).

So, do you measure other's by their sin? Do you look at her and say, "Well, she did this or that, so she's awful and I cannot be around her" Or do you say, "Well, he's a liar and a cheater so he's an awful person." Or do you look at yourself and say, "I sin. My sin is between me and God, no one else. I won't judge others by how they sin because I don't want others to do that to me."
That is what I do.  I'm curious what other people do. Not that it matters at all because I won't judge. I just want you to be aware of what you say in your head about other people because you can form an opinion about them, and then it doesn't really give them a chance, does it? When people tick me off (because of little silly things, usually with work related stuff), almost every darn day (Sorry God) I try to always remember He/She is His child first....and He will take care of the situation. And then I say, "I've got to give them Grace because when I screw up, I'd like the same."

I believe He wants us to love one another, while going through our sin. While living in that icky place, just love one another.  It is so hard. I know. But I do believe it's worth it and their are rewards on the other end for you.  There is a lesson to be learned in everything we do and in everyone we come in contact with. Are you going to leave that person and have them think "She was rude" or "Wow, she was really kind" & I'm not saying I do this every time but I do strive for it.  I want people to feel His love coming through me, to them. So many people do not know Him, it's shocking really and so very sad because it's so easy. He is so easy. He will change your life and turn it upside down, all for the better.  You can never go wrong loving Him, the only man who will never fail you, or harm you.  The Man!

So now I'm wondering if my body knows I'm no longer crying tears of despair.  Now I'm crying tears of joy. After 8 long years, He is giving me my every heart's desire. My daughter is moving here to attend college and live with us. And I'm praying for my son to be next but will put it on God again, and just let Him take care of it. I trust Him to do whatever is best.
I feel so humbled. Humbled by God. Humbled by His love for me. He knows my heart, and He knows now I'm healthy and it's ok. 
I'm still crying almost every day but it's happy tears, tears for Him and letting Him know how thankful I am.
HA, I tried to pray out loud in our small group last week, and couldn't even get it out because I was overcome with tears.  Had I killed myself on all those occasions that I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to see His hand in my life, my kids' lives and my friends lives. I wouldn't have been able to witness to others about what He has done for me and how He can change even the worst of the worst, which I was and I know this.

His love is redeeming and He is my #1 now. His love for me is where my worth lies, and no where else.
Not in this failing body of mine, not in my husband's love for me, not in how long my hair is, how clear my skin is, what clothes I wear, what car I drive, what house I live in, who I vote for, or how much money I make - PLEASE HEAR ME WHEN I SAY - HE IS ALL THAT MATTERS IN THIS WORLD and HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH!

Do you need to be perfect to come to Him, to know Him? NO! Not even close.  I wasn't and no is, despite what they might tell you. He wants you just as you are and then He will work on you and change you from there. Just give Him a chance.

And if you need a friend, someone to listen to you, to hear your cares or worries, I'm your Gal. If you feel like you have no one or even if you have a ton of friends but feel as though you don't want to share with them.......you can share with me, just be warned now, I will probably tell you all about just how awesome He is and just how much He loves you because I never want you to feel like I did. I never want you to take your own life and think you have no worth, or that your family would be better off with you dead.  Those are all lies from the enemy and God would never think that way about His children.

He loves you so very much, despite all your sin! Let him wrap His arms around you, and find peace under the shadows of His wings. I did and you can, too. It's so easy. 

PSALMS 91:4 ESV
"He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His Faithfulness is a shield and a buckler"

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Grown women can be bullies, too

Grown women can be bullies, too. Yes, they can.

And, WORDS HURT
Words hurt more if they are on the internet for everyone to read
Words hurt more if they are directed at you and your skills of being a Mom
Words hurt more if they are directed at your children and their character

Honestly, I’d rather have you physically beat me up – than throw words around. Words can hurt more than punches. Words can get stuck and embed themselves into your heart.

As my family and I have recently had to encounter a hurt person hurting us, I was appalled. Appalled at what this woman was saying about me and my daughter, and she’d never even met us. I was in such a state of shock the night I read the stuff, I had ZERO emotions – which if you know me, you know how weird that is for me to write out…ha-ha….me, no emotions? What the?

Then the next day the apologies come from said people; first to my husband who wouldn’t answer the calls because he didn’t know where this was all going, then to my daughter. I didn’t receive a call.  They didn’t even try to call me. So I reached out and left a message for said person that if they wanted to call me, here is my number. I mean, really, the things they said about me – awful, and I would never dream of saying that about someone else, let alone acting that way to another person’s child, in person or on the internet.

I’ve noticed this trend a lot in several Facebook groups that I’m on, and I’ve been paying attention to it more, even before this all happened.
I’ve noticed a lot of women saying, “So and so said such and such and that really hurt my feelings, blah, blah, blah” and I kept thinking to myself, “Get over it Lady, come on, you are grown, move on and ignore them,” and even though I now think the same about myself & I want to move on from it quickly – I can’t. I’m hurt and I hurt for my daughter because none of what they have said is truthful and she’s only 18. So you know, if you want to act a certain way to another adult that is one thing; however, if you start to hurt children…..well, who are you really? Yes, she’s now 18 but this all started when she was 17 and she IS a child, no she isn’t 10 years old but she’s still a sweet and kindhearted, Christian, young girl.

So I open my devotional for the day and I see this:

“When troubles threaten to drown me, loving Lord, reach down and save me. Deliver me from the floods. Rescue me from the fire. Remove me from the storm. Protect me from the violence. Pick me up and set me on a high place where I will be safe in Your presence. I know my Deliverer is coming.”

And, then I read Jesus Calling online and this:

“Rejoice in Me always. This is a moment-by-moment choice. It is possible to find Joy in Me even during the most difficult times. Because I am always near. I am constantly available to help you. I can even carry you through times of extreme adversity”

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again. Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Phillipians 4:4-5

Now, some might say, “Well is this REALLY extreme adversity for you?” Well, I say to you – does it even really matter what you think and if it is or not, that is for me to decide, not you! And yes, it is for me, it’s upsetting.

It’s a process. I have a process to go through, God takes me through the entire process – I come through the other end, always praising Him, thanking him and praying for those people….but again, it’s a process.

And, I’ve learned it’s a process for everyone.

So, maybe those people who hurt us so much are still going through their own process. Maybe they have even worse hurts that I have from my past.

I get to the end of the process.

I love those people and I pray for them. I pray for God to show them mercy in their sins, as I would want the same. I pray for them to be safe in their day, and I pray for their hurt to come undone and them to fall on their knees to God – as I have done in my own hurt. With tear stained faces, and knees that hurt from being down on the ground for so long – I pray for those people who hurt us, to get there. To get to the point of not being ok with hurting people and instead loving others…..as He has loved us and as I have CHOSE to love them.

You too can make that choice, it really is a choice.

I choose to love the same people who have hurt me.

I’m over it.

Evil one = ZERO
God  & Delinda = 1!
WE WON!

P.S. I'm taking a break from Facebook, this was just too much for me. I need to refocus my life on what is important. I'll be back later, I'm sure. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

I was afraid to go

I'm not going to lie.
I, was afraid to go. I was afraid to do it.
Why?
I had a ton of bad thoughts running through my head like, "What if my husband got shot and I witnessed it? What if my husband died somehow at the hands of someone else? What would I do if I saw someone else physically hurt someone? What if I saw things I couldn't handle? Would I lose it and start crying in front of everyone? Would I have a panic attack and everyone would witness it? Would everyone think I was crazy then?" 

Wait......they probably already think that, I'm good. 

All stupid thoughts and not from God, that's for sure...but we all know by now, this is how my mind works. I'm not happy about it and I sometimes I just have to "sit in it" if that makes sense? "Sit in it" and work through it...work through it with Christ. It takes me a bit to process, I don't process on the fly like my husband can...my mind doesn't work that way and I'm ok with it.

Just driving down to the Union Gospel mission was scary enough for me because I haven't been down there in a long time. There are a lot of homeless people in Seattle. A lot of people living in tents on the streets and under the freeways and we were passing by all of this getting to our parking spot. We found our spot and we had Tom and Kerri with us, thankfully, their presence helps to calm me.  Tom prayed for us all before leaving the car, and it calmed me. I felt like, "O.K., let's do this." We got to the Union Gospel Mission and there was a little bit of chaos going on, the police showed up in regards to something but not sure what that was all about. I actually liked their presence, they had guns. I felt safe when they were around as well.

So we had to go inside and watch a video, then fill out some release/liability and confidentiality forms. The guys working there were all really kind and seemed knowledgeable, which helped ease my mind as well. 
Jason gets me, he could see I was nervous and was putting my mind at ease just holding my hand.

This is the part of my anxiety I loathe. I am no longer on anti-anxiety medication, so I just have to learn to deal with this. I'm learning and I know I need to just be kind to myself. I won't be able to learn it though, unless I put myself in these situations.

So we get in the van and I ask Steve if we can just listen to Christian music because it calms me down, too. Thankfully, we heard "You're a good, good Father." I needed that, thank you Jesus!
My mind shifted. 
Just from that song and in an instant.
"God you always do this for me, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

I started thinking about the people in the van with us. I started thinking "We all have the same Father, it's like we are sisters and brothers" just doing Dad's work together.  Then my mind turned to the people on the streets and I thought, "They too are my sister and brothers and some of them may not even have any idea about how much Dad loves us. They need to know!"

I was ready now, let's GO!!

Our first stop was a motel in a not-so-good neighborhood. Our van pulls up and people just start coming toward the van.  Not too many people, maybe only 6....but the smaller the better, this eases me into it.  A few men, dressed as women - which looked to be prostitutes maybe? A married couple, a single man, and a single woman. Something I noticed about all of them? Their clothes, their smell, their hair?  No, their eyes. 

The sadness in their eyes. It took my breathe away.  I could feel their sadness. Why? I've been there.  I've been at the bottom. Maybe not like they are but still at the bottom of myself. They were NOT happy.  I had so many things inside me that I wanted to tell every single one of them but I just didn't know if there was an etiquette, per se, somethings I should or shouldn't do?  I didn't know....I do know now and next time it will be different. Next time I won't be afraid. I won't hold back and I will say anything and everything I want to say because it will be straight from God.
Do you even realize how much God loves you?
Do you even realize there is a way out of this?
He is the ONLY answer. He can take all of this away from you!
He loves you so very much. If He saved me and my husband, He will save you too!!
Those will be some of the things I say next time.  Next time, I will love on them, I will hug them and smile at them and talk to them.

  • "This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles." Psalm 34:6

Our next stop was a park. 
Not too many people at this one, so we didn't stay too long.

Then you read a couple weeks ago about Jason meeting Matthew, that was another stop. I saw Jason talking and loving on Matthew and I thought, "I want to be like Jason when I grow up."

We went to a park downtime by the water. We saw a 12 year old young girl out there, a bunch of young boys and many people coming to the van for hot chocolate, blankets, socks, snacks, water and sandwiches. So many people wanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, seemed like they were all asking for them.

Yum......I put myself in their shoes, I love them too and would prefer that sandwich over any other kind.
(Next time, Kerri and I decided, we are making the sandwiches and we are going to make 500 of them, and they are all going to be peanut butter and jelly!)

When we saw the 12 year old girl, I put myself in her shoes and remembered back to being 12 years old. How would I have felt out there by myself, no Mom and Dad, sisters and brothers around? That made me too sad and I had to stop thinking about that.

Then, on to the Apocalypse...or what felt like it anyway. The area we were in by day, is a shopping center and by night....young kids, high on drugs, drunk, causing fights, yelling at each other, walking around stoned out of their minds, to the point of not even knowing their own name.  This is the place that got me the worst but yet the best too, this is the place I want to go back to many times again, this is the place with the most children and I've always connected with kids, better than adults. It felt like the children were zombies, there was so much trash everywhere, I was shocked......I just stood back and took it all in. I kept thinking to myself, "These are someone's daughters and sons, nieces or nephews, siblings or friends"...it was so overwhelming to the point of being frozen, I really couldn't do anything.....I was so overwhelmed by it all. I talked to God and said, "Why are you allowing this to happen? You could come back right now and help all these kids....please, please come back NOW!"

God just kept whispering to me, "that's my baby girl right there, see her and there is my son" just little reminders to me, no judgement Delinda, only love for them.  I wanted to hug every single one of them, and ask them their story and why they were out here.....no time for that, no possibilities for that, I'm still frozen, but now I'm standing in awe of our friend Tom, Jason's mentor.  He's witnessing to a young man who is so stoned on heroin it's amazing he's still standing. Tom wasn't scared like I was earlier. Tom was putting his arm on the kid's shoulder and loving on him with words from our Dad. I thought, and said to Kerri, "I want to be like Tom when I grow up."

When I say, "I want to be like so and so when I grow up" this makes me think of what my Mom used to always tell me, of course she meant it in a different context but still applies here, too.  "Watch what the people around you are doing, what they are doing, you will be doing - so make sure they are doing good things." So pick good people to be with and share your life with, they will teach you so many things!

So it's taken me this long to calm down, and collect my thoughts to write about it. That is how overwhelming it was to me.

So, what did we take away from this experience?
Well, we want to do it again, soon & if you want to come along, just let me know. You won't be disappointed and I'm sure God will teach you or show you something.
We are making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
We are all one big family and we need to just love one another, right where we are, whether we are in our sin or not - just love each other and love each other truthfully....just how Jesus did. 
These are my people, the people in the van and the people on the streets & they are your people too, whether you want to believe it or not.
I won't be afraid again, Dad is with us and He protects us at all times....I'm good with Him alone.
Doing Dad's work really is amazing, He was so right.

"If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother." Deuteronomy 15:7

Monday, May 9, 2016

Meet Matthew.....

Written by my husband, Jason Sowder 5-9-2016

Thank you Babe for showing us your heart and sharing!


I went on the journey of a lifetime! Did I travel to a far off place or pack up and head to a beautiful Caribbean resort? Nope. - I participated in the Union Gospel Mission's Search and Rescue program. And I have to say the experience was BETTER than any get-away I have ever had. What I learned in one night surpasses all book knowledge I've been able to retain in my limited brain. ;-P

Here is the abbreviated story…

Traveling in the Search and Rescue van we were trying to merge onto the highway but backed up by traffic. We waited a few minutes, anxious as we were not able to continue our mission.  The anxiety quickly diminished as I look to my right to see a man on a bike, out of breath and barely able to talk due to trying to catch up with our van. Immediately this just struck a chord in my heart.

Once we were able to pull over, I had the pleasure to speak with him. I say pleasure as it was a pleasure and honor to know he was willing to talk with me and tell me his story.  That God put me in front of him for a reason.  I honestly still tear up thinking about this experience, it truly touched the deepest part of my soul.

Meet Matthew.

He’s in his mid to late 40's, hasn't showered in a while and could not see well due to medical problems. I quickly learned Mathew doesn't have the comforts of a "home”. His possessions consisted of a bike and satchel stuffed full of his necessities - that's it lock, stock and barrel.  And, I later learned he used to have glasses but they were stolen a while back.  He now travels the streets nearsighted in one eye and blurry vision in the other - no matter the distance.

Matthew was raised in a farming community. As he explained, from a young age he felt like he never “fit in”. He was made fun of and the butt of horrible jokes. Didn't have any close friends. And as I read between the lines to understand, the love of his father was only achieved through working hard on the farm. Working hard for his family was never enough to numb the pain of peer ridicule.

At some point Mathew's family moved closer to Seattle to start in the logging industry. Matthew explained again he felt he didn't fit in, never close to anyone. He tells me "people didn't know how to take a guy with a beard who drove a logging truck to school".

At some point through the years and some not-so-good choices Matthew found his way to Seattle roaming the streets still carrying his childhood baggage. Still looking into people's eyes feeling he doesn't fit in…

Matthew and I spent more time talking about God and how Matthew sees how God has saved him from many terrible situations and knows He has a plan for him. Looking in his eyes I can see a lost soul, a soul that the evil-one has captured using drugs and negative self talk firmly pressing his thumb over the top of Matthew's well being.

There are a few reasons I wanted to write this quick note.  First, we all have baggage we are trying to overcome, all at varying degrees and varying effects on our lives. Next, when you walk by the person living on the street, remember they have a story. Pray for them. Pray that today they will finally allow God to lift them out of the mud and mire setting their feet on solid ground.  Lastly, consider jumping in the Search and Rescue van on a night and helping - by listening, praying and providing a warm blanket and food to someone who is still stuck - stuck like we all get stuck, except their stuck has lasted a lot longer and had a much more profound affect on their life.

God is bigger than all of this and it takes people like you, with stories to tell all the "Mathew’s" stories of what God has done for us and that it’s not too late. To simply provide H-O-P-E......

Dear gracious merciful God, please guard Mathew, please direct the right people in his life to get the help he needs, I ask that you continue to show Matthew he needs to make the commitment to get clean and look to you for direction in all aspects of his life. Amen

Saturday, April 16, 2016

God is no dummy.......

This week of work has been exhausting to say the least; 20 hours of overtime and I'm spent. As I've said before when I get tired, things don't normally go too well.....emotionally.  So I've been talking to myself about some past decisions I've made in regards to being a Mother.  Some choices I'm not happy with or proud of.....somethings I did, I wish I wouldn't have.  Battling per se with myself, over these decisions.  Pretty much hating on myself and not behaving how God would want me to. I know He would want me to just love myself and remember He died for those sins. He shed His blood for those exact sins. I kinda just forgot all that.

I've known this last year with me getting so sick with my thyroid removal and then getting mono, the job I currently hold is physically difficult due to the extreme stress and the mandatory overtime. I struggle with it as well because I actually LOVE my work, and I mean I love it....it's just really demanding. So I say, "God, do you really want me doing THIS job the rest of my life? How long can my body handle this? Is this YOUR work, I mean really? How can people see your love when I'm behind the scenes doing paperwork? How God?" 
Me: waiting for His answer....no reply.

My husband and I are taking a class right now titled, "How we love" and it's also brought to my mind many of my past mistakes as a Mother and got me to thinking "Just how bad have I screwed up my children with these mistakes? OH God, why didn't you stop me, why didn't you come down and scold me? Why? Why? Why? Where were you God?" 
Oh I was mad, going back and forth with myself - no answer, all week from Him. I was waiting, and listening, I knew He'd give me something. I just did not realize how much He would give me and give it to me so fast and in one night, 3 hours. I'll get to that a bit later.

I have heard from many dear friends this week that are in a "bad way" by that I mean they are struggling with depression, addiction, their kids' addiction or as one of my friends calls it , "Consequences for their actions" which I too have to deal with, I get it when she puts it so plainly like that and I appreciate it and her. Thank you Kerri! I love you and your honesty!  So hearing from these friends about all their strife got me thinking and realizing just how badly people need Jesus and I just wish I could tell them, all of them, all at once how easy it is to overcome things with Him. He will heal you. He's done it many times, I've seen it.  So this has been on my mind all week, almost everyday something new came up and it was pretty overwhelming asking God, "When will they notice you? When will they see you and your light?" No answer still, me still waiting....


But God is no dummy.

He knows me better than anyone. He knows my heart and I take comfort in that fact alone. He knows I’m not what others might think of me, or what I even think of myself at times.
He keeps putting me in these situations, showing me things and healing my heart. He also knows full well, I will feel compelled to tell you about the healing, His story & His love.
He knows I want you to feel His love like I have.
He knows. And because He knows me so well, at times, I will cry over this simple fact. It’s so overwhelming. It’s so amazing to me.

Have you heard the story in the bible about the woman at the well?  I know I have heard it before but you know sometimes, I have to hear His stories more than one time for them to really sink in.

I am THAT woman at the well and you are too!

No, I haven’t been married 5 times; however, being divorced once is enough for me and was NEVER my plan going into that marriage. I thought it was forever. That was MY plan.  Sometimes our plans don’t always go how we wish for them. Sometimes, our plans fail. Sometimes we fail. And for me, when I failed at my marriage I took all the force of the blow. I put it all on myself, my sins, my mistakes, my “could-a, should-a, would-a’s”….over and over and the chatter went on in my head daily like that.

In "Jesus" times, Samaritans didn't talk with the Jews. And she was a woman, and in "Jesus" times, men didn't really talk to women at all. Did you know women could not initiate the divorce? Did you know it was the man who was allowed to divorce? So this woman who was divorced 5 times and living with a man who wasn't even her husband, JESUS CAME TO HER?  HE PICKED HER!!!! She was shocked. 

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans)

Jesus came to her. Not a man. He came to her and talked with her, telling her if she would ask Him for His living water, she would never be thirsty again. He told her about her life and she was shocked He knew but then realized He was a prophet. He told her "I am" the Messiah. She ran telling everyone about Him.

I am that woman at the well. Ashamed of my sins, I drank His living water and now I'm running to tell you all what He's done for me and despite your sins, you can have His living water too! It's so simple.....you just drink.

So since God knows me so well, He knows He can reach me through music. Oh and He gets me on Thursday night at the Amy Grant, Ellie Holcomb, Nichole Nordeman concert...I had NO idea this was coming. It was kinda random for me to get the tickets, really, but not random for Him and how He works in my life. I bought those tickets about a month ago and He knew what was coming, that's why He did it...... 

Nichole Nordeman starts singing a song about her children growing up too fast. And I start that damn chatter in my head all over again....
Delinda, you have missed out on so much.
Delinda, you are NOT a good Mom.
Delinda, I cannot even believe you.
Delinda, you call yourself a Mother, well a good Mom wouldn't have done what you did!
Delinda, where were you when they needed you?

He interrupts my thought pattern with:
"It's no longer about you Delinda, it's about me. I was with them. I am! I took care of them. I was getting you healthy. You are still a part of their lives daily, just like I am in yours daily. You don't physically see me but you know I'm here and I'm always here for you. They know this about you as well. They love you Delinda. They have forgiven you as I have too. I shed my blood for your sins and it's time to just let them go because I need YOU to do my work now instead of falling back on these sins."

Tears

Many, many, many tears and I couldn't stop them.

I'm watching those women sing about His love and I know the songs, I'm singing along, bawling..HA...looking like a fool I'm sure but I didn't care because I knew He was healing me. He was present and it was so obvious.

Then I think, "Jesus I wish I could sing like these women and sing about your love to everyone, so I could touch someone's life the way they touch someone with their music. I wish I could reach people like they are, for you God, all for you!"

He interrupts me again, 
"I give you words Delinda, you write about Me! That's what I want you to do."

More songs

More tears

My husband looks at me, "Why are you crying honey?" 

I couldn't even put it to words, I just knew I had to write about it to convey it properly.

I felt that night, the same way I felt when we were saved February 23rd, 2014. 

I was reminded of His love and how His love is all that matters. My sins no longer matter as I've repented and made amends. I've given them up again. Gone.

Healed by the living water I drank so easily when I was at the bottom of myself. Oh that water, it's cold and refreshing and I will keep drinking it.

Are you listening? Do you hear Him? He's running toward you and wants a relationship with you and it will be the best relationship you've ever had. He is the BEST husband a girl could ask for and the only one who will never fail you.

Do you know how loved you are?

1 John 4:4New International Version (NIV)

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.