Faith Amidst Euroclydon

Swirling thoughts of uselessness, hopelessness, and despair encircle me to the point of near devastation and yet somehow I keep my head up or rather, I keep moving forward.

Recently, a friend of mine with a very similar personality to my own, texted something to me that made sense of my swirling thoughts and my seeming inability to formulate them in to words.  I usually keep those kinds of words/texts and dwell on them for days, weeks, months, sometimes even years.  However, I also occasionally tend to “clean out closets” in an attempt to not be a hoarder (even of words).  And, unfortunately, this apparently is one of those times.  Otherwise, I’d share with you the exact words this friend used.

As so many of my fellow Christians say, “I went to church on Sunday.”  I’m trying to change my vocabulary and say, “I went to a worship service on Sunday.”  I realize I’m being a bit “nit picky” and yet words and descriptions really do have an impact on how things are viewed.  The discussion regarding how to define the word “church” is better saved for another time.  My point to all of this is to tell of something I heard while at said aforementioned service that relates to my swirling thoughts and to what my friend said about me.

The pastor of this particular group of believers has been working through the book of Acts.  This past Sunday, he indicated that he’s never heard chapter 27 preached quite like he had at the Calvary Chapel 2017 International Senior Pastors & Wives Conference.  He shared the video of Damian Kyle teaching/preaching.  The following is part of what struck me as significant.

Acts 27:20 says this in the second part of the verse,

…all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

This comes after they faced Euroclydon in verse 14.  Euroclydon is described as:

  • a tempestuous head wind
  • a wind of hurricane force
  • a violent wind
  • a wind of typhoon strength
  • a gale-force wind

It was seen as an infamous northeastern storm, not unlike the winter storm that recently hit the northeastern part of the United States.  Damian Kyle explained that he feels this particular story of a shipwreck was included to show us that even when all hope is lost, God is still there.  He went on to share the famous Footprints in the Sand poem.  I remember truly loving that poem as a child/adolescent and yet now I somehow feel as though it is over-used.  But, my mind is wandering again.  Back to what I considered ‘significant.’

I suppose one must realize that part of the significance comes from what the pastor did/said after the video of Damian Kyle was finished.  The pastor asked for people around the room/auditorium/sanctuary to stand if they’d been through a Euroclydon-type storm and come out “victorious” on the other side.  I remember feeling like I could perhaps half-way stand, and yet… I still so much feel like I’m in the middle of a Euroclydon because of my swirling thoughts that I’ve already mentioned… (numerous times, if you follow my blog at all).  After he had people stand as a “testimony to God’s faithfulness,” he then asked for people to stand who felt as though they were in the midst of a Euroclydon.  I stood, but then I immediately started crying and could not stay on my feet.  My younger daughter was with me, and she held out her hand to mine.  A man I’ve never seen before or since came and placed his hand on my shoulder or arm and asked if I was okay.  I nodded my head amidst my sobs.  (What else could I do or say?)

Why am I sharing this with any of you? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know except to say that somehow, not by my own choosing, God has given me a faith in Him that cannot be explained.  It is this faith that keeps my head above the waters, or as I stated earlier, keeps me moving forward.

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Christmas Pondering

As I sit pondering last Christmas and how I loved being with my children on Christmas morning… seeing their eyes light

Christmas tree from 2012

up as they pulled things out of their stockings.  Watching as one daughter lined things up in an organized manner while the other simply relished in the moment, I thank God for this Christmas.  Even though I’m 6,000 miles away from my sweet daughters, I feel blessed.  This year I don’t have to tell my daughters good-bye as they leave to enjoy their time with their dad.  They don’t have to leave me or my house on Christmas Day.  And while that is a bit sad, it is also somehow comforting and indeed a blessing.

Have fun storming the castle!

I simply cannot believe all the pain and heartache I’ve had… just since I wrote about blogging while in the process of a divorce.  Our divorce has not even been officially filed.  Some may say, “What are you waiting on?”  Well… that’s a good question.  I truly believe beyond a shadow of ANY doubt that God could heal our marriage.  To quote one of my favorite lines from The Princess Bride,  “It would take a miracle!” copyright MGM, 1987 But, I know that He could.  I’ve told the man I’m still legally married to (a.k.a. my husband) that I know it would most likely be putting ourselves through even more “Hell” than we’ve already had… to try and salvage our marriage.  But as I told him, I am willing to do whatever it would take.  The reason I am willing?  God has given me faith in Him beyond what I can comprehend or explain.  In some ways, I see it (my faith in Him) as fairly simple.  Even if you don’t believe that God created the universe, I’m pretty sure it’s been scientifically proven that there once was a flood of the whole world.  And, a God that can do that… can heal my marriage.  (Not to mention the parting of the Red Sea and other miracles that God has done.)

Okay, I didn’t start out this post with the intention of “preaching.”  So, what’s the point of this post?  I honestly don’t know.  I am grateful to Jennifer (from The Lemonade Connection) for her comment on that post from January of 2011.  Even though my divorce technically hasn’t even started, I appreciate that she’d be willing to talk to me.  And, I’m grateful to Dana (from Roscommon Acres) for her comment on that post.  She said she’d take me as I am.  To have a sister-in-Christ being willing to be non-judgmental of me means more than I can say.

Are there things that I wish I could change?  Hardly a moment passes, that I don’t wish I could change something… even about that moment.  🙂  Maybe it’s my self-diagnosed OCD and/or perfectionistic tendencies that cause me to put that kind of pressure on myself.  I wish I knew.  If I did know, how would it make things better?

I’m not good at coming up with a title…

…especially when I don’t know where the post is going/will go/has gone.

I am in awe at the candidness and clarity with which Wendy shares her view of marital strugglesPerhaps Surely we could can give God the credit for her communication abilities.

Thank You, God, for speaking to us through Your servant, Wendy.  May people “take it” in the spirit in which it is intended.  Thank You for Your love, grace, and forgiveness.

God loves us even though we don’t understand His love

I feel like Trisha must might have felt when she wrote her post about nothing.  This post may or may not be re-visited, revised, edited, deleted, back-spaced, etc.  I don’t know.

However, one thing I do know:  God loves us.  We cannot ever comprehend how much or to what degree because we are human and He isn’t.  Please listen to the words of this song from the David Crowder Band.  As I “compose” write this post, I’m looking around the band’s website and finding out information I didn’t know.  The song “How He Loves” was originally written and recorded by John Mark McMillan.  I’ve not really done much research on McMillan, but I was awed to discover that he apparently wrote it after a friend died in a car accident.

When I read that, my mind immediately started racing.  I thought back to when I can first remember hearing this song… which was only yesterday.   (I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the song prior to yesterday, but yesterday is the first I can remember hearing it.)  And, what some may see as coincidental, I see as providential.  Why do I say that?  I heard it on Angelica Grace Designs’ blog.  I discovered (from looking around Twitter) that Angie, the author of the AGD blog, knew Karissa when they were children.  In fact, Angie has a picture of the two of them (and presumably a brother or other friend) on her Wordful Wednesday post.  (It’s really precious! You ought to go check it out.)

So, where am I going with all of this?  Oh yes… providential.  I see this as providential because (as most of you reading this know) Karissa’s life recently ended prematurely.  While her death was (apparently) not accidental like McMillan’s friend’s death, it was very much a shock (as I’m sure the friend’s death was).  And, since I believe that God is all-knowing, He knew that this song would reach out and touch my soul.  By hearing that song, I was able to receive a bit of peace in the midst of the heartache.  God truly loves us.

Thank you, Angie.  Thank you, John Mark McMillan.  Thank you, David Crowder Band.  Thank you, God.