down another 2 lbs from yesterday! This makes me very happy. I like to see the progress I am making. The effort is worth it when I can see progress.
“You make progress when you don’t immediately see the results of the effort you know.. that’s the stuff faith is made of. Just sayin'”
“You’re right of course Lord, its just easier when the progress is evident to me.”
“Just because you don’t see progress in other areas of your life doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Remember when you worked at Red Lobster and they assigned that new district manager to your area? The one you didn’t like?”
“Yes, I felt like I couldn’t do anything right where that guy was concerned. I remember being reassigned to Roger’s store on the east side. Roger was a great GM and did a fabulous job. That guy came in one day when we had a store room torn apart cleaning and reorganizing it. He gave us all a hard time about the disorganization even though he knew the purpose. He even called me out personally at the next manager’s meeting in front of the group “Houske, it seems messes follow you where ever you go.” That was fun.”
“You do remember. Progress was being made on many levels in your life back then. You and Patty got back together, her Dad was about to have a stroke and when he did you moved so you could care for him. ”
“It was a hard time Lord. I remember.”
“Life wasn’t perfect but you did what was needed. You were faithful to Patty, her step dad, her brother, your own children… It was because you had learned how to maneuver difficult times and you didn’t complain. You didn’t blame Me. You just did what was needed at the time.”
“I don’t think about that much these days.”
“Remembering the struggles isn’t a bad thing. I walked with you through it all. I didn’t leave you and more importantly you didn’t give up. Life wasn’t perfect but it led you to Sandusky where you spent the next 20 years.”
“You know that’s the longest I ever stayed in one place…”
“I know. I also know you poured into Patty and for many years her dad. You were there when her brother died, and when your Mom and Dad moved to Ohio to be closer to you and the grand kids. You were there to pour into your own children even though you and Melonie weren’t together and what amazing women they are today. You were there to pour into your nephew when he needed stability and love and without question you were there. You were there for your mom when your dad died. That’s when I brought Bill and Christine into your lives. There were many more people who were touched by who you are and who you are in Me.”
“But Lord, I’ve made so many mistakes along the way…”
“You did, and I’ve forgiven you for all of them… When are you going to forgive yourself?”
“I don’t know Lord. I don’t know why I dwell on those things. Maybe because there have been so many… You never left me though and for that I am grateful – When I fell asleep at the wheel and wrecked the car so soon after my sister’s untimely death.. You were there.
You were there when, after Patty and I had broken up before we were married, I snorted so much cocaine I thought my heart was gong to explode in my chest.. You were there.
You were there when I waked away from my new job in Sandusky when they wanted to move again after only 6 months, not wanting to move Patty and her Dad for a third time in 2 years. You provided my next job, and the one after that..and the one after that… All those years in Sandusky were a blur because there was always so much happening, one thing after another. You were there when we found found mom dead on the floor of her apartment, in a pool of her own blood. That was really hard. I didn’t necessarily see You moving and yet here I am today. I have a great job, a beautiful home, a wife who has stuck with me for nearly 30 years and amazing kids and grand kids and some really good friends.”
“And they will continue to stay by your side.”
“I can only hope.”
“So back to the original question. When are you going to forgive yourself? Those days are gone. You can’t change what happened back then. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring. All you have is today. And its not a consolation prize – Its a gift! You get to live today! You get to continue to grow and develop into the woman I want you to be. The person I intend you to be.”
“How? How do I do that? How do I let that stuff go? The older I get the more difficult it feels.”
“Do you trust me?
“I want to Lord! I really want to! –
There’s so much I don’t understand
So much I can’t explain.”
“Do you trust me?
Why do need to understand what you cannot see?
What happened to Israel when they left Egypt and didn’t trust me? ”
“They wandered for 40 years in the desert.”
“Haven’t you been wandering long enough?
Isn’t it time to let go?”
“I don’t even know what I’m hanging to so tightly. The pain? The security in believing my mistakes make me who I am – my identity?”
“I think you know. You are still believing the lies.
The adversary can’t hold on to you because you belong to Me! He will continue to lie to you, continue to try to trick you, but the battle is already won and he loses! He knows that. And in his desperation he wants to destroy as many as he can. He’s not getting you! I love you and I’m protecting you like I have throughout your life. I have touched many people’s lives through you and will touch many more in the days and years to come. ”
“I want to believe that Jesus! I want to believe that…You know I’ve not been much of a planner yet I struggle to have a life in order. Things feel disrupted right now and yet through that we are spending more time together.”
“Exactly! Again, your agenda is disrupted and because we are spending more time together you are growing into the person I want you to be. I’m here. I’ve always been here. Through it all, the good, the bad – every moment of every day. – I am here because I am. ”
“Jesus, there have been times when I felt like I am leaning into You with my head on your bosom… this is one of them… Your arms are around me in one of the most intimate embraces imaginable.
I don’t ever want to leave…”
“You don’t have to.”
“I love you Lord.”
“I know – I love you too”