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2/02/2014

Who Am I? Really



My name is Myriam and I am …Fill in the blank.

This is how the AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) attendees introduce themselves and it’s been playing in my head. Not that I have been to any AA meetings but relying on what I have seen on TV.  But in a very similar fashion I carry a number of hidden labels spelled out in big letters written all over me.  You just don’t see until I let you in but they are there:
Fear
Shame
Insecure
Discontent
Afraid
Failure
Stupid
Good-for-nothing
People pleaser

I cannot trace the labels to their  origins but for quite some time, I have worked around many of them written all over me in BOLD letters.  Sure, I try to hide it well and one can hardly tell but they have weighed me down and I am getting tired of carrying them on my back.  Sometimes as in this season of life.
Every now and then I get a glimpse of what it’s like to shake them off and walk with my head high but far too often, it’s shortly lived only to add another label to the ever growing list.
My life verse is Galatians 5:1 –
  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
And
2 Cor 3:17 - …Where the Spirit of the Lord there is freedom.
Yoke of Slavery?  Yep.  I've lived in bondage for most of my life and the freedom in Christ at best seems to be an illusion.  And I whisper to myself: can I really be free? And I can hear a voice behind me saying:
 ‘yes you can.  The TRUTH will set you free”.  
 Ah the truth! After all, Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life.

Mentally, I know that.  But deep down do I really believe that?  And that is the question before me.  Do I really believe God or just merely believe in God? How many times, I’ve silently said to myself that this applies to this or that person but for me, a cast-away, don’t even dare think about it. 
That raises another question – what is this voice in my head telling me who I am and it’s very boastful in convincing to just accept that c’est-la-vie?
Herein lies the solution.  I hear both voices and one is louder and quick to get me to settle down by putting more chains around my ankles and hands hereby building a massive stronghold around me.
Freedom is calling my name because God has redeemed my life from the slave market of sin.  I want to know why the enemy of my soul invests so much in tripping me up.  As I am concluding this post, this verse literally popped up in my head:

For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said:" You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence. But you are not willing."  HCSB Isa 30:15.


Could this be my answer? 



2/03/2013

Here & There


ONCE upon a time, a very young girl had big dreams and big plans.  Plans to be become a wife and four children specifically two boys and two girls.  She kept herself for that special person that somehow will be the father of her four children.   She grew up in church but never heard the gospel.  She had knowledge of God totally based on fear that He is waiting to strike her down for not being ‘good’.    One can say that the relationship with God or lack thereof was based on God watching her every move. 

FAST forward over a decade later, her plans were still in motion.  She had met the man with whom she was going to leave happily ever after with.  They both agreed to keep themselves pure until marriage.   She left her homeland for a new country or better yet the Promised Land.   Her dream to become a doctor was looking bright – well others’ dreams for her.  She naturally chose a science major to pursue her medical degree.  Along the way, the prince charming with whom she was destined to spend her life with died in a car accident.   He was ready to propose to her and had gotten the ring but lo and behold the night before he died, they kissed each other and their last words were ‘I love you’.  

PLANS shattered.  Dreams died.  During her junior year decided it wasn't really her plan to become a doctor but everyone around thought that it was the right field for her because one can say learning comes easy and she was a straight A student.   But what should she do now?  What should she study now?  Any back up plans? 

NOPE.  Not one.  She’s been listening to other people and following their will and plans.
Fast Forward another five years.   She had a baby boy – out of wedlock.  That was not the life she planned for.  She was ashamed and embarrassed of being a single parent.  She didn't become a doctor.  She didn't marry her prince charming.  She never dreamed of raising a child by herself.  She withdrew from her friends and tried to run away to a whole different state.   Just maybe she might start over with a clean state with no one knowing her background, her failures, her fears and sort of start over.  She packed for Florida with a almost two month old baby boy in tow and headed south.

But God had a plan.  God has planned all along to meet her at her lowest.  Just a week after being in Orlando, she was invited to church and despite her many excuses for not going and one of which was she didn't belong in the house of God as a full time, full blown sinner and God was really going to hand her what she deserves.

IN that service, the pastor came forward and read Romans 7 and that deserves a post in itself.   In short, it’s as if she was in the sanctuary by herself with God and the reading from which Paul shares his struggles with sin and the law.  Finally, she thought ‘so someone understands me’ because the good she wanted to go she couldn't.  And Paul claimed that it was sin living in her but more importantly, he posed the question ‘Who will rescue me from this body of death?’ She thought to herself “I can be rescue”.   How?  And by whom?   Up to this point, the pastor was just reading the  passage and she was having a full blown conversation in her head with the Scriptures , and he went on to answer the question ‘thanks be God through Jesus Christ our Lord’.

THAT’S my story and I was ruined for Jesus from that point forward.  Yes I have blown over and over since but my life had meaning.  God loved me.  So much so that while I was living in serious sins for the first 26 years of my life, His Word said ‘while they were still sinners Christ died for us’.
Thank you Jesus.  I lay it all down for you.  While for many years, saying ‘all’ for you but in the back of my mind I didn’t really mean it because it meant loosing something or taking me to an unfamiliar place or doing something that will stretch me too far that I am willing.  At this moment, you can take it all.  Surrender everything if only to behold you. 

TO him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.  Jude 24-25.



1/16/2013

All Things Work Together For My Good

     YESTERDAY brought the end of hours of commuting to the city.  An answer to a prayer.  No- an answer to many prayers and many others on my behalf. I literally begged and begged God almost daily to end it especially with the arrival of a new baby.  Thirteen years of commuting daily which added to a little over 15 hours a week.  He did it. Suddenly.  And so like Him, put me on the same street as my husband less than half a mile away.

Faithful.
                       Awesome.
                                                 Great.

                                                                     Perfect.  
                                             
Gracious are the very few words I can use to describe the overwhelming feeling from a heart flowing with thanksgiving.


     TODAY I start a new position one that the Lord made sure that I know I didn't get because of skills or experiences.  You see, I applied for the position online and received a call the next day to schedule an interview.  I had to take a test first as part of the hiring process.  I was warned that some people have taken as long as three hours to complete the test.  Upon my arrival for the test which was over 20 pages of questions -not multiple choice - essay like answers required.  I looked at it quickly to see which questions I could answer quickly. 

 One.  Just one answer that I knew with certainty.

     I thought of walking out of the conference room where I was.  After all, there was absolutely no way I was remotely going to get this position.  Two others have interviewed before me and surely they answered more than one question.  They are much better- I thought to myself.  It was fine because after all I still had a job.  The truth is the position involved much more than what I was doing where I was but capable of learning nonetheless. 

     AFTER wrestling for an hour -. I turned in the test thinking I didn't deserve an interview but the manager walked in and conducted the interview.  In all, I was there for over 3 hours.  I quickly called my husband to tell him jokingly that if I get called that God made sure I wouldn't be able to take an ounce of credit. 

     BUT they did call me less than an hour after leaving the place to start background check.  I was offered the position a few weeks later. I was stunned.  Amazed.  Nothing short of the favor of the Lord.


     IT is so worth documenting, dear Lord, lest I forget your faithfulness and mercy in the land of the leaving.


     IN answering this specific prayer, He opens the door to have family devotion in the morning. 

To be continued.



1/13/2013

Let's Try This Again


Another attempt to chronicle my journey with My Saviour.  I waved goodbye to 2012 with a heart filled with gratitude to the God of the Universe.   With the arrival of another bundle of joy that although longed for didn't expect to come to fruition.
I will continue to praise and thank you for a second boy. 

A book called No Ordinary Child among many others that has helped tremendously in being a much better parent and here's a very telling quote:

I’m sobered and grieved over the condition of children in America and in other parts of the 
world. I bear this grief in my heart night and day. I can’t walk past strangers pushing strollers without  becoming stirred as I ponder the life that sits in that baby carriage.  I’m moved as I consider the absolute dynamite awaiting detonation in that little person. I see the world-changer who lives inside every frame. I want this vision to beat in your heart, too. I long for us to pray fervently for our children because we realize our mechanical religious gestures will not ignite their explosive potential.  If our prayer is a blasé: “Oh God, bless the kids,” then we might as well cross our fingers or buy a lucky charm.

Motherhood has taken a whole new meaning for me as God has continued to teach me about the meaning of what a true biblical woman is.  I am just in the beginning and the middle of it with a 7 month old and a soon-to-be freshman in high school.  As I spent the last few months immersed in books and teachings about the true meaning of womanhood - sobering indeed as I feel that I have missed the mark by a long shot, this How God Overcomes Failures in Four Family message, from True Woman conference, brought me some sense of hope.  And I continue to hold to the promises that He's able to redeem the times the locusts have stolen.

Promises.  Yes - they are all over the Holy Book and my dear bloggy friend A Free Spirit Butterfly  whom I admired so much has decided to keep a list of His promises that we find in Holy Writ.  Thank you so much sweet thing for joining me in this journey. Can't wait to meet you in 2013 and give you a great hug.

Started a 21 fast with my church today and I am excited to see what God will do.

Amazed that God heard my cry to leave the city and 3.5 hours of daily commute and reduce to 30 minutes round trip with a new job that I will start in  a few days.  I don't deserve such grace and mercy. My heart overflows with thanksgiving.  This song says it all 'Endless Hallelujah" by Matt Redman.

Dealing with diabetes diagnosis at the end of 2012- it runs in my family and I have made drastic changes to reduce the many negative effects.  

I have decided to join the The Romans Project in memorizing 3 chapters from the book of Romans and I literally sat in the car and asked for the capacity to do it.  I need to but by God's grace alone. 

Last note, I am enjoying the following books:

 Anything by Jennie Allen 
               and 

Be glorified Lord!