Hi Blog Friends!
Today, I want to share with you a personal post. This is not from any one person, except myself, or about any one person or persons, just myself.
I'm sharing with you a little of my life & how I look at the world. I thought this day might come & now seems to be the right time.
I will let you know that I have been getting some really nasty e-mails/comments on my blog here lately, & that is the inspiration for this post!
(I haven't posted them, because I want to keep my blog as a place of inspiration for you!)
I am a woman who has been through extreme pain in my life.
I used to go & share my testimony in WM's Groups so that women who had been through what I had, would know that Christ could heal them & make them whole.
That they didn't need to live under oppression!
The things I have been through, I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy or enemies!
I believe that what we have been through in our lives is to be used for the Glory of God!
If we are willing, Christ will use us for the Father's Glory & draw people to the Cross, where Christ offers us Salvation!
I have been abused, used & tossed aside by many people that have come into my life & even by those that I should have been able to trust!
My heart was broken at a very young age & the spirit of oppression hung over me like a heavy fog, resulting in depression.
I was afraid of just about everything! I couldn't follow my dreams, for fear. I couldn't be the person I wanted to be, because of fear, & I was very unsure of myself!
But, I did have the knowledge that Christ loved me & I was HIS! I had accepted Christ as a young child & I KNEW He loved me!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
Over the years of growing up, Christ showed me that He loved me in many ways, preparing me for things to come....protecting me...guiding me....watching over me... teaching me...giving me dreams...Dreams come from God. Dreams give us HOPE!
I'll share more later about my dreams.
One of the things that I've learned over the years about oppression is that IT ISN'T FROM GOD!
And usually, comes from man.
When someone tells you to, "Shut up & sit down," or "Don't talk about it or even think about it," or "Keep it secret!" or tries to control you, or manipulate you, or strike fear in your heart, or someone who makes you doubt yourself,
this is a RED FLAG!
You need to RUN! Get away from that person! It is a signal to you that they will use & abuse you! Oppression is wrong to do to another person & it is evil!
Oppression is a thief to the one being oppressed!
Not only is your hope stolen, but your joy, & your freedom!
I wouldn't want to be a person who is doing the oppressing to anyone else!
Oppressors will answer to God!
God gives us FREEDOM!
We need to treat others as we want to be treated.
"And as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise." Luke 6:31.
Everything we do, should be done as if we are doing it to the Lord.
Everything we do, should be done as if we are doing it to the Lord. "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord & not to men." Colossians 3:23.
We are to LOVE one another!
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you will also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13: 34-35.
When we have a disagreement, we are to go to the person we are in disagreement with & try to work out the problem! NOT gather our forces to force them to conform to what we want, to shut them up! "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go & tell him his fault between you & him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen & a tax collector." Matthew 18:15-17.
I have more scriptures that apply to this type of situation, here are a few:
Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:26, James 5:16, & Romans 12:17-19.
And still there are even more!
But, I am thinking of a specific time in my life when this type of behavior was done to me & my family & I have to say, it was very painful! Sometimes the pain still comes; because of the outcome, we had to walk away from our whole family!
I had tried to follow scripture to make things right in our relationships,
sometimes, people don't want to correct their behavior. They don't want to admit that they are the ones doing the wrong.
If change doesn't occur, then things continue as they had from the beginning & other innocent people get hurt!
Everything must be measured by the Word of God
. "Test all things; hold fast to what is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
Things weren't measuring up!
The situation got so bad, because of dishonesty, that we had to make a break to keep our family intact, because of threats, since we wouldn't conform to what they wanted.
(This is only one instance of great pain that I have gone through, & it isn't the last.)
I share this with you so you will understand that we need to be HONEST!
If we can't be honest with God about ourselves, we can't be honest with others!
And fractured relationships will happen!
When I was a young girl, I carried my sketch book with me everywhere I went, doodling & drawing all the time.
As I got older, one of my art teachers noticed my work & I think she also saw a young girl who needed a self-esteem boost! She entered me into Art Shows & I won ribbons & prizes. She found me little art jobs in the local business' in our town.
"THANK YOU MRS. LANE!"
I was under her tender care for four years.
I didn't know what to do with my life, as we weren't rich by any means! We were poor. Our father had run off & left us, following his own desires & tossing us aside.
(Sin is very selfish!)
I grew up with three siblings, so you can imagine the burden my mother had, to provide for us. Even with my mother working it wasn't enough.
But, God provided for us!
God made Himself real to me with every dented can of La Choy Chow- Mein that we ate.
A nice couple from our church would bring us the dented cans that this company didn't want.
He was one of their workers.
Or the presents from others for Christmas that were brought to our home.
We were tenderly taken care of all those years, by the Saints of God.
I thought about College & so wanted to go to Art School
really not even sure we could afford it...thinking we couldn't.
I found out that Art Students were required to do things that I didn't think would be pleasing to my Lord. I put the idea of Art School aside & moved on.
I ended up going to Bible College instead & I used my art for the Glory of God where ever I could over the years!
I found my self doing things after college, I'd ached to do when I was younger, but had been too afraid to do, feeling like I was trying to catch up to what others in the youth group I grew up in, had already done.
I put aside my fears & began to sing solos! I remember being so scared, I'd have to sit on the front row before being called up to sing, so I wouldn't be out of breathe when I got up on the platform,
for the anxiety of it all.
My hands would sweat & I'd of course, have to have the words where I could see them.
I don't read music & would sing by ear.
God was with me!
He gave me courage!
He was my "voice instructor!"
One by one, God made my dreams come true! Step by step! I still had a long way to go!
One of my dreams has been for someone to "discover" me in the art world, since I have been blogging.
Maybe, it's one of your dreams too?
Remember, my dream was to do art in the beginning.
I thought over the years doing my art was a little selfish & I have had to struggle with the thought..
.But, that is one of the reasons I love Paper Crafting, because I can reach out & touch others lives with this craft!
I can't tell you how many times a friend has told me, "Your card came at just the right time!"
As I said earlier, dreams are from God!
I love being able to let someone know they are loved & this craft does that so well!
Here I will get a little more specific.
When I thought Flourishes was closing their doors & the call for the last big blog hop was announced, I jumped right on it!
I wanted to to bless Jan Marie like she had blessed me, by bringing us the wonderful images she had brought us through the years Flourishes has been here.
I also knew she was ill & thought a special gift was in line.
I made her one of my Tea Cups & Saucers, along with a matching card, & boxed it up.
I didn't mail it though, because I didn't want to influence any judging on the hop
. I just wanted to simply BLESS HER!
I was a little confused as to how & when we were to post our creations, but I eventually got it linked up.
Still, I didn't mail the box.
It just didn't feel like the "time!"
Then one day, it seemed like it was time & I had my husband take the box over to the post office & mail my gift.
I soon received an e-mail from Jan Marie, thanking me for my gift & asking me to be on her New Senior Design Team.
I was in SHOCK!
I turned to my husband--- our desks are side by side, & told him!
We don't do anything without the other!
So, I asked him if he would agree to this proposal!
He agreed; he knew my dreams! (This is only one of the reasons I call him, "My Gift from God!") Later, when I was able to talk to Jan Marie on the phone, she told me my gift had arrived
ON HER BIRTHDAY!
O.K., THAT was an act of God because, I didn't know when Jan Marie's birthday was!
Dreams are special & personal!
When someone tries to smash or throw water on your dream that has finally caught fire
, they are not acting appropriately!
They are not in concert with the will of God.
It only makes me more determined to follow through with my dreams!
To walk through the door that God opened, my arms wide open to what ever is to come!
Whether it be something difficult or not!
Like I said, I have been through enough in my life, to know, Christ is by my side & HE will help me through whatever may come!
I am not afraid of the future as many are!
I have assurance that my Savior is there with me, holding my hand, directing & leading me.
And telling me I'm HIS regardless of what comes!
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28.
I have been told, I'm a "survivor."
I don't think of myself as a "survivor."
Years ago when my husband & I first married, we had little birds in our apartment for pets.
The shop keeper we bought them from, was instructing us on their care.
He said, we didn't want the birds to just "survive," giving them just seed & water.
The bare minimum to live.
We wanted them to "THRIVE!"
I have to say, I am a "THRIVER!"
Because, God has given me
EVERYTHING I NEED & HE'S GIVEN ME THE BEST!
So you see, I am no different from you!
I have dreams & hopes & aspirations just like you!
And I know, that I am not the only one who's heart has been broken by the sin of others,
what I have gone through is nothing new!
But, we must learn to have compassion for others & not go blindly thrashing about this world, striking out & hurting people, that we really don't know.
Because, if you really look at them, they are people who God values, like He values you,
& they too have been through immense pain!
If you want to talk to me personally
or have questions about what I've written here---
you can contact me & I will answer your questions
in a private e-mail, for those that leave me contact information!
Just a little Artsy Inspiration for you:
"Be strong & courageous, do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9.
Some artsy ATC's for our kids this week.
Made with Faber-Castell Tropical Gelatos, & their blending tool,
along with their Black Pitt Artist Pen.
And I also used ODB- Scripture Collection 3, stamped with Stazon Ink.
Keeping them flat & simple to be tucked into the wallet or purse.
FOR MY SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST!
P.S. Don't forget about my Challenge & Giveaway--just scroll down to the next post!