My "and" Moment

I got a job!
I so am not saying or thinking of that lightly. A little over a month ago I got down on my hands and knees and asked God to open a door.
Not because I deserved it.
Not because I didn’t believe it would happen.
Not because I couldn’t take it another day.
But because I was ready to take the next step in this journey and I knew God would be the only one to open the door in this crazy job market. It was a Sun Stand Still prayer. And He delivered…again.
This past week, as I wait for the job to actually start, I have been experiencing a myriad of emotions and attacks. Yes, that sneaky little enemy, the master of confusion, is definitely on the prowl trying to steal the joy and glory of this answered prayer. However, that has only made me more on guard and excited about what’s to come. Waiting for the moment that something else would be revealed to me.
And then it happened…my “and” moment.
I woke up this morning from the second dream this past week that riled up every “ugh” feeling imaginable. “Sure, you have a job…but you’re still alone,” is what I heard. Such a low blow…but equally obvious of what is going on. So I did what I usually do, I pulled out my trusty life verse to read and meditate on. The verse I pointed to the day I first believed and asked God to ‘prove it to me’: Philippians 3:13-14
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
The “and” in that verse smacked me in the face.
Have I been focusing my walk more on the “forgetting what is behind” and less on the “straining toward what is ahead?” It made me think of the lesson at Celebrate Recovery a couple weeks ago: seven reasons we get “stuck.”
Forgetting what happened and pressing on to my future CAN happen at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I’m waiting for this spiritual, “aha” moment that takes all the “ugh” feelings away and all the memories with it. At times, I believed that my recovery would only be complete when I forgot about the past. What a great way to keep me stuck at my life as it is “now” and not in pursuit of what He has for me down the road!
I love what Dr. Grant C. Richison says in his Verse-by-Verse commentary:
It is not enough to forget the things of the past. We should think of things ahead. There are horizons over yonder. There is so much unconquered spiritual territory we cannot waste time on past failures. We should invite God to push back our horizons. What would God do if we would let him? The best is yet ahead for the child of God. The best and most fruitful years are yet before the spiritually dynamic person.
So as I prepare for this new job, new opportunities, and the celebration of my 1st year at Celebrate Recovery, I find myself having my “and” moment.
Forgetting what is behind AND straining toward what is ahead.
AND believing that the “best is yet ahead” for this child of God. 

Hurts, Habits, Hang-Ups and Hangnails

I got home the other day and as I was relaxing catching up on the latest news, my finger brushed up against my pillow and….OUCH!! Hangnail! How could such a small piece of a slightly torn skin cause so much pain! For the next day or so, I am reminded each time that little, micro-small piece of my body comes in contact with ANYTHING…OUCH!!
I can’t help to think about some of the hurts in my life in the same way. What appears to be something that seems so small can cause so much unnecessary pain. I can deny, and even sometimes, forget that the hurt is there…until it brushes up against a hurtful comment, a broken promise, or a car cutting me off in traffic and…BAM! The pain comes back and reminds me that the “little” thing I’m ignoring is still there.

And it still hurts.
What I’ve learned is that the “little” hurts matter. I can only ignore them for so long. The problem with ignoring the small hurts is they seem to flare up in the most inopportune times and very often are just a byproduct of something bigger. When triggered, they leave me in a state of not being able to focus on anything but the pain.
So here’s to dealing with the hangnails in life! Nipping them in the bud when they first appear, moisturizing them properly so they can heal, and giving them the time they need to do so. 

Where’s my nail clipper? 

9 Months

I can’t help but think about babies when I think about 9 months at Celebrate Recovery. Interestingly enough, I have several friends who either gave birth, or are about to give birth this month. As I’ve watched them wait with anticipation for this new life on the way, I think one word sums up a lot of what they are experiencing: Hope.
Hope that the new life will mature to its due date.
Hope that they are doing everything they can to prepare their home for the new addition.
Hope that this new life will be afforded all the opportunities that they’ve been blessed to have, and then some.
Who will they be? How will they change the world? 
When I come back each week…when I share my story or hear the stories of women in my group…I see the same thing…new lives being formed…I see hope.