Every change brings a shift – smaller or bigger

DSC09795I’m packing boxes and thinking. These are not boxes of my own this time, but for other people to send their stuff after them. This work is very familiar. During my life we have moved countless times before kids and with them. I have also helped people to move, wrapping their stuff into boxes, packing their furniture and move them from one place to another. I have helped some churches to move. I have been part of founding them. And not just physically but also on the paper. And I have also been the one to shut them down. I should probably run a business like this by now. But I don’t and probably won’t.

Every move shifts something in our lives. Something will always end with the move. And something new will start. Even if you don’t move too far from the place you are living. It just happens. With the move, some doors will close and others will open. These boxes I’m packing now indicates a total shift for me. Everything shifted by our move and by these boxes. It feels like my ‘old’ life ended and my ‘new’ life started. For most of the people around me it all looks the same. But it isn’t. Everything has shifted even though the location changed only 4 kilometers. It all shifted in the realm not seen.

One friend used to say ‘to really see you have to change your position sometimes’. I thought I knew what it meant, but now I at least know more than I used to know. My eyes have opened totally and what I’m seeing is Life before me. Just few months ago, all I was focused on was everything else than Jesus. I thought it was all about Jesus, but now I realize it was still about ministry, me, my destiny, my call and my future. My focus and my effort were for all that. I didn’t see it and my intention was to serve God.

Truth is that all that comes before God is an idol. If it’s a program or ministry or what do I get from this or how this will open the door for me or is this going to take me into my future, it’s an idol. Behind those thoughts is me, not God. If I put all my trust on Him and I really live in Him trusting that He will do  all good for me because I love Him, I don’t have to worry about my future, my destiny, my tomorrow. Those all are in Him and under His control.

The more I’m packing, the more I’m getting free. Yes, I’m having tears in my eyes on some days. The last season was full of great things and experiences. It was full of many things I had dreamed about. It had a hope of the open door in it. And especially it had a friendship I never thought I would lose. I do go through emotions, but that’s human side of me. Alongside of my sad emotions I have joy and peace. I know I’m exactly where I suppose to be. I’m in the right place and in this right place I know God is with me. I don’t have anything to show to anybody. I was part of the ministry. I was a leader. I was a teacher. I was a chair man. That’s all gone and I am not that anymore. Any of it. But there is freedom to be me. Those things used to define me. I tried so hard to be all that and more feeling always I wasn’t quite enough to be any of them. Not that it was said to me. It was this internal feeling inside of me, which forced me to try more and to strive. Now I have to learn to be me. I have to find what means to walk through every day life without any props to prove anything to anybody. I know it’s very good place to be, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Yet, it’s actually the best place to be with the Lord. And there is freedom to meet new people. And let them know me, not me as a minister, as a leader or as anything else. I see richness in it. It’s not always clear and sunny, but I see Life.

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On the other day one friend said to me. “I see how you are growing as a leader.” Those words hit me a little bit later when I was thinking something else. She knows my situation and she wasn’t saying it at all to make me feel good. She knows I’m not a leader of anything right now. But what she said to me was about my nature. It was something greater than I have heard in awhile. And it did make me smile. God is doing His work in me and for that I don’t need anything else than Him.

Some thought for today. If there is change going on your life, just know God is there with you. Trust Him and don’t be afraid. I keep hearing “go with the flow”. And I believe it’s for you as well as it is for me now.

Time to go forward, but one glance over the past

In the beginning of the last year, 2013, I knew 2014 would bring a shift into my life. I didn’t know what would it be, but I knew it was coming. I had high hopes. There have been promises I have waited for so long and I was hoping that finally something would manifest in my life. But I didn’t know what year 2013 was going to bring with it and didn’t have a clue what kind of shift was waiting for me.

I have been married 26 years and all those years my husband has had an addiction. There wasn’t any third person between us, but this addiction was. I didn’t know it when we got married, but one day it was revealed and it hurt deeply. And it kept hurting me all years. You may ask why did I stay? Well, good question and I am not happy to say that reason was religion. I was taught that divorce is one of those mortal sins. I also made a vow when I was 17 that I would never divorce in my life. I wouldn’t let that happen to my children what had happen to me. When this addiction was revealed I was pregnant and I felt I was forced to stay. I didn’t have any way out. To stay wasn’t my choice, because I didn’t feel I had any options. I was ashamed to tell that to anybody. I felt I was in the prison.

I tried to ignore it. I tried to be a good Christian wife. We talked and argued about our relationship. There was no trust, just hurt and pain. He tried to cure himself and find some help, but it seemed nobody was either willing or able to help. And I wasn’t any better. My attitude was terrible. I still felt I didn’t have any other option so I took it all on him. I had a sharp tongue and unfortunately I also used it a lot. Hurt in me caused me to hurt him. I wasn’t happy and joyful, so I didn’t want him to be either.

During the years I started to know God’s love and grace and it took place of judgment and fire of hell in me. I realized that God wasn’t as I was taught. He was loving and He had good thoughts about me and He would never abandon me. On the time I was getting rid of religion we also hit a rock bottom. And because I knew God now I was ready to separate without any condemnation. Children were still quite young on that time, so we after long talk decided to stay together, but he promised to seek help.

Years went by, he wasn’t free and year ago we hit a rock bottom even harder than before. On the last spring 2013 he moved out and I stayed with almost grown-up children. We talked all through with them and together and I personally felt there wasn’t any other way to go than that. No promises anymore. No empty words anymore. In me there was nothing left to trust or hope. Staying wasn’t an option, but separating didn’t feel good either. I was overwhelmed by feelings like failure, shame, quilt. It brought ‘what ifs’, regret, which was deep. I started to think I was the reason for everything. What if I caused all this and his addiction and all troubles I was going through. What if I never got married? Was I truly so blind in the first place that I didn’t see or did I see, but ignored? I didn’t even know who I was. And even thought I knew God’s Grace I wasn’t sure if God really would stay with me and accept me if I took one more step and got divorced.

Some people around me were saying that I still had to give a chance for him. Others said that I should finally start to live my own life and be free from all pain and hurt and from him. I didn’t know who to listen and even God was silent. I cried, prayed, asked, begged the answer from Him, but didn’t hear anything. Other people were ready to speak into my life what they felt God was saying. I didn’t hear anything. So I started to listen and believe what they said and started to move toward divorce. On the fall I started to deal that in my heart and cut all off which was about him. We took three months when we didn’t talk or see hardly at all. It felt good and I felt I was free. During these three months we had quite great water damage in our apartment from above. Because of it there was great repairs coming and we weren’t able to stay there on the same time. We had to start to look other apartment but it wasn’t easy to find.
And we were in a hurry. We had to move as fast as possible so that they were able to fix all.

Suddenly there was this one amazing apartment in front of us. Big, but reasonable. Good location. Only thing was that I wasn’t able to rent that all by myself. There were two options: take this apartment and move back together OR move into something smaller we had with kids. (We already had too small apartment.) One friend asked me how it was possible that I changed my opinion over night. It was all God. I was getting ready to divorce and move on, but God stopped me. He brought this amazing apartment in front of us and asked if I would trust Him and give Him this year. He had been silent until this moment, but now He asked me to trust Him and have faith on Him. He reminded me that He told me in the end of 2012 this:

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So after this encounter with God I made a choice. I chose to trust Him, not man. I chose to put my faith on Him, neither on me nor on my husband. I simply made a choice to follow God and it meant going into this apartment and giving Him a chance. God asked me to see my husband as He sees him, not through my pain and hurt. Just to see him. God didn’t ask me to trust my husband. Just to see him as God sees and keep seeing that way.

With this decision I lost some friends, very good friends. I also lost a dream I thought was ready to take off. It was a price of my choice to follow God. Judgment and condemnation were there again. This time because I chose to build, not to destroy. It took me through pain and hurt again. I can only say that last year was one of the hardest years in my life. I think it was the hardest. Constant pain, hurt, rejection, condemnation, judgment was always there where ever I turned. Shame and quilt was next to me reminding about my mistakes and causing me to regret so many decisions in my life. But it also brought out me. In the end I realized that no matter what I do there will always be those who stay with me and those who won’t. I can’t count on people, not even friends, when it’s about my life, which I’m living. Only those who stay with me through ups and downs and really love me can really speak into my life.

In the end of year 2013 and beginning of this year I realized that all I had was shifted. Everything. My life wasn’t the same anymore. And that brought me peace and joy. I knew all would be great with God. We are still living a short of separation in separated rooms, but taking care of all together. There is peace in the house and we both are ourselves putting trust on God. We are not perfect, but human loved by God. We are building little by little. This is only thing, which is left. And actually even this has shifted. It’s a new year and it brought us into a new place, literally.

Forgive me this was so long. Most of you my readers and followers don’t know me, so I decided to write this to sum up where I’m coming from. It’s all past and I will continue only with the present and the future. It was the hard year and it didn’t dramatically change better on the New Year. There are still days of pain and hurt, but there are also days of joy and peace, which I didn’t have last year. I’m thankful. This is my life and I have learned it’s the best to live my life, not anybody else’s. It’s the best go on with my own expectations, not with anybody else’s.