I had a dream…

The rapture had happened…BAM! just like that… and I was left behind. How could this be? I’ve been walking with the Lord for over 5 years now and growing deeper with Him on the daily. The sickening feeling kept sinking in as I am desperately looking for my husband, my friend Debbie, anyone else that I know are Christians.

Gone.

I’m at my house and to my horror,  people start to come over. First it was my sister and her boyfriend. Then it was others. A friend from high school that became a pole dancer. A classmate. I’m surrounded by these people who know something just happened, know that my husband and I are Christians but chose not walk it out themselves.. but wait, why am I here? I’m trying desperately to process all of this. I’m almost embarrassed. LoRd?!

Conversations come and go with the event.  They all showed up at my house knowing we’d have the answer and we’d preached it before..Yet it’s just me.. “Guess that Jesus stuff really was legit,” someone said… I feel like i’m gonna throw up because I read the Scripture and I  know what’s around the corner now.

Then I awoke.

What could be the meaning behind the dream? My exboyfriend gave me a book that I must’ve read over 100 times: “Your Dreams: God’s Neglected Gift.” Most Westerners blow off many meaningful dreams thinking it was something they ate. However, taking a look at historical figures, philosophers and even the Scripture, you can find that dreams were taken very seriously. If we won’t hear God in our daily life, He will try to speak to us through dreams. And just like a child watches and understand a movie, a series of pictures in our dreams tells us a story. The meanings are different for each individual and most dreams aren’t  as complicated as we make them out to be. If we take a little time, we can discover the message behind it.

I read this in the morning:

Jesus talking to his disciples before he makes his way to the cross:

So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near..and that Day will come unexpectedly.  For it will come as a snare on those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass… Luke 21: 31-36

I realized through this that I need a greater heart for people who don’t know Jesus. People I know and love that live life all around me.  I can be too comfortable with my life, my friends and yet, what impact am I truly making if I live for myself?  There is nothing weird about Christianity or having a relationship with Jesus. It’s the best life ever. Next stop: eternity. WAKE UP! Am I ready? Are those I love ready?

Are you??

Easter Sunday!

Well, I think i just about experienced the best Easter of my entire life.

Why was it so good?

As long as I can remember, there has been a person who has influenced me greatly but in a  negative way.. I’ve wrestled with it time and time again. I’ve taken a step back countless times and yet couldn’t shake it.  In a way, this person had a grip on my life. But then something  happend, just  a few short weeks ago.

It was the Potter’s Field weekend at church.  A couple with an extraordinary past turned their lives over to the Lord and watched Him change it forever. During there presentation, they use clay for metaphors of our relationship with God. I’ve seen it before and it is powerful. This last time, Pastor Mike of the Potter’s Field invited people to accept the Lord and have their lives changed forever. And then he said it..”If you ARE a Christian, and yet someone or something has got a hold on your life, come forward.” CRAP. I resisted..I do not wanna draw attention to myself! My heart started racing. I think it would be easier if I went to a megachurch and couldn’t be recognized by anyone. But I’m a pastor’s wife.  CRAP. I’m know I’m supposed to go forward..Ah, but people know me!

I went forward.

“You met the Great Counselor tonight and  He will heal you.” Pastor Mike says.

I personally felt no different that night. I caught many people with a look of concern and the question of “should I talk to her” on their faces.. Thank you, Lord, there was room to breathe that night.  I don’t know how by me going forward has changed anything but I knew i was supposed to go..I always thought, even as a Christian, this particular wound was too deep and I will “walk with a limp” for the rest of my life over it.

And then I started to notice a few things change. My prayer for this person had increased. I didn’t feel as “gripped” by this person’s comments or negativity. Hmmm. Somehting must have happened that Potter’s Field night at church. I can’t put my finger on the moment things changed but I do feel different towards this person. So, no big lightning bolt epiphany or papers flying around the room to “see” the change happen.. It just did.

“If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone.. the New has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

So Easter was a special day this year because I have been freed.  It was a beautiful day, fun, friends, dogs, gardens and my relationship dynamics have changed. There was no negative interactions that day and I feel now that I am my own person, not living under the opinion of another or having my perspective on life,my marriage, my outlook be marred by this person. It was buried for good because of Jesus!

“It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set me FREE!”

And how great His love towards me that He wouldn’t leave me to live my life walking with the same limp. I have tried to deal with it on my own, buried it, exposed it,  given it up, whatever, and yet still couldn’t shake it.  But when the Lord says it’s time, baby, it’s time! He  used that simple act of faith of me walking forward that night to change my life for the better. Thank you, Jesus.

http://www.pottersfield.org/

His name is…

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Well, tonight settles it..We have a name for our son.  Someone mark the date, this is a miracle!

        I was three months pregnant when my precious mother-in-law Arlene went to be with the Lord.  It was such an extremely taxing time emotionally and physically.  The family was flying back and forth from New York to Florida and  being in my first trimester –I had lost about 6-10 pounds with morning sickness and was struggling to keep up with nursing school. By this time, Mathias the German intern had moved out of the house after staying with us for a few months.

After the dust had settled with the funeral arrangements and the crowds went home, we had a few moments to grieve and reflect on the “circle of life” as they call it. Death and new life. This is so hard to process. It is difficult to wrap your mind around people saying, “Congratulations” and “Condolences” in the same breath. The guilt that was felt during that time was incredible for me. I don’t know how to grieve this incredible loss and rejoice at the same time. I felt guilty for being happy about this baby when such devastating events have altered a family forever.. And vice versa, can I grieve this insurmountable loss and yet forget there is a miracle taking place in my own body? The fact that this baby has made it through such extreme stress- intense emotional devastation, exposure to all kinds of pathogens in the ICU, contact precautions, respiratory infections on multiple occasions, MRSA in my clinical rotations, the lack of sleep, then speaking in front of 1000 people at my precious mother-in-laws funeral all while throwing up 2-3 times a day? For this baby to survive, it is a miracle! What were we gonna name this child?!

Jonathan was enjoying an afternoon football game while I was reading and this name really caught my eye.  I googled the meaning.. “the Lord is exalted”  That’s it! After everything we’ve been through this past year with being robbed almost 2grand we had been saving for the CD and the major discouragement that followed, the many things on our plate such as nursing school,  hosting the German, fighting through the many uphill battles of the CD project, betrayal, taking a few personal attacks from the school about being pregnant, and being completely worn out by the effects of a loved one with cancer for the last year, I want this baby to signify that whatever we go through in life, whether  good  or difficult times, the Lord is exalted. He knows what He’s doing, regardless if we agree with Him or not.

         We didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl although I had “boy feelings” up until then. Jonathan knew the name by this time and took him a minute to process it.  He looked up who this character was in the Bible.  To my dismay, he was an evil king…More wicked than those before him. Ouch.  Jonathan was backing out quickly.  What if our son makes the choice to walk away from the Lord and become wicked in his own way? O Lord, help! Are we taking this too far? Not every Judas in the Bible was a betrayer…but the most famous did end in suicide. I really wanted this name, I can’t shake it. But I’ll be open. and  what if our “son” was really a girl?  I have people at church suggesting names to me, “Jonathan David” was the first (like the drummer off Jonathan’s  CD) and then later came Micah, (like my exboyfriend..um, that might be a little weird) and “Baby Hezekiah” was one of my faves. Some people wanted a girl for us knowing what we’ve been through with the loss of Arlene.   We needed to find a doctor.. A month and a half went by with no solid doctor and no idea what gender is.

Almost 5 months pregnant, I could find out anytime what I’m really having but nothing has come about yet.  Jonathan in his funny voice gets up close to my belly and says, “mommy, don’t name me after an evil king!” so I know how he feels about this name. He’s not into it at all.. I’ll keep quiet for awhile.

Has it been two months already?  I’ve been mulling over this name still  and knowing how Jonathan is I need to just tell him where I’m at with this.

  How good God is to us! We had a “Gender Reveal Party” in which we found out it was a boy a few weeks earlier. THank you, Publix for not telling me what the gender was but filling one cupcake out of a dozen with the proper color and my sister, Hannah, who bit into the cupcake with blue filling! I think I did some jumping jacks in the kitchen! Ok, fast forward to Easter weekend. What an incredible weekend it was!  It’s late, we’re in bed and I just need to tell J-town. “I just want you to know where I’m at with the baby name game. And although I’ve been super open to ideas, and things can still change, I can’t seem to shake this name yet..” Jonathan immediately grabs his iphone to google the name again. Yep, evil king…pretty wicked. Oh, wait, there was another guy mentioned with the same name. Hmm, not quite as evil but still pretty jacked and got shot in the back with an arrow. This is not winning any points for me. And then there it was, 2 more characters so quickly mentioned in the Bible, one could blink the eyes and miss it completely. One guy brought an offering to David and he then offered it to the Lord..  And then another one mentioned was a priest who ministered to King David. Jonathan with excitement says to me, “The Lord is Exalted.” I just about cried. Thank you, Lord!   It felt like the scene from the Navity Movie when that priest can’t speak for 9 months while his wife Elizabeth is pregnant..  To the shock of everyone- going against cultural tradition by not naming his firstborn after himself, he writes, “His name is John,” (later becoming John the Baptist) and his tongue was loosed that very day.

Well, there you have it.. I am so blessed..My son..I can’t wait to meet him.

His name is Joram-The LoRd is Exalted