Prayer of Restoration

This is a hard conversation to have. Bad things do happen to good people. When things happen that scar the soul and deplete hope, we turn to coping mechanisms just to get through the day. Those actions may be misunderstood and cruelly criticized. I guess what I am trying to say is we don’t know what anyone else has or is walking through. We don’t know from where a person is coming. Remember that there is usually a rational reason somewhere in the picture for that irrational action. These kinds of things can cause insecurities, a feeling of unworthiness, self-doubt and self-hatred. Be kind at all times because a person may be struggling with something that you know nothing about and the behaviors you see being displayed are the only way that person has to get through life.
For those who struggle silently, I offer the following.

Prayer of Restoration

Lord God, I tried to play the game of life by the rules life demands, but I was soundly defeated. I am tired, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot win. Lord I want to be delivered from the stress and strife of playing the game by others rules and not those you set forth. I want to be free. Help me to be free.
While trying to make it from point A to point B in life, you come to think that you are alone and if you want something done, it has to be you that does it. When you try to get through life in a manner that you believe is necessary to you at that moment, it seems to upset someone because you didn’t do it their way or it was taken differently than you intended. Father help me quench the desire for any game playing and manipulation without resigning myself to a life of misuse. Help me to allow you Father, to do for me what I cannot do for myself. Help me to look to you for my answers and not to man.

You formed my inward parts and knitted me together in my mothers womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You saw me before I was formed, my days were written in your book. Your breathe gave me life. I am your workmanship, created in your image. Help me to hold fast to who you created me to be and to realize that you have given me a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Help me to realize that I no longer have to surrender to fears and insecurities, instead I can give them to you. Help me to quit using other people as mirrors and let me see myself as you see me. Engrave upon my heart that you knew what you were doing when you formed me and you are still working for me and in me. Write upon my heart the fact that you love me for who I am not in spite of who I am.

Remind me Lord that the timing of all things belongs solely to you. Help me to remember that the worlds ideal time table for the healing of emotional scars is not the timetable you are giving me. You will help me heal the scars burned deep in my soul in your time and your way. It may not make sense to one single person on this earth,but keep reminding me that for me, the timing and method is perfect. Deliver me from caring that others do not understand where you are leading me and help me to ignore the scalding criticism of others and listen solely to what you are telling me to do. Give me the courage to stay the course with you. You are the only one with the map to the destination where we are heading.

Deliver me Father from thinking that I am the only one who can solve my problems. Help me to come to you with the things that are dragging me down. Remind me that there is nothing I can ask from you that you cannot give me. Deliver me from making an idol of myself and remind me to keep my eyes on you and look to you before I look to the world.
You long for me to live free from any ambitions that prove unhealthy. Supply me the courage Father to live a life filled with worthy ambitions, the ones that draw me closer to you. Help me to eliminate my need to hide from you and give me the courage to come before you with total transparency. Give me the kind of courage that propels me to you just as I am. Help me to forgive those who don’t understand my world. Remind me that you love me even though you know every single stupid and ridiculous thing I have said or done. You don’t look at my failures, you look at my needy heart. Help me to remember that the world does not.

Father not only do I ask you to reveal yourself to me clearly and consistently, but I ask you to reveal to me all the parts that make me, uniquely and totally me. Give to me eyes to see the areas I need to work on and where I have created my own insecurities and troubles. Turn me from any pursuit of self worship and control. Let me see the world as an opportunity to show others who you are and not as an arena of competition. Forgive me Father when I fail to appreciate the person who you have made me to be.

Free me from the chains of self protection that I have clung to but have only proved to keep me tightly bound.. Show me when the insecurity and fear I am feeling are of my own making. Show me Father the rational beginnings to my irrational fears so that together we can conquer them.

Help me to avoid believing in any man more than I believe in you. If I have been hurt, let down , failed in any way, help me to see them who have injured me as you see them, as broken and needy people who need you as much as I do.
Help me to realize Lord that Satan will keep me in bondage by convincing me that I will never be ok I am not and can never be worthy and that there is no hope. Help me to see Satan’s true colors. Make a miracle of me. Show Satan to be the liar he is.

Deliver me oh God, make a miracle of me. When I feel the panic rising in my soul, empower me to trust you. Help me to see that just because my circumstances have changed and I feel the sand shifting beneath my feet, I have not lost you, you do not change, you are forever there for me.
Restore to me Lord, all that my insecurities have stolen from me. Cover me with Your strength and allow me to show the world I am firmly grounded in and clothed with your dignity. Help me to quit surrendering my strength, dignity, passion and worthiness. Let me live solely for you and follow your path in my healing. .

Dottie

The Guilt Stain

Guilt, we all deal with it and it can be detrimental. Let’s look at the definition of guilt. It is the state of having committed an offense, crime, violation or wrong. It can be either a moral thing or illegal. Guilt can also come from feeling responsible for or feeling remorse for something that is real or imagined. These definitions are from Google.
Whether your guilt stems from fact or is only in your mind, it can overwhelm and disable you. Guilt, whatever it’s source is a burden that can weigh you down. It can be detrimental to your self image and can make you hate yourself. No matter the opinion God holds of you, and He loves you unconditionally, your opinion trumps His every time.
You believe that if you can see the guilty “stain”surely others can also. Guilt causes self-criticism and can make you paranoid. Oh no my guilt stain is showing again, the darn thing just won’t wash out, it follows my every move.
Consider this however, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1John:9 In other words, says a prayer and let God absolve you of your stain.
Isaiah 53:5 brings such peace to me. It says the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. By His wounds, we are healed.
Jesus paid it all for us, we are clean, we are stain free. With confession there is nothing left to feel guilty for. To feel guilty at this point is a decision you are making, not an action that Jesus is demanding. His actions brought us peace, not guilt.
Rejoice you have peace.
Dottie
…………….and so I ride

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Try it a different way- do a little research

I am embarrassed to admit this but I have been trying something different when problems arise. Something I should have been doing all along.
Although we all try to display an “I got it together”image to the world, most if not all of us are plagued by self doubt, insecurities and a feeling of unworthiness. I know I am.

What if I told you that you have someone in your life that has searched you and knows you, end to end. He knows you so well in fact that He knows when you sit and when you rise. He can and does discern your thoughts from afar. He searches your path before you take it and He is acquainted with ALL your ways. Even the ones you take special care to hide from the world.

When you speak, He knows what you will say. He is your personal safe room. Where you go,, He precedes you but what’s more, He takes your hand in His. With Him even the darkness is bright.
To have someone on your side that was responsible for forming you while you were still in your Mother’s womb, that is priceless.. To know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made because of the one who made you Is invaluable in ways you cannot even begin to understand!

A beautiful thought is that Our Creator saw us before we were formed, He has a book in which every last detail of “You” were written. Think for just a moment on the significance of this.

The good news is you have all this and so much more.

Psalm 139:1-6 and 13-17 gives us the truth of who we are and who is responsible.

God is the reason we are and He is the reason we are what we are. He loves us because of who we are, not in spite of who we are. God is the only unconditional love you will find on this earth. He is the reason that we need to look for ourselves in Him and not in man. Nothing and I mean nothing can take our royal status away. Something enormous is within each of us. Don’t look inside yourself to get permission to look up, try looking up to Him before you look inside. You will have a better idea of what you are seeing that way.

Live up to your inheritance. You will never look back.

Dottie
…………..and so I ride.

Let’s play a little game.
I have a puzzle for you. If you are playing a game and you move ahead 4 spaces, then next turn you have to go back 3 spaces, next turn you move ahead 6 spaces and your final turn you have to move back 4 spaces. Are you still ahead of where you started?

It appears that yes indeed you are still 3 spaces ahead of where you started. You are advancing, you are on the way to someplace different than where you started. Right?

Now, let’s look at life.

We start something, a diet, a project, a new job, a debt reduction plan, our Christian walk, it could be one of a million different things. Then when we get half way through it we get discouraged and frustrated because what we think progress is not happening fast enough.

Just because you are not seeing progress does not mean it is not being made. If we would take a moment to think about it, and be honest with ourselves, we are clearly ahead of where we started at.
We are an impatient lot aren’t we? A little arrogant too. The prevailing attitude is that if it can’t be done in MY time, I am not going to do it at all. Why do we tend to think that slow progress is no progress? A little or a lot, progress in progress.

A lot of the time, a little more effort and consistent effort and our goals will be met. However, discouragement grabs us and we throw what progress we have made away instead of plodding along and slowly moving forward. We don’t see that six steps forward and three steps backwards is still ending up ahead of where we started. I am willing to bet that in those backwards steps we learned some valuable lessons.

I think that our Christian walk is often like that. We have to slowly and sometimes painfully make our way to the Kingdom. It can take years, decades or a lifetime filled with ups and downs. A winding path can be enough to cause us to take our eyes off the prize. If we are no longer focusing on our destination you can bet we are focusing on the wrong things.
It is frustrating and hard. We have to remember that forward progress is forward progress. It is a good finish that we are after, the journey is not always going to be easy or pretty.

It is tempting to give up on living the Christian life because we are impatient and don’t see any progress, or not enough progress. Let Hebrews 12:1 be our motto, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Our Christian walk is intentionally meant to be an endurance event. It is an event that shapes us and makes us into what God means us to be.

Sure our Christian walk with have lots of meaningful and uplifting spiritual moments, but it will not be comprised entirely of good things. Neither will the times be all bad. Mostly it is about the everyday things, it is about each little step that we consistently take in faith no matter the circumstances.

Dottie
…………….and so I ride

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Forgiveness, even I deserve it.

Yesterday I decided to take the bull by the proverbial horns and finally get control of an eating disorder that has plagued me my whole life. There are no shortcuts. There is only a desire to gain control of my life.

I would need to start with forgiveness, of myself. To believe that I am worthy of an enjoyable life with people who love me, I first have to get to the place where I believe it also. I also agree that one forgives to the degree that one loves. That says something doesn’t it?

I have told countless people that they deserve better than they are letting themselves have. I always believe that others deserve the happiness that is right there waiting for them. Why do I stand in the shadows watching as the happiness skips on by me. The feeling of worthiness, if felt at all, is a remote hazy cloud that dances around me. It dares me to try to catch it but when I do, it slips through my fingers like I never possessed it at all.

It occurs to me that unforgiveness really is a sickness that slowly seeps into all areas of a life. It skews your perception of everything. I deserve no less favor than those to whom I offer unconditional forgiveness. I have forgiven the unthinkable on more than one occasion and yet I cannot extend myself the same courtesy. I can find no justification, or so I tell myself. After all to forget, I must let go of the life long penance that I am intent on paying.
God is telling me He has a better way and He will be there to make sure I get the job done.
There is but one place to start the forgiveness process. To ask God to help me choose to forgive myself.

God does not choose to forgive one person and not another, He forgives us all if we ask and believe in Jesus Christ. Can I do any less?

I believe it is a process and at least for awhile will be a daily struggle. It has become a comfortable place. I can always use my past to explain away the not so good parts of my “now”. That is a cop out, plain and simple.

I know that to forgive myself is to let go of the past baggage (weight issues) so that I can move closer to God.
To dwell on the perceived darkness of the past is diametrically opposed to dwelling on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.
Do I feel I am unworthy and unlovable because of extra pounds? Oh yes I do but that is simply emotional drivel and needs to be cast aside. Am I worthy of God’s love even overweight? Oh yes I am for He looks at the heart. Can I trust God enough to believe and count of this truth. With His help I can.
To live in unforgiveness, whether it is of yourself or others, is a prideful act that God does not condone.

Forgiving myself will change the direction of my life. It can change yours also. With your help Father, I am ready to move forward and find a positive difference that only you can make.

Dottie
……….and so I ride

 

Getting Real

Things are going to get real for me today. I am going to venture off the path I usually take in my writing and cautiously step out of my self imposed box. It is scary for me. Laying a soul open is never easy but often necessary. Getting to the bare truth of a situation means venturing uncomfortable places and even places that are muddy. To get to the absolute bare truth one must shine the light of brutal honesty. Leaving oneself vulnerable can be brutal but beneficial. It is only then that we can start to live with honesty and start the journey that God has long ago assigned to us.

To coin an old and often used phrase, today, I will start the first truly honest day of the rest of my life.

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Weight has been an issue for me my whole life. I was not overweight in grade school or in high school but I can remember many diets. I was trying to get weight off that was only in my imagination. My Mom (who was overweight) even took me to Weight Watchers with her when I was in grade school. They refused to let me join because in their words, I was not overweight. That did not deter my Mom or myself, it was still diet after diet to get to a weight that was acceptable. I suppose this was my Mom’s way to make sure I always stayed at a “normal” weight and would never have to deal with the weight issues she did. It backfired, big time. Diets, binges, diets, binges and over the years my weight went nowhere except up. Oh there were times that I lost weight and felt wonderful. However, there was never a time that the weight did not return and along with the original pounds came a few extra.
Fast forward to my late forties and I finally found the solution. Barbaric surgery, in my case, Lap Band. Starting at a high weight of 236 I lost about a hundred pounds. I looked great, felt great and basked in the attention. Then life did what it always does. Times got hard, really hard and I went scampering back to the only thing that I could ever count on for comfort, food. Eight years post surgery I find myself having regained 50 of my 100 pounds.

My relationship with food was what gave me a weight problem. The surgeon had fixed my stomach. He did not fix my head. Actually, the surgeon did his job. My band worked well and did its job. It was my self image,emotions and erroneous thinking that failed me. I was looking to a diet and a surgeon for something that was life-changing. I was looking in the wrong place.

I have always hated myself for being heavy and have never forgiven myself for my sinful relationship with food. However, nothing is as bad as regaining weight after bariatric surgery. That holds a special kind of shame.

I have been trying to figure out why I am getting no-where in my efforts to lose the extra weight. I can not keep motivation, food literally speaks to me, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort and it seems easier to live life as a plus size woman. Except and this is a big except, I feel tired, my muscles hurt, my knees and feet kill me, I waddle like a duck and feel like I need a crane as am unfolding myself from a sitting position. Getting out of a low vehicle probably looks comical but is anything but. I am on a fast road to diabetes and many other diseases related to obesity. However, the biggest thing is that I know that God wants me to come to Him for all the things I think I receive from food. I know this with a certainty that comes from deep inside me and that I can actually feel burning. My relationship with food is a sin I need to repent of.

I have felt like a failure my whole life and I have a deep seated hatred for the weakness inside me that makes me seek food for comfort. I have never forgiven myself for being weak, self destructive and selfish.I have never forgiven myself for finding a remedy to obesity then blowing that opportunity and regaining weight.

There is only one solution to this problem and it starts today.

It starts with this verse.
Isaiah 43: 25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.

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Can you feel the hope and cleansing whiteness in that verse?

I CHOOSE to hate myself and live in self-condemnation. God does exactly the opposite. My unforgiveness only hinders my efforts to become healthy. How can I be healthy when the cancer of unforgiveness festers in my soul and poisons everything around me?

Today is a new day and I am a new being in Christ. I will CHOOSE to wear that robe proudly. God CHOOSES to forgive me, forget my sin and the gloriously wipes the slate clean. This is a very important piece of the puzzle. I need to choose to forgive myself for the weight gain and then forget it and move on………. from this day forward.

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I am no longer who I once was. I will walk forth as the wonderful women of God I am. I am clean and pure and will start living that way from today. I truly believe that only when we have forgiven and forgotten our past transgressions can we give ourselves the best chance for success in our walk to health and in our role as children of a FORGIVING God.
I will take my cues on behavior from Him.
From this day forward my relationship with food will be replaced with a hunger for God. How I fill my soul is up to me. I will make wise choices.

Dottie
……………and so I ride

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