June 5, 2016 Hard Week for Freedom
This past week was a killer. It did not help that I loaded some heavy events all in one week, two of which were spiritually charged. The oppression of the week was palpable, sometimes debilitating and extremely discouraging. On Thursday, I wondered if some of the events were even worth it.
Last night, was the end of the events, and the exhaustion set in. But it was the best type of exhaustion, the kind you get from good physical energy. As Lynn and I left our favorite haunt in town, Antonio's, I stayed sleeping in the car for the other errands and trips we had to make and then stumbled like a drunken sailor into our home straight up to bed. To think of writing was the farthest thing from my mind. The torment had ended, the race for the week had finished well. And this girl fell hard into bed.
This past Wednesday was the beginning of a bible study I am leading, How to Study the Bible using Galatians. The taunts, not from humans but taunts nonetheless, were extreme. Who do you think you are, leading this group? Do you really know how to study the bible or do you just know a little bit, Lynne, like you know about everything, just a little bit. You are ridiculous, you have no consistent order in your life. Look at your house, floors, ceilings, everything is in need of fixing. And your finances, c'mon, Lynne, get it together. For goodness sake, how much time do you need to grow up? You are FIFTY-FOUR LYNNE! Don't you think it is about time? Honestly, your peers are grown ups. You only have a bachelor's degree, boy you know how to waste time! You treat life so carelessly.
This is just a bit of the torment. It went on and on like this, relentlessly always dealing in truth but using it like a whip, an insult, a complete slam against my personhood. God never does this! Never! When God rebukes, I love it, "hit me with your best shot, God! Fire away!" He loves so lovingly.
Thursday was the last day of Wider. The school day that gives me complete energy. I love these students, I love their projects and the day was filled with watching project after project. They were so inspirational. But I sat watching with no affect. My head screamed, every turn hurt. I rarely get headaches.
The week ended with a conference that three of us women started planning in February, a conference on Women and Abuse. The three of us for varying reasons have become passionate about this subject. There is a sick pattern among churches that needs to be broken and there is a rising up among many to be part of the change. But to get to this conference was like slugging through cement mud. The counselor who had called me back in February, the impetus for this conference, "Lynne, there is a need for change in this area!" was struggling with sickness. This woman intimately knows abuse and suffers to this day from a back injury caused by her abuser. And the caterer was suffering from severe back pain. The strong word from the evil side was, "Do you really want to do this?" We kept moving ahead in the victory - "YES, YES WE DO, FOR THE SAKE OF THE BODY!"
Friday morning the torment lifted, simply lifted. The women in my life, true prayer warriors, brought me before my Savior and asked Him to give me strength. God is on His throne. Change is in the land. The slumbering Body of Christ is awakening. We must be intentional, educated, led by the Spirit and full of mercy and grace. We must shed light in the dark places. The silence that surrounds sick patterns is being lifted. Deceit is discovered. We walk in freedom and for freedom we will continue to walk!
Many women left that conference changed and all left loved. They felt it, they saw it and they heard it. The silence is over! OVER! To God be the Glory Great things He has done. My friend who is a significant part of ending the silence by the planning of this conference, my friend who knows what it means to come alongside of another woman walking through a very dark and lonely time, loves Isaiah 58. God never allows women to walk alone, we are His hands and feet. He uses us. My friend has demonstrated this beautifully and intimately understands the cost. She has lost friends by being a friend. I will end with a portion from her favorite passage, make sure you look up the rest- Biblegateway.
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
To loose the chains of injustice
and untie the chords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory or the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
LET'S DO THIS THING!