Sunday, May 24, 2015

Plummet Into Grace

One of the many problems with life is that we can never seem learn from each other's mistakes.  We have a cycle as human beings to repeat history.  Sin runs rampant in our lives and we just don't learn.  The problem with sin is not only does it separate us from God but it also has consequences.  Those consequences are generally painful, on going and we pretty much had no idea they would hurt this bad or last this long.

Today I hugged my 9 year old and sent him to his Dad's for the summer.  10 weeks without Cohen.  70 days without his smile and infectious laugh. 1,680 hours to live without seeing his blue eyes sparkle.  100,800 minutes I never get back.  I miss out on his 9 year old summer.  Maybe he'll shoot 10 consecutive free throws and I won't get to see it.  Maybe he will make the play of the game on his baseball team, and I won't be there to cheer him on.  He may even get sad and miss his mom and I won't be there to hug it out.  This is time I must forfeit, because 10 years ago I made a choice to have sex outside of marriage, with a man I didn't love and these are my consequences.  There are always consequences to sin in our lives, there are no choices we make without affecting our life.  But I can't just stay there and resonate in my consequences...here's why...

As believers so often we want to say "The wages of sin is death"  which is true.  However, we leave off all of the important things before and after that:

Romans 6:20-23
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

The before verses and sentence after are key to understanding the entirety of the author's message in Romans.  I cannot and should not stay bogged down in the wages of my sin.  God has restored me from this past sin. There has been repentance and grace.  When I looked into Cohen's eyes on December 20th, 2005 I saw a part of God that I never knew existed, I had a plummet into GRACE. In that moment there was forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration.  Have I sinned since then, OH BOY have I ever!  But that moment began a journey of refinement and the drawing closer to my King.  If I were to stay in the shame of that sin and those choices, if I spent all summer beating myself up over all this, that would be the true tragedy. If we only live in our sin and even if we go as far to not share what we struggle with to others then we loose the opportunity to share God's GRACE. GRACE which is given freely to those who believe, the bill having been covered in the blood of Jesus.

Ya'll I've done some bad things.  I've led a far from perfect life.  I've walked a rocky road and been in the refiners fire for a lot of my adult life.  I will sin and fall short of the glory of God, but there is grace.  I strive now to live a life that glorifies God, for I desire to please him and honor him with all of my days.  I also want to point you to Christ because he changed my life and I know that he can change yours.  If he can take a girl who turned her back on him, lived a life saturated in sin and turn her heart around then I know that he can do the same for you.  "I once was lost but now I'm found, I once was blind but now I see."

Today I'm sad because I miss Cohen already, today I'm reminded that there are consequences of sin in our lives, even if it happened in the past it still hurts us. But I will step forward in GRACE knowing that the refinement has led to a life well lived and has drawn me closer to my Savior.  I hope me telling the truth about my struggles will help you draw closer to the God who created you and loves you, for you are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made in his BEAUTIFUL image. So am I and so is my son.

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise'

Blessings- Laura Story

Much Love,
Chrystan


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Anxiety in Chaos: Finding Peace Amidst the Chaos

Chaos.  Defined as complete disorder and confusion.  How does your body react to chaos, do you fight or flight?  This morning I had an anxiety attack.  Not like a breathing into a bag situation. When I have an anxiety attack I cry, not like normal sad crying.  Uncontrollable tears stream down my face for what seems to be no reason, I feel very anxious in my heart, my belly has that sick feeling.  This is anxiety for me and I cannot control it at all, it must run its course.  I don't hyperventilate or pass out, I cry and cannot stop the wave of emotion that settles into my being.
 
My trip to Cali

The first time I had an anxiety attack was a trip to California in June of 2008.  I decided to book a last minute weekend away to spend time with my best friend Lacey in San Diego. It was one of my favorite vacations, I needed the kind of recharge that only your best friend can give you.  On the flight home, before take off, I began to feel uneasy and as we prepared for flight I began to unravel.  Floods of tears came in a completely uncontrollable form.  I was a wreck. As I prayed for calm and peace that did not come for over 30 minutes I was convinced that there was something wrong. However, the anxiety subsided, peace came and the plane landed safely.  I have flown since I was in elementary school, this flight was different.  I was returning from a weekend of peace and calm to my life.  My life was in chaos at this time.  I was a single mom of a preschooler, recovering from an abusive relationship that had just ended and I had shoved my heavenly Father almost completely out of my life.  Year after year since then I have the same reaction to chaos in my life.  This morning was no different.  Chaos has ensued on my life.  We are raising 3 boys, running a business, building a house, involved in our church, involved in community ministries and the list goes on.  Today I looked at my list and I looked around me and I felt paralyzed and alone.  I have callings I want to answer to, I have dreams I want to fulfill, I have a wonderful business I want to succeed, children I adore, a husband I'm crazy about, I am successful woman sitting here in this place completely unraveling. 

Before I could go any further today I clung to scripture:

John 14: 25-27
"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

This was a HUGE time in the lives of the disciples. They had walked away from their lives as they knew it and chosen to follow Jesus in his ministry days here on earth.  I mean I cannot imagine how freaked out they were when Jesus died, the city was in uproar and Jesus was leaving them for a second time now to go to Heaven.  I mean PANIC!!!!  They had spent all their time as believers within his presence, now he was leaving them alone to face the angry world and proclaim his name.  I mean what would you do, what would you say.  But he left them two precious things, that he also plants into our hearts when we lay down our lives to follow him.  The first thing was the Holy Spirit. This is God in us,my mind is blown.  He said it himself "he will teach you all the things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" Amazing.  Secondly, he gave us peace.  Just stop a minute and take in peace.  A big deep breath, a calm, a quiet peace. I am thankful for peace.


Friends, this world is chaos. We are here trying to function in chaos.  When trying to survive the rat race, when trying to keep up with the Joneses we will have trouble, but let us not push our Heavenly Father aside and allow the chaos to take over.  He is with us, he has given us peace.  If nothing else today let us find solace in that.  I'm not sure if my anxiety will be healed, but I will combat it always with prayers for peace in my heart, with scripture and by laying down my life, my troubles at the foot of the cross, that's the only place they belong.

If you are believer, if you have laid down your life and asked Jesus to come then you have the ability to resonate in the peace of he Father who created you to be FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made in his BEAUTIFUL image.

Much Love,
Chrystan

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