certain things require change

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photo credit: jane doe

she was late running her errand, which meant she’d be late picking him up. she called to let him know. and to ask if she could use the restroom when she got there.

some things never change. “you know, i knew you’d ask me that! the toilet handle broke this morning. you’d better stop someplace else to go first.” she howled in laughter. there was always something wrong with the toilet.

ten minutes later, she was there. responding to the car’s gentle honk, he walked out the apartment door, crossed the street and got in the passenger side of her car.

with twinkling eyes and a big grin on her face, she looked him over. he looked her over, too, with the same goofy expression and cocked head that had made her laugh so often before.

they were uncomfortable for no more than twenty seconds. then the chatter began as though they’d never been apart. in reality, it had been nine months.

a lot had changed in nine months. he still looked like a giant teddy bear, and felt like one, too. he’d had surgery on his leg and had most of the hardware removed. but there had been complications and he still needed healing.

she was continually amazed at all the times the enemy had tried to take him out but never succeeded. that was a testimony all on its own.

they took turns in the catching up until they got to the theatre. once inside, they debated on whether to purchase overpriced popcorn and candy. wisdom won, and they opted for a late lunch after watching, ‘the shack.’

he hadn’t seen it yet. this was her second viewing. she offered him a kleenex as the movie began. he declined her offer and took a hanky out of his back pocket instead. all right, then.

the similarities between his story and the main character’s were too many to count. neither of them attempted to gloss it over. it was the pain of the past that had destroyed what they’d attempted to build.

when she had a break from wiping her own tears away, she looked over at him occasionally to see how he was doing with it all. he was hard to read. she held his hand in the places she knew would be hard for him. some things never change.

then the poignant and profound quote came from papa’s lips as she spoke to mackenzie.

“when all you see is your pain, you lose sight of me.”

she looked over at him again. this time there was no subtly. this time she said, “this” with tears running down her face. he caught it.

they finished watching the movie in silence and walked out of the theatre quietly when it was over. bj’s bar and grill was the chosen location for late lunch. after ordering, more real conversation came.

some conversation unpacked the movie. it offered further explanation of what papa had available to him if he would simply agree that papa was especially fond of him. if he would shift, he could live an abundant life. no, it was not without pain, but he could live well-loved, and that made all the difference.

tears sprang back to her eyes when she said it, but he had to know. “i didn’t leave because i didn’t love you. i left because i was dying. you were so consumed with the pain of your past that you had nothing to give me.”

he answered her slowly. “i guess that’s true.” his own feelings of unworthiness had made him unable to receive, love and cherish the gift papa had given him in her. he believed the lies the enemy told him, without ever questioning their validity.

he took over the conversation with the experiences he’d had with papa since they’d last been together. he talked about how papa was working in his heart, but she heard some lying green mist in his words. self-pity was holding him back from going after a full-on relationship with papa. she heard it. what was at the root?

after lunch, they visited places they used to go together. wildlife was always a shared joy. they watched ducks, geese, an eagle, and an osprey. a sweet little bird sang a melody that sounded like twinkling stars.

as they walked along the path at the nature preserve, he mentioned how the guilt of a rescue worker dying while trying to save him still tore him apart sometimes.

she stopped in her tracks. this was a piece of the puzzle. “wait. this is why your leg is not fully healed. you are judging yourself guilty for what happened to that man, when in fact you had nothing to do with it.”

“yeah, you’re right. it wasn’t my fault. but it really doesn’t bother me anymore.”

“you just said it still tears you up sometimes, so let’s deal with this.”

she saw the demons were opposing this process. after some persistence, she got him to say it. “father, in the name of jesus, i come out of agreement with the spirit of condemnation.” it was a start. truth had been spoken. this was new for him.

he was not used to doing anything that empowered him or made him free and strong. but it was a start, and a good one. she stopped there. it was enough for now.

she wanted to go back, but he encouraged her to walk a little further. she soon saw why. the path that meandered to the far end of the park was under water. in fact, the whole park was almost entirely flooded from heavy spring rains.

the drought was over.

they finished their walk and headed back to his apartment. he thanked her for the movie and for lunch. he had some things to think about.

she prayed he would choose the path of life papa had for him.

certain things require change.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

 

 

 

going to the movies

she called him the next morning.

after some small talk, she told him she wanted to take him to see, “the shack,” over the weekend. he said he’d read some reviews on it. of course he did.

he was smart and well read when he chose. not much got by him.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

she assumed they were negative reviews and dove in to counter what she thought would be a negative response.

“i didn’t say they were negative reviews. calm down.”

‘i’m sorry. you’re right, you didn’t say that. please forgive me.”

she went on. “it’s important to me that you see this movie.”

his response surprised her. “well, if it’s important to you that I see it, then I guess I ought to go.”

she stopped to process what he said.

well, then. that was a new response.

they made plans to go over the weekend.

she and some close friends began to pray into it.

there would be a good outcome all around.

the world needed what father had built into him.

it was time for his release, time for his freedom.

 

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

the real conversation

she was driving home from work. it was late.

a stop at subway took care of the hunger. then she was back on the road.

he came across her mind. they’d reconnected several weeks earlier.

peace and reconciliation were important in this season. she’d obeyed spirit’s prompts.

and she did this night, too. she called him. he didn’t answer. she didn’t leave a message.

he called her back a few minutes later.

 

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photo credit: pixabay

 

it was good to hear his voice. her heart beat fast. memories flooded back.

after they circled the wagons and went through the formalities, she got down to business.

“do you miss me?” he tried to dodge the question. “what’s this all about?”

his lackadaisical response opened up the gate and she just went off on him.

“why the hell didn’t you ever come after me? i needed you to come after me, to make it known how valuable and precious I was to you.” she was pissed off.

she used words with him she’d never used before. she called him an a**hole.

he was quiet. he let her yell until she had to take a breath.

he said he’d had his own demons to fight.

yes, he missed her.

the artwork of the two of them together in a storm still hung on the bedroom wall. he looked at it every night.

yes, he missed her.

now, she went where she’d never gone before.

she called out the spirits that kept him bound: poverty, infirmity and self-pity, the ugly three-some with invisible prison bars around him.

she went on sobbing and yelling at him. loudly.

“i have never invested so much of my life in anyone before. it wasn’t supposed to go like this! i have never wanted anything more for you than to be free so you could be all father called you to be.”

“you are not your past. you are not the things that were done to you. they have all been paid for one time by jesus.”

the anger and passion had taken over. this was the most real and authentic conversation they’d ever had.

she gave him things to think about, showing him how he could choose to simply think differently – and it would all change for him.

she called out his pride.

she called out the lying spirits that fed him crap all day long. she told him what steps he could take to shift things.

she cried more, yelled at him more. and he took it.

he wouldn’t have heard her a couple of years ago. he heard her now.

he got brave. “would you like to go get coffee sometime?”

she offered him a maybe.

the dog was about to pee on the carpet. he had to go.

she was still angry. “what?!? you’re going to end it like this?”

he chuckled with warmth in his voice and made a joke about the dog. she knew about the dog. their dog. it was okay.

they said goodnight and their conversation ended.

she went in the house. the eye faucets did not turn off easily. pent up emotions were now loosed all over the map.

that was a very necessary conversation to have. she loved him deeply, would always love him deeply. fiercely even.

you never scream at someone you don’t care about.

she called a close friend and they talked. the friend suggested it might be a good time to go to the coast to talk with father again. there was sorting to be done here. she agreed.

the next morning was better. she’d begun the conversation with father as she lay in bed the night before. now it continued.

his voice was so soft, she almost missed it. “i’m causing it all to work for good.” in the moment, she didn’t see how, but she took hold of what he said. he never lied so he would do something with this. and it would be good.

during the morning commute, tears sprung to her eyes again and would not stop. she asked the question within, ‘why? why wouldn’t he fight for himself?’

she asked holy spirit to handle her emotions and she settled down into worship and prayer.

‘remember love, remember mercy, christ before me, christ behind me. your loving kindness has never failed me, christ before me, christ behind me.’ it felt good to sing it. it was true. he was here, right in the thick of it with her.

there would be more conversations with father until she had resolution.

it was time to fight for the men. all of the men.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

omelets and rainbows

he hadn’t slept well. again.

he’d needed help. the effects of the ‘help’ had left him groggy and foggy.

she was cheerful and optimistic, her glass always half full. they were oil and water that morning.

over breakfast, she talked about family, how traumatic events ripple through them, affecting everyone. she offered perspective and wisdom.

he was angry at what she said, more agitated now than he’d been before they sat down to eat. her words broke up the lies he’d been camped on.

the nasty three-some spirits of poverty, self-pity & infirmity had been shaken loose. they were not pleased. self-pity was especially irked.

she went to the restroom to breathe. holy spirit said that was enough for now. ‘yes, that was enough,’ she agreed.

he looked like he wanted to throw his omelet across the table at her. anger masked all of his handsome features. this was not the man she’d first met. this one was hearing truth and getting free. the demons wanted to retain control.

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photo credit: pixabay

his mind raced as he glared at his omelet, avoiding her eyes.

if what she said was true, he had no choice but to shift his thinking.

he was an overcomer now, no longer a victim, no longer a slave to fear.

he liked that she was smart and talked with father, jesus and holy spirit. until they all pushed a button together at the same time.

it took him a minute to think it through, to make a better choice. but he did. because he was smart. he had the mind of christ.

they left the restaurant and headed out on the open road.

he pulled into one park and stopped the truck. he barked at her. “do you want to stay here or go to the gorge?” she kept her peace and cheery demeanor. “you get to choose, you’re driving.”

he shifted the truck back into drive, and they continued on. she prayed with holy spirit. the silence between them was deafening for a minute.

the atmosphere shifted when they reached the park in the river gorge, their destination.

as they drove over the bridge, fresh snow was visible on the tops of the trees. low hanging clouds reminded her of holy spirit. it was breathtaking.

she asked him to stop the truck so she could get out and take photos from there. he parked and did the same.

of course, the park ranger approached from the other direction in his truck. he wore a scowl on his face. “can you please move your truck off of the bridge?” they climbed back into the truck and drove into the parking area.

soon after, they began walking the paved path around the park, her arm linked through his. it was how they walked together.

gentle rain began to fall.

he stopped in front of her and adjusted the hood of her rain coat so she would stay dry and warm. her heart skipped a beat at his tenderness. this was the man she knew and loved.

moving forward again, she began talking to him about the man he had become, who he was now, and the importance of the sacrifices he’d made. they were the right choices. even when other voices screamed loudly with accusation. he had done the right thing.

she brought up father god, then abraham and isaac, joseph and pioneers. as they talked, he remembered abraham didn’t have to sacrifice isaac.

she offered him a similar story of a father who loved his young daughter, giving her up so she would have the best. more than he could offer her at the time. she assured him that father always caused things to work together for good. it was what he did.

he turned back around to the north side of the park and quietly announced, “look, there’s a rainbow.”

she turned, looking the same direction. her eyes grew wide and her heart beat a little faster.

father had dropped a rainbow 50 yards in front of them. it was close enough to touch.

the colors grew more vivid and brilliant. then a second rainbow appeared behind the first.

father was not shy in showing his love and goodness to them. the rainbows were gifts of honor and promise to them right there in that place.

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photo credit: jane doe

when father knew they ‘got it,’ the rainbows faded away.

he was a good father.

and he would keep his promises to them.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

 

 

men in the cloud

she met the other woman on facebook.

father god brought them together. before too long, they were sisters and prayer partners. the deep in each of them called out to the other.

they messaged often but talked on the phone seldom. life was busy.

father connected them at pivotal moments. they moved mountains together in prayer.

one sunday morning, they prayed over their homeland.

holy spirit showed them their country in the 1960’s, describing the effects of the war on their nation.

this war was different than previous wars. the attack of the enemy more strategic, centered on the destruction of family.

spirit went on, showing them white chalk outlines of footprints in each place across the land where a man had been pulled out of position. they were everywhere.

so many men never returned. and no one filled those vacant positions.

the men who lived to tell were not themselves when they came home. they were broken in every way: emotionally, mentally, physically.

all  were traumatized by war, with remnants of death, destruction and unimaginable loss hanging from them like heavy weights they couldn’t shake off.

some men grieved silently, others outwardly. many could not function at all.

no one had the knowledge to make their fragmented souls whole again.

it was a turning point for the country.

the women prayed together, and each went on with their day.

later, holy spirit showed her the vacancies with the chalk outlines again.

he showed her that the missing men were now present in the cloud of witnesses.

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photo credit: pixabay

then he gave the directive. it was clear and out of the box.

“speak to the men in the cloud. tell them to return to their previous positions all across the country. they must occupy those places again and pray from those places.”

it was a new level of engagement with heaven.

she did as she was instructed.

the men in the cloud moved into their former positions.

they pray for the men who are alive now, today, in this time.

our men are becoming strong again.

when the men are strong, the families are strong.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

new life brings joy

Dear Family & Friends,

I’ve really enjoyed being able to communicate with some of you either on the phone or through Facebook.

Social media is a new way of communicating for me since I’ve been off the grid for a while.

In our conversations, I learned that several family members I loved and cared for have gone on to heaven. I cherished these people as you all did, as well as the relationships we shared together.

Please know that I’ve thought of you all so often.

I also learned that many of you have welcomed new children into your families. New life brings joy.

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photo credit: pixabay

Thanks to those of you who have reached out to me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to renew relationships.

I’m looking forward to talking with more of you in the future.

Love,

Nathan

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

sneaker waves

 

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photo credit: pixabay

jesus summoned her to the beach again on a sunday afternoon.

this time she went alone.

her shoes stayed on her feet until she couldn’t stand it anymore. they had to come off.

finding a washed up log to assist her, she took off her shoes, placing them on the log.

barefoot. and barefoot on the beach. more better.

haystack rock was off in the distance surrounded by sunbeams. she snapped some photos with her phone, turning her back to the sun and surf to post them.

then it caught her. completely off guard. unprepared.

it was a sneaker wave.

she squealed in surprise as the cold water rushed up her legs to knee level, watching in disbelief as the rogue wave swooshed her shoes forward off the log.

one shoe landed in the sand in front of her. she turned around to see the misbehaving wave carry the other shoe toward the sea.

she called out to the wave, “you’d better bring that back here!”

laughing, she grabbed the shoe that didn’t get away and placed it back on the log.

when she turned back to the water, the wave had returned her other shoe. she ran out to get it before it got away again.

shoes secured, she looked up and around to see people. watching her. smiling. pointing. laughing. “oh, lord,” she said, shaking her head.

regrouping, she walked the beach and worshipped.

she loved this time with jesus. they played and laughed.

when it was nearly time to leave for home, father joined the conversation.

it was about him, the man she’d invested her heart in for several years.

“you couldn’t write his story until you lived his life with him.”

the next sneaker wave she felt was a wave of father’s love washing over her.

he let her feel his love for the man, his son.

father shared more insight.

he showed her how love covers a multitude of sins.

he explained the necessity of covering others with love when they stumble.

“forgive someone, and you will strengthen your friendship. keep reminding them, and you will destroy it.” proverbs 17:9 (erv)

the sneaker waves came and the tears flowed for 3 weeks.

now, she would choose to cover with love.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)