Header image alt text

Angela Light

Walking it out- the great, the messy & in between

No Lone Rangers in Opposite World!

Posted by angela on May 31, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 2 Comments

So I’m behind in posting this week. I didn’t plan things well and scheduled car maintenance appointments right at the exact time I’ve reserved for writing. Why did I do this? Why do I seem to do things in direct OPPOSITE of my well laid plans?

Is it just me or do you find yourself doing the same at times?

It sneaks up on me usually. I’ve planned it all out, made sure I reserved time for running the errands, making the appointments, doing all the obligations for the family, getting work for the job done. Then POOF! Something unexpected happens and I’m thrown off my game plan. I’m a planner/organizer type so this type of monkey wrench being thrown at me makes me react…well…not so great. I’m finding this pattern follows me at times.

  • Great plans to workout more, get up earlier—then sleep through the alarm clock.
  • Promise myself to eat better and make menus, grocery lists. Then in the midst of it, find myself sneaking in a few Pringles.
  • I will STOP reacting so quickly when the kids do something that makes me want to scream. Then OUCH…my anger levels are on the rise with the next snarky comment from my preteen and I feel myself going to an ugly place.

I am proud to say I’m better than I used to be at this: I used to scream back in frustration much quicker.  Now I can count to 10 first before I let the screaming maniac peek her ugly head out. I now catch that screamer a little faster and tuck her away—and make myself breathe. Okay, not always am I successful with this—but an improvement over the past.

But I know better and make promises to myself to not be that unorganized, frustrated maniac any more.  Then it happens and I’m right back where I started. WHY oh WHY do I seem to repeat this pattern?

  • I’m sure the other moms are reacting with loving words and the children obey and they hold hands skipping off into the sunset, right?
  • The other wives are so supportive and encouraging that they never speak a sarcastic word to their husbands about not doing that ONE chore you’ve asked at least a thousand times. They just praise him for being who he is and let all those frustrations become a blessing somehow, right? Never a frustrated or angry thought….

Well…not me. I’m all those ugly things at times. Not pretty. Not proud. But it’s real life for me.

Is any of this familiar to you too? Ever find yourself doing what you DON’T want to do? Thinking or saying what you definitely do NOT want to? Then angry with yourself for blowing it…again?

I remind myself that we live in an ‘opposite’ world as believers. The world is many times opposite what the Father intended. Many humans are behaving in an opposite way they were intended (don’t let me get started with politics!).

We, as believers, many times react or speak in ways opposite what we should. Is every word we say honoring or Christ modeling? No way. Should it be? Of course! We are works in progress in an opposite world.
I find similar wrestling in the bible. Paul mentions this in Romans (see below). I’m so encouraged and happy to know we are all walking this journey together. We have a loving guide on this journey and we are in a continual state of learning, living and receiving grace.

Thank you for taking a moment of your walk on this journey with me. If we run into each other, would you remind me that we’re in this together and can lean on each other in this opposite world?

Thank you Father for your grace in this opposite world and for your guidance in our daily walk.  I pray we each have other believers along our path to encourage and support us.

19 When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20 Now if I am doing what I don’t want to, it is plain where the trouble is: sin still has me in its evil grasp. (Romans 7:19, Living Bible)

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.     ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11,New International Version)

All in the Family

Posted by angela on May 22, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 2 Comments

She asked God to dwell within her. She asked Jesus to be her Savior. She prayed these things and meant them in the depths of her heart. At least as deep as she knew in her 10 years of life. After the service, she was congratulated that she took this step of accepting Jesus. She also chose to be baptized to publicly declare herself a follower of Christ and be a new creation. It was a joyous day!

Years later, after another fight with her family over her life decisions and choices that were destroying her body, she wondered, “ Could those prayers from so many years ago still hold true”? She had fallen so far from where she had been that day. She now battled with drinking, drugs and using her body in ways that are never pleasing to God.

Is she still saved? Does her salvation go away? After disobeying God for so many years, surely He has had enough and she has long been kicked out of any ‘family’ lineup.

She told herself she really needed to get her life back on track, clean up her act and ask God to take her back. Let her back in the family and start all over. Would He even give her another chance?

Have you ever thought you have blown it so much that God is done with you? You’ve used up any ‘grace’ chances you had been given? You may have been saved in the past but surely God has erased that by now and you’re on your own, right? 

We are promised eternal salvation. Once saved, we are covered under the umbrella of grace. Can we backslide and still be in God’s family? Yes! We are covered under grace!

But aren’t believers supposed to be happy and peaceful? Of course—if we are living according to the will of the Father.
But since we are living out our daily walk, we struggle with choices. We can choose to be in rebellion, live in disobedience and be miserable doing so. How can a believer be this way? By not responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and acting contrary to what the Father has for us.

We are still in the family but not living as our Father plans for us to live. Our choice.
Personally, after many years in rebellion and ignorance, I started to think there has to be a more peaceful and fulfilling way to live. FINALLY. I was starting to get it!

Yes, I still struggle like everyone else. I make poor choices and have to deal with the fall out. But I now know who I am and who has my back. I repent and restore my wayward choice. Its not too late for me or you.

If we were all kicked out of God’s family and no longer considered His children due to sin, there would be no one left in the family. This is where mercy and grace enter and flood over us.

Just like our earthly families, we are still related. We may not do what is expected, what is best for us or obey like we should, but we’re still in the family. Is it peaceful when we’re disobedient? NOPE, not at all. But, we’re still in the family.

As followers, our desire to do the Father’s will swells up within us, feels ‘right’ and leads us on the path we should follow.
Yes, we are saved. Yes, we will sin & be disobedient. The spectrum of disobedience will change throughout our lives and we pray we are less & less disobedient as we become more mature. Through the entire journey, we can rest knowing we are in His family and loved. It’d be easier to kick us out but He loves us too much to let us go. We just have to open ourselves to Him first!

We cannot ever be separated from the love of the Father. But we can choose to distance ourselves. Instead, I choose the freedom that comes from obedience!
Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Psalm 51:12

Hang On!

Posted by angela on May 15, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 3 Comments

I worked so hard. So many sacrifices. The endless, sleepless nights. The financial drains. All the youthful fun I bypassed to keep my head down, working so hard. I had a goal and was so determined and so focused, nothing was going to stop me. My past was filled with hardship and disappointment. I had to insulate myself the only way I knew how and working hard for this goal was my plan.

Over time, I met the goal. It took much longer that I thought but I made it. Blood, sweat and tears, I finally made it to the finish line! I was so proud but exhausted from all the years of working towards this. I thought I was home free—let the next step of the journey take place. It couldn’t be as hard as the past 7 years had been, right?

Wrong. The struggles continued. In different ways, different people, different situations. I’d like to say there was a happily ever after end to this portion of the story-but it’s not quite over yet.
I made it to the finish line and continued to work hard, struggle, sacrifice. It took over 2 decades of continual effort.
But one day, in a blink of an eye, it was over. All I worked for- ended. I struggled for several years afterwards with a sense of loss-all that work, effort, struggle- for what?! During an especially vulnerable moment, I felt a sudden response in my spirit well up.

I knew this was from the Father, it wasn’t something I could have ever imagined.
An unmistakable statement

“That was never the plan I had for you. It was your plan”.

I was devastated. All those years, all the sacrifices, working my entire life around meeting those goals. But it was absolutely, without question unmistakable:
“It was never the plan I had for you”

It felt like a moment from a movie when the camera zooms in & out on the character.
Never HIS plan for me?! It was all me, all the striving was all me. No wonder it didn’t work out well, never felt right, was never ever peaceful. It made sense now. Oh, decades later but it made sense.

So you can call me unrealistic. Nuts even. But I’m hanging on.
Yes, hanging on and hoping for something new. I know I’m walking through a season of learning but I don’t like it. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful the Father is working something good in me. Something He will use. But I don’t like it now. I’m clinging to the verse that He is refining me—as gold must be put through the fire and molded, so must we. Well, I must be one messy piece of dirt that needs a ton of fire and refining.

It’s true, I am messy. Ever feel like you’re a mess?
I know in the end I’ll be so thankful that this process happened. It’s while I’m sitting in the furnace that stinks. Oh, I’m sure it’ll all be great one day. But today—well, it doesn’t FEEL so great.
I’m hanging on however. Not letting go. I’ll be that stubborn piece of Velcro that doesn’t peel away. Where would I go anyhow? I know it’d be somewhere I’d regret so I refuse to go down that path.

No, I’m hanging on. Some people tell me I should do more things to get actions moving in the direction I want it to go. That I should work situations around to benefit my ultimate goal. I could that do—I’ve done it before. Manipulated things to work out. So what’s the problem? If I get moving and start pushing this, pulling that, influencing this person, guilting that person then I could get situations moving much quicker.

Hard as it is, I’m trying to NOT do those things and just hang on. Let the Father work things out as He sees fit and not as I want. Been there, done that and it wasn’t pretty. I do NOT want to work it out in MY way again. Keep my feet planted in Your ways Father.
(For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Psalm 66:10)

Let’s Do This!

Posted by angela on May 8, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 2 Comments

Let’s mix it up. Do something new today.

I look forward to a new work. Spring is finally here. New life is springing up everywhere-finally. The grey & brown branches and plants are finally looking alive again with the green leaves and new buds flourishing. It always brings those feelings of a new start, freshness, a renewal.

So let’s do it—renew something, begin something new or take something in a direction its not been before.

Of course, You Lord are doing this constantly. I’m the one who feels like the grey twig…there and existing but not doing anything fresh, new or earthshattering.

So, what is a new beginning to look like? What are your plans with me in this moment? I most likely won’t get an audible response but do sense a tiny bud of rebirth.

I’m ready for something AWESOME and mind blowing. Rock my world Lord with something wonderful and new and precious! A blessing in every way!

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.( Isaiah 43:19)
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams. (Isiah 44:3)

• Yes, I am still doing the daily grind.
• Yes, I still have the same obligations and responsibilities (and usually a few new ones)

But I’m going to go forward with a new perspective. A new work, a new vision: no more of the dried up wasteland of my heart. A fresh breeze is blowing through the air: new hope.

 The circumstances of life haven’t changed, I don’t have a super fat bank account, a new vacation home in the tropics or perfect family members (Does that EVEN exist? Nope) but I’m praying for a fresh new outlook.

Instead of just survival and trudging through another day, I’m praying for a radical unexpected blessing to rock my world! We usually think of something like winning some crazy contest or being swept away to a tropical paradise retreat (don’t get me wrong, that sounds wonderful!).
But I’ll leave the details up to God…and pray for a ridiculous & joy filled experience. Something unexpected and a deep satisfaction only the Father can provide.

Won’t you join me?

I never used to pray for these type of experiences. I thought I was supposed to be quiet and appreciate whatever scrap was thrown to me. And I DO appreciate whatever is provided to me-I’ve been without and I’ve been in abundance so my gratefulness is ever present.

But I’ve learned that I unknowingly put God’s supernatural existence in a box. I didn’t want to pray for much so I wouldn’t be disappointed or be greedy. But I now see how, as my Father, He enjoys delighting me. Oh, it may not be that tropical paradise retreat I want so much (did I already mention how I’m so ready for a beach getaway?) but I know He gives me so much.

So I pray Father “Let’s Do This”. I will be hopeful and expectantly open to whatever creative viewpoint You provide. If it’s from You, it will be good.
It may be something small, but we all know small things sometimes rock our worlds in the biggest ways.
I’m so excited to see what You’ll do Lord. Wash over me with a new work.
Let’s Do This!

TIRED of trying and WORN DOWN with waiting?

Posted by angela on May 1, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 1 Comment

Lord, I KNOW you are with me and never leave me. It just doesn’t FEEL like it sometimes. These moments when I’m at the end of myself…and sometimes don’t even know why. Or at times I have full knowledge of why and the circumstances that have brought me to my knees….again.

I cry out for You. I cry out in general. Do you see me? I don’t feel you nearby.
(You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. Psalm 139:1)

I know you are there since you promise you’ll never leave me. But I want something physical—in my face at this moment—as tangible proof you are here.

I’m hurting. I’m lost. I’m hanging on by a thread and need some major relief. Relief that doesn’t come from others since they can’t reach the inner depths of my being. But you can. You already have it covered but I can’t see You moving so I don’t think you’re here.
Do you notice me? Don’t I matter enough that you will respond?
(Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7)

Before I know it, I’ve worked myself into a cycle of thoughts that are opposite your word. You promise to be with me always.

I scream out ‘WHERE ARE YOU?!’
(I call to you, LORD, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. Psalm 141:1)

I cry “don’t you even see me? Are you paying attention
(God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1)

Aren’t I doing my part by having faith so ‘Where are you God? I don’t SEE or FEEL you working in this situation!’
(Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding Proverbs 3:5)

I realize there are many times I won’t understand or see how things have come together until the situation is a memory. Or it could be even later– I won’t understand some events until I’m in my eternal home.
Then, when I feel I’m coming undone (is that even a word?) and despite my knowledge of You, my feelings of loneliness have taken over, something happens.
Something others wouldn’t notice or understand.

But I get it. I see something, many times it’s so small, but it strikes my heart like an explosion—this IS you.
You getting my attention that no, you never left.
Yes, you have me in your hands.
Yes, you are paying attention.
And REST…this is my job. Rest in your promises and Rest in the trust that You are who you say you are and you’ll keep your promises. Rest and let you reassure, many times in the most quiet and simple ways, that it is working out for good in the end. Even if I can’t see the end.

So, I still can’t see the end. It’s about me resting & trusting. No, this is NOT the way I would have handled the situation-but its not up to me to handle it. No, I do NOT feel like resting and waiting. Yes, I’m exhausted but to do NOTHING and just trust & rest in Him?

Yes. Exactly.
Thank you Father for your unending devotion to me..yes, even me!