El nuevo look de Isabel/Isabel’s new look

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Ellas son Brisa e Isabel. Esta foto fue tomado cuando iban de salida de nuestra clínica. El semblante de Isabel (la mamá) se ve feliz, ¿verdad? Pero cuando llego en la mañana su cara no reflejaba esta misma felicidad.

This is Brisa and Isabel. This picture was taken on their way out of our clinic. Isabel’s face looks happy, doesn’t it? But when she arrived at our clinic in the morning her face did not radiate that same happiness.

Isabel entró a nuestro salón de espera en la mañana. Su pelo estaba envuelto en un clip  y su rostro se veía triste o preocupado. Aunque no parecía que tenia ganas de platicar fui a platicar con ella. Le hice su examen de vista preliminar y después le pregunte si podía orar con ella.

Isabel came to our waiting room in the morning. Her hair was pulled up in a clip and her face looked sad or worried. Even though she didn’t look like she wanted to strike up a conversation I went to visit with her. I did her visual acuity exam and afterwards asked if I could pray with her.

Cuando me compartió sus peticiones entendí porque su semblante se veía así. A Isabel le mataron a su hijo de 18 años hace 2 años y el duelo es tan pesado que es como su muerte hubiera pasado apenas ayer. También me contó que su hija Brisa estaba sufriendo mucho con una uña del pie enterrada. Brisa había sido atendida anteriormente por otros doctores pero no le habían podido ayudar.

When she shared her prayer requests I understood why she looked sad. Isabel’s eighteen-year old son was killed 2 years ago and her grief is so heavy that it’s as though it had happened yesterday. She also shared with me that her youngest daughter Brisa had been suffering due to an ingrown toenail. Brisa had seen other doctors previously but they had not resolved her problem.

Me contó que es Católica y que no tienen apoyo de familiares. La exhorte a buscar una iglesia y consejería pero no tiene dinero para la consejería. Ore por ella y me sentí muy triste por el duelo tan profundo que tiene a causa de la perdida de su hijo. Yo perdí un embarazo en octubre y creo que siempre sentiré la perdida de mi bebé. Es imposible que entienda el duelo de una mamá que tuvo a su hijo por 18 años. Pero le pedí al Señor que se ocupe de liberar a Isabel de su dolor. Es por eso que vino Jesús, “Pues el SEÑOR te llamó para que te libres de tu dolor…” Isaías 54:6

She told me that she is Catholic and that she does not have relatives that can help her. I encouraged her to find a church and to look into counseling but she does not have the money for counseling. I prayed for her and felt sadness for the heaviness of the grief she is carrying in her heart over her son. I suffered a miscarriage in October and I think I will always feel the loss of my baby. It is impossible for me to understand the grief of a mother who had her child for 18 years. But I asked the Lord to liberate Isabel from her suffering. That is why Jesus came after all, “For the LORD has called you back from your grief…” Isaiah 54:6

Después que la atendió el oculista (Dr. Brett) ya no la vi por varias horas. Pero cuando la vi salir por la tarde con su hija me sorprendió mucho su nuevo look. Su pelo estaba suelto (¡y eso que hacia calor!) y tenia una sonrisa grande y muy bonita.

After Dr. Brett saw her I didn’t see her for a couple of hours. When I saw her exiting I was surprised by her new look. She had let her hair down (and it was hot in there!) and had a big beautiful smile.

Le habían sacado la uña a Brisa y estaban las dos felices que ya no estaba sufriendo de ese malestar. También me imagino que el Espíritu de Dios morando en nuestra clínica a través de sus siervos le dio una buena dosis de esperanza. Isabel fue una de 70 pacientes que el Dr. Brett y yo atendimos en dos días. Fuimos parte de un equipo de casi 20 personas ofreciendo los dones que el Señor a todos nos ha dado. Fueron atendidas por doctores, enfermeras, maestras, pastores y otros que fueron con la intención de servir. Por favor oren por Isabel. Necesita esperanza y ayuda para entregar su dolor y poder vivir en paz y libertad.

Isaías 61:3

A todos los que se lamentan en Israel les dará una corona de belleza en lugar de cenizas, una gozosa bendición en lugar de luto,
 una festiva alabanza en lugar de desesperación. Ellos, en su justicia, serán como grandes robles que el Señor ha plantado para su propia gloria.

The doctors had pulled Brisa’s nail out and they were both happy that she was no longer in pain. I also believe that the Holy Spirit present in our clinic gave them a good dose of hope through his servants. Isabel was one of 70 vision patients Dr. Brett and I saw in two days. We were a part of a team of about 20 people offering back the gifts the Lord has given us. Isabel and Brisa were cared for by doctors, nurses, teachers, pastors and others that were there to serve. Please pray for Isabel. She needs hope and help to surrender her hurt so she may live in peace and freedom.

Isaiah 61:3

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

 

 

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Mario, hombre de fe.

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Les presento a Mario Hernández y su esposa. Mario tiene 38 años y vino a nuestra brigada medica para un examen de la vista.  Mario usa un bastón para caminar y su sonrisa es amplia y contagiosa. Cuando llamé su nombre para hacerle su examen preliminar le pregunte porque usaba bastón para caminar.

This is Mario Hernandez and his wife. Mario is 38 years old and came to our clinic for an eye exam. Mario walks with a cane and has a big contagious smile. When I called his name for the visual acuity test I asked him what had happened to his foot.

Me contó con algo de dificultad que había sufrido un ataque cerebral hace 3 años. Tiene perdida de movilidad en todo el lado derecho de su cuerpo y se le dificulta hablar.

Mario told me that he had suffered a stroke 3 years ago. He has limited mobility in the right side of his body and it is not easy to communicate verbally.

Con mucho entusiasmo Mario me contó que Dios lo había sanado. Hace 3 años los doctores que lo atendieron le dijeron a su familia que Mario no iba a sobrevivir la operación después de su ataque. Con mucha tristeza su familia comenzó a buscar cajón para el funeral.  Le pregunte, “¿Qué paso?” Mario respondió con toda certeza y gozo, “Mi familia oró por mi.” 

He told me with much enthusiasm that God had healed him. Three years ago the doctors told his family that he would not survive the surgery after this stroke. His family had even started picking out a casket. I asked, “What happened?” Mario responded with full confidence and joy, “My family prayed for me.”

Sobrevivió la operación y estuvo limitado a una silla de ruedas por 2 años.  Con la misma certeza y gozo me contó, “El Señor me sano.” Tiene un año que camina con bastón y esta feliz de tener mas movilidad.

He survived the surgery and was limited to a wheelchair for 2 years. With the same confidence and joy as before he said, “God healed me.” He has been able to walk with a cane for a year and is happy to have increased mobility.

Fue una bendición compartir mi esperanza en Cristo con Mario pero yo pienso que su entusiasmo por compartir su testimonio conmigo me dio una gran lección. Fui a Reynosa con ganas de servir y compartir mi testimonio pero jamás me imagine que conocería a tantas personas como Mario que también desean compartir las maravillas que el Señor hace por ellos. La fe de Mario y su familia es preciosa en los ojos del Señor. Por favor oren por ellos. Que el Señor siga sanando su cuerpo para que puede trabajar y seguir testificando con ese mismo gozo de la bondad de Dios. También oren por sus hijos. Ellos viven en una casa hogar y solamente los pueden ver los jueves. Mario no tiene riquezas en este mundo pero en el reino de Dios el tiene todo.

Mateo 5:3 NTV

Dios bendice a los que son pobres en espíritu y se dan cuenta de la necesidad que tienen de él, porque el reino del cielo les pertenece.

It was a blessing to share my hope in Christ with Mario but I think that his enthusiasm for sharing his testimony with me taught me a great lesson. I went to Reynosa with a willingness to serve and share my testimony but I never imagined that I would meet so many people like Mario that also want to share the wonders the Lord has done for them. Mario’s faith is precious in the sight of God. Please pray for them. That the Lord would continue to heal his body so he can work and continue to testify about God’s goodness. Please also pray for his kids. They live in an orphanage and he can only see them on Thursdays. Mario does not have riches here in this world but in God’s kingdom he has everything.

Matthew 5:3 NLT

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

 

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I trust in the LORD…today.

Last Sunday my pastor preached out of the book of Hebrews and specifically commented on Hebrews 5:12: “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others.  Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.”

He explained the concept of spiritual milk vs. spiritual meat in a way that I had not heard previously.  He said that Christians who are spiritual babies and drink only milk live a life of gratitude. Saying, “I am so grateful to God for his grace towards me.”

Christians who are a little more mature and eat “solid baby food” understand the concept of giving.  They say something like this, “I invest my money into the purposes of God because I know that I am accumulating rewards in heaven.”

Then he said that mature Christians who eat a diet of “spiritual meat” understand the concept of dying to self or surrender to God. These grown-up believers in Christ say, “Father God, I lay out all my earthly possessions before you. I give them back to you to use for your good purpose.”

Ouch. As I began to read Psalm 31 this morning (to the soundtrack of my girls enjoying their first playtime of the day) I stopped on verse 6.

“I hate those who worship worthless idols.  I trust in the LORD.”

I began to make a list of all the things I need to trust the LORD with. For example, “I trust you LORD to bless and protect my daughters. I trust you LORD to teach me how to become a wise steward of money because I am not.”

It is such a bold thing to say, “I trust in the LORD,” particularly in this current culture we are living, but as a committed follower of Christ, I must say it.   It is imperative that I make this statement not once a day but about 48 times a day.  Every day my mind and heart are consumed with anxieties, wants, needs, desires, fantasies, problems, wishes, etc. And the times when I end up in a crisis or a mess it is usually when I am acting out of fear and not saying to myself, “I trust in the LORD with….”

In verse 6, before David declared his trust in God he said, “I hate those who worship worthless idols.”  David must be writing in response to the people around him that were worshipping idols instead of placing their trust in the One True God.  Idols are worthless because they are mirages, illusions and fantasies. Trusting the LORD today means I must reject my worthless idols.

What are the things that are getting in the way of trusting the LORD with my most difficult anxieties?  What am I worshipping? What or who am I focusing my thoughts on? What or who am I directing my devotion to? Who am I laying my burdens before?

Here is how my mind subconsciously and consciously processes:

“I do not trust you LORD with _______ because I am comparing my situation to others and mine looks hopeless/unfair/messy/ugly compared to theirs.”

“I am not trusting you with my _________ because I am afraid of a bad outcome.”

“I do not trust you with this financial decision because I am afraid I will not have enough money to do what I want or need.”

Some of the idols I am giving allegiance to in these thoughts are the god of Social Conformity, the god of Fear and the god of Money.

I do not have statues of these gods in my house and they are not available for purchase at Target but they are indeed idols.  If you are tempted to think these are not qualifying idols, let’s delve deeper.

The god of Social Conformity.  I have a fakebook account but I am not a regular poster nor do I sign in everyday. I stay out of fakebook as much as possible. However, the images I have seen are burned into my mind.  The overwhelming message of this social media Goliath is, “Look at us! We are so happy/blessed/rich/healthy/sexy/strong/perfect/amazing/beautiful/successful/talented/tolerant/liberated/insightful/godly!”

I doubt I am alone in the following confession. When I experience interpersonal conflict half of my suffering can be attributed to my comparison of myself to all those happy people on fakebook who seemingly have zero interpersonal conflicts.  When I feel hurt by a loved one instead of declaring to myself, “I trust you with this LORD,” I am saying, “I don’t trust you with this because You are not blessing me like so and so on or off of fakebook.”

And when I experience fear, anxiety, stress or despair, I often do not say, “I trust you LORD with this”, instead I often say, “I am putting all my thoughts and energy on my Fear of a bad outcome.” Hence my deification of Fear.

And when it comes to my view of money, I often say, “I am going to make this money decision because I am afraid of running out of money.”  Or, “I am making this decision because if I use my money for this, I will experience a pleasure that is worth it.” Rather than, “I trust you LORD with my money because You are my Provider.”

I must exchange my worthless and ineffective idols for my loving and all-accomplishing God. Verse 7 says, “I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.”

Aha! This is why I must grow up and take spiritual meat like my pastor said. I can and must lay all my earthly possessions and loved ones before the LORD and say, “This is all yours. Now what?” Because God’s love for me and you is UNFAILING.  His love does not get tired, grow old, grow stale, lose its spark, base its commitment on my physical appearance or even my brattiest behavior. God’s love for us does not fail. It does not end.  I can give my life to that.  Right?

Secondly, “you have seen my troubles”.  He sees what has hurt me in the past, he sees my hurts now and will see the new ones tomorrow. I can give Him my hurts because He is watching. He does not leave the room if I start crying nor does he go watch TV because I start talking about everything I am upset about.  He stays on my channel even when the going gets tough.  Only God is able to do that.

Lastly, “you care about the anguish of my soul.”  The Spanish translation of this verse uses present tense and it says that the LORD “worries” over my soul’s anxieties. Wow. He sees what I am worrying about and He cares about my worries!

Let’s take a step today towards trusting God with everything and declare like David, “I trust in the LORD today with my _____________.”  The LORD loves us without end.  He sees our hurts. He worries over us as we worry. Father God, help us to grow up in our trust in You because You are an empathetic, loving, all-knowing and powerful God. Help us see what worthless idols we are relying on and help us throw them out! We ask it in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ.

What are some of your worthless idols?  What will you declare your trust in God with today?

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Motherhood isn’t enough.

There was a time in life when my greatest desire was to be a mother. Then I became one. Then my greatest desire was to be a mother of 2. Now I am one, praise the Lord! After watching, “A Better Life”, on tv the other day I have been asking myself, “Why did I want to have kids?” 

I wanted a baby to love, to train and educate. To reflect the best parts of me and to love me back.  But I didn’t realize how messy motherhood is.  I didn’t realize how infuriating it can be and how unfulfilling it can be. Let me explain.

There are days I don’t get a shower until bedtime. There are days when putting my firstborn down for a nap takes 2 hours because she simply refuses to settle down. And there are days when all I can say I accomplished (Who is asking anyways?!!!) in the day is feeding mouths and wiping bottoms. I did not even list the losing sleep part of motherhood.

But on the bad shower days once I do get a shower, it is a joy! And even though enduring bratty pre-nap behavior for 2 hours is supremely irritating, the sound of silence at the end is bliss. And the truth is that feeding my two girls everyday for every meal is my pleasure. And who else is better qualified to be their full-time bottom wiper?

Even so, I find myself frustrated wanting to use my God-given abilities in a greater scope.  Or maybe I should say in a more instantly gratifiying way. I am praying about potential venues for my skills but even if God leads me to some cool opportunity that will gratify my need for self-fulfillment or purpose, that won’t be enough either.

Because I know that nothing created will ever satisfy me long-term.  Everything and everyone on earth has the potential to satisfy my heart but only temporarily. Only my Creator can provide the satisfaction my heart yearns for. And what is the cost of admission? His presence.

You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures. Psalm 16:11 (HCSB)

 

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Susy Sabbatical

Hi Liberty Log Lovers! I have been thinking about you all 3 people (jk) and I feel that I have to explain what may be a long absence of my blogging. God called me to write a Bible study 5 months ago and for the last 5 months I tried to write it to no avail. However effective July 9th, as the Spirit is giving me utterance I am typing away at this Bible study God has laid on my…. That’s funny because the study is regarding the human heart. What’s that you say? You are interested in working this Bible study? I’m so glad you asked because if your heart has caused you some problems in life or if you wonder why you feel or act the way you do you may feel like a study of the heart is for you. Pray about it and if you feel that gentle tug or pulsing heartbeat to join with me in this heart-a-licious journey I would love to have you once this study is complete, which may be in weeks or months I don’t know. Thanks for reading! I will keep you all posted.

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My Life Psalm

For the word of God is living and active. Hebrews 4:12a

In other words, the words written inside the Bible enjoy real life. The printed words in any given Bible have vital power in and of themselves and exert this vital power upon the soul.

God’s word is in full vigor, it is most certainly not, NOT, NOT outdated. It is fresh! His word is strong! Efficient, powerful, efficacious! His word is zao & energes! (quick and powerful, for the click-lazy)

Do I hear a DUH? I thought I heard a, “No, duh!” out there in Bloggyland. The reason I am making a big stink about the Word’s liveliness and power is because tonight God reminded me, because maybe I was forgetting.

Tonight was a special night for me. Tonight I hosted a women’s Bible study for the very first time in our very own home. This has been a long-held desire in my heart that has just now come to fruition, praise Jesus who grants me the desires of my heart. See Psalm 37

In a nearly indescribable way, my lovely sisters and I experienced God speaking to us through our discussions and His word. As we opened the Bible, God met us and spoke right back! And when He speaks, it is the loveliest sound to a wounded heart’s ears!

After they left and all the dirty dishes were cleaned…I hopped into bed hoping to do my Bible study homework. Darn it! I left my book downstairs! I wasn’t about to go down and get it but the alternative was to go skinny dipping in the Word with no curriculum or direction…yikes!

I tell you the truth, I simply opened the Bible. There has been many dramatic instances where I have opened my Bible looking for God to miraculously open His Book to the exact place I need to be lifted up or answered, but I tell you the truth, tonight was not like that! When I looked down I saw what I like to call, “My Life Psalm”. I was born on November 9, 1979 so my Life Psalm is Psalm 119:79. Get it? 11-9-79. Anyhoo, before you go think of what you will get me for my birthday or pull out your calculator to figure out how youthful I am…I am 30 and I love quilting fabric.

The verse says, May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes. I thought maybe God wanted me to pray that, then I read verse 80: May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame. Yes! I love that one too, thought I. Then I started to think that maybe God wanted me to read both pages, verses 38-117. The reason I thought that was because last November I decided to know Psalm 119 like I know the lyrics to all of Disney’s theme songs. However I fell deeply in love with the first 37 verses, they changed my life and I haven’t returned to read beyond verse 37. So it became clear! God was telling me that now is the time to return to my beloved Psalm 119 and continue the lovefest.

So I began to read.

Before I continue I want to say that there is an 11 year old wound that God is kindly opening back up in my heart. I am now leading a step study and therefore my heart is back in God’s OR and this time around there is a specific event in my college years that I have been in denial about. The quick trip down memory lane goes like this: I started a club with my BFFs plus another girl I didn’t know very well. I was a poor manager/leader. The other girl along with others made my deficiencies clearly known to everyone in the club behind my back. There was a meeting and I was basically ousted from my own club. I graduated shortly after not really being welcome in my own club. The club still exists and I have no part in it.

Monday night at CR I shared with my group that I feel that I cannot get back in touch with that girl unless I am a millionaire and have something to hold over that girl’s head. I was one-upped by her back in my youth and I have not gotten over it. When I get general alumni emails from her I feel anger, bitterness, apathy and yet I have, for 11 years, been unable to see how that unresolved conflict has affected my relationships with women ever since.

Tonight in prayer I admitted to God that I am wounded from that. The psalmist’s words uplifted me: This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. Psalm 119:50

Guess what ‘quickened’ means? To be restored to life or health, to revive, refresh, to cause to grow. Don’t you love it when the NT (Hebrews 4:12) echoes the truths of the OT??? I do! I am not yet restored from this 11 year-old wound but I will be!

Verse 67: Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.

Before the day that I was ousted from my club, I most certainly went astray. I willfully chose to lead a rebellious and foolish life in college. I was a wounded heart deceived into believing that sin on top of hurt made all the pain alright. Unfortunately it took many days of affliction for my pride to finally topple and my knees to finally fall before God, but because I am hard-headed by nature it took this affliction for me to obey God’s word and repent!

Verse 68, You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.

God let me get wounded, so He could heal me. God let me get broken so He could be the One to put me back together…sigh, God is kind of romantic, isn’t He?

Verse 69: Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.

The girls in that room were arrogant. And almost certainly insecure and easily influenced for their own selfish motives. Some of their accusations were true but they absolutely smeared me with lies. How else could they have yelled at me? How else could they have treated me hatefully after that? They had to villanize me in order to secure their coup d’état.

Verse 70: Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.

I am assuming ‘the girl’ is still the same girl I knew then. She has never attempted to contact me directly or apologize. I assume she is just as conniving as she was then. If I am wrong and she now loves Jesus, great! But at this point, I don’t believe she does. Even if this girl has a successful career and has gobs of money and is still actively involved in the club, her heart is callous and unfeeling if she does not know Christ personally. Yet. I. delight. In. Your. Law.

Verse 71: It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.

Indeed! This college experience devastated my faith in woman-to-woman friendships. It ravaged my self-confidence in social situations. It wrecked my hope of leadership. Because. I. failed. B.I.G.

I firmly believe right now that GOD Himself did this…in order to create in me a new faith in female friendships, to create in me a new security in social situations and to create from scratch (see Psalm 51:10) a godly leader out of me.

I am sure God is smiling down on me in Heaven saying, “What took you so long sweet girl?”

Ummm, stupiditiy? Pride?

And because God doesn’t stop until I know my place and His, verse 72: The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

I would like to translate this and say, Your word is more valuable to me than an awesome career, fame and riches, wads of cash, a debt-less existence, 2 cars in the driveway, a paid mortgage, vacations and of course fancy clothes.

I tell you the truth, knowing the living God is more precious to me than the whole wide universe. Recognizing His word is speaking into my heart’s present affliction in the stillness of my prayer closet will always be more fulfilling than anything else this fleeting world has to offer.

I am foolish. I don’t have to wait until______________, to contact this mean girl of my past. I have the Word of Truth in my hands, in my heart, in my mind, in my mouth and even slapping me across the face at midnight when I don’t want to go downstairs for my Bible study book!

By faith, Susy made amends with that girl and the day when the temple of her shallow, feeble, self-esteem was torn down. By faith God healed her and gave her new and good girlfriends. By faith the God of Jacob made her secure. By faith God made a leader out of her, who once was afraid and broken.

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The King desires my Beauty

Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. Psalm 45:10-11

I hope to be close to Eliana all of her life even after she has a family of her own, but there is a certain amount of healthy distance she will need to take from me and her dad. Maybe it goes along with not being able to serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. That does seem to describe the unhealthy attachment I have had to my parents for most of my life. Leaving my parents has been a lesson I have learned the painful way. I reached a point in my life where I reasoned that I could not be married to my husband because he didn’t ‘fit into’ my culture. I cannot believe I chose my parents over him.

I give glory to God for rescuing me from my own poor decision-making. Earlier this week my mom asked me if I was “forgetting Spanish”. I was very offended by the question in part because it came about after I asked her what the word for “faucet” was. I answered, “No, I’m not forgetting Spanish. Faucet is not a word I use all the time. Why do you ask?” She went on to say that I had been using words like “playroom”, “playmat” and “playpen” in the middle of speaking Spanish.

I don’t know whether you can perceive my anger from afar, but I am still incensed about it. I no longer talk to my mom on a daily or even weekly basis. One of the reasons is because one wrong comment she makes to me is enough to keep me busy for weeks. I called her to invite her to our new house for Mother’s Day. Needless to say, I absolutely have to be prayed up before I see her.

The comment she made to me over the phone was subtle but poisonous to my heart. Because in my mind, it speaks volumes about how she feels about me and how she perceives me. Codependency is a tough one to break for me! As you can probably guess I wish I could control what everyone thinks of me! And since I can’t, I obsess over what others think of me and try to get them to think well of me.

I’m studying Hebrews right now and in chapter 4 the author says, “For somewhere he has spoken…” I think that is hilarious. Even our Bible authors couldn’t always recite the book, chapter and verse of the Scripture they were quoting! So like the Hebrews author says, somewhere God said, “From the overflow of the heart, so the mom speaks.” (I know it’s in Proverbs somewhere)

(in my opinion) My mother’s comment to me reflects what she has been thinking of me in the weeks since we last spoke. She must be thinking that I am forgetting her, my Mexican culture and of course Spanish since we don’t talk every day. Since we are no longer ‘close’ like we once were, I must be doing poorly and I must be ‘forgetting myself’. Every time my mom asks how I am doing, she always sounds surprised when I say I am doing well.

I am not teaching Eliana Spanish to please her or the countless annoying people who repeatedly ask me, “Do you speak to Eliana in Spanish?” I am teaching Eliana Spanish because I love her and I hope to teach her all the profitable things I know, including sweeping, sewing, reading, the Gospel and other countless things God has given me. But yes, I do also hope that because I speak to Eliana in Spanish all those obnoxious people will just shut up! If you are reading this and feel like I am talking about you, don’t worry I’m not. I am referring to those folks who ask me every time I see them whether I will teach Eli Spanish.

So…to have my mother accuse me of forgetting Spanish while she can clearly hear that I am speaking to my child in Spanish, is highly aggravating to me. God help me! Thank you Lord for showing me that my codependency with my mother is still present and still requires my attention. And help me turn this very sour conversation into a positive conflict resolution. God is faithful! This is the second conflict resolution I have had put on my lap in the last 2 weeks. I am very immature when it comes to resolving conflicts in a godly way because I have been trained to avoid conflict at all cost. To let the conflict fester until I blow up like an A-bomb. But since God loves me (and my mother), He wants me to practice confronting problems instead of running from them. He wants me to be honest about my feelings instead of hiding them or using them to resent someone. He wants me to forgive instead of hold grudges. Thank you God for being intimately acquainted with all my ways. (Psalm 139)

I lack the wisdom to speak to her at this point. Because in my zeal for respect I would like to just quote Psalm 45:10-11 and explain that she should lower her expectations of me. How do I communicate these verses in a way that is respectful?

I love when the Holy Spirit reveals specific instances where God is saying the same thing in both the OT and the NT. Some people feel that the NT somehow erases the OT but like Jesus said somewhere, His new covenant fulfills the old. In terms of God commanding me to forget my father’s house, I think of Rebekah, who on a moment’s notice left her father’s house to go with the servant of Abraham, so she could be married to Jacob. She had never even laid eyes on Jacob. But Rebekah understood that her time to make her own life had come and she trusted her present and her future to the living God. I also think of Ruth, who followed her mother-in-law and left her people and her country behind because Naomi’s God was somehow attractive to her. God rewarded her reckless abandon.

Psalm 45 may be referring to David or Solomon, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it also refers to me and my King. Here in my beloved Psalms, in the Old Testament, God is calling me to forget. FORGET. Forget my (Mexican) people and my dad’s house. All that happened to me while in my father’s house. I have not let go yet. The absence in my life of a significant breakthrough in my shame struggle is evidence that I have not let go of my father’s house.

I am still carrying around their shame, my shame, all the cancerous, faithless words I ever heard my parents speak of themselves, of me and of others. My Abba God is asking me to forget, to leave behind. God knows I have gone back to revisit all the places of devastation in my heart. My step-sisters are my witnesses! They know it all because they sat in silence as they heard me recount my ways to God over the course of 6 months. Since I have obeyed HIM and recounted my ways to Him, it is now fitting that I once again obey and forget. Like Paul said somewhere, leave the past behind and look ahead to what God is making for the future.

What comes after forgetting? Who will I even be? If I am not shameful, if I am not who my parents said they were, said I was, then what does that leave me with? “The King will desire my beauty”. God has said it, who will disagree with Him? It’s clear to me. If I forget, my King will desire my beauty. My past is not becoming and my ugly past will not adorn me for the wedding feast to come. My Bridegroom is more beautiful than all the men of the earth and I want to look my best for Him. God help me obey you.

In my Spanish version the verse ends like this, “el es tu Señor; inclinate ante el.” Or “He is your Lord, incline yourself before Him”. I guess I have been inclining myself before my past. I have been allowing satan to lord my past over me. I’m not entirely sure how this forgetting will happen for me, but consider yourself my witness. If God is commanding me to do this, God will provide the way to obey.

In the NT, Jesus Himself denies His mother and says, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”   Mark 3:35

Jesus was not despising Mary. I think He was just making clear who His true family is. There are other instances where Jesus talks about this same principle. This is contrary to my Mexican culture. In this culture, mothers are revered. Mothers are obeyed; and I mean adult children obey their mothers over their spouses and even God. What God said in the OT, he repeated in the NT and what he said in the NT and the OT, he means for me to do today and tomorrow and the day after that. God be magnified!

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