Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From May 10, 2010, "This Is Where The Healing Begins"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
~ Psalm 103:12 NKJV ~

For many who know me, please pray before reading this. I pray that you will not look at me differently, but see the transforming power of Almighty God over a woman's life who went against everything she knew and had been taught. The life I had lived was of great selfishness and vanity, a life with great void, not choosing to walk with God.

"I woke up late.

I had RSVP'ed for the event that I was suppose to be attending at 10 am. It was now 9:45 am and I wasn't even close to ready. The anxious thoughts of, "How are you going to get there without being beyond late?" "The drive alone is 15 minutes." I thought,"Well, I'm not going then, I can't show up late." Yet, the pull on my heart to go was stronger than the arguing voice in my head. My daughter and I with great efficiency was able to get ready...of course it didn't change the fact that I would still be late. As we left the house, my mind was still warring with me, "You can't show up late...that is so rude." I physically shook my head as though it would cast the thought out and I turned on the radio to KLOVE and a song came on that I had never heard before. The chorus I heard was the following phrase: "This is where the healing begins, This is where the healing starts..." by Tenth Avenue North. I thought, "Lord! Okay, I know this is of You!"

I preface you with the above to confess that I am a woman scorned by her own choice to abort and murder more than one child from God. For many years I hid my choice with great shame. Because of the shame, I was never able to mourn over the sin I had committed and mourn over my children. My womb was to be a refuge for these lives, yet it became a place of horror and death. Several weeks before going I had confessed before some dear friends and women from my church as we were in an intimate setting, the horrific, shameful burden that I had carried. At that moment, God's healing allowed me to finally mourn over a regretful, sinful choice I made many years ago.

Before my confession to the women from my church, I had been invited to the first annual, "Born Into Heaven" Service held at Gateway Church. I was invited by my dear friend, Jennifer. I was beyond amazed to find out that the 'God Idea' had only been deposited into the hearts of the women two weeks before the event. God utilized these four women who all had experienced miscarriages and a still born birth. Again, their hearts were deposited with the healing of God to be made manifest on men and women who experienced miscarriages, still born births, a death of a child and women who had abortions. To hear the testimony of how everything fell into place for the event was beautifully amazing. All the centerpieces, refreshments, and gifts were all donated. It was a God Divine Service to comfort all who mourn!

I met a few women who experienced the pain in miscarriages, even some who carried their babies to full term, going through labor and finding out that their child had passed away. I was in absolute awe to see that their sadness was replaced with God's supernatural, overflowing grace and strength. At that moment, I remember how shame tried to come upon me again, knowing that many of these women desired to have a child and to receive their children as beautiful gifts, yet were unable to. The beautiful gift that they so desired, I treated as it was nothing.

That Saturday, I mourned what 'I chose to lose'. I wept even more so to witness the women who revealed the grace of Almighty God on their lives.

It was amazing to see each table with small stones laid out in the middle along with markers. We were told if we wanted, we could place the names of the children that had passed away upon the stones. We were instructed to write the names on the stones and then place them into the beautiful glass vase toward the side of the room. At that moment I wept with remorse as I never knew the names of my children or who they were suppose to be. I prayed, asking as tears streamed down my face, "Lord, what do I write?  I didn't know who they were and had no plans to know them." The only thing that came to me was to write down the number of children. After writing it on the stone, I wept even more. I slowly rose up from my chair and slowly walked to the table placing the stone into the beautiful glass vase.

As I returned to my seat, I noticed the others who approached the glass vase. I was left in awe. Amazed to see the husbands who wept and embraced their wives as they approached the glass vase together with one or more stones in hand. It was an incredibly beautiful picture of God's embrace especially through the sadness that they could never have imagined going through, especially on their own.

Going back to when I first arrived, very late I must add, a woman was speaking. One of the things that she had spoken that morning, resonated so deep within my heart. The analogy she spoke of was from a devotional written by Oswald Chambers. This is what she quoted as she said, "Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says - "I cannot stand any more." God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands. For what have you need of patience just now? Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith..."

To hear this statement was definitely a defining moment of the stretching process which represents growth. I realized that even in my sin, God wanted me to rise up out of the ashes. I realized that He truly desired and continues to desires for each of us to be stretched so that we can go further than we could ever dream of doing on our own.

Today, as I reflect on what I have been so lovingly forgiven of, I am greatly comforted by my God knowing that my children were born into heaven. I am so sorry to my children for allowing my womb to be a place of darkness and rejection.

I ask You Lord God, will you please tell my children how sorry I am? I am so sorry. I am so sorry that I robbed myself of getting to embrace such beautiful gifts. Thank you Lord for allowing me the gift in my daughter. She is our inspiration from You. She is my inspiration to go on and lift my head, knowing that I don't deserve her...but You still allowed me to raise her, embrace her and celebrate her. Thank You Lord. Thank You! Thank You for your healing Lord that You have placed so lavishly upon my life!

"Healing Begins"
So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you're good
And you can't believe it's not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let 'em fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

So let it fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now
We're here now, oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"His boots"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  Love does not demand its own way."
~ I Corinthians 13:4-5a ~

She yelled, "You just don't understand how I feel!"  "What about me?  Our kids?!"

The tiring schedule of his job, traveling more often than he was home seemed to violently suck every ounce of life as his countenance dropped by her one sided accusations.  He stared at her for a moment with his piercing brown eyes and slowly walked away.

Through angered remorse she observed him walk into the closet.  Normally he never walked away from a dispute...but this time was different.  Soon after she saw him enter the closet, he came back out with a pair of his often worn boots in his hands  He slowly walked toward her, knelt down before her as he simultaneously placed the boots at her feet.  He slowly got back up, backed away and looked at her in the eyes and said in a very calm, steady voice, "Put these on."  She was now confused and even more angry.  "What do you mean, 'put these on'?  I'm not putting your boots on."  He shook his head and firmly said, "Until you've walked just one day in my shoes, I don't ever want to hear how I don't understand how you feel.  I have never accused you of this, so don't accuse me."

In that profound moment, she placed her face in her hands and began to cry as her heart filled with compassion over her husband as the flooding remorse came over her as she with great regret said, "I'm so sorry.  I never considered what you were going through."

With love in his voice, drawing her close to him, he said, "Have you ever considered how difficult this is for me?  To be away from my wife and kids?  Often wondering, what are they doing right now?  Are they even thinking about me?"

As I interrupt this scene, I am reminded that often times the hopeless feelings of "They don't understand" are just plain ol' lies.  If we take a moment and consider what others may be going through may we constantly remind ourselves of God's mercy and His abundant love overflowing with the powerful waterfalls of His grace.  We in that moment have an opportunity to step back from being ruled by emotions and allow God's compassion to flow through us, upon others as we look for ways to assist, help and step away from demanding our own way.

When we demand our own way it destructively detours us and others from God's way of love revealed by Jesus Christ which reveals the powerful consideration of others allowing them to flourish not to be cut down.

In this reminder may we fall to our knees as we are humbled by God's great love that we have so freely received.  Upon this reception of His great love we are reminded that much is required to give and impart into others.

Every moment may we stand back in awe of God's splendor and majesty displayed through our love walk for all to see as our actions point to the King of all kings!

I would like to conclude today's reminder with Audrey Hepburn's words she so eloquently stated that echo the Life and Words of our Lord Jesus:
"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you will never walk alone.
People, even more than things have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed. 

NEVER throw out ANYONE." ~ Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beauty in God's Jealousy?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

 "You must love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: 'Love your  neighbor as yourself.' All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
~ Matthew 22:37-40 ~

Have you ever received a 'word' that was beyond your own comprehension?  You know, one of those words that penetrate your heart?  You might liken it to a 'whisper' in your heart confirmed by God's Word through His Holy Spirit, His Holy Wind, His Holy Breath.

I was going through some writings I jotted down over a year ago and I came across this one...I pray that every eye that reads this will be able to catch a glimpse of God's glorious, incredible, indescribably amazing Love...

"Do not confuse My jealousy for being an immature bully.  
Do not confuse me as a 'god' that can't handle other gods.  
My jealousy is compelled by the LOVE over you.  For I know that when you worship ME, you will see great benefits of MY presence and the showers of MY GLORY through MY SPIRIT producing not only life, but ABUNDANT LIFE!  

When you worship other gods, desire the things of your flesh, the cares of this world and fall into the trap of the deceitfulness of the world's riches, it chokes you out of MY Presence.  These tools of the spirit of seduction subtly lead you out of MY ABUNDANT LIFE and into destruction.

My passionate LOVE, for this is WHO I AM, MY PASSIONATE LOVE is called JEALOUSY.  Do not confuse the sin of jealousy with Who I AM!  
MY JEALOUSY yearns and desires to protect My children.

Teresa, take on this true jealousy over your husband and children. 
The jealousy you are familiar with is that of this world.  The world's jealousy has a focus...and that focus is on self; not others.  My jealousy is focused on the one's I love; it is driven by protection from destruction.

I love you my daughter,
~ Father God, ABBA"
Received this Word at: 8:05 am, August 13, 2011