Finding My Way Back To God- And Thankfulness!
The very best thing about being a Child of God is the hope. When Jesus rose from the dead after an unjust trial and a humiliating, painful death, he gave a sign to every human being and every heavenly being- there is Hope in existence. Evil and Death will not prevail. His life after death didn’t only put an official stamp of authority on all his promises to raise the rest of us up after our deaths, but it also made Jesus the final authority over every kind of evil and every kind of death. I think we can forget this in the daily grind of life. Especially when something tragic happens in our lives. Something like the trial I just underwent and lost. At those low points, we can still see our final salvation on the horizon, but we forget that Jesus has already conquered the evil that is tormenting us even at that moment. Perhaps because the moment doesn’t seem worthy of his attention? Or, perhaps we don’t feel that Jesus is concerned with our daily lives? Or, perhaps because we are too busy blaming God for ‘failing us’ in the moment. For whatever reason, we can lose our sight in the here and now and only think of salvation in final terms. This is a grave mistake and robs us of the joy and victory the Children of God are supposed to have over every circumstance, every day.
These have been my reflections this Sunday morning. It’s been almost three months since my trial and the Lord has brought me around full circle. I began with such faith and thankfulness- there were incredibly beautiful things that happened during the trial. I will write about those things later. After we received the trial verdict, however, I became extremely grieved- not so much that I lost, but because I had been so wrong in my interpretations about God’s Word. I had read them as a promise that I would win. I was sure of it. That misinterpretation is what led to such shock and anguish. And my pride suffered terribly when I read some of the hatred and lies that my enemies were spreading about my case online. That, too, was difficult to bear. The worst feelings came from being betrayed by my own ‘side’, the Republic side. Most of the men’s groups who celebrated my loss came from so-called Republican blogs. Also military blogs. But the Holy Spirit never left my side- even during the worst of my emotions.
He continued to teach even as I thrashed myself against the airplane seats when I got the terrible news. He whispered, “If that was what God meant with those psalms, why did he allow his own Son to lose his trial?” As I would read the complete lies spread by Riggin’s attorney, Mr. Horvath, the Holy Spirit whispered, “How do you think Jesus felt when they lied about him and his intentions? He came to save everyone and they called him a rabble rouser and liar.” When my pain became the worst, the Holy Spirit whispered, “Jesus knows your pain completely. He was stripped naked and put on a cross to face his accusers. He was beaten and whipped by strangers who didn’t care if he was innocent or guilty. They laughed at his groans and mocked who he said he was. And he really was what he said he was! He understands every one of your feelings!”
While I couldn’t listen at the moment, I heard the Holy Spirit’s words and knew them to be true. Humans are weak, my friends. Even though the truth begins to grow within us about a situation, it’s almost as if we must grieve. Or, perhaps we like to grieve. I’m not sure. I just had to get the sadness and anger out of my system- and it took a little time. If I were a stronger, better, more mature Christian, perhaps it could have been so from the beginning- as it was for Paul, who saw his imprisonment as ‘pure joy.’ I will continue to aspire to that level of maturity. But for me, throughout this struggling period, the Holy Spirit’s wisdom continued to minister to me. I had clearly misunderstood God and needed to go back and understand better.
That’s what I have been doing. And God has been opening up new understanding and wisdom in my life. From the beginning, the Holy Spirit was telling me that God wanted me to grow again. He had been letting me rest for a long, long time in my life. I had a good, easy life since I first came to him so long ago. I described that moment in “One Christian’s Journey.” Since then, God has truly flourished my life. He brought a loving, Christian man for a husband and three beautiful kids. Ironically, I had ‘made a deal’ with God 18 years ago (almost to the day) that if God would protect my children until their 18th birthday, I would work my hardest to raise them up to him as his servants. I always knew he was not bound in any way by my prayer, but I prayed it anyway as a mother. I asked him to forgive my audacity because he knew I had a mother’s heart. I always felt that he would honor it. And so far, he has. My eldest turned 18 in August. He has given me all that my heart has desired in this life. Wealth, prosperity, health, passion, laughter, healing, a wonderful relationship with my father & mother, vacations, strength, this blog, my internet friends, great neighbor friends,… I can’t think of what I lack! I felt, as soon as I lost the trial, the Holy Spirit telling me that it was time for a new growth in my life. That I was ready and strong enough for it. The Psalms I had read about victory and never being held prosecuted in court didn’t mean I couldn’t be judged as ‘guilty’; they meant that eventually, my name would be cleared- just as Jesus’ and the Apostles’ names have been cleared. We will be victorious in the end- even in man’s eyes- but it might take awhile. That was their meaning. I get it now.
But it was hard to accept at first, you know? Very hard. And why? Because satan was poking at my pride and my sin. There is a bizarre love of poking at the sore tooth that human beings have. It’s hard to follow the dentist’s advice to just leave it alone. Somehow, we find our tongue just gravitating right back to that tooth to worry it around and cause ourselves more pain. It’s illogical, but that’s what makes us sinful and .. well, rather stupid. God holds out peace and joy and we smack it away in our petulance. Hopefully, for those who are his Children, we can quickly learn from our Teacher, the Holy Spirit and come back quickly to take the gift from God’s hands. Only then can we find our peace and joy again. It’s just a shame that we can’t do it right away.
After going to church these past two Sundays, I have truly come to a place where I believe I am ready to move forward. The bottom line is this: my pride means nothing. Who really cares if strangers are saying things about me? They don’t know me and thousands more are supporting me with love and prayers. And I don’t need to over analyze what happened. I told the truth and God honors that. God knows my heart at all times. He knows I constantly operate under His Will. I will always be sinful, but only because I am born that way- not out of free will. My will is to serve God at all times. I have been coming around, through the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, to realize that I am being way too complicated about things. And I am trying to protect myself instead of just relaxing like I used to. We will always draw enemies to us when we serve God. And they will come at us from every angle, expected and unexpected. Satan will send them from any vulnerable point in our lives to catch us unawares. And He will use the worst part of humanity to convict us, though we are innocent. His goal is not the conviction; his goal is the loss of our faith. And he wants us to be a negative witness to those who listen to us. I will not serve satan; I choose to continue serving God. The reality is this: God is STILL with me. He has never left my side. He always has a PLAN. He is in control and His promises are true.
This loss means nothing. God can and will deliver me and my family from Riggins and anyone else that comes against us. Whether in this life or the next. I will no longer fret over what Riggins might do to my family. I give it to God. If Riggins takes my house, he does. But I won’t live in fear of it. There is one thing Riggins can’t take from me or us: we all LOVE each other completely. We are happy no matter where we are. The true torment is worrying about what might happen. True happiness is to live with trust in God every moment; to exist fully in each moment with God is bliss. One should not attempt to look through a crystal ball and control what might be. Only insanity lies that way! When I realized that I can just rest and let Riggins do whatever he wants to do to me and my family, I felt such a huge relief! That’s when I could look around me and feel happy again. I can see everything I am thankful for. God has given my husband a good salary- Riggins can’t touch that. My husband has provided for us for all these years and will continue to do so. My children are such wonderful people. All of them are kind, funny, cute, beautiful and remarkably funny. They all play instruments with such skill. Most of all, they have all been called by Jesus- they all know him and love him. That was my greatest prayer from the start. And God has granted me this most important gift of all. They are all in incredible health, too. What more could a mother want? If we have to rent a house the rest of our lives, who cares?? It’s just less to worry about, I guess. I always tell my children, “We are like snails. We carry our happiness on our backs.”
Lastly, I think that most people believe that I didn’t get a fair trial. I will write my book. Not out of revenge but as a duty to all women in this nation. The dangerous legal precedent that was set with my trial must lose its teeth. That is critical for the next woman who might be sued in the same manner. This trial must be vilified in the legal community. That can only happen if I release all the evidence of my trial, including all the evidence that Judge Ortiz unfairly suppressed. This book will close the final chapter of the trial. I will never look back from there.
“37All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. – John 6
He also said, ” 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than allc ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”- John 10
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