Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for the ‘Grief and Loss’ Category

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Written by Barbara Bloom

April 25, 2014 at 7:18 AM

Bugs on the windshield

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There is a Jamie Grace song “Beautiful” that was playing on my headphones when the text message came in..

On the way to work – car died
Car wont turn over
roadside assistance here now
roadside left, waiting tow truck
towed to garage, waiting on the mechanic
head gasket blown, oil and radiator fluid everywhere – too costly to repair

Words fell like bullets into my gut.  And yet the song continued to play and the lyrics jumped into my consciousness:

When trouble seems to rain on my dreams
It’s not a big, not a big deal
Let it wash all the bugs off my windshield
Cause You’re showing me in You I’m free
And You’re still the refuge
That I’ve just got to get to
So I won’t let a day go, won’t let a day go by
So put the drop top down, turn it up,
I’m ready to fly.    – Beautiful, Jamie Grace

By faith i will not focus on the trauma of the loss of our only vehicle.  By faith i will let this rain storm wash all the bugs off my windshield, and trust this is working toward a greater goal.

Its strange to say I have a deep peace in this decision. I will trust God for the provision of a vehicle, which will be functional, and which we can afford.  He has provided our every need in the past, and he changes not… so

“Lord, this is your strength. You own the cattle on a thousand hills, and your wealth is beyond what we might understand.  You have told us that you are our loving father, and that if a child would ask his father for a fish would he give a snake instead (no, absolutely not), or would he give a stone for bread. No, you are good, and even before we were aware of the need you knew.  You hold everything in your control.  Please lead us and guide us to the vehicle you wish us to find, and provide the means to purchase it.  Today, unwaveringly i will trust you for this.  You are indeed worthy to be trusted, and i thank you now in advance knowing that an answer is at hand.  Amen”

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 15, 2014 at 9:49 AM

keeping my whits

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Friday was a day filled with major blessings, emotional highs, and so intense frustration that desperately tried to steal any hope that God is in charge of our lives.

As you know we have been on the hunt for work – a full time job- for 23 months for the hubby, and 17 months for myself. I think we are becoming insulated from the frustration of a work environment that does not want 50 somethings who have experience and education… we are no longer pretty, and perceived to be wanting the moon in tow with the big salary.

Well, anyhow, along with unemployment comes creatively paying bills. We have tapped the savings out long ago, and then the 401Ks, and now we have enough for one more mortgage payment then who knows where it will come from. Unless the employment situation turns around we are not sure where this money is going to come from – and everything in me wants to be scared and totally freak out like a small child who has lost any senses of security. But then that still small voice of God reminds me I am his, I am bought with the blood of the lamb, and i am loved, cherished, and he will not let his children beg for bread. Aaaah, the voice of God breaks through that crazy welling up sense of panic.

So I ask myself “Do you really believe that your life is in God’s hands?” “Is he really going to come through and open a door of employment for one of us?” “How big is God- am i out of his grasp?” My mind has been running at hyper speed, toggling between the definitive “YES! YES God loves me and has me in his firm grasp – and it even says in Isaiah that he has my name written on his hand. Not one sparrow falls to the ground without the father knowing this, and how much more important am i.” and “Look where you are now – everything about your life is upside down… look deeply at your life- how good can this be that you cannot find a job? why did you do grad school? that really helped, didn;t it?”

No, I am not hearing voices. I think this is just the spiritual war for my mind. I know that I must constantly lay it all down.. surrender my life, my mind, my circumstances and my very being to Jesus and leave it with him.

“So tonight I come to you Jesus, giving you my thoughts, my emotions, my sight, and my very life. You are the all knowing, always present, loving one, the savior, my redeemer, my king. I honor you and yield this life to you again. Like prisoners of war I march my thoughts to you and hand them over too. I know that apart from you I am nothing and can do nothing. I ask you to guard my thoughts, keep my gaze on you, and show me what you want of my life. We have seen you move in miraculous ways and the enemy try to swoop in to steal the blessings. I hide behind your shield, your armer, and want to retreat into you as my high tower. As this battle continues give me your wisdom and your strength to know how to proceed. I do ask Lord if you would open a door for a job- for income to pay our bills. Show us where to look, and make that way for us please. I yearn for the day when you call us home, and we can fall before your mercy, yielded fully from this sin scarred body, and this sin scarred world. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 20, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Thoughts about Ruth and Boaz

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As a church we are working through the book of Ruth on sundays. Today we read through chapter 3 and the first 12 verses of chapter 4. Ruth is encouraged by Naomi to get spruced up and visit Boaz on the threshing floor, and lay at his feet. He discovers her when his feet are cold, and does the honorable thing of watching over her until morning. In the morning he hunts down the other person who would qualify as a kindsman redeemer – the closes family member that would buy both the land and the right to have Ruth as wife and honor the memory of her deceased husband. This un-named guy flatly refuses the offer when he learns the deal involves both the land and Ruth. Boaz is then free to become Ruth’s Kindsman Redeemer.

I included a photo of the painting known as The Kiss by Gustav Klimt for two reasons.
1. I have an inexpensive copy of this painting hanging in my bathroom. His style speaks deeply to me.
2. this painting reminds me of Boaz and Ruth.

Boaz has wrapped Ruth in his coat in many senses of the word. He has chosen to cover her and protect her. His offering is gracious, honorable, and while we fail to practice the kindsman redeemer concept in our society, he wanted to do the right thing. His love and compassion were coupled with a sensitive correctness… everything should be above reproach.

In a great sense each of us are like Ruth – needing to be redeemed from this life of sin and challenge. We each carry scars of pain that life has given us- whether widowhood, or physical illness, childlessness, unexpected financial reversal. Being honest I must tell you that I cry when I read these passages because of that deep compassion Boaz exhibited. And I know that he is a type of Christ. He is a human example of the divine character of our great God who would not leave us forever in this sin scarred world, but made a way of redeeming us through the death of his son Jesus.

Written by Barbara Bloom

November 21, 2011 at 4:13 AM

I am tired, i am a child that is scared

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and i am feeling like my options are gone. This search for work is distressing, agonizing, and deeply disappointing. When did we as a society decide that 50 was too old to work? and when did the 20 somethings take over running the world.

and why is god silent?

God, i know that you don;t change, and I know that you stand watching over us, loving us, wooing us, drawing us with cords of love, but why do you allow us to go through such deep valleys>?

I am humbled by life, and i know that I am less than nothing. When I apply for work i get rejections. Oh, they say they love me, but they hire the other person. God, i know you change not. I need you so very desperately. I need to know that you have a plan for my life and this plan is one of hope and good. This valley is hard, i am beaten up, our money is dried up, and my hope is fading. I want to believe but I desperately need you… i desperately need your intervention in our lives.

and i need you to break through the welfare mentality that is besetting our family. I don;t want charity – i want to work. I don;t want special deals for the poor. I want to earn a living and bless others. I am crying to you lord, and my heart is heavy, my soul faints. Please fill our lives with new opportunity. Please change our hearts to see you. My hands are out, begging you as a ragged begger… you a re the wise and holy god that created everything. Come and sooth my fearful childlike soul. The song says you have made a way where there was no way and we are saved. Amen, amen, amen.

Thank you lord forsalvation ,for calling me to your side, for washing me of my sins, and for lifting me from this deep mire of sin. My heart aches for this time we are in, for the rejection we both feel, and we need you to rescue us from rejection. Please lord, we need a miracle. We need you.

Written by Barbara Bloom

October 5, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Lord help me learn to rest in you

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Lord,
It is 6am and my sleep pattern is all messed up from working those occassional night shifts, coupled with anxiety about the current state of our life. Yes, the bankrupcy is final, the time share is gone, and so are most of our big bills, but we are still not working,and the savings are draining out. The little start up business is not paying the rent, and most employers seem to have slammed their doors to us. So where do we go and what do we do?
and then a still small voice says – “Do you trust me?”
What? “Do you trust me – you remember me, the creator of all life, the one who hung the stars in space, and set the planets in their orbit, the one who spoke and the waters and land seperated, the one who breathed and man came to life. Do you trust me?”

humbled i must say yes, but i am afraid Lord. I am afraid of being on this journey outside my comfort zone.

“Fear me, not life” “Fear the one who can take your life.”

OK, i understand. But will you please hold me until i stop shaking inside. will you give me your wisdom for the future? Will you guide us with your strength and wisdom? Will you open a door that we can earn an income to pay our bills?

“Trust me, my child” “Trust that I have a plan for you, that I want to give you a future and hope. Trust me.”

I will, but i need your strength to indeed live up to this, and trust you with my whole heart. I am still scared. This year has given us a lot of ugly reminders that unredeemed humanity is vicious, sadistic, and uncaring. I wrestle with forgiveness… and then there are times when I know I have declared forgiveness for these people. Help me not be so double minded. For I want freedom from those who have hurt us. I want release to love youand to love people and to share the hope you have given me.

“Yes, trust me though. Let go of your understanding and trust that I am doing a work that you may not see right now. Wait for me, wait for my good hand, and trust me please. For I love you with an everlasting love. I have bought you with the blood of my son. You are mine,and nothing can seperate you from me. Trust me. REstin me.”

and all i can say is “Lord help me learn to rest in you.” amen.

Written by Barbara Bloom

September 5, 2011 at 5:12 AM

Its the middle of the night and…

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what a metaphor of my emotions and thoughts.. the middle of the night, the time that is the most vulnerable for those who seek sleep but it does not come. It is a quiet time that allows the mind to race, and the subtility of satan to creep into my head, and speak of fear, of anxiety and of the uncertainty of the future.

And here I am with an odd mix of thoughts rolling around in my head… satan speaking into my head, and the sound of a book on tape of elizabeth elliot’s book “no graven image” discussing her missionary journey in equador. How i admire that woman, and the courage to follow the lord in spite of seemingly uncertain times – a husband killed in the field, a young child at her knee, and her willingness to continue to go forth to reach the very people that killed her first husband, Jim Elliott in the jungles of Equador. Her faith in the Lord was a rare, obedient, deep faith. It has always attracted me, but has come with a mixture of wanting what she has and fearing what that might mean.

But why do i fear? Is it this temporal world I fear? No, i think i have learned it is a character flaw in my heart – i am a control freak! I have learned this through the journey of this past year. And I have learned how little i have control of. Truthfully everything is in the hands of the lord to suite his purposes. And quietly the second part of that flaw is my shallowness to trust my creator. It all sounds so easy when you read of a missionary like Elizabeth Elliott – but i know it is not easy… it is impossible.

Under the crucible of joblessness, recent bankrupcy, depleting reserves of money, and mounting bills comingled with large doses of a sense of purposelessness and loss of identity we have both been quite the pair of debby downers. but somehow all of the promises of God are still true and sure. Somehow there really is hope and purpose for us. We are loved. My flesh wants to know “How long, o Lord” – How long will you keep doors shut? What do you ask of us? What do you want from me today? for the resto f my days? Please open the door somewhere so that we can at least pay our bills… electric, gas, water, house payment, gas for the car. and perhaps food!

If you subscribe to the idea that nothing is without purpose as I do, the sound of this book reading to me in the middle of the dark night somehow awakened a hope, a sense of the way god chooses to use his children.

I have thought of this past year as boot camp, of a time of building my faith muscles, of seeking god for my every thing, including an opening to return to functional employment and for that for my hubby.
A family that looses one income is a challenge, but for both of us to loose our jobs, leaving me with only a small part time job was something that gave me anxiety for a long time.

I have used the metaphor of looking at rushing river, and before i knew what happened i was in the river, raging water propelling me down river, and to where i know not. Fight the water? not possible. Avoid the rocks? not always possible. Crash over the falls – inevitable. Survive? – not in my hands.

In my head I hear a multitude of scripture verses, and the chorus written by Owl City’s Adam R Young:

I can finally see
that you are right here beside me
I am not my own
For I have been made new
Please don;t let me go
For I desperately need you.

Ok, this post is all over the board…. but I did sit down to talk about the wrestling match for my thoughts. And I wanted you to know that I believe a part of the refining process involves becoming disciplined to hear only the voice of God…. and to take all other thought to the lord much like an army takes prisoners of war captive to their commander.

So Satan, I want to remind you that I have been bought with the blood of Jesus, and he is my Savior, Redeemer, and my friend. In this season of testing Jesus is my provider, and my sustinence. In the name of Jesus I ask that you leave me alone, and you flee from my family and my house. Thank you Jesus for your sustaining, keeping, protecting grace and mercy. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

August 16, 2011 at 4:18 AM