Monthly Archives: June 2013

Notes & Quotes – Spiritual Detox

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Notes and Quotes
Quivering Daughters
Haley MacFarland
Spiritual Detox
June 20th, 2013

 

My upbringing was drenched in Scripture. I read and memorized the Bible on my own, daily, sometimes two or even three times a day—in addition to family Bible time. I printed pages and pages of verses and taped them to the wall by my bed so I could read and memorize while waking or drifting off to sleep. I am grateful for this, for the words are written deeply on my soul which benefits me greatly even now.

However, as an adult I began to question and wrestle with my upbringing. I experienced loads of shame and guilt in the process, down to hearing my father‘s voice while I read the Bible, hearing it when others prayed, seeing my mother‘s disapproving or disappointed face in my mind and hearing my own conscience speak to me in her voice—I became desperate.

I stopped everything. I withdrew from society, from everyone really except for my husband and one or two trusted friends and mentors. I stopped reading my Bible. The truth is, I didn‘t want to view the Bible or God as hurtful; I still loved God with all my heart and knew that beneath it all, the god I thought I knew was not the true God. But when something inherently good—like the Bible—has been used as a tool for abusive control, it is necessary to distance from this and heal. In a sense, I went under a spiritual de-tox. It‘s not unlike a de-programming regime for those who exit cultic groups.

During this time, which lasted nearly a year for me, I determined to decide what to believe for myself, and not because I was told that it was true. I became willing to let go of everything I‘d ever been taught. I still clung to Jesus and His work on the cross, for I knew deep within that He is the Way, Truth, and Life—but anything besides Him I shed off me like a fur coat on a summer day.

My Personal Thoughts ~

As I read Halley’s words it was like a bomb exploded deep within my heart. It was the answer to the questions I have been struggling with before God.

This is why I’ve found myself with little or no desire to read the Bible or other spiritual books, Christian Novels, study, write, and yes, even, attend church. I know that I’m not backslidden. That is clearly NOT what this is. I talk with God all the time. I acknowledge Him and His presence throughout my day and into the night. I love Him and praise Hiim. I haven’t fallen away from Him.

I have been detoxing… Learning how to rest. Learning how to be.

Gone is that old way of life – searching, striving, clawing, doing, doing, doing, working, working, working… attaining all sorts of “knowledge” and yet never learning.

2 Timothy 3:7b – “they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.”

Another way to phrase this might be, are unable (or unwilling) to internalize and experience the Truth. Allowing the Truth to enter and pierce their heart to the point where they are changed from within through a work of the Spirit NOT the flesh.

Recognition = the act of recognizing; appreciation; acknowledgement, permission, acceptance,

Knowledge = specific information, learning thought EXPERIENCE and study, transmission of information, acquaintance

We should not fear those times when we’re pulled into a quiet place. We should be brave enough to follow our hearts and the Holy Spirit’s gentle nudging to be quiet and still with Him. Allowing Him to do the work ONLY He can do.

Cease striving. Enter His rest. Don’t fear the “not doing” and just be.

Oh, Daddy, grant us the Grace to allow ourselves to experience You and to experience what Your Truth longs to do in us.

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Notes and Quotes – Stop All the Clocks

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Notes & Quotes
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Stop All the Clocks
Auden Poem
June 2nd, 2013

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

My Personal Thoughts ~

This truly touched my heart at the end of a rather long and boring movie. 

It sums up the feeling of utter loss perfectly. It is how I have felt during this season of healing, recovery, and, yes, Spiritual Detoxing. 

I cannot say if I am finished with this phase of my journey or not. But I am truly feeling every part of it and will continue to do so until ALL is felt and ALL is experienced. 

It is not a joyous place. But it is a quiet place. A place of silence and peace. A place of solitude and stillness. 

So that makes it a good place. A good place. 

I’m not afraid. I am not fearful. 

I feel safe. I feel protected. I feel sheltered. I feel watched over and cared for. 

So that makes this a good place. A good place. 

I don’t understand. I can’t see very far ahead. But I don’t need or want to. 

Grace shines its light with each step I take. 

There is hope. My mind is still and quiet. My heart is at rest. 

So that makes this a good place. A good place. 

I love You, Daddy. Oh how I love You!

Always and forever – Daddy’s girl!  My heart belongs to You!

 

Notes and Quotes: How Does Jesus Love You?

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“Jesus‘ love for us is the cause, and our love for Him is the effect. If you want to love Jesus more, don‘t waste your time trying to strive or to do good things or to work up your passion and emotions. Just think about Jesus‘ love for you, and how much He had to do with it, and how little (nothing) you had to do with it.” – How Does Jesus Love You? By Eric M. Pazdziora
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Notes & Quotes – Quivering Daughters

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Notes and Quotes
Quivering Daughters
Haley MacFarland
June 26th, 2013

Epilogue
Luna of the Sorrows 

Isaiah 45:2-5

I will go before you 
And make the crooked places straight; 
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze 
And cut the bars of iron. 
I will give you the treasures of darkness 
And hidden riches of secret places, 
That you may know that I, the LORD, 
Who call you by your name, 
Am the God of Israel. 
For Jacob My servant’s sake, 
And Israel My elect, 
I have even called you by your name; 
I have named you, though you have not known Me. 
I am the LORD, and there is no other; 
There is no God besides Me. 
I will gird you, though you have not known Me. 

Sparrows flutter, falling

And the King of Heaven sees.
~ Luna 

The little girl trembled. Her teeth chattered as she lay curled in midnight, curled in mud. Tiny stars eddied through squeezed, tear-stained lashes. ―What are you asking of me? I can‘t do this, you know I can‘t! She opened her eyes to meet the gaze of smothering darkness, and choked on its bitterness. ―I tried to be good, she whimpered, clutching at her flesh as though tearing away ugliness. ―You said if I did what you asked, you would love me! But once again, she‘d failed. And once again, she crumpled—alone, unwanted, ashamed, abandoned.

Abba, she whispered. Hot tears carved paths down her cheeks. “Abba” Her clammy fingers wrapped around her arms in a feeble attempt to ward off sinister, sticky cold. ―Where are you? Sobs escaped her lips as her hands groped in darkness, finding nothing. Yet she knew, somehow, that she must keep going for it was a matter of life or death. 

She pushed herself up, up, shuddering, out of the dank soil, and inched her foot ahead. Her way unfolded with step by agonizing step, breath by labored breath. Weariness filled her flesh. ―I want my mother, she mourned, yearning for the comfort and warmth which lay distantly in memory. ―I can‘t do this anymore! I must to stop now!

But no end, it seemed. Relentless, merciless brutality compelled her forth. Heavy air‘s gloom oppressed heaving lungs. The little girl grew tired, so tired—weary of flesh, of the blindness and nothingness in her eyes. Laden shoulders burned with sorrow. Why didn’t you want me! She ached all over with bruises which never faded. Her spirit grieved. I don’t know where I am! Rocks slid beneath her feet and she faltered. The little girl‘s feet slipped. And without warning, she tumbled, plunging through oblivion, fragile body slamming against rocky interfaces. Her eyes closed against calamity, for surely, death became destiny. Hurry, she willed her soul, welcoming her fate. I cannot go on. 

She crashed against the earth with violence. Broken whimpers crossed her lips. ―At last, she whispered, and sighed with relief. And peaceful blackness settled in. 

The ground felt cool and wet. The little girl couldn‘t see and pushed herself up, head throbbing with the ache of tears. She sensed warmth trickle down her leg; felt bitter sting as raw torn skin met frigid night air. “Noooo!” she screamed, distraught to find she lived, still. ―Help me! You have to help me! Help me, now!

In taunting chorale, echoes reverberated through eternity—mirrored anguish reflecting off of unknown places. ―Am I too bad, even for death? Not worthy to die, and escape this shame? Silence followed the echoing. ―You can‘t do this to me! You can‘t! 

She shrieked and sobbed with horror and despair over the denial of immortal rest. And then she felt rage—rage that she‘d been thwarted and forced to exist, still. Fueled by this, she struggled to her feet and stumbled forward, wounded limb leaving bloody trail. Extending her arms, she reached hysterically, longingly—but for what? She did not know.

Then with surprise, she noticed that she could see the rough silhouette of her hands. Shadows! She caught her breath and lifted tear-streaked face. The shadows moved gently all about, lilting and rippling with varying degrees of darkness. Eyes searched, lungs heaved with emotion as revelation pierced soul-surrounding fog. Where there is shadow, there is light! 

In the distance a glimmer haunted, delicate and ethereal, obscured by timbers. ―Wait! she called, but her throat was hoarse and dry. “Wait!” 

With all of her strength, the little girl dragged crippled leg behind and staggered towards the light. As she neared the wondrous luminary which lured her soul, shadows subsided enough to see the depth of the valley where she had plummeted. She convulsed and recoiled with shock. Grievous pits gaped at every turn; boulders lurched overhead, waiting to fall at will. A maze of despair, her path—twisting, circling a thousand times and more. Quicksand pulled on every side while ominous creatures slithered along the way. ―Abba, she gasped with fear. ―Keep going…don‘t look at it, she said to herself, eyes grasping for any errant ray. 

The air lightened and she reached the edge of the forest. And yet more forest, more valley, more paths sprang to life before her eyes. The little girl stopped, exhausted. ―Where am I? I don‘t know! she cried. ―I don‘t know where I am going. I don‘t know where I am, or what I am supposed to do. Leg and heart throbbed in rhythmic pulse of overwhelming pain, and she collapsed to the forest floor. Motionless, broken, once again her eyes closed and spirit weakened. Perhaps now she would find rest. 

A soft breeze began to brush her cheeks, as though hidden kisses blew warmth to skin. Her eyes drifted awake, and blinked in languid wonder. Trees above began to sway, undulate—graceful branches moving gently and revealing hints of violet sky. Peace, drifting soft like cashmere, settled around her body. 

And there he was. 

He stood before her humbly, this creature of mystery and light. His eyes glowed with tenderness. A hand extended, dream-like, and rested tenderly on broken places. As he leaned in to heal and nourish, she caught a glimpse of herself, mirrored in his eyes. 

But I was a little girl! she gasped, her eyes searching his as reflections of womanhood mirrored forth.

Luna. He spoke her name as warmth and brilliance—the sun? She couldn‘t tell—spilled across the sky. She couldn‘t move or speak. She couldn‘t articulate all that encompassed this moment.

Who are you? she whispered, uncertain and shy. 

He took her by the hand, drew her to her feet. They stood in the midst of the forest while mysterious glimmers of life swirled about on starlit wings. Luna could see the darkness which gaped through the trees—but strangely, she didn‘t feel afraid.

“I have brought you through the valley, the humble being said to her. I know it was hard, little one. I watched you grieve, and my heart wept. His voice, like healing balm, caressed her restless soul, spilling into wounds. Something pressed into her hand. This is a gift for you, he continued, more precious to me than all of the rubies or diamonds or emeralds in the world. Take it with you, so you remember.”

Luna uncurled her fingers to find a luminous crystal which danced on the rays of sun. Movement swirled inside chiseled facets. It seemed to be alive, this prism, suspended in her palm. 

What is it? she asked, voice soft with unworthiness. Why me? She wondered. I am such a wicked little girl—how can this be for me?

The gentle creature of mystery took both of her hands in his and clasped the jewel within. Dear, sweet Luna, he said, eyes searching her face with a beloved’s hope and passion. This vial contains every tear you have ever shed. They were so precious to me; I couldn’t let them go. I caught every one, before they hit the ground. He grew intense. I was there and I cried with you. 

She began to tremble – not with fright, but with the dawning of hope. He went on. My arms longed to snatch you out of the valley, but you had to make you way through, in order to see. I want you to see! If it were not for the valley you would not know. 

Her eyes swam with tears. Know what? Her mind strained to comprehend. It was so dark there, and heavy; I couldn’t breathe, and I wanted to go away and be no more. 

He embraced her with a paradox of fierceness and tenderness which connected all of the dark, empty, aching places and replaced them with light and goodness and truth. If it were not for the Valley of the Shadows you would not have known how much I love you. His arms tightened protectively. How we wanted you – Oh, how you were wanted! We looked forward to the day of your birth, and celebrated in the heavens when you were brought into the world. You have such a beautiful life, a beautiful destiny. And you are good, worth of love and wisdom and all things lovely, for I have made you so. 

Luna closed her eyes as the words washed over her soul. This is too good to be true, she wanted to say, yet hesitated because she knew somehow that it was true. After long silence and reflection she whispered, ―Why me? 

We knew that you would be faithful to the gifts we placed within you, he enumerated with quiet joy. 

You have been set apart, and filled with wisdom and strength. Your mind perceives beauty in the desolate and forsaken; you feel compassion for the lost and weary. He leaned forward and kissed her eyes softly. 

Partake of the path of life. I have made all things new. 

Her eyes still closed, Luna felt the world spin. Comfort and nourishment coursed through her frame; unexplainable joy lighted her spirit. Eyelids warm from kiss, she opened them slowly. And instantly her Way burst forth! Living light radiated from every creature; dewdrops glistened with lucent fire upon every tree and grass and baby violet which peeked shyly from the earth. Breath came sweetly as the fragrance of life, the fragrance of this radiant creature, entered her being. 

She could still see the distant pits which lurked and the ominous slithering creatures, but they didn‘t frighten her, for the darkness was gone. The beautiful, humble being beside her laughed softly as she inhaled with relief. 

This is for you, he said, extending his hand towards a narrow trail that glowed through the wildwood. Walk along this path; there are many things for you here, and this is the way you must go. 

Luna felt breathless. Inklings of life stirred within—unfamiliar sensations, but heady, intoxicating. 

Where does it go? What do I follow? 

The being of mystery and light stepped aside and smiled with reassurance. ―I will go before you, he said. You will never be alone, even if you stumble on the journey. You will hear my voice saying to you: this is the way, walk in it. He squeezed her hand and sighed deeply with jubilance. As she watched, he turned to the path and walked strong and steady until he disappeared from sight. 

She stood alone, yet warmth remained, and she did not feel abandoned as before—for it was as though he‘d never left. The way drew clearer and she exhaled, pressing foot into a hesitant step. As she moved towards it, Luna started in amazement. Her limp was gone! She stopped and traced her fingers down her leg; all that lingered were the edges of a scar which bore testimony to the darkness of the valley.

Abba! she whispered, overcome. She lifted her face in reverence and wonder. The wind undulated, a symphony of light resonating along her way. Truth infused her soul. ―You are here, in this very place! 

Wind moved softly, delicate and balmy against her flesh. Words spilled into her heart. 

I have always been with you, since before you were born. I have created you, I have called you by name, and you are mine. 

Her spirit exulted, and she leapt on the path with joy. 

¬¬¬¬¬¬Revelation 21:3-5

I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 

My Personal Prayer… 

I’m here in this place. I am awed by her story. Her Fairy Tale Story. 

I see myself in it. 

I hear my own words. 

My own thoughts.

What’s next? 

The truth is, I don’t recognize this Path that You have created for me. 

It’s not as scary or as threatening as the paths I’ve seen before. Yet it scares me. 

It’s not as painful as the paths I’ve seen before. Yet it scares me. 

I sense Your Presence as I never have before. Yet it scares me. 

How funny, the Old Ways are still so familiar to me. How easy it would be to just drift along that pathway. The ruts are firmly planted. No weeds ever dare to grow there. 

Yet I know… I cannot, with my limp, trod that path. It was not – nor ever – created for me, limp notwithstanding. 

Daddy, I don’t truly know who I am or what it is that You have created me to be. 

I thought I knew. I truly, truly did. You know that. 

Here I am in this place. 

I don’t know what any of it means. 

I don’t know if I’m meant for anything other than to be here in this place and receive Your Love and Mercy. 

And, truly, if that’s all I was placed here for – that’s enough for me. 

I mean it with every fiber of my being. 

In fact, I feel sorry for those who think and believe that they have to achieve more. 

Isn’t it ALL about You, Jesus, anyway? 

Why did it ever become more than that? 

Isn’t it obvious that we ALL need You and ONLY You!?!?!!??!?!??!?!??!

Why is it that we, in all of our smartness, spirituality, and maturity, haven’t figured that out yet?!?!?!??!?!

It isn’t about who has the most powerful message, book, teaching CDs, DVDs, passion, biggest congregation/following… It’s about YOU and the singular person crying out for You. 

Why haven’t we figured that out yet?????!!!!

Why must there always be a MARY!?!??!??!?!?!?!??!

OMG the truth is ALL of this “stuff” is Mary!?!??!???!??!??!?!?!?

It’s not a book, teaching series, preacher, teacher, group, healing line…. It’s about You and the individual who is truly seeking You! 

It’s a totally and completely personal journey. 

There isn’t a handbook, teaching series, CD, DVD, person who is in-between You and the person craving YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love You. I truly do. 

I can’t believe how wide my eyes and ears are opening to the Truth and the gut-level reality of what is truly REAL in this world. 

Whatever that means…

Always and forever – Daddy’s girl!  My heart belongs to You!