March 9, 2011

Do You Want to Get Well?

Wendy Blight has the funniest voices she does. Like quirky comic strip characters coming to life, she inflects, pitches, deepens or sing-songs simple sentences. I would gander she's not aware she's entertaining me, but she's always a great joy to listen to!

Wendy's heart, character, and relationship with the Lord are a great joy as well. She is truly a woman of noble character, though she has a story that many would say grants her permission to be otherwise. Like a babbling brook tucked away in the sunny dense woods that you stumble upon, Wendy is a true delight and it's clear her source of joy runs deep... straight to the heart of God. Please visit her blog to join her in one of her fabulously rich Bible studies... right now she's preparing her heart for Easter! My copy of her book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner is underlined out the wazoo. I bet yours will be too! Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy!

And now, it's my great delight to introduce our guest blogger today, Wendy!

Pick up your mat and walk. ~John 5:11

Are you familiar with the story of the man on the mat found in the Gospel of John? As the story opens, we find Jesus entering Jerusalem after a tiring journey. His Father led Him to a dirty, smelly pool of water. Every day the lame, weak, and sick gathered at this pool, believing an angel would come down, touch the water, and fill it with healing powers. Whoever entered the pool first received instant healing. As Jesus wandered through the crowd, God drew his eyes to an invalid lying on a mat.

Jesus looked deep into his soul and asked, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Have you ever felt like this invalid? Are you paralyzed by fear, despair, isolation, or self-pity? Do you believe you are the victim of unfortunate circumstances?

I lived like that invalid for over a decade. In 1986 at age 21, I was raped by a masked stranger hiding in my apartment. Before that day, I loved my life. I had just completed four years of college and graduated with honors. I had dated and become engaged to a wonderful man. I had even been voted a homecoming princess and had an amazing job waiting for me. After that day, worldly praise and blessings meant nothing. My attacker’s vile and cruel act shattered my hopes and my dreams.

After that I lived in a prison of fear and despair. Then I encountered Christ in this gospel story. The words Jesus spoke to the crippled man pierced my soul. I realized that I was the man on the mat. I enjoyed being the victim. I had become accustomed to my place of sorrow. Worse, I was comfortable there.

I came to know the truth of Hebrews 4:12: “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word spoke personally to me. I knew I needed to take a first step.

I surrendered my fear, my pity, and my grief, and opened my heart to God’s Word. I learned He had a plan for my life and a purpose for my pain. I knew I would never see it until I had the courage to get up and walk.

If you find yourself on a mat, will you trust me and open God’s Word? God will speak into your heart promises of hope and healing. However, before you can take that step off your mat, you must surrender your fear, self-pity, and despair. Sweet friend, God is waiting. Will you take the first step?

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly come before You, My Creator and my Savior. I love You and thank You that You love me with an everlasting and unconditional love. Since You created me and chose me as Your own, Father, I give myself to You now, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I give you permission to come in and wash me clean. Heal me of my hurts. Take away my pain. Remove anything in my life that hinders my relationship with You. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit and enable me to take the first step off my mat. Show me the great plans You have for me. I ask this in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. ~Isaiah 41:17

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. ~Psalm 40:1-2

Thank you Wendy!

This post is part of our Jumping off the Train {of Negative Thought} series. Read the rest here!

18 comments:

Eileen said...

Just beautiful! Love this, "I enjoyed being the victim. I had become accustomed to my place of sorrow. Worse, I was comfortable there."
I have felt this before. I was comfortable there too because it was familiar.

Healing begins in our lives when we stop playing the blame game. No matter how much we hurt and have been hurt...we have the ability to choose differently.
Thank you for your honesty and your transparency!

Desi said...

It's so hard to pull yourself out sometimes. Until you realize that you can't do it alone, you need God to help you. Thank you for your post!

Wendy Blight said...

Sam, I just love working side by side with you at Proverbs. Thank you for sharing my story today.

My prayer is that God will use it to encourage one of His girls to take that first step off her mat. If you need prayer to take that step, I would be honored to pray for you today, so please leave a comment on my blog or e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com and leave me your prayer request.

Blessings to you today,

Wendy

TheGoodAriel said...

Psalm 40:1-2 is such a perfect illustration of how God has the power and the desire to draw us out of our slimy, disgusting pit of sin and despair. Have you ever actually gotten stuck in mud? I have, and I can tell you it can be very scary…

When I was a kid, they drained one side of the manmade pond behind my house, so of course my little sister and I had to go exploring. Seeing a suitcase close by we walked down the embankment toward the mud covered case. One step too far and schloap! Down went one of my legs, knee deep in the mire. So, being the ‘genius’ kid I was back then, I took another step forward with my other foot and down it went. I thought, great! Now that I have both my legs down here, I can just pull one out and drag the other one with me. So I started leaning to one side to try to pull my right leg from its muddy trap and as I leaned, my left leg kept sinking deeper and deeper until finally the muck was almost up to my middle, but somehow I’d managed to get my right leg out. (This was no easy feat and took me almost ten minutes to accomplish.) Still, being a ‘genius’, I put my mud covered right leg back down in an attempt to ‘step up’ on the ‘solid’ ground around me. That did not go as planned. Heavy with mud, my right leg simply slid right back into the muck, like that was where it belonged, undoing my hard work. Now, I found myself in a very bad situation. Almost waist deep in the mire, that threatened to suck me down with any more attempts at freeing myself, I was stuck, with no way of getting out, completely helpless. My sister was still standing safely on the shoreline, with her feet on sure ground and through much toil and yanking, we were finally able to get my legs free from the pit I had created; careful not to drag her into the same dangerous place I’d found myself in. I went home cold, tried, reeking of all the disgusting things that you find at the bottom of a pond, covered head to toe in slimy mud and muck, but I was free.

God sets us free, He pulls us out of our muck, but we have to reach out to Him. I thought I could get out on my own, trusting in my own strength and will, to get myself out of that pit, but I was too far-gone, too deep. I only had one option, reach out to my sister and have her pull me out onto solid ground.

Wendy’s story is such an incredible reminder of how God works through our lives to draw us closer to Him, sometimes through very painful circumstances. Through this, she has a story of absolute victory through Jesus Christ that has lead women from all over to God’s throne of grace. Alleluia, and Amen!


Heather Bleier
(Sorry for such a long post, I just got on a roll)

Chargail said...

Wendy truly is a compassionate, loving and obeying child of God. She is such an inspiration to many of us.

Samantha, thank you so much for inviting her to share on your blog today as I feel her story will touch so many women in a positive way and give them the hope and courage to "get up from the mat".

Michelle said...

This is such a blessing to me today. I realize that I too need to pick up my mat and walk.
Thank you.

Fields of gold said...

Eileen, that is so true! "Healing begins in our lives when we stop playing the blame game." Boy, that's easy to "rest" there; we don't have to exert energy to heal.

It is our choice to heal! Thanks for sharing girl!

Fields of gold said...

Hi Desi, thanks for joining us today! I agree... I don't know where I'd be without the help of the Lord! Hugs! Sam

Fields of gold said...

Wendy, you know I love being a "Wendy Samwich"!! Thank YOU for sharing your story. Your walk with the Lord and relationship of zeal and passion for Him, prayer, and His Word inspire me every day.

Love you!

Fields of gold said...

Heather, love your story! What a vivid picture of reaching out to Christ for His hand of help! Excellent!!

Thank you for sharing this with us. I'm gonna tuck that image away and remember it next time I'm down and out and need His help. Just reach up!

Thanks girl!
Sam

Fields of gold said...

Hi Chargail, thank you for touching base and sharing your encouragement! Wendy displays His peace and love in a rare and lovely way. I'm honored she shares her story with us here!! Thanks for hanging out with us! ~ Sam

Fields of gold said...

Michelle, praying for you as you pick up your mat! Isaiah 26:3,
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Thanks for stopping by today! Sam

stephanie said...

Wendy. I too was raped, mine was date rape at 15. It was 11 years before I spoke. 11 years of playing perfection. 11 years of morphing into whatever others wanted me to be. And when I finally spoke, it felt as if I was ripped barren, and I had no idea who I was. I was terified. Every single moment was a chioce, and I wanted to quite more than once. I didn't know if I could do it. Healing is a tough choice, but it is so worth it. It is my prayer that everyone reading this today will make that choice, knowing it may not be easy but it is SOOOOOOOOO worth it. I found my voice, I found STephanie, she was burried underneath the fear, but no more. She breathes. She speaks.

Lisa said...

Wow! Those words, "I enjoyed being the victim" reach out and touch so many people. We get comfortable in our state and forget that there is another way, a better way. I wrote a post for my blog about the man on the mat too. Thanks for sharing this with us. Very powerful!

Fields of gold said...

Steph, thank you girl for sharing your story. I see the health and healing of the Lord through your words on your blog! Your voice is so important! Can't wait to hear it tomorrow here!

Fields of gold said...

Lisa, Wendy's words and the truth of that scripture are valuable to our healing. Thanks for touching base with us!

Anonymous said...

I, too, was abused as a child - not raped, but touched inappropriately - by not 1, not 2, but 3 different men. I didn't tell anybody about it for years. I don't know why, I think I was embarrassed. But I thought I had a neon sign on my head that said, "Molest ME!" or something. These three men didn't know each other or anything. Now that I am 55 years old, I have decided that it is time to deal with this instead of sweeping it under the rug all the time. I hope I haven't waited too long. Having battled depression most of my life, I am trying to dig my way out of this pit - permanently. I have to start somewhere - might as well start with these things. I am tired of this dark cloak that seems to surround me all the time.

Heather Bleier said...

Dear Anonymus,
Please believe me when I say I understand completely I too looked for that target, that neon sign that directed men with evil hearts(and hands) to wherever I was. It's NEVER too late to begin that healing process. You did nothing to deserve what happened to you and God overs a healing that is complete. I don't know if you've heard or not, but Melissa Taylor is starting a Bible study on Wendy' book Hidden Joy. It's starting tomorrow, but you still have plenty of time to sign up! Go to www.MelissaTaylor.org for all the information. I hope you'll join the 2,600 women doing this study together; I'm doing it too! I'll be praying for you!! :)