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Feb 24, 2010


Yesterday I reposted Restless Heart written in July 2009. Today I am revisiting February 2009. Out of a searching of my own heart and mind, I am revisiting my own thoughts. Following some sections I will put today's thoughts in blue. A year ago I entitled this entry God Visits In the Valley.

Excerpted in part from God Visits In the Valley from 2/09 ~

"As a babe in the womb, I was in church. My parents were in full time ministry so, naturally, my mother carried me to church from the very beginning. But it was not only in church that I learned about praying and hearing God's voice."

Because my parents were in full time ministry up until 2 years ago, so much of who I am and how I deal with life is a direct result of living life in a parsonage. Just like anyone else, there is the good, the really good, the bad and the real bad. Having said that, I realize some children have lives that are most often in the real bad category. And for that, I am so sorry. A person's 'filter' is greatly influenced by the growing up years. For better. For worse. That is life. And if I had to change anything, there would be only a few things here and there. So that is good and I am grateful.

"It was under the tutelage of both my parents (at church and at home) that I learned to pray and listen to God. I grew up hearing my father call my name in prayer as well as the names of my brothers and our church family. Many afternoons I came home from school to hear my mother from her bedroom crying out to God on behalf of our family and church members. Hearing your parents pray and shed tears like that changes who you are. It stays with you. And their sharing the things that God impressed on them as a result of their devotion and prayer led me to want to pray and hear from God, too."

Church Family ~ we had a lot of 'church family.' My dad was one of those pastors who got called upon to move across country and 'fix' a problem. One problem he 'fixed' meant that at one place we only stayed 3 months. God graced my dad to use humor in the pulpit to help heal a church who had just gone through a devastating split. The Holy Spirit worked through Dad and Mother and the balm of Gilead was worked through the church in that "merry heart" kind of way. Please know that I am literally talking about people in the pews laughing at my dad's "funnies."

(From kindergarten - 12th grade, I lived in 10 different cities in 7 states ~ I think that's right. I may have "new girl" syndrome, too. Oh well. Everybody has a story and mine has some funny parts.)

"I have noticed in my life, and that of other Christians, that walking through a valley often results in a desperation to know HIM more and to hear from HIM ~ to follow hard after HIM and to lean heavily upon HIM. It is while walking through my own valley recently, that I have sought HIM more desperately, and heard HIM more clearly."
The valley I walked through last year this same time would be a welcome exchange from the one I walk now. To be honest, some days I am not really walking...I am sitting in a fog. I am screaming when no one else is home, my hot face pressed to the relief of cold tile floor. I am trying to get my breath. I am trying not to get too defensive even though I am rubbed raw by the "stuff" that came with cancer in a young son's brain that resulted in his death.
(But...I think I get an "F" or maybe a "D-" on the defensive part.)

I understand how a dash of salt in well meaning words stings even though that was not the dasher's intent. One thing is certain in this valley, too, I want HIM. My heart longs for HIM. A friend, who is currently walking through a horrible valley herself, told me a few weeks ago that my "grief is too loud for me to hear HIM." This same message came from two sources who do not know each other. I think it is true and there is no sting.

"The 23rd Psalm speaks of walking through a valley.
Notice how the psalmist goes from talking about God: 'The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down; He leads me; He restores…'to talking to God.
'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; You are with me; Your rod and staff comfort me; You prepare a table; You anoint my head with oil...' "

While we would seldom, if ever, choose the valley, it is often a valley experience that enables us to go deeper with God.
It is as if God says, 'I've been expecting you; let’s visit.' And so like any good host, He prepares a table (v. 5a) and he refreshes his guest (v. 5b). The anointing oil of verse five is not the priestly anointing oil, but the Oriental perfumed oil ~ a sign of favor and excellent hospitality."

I have thoughts on why things are allowed in this life but I will not attempt to write about that in any kind of depth. I am in a place where I realize I may change my mind about some things in 6 weeks or 6 months. This is all I will say about it: When Adam and Eve sinned and the earth was cursed, I believe that evil in all of its forms was then allowable. Sin and its fall-out, including disease, was allowed with that first bite of disobedience. So I am not convinced that things are either "allowed" or "dis-allowed" on a case by case, person by person, basis.

However, I am THANKFUL, FILLED WITH GRATITUDE, that the Second Adam, Jesus, took the whipping ("chastisement" ~ Isaiah 53:5) for our peace.

"If you find yourself walking through a valley, pull up a chair, sit down, and visit with God. He has a table ready and he’s an excellent host."

Pull up a chair...or just lie on the ground with a stone (or a tile floor) for your pillow. Either way HE is already there. And HE is most excellent.
If you should care to read the original post, it is here. (photo ~unknown source)

***Just so you know...I do not see any salt shakers in the comments you ever leave her. Thank you.


  1. Melanie,
    Love this and agree with your assessment at the overarching entry of sin...Today I am rattled at the shooting at Deer Creek. My youngest brother is a Columbine survivior and Deer Creek is up the road a bit. My little girl asks me, ( middle school) why here- why so many times?
    I hate to pierce her innocence and say it is a degraded fallen world-but our only response to evil is to magnify Him with our pain and anger and fear...the energy produced by these emotions is fuel for our worship. It is my only solution in the face of such evil. "I have overcome..." He says
    "Now, you overcome with good."

    I am pleased to have this revelation to share with her, but it pierces me to lay the inevitable truth on her- that people can and will choose evil.So conflicting. Sometimes Evil will choose people.Wish we could have coffee. I hope this is in NO WAY salt.

  2. Melanie:
    I'm glad God is leading you to re-visit earlier thoughts. It will encourage your own heart as you see that He was there too. He was there before time began, He is here now, and He is also THERE, with Andrew. (and oh Happy Day, He will be there when you see your sweet boy again!)...May that knowledge continue to comfort your heart.


  3. There is nothing like the TABLE when Jesus bids us , "Come!"

    Just yesterday I re-wrote the 23rd Psalm to reflect all that God has done in my life over the past 3 years [a 'making it personal' exercise for me]. It might be an exercise of the heart that would be good for your soul as well. Keep screeming if you have to - Jesus is there - picking you up from the cold tile floor when you are done and slips your arm in His as you go off the that very TABLE where the feast is prepared for you!

    Keep coming.... because
    He's always WAITING!

    {{Hugs}} Stephanie
    JESUS ONLY in 2010

  4. Melanie this was such a good post and I totally agree with you of course that much of how we think and feel is soo molded by the way we were raised. How blessed you were to have the parents you did and the ability to see them on their knees in prayer for others. What a wonderful influence all of this had on your life and in turn on the lives of your children. Mine was VERY different...an abusive alcholic father leaves his touch unfornately as well. But how wonderful is it that we have Him to run to for our comfort and understanding no matter how we think things through or from what prospective we have come.

    I will admit I am never quite sure what I might say that would help or comfort you in any way. I was very glad to read that "salt" has not come from any of these comments. Andrew's life has had a profound effect on mine. I never knew him of course, but I too look forward to the day when I will meet him in heaven face to face.

  5. Melanie,
    Thank you for the re-gift of these words! I especially appreciate your current thoughts. You are so real, lady. As I pictured you face down on tile floor, my heart continues to cry out for comfort.

    I agree with Debbie...Andrew's battle and journey Home has deeply affected our community. Oh, dear one, I don't understand it all either, but one day we will.

    One day we will.

  6. I praise GOD for sending two different friends with words that heal and do not hurt. I praise HIM for words with NO SALT in them.

    Thank you for continuing to share your heart with each of us.

    Praying for you,

  7. A wonderful post Melanie, a brave post and an honest post.
    I am happy you realize that how you feel today may change and you may have a new perspective and a new reality.
    Be well my friend, and I remember a time of punching my pillow just to release the anger. God's will in God's time will be done.
    .........:-) Hugs

  8. Oh I forgot to say how much I love the new look of your blog.....it is light, and I love that......:-) Hugs

  9. Melanie! I loved this post. I will never read the 23rd psalm the way I used to read it. It is one of my favorites, yet, you brought a new perspective to me. I have been on that tiled floor wet with my tears. And, I have heard His voice in my agony. I was once again blessed by your words, dear one.

  10. Dear Melanie,

    Your words are deeply touching and emotion evoking, but most importantly real.

    Can we pray together, "Come, Lord Jesus, COME!"

    Sending love and hugs your way today.

  11. desperation to know HIM more and to hear from HIM ~ to follow hard after HIM and to lean heavily upon HIM.

    my "grief is too loud for me to hear HIM."

    these two statements just penetrated my spirit so strongly and almost brought me to tears...SIGH....