A Place for All Women

Posts tagged ‘Change’

All Things New

          A new kitchen, a new bathroom, a new den, a new school, and a new church…I could go on and on.  When I look back over the years, since I’ve been married and had children, there have been so many changes.  But when I look close, when I really examine how all these “new” things came about, it seems each one started as some sort of catastrophe, disaster or terribly tragic situation.  At least that’s the way it seemed at the time.  Go with me here for a moment, I promise not to document all of them in detail.  

          Our first remodel was the result of a slow leak under our tub.  As happy new homeowners we had no idea the water wasn’t draining out, but seeping between the floor and the tiny little ceramic tiles.  By the time we discovered the problem it was too late. The insurance company refused to pay for it, and the repairs were going to cost us thousands of dollars we didn’t really have to spend.  It was a real stressful time that only intensified when the contractor took a full YEAR to repair ONE bathroom. When it was finally finished, the contractor’s work didn’t comply with company standards, so after an inspection, our money was refunded.  I’m serious, every penny back in the bank.

          A sagging roofline and collapsing floors forced us into our 2nd remodel.  This time it was our kitchen.  Although we were more remodel savvy, we still weren’t prepared for all the things that went wrong.  The day after the new contractor told us it was going to cost much more than we ever imagined, someone sent us a check to cover the expenses.  I know, it sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.

-A late night lightning strike that set our house on fire sealed the deal on a new den.  

-A school that shut down abruptly left us in limbo but sent us searching for the school God had selected.  

-A church that split, not once but twice, turned us toward the wonderful place where we worship now.

          Every situation found us in fear, frustration, anger, tears and turmoil.  But each obstacle left us better prepared to persevere.  

          We’re obviously not “home free” because the journey continues.

          We’re now being tested by new trials.  I’d like to say we are champions of James 1:2 and consider it all joy, but that wouldn’t necessarily be true.  We do laugh, in between the latest thing to go wrong, and the mini-meltdowns that come as a result of having no control.  And we press on.

          Yesterday, as I was admiring the beautiful autumn leaves, it occurred to me that they have to die in order to make way for all things new.  And each time we go through something trying, something tough, something we would rather not experience, we die a little more to ourselves and are forced to rely more faithfully on the hand of God.

          It all sounds sort of simple in a way…something broke…we got it fixed…it all turned out better.  But I’m looking back over 17 years and I can tell you it wasn’t simple, it wasn’t easy and, at times, we saw no end in sight. 

           So, wherever we are headed now, whatever God has planned, as hard as it is to sit still and not try to orchestrate our own solutions, He already has it figured out.  He’s told us not to worry and not to fear.  I need reminding every day, sometimes every hour, often times once or twice a minute.

          In Lamentations, it says each morning His mercies begin anew. 

Where are you right now in your journey?  

 Can you look back and see how God worked things out?  

Are you so covered up that you feel your faith is faltering?  

Each time God brings me through, I think I will never doubt Him again.  

But, then, a new challenge arises, and the battle begins again.  

I’ve read the end of the Book,

I know He wins,

but the battle is still very real.

“I will remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Such a Good Friday!

I hope you don’t mind me re-posting this story from last year.

I recognize today, that I am just as much a sinner as I was one year ago, when this was written.

I need Him as much as ever.

I am as responsible, as anyone, for the price He had to pay.      

          Pounding hammers and cracking wood echoed through the old Catholic sanctuary.  It went on for only 15 or 20 minutes but it seemed so much longer.  I sort of knew what might happen when I first walked in and the man at the door handed me a nail.  But the longer we sat in the silent service, the less sure I was of what was going on.           

           The music playing was reminiscent of a Catholic Mass.  And I wondered if the nuns, who moved out of this former convent years ago, would be pleased with the ceremony now taking place, with people from many different backgrounds of faith.

            On the big modern video screen, hanging up front and to the right, were images of Jesus on the cross.  Silently, but together, we read his final words…the last seven things he said.

            Then it was time.

            A large thick dark wooden cross had been placed on a table at the front of the sanctuary.  We were encouraged to go forward, and by driving our nails into the cross, accept that our sins were as responsible for his death as the Roman soldiers who hung Jesus on the cross at Calvary.  When I picked up the hammer, my hands were shaking a bit more than I had expected.  I placed the nail where I thought his hand might have been if this were the actual crucifixion.  I hit the nail three times before I had to let go and walk away.  I felt sick and weak and very sad.  But, there, at the base of a driftwood cross hanging high on the wall in the center of the church was the welcoming invitation to share the Lord’s Supper. 

            It changed me.

            I thank God I will never be the same because that experience last night changed me.  I suspect it changed all of us.

            As we walked back to our seats, the sounds of cracking wood and pounding hammers continued for a few minutes and then, once again, precious silence. 

            We stood and sang the song, “Lord Have Mercy.”  Then, everyone ended the evening in silent prayer.

            When we walked out into the hallway, it was filled with the voices of families making dinner plans, talking about the weekend and the upcoming Easter services. 

            We left knowing we will sin again. 

            But we left free from the burden of sin and free from the price he offered to pay. 

The last seven things Jesus said:

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34  NASB

Speaking to the thief who had asked Jesus to remember him, “And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise. Luke 23:43 NASB

“When Jesus then saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, He said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, Behold, your mother!”

John 19:26-27  NASB

“About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ELI, ELI LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”

Matthew 27:46 NASB

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28  NASB

He said, “It is finished!” John 19:30 NASB

“And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”  Having said this, He breathed His last.

Luke 23:46 NASB

As a woman and a mother, I think of Mary standing there and the helpless agony she must have felt watching her son die. 

But I also think of the lyrics to the song “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Stuart Townend and I recognize my role in all that happened. 

“Behold the Man upon the cross,

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,

Call out among the scoffers 

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished.” 

Yes, ladies, it is finished.  No guilt, no shame, no more penalties for our sins.  He has paid our debt.  And the debt is paid in full.

Happy Easter!

Who Do You Want To Be?

          The question is raised almost as much as a single person is asked, “When are you going to get married?” or a married couple is asked, “Do you want to have children?”  My 13-year-old son is often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I love waiting for his answer and anticipating what he might say. 

          Right now he wants to be a lawyer.  But that follows a few years of wanting to be a preacher like his Papaw, a rock-n-roll star, an NBA basketball player  or a FBI agent.  I personally think if he doesn’t settle on just one, there could be an interesting combination at work.

          Lately, I’ve been spending time with people who are on their second, third and fourth careers.  It seems sort of exciting that you can re-make yourself that many times.  So I started thinking…

          Who do I want to be if I ever grow up? 🙂

          What I finally came up with is a bucket list of character traits… rather than just a list of vacation trips I still want to take:

  • I want to be the person who listens, instead of the one who always talks
  • To be like the woman who doesn’t just think something good about someone, but actually takes the time to stop and tell them
  • Someone who smiles instead of frowns, because it’s just as easy to do one as the other
  • I want to fully recover from, and never return to, my “control-a-holic.” ways…because, given a chance or any encouragement at all, I will take the bull by the horns and run with it.  When God is in control, things run so much smoother.
  • I want to always remember that some of the wisest people I know don’t have college degrees, resumes or impressive bios
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt, because we all have issues, we all have baggage, we all have histories and not everyone has dug up the roots of their past
  • Be someone you can call on, count on and know I will be there if I can
  • A wife who lifts her husband up instead of finding ways to cut him down
  • A mother who adores her children and grandchildren
  • A daughter willing to tenderly take as much time for my parents as they did for me.
  • I want to pray for the needs of others more than I pray for myself
  • I want to live, love and laugh with all I’ve got!
  • I always want to remember that God has never let me down.  And, as long as I’m here, He still has a plan.

                            So if you don’t mind me asking…who do you still want to be?


“What we are is God’s gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God.”

Eleanor Powell


© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved


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