Monday, March 10, 2014

Jesus in My Life for Transformation

My pregnant “out to there” sister had come for a visit about three weeks prior with her two little girls. She had changed; there was no getting around it. She was offering to help me instead of telling me what to do. When the girls had bad attitudes – the ones toddlers get – she whispered something in their ear, (instead of yelling) and things changed. She had become “born again” and I was fighting everything about it. Still, I couldn’t
get over the positive differences in her life. We started talking one night at 9 pm – the next time we looked at the clock it was 5:00 am!

I would ask questions, and then get mean and nasty; “yah, I suppose you’re going to tell me the devil did that?” Would come out with as much sarcasm as I could muster.

There was a war going on inside me. One voice was saying, “Tell her you love her, and tell her how much she means to you.” Another would say, “Put on a stony mask; don’t let her see how anything is getting to you…”

When I would ask questions she couldn’t answer, her response would be “I don’t know Jo, but I will find out for you.”

She never used to follow up on anything, so I was surprised to find a letter she started to her husband the next morning. “Ken can you ask pastor a couple of questions from Jo?” I never should have talked with her about Jesus, she is much worse than she was before we talked….” I stuffed the letter back under the pillow.

Three weeks passed. I ran to the Christian bookstore to buy the book she suggested, “Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsay. I was a professing atheist and a non-professing alcoholic; a real mess, and making life miserable for anyone who cared for me. The wheels in my brain began turning: what if any of this is true and I am left on the outside looking in? I am making a mess of my life.

After a walk in the park with my then husband, I was taking a bath before going in to work the night shift at the local hospital. I worked with a born again nurse’s aide. We had long ago agreed to disagree. I would give her smart replies if she began to talk about her Jesus - but I was miserable, crying at the park had not brought any relief. It was as if I was crying muddy tears with no release.

I was a nasty drunk hurting those I professed to care about – life was a mess. In that bathtub, I was crying out to a god I didn’t think existed.

If you are there please help me, I have made a mess of my life, please do something – take over for me Jesus. Tap, tap, tap “Jo, are you alright? You’ve been in there an hour
and a half…”

It was then I realized I was sitting in a tub of stone cold water. At this same time, I sensed a large weight being lifted off my shoulders and a most incredible peace within me, a peace I had never experienced. Over the next few weeks, I began to get to know the Creator of the Universe, this Jesus I had so long denied – what an adventure He and I had making up for lost time! Within three weeks, He completely delivered me from alcohol. Previously I hadn’t even been able to go longer than a day and a half without doing some serious drinking. The Lord pulled me feet first out of that bottle; I haven’t had a drink in almost thirty-seven years.

So many things have happened since then. I found myself single, ending up getting short-term missionary training with Youth with a Mission (YMAM). My experience as an RN helped, we traveled through Mexico, and then on to work in a children’s home in Guatemala.

After we returned, the Lord did many wonderful things to get me back for the second part of YMAM schooling continuing my healing after being divorced. I met some wonderful Christians there in East Texas. It wasn’t too long before the Lord was putting my broken life back together. I was more whole than I’d been before being “broken.” His presence and healing were indescribable.

I knew then what I wanted, and that was to go on a mobile team helping local churches and their pastors. Then I was encouraged to pray. It seemed like our Lord had different ideas. As it turned out, there was a fellow named Mick, whom I had been avoiding for  almost a year. He was a bearded red head; my ex was  bearded red head. I came to find out our Lord has a real sense of humor. Mick and I have now been married for almost 27 years. They haven’t all been easy but they’ve been good. The first year we were married I almost died from Toxic Shock.

Since then we have both had cancer, we have had times whenwe were both unemployed at the same time, and thankfully, times when we both worked. Through it all, we never missed paying a bill; God always provided our food and a roof over our heads. We’ve been blessed in unbelievable ways, and are always amazed at God’s creative and miraculous provision in our lives.

I worked as an RN for 24 years, and then was able to work for two different ministries after we moved to Colorado in 1993. As of this writing I am about to begin radiation for breast cancer. The good news is that our Lord has never been closer to us. They caught the cancer very early so it’s not in my lymph nodes or blood stream.

I’m blessed to be able to share these devotional studies with you. Some of them began 34 years ago. God knows what a “wiggler” I am. Shortly after I became “a new creature in Jesus,” He impressed me to write, read aloud, and engage as many of my senses (and fingers) as possible. I would write what I was thinking to Him along with poems of praise. Soon I was writing what He was laying on my heart. Each “word” in here was first to me, and then for others.

Eventually God impressed upon me to look up scriptures which went along with the “words,” and then to write a prayer expressing my heart at the end. I’ve felt for years this would someday come together in a devotional. Our dear Lord worked that out too, as we now have Morning Whispers from the Heart of God. I pray He will speak to you, making His Word come alive!
In Jesus,

(C) Marijo Phelps from Afternoon Whispers from the Heart of God

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