Monday, September 30, 2013

In Her Sandals -- I Have the Top of the Line in Everything

I am used to having things, nice things, designer things, the best of things. My husband has been blessed as well as his uncle. As a matter of fact, we had to split the family business. My husband chose to take our family to the best location. It is gorgeous and lush with waterways. BEAUTIFUL!

The downside, and there’s always a downside, was the neighbors. There’s drama everywhere we turn. Drama with family that caused the business to split. Drama at our new location – For crying out loud, we get captured! We are taken as spoils of war. I’ll become a servant or slave. I was not made for that kind of work. Everything we had was taken, and by everything, I mean down to the last candlestick and ugly rug that went under my husband’s work bench was gone. But good ole uncle to the rescue. While our family had to separate the business, family is still the most important thing in our uncle’s eyes. We were released. Everything was returned to us…EVERYTHING. All my jewelry, servants, designer clothes and specially made sandals, money, animals. ALL MY STUFF was returned…even the ugly rug under my husband’s work bench. The fact that everything was returned was no small miracle at all.

In addition to everything I have, my husband sits at the gate – you know what that means, right? He’s in leadership. He’s in the know. People recognize me when I go to the market. And because he is in leadership, he knows everything that’s going on in town. I love hearing all the gossip. There are some crazy things that go on in this town.

We have guest over all the time and parties. Our neighbors really don’t seem quite so bad after all. They just had to grow on us is all. There ways of doing things is nothing like ours, but we’ve made adjustments and understand their thinking. We respect our differences. Just because they choose to live a certain way doesn’t mean that I have to.

One evening, Lot brought home two male guests. It was not a normal visit, and it was certainly no party. They brought no gifts at all, and of course, Lot didn’t send anyone ahead of time to let me know that we would be having extra at the dinner table. It’s not like it was leftover night, but I would have fixed something a little nicer had I but known we’d be having company.

No sooner had Lot brought the guests into our home than men, young and old, started pounding on the door of our home. What in the world is going on!? They were so loud I could barely hear myself think. I realized the men outside want our guests to come outside, so they could have their way with them. These people have never inflicted their sexual orientation on us before. I mean we’ve made allowances, but now they are beating down our door. I AM MORTIFIED! Our poor guests!

Just as I think that the door is about to give way, it opens! My husband goes out to talk to the men. He has got to have lost his ever lovin’ mind. The crowd is getting louder in their protest. The door opens again, and the guests literally pick my husband up off his feet snatching him back into our home, all in one swooping gesture. As I’m trying to process what I just saw, I hear the chaos outside changing. Instead of voices raised in anger, there’s confusion and disorder. The guests tell us the men outside have been struck blind, and they won’t be able to find the door even if they tried. No one will be entering our home tonight. And then they tell us, we have to leave.



Friday, September 27, 2013

In Her Sandals -- Job's Wife

I have grieved and grieved heavily for a baby that would not be, and I have momma friends who have outlived one of their babies, but I’ve NEVER known a momma who has lost all her children at one time. Once again, this is a woman whose sandals I didn’t want to strap on, and when I did, I’m amazed at her strength and fortitude.

Job’s wife was put through the ringer, wasn’t she? She was sifted and tested alongside her husband. In everything that happened, her husband did not sin against God, but truth be known, in all those years, there’s only one time when his wife gave into weakness, into temptation. Isn’t it amazing how we remember how a person fails as opposed to all the things she must have endured and the times she must have succeeded. These tests didn’t just happen over a couple of days. The effects of these tests lasted for years. I’ve been around women who mourn and grieve, and you know, on average it takes about four to five years for them to really come out of the dark to the other side to realize that life goes on and that it’s okay to have joy without guilt. Not only that, but God restored. He didn’t restore immediately. Job’s wife didn’t birth ten babies at one time. It was over a span of years that He restored, and He didn’t restore with the exact same children. Job and his wife’s future while in God’s hands changed from one course to another. They probably had their first group of kids when they were young parents. Now they are ten to twenty years older making them a different kind of parent, and not only did their age change, but their wisdom and trust in God had grown exponentially. This has to affect the way they parented. Job’s wife’s life did not end when her babies died. She probably wished it had at times. But as we see it, Job’s wife had several seasons in her life: a season of blessing, a season of loss and grief, and a season of restoration.

The Lord gives and He takes away (Job 1:21). Some people don’t like the book of Job because they can’t fathom a God who would allow one of his children to endure such hardship at the hands of Satan, and all because Satan wanted to prove a point which I might add that he failed to do. I don’t believe for one moment that God used Job as a source of entertainment or as a wager with Satan. God knew that Job could withstand the testing and would put defeat Satan’s theories. You see, we don’t fight against flesh and blood but against principalities (Eph 6:12). God knew that Job with God by his side could handle this test, could endure the hardship. God filtered everything that Job endured. Our spiritual warfare is filtered through God’s fingers. We have to be equipped and wearing the armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6.

Sometimes good things happen to God’s people. Sometimes bad things happen to God’s people. We live in a fallen world. Expect it to happen, but when the bad comes, where is your shield of faith? When thoughts that are against God creep into your mind look for the helmet of salvation because we are to think on the things that are true (Phil 4:8). And when waves after waves of hardship pound on you so you feel like you are going to drown, hold tight to the Word of God which is the sword. Job held tight to his breastplate of righteousness, and you know what? He never got the answer to the question, “why.” Job trusted God, and his wife saw that. She witnessed Job’s trust in God. She benefited from his trust and faith.

Then there are people in our lives who should be there to support or encourage us, but end up doing the exact opposite. They honestly feel like they are helping or know what’s going on. They make judgments and give advice on their limited knowledge and understanding. Job prayed for those friends. By praying for them, Job was heaping ashes on their heads. He was lifting them up to his God. It is a step in forgiving, and it was after that prayer that God started restoration.

Here’s the thing about Job’s wife, she stuck through thick and thin. There’s no indication that the second set of children was born to a different wife. Wife is used singularly throughout this book. She endured some crazy hardships. And while there was a moment she wanted to her husband to give up and die, the point is she was still there with him and even after her moment of weakness and defeat. I’m sure there were days when she herself didn’t want to go on, to get out of the bed, or to put one foot in front of the other, but she did. And she did so to take care of her ailing husband. That, my friend, is a woman of strength…In Job’s wife’s sandals.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In Her Sandals -- Job's Wife

If you haven’t read the prior blog about the woman whose sandals I’m wearing, please do so.


I’m not sure what day it is, but I remember seeing Job. There was something on his face. I go to him and begin examining him, and these sores have spread all over him. I don’t remember crying, but I remember the tears running down my face. Job had boils, painful, oozing boils. We start trying to treat his boils. They are so painful. I’m not sure where I got the strength to get out of my bed or the courage to face another day, but my husband needed me, so I put one foot in front of the other. I take one breath at a time. I don’t remember the last time I ate. I don’t remember the last time I smiled. I don’t even want to think about laughter.

I’ve struggled with the deaths of all my children at one time. Why couldn’t God just have taken me? Why did I have to live? Why did I have to endure on this earth when my babies are in paradise? These thoughts flood my mind, and I do my best to push them aside, so I can focus on Job.

Job’s not eating and getting weaker. It’s hard for him to breathe, and his skin smells of rotting flesh. We cleanse him as best we can, but every touch is excruciating, and sometimes the odors is so strong I become sick. This has gone on for days now. He’s lost so much weight, and the fever leaves him weak and aching internally. I’m not sure just how much more either of us can take. I can’t bear to see him shivering, aching, and writhing in pain or smell his open wounds, and then it all just hits me. I never see it coming either. I just feel it welling up inside me. I get mad. I get so very, very mad. My kids were good kids. They didn’t deserve to die. My husband is the kindest, honest, God-fearing man I know. He doesn’t deserve this. And why on God’s green earth am I still here! I want to be with my kids. Why am I healthy and left to take care of Job by myself? I’m angry. There’s no rhyme or reason to any of this. I can’t make sense of it. I try and try. I pray. I beg God. I plead with God, but I get nothing. In my frustration and grief I blurt out to Job, “Why don’t you just curse God and die!?” UGGGHHH!!! Have you ever felt if you didn’t say something that you’d just burst. It’s like that. Just curse God and die.

As soon as the words tumble out of my mouth, I knew they were wrong, and so did Job. He said I sounded foolish. People judge me harshly for those words. I was there for Job in the darkest of the dark, but I’m human. I’m scared. I mean what would happen to me if Job died? I’m exhausted from taking care of Job 24/7. I’m depressed and numb. I just don’t know how much more we can take. I didn’t support Job as I needed to at this time, but I had no more to give. I’m empty. Done.

People come to visit. They bring food, and all Job can do is sit quietly in ashes. He won’t eat. He doesn’t speak. He’s in such a dark place, and I go to my room to be alone.

Job has company that just sit with him and wait with him. Eventually, Job does speak, and I am relieved. But then his friends start telling him to repent. Really? Do they not know my husband? My husband who makes atonement and sacrifices for himself and on behalf of our children just in case we sinned and didn’t even know it. He wants my husband to repent. I have to leave. Job will have to handle his friend because if I stay I will probably say things that I shouldn’t – a LOT of things I shouldn’t.

My husband was tested which means we were tested. We are husband and wife. We are a team. We raised our children together. We lived life together. Whatever happened to him, happened to me. That’s just the way life is with us. When God blessed Job, He blessed me as well. When catastrophe hit, it hit us both. We may handle our grief differently. We may be in different places with our emotions and healing, but we are still husband and wife.

My life was a fairytale. There isn’t a day that the name of every child of mine doesn’t cross my mind or my lips. I will never forget them. How can I? I gave birth to them. I weaned them. I nursed them when they were ill. I disciplined them when they were in trouble. My arms have never felt so empty nor silence ever sounded so loudly. We have our good days, and we have our bad days.

Job’s friends finally leavet. I know I need to forgive them and their ignorance and doubt. After all, Job forgave me in my ignorance and doubt. We are coming out of the dark, and although I’m scared sometimes about what will happen next, I know that we can make it. I know now that I was never really in control, and whatever happens will happen, but God is faithful. And Job is faithful. He’s faithful to His God and to me. After all these years, I have reason to believe I’m pregnant for the eleventh time. This baby will never replace the ones I lost, but he or she will fill my arms, warm my heart, and I will smile again.

Monday, September 23, 2013

In Her Sandals

In Her Sandals…I don’t know about you, but so often I read the Bible, and I forget the people I’m reading about actually existed. They had feelings and emotions. They endured great hardship and troubles and temptations, and they were human. Strapping on their sandals and walking in their sandals are ways that I study the Bible, and it brings the Word to life for me. Some are called to study end times. Some are called to teach life application. I guess I’m called to make the people in the Word, especially women, become real, so we can better relate and learn. Here is the next woman whose sandals I reluctantly strap on.


I have had a really good life. It’s almost like a fairytale. I am married to a man who loves his God and serves his God with all his heart, with all his soul and with all his strength, and because of his great love, God has richly poured out his favor on us. Life is so good. I have seven sons and three daughters. They are almost grown. You know they are never really grown. They are still and will always be my babies. What blesses my heart the most is how well they get along. They get together at least once a month celebrating someone’s birthday, and there is always gales of laughter in the air when they are together, telling stories, and pulling pranks. They are all so different. I’m amazed that the same two parents can produce ten kids so unique and precious. My heart is so full. Life is good. I am Job’s wife.

I never really realized just how blessed I was until my world imploded, and everything was gone.  Bad news after bad news pounded us. Everything that I had held as protected was gone. Everything we had invested in was destroyed or taken from us. There’s no way to plan for something like this. There’s no way we could have seen any of this coming. People robbing us blind. A freak lightning storm killing our animals. A whirlwind or tornado hit the home where all of our children were celebrating. OH MY WORD! All of my babies! I remember receiving the word from the servant. I felt like I had been punched in the gut.  I couldn’t catch my breath. I think I must have screamed, but I didn’t recognize my own voice. I remember grabbing my coat and starting to run out the door, but my servants and friends stopped me. They wouldn’t let me go see my babies. My babies. They couldn’t all possibly be dead…not all of them. OH MY WORD! I become sick, violently ill. People are talking to me. I see their lips moving, and I can’t process what they are saying. I begin sobbing. I can’t help it. I can’t control it. My babies’ sweet faces, I’ll never see. The music of laughter is gone.

I sit in my room in the dark by myself holding myself and just rocking back and forth. There’s no comfort to be found. We have to have a service. We have to bury them. OH MY WORD! How can I endure ten boxes? Ten altars? How can we afford this? How can I endure this? I feel like I’m drowning. I can’t breathe. Friends come to sit with me. I don’t speak. I know my eyes are glazed over. They try to get me to eat, but I know that nothing will stay in me. Just 24 hours ago life was so incredibly different, so incredibly different.

Something dawns on me. I need to see Job. I get up quickly and move to find him. My actions cause people to jump, but I don’t care. I run calling for him and find him. His grief compounds mine. He has torn his clothes and shaved his head, and he’s in a heap on the ground. I hear him. I hear him repeating something over and over. He’s worshipping God. I think he’s preparing to meet his maker because he says he came into this world with nothing and will leave with nothing. We have nothing!

Through these things Job clings to God. I’m just not there yet. I don’t feel anything. They say I’m in shock. I don’t know what happened much next. I know I survived, but that’s all I know.

No one ever wants to walk in the sandals of this woman. No one ever wants this to happen to them. No one. There are two more blogs to come on this woman, Job’s wife. Don’t judge her until you’ve walked in her sandals.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I AM GOMER -- part 3

The past two blogs have been about Gomer. I stepped into her sandals. I placed my heart inside of her. My heart broke for her, and the many, many, many women like her alive or living or functioning today. I wrote that I was focusing on Gomer because most focus on God and Hosea, but I also explained that you can’t remove God from the equation or her story. God used Gomer to teach Hosea about God’s relationship with the children of Israel. I’d ask that you go back and read those two blogs. Put yourself in Gomer’s sandals, and instead of Hosea, I want you to put the face of God.

I see his sandals, his feet. I want to cry. I know those feet. Jesus’s feet will be recognizable to the sinner’s heart. They were pierced for our transgressions, our sins.

Oh, the pain I have caused this man. I see it in his eyes. One day I will have to look my Savior, my Redeemer in the eyes. I’ve caused Him great pain. Whatever He says will be true about me. My sentence for my crimes of being unfaithful to Him is death and separation from Him forever. That is what I deserve.

I look at this hands, and he’s holding a bag. He throws it to the seller, and says, “She’s mine.” My name is engraved in his hands, and He chose to pay the ultimate price for me. And when he could send me to the pits of hell which he has every right to, Jesus says that I am His. I am His bride. The church is his bride. He has made a vow that he cannot break. My stubborn, prideful, rebellious soul, I willingly lay at his feet. It’s ugly. It’s hateful, but it’s all I got. He takes what the world has discarded (me) and clothes me in righteousness for his sake (Ps 23:3, Is 61:10).

You know what I saw in Gomer. I saw a woman who was rescued and didn’t know it. I saw a woman who was given everything she needed that she didn’t deserve, and she didn’t SEE IT! How could she NOT see it? That was my thought. And then God pricks my heart and reminds me of how He’s given me what I need, things I didn’t deserve, and how I’ve rebelled and hardened my heart against Him. I am SOOOOO Gomer.  God has provided for my needs, but there are times I just want something different, something the world has put into a pretty picture and advertised.

There are times, even recently, that I just stopped digging in the Word to hear God speak to me. He does whatever is necessary to get my attention. He’ll do whatever is required to block my way because He knows that it will only harm me if I continue to run from Him. And when I finally stop my running, my fighting, my struggling, I look into the face of my sweet Savior and see compassion, forgiveness and love that I don’t deserve.

So there you have it. My transparency. I AM GOMER...restored, redeemed, and the recipient of the most undeserving love. Thank you, Jesus!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I AM GOMER -- part 2

In order for this blog to make sense, you really need to read the post before this one. Please take the time do so.
After having baby after baby after baby, I bolted. I ran away. It’s been about 6 years or so since I was able to sleep through the night. I am one sleep-deprived momma. I’m an adult, and I ran away from home. Some people only think about doing it and feel horrible for thinking it, but I actually did it. I ran away from my responsibilities, my duties, and my roles as mother and wife. I was suffocating, so I got out. I needed to breathe! I wanted to laugh. I wanted to dress up and go out. I wanted to feel pretty and desirable and not a baby factory or an object lesson for the prophet. Am I the only one who has ever felt this way?

And let me just tell you, when I do something, I do it big. It’s big or go home. When I ran away from home, I slept with other men. I gave Hosea plenty of ammunition to divorce me. I had committed “adultery.” I had broken one of his ten commandments. Truthfully, Hosea had the right to have me killed. I had broken our marriage vow, and the law was that Hosea could divorce me, and I could be stoned. The things I had in our marriage were stripped away. Hosea took back his ring, my clothes, his name, his roof, his money, his protection. I was homeless. I was penny-less. I was exposed, and in case you don’t remember, I’ve birthed three babies and breast fed them all. Eventually, no man would have me. I mean who would want me. I’m stubborn, rebellious, prideful and a disgrace. I’m an embarrassment to anyone who knows me. I just wanted my lovers to give me what I wanted… what I needed… what I thought I deserved for giving them what they wanted. I want beautiful clothes, good food, jewelry! Is that too much to ask? But every time I’d go after a lover, there was always something preventing me, getting in my way.

I was hungry. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt that kind of hunger before.

I was alone. My so-called friends abandoned me. I wasn’t invited to any parties or get-togethers.

I was unkept. I just thought people talked about me before! I gave them more ammunition by begging for scraps and loose change while trying to cover myself. I went to what I knew best, to my old way of life, to my god, and I was discarded. Actually, I was put up for sale. I was once again in bondage…true bondage. How humiliating is that!?

I was broken and filthy and unfit. Bankrupt emotionally, spiritually and physically.

I’m standing there. Men walking by, grilling me with questions, ridiculing me, looking in my mouth, making comments about my body, calling me names. I’d cry but the tears just won’t come. They won’t.  I don’t even look them in the eye. I have no fight left in me. I am so dense.

Then a man stops in front of me, and he just stands there. I see his sandals, his feet. I want to cry. I know those feet. I do. They are Hosea’s, my ex-husband. I can’t imagine the horrible things he’s going to say. They’d be horrible, and all of them would be true…every last word. He doesn’t budge, and I still myself to look at his face.

Oh, the pain I have caused this man. I see it in his eyes. I look at this hands, and he’s holding a bag. He throws it to the seller, and says, “She’s mine.” He has every right to hate me, and in the eyes of our law, he has the right to kill me. I have betrayed him in every way imaginable. I can’t imagine what he’s going to do to me. I abandoned him. I abandoned everything he had given me. I abandoned our children, and he’s standing in front of me. I can’t help myself. I fall to my knees, and I weep. I sob. I can’t stop the tears from flowing. I deserve whatever he deems fit. I am unworthy. Unworthy.

He takes my hand and lifts me up to my feet. I see nothing but compassion and love in his eyes. How is that even possible? How can he? He reaches into his pocket, and he withdraws the ring. He places the ring on my finger, and he calls me his bride. He calls me his bride! This lump in my throat swells, and my heart is beating in my ears. I’m not sure I heard him correctly. He says it again, “You are my bride.” I’m a hot mess. I smell. I’m unclean. I’m damaged goods. I’ve rebelled and been self-centered, and he tells me he loves me and I am to be his wife and live with him and him alone. I’m speechless. All I can muster is a head nod in agreement. What did I do to deserve this? He clothes me like the wife of a prophet, and I see my children again for the first time in a very long time.  I’m dumbstruck. Then he pulls me into him, and I feel his arms around me, his protective arms.

How could I have not seen what was in front of my face the whole time? I had a life with Hosea. I was loved. I was well-dressed. I had jewelry. I had food. AND I THREW IT ALL AWAY, and here I stand. He saved it all for me, and he’s giving it back. He’s restoring me. I’ve missed out on so much that I’ll never get back, but I don’t plan on missing out on anything else. I will be faithful. I owe him everything.

People will talk about me for years to come. People will judge me as well, but I know the value of my relationship with my husband who has been faithful when I wasn’t and who paid a price for me that I could not pay. I cherish my relationship more today that I ever have before. I AM GOMER, Hosea’s wife.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I love studying the women of the Bible, how God used them, and putting myself into their sandals. I have to tell you that Gomer is not one of the women of the Bible whose sandals I wanted to wear nor did I have any great desire to study her, but I’ve been led there nonetheless.

Many times when people study the book of Hosea, they study the aspect of how God uses the marriage of Hosea to Gomer as an object lesson. It parallels God’s love for Israel and how Israel had behaved against God, but I want to just look at Gomer…not that you can separate her from the story or remove God from her life. But what I found may startle you or surprise you like it did me. I could actually relate to Gomer. The next couple of blog are going to be titled, “I Am Gomer.” I hope you get something out of them. Below is my putting myself in Gomer’s sandals. Young mommas with several little people may relate.


When you see a little girl playing with other children, you never look at her and say, “One day she’s going to be a disgrace,” or “One day she’s going to work in the sex industry.” Instead you see the little girl twirling around, her hands clasping another little girl’s hands. They are giggling as little girls in pony tails often do, and you wonder, “Whose little girl is she?” Once upon a time, I was someone’s little girl. I was Diblaim’s little girl. I may not have had much or I may have lacked for nothing, but it’s important for you to know that at one point in my life I was a pure, little girl.

I had few choices in my life. Decisions were made for me and not in my best interest. It’s not really important how I got to this point in my life, but rather this is where I am.

My life is not my own. My body is not my own. Day in and day out, I please men with my body. I’ve done this for so long, I’m really a shell of a woman, of a person – not really feeling much like a women, more like an object. Numb. When I walk in the market, there are whispers. My “friends” are limited to those who are in the same path as myself and the men we service.

Then one day, a man makes me his wife as if I had any say in the matter. He slips a ring on my finger and covers my body. He dresses me as the wife of a prophet should dress. It’s much like putting lipstick on a pig. I don’t belong with the other prophet and leaders’ wives. Truth is I know more about their husbands than they do. So in the matter of minutes I went from many men to one man in my bed. From drinks and darkness and lascivious conversations, to living in the prophet’s house minding my p’s and q’s. The prophet is patient with me, but it is a drastic change.

In no time at all, I’m pregnant. Once again, I’m not in control or in charge of my own body. I give birth to a boy, and my husband names him some name his God gave our son. Shortly after, not nearly long enough for my body to get back into pre-baby shape, I find that I’m pregnant again. This time, I give birth to a girl. Do I see myself in the face of my daughter? Do I care about my babies at all? I care enough to wean them myself. You can judge me all you want, but I did my responsibility. And then I’m pregnant again. I have got to be the most fertile woman on the face of this earth! I haven’t slept a full night…well, I can’t remember when. My hormones are all over the board. I’m so busy with three babies that I don’t have time to listen to the rumors they say about me.

My body is still not my own. It no longer belongs to different paying men, but now it belongs to these three babies and my husband. I don’t even recognize my body any more. After giving birth to three babies back-to-back and breast feeding all three, I sag. There isn’t anything perky here. My life was never my own, and now I’m feeling quite overwhelmed. I’m drowning. I’ve lost my identity. I’m no longer the party girl, the fun girl. I’ve traded my glamorous, partying life with powerful men and drinks and slinky clothes for attire of a prophet’s wife, a ring on my finger, spit-up on my shoulder, a child at my feet and one on each hip.  I’m feeling trapped, and I want to feel alive. I want my old life of parties, drinks, men and desires met. As things are, I’m a mother of here, confined to home, laundry and market. When do I get a break? I want to feel beautiful and alive.

More of Gomer to come.