Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesdays

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote the book titled “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and not hide ‘behind those eyes.’

anything in purple is from Lisa's book

It was this one small sentence in Lisa’s book that summed it up. Happiness cannot be found inside of us, no matter how hard we try to make it be true.

Ms. Happiness had always been a part of me. To me…happiness came in many different forms from outward appearance, performing on stage, and the change in scenery of men and whatever else I desired at the moment.

The choices I made about how I felt would bring pain if not death to many different people. The more I spent thinking about myself the easier it was to choose death. What can out of my own happiness was...death to purity for my wedding night, death to a marriage, death to our son’s life of being a family, death to my unborn child and death to myself worth. I was determined to run right into the arms of happiness, my happiness.

Our marriage of 12 years was a mess and I was about to destroy our daughter’s life because I wanted to be happy. It wasn’t until 1996 when my husband (no.2) and I were sitting across from a pastor, who was willing to speak truth into our lives. He explained that our marriage wasn’t about what we could get from the other person but it was about what we had to offer to each other. Then he said these words “Life isn’t about you!” He went on to say that if we wanted our marriage to work, then we needed to take our eyes off ourselves, put them on Jesus and His will for our lives.

There Jesus stood, my husband on one side and I on the other, looking into my eyes, He whispered “You must choose life or death for your marriage.” I knew at that moment I would never be happy if I continued down the road of…self fulfillment.

My life has change so much since that day because I chose to fix my eyes on Jesus. He has given me the love to respect my husband; He’s healed the pain from my past so I can love who He has created me to be. He has stirred my heart to be totally committed to Him and my family.

There was another question Lisa’s asked at the end of the study “Think about a person you know who emulates true joy.”

Did you have someone in mind? For me the answer came quickly, I’ve talked about her in Ms. Confidence…my mom.

She led a simple life. She never demanded anything that would put the focus on herself. Her words were always kind; her home was always welcoming and her life display the love of Jesus. She had many trials in her life but there are two trials where I saw true joy,only God can give.

When she was about 84 years old she fell in the bath tub breaking the first two vertebras in her neck. The doctor told us it was a miracle she had the ability to walk; while he was instructing us on how to care for her as she would be wearing a neck brace for year or so.

About a month later, I noticed mom was going into a deep depression, which had never been a part of her life before. So, one day sitting at the kitchen table I said “Mom, what is wrong?” “You seem so unhappy, it’s not like you.” She looked at me with tears in her eyes and with a soft voice replied “I can’t read my bible because of this brace.” I immediately went looking for her bible, returned to the table and began reading God’s Word to her. Oh…the smile that came to her face, the joy I saw in her eyes and the life that had returned to her soul.
Satan has tried many times to cause my mother to curse God, even to the very end of her life. In this post you will see the second trial of true joy in my mom’s life.

When I first started this bible study I thought it would be a good way to connect with other Christian women but it has turned out to be so much more. Through this study I’m learning what my mother knew; happiness doesn’t come by the way of how you feel but by Who you know. May we all be remembered as a woman who emulated true joy.

15 comments:

Darlene said...

"happiness doesn’t come by the way of how you feel but by Who you know."

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. You just could not have said it better.

Thank you for that thought. So glad to be on this journey with you,
Darlene

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Oh Tammy~
I have goosebumps as I read your post.

You've shared great thoughts that my heart will ponder. Thanks...for blessing me today...

hkudla said...

I love how you described reading the bible to your mom brought the joy back into her eyes and face.

May the word do the same for all of us!
I am so glad I am on this journey with you. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us, and for being so transparent.

God bless you!
Heather

Edie said...

It sounds like your mom was a great example of joy Tammy. What a blessing!

Leebird said...

Beautiful.

I can't say anything else...thank you.

nothingcanseparateme said...

Tammy,

Thank you so much for sharing your story and how God has worked in your life!!

And how blessed to have had your mother as inspiration! I love what you said your mother realized:

"happiness doesn’t come by the way of how you feel but by Who you know"

Wonderful!

Joy to you today!
Kim

Naomi said...

Hi Tammy! I am so grateful for the words you have shared in this post.

Your Mother... she sounds so beautiful and so faith-filled. Such a Godly example and I'm so glad you have shared her little pearls of wisdom, as well as sharing with us her precious God glorifying ways. The "Who you know" saying is smart and well-worth writing down... Do you mind? Blessings to you... Naomi

Bonnie said...

Amen Tammy! Your mother sounds like she was a remarkable woman.

Bonnie
extendedhope.com

Cindy said...

This is a beautiful post.

Thank you for sharing about your mom.

Carol said...

Tammy,

I have tears with the idea of your mom's face lighting up just hearing you read her God's word. What a perfect description of Joy found only in Him.

Praise God.

Carol

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Tammy, I love this. I loved reading about your mom. How awesome that she had such a heart for God that she began to fall into a depression from not reading His Word. That is precious. I would hope I would be the same way after days and weeks without His Word. But I know I've gone months before without His word. I hope to never be in that same place of my life again!
Sweet Blessings,
Paula

Runner Mom said...

Oh, what a great post! Thanks for sharing about your life and especailly your precious mom. I could just feel the joy radiating from her as you read to her from the Bible.
Many blessings,
Susan

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I so loved reading your thoughts of your Mother.... it's amazing to me how many people never read God's word... but your Mom went into depression from not being fed the word of God. What a beautiful post.
Lea

Lelia Chealey said...

OH you made me cry sharing about your mom and how when you brought her Bible to her she was filled with joy. Still have tears in my eyes just waiting for me to blink.
Tammy...you are the real deal. All you have been through of your own doing God just knew that you'd return & use it all for His glory. I want to be like you when I grow up. :) You are so right....this study is so much more than just getting to know each other.
Love,
Lelia

Liz said...

Tammy,
Thank you for the beautiful testimony of how focusing on Jesus can change our hearts. I have traveled that road in my marriage before, and needed that reminder today!
I love this...
"happiness doesn’t come by the way of how you feel but by Who you know."
Amen!
Liz