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Posts Tagged ‘facets’

Since July of last year, I’ve spent more time in a doctor’s office than I did during any of my pregnancies. I’ve had all kinds of tests done, been on antibiotics four times (or was it five?), and had all my teeth pulled. I’ve had prescriptions drugs shoved at me, as many as six at a time (down to three now). I’ve even had my eyes dilated twice, and my female organs poked and prodded. (I skipped the mammogram, though.) And every time I talked to a doctor, they found something else wrong with me.

Being told that what’s wrong with you could kill you is scary, no matter what the disease. During August, I wrote my will. And some time in those months, I gave up, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Oh, sure, I did what the doctors said, took the meds, ate right, thought about exercise. But inside somewhere, I decided that all my dreams for the future were gone. I stopped dreaming, and I stopped writing. In fact, all my creativity dried up. How could I travel, hike, snorkel, get married, etc, with all this? So something – hope, dreams – quietly died.

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Last night at 3 a.m., sitting at the computer playing solitaire, I suddenly walked out of what felt like a long, dark tunnel, into the light. This morning, I realized that I have been walking in the valley of the shadow of death for months now, and suddenly came out of it.

And that’s God! I wasn’t doing anything ‘spiritual’, wasn’t even thinking about God, wasn’t really thinking about anything. Yes, I was listening to a worship playlist. But I wasn’t worshipping. I was playing solitaire. He just brought me out! Thank You, Father!

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So what is this ‘valley of the shadow of death’ anyway? When it was discussed at church during my childhood, it sounded pretty much like a place of desolation, where nothing lived, even plants. It sounded like a place where death stalked you. It sounded pretty scary, actually. Something like the picture I had of it is found in ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’. The valley where Eustace meets the dragon in Lewis’ book, ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’, is about right.

But I haven’t been in a place like that physically or spiritually. In fact, I have seen more truth and gotten rid of quite a few lies during these months. Physically, I’ve improved, too.

Ah, but emotionally? Yes, emotionally I have been in that valley. I’ve labeled it depression and/or winter blahs; a friend said it was discouragement.

Ssometimes it felt like hopelessness.

Most times it felt like doubt.

All times it felt like the death of all my dreams.

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‘The valley of the shadow of death’ – the shadow of it, not the actual presence of it.  Sometimes the threat of a thing is more destructive than the thing itself. I’ve read many stories of disaster survivors, who, when something threatened, were terrified into immobility, but when faced with the actual event, got up and did what needed to be done. The shadow of something can’t be faced, can’t be wrestled to the ground and conquered. The real thing can be! How wise David (or Holy Spirit) was, as he wrote this psalm.

How many of us go through this valley, or live in it, without recognizing it? We don’t see that ‘the shadow of death’ can fall across any or all of our facets. It can affect our minds, our emotions, our health, our relationships, even our finances. This isn’t just a physical thing. Satan doesn’t want to destroy us just physically, he wants to destroy, or at least immobilize, us in every facet he can.

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“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” Psalm 23:4. He was with me. Through all that discouragement, despair, hopelessness, death, He was there. With me. Right by my side, right inside me. Teaching me, helping me, loving me.

And He brought me through that valley! Out into His light, where I see that my hope and dreams didn’t really die, they were just overshadowed for that time. Which felt like death, but wasn’t, thank God!

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If you are walking through your own version of ‘the valley of the shadow of death’, may you see clearly that He is with you.

May He comfort you, guide you, teach you to know Him and His Truth better in every facet of your being, and bring you out the other end into His glorious light!

And if you are not in ‘the valley’, may you be blessed with more of Him in every facet, so that if the valley comes, you get through it quickly.

“I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” Jesus (in John 10:10)

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Because mankind was created in God’s image, we are multifaceted, too. And just like Him, our facets have facets. This can get as complicated or be as simple as you need it to be. Some of us need to break it down more, others don’t. Still others need to see lots of facets in one area and only a few in another. Whatever is best for you will be shown to you by Holy Spirit, if you ask Him.

To give you an idea of how the facets concept works, let’s take an average human. This human has (for starters) a:

  • physical facet
  • mental facet
  • emotional facet
  • spiritual facet
  • relational facet

But each of these can be broken down into more facets. The physical facet, for instance, includes:

  • health of the body, including nutrition and disease
  • use of the body – for running track, mopping floors, or rocking babies
  • maintenance of the body – exercise, brushing teeth, bathing, etc.

For some of us, this sounds too nitpicky, but you’d be amazed at how unbalanced we can be in just this physical facet!

For example – person A takes care of their body by eating right, but doesn’t exercise. Person B is very athletic, but doesn’t think about what they put in their mouth. And neither of them flosses their teeth.

So sometimes we need to take it down into the smaller facets to work on some things we’ve neglected; other facets we can just maintain, because we’ve got them working well.

To use the examples above – person A doesn’t need to work on the nutrition facet but needs to develop the exercise one. And vice versa for person B. And they both need to work on taking care of their teeth.

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I know this sounds simplistic, and it is. But it can also be quite complicated, and sometimes confusing, if a certain idea, habit, sin, or bondage overlaps into more than one facet. To stick to the physical facet example: a person might need to work on their weight, but this can be more than just paying attention to what they eat or how much they exercise. It can also include emotional, mental or even spiritual reasons for the weight problem. This is where we need to listen to Holy Spirit very closely.

Sometimes it will feel like you are dealing with the same thing again! “But we just got that straightened out!!” Yes, you did. But in only one facet. Let’s say you saw the emotional reason why you had a certain eating habit, and were set free from it. However, you then may need to work on the physical habit of the actual consumption of that food.

People who have quit smoking are aware that it is more than just a physical addiction to nicotine. There are emotional facets affected, too, like the feeling of calm some get from smoking. But another facet of the physical addiction can be the actual physical habit – reaching for a cigarette after a meal, or while on the phone. (One hand picks up the phone, the other automatically reaches for a cigarette.) So the mental and emotional habits need to be broken, and the physical addiction to the nicotine, plus the patterns of behavior – the habit.

Some people have all these facets dealt with at one time, while for others, the changes happen in stages. However He works in you, let Him do it. Let Him take all the time you need, so the changes and wholeness will be complete. Don’t beat yourself up over how long something’s taking.

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One of our enemy’s favorite lies is the one that says you didn’t ‘get it’ last time, so you must ‘go around the mountain again’. About the third time around, he’ll slip in this lie: “you haven’t overcome the thing after all these tries, so what makes you think you will this time?” Many of us give up at that point, allowing him to deceive us back into bondage.

But the truth is that you did overcome it – in one facet. Now you are dealing with it in another facet. Some things will affect us in every part of ourselves, some in only one or two facets. Sometimes Father performs an instant healing across the whole person, and sometimes He only deals with one or two facets at a time, until we are finally whole.

Next time you feel defeated because you are dealing with something you thought was already healed/fixed, ask Holy Spirit to show you the truth about the situation. I wouldn’t be surprised if He showed you that it was fixed last time – in one area – and you are now working on it in a different facet.

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There are several reasons why some things take longer to be worked out than others.

The most common one is that this particular sin/bondage is layered. When something goes back into early childhood, you may have decades of it being reinforced. So each layer might need to be peeled away to get at the one underneath, and the one under that, etc, until you get to the root of it. (This is not always the case, though. For some people, some situations, Father God cuts right to the root, and brings instant wholeness.)

That brings us to the second most common reason why healing often takes time. If what you were born to do includes bringing His truth and wholeness to others in that particular area (to use previous examples – smoking or overeating) then He may want you to go through the process slowly so that you will see all the little facets that can be affected. This enables you to help others more effectively. When someone says to you, “I feel this way”, and you can say, “yeah, I know that one”, then they are more open to what you are saying about His truth for that situation. (Ain’t God good?!?!)

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If you have focused for most of your life on just one facet of yourself – the mental or the physical are the most common – then you will probably need to catch up in other facets in order to attain wholeness. Example: The athlete who is injured in a way that ends the athletic career may have to cultivate/develop their mental facet to find a new career, while the ‘egghead’ who spent their whole life wrapped up in a pile of books, or lost in cyberspace, may one day find themselves with physical problems, due to neglect of their body and health.

How much better off we would be if we developed all our facets equally! And how few of us have done that, or even knew we could!

Thankfully, our Father knows us well, and desires to ‘grow us up’ in every facet of every facet. He cares about your physical, emotional, mental, and relational facets just as much as He cares about your spiritual one! If you allow Him to, He will show you which facets need work, and will help you work on them.

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May you begin to become more balanced and whole between and within your facets. And may you allow Holy Spirit to reflect His truth to others through you, so they can experience wholeness, too.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)

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The time has come, the Spirit says,
To speak of many things . . .
Of facets and of fractals
And living with the King.

(Okay, I personally hate Alice in Wonderland. It’s too scary and too nonsensical for me. In fact, I’ve always wondered what psychotropic drug Carroll was using when he wrote it. But . . .  the time has come!)

Father God has shown me many things over the years, and He has made it clear that I need to start sharing!

So, here goes . . .

Facets

About 18 years ago, give or take, I had just had a revelation of how much I (me!) am totally loved and completely accepted by the Father, which drastically altered my world view, and changed my whole life.  This caused me to revisit a lot of the things I’d always believed about Him, me, life, etc.

One day, I was thinking about trials and tribulations – why do we go through them? Now, being in church all my life, I’d heard a couple different doctrines on this subject. One said that God was so holy, so pure, and we were so vile, that He couldn’t stand to be anywhere near us. So He had to clean us up by putting us through stuff to get rid of the sin/impurity in us.  (Where is ‘we are become the righteousness of Christ’ in that doctrine???)

The other, similar idea, was that God was putting us on the fire, ‘burning off the dross’, to make us like Christ. This one (actually, they both) had a lot of scripture to back it up, making it clear that we were not clean, or acceptable, in our human condition, even after salvation.  As I said – similar, but without the disgust/dislike of the first one! The focus here was on recreating us into His image, rather than cleaning us up.

But, with my new understanding of just how much Father God loves and accepts us, I was now questioning God’s supposed motives in these doctrines. (I have gradually been made to see that motive is everything – isn’t that the point of Jesus’ words about looking at a woman to ‘lust after her in your heart’ and the rest of that section of Matthew 5?  What the heart motive is, is what counts with Him (I Sam. 16:7).  So I think we need to understand His heart motives, too.)  We all, mostly unconsciously, absorb the underlying motives of what we are taught, ascribing them to God/parents/whoever the authority is in the situation, whether they are true or not.  So now I had to look at what I had previously believed were God’s motives underlying these doctrines.

The first one made it clear that God couldn’t really stand us the way we are, couldn’t even look at us, we were so filthy.  So He had to change us.  I was left with the belief that we were disgusting at the best of times, even after the work of the cross!  This really made me not believe that He loved us, me in particular.  In fact, this left me with the belief that the only reason He hadn’t squished the whole creation into a ball of clay and started over, was some kind of dislike of being wrong.  So He was gonna fix it, and show ’em all!

The second one was a little more charitable – nothing indicated that He didn’t love us, but I sure was left with the impression that He didn’t like us! After all, He thought we needed to be made over into Christ’s image, which sure sounded like He disliked humanity. This didn’t change my basic belief that He didn’t love me, but I was able, finally, to believe that He could, just possibly, love humans in a sort of overall ‘I made it, so I gotta love it’ kind of way.

But neither of these ideas fit with what He had just shown me about His total love and acceptance of us (me!) ‘while we were yet sinners’! And even after!

So, I asked Him, ‘why do we go through trials and tribulations?’

* * *

And He showed me a huge diamond, maybe two stories tall, with me standing in front of it, looking at this facet that was about two feet wide. He said, “When you get saved, you see this facet of me – Savior. But I want you to know more of me, so I allow situations in your life which cause you to see other facets of Me – Healer, Provider, Father, and more.” here I moved a little to one side, and found myself facing a different facet, then another and another. “Everything that happens in your life is an opportunity for you to know me more fully. The trials and tribulations are not to clean you up so I can stand you, but to show you new facets of Me.”  Wow! Yet another false doctrine bit the dust! Yes, Father allows us to go through stuff, but not because He can’t stand us! Because He loves us, wants to help us, but even more, wants us to know Him.

* * *

I can hear you disagreeing! Lots of chatter about holiness, etc. and I’m not trying to nullify those scriptures which talk about cleaning us up. But what He showed me that day was His underlying motive, which always, always, always, is His great unconditional love for us, and His desire to have an intimate relationship with us.  He hates sin because it hinders that, and because it hurts us! If you love someone, you hate anything that keeps them away from you, or hurts them in any way.

What He showed me with the facets on the diamond, was that I need to start looking at the trials and tribulations in my life as opportunities to learn to know my Father and God better!  Not as punishment or as something motivated by disgust of me.

* * *

Over the years He has added to my understanding of this vision:  I saw that as we get to know a certain facet of God – Healer, for instance – it does change us, making us more like Christ.  Eventually, I also saw that as we are changed by getting to know this or that facet of God, we then begin to reflect that facet of Him to others.

Those are just side effects, though, of the real point, which is to know Him!  The more and better we know Him, the more facets He cleans and polishes in us, and the better we reflect Him to the world. (And, trust me, you can’t clean or polish them yourself! It must be His work, through revelation of Himself to you.)

The point is knowing Him!  Everything in the Christian life is based on that, and flows from that.  If it’s based on anything else, it’s ‘wood, hay and stubble’.

So the next time you are facing a trial, instead of wondering what is wrong with you, ask our Father what He wants to reveal of Himself to you through this. The answer will be amazing! And freeing!

* * *

Be blessed with understanding, wisdom, and revelation of more true facets of Him!

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.    John 17:3

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