"...with eyes that see but don't really look, and ears that hear but don't really listen." (Jeremiah 5:21b MSG)
I could tell by the way she carried herself that she had 'come into' her confidence, perhaps the way a newly crowned Queen 'comes into' her authority and power; over time yet all at once. She spoke calmly and with great compassion toward her young adult son who sat across from her. He had just spoken words which no mother ever wants to hear; "You are a bad mother and a bad person." It affected her, and if I had been able to see her eyes, I am sure I would've found the faint trace of a tear ebbing up from within them, yet she sat and continued to speak with the calm assurance of a woman who knew the truth of who she was, and all that she had been through to just be sitting across from him now.
In that moment I was given eyes to see what her son could not see:
I saw her holding him close wiping his tears as she sang him back to sleep after a rough night of teething pain.
I saw her making up stories at bedtime to stimulate his still forming imagination.
I saw her soothing him with a cool cloth as he lay in bed suffering from a fever that was waiting to break.
I saw her playing games, making him laugh, finding his favorite blanket and snuggling him up in it.
I saw her helping him with school work late into the night.
I saw her working hard so she could take he and his sister on trips every year.
I saw her finding that black shirt, you know the one with the long sleeves, that he always liked to wear, that he had displaced until her Mom radar had located it.
I saw her at their school activities, at their concerts, and sporting events.
I saw her struggling with a body that wouldn't work right, and a heart that had known incredible abuse.
I saw her down on her knees every night praying for him and his sister long after they had fallen asleep.
I saw her make mistakes as a parent; relationships that were bad, decisions that were not good, failures that she learned to turn into fuel.
I saw her grow, overcome deep adversity, conquer her inner demons, transform her life, love with every ounce of her being, even when it was undeserved, and serve others selflessly...
I saw her, really saw her...and she was something to behold.
The conversation came to an end, she told him how sorry she was for the mistakes she had made in the past, she asked him to get to know her now, she asked for his forgiveness, and told him that she loved him and that that would never change. And he left "having eyes that see but don't really look, and ears that hear but don't really listen."
So maybe, just maybe, you haven't really been seeing the people around you? Maybe you haven't really been hearing them? Maybe we all need to have a Godly vision check and a Godly hearing test? Maybe we could "be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32) Maybe we could extend grace and mercy to those in need of it, rather than condemnation and judgement? Maybe 'toxic people' need a tonic of love and kindness? Maybe love really does conquer all? Maybe love really is the answer?
Ask to see what you haven't been seeing.
Ask to hear what you haven't been hearing.
Open your heart to the knowledge that your perception may have been distorted and just 'see' what God will do...
Written by Anne Marie Hawke
For more information about my blog, or to find out more about my writing, please visit my website at hawkewriter.com
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45)
What is the abundance of your heart at this moment? The answer lies in your mouth. What have you been saying to yourself, about yourself? What have you been saying to others, about others? Is it 'good treasure,' that you have stored up in your heart, and 'guarded diligently for out of it flow the springs of life?' (Proverbs 4:23) Or is it 'evil treasure,' that you have hoarded from your past, from your hurt, from your pain, from your offense, from the 'father of lies?' (John 8:44)
Does what you speak uplift, encourage, bless, honor, and love? Does what you speak flow with kindness, gentleness, faith, hope, compassion, mercy and grace? Or does what you speak discourage, dismantle, tear down, and crush? Are you speaking unkindness, doubt, hate, bitterness, self-loathing, and despair?
What is abundant in your heart will be spoken from your lips.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it will eat the fruit thereof." (Proverbs 18:21)
What if we spoke out of the abundance of Christ in us? What if we spoke from a heart full of Him? What if we 'let our speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that we may know how we ought to answer each person.' (Colossians 4:6) What if we were 'quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.' (James 1:19) Out of the abundance of Him in us we would be abundantly kind, thoughtful, loving, tender, peaceful. We would wait before we speak, we would speak with loving caution, we would speak faith, we would speak forgiveness, love and mercy. Our words would accept, cover, protect, and bring healing and life.
Check your words because they reveal your heart. Check your heart because it reveals you as you truly are. Check your treasure; is it given, or stolen?
Yield your heart to Him.
Yield your thoughts to the Him.
Yield your words to Him.
Let your heart be abundant with the abundance of Him...
Written by Anne Marie Hawke
To sign up for my blog or to find out more about my writing go to my website at hawkewriter.com
"He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (Daniel 3:25)
The fire that had been heated seven times hotter than normal did not burn them or keep them from moving. And they were walking around in the midst of an incredibly hot furnace! Like them, we must keep moving even in the midst of a fiery trial with flames dancing all around us. We must go through--not around, not over or under, not stopping and focusing on the flames--we must go through--we are called to go through. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4) "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." (Isaiah 43:2) "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
We must go through the sorrow that threatens to drown us.
We must go through the sickness that seeks to ravage our life.
We must go through the silence that drapes like a dark shadow.
We must go through the heartache that envelopes us.
We must go through the pain that covers us like a cloak.
We must go through the depression that shrouds our heart.
We must go through the doubts that disturb our faith.
We must go through the loss that we thought would never come.
We must go through anything that seeks to derail us from our true purpose.
The secret is in knowing that you are not going through alone. He is with you. He is in you. "He will never leave you, nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) Keep moving, keep going through! Whatever you are facing He is there, holding your hand saying, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)
Anne Marie Hawke, May 2019
To find out more about my blog, or my writing, please visit my website at hawkewriter.com
"I consider everything as loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." (Philipians 3:8)
It's in the pain that mercy speaks loudest
It's in the pain that we truly grow near
It's in the pain that we hear the loudest
The voice of our Redeemer saying, 'Do not fear'
If the pain never comes our faith remains alone
If we do not suffer our faith is merely a word
If we never know loss, betrayal, or battle
If there was no struggle our faith would go unheard
An unlit candle does not shine until it's lit
An unlit fire will never give warmth until it burns
An unlit heart remains dark until if truly loves
And an unlit life will never shine until it yearns
Yearns to hear the Master say, 'Well done'
Yearns to hear His voice amidst the pain and strife
Yearns to touch the thing it cannot yet see
Yearns to know that from great loss comes true life...
Nothing truly matters without the surpassing greatness of truly knowing Christ.
And everything truly matters when you come to know the surpassing greatness of truly knowing Christ.
He is 'above all, and through all, and in you all.' (Ephesians 4:6)
"Light is always costly and comes at the expense of that which produces it. An unlit candle does not shine, for burning must come before the light. And we can be of little use to others without a cost to ourselves." (Streams in the Desert, April 26th)
Written by Anne Marie Hawke
For more information, or to find out more about my blog, please visit my website at hawkewriter.com
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding..." (Proverbs 3:5)
A beautiful, amazing, Godly woman dies at 49 of a brain tumor: mother, sister, friend, prayer warrior, giver, worshiper.
A wonderful, kind, thoughtful, amazing young man dies at 22 of deep pain that he didn't allow anyone to see: creative, intelligent, funny, giving, sensitive, sweet.
A hard-working, gifted, incredible leader, finds herself without a job after 30 years of pouring herself into her career.
A child, not yet two years old, is diagnosed with an incurable disease.
The man you thought was so in love with you, is seen with someone else.
The family you thought would love you unconditionally, just put conditions on their love.
You've suffered years of abuse and the pain is unbearable.
Things happen in life that do not make sense. Things happen that we cannot wrap our heart or our head around. Things happen. Awful, horrendous things that steal our joy, break our heart, and leave us weary, in despair, without hope.
What are we do to with these things? In light of a God who claims He loves us 'with an everlasting love?'(Jeremiah 31:3) A God who says that 'He will never leave us nor forsake us?'(Hebrews 13:5)
We are to trust Him.
We are not to 'lean on our own understanding' (Proverbs 3:5), because there are many things in life that we will simply not understand on this side of heaven.
What I know is this:
We have an enemy who 'walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.' (1 Peter 5:8)
We have an enemy whose purpose is 'to steal, kill, and destroy.' (John 10:10)
We have an enemy who will 'speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High...' (Daniel 7:25)
And if he can deceive us, distract us, divide us, cause us to doubt, or leave us in despair, then he has kept us from being who we were meant to be in God. He has kept us from trusting in and leaning on the our awesome loving God. He has achieved his purpose.
We must choose to trust God with the things that we do not understand. We must choose to believe that His plan for our lives will not be stopped, despite what the enemy throws at us. We must choose not to quit, not to give up, and to walk through whatever we have to, knowing that He loves us, that He is with us, that He is in us, and that 'He came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly.'
He is able. He is God Almighty. He is faithful. He is true.
Keep trusting Him even when nothing makes sense and it all hurts...
Written by Anne Marie Hawke, April 2019
For more information on my writing, or to sign up for my blog, please visit my website at hawkewriter.com
"Be still, and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10)
Years ago, I had a Rottweiler, and one of his favorite things to do was to play tug-of-war. He was exceptionally good at it! He would not let go! It didn't matter what I would do to try and distract him, how hard I would pull, or how long I would stand there putting tension on that rope toy; He was not going to relent! He was tenacious!
Tenacity is being able to grip something firmly; it is determination; it is persistence. "Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off (or let go.)" (Oswald Chambers)
To "Be still," requires tenacity. The tenacity is depicted by the comma we find after the words "Be still,"; a comma is a pause, it is put there to make you take a breath before moving on. Pausing spiritually requires patience, and waiting for God is one of the greatest strains in life. It is only in the 'being still' that we come to "know that He is God." It is in the comma that our true tenacity is seen. Will we hold on when the tension on our rope is so strong that our spiritual jaw hurts, when our muscles are fatigued from the strain of gripping onto that promise with everything that we have? Will we hang on fiercely as time ticks on while we wait for the silence to break, for the answer to come, for the healing to be manifested, for the forgiveness to flow?
And it is only after we have held on persistently that we come to 'know that He is God.'
As we wait, He speaks. As we wait, He works. As we wait, He loves. As we wait, He transforms. As we wait, He becomes. He becomes the rope that we are holding onto, He becomes the tension on the other end, He becomes the strength of our jaw, He becomes our stillness. It is in this tenacious patience that He reveals that He "is all, and in all." (Colossians 3:11)
Be tenacious! Never give up! Take hold of Him with everything you've got and don't let go, and you will know God in ways you never imagined you could!
"Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is everyone that retains her." (Proverbs 3:13,18)
It's all grasping
laboring for what isn't real
It's all striving
pulling at what we hope to feel
It's all futile
hiding from the truth
It's all wasted
digging to find proof
The evidence is lacking
the search ends in vain
All that we are holding
nothing but loss and pain
Why do we not get it?
Why do we constantly refuse?
Why do we dig through garbage
for the thing we cannot lose?
Lay upon the altar
let the fire consume
Until all is dust and ashes
the burning embers of you
When you are ready to be offered
When all becomes sterility
He will come and He will prove
to be all you ever dreamed that He would be...
To find out more about my writing, or to subscribe to my blog, please visit my website at hawkewriter.com.
Anne Marie Hawke
"...but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead..." (Romans 6:13)
What if you died? What if you had been dead for days, or years? And what if one day, you were not dead anymore, what if you came back to life? What if you suddenly were alive again? This is the experience of every true believer. We were dead. Dead in our own way, our own will, our own desires. Dead in our destruction, dead in our thoughts, dead in our souls. Dead: unable to produce life. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus..."
We have been made alive. Lifted out of the grave of all that we were outside of Christ. The great love of God has rescued us from the tomb of sin, and like Lazarus, our grave clothes have fallen off and we are now dressed in the righteous holy clothes of Christ. We are no longer bound to be who we were. We are no longer bound to our past. We are no longer bound to death.
Are you living as if you have been pulled out of the grave? As if God breathed fresh breath into your lungs? Are you living yielded to His love, yielded to His life, yielded to Him?
What if we all started acting like we have been raised from the dead? What if we got up every day and believed we have been made alive? Do you think that thing you are so worried about would exist anymore, if you had died and been brought back to life? Do you think that addiction you can't live without would be able to last beyond being brought back from the dead? Do you think that unforgiveness would last a day, even an hour, if you had died and been resurrected?
Yield. Surrender. Give up your life. Be made alive in Christ.
Live as one that is alive from the dead!!!!
To learn more or to subscribe to my blog, please visit my website at hawkewriter.com
Anne Marie Hawke
"And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." (John 1:16)
"Grace is love that cares, and stoops and rescues." (John Stott)
"One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those people who stray as 'those evil people' or 'those poor people who need our help.' Nor must we search for signs of 'loveworthiness.' Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are." (Philip Yancey)
Grace is receiving what we don't deserve; it's being drenched in the love of God even while our hand is still in the cookie jar. It's the father of the prodigal son running out to meet him joyfully---after he had spent all of his inheritance, and disgraced his family and himself. (Luke 15) Grace is a God who would come to rescue men from their sin by giving His own life, even as they beat Him, mocked Him, and hung Him on a Cross. "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 KJV)
Grace is knowing a wrong, experiencing a painful blow, being deeply hurt by someone you love and being able to see them through eyes of love and forgiveness anyway. It is loving without boundaries. It is giving when all you have known is taking. It is loving in the face of hating. It is the very essence and person of Jesus Christ. If you live long enough you recognize more and more the need for grace in your own life, and in the lives of others.
I did not have an easy childhood, things went on that should never go on in the life of any child. For years I was angry at my parents, couldn't understand their actions or the things that were done. But now, that they are both gone, now that I have lived some life, now that I have been in need of grace from others and have not received it, it has caused me to see Christ, and His grace in new and deeper ways. My parents also had rough pasts, particularly my mom, and I believe now that they truly did the best they could with the past they had. I can extend grace to them because I have received such great grace from God in Christ. I have no right to hold anything against them because God did not hold anything against me. We all need to extend grace rather than wrath to others.
If not for His grace I would not be here typing this now. If not for His grace I would not have known the love and acceptance of true friends. If not for His grace I would have been a statistic instead of a survivor. If not for His grace I would not have known what true love looks like. If not for His grace I would be "stuck in my old sin-dead life, incapable of responding to God--but God brought me alive--right along with Christ!" (The Message)
So, the next time you feel like you have been wronged, the next time you are offended, the next time you are betrayed, abused, rejected, or taken for granted: take a moment, look at the Cross, pray and don't respond in kind: instead respond with grace and mercy, express the love of God rather than the love of judgement or vengeance...
Grace---It really is amazing!!!!!!!!
To find out more about my blog or my writing please visit my website at hawkewriter.com
Anne Marie Hawke
This is love that does not quit. This is love that loves despite knowing everything about you, even the ugly, bumpy, mangled pieces of your past. This is love that lays itself down selflessly. This is love that gives and forgives again, and again, and again... This is the love of God.
In general we are conditional lovers. Conditional love says: "I will love you if..." "I will love you if you do what I want." "I will love you if you make me happy all the time." "I will love you if you look how I want you to look." "I will love you if you conform to my many rules." Unconditional love says: "I will love you always." "I will love you irregardless." "I will love you no matter what." "I will love you even when you are unlovable." The only true, pure, unconditional love is found in God. "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:9-10) "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
Unconditional love, the love that we all so desire, the love that just simply loves at all times, in all circumstances, in all places, can only truly be found through Christ in God. A good person may love in a good way. A great person may love in a great way. But no person can truly love another unconditionally, apart from the love of God. If you take the verses in 1 Corinthians above, and you replace the word 'love' with the word 'Jesus' you will see that He is the embodiment of unconditional love.
When we truly see the Cross, when we truly see the love of God displayed there, when we truly yield ourselves to God in complete surrender; His love is formed in us. We are not our own, our love is not our own, our lives are not our own, and we come to say with the Apostle Paul; "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
Are you finding it difficult to love?
Are you finding it difficult to forgive?
Are you finding it difficult to truly express your heart?
Are you finding it difficult to find and keep love?
Are you finding it difficult to let go of past hurts?
Are you finding it difficult to truly live out of your true self?
Are you finding it difficult to let go and move forward?
Embrace the love of God, let the love of God embrace you, embrace others with the love you have been given in Christ...love unconditionally as He loves you.
If you would like to subscribe to my blog, or find out more about my writing, please visit my website at hawkewriter.com
Written by Anne Marie Hawke
qUIET IN CHAOS
Quiet in Chaos is a blog about nothing, everything, and all things inbetween…it’s a space, an ellipsis, a deep pause. Life can be chaotic, and often needs more moments of quiet…So join me as I share and give through the written word, the place I find my Quiet in Chaos…