Saturday, October 29, 2011

Climbing Out

The sun is shining and it's cool and breezy here in west Texas. It's a Saturday morning and I stayed up way too late last night. I can feel it in my body. Why am I sitting here typing rather than curling up in my recliner and counting little lambies? I haven't a clue. I suppose my adrenaline is flowing after a red tail hawk tried to make munchies out of my baby chicks. I heard the mama hen going insane outside and knew something bad was up. That hawk was very bold and pushing her luck. I told her to get lost and she flew over the yard a second time as if to say, "I'll be back"!  I got out my 410 shotgun and loaded it, but somewhere in the back of my head I knew she wouldn't be back so soon.

Mama hen was still pretty freaked out. I counted and all ten of her original dozen chicks were accounted for. She took them under the fragrant rosemary bush and calmed them by fluffing her feathers and allowing them to cower under the safety of her outspread wings. I hate losing chicks. I watched the first chicklet fade from day one and then found it laying still its tiny legs outstretched as if to say, "I give up". The second chick tried to quench its thirst in the duck's swimming pool only to discover it couldn't swim and the little fuzzy baby drown. I've had that happen before so if I ever notice the numbers of chicks are down I immediately check the duck pool. It's tragic, but humans can't be bound by the restrictions of dealing with stupid hens. I've placed chicken waterers in strategic places in the yard. Mama hen insists on taking her babes all over the field and then when they get into the yard they are so thirsty they check out the closest water source. If it's the pool you can bet good money it won't survive.

I'm learning to let go of many things now that I'm a widow. I quickly found homes for seven of my nine goats. There was a time when I would have fought to keep my pet goats, but I knew that starvation was something I wasn't about to watch so I found homes and let them go while I was still numb from my husband's sudden death. I also let go of two ducks that suddenly turned up missing. At first I thought a dog or fox had gotten them, until I also noticed that one of my little pink pools was missing from its hiding place between my wash house and the workshop. I'm guessing someone needed two male ducks pretty bad? Either that or the fox wanted to have a pool barbeque party?

It's weird to sit all alone in my little house. It's even weirder to sit here looking at a 410 knowing that I can shoot it and defend my farm animals because at present I'm all they have. It's odd to think of myself as "single" after 34 years of marriage. I'm even considering the thought of dating. Now that's simply surreal.

I'm definitely climbing out of the valley, but I've only just taken one or two steps. I'm focused on hearing God for my path ahead. I don't want to move to quickly as I'm accustomed to bouncing things off my husband before I moved. Now God is acting as my interim husband and I'm learning to hear His voice apart from a natural husband. I have things to do, a vision and am just working to get His take on this whole thing. It's another new adventure I find myself on, but it's worth all the work to get it right.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In the Valley

I'm just one woman in the midst of a multitude of women who are suffering through the loss of their husbands. I used to get glimpses of what it might be like and I'd run from them. Now I have to face the fact that I'm separated from half my flesh and I must be willing to let God heal me through this painful place. In the valley my faith is tried. In this valley I have had to face really hard things. In this valley I've had to be willing to do this thing far more slowly than I'd like. I am not a novice so there is no running in the valley. I know that Miss Patience is waiting in the wings. She is willing to do her perfecting work if I am willing to allow her. In the end I will come out fully equipped to do a job I'm unfamiliar with. I want to run to a familiar place, but I find they are all gone. He's gone and I'm aching for his ears to hear, his hand to hold, his frown to correct me, his wisdom to direct me, it's all gone.

I'm amazed at each time when God meets me personally and comforts me. I know that in the valley of the shadow of death God is the closest to me. He is really with me in trouble. I've learned through experience that when I'm at the hardest places God not only is with me, but He upholds me. He has promised me intimacy if I will let Him be my husband. I'm not sure what it means to let Him be my husband. It isn't easy, but it's where I am right now.

I really would like to scream and throw a thousand temper tantrums today, but I know that all that does is give me a headache. I want to be productive, but I find myself struggling at the tiniest jobs. Then I get busy like a house a fire and run through lists of chores only to falter and land flat on my face. My knees are skinned, my hands are skinned, my face is bruised and my heart is broken. My life is in transition and the change is hard. I'm not the first woman to go through this so why do I feel so alone in it? I'm not enjoying the intimacy with my own feelings. I'm "too" in touch with the pain. I'm "too" in touch with the loss. I'm just "too".

I've lost a son. This is different, so different. I've lost dreams and hopes, but again this is different.

I thank God for allowing me to have so many friends. They call, they visit, they listen, they fill the air with words to give my mind a place of rest. But my best friend is gone. He's in heaven enjoying the presence of the Father and the ruling Lord and Savior, our Messiah Yeshua/Jesus. Can I just smack him? No. I wouldn't if I could. Can I call him back? No, that too I wouldn't do. I must get through this valley. God will see me through this valley.

How many tears can I cry? Is there no bottom to this well? How much pain can I endure? Will I find my way? Will I live again? Will I love again? What does God want of me? For now I'm in the valley. I'm looking for the mountain tops again. The place where I can find joy unspeakable and full of His glory. I will get my eyes off of me and put them where the peace that passes understanding can settle my heart. He will keep me in that perfect peace IF I stay, keep, hold my heart on Him. In the valley.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Less Than Effective Faith?

The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? -Proverbs 18:14

Last night I taught in the loverly town of Hobbs, New Mexico. For me it was a blessing and the beginning of many new things. As a new widow I'm learning to trust and hear God as my husband. It's quite a challenge to have a perfect husband! (Isaiah 54) He is ultimately patient and so encouraging. He knew I was insecure about stepping into full time ministry, but also knew I couldn't envision submitting to some man in a secular job. My heart is His word and will. So off I went on this new adventure!

We had a full house and I met several new people. They came from Hobbs, Lovington, Tatum and Roswell to hear and support me. I was touched.

The Lord had a young prophet call me shortly after my husband left for glory. My husband and I had taken him and his wife under our wings over 18 years ago. God spoke such comfort through his words! A man of prayer and study he had clearly matured a great deal in the nearly two decades since we had last communicated.

He kept telling me to guard my heart. He talked about how wounded our spirits can become and this wounding would eventually harden our hearts if left untended. Little did I know how timely his words would prove to be. I would soon be faced with am onslaught of fiery darts from the adversary directly after suffering the death of my husband of 34 years! My new husband (God) had sent ammo to prepare for the battle.

Faith is born of the heart or spirit of man."With the heart man believeth". If we have a crust or shell around our hearts it becomes harder and harder to hear God in order for faith to come. Faith comes by hearing, and the spiritual man hears in his/her heart or spirit. Every time we try to save or protect ourselves leaning on our own understanding we in effect build a wall around our hearts. It's vital to allow the intimate knowledge of Jesus to be our salvation. We are in a war and we have a desperate enemy. He is hunting for ignorant prey.

A careful study of the full armor of God reveals that the breastplate of righteousness is the piece of armor that protects the heart or spirit of man/woman. Knowing who we are in Christ is armor against condemnation and the fear of betrayal and deception. When we have been wounded once by some carnal attack, we have a tendency to try and protect ourselves. BUT if we know who we are in Christ Jesus from the beginning, we let that righteousness consciousness do all the guarding we need. Leaning to our own understanding or leaning to the arm of the flesh will get us in trouble every time. We build up those hard places in our hearts and a stronghold of fear and self pity stop us from allowing the fruits of the spirit to develop.

In another place in the word we're told that when we aren't fruitful God "prunes" the dead wood so that we can become fruitful once again. God isn't killing us, but it sure can feel painful when we undergo this "tree surgery". God is removing the things that get between Him and his children. He is returning the hearts of the children back to the Father!

Here are some scriptures I shared with the group in Hobbs last night. With some meditation you too will see that "keeping your heart with all diligence" is simply trusting that you are in rightstanding with God and that equips you to stand strong in the face of persecution, rejection, betrayal, or any of a multitude of attacks from the enemy. We may be deceived into thinking that we're fighting friends, enemies or acquaintances, but we aren't supposed to wrestle with flesh and blood. We must realize we are fighting the "accuser of the brethren". The more we see that and allow Christ (the anointing that destroys all yokes) to be formed in us, the fewer hard places we'll see in our own hearts and the better we will hear God's voice (the Holy Spirit) so faith and all the other fruits of the spirit can develop!

Isaiah 66:2, 57: 17, Psalms 34:18, Proverbs 4:23, Luke 8:11-15, Romans 10:10, Ezekiel 11:19.

If you believe you have hard places in your heart (spirit) you need to pray for God to remove and heal those places. You need your heart or spirit to be productive and hearing for healing to come. It's not too late, if your heart has waxed gross or is getting hard God can take out the stony heart and give you a heart of flesh. He is such a gentle surgeon and while you're going through the process of healing and restoration He gives His angels charge over you to "keep" or guard you in all your ways! It will be a time of rest and restoration.

Let me pray for you. Email me if you know you've been betrayed, rejected, hurt or something else and that there is a chance you have hard places you're not even aware of. Email me here.

God bless and touch you now.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Broken Hearted

I've been widowed now for 18 days and it isn't easy. I miss my husband and think of him often. He was far from perfect, but God gave him to me and I loved him with every bit of my heart. He is gone from me and the adjustment is excruciating. He was much sicker than I knew and it hurts me deeply that he was unable to express the depths of despair he was in. BUT he no longer suffers and I must move on.

I have always been committed to the work of God. While I was married to Jeff he was my focus. He knew how much I lived for and loved him, but God's will was always the compelling force behind my love. I hate sin because it kills, steals and destroys the lives of God's precious children. My heart was constantly for my husband to walk in his call with strength and holy integrity. My desire put a great deal if pressure on a man who had passions like all men. God forgive me if I was not led by His will for my husband.

Today I find peace in His written word as well as that which He speaks to me. I will share the passages I was led to and should you be in a broken place, perhaps you will find comfort as well.

Isaiah 57:15 for thus saith the High and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy. I dwell in the high and holy place, with him (or her) also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

We are told to "guard our hearts" for out of them proceed all the issues of life. Faith and all other fruits of the spirit are from our hearts or spirits. When we are wounded in heart by offenses, cares, worries, lusts and sin we need healing and restoration. An untended heart becomes a hardened heart. A hardened heart cannot hear thus no faith. Submitting to God for this sort of healing and restoration is a must.

The other passages I am meditating on are: Isaiah 66:2, Psalm 51:7, and 34:18. I trust you will take the time to look these up and feed your heart!



- love never fails...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Unseen Husband

If you are a strong woman, others tend to think you never struggle or have needs, but that just isn't so. In order to become a strong woman I've had to press through what seemed like impossible situations and put my entire trust on a God I cannot see. The first time I did this I thought I would die, but God saw me through and He continues to do so every difficult moment I face.

Today is the one week "anniversary" of my husband going home to be with God. I'm not crying this moment, but I'm pretty sure I'm not through crying. I am very blessed to have hundreds of friends and a few family (blood) members that uplift me in a thousand ways, but when everyone goes on about the business of living and I am left to myself I will do what I have always done, and that is trust the unseen Creator for my very breath.

My life has had it's share of sorrows, disappointments, and devastating situations, but I have a peace that runs deep in my soul. I know my God in a truly intimate way. As Isaiah 54 says, "I am your husband", so has the Lord become mine.

I sometimes ask God how people make it who do not know Him, or who merely know about Him, and He is quick to remind me that they don't "make it". They may give off all the noise of success, but in the end they end up bitter, broken and in bondage.

I have learned (by experience) to embrace suffering when it comes. I can only do this after many previous opportunities at handling impossible situations WITH God and His word as my bedrock. He is truly the strength of my life and my portion forever.

I have also learned that God's word is a living thing. Not only does He uses it to provide answers for those who trust it, He created everything we see and know by it. He truly upholds everything by the word of His power.

I continue to go forward because I am compelled to do so. The zeal of God consumes me, it burns within my soul. I can't go the way of most widows, but must trust and obey my unseen husband.


Love never fails.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

From Wife to Widow

I am not a morbid person, but I am at present acutely aware of a multitude of widows around me in these past few days. I've been a widow for nine days and it is still so surreal. My husband of 34 years died suddenly after a few days of suffering flu like symptoms followed by what I think was a massive coronary. I still have such vivid images in my mind of him slumping over on the sofa, of myself dragging him to the ground and performing chest compressions for 30 minutes while I waited for the EMT's to arrive. I remember calling 911 and yelling at the operator my address and the details of my situation. She directed me as calmly as she could and I did what she told me. I'm pretty sure my husband was gone immediately, but I wasn't going to sit and do nothing. I remember screaming at my husband, "You will live and not die and declare the works of the Lord." I used everything in my spiritual and physical arsenal to help him, but he saw the light and was gone.

I've talked to so many people that my husband ministered to throughout the southwest. Each person had a story to tell. They shared recollections of his about his earlier trip to heaven. In 1994 he had been electrocuted at a television transmitter building. With 19,660 volts and 600 amps of power coursing through his body, he was "cooked" in a matter of moments. I too remember his retelling of that fateful day. I also remember the days, weeks, months and years that followed his experience. He had to overcome many horrific symptoms in body after becoming a human conductor. When ministry would get to be too much, or when I felt myself losing faith I would ask him to retell the story. I lost count how many times he shared it with me. I always felt revived after he shared it. I fear now that I may have helped him "cross over" early by insisting he recount his experience. He mentioned heaven a lot in the past couple months. He also mentioned how hard it was to stay here. After he grew so ill I think he just gave up. He had said repeatedly, "If I see the light again, I will not come back."

Here I am left with all the responsibilities of ministry, a farm and home life without a man. I try not to be too occupied with all the pressures and work hard to hear God give me simple instructions. I take things slowly and prioritize constantly. I also lean hard on friends and family to get through the hardest of times. I have friends calling, visiting, messaging and writing. We have always been givers and God is sending a harvest of help as I focus on hearing and obeying Him in place of my lover of 34 years.

I'm not alone in my mourning. Our daughter and grandchildren are going through a kind of hell of their own. They are in shock as they remember a vital, strong man who took them to Disneyland in June and then spent a week playing with them the last week in August. We also have hundreds of friends and family members who are faced with their own mortality when they consider Jeff's strength and realize that at his end he was as frail as any human and just a man.

After the loss of our son 32 years ago I have some experience in mourning. I have never lost half of myself before so this is a whole new ball of nasty wax. I don't allow myself to fall over into depression, but I do allow myself to cry until my eyes hurt they are so swollen. When I sense it's time I face my husband's things and slowly sort through them as I distribute or throw them away. It's weird, but I almost feel guilty cleaning out his things. He doesn't need them, but they were his and we always honored each others' stuff and personal space. I've put a favorite picture of the two of us down where I am forced to see it. We were supposed to go to Fredericksburg, Texas for Octoberfest and that never happened. In the framed picture we are both wearing German costumes; me in my dirndl and and he in his lederhosen. It was taken by a kind stranger when we were in Fredericksburg last year.

I'm going to live, but I have much to go through in the days ahead. I'm embracing the sorrow that comes as I'm able. I talk to everyone pretty honestly. I'm a private person when it comes to the really hard parts of the mourning process. I spent my second night as a widow home alone. At first I was terrified, but I used the solitude to wail and expel sorrow like I've never seen or experienced before. I may do it again, but it was good to do it earlier. Otherwise I doubt I could have conducted his funeral.

I also know that when this is over and the worst of the suffering is done I will comfort other women who find themselves suddenly or not so suddenly alone. That's just how God works with me.

For now I blog. I have no idea who will read this or how it will impact the readers. I write for myself, but know it could very well get someone through a similar situation. God will see me through this all one step at a time. He's just that present for me and faithful to me. He is my husband now and He is doing an awesome job. I've seen many miracles in the midst of the sorrow and one day I shall add the list of them to this blog.

I'm so thankful I can express myself here and feel lightened in doing so.

Blessings as you read.

Cerise Welter

Sunday, October 2, 2011

One Whole Week

I laid my husband to rest just two days ago after 34 years of being together. It is still surreal, but I'm still alive and that is something I never thought I'd say. I have such mixed emotions today. I'm SO happy he is no longer suffering in body. He had so many physical abnormalities he suffered after being electrocuted. The rest of the world never knew and some things he never shared with me. He was such a man of faith. He had walked in the river of life before and it took every bit of his faith and will power to stay here on planet earth afterwards. He would tell me that it was a continual struggle to keep from just going home. He even shared with his closest family in the Body of Christ that IF he ever saw the light again he would not come back. Again because he is no longer suffering I am blessed he went home. Of course I'm sad that I shall never feel his arms around me, I will never feel his tender kisses, his firm but loving correction, his honest laughter or a million other things we shared on a daily basis.

I have been surrounded by the love of my friends and the Body of Christ to see me through these early days of my widowhood. Calling myself a widow is also so surreal. I used to write a newsletter on my website called, "The Widow's Might". I always felt a sense of dread when I wrote it and prayed I would never know the sorrow of the woman left behind by her husband.

My husband was also a modern day apostle and did things that put him in harm's way on a regular basis. In the back of my mind there was always the knowledge that he might not come back from the places he went. Many of those he sought to evangelize feared and even hated him. He had been thrown in jail and threatened many times. He had been taken to places where his haters attempted to kill him, but they were never able to even harm a hair of his head. Each time he would return I would sigh a huge sigh of relief and breath again for another month. When he finally shook the dust from his feet the last time, I was hilariously happy because he was in "less" danger than he had been.

The physical weakness of his body was never very apparent to others, but I was normally pretty conscious of when he was in pain or when other symptoms would make his living a struggle. After having his body cooked from electrocution his ankles were fused, his knees were fused and his hips were affected. In the days immediately following that fateful day when he stuck his hand in 19,600 volts and 600 amps of electricity he suffered hallucinations and many other horrific things. We walked through each one a day at a time. He never would submit to modern medicine, but chose instead to go to the word of God for his answers. It saw him through 17 years of life and I am pretty sure he thought it would go that way this time as well. The only difference is that he was weary of the road and the sickness that came on him was devastating and sudden.

It has been a week since he slumped over on the sofa and I spent 30 minutes attempting to revive him using CPR. It's been a week since I screamed at him to "live and not die and declare the works of the Lord". It's been a week since I watched the EMT's take him away in an ambulance. It's been a week since the Sheriff's came and questioned me about his death. It's been a week since I went to the hospital to see his body still on the examining table. It's been a week since I called his mother and told her he was gone. It's been a week since our friends surrounded me with loving arms and wept in disbelief that this strong man was gone. It's been a week since the life I've known for so long was suddenly upended and changed.

I'm alive and breathing. I'm forcing myself to think about my life without him. I know I will go on but "Oh God" do I ache for things to be the way they were.

Today is the beginning of another week. I wonder where I will be in seven more days?