Category Archives: Depression

Walls

O to be a soul set free from all the chains that bind,
From strongholds and old habits and leave them all behind.
To become all that God has planned; to soar just like a bird,
To be a person shining bright; a light for the whole world.

Removing our defenses; tearing down our walls
To take an honest look at what is hidden in our souls;
To stop deflecting all our pain by pointing at another
And know that God sees secret faults that we work hard to cover.

O bow before our Father and take authority
Over all those strongholds; rebuke them and they’ll flee.
Admit the hidden sins to Him, He knows them anyway
And ask the Lord to break their hold in our lives on this day!

As God brings restoration and as He makes us new,
Instead of building walls to hide we’ll rebuild the ancient ruins;
The ruins that have cast their net from generations past,
That ravaged lives and destroyed gifts that God wanted to use.

O Father, make us whole today; create a new, clean heart,
That’s vulnerable and humble that satan can’t distort;
A heart that trusts our Father with all life’s ups and downs,
With hearts that worship and adore until we win a crown!

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

The Hidden Path

I cannot see the future Lord… but clearly I see You.
Right now the future seems unsure; I don’t know what to do.
What if things go terribly wrong and my hopes fall apart;
You’ve never failed me yet O God, so I won’t be alarmed.

My God who reaches down to save when in the waves I sink;
The One who loves me all the time, even when I’m weak.
My hope when fear is all I feel; My eyes when I can’t see.
This God of mercy, truth, and grace, He always walks with me.

I want to know what lies ahead; but God wants me to rest,
His spirit washes over me and brings peace in this test,
Even though the path is steep and hidden in the storm;
My Redeemer will not fail; these mountains I will charge!

O Sovereign God so full of grace; Please take my hand today,
Lead me, guide me safely home; I feel lost in a maze.
I lean on You my Savior King; the one who knows my name,
The one who knows my hidden dreams; Your praise I will proclaim!

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

Praise His Name!

He stood there staring out to sea
In a dark storm, out on the beach
The salt was thick as he breathed deep
And then exhaled all of his grief
He felt just like that rocky beach
Pounded and pummeled; dark and bleak
He wanted to be free from stress
His hands hung limp; he longed for rest
He said “O God where is your promise
To hear my prayer, to change my problems
For You know that I am depressed
And I am weary from this mess
I’ve prayed and sought You for the answer
I need You God to be my anchor
How does destruction bless Your name
And how does failure give You praise?”

He stood there silent and then he kneeled
And there he waited to know God’s will
And in the silence God took the stage
And said “Let go and praise My name
Fix not your eyes on crashing waves
Fix them on me, the God that saves
I’m with you when life falls apart
So praise and worship with all your heart
For when you do, you give control
To me, your maker; Father, Lord!”

In his weakness he sang and praised
He started quiet but gained in strength
He worshiped God which fanned faith’s flame
He raised his hands; he blessed God’s name
“LORD, You are good; the beginning and end
You rule the heavens by the power of Your hand
You made this world; You’re in control
No one can fathom my awesome Lord
Your mercy’s higher than the heavens
Your love is deeper than the ocean
Your grace is endless when I falter
I bow in worship before Your alter
O holy, holy are You Lord
My true redeemer; my shield, my sword!”

O Father God, I praise Your name
Use these dark times to bring You praise
Help me to grow while in this storm
O be my rudder; bring me to shore
You are my hope, there is no other
My joy and song, my perfect Father
I rebuke you satan, you’re plans won’t prosper
I break your chains for God is stronger
You are a liar; I am not yours
For I am God’s and His truth roars
You tell me everything is lost
But God say’s “no, I’ve paid the cost”
You tell me God won’t hear my prayer
But that’s a lie and I won’t fear
I loose the power of my great God
Into my life, though I am flawed.

O God, Your children of long ago
Faced a great army and had no hope
They were outnumbered; they had fear
But they knew God was standing near
And so they worshiped and they praised
You fought that battle and saved the day
They didn’t have to lift a finger
For You were mighty; You were bigger
You are that same God, now today
You are our Savior, O praise Your name!

II Chronicles 20: 1-26

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

Redeemed

Redeemed

Her room was still like time had stopped, her eyes at nothing, stared,
Until a beep from the machine, brought her back crystal clear.
She looked down at her arm and saw the IV in its place,
Just for a moment, she had gone back, to another time and space.

Tears trickled down that old drawn face, her lips began to quiver,
As she recalled the years gone by and pain that she’d delivered.
It now was clear, as she looked back; it wasn’t clear back then,
She wished to have a second chance, some way to make amends.

The angry names her mother hurled still made her cringe in pain.
And knowing that she did the same brought grief, regret, and shame.
She didn’t end dysfunction, though that had been her hope,
And life went by so very fast, change ceased to be her goal.

She looked up at the ceiling, and cried out “Are You there?
Do You care about me? Can You remove despair?
Does hope exist? Can change be known? If so, then show the way,
Hear my prayer, see my heart; I’m buried in mistakes!”

Questions filled her weary mind as she lay there exhausted,
Is it true that God restores the hurt and broken hearted?
She shut her eyes; her shoulders shook, as tears continued falling,
With humbled heart, and contrite spirit; she longed for a new calling.

The hours trickled slowly by with no response from heaven,
But a strange rest had filled her heart and peace was like a fragrance.
That restful state was broken with a stroke upon her hair,
A voice that she had longed to hear said “Mom, I’ve news to share.”

“A year ago, at my ropes end, I gave my heart to Jesus,
Since that day I’ve changed and grown, more than I can measure.
I’m learning to submit my will and die to my own way.
The chains that tightly bound us, He’s breaking more each day.”

“I love you Mom, and know your plan was never one to hurt us,
You too were hurt, and it’s been said; hurt people… will hurt people
But hope has come into my heart, revealing a new path,
We cannot change the hurt-filled past, but hopes with us at last!”

“For I can see a future paved, with a new legacy
It’s there for us if we will grow and seek God on our knees,
In God’s all knowing timing, He’ll heal each hurt and scar,
Submitting all and letting go; our lives will be restored.

“The devil brought destruction, to our hearts and souls,
But God is here to lift us up and take back all control.
We can forgive each other, as Christ’s forgiven us.
He’ll wash us clean and make us new as we give Him our trust.”

“Dear Mother, I invite you, to join us in this path,
To know that you’re forgiven and all that’s passed… is past.”
That withered hand reached out to hers, as tears rolled down their faces,
With breaking voice the elder said, “Oh…the years I wasted.”

“I’m sorry for the things I’ve done, and for the words of pain.
I wish that I could turn back time and wash it all away.
But know dear, that I love you, and I’m sorry for the hurt,
I need the hope that you have found to mend my broken heart.”

Just before the morning broke with no bells or alarms,
With peaceful heart, she breathed her last, and went to Jesus’ arms.
Her children knew that she was free from bitterness and shame,
And they rejoiced, with hands upraised, to hope in Jesus’ name.

God used her children’s hurt-filled past; took beauty from the ashes,
As they reached out to hurting souls and others who had suffered.
No troubled path, no chains that bind, no mountain sized life problems,
Are greater than the power of God who brings good from our losses.
But stubborn hearts we must lay down; to change, we must be willing,
And as we do, we shall fulfill, God’s awesome, glorious, calling.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

A Song Of Hope

“What is hope” I asked a Man
That stood in radiance, staff in hand
“How does one keep from growing weary
With broken heart and outlook, dreary? “

He looked at me through wizened eyes
And gently said “God hears your sighs
In every circumstance slow down
And look to God and His vast plan.”

“For in each life, comes toil and pain
And stress, and loss, and even shame
But don’t get stuck in that dark tunnel
With eyes fixed down and spirit pummeled.”

“For just like Joseph in the dungeon
With hopes and dreams lost in destruction
God orchestrated all his pain
To prepare him for a marvelous thing.”

“So walk THROUGH trials; eyes fixed on God
With trusting heart though life be flawed
And one sweet day, the good will come
And beauty from ashes will be your song.”

I stared into those holy eyes
And saw a story that could not hide
For He had struggled, suffered, and died
He knew what loss and shame felt like.

In that moment I began to see
That all my pain is not about me
For there is purpose to be attained
And mighty victories in Jesus’ name.

The struggles and loss, the pain and the shame
Serve a great purpose if hope-filled we’ll stay
Allowing God to work in the moment
Waiting on Him to honor His promise.

That EVEYTHING works together for good
For those that love God and follow His word
So never give up; be a prisoner of Hope
For the tables will turn; In that truth… stand assured.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

Zechariah 9:12 (NIV) 12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

Well Done My Faithful Servant

This is it. We have one life to be our very best.
To make the most of every day; to live our lives with zest,
To value most the things that last; to not be easily daunted,
To focus hard on good and right and blessings God has granted.
Though life is sometimes filled with trials; still what a gift it is!
There’s always good, if we’ll just look, for God is in our midst!

Each day live life like there’s no more, with purpose and intent,
With focus on relationships and in them, always give.
For when we reach our final hour, that’s all we’ll care about,
Not all the things that we acquired or a big bank account.
Did we love with all our heart? …Did we pour out kindness?
Did we forgive when we were wronged, like God’s forgiven us?

God has a special purpose, that He designed you for,
And you have gifts and talents, that should not be ignored.
For you can make a difference in this lost and lonely world,
And you are valued by our God, like gems and precious pearls.
We weren’t created to exist in passive isolation,
But we were made to grow and share Almighty God’s salvation.

When morning breaks take time to pause; commit the day to God,
Decide to bloom where you are planted and on each problem, trod.
Don’t be defined by past mistakes, but rather learn from them,
And you will blossom in your life and truly overcome!
Pride will never bring true gain… but it will bring a fall,
For there is nothing we can do, that God does not control.

Oh Father help us see in life, the things that really matter.
Help us fulfill Your glorious call and raise a victor’s banner!
Help us know our purpose, and help us see our gifts,
Help us rise when we could fall; pour courage into us.
Then on that day, when we stand before our God and Maker,
We’ll hear the words come from our God “Well done my faithful servant!”

Rhonda shelford Jansen

My Hope, My Joy, My Stay!

God’s with me when I flounder and when I stress and fight,
He holds me close when life is hard and full of pain and strife.
When my faith starts to falter, when I want MY control;
When I cry out that life’s not fair and can’t take anymore;
When He tells me to “Just let go” and I just cannot do it,
Because this isn’t what I planned and now I’m struggling through it.
You know I’m straining hard to keep the future like I planned,
And for a moment I trust You; the next, I take command.

I open up my bible, I cry out on my knees,
I quote and say Your promises, that usually set me free;
But here I sit in anxious doubt so desperate for an answer;
O help me get through this dark book for I don’t like this chapter.
There’s anger and frustration, boiling deep in me,
I’m trying to keep it in control and not let others see.
But I am to my breaking point; O Father rescue me!
For I am lost and needy, O come and set me free!

Hear me Lord, my Father…I know You know what’s best,
So help me trust You even when, life does not make sense.
Please help me to surrender all my hopes and dreams,
To let You to take my trembling hand and follow where You lead.
Help me to lay down all my pride and what I think is best,
Replace it with a trust so true that I walk through this test.
Fill my heart with grace and love; free me from these chains;
Take away my fear and doubt, O turn my loss to gain!

I know Your ways aren’t my ways; I know You’re infinite;
I know that You are sovereign; That You’re magnificent!
That You see the whole picture, the beginning from the end;
So I release all my control and on You, I’ll depend.
I know Your plans are good for me so help me to let go,
And in this fire pour Your peace into this stormy soul.
Bring the change You want in me, I lay down my own way,
To You my Great Redeemer, my Hope, my Joy, my Stay!

Who is the Rock, except our God; His strength is always sure.
He arms us with His power and keeps our way secure.
He makes our feet like hinds feet so we can scale the heights;
He trains our hands for battle; our sword, our shield and might.
Your right hand will sustain us; Your help will make us great;
You clear the path before us so our ankles don’t give way.
O blessing, honor glory, to the King of Kings,
For He alone makes our dark, light; He crushes satan’s sting!
Pslams 18

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

A Teachable Heart

God has you here…
Right where you are
For a well planned reason.
It’s not bad luck or circumstance
And you are not a victim.
But He looks down and reads the heart
He knows just how to change us,
And as we rest in His great love
Stress and fear shall flee us.

Its written that God loves the one
That knows His discipline;
He sees a great potential
So allows the storms and wind.
He uses the hot fire, to purify like gold,
As pressure forms a diamond,
He takes you through the forge.

How can the artist’s paintbrush
Tell her what to paint?
How can a builders hammer
Say it wants to be a rake?
How can the clay in potter’s hand
Command the potter’s work?
So how can we not trust our God
The one who gave us birth?

O help us Lord to stand in faith
When everything is rocking.
Make our hearts so teachable,
So we might know Your calling.
O help us find a peace and joy
That baffles human minds.
That we might live to overcome
And be Your shining light!

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

Our God: The Great I AM!

A wind so warm and balmy blew my cares away
The sunlight shining on my face filled me with hope today
The rhythm of the rolling waves was music to my soul
And made me stop and marvel… that God is in control.

I sat and watched the sunlight sparkle on the dancing leaves
I watched the wind invite the trees to sway with grace and ease
I saw majestic mountains, standing strong and sure
And knew our God is great indeed and we can feel secure.

Standing in a field of snow, sparkling like fine jewels
Moonlight on a silent bay brought reverence to my soul
Surrounded by earth’s fragrance, while walking through the woods
Reminded me that God loves us and created all for good.

The thunder roared the lightning flashed in God’s display of might
The rain it washed a dirty land and brought forth brand new life
The clouds in all their glory swept soft across the sky
And sunrise bright with pink and orange cut through the darkest night.

Our God is great and mighty, creator of all things
And one day soon all Earth will sing its praises to our King
For every knee will bow down on Earth and in the heavens
Singing praises to the King, as He breaks all oppression.

Our world may shake and tremble and darkness may abound
But know that our Creator is still upon His throne
He does not sleep nor slumber, He does not turn away
This mighty awesome Savior is with us in the fray
So do not fear the darkest night nor trouble in the land
Our God is still the great I Am and holds us in His hands.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

 

Rejoice!

When the fig tree does not blossom
When there’s no fruit on the vine
When the crop I needed to be big
Provides no food or wine
When there’s no sheep inside the pen
No cattle in the stall
Even then I will rejoice in God, my all and all.

God is my source of courage
The Lord GOD; HE’S my strength
He is my mighty army; He lifts and steadies me
He gives me feet to scale the heights
To walk in times of terror
He fills my heart with joy and praise
I worship Him forever!

As I bow down and praise You Lord
Your love will shine on me
With healing balm, with joy and song
I rise and dance and sing
For He has taken all my grief
And traded it for joy
O praise You God my Father
In You I will rejoice!

Rejoice in God with all your heart
Delight in Christ our savior
For He has made each day we live
And He will bring His favor
Our righteousness is filthy rags
But He sees us through grace
O Holy God, the King of Kings,
We Bless and Praise Your Name!

Rhonda Shelford Jansen
Habakkuk 3:17-19

 

The Glass Half Full

Why is the mind so easily drawn to everything that’s wrong?
Why is the natural bend to let the bad stuff bring us down?
Why is it we don’t focus, on what is good and right?
When good and bad live side by side; our focus is a choice.

Is the glass half empty… or is it half-way full?
How do we choose to see our lives and trials that are known?
Will we be over-comers that walk in victory?
Do we know that our mindset will define our destiny?

Weariness from trials, battles for control,
Hurts and wrongs and living pain can darken tender souls.
If we were raised in families that thought in negatives,
Then we are set to do the same… for it’s our heritage.

But if we recognize the truth, that dark thoughts are a choice,
Bad patterns can be broken; our hearts learn to rejoice.
Instead of trying to control, circumstance and life,
Each trial can become a chance to change; to grow; to rise.

The day is what we make it, we choose our attitude.
A thankful heart will shine and change a heavy, darkened view.
Choose to be a shining light instead of a dark cloud,
And we’ll fulfill our purpose and inspire those around.

O Lord help me to hear the words that come out of my mouth
Help me to quickly recognize each negative, dark thought
O give me words of light and hope from a thankful heart
So I bring glory to Your name and brighten up the dark.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

Sometimes negative thinking is a stronghold and binding the spirit of negativity in the name of Jesus and loosing a thankful spirit along with being aware of our thought patterns are both required to truly change a negative mindset. Being negative is like an umbrella over our heads that deflects God’s blessings and purpose away from us.
Blessings to you.

 

 

 

God Cares, Hears, and Knows

Looking out my window from thirty thousand feet
I looked down on the mountains and winding, tiny streets
I couldn’t see a single soul from this high in the air
And thought with awe that God looks down and hears
each of our prayers.

As I crossed the country, and stared down on the Earth
There lay so vast below me, a sandy, dry, desert
God says His thoughts about us outnumber grains of sand
Our lives mean that much to Him; it’s hard to comprehend.

As darkness overcame the day; the stars lit up the sky
A billion lights just hanging there, like tiny fire flies
It’s written that God knows each one; He calls each star by name
So when you feel invisible; our Savior knows your name!

He loves you precious child; He watches with great care
And if God cares for Earth and stars, know that He loves you more
He made you for good purpose; He has a plan that’s new
If you are feeling broken, He’ll mend you through and through.

O weary one, stand tall and know, that God will lift you up
The lie that He’s abandoned you; is satan’s poison cup
Bind his evil lies from you, in Jesus mighty name
And loose the truth, of God’s own word, that crushes hurt and shame!

O Maker of the heavens, Creator of the Earth
Lift our hearts, renew our minds; show us our true worth
May we run and not grow weary; walk and never faint
O give us wings to reach the heights, and heart to walk on pain.

 

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

 

Things aren’t what they seem

My eyes are shocked at what I see,
What’s happened to the world?
It’s changing fast before my eyes
And fear is gripping me.
But as I stand there frozen,
A small voice says to me,
Fear not my child, hang on tight,
For things aren’t what they seem.

My job is coming to an end,
Oh what am I to do?
I’m older now; not in demand
So failure’s what I see.
But as I fear the future,
My God, He comforts me,
“Fear not my child, know I am there,
For things aren’t what they seem.”

I’m tired of stress and trials
That plague my family.
I’ve prayed hard for change to come,
That God would set us free.
But as I wait so wearily,
My God says “Stand my child,
I’ll be your strength, your sword and shield,
For things aren’t what they seem.”

God’s at work in mighty ways
That our eyes cannot see.
He orchestrates behind the scenes,
To change and set us free.
We do not know His greater plan,
But He is in control.
So rest and turn your eyes to God,
With deeper faith; let go.

When trials come, when fears abound
Rest in His mighty hands.
Know that He is holding you,
And working out His plan.
He hears your prayers, He sees your heart,
He’s working to that end.
But know He knows what change will take,
And in faith, stand again.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

God’s Great Symphony

God’s Great Symphony

The flow of God’s timing released in our lives
Requires our trust and to stop taking charge
It puts faith front and center and God on His throne
And trusting God’s timing for He alone knows.

You’ve been praying and praying for that unsaved soul
You’ve been asking the Lord to set free all your goals
Rest and wait; He’s at work, in ways we can’t see
Its God’s perfect rhythm and timing we need.

If what we think is best, is not moving forward
If our hopes and our dreams are lost deep in the forest
Don’t give up, don’t despair, and don’t take control
Let the unforced rhythm, of God’s script, soothe your soul.

As long as we’re breathing, there’s a chance to touch lives
With each human contact we’re God’s hands and His light
Even if our lives seem insignificant and small
We’re notes in God’s rhythm and play a great part.

Each life in this world is wanted by God
The great and the small are equally flawed
He has ordained what each man’s roll will be
It’s the unforced rhythm, of God’s great symphony.

Rest where you are, move forward in faith
Submitting all outcomes; He knows the right pace
He hears all our prayers; holds our tears in His hand
As we wait on His timing He’ll help us to stand.

God’s timing is music, it’s a heavenly chorus
As we wait on our Lord, it is beauty before Him
We praise You O God, the true Great I AM
For only You know the beginning from end.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

 

 

 

 

 

Help Me Lord!

Prayer is powerful.   I believe that not only should we pour our hearts out to God with our cares and concerns  but we can also use the bible to frame our prayer life for every situation we are going through.  Below is an example  of taking scripture and turning it into a personal prayer.

 Help Me Lord!  A Prayer taken from 2 Samuel 22

O Lord my God, by the blast of your breath, split the darkness that has covered me; rescue me from above; draw me out of the deep waters – out of the darkness. Save me from the stranglehold of the enemy and all his power and circumstances that are too strong for me to fight alone.  For the enemy came upon me with a fury in the day of my calamity, but, O Lord, be my salvation, be my light, be my hope, be my future.  Make my darkness bright and may others see Christ in me.  Help me to get out of Your way and to quit trying to control outcomes. Help me to allow your holy spirit to work in my life and to change and mold me.  Use me for Your glory and rescue me and set me free by the power of Your glorious might.  For You are my salvation. 

 May I become Your delight and walk with righteousness before Your throne.  Break the strongholds that bind me and my family and set us free from the hurts of the past.  May we do good before Your face and be a great blessing to You. Thank you that You bore my shame and my despair and please carry it all for me.  For I am weak and tired and have no strength left to hide it or “put on a good face” 

May I once again, become Your delight. Give me skill to know how to fight this battle, help me to destroy the army that has come against me.  Give me the strength of the young and the strong; be my fortress and keep my family and me safe.

I Praise and exalt the rock of my salvation, I will sing praises to your name. For you are a glorious and powerful God.

I ask all of this in the holy and mighty name of Jesus Christ the holy son of God.  In Jesus name Amen.

 

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

 

Don’t Give Up

Never give up; fight the good fight
For God is by your side
It may seem like the darkest night
But dawn will surely rise
Even when God seems afar
Know He’s really near
And stand up tall and pass the test
And trust without a fear.

Seek God for His perfect plan
Let Him lead your way
For though it’s dark; He’s there with you
To comfort and to say
Fear not my child, I’m with you
I have a greater plan
And you will see as you seek me
I am the Great I AM!

Remember Joseph’s brothers
They sold him as a slave
He then was thrown in prison
For being good and brave
But in the trials he prevailed
In spite of circumstance
He kept on moving, full of hope
He waited on God’s plan
In good time God took the evil
That his brother’s planned
And used each awful circumstance to
Prepare him for God’s plan.

So in the darkest hour
You really aren’t alone
And though it seems God’s absent
Praise Him in this storm
Wait upon the Father
To use it all for good
And you’ll shine in the darkness
Of this lost and broken world
Our Savior, God eternal
The King over all men
Our Great Light in the darkness
Beginning and the End
The lover of our poor, lost souls
The One who gave us breath
O wait on Him, with trusting hearts
For He is in control.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

The Baggage Handler

A friend of mine recently shared about the baggage she had hauled around for years. She wished that she’d understood the truth earlier in life that we simply aren’t meant to carry the hurts and the pain from the past.  When we refuse to let them go, the sheer weight of it holds us back and keeps us down. Her story, inspired me to write this poem.

The baggage that I haul around
Is cumbersome and heavy
It’s bursting with pain I hide
That part of life that’s messy
I know that you can’t see my bags
So I try to pretend
That my life has been perfect
When it’s been kind of grim.

Sometimes when I am all alone
I open up the bags
I look inside and cry about
The wounded child within
The little one that needed love
When hurt and pain occurred
The child longing just to hear
One encouraging word
That teenager that struggled
From a terrible event
The young adult who made mistakes
And then felt guilt and shame
My troubles and my trials
That I work hard to manage
Each have their place; hidden away
Deep within my baggage.

If I let go of all these bags
My load would be so light
But I can’t leave that wounded child
How could that be right
It would be an injustice
To set the contents free
For I still want to make things right
For then I will have peace
So I just keep on struggling
Beneath the weight I carry
Feeling like I can’t go on
Though I keep on trying
I tell myself “Keep pushing on”
“Keep holding it together”
But all the weight is pressing in
I’m breaking from the pressure.

A friend told me, I wasn’t meant
To struggle with this load
That Jesus died to bear my yoke
Though it’s dark and heavy
He doesn’t care about my past
He only sees the future
So I looked up and gave my heart
To my Lord and Savior
Then in my deep exhaustion
I laid down all my bags
To let the contents come out
To expose those filthy rags
I took a breath, undid the latch
I let my Savior see…
And as He took my baggage…
I cried… for I was free

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

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The Baggage Handler

I recently heard a friend talk about the baggage she had hauled around for years.  She wished that she understood the truth earlier in life that we simply aren’t  meant to carry the hurts and the pain from the past, because they hold us back and keep us down.  Her story, inspired me to write this poem.

The baggage that I haul around
Is cumbersome and heavy
It’s bursting with pain I hide
That part of life that’s messy
I know that you can’t see my bags
So I try to pretend
That my life has been perfect
When it’s been kind of grim.

Sometimes when I am all alone
I open up the bags
I look inside and cry about
The wounded child within
The little one that needed love
When hurt and pain occurred
The child longing just to hear
One encouraging word
That teenager that struggled
From a terrible event
The young adult who made mistakes
And then felt guilt and shame
My troubles and my trials
That I work hard to manage
Each have their place; hidden away
Deep within my baggage.

If I let go of all these bags
My load would be so light
But I can’t leave that wounded child
How could that be right
It would be an injustice
To set the contents free
For I still want to make things right
For then I will have peace
So I just keep on struggling
Beneath the weight I carry
Feeling like I can’t go on
Though I keep on trying
I tell myself “Keep pushing on”
“Keep holding it together”
But all the weight is pressing in
I’m breaking from the pressure.

A friend told me, I wasn’t meant
To struggle with this load
That Jesus died to bear my yoke
Though it’s dark and heavy
He doesn’t care about my past
He only sees the future
So I looked up and gave my heart
To my Lord and Savior
Then in my deep exhaustion
I laid down all my bags
To let the contents come out
To expose those filthy rags
I took a breath, undid the latch
I let my Savior see…
And as He took my baggage…
I cried… for I was free

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

God’s Healing Hand On a Wounded Heart

Lord God, I kneel at your feet

Head resting in my hands

Tears of pain flowing without restraint

 

My soul, battered, is without hope

My dreams of love and acceptance gone

Success, I’m unable to define

 

You let me cry, uninterrupted

Knowing I must taste the bitterness of pain

And acknowledge its vise like grip on my heart

 

Slowly I sit,  lifting my head and hands up to you

an honest prayer is uttered, no more pretense,

pride and self-righteousness are gone.

 

“take my battered heart, oh Lord

It feels constricted and small

Like a piece of paper, crumpled into a ball.

 

It’s beat is irregular,

emphasizing the deep wounds

and my desperate state of mind.”

 

Your strong hands encompass mine

Comforting and warm

Applying pressure without pain

 

My wounded heart beats a little faster

A  rhythm I’m unfamiliar with

Steady, strong, sure, secure

 

You, oh Lord, massage the healing balm

Of forgiveness and acceptance into my heart

A spark of hope glows deep within.

 

The Holy Spirit breathes the breath of life

Into my heart, mind and body

Smoothing out the crumpled edges of my life

 

Lord God Almighty, you are the great healer

Of wounded hearts

Restoring hope and purpose to those who love you

 

To God be all glory and praise.

 

Debora Shelford Hobbs

Below are the lines from a chore in Jeremy Camp’s Healing Hand of God and a link to his video. Enjoy this beautiful song.

I have seen, The healing hand of God, Reaching out and mending broken hearts. Taste and see the fullness of His peace, And hold on to what’s being held out. The healing hand of God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-aE7zQTeEg

 

 

The Hidden Path

 

I cannot see the future Lord… but clearly I see You.
Right now all outcomes seem unsure; I don’t know what to do.
What if things go terribly wrong and my hopes fall apart;
You’ve never failed me yet O God, so I won’t be alarmed.

My God who reaches down to save when in the waves I sink;
The One who loves me all the time, even when I’m weak.
My hope when fear is all I feel; My eyes when I can’t see.
This God of mercy, truth, and grace, is faithful unlike me.

I want to know what lies ahead; but God wants me to rest,
His spirit washes over me and brings peace in this test,
Even though the path is steep and hidden in the storm;
My Redeemer will not fail; these mountains I will charge!

O Sovereign God so full of grace; Please take my hand today,
Lead me, guide me safely home; walk me though this maze.
I lean on You my Savior King; the one who knows my name,
The one who knows my hidden dreams; Your praise I will proclaim!

Rhonda Shelford Jansen