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He Pursues Us // Share The Brew With Carrie Lorfano

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I am excited to introduce my next Share The Brew guest writer. Carrie of Let Hearts Bloom and I met about two years ago when we began reading each other’s blogs. We’ve bounced blog design ideas off of each other and have participated in some of the same Facebook groups for bloggers. I love Carrie’s heart for the Lord, the simplicity of her writing and her graphics are always beautiful. I know that Carrie’s words will bless you today. And don’t forget to visit her blog for more inspiration.

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I watched as cedar play sets were assembled and fences went up. Backyard decks were built. Across the street an enormous hole was dug for a swimming pool. The next-door neighbor arrived one night in a new luxury sedan.

I compared the decor, the landscapes. I contrasted it all to the meager income we earned. Rooms left empty because we didn’t have money to furnish them. Bare walls. Unadorned windows.

I wanted what they had. If I had the same stuff, I’d be happy. Surely the pretty things would make me feel better, whole and satisfied. The discontent bubbled. We were living paycheck to paycheck, unable to compete with ‘The Joneses’.

Didn’t God owe me after the conflicts He allowed into my life? Wasn’t it due me? When was it my turn?

Somewhere along the way I accepted the lie that I was entitled to favor, especially because I suffered. When I didn’t get what I perceived to be right or good, I blamed God. He became the scapegoat for my failures, shortcomings and disappointments. I allowed my relationship with Him to disintegrate.

I scarcely thanked God for the blessings He laid before me: the healthy child, the hardworking spouse, food and shelter. Instead I convinced myself it wasn’t enough. I deserved more.

Plus I fought the urge to run. The anger pushed, pulled and tempted. I searched frantically for liberation.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
(Psalm 139:7-10)

I looked for a reason to leave if merely to stop the disillusionment. It came. We were transferred out of state.

But the emptiness followed me. Nothing filled the void. It took less than a year to realize the move was a big mistake. Why did God strip me of family and friends and lead me to this foreign state and town?

Do not regard lightly the discipline of The Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom The Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.
(Hebrews 12:5-6)

I’d love to say I learned quickly and begged for God’s mercy then and there. This summer marks the 13th year of our move. I wasted years and years seeking something – stuff to mask the pain – but I really needed Someone.

How would I escape the self-centered pit I created? How could I forgive and begin to heal the past? I lived rebellion; I had no clue how to get out of it.

Until I met a pastor and was welcomed into his church. Until The Holy Spirit opened my heart so I heard and believed the Bible. Until I accepted Jesus Christ and learned to follow.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Slowly, tenderly, Fatherly, He pruned. God’s love and discipline – which brought me hundreds of miles from what I’d known – saved me.

[tweetthis]He never stopped pursuing broken me. @CarrieLofrano #sharethebrew[/tweetthis]

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)

And I wait eagerly for the day when I meet my Lord and Savior and hear Him say, “Welcome Home, daughter. I am all you need.”

CarrieLofrano_circleCarrie believes everyone has a special story to tell. On her blog, Let Hearts Bloom, she openly shares her gratitude, thankfulness and awe for the grace given by God. She lives in the southeast with her husband and four children where she homeschools and prefers to hibernate during the summer months. Connect with her on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth
    April 8, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Carrie, what a beautiful testimony to how God pursues us and how He tenderly and slowly disciplines us. I could very much relate to our story as I too spent many years believing I was entitled to favor too. I compared myself to others who had more and even began spending beyond our means because I thought more would make me happy. God was always the One needed to fill those empty and broken places in my heart.

    Such a blessing to see you sharing at the lovely Barbie’s today. Two beautiful hearts coming together!! Love you both. xoxo
    Beth recently posted..Should I Make Myself Write?

    • Reply
      Carrie
      April 8, 2015 at 5:46 am

      I wish I could bring back the years I wasted but it took me that long to learn. And I can reflect on it now and I doubt I’d be the same person had we stayed in my home state. God worked His love in me and through me – I am so blessed! Thank you, Beth for your lovely comment! Much love to you, friend!

  • Reply
    Rosann
    April 8, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Carrie, I really enjoyed this post! Having been the Joneses myself as well as the neighbor who longs for those things, I can relate. What I’ve learned living both roles is that it’s all just stuff. True prosperity is born from love, which comes from God. Every household, regardless of financial status experiences hardship, grief, sorrow, and sinfulness. It’s how we pull together in love with the people who God has placed in our life, homes, or on our path that determines true prosperity. At least that is the lesson God has taught me over the years. The rug filled with the treasures of life can always be pulled right out from underneath us when we least expect it, but nobody can take away the love in our hearts. ☺️
    Rosann recently posted..When Facing the Impossible is Just Another Day for You and Your Husband

    • Reply
      Carrie
      April 8, 2015 at 5:56 am

      Rosann, yes! It all can be gone in a blink. It was a very difficult – and long! – lesson for me to learn. I have to be careful not to let those envy tendencies flare up. I love how you wrote “True prosperity is born from love, which comes from God.” I will hold tightly to this truth. Thank you! Blessings!

  • Reply
    Ginger Harrington
    April 8, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Thanks for sharing your story with such candid frankness about the attitudes you struggled with. Isn’t it interesting how we can fall into the trap of believing God owes us for our suffering? That hit home a little too closely for me. So nice to meet another blogger in Barbie’s gracious space!
    Ginger Harrington recently posted..Sharing At Guideposts About Planting Roots of Faith

    • Reply
      Carrie
      April 8, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Ginger, it was tough to write! I allowed my anger to control everything. I still carry a lot of shame for my behavior. Yet He uses it all for good! I’m able to teach my children from my mistakes and show how grateful I am for God’s mercy. It is lovely to meet you!

  • Reply
    Lux Ganzon
    April 10, 2015 at 5:47 am

    That is what I love about our Father. He alone can fix us and He never stops chasing us no matter how far we’ve run away from Him.

    Have a fantastic weekend!
    Lux Ganzon recently posted..What Would You Say? (Famous Last Words)

    • Reply
      Carrie
      April 13, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Yes, I am in awe of His patience and unconditional love! And so thankful He continued to pursue me especially because I least deserved it! Blessings to you!

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