Labels: Bonnie Locke
It is with great pleasure that I introduce the newest Shepherd's fish: Bonnie Locke. Bonnie is a self proclaimed road warrior, which has led her on many adventures. She works as a nurse, and has worked with many of the top physicians over the years. She is a mother, a grandmother, and most importantly, a lover of God.
I first met Bonnie years ago when I began attending the church where she was leading worship, but it has only been in the past several years that I have become better acquainted with her, and I have had the privilege of watching an amazing transformation take place before my very eyes as she has allowed the grace of God to flow in and through her. Where I once saw brokenness, I now see healing taking place. I have seen the love of God place a glow on her face and a passion in her heart that cannot be quenched. I have watched her as she has walked through difficult times with grace and dignity, and she has journeyed with us through some painful life events as well, and has lifted us up and encouraged us with her words, her deeds and her prayers.
It is the words of encouragement that Bonnie has shared with my husband and me, and also with the band, that inspired me to nominate her to become a Shepherd's fish. The Lord has given her some really awesome words, visions and insights, and I really felt that more people should be able to read about them, and where better than through the Shepherd's fish? So welcome Bonnie! We are so glad to have you join us on this journey, and we are looking forward to reading what the Lord lays on your heart, and it is our hope that you will find encouragement for your soul in these posts as well!
Earlier in life, I overly concerned with my appearance. I mean vain. I still like to look nice, but I have outgrown the need to have a Louis Viton hand bag dangling from my arm and check myself in the mirror every ten minutes to make sure all is in place. My husband has always liked to dress well and smell nice. He is excellent at choosing clothes and putting things together that are very aesthetically correct.
Our daughter is nothing like either of us in that department. I mean, to the point that she does not match clothes or want to ware deodorant, yuck! She doesn't like dresses or feminine clothing, and she is not interested in makeup. She shaved one leg one week, and then the other the next. I was like, really? What was your thought process here, help me out, cause I'm clueless on this one! I think she doesn't take care of herself because she knows we want her to. It's infuriating! At times, I think I brought the wrong kid home from the hospital, no really! Then I see her face, hear her speak and realize, yep, she's our kid. I or Paul did this or that same thing, at her age. Oh my!
Will Sarah ever be the girley girl, I would love for her to be? Sharing makeup tips and fashion ideas with me. I don't know, I seriously doubt it though. Is that the most important thing in life? Certainly not! Both her dad and I want her to be who God made her to be,.... with deodorant though. I love her as she is and have realized she has to figure out her own style.
It must be interesting to look at us from God's perspective. I mean, He is heavenly Father to all three of us. We are all at different stages in our walk with Him, and He knows us inside and out. He is molding and making us all into His image at the same time, while using each other to do the molding. Sarah tells me to get healthy makeup, and Paul tells her to brush her teeth, hair and put on deodorant. As iron sharpens iron, we are rounding out the rough edges and being molded into God's image. The outcome will be perfect, given enough time for each of us to complete His molding process.
All my life I have had supportive parents. They have been there telling me I was smart and pretty my whole life. All the things you should tell your child. But there were other words too. Unanimous words. Words from peers and teachers alike. Ugly, stupid, and worthless. Now, I did believe my parents did think I was good. but thanks to Warner Brother cartoons, we all know the old adage, "She has a face only a mother could love." All my elementary classmates knew that one too. I grew up failing and flopping around because I was, in reality, stupid, ugly and worthless....right? I ended up firmly believing this to be true.
My parents had it right. I should have listened. It wasn't until 5 years ago when more and more friends started being intimidated by my intelligence did I realize I was missing something. I had more and more people coming to say that I was scary smart and did I have any insight into their problems. No one. I mean NO ONE had ever said those words to me. Now, everyone in my life was saying and still saying them to me. This was stunning and new to me. I still felt really ugly though. I was now the ugly smart girl.
Last year. 36 years into my life, God started breathing the words, "You are beautiful" into my soul. I was stunned. I mean I had the 1 Samuel verse framed in my bathroom to encourage me. "Man looks at outward appearances, I see the heart" See? It didn't matter I did not have a pretty face with a clear complexion God saw my heart. No matter what the outcome of primping was to be, God loved me on the inside. So when in the spring of 2013 when God started daily telling me "You are beautiful," I became very very confused. "Who me? I still get zits! I'm never happy with my Hermione Grainger hair. I'm a little pudgy around the middle. I think that is my genetic shape. You can't mean me, God." But He did. He made me. He does not make trash. None of us are trash. NONE of us are worthless.
Then my life fell almost completely apart. God used His healing words echoed by good friends, amazing parents, and my husband to hold me together. "You are pretty. You are smart." I was being attacked by Satan in those two areas right on the head. He was whispering, "See, you're ugly and you should have seen this coming. You're stupid." Our words are important. Our words have the power to take life and to build it up. Today my Bible reading was from Psalms 52. As I read the words as I am asking you now to do, I was struck at the havoc the words of others had caused my life and heart. I want to be rooted on the words that bring life. I want to be rooted on the very Name of God Himself.
No matter where your talents lay, God has given us each a spark from His hand. He has given us each a special gift that is important to life here on this planet. You may feel unimportant or average, or like I did, waaaaaaaaaaaaay below average. I am here to tell you that God has given you a gifting. Call out to Him and ask for truth and love to be spoken into your life. You are important to God. You matter. I had to stop believing lies from Satan and hear the truths of God to learn that I mattered.
In our fast paced society we have become accustomed to getting what we want when we want it. I can jump into my almost new mini van and drive 2 blocks from my house at 4 in the morning and use my debit card to buy cheese sticks, churros, a milkshake, or an Italian sub. Instant gratification.
Now I sit here watching as time ticks by at an excruciatingly slow pace waiting for a phone call, an appointment, a test result, an answer. Something has gone terribly wrong in my body. One day I was fine. The next day I was in the hospital. One moment I think I feel okay. The next moment I am sinking to the floor. My whole world has changed. Ambitions of cleaning and organizing my house, preparing and cooking a months worth of freezer meals, and writing the songs and stories that are rolling around in my head have been reduced to getting dressed, moving from my bed to the couch, taking a shower, brushing my hair, and putting on makeup.
There is nothing I can do in my own strength to remedy this situation. It is beyond my knowledge, expertise, and ability. The only thing I can do is to trust in the Lord while I wait.
I've taken on a lot of projects, and I've moved. I switch from project to project all day long, and I still have chaos lurking in every corner of the house. I know I've pushed too hard when my brain starts shutting down without permission. I can lose an entire day's work if I don't make sure that my brain gets its breaks. Rest is a must for everyone.
I have had a lot on my mind lately. Loved ones suddenly faced with serious health issues as well as ongoing family issues. A crazy, stressful week at work. Trying to motivate myself to rewrite my resume and get a job search in gear in my hometown. Ministry opportunities that have just now presented themselves and require us to seek the Lord for His direction. Financial concerns. Time constraints. Thoughts swirl around in my brain like a hurricane. Then my heart reminds me to just be still. I know that God loves me and that He knows the plan. I need to quiet myself and listen, and He will show me the what, when, where and how.