Monday, October 31, 2011

When It Hits You

Mandisa has a song called "God Speaking" that makes me all teary-eyed everytime I hear it.  The key lines in the song for me are

"Who knows how He'll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
He'll do and He'll use
Whatever He wants to
To tell us "I love you"...
What if He's somehow involved
What if He's speaking through it all"

There are times when God speaks to me that its a comfort or an encourager.  There are times when I ask God to speak to me.  There are times when I don't really want to hear what God has to say.  There are times when He says to me the opposite of what I was hoping He'd say and there are times when I'm not expecting Him to speak to me.  I truly do appreciate that He speaks to me at all, but really, if I'm honest I'd have to say that sometimes it hits like a gentle feather and sometimes it hits like a Mack truck. 

Lately, God has been speaking to me through our new church home. We really do have an amazing Pastor (Clark Mitchell) at Journey Church in Norman, OK.  We are also touched by the worship team every time we walk into the doors.  The environment is pleasant and you can really sense that people just love to be there.  Its awesome.  Since moving here, I've often felt God saying something directly to me through the messages and I've tried locking those messages away in my heart. 

This weekend, it happened again.  A guest speaker from TX came to speak about The Blessed Life.  Several interesting things came out of this, for me and for Justin.  It occurred to me during the evening service when the speaker was talking about the significance of the number 10 in Scripture...we've been tested over and over and over again and always asked "Why?"  We've spent the past 13 years of marriage wondering what we'd done to be in this place, almost constantly.  We've often come to God saying "meet this need" while never really doing our part.  Sure, we're making better decisions and are doing the best we can, but we've never agreed to meet God half-way...heck, we've never really been willing to go 1/4 of the way! 

Until now.  It was like God was using a megaphone from Heaven to say to us "You don't have to do this all alone!  I'm here and I will bless you when you just trust Me."

So, here a leap of faith and trusting God to stand behind His Word (which he will always do).  Its gonna be hard but we believe that God will come through.  We believe that He will make this possible.  I mean, if He can create the entire universe with just a simple word, He surely has the power to do what he told us He would do.  Seems silly to believe everything else about God and to not also have faith in this, doesn't it?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My New Adventure - Writing a Book

This past week has been just awful. I've been an emotional wreck as I deal with the loneliness and isolation that I'm feeling.  Oh, and I can't forget to mention the feeling that I'm stupid and pathetic for feeling the way I do.  The house is far too quiet and I recognize that I'm allowing myself to fall into a depression where motivation and enjoyment of life is hiding from me. 
So, yesterday, I sat outside on the patio. The weather was perfect for a fall day with a breeze and absolutely perfect temperatures.  I just sat there.  Thinking.  I thought about all it is that I'm missing and why I'm allowing this new challenge in my life to overwhelm me and steal my joy.  Why am I rolling around in self-pity. I've never done this before.

So, I grabbed my computer and went to (which is how I grab my Bible more times than not nowadays) and I searched for the word "alone".  Luke 5:16 "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."  It hit me.  He prayed.  He was lonely and He prayed.  He withdrew from the world around Him and drew closer to God, in prayer.

That must be what I'm missing.  The drawing closer to God in my isolation and separation from almost everything I hold dear to my heart.

So, I prayed.  I just sat with God and waited for Him to come to me.  I didn't say much, I just sat there...listening. I didn't think I really needed to say anything out loud to God because He already knows whats in my heart and how I'm struggling. 

God told me that I need to use this time to draw closer to Him.  Had I really gotten to a point where I relied more on my social network and relationships with friends, family and loved ones than I relied on Him?  I think I did.  I know I did.  I've spent far too much time focused on what I left behind when we moved over the potential blessings and opportunities God has for me, here. 

For some reason, I thought..."write about it."  When I was a teenager, I kept a journal on occasion to just get things off my chest. Over the years, when I pray, I've written my prayers down.  I blog about my life now.  For the past several years, I've felt like I could write a book and its been a hearts desire for me to write a book.  Heck, even other people have told me to write a book about my story of abuse, foster care, etc.  Every time I've sat down to try, I could never get started...until yesterday.

I opened up Word and started typing. The words were flowing out from my heart and they seem to have a focused direction.  Is this God's way of helping to draw me closer to Him? I hope so.  I hope that I can see this thing through. Its not the book I always thought I'd write, but I can see how certain pieces of my story are going woven into the beginning. 

We'll see where it leads. I'm studying God's word and trying to soak up as much as I can about what, on the surface, appears to be a fairly simple verse. I'm opening my heart to all that God has to share with me.  I'm writing about what I learn as I go.  It is my prayer that the process will not only bring me healing during this time of struggle and that the process will bring me closer into God's embrace, but also that I can glorify God's presence in my life through the end result.