Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Learning to Trust Myself and Others

In Philippians chapter one Paul writes to the believers instructing them while he is away to be, “one in spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel.”  Ten women from my church,  Hope Presbyterian, gathered with other women of faith at a Young Life retreat center called Rockbridge and together we were indeed united in one spirit of truth, worship and hope.   It was more than a chance for busy wives and mothers to get away.  It was about noticing the glimpses of God’s glory in the midst of our circumstances, for when we see that glory we are changed.   Each of us went burdened with different things, different struggles, unique challenges and at varying stages of faith, but what we have in common is that as believers we can all trust the promise God gave us to “work all things for the good of those who love him.”  The hard part is understanding what God considers good and how we evaluate good.    We can sometimes miss God working in our lives or speaking to us and think that he has been distant or unresponsive, but if we take the time to really look we can see his sovereign hand.  We can be certain it is Him when we have been in the Word; it focuses our vision to see what we could not see before. 

Our weekend was filled to capacity.  Not only did we engage in literally hours of bible study filling us spiritually, they did a fabulous job of filling us physically.  It wasn’t just that the food was good, but something remarkable happens when meals are shared together.  A table, food and fellowship are the ingredients in building relationships.  And as I would see on the high ropes course as well, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts.  For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.”(Ecc 4:9-10)  At first I was the only one interested in even doing the course, but a rapid course of events transpired, 7 names were signed up and that was that.  I was pumped!  I had never done one, always wanted to, no real fear of heights, this was going to be awesome!  That was NOT how I felt in the moments leading up to stepping on the first obstacle or how I felt as I ever so slowly moved from wire to wire step by step terrified to my very core.  God and I talked that whole way, every scary minute of it!  I looked around and he showed me 6 other women, some as afraid as I was, stepping right along with me.  I was not alone, not only was God with me, but he provided others I could see, touch and hear cheering me on.  We yelled, screamed, I even cussed when I fell off one portion, we laughed.  It was a beautiful picture of friendship that revealed a very big whole in my heart.  I do not trust.  I don't trust others and even more so I do not trust myself.  God is working on that in my life.  I have been reading Nicole Johnson's book Fresh Brewed Life and God has also used that to speak many truths to me.

  We do not walk this journey of life and the mission of sharing the gospel alone.  We can trust those around us and we can trust God who provides all we need for the life He has called us to.  And as for that high ropes course, let's just say it was a ONCE in a lifetime opportunity!

With love,

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Heart That is Broken

This has been my prayer for months, to have a broken heart for the things that break the Father's heart.  This is not to say that I have not prayed this prayer before over the years, but especially now as we prepare to welcome hurting children into our home I want to have a tender heart.  We know from having adopted Toby that it is easy to care when that child is far away, cute and not breaking any of the rules or stepping on your toes.  It is another thing to care deeply, love much and show grace when daily the child refuses to obey, reciprocate loving affection or is incredibly needy for attention.

My heart feels ready and yet we wait.  My heart grows discontent with God's timing.  My heart desires what is does not have.  My heart has yet to fully trust what God is doing behind the scenes.  Everyday I pray for God's perfect timing and will and everyday I struggle that it is not my own.

When we say yes to the big things God calls us to I think we expect that they will happen very quickly.  There is great need after all.  The Gospel is to be preached, lived out, shared.  Of course God wants that to happen now!  Right?! 

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways."  This is the LORD's declaration.  "For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.  For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do."  Isaiah 55: 8-11

And so today as the many days before I pray that God's word not only prepare me, my family and the children to come, but that He do a work in my heart.  Let me see with eyes that believe and a mind that trusts that God truly can do the impossible work of changing my heart, forgiving my sins and using my life to bring glory to Him.  I pray also that whatever God has called you to or that you are waiting on Him for that He teach you to, "Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life."(Prov. 4:23)  Only in Him can we have true contentment.

With love,