Friday, December 23, 2011

Strength to Strength

When the questions flood my soul.

When your ways are higher than my ways.

Will I still trust?
Will I still hope?
Will I still remember that you have a purpose? That I am not alone?

Growing up I dreamed about this time of my life. In my childhood dreams I was here, but I was not alone. I was a wife, a mother.

This journey He has chosen for me is different than what I had wanted.

I ask, "Is this truly good?"

A hand is extended to me. A strong, rough hand. A nail pierced hand.

A voice is asking, "Are you going to trust me? Are you going to take my hand and let me show you the beauty in this wilderness? Are you going to choose to see the beauty in this wilderness?"

"Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?"
Isaiah 43:18

Avoiding His eyes, I slip my hand in His. He draws me into His arms and I am overwhelmed with the scent of His sweetness. Gently He places his hand under my chin and draws my chin up, forcing my eyes to meet His own. All of the sudden I feel vulnerable. His eyes pierce through my heart and shoot through my soul. Every part of my being is before Him. I am known. Really known.

"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins." ~Isaiah 43:25

Knowing my thoughts, He whispers, "You, my precious daughter. You whom I called from the far ends of the earth, whom I have loved with an everlasting love. You, for whom I endured the cross, you are forgiven. You are mine."

"Since you were precious and honored, and I have loved you; therefore, I will give men for you and people for your life. Fear not for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east and gather you from the west...bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth--everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory." ~Isaiah 43:4-7

Quietly He leads me on through the desert. In a dry and weary land my parched soul begins to feel quenched. My rumbling soul is quieted by His goodness.

"For he satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness." ~Psalm 107:9

I blink once, then twice, hardly able to believe my eyes. A stream! Green grass. I run forward, then stop and look back at him. Nodding his head, he smiles.
"...Because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare my praise." Isaiah 43:20-21

I'm still in the wilderness, but I'm not alone. My precious Savior has provided me with a place of rest, peace, and joy in the wilderness.

Looking back, the journey has been hard. Looking forward, the journey won't be easy.

But, the One I love so deeply never did promise an easy journey.

"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." ~Romans 8:16-17

Instead, He promised strength for today and great hope for tomorrow.

"Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion." ~Psalm 84:5-7

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Ecclisiastes 3:1

Lately I have been considering this season of life God has called me to. I wish I could say that I never doubt the perfection of His Will, but I have. I praise God that Jesus always perfectly trusted the perfection of The Father’s Will and that Christ’s perfection covers me. Through His grace I pray that I would not be distracted from the perfection of His Will; that I would instead always remember His goodness and promises. For every season, no matter how trying or sweet, is appointed by Him for a purpose.


We pray for blessings

We pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need

Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom

Your voice to hear

And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea

And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near

And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us

When darkness seems to win

We know the pain reminds this heart

That this is not, this is not our home

It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

And what if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments

Or the achings of this life

Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

And what if trials of this lifeThe rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are Your mercies in disguise

~ "Blessings" by Laura Story

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My First Vehicle!

After five years of patiently waiting and saving up my money, God blessed me with my first vehicle. A 2003 Honda CRV. I let my dad talk me into getting a manual, thus I am now *attempting* to learn how to drive a stick. Attempting is the key word. ;)

Friday, March 4, 2011

All In

Well, I finally get a chance to update my blog. I have been meaning to do this for a while, but so much has changed, and so quickly, that I haven’t had time to sit down to write.

On Sunday March 13th, I will be stepping out on a limb into a new season of life to which God has called me.

After I quit college and God had taken Kyler from me, He called me into a time of waiting. I honestly did not know where I was going or what God was calling me to. In fact, I was almost positive that God was calling me to a time of doing nothing but waiting silently before Him.

One Sunday, my pastor preached on Mark 8:34.

"And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

My pastor pointed out that carrying the cross represented shame. When the Romans put people to death on a cross, it was to shame that person, and they would leave the person on the cross to allow the birds to pick at their flesh and make an example out of them. Yet, God calls us as His children to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him. Of course, we can not do this on our own, it takes God’s strength and grace, and our belief in Christ’s infinite worth.

A few days later, I was listening to a radio program that was talking about living a life that was fully abandoned to Christ. Christians can’t be fence sitters. We can be lukewarm. We are either hot or cold. In or out.

That was the last straw. I knew in my heart that I had been one of those fence sitters. I told God I was in…all in. He could have my life, my money, my job, my identity, my family, my friends, and even my dreams. Even if that meant I would have to tell everyone that I was sitting at home doing nothing but waiting on God. Honestly, that is what I thought I would be destined for, but I had made up my mind, I was going to follow God, wherever He led.

God had different plans. Two days later God began opening up opportunities I would have never dreamed would become open to me. Two weeks later I accepted an apprenticeship on an organic farm in Springfield, Missouri. Honestly, all of my life I have loved working the land. In the last five years that love grew, however, when I started college, I put it on hold. Instead of taking my dreams from me, it seems God is allowing one of my dreams to become a reality. Truly, I can hardly believe it.

I am not naïve; I know it is not going to always be easy. I know I am going to miss my family, but at the same time, I am looking forward to a time to focus on my best friend, Jesus. Also, I know the work will be hard, that there will be trying situations, but because the Lord has so clearly called me to this, I go forward with confidence.

For the first time in my life, I am living a life, fully abandoned to Christ, rather than the cares of the world. Life is definitely much less dull this way, yet at the same time, I have experienced an unbelievable amount of sweet peace and joy. I can’t wait to see where He takes me.

If you would like to keep up with my life on the farm, you are welcome to check out my other blog…

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Let not our longings slay the appetite of our living." ~ Jim Elliot

"...for such a time as this."

"Bare heights of loneliness...a wilderness whose burning winds sweep over glowing sands, what are they to Him? Even there He can refresh us, even there He can renew us."
~Amy Carmichael

I have come to realize that regardless of how trying (and really my trial is so minuscule compared to the hardships many others have to endure) these last two weeks have been, I would not trade them for anything. The Lord has been so very near to me. The sweetness of His presence has been unmistakable. What joy I have found in Him!

Yesterday afternoon I was reading Passion and Purity be Elisabeth Elliot. It so convicted me.

"Be still and know that He is God. When you are lonely, too much stillness is exactly the thing that seems to be laying waste to your soul. Use that stillness to quiet your heart before God. Get to know Him. If He is God, He is still in charge.

Remember that you are not alone. "The Lord, He it is that doth go with thee. He will not fail thee neither forsake thee. Be strong and of good courage." (Deut. 31:8) Jesus promised His disciples, "Lo, I am with you always." (Matt 28:20) Never mind if you cannot feel His presence. He is there, never for one moment forgetting you.

Give thanks. In times of my greatest loneliness I have been lifted up by the promise of II Corinthians 4:17, 18, "For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen." This is something to thank God for. This loneliness itself, which seems a weight, will be far outweighed by glory.

Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing with power to destroy you. Turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried our griefs and sorrows.

Accept your loneliness. It is one stage, and only one stage, on a journey that brings you to God. It will not always last.

Offer up your loneliness to God, as the little boy offered to Jesus his five loaves and two fishes. God can transform it for the good of others.

Do something for somebody else. No matter who or where you are, there is something you can do, somebody who needs you. Pray that you may be an instrument of God's peace, that where there is loneliness you may bring joy.

Then, last night I was God led me to Isaiah 40:27-31.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God"?

Have you not known? have you not heard? The Lord is th eeverlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is UNSEARCHABLE. HE gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might HE increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhasted, but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

(ESV, emphasis mine)

I have become very aware that God has called me into the wilderness of waiting. Why I do not know. Maybe to develop within me patience. Maybe to reveal Himself to me; to show me my utter dependence on Him. All I know is that I have been called here "...for such a time as this." May HE strengthen my feeble heart as I wait on Him!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Wait Poem

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said,"Wait."

"Wait? You say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate,
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to Wait?"
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting . . . for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love,
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask,
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see,
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still "WAIT