Monday, September 3, 2007

Joy In The Journey

Can I just start out by saying that GOD IS GOOD!?!? That may not be a surprise to anyone reading this, but my heart rejoices in Him today even through hurt and disappointment. The past few weeks have brought on some very discouraging circumstances. This process that we are going through is THE most difficult time we have had as a family, yet because of where are hearts are at with the Lord, it does not feel as overwhelming as the less trying times in the past. I hope that makes sense. As God turns up the fire in the refining process, we are are learning to withstand the heat. We have so much hope because of all the ways we have seen Him work through our lives in the past. There has not been a difficult time that we have experienced in the past that has brought on so much joy. Disappointments as well, but because the Lord is teaching us HOW to deal with disappointment, He is turning them to joy.

Several things have happened in the last couple of weeks that caused a friend of mine to say, "Christina, I think God is trying to teach you something here." The same type of frustrating thing happened 3 times in a week. Then 2 weeks later, a few other events happened that were tough and we once again had to learn to keep our focus on Christ and not be tempted to take Him off the throne. Which I regret to say that I think I was sitting on the throne for about a week before I realized it. God has been teaching us an amazing lesson of how our sin keeps us from walking in fellowship with Him and hearing His voice in our lives. Like in the previous posts, I talked about how our focus needs to be on Him and sowing to the Spirit instead of trying harder. God has made it so clear to me that instead of trying harder, so I can have the power of the Holy Spirit in my life, that I need to break down that brick wall of sin that keeps the Spirit from working. So the past couple of months, as a family, we have been learning to confess our sin to each other rather than justify our attitudes and disappointments. This is so humbling, and it brings so much freedom to our hearts once we've gotten to the place where we can truly put Christ on the throne. God is teaching me how I cannot just SAY I want Him on the throne, when my heart is not in the right place. He is showing me that my heart is what needs to be pure, not my actions ~ and THAT is what is going to release the Spirit's power in my life.

We are making it a priority to learn from every frustration and disappointment that comes our way. It seems God is purging our hearts from so much pride and self reliance. The other night, for the first time as a couple, we literally got on our knees and prayed for about an hour together. We did this because we have come to a place where we realize how desperate we are to be intimate with the Lord, lest we accidentally go down a path He has not called us to go down. We realized in the past couple of weeks that our faith has been weak, and we have not been trusting God enough. If we trust Him to guide our path, then we had better be on our knees asking Him to show us that path. Then when HE reveals the path, we can walk in faith and confidence. We will make many mistakes along our way, and probably travel down the wrong path more times than we'd like to admit, but when these disappointments and frustrations come, we need to see that as the Lord opposing our path, and showing us a different one. Some of these disappointments have happened when we were on the right path (because God's intention was for us to learn through them), but when we allow the disappointments to keep us down, we have learned nothing. We are learning that God is so much more in control than we ever gave Him credit for.

I will end with a couple of really neat miracles that the Lord has done through our son David. When we first started this journey, David was very angry and could not believe God could change his heart about moving to Arkansas. I believe there is an earlier post about his feelings about all of it. And the reason I posted those things is because we were so confident we were walking down the path God has called us, that we knew God would eventually change David's heart. We just didn't know if that would be on the front end of moving or the back end. But either way, we knew that God would not call us down a path that my son could not handle.

Last week, I spoke to someone on the phone that expressed some concerns she had heard from others about our move (about how this would affect David). When I got off the phone I asked David, "David, there are some people that are concerned about you in this move to Arkansas. What do you think about that?" He said, "Oh mommy, I think it is wonderful that you and daddy are going to work for FamilyLife. You are going to help other people in their marriages and families." (I smiled) and continued, "Yes, but how will that affect YOU?" He said, "Mommy, if God has called us to go than we HAVE to go!" (I smiled again) and continued, "Yes, But how does that make YOU FEEL?" He said, "Mommy, at first I was angry, but God has changed my heart. I was worried that I would not have friends, and God has already provided friends." I am so proud of my son that he is adopting the legacy of faith that we so desperately want all our children to have ~ a faith that prayerfully someday will surpass ours.

This morning, I was talking to my dad about some things that David overheard. It was concerning our support. When I got off the phone, David realized by the conversation what we were talking about. Without going into details, we have to backtrack our percentage (for now) about 20%. Now that's a bummer! Before today, we were 45% funded. Now we are 25%. David said, "Mommy, how faithful are you that we are supposed to do this?" I said, "100%." He said, "Than you can handle more of a loss than that!" Oh how I pray that some adults can have as much faith as this precious 12 year old boy! Man, has he stretched mine!

So even in the midst of yet more disappointments, we praise a holy God who is in control and gives us great joy as we put all our trust in Him.

~To the one who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or imagine......


Anonymous said...

Sweet David to be used by God not only for you but for me and others who read your blog! "We will praise Him when we win and We will praise Him when we lose" I am sorry to hear about your percentage loss. Even though you have a plan from God to head to Arkansas and minister with Family Life, maybe God isn't finished with you all here in Florida yet? As you continue to grow and work toward being full time in Family Life, God is using you in wonderous ways here as well! Hopefully we all can learn from your journey! I know I am! Praise God for His ways and not ours!! You all are in my prayers! I love you all! Love, KK
P.S. I think David's heart and life is summed up in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!"

Shelly said...

Oh my heart. I LOVE that you continued to prod David to make him say how it made HIM FEEL. Please keep that mama heart...

I was struck with a hunger to join in on the confession it seems you and your family are obediently partaking in. What a practice of His Word. I praise Him for that.

God is clearly refining and calling you to a deeper level with Him. He loves you so. Keep pressing in; I know He is a Rewarder of those who seek Him. Bless you sweet sister.