Monday, February 28, 2005

I'm getting better...

At hearing God's voice.

All day yesterday, and most of today, I was wrestling over a situation in my life. I just wanted answers to some questions. Of course, I wanted said answers "right now"!

Now, I've been down this road several times already (a couple of times in the past two weeks, as a matter of fact!) This road has a's called "Waiting Way". God repeatedly reminds me to "be still and know that I am God." I think I've got the "know that I am God" part down, it's that "be still" part that trips me up. On second thought, maybe I don't have the first part down - if I did, then it would be easy to be still. Right? Hmmm.....something to think about, that's for sure.

Anyway, the reason for my struggle was because I was trying to figure out the resolution to the situation. How, when, and where it was going to be resolved. I had taken the reins, again, and was trying to figure out what's going to happen. (I don't know why I do this - it always causes me trouble!) Instead of simply trusting God with the situation, I was trying to control it - in my mind at least. (Fortunately, I hadn't acted on any of my thoughts and "plans"!)

So today, I'm chatting online with a friend when all of a sudden, as I'm typing a response to her, God shows me clearly that my struggle has been me. I was thinking it was the situation and circumstances, but in reality, I simply had picked the thing back up and God hadn't told me I could. I clearly heard Him speak to my heart - "Are you going to give me the time I need to take care of this?" Yikes! I immediately said, "YES! I don't want to get ahead of you, God! Please, take all the time you need to work in this situation - just give me what I need as I wait on You!" It was amazing the peace and calm that came over me. I always know when I'm walking in God's will - the inner turmoil stops and incredible peace overwhelms me.

I just wish I would always keep myself here in this place. That I would never doubt or wonder "when" or "how" or "where" or even "why" when I know what He has already spoken to me.


I do think, however, that I am learning to hear God more quickly than before and therefore I don't struggle quite as long. I just hope I keep getting better at hearing the Father's voice! I'm sure going to try!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Open doors

I am continuously amazed at how God blesses me. There are so many doors opening to me these days. Just when it looked like a major door was slamming shut, He has stepped right in and is carrying me in a different direction. How awesome is our God? I can't wait to see where He takes me. It will be good if I will just stay out of the way.

There is an inner struggle still taking place. I wish I could just switch some thoughts and feelings off. I know that waiting on God is the best action, but sometimes I just allow myself to get ahead of Him and ask, "Ok, when will it be over?" or "How long will it take to get an answer!??!" One thing I know, His timing is always just right. Even when it seems like it is almost too late. :) I just have to remind myself of what I know - what the Word says about God and what I know from my own personal relationship with Him. I know it is all going to be ok.

In other news - I'll be going to Fort Worth in a week and a half. I'm so excited! I'll be meeting up with some new friends and attending a conference that will be an incredible experience. I can hardly wait! If anyone has some suggestions of what is fun to do there - you know some hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are a MUST or places to visit that I shouldn't miss - please let me know! I bought a city map of Fort Worth today and another booklet of things to see in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

I was in Dallas about 15 years ago for a youth conference. All I remember is the hotel we stayed in - it has the rotating restaurant right next to it (I think it was a Peachtree Hotel then) and going by the "Grassy Knoll". We didn't get to linger too long, but it was neat to be in a place where a major historical event happened. I may try to get back over there to look around. It will be different now that I'm 31 instead of 16 - especially since I have a much more in depth knowledge of history and politics. I've always loved history.

Anyway, I'm so excited about my trip. It will be a neat vacation for me and a very interesting experience. I'll be the only person there that I know well! :) Ahhh....another opportunity for growth....step outside of what I on the edge a bit. :) I can hardly wait!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Your love is amazing...

Hallelujah (Your Love Makes Me Sing)
Brenton Brown, Brian Doerksen

Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging
Your love is a mountain, firm beneath my feet
Your love is a mystery, how you gently lift me
When I am surrounded, your love carries me

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, your love makes me sing
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, your love makes me sing

Your love is surprising, I can feel it rising
All the joy that's growing deep inside of me
Every time I see you, all your goodness shines through
And I can feel this God song, rising up in me

Yes, you make me sing
Lord, you make me sing, sing, sing
How you make me sing

I love this song. Today it is my song and my heart. Today, God's love is enough.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Still learning

"And Solomon, my son, get to know the God of your ancestors. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and with a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and understands and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever." 1 Chronicles 28:9

"If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me." Jeremiah 29:13

This is becoming so real to me right now. He truly does what He says - but watch out - when you invite Him in, He will leave no stone un-turned.

My heart's desire is to know Christ like I've never known Him before. I didn't realize how much of "me" was still in the way. It has been a little bit painful, but just like getting a shot when you've got an infection - when He starts to work, relief is almost immediate. It is truly amazing.

I can't wait to see what else is on my horizon. I feel like God is up to something big, so we will just have to see what that is! All I know is that I love Him more than anything - and I believe I can at last say that without any doubt.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Instant fix

I've come to realize that when I'm in the midst of a struggle, I want God to fix it "right now!" "Get me out of this, God!! It hurts too much!" I'm learning, that it doesn't work that way. Sometimes He wants me to learn something from my experiences.

I read this today in an article from Dr. Charles Stanely on
It's important that we face and endure the challenges God lays before us. When we seek an early escape, we cheat ourselves of what God wants to do in our lives. In addition, we cheat others of an example of hope and encouragement.

I don't like being uncomfortable. I strongly dislike not knowing how situations will be resolved. I hate it when things don't happen the way I dreamed they would. That's what I get for trying to figure out what God is doing. I can't do that anymore. (But we'll just see how long it takes before I do it again!)

The other thing I'm wrestling with is this - what I feel God is telling me to do (in a particular situation) goes against my natural inclination and the advice of close, trusted friends (not all of them, though). The thing that I want to do would certainly put an end to the situation, but I keep hearing in the back of my mind - what if you find out down the road that it would have been different had you simply waited? Yikes!!!

So the question becomes, am I going to try and "escape" this current challenge or am I going to be willing to wait on God and see what He is trying to accomplish - in me and possibly in the other person?

You see, the one thing that I know without a doubt is that God has been involved in this situation from the very beginning. Yesterday, I was doubting everything I believed He had shown me and even questioned my own ability to hear the voice of God. So today, I had to make a choice - am I going to go by what I see with my eyes or am I really going to trust God?

There are two things He's told me over and over again in the past year: "Do you trust Me?"....yes, God....then, "Be still and know that I am God." So that is what I am going to do. Will it be easy? Looking from where I stand right now - not at all. Will He accomplish something great in it? Without a doubt! The fun will be in watching Him work His will. But when I think that my experiences will benefit someone else - I'm inclined to think it will all be worth it.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Struggling through

Let me ask a question - why is the knowledge that God is working things out (and He is concerned with every aspect of my life) not enough to get through the emotions and reality of today? Does anyone else ever struggle with this? I know that He is moving and working in my life, and yet for some reason it isn't enough in this moment when doubt and fear are trying to grab hold of me.

For the past week, I have been trying to live out the idea that "God is enough." If I have Him, then all is well. I've been trying to know what it means to be satisfied with God - not just depend on the happy feelings or emotion of my experiences surrounding God in my life. I'm not sure I even understand how to go about being satisfied with just Him, or even what that really means...but I'm trying. I'm seeking and asking and expect Him to show me.

I just want to know how to make my feelings and emotions agree with what I know and believe in my mind. If someone figures that out, would you let me know?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

How much am I willing to risk?

Today, I read the following in a devotional I'm working through ("A Heart That Dances" by Catherine Martin). It is from a prayer written by A.W. Tozer:
"Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven."

Wow. What a statement. "..that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things..."

I've realized that although I have surrendered all of my life to Christ, there is still that part of me that wants my life to work out a certain way. And, of course, without serious pain or suffering. I mean - don't I deserve that?

Yep. There it is - arrogance and pride. I guess I never realized that I had those feelings...that I deserved anything other than what God chooses to allow in my life. It has been a startling revelation to me.

I'm dealing with a situation in my life that is not the easiest thing I've ever experienced. I'm sure it won't be the worst. It has been easy to see the wrong in the other person, but God is now showing me my own attitude that needs dealing with. "I deserve better than that." Although it may be true, that is for God to deal with in this situation. The truth is, I deserve much worse than I get, but it is only because of God's mercy that I don't.

One of the guys I work with had a statement taped to his computer monitor once. It said this, "For the sake of Christ, if I will put myself in last place, then I won't be hurt when others put me there."

So the question is, how much am I willing to risk? How much of my pride, feelings, and expectations am I willing to place on the line to be in the perfect will of God? Will I go places I wouldn't have normally chosen for myself and associate with people I wouldn't pick out of a crowd? Will I be willing to love those who persecute me? Will I be willing to totally sacrifice myself and my desires so that someone else can know the God of heaven and earth and have a relationship with Him?

Hard questions, to be sure. Right now, I'm working on answering them for myself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

When I was a child...

I used to wonder why it was that God wouldn't give me just a glimpse into my future. "Why can't you give me just a hint of what's to come?"

Now I know that God is truly infinite in His wisdom.

As I get older, even though there are many times I wish for that hint of future plans, I'm learning to appreciate the surprise of living life. On the other side of that coin, when things don't go the way I would have planned, I'm grateful that I had no clue the rough times were coming. It's hard enough to deal with pain and uncertainty when it comes. I can't imagine trying to deal with knowing: on such-and-such day, xyz is going to happen and you will respond thus-and-so.

I find myself again in a holding pattern of waiting and trusting in God. It's not the worst place in the world. I keep reminding myself and telling Jesus that if I can just have Him....if I can just dwell in His presence, everything will be ok. He is all I need. Like the woman with the issue of blood, if I can just touch Him, I'll be whole. My heart longs to know Him deeper and for that reason alone, I am glad for this current trial.

The good news is this - I am absolutely certain that Jesus is right here with me and is working all things for my good. I look forward, with great anticipation, to what blessings He will bring into my life. I can't wait to see how He will work. More importantly, I can't wait to see the finished product in me that can reach out and help someone else. If I have to experience these things to be a blessing to someone else - so be it!
"...we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." - Romans 5:3-5

I thank God for what He is doing!