Thursday, February 23, 2012

In the trenches.....

I have found myself back in the midst of the swirling tornado of activities.  At times it's completely exhilerating, knowing that we are right where God wants us to be.  Open, willing, and ready to be used. Other times, it's overwhelming, scarey and panic attack inducing.  I have to remember to breathe and relax and remember who's in charge. 

Right now He's choosing to use us in the midst of our youth ministry at church.  Taking a step in this direction, for me, has been a series of healing opportunities.  I come with fears and failures, insecurities and inadequacies.

We can spend much time running away from a God that we think may force us into these situations, much like Moses, we plead with God, "Please send someone else, not me". Then we go into the long list of reasons why we can NOT be used (as if He doesn't already know this list, inside and out).  I'm ill-equipped, I can't, I'm broken, I'm scared, I don't know how, I've never done this before, surely there is someone else out there that is more perfectly suited for this task.  On and on it goes.

My husband and I were asked to share a testimony for an upcoming sermon series on how the cross has transformed our lives in the midst of difficulty.  We were honored to share how God continues to transform us.  It has all pivoted really on this unemployment.  I'm tempted to apologize for this being the only thing that I seem to share about, but friends, it's that big!!  HE'S that big!! So I'm not going to (tee hee)!

Before the BIG "UN", we lived a fairly safe and, what we thought, secure life.  No real storms, small rain falls here and there and then they started to grow into a bit more. Three years ago my family faced a rather large storm that swirled within our safe and secure family unit.  God was certainly in it, but I can't say that I fully embraced what He was doing there.  I knew He was doing something but I didn't have the resolve and focus that I have found this time around.  God, of course, worked it out and we all pulled through and I believe, are stronger for it. 

Then last year, the next wave hit and we somehow were deeply rooted and unmoveable.  It's only by the grace of God, we take no credit for this at all.  My track record, in particular, would prove that, left to my own devices, I am thrown easily to and fro.  But this time was different.  God breathed into us a new sense of Who He was and is.  We knew from the beginning that He was in this and we had nothing to fear, nothing to fret and nothing to do except rest in His truth.

We now understand the meaning behind counting suffering as pure joy, it's clearer now.  This past year has offered us so many opportunites to just focus on Him.  Opportunity to get outside ourselves, to look outward, and upward, all the while the inside was being strengthened, reshaped and moulded.  We have found that when we take that bold step toward God, He responds so kindly and gently. 

Last June I decided to go and be a part of our youth group's girls retreat.  I don't know how the thought came to be, it wasn't a lightbulb moment, it was just suddenly there.  I cleared it with my daughter, Jessica, since the last thing I wanted was to encroach into her territory.  She graciously accepted me into her circle and I went.  Scared. Not knowing. Ill-equipped.  I went.  God so sweetly found little things that were uniquely me to gently nudge me into and I felt safe and secure in what I was asked to do.  I really enjoyed that weekend and was so relieved that I took that step.  I somehow thought that the girls retreat would be the only thing that I would tag along on.

I was so.wrong.  This year we find ourselves in the midst of Senior High Youth Group, the winter retreat (which gave me even more creative outlets to play around in), Junior High Youth Group, a CORE group of girls that is studying Purity, I'm willing (and still scared) to take on teaching times and other responsibilities, plus we are going to Kentucky for Leadership Training!!!  Leadership?  Really?? I honestly thought I'd just hang out at the beach with the girls once a year.  Each step was gradual, He didn't throw me in all at once (like the kids at winter retreat that threw themselves into the chilly ocean for the polar plunge)  That's not my style or God's style.  I'm thankful.

We have a full plate once again, after taking a long hiatus to reevalutate ourselves, our lives and where God wanted us.  He gives us what He knows we can't handle on our own and He gives it when He knows we are ready to run to Him for help.  I am so thankful for this unemployment opportunity, it has transformed us.  It has transformed who we are, how we think, what we do and how we trust.  It has transformed the Word into a living, breathing, vital part of who we are.  It has brought us together as a family, as husband and wife.

We are a part of an incredible body of believers, who are also open and willing to be used by God to bless us, care for us and even carry us.  The way that He uses people continues to amaze us.  He is so good!!!!  He gives before we even feel a need.  He's that intimate and personal.

Friends, if you don't know Him like that.  Please, let me know, I would love to fill up the comment section with prayers and petitions.  If you'd rather not make it publicly known, all you have to do is ask.  Ask Him to come and save you from yourselves.  Admit that you can no longer do this on your own.  Tell Him that you long to know Him in a close and personal way.  Then go...Go and find a believer that you can turn to for support, get yourself a bible (even Wal Mart sells them), find yourself a church, Christian Radio, Christian Broadcasts On-Demand.  Submerge yourself in His word, whether through friends or blogs or whatever meduim you find.  When you look, you will find Him.

God bless you friends, God bless you in the trenches.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel and He's calling your name,


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