Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Surrendered Dream

I'm still getting to know God's heart and the more I get to know Him the more AWESOME I find out He is.  Here's a little story ~ a true story ~ that reveals more of His loving heart through a prayer I prayed this summer….

Background story… David, my sweet husband and I like to give the Lord control over many of the big stuff in life. For example, even our meeting, courting, marriage, was a "set-up" from God. David didn't pick me, and I didn't pick him. Anyway, that's ANOTHER story that I will someday share. We also like the Lord to decide on His timing of when we have children. We have prayed things like "Bless us with children ~ according to your will OR in your timing, Lord".  I often tell David, "I have a feeling the Lord will bless us with kids someday", and he says "me too". :o)

At least two people I can remember asked me if I ever prayed for children. I thought about that, and thought "oh yes, but never in a begging type of way".  I thought about the feeling in my heart. I thought, "If I truly ask God, with all my heart, to bless me with a child, and He said 'No', I think my heart would hurt too much".  Plus I always want His will, not mine. He knows best and ultimately He is in control.

So here is what happened: This summer I had a feeling ~ due to several things that were happening around me from the Holy Spirit~ that God wanted me to ask for a child, yes, EVEN beg.  I was so excited! I thought maybe His plan for me is to get pregnant soon, and He is waiting for me to truly ask.  So before I went to bed, I kneeled on the hard bathroom floor and asked God, even begged to the point of tears, for a child. I cried, and I went to bed so peaceful.

The next morning I heard from the Lord. In my quiet time, the Lord whispered to my heart and mind very clearly, "Would you give up having a child if you could reach more people for My Kingdom?" His answer was so sweet! How tender His heart is~ He gave me the choice to say "yes or no". Then, my heart didn't have to ache. Praise the Lord He speaks to His children, through His Word and through His Holy Spirit! I love that He didn't give me a "yes or no" answer. Actually, I wasn't thinking He would speak to me necessarily, I just thought I would get pregnant within a month or so.  But, Wow, He spoke soon, and I loved His response.  

I answered "Yes" as tears streamed down my cheeks. (Also in tears as I type this). I was in awe of His voice and His tender love for me.  I could have said "no” and with a child, I could still reach people for God's Kingdom. As we know there are many moms and dads who work for God's Kingdom. But because I love God more than anything, I want to say "Yes" to Him to anything He wants me to do.  I want the Lord to use me in ANY way to help people know of His unfailing love. Since I said “Yes”, He has given me a strong desire to write again.  Also He is answering my prayers for writing and women’s ministry in greater ways than I could have even thought of.  

If you happen to be reading this and you have a child or children, praise GOD! His Word says "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him" (Psalm 127:3). I LOVE that verse! I love true miraculous stories of women who have had children way past normal child-bearing years, like Sarah and Elizabeth. Praise God for stories that give people hope. And praise the Lord that the ultimate hope, Jesus Christ, is available to anybody who calls on Him~ no matter your age, no matter what you have done.

If you are reading this and you have a dream or prayer that you are praying, and you are not receiving, it's possible the Lord has a different plan OR that it's not His timing. What I have discovered in my walk with Christ, is that when I desire God more than ANYTHING, He is already everything I need.  I often say that if we can see things through His eyes, we would be thanking Him a lot more often, and even for the things in life that are difficult.  I LOVE His promise to us in Roman 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose."

I want to say “Yes” to God’s plans for me, even if that means giving up my plans and dreams. Here's one of the greatest prayers of surrender, especially when you mean it with all your heart, “God, not my will but Your will be done”.  Are you willing to surrender and say “Yes” to everything God calls you to do? My prayer for you is that you do.  His plans for you are far better than anything you could ever dream or imagine. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Beginning to Share my Story

I keep hearing the phrase "Share your story" or similar phrases, especially over the last couple months. God knows I stumble over words when I talk or I start going on "bunny trails" and I forget what I was talking about.  Additionally, talking in groups makes me nervous, although God IS helping me with this- He is my strength in my weakness.  I recently shared my testimony with the young teen girls at our church and I even talked about how much I love bunnies. We have a pet bunny, named "Bunny" (seriously).  Anyway, I do LOVE to write. Life got very busy in the last couple years and I took a break from online blogging. Although I continued to journal, write in cards, and write many of our homeless ministry updates which can be seen here:

Thanks to all my blogger friends and all my friends/family for your encouragement over the years. In case you are curious about what's been going on in my life here's a summary of my last couple years:

~ My Beloved Husband and I stay busy with ministry to the homeless, going to shelters each month to share music, testimonies and the Gospel, give away bibles, pray and encourage their hearts. 

~ I got a part-time job at Gallup (an amazing company to work for) 3 years ago, and the Lord blessed me with a full time position that fits my Gallup Strengths last summer 2013. 

~ David (my husband) and I still have our old cars and praise be to God, they are still running, David's car just passed the 250K mile mark this weekend. Yay!

~ Our average monthly donations for our ministry has been $1,200-1,500 for the last few years. We are so thankful for this support, and that God is growing our team. Praise God!

~ The Lord blessed us with a new church family last fall, at East Side Christian Church. David was hired as their worship leader last fall, and we are so thankful for the loving people there. 

~ My alone time with the Lord is my first priority. Even though I'm busy, I often say "I would rather get 5 hours of sleep and have my 1 hour of prayer-time with the Lord than to get 6 hours of sleep". 

~ By the grace of God, we have been able to live without credit card debt or car payments for about 7 years, and without student loans for 5+ years. Even when things got hard for us financially, we continued tithing and God always provided for all our needs. Yay, God!

So, something happened this summer where I surrendered a dream to God, and He gave me a bigger dream. One that is way more for His Kingdom. And since then I've had a desire to write even more, and to open up with my own story, and all the ways God has revealed Himself to me, freed me, and healed me. I'm planning to dedicate 2 hours each week to work on writing in some way… some of it may be blogging.

If you're reading this, I have a prayer request to share with you: That the Lord will guide me in sharing my story for His glory. And to trust that He will use all the pieces of the puzzle, even the messy stuff that He has freed me off to help others know of His amazing love and grace. (How can I pray for you?)

May you be blessed and be a blessing as YOU share YOUR story. 

Psalm 107:2a NIV