“CAN’T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER!”

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Well I am all moved in.  I moved this past week.  We went from a 3 bedroom to a 2 bedroom.  There were several reasons for this move one of which was necessity.  I made the decision about a month ago to do so.  We stayed in the same apartment complex which made it a bit easier but I have to tell you the weeks leading up to this change were sooo emotional.  I was perplexed by the feelings that overcame my mind and heart.  I mean after all the changes our family have been challenged by this was by no means anything earth shattering.  So why was this a hurdle? Why was this so difficult for me to face?
Change! It comes hard to me these days.  Familiarity sometimes has given me comfort over these last few years.  When I was young all I wanted to do was travel, see new things and meet many new people.  I wanted to be inside different cultures. To experience the sights and sounds of the enviornment I found myself in.  I relished the unknown, embraced the change taking place every few years.  I guess that is why I fit into the military way of life.  I looked on everything with a wonder. It was always an adventure.  I dreamed and some of those dreams came true.  I planned and executed the details of the plan with great expectation.  Most of the plans worked out but some did not.  I learned from those that did not to be flexible in my life.
The older I got the less I enjoyed change.  Most of the changes have been very painful.  The lost dreams, the broken plans, twists and turns that have been very unexpected.  I sometimes look into the mirror and see my younger self lost somewhere in the reflection.  What happen to the girl who was an outgoing, adventurous, optimistic soul?  She comes out now and then you know.  When she sees the colors in the sky at sunrise or hears her children laughing at something hilarious.  But now change seems to be linked to loss.  Loss of something loved, gained or aquired.
So when I made the decision to move, I believed it to be the right thing.  Doubt crept in over the days and weeks.  Some of it was from the change taking place in our church.  Saying goodbye to friends who have been a great encouragement to me through some hard times.  Some of it was from fear of failure or making a mistake.  Some of it was just plain worry….will it fit, will I have to get rid of more things, are people going to show up to help….can we get it all up the stairs in the new apartment?  Now the confession….I held my breath!  Yes, I prayed but I did not pray expecting anything.  I held my breath!  That is hard to admit, because in confessing that it shows my lack of faith.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew God was working it out but I allowed the doubt and fear to overwhelm me.  I allowed the enemy a foot hold.
When one speaks of lack of faith it is simply unbelief.  I can’t justify it nor can I ignore it.  It is what it is.  My faith for the most part is a part of my very being and there is nothing that can separate me from a God who saved me from Hell but also saved me from myself.  While there are times I think myself unworthy of His love and blessing, there are also times when I feel so special because He does things that only He would know what touches my heart.  I think it is an injustice to think that we humans should always have faith every minute of every day because it is in the times that we lack faith that God shows us who He is and how much He truly cares and loves us. He knows when my faith wavers, He knows when I am scared and He surely knows when I need His reassurance.  And with loving hands and heart He gives it!
I have been unpacking all week.  Putting things away, looking at things that I have collected.  Remembering why I kept them.  Hanging pictures of my family.  I have put up so far, the ones of my children and grandchild.  And you know what?  There has been no plan.  No regret.  No crying.  No anxiousness.  No pain.  Actually it has been peaceful.  The move went very well.  We had 6 people, we made 4 trips and did it in 4 hours.  It all went according to His plan.

I am sitting here on Good Friday contemplating what this day represents.  The crucifixtion of our Lord.  Can you imagine what the loved ones of Jesus were going through on that day?  Can you see them wringing their hands and tears of anguish?  Prayers cried out in desperation?  I think there were many doubts by those who followed Him.  I think there was fear among them.  I think there was unbelief.  They were human after all.  Only He was God and knew the plan.  The others did not.  It would be in the moment that they entered the empty tomb that there hopes would be realized.  It would not be until they saw the risen Savior would they understand that without His death He would not conquer death.  And in that death He would indeed be the Savior of the world.  A living Savior!!!!

How can you know light without dark?  How can you know joy without sorrow?  How can you know faith without doubt?
You can not have one without the other!
May you all have a blessed Easter celebration!
Grace to you,
Shell

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For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things
present, nor things to come,  nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

A-L-O-N-E Spells Fruit, or so I am told….

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24

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Life is so very fragile.  One minute you are enjoying a moment and then the next your crying out to God in anguish.  What makes life so filled with wonder or doubt?  You can look at a newborn and see the intricacies of creation or pictures of the planets and stars in outer space, the never-ending vastness of it all.  Every direction we look we see what the Creator has bestowed upon the earth.

From the moment He placed Adam in the garden to have dominion over and to care for His creation there was a divine plan set out before man.  Adam did not have the ability to see forward into time and know what mankind would be capable of, nor did he know that death would soon enter into his conscience. Have you ever thought of what it must have been like for Adam before there was Eve?  Did he feel his aloneness?  While there was God, his Creator, his Fellowship, his Companion, his Teacher, his Giver, he was for all intent and purpose, utterly alone.  God, himself, acknowledged that Adam was alone because He said, “It is not good that man should be alone…”

A-L-O-N-E

An ominous word to some.  I have been wrestling with it again lately.  Wrestling inwardly.  I am not sure why.  Oh, I could come up with a few sound reasons but I always see someone else worse off than I so when I say them out loud they fall to the ground with a thud.  I sense something out of balance or something perhaps nagging at me.  I can not put my finger on it.  At first, I thought it was fear, fear of the unknown. Being a single parent, the health and well being of my children, salvation of friends and family, my financial future, my church’s search for a new pastor, the direction of our country, my prayer list, all this overwhelming me at times. My mind tells me that God is not the author of fear and I must rebuke it in the name of Jesus. Which I do.  But the nagging sensation will not leave.

A couple of Sunday’s ago a man, who is a missionary from our church, was preaching and he made a comment before his sermon, “The Lord has me in a holding pattern.”  I listened to his sermon which was much needed and very encouraging, however, it was that comment I kept coming back to.  And even now after several weeks, that remark has been rolling around in my head.  That is it, I have been in a “holding pattern” so to speak, for going on 1 year or more, now. And frankly, I am soooo ready to bust out….

A holding pattern.  I have described it to some as being stuck in mud up to my neck.  I can’t move one way or another.  I still have my senses about me but physically I can’t move left, right, forward or backward.  When I started to realize that back in September 2007, I resisted.  Became frustrated and cried.  Begged God to let me go.  Then I realized it was of no use…so I resigned to it.  The energy it took to resist was draining.

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But then God nudged me…”I don’t want your resignation, I want your submission.”  Oh, my goodness, what else could I possibly submit.  I have lost soooo much (this is in my head) and then you know what He said to me in my spirit?  “To die is gain” Gain what, I ask, more mud?  I am stuck in the mud and have no way to….and before I could finish that thought, God says again “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

Ok, Ok already I get it…the choice is….stay standing, resist and be A-L-O-N-E or fall to the ground (stuck in the mud), die (to self, submit), bear fruit.

Stuck, slowly dying…guess I will see you in the spring when my fruit starts growing.  I sure hope it is sweet!!!!!

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God is good, all the time!!!

Grace to you

Shell