In The Trenches

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How has your week been?

If I tried to tell you about mine it would look like a bowl of spaghetti noodles. My thoughts are all jumbled up, and to lay them out would take us on thousands of rabbit trails. I promise that they are all connected somehow, but it would take to long to tell.

One thing I do know is this: God is good.

When I started a journey last fall that God used to stretch me I learned so much. I asked God how I was supposed to remember everything. It is one thing to read a great piece of advice in a book or on social media or wherever and think, I’ll have to remember that in the future, but to remember it is the hard part.

God told me that all I need to remember is that He is good and He is big.

God is good. Let that sink in. Play out some scenarios that happened in your life that were not good. Then tell yourself that God is good. Maybe you won’t feel anything because, like me, you’ve taken that for granted your whole life that it doesn’t stir any emotions in you to think about it. Maybe pairing that sentence with a bad event in your life confuses you. You wonder how a good God could possibly allow something like that to happen.

I don’t know which one is you, but now that I have allowed it to sink in and penetrate my heart, I feel peace whenever I think of it. When chaos is surrounding me, when I am confused and feel directionless, I remind myself that God is good, and in that moment, everything fades and all I know is that although something bad is happening, God is good. My situations, my sins, the sins of other people do not determine the character of God. He is unchanging no matter what.

God also told me to remember that He is big. That is because I have a way of putting miracle grow on my problems. God wants me to remember in every situation that He is even bigger. I am not going through anything bad right now, but I do feel overwhelmed with to-do lists, work, blogging, being a wife and mother, stuff, stuff, and stuff. It all seems so big, so much, so overwhelming.

God is bigger.

So, what do we do? Let God’s Word wash over you. I don’t know how that works for you, but find a way to remember that God is good and God is big. Give all your thoughts, feelings, fears, joys, passions, hopes, discoveries, business, etc, to Him. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are. He cares, and loves being a part of every detail of our life. After all, He is the Author. He is also the Perfecter. When I hold on to even a small part of my life I still mess it up. God can restore it. He wants to restore it. He wants to heal. He wants to give life. Let Him.

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One Step Forward

“God, what are You doing? Where are you taking me?”

These are the questions rolling around in my head right now.

I wasn’t going to write a post about why I am starting this blog, but I feel like there is a lesson in this story, and since this blog is Faith Filled Lessons, it seems to fit.So, here I go.

Blogging has interested me since I was about 14 or 15 and first heard the word “blog”. When I found out that it was a website that you could write anything you want on and anybody can read it, (if they find it), a seed of desire was planted in my heart and mind. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself  in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” ESV

10 years ago I wasn’t very adventurous. I usually just went with the flow and did what was easy, so I dismissed the idea of a blog, put my nose in whatever book I could get my hands on and soaked up words and information for myself. I blended in. I was good at it. My family couldn’t even find me when they were standing in the living room one foot away from where  I was on the couch reading.

In 2011 I became the youth leader at my church. My pastor and I took turns teaching every week. I loved it. I had so much on my heart that I’d learned and was bursting to share with others.

Wait a second. How did I get from blending in to being in front of a crowd teaching? God’s nudging. At first I told my pastor that I wanted him to do all the teaching, and I would sub when he couldn’t make it. That worked fine until he did a message about using our talents. God used that to tell me that I needed to be up there teaching also.

You see, God has given each person unique gifts. We all have our own style and flair that we can add to any situation or activity that we find ourselves in. Creativity is a characteristic of God that He has put into every person. How we display our creative side is different for everybody, but every time we use a gift we are showing the world a part of God’s glory. We are declaring that there is a God who creates, restores, unites, and many other things.

So, with an ounce of faith, and a trembling body, I told my pastor that I was ready to teach, and started writing down the things on my heart so that I could share them with teenagers.

I haven’t taught since 2013 when I married Josiah and moved to Menomonie, but the burning desire to continue using my gift of teaching never stopped.

In the last couple months blogging has been popping up in my internet searches, and the idea has once again been resurfacing in my mind and heart. I finally told Josiah that I think God wants me to start a blog and use it to share just like I did standing in front of teenagers. The only thing that is different is the presentation. (And probably the lessons. I have since become a wife and mother.) I also said that I’ll get around to it someday. Well, that someday became a week later as God really started adding fuel to this burning desire.

I have to admit, that although this isn’t public speaking, I still felt anxious. I worried that I wouldn’t have things to say, or that my writing would be boring. As I surrender my anxious thoughts to God, He gives me peace and assurance that if I do this for HIM, and not for myself, He will make it prosper, He will give me words, and He will be glorified.

So my lesson is, if we surrender to God…if we give back to Him the desires that He has planted in our hearts…He will make them perfect. God will cultivate, prune, water, and harvest. We only need to be willing vessels, jars of clay, for His work in us and through us.

This blog is for God. I surrender it to Him to be used for His glory. That is my purpose. When I was being anxious I decided that if I did this for the rest of my life and one person was touched with the love and glory of God, then it will have been worth it. I am just taking one step at a time. That is all I can do. One step closer to God. And then another.

I challenge you to surrender your desires and talents to God. Use them with your eyes fixed on Him and do it for no other purpose than to spread His glory. If you do that then He will touch and change lives, He will build, restore, unite, fill, send, bless, and whatever else He wants to do. His Kingdom will come to Earth.