Sunday, December 29, 2013

God's Got This Part 2


Turning Point

Psalms 73:28

“But it is good for me to draw near to God:
I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

I finally came to a turning point about four months into 2013. I was worn out even more than I had been at the start of the year. One day as I was reading my bible I saw a verse that lead me to a life changing moment-and I don’t use that phrase lightly: “life changing moment”.

Often when I hear people say that they had a life changing moment I feel like it’s not always sincere. It’s a phrase that gets used a lot and that life change can be easily tossed aside as life goes on. So when I say it was life changing-believe me, it helped change me.

The verses that caused me to take this new path were:

Joel 2:12-13

“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting,

And with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”

It was as if God was telling me that it was okay that I was angry, it was okay that I was crying and in mourning, so to speak, about my life and things happening in it. But he was also asking that I turn to him and give it all to him. What confirmed it even more was that evening as I was talking with a friend she brought up a verse that said:

Hebrews 4:9

“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”

I came to the realization that I was trying so hard and maybe I just needed to stop trying and rest. Just give it all to the Lord and see what he would do. I committed the next day to doing just that.

I gave everything to the Lord. All my dreams, goals, life plans, wishes, wants, everything. I turned to him and told him that I can’t do this anymore. I need him to clearly show me what he wanted from me!

I fasted that day, prayed and told God that even the music he had given to me-which I knew he gave me to share with others-I would give it up. I wiped my life and my expectations to a clean slate. I sought God that he would look at my blank canvas and paint with the colors he wanted. And I determined that I wouldn’t grab onto the brush as try to paint my own picture. I would trust that he would lead me.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God
must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

As the day went on God clearly showed me what I needed to do. One thing I’d been holding onto was my job. It was working at a Christian camp and I loved it. It had been my life for four years. It was a perfect schedule, I had plenty of time to work and keep busy, but there was also plenty of down time where I could rest, which really helped me with my health. It didn’t pay much, but what I did earn was just enough to cover my small bills. I’d known for a long time that I needed to move on, but move onto what? There was nothing to move onto. But I was holding onto that job so tightly that God couldn’t show me any open doors. That weekend I resigned from my position at the camp.
Even the day I was going to resign I was still asking God if it was the right thing to do! God responded, “You already know what you need to do, you don’t need me to show you anymore. Just trust and take that step.” So I did.

I wish I could say that I learned my lesson so well that I’ve never had a problem with trusting God or any challenges the rest of that year….but things still continued to go up and down and down again. My faith was tested time and time again.

But since I didn’t have the work at the camp anymore I was able to put a lot of time into working on my health. I’ve always been a person who took care of my body, but I really needed a chunk of time where I could just do what I needed done to help me take that first big step in overcoming some of my physical challenges.

I also started to put a lot more effort into my music and writing. Both things that God clearly showed me I needed to be doing.

Finally, we came to the end of the year and even more challenges arose! For almost exactly a month everything that could go wrong did and even things that couldn’t go wrong did. But through each of them God showed me his hand working and making the wrong-right.

November was the month that we moved my mom to Florida. The trip started out with us driving a truck and a van loaded to the brim with everything my mom wanted. Two hours into the trip, the truck decided it didn’t want to go all the way to Florida…in fact, it didn’t even want to leave Pennsylvania! 

When you’re on a long journey like that you want to get there as quickly as possible. So when the truck broke down my brother and I had to make space in the van for three of us instead of two, which meant that we needed to move a bunch of stuff from the van to the truck. We move as quickly as humanly possible, and I even remembered to grab the bucket that had most of my mom’s clothes and we hit the road again. The problem with leaving the truck wasn’t just that most of my mom’s stuff was still in it, but also that the truck was the way my brother and I were going to make it home!
God’s hand was in that situation though as I wasn’t feeling so great. So now instead of having to switch three drivers between two vehicles, we had three of us for one vehicle. Which worked out as I only drove the first two hours and was able to be the miserable and sick navigator instead of having to drive to relieve someone!

Then we got down to Florida and things weren’t as it should have been. We were exhausted from our twenty-two plus hour trip and didn’t even have a chance to rest before everything was crazy and just thrust upon us! We had two crazy days and then a wonderful-much needed mini vacation.
Upon returning from our vacation we had to figure out how my brother and I would make it back home. So we looked and found the cheapest most efficient option: a car rental. Simple, right? No. Weren’t you paying attention? 2013 is a tough year!

We go to get the car and find out we can’t rent it, so while postponing our twenty two hour trip home, because we were waiting on a friend to help us, God’s hand stepped in again. We were able to have breakfast with my mom and assist her in settling in a little more.

We then left Florida and drove straight through-only stops for food and bathroom runs-and let me tell you, God’s hand must have been with us as it was the shortest twenty two hours I ever experienced!
We had a nice Thanksgiving and then less than six days later my dog got hit by a car. God’s hand: my dog could have been hit by the actual car-which it was more like a dodge truck- but instead he got hit by the small metal box the truck was towing.

Instead of broken bones, internal bleeding or things much worse he had a very bad laceration and some muscle damage. It still wasn’t good, but it wasn’t terrible! God protected my puppy boy!
The next challenge was getting our heat turned on; we wanted to have it ready knowing that when our dog came home from the vet he would need to be warm and not freezing. I mean they shaved half his fluffy fur off!

We had gotten our tank filled with the oil we needed, but the furnace wasn’t lighting. Now I don’t know how it is where you are, but here it’s expensive just to have the furnace guy step in the house much less light the pilot! I’d spent almost all night and morning trying to get it lite, and I wasn’t feeling the greatest as I’d had one of my health flair ups. 

So I figured I’d learn from a trust lesson. I was talking to the Lord about everything going on and telling him that I needed help, blah, blah, blah. It hit me then. I realized I didn’t need to tell God everything over and over and seek his help. I just needed to realize one thing: God’s got this.
God has the plan in place to work everything out…why was I worrying and sweating over it. So I got up off my prayer stoop-also known as my bed-and said, “God, you’ve got this so I’m going to start doing my work for the day.” 

God’s hand again: my sister knows a guy who works for the people that know how to get our furnace going. He’s a good friend who came over that night and got it going for free. Perfect timing as we picked up our little buddy from the vet the next day.

Since then I’ve decided to add a theme to my life. When the going gets tough I’m going to get going and trust that: God’s got this.

To be continued....

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