This week has been hard. Well, let’s be honest, this last year has been hard. I was reminded this week, that some of the lessons that I’ve already learned are still relevant today. And, sometimes, the Lord even needs to remind me of them. Thus, my Mom enters the story. 🙂 She sent me an email this week that I sent her five-and-a-half years ago. She happened to come across it and thought I might enjoy reading it again. Oh, how the Lord used it to remind me of who He is! I’ve included the email (with minor changes) below. I hope the Lord speaks to you through this as much as He spoke to me then and now.
I was awakened this morning a little before 4 am. This was actually a huge blessing, since it signaled that I had slept 7 hours straight (something that has not happened in the past two months). I had been having funny dreams, but could only vaguely remember them. I was laying in bed, very joyful about my sleep and feeling the Spirit being stirred in me. I felt like I was suppose to remember something important, but it was on the outskirts of my thoughts and I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I decided to turn my light on and spend some time with the Lord. I thought it would probably be about 30 minutes and then I would go back to sleep for a couple more hours of much needed rest. An hour and a half later, I sat in awe of God!! If only I could stay in that constant awe of the Lord! How my heart longs for Heaven and His presence (2 Corinthians 5:1-10)!! Below is some of my journal enteries, excerpts from my devotional books, and Scriptures. I want to share the love of my God.
0400 January 6, 2011:
I started pulling out my three devotional books (the number seems to to grow quickly as I am given new books and my desire to read them and understand the Lord grows), Bible, and journal. I picked up a book by Elisabeth Elliot and started flipping through the pages to find my bookmark. I felt the Lord say, “Be still and know that I AM God.” I closed my book, snuggled under my covers again, and started struggling with stilling my thoughts, focusing on Him, and listening for what He wanted to say. I heard Him say He has awesome plans for me. I don’t know what they are, but I can rest assured that He does.
Side note: This has always been one of my struggles. I want to know the next ten steps I’m suppose to take. I want to know where the Lord is leading and I want to know right now. I’m a planner. This whole trusting God thing is not something that comes naturally. So God talking to me about His perfect plans and my needing to trust Him is nothing new. What is awesome is that over the last two years God has been continually expanding my picture of Him and amazing me with His control and planning of my life. It has been an interesting journey of trusting and learning to have peace in the unknown. Within the past two months, I have had a couple big changes in my life. Within the last two weeks, I have started realizing that I have had an unusual peace and trust (Philippians 4:7) about my future. I am actually ok with not knowing what the next step is. I am starting to more completely trust Him with my future and direction. I am becoming more content to just live my life day-to-day and not figure everything out.
Ok, back to this morning. When I heard the Lord say this, the Spirit instantly wanted me to surrender my future, whatever it might be! I started thanking the Lord for His patience with me and for His perfect desires and plans for me. I told Him I wanted a heart that desires the desires of His heart. Instill this in me Lord please!! I don’t want the desires of my heart anymore. I want true joy. His joy!!
Feeling very peaceful at this moment, I picked up a new daily devotional that my parents gave me for Christmas. It is called “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. This devotional is written as if Jesus were speaking directly to you and then is followed by the Scripture verses that the author uses as the foundation for the devotional. I started with the devotional for yesterday which I had missed. This was odd, because I usually do not go back and read daily devotionals if I skip a day.
You can achieve the victorious life through living in deep dependence on Me. People usually associate victory with success: not falling or stumbling, not making mistakes. But those who are successful in their own strength tend to go their own way, forgetting about Me. It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness that you learn to rely on Me.
True dependence is not simply asking Me to bless what you have decided to do. It is coming to Me with an open mind and heart, inviting Me to plant My desires within you. I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach. You know that in yourself you cannot achieve such a goal. Thus begins your journey of profound reliance on Me. It is a faith walk, taken one step at a time, leaning on Me as much as you need. This is not a path of continual success but of multiple failures. However, each failure is followed by a growth spurt, nourished by increased reliance on Me. Enjoy the blessedness of a victorious life, through deepening your dependence on Me.
Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV) The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them. He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV) for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
What a total confirmation of everything the Lord had just spoken to my heart!! I was blown away! The Lord had taken the time to awaken me early after a great night of sleep, stop and speak to me, love and spend time with me, teach me and personally direct my quiet time, and then confirmed everything He did with a devotional I had not planned on reading for another whole year. He was that specific with everything He did this morning (and does); so many little details were orchestrated. And, I’ve always been worried about His planning abilities when it came to my future! 🙂
Eight months after sending this email, my life took a drastic turn and I started working as a resident hall director. At the time that I wrote this, I had no idea what an adventure was headed my way, how much the Lord would stretch and grow me, and how much He would reveal about Himself. But that’s a story for another blog. 🙂