Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole week 8

I’ve been reading Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole, by Angie Smith.  Through a great online Bible study, this book as been such a great read.  Clarifying, confirming and accepting the place God has me right now has been so freeing.  I guess I would call it surrender.  There is so much peace in that.

Chapter 23, The Threshing Floor really spoke to me on the subject of surrender.  I’m most familiar with the threshing floor as told in the story of Ruth.  I wish I could say I’ve been obedient and loyal to God just as Ruth was to Naomi.  Unfortunately, I probably took more of an attitude of Naomi.  Downcast and bitter.

Being pruned by my Lord wasn’t fun.  I resisted it for a very long time.  Resistance lead to anger and the wake of that anger was felt by the people I love the most.  Surrender has left me with peace.  A fullness of life that is so hard for me to explain.  I’m content.  Things haven’t changed, but my attitude sure has.

I love when God speaks to me and confirms in me His love, His grace and His mercy.  So last Friday I journaled the following entry at around 8:30 am.  At 10 am I read the Threshing Floor.  Here is my entry:

Where do I begin, how do I form the words that tell of the peace You have given me?  How do I describe this feeling of surrender, of acceptance, of love You’ve showered me with.  How do I describe JOY in the midst of uncertainty, in the midst of fear and of torment?  The knowledge of you God is so beautiful, so quiet and still, yet so breathtaking it deserves to be shouted from the top of a mountain.  It’s tender God, this surrender, tender in a way that I’m at peace with your plans.  I see Your love for me.  Thank you precious Father for saving me.

At 10 I read the chapter on the Threshing Floor and Hush.  My surrender doesn’t look like giving up.  My surrender is a stillness that has brought peace in my soul. It’s submission to God’s plans not because I have too, but because I want too.  His plans for my life are far greater, ever deeper then I could ever imagine.

I love Angie’s quote: “The God of Jacob, of Ruth, of David, of Solomon and of you and me wants to help us build where the hurt has been.”  Let Him build, sister, right in the middle of the hurt.  Because in the “building” comes healing.

8 Blocks From Happy

For a short time I grew up in Southern California.  We lived 8 blocks away from Disneyland.  The Happiest Place in the World.   And for a seven year old girl it was a happy time too.

At that time, Disneyland only displayed fireworks on Friday nights.  So Friday evenings we would climb on top of our parents car and watch the fireworks show.

Everyone on our small cul de sac would come out to watch the fireworks, talk and enjoy each others company.  My parents would sometimes have barbecues and have the whole neighborhood over. It was fun. It was happy.

The fireworks ended the evening.  The moment when those pretty colors were popping into the sky my heart would jump in fear of the loud noise but quickly would be replaced by amazement at seeing the beautiful color bursting in the sky.

One Friday night I got in trouble and my mom sent me to bed before the fireworks started. As they started to go off I could hear the explosions but I couldn’t see the beauty in the fireworks. With each explosion I dug deeper into my bed covers and started crying.  My heart was full of fear. Quaking in fear.  As long as I could see the fireworks I saw beauty.  I could anticipate it.  I jump with the loud boom but I knew what was coming.  But when I couldn’t see the fireworks I was afraid.

Fear has been an unwelcome companion of mine for most of my life.  Instead of trusting God, I would try to take control.  Control leaves a false sense of security.  You think you have things covered, but most times you don’t.  When control left, I was overwhelmed, felt like a failure or worst, felt like God had failed me.

I’ve been following Holley Gerth’s Blog. She’s been discussing God size dreams. I haven’t posted much on there about my God Size Dream mostly, because of fear.  Fear of failing, fear of not being accepted, fear I will disappoint God and myself.  This week Holley talked about fear.  She stated “Fear is nothing to be afraid of-it’s just the door we push through to get to the other side.”   This really resonated with me.  I’ve been to this door before and I’ve pushed my way through it in the past.  Why fear going through it now?  I”m not really sure.

Since I became a Christian all I wanted to do is serve God.  I have been so blessed to be able to do that as a Children’s Pastor.  It has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

But lately, I’ve been restless, sensing God was about to change things up.  And trust me I’ve tried to control these changes too.  But I’m stepping through the door.

My other passion has been to encourage women.  I love to see women stretch themselves, get out of a box and grow.  Funny thing to say for someone who has allowed fear to stunt her own growth.  I’ve been through a season where God has grown me.

I believe writing is a way for me to encourage women.

I’m a wife, mom, friend, sister, Children’s Pastor and now a grandma.  None of which I have done perfectly.  In fact, there have been times where I have outright failed in one or another.

So I’m stepping out in faith, trusting God will show me the way.  He has definitely placed people in my life to help me in this endeavor.  I will stumble and I will probably fail a few times.

The beauty in trusting God, of stepping out in faith and following His footsteps is that God will take anything I offer and use it for His Glory.

Even walking away from fear and through a door…….