Monday, December 23, 2013

A Garment of Praise

Texas has been our home now for over three months. We like it here, a lot.

In some ways this move was easier than our move from Kansas City to South Carolina, and in other ways, this move was harder and completely different.

One of the ways this move is so different is that once we arrived and got settled in, the Lord began to make it clear to us that the vision for why we moved was not actually what we would be doing. Well, not exactly. Texas was correct. I know that much in my heart. 

The rest......mainly, our involvement in the missions school, seems to not be so certain. I don't have clear direction on what we are suppose to be doing instead, but it seems to me, that the Lord has sealed the door shut on the missions least for now. Who knows. The peace I feel about that particular subject though speaks enough to me on its own. I'm fine with letting the subject rest.

So what are we here to do then, Lord?

I imagine Him sitting up there with a mischievous smile saying, "wouldn't you like to know..."

Notice I said 'mischievous', which is not 'malicious'. 

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to bring you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

So we are waiting upon the Lord.......and waiting is hard. Really hard.

"but those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they will mount up on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint," Isaiah 40:31

My strength IS finally feeling somewhat renewed today, for the first time in weeks. 

See, I had a melt down about 2 weeks ago, where I was filled with despair and doubts and fear. It nearly overwhelmed me and I had an emotional outburst about how I was feeling about our lack of clear direction. It was ugly, and even as I was spewing my emotional turmoil, I knew I was essentially having a spiritual temper tantrum.

Can we say 'pathetic'?

After it was over though, I felt the Lord's gentleness toward me. He wasn't shocked by my lack of faith, or strength, or hope. 

One of the accusations that I flung at the Lord that day was that I was tired of being 'the awesome missionary wife who use to be at IHOP and who walks in so much faith and has it all figured out, and is an awesome mom, wife, friend".

As if people actually hold me at some high, unrealistic standards and judge me silently when they see me struggling in any (or all) of those areas. 

But then the Lord whispered to me in the silence after my storm.
"Who thinks that unrealistic lie about you? Isn't it you?"


I am the one holding myself to that unrealistic standard. 

Since then the Lord has been speaking to me about why I had that standard for myself, and how valuable I am to Him even though I bring nothing to the table in our relationship. I am not lesser in His eyes just because I don't know what we are doing here in Texas. He knows, and when He is ready, He will make it happen and it will bring glory to His name. Not my name. I will not be able to take a bit of the glory, because I won't be making it happen. I will just be walking it out, and even that will require His help.

Sobering, freeing, beautiful, and lovely truth.

I feel as though I have been gliding through the last few days. A great weight has lifted off my shoulders.  Even as I write this I am realizing it is a fulfillment of a prophetic word I received only 3 weeks ago (about a week before the meltdown).

A very dear woman in our church referenced the story where David fasted and prayed for his son to not die, but when the child did die, he got up and washed himself and put on clean clothes. She also mentioned the scripture in Isaiah 61 where it says: "to give unto them beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness".

She asked if that was accurate at all for me. 

I nodded and we talked about the Lord removing that spirit of heaviness, and I confessed, even then that I was feeling heavy with our lack of direction. The fear of not knowing what we should be doing. That same day, another woman who doesn't know either of us gave a prophetic word to us about the Lord's direction for us, that He has a great adventure for us.

So the Lord knew my heart was heavy and He tried to tell me to give over my burden to Him, but I was still thinking that if I just fought a little harder, I could show Him what a good 'fighter' I am, what a faithful servant, what a calm and collected daughter I really in, and then the breakthrough would come.

I failed to remember that He sees our hearts, and my heart was exhausted and sad, and full of fear.

So I had my tantrum, the Lord took the opportunity to speak some hard things to me, and now I am lighter, happier, and ready to do some more waiting.

As if that isn't enough to cause me joy upon joy, today was a particularly beautiful day.

Today it was as if I could feel the Lord taking notice of me, from behind me, from across the room, from all around me. I could feel His eyes on me, and I felt so loved and valued. I knew that I wasn't doing anything special, but He lavished His love on me today in more ways than one.

My strength to wait upon the Lord has been renewed. Yet even in my weakness (weak moments) I am strong.

All I have to do is keep saying yes to the Lord. Today I say yes waiting upon the Lord.

PS. Since I experienced these things (the tantrum and then sweet revelation), I would like to also mention that the Lord has given us some direction and vision for this next season. If you would like to read about it, feel free to visit my husband's blog here.

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