You know those seasons in life, the ones where you find yourself just waiting in faith for something to move – preferably a mountain – but at this point, you would take anything – even if it was a rock or a pebble – you would call it a “win” and it would offer a little relief!
Matthew 17:21: “…I tell you the truth, if you had faith, even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there, and it would move.’ Nothing will be impossible for you.”
I knew 2018 was going to be a hectic and transitional year for our family. We made very conscious decisions and prepared for major life changes. These decisions weren’t made blindly, they were based off of clear directions and callings the Holy Spirit had been giving us. They were made based on dreams, visions, scripture, prayer, words spoken over our lives and hearing the Spirit speak directly. We have faithfully taken steps of obedience as God has led us with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It has been a daily journey of trust. As much as God has been faithful, and given small affirmations along the way – I am weary – and honestly I now find myself standing on the beach, with the Red Sea in front of me – I can hear the army closing in behind me – and am pleading, “God, will you please part the sea!” Exodus 13:17-14:29
Life is a continual cycle of trials and growth seasons. What I have found is the more waves God allows in your life, the harder it is to stay focused. But as long as you keep your eyes on Him – and not on your circumstances – you can truly have complete peace and walk on the water without sinking Matthew 14:29. That’s where maturity happens. When you choose to look at Jesus. When you would rather look at Jesus than at the waves. When all you see is Jesus and you forget there is a storm raging around you.
We knew the conscious decision we made to build a new house – our dream house – the one we envision our girls growing up in. As much as the timing didn’t make sense, financially, to start construction, God made it clear He wanted us to tackle that project this year. At the same time, God asked me to quit my job, write a book and invest in a new venture; to publicly speak about the trials I have faced in my life to young people. Financially, none of this makes sense! As God has been teaching me to make decisions with my heart and not my head – it is a constant battle to keep my head from taking over. Especially when I have been using my head to make decisions 99% of my life!
I was prepared to face the ripple in the water our conscious decisions would make, the problem is, I wasn’t prepared for the unexpected waves that had nothing to do with building a house, selling investment property, quitting my job or starting a new venture. The waves that came in the form of my husband injuring himself and having shoulder surgery or me landing in the hospital with an obstruction in my upper intestine (as a result of an old injury), were not expected. Neither were the waves that came in the form of a Federal tax bill that was three times what we were expecting to owe or a rotted out foundation on an investment property requiring a full renovation. Then you throw in the loss of a loved one (or three) and the waves are looking pretty big. To top it off, when there seemed to be a glimpse of financial relief on the horizon, the sale of a property which would produce income, a wildfire started and threatened to burn the property down, needless to say, it didn’t sell.
But, you know what, it’s all okay! God has been teaching me that my circumstances don’t matter. My material possessions don’t really matter. The waves of yesterday and the unknown waves of tomorrow will only produce maturity and increase my faith as I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and let Him lead me. God has NEVER called me out into something and left me alone. He has ALWAYS given me provision. I am standing on the beach staring at the Red Sea – and the best part is – I know God will part the waters and provide a way through on dry ground. The water will then crash back down on the army chasing behind me. I’m actually really excited to watch and see how this all plays out – as much as my circumstances are telling me I am headed for a disaster.
Regardless of everything that has happened over the past few months, the Holy Spirit keeps bringing these verses to mind:
Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 6:25-27: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Have Faith – Don’t Worry – Come to Me – I will give you rest