How to have Joy through the Wait 

Her tiny fingers hit each piano key with such intensity and passion, unable to gracefully move from one key to the other with out lifting her hand. Blue painters tape destiguished each key from the other to aid in the learning process.  Her eyes followed the notes intently on the page trying to hit the right note. When the wrong note was pressed her fingers would flex and a large sigh would exhale from her lips. A larger more experienced hand curled around the keys upscale from those tiny fingers. Setting the example of how to hit each note with the correct finger. The tiny fingers stretched to reach each note and out of frustration she would stop trying to play correctly and start playing the easy way, with one finger. The teacher urged her to keep practicing the proper finger technique until she perfected that section, but the child only wanted to learn the other sections and quickly move forward.  The larger more experienced hands stopped and placed their hand over the students to stop them from continuing. The teacher looked into the child’s eyes and explained, “playing with one finger may seem easy now, but we must learn proper techniques so that you will be able to play correctly and effectively when the pieces get harder. If you move forward without learning what you need to now, you will eventually have to go back and relearn, causing this to take much longer than expected. It is better to take your time now and perfect the section you are in.”

“God loves the process.” I have heard this phase so many times in the last few years from family and friends. I would immediately want to roll my eyes but would stop myself because deep down I knew the truth. God not only loves the process but he also loves when we are filled with joy through the process. 

That is so much easier said then done but if we try remember the story from above it will help us understand the meaning of the wait. Most of us have something we are waiting for or a promise that we are holding onto. We want to reach that promise or destination as fast as we can. What we need to try and remember is there is a purpose for your wait. God is trying to teach us some valuable lessons that will help us down the road. He doesn’t want us to get to our destination unprepared and ultimately fail because we did not have the right tools to succeed. 

Moses led the Jews out of Egypt toward this promise land. God led them through a 40 year time of testing. If God took them to the promise land before they were ready they would not have had the tools or the faith to achieve Gods plan once they arrived. (Joshua 1-24)

We ultimately want the easy road, the quick fix and a fast microwave meal. God wants us to savor the moment, slow down and learn as much as He has for us so we may achieve the final and greater goal. The moment you are in may be hard and full of mourning, financial troubles or you may be in constant survival mode. It’s hard and I’m with you on all accounts. I want to get out of this moment as soon as possible, but I also want to learn everything He has for me as well. I want to be able to use this and have it not be wasted. When we know there is truth being taught through our waiting we can choose to have joy trump our anxiety. Let us stop, breathe, inhale His truth and exhale His love that he has for us and others. 

Hold on my friend. His promises are true, He always keeps them and He is with you every step of the way. 

  

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The Promise Land and our Pregnancy

I sit at a high top table in the corner of a coffee shop today trying to write for the very first time in months. My protruding belly almost hits the table and I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and love toward his people.  In October we found out we were pregnant, again. This will be our 8th pregnancy. (If you haven’t had the chance to read about our story you can read most of it here) Immediately, following the shock of this surprise pregnancy fear set in. I was reminded that this pregnancy didn’t surprise God. He has been preparing for this for a long time and He wants me to write this little boys story.

The idea of dreams and visions coming from God may seems crazy to most, for others it may fit perfectly into their daily routine.  Either way, this is our story and this is how God spoke to us during our time of our preparation.  It was about a year ago when my husband and I attended a conference at the HUB in Bloomingdale, Illinois. It was the same weekend as our church’s women’s retreat so I only attended one day.  I gave my pass to a friend who attended the remaining sessions of the conference.  While he was there he wore my name tag around his neck. During one of the nights he was there he offered to help a lady up the stairs with her baby. He carried the car seat up the stairs as he followed the women.  That is when God spoke to him.  (I’m paraphrasing here) He said, “What are you doing and who’s name tag are you wearing? This means something.” God told him this was significant and he needed to tell Adam and I that God has a plan for us, a plan for us to have a baby. This man has walked with us through some really hard times and he knew the heaviness that went along with this declaration and promise.  He knew we were mentally and emotionally done when it came to pregnancy.  In obedience, He told us anyway.  That same weekend my husband told me he had a vision of throwing a boy up in the air and this boy looked  a lot like him at a young age. I was still skeptical due to my fear of pregnancy and I have never experienced a vision before. I didn’t understand how God spoke to his people this way.  How do I handle this news?

A few months went by and we decided to go to another conference.  This one was a youth conference put on by Todd White and we went with a few of our youth leaders at our church.  We sat down in the big sanctuary and for some reason my very shy self turned around and introduced myself to the lady behind us.  She was holding a baby and I asked her a few typical mommy questions.  Hesitantly, she told me that God gave her a vision when we sat down. She said she saw me holding a baby boy in my arms.  I told her my story and I found out she had a very similar one. Immediately, she wanted me to meet a man that had prayed for her to get pregnant along with many others she knew.  She went on to tell me that these women he had prayed for has sense had babies.  I reluctantly agreed and a few others came over as well.  In a circle these strangers began to pray for me.  The lady began by sharing her vision and adding that God showed her this boy had a gold crown placed on his head.  Another man spoke up and said he saw a path covered in weeds and thorns, unable to let anyone pass. The vision went dark and then when it came to again the path was completely cleared, covered in gold, and had beautiful flowers lining each side of the path. I went home that night filled with so much hope and excitement for what God had in store for our lives.  A few months went by and someone else would share with us that they had a dream about me and I was holding a baby boy.  Countless times God reminded us of His promise by speaking through his people.  Then, one October day that promise was brought to life and we stood in the middle of our living room looking at each other and said, “well this is it! You ready?” Are we ready to enter the promise land, one that flows with milk and honey? (Ex 3:17)

If I am going to be completely honest with you all, I wasn’t ready.  Even with all the visions and dreams God provided us, I was still scared to my core.  My fear was solely based on my past experiences and not on the expectation of what God had promised.  Many of us have not been raised to believe that God is the God in the bible.  The one who preformed miracles, the one who spoke to his people, the one that brought people out of slavery, the one who sent angles to speak his truth and promises, the one who sent his only son to die for us.  Many of us don’t believe he is still alive and working in our lives today.

In Exodus 3, God speaks to Moses through a burning bush.  Moses had just spent 40 years outside of Egypt escaping his past. God was now calling him back into Egypt to save his people from slavery. Moses did not believe he could do such a thing and argued with God that they would not believe him, he asked him in v. 13 “Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Isrealites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘what is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” v.14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Isrealites; ‘I Am has sent me to you.'” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Isrealites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers-The God of Abraham, The God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-Has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

Moses continued to tell God that he was not capable of such a task and God encouraged him that he would not leave him to do this alone.  He would be there with him every single step of the way. He would give Moses signs and miracles to use so that the pharaoh would believe him and let His people out of Egypt.  (Exodus 4)

Do you think the isrealites were scared to follow Moses?  I believe so.  The isrealites were slaves in Egypt for 430 years (Ex 12:41) and this was all they knew. They may have heard stories that were past down from generation to generation about the Land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Gen 50:24) But, when slavery is all you know doubt and fear will set in.  The task Moses laid out before them seemed impossible and I would believe that some even argued with Moses.  There were many nights I argued with God.  “God I can’t do this.  You know my history.  My body does not like human beings in there.  Have someone else do it” I wanted to stay in the place I knew,  I didn’t want to cross over into the unknown because I was afraid of getting hurt.  I wanted to stay in Egypt because the promise land seemed impossible.

Do we believe that God is who He says He is in Exodus 3?  He is “I AM”  the one that is constant, unchanging and forever and always the same.  He is the same God of Abraham, the same God that helped Moses bring his people out of slavery and He is the same God today. The same God that likes to take the impossible and make them possible.  This same God brought a precious life into a body that was overtaken by fear and rejection.  He brought life where death once resided.  He stays the same even when I doubt.  The enemy wants you to stay enslaved to your past.  A past that is covered in pain, failure and regret. But our God wants to bring us out of that and into the Land he has promised for us. A land that is filled with His Goodness.

I have a task you.  Will you try something with me?  Will you sit quietly for a few minutes and invite God too come and be with you.  Close your eyes and picture yourself sitting with God. You may see yourself sitting on a park bench in a quiet garden or walking together on a seashore.  Wherever your place is I ask that you invite Him there and see what He may have to say to you.  It could be in the form of a word or a picture may enter your mind or it could even be a sensation.  Everyone has difference experiences so be open to what He may have for you. He is here, He is real and He is ready to speak with you.  I believe He wants to take you to the promise land. Doubt may come knocking, trying to convince you to stay in what you know, but we have to be willing to let go of the past and believe in the truth and promise that God has set before us.

(feel free to talk with me about what God shows you during this time, I would love to hear and pray for you)

 

Just Love

As I sit her in the airport awaiting my final flight home,that has been delayed three times now and counting, I can’t help but reflect on this past week.  How do I even put what I experienced into words?  So many emotions, so encouraged and I am changed beyond understanding.  There are things about this week that won’t even make sense for years to come, while other things are becoming so clear as I sit her watching countless people walk by.  Everyone is different, no one person is the same.  So many different races, nationalities and beliefs.  Everyone is heading to a different destination, but everyone is going somewhere. Some look happy, some tired, others stressed or weary.  One thing we all have in common is Love.  We all desire to be loved and are loved by our Creator.  One immediate change we can make in the world today is to Love.  This may look differently for some or harder for others, but I want to encourage all of us to take a leap of faith today and reach out and love someone.  Love the hurting, love the unloveable, love those that are different from you, love those with different beliefs, just love.  God wants us to just love on others and let Him do the rest!  I wont say anymore, these pictures will reach down into our soul and grab a hold of your heart strings.  Go.Be.Love.

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