Mine and Chris's 1st life started in 1992 as two college kids looking for a good time. It evolved into two young adults entering into a covenant marriage, starting a family, climbing the ladder of success, and pursuing our own version of the American dream. That lasted until the fall of 2008. That's when God started stirring in our hearts a desire for something more...we had NO IDEA how big that "more" really was!!
My first post on this blog was almost 3 years ago...8/24/09. Today is 3/15/12. I wish I had had the thought to start writing my thoughts down on this blog back then; however, the only place I wrote was in my journal. So today, in the quietness of a sleepy spring-break morning, I dug out my journal from '08-'09. Here are a few excerpts from my journal:
Early October 2008: "Lord, I wish for You to place Chris in the career where he can be incredibly used for You. Lord, draw him, call him, use him, satisfy his deepest desires. Open his eyes to your workings-prompt him with directions, guidance-open up doors for him to journey into to find your will for his life."
1-7-2009: "For Chris-guidance. Lord, grab his heart. Woo him close to You. Show yourself to him today. Make him smile b/c of You. Protect him and bless him with health and long life. Call him, Lord, call him."
1-14-09: "For Chris-I don't know what's been going on in that quiet head of his-I pray that he'll heard you today. Open his ears/his mind/his heart today. Lord, we desperately want to do your perfect plan for our lives-plans that will affect people for You for generations to come. PLEASE use us!
2-22-09: On this day, I gave thanks that we had not packed up and moved to SBEC...Chris had turned down an offer to go work at the school/church. We didn't feel that we could walk away from his nice salary at the bank plus leave a house in Oxford to sell. If I remember correctly, this was just days before Chris lost his job with M&F Bank. As we now know...leaving M&F wasn't an option; it was a command. And leaving a house in Oxford to sell was actually part of a bigger picture!!!
3-2-09 Looking back in my journal, I realized and remembered that I fasted on that day. As I sought direction from the Lord, the verses that I focused on were Psalm 138:8 "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me..." and Psalm 119:33-40 that He would teach me, give me understanding,turn my heart toward Him, turn me away from worthless things, fulfill His promises, and take away my disgrace. I had written that Esther and the Jews went without food to demonstrate their desperation to receive something much greater: deliverance. I would say that fasting really does honor God; I believe that opened the windows of blessings. Only days later did Chris surrender his life to the ministry!!
3-18-09: "Lord-here we are at SWBTS- and we're not rested, we're anxious;we're overwhelmed (actually just me) But our night was awful...I am tempted to worry about my job situation, he kids at school, the apartment/house, etc...Lord, I need your peace that passes all understanding. I need your direction and wisdom. I need to feel your presence all around me today...."
3-19-09: as I read over my requests from that day, they were for things like good teachers for the kids, good friends, application/acceptance into seminary, me a job, us a nice community, a good church for us...the list goes on, but can I just say AMEN...He is faithful!!!!
Where has time gone? I cannot believe we have been on the journey for 3 years...this call into the ministry literally started in March of '09 and it is going strong today. Life is good. The kids are settled. My job is great. Chris's job is great. Obedience to the will of God is absolutely THE route to go! No other plan will ever measure up to His plan.
3-15-12: Thank you, Lord, for bringing us to this place. You are an awesome Father; your plan is always good. Please continue to grow us into he people you want us to be. All five of us have a ministry. please open each one of our eyes to see the ways you want to use us. Remind us that you have called us to be holy, set apart, to be lights in a dark world. Give each one of us a hatred for sin...make it repulsive to us. As we stay connected to you, bear fruit through us. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere...I don't want to say or do one thing contrary to your perfect plan. Only in you is there true joy and peace. Hem us in...protect us from the enemy...grow us closer to you...use us today."
Happy Birthday, 2nd Life! You are much more gratifying than the 1st life ever thought to be. You have been a little more difficult at times, but yu have been worth every struggle. I look forward to a lifetime of service to the Lord. May today's reflectins remind us that God alwasy has been in charge...He always will be. He's always good. He's always full of grace and mercy, and He delights in us, His children!!