Timing

His timing, His purposes, His wisdom…

In July of 2009 I turned down an amazing job at one of my favorite places on earth that would have subsequently taken me back to Texas. I was convinced that God had me in the desert to see things through. I started my job in the youth department, jumped back on stage in a local theatre production, began planning for an in-house girl’s conference, and made preparations to travel to Mozambique with the church. I felt like God had showered opportunity and blessing in spades! But mountain tops tend to come with their fair share of valleys. The end of September found me discouraged, opportunities removed, and with loneliness entering the picture in a very real and palpable way.

10-1-2009 | Journal Entry

I feel like I’ve become an emotional mess. I see myself not able to take any of the advice and wisdom I give to others. I am no more able to take every thought captive than I am to keep from crying when someone asks me how I’m doing. I am giving far too much weight to the opinions of others. I am not clinging to Him alone. I lay on my bed and wept several times last night. The only thing that could stop my crying was to read Psalms aloud at full force through the tears. I am fighting loneliness, I am fighting self-deprecation, I am fighting… and

I feel like I am losing.

I shared as much with a few near and dear ones who came to my side and poured gentle truth onto my searing wounds. A friend wrote me a long letter and I copied these few sentences and pasted them into my journal…

Do you trust him? Do you really believe that what he has is better, even if it significantly harder and costs you more?  

A few days later my mother forwarded this devotional to encourage my heart…

Before the Flood, God had said, “Come into the ark” (Gen. 7:1, NKJV). The clear implication was that God was already inside, inviting Noah to join Him there. After the Flood, when God said, “Come out of the ark” (Gen. 8:16, NIV), the implication is that He had left and was asking Noah to follow. The great God of the Exodus Who led His people out of bondage to slavery in Egypt, parting the Red Sea to allow them to pass on dry ground and so escape the armies of Pharaoh – that same great God led Noah, his wife, his sons, his sons’ wives, and all the animals out of the ark!

God’s greatness has not been diluted in any way over the years of time. He is just as great today as He has been in the past. So why do you think He cannot lead you out of trouble? Why would you think He cannot lead your entire life so that you find peace and fulfillment? Why do you think He is unable to lead your children in the right direction that will be pleasing to Him and good for them? God is great! (Anne Graham Lotz)

And I began to cling to hope.

10-15-2009 | Journal Entry

What do I know to be true?

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33:18-22, NIV)

You watch, your eyes are on those who fear you. Your love is unfailing. You deliver from death. You keep those who hope in you alive during famine. You are my shield and my help. You cause my heart to rejoice. We wait in hope for you. Your name is holy. Your love rests upon us. I put my hope in you.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

You are CLOSE to me and you save me even in my broken spirit.

On November 2, 2009 I met the man who is now my husband. The journal entries from November are filled with excitement and joy; a far cry from the hurts of September and October. I watched the Lord stand as my shield and help during some of my saddest moments, and I watched wide-eyed as He brought me to a place of abundance.

Today we celebrate our 2nd anniversary. I look back on the heartaches of 2009 and am so thankful for the love and support from friends and family who encouraged me to never stop seeking and trusting. I wanted adventure, direction, and healing in MY timing and within MY parameters. When I was willing to release my grasp and trust His lead, I could slowly glimpse the unexpected and beautiful story He was telling… in His perfect timing.

 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Amen.

Following and celebrating,
Ginger

In spite of…

SCARY DECISIONS
Choosing a college
Deciding “what to do with THE REST OF MY LIFE”
Making a big move to another state
Trusting someone to say “I do” and enter into marriage
Starting my own business venture

I suppose scary is relative.  There are plenty of scary movies or situations that are definitely much more worthy of the “scary” title.  I’ve definitely had those moments.  But what I’m talking about is the kind of fear that keeps us up at night or the anxiety that keeps us guessing and worrying throughout the day.

I don’t even like choosing where to eat my meals, much less what to do with the rest of my life.  So when it came to my college graduation I had a plan… I wasn’t hearing God audibly, so I tried to quiet myself and just listen.  I tried driving my car out into the middle of a field and opening the sunroof and looking at the stars.  I tried opening my Bible, closing my eyes and pointing… but I didn’t really hear anything.

I felt desperate.  I had tears rolling down my face during prayer as I begged, “TELL ME WHAT TO DO!

But what takes more faith – an arrow that says “go right here” or taking steps and trusting that He sees me and will guide me?

COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR, BUT THE ABSENCE OF SELF
I become nervous even when I speak or take the stage.  It doesn’t mean I’m doubting… I just have to learn to go IN SPITE OF the fear and remember that He is with me.

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

If you are searching for answers today, trust that God will be with you wherever you go.  Seek to honor Him with your life and He will continue to guide your steps.

‎”Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” -Corrie ten Boom

Following and listening,
Ginger

Love ALWAYS TRUSTS.

[1 Corinthians 13:3-7]

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts…”

Love always trusts.

TRUTH TO BELIEVE:
“But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.  We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:18-22, NIV

I had lunch with an old friend this week and she asked me about what I’m learning about love through marriage.  In essence I responded with “love always trusts.”  I realize that the world that we live in makes it really hard to desire this aspect of love.  Many of us enter relationships awaiting the other person to prove they are trustworthy.  Obviously we have been given intelligence to help us garner our emotions and make decisions, but I believe the overwhelming principle behind “love always trusts” is that love is graceful… it’s full of the grace we’ve been given through God.

Rather than assuming the worst, I’ve learned to assume the best about my husband. This was a huge light-bulb moment for all of my friendships and relationships.  Just because someone doesn’t behave or respond the way that I think they should doesn’t mean they don’t love or care about me.  I have yet to benefit in the long run by getting all huffy and bothered.  Giving a strong dose of grace to a situation can do wonders in keeping a small thing like giving me advice on how to brown onions from exploding into, “YOU DON’T THINK I CAN COOK?”  Love trusts that the other person is for me.

HOPE TO CLAIM:
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19, NIV

How can we learn to love by trusting others and thinking the best of them?  We continue to follow the example set before us.  Jesus loved us even in the midst of betrayal.  His grace makes loving others possible.

CHALLENGE TO EMBRACE:
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7, NIV

Prayer: Lord I trust you.  I love you.  Would you help me to obey you by loving others?  I find myself fearful of being hurt and worried by the pain others can inflict.  Would you help me to be wise, but also to begin to be faithful in loving others by giving them my trust.  Show me how to do this, Lord!  As I prepare my heart for your Son, let me also fling it wide to love those around me.  In Jesus’ Name… Amen

Love always trusts.

Following,
Ginger

Advent ResourceHow in the World to get ready for Christmas?  A beautiful post by Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience.  “This will take time. This will take waiting. I must make space for these….”