Sunday, January 31, 2010

You Better Bring Some Friends Along--unknown Big Audacious Prayers Answered

"In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path" Proverbs 3:5. This is my life verse. This is the verse that has carried me through so much in my life. Because every step I take it reminds me that this is not about me but about Him.

Acknowledging God is God in all your ways is a very difficult path. As we walk, we do get weary, as we climb the mountain, we do get hurt at times, when we walk in the valley we can tend to fear what we might find. But, when those times come, and l acknowledge He is the one that can direct my path, I get the chance to catch a glimpse of something bigger God is doing out of the corner of my eye. Maybe a word that stood out, a sermon that went a little deeper in my heart, God's Word that jumped out at me on the page….just something that pricked my heart to say "stop and listen". At those times I know he is giving me that special armor that I might stand a little taller , a little stronger, and have just a tad more confidence than I did the day before on who my Father is in my life. That I might not turn to the right or left but keep my eyes focused on Him. Those special moments wrap around you like a blanket and you want to stay safe and secure. We don't want to have to face that trial that we are walking in. And most of the time, that safe secure feeling comes from the friends and family that surround us in our walk with the Lord.

They are walking the journey with us. Crying with us. Laughing with us. Rejoicing with us and if they are true friends, letting us know when we have missed the path completely and need to get back on track. I just want you to know that I cannot walk this path with the Lord to my best ability without opening my heart to people. That is the hardest thing I have to do. I want to appear strong, confident and portray that God has it under control.

 We, as women, can be such "Steel Magnolia's". The first time I heard that phrase I did not get it. But as I get older, and hopefully wiser, I get it so much more. God made women with extraordinary abilities. We are the counselor to all family members, we are the cook, maid and chief finance officer. But we are also the heart of the family. Sometimes that heart is broken, sometimes it is full of joy, sometimes it is afraid. Whatever the heart "is" we get afraid to share it with others. We are busy being so strong. But without sharing, we can never really know that true freedom of giving, sharing and breaking free of the chains that surround us. God gave us each other so that we could not only have friends but that we could have confidants, someone to hold our arms up when we are weary, to share in our joy when God answers a prayer and loves us through all of our imperfections.

Taking a moment to get to know someone a little better, or allowing someone to know you a little better is hard. But not only taking that moment but taking it a step further and extending a hand to another. We are all so busy with husbands, kids, schedules, school, church and family. We barely have time to keep our own lives together let alone investing in another. But sometimes, when you extend a hand with a meal, or a note in the mail, or a moment with a phone call you never know what God will do. A friendship might emerge that you never thought possible. And that moment when your heart is weary, the emotional bank is overdrawn….you might find your self in need and God has already made a provision of help. You had stepped out side of your own life for a moment and that investment came back ten fold.

I learned this very hard lesson when I started down this path with Olivia. The Family of God that came to my rescue even though I kept saying I didn't need anything. But I did. God knew I did. And my family did.

DIdn't I say earlier what a strong, independent, self made woman I am, LOL (oh and God is really laughing). I have been a Vice President of a Company, ran my own successful company and thanked God for the provision along the way. I would be the first to help anyone but the last to ask for help. I could work it all out somehow. I have walked some very dark and lonely places and kept my joy in the Lord, ministered where I could to people but never asked for it for myself.

I have spent the better part of my life relying solely on God and the last ten years realizing for the first time that His people have a strong part to play in His plan
Girls, I have learned the hard way…that is pride. Those things are not bad things but they can be so strong in you that they weave a huge banner of pride that you may never see in your life, until you are lost and alone in your circumstances. Thankfully God knew me and sent people  rushing to my door when I needed them. But not just once, not twice, but consistently over the next ten years. I learned a long time ago not to ask for much from anyone, to be self sufficient, to carry the burden alone because everyone has needs. Even if the weight of the burden was so heavy.Again Pride raised it's ugly head because the real lesson is in the relationship not in the heart ache.  The real joy is in carrying and bearing one another's burden. My heart has been torn in two because God sent people oonstantly over the past ten years depsite what I said. You did what God asked you to do, in spite of me. Even years later, you still call, send a card or note, email, encourage and ask if there is anything you can do. …it has been my amazement to see God do things that I have never seen in my life. And to my Nashville friends, I stand in awe.  Ten  years later and you are still not tired of me yet.  WOW.  That is God.  And that is friendship that I can never understand but thank God for every day. 

I can't help but reflect back to where my life started and all the ground work that was laid in my life to get me to today. I love that God has so transformed my life, that the pain, the sorrow, the heartache is not what is chiseled in my face. But His joy, His rest and His pleasure. When people meet me, if I am quiet, they never know or even think my life has been full of pain, sorrow, bruises, and heart ache, they only see the joy and caring that I want to know about them. Because I do. My life pleasure is not just words on this page or scriptures I know. I truly want to know about you because you are the reason that I make it through a day. When I was younger, Amy Grant came out with a song called My Father's Eyes. I have never been impacted so much by one song. I have clung to that song so many times because I truly want to see people as God has seen them, not with my earthly eyes and hindrances. And because I have clung tightly to letting the Lord direct my paths, I could allow Him to bring people in my life to teach me hard lessons of Pride, wrong humility and the joy of letting go and allowing God to work. Although I have not been perfected in this, I know He has surrounded me with women that are wiser than I am and they see through so much, reach in and love me where I am. Thank you for being God's heart to me. It has transformed my life. And I hope you will allow Him to do the same with you to transform your life.

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