Friday, February 15, 2013

Crushed dreams or plans?

So, let’s be honest! Ever feel like your life is totally NOT what you dreamed it to be? Ever feel like you are sitting still just wondering when God is going to plan your life according to what you have expected and wanted? Totally unspiritual thoughts, huh?? But, seriously, ever wonder just what you are supposed to do?
I am sure none of you have ever had those thoughts EVER! I, though, must be completely honest—it has crossed my mind all too often. There are times when I feel like the last 7 years have been “wasted!” And, while I know that is not true, because God has worked in our hearts much and we have become involved in others lives, our purpose for moving here seems to no avail. We moved for Brian to start his masters and to quickly move on into full-time Christian service. Well, there were other reasons we truly HAD to move, but still it just seems to have taken God so long to move us on! We have never had the funds for Brian to start his masters and now we have no clue what He wants us to do!
BUT…… that was my flesh speaking and those have been my feelings all too often over the last few years. God has really been teaching me so much in the area of giving him the eraser to my “life plan.” It seems we all too often attempt to write our plans and dreams in permanent ink thinking that is just what it will be, but then the paper gets shred to pieces because there is no way to just erase it and put in a new plan. You know those struggles you face like owning your own home,  but must suffice to renting; wanting a baby but cannot conceive; “needing” more space due to growing family, but cannot afford it; having a good job allowing one to be debt free; being in the ministry of your dreams, but nothing’s available; and so much more! Oftentimes from a human prospective we get so focused on the “what we don’t haves” instead of simply waiting on God and trusting He will give and lead as He desires. What blessings it brings when we write our “plans” in pencil and then hand Him the eraser.
I am constantly comforted reading this verse…
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Did you read it? Read it again and again! He has His own thoughts and while we have thoughts of a growing family, a gorgeous home, a pristine vehicle, a full bank account, a prosperous-growing ministry, the best job, and so much more; He may have other thoughts for you. Like a basement or 2 room house to rent, no children, no full-time ministry, a ministry you never expected to be involved in, no money in your bank account, a clunker of a car, etc. You know what? You’ll be happier with His thoughts and plans because that is His will for you! Easier said than done, right? While I have no idea the emotions that some of those empty voids bring, I have a million of my own emotions and a million other things. And, I too can find joy in the center of God’s will for me right NOW!
We have been betwixt about God’s desire for us in many different ways. We have worked in the youth group for many years, but feel like youth pastoring or pursuing this ministry may not be in God’s plan, but then again, we love it so maybe He does want that. Just not sure where if this is what He wants. We both LOVE the camping ministry and know God gave us that burden early in life and gave us that desire even before marriage, so do we pursue that? If so, where and when? School teaching has been an open option as well as a music man, but we have had no peace there and have turned opportunities down. Now, God has given my husband a new job with better pay, so do we just serve faithfully and give in the local church as faithful laymen? If so, for how long and if not here, where?
You know the best part of all these questions? MY GOD KNOWS THE ANSWERS and He simply wants us to wait patiently for Him to lead us through the door He chooses to open!
Sometimes God’s plans are so confusing and emotionally draining. BUT, I know God’s ways are best and I am finding that I need to take one day at a time and do just what He puts on my plate for the day.
As a woman and a wife though the unknown for the future can be very hard; but it’s even harder knowing that your husband (hero, leader, confidant, and spiritual leader) has no idea what God truly desires for his family. Talk about submission at its finest!! Ladies, I’m learning it for sure! I think the Lord has just changed our thinking, our hearts, and our priorities especially in the last few years and we want God’s best for sure!
I love the book of Timothy and 2 Timothy 2 especially. Those pages in my Bible are pretty worn and have lots of scribble in open spots. A few years ago I heard a challenge from this passage and jotted down several things that God expects to be part of my “job description” based on 2 Timothy 2. Here are a few from my findings:
Suffer with an attitude that honors Him---definitely had to put this into practice only a few months after I studied this chapter. While I am sure I failed at times, it definitely helped me!
Believe and trust Him to provide—I have watched God provide the smallest and largest things the last few years, and I know and trust He will provide what He desires for our future too.
Be faithful in laying up treasures in Heaven—wow!!! it’s easy to get stuck on the temporal and material things isn’t it?
Dig into His Word daily—I am loving journaling my devotions and prayer
Hold nothing back from Him—He blesses so much when He holds every key to my heart!
Live honorably—definitely something I must strive for daily
Be gentle—in all my conversation too!
Be teachable---something my prideful heart is learning, and I have found it is becoming easier!
Be patient—definitely still growing in this area and NEEDS more growth
Be a teacher—I am so inadequate in this area, but I really do love to share what God does in my heart and through His Word
Meekly confront sin—who likes to confront sin? But, it is necessary and has been a great help
My heart’s desire is  to please the Lord and not those around me. I do not need to keep up with another ministry or another person, but must please Him alone!
2 Timothy 2 :4
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier!
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth!
Not sure if you needed this today, but God reminded me of it as I wept this morning for direction in our lives. I honestly can say it is not discontent right now, but sheer desiring to know what He desires for us! But, I am finding it is drawing me closer to Him, and I think that is what He desires!
Run to Him my friends, and remember to throw out your plans and cling to His alone!