Posts Tagged ‘Obedience’

Gotta Go

At a very young age, my oldest son told me he had to go.
G-O.
As in, he had to be obedient to a calling on his heart.
In this case,  GO meant he had to leave.
Not just his home.
Not just his neighborhood.
Not just the town and state in which he had always lived.
GO was something that would take him beyond borders and oceans he’d only read about in school or seen on the news.
GO was something that would take him away from his family.
His brothers.
His pet iguana.
And, away from his mom.
Me.

I didn’t know how to let him go.
On the outside, to others, I seemed cool and collected.
I appeared to have this calm that didn’t make sense.
But inside me, there was chaos.
And fear.
And anger.
And worry.
And frustration.
And sadness.
All of these things, raging.
And just about every ounce of my being was questioning “why”.
And if I wasn’t questioning, I was demanding.
Trying to negotiate.
And then finding rest in the thought that GO wouldn’t really happen.
Afterall, it would take, well, a miracle to GO.
It was no small task to prepare for.
And it was costly.
Very expensive.
Considering he was just out of high school and would rely on the financial support of others, I found comfort in the quiet, hidden part of my self that did cartwheels over the idea of the financial responsibility not being met.
I didn’t tell him that, at the time.
I didn’t tell anyone then.
I secretly held on to the (what seemed) rational fact that he couldn’t raise the money to GO.

And you know what?  He couldn’t raise the money to Go.  But a miracle did happen, and God provided exactly what was needed to GO.  Exactly!

So, he went.  That was about 4 years ago.

No matter my selfish desire to hold on to him, no matter my secret hope of “the miracle” of financial funding to be unseen, and no matter whatever reasons I could come up with as to why he shouldn’t leave…GO happened anyway.

You know why?

Because of a love greater than I can ever imagine.
Because of a faithfulness I didn’t understand at the time.
And because of the obedience of many people to listen to the still, quiet call of the Holy Spirit.
A call to GO.
A call to pray.
A call to provide.

As I stood by the sink one evening, in our empty kitchen some 4 years ago, exhausted from the battle I was having internally, I physically threw my hands in the air and just wept.  Cried like there was no tomorrow.  And I said, “Lord, he’s yours.  If this is your will for his life, please move me out of the way.”  In that instant, a sureal calm drenched me from head to toe.  It was almost a prickly warm feeling, and as it radiated through my body, the weight of the world that I had been carrying was lifted.  Just.Like.That.

Within days, the huge financial obligation required to GO was met.

Within two weeks, our son was half a world away.

As I read in the Jesus Calling deovtion today, my heart leapt in harmony with every word –

“Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective  care.  They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.”

Yes, Lord, YES!

“When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand.  As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them.  My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest.  This same Presence stays with you as you relax and place your trust in Me.  Watch and see what I will do.”

Watching, and expecting.

And I am so grateful!

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He Gave Me Her Name

For the entire month of April, the Lord gave me her name.
I mean, He literally spelled it out loud enough for me to hear!
Several times.  Not just once.
I questioned at first,

What?!!!  Lord, why are you giving me her name?

Then as He remained consistent, day after day, I responded,

Okay, Lord.  You know what you’re doing, even though I don’t.  I’m not sure why You’re giving her name to me, but I trust You do.

Then I wrote her name on a sticky note and dated it: April 14, 2014 at 11:45am.
I put it on my prayer board.

Lord, You know what this person needs right now, and I’m asking for Your Presence and Your Peace to surround her, and comfort her, and offer whatever it is that she needs right now.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

She is someone I don’t know, really, but we have a shared history.
See, she’s my ex-husband’s wife.
Yep.
The one.
The one whom I assigned fault to years ago.
The one whom I placed above myself, in terms of beauty, appeal…
He chose her over me. 
So many years of hurt and feeling inadequate were encapsulated by those tiny three little words.
He. Chose. Her.
Needless-to-say, she is also the one whom I avoided.
At all costs.
Like the plague.
But as time passed, my heart was softened, and after almost ten years, I reached out to her in an effort of obedience.  I was overcome with the need to forgive this woman, and more than that, ask for her forgiveness for all the terrible things I had said, done, and thought over the years.

But now – NOW – here it is about 5 years or so since even then!
Why was the Lord giving me her name?
Hadn’t we said what we needed to?
Wasn’t it water under the bridge?

The Lord became more specific with me, giving me ideas that I thought were just absurd.  Like one afternoon, while waiting for a traffic light to turn green, I thought,

I wonder if she would ever call me?  I wish maybe she would.  Is this crazy?  What could we possibly have to say to each other?
Oh, Lord, I lift her up to You, for whatever it is she is in need of right now.

And then the light turned green, and I drove on to the next traffic light without a second thought of her.

Every time her name was given to me, I prayed for her.  I didn’t know why, but it was being asked of me, so I did.

On the last Friday in April, when I got in my car to leave work, my cell phone was buzzing, letting me know I had a new voice mail.

It’s probably the school lunch room calling to remind me that there is a lunch account balance of negative three dollars.

As I turned onto the main highway, my voice mail announced:  You have one new message.  And then…

Then…

Then…

I was in tears.

She had called.

The tears kept flowing, not because of what she was saying or because she was reaching out – but because I knew instantly that the Lord had been preparing my heart for this moment.  I knew that the Holy Spirit had me praying for this woman, and I was overwhelmed with the thick evidence of His promptings.  I knew that because of Jesus Christ, what was in the past was just that – In. The. Past.  Whatever was between us long ago was done.  Finished.  I knew that now, in this moment, God’s hand on both of our lives was very real, very present, and very powerful.

I could hardly wait to call her back and just let her know that for the entire month, the Lord had been bringing her to thought and that I had been praying for her!

And what did she say?  Don’t you want to know?

The Lord had been giving her my name – He had been urging her to reach out to me!  She had sent  an email on March 20th, about two weeks before the Lord first brought her name to me, asking if I’d be willing to meet with her.  I never saw the email.  It was sent through FaceBook, but because we are not FB friends, her email was delivered without notification, to a folder that I didn’t know about.  She could tell I hadn’t read it yet.  Because I had not responded, she was calling out of obedience. She said the Lord kept asking her to contact me.  On that particular day, the Lord had told her to just call me, and stop waiting for me to see her email.

Nothing but God! That is NOTHING but God! To be the recipients of His very direct orchestration — to see the raw, real hand of God at work to bring us together —

Yes, tears. Absolute perfectly cleansing, wonderful tears!

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love.  Thank you for your guidance.  And thank you for your timing.  Your patience.  And for never letting up when I just don’t get things the first, second or third time in a row.  Father, please continue to use me and to minister in and through my life.  I want so desperately to be obedient to Your will for my life.  Thank you so much, Lord, for a new friendship that I have and for blessing us along this sometimes bumpy life journey.  And more than anything, Lord, I thank you for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who was nailed to the cross and paid for my sins.  Because of that, she and I have no history.  We have no past.  And we can go forward with a new friendship as sisters in Christ.  Praise your name, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

If you are on FaceBook, go to your messages page.  At the top left you will see the word “INBOX”.  These are the FB messages you receive notification for.  Right beside that word, in light gray, you’ll see the word “OTHER”.  This is the folder that FB sends messages to that are potentially junk mail or from people who are not in your FB friends list.  I think it depends on your personal settings.  In my case, I have FB set to only notify me of messages recieved from my friends list.  Anything else gets quietly dropped into the “other” folder.  I might never have seen her email, had she not reached out to me by calling.  However, in this case, it was just more evidence of God’s gentle urging to both of us, wihtout knowledge of His doing so in each other’s hearts.  God is so, so good.  All the time.