There is so much that has happened over the last several weeks. We have had a couple of teams and it has all been an amazing and exhausting experience. The last two weeks we built a church in Muy Muy Viejo. It is a mountain town up in the middle of nowhere Nicaragua. It was alot of hard work and yet a beautiful thing all at the same time. We carried wood over a mile on our shoulders. The wood was cut with a chainsaw from huge trees and carried long distance by men and women up to the top of a hill where the church now stands. I want to write more about this church and the people of Muy Muy Viejo and I will later.
What I want to write about now, instead, is a little more difficult but a sweet conviction from the Lord nontheless. You see the last couple of weeks I have been doing ministry and yet I felt off. I couldn't expalin to you why. I just knew my quiet time and prayer time with the Lord wasn't the same. I had been praying about it and wasn't really sure what was going on. The Lord has been showing me over the last couple of days.
What God showed me was that over the last few weeks my focus has been on myself and not on Him. You see several weeks before the last team came in people had been telling me about a 31 year old guy that was coming. They were kindof hinting about he and I. Well I didn't really put alot of thought into it then. But as the days got closer I started thinking well, maybe this is a Godly man who the Lord has put in my path for a reason. It turns out the guy was very sweet but not the guy for me. What I now realize was that as the week went on I started thinking.....Hey God what about me...a family???? I starting thinking about things that sometimes I think girls worry about...lonliness, a protector, physical beauty, comparisons, etc. What God has shown me was for about 8-10 days my thoughts were all about me. My focus was on me and it was a continous spiral of thoughts where the devil could take hold...what if I never marry? Am I pretty? What will I do after this? Where will I live? I had taken my eyes off the Father. I had taken my eyes off the one who is love...the one who is life.
I was listening to a sermon by Ben Stuart from Breakaway. It was one on the Abraham series about the sacrifice of Issac. Ben asked the audience to write down a question. What are you holding on to? What will you not lay down and give to God? I thought to myself, well...nothing. I have given up my home, job, family, etc. Is there anything else God? Then Ben said...are there any hopes, desires, or dreams that you wouldn't lay down before the Lord trusting him as your Lord. Trusting that His will is best?
There was...although I do pray over this from time to time I had never had it fill my thoughts as it did the last 8-10 days. My thoughts were all about me. I had missed opportunites to share with people, to encourage younger women, to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His leading.
I would rather not write this post honestly. I don't even know who will read it or why it would impact anyone other than me. I do know that for some reason tp write it makes me feel weak. I find myself wanting to follow it up by saying I am confident in myself and happy and all that....because I am...but that doesn't mean that negative thoughts don't come and no matter how few, they are destructive. Plus, it is my fullest desire is to lay it all down. My life is no longer mine but belongs to God. I want to serve Him with my life and I trust that whatever His will is for my life is best. I want to serve Him in faith in my singleness or with a family. I want to walk with him keeping my eyes open for what He is leading me to and be in obedience to His will. I have nothing to fear in that. I know truth! I know I can have an inexpressible joy because however He decides to use me will be far better than anything I could ask or imagine. It will be IMMEAURABLY MORE. I know it.
So, I write this. I write it so I don't forget. What is so sweet is that as soon as God showed me my focus was on myself I prayed and asked forgivess and it was gone. "it" being the yuckness of the "what if's?" Instead, I was filled with a joy and excitement of what God will do in me and has done in me. What it has reminded me is that I must Lay it all down each day. What is mine is not really mine but His. If I do have children, they are His and what better place for them to be but in His Hands. So I pray with my hands open before the Lord. Whatever God chooses to fill them with I will not grasp to tightly but keep them open because my life and everything I have is His.
How quickly thoughts can happen. We take our focus off of Him and begin to worry, to think about the future or the past in our own understanding, to wish or want something the world puts before us.
I don't want those things. I want to abide in him and know truth. "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
----A few verses from Before the Throne of God ----
My soul is purchased by his blood, my soul is hid with him on high. One with him I can not die. With Christ my savior and my God.
Why would I want my focus to be on me and on this world when I know truth. I know that it is all about Jesus. His love, His sacrafice for me. My name is graven in His Hands and Written on His Heart. My focus and my desire is for others to know Him... wherever He takes me and whatever I do that is my hope and my desire.