The last five plus years have been life changing. God changed the trajectory of my life when He moved me to Colorado. I realize not everyone has to move to experience such a life change, but I guess for me that was necessary. I’ve been a Christian for a very long time, but it means something so much deeper to me now.
A few years back I took a trip to Haiti. Some of you know about that journey. The life-changing lesson I learned is I’m no longer a slave to fear! I AM A CHILD OF GOD!
The last two and half years our church has been studying the book of Luke and for the last year a couple friends and I have been studying the Passion version of the Songs of Songs. From these studies I’ve learned I am totally and completely forgiven for my sins, and I am deeply and intimately loved.
The cumulative effect of those lessons is that I’m free to be the woman God intended me to be. I’m not the same person I was before.
The Sunday I felt God calling me to go on this Haiti trip with Poured-Out left me filled with many fears. Previously, I would have used all those ‘fears’ as the reason to just stuff the thoughts and go on with life. I was just finishing up a Bible study with an amazing group of women on discerning the voice of God. We were on the lesson about God’s expectations when you hear from Him. SimplyOBEY. Yikes! Knowing the truth and not complying is sin.
I asked a friend if she would go with me. She said yes. So with much fear, I signed up for the trip and started praying about the adventure and what God would have.
Without going into tons of details, it is safe to say my list of fears was long. Some of the issues were:
all the necessary shots and drugs I would need to take for this trip
having to ask people to partner with me on this adventure, both financially and in prayer
how my personal health would fare in this hot humid environment
the bugs in Haiti
and the list goes on
What I found was one at a time, as I turned to God in prayer I was able to see my fears listed on a sheet of paper and each one was slowly being erased from the list.
In Haiti, I realized as I had turned my thoughts to Jesus and what He was asking me to prepare for and focusing on those aspects of the upcoming trip – He was working to take care of each of those issues.
Before I had even started my partnering letter, a friend ask me to make sure she got a copy because she wanted to help support me on the trip. Her gesture was huge in giving me the confidence to write my letter and contact others. The generosity of those partnering with me was also huge and I’m grateful and have been greatly blessed.
The shots and drugs were taken with no adverse affects.
Though I was in an extremely hot, humid environment – and I know there was mold present as I could see it even on some of the plants at the compound where we stayed, I experienced no impact to my respiratory system.
Yes, I used insect repellent and sunscreen and was only mildly bitten by the bugs there.
When Jesus is the focus and you are worshipping Him and focusing on what He wants you to do, there is no room for fear.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
It is my prayer, that God our Father will continue to work His love in my life. May He do so for you also!
The holiday season is winding down. If you’re like me, you’ve enjoyed the season. For me it is the holiday lights, the Christmas story, the music of the season and time spent with family and friends. The past year is coming to a close, and the new-year is almost upon us.
How’s your year ending? I’ve looked back on the past year and was amazed at the number of people I connected with, shared experiences with where we built memories together. I recognize I’m adapting to life in a new environment and a different phase of my life. When moving, I took the advice of a dear friend and was cautious about committing to things this first year of my retirement. (Sometimes I wonder if it is really retirement or transition. More on that another time.) The commitments made were to things core to me – a Church small group, a book club, a writers group and a group of friends. I love where we chose to live. I feel more grounded and at peace with myself. I’ve made progress on some of my goals. I’m learning to be more responsive. I’m learning more that God wants me to set goals, but to be flexible and change direction when He guides. I guess I’m learning to dance with Him and let Him lead. What a lesson for a lady who thought she could follow God and still be in control of so much of her own life!
So where does next year go? I don’t know! But I’m open to the adventure, the challenge of growing more, exploring more and learning more about the part of the world where I currently live. I have some goals, but hope to remain flexible enough to change and tweak them as necessary. I desire for my life to make a difference to those I come in contact with. For me, the dance continues.
What do you think your next year will look like and who’s leading it?
I’ve been thinking a lot about time. I cannot believe how quickly it slips past us. I have a grandson graduating from high school, a granddaughter getting her temps, a daughter who turned 35 this month. …and this year is almost half gone. Where does the time go? Earlier this week I joked and said, “I think the time flies so quickly here because of the higher altitude and reduced oxygen.”
I would like some excuse for how quickly time passes. Yet knowing the ‘sands of time’ are slipping through the hourglass remind me how important it is for me to make the most of each day I live. I want my life to be a positive influence on those I come in contact with and I don’t want to take anything or anyone for granted. Like most people, my list of things I want to do is long. I don’t want to think, someday I’ll do that. My hourglass at best, only has about half the sand left. I try to balance my time between the things I want to do. Some days I feel I handle that much better than other days.
How do you handle the things you desire to do with the knowledge you only have so much time?