Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
With all my heart...
For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
We changed churches, one that was in line with where God had us-right under His heavy hand. It was the church I had been teaching in for the last 3 years; but I had ended the year not planning to return to tutor the following year. My husbands job was still twisting and turning in every which direction, it still angered me. My teen and I started to patch things up between us when he witnessed his best friend, lose his faith and rebel against his parents. There are a million of other details I could get into about this, but it wouldn't add up to much seeing how it all pointed to one thing-God and His mercy and love our family. We were all growing up and learning hard lessons that year but it would not thrall God's plans for us and even though we had failed, it did not mean God was not able to use us tomorrow and the next day and then the next days after that. We would be more obedient, more watchful, better listeners and more intentional, towards the things and cares of God. I guess it was deliverance, actually I believe that truly. Some of us don't realize the things we still wrestle with are really a need for deliverance from those things or habits or mindsets, whether that is negativity, sarcasm, business, for me it was anger. For my husband it was lack of knowledge:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
At times, I was just lazy, tired, hopeless...no longer praying or envisioning what the Lord would do with my family. I just saw everything that was wrong with me and my family-especially my husband. I thought he was a completely lost and awful cause. I had so much resentment built up, that I probably upset the Lord more than my husband did. And that was why He was going to deal with me the way that He did, the way that He is while I write this. It is for Him that I write this, write about all that He has done and is doing for us. I was in such a heaviness that I really could no longer express myself with words, I journaled, I'd sing, and soon enough God had me join the choir! All I could do was worship Him in song, all I could do was lament and breathe in church...plus I was at a new church, I didn't know a lot of people, didn't really want to get to know anyone, I just desired healing and peace. Also, for so long I held my breath waiting, hoping my husband's faith would grow by the mile...instead it seemed to get weaker and his ego and pride got bigger. I couldn't put my finger on it really, except I would say, God: "this man has put up with me since I wasa 18 years old and I haven't been a peach, help me put up with him." Soon God led me to a group of prayer warriors and immediately we got down to business. It hurt mostly before it felt better. I felt like I was the only one going through hell on earth. But I remembered to be humble and to not give up in meeting with one another. I learned to strengthen my prayers and petitions, I got out of bad habits, like complaining to God instead of being active and standing in the gap for my husband in prayer. I started to see the fruit of my prayers...and I started to hear God's will for my husband, there was hope, my husband began to enjoy our new church, I was no longer dragging him around. I was content because I was ok on days he didn't want to come or join me. The singing was so freeing, I was in a robe, my robe...finally I began to understand my identity in Christ and just who God was calling me to be...His. I didn't have to look back anymore, I was no longer in charge of who was following or not...as long as I was. I was still able to help others while I remain behind Him and following not stalling or stopping like I had in the past. I started to get phone calls for C. and it was to know if we could babysit a weekend or so and I'd always say yes with anticipation. I'd have to much fun with him as did the kids, often we'd get upset when he'd go...but he seemed happy and he seemed to have received a lot of healing, he was also maturing and speaking and expressing himself better, no longer hitting. He'd even gotten a hair cut and he even reminded me of someone...T! He was becoming a picture of T. His hair, his maturing face and vocabulary, his sweet heart, only C. was even sweeter and more sensitive to me and the rest of the kids, he often looked for our approval and judgment and seemed content when he could make us laugh or smile. It was awesome how God was working in him and all of us! We kept up with his case and prayed for all of his court dates and relatives, we were upset when things or relatives would fall through, so much that it started to irritate me again. His new foster family were becoming very attached to C. that they had brought up adoption, they loved him deeply and had even fallen in love with C.'s siblings and were keeping up with visits, taking his siblings on outings, showing up at court to advocate for C. I often fasted, and prayed for C., wondering what would be this child's fate Lord. Many trials continued to rock us, so much so that God led us to a Christian counselor. Sometimes we could not put our fingers on it, sometimes we knew the problems we were facing, sometimes it just pointed back to the day C. left our house. Either way we surrendered out foster license. I worried about not being able to care for C. but I remained prayerful and C. continued to visit frequently, thanks to his awesome foster family. Late November, we had received terrible news. It was so awful I remember not being able to breath or feeling my body. I was so dead inside that I looked up and said what is this God? Why with all of the attacks? I pray, I have forgiven, I have lost so so much this year, what else do you expect from me? Jesus return would have been great. I was so done with this life...nothing could surprise me. I had friends who had fallen sick with Cancer, I had a husband who seemed deaf and blind...I had family who were distant or 'busy mostly' and I had teenagers who has begun attending Private school. I still intended to homeschool the remaining children as it seemed to be less stress with the older ones now in middle and high school. I stopped taking the girls to ballet, I stopped many, many social activities when I heard God ask me if He was enough or not. I was stunned, because of course He is enough for me. So much so, that I stopped everything and stopped seeing most of our friends, I really had no desire to anyway because we were so in shambles, all I had was God and my faith. I knew where we were headed, we had nothing and no one to help or protect us but God, He was our only witness and advocate. I remember our pastor calling and asking us if we wanted to be one of the families to light the second Advent candle, the candle of Peace...I don't know why but I knew we had to be that family as that is all I wanted to do at this point. Peace Lord, you give us, your are the Prince of Peace, the light giver, the Holy one who was and is and yet to come, come quickly my Lord, as the days are evil and my time on earth is like a vapor. The day came when we ended up being that family, the one who had Peace with our maker. Earlier that week, we had learned that C.'s parental rights would be terminated (TPR), and we again cared for C. while his awesome foster parent stood in the courtroom on his behalf, I fasted that day, hoping he'd be released from all of this. Later I prayed and I spoke with his foster family who felt that perhaps, C. was not to be adopted by them but instead by us, if we agreed and felt so too. Suddenly, it all made perfect sense. The torment, the drum beats, the rattling, the aching, the frustrations....C. was meant for us to see...oh God you delivered us, and there was still work to do, my husband had to hear the call too. I believed he first did when we lit the Advent candle, that Sunday morning, December 4, 2015. The reading was from
Matthew: 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" Again, from that day foreward many things have happened, glorious things, we have remained his babysitters, we've shared wonderful moments and memories. He was with us the new year and we may have to get licensed again or motion to be his adoptive parents as 'Non-relatives' like T.'s mothers' friend. We do not know yet. C. has many relatives, but I have received Word from the Lord that we are right where we need to be, doing what we need to be doing...if anything changes He will let me know and set the stage for the way things need to be, even if it is parting the Red Sea, He's done it before and can do it again. I find it no coincidence that we are caught up with those in similar situations, I presume God wants us to pray and to teach others how to pray too for the cause of these Orphans, social or not...sometimes its husbands and friends, neighbors and judges. The Bible says to pray without ceasing and always in His name to glorify Him and the works of the Father. The Lord had parted the red sea repeatedly for me, including returning baby Moses back from the Nile-he isn't completely out of the water yet...but he will be.