Have you ever felt lost? I’m not talking about an “out in the woods” kind of lost feeling. It’s the internal kind, the one when heart and mind make you feel adrift in the middle of the sea with no land or humanity in sight.
It’s how I’ve been feeling. Yet, at the same time, my spirit has known how “found” I am and have always been. When I’m able to quiet the voices that would tell me otherwise, I can hear His truth speaking to my soul and find His peace, even in the unfamiliar.
Over the last several weeks, Brian and I have said yes to allowing God to shift some things in our lives. It’s been painful as we’ve let go of some really good things we’ve held dear. God never said there wasn’t a cost to following Him. He actually said the opposite. (Luke 14:27-33) Shifts have become adjustments as God has made additional tweaks to what He’s doing. We don’t have the full picture or total understanding, but we’ve had peace as we’ve followed His leading.
I don’t know about you, but for me, change can feel uncomfortable and can leave me with a sense of feeling a bit disoriented. That’s especially true when God hasn’t revealed the fullness of His plan following any changes He’s invited me to walk through with Him.
I was reading in Hebrews yesterday and this verse stood out to me in The Passion Translation.
“For you have placed everything under His authority. This means that God has left nothing outside of the control of His Son, even if presently we have yet to see this accomplished.” (Hebrews 2:8)
If I’ve offered my surrendered life to God and given Him my blanket yes, that means I’ve given up control and trusted Jesus to guide and direct me. When I can’t see the next steps and am blindly trusting His leading, leaning into the knowledge that nothing is outside of Jesus’ control – even the unseen, then I can find my anchor in the midst of the sea I feel as if I’ve been bobbing about in. Suddenly, it’s not as important to see the land and people in the distance. All that matters is knowing He sees it ahead and He’s directing the tides and currents that are drawing me in the right direction.
Feeling lost can then become a holy invitation. It’s a drawing of my heart to connect more deeply with His, to lean in and listen for His whispers of leading. It’s an offer to trust Him more fully as I fall back into His loving arms, knowing He’s there and will catch me. It’s a call to quietness, peace, rest, and waiting. In that place, He becomes the compass that guides on paths unknown to me.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve said I’m simply following His breadcrumbs as I take each step forward. I’ve kept my eyes to the ground, looking for the next tidbit that would reveal the direction I was to take and that’s been enough for me. However, I believe God is now inviting me to look up to see the trail before me lined with those crumbs. Even though the destination isn’t yet visible, I have an assurance it’s ahead. As I lift my eyes, I’m allowing God to expand my vision.
In the last weeks and even months, I’ve been asking God to reveal His new alignments and to connect us with those He’s planned for us to walk with in this season of our calling. Sometimes, I can get so focused on what’s directly in front of me that my vision becomes limited. Not only do I miss seeing what’s ahead, I miss seeing those around me. The thing is, they’re the very people God has planned for me to walk with in this season. I don’t want to miss those connections.
Why am I sharing my story with you? Because I want to encourage you if, like me, you’ve felt lost in any area of your life. Reading God’s Word, spending time worshipping Him, and standing on the truths He’s spoken to my heart and affirmed countless times have all helped me to recognize how I feel isn’t gospel truth. It’s confirmed over and over again I have heard Him and I’m in the center of His will - even if it feels uncomfortable.
Even in feeling uncertain, we can know He’s our Rock and firm foundation. What lies before us is an opportunity to grow in our faith and trust in the One who always knows His way. Not knowing all the answers to what’s ahead becomes a conversation starter to ask Him what His plans and solutions are for us. The nice thing is . . . He’s an awesome conversationalist and is always speaking!
If we can pray for you, please reach out to us. You’re not alone on your journey in Him!
Living for Him,
Andrea & Brian
Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same
Ask, Seek, Knock . . .
Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door. (Matthew 7:7-8, TPT)
We’re an “expect it now” kind of society and oftentimes, when things take longer than expected, we (I) don’t exactly wait patiently. I can’t help but remember my elders sharing sage wisdom I really didn’t want to hear - sayings like, “The things you work hard for or have waited for mean so much more.” I’ve never really minded working hard for something, but who wants to wait for things?
When I read Matthew 7:7-8 in The Passion Translation, these incredibly familiar verses became so fresh in meaning to me, including the reminder of the need for persistence, and not treating prayer like a Chick-fil-a drive-up window where you place your order and get it in minutes accompanied by the required, “My pleasure.”
There’s such power in the becoming that happens in the space of being persistent. It makes me think of Romans 5:4 which talks about how our perseverance produces character, which, in turn, produces hope. When we have hope in our hearts, anything is possible!
Jesus gives us so many keys in these two verses that can be applied in the kingdom and in every sphere of life . . .
“Ask, and the gift is yours.” God is the Giver of every good gift. He’s the One responding with, “My pleasure,” as He offers you as a gift what you’ve asked of Him. Partner that with what follows – “For every persistent one will get what he asks for…” and perhaps a bit of conviction pierces the heart. When I read that, it was time for an honest assessment of, “How persistent am I really?”
When we quickly ask God for something and it doesn’t seem like that prayer is immediately answered, do we just give up and leave it at that assuming His answer is no? Do we end up trusting God less because we believe He’s not listening? Doesn’t care? Has forgotten about us? Doesn’t really exist?
Jesus shared a parable recorded in Luke 18:1-8 that was about a persistent widow continuing to come before a judge, asking him for justice. Because she persisted, he eventually granted her request and ruled in her favor. Why did Jesus share this parable? To teach us that “men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1b, NKJV) Persistence in asking produces gifts from the hand of our loving Father.
“Seek and you’ll discover.” Remember when you’d play hide and seek as a kid or even as an adult with your children or grandchildren? The fun was in the discovery. The seeking was filled with the hope of who you’d find.
What if in your seeking, you discovered the One who loves you like none other? As you continue seeking to know Him, you discover the truth of His identity and yours as His son or daughter? You discover your calling and the power and ability He’s given you to fulfill it? What if you discover a depth of intimacy with your Creator who knows you like none other and has declared that the plans He has for you are good - filled with hope and a future beyond what you’ve begun to imagine (Jer. 29:11), but will discover more fully as you continue to seek? His promise is, “Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for.”
“Knock and the door will be opened for you.” When is a door opened for you? When someone is on the other side. If the doors we knock on are ones in which no one is home, who can respond? We need to try the next door. “And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.” I hear God saying, “Don’t give up! Move on and try the next door! Stop knocking if it’s not being opened. I’m waiting behind another door.”
Ask persistently. There’s a gift waiting for you.
Seek persistently. There’s so much for you to discover.
Knock persistently. You’ll find the doors that open for you.
Watch as your character develops and you transform, growing more and more as your perseverance births so much more than just answers to prayer. He’s got even more for you than you can imagine!
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!” (Eph. 3:20, MSG)
Can we pray for you? If so, please reach out to us!
Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same
AUGUST 2021: SHIFT
As I asked the Lord what was on His heart as a word for August, He reminded me to look at the word I’d written down for this month back in December when I had asked Him then for a one-word focus for each month of the new year.
I hadn’t looked ahead at the words I’d written down, so when I saw the word, “Shift,” it resonated so deeply with me in a fresh way. It felt so “right” and made so much sense to me because I realized in some ways, it built on the “Tipping Point” word He’d given me last month and it connected with some recent things I’d been growing in with Him.
What I sense the Lord saying is that August is a month when He wants to bring about long-awaited shifts in our lives, but they’re going to require conscious choices. Let me explain using a situation I recently walked through as an example.
Last week, I was battling a nasty, summer cold. I woke up from a long nap, knew I wasn’t in a great place with my health, and really wondered if I had pneumonia setting in. I asked Brian and our youngest son, Nehemiah, to pray for me and said, “I NEED Jesus . . .”
No sooner were those words out of my mouth, when I heard the Lord speak to my heart. He said, “You can choose health or sickness. Which do you want?”
Which do I want? Of course, I wanted health!
Isn’t that what I wanted???
Oh . . . I was teetering on wanting to be a victim – seen as one in need of extra care and love, having things being done for me, and wanting those I love to feel bad for me . . .
That came to a screeching halt!
NO! I did NOT want to be a victim and I didn’t want to be sick! I wanted to be well – totally healthy! I chose health and three times, I spoke out, “I choose health!”
That’s when the shift occurred, and I began to get well. But . . . I had to choose the shift I wanted and let go of the unwanted.
I believe this is the key to the shift that God wants to bring into our lives this month.
While processing this word with a dear friend this week, she reminded me of two things. First, she said it made her think of the scene in “The Chosen” when Jesus heals the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda (Season 2, Episode 4). She suggested I watch that scene again because she felt there was something in it for me connected to this word. She was absolutely right!
In this depiction, as Jesus stood before the man and asked him if he wanted to be healed, the man came up with so many arguments as to why it wasn’t possible. After hearing him out, Jesus told the man to look at Him and said, “That’s not what I asked. I’m not asking you about who’s helping you. Or who’s not helping. Or who’s getting in your way. I’m asking about you.”
The paralytic responded with, “I’ve tried . . .” and Jesus said, “For a long time. I know. And you don’t want false hope again. I understand. But this pool – it has nothing for you. It means nothing. And you know it. But you’re still here. Why?” (I’ll let you watch the rest of the scene.)
Several things stood out to me in this depiction of John 5:1-15. Like the paralytic man, when we’re faced with situations and circumstances needing a shift in our lives, we can easily come up with so many arguments as to why it’s not possible – especially if we’ve been waiting on this shift for a while.
It can also be really easy to shift the blame to others, making them the reason why the shift hasn’t yet taken place in our lives. I believe the Lord is lovingly reminding us that the shift we’ve been waiting on and longing for rests with us.
Yes, we’ve waited and hoped and been disappointed countless times and we can become incredibly discouraged in the process. Sometimes it’s important to ask ourselves what we’ve really been putting our hope in. Has our hope been in a type of “pool” in our lives?
Sometimes, we need to ask ourselves why we’re still here . . .
The second thing my friend mentioned that came to her mind is the scripture found in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
This scripture SO undergirds the shift that God wants to bring to us this month. Will we choose the things that bring “death” to our lives, or will we choose what’s life-giving?
Will we choose not to be a victim, grab hold of what’s wanted, and leave the unwanted behind? Will we stop making excuses, blaming others (or even blaming God), and will we place our hope in the only One who can bring about the shift we’ve been needing?
We get to choose.
What will your shift look like this month? I’m praying for you, my friend, and speaking LIFE over you!
Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same