NAVIGATING OUR FUTURE… Where should I set my GPS?

I’m at a Crossroads, which way do I go?

To understand where I am at, I need to give you a background of where I’ve been.  If you’ve been following my previous posts, you might be starting to get a bit of a picture, but let me broaden that visual a little bit more and help you see a fuller perspective.

Approximately 5 years ago, our neat, planned, tidy lives started to fall apart around us.  The business my husband and I created and poured ourselves into was crashing, along with the economy.  But we are resourceful and we continued to find ways to try and keep afloat.

My husbands son & our daughter-in-law both worked with us, so at the time the business was sustaining 2 complete families, and had been doing very well.  Suddenly, we started to open our eyes and see the spiral for what it was.

This is not the time to go into detail… that will come at a later time.  Needless to say, we made mistakes financially, many prior to the sounding alarm of collapse, that we just weren’t seeing clearly.  Sadly, once our eyes opened fully to the truth of our downward spiral there was no stopping the momentum… O Lord what had we done?

As the dust settled and we could begin to assess the fallout, it was obvious that things were beyond our ability to repair.  What would our future hold?   Debt relief?… bankruptcy?    would we need to sell our house?… could we even finish our jobs?…would God use us ever again?

Needless to say the questions far outweighed the answers, and in a sense this was the very beginning of Journey for Jesus.  When things hit the fan… we hit our knees, and I really hit the floor hard.

We needed to pay off our suppliers so we sold and moved out of our house, into a condo that Mike had bought for his Mom years earlier.  Only to have to sell that as well and move into our trailer about 7 months later.  I can honestly tell you we never saw this coming.  Lord, what would become of us?

Although in reality, many things around us were falling apart, the Lord was drawing us so incredibly close to Himself.  It gave me knew meaning to “he draws near to the brokenhearted”, I now understood this in ways I would previously been unable to. Yet there were still challenges and hurdles to overcome.  Somedays it was all we could do to keep our heads above water to keep from drowning in fear.

Yet, The journey was in reality only beginning… we lived in our trailer that summer from June to Sept.  We were nearing the end of Sept and we knew we needed to find a place to stay, as we knew the cold weather was on the way.  We recognized it was time to put our trailer back into storage for the winter (ours was not a winter trailer for the cold we get in Alberta).  Lord, what are your plans for us?

We kept praying and trusting, and within a 24 hour period God provided a much needed miracle through a complete stranger. Friends of a member of our Church, needed someone to house-sit their townhouse.  It was fully furnished, we just had to unpack the trailer and move in.  We could in fact move in the next day…

I’m not going to lie, it was really weird moving into someones house that we did not know.  This is a very humbling experience. complete strangers are trusting you with their very home… pictures of unknown faces covered their walls and fridge, yet here we were, so incredibly thankful for a warm dry place to live.

We knew we had the place until mid Dec. so we kept our eyes open for a suitable option that we could afford to Rent.  Mikes mom had spent the summer in Saskatchewan, but was now coming back to Alberta to join us in this townhouse gift from strangers.  We truly can never begin to guess the twists and turns our lives would potentially take.  From owning multiple properties ourselves to suddenly living in a furnished home owned by people we did not know. Let the humbling begin…

Funny thing though, God was at work during this process.  This time of shredding off our pre-conceived ideas, ideals and plans.  He was re-molding each of us upon His potters wheel for future plans that He still had for us.

We knew we only had the townhouse for a couple months as the family would be home by Christmas, so we continued to pray trusting God would once again provide.  It was only about one month in when he did just that.  It definitely wasn’t the type of place that we were looking for as it was an hour out of town, on an acreage.  Not the main house on the acreage either… it was the converted 4 car garage ( complete with fully windowed overhead garage doors and heated concrete floors) suffice it to say it was an unusual home, but the price was right and once again sensed it was Gods provision.

We moved in just prior to Dec and have been here until now, 18 months later.  We discovered that it was indeed a gift that God had provided for us.  Albeit, a long way out of town and an added expense of mileage and fuel.  I used the drive in and out as my personal time with God, it was my prayer time and I cherished every minute in that car.  When I wasn’t working, I was at such peace in the beautiful surroundings and absolute stillness… it was in this place that I learned to hear His still small voice.

In the 18 months we have been here we have experienced so much healing.  These months have turned out to be some of the significantly hardest months we have had to endure yet.  Exactly a year ago as I write, my 91 year old Mother passed away.  3 Months ago, Mikes sister passed away after a 8 year battle with Cancer.  My Mother- in-law lost both her brother and her daughter within 6 weeks of each other… then Covid 19 hit.  Yet amidst all of these backdrops, we were covered in the peaceful Balm of Jesus is this place… thank you Lord.

Now, I need to back up a little.  When we moved in, we expected it to be for maybe 6 months, just until we could get our trailer out of storage again, then God would show us where our journey would continue.  What we weren’t expecting were all of the sudden storms that where going to cross our paths.  Before we knew it, summer had passed, winter was approaching and we were still here.  Yet, we continued to pray.  Show us your way Lord, teach us the path You would want us on.

The Day we moved out of the condo, was when Journey for Jesus was birthed in my heart and mind.  I had already started my prayer journal 6 months prior on our final trip to Mexico (you can read more about these posts here).  Yet here we were almost 2 years later, and I’m feeling the winds of time changing.  None of these are new thoughts, God has been preparing me throughout the last year, giving me new desires, granting me new opportunities, but the time had not yet come.

Almost 2 years after the Blog was conceived, Journey4Jesus went live.  Numerous times in those previous years I planned and attempted for it to start, but each time I was stopped in my tracks.  Then Covid 19 hit and I felt God saying Now! so 2 months ago I hit publish for the first time.  I am the first to admit, I have no idea what God’s plans are with my prayer journal writings, but I have learned to trust Him when absolutely nothing makes sense.  Therefore, my prayer is that He would draw those that would benefit to them and speak through my struggles and growth into someone else’s life.  If that happens to be you… Welcome to the family, God is so good.

As I mentioned, I have started to feel the winds of change blowing, and I believe our time of healing and peace in this unusual place is coming to an end.  I have yet to know all of what that looks like, but I do know with absolute certainty that God is IN it and He is directing our paths.

 

Journal Entry:  Covid 19, Entry #3 

“This is what the Lord says;  “Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls”. Jeremiah 6:16 NIV

Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for your Word.  Thank you for using the most unique verses at the most inexplicable times to teach me something new.  I sensed You drawing me eyes to a picture on the wall.  My eyes landed on the verse from Jeremiah.  What are you showing me here Lord?  

So, I prayed, “show me what you are trying to teach me”.  From there, I opened my bible to Jeremiah 6:16. On the surface this verse seemed pretty simple. Yet after prayer and contemplation, You started to show me a depth I had not seen before.  Four words in particular were jumping out at me:  SaysStandLookAsk.  What are you showing me Lord?

So I started with the word Says, the verse started with “This is what the Lord says”.  The word itself tells me someone was speaking and when someone is speaking I should be listening.   What do you want to say to me Lord?

The next word was Stand, again the verse I’m reading said “stand at the crossroads and look”.  In Jeremiah’s time, the Israelites were charging ahead with their own lives, leaving God completely out of the picture and out of their lives… here, I believe it was intended as a warning, so what should I be watching out for?

After much reflection, I believe You are showing me that the phrase “Stand at the crossroads and Look” are actually two very specific things I need to do.  First I need to stop and be still.  I need to soak in my surroundings and reflect upon all that is happening around me.  I think You are saying to me, don’t blindly charge ahead, take a moment and assess the situation.  it’s this assessing that leads into Look.  Am I gathering the necessary information I need before proceeding safely?  (I actually visualized being in my car at a 4-way stop).  I had to look in all directions, know which car came 1st, 2nd, 3rd , and which turn was mine.  I had to pay attention that no other car would start to go out of turn, as I made my way safely through the intersection).  

Is my vision limited to what is only right in front of me, or am I simultaneously focusing on what is farther up the road?  Yes, I know that up ahead are more crossroads that I will need to assess the same way but I don’t need to focus too much on them yet, after all You told us “not to worry about tomorrow, as it will have enough worries of its own”. I believe I am starting to discern Your voice in this Jesus.

Next the verse says to Ask, “ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is”.  I am so thankful for prayer, where we can so easily come before You Jesus and ask the necessary questions we have in life. Thank you that we can seek wisdom and discernment from You.   Am I seeking that wisdom Lord?  Am I seeking wisdom from the godly people you place upon my path?

Then just as suddenly as you opened my eyes to these four words you opened my eyes further to a 5th.  How had I missed this word Lord?  And instantly I knew you were teaching me an important lesson here that I would have totally missed out on had I not stopped, listened and asked.  

Over the last few years on this journey Lord, I have been earnestly focusing on these 4 basic truths.  Apparently this is not the only verse in the bible that shares these truths… in fact they are scattered everywhere throughout the Gospels as we learn to follow you. 

Lord, You have been faithfully teaching me to Listen – to Stop and reflect ( watching and looking for obstacles ahead).  I have prayed regularly for wisdom… I have asked.  waited, only to start the process over again.. always hitting repeat at the end, waiting for some kind of green light in the distance to signal for me that its time to move.  

Yet today Lord, you showed me a single solitary word that I had been missing.  The word Walk,  ” and walk in it”.  That there comes a time that we must Walkwalk in what we have learned from You in the previous four steps.  In essence, we must take responsibility for our future.  We must move forward or risk getting stuck in the crossroads of that intersection, thereby getting caught in the crossfire of what has been and what could be… 

Thank you Lord Jesus for showing me your Truth and granting me your wisdom once again.  Yes, we are required to take our time and complete our due diligence, but we also need to make a choice to actively move or walk into the direction you are revealing.  Your Words tells us that You will shine a light upon our path.  Forgive me Father, for waiting for the giant teleprompter or some kind of spiritual GPS to show up and confirm my route.  

Help me Jesus, to move forward in confidence, trusting in the time I have invested in Your Word and our relationship, seeking Your Will and Your face.  Help us Father to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes and step boldly into the future You have for us. 

In Jesus name ❤️ Amen

My Final Thoughts & Encouragement:

So where are you on this roadmap of life?  Are you cruising along with the sun shining  down and the wind in your hair.  Or maybe you’re gripping the steering wheel trying to keep the car on the road with the rain pelting down so it is impossible to see what’s in front of you…  Or maybe, you’re like me stuck at the crossroads, afraid to drive forward for fear of being T-boned in the intersection.

Maybe this Covid 19 pandemic has you grounded in fear; leaving you with far more questions than there are answers.  Social distancing and Self- isolation new but now so familiar words in our vocabulary.  Working from home or not working at all now… will life ever be normal again?

I encourage you to take a deep breath, to stop and listen to the Father, hear what He is saying to you today.  Spend time seeking His face, which will eventually reveal His plan to you.  Keep your eyes on him, looking forward rather than in the rear view mirror, and Ask Him to be on the path with you, to grant you the wisdom you need and the courage to walk in it… then Walk, obediently move forward one foot in front of the other, trusting in His wisdom and strength to guide you.

I believe fear is what keeps us stuck in one place for so long.  Fear on the unknown… fear of failure… But Gods Word tells us that “perfect Love casts out ALL fear”.  Join me in moving forward empowered by the amazing Love of our Heavenly Father, He loves us so much and he has good plans for us, His Word is full of His promises … choose to walk in that today.

Blessings, Janet❤️. Journey4Jesus

Do you know Jesus ? He’s waiting for you… ( click the link to learn more) 

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{ If this benefited you in any way, I’d love to hear from you and I would be thrilled if you would share or invite more people to be encouraged. }

 

 

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