As I read from my prayer journal, almost three years to the day, I have so many memories flooding through my mind. I can read those Bible verses and be transported back to the constant fear that would wash over me…fear of the unknown… fear of not understanding …fear of the loss of control. That faithful mantra that I repeated hundreds of times…”Faith over fear”, rolled over and over in my minds eye.
So much has happened in these three years and yes we have seen God be faithful and true to this very prayer in our lives, but it wasn’t quick and it wasn’t easy. Just to recap some of the things I have shared in previous posts: God had “unencumbered” us from pretty much ALL of our earthly possessions. We sold our house to pay off business debt, and were living in our RV trailer.
On one fall day as the weather was about to turn very ugly, God suddenly provided us a place to move into for 3 months. A home belonging to complete strangers who were currently living in the USA until Christmas. We moved our few belongings out of the RV and into the house mere hours before the snow fell… and did it fall, about 2ft accumulated on that early fall day. God is so good…
Shortly after moving into this strangers home, a friend contacted us about a place we could move into at a fair price that would carry us through the winter. Just prior to Christmas when our hosts would be returning to Canada, we moved into this other home, located out of town on a beautiful acreage. Once again, God was faithful…
Through this process God was teaching us His faithfulness. He was teaching us to Trust that He had a plan and we simply needed to submit our lives to Him and His plan rather than our own. This was not easy, we discovered how much we like to be in control of our lives and know how they should turn out. The enemy battled us hard in this area. Once again, God was good… He taught us to draw close and dig into His Word for answers, strength and encouragement.
The following April, I received a phone call that my Mother was dying. Her cardiovascular system was collapsing and it was suspected to be a matter of days. Here again, God provided for our needs: We were not prepared for this nor did we have the funds for me to get a flight to be with her, yet God was already at work, prompting the hearts of special people who purchased my ticket and arranged for a hotel stay.
Mom was in Hospice for 7 weeks (slightly longer than the days we were given…) and I am thankful for each day we had with her as I spent those 7 weeks beside her bed…God continued to be faithful to us and. although it was painful to say good-bye, He gave me such a gift of precious time, that I will always be grateful for.
There were so many other ways that God provided during those times; from a place to park the RV while we were there… to construction jobs for Mike which provided us with finances…and numerous other treasures along the way that we have been so blessed by.
Now jump forward with me to June of 2020: As the world was struggling to manage life in a pandemic world, God brought Mike & myself to a small community in Northern Alberta. It would be in this place that the prayer below was fulfilled.
When we were first offered the opportunity to take a one year contract and move 10 hours north… we were a HARD no!! Our plans consisted of moving 8 hours West to beaches and sun, as this had always been our dream… MOST DEFINITELY NOT NORTH.
Yet over the course of 72 hours, God opened our “eyes to see and our ears to hear”. He reminded us of our prayers to “serve together in unity” and that, although “we can make plans, His way will prevail”. We had prayed, “Not my will, by thy will” far too many times for us to ignore what was happening before us.
Jump forward one more time with me to the present time of July 2021.
We have been in this community for an entire year, which went unbelievably fast. God has gifted us with incredible friendships with so many amazing people. He has taught us the art of hospitality, an art that is quickly fading but needs to stay, there are so many values in time and relationship with others.
God has continued to provide for our EVERY need, and He has used us; along with the gifts and talents that He has been preparing in us our entire lives, to serve Him in such a time and place as this. As this year and our contact has come to a close, we have been asked to extend another 2 years in this place, as the work is still needed and the workers are few.
Without any hesitation we said Yes! We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has been and continues to be IN this. For the first time in our lives we have learned what it means to surrender our Will and Trust in Gods plans rather than our own, and most importantly we get to live out 1Corinthians 15:10a every single day… walking in and trusting the Grace of God in our lives.
Dated: July 2018
Thank you for Your Word, and thank you for the Psalms that fill me with such hope. Hope that encourages me to continue to search for You, even when I cannot understand. Psalm 25:4-5 says: “show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truths and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”
This passage sums up exactly my prayer to you Lord, Thank you for opening my eyes to it today. Show me – Lead me – Teach me – Your will and Your ways Father.
You know that the desire of my heart is to be living within Your will, and living out the purpose You created me for. I pray that You would Lead – Show – and Teach – Mike and I, both individually and collectively, that we might be unified in Your leading and be certain we are following Your plans rather than filling our minds with plans of our own making.
Your Word tells that “good advice lies deep within our hearts, so give us the wise understanding to bring it out Lord. Your Word tells us that “You give us eyes to see and ears to hear”… help us Lord to see what You are showing us and to hear what You are telling us, Give us the discernment to know what is from You Father, and what comes from our own desires.
As well, Your Word constantly tells me that “the Lord directs our steps”… help me to trust in that direction that comes from You, forgive me in my need to know… which simply speaks of my lack of faith in these areas and my persistent battle to be in control. Help me to lean in and trust that You are in fact directing our steps.
Finally, the verse that keeps going through my head from 1Corinthians; “But by the Grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.” There are no adequate words to express my thankfulness for Your gift of Grace Lord Jesus. Thank You for the changes that You have produced in me, I give You ALL the praise and glory.
Thank you for the many ways You have used me… the talents and giftings You have given to me… the opportunities I’ve had to serve You in unique and wonderful ways Lord, and thank you for the many ways that I will continue to be used by You in the future… whatever that might look like.
Let Your Light shine through me Father, that those I encounter would see You. Release me from anything that may be preventing my service to You. Reveal to me, my hidden sins Lord that I may turn away from them. Free me from anything that continues to enslave me Lord, so that I might be fully free to serve You and produce good fruit.
Thank you for Loving me and choosing me O Lord.
In Jesus name ❤️ Amen
As you read these Bible passages and get a peak at the journey Jesus has had us on, what do you feel? Have you been in that place of darkness and fear? Do you struggle with the battle of control over the direction of your life?
Maybe, you are in that place right now… where the words “refuge” and “safety” feel like another language because they simply are not part of your current reality or vocabulary. How do you not be “afraid” or feel “dread” when everything is upside-down?
My friend, let me encourage you. If you know the Jesus of the Bible, If you have a personal relationship with Him, the Saviour of the world. You can KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is for you. He Loves you and wants you to follow Him. You were designed with a purpose and a plan specifically chosen by God.
One of the major lessons I have learned that I would like to share with you and hopefully encourage you with is that; it’s much easier to follow Jesus with our spare time… and much harder to follow him with our every minute … every detail time. Although this might sound a little discouraging, let me assure you it’s not.
The battle is won, once we recognize that we have been pawns our entire lives; lied to by the enemy, that ‘we can be like God’. This is exactly what he told himself and then proceeded to convince Eve… all through history, mankind has sought our own path… our own way. The enemy has cunningly convinced us that our path is better, for who could know better as to what’s good for us than us?
This is where the encouragement should hopefully come… Gods way is ALWAYS better, because only God knows what our future could hold. Had we not followed His path to come North, we would have missed out on Blessings completely unknown to us. We would have completely missed out on seeing Him at work IN and THROUGH us.
By choosing to surrender our will to Him, we are experiencing a deeper relationship with the Father and honestly I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it. There are so many more blessings that He has provided for us in our new home and ministry… but I will save those for another day and another post. We are serving together, being the Light of Jesus in a hurting community and through His work… we are being blessed!
Wherever you might find yourself on this journey we call life, may you find peace in the knowledge that God is at work, His timing does not follow our time patterns and His ways may not follow ours. Remember that it took three long years, and a direction completely opposite of our will, for this prayer above to be answered (at least in a way that I could finally see it) Yet, I fully believe that God was in the details every single day… All we had to do was say Yes, when He said “Follow me”…
Blessings, Janet ❤️