What a difference a year makes! Part Two
In my time with the Lord one January 2011 morning, I had received confirmation that He would sell our Gantt Road house and that I needed to be still and let Him fight for us (2 Chronicles 20). I also came upon Isaiah 30. In the margin of my Bible where Isaiah 30 is located, I wrote: “House-NO-2008.” Clearly, the Lord had let me know not to build the house and not to move. YET, the pressure of “Well, we are paying interest on the land…we have always wanted this…surely now is the time….let’s just go ahead…” was real and strong, and we caved to it. As I read back over Isaiah 30 during the months of “trouble” at home, the Lord used it amazingly to remind me that He warned me, to remind me that He is compassionate and gracious and will not stay angry forever (Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God justice, How blessed are all those who long for Him.”), and that when I turn to Him, He will be there to shed light on my steps( Isaiah 30:26 “The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven time brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day the Lord binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted.”). I longed for the day that clarity would once again be a part of my journey…for some sort of light that would show me it has all been worth it and, indeed, all from God.
That summer of putting our house on the market, I was leading a study on INHERITANCE by Beth Moore at my house. She starts off the study saying that, “Maybe this is the year…..” that turns your life around and you really see the purpose—really begin to live out why you are here.
At the same season, I read a devotion entitled, “Maybe this is the Year.” Elisabeth Elliott talks about how we sometimes think “This is the year that_______________.” And we fill in the blank with a desire we have. We think the Lord is just holding back on us because we still have the perfectly good desire (ie. to have a house you live in all your earthly days and make sweet memories there forever and ever)….so surely He wants us to have it if we desire it. However, the devotion challenged that maybe, just maybe this is the year of desire CHANGED. When we get to the point of saying, like Joseph Eliot, “I need everything God gives me, and I want (or feel the lack of) nothing He denies me.” Woa.
Elisabeth Elliott also has a devotion that spoke so clearly to me. In Acts 27 Paul is being held as a prisoner on a boat/ship. The waves are rocky and rough. An angel speaks to him and tells him to tell the people on the boat with him that they must run aground and lose the boat, but their lives will be saved. At first they didn’t believe him and kept going…the waves got worse. Finally, they ran aground, but were all brought “safely to land.” I could so relate to this episode. I mean, not literally, but very much figuratively. Our boat of life was a rockin’. EE says, “If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. ‘Running aground,’ then, is not the end of the world. But it helps to make the world a bit less appealing. It may even be God’s answer to ‘Lead us not into temptation’–the temptation to complacently settle for visible things.”
I apologize for being all over the place, but I am telling you…there is SO much.
Beth Moore had a few quotes that have stuck with me from the INHERITANCE study:
“It is only a wild ride if someone else is driving.” (The Christian life is NOT boring. If I am bored with it, there’s a problem.)
“Repentance is always earmarked with humility.”
“Maybe it’s time to let go of some dreams so we can embrace some amazing realities.”
“Walk every step of the land He has given me and claim it for Jesus.”
“Don’t stifle God’s compassion with pouting.”
“If you’re living with defeat, something is WRONG.”
And this last one was learned in another one of her videos and planted even deeper and more personal a few weeks ago:
“Sow the seed of God’s Word into the soil that is your reality.”
It’s this above quote that has come to mean the most over these past months. I really think I have seen this happen in my life. There were days I felt abandoned by God. Days I didn’t want to praise Him. Days I thought His timing was just off. BUT, I would bring all of these crazy thoughts to Him and His Word, and He was always so patient and kind and would show Himself to me so personally over and over again. His Word is what I would say in my mind. I posted it in my kitchen. I prayed it. I read it. I cried with The Word. I smiled with the Word…and every emotion in between. The harvest has not disappointed. (Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting, He who goes to and fro carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”) I tried to take the reality of where we were and apply God’s Word to it and live in that Truth. It wasn’t always done, that is for sure, but the Lord has been patient and kind and helped me learn how to do it more effectively through the tough times.
I could seriously go on for days with time after time the Maker of Heaven and earth spoke to me. I am not going to even start of the study of Ruth right in the middle of all of this and how rich His Word was in my life. Ruth had sustained obedience as she followed Naomi. I needed lots and lots of sustained obedience (still do!). She went where God wanted her to go, despite fears or hardships. She was a hard worker and didn’t count any task as too menial. She never left Boaz’s presence without her arms full of provision. I feel like it has been that way with the Lord and me…I am sure it is intended to be that way all the time. We never have to leave His presence empty-handed. He is a giver.
So the very end of February 2011 brought some encouraging news….we had someone who wanted to look at the house a second time. They were also in a bit of a rush, or so they thought. Sure enough, they came to the house and later that night made an offer. We were amazed. It was such an incredible feeling….this was it. We had to be out by the 15th because they had buyers that were needing to move into their house by then. We got our ducks in a row and packed up. (Insert total God-story about marriage retreat that I simply cannot go into right now.) We waited on the appraisal. We waited on the inspection. Whew…all was good. Then, drama ensued when their buyers had some financing issues, but were working them out. They said there is no need to worry…it will all work out. We packed, we moved and we waited. Waited for many days. The Lord gave me peace, and I can say that I truly didn’t worry about it.
THEN, just like God, He set the closing date for March 29th, 2011. The last day of my 33rd year that was supposed to be “so boring” or “hum-drum.”
Do you think that is coincidence? No way. No how.
“O, Kristy, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is lovingkindness, and with Him is ABUNDANT REDEMPTION.”
He redeems the land we squander, the time we squander, the opportunities we squander, the money we squander. He redeems it all, abundantly, when we lay the broken pieces at His feet. That is my God.
I will be eternally grateful for how the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth, the Peace that passes understanding, the abundant Redeemer, the Fountain of life has flooded my soul with Himself. He had much more to give me than a quick house-sale or profit.
He wanted to give me more of Himself.
I pray that I will sense His activity in my life this year as a 34 year old woman….it surely won’t be boring.