Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Joy Restored

It's been four months since I've been on this blog, and it's not that I didn't have anything to write,  but I didn't know what to write.   With so many things swirling around in my head, I just couldn't get them to the keyboard, maybe that's why it's called, "writer's block."  The fact is that I have been "in school" with the Father learning some pretty intense lessons these previous months and I have felt my mind was swimming and that's all it could do.  Too tired, too mentally exhausted, too wiped out after all the "swimming" brain activity, and not enough energy left to sit and write.  I am finally at peace now, my mind is at rest and my joy is restored.

Since coming to Beijing, I have been stretched beyond anything I expected!  It's been so hard and so painful.  But I have been privileged to know my Father in ways that I don't think I would've otherwise.  He has given me abundant strength and sustained me in the days that all I could do was go through the motions.  He has forgiven me, when in the beginning months I desired to be disobedient to His calling for me.  He has used me, even in my weaknesses.  He has healed me of pain and much grieving.  He has given me a new song.  Best of all He is so much more to me.  I trust Him in such a deeper way and my love for Him is newer!  I am thankful for what the Father has brought me through, because I am different.  I am more of who He has designed me to be.

Looking back, Father's showed me how I have had tendencies related to Lot's wife, Jeremiah the prophet and Job. I never thought of relating to any of these people, especially Lot's wife, until Father showed me that in one way I was doing exactly what she did that turned her into salt.  She became cold, careless and disobedient.  She couldn't fully let go of what she was to leave behind.  I struggled with this.  Along with my feelings of grieving the past of what I left behind and the homesickness, conformity and compromise began to crowd in.  My faith that I thought was so strong began to erode.  I was beginning to move towards having a divided heart and from that came a lot of grief.  Enter, Jeremiah, the weeping part of Jeremiah.  I don't think I was ever able to fully understand "weeping" until I was the one doing this.  I felt so much loss, such a longing for what was behind me, but most of all such a deep sadness over my sin of my divided heart.  My spirit was in a state of anguish and I could barely stand myself.  As for the Job part, that was some understanding of his "ashes".  When Job sat among the ashes He began to see and repented.  Thankfully, Father showed me how to do the same.  As I sat among the dust and ashes, my Father was able to get me to focus only on Him.  He reminded me of His power, His sovereignty,  His strength in me.  As I was finally taking His strength, I knew it was the end of the path of this destructive storm I had been in.  He restored my joy in Him and pulled me from the ashes and I am rejoicing!

There is such beauty now in my newfound love relationship with Him.  The old way of thinking has disappeared.  There is absolutely nothing that I can add or take away to make His plan any greater, so I have humbly submitted my heart to His plan for me.  I am not questioning His purpose or looking back and wishing things were as before.  I am able to thank Him for blessing upon blessing in the past seasons of my life, and I am praising Him for this present season of blessing!  All the twists and turns threw me off balance and caused such painful stretching, but in the end I am able to embrace His will and proclaim that He is the Hero of this story!  HE IS FAITHFUL!

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