Say What? Faith?

I tend to rush into things, this translates to: ‘I haven’t developed the necessary skills to take good and effective decisions in my life’. I have known it all along. From what flavor of pizza I want to order, to what career path I was to follow, it has all been like walking around a tempting swimming pool, wanting to dive in, but not knowing the perfect moment, how to do it, or if the water will be warm enough.

Chapter Two, of Lysa Terkeurst’s book, ‘What Happens When Women Say Yes to God’, embarked me on a journey that traced back the origins of my inability to make wise decisions, and guess what I discovered: I hardly ever took my own decisions! other well intentioned people had been doing it for me all along. They didn’t want me to feel hurt, or pain, or make a choice that may be, I would regret all my life. They wanted my life to be characterized by right decisions, but it is not wise to dive into a pool, when all you have taken is ‘swimming theory I’. And when my adulthood years began, I felt I was diving into the sea, it was so overwhelming without God as my guide.

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So throughout my life, God had hardly been invited to my ‘decision making parties’, how could the results turn out right? How could He be present in those moments, if I didn’t share time with Him? How could I have known if the decision I was about to take was consistent with His character, if I hardly knew Him at all? How could I have known if I was headed in the right path, if I was looking to please every one but Him?

And then, right there, with the beautiful colors of sunset in the background, as I was watching and capturing the moment this islander boy was about to dive fearlessly in to the sea, He spoke to my heart… ‘Be a woman of Faith!!’ F a i t h … I thought about that powerful force that lacks all sorts of logic, and what it meant for me, that it was, precisely, that sensible fiber of my heart, the one God chose to transform. Faith, Me?! Me, a person who could hardly enjoy a kid’s swimming pool, who had to ask for earthly advise every time I was going to make a choice, a person who would move the pilot out of the way, if she only knew how to fly the plane? He wanted me to be a woman of faith!

I felt He was whispering to my heart … ‘Just close your eyes now, and jump into life, make your own choices, make some mistakes as well, but always believe I am with you all the way, even if you do not see me, I will make sure you feel my loving presence in your life. Remember, perfect love drives out fear’, and His love is perfection.

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I realized that up until now, it was not me who had made a few right choices. It was not because of my ‘intelligence’, that some aspects of my life, thank God, have turned out great and I cherish so much. It is out of His enormous mercy and love, that as I am writing this, i feel  like a child who has been secretly let to win a game, so he feels like a real champion.

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Yes Lord, I choose to be a woman of obedience and faith, I chose to look for You, like a lost ship looks for dry land. I choose to carefully listen to You in our quiet moments, and not ‘lean on my own understanding’.  I choose not to lie to myself, believing I am in control, knowing that it is You who lovingly wait for me, down in the water when I take the plunge. I will dive into circumstances with confidence, because You are my guide and my strength. Thank you Lord, because making decisions, wishing only to please you, gives me peace and courage. Thank you God, because Your perfect love drives out the fears that, sometimes threaten my precious walk with You. I give you thanks and praises Lord. Amen.

“You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:13 NIV

*Photographs taken in San Andres Island, Colombia.

It was three years ago when my marriage died. There were symptoms, but I would always look the other way. I married so young, I thought, I only have to wait until time heals every thing. For me God was distant, nowhere to be found when I decided to end it all. Two children, and many ‘well intentioned’ friends, saying so many lies, which I believed at the time, not really knowing  my palms were slowly and dangerously facing down.

I was closing my hands and my life, to the best present God had given me 18 years ago. The father of my children, the man who God had hand picked for me, before I was even born. How could I have known then, that a wonderful marriage is not built on my own strength, but on the perfect plans God has for me?

I hurt, I cried, I felt I was in the middle of a raging storm,  I really wondered if God had forgotten about me, and my two children. I was so wrong, I had rejected His wonderful present, listening to the words of the world, the poisonous words that said: ‘you married the wrong man, there will be someone better for you’.

I had been listening to the wrong voices all along, so in the midst of all the suffering I paused, and listened to one person. One bright and windy morning when we were climbing a mountain, just for exercise and fun, in the middle of the pine trees he said “God rejoices in love, He can work miracles, and He can heal broken marriages, I have seen His glory, He will do it for you too!”. I never saw this person again, and I have never forgotten these words, because at the time, they sounded like the wind that was blowing, like the water of the creek we had just crossed, but now those words mean everything to me. Those are the words of truth that set me free from the pain, the guilt and the sadness.

From that day on, this person must have prayed for me, my marriage, and my children. A fresh wind began blowing through the pain, and God’s love slowly started bringing hope into our lives. The Lord softly taught me I had to let go, because my hands were busy trying to grasp the scraps the world offers when we are down surrounded by guilt and sorrow. My hands needed to make room for what was really worthy and eternal.

God began whispering his words of truth to me, gently opening up my hands to receive a husband, a father a family, forgiveness, love and so much more. I learnt that with out God, there is no relationship in life worth saving. With out God I walk in blindness, and my palms up, remind me that it is by trusting him I will see the light. My palms up are always ready for his unique gifts of mercy. What touches me the most is that I do not deserve these presents, but He puts them in my open hands any way, and that brings me closer to His heart, and changes mine.

I remember that day at the mountain, walking side by side with this heaven sent stranger, and I smile, because God had always been there beside me, holding my palms up,  I was just too distracted listening to the storm, and holding on to my fears.

Thank you Lord for all the wonderful gifts you put in my palms, sometimes they may not look so good at all, but you are perfect in turning sour into sweetness.  All the glory and praise are for You.

Through this wonderful experience I cannot but hold on to this verse, and live by it when the strong winds begin to blow.

“Love the Lord your God with all heart and with all your soul  and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV

 

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