Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Fear

Father, I remember when we first got here and started training.  The stories of suffering so many have gone through scared me so much.  I remember the day we were practicing listening to You speak to us.  As my small group listened for You to speak on my behalf, one guy heard the words "NO FEAR".  Another had a picture come to mind of me preparing a motorcycle ramp and then riding off of it with (you guessed it) NO FEAR.  I laughed because it was so different than how I felt, but prayed You would work in my heart to make it true.

As we were preparing for our silent retreat a couple of weeks ago, it was so special to me that Psalm 34 was used in our worship time.  Verse 4 says "I sought the Lord, and He answered me.  He delivered me from all my fears."  That was the verse You used back almost exactly 15 years ago to deliver me from my fear of getting engaged to Lowell.  : )  I had been engaged once before to another guy and was scared to get engaged again, but You delivered me from my fear.  Those verses in my Bible are underlined in green felt tip pen and dated 11/27/95.  So here we are almost exactly 15 years later and once again You've been working to deliver me from my fears.  That verse reminds me that what I was afraid of (getting engaged to Lowell) was (aside from giving my heart to You) the best choice I've ever made in my life.  : )

You also reminded me about how I felt before we traveled to adopt Timothy.  (Scared again!!!)  You reminded me of how I felt before leading worship at one of our first Grove women's retreats.  (Scared again!)  You reminded me that the things I have been the most afraid of have turned out to be some of the greatest TREASURES in my life.  Wow.

So as I look toward the future, it's not that there won't be things to be afraid of.  There probably will.  But I'm not held captive by fear anymore.  I still remember when Beth Moore spoke in Fresno about 5 years ago and she said if we weren't pushing past our fears, we likely weren't living in Your will.  So often in this journey people have said "You are so brave!" Father, only You know how much I haven't felt brave at all.  Terrified would have been a better description of how I felt!  But You helped me.  I don't know if this will make sense to anyone else or not, but I know that instead of helping me not be afraid of "scary imaginary situation", You asked me first if I could just trust You with my fear. You said, "Forget the 'scary imaginary situation' and just give Me your fear."  And through my tears, as I did that, the fear melted away.  You delivered me from my fears.  And for that I am so thankful.

But, please don't let me forget...  That was a couple of months ago and sometimes the fear tries to come back.  The enemy tries to make me doubt and dread the transitions and challenges to come and my ability to handle them.  But it's never going to be my ability or strength that will get me through.  It will always be Yours. It will always be Your courage.  Your strength.  Your peace.  Your hand.  Your grace.  Your Word.  Your Truth.  Your Spirit.  Your LOVE.  Your power.  Your presence.  YOU.

So I won't worry about whether or not I will be afraid tomorrow.    
For now...  for this moment, I accept Your perfect peace.  
And again, I say thank You.

"You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD Himself,
is the Rock eternal."
Isaiah 26:3-4

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Path that Changes

"On July, 22, 1993, I left my parent's house in Fresno in the early morning and spent the day doing construction work on a roof in Reedley. The next day, July 23, at 6:15 AM, my path in life changed."

Read more about Lowell's story here...

We appreciate your prayers very much as we prepare for our meeting tomorrow afternoon with the MBMSI leaders about where we will go serve.  We look forward to sharing more with you soon!!!!!