Reflecting back on 2011, here are a few things that the Lord has taught me.
These are in no particular order.
1. Walking the Narrow Path can sometimes leave me feeling like I am climbing a gruesome, uphill slope that makes me feel like a pack mule; sweaty, smelly and exhausted. At times in my travel this year, I found the trail to be covered with snow, large jagged boulders, snakes, deteriorating bridges or sheer cliffs on either side. Sticks, stones and dirt were thrown or kicked in my face as I drudged along in my journey of steep terrain, which ultimately left me crawling this past year. But, when faced with a choice, I would’ve never chosen the wide path, which is the easier path. Because Christ has called me by name; to be His daughter and walk the narrow path with Him, and it is during this arduous climb that all I had was Christ to hold on to. He is always all I’ll need, and when I realize that, it is during those moments that I have my mountain top experience with my Savior.
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13,14
2. Although serving in an outside ministry is a wonderful gift and sacrifice to the Lord, if it becomes too demanding of me, and the result is my priorities become out of whack, then I need to step away from it. This was (and has been) hard to do, but it is what the Lord desires of me.
To obey is better than sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22
A list of First things, First to keep my priorities in order:
- Spending time with the Lord by reading His Word so I can know Him more. He wants me to meditate on what the Bible has to say so I can learn to apply it to my life. He wants me to pray and actually have a conversation with Him, but I need to be still long enough to hear His voice. All of this takes time, but it is THE MOST important aspect of my life.
- He wants me ministering to my husband. As I serve him and give him honor and respect.
- He wants me training and discipling my children for His glory.
- He wants my home kept and running so my family’s needs are met.
- And then He wants me involved in outside ministry. (Sometimes my list could be backwards with my outside ministry being on the top of this list and the time I spend with the Lord on the bottom.) 🙁
3. I will be persecuted by family, friends and strangers…. time and time again and I need to get used to it! Even more so now that I am writing a blog for Him.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. Matthew 10:34
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
4. I will be accepted by family, friends and strangers….time and time again, and I need to get used to it! Even more so now that I am writing a blog for Him. (smile) Thanks for all of your kind words and loving support as I bare my heart for the Lord in order to encourage others. It’s very hard for me to come out of my so-called, reserved shell because it is there in that place where I am emotionally protected. Thanks for your graciousness!
5. My stability comes from the Lord, not my circumstances.
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 2 Samuel 22:31
6. When the storms come raging through my life, everything is going to be okay and I can rest in Him. (No matter how many times we’ve had to move or when we lived with another family.)
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
7. He always has a perfect plan for my life even when I can’t see it.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
8. God has allowed the chaos in our lives and He wants me to trust Him even when I forget this over and over again.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer. 2 Samuel 22:2
9. My marriage can either get better or worse in adversity. I choose better because the material things, financial strains, outside relationships and ministries do not matter to the most important human relationship I will ever have here on earth.
10. My children will grow in the Lord in spite of what we go through in life. It is my faith, my countenance and my prayers that will draw my children to Christ. The Holy Spirit will work in their lives regardless of the hardships that we have endured.
11. As self-sufficient that I would like to be in ALL aspects of my life, the Lord wants me to be God-sufficient. This is so difficult to learn. The letting go. The controlling of my life. My dreams. My plans. My schedule. My health. My bank account. My marriage. My child-raising. My homeschooling. My extended family and friend relationships. My writing ministry….
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7
Bottom line: My life is His to do what He pleases. The good and the bad (as I see it.)
His plans and His purpose were perfect for me in 2011, and so they will be in 2012 as well.
What about you? What did our Lord teach you in 2011?
Happy New Year sweet friend! May you seek Him and see Him in the coming days of your life.