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As I can I want to offer a fresh word of encouragement sharing from my experience how our Father God meets us in the middle of loving and living out our faith to draw others to freedom.
I fully believe we are offered so much more than we ever experience as Christ followers. We settle for a life in bondage to the elemental nature of this world and continue to live as Hagar when in fact we are daughters of Sarah.
Galatians 4:3131 So, brothers [and sisters], we are children not of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Breakthrough...a testimony to the little ways we are seen, we are known and we are loved by our Abba Father. This move for our family and the ministry has been stretching, growing and healing. Distance and time are giving new perspectives to each of us, however, the yielding process for me has been no less than an intense battle of wills. I experienced a return of chronic pain, long stretches of waiting on answers, people and timing and all that goes into a move and building relationships from scratch. I was faced with the choice to lean into God for healing or continue on in the depression, fatigue and facades I had leaned into unintentionally through the last few years of major transition, uncertainty and disappointments.
Even today, leading to this writing my devotion opened with this thought by Havilah Cunnington in her devotional Leap Into Love: Living Present to My Purpose on the Planet
"Self-Awareness is the gateway to breakthrough."
Indeed! It took several months and long stretches of agonizing nothingness to waken and arouse something in me...a remembering. A remembering of where I have come from and where I am going. A longing reawakened after all that I came with was stripped away, doors that we thought were open were shut, specific paths to our goals ended abruptly, people who we thought were with us ghosting us completely. All with the simultaneous confirmation after confirmation that we are where we are supposed to be and on the right path.
I had no where to run with my thoughts, no busy-ness to burrow under, no voices to overwhelm the Holy Spirit, no demands that I could use as an excuse...Did I really want to stay in the place of despair, operating under presumptions that no longer served me and purposes that were no longer required of me? Would I take the opportunity to really listen and obey, fully surrendered to quietness and trust, to returning and resting?
As self awareness dawned breakthrough began. Twenty-four years ago after college I lived in Alabama and worked at an outdoor therapeutic wilderness camp. About two weeks ago, searching through files, photos and memories I discovered I had a goodbye photo album filled with notes and pictures from the girls I was responsible for. Several notes contained a similar sentiment of thanks for being someone they knew loved them and that was there to help them and that it would not hold together without me.
In that one moment it felt as if all time and distance fell away and the whom I am and am made to be came rising to the top. When you strip everything away in my heart and mind at the core; I want to engage others from a place of rest and peace as an anchor, harbor, place of safety. I do not need anything from them nor do I need to superficially or out of obligation give them something. I am created to acknowledge, to listen, and to point out beauty, design and value. I do not have to conform - even to the pattern of doing ministry. I am called to laugh, love and live out His compassion and lovingkindness, His mercy and His grace. To extend what I have received. To do this in family, living from an eternal perspective very rooted and grounded in love here and now.
As I relooked at who I am, I was able to acknowledge what I was doing, thinking and believing in opposition to this. The little gifts that came with this started with provision from an unexpected source and an opportunity to work as a background actor in a Hallmark movie with my husband. Something unexpected...the title of the movie is Spring Breakthrough...
I learned that being in a movie required what I had experienced in this move...coming prepared, long waiting times, repetitive action, and long days without seeing the end result. We went the first day prepared with what we were supposed to bring, had our "outfits" approved and then ended up waiting for over 8 hours in "holding" until our group was part of a scene. Then on "set" we learned quickly our cues and movement and had to do it again and again. All told the first day required our attendance from 5:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and our call back days were no shorter. We also were repeatedly told how important we were, a movie would be boring and hard to watch if you only had the main characters involved and no background. There are so many lessons in here but for today this experience was an unexpected gift that marked the beginning of breakthrough in my heart, mind, soul and body as I embrace God's timing and direction here and now.
This is the promise moving from faith to experience, seeing movement and agreement in our steps to serving the girls we are here to serve and going through the open doors to use gifts and talents in new ways. As I read again my part in Psalm 55 to leave all my cares and anxieties at His feet I remember it also says:
1 Peter 5:6-7 TPT
If you bow low in God’s awesome presence, he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands. Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.
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