It was storming, and I had such a headache and felt so tired! I figured I could just go to bed early, read a little, I try to always read before bed. I thought "what do I read?" I picked up What Happens When Women Walk in Faith and decided to read a chapter in that and then a little from my favorite author, Jane Kirkpatrick. So I did just that.
This is the final chapter in the death phase, and somehow as I've read through this book I have felt as if I have gone through the phases with each section. That is pretty exciting since "Resurrection" is next! I don't know if the resurrection of my God dream will happen by the time I finish this book, but I do believe God will have done more work in me. I want to be one of His shining masterpieces. It makes me tear up just thinking about becoming more like that, His masterpiece.
In this final chapter of death, sounds ominous, Lysa reminds me of who this is all for anyway. God birthed a dream in me as a little girl. I am not sure exactly when, but as early as ten years-old I knew this was a God dream for my life. Twenty-five plus years later, and that dream has felt crushed at times, but I know it is just as much His gift to me then ever. Funny, the dream is a gift from Him. I know that the fulfillment of the dream will be one of the most glorious, remarkable things to ever happen to me, but thinking about the dream is also a gift to me.
But there will be times when I will grumble and fear and focus on the path with it's twist and turns, valleys and pitfalls. In those times I need to remember that He is more portion. Some of Lysa's words literally flew up and hit me and made me say "amen!" right out loud. Chester, the cat, was annoyed by that since he was busy sleeping at my feet, but I smiled at him and told him, "that Jesus was talking to me." She wrote about the big lie of satan. The lie that I have to do everything right to make God notice, to make God work.
Sure there are important things I need to do in order to grow closer to God. I have to read His Word, which I have fallen in love with doing. I have to pray. I have always prayed to God like a conversation. It isn't flowery, but it is real. I have found I talk to Him more and more. But I do those things not to get Him to see me. Satan wants me to think I have to do them. I have to be good. I have to grip on tight and try not to make any mistakes in my day. He tries to make me believe I have "be" before God will do.
That is so wrong! I know that in my head, but sometimes my heart and emotions see the situation and I think, "I just need to be better." But God! God is my portion! God knows I will not be able to do that. He knows I will fall down. I will get angry at rude students, a dog that has to go out for the millionth time, and friend who says something insensitive. He knows my weaknesses and failures and yet He is my portion. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9a
He fills up all the empty spaces in me, all the weakness with His strength. And He notices me. He sees everything about me. I don't have to do anything to get His attention. He knows me and is at work all the time.
Sometimes when I am driving and stop at a red light I look over at the car next to me. I will probably never see that person again. I have no idea what he or she is going through. I have no idea of that person's beliefs, struggles, pains, or joys. But I sit there and am amazed that God does! I am in awe!
God's position in my life is important too. God must be first! So often, if I'm being honest, He isn't. I could get stuck in that and feel shame and guilt, but that wouldn't be putting Him in first place. That would still be me in first place! My focus wouldn't be on Him, but on my lack of Him.
It is also easy to get caught up on focusing on the dream He birthed in me. I mean twenty-five plus years is a long time and plenty of opportunity to spend thinking about it more than Him. But He is the promise maker! It is His dream for my life. I have to focus on Him and allowing Him to work the dream through to completion.
It is God's promise. He leads me through he necessary to get to the Promised Land. The troubles, the desert places, all of those are making me more like Him, more ready to receive the promise. I have to develop into the person who can receive the promise. I have to mature, experience, and be formed in order to be ready for all that the promise brings. At ten, I wasn't ready. At thirty I wasn't ready. Today I'm not ready, but He promised His dream for me. So I know He will make me ready, each trial and triumph at a time, because God always keeps His promises.
This phase is a gift from Him. It breaks away, kills, some of me that isn't right for the dream. It has grown me closer to Him. It has let me see His love and learn to trust in Him. It sounds weird to say I am joyful, giddy almost with joy, in this phase, but I am.
I said before that I read and planned to got to bed early. I did that. I read and then prayed. I didn't get far in my prayers. I remember talking to Him about how powerful He is. I woke up about an hour later, only a few minutes after 9. My toes were tingling. I know that sounds weird, but God was rushing through me so much my feet couldn't be still. I was loving it and being driven by it to. It drove me right out and bed and onto the blog to post. I can't explain Him, but He is moving. He is working. He is what I repeatedly think is impossible. He is opening me up and spilling out through me. Right now the clock just struck 10 and I may regret this at 4:30 when the alarm goes off, but right now I am overwhelmed by His love!