Well, okay. Not one of my better pictures, but we had a very beautiful full moon here a few nights ago. It was gleaming brightly through the clouds that were rolling in, bringing in this latest winter storm.
I have been enjoying a brand new experience on this brand new year of 2009. Once a week, I am calling my dearest friend in the world at 6:30 am and we are spending about 45 minutes together in prayer. What might we be praying about? Well, we pray for our homes, our hubbies, our children and ourselves. We pray for strength to be the women that God intended for us to be.
This morning, my dear friend prayed that I would start a remembrance book of all the things that the Lord has taught me and continues to teach me; of all the victories he has granted and strength and grace to get through the lessons he is teaching me. What a great idea! A remembrance book.
Now, this may seem a little off topic, but stay with me for a minute. Tomorrow evening, we are hosting a simple pot-luck party at our home. I made out invitations and titled them "By God's Grace". Tomorrow, January 16, 2009 will be the ten year anniversary of when the Lord granted my girls and me safe passage to return home. BUT...when I returned, I felt my life was over. I felt that there was no hope for me. I felt that God had picked me up and laid me right on his spiritual garbage heap. My life had been for nothing.
But, ten years later, I look back and see how good and loving and gracious my Abba, Father has truly been to me. Yes, we struggled. Yes, I wanted to quit life entirely, throw in the towel and walk away. But, God in his Great Grace was leading me through the "valley of the shadow of death" and brought me out in "green pastures, beside still waters". Does this mean my life is all hunky-dorey? Nope. Not even close. But, reaching this ten year milestone in my life and being able to look back, I see with more clarity how God was using the trials in my life for his own purposes. He said in 1 Cor 2:9 that "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has purposed for those that love him." His purpose. Not mine. His plan. Not mine.
Would I really want my own plan? Nah. Look back and see what God has done for you. Compare that to where you thought you would be. Would you really want your plans for your life over God's? Seeking my plan, I probably would not be married to the awesome man that I am, would not live in this beautiful home, would not be ministering in the special ways that God intended, would not have the blessed children that I have.
I have struggled. I have wept, been in pain, in agony over the trials that I have endured. But with all that God has blessed me with, I would go through it all again to come out in the same place, with the same perspective.
A little tune that the Holy Spirit has given me for today:
"Something beautiful, something good. All my confusion, He understood.
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,
but He made something beautiful of my life."
Keep your eyes on Christ, the author and FINISHER of your race. Let His plan be your goal. Yeah, it's scary at times, but so very well worth it. It's worth remembering. Maybe I will start my remembrance book with that.