Our family is currently going through a Season of Change. It's not official or complete yet, so I won't share details until it is, but life in the Lockwood house has had it's ups and downs. Ed and I have been reflecting on this past year, Sept 08 through Sept 09, and discussing the journey our lives have taken in Georgia.
There have been many blessings along the way: friendships started, relationships strengthened, health restored, a new baby girl on the way kicking me as I type, and so much more. There have also been tests and trials on this journey, times of brokenness, desert times, and feelings of loneliness.
Since we have now passed the "year" mark of living in GA, we have once again needed to refocus our attention on God and what HE wants from us. Unfortunately, I can tell you from personal experience, that when things were going "good" I tended to put God on a shelf, but when things were hard, and uncertain is when I would cry out to God for help. This is not something I am proud of, and it's something that I had to confess to God. See, God is a jealous God, and HE wants me to place HIM first in my life.
I recently joined an online Bible Study called Bloom. For our first book, we are reading Francis Chan's, "Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God". We have only went through the first two chapters, but it has REALLY opened up my eyes to so many things. One of them being how holy and majestic our God is. Another thing is how in the Bible, it says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Phil 4:4) Chan follows this verse with the following paragraph:
"You'll notice that it doesn't end with "...unless you're doing something extremely important." No, it's a command for all of us, and it follows with the charge, "Do not be anxious about anything." (v. 6). That came as a pretty staggering realization. But what I realized next was even more staggering. When I am consumed by my problems - stressed out about my life, my family, and my job - I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsiblities."
So, this whole year, when things have been hard, and rough, and uncertain...I have been commanded to rejoice, and by NOT doing so, it's like me saying that I know what's better for me than God. I got stopped on this page for a day or two, and then picked up the book and finished the chapter. So many times I feel like I am just going through the motions of everyday life. I want my life to be intentionally focused on God...I want to have such a relationship with HIM, that I don't need to "wait until my quiet time" to have a conversation with my Saviour. To be able to stop what I am doing and PRAY when I am prompted to pray, to be able to release all my cares on HIM and let go, not holding anything back...to trust FULLY on the ONE who already knows what the outcome of this "CHANGE" will be.
Last night in my quiet time, I picked up the Our Daily Bread devotional book and turned to September 23rd. The verses assigned for that day were just what I needed to hear in that moment, "John 14:12-14 - Truly, truly I say to you, whoever belives in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this will I do, that the Father may be glorified in this Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it." Then, this morning, I turned to September 24th, and the title is Contentment and the verses are Matthew 6:24-34 when it talks about do not be anxious, about God clothing the lilies of the field, take no thought for what you shall eat, what you shall wear, etc. SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto you.
I must share a blessing that happened recently in my life that supports these verses I read today concerning, "What shall I wear?". Ed and I have recently made new friends who go to our church and live just down the road from our house. They have 2 small boys, a 20 month old, and a 8 month old. A couple of weeks ago, we were hanging out with them at the their house when the subject of "maternity clothes" came up. Ed and I are extremely tight with our money right now, so buying me maternity clothes for the winter is way down on the list of priorities. Well, out of the blue, my friend goes, "Elizabeth....hold on...I'll be right back." She leaves the room and comes back down the stairs carrying two VERY large tubs of...you guessed it...maternity clothes! There are SO many clothes in these tubs that it's like Christmas morning every time I need to pick out something to wear. I was so BLESSED by this amazing gesture. Now, I am totally set when it comes to winter maternity clothes. This just proved to me that GOD IS watching over us and HE does CARE about the little things in our life.
Please continue to pray for our family as we are in this season of change that God's peace and direction would be so real to us. I will try to update the blog more regularly...if there is even anyone reading this blog still...it really does help me to put my thoughts on "computer".
God Bless each of you!