Friday, August 17, 2012

The Least of These

I've lived most of my life in fear, in one way or another.  I have anxiety issues.  I'm claustrophobic.  I feel intimidated and uncomfortable in large groups of people.  I am deathly afraid of public speaking.

I'm also a very shy person.  Timid.  It's difficult for me to meet new people.  Make friends. 

I have low self-esteem.  I've always been heavy and I am sure that has a great deal to do with it.  I'm worried about what people will think of me. 

Why am I telling you all of this? 

God has been working on my heart.  A LOT.  For quite awhile now.  And He wants me to get involved with missions.  ME?!?!?!   My life certainly has not prepared me for this!  I can't talk to strangers let alone go to a foreign country amidst a whole GROUP of strangers! 

I'm old!

I'm fat!

I have bad knees!

Ohhhhhh ...... What was that? 

HE is going to prepare me?

He's been really gentle so far - but He is ready to push me.  Am I ready to be pushed? 

He wants me to write and He wants me to work in missions. 

Wow.  That is a lot to process......

There was a prophet who spoke at my church once - and he told me similar things about 6-ish years ago.  And I scoffed.  God doesn't have big plans like that for me!  I'm not special!  I'm just a mom.  A plain, ordinary mom!!! 

Then my pastor told me once that God told him that I was supposed to do something important with music.  Maybe sing?  He wasn't exactly sure.  But he said it was music for God and the church.  Again I scoffed.  In fact, I scoffed and laughed and maybe even guffawed......because I CANNOT SING!!! 

About a year ago - I started getting nudges.  Well let me back up a little bit.  I've loved to write since I was 12.  Short stories, poetry, even a few novels.  But a LOT of people do that.  I just do it for fun as a hobby.  But then a year ago, I got ideas for song lyrics.  I started writing them down and tweaking them a bit .... and then I'd get the music in my head too.  Sometimes I'd be falling asleep and have to get up and write the words down.  It was a very strong urge.  And I'd have to sing them aloud, right?  Just to myself.  And to God.  And it took several months - but it hit me what Pastor John had told me all those years ago.  It was true.  I was writing (and even singing!) music for God. 

So I could scoff once again at this idea that I am supposed to do missions.  Then several years from now when I find myself on a plane to Mexico or Africa that "aha moment" will hit me.  The one where God says...."See?  I TOLD you so!"  

Right now He is pushing me to do a few things.   I'll blog about them as they happen.  But I am listening, and I am obeying.  I know they are things meant to push me (in small steps) outside of my comfort zone.  They are to "prepare" me for what is to come. 

If I look at my life now, I cannot fathom how I will ever be in the place (physically, mentally, & financially) to do much for missions.  But He has a plan.  And who am I to question Him??? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Am Poor.....& Richly Blessed

I haven't written a post in over four months.  It seems like I go through seasons with blogging.  Summer just isn't a season I seem to feel creatively inspired enough to share what is going on in my world.

Speaking of seasons in life, my finances are about as dry as the rest of the country this summer.  Dry as the crumpled up, sad-looking withered corn in Southern Indiana. 

 I might as well put it out there, I am POOR.

  But American poor isn't the same as third-world country poor. I did have a couple of weeks there where I felt really sorry for myself and got all complain-y.  But then I woke up and realized I have more clothing in my closet than a lot of people may own in their lifetime.  (Again, not by American standards)  I am still holding on to my apartment, my utilities, etc by my very fingertips.  I have Internet.  A computer.  A comfortable bed.  Central air!!!!!!!   Yes, it's hard sometimes to look at your world on a WORLD scale.  We were raised with American standards of comfort!  We were raised in a time where people have 2 and sometimes 3 new cars per family, several computers and televisions, every child with a cell phone. 

So I quit comparing myself to the "typical American" - because to God, I am a daughter, no different than the daughter in Africa who has to go to a dirty river each morning to get enough water for her family.  I am the same as the woman who has to divide a small amount of rice (when she has it) between her 7 family members.  So where do I get off feeling sorry for MYSELF? 

At the end of this month there is a 50/50 chance that I will be moving in with my parents.  Again - do I feel humiliated that I am 42 years old and have to go live with my parents until I can find a job in this unforgiving economy of Detroit?  Well ok, I do feel somewhat ashamed.  But I know I have applied to over 400 jobs in the past several months and have not been offered one.  I know I have done everything necessary to pull myself out of "poverty" and as of yet, my attempts have been unfruitful. 

In this season of drought, I have become closer to God.  I have praised Him more often.  Written songs for Him, sung at the top of my lungs while driving through farmland, wondered at the Awe of Him while racing across Patoka Lake in my first speed boat ride, and have been comforted by His presence every moment. 

I have casted my anxieties and worries to Him - and He has taken them all!  Whether I am here, cramped into my parents' house, or living in a motel room somewhere - I know that He will take care of me.  He will show me where to place my feet in order to get back to a place where I can financially sustain myself and my children without having to lean on anyone other than Him for support. 

Blessed isn't even the right word.  There is no word to describe how Awesome He is.  He cares about me!  He cares about what is going on in my piddly little life!  He will show me the way out!  I have no doubt in my mind.

So as I wind my way through this season of my life, I am listening.  I want to hear everything He has to say to me.  I am busy building the foundation for the rest of my life & each massive stone He gives to me, I am placing in that foundation. 

Thank you Father God for sending Your Son to die for MY SINS!  I am unworthy.  I am undeserving.  Yet You loved me enough to send Your only child.  I will be forever grateful.