Saturday, September 21, 2013

beautiful mess

This morning I got up at 5:30 a.m. and began to journal.  My heart was feeling so full, as D is home, and we have a house full of girls.  Not wanting to wake anyone else up, I retreated to a quiet corner in my kitchen to sit with my SAVIOR and learn what HIS Daily Teachings would be about today.

I never quite know what HE is wanting me to remember or meditate on, and this morning HE revealed to me that the only way HE will continue to grow me in my faith is by having me relive, and tell my story.  Even the parts that I would just rather forget.  Surprisingly for me I would much rather forget the times in my life where I have sinned, and not the tragedy that occurred in my life daily for all of my childhood, and part of my young adulthood.

As I continued my reading of "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman, I came across this quote in the book:

 "If we want to grow in faith we must be open to listening to our own stories, perhaps familiar or forgotten, where we have not mined the rich deposit of GOD'S presence.  With better eyes and ears we will sense how GOD has worked to redeem even our most tragic experiences." Dan Allender

Two weeks ago my family and I met up with my brother and his family for a four day get-away in the Mountains of Gatlinburg, TN.  While there my sister in-law, whom I like to call my Sister from another Mister, gifted me my current book.  She told me that she was in the bookstore one day, and she heard GOD say to her, "buy this book for Heather."  She didn't obey that day, however a little while later she heard from HIM again, and this time she said, "okay, I will go see if it is still there, and if it is, then I will buy it."  Of course when she went back it was there, and she bought it.  

When she told me this story, I was kind of confused, as I had already read it.  Not only did I read it, but I cried the entire time I read it.  Not only did my heart hurt for Mary Beth, my heart was overwhelmed with emotion as I could relate to so many things she was saying in the book.  This morning when I began to read, I was still confused as to why I was reading her story, and then I read the quote from above, and it hit me, "HE is growing me once again."  

I know that I should know by now, that I won't be done with growing until I am in Heaven.  I know that as long as I am here on Earth, HE will continue to present opportunities in my life to grow my faith in HIM.  However, I have learned that these growing opportunities usually come with a price.  That price for me is total surrender.

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." Philippians 2:12-13

GOD is reminding me once again today, that it is for HIS purpose that HE will continue to work through me, to bring me to an understanding that it is all for HIS glory and not mine.  I am learning that my story, is a story of my faith.  How even in the greatest moments of tragedy, HE has brought HIS good news to my life, and has turned my mess, into a beautiful message.  I am learning that the only way I will ever be able to truly understand why things happened in my life the way they did, is to go back.  Not only go back, but seek HIM, and let HIM show me where HE was during my darkest hours.

For the past ten years, HE has been revealing to me just where HE was in my darkest hours.  Whether it was through a song, or a teacher, or a counselor.  I find great comfort in knowing that my favorite song when I was a little girl was "I will be here for you" by Michael W. Smith.  "I will be here for you Somewhere in the night Somewhere in the night I'll shine a light for you Somewhere in the night I'll be standing by I will be here for you"

Even as I looked up the lyrics this morning, I was taken back by just how much HE loved me then, and loves me now.  I can remember being around the age of nine and singing this song with all my heart, not even really knowing what it meant for my life.  I have learned that HE is my light, and HE is the lamp unto my feet. 

" When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

"Your word is a lamp for my feet,a light on my path." Psalm 119:105

 I have learned that HE is the one directing my path, and HE is turning my most tragic moments into a great message.  A message that is full of HIS hope, HIS love, HIS grace, HIS forgiveness, HIS guidance, HIS truth, HIS word, HIS greatness, and HIS goodness.  I am learning that as long as I choose to walk in obedience with HIM leading me, HE can, will, and does teach, lead, and guide me through every single moment of my life.

Today I am so thankful that because of my story, I have my faith.  A faith that I would have never been able to receive at the level I have without going through the things that I have endured.  Today I am thank to know that even when I didn't know HIM, HE was writing my story.  Today I am thankful that once again HE is taking me back through my mess, to write another level of HIS message based on my life.

Since I began writing this blog, I have been so humbled by how many people who are reading it.  I am in complete awe that people actually want to read about my brokenness, and hott mess of a life.  I am humbled and honored whenever I receive another private message, or email, or comment about how much a person is able to relate to what I am writing about.  I know that I have said it so many times already, but I will say it again, "I never could have imagined just how BIG HE would use me, when I surrendered and said, "Lord use me for your good works."  

If you would have asked me even a year ago where I "thought" I would be this very moment, never in a million years would I have said anything even remotely close to where I am.  When thinking about just how far I have come in just one year's time, it gets me excited about my future.  It gives me peace for my past, and happiness and contentment in my present.  I know that none of that is possible without allowing HIM to transform and renew my heart daily.  HIS Daily Teachings today was another one of HIS loving reminders that even when I "think" I have told my story enough, or thought about my story enough, HE is the one who will say when it has been enough.

I pray today that if you are struggling with what your story is, that you will seek HIM, and let HIM reveal to you what your beautiful mess means to HIM.  I pray today that you will seek HIM and surrender all of you to HIM, and allow HIM to transform and renew your heart.  I pray today that if your heart has been hardened that you will allow HIM to take you back to the moment that it began to harden, and let HIM reveal to you that your story is your faith.  


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