Wednesday, October 6, 2010
It is Harder to Stay
I think when it comes to change you either love it or you hate it. What category do you fall in? I do not know many people who fall in the middle when it comes to change. There are some people out there who can become completely paralyzed at just the thought of experiencing a change in their lives.
Jon and I, we are familiar with changed. We expect change to come, anticipate it, and look forward to it. The circumstances in our lives have made us very accustomed to experiencing changes.
Before Jon graduated in May we began praying about what God wanted us to do after graduation. We felt a strong pull from the Lord that we needed to stay here in Texas. We heard the Lord telling us to stay at our current jobs and church. Let me tell you something, because we are so used to change, it has been incredibly challenging to stay where we are at. We have looked at many other options that we could pursue outside of Texas, but have not felt peace about it.
Last Sunday our Pastor began a new sermon series. He talked about Abram’s father who never made it all the way to Canaan, like God told him to, because he become content where he was. Our Pastor encouraged us to get up and walk wherever the Lord is calling us to go. For Jon and I that is an exciting thought! Before the Pastor was even finished with his sermon I was excited about what God was going to do and where He was going to take us! I was completely ready to move on from this place and onto the next thing that God has for us.
The music began and we all stood to sing a closing song, when God brought something completely different to my mind. He reminded me that we feel that we have been called to live here, until God calls us out. But the question that I could not get out of my head was, Have we really been here? Have we really begun to invest in people around us and make friendships? Or do we simply keep everyone at arm’s length, because we could move at anytime?
In that moment God convicted me about my unwillingness to be here in Texas. Ever since we moved here in January 2007, I have been trying to find a way out of this state. I realized that I am going through the motions, but my heart is so far behind. It will take time, but my prayer for Jon and I is that we will be able to serve God to the fullest no matter where we are and that we would have the courage to really develop relationships with people here.
I hope that you too have the courage to walk by faith and follow God where He is leading you.
In case you were wondering all of this was sparked from the Proverbs 31 devotional I read yesterday morning. Check it out if you have time.
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5 Oct 2010
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 (NIV)
I'm a killer. Yes, you read that right. I'm laying it out there and admitting it. Although, it's probably not what you think ... I've been a friendship-killer for much of my life.
I've wondered if it is from my dysfunctional home life as a kid. We moved annually, which meant a different school every year until I was a teenager. For an extremely shy girl this was terrifying. Dread and cold sweats came the night before I had to face another new classroom, new stares, new whispers and new giggles.
The layers built up; I figured it didn't really matter if classmates liked me because I probably wouldn't be there long anyway. Occasionally I would open up just a bit. Then Mom would say, "Pack up," and along with the boxes, my heart would seal up too.
It just hurt too much to hope that friendships could ever last. I was certain they couldn't, so I killed them before they ever developed deep. End it now before I'm too invested, was my mindset.
Maybe you know exactly what I'm talking about. We can fool ourselves into thinking that we don't need to open up and risk the pain of rejection or the devastation of potential loss.
Girlfriend, let me tell you what I discovered. The apostle John paints a portrait of a warm, real Jesus. Through that portrait Jesus reached out to me. He came into my heart and at that moment the love of the Savior began changing my life. I now have a greater love. I have found the same living water that Jesus offered to the woman at the well in the gospel of John.
It's been a spring welling up to eternal life! And I've discovered that when you begin to live that effervescent life, it beco mes contagious! The joy that bubbles up from the inside cannot be hidden. Others are drawn to you and wonder how you can have joy in all circumstances.
And then it happens. Friendships develop. The old me would shut down, walk away or sabotage a relationship. I just didn't think I had what it takes to keep a friendship alive and healthy. And I don't, but God does. The new me embraces friends!
Maybe you've struggled with friendships. God crossed our paths today on purpose. He is asking us to take a risk. Let your guard down and love, as He loved us.
Dear Lord, thank You for loving me and teaching me how to welcome friends into my life with a greater love. Open my mind to see beyond myself today and take the risk of relationships built on You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.