Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unspeakable Joy... Probably longest post ever

I'm sitting here in my candlelit bedroom listening to Chris Tomlin on iTunes...If you haven't gotten it, I strongly recommend his Glory in The Highest Christmas album. I love his new version of Joy to the World. Maybe its because I've been through so much heartache recently, and now I'm coming out of that heartbreak into a brand new me, and that chorus just expresses it so clearly.

I was pretty shocked when God called me out of First Baptist Lutz. Shocked, heartbroken and just plain flummoxed. I thought that the stability of that church was exactly what I needed, so I didn't understand His plan in having me leave. Here's the sequence of events:
  1. I cleared my schedule to spend as much time as possible with the youth, but I wasn't seeing clearly where I was supposed to be there.
  2. I started looking for a place to live in Lutz, but wasn't feeling it. Something just kept holding me back from committing to an apartment.
  3. I began to clearly see that as much as I loved the youth, I wasn't supposed to be there.
  4. I was told on no uncertain terms to get into Divorce Care. It was the one thing I had been avoiding since Chris left. I don't know why. Possibly because I didn't even want to acknowledge that I was divorced.
  5. Being told I had to go to Divorce Care quite frankly ticked me off. But I respected the person who told me that enough to stop and examine it. I started looking for recovery classes in the area. I was supposed to be in class at USF on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and church Wednesday nights, which left Mondays. I'm not good when I'm running every night. Not having down time stresses me out beyond belief. I fasted and prayed that Saturday. I found a Tuesday Night recovery class at The Crossings. "God," I said, "If I'm supposed to attend THIS divorce care, let me find an online class at USF that I need to take." I found the last seat in an exit course.
  6. That night I texted a friend of mine because I wanted to talk. She was on her way out the door to attend her church. I decided to meet her there.
  7. The pastor changed the sermon. I knew I was in trouble. At first I was thinking about how awesome his vision was, and what a great church. Then I heard these words, like a lightening bolt: "I have this press for PRAYER, and I'm taking YOU ALL WITH ME!!" The one thing I KNOW I've been called to is Prayer. I thought "O NO! But God, if you move me away from Lutz, I'll feel like I'm in exile!" Just then the pastor read Jeremiah 24:6. He said "I will bring you back from exile and your fruit will be TWICE as sweet!" I turned to my friend. "Do you still need a roommate?" I asked. She'd only been asking me to move in for six months. She grabs her journal and shows me where she wrote Psalm 118. Next to it she wrote "NO FEAR". Just then the Pastor reads it over the pulpit. I'm not sure how God could have been any clearer.
  8. I moved in on 10/31/2009. On November 1 I open Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest and read this:
There is no such thing as a private life -- "a world within a the world" -- for a man or a woman who is brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ's sufferings. God breaks up the private life of His saints, and makes it a thoroughfare for the world on the one hand and for Himself on the other. No human being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ. We are not sanctified for ourselves, we are called into the fellowship of the gospel, and things happen which have nothing to do with us, God is getting us into fellowship with Himself. Let Him have His way; if you do not, instead of being of the slightest use to God in His Redemptive work in the world, you will be a hindrance and a clog.

The first thing God does with us is to get us based on rugged Reality until we do not care what becomes of us individually as long as He gets His way for the purpose of His Redemption. Why shouldn't we go through heartbreaks? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God's purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so-called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says -- "Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine." If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, than thank Him for breaking your heart.

Thank you for breaking my heart, Abba Father. I trust you with my past, present and future. My life is yours. Take it, and do what you will. Your dreams for me are so much better than mine for myself.

Moving was the right decision. I love my home, my church, my new friends and my old friends. I am exactly where I'm supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. That gives me unspeakable joy!

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