Monday, August 24, 2009

The Great Escapist

Please bear with me through this entry...My brain has been swimming the last week or so, and I hope I can explain clearly enough for you to see a glimpse of what God has been speaking to me...

People deal with outward pressure in many different ways. Some take it head on, some cry, some throw things and yell. I don't deal with it in any of these ways. I escape. I don't run away from my family or disappear for hours- no, I lose myself in a book, movie, daydreams or I take a nap. I have always felt this is the good way to handle things. There is no screaming, bad attitude or tears, just apathy. It seemed like such a good alternative to worry.

I have been studying the life of Abraham in scripture. We have received so many encouragements and words about us being like Abraham. I find great strength in the story, but what I wish was included is how Abraham felt. Was he scared? Did he doubt? Did he cry or ever get angry?
We know that he feared for his life, and so in doing was not trusting God when he lied to the Egyptians about Sarai being his sister. Mostly what we have to go on is facts. And scripture clearly states:

"...Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness" Romans 4:3

So, it comes down to belief...trusting in God. But here is the rub...

"Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb;
yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." Romans 4:19-22

So, how do we do this, seemingly impossible thing? How do we 'contemplate' our circumstances without growing weak in our faith?
Which brings me back to my original point, escape. Instead of thinking about what is going on around me and praising God for what He can accomplish. I "run away" from my surroundings.

Then God confirmed this word in an unexpected way. I had been thinking about this concept and even written a paragraph about being an escapist, when I sat in on a class at 'Miracle School' which is part of Schlyce Jimenez Ministries (we met her through another student at CBC). One of the verses she brought up (and I literally laughed out loud when she said this):

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of ESCAPE also, so that you will be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Then, Schlyce made a point to say the next verse in context with verse 13:

"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry."1 Corinthians 10:14

She said, 'Any escape you devise, other than what God has provided is idolatry'.
Um, wow. And what is the escape God has provided, you ask? The Word. To speak the Word.

Josh and I are enduring storms, and they tempt us to tuck tail and run. The enemy is trying to get us to doubt what God has said to us.

I am reminded of Jesus. After he was baptised and God made a declaration of who he was, he went into the wilderness. Jesus had no fruit of his ministry, no proof of what God had spoken. And the enemy said to him, "IF you are the Son of God..." trying to get Jesus to doubt who God said he was. But Jesus knew the way of escape, it was to speak the Word.

And even though I may have to do it through tears...I will speak the Word.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Worst case senario...

Well, it happened...I had a REAL bad day. The second day we were here we went to look for a house/townhouse. Every time we found something we liked and got excited- we would be rejected because of our lack of current employment. I should have expected as much...but I anticipated doors to be flung open once we got here. But that didn't happen. In fact, all doors that we have tried up until today (Tuesday- 8/11) have been closed or never opened. Josh is amazing. He takes everything in stride, it takes much more for him to get discouraged. But me, that is another story... There are 2 visions inside my head: one is full of hope, beauty and peace, the other is full of failure and fear. Every time my thoughts go to the vision of fear, I stop myself (take my thoughts captive). But I must admit, there is fear. It amazes me that I can have so much faith and so much doubt that co-exist.

So, this is the story thus far. We have to return the truck tomorrow. Yes- all of our stuff has been on a truck for a week (awesome). :) We have no place to put it, so we are putting it in storage (free for a month). We are staying at a wonderful couples home, Bruce & Joyce Ball. They are incredible with our kids, and completely perfect hosts. They have offered for us to stay at their home as long as we need. This has humbled me more than I ever anticipated to ever be humbled. I do not want to inconvenience these wonderful people anymore than I already have, but the simple fact is...we have no where to go.

So, what I have learned: God has provided for our family. God has not provided in ways I would prefer. :) But I cannot deny, there is food in our stomachs, and a roof over our head. This has caused me to dig deeper into myself, in a place I would have rather not disturbed. My source. My comfort. My peace. Where does this come from? Does it come from a sense of ownership in where I lay my head? A job? A flat screen TV or a certain amount of square footage? As I had these thoughts, God said two things to me. The first was: "I want to be your source. I want to be your only source." and the second was a verse:

"The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Matthew 8:20

Jesus had no home of his own, but he stayed with people that were blessed to have him. And he was able to bless them by staying. And since my situation is only temporary...there is no shame in it. Just because my pride is screaming shrilly about it, doesn't mean it wasn't what God always intended.

I will end with this thought, in which I find GREAT comfort. Incredible men and women of God that came before me had complete screw ups. Abram lied about his wife, Sarai manipulated, Jacob deceived, David had a man murdered; but God did amazing things through them. So I know I am not a lost cause... :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

the road trip


Yesterday felt like some average road trip to Ohio. The landscape looks familiar and it just feels like a temporary escape. Josh and I have to remind ourselves that we will not be returning to the Spring Hill house, that this is more than just a visit. We stopped in Kansas City to see some friends (Darin & Autumn Scholl- friends from Josh’s childhood). It was wonderful to sleep on a comfy bed and hang out with friends- again, just a road trip. But today…ah, yes…today is different. We know that we will arrive in Colorado Springs this evening, and the landscape is changing.

A side (Carla) note:

I hardly recognize myself these days...

But I think I was born for this. I remember as a kid acting out scenes of a western that was in my head. I was a rancher tackling the Wild West, and being a girl- it wasn’t easy. :) But somewhere along the way, I lost myself. Maybe it was insecurity, maybe it was listening to people around me tell me what I was capable of- I am not sure... But I have rediscovered myself, or maybe I am remembering who God made me to be. Something has switched: I have stopped telling God who I am. I am now letting Him tell me who He made me to be. They are very different. And I must say, I like His version of me a lot better.

So, here we go. God has provided a loving, inviting couple to host us for a few days when we arrive in Colorado. They are attending Charis Bible College as well as us this fall. It is so amazing to me that God knits complete strangers together. That in the name of Jesus, people from different walks can be so close. So we will be looking tomorrow (Thursday) for our house. We just need to find the one God has set aside for us...