August 5, 2012

Living Graciously and Generously with One Another

November 6, 2002- the day I fell to my knees and confessed Jesus to be my Savior
2003- Starting working in full-time ministry
October 26, 2007- the day I knew I was God was calling me to move to the D.R.
May 17, 2009- the day I married my husband
May 25, 2010- the day our beautiful twin girls were born
June 16-23, 2012- the week we spent in Colorado

“For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
James 1:20

June 20, 2012
Sometime around 12:30pm
I could feel it begin to rise in the pit of my stomach until it reached my throat. What was happening? I thought I had everything under control. I thought I was “okay,” but in reality, there was something happening that I had no control over whatsoever. In that moment, I realized just how overtaken I was. And it had nothing to do with Alan. It was me. Shock, horror, frustration ensued… me? It was me? Surely this was wrong… but it wasn’t. Jesus had begun to uproot this vile, poisonous,  bitter anger that had been hardening my heart and choking the life out of our marriage.  And as I sat there on the side of the mountain, with  a bucket full of rocks at my side, looking down at the one, shiny, glittery rock in my hand, the one that represented perfectionism, the first one I happened to grab, as I sat there holding it fearful of letting it go,  I felt this gentle whisper “give it to me, it no longer belongs to you.” And I let it go. One by one, I let them go, asking for forgiveness, and confessing my sin.
Hardness of heart.
The future.

All 20 of them. One after another.

Alan and I spent a week in June at the Blessing Ranch receiving spiritual counseling and encouragement for our marriage. I went, cautiously optimistic of what the Lord could do in 5 days. How foolish and untrusting we can be. He spoke directly to me about the condition I had let my heart fall into. This was between me and God. Our hearts had been so hurt in a way that only God could heal. It had happened slowly, over the years as a result of me trying to handle things on my strength and not His. We needed his intervention to work out the many footholds we had given Satan.  I placed unreal and never-to-be-met expectations on Alan and looked for him to be my Savior. I put him in a position he was never called to fill. I gave him a responsibility he would never succeed at; to heal me and love me unconditionally.

I arrived at Blessing Ranch a broken and beat down person with a hard heart and a lot of baggage unsure of what the future would hold. But God’s promises are real and he will forgive us of our sins of unbelief. He will wash over us and make us new. He will renew our strength in Him and we will soar on wings like eagles. We will run and not grow weary. We will walk and not be faint. He has done these things for me, he did them in 5 days. 

An excerpt from my journal while we were in Colorado: 
Lord, I commit our marriage to you now. Father, may we feel the power of your transforming love, may  we experience the richness of being in community with you.  Give us eyes to see as you see. To see our humanity with sober judgement. To the feel the presence of the Great I am… We need only to be still and know that you are Lord. You are the Great One… I give you, all my anger, all my bitterness, all my envy, all of my jealousy, all my rage, all malice, all contempt, all my shame, all my worries to you. And would you remove them, as far as the East is from the West. Replace them with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.

Lord of Lords, King of Kings- heal us, oh King. Our hurts, our unmet expectations. Heal us.

May we be steadfast in obedience to you. May Satan not be given another foothold in our marriage.  Help us persevere in you. Trust in you. Hope in you.

When we stumble, pick us up graciously and gently. Replace our pride with humility and longsuffering. Grow in us long-suffering that produces faith in you.

James 1:4 Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.

Matthew 5:43-48 (Message translation)
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
 "In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."

The theme of the week for us was to live generously and graciously with one-another. It was a beautiful week that we will never forget of seeing the Lord bring forth his promises and restoration.

Two months after our time in Colorado and God is continuing to sustain us with his strength. He has given us new eyes to see one another with. We know the best gift we can give our daughters is to love one another well, graciously and genuinely.

We don’t claim to have it all together, but we do commit to honestly living in a way that will glorify Him amidst all of our struggles. We commit to living our lives as a faithful testimony to what He is capable of. He works miracles. Every. Day.  We have experienced them in a way that completely humbles us.

Please continue to pray for us and for our marriage.  We want to be honest about our struggles. We want to rejoice when it’s time to rejoice and mourn when it’s time to mourn with those who faithfully partner with us. 

There’s a song by Hillsong that perfectly says what I feel deep in my soul and know in the depths of my heart:

Condemnation falls away. 

Never more to call on me and I am clean, yes I am clean. 

The powerful work of you in me. 

Breaks the chains of guilt and shame and I go free, yes I go free.

I take them to your cross and leave them there. 

Captured by this grace I’m free at last.
It is the great gift of Your salvation 

Working in me, working in me

It is the life giving taste of heaven 

Your kindness revealed, Your kindness revealed to me

It’s the greatest gift of all 

It’s the greatest gift of all 

It’s the greatest gift of all

Your mercy’s pouring down on me, Your mercy’s pouring down on me.

And I am clean, I am clean.

Your mercy’s pouring down on me, Your mercy’s pouring down on me

And I go free, I go free.

Beauty at The Ranch

Blessing Ranch

The view from the top of Red Nose Mountain

Free in Him,

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! May we all live more generously and graciously without spouses, our children, our enemies, strangers, mothers and even ourselves! God is beyond great!


Related Posts with Thumbnails