Sunday, January 6, 2013

Revive


"On the day I called, You answered me; You made me BOLD with strength in my soul...For great is the glory of the Lord....Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will REVIVE me; You will stretch forth Your hand...and Your right hand will SAVE me. The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your loving-kindness, O Lord, is everlasting; do not forsake the works of Your hands."-Psalm 138:5-8 NASB (emphasis mine)

I can't recall a time that I have ever needed to be revived more. After a year of loss, grief and unbelievable ups and downs, twists and turns, blessings and heartache, I am needing some spiritual CPR. My prayer as my family enters this new year is that it will be a year of firsts and new beginnings. I have stayed close to God. I have faced many of my worst fears and have lived through them. I am stronger in the Lord than I thought I was.

At this time last year, I was finally in a position to lead our women's Sunday school class in a Bible study called "Believing God". I was so excited, I was three weeks into it and when the the poo hit the fan. I was tested and faced the truth. Did I really believe Him? Was I practicing what I was preaching? Through a year of tests and trials, I believe that I can say with integrity that I do believe in Him.

1. I believe who He says He is.
2. I believe He can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ.
5. God's Word is alive and active in Me.

I'm BELIEVING God!

He has taught me to take my anger and disappointments at his feet. I am now aware more than ever that God is sovereign and He cannot be manipulated into doing what I want Him to do. I think I have mentioned this before. I found myself trying to coerce Him into doing what I thought was best because He would get so much praise and honor and glory for me. I was essentially bribing Him with His own glory!

This year has been a year of growing up. When I was squeezed, at first ugliness, bitterness and anger came out. As the year progressed and the refinement process continued, when I was squeezed, love, forgiveness and gratitude would pour out of me (not every time, mind you, but more often than not). I am growing up and maturing in my faith.

I wouldn't trade this last year for anything, because as I pressed in and got into the Word of the Lord, I received divine revelation of God's character. I gained wisdom and I see the fruit of that as I am now at a point where I can start pouring myself out again in other people's lives. I think I can finally say I am gaining in my goal to be a Titus 2 woman. My love is so much deeper for those who are hurting. From exhausted young mothers, to women who are struggling to love their husbands, or just plain life taking an unexpected turn, I feel like I have more to offer them. True empathy. It is good.

Life is hard, but God is good. He has provided in ways that make no sense. I love His ways, for they are unexpected and delightful. He has stripped me bare, pruned me back to a nub, but I am alive, breathing and full of joy. It doesn't make sense!

"Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." -Psalm 30:5

Joy is deeper than happiness. It exists under the surface. It is a gift of God and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is reviving me.

The other day, as I held my friend's new baby, I started weeping. I couldn't figure out if it was sadness or joy. I think it was a mixture of both. The innocence of a sweet baby, the anguish of knowing that she will one day have to face heartache, and the joy of knowing that God holds her in His capable hands. I look back at those years that I was having baby after baby. Life was hard, but it was good. I felt a little bit of my soul heal once more as I rocked her and drank her in.

It reminded me of my sweet son as a babe. The rebellion as he grew into a teenager was terrible. The sin he fell into was awful. Our children will make serious mistakes with serious consequences  Do we abandon them, no matter how painful and embarrassing those mistakes are? NO! We walk through it with them. We show them the love and forgiveness of Jesus. We become the hands and feet of their Savior. My son knows God is good. My son, knows what forgiveness is. He first had to accept that his parent's could forgive him, before he could accept that God forgives him. We are the earthly example, a foreshadow of what God offers them.

I praise the Lord, for what He has done in our lives! I would love to know what you look forward to this year.

7 comments:

Grandma Becky said...

Stacie, thanks for this post. Amazing to see your growth. It's in the tougher times of life that we grow and mature as God wants us to. We usually don't choose the hard paths but He is there right with us.Amazing story and keep on growing. I just want to keep growing and learning and reading His word. Right now I don't know where this year will lead. I'm open and no plans as of yet. Hugs!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Your faith and strength exude through every pore, sis. We are all learning so much as you walk this out. The biggest thing I learned last year was that God IS sovereign. I know it to the core of my bones, even when I don't understand what is happening or why. I'm so proud of your whole family and how you have all grown this past year despite all the pain you've had to endure. I love you so much and pray 2013 will be much better for you.

Wanting What I Have said...

My dear, sweet friend. I am so happy for you. How good and awesome is our God!? He makes beautiful things out of ashes. It is sweet to see the love of Jesus transforming and renewing. I am thankful for the sharp knife the gospel is-it cuts deep, and it brings healing. Praise and glory to God. He has done and is doing great things!! Love you!

mommamindy said...

After having two of my six kids go prodigal, breaking my heart time and time again, I no longer believe I am raising children. The Lord is trying to raise me.

It is so hard!

My neice was so frustrated with potty training the other day and I couldn't even speak. I know that is the hardest mountain to climb in her life right now, but there are many days I wish my problems were that small.

Thank you for hanging on to your faith, you have helped pull me along the path this past year as we also have faced many hardships and disappointments.

love you, sister!

Ellen said...

We stumble and fall...stub our toes and our hearts and yet, He is always there. He already knows what we can handle.He knows what we need so we can grow in Him.
I know the growing pains hurt,and I have been praying for you as you move forward.♥ I have been encouraged by your sharing and openness of heart. Keep strong Stacie....even on the hard days the sun will shine. ♥

candy said...

You are an amazing woman Stacie.You have grown so much through all of your trials.
Psalm 34:17-20 The Lord has delivered you from ALL your troubles.
Your family IS fine. All things work together for good.I see so much of Our Lords blessings in your family.I count it as a gift to me and my family to be able to call you all "my friend".
Don't ever be ashamed of any lesson you are learning greater you will be. I love you

Jessica said...

I love it, may you continue to grow in your faith!

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