Truth is: Obedience is hard....

'Sin's masterpiece of hopelessness is overshadowed by God's masterpiece of forgiveness and mercy.' (Bible App study plan-Billy Graham's The Reason for my Hope)

This week has been brutal and the main reason I know is because I am headed to the Women's Encounter retreat this coming weekend. The enemy would love nothing more than to dance upon my weakness and make me think I am unable and unworthy of going to experience what he himself knows will surely be an amazing and necessary experience in my life. I was reminded last night, as Ryan and I went to pray and love on a family in grief as they watched their loved one in her last stages of cancer, that life is way too short to allow a moment to be wasted. My mind was flooded with my last moments I had with my Grandmother several years ago as she was in her final stage of the battle against cancer, that we are called to live a life that reflects Jesus and to live it to its fullest. My Grandmother lived life to its fullest, loved the Lord, instilled in me that even when life is hardest, you make the best of it and one true thing remains and all else is secondary to this: a relationship with Jesus Christ! I know this, I've known it from the day I accepted Jesus in my heart at 7 and then rededicated my life to him at the age of 12, and at the point I thought he'd abandoned me and I was so unworthy of his forgiveness, searching for Him and finding Him throughout some of my most difficult and amazing moments as a teenager, as a newly married woman, and as mother. Life is hard, it is at times unbearable and my greatest shame today is that I've allowed so much of my time, too much of my time and energy to be spent on worrying. Worrying that we didn't have what we needed, that we needed to stick with the plan to get to the point we would have what we needed, that we had to tithe this much and we had to save this much and we had to do this or do that, and questioning why God was not acting when I expected Him to act in my is almost a form of bondage I have put myself in without realizing it fully. Until now.

Your love has ravished my heart and taken me over, taken me over..and all I want is to be with You forever, with You forever...
So pull me a little closer! Take me a little deeper! I want to know Your heart! I want to know Your heart!
'Cause Your love is so much sweeter than anything I've tasted!
I want to know Your heart! I want to know Your heart! (Bethel Live: For the Sake of the World)

It pains me to know I've only come so far in my life to this point to realize how I have gotten in my own way, the path of full and complete obedience to the Father and holding nothing back. How much I think I know of Him, but oh, the painful reality that I still have so much more to know of my God! I believe that through this process, as Ryan and I are committing to full and complete obedience to our God in every single area of our lives, we will be better prepared for the ministry He has purposed us for. I know my faith is being tested, I know that God is breaking us down to see Him more, to know Him more, to love Him more not only with what we have but with what we don't have! We have to trust Him not only with what we can understand and justify with our senses. We have to trust Him sacrificially and wholeheartedly, with reckless abandon, with what we do not know and cannot see!

If God is for us, then who can be against us? Romans 8:31

My God is Able, He is I AM, the Way, the Truth and the Life--Oh, that we would release our burdens, our worries, our hopes, our dreams, to our very core release all and surrender our lives in complete obedience to Him! I don't know what that means for you, but I know what it means for me. We have just glimpsed the tip of the iceberg in our own lives this week, and in spite of what we have yet to accomplish and how so many people would take a look at it and say it's impossible, it can't be done....STOP. Stand firmly on the foundation of our God, knowing and believing full well that He is the Overcomer, and we are able to overcome because of His great love for us. God is so good, He is so good, so good to me!

This is a process, He is just beginning to break me down and I know I am not fully prepared for the work He is going to do in me this weekend. Please pray for me and the group of women I am going with on this retreat. Blessings to you and for your journey today, my friend!

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