Back in January...wow...that would be 4 months ago already...yeesh...I had a theme for my new year. My theme: Renewal.
Over the last 2 months I've begun to question why God would have me choose a theme of renewal when things were still going OH SO VERY wrong. I realized this weekend that He had me choose this theme to PREPARE MY HEART for the renewal HE was placing in my heart and in our family.
Last year was hard. But last year was also incredibly amazing. We started a church and we still love every person there. We found out that I was pregnant and God allowed for ANOTHER amazing pregnancy for me. I had another beautiful little boy who continues to make me love him every day. Our marriage grew stronger. Ryley started Kindergarten. Oh the list could go on. And sometimes I need it to go on. I need the reminder of JUST HOW BLESSED I AM.
When I felt God lay the theme of renewal on my heart I thought that meant He would make things all better. That the hard times would be left to 2007. Oooh boy. Was I wrong.
Instead I feel that God is CONTINUING to strip away the old me. I hadn't been stripped enough. I'm like Shrek...an onion with many layers. I am stinky and smelly and need those layers scrubbed away. My prayers have gone from "Oh Lord please provide." to "Oh Lord, show me what you want from me."
God has not been quiet through all of this. As a matter of fact there have been times that I KNOW He's been shouting it out loud and I have been too caught up in my own worries to really listen to what He's trying to tell me. After all, didn't *I* pray for this. Back when things were going well...didn't I pray to have the faith of Job? Why would I not expect God to say, "Ok...you asked for it...I'm going to build you up." So should I be surprised that my prayers have turned to, "Ok God...thank you. I appreciate your tests, but that's enough. I'm beginning to understand. Now. Can you give me all that 'stuff' back?"
Seems kind of ridiculous when I type it out like that.
The truth is...I cannot be renewed until the garbage is gone. God didn't abandon me when life got tough. He's holding my head up while I walk through the muck. I can yell and scream and throw all the tantrums I want, but that doesn't change that God is working. I may not be able to see HOW just yet, but he's working. And as always, he's going to come through when I LEAST expect it and in a way I never planned. B/c THAT is how my God shows me His glory and His grace.
I was talking to a friend this weekend and I was telling her about how I used to ask Jesus to wait for his return until I got married. Then after I got married I asked for him to wait until I had kids. Then after having kids it all changed. Now I'm praying COME JESUS COME while throwing in there, "I'd prefer before they're teenagers!!"
It's not about me and what I want. It's about God's timing. Just like in my scrubbing away. As much as I want the bills to be paid, money in the bank (just a little Lord), and gas in our cars...it's not going to happen in my time. I need to get out of the way and let the Lord work. Get my oniony-stank self OUT.OF.THE.WAY. And let God do what HE does best.