July 16, 2009

Unexpected Answers

This is the latest writing to the Sunday Prayer team at EMC.

Good Morning friends,

Have you ever had your own words come back and bite you really good?

I don't mean just a little nip....but a bite so bad you probably need stitches? Well, that just happened to me. I just finished reading over the last thing I wrote to you which was about waiting.... and I think I need stitches.

Let me refresh your memory for a moment. I've been waiting for the answer to something for a long time now. It has been a tough time of waiting, seeking, whining, waiting, listening, and waiting. I told you some of the things that I have been learning in my waiting time...such as.... I'm not ready for the answer, waiting for the best takes time, He is renewing my strength - preparing me for the answer, and that all the pieces are not yet in place and I'm not seeing the whole picture.

All of that being said...I have made this statement. I will take whatever answer you give God....I just want an answer. Famous last words......

Several days ago I got my answer. If you look closely you can probably see the blood flow from there. What I mean is this...the answer was not at all what I expected and it cut me to my core. I'm talking complete and utter surprise, shock, hurt, disappointment, confusion, and pain. Do you hear what I'm saying? It was an answer I was not in the least bit prepared for. I've always heard God answers....yes, no, and not right now...... This is one of those answers that is not completely a no...but definitely a no to it working out according to MY plans. what? What do I do now that I have the answer and it's not the answer that I wanted? The truth is that I just do not have a clue. I'm at an utter loss at what to do at this point. I am doing all the usual things that you should do when you find yourself in a place like this. I've placed myself under the direction of my spiritual authorities and those who know and understand my heart the very best. There is a time of prayer, reflection, and direction seeking going on. But when it comes to me doing something I'm at a complete loss at the moment. In all truth, my heart is so hurt and confused that this prayer warrior can hardly even pray. However, one thing seems abundantly clear to me already...I am now in another period of waiting.

So here I am again...waiting. Waiting for direction, waiting for answers, waiting on Him. You see, the thing is this. Just because I now have an answer to what I was waiting on....that does not mean that His answer for me is complete. I had a plan for the way I thought things were going to work out and now I know that was not His plan. That means one of two things...that door is now closed...or He will answer in another way that will be better for me. So.... I wait.

Friends, I say all of that to say this. I take His answer. I have not and will not back up from that. I have not lost my faith and I am not angry at God. I am wounded and my heart hurts deeply. I'm disappointed and yet.....I CHOOSE HIM!! I CHOOSE HIM OVER MY WILL. My Father, my daddy, my God, always knows what is the best thing for me. Even beyond that He wants what is best for me. In this time of confusion... when I don't know what to do or what He is going to do .... I TRUST HIM!!! I TRUST HIM WITH ME.

It all comes down to this. I'm His. Sold out. Even when I don't understand His hand or see the plan He has for me...I'm His. I trust Him to bring me His best even if the road to get there is sometimes painful.

It's like Keith said last Sunday, we have to give it all up to Him. Let go of the 10% (or more ) that we hold onto. Lay it down. We cannot hold onto the things that hurt us or disappoint us without becoming slaves to them. If we are slaves to them we are not free to live Him.

I don't know if any of you are where I am right now or if you have been here before. If not, I can unfortunately assure you that at some point you will be in a place just like this. A place where you don't understand His answer or know what the next step is. I want to tell you even now that our God is real. He draws near when we hurt and He whispers peace beyond our understanding. He places the flicker of hope in our heart that grows into a mighty flame of expectation as we begin to look to Him for the next step, the next vision, the next dream. Because there always is one and His is always the best.

Things don't always turn out like we plan. That does not mean that they won't turn out even more perfectly ... in a different way. God is the master planner and His plan is always for our good. He has promised us a future and a hope. I'm trusting Him to bring it altogether for my life.

Will you trust Him with the best for your life too?