Goodness gracious!!! Wow, did I have a good time at the Youth Pastor's conference!!!!
I can't tell you we had crazy amazing events or anything, but God really did a work in my heart! This blessed me so greatly that I would take these days learning in His presence over a thousand elsewhere...
Is it better to gain the whole world and forfeit my soul? (Mark 8:36)
I have been born again for 15 years now, but a good many years of those were eaten by the locusts. I do believe that God allowed this to grow me more into the woman He wants me to be. I was still baring fruit in my life, but a lot of it was simply getting eaten away.
"I will repay you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you" (Joel 2:25)
About 4 years ago I really began to feel God starting to restore those eaten years. My family moved into a large home with my in-laws in 2008.
That alone made it a trying time, but not long after the move my baby brother almost died, this caused a snow ball effect for other life changing things to happen.
During his 4 months in the hospital I was breaking down and getting torn apart. There were many family struggles and hurtful words said. The support system I thought I had in place really broke down on me. God wanted to show me that He was all I needed. He had a plan.
I started going to a Christian Physiologist soon after. God used this time to show me He wanted to put the broken pieces of me back together again. His plan of healing consisted of me being broken down again. Did you know a fractured bone can be stronger after it's been broken? Well, God wanted to work on my rebelliousness and call me even closer to Himself.
He called us out of our church... and to say the least, this transition was not a smooth one. He definitely used it for our good. During this move He took me to my Damascus road and He removed the scales from my eyes.
With our church move, we ended up moving to a new home as well.
At our new church I have a beautiful group of friends and these were some of the friends I was at this conference with. I am happy to have my roots grow deep here and also to have them be intertwined with the roots of my friends as we withstand trials together.
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I know a lot of what God showed me this week was things I simply needed to be reminded of, but I am excited in the fact that a promise has been made to me. A promise that God is restoring by broken vessel.
You see He told me my obedience here is just the beginning. He said "go home and turn not, for in doing so you will turn it upside down". I have been convicted for too many years to tear down the idols that have been built up in my family from generation to generation. I took this issue strongly to the Lord in prayer, I gave this to Him, and that was my obedience. You see these idols have torn parts of my family to pieces and I don't want that to happen to me and my husband, or to my children or their children, I want to turn things upside down in The Lord's name!
I am convicted to be a woman of action, and I am excited to say that I don't think I have ever felt as much hope as I do now! I actually am excited about obedience! That is CRAZY for me!
What's even MORE crazy is all these years I have learned of God's grace, and even taught of His grace... but I never allowed myself to receive that grace. In my own pride I always believed I didn't deserve it even though teaching it, I know it is something that no one deserves.
My youth pastors years ago always taught me that it had to be more than head knowledge, it had to be heart knowledge. Now my pastor as of late has been teaching on how this grace has to drop... drop from your head to your heart! Listening to these messages have been frustrating because I knew this was not something I could simply WILL to happen within myself, so I prayed and I'm pretty sure I was even grieving over it.
Well this week, it DROPPED!
I realized after listening to Pastor Levi Lusko's first message, along with thinking on my son's 7-11 story (which I don't think I've written) and how we could have lost him, but we didn't... but Pastor Levi lost his daughter!
This was when I really understood grace! I don't deserve my children! They are a gift! I didn't deserve for God to keep my son safe, but He did... I could have woke up in the morning with my front door wide open and my son gone! But God brought my son back home to me! "How does a mom go through this and flipping NOT understand grace?" I said this weeping... ...then I realized it dropped.
I realized this is exactly how God's grace is for me in all things. ALL of them. I don't deserve it, but HE loves me, so He gives it, amazing!