Category Archives: God’s guidance

sometimes God gives you what you want to reveal that its not really what you want

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its interesting how God works at times… i find that He’s merciful in giving us what we ask for, though He knows that later we will look back and see what we’ve asked for is not really what we end up wanting.

for years i wanted a career in international business. it’s what i went to school for.  it’s what i know.  it’s what i wanted to know.  i’ve fought to be here… i’ve fought to see myself as a success.  i’ve gloried in the fact that others saw me as a success.  and today i resigned.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Over the past seven years I have seen women in my church live by that verse and “sacrifice” career and worldly success for something that God deems to be praiseworthy.  I mocked them.  I ridiculed their resolve.  I didn’t understand and I continued my pursuit towards success.  And in many aspects, God gave that to me.  Yet, I wanted more.  I wanted to be more of a success.  It wasn’t enough that I had a good job that paid well… i wanted more security, more pay, more benefits, more recognition.

and yet i continued to be surrounded by women who in some way, though i didn’t agree with their choices, i was beginning to respect.  i was seeing wisdom in what God designed as their roles.  Not that there’s no place for a woman outside of the home, but i began to see a benefit FOR them investing at home (which before I never really had cared to see).  And as I saw their lives, and compared that with God’s standard of success, my heart began to praise them as well.  I’m not sure this was a conscious choice or simply a result of seeing the power of God at work in them… women who you don’t know.  Women who aren’t known for success.  But women who in my eyes are more successful than Oprah or Katie Couric or Sarah Palin.  These women are Julie and Robin and Kelli and Corri and Judie and Erin and so many more I can’t name.  These women are my example.

They do their husbands good.  Their husbands trust in them.  Their children rise up and call them blessed.   They work hard and diligently and care for their families.  They are generous.  They laugh at the days to come.  They are my examples.   I want to be like them.

I don’t want to measure my success by worldly standards.  It might be weird that a 29 year old “successful” program planner at an international manufacturing plant would just up and quit with no big career goal.  But I have a big God and my goal is to serve Him.  And its gotten to the point where I can’t do that to the degree He’s called me to and stay here.  So, I go.

Ted and I feel a little blind right now.  We are not sure what’s coming. But we truly have a peace in following God through this and a hopeful anticipation of what is to come.  I look forward to continuing to learn how to care for him and how to follow him as he follows God.  I look forward to finding ways to earn extra income to serve and care for my family.  I look forward to finding ways to save money and provide with wisdom.

i’m excited.  God is up to something.  He has changed me and that means something.  this might seem strange to some, but i’m okay with that.

thy way not mine, o Lord

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Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.

Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.

Choose Thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me
My poverty or wealth.

The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine: so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.

Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my Guide, my Strength
My Wisdom, and my All.

Horatius Bonar

He never will leave

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I have been greatly comforted lately by the promise and hope that my God will never leave, never forsake, never dissapoint and never abandon me. 

Several months ago, I began dating a wonderful man of God and have been greatly blessed and encouraged by his deep love for God and his tender care for me.  But there have been times already where we’ve disagreed.  There have been moments where i’ve done something sinfully to make him angry and I’m sure he could have found it easier to simply walk away.  and vice versa. 

we were talking last night and I was crying and my heart was struggling with being full of fear… i am so grateful for the gift he is to me and am scared of the thought of losing him.  i’m very aware that God knows the end result and though we plan our steps that His plan may not be for the two of us to be together… or that if we end up together that one of us could die and that life may not end up looking like what we hope and plan at this point.  I hope and pray that is not the case.  well, last night, I was really struggling with trusting God and was fearing that God would maliciously or vindictively take Ted away from me to simply teach me a lesson or punish me somehow. 

Ted graciously reminded me that our God is not vindictive or harsh.  He does not hold our sins over us and his desire is for good for His children.  And as His child, that means His desire is for good for me. 

But sometimes that’s hard to believe because life doesn’t feel that way.  Yesterday was one of those days… I spent most of the day with a heavy cloud over my head and with a fear of God’s judgment or vengence.  I was yet again, more aware of my sin than of God’s grace as displayed through the cross of Christ. 

I’m grateful for the reminders God gives us in our weakness.  Yesterday, He reminded me that He is good, His mercy is everlasting and His goodness and truth endure through all generations. 

I don’t need to fear the unknown future.  I don’t need to worry about “what-ifs”.  My God has promised never to leave.  Even if all around gives way, He is the confident Rock on which I stand.  And I know that even if He were to take me down another undesired path, just like He upheld me through every path I’ve faced thus far, He will do so again.

So, I was able to sleep last night, resting in that promise.  Resting in knowing that my God will always be by my side as my friend, underneath as my support, ahead as my guide and behind as my protection.  And how grateful I am that those are truths that will never ever change.

when God speaks

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there seem to be times in my life when God seems more active than at other times. I don’t know if this is just me, or if everyone feels this way.  But at times, I feel God is silent, absent, missing or just simply uninvolved.  Then at other times, I see such clear and precise answers to prayer that I cannot doubt His presence. 

Now I’m aware that He is just as active in my life when I don’t feel it, that God is always present in my need, that He will never leave or forsake me, and that He cares for me as a Father cares for his children.  Not a moment in my life escapes His sovereign gaze, not one hair from my head falls without His notice, and not one step I take is overseen by His guiding purpose.  He cares for me.  Even when He feels absent.  Even when I don’t hear answers.  He still cares.  Nothing can avert his love from me.

In God’s mercy though, He doesn’t always leave us in seasons of walking by faith despite lack of answers.   Sometimes He calls us to walk blindly… sometimes He gives us little glimmers of light along the way.  The past few months have kind of been the latter for me.

There are several very very specific answers to prayer that God has given me since July.  I thought I’d fill you in on some of them…

1. I considered for several months the possiblity of moving to the DC area.  I had been applying for jobs, looking for housing and had a job come along, I would have jumped on the opportunity.  After I got back from my DC trip in June (the 3rd one for the year), I was nearly 100% convinced I’d be going there… it was just a matter of the timing.  Less than a week after that, I got really sick again.  God used that sickness to clearly communicate to me the fact that this was not the right move at this point.  There are many reasons why but I am very confident that God closed that door, and that it was a good thing. 

2.  God’s been working OT in my heart on trusting Him.  This has been something He’s worked on over and over again in the past year, but lately its been different… there’s been a complete peace about the fact that I have no clue what God is doing. 

3.  About a month ago I met someone.  Well not just anyone.  :)  Again, this is an area for me of trusting God… do I trust God to keep providing clarity in this relationship when I can’t look 5 years down the road and see how this will end?  I know God is at work in me because I’m not worried about that.  I am (albeit imperfectly) trusting Him to make that clear in his timing.

I’m excited.  I’m more confident today than I was 4 months ago in the fact that my God cares about my life in a very personal and intimite way.  And I’m grateful for that.

great

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…strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…

…in every change He faithful will remain…

 

God is so kind.  my life has been somewhat topsy-turvy in the past month or so.  God has changed many thoughts about my future and has been working overtime on teaching me about trusting Him. 

thankfully though, He is giving me much grace to trust in Him.  And He has given me enough strength for today and an amazing amount of hope for tomorrow.  Not because I have no worries today or know what will come tomorrow… but because He has constantly been reminding me that I am held in His hands… That it is His journey and no matter where we go, He is the one taking me there.

His hands … safe… secure.  i can rest there.

blindness and sight

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John 9:1-3 As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

 Isaiah 42:16 And I [God] will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

 

 As I was thinking of these verses this morning, I saw a picture of a blind man, crying out to Jesus.  As others saw this man, they assumed that God had not answered his prayers because of sin, particularly the sin of unbelief.  And the blind man was also aware of his own sin and unworthiness.  He knew he needed mercy and was powerless to change.  The next thing I saw was God reaching down and guiding this man by the hand.  But this time, He did not heal the man’s blindness.  The man still could not see, but now instead of sitting, God was guiding Him.  He was leading the blind man to walk in spite of the darkness.  God was graciously leaving him in darkness so that he could better understand the presence of his God who had promised never to forsake.  The encouragement to me was that whether God heals the blind eyes and allows sight or leaves you in the darkness, that in both circumstances, He is working to display His greatness and He is the God that does not forsake His children. 

 

The idea was sparked by a quote I read this morning (one of the quotes in my post below)… 

Often I have heard people say, “How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!” Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. “No, Corrie,” said Betsie, “He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.” Corrie concludes, “There is an ocean of God’s love available – there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love – whatever the circumstances.”   Corrie Ten Boom

i won’t be afraid

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My coworker and I were driving somewhere the other day and she had a CD by Ashmont Hill in her car. What was especially encouraging was the song “I won’t be afraid”. One of the lead singers wrote this song for his young son who was afraid of the dark. It is a sweet song, based on Psalm 23… that the Lord comforts and guides me and I don’t need to be afraid.

I often fear what I don’t understand. Or what I can’t see. There are times when it paralyzes me to the point where I can’t sleep because I’m afraid of what might happen… I’m afraid to turn my light off because then I won’t be able to see. Yup, I’m 28 and there are days when I’m afraid of the dark. :)

Its at those times when I need to practically remind myself that God is all-powerful, that nothing exists outside of His sovereign loving control and that there is no need to fear.

There’s no need to fear when I can’t sleep. There’s no need to fear when my health seems to fail. There’s no need to fear as I see myself and my friends getting older and we’re still single. There’s no need to fear when God seems to be silent… He is leading and guiding me. Always. He is true. He won’t lead me astray. So, I won’t be afraid.

Listen Here: />I Wont Be Afraid – Ashmont Hill