Friday, September 14, 2012

Delighting in weakness?!

A few weeks ago Julie, a fellow SEM member, asked me if I would consider guesting on her blog for a series she's doing this month called I Spy Jesus. The series will run every Wednesday for the duration of September, and by the sounds of it there are some great women contributing, I am honoured to have been asked to join them.

I've received some very encouraging feedback regarding the post from women who were able to identify with my words.  Because the post seemed to resonate with so many I thought it would be appropriate to share it here.  Here is a little bit of my story.

When Julie asked me to join her this month, my initial thought was unfortunately one of regret, as I have felt stalled in my spiritual growth for several months now.  As I prayed about this opportunity, however I really had to take a long look at myself, my life, and my priorities and try to answer the question why am I stalled?  I hesitated to share, because in my mind people want to read stories full of faith, and success in overcoming trial.  Who wants to read about my struggle I thought.  Even as I prayed the words I got a real sense that God was saying I have a plan.  You're not the only one who struggles.  There are others who feel the same shame and regret as you.  Those are not of me.  They are the result of believing Satan's lies.  I have something more for you, I just need to you walk with me, and you will see.

A few days later SEM's very own Dolores shared this verse on our SEM Facebook Page, and I knew it was for me.  "See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert, and streams in the wasteland" Isaiah 43:19  Within days of reading that verse the Lord began to fuel a new passion within me.  He opened my eyes to become better able to recognize the multitude of ways He is moving around me, within me, and because of me...and all of it was happening IN SPITE OF ME.  Now that is amazing love.  The following are just two of the many ways I saw Jesus at work in my life just last week.

For the first time ever I shed a few tears on the girls' first day of school.  I have never done that before.  Ever, in 9 years.  I have always been so happy for them to be growing up, and experiencing new things.  The Lord showed me last Wednesday, however that the time is fleeting when they will be here, under my roof.  I have so much yet to teach them, so much more to learn from them.  I don't want to waste another minute grumbling about motherly duties, I want to welcome them because of what they imply.

The one that was the most profound was this.  Driving home from the lake after the long weekend.  I was listening to my Praise & Worship playlist, and soaking in the breath-taking beauty of the freshly plowed fields when all of a sudden these words streamed through the vehicle.

You're like a star. 
Set apart, set apart from the start of the world.
This is your time, rise and shine.
Child, you're one of a kind.

All the feelings of unworthiness, and shame, and self-disappointment faded away, as these Newsboys lyrics played.  My God, my creator peeled back the curtain of Heaven to make sure I heard loud and clear, (and the best way He knew I'd recognize, through music) wants me to know He still has a plan for me.  And He wants me to life in a fashion like I believe that.  I may feel distant, but only because I've drawn away.  His is unchanging, a relentless pursuer of His children.  ["But He said to me "my grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10] I may feel distant, but I am still a star.  My light hasn't been extinguished, it's only being hidden underneath the negative feelings that aren't caused by Him.  He is calling me to shine.

I created this layout to celebrate this new chapter, 'celebrating the new thing He is doing' in my life.  I used the lyrics from the Newsboys song to remind me of my high calling every time I see the layout.

The words on the journal card are truths that I never want to forget
So there you have it.  No great, and profound words of wisdom.  Just a simple reminder that He is easier to find than any item in those Eye Spy books.  We simply need to open our eyes, and engage, with a willingness to be moved past our inclination to settle into routine and become stale.  May you be encouraged today to open His Word, and see what 'new thing' He might be waiting to show you.

So there you have it.  No great, and profound words of wisdom.  Just a simple reminder that He is easier to find than any item in those Eye Spy books.  We simply need to open our eyes, and engage, with a willingness to be moved past our inclination to settle into routine and become stale.  If your heart has been moved today, my prayer is that you will press into those feelings, and take a moment to consider how it is that your light is shining today.  Listen, and look for the ways in which God is lighting your path...and walk in it.

Be blessed friends!


kitgana said...

Very inspiring.
Thanks for sharing this very wonderful blog.

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Tracey Sabella said...

Thanks for sharing your heart!! Such an encouraging devotion, Sherry and wonderful LO!! ~ Blessings, Tracey

Jojorenee said...

I think people need to hear a little of both. My mom argues that Joel Osteens sermons are always too sweet and peaceful he never talks about the sad things. Love your layout it really Shines!

Tracey Gregory said...

Oh,this moved me to well written and truly heartfelt. Thank you!

Lisa H said...

Sherri, this is wonderfully encouraging. I so often feel decidedly non-shiny and plain worn out. Thank you.