This is the second in a 2 part blog. Please read part 1 first.
Now that you know a little of my story, let me share some of the words others gave me that truly helped strengthen me daily and kept my focus stay on Christ.
One friend sends out a daily devotional thought and this one truly ministered: "Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings." – St. Francis de Sales. Thank you, Lord, for history with you that gives such strength to face the future! "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24) I began to pray daily for Him to point out my anxieties and allow His peace to prevail.
An email from a friend shared her prayers for us and then she included this: I claimed Mark 11:22 for you. "Have faith in God, for assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says, therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them." I do know that God is the mountain mover, and that He does it in His own timing.
Right after this happened and I had received the scripture above, another friend and leader at our YOU Lead event, said she prayed for that mountain to move, but God told her that I was to “minister through the mountain”! At least for now, and specifically at this YOU Lead event I was to minister through the situation. In all honesty, I had NOTHING to give. God knew that, even though I told Him to make sure. I also ask Him to accomplish His work His way in His strength because I was empty. The minute I began to greet and speak to these ladies at the training, it was as though the rest of the world faded away, and I only saw the attendees and the task at hand! Truly, I knew God had taken over.
I also read during this time somewhere, that God will move the mountain when it is in the way of His work! So, for now, I believe He wants to do His work through this mountain, even as He is meeting the needs of our family each and every day in amazing ways!
Immediately after sharing our prayer requests, one friend sent this message: “I am praying for you. Be blessed and rest in God. I know your family crisis will bring glory to Him because I know you, my friend. Stay strong and stand firm, and know (though you may not be able to feel Him) that God is in your midst and is working on your behalf.” What words of encouragement I’ve read over and over from this precious friend.
And read this sweet note of encouragement from another friend: “Your message during the National Forum about challenges in life being like the waves and when we get past the waves we will go deeper with God than we ever have before was a message that was so timely for me. I am praying that God refresh that message in your heart, bring to your mind and eyes the waves that you so enjoy while sitting at the beach and the message you shared last fall. This is just another wave your family will survive and you will go deeper into the reservoirs of His grace again and will find it to be sufficient.” I had to say, Yes, Lord, may it be so! You know, we are called to practice what we preach, aren’t we? I needed this reminder right then…6 months after I shared the message!
Speaking of the women’s forum…I always listen to all the breakouts from the forum and had been doing that since the first of the year. In the spring, I got to a message by a workshop leader who is a personal friend of mine about her own journey of crisis and what God had taught her through it. It was about 2 weeks before our crisis started. Coincidence? No way. Preparation. I even thought, ok, Lord, smooth is about to end isn’t it? God made that one workshop fall into place at exactly the time I needed it. Once our crisis got even more difficult and the suicide had taken place, I listened two more times. I know I will keep and listen to it often.
When I emailed this friend about how it had ministered to me, this is what she wrote back: “Let me share one thing the Lord said to me yesterday in hopes that it will encourage you as it did me. I am reading/studying Isaiah and the Lord said: you cry out for deliverance from your difficulties, and I deliver you, then you’ve only been rescued and not victorious. I am training you to be equipped, armed and disciplined to fight the adversary but you pray to get out of training. I want you to win your battles not be excused from them.”
I don’t know about you, but in the battles, although deliverance looks pretty good some days, I want to be victorious, not rescued! The thing is, I could have tried to get through this quietly and without sharing with friends and co-workers, but see how I’ve been ministered to because I couldn’t keep silent?
Leader, DON’T hide your struggles, although you should always use discretion, be willing to share your heart and you
r prayer requests with at least a few close sisters and prayer warriors. I want and need to know others are praying, and when they pray, they email words of encouragement that truly help me navigate each day in His strength and with my focus continually being pulled back to His face and His plan.
May it be so for you as well, Sister. Remember this, “He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.” Psalms 91:4 (HCSB)
I am praying for you as you lead and as you face each difficult situation.