The last six months I have been on a journey. We as a family have gone through some of the loneliest times we have ever experienced. Times of discouragement, loss, sadness, betrayal, rejection and pain. "And yet..., GOD "- that says it all! And yet God has been blessing in miraculous ways. And yet God has been my source of strength. And yet God has been my hope. And yet God has been pouring out His love over and over again. And yet God has been ministering to my soul like never before (or at least in a very long time).
Max Lucado says, "When all Hell breaks loose..., All of Heaven draws near". It is sooo true! What do you do when everything that you thought yourself to be has been all stripped away. The titles, the roles, all gone. What is left as you stand there in your nothingness? What's left is a woman and her God! What's left is a partially molded piece of clay, that in the Masters hand can become a masterpiece.
In June of 2007 Randy resigned as Pastor from our church in CA to take an Associates position at a church in IN. We arrived with the hopes of planting churches, seeing lives changed, and serving in a Great church. What we found in the following weeks was a church in turmoil. In October the church split in half as more than 250 people left. Over the following months, forgiveness and reconciliation could not be found. Two fractured bodies continued to bicker and fight and the hurt continued to spread. Wounded warriors, broken hearts, crushed spirits could not be overcome. Numbers continued to fall as Satan continued to wreak havoc in both places. In April the church could no longer pay the staff and the Pastor went on sabbatical never to return. In August we resigned as well, no longer able to fight the good fight to turn things around. Too much hurt. Too much pain. No more strength.
How can you look back at something like this and say that it was good? You can't. There was nothing good about it. But I can look back and say that because of what has happened, I love Jesus more now than I ever have. Going to church is not about being the Pastors wife. It's not about being the Sunday School Teacher. It's not about everyone knowing my name or even seeing my friends. It's once again all about Jesus, the way it is supposed to be.
As I look back over the last 18 months, where the journey has taken us, all I can say is, "And yet God....." My heart is so full of love for my Savior who has walked every step of this journey with me, leading, carrying, sometimes even dragging. It's been a hard road..., and yet God.....
I love the words to a song by Chris Tomlin that maybe more eloquently express what my heart is feeling.
"How Can I Keep From Singing" - Chris Tomlin
There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring
And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling
How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing
I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives
And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give
If you do not have this type of relationship with God, won't you turn to Him today. Life can be so hard, and yet God! From a fellow sojourner, it's a journey worth taking!
Blessings - Lisa