EXCERPTS

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.  Luke 17:5

Chapter 1

I don’t want to give the impression that the story I am about to tell was easy. It wasn’t. It was hard . . . I even would have said at one point it was impossible . . . and yet . . . it became, with each passing conversation with God and each faithful act of deliverance . . . easier and I, more awestruck.

There were times when I was terrified . . . and deeply. I truly had no idea what I would eat the next few days or weeks or if I would have a place to live. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . along with some deep breathing . . . I was actually able to release every traumatic feeling to Him, if only for a moment at first. I was constantly reminded of how huge God is. I could trust He wouldn’t leave any of us in this position . . . He had a plan . . . a plan to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future . . . and at those times, if I was struggling with doubt . . . He made it clear . . . just Who He Is. I knew I was to wait on Him. Often, I had no inkling of what the next day would hold . . . and sometimes there seemed to be no hope   . . . but every single time . . . God provided exactly what I needed . . . and He seemed to take pleasure in providing extras.

Go with me now . . . on my adventure with . . . the Creator of the Universe.

Chapter 3

“One by One . . . the losses came . . . Everything was shutting down.  It was like waiting and watching all the programs on my computer shut down.  Once the process starts, there are no options.  You simply must wait and allow it to run through the systems until the time comes when it finally turns completely . . . off.  The light goes out and you close the lid.  Such was the end of life as I knew it.”

“I packed after sorting the “life’s” worth of the “treasures” I had settled on.  It was a painful and difficult emotional struggle as I let go of the grip I had on those things and it was done only because… I had no choice.”

Chapter 4

He will manifest Himself in mighty, surprising and unexpected ways. He will do things we could never ask or imagine. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways, so the journey will not be “typical,” nor will it be “normal” . . . ahhh . . . but it will be an adventure for sure. The story of my growth to total dependence on Him and His total faithfulness to me is told within these pages. I was no longer living the American way: Pulling myself up by my bootstraps; Making a plan and sticking to it; Figuring out a method and working the system. I wasn’t playing by the “rules.” This time I wasn’t wrestling with God. I determined to submit, humbly, period. I was going to walk my talk of faith. I knew people wondered what happened – it wasn’t like me. Was I copping out? Was I using “faith” or God as an excuse to quit? Had I lost my mind? I wondered the same about myself sometimes . . . but God, in His goodness, had begun to teach me in the last couple of years what that small, still voice that people spoke about sounded like and how to hear it. He had begun a work in me that can’t be explained . . . but I can tell you it exists. I can share how He works if we trust that He does and if we open our hearts and minds to Him. Inviting Him in, asking Him to reveal Himself . . . drawing near to Him and feeling Him draw near to us . . . in His time, in His mysterious way . . . as we live in trust and wait upon the Lord.

This is not a story of success by worldly measure. This is a story of dependence on God, His provision and the development of constant relationship with the God of the Universe.

Chapter 10

“Though the doors had been closing one by one, I hadn’t been able to see . . . or accept.  I knew that I needed to get up and . . .  get going.  Be responsible.  Fix things . . . get a job . . . get a life.  Do . . . something . . . . But no matter what I did, thought, tried . . . nothing was working.  I couldn’t come up with a solution or find a new direction.  I couldn’t even come up with an idea . . . and energy . . . forget it”.

“I believe God was telling me “I think I said just stop, rest now.  We have something to do.  We’ll be on our way in a minute.  For now… Be Still and Know that I Am God.

“I eventually came to believe that God was clearly letting me know . . .  that He was doing this and He would be providing . . . and if I would just calm down and trust Him . . . I would see miracles.  However, being my usual, assertive, can do kind of self . . .  He had to stop me . . .  in every arena to get my attention . . . and so . . . He did”.

“It was the beginning of my understanding that it is simply an illusion that we are capable of handling our lives ourselves.  A misnomer we create in an effort to lift ourselves up . . .  in an effort to “take care of things,” be responsible . . . maintain control.  Reality, though, is something entirely different.  We have no control.  The best laid plans fail.  Others leave or betray us.  We get laid off.  Money is lost.  Our homes and land lose value.  People don’t like us or care about their impact on our lives.  They don’t love us.  Temptation overtakes us.  We stumble.  We fall.  Things change and our plans fail.”

“It behooves us to remember that it is the Lord that gives and the Lord that takes away.  Safety and security lie in knowing how to be content in all things, in all circumstances, whether good or bad.  In knowing that God is sovereign . . . remembering that He loves us more than we can imagine and that we are in His loving care.  Remembering, that we can rest between His shoulders and take refuge in the shelter of His wings when this life falls apart . . . as it surely will at some point, in some way, for each of us.”

Chapter 13

But as I thought more about his statement, I realized that I was . . . homeless. I had simply chosen not to see it that way.

And I believed, even as I talked with God about “my situation” that if I ended up on the street somewhere, I was there for a reason. As I drove off, heading for wherever or whatever the place would be that I would soon be calling “home,” my mind began to wander. Where would I sleep? What if I really did end up on the street? Would I truly be able to live what I was telling myself I believed? I decided it was not time to think about it. I was “going”

because I believed God said, “Go.” I would take one moment at a time and these first moments would be used to spend time with my son, driving across the country. There was plenty of time for conjecture once I dropped him off . . . I would address that . . . then.

But God is good and as I obeyed, He created blessing out of havoc . . . growth out of failure  . . . spiritual wealth out of physical loss . . . amazement out of disillusionment.

Chapter 15

 “Little did I know, but the same types of strange and unusual “happenings” (Or, may I call them what I believe they were… supernatural interventions?) were to continue to happen on an almost weekly basis.  Not without prayer and praise and waiting . . . but happen the did . . . .”

Chapter 18

“Through all the care, provision and gifts I had received up to this point . . . still I was puzzled.  Is God just really always there?  Does He really just . . . always hear our every, single prayer?  Do we just need to know it’s true so He is able to answer?”

Chapter 19

 “Now, though, I am glad, in an unusual sort of way that I was unable to make anything happen.  It ultimately forced me into more and more dependence on God.  The more I had to totally depend on Him, the more time I spent with Him.  The more time I spent with Him, the deeper in love with Him I became.  The more in love with Him I became, the more trust I learned.  The more trust I learned, the more healing I felt . . .  and on and on it went.” 

Chapter 21

“I believe the lesson was specifically for me that day, an answer to a pleading, so that I would know exactly how to know what God wanted me to do.  This answer wasn’t only an answer for my immediate concerns . . .  but a strategy to implement for every question I would have from then on.  There is an order in which I am to proceed.  Things to do and not to do . . .  first.”

“These steps are the answer.  They’re difficult, not quick and easy.  They fly in the face of everything we’ve ever known to do and done.  But what we’ve always done left us confused and unsure.  This takes discipline.  This takes forming new habits.  This takes learning to be quiet and still and wait.  (The same way Abraham and Sarah waited.)  This takes learning to commune with God.  It takes letting go of our ideas, thoughts and plans and doing “nothing,” except these steps (without taking the reigns back) until He reveals His direction . . .  Praise to the One who cares for us!”

Chapter 22

“I realized that when hard is easy, bad is good, and weak is strong . . . those are the very moments when the miracle of being shaped and formed by the Potter’s hand is taking place.  He makes us at those times into a vessel He can fully use, refined by the fire . . . if we turn to Him and not away.  As we let go, rest in Him and allow Him to have His way, we will see the deliverance of the Lord and the restoration of our hearts.”

Chapter 23

“We do each have them . . .  our own uniquely designed inner strengths, instilled in our minds and interwoven intricately into each of our personalities by Him, as He created and formed us in the womb.  He has given us a base to work from, meant to be used by Him and for Him in this great spiritual battle as we depend on His power to shape and grow those strengths so we overcome, so we win.  So we can, in fact, conquer.  But the training can certainly feel overwhelming.”

“This spiritual war involves us in ongoing battles we hardly even recognize as such, but which often leave us terribly battle scarred.”

“This life is but a vapor.  We are preparing for eternal blessings in heaven where love and peace and happiness, beyond what we can imagine, will belong to us who keep up the good fight.”

“As I bowed my knee to Him, more humbly than ever before, I asked Him (as David did) to reveal my own heart to me, to transform me into exactly what He wanted to make me  . . . to make my will be His will.”

Chapter 27

“How is it with less . . . I have more?”

How is it with less . . . I have more? My loads were lifting and my days feeling brighter with each of these blessings from the Lord. He just seemed to keep sending them . . . and to say to me with each one . . . . “I love you . . . child.” More and more, I was beginning to store those feelings up . . . deeply . . . not just in my head, but also . . . in my heart, to be able to receive that which He had been telling me all my life.  HE LOVES ME! Hallelujah!

Romans 8:34-35, 37-39 . . . It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things

present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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