“Take time to be still in My Presence,” is what I heard the Lord say to me this morning. It is not easy for a girl like me to slow down; be still; do nothing. No, I am all about production. I am all about seeing the results. But now I am in a different season, a different home, church, and state. I needed to take time to be still. And after a few months of nothing to offer you, I finally have something to say. 🙂
My husband had wanted to move for quite some time now, at least a couple years. He was a loyal employee for over 20 something years in the meat-cutting business. Living in the north was tough for him, because he would spend all day working in a freezer. And since it is quite cold in the northern states most of the year, he often felt like an iceberg. His three children had all made their way to the state of Florida over the past couple of years, along with his grandchild, so it seemed best that he started making plans to move as well. He had nothing holding him back.
I, on the other hand, had no reason to move except that I would follow the love of my life anywhere he should choose. I had a lot more to leave though. Friendships that have taken a decade or more to develop; a beautiful ministry the Lord had given me; a church home in which I grew to know the Lord more intimately; and a son whom I love and adore. My heart became divided. Anxiety started to grow inside me like mold in a wet foundation.
My husband made the move to Florida and I would stay behind while he worked and found us a place. It took over three months and the whole time he was gone, I found something to worry about. Worry eats at you, and keeps you away from the Lord. I believe that is why the Lord tells us, “Do not worry.” He knows the separation it causes. I worried about my son the most, what mom doesn’t worry about their children? He is eighteen but refused to move with me, and so I couldn’t make him move. But I haven’t been convinced he was ready on his own. So I worried. I worried about the details, and logistics of moving. I worried myself so much about the littlest things. And worried some more, forgetting that I had a God who died a criminal’s death to secure the peace I could have.
So then the enemy began to whisper, as he always will when we camp-out in a tent of self pity. He told me things I started to believe. “You are an author to a book that tells people about inner beauty, just look at how ugly your heart is now.” Shame crept in to cover me. I thought to myself, “The enemy is right, I am not able to keep this ministry going, with my heart drowning in this fear.” Every day I faced more things to grab hold of my heartstrings. I needed Jesus to cut them and set me free. I could not do it alone.
The time came when my husband found us a place, and a fully furnished place to be exact. All the worry I had heaped on myself of what to do with our stuff (because we could not afford a truck to haul it), fell off my shoulders. I still had a lot to go through and get rid of, but as I began to get rid of our belongings, I felt like I was also throwing off that which weighed me down. It was like packing up the box of anxiety and sending it away from me. I didn’t need to take it with me. Wow! God is so good. I didn’t need to take hardly anything at all. One small trailer took all of our belongings. I kept peace.
Once I arrived in our new home in Florida, the Lord has given me a fresh new beginning. One of the first things I did was found a church. The woman speaking at the Bible study started off by giving this Scripture in Hebrews chapter 12,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
This Bible teacher gave me a visual that I had never thought of before. In chapter of eleven of Hebrews it speaks of the people in the hall of faith. Those people, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David, and many more are the great cloud of witnesses. They are standing on the sidelines of my race (and yours) cheering me (us) on. This visual has helped me to let go of the past, let go of the people I love, trusting the Lord with their heart, and to throw off everything that entangles me so that I can run with perseverance this race that God has marked out for me.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus my weary friends, and run like we have never run before.
By the way, I love Florida.
I look forward to all that the Lord has in store for us here. I am sorry to be away from my writing, but I misplaced my peace for so long, and now that I found it, I hope to keep the peace God gives so freely.