Delight in Your Desert.

I liken my life in Alabama to being in a desert. I’ve met many, many wonderful people here. I’ve had some wonderful experiences and folks have been good to us. I’ve gotten to know, love and respect my sister and that surely would have never happened had I not lived here. I had the opportunity to know my Father before he died and to care for him in the years just before he passed.

I had the opportunity to do the right thing(s) regardless of how I’ve been treated all my life which allowed many deep wounds from my childhood to be dealt with and healed. I’ve learned through asking for the truth to be revealed and when it was it was as ugly as I feared it would be ~ but once exposed it can’t hurt me anymore. Truth is better (no matter how painful) than the lies of a lifetime.

I’ve seen God, face to face, and I know Him intimately through the circumstances and I’ve learned complete trust in Him. I’ve learned what it’s like to have only Him to cling to, rely on and His love for me is more than enough. MORE than enough. I’ve learned that the choices made in a desert experience are critical because they determine whether you live or die there…not literally perhaps but spiritually for sure. You can keep crawling, digging through, and stepping one tiny step at a time going on nothing but trust in God to see you through until you’re through it or you can give up and give in because it’s just too hard. You can pick a place and make a home in the wilderness and settle or you can choose to believe and be compelled to keep moving until you know you’re through it.

It’s not that I don’t like Alabama nor have I been discontent. I just don’t belong here. I had to be here to be restored & healed so I could be able to go from here. Those who don’t know me & our history won’t understand that. I’ve learned to be content whatever my circumstance and that in itself was worth the 26 years of the desert!

If you’re in a “dry place” I pray you have Jesus in your life & have a relationship with Him. Frankly I don’t know how anyone could survive…or would want to survive…without Him being with you through it. I so get why people do crazy things so much better & I have learned not to judge. Desert walking is extreme, in extreme circumstances. Desperate people do desperate things; thus the results we see in our world today.

I’m grateful for every single moment of these past 26 years. I’m grateful for the friends and my sisters (one of which is in heaven) who walked with me and loved me through. I’m grateful to God for being my Guide, my Teacher, my Redeemer, my Restorer, my Spring of Life, my Comfort, my Provider, and my Healer (to name a few) every second and every step.

Don’t give up if you’re in that place and try to see and believe it’s for your good because it surely is or you wouldn’t be there. God bless you.

Just Like That

This past Saturday, we were blessed by some friends to take my son on his first airplane ride. When the opportunity came I had no reservation whatsoever about saying yes. A second thought or doubt didn’t enter my mind. I knew the pilot and his reputation. He’s a career commercial pilot with a stellar reputation. His wife, who incidentally lost her father in a plane crash many years ago trusts him implicitly which speaks volumes (and is a whole nother story) and she’s my sisterfriend so that was good enough for me!

So we went. I ushered up prayers as I do every time we do anything or go anywhere because I’m well aware that ultimately it’s Father God who provides and protects us every single day.

I watched as our sweet pilot-friend took my (special needs) son all around the little plane showing him every detail (inside and out) carefully explaining to him, giving him a chance to ask any questions so he would be comfortable with his ultimate adventure. Even after being seated ready to fly, all systems go, he talked Matt through all the gauges, explaining every detail in laymans terms so he understood.

I smiled as I saw how careful this man was in his craft and with his craft. It was obvious he loves flying and just as much, he loved sharing what he does with others so they could be blessed as well. He was totally confident we would be safe and more importantly he didn’t allow us in the air until he was sure the plane and the people in it were ready to go.

The weather system that hit Oklahoma over the weekend was headed our way and I wondered about that. Driving to the airport I had my doubts that we would be able to take off. The clouds were moving in, the winds were picking up but mine aren’t trained pilot eyes. I realized I wasn’t trained to make the decision so I left that up to the capable and trained pilot.

We got up in the air and the flight was wonderful. Matt enjoyed everything about it with many “wows” and smiles and I was delighted. We all love seeing our children’s dreams come true and I’m no exception. I felt so blessed just being a part of the experience for so many reasons.

As He so often does, the Lord had a lesson for this girl while in the air; though the whole process actually.  While soaring amongst the clouds, with storm clouds pretty much all around us I felt a nudge in my Spirit, almost a tap on my shoulder. I rewound the whole process that got us in the air and Father spoke clearly to me these words: “Barbie, you went for this without reservation or second thought. You trusted this man with your cherished son with no questions asked. Even though what you saw with your eyes said no, you still went on and placed your trust in the pilot, the one with the knowledge and you went. I want you to trust ME just like that.”

I fought back tears as those words invaded me. “Just like that” God wants us to TRUST HIM. Just keep going forward even when things don’t appear favorable because we’re not the ones who know; He sees the whole thing from beginning to end and all the in between and when He provides an opportunity He wants us to trust Him “just like that”.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many opportunities & blessings I had missed by being fearful or basing decisions on what I saw. Wow. The “yes” is always left up to us to TRUST Him. Will you? After that plane ride I think I will. Jeremiah 29:11-13

Reassurance.

My sister once gave me a Winnie the Pooh card that came at the perfect time. “Ppppppoooohhh?” Said a timid Piglet. “Yes?” a calm Pooh said. “I…I…I…nothing. I jjust nnneeded to be sure of you.”

That’s how we are isn’t it? Sometimes we just need to know someone’s there. We need reassurance. Sometimes we need to hear another voice.

In Joshua chapters 3 and 4 I think the Israelites found themselves in that place. Moses had died, Joshua had taken over and they had the Jordan to cross. One more river and they would set their feet on the promise. Almost all the first Israelites had died on the journey. This generation had heard about their destination all their lives. I believe God took a survey of hearts and said,”let Me just remind them of whose they are; let Me give them a little taste of encouragement”.

So He did something phenomenal only He could do, one more time. He gave Joshua instructions for the people and the priests. They chose to comply and they were all privy to getting a taste of what their ancestors witnessed. God mounded the waters of the Jordan while the priests held the Ark of the Covenant in the Jordan which allowed them to cross over edging closer and closer to the promise.

God did what He had done before, I believe, to reassure His people He was still with them. He will do the same for you and me. Relax. Keep walking. Keep believing. If you need a little reassurance pray and look around. You’ll find God setting your mind at ease. Rest assured. He’s still with you.