“…but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” ~I Corinthians 2:7-9
Dear praying friends,
Some days leave me wondering at God’s ways more than others. Today was one of those days. Pain, loss, the ache of being left and knowing I just can’t do this mothering by myself in my strength. God, You are with me. You give me power to do what is right, grace to press on in hope, but some days are just harder than others.
The brokenness of life is inescapable. It crashes in on us and those we know and love; it leaves its shards scattered all around us. We can’t completely avoid being cut and hurt by the fall. I know…I updated my status today on Facebook with this comment, “Being a single parent isn’t for sissies. Just sayin’.”
Now even as I say that, I do have so much to be thankful for. It has, albeit, been a busy year, but one full of seeing God’s hand at work in surrounding us with moments of knowing His love through His people, of laughter and adventure, of forming new friendships and deepening old ones, of growing in my love and appreciation for my amazing kids and for the local and broader body of Christ, and my Jesus.
A YEAR OF PUTTING OUT FLEECES
Waiting on God for His direction for this new chapter in my life has given me an occasion to put out fleeces. I have about only six years of homeschooling left. And starting next year as one child graduates each of the next four years, I know that I want to continue to serve my family and my God.
How and what that will look like? I don’t know, but He certainly does. Our homeschooling days are going to draw to a close, but my life is His, and as I look forward to sharing life with my grown children and being a grandma (someday—smile), I also look forward to sharing the greatness of God in Christ in whatever way He wants me to.
As I learn to adjust without my dear Chris (oh, how I miss him!!!) I’ve prayerfully stepped out a bit this year, looking for opportunities to serve His people in areas I have a love for—encouraging parents in raising/educating their children for Him by His grace (speaking at a mom’s conference and a state homeschool convention; helping teach art to a group of young adults at PHC’s first art camp; attending a Christian media conference (I LOVE what God is doing in independent Christian film!); and soon will be attending Sally Clarkson’s Mom Heart Leader in Training Conference for moms who desire to write, speak and blog (all of which I’m currently doing, but want to do better and in ways He is calling me to for His glory).
All these were openings for me to learn, to talk to the Lord about, and to share the hope that is in me—Jesus, my great Savior! Perhaps the Lord will call me at some point to use what I’ve been learning in one or more of these areas to serve Him more fully. I look forward to His plan unfolding!
GOD’S PERFECT BUT MYSTERIOUS WAYS
On days like today, however, I doubt. I stand back and if I’m not scratching my head and asking Him questions, I’m crying out to my Father because the fall is so very real.
And I see…He is mystery. His ways are perfect and at once mysterious. Faith is the vehicle God has given us to lean on His bosom, like a child who climbs up into his daddy’s lap, not necessarily knowing what is going to happen the next hour or the next day or week, but knowing his father loves him, knowing he is safe in his embrace.
So today was a painful mystery wrapped in love. It was a hard day, a heartbreaking day. I don’t have answers but I have God. And He has not only not ever had a moment in all of history firmly in His grasp, He is the Author who is writing perfectly the story of our lives for His glory and our good. As I was thinking about my day and some friends who are going through some hard things themselves, these lines came to me:
God’s perfect but mysterious ways
Unfold like page after single page
As He writes the story He wants to tell
To bring Him glory and serve us well
Our hope is in knowing the Author’s hand
Pens only what is good for the man
Who places his whole trust in the One
Who gives us life through the death of His Son
And isn’t that the greatest mystery of all—that God would give us life at the cost of His own Son’s life? That is the real mystery! The mystery of His love!!!
I’m so blessed to have a friend, youth pastor and singer/songwriter in Zach Jones. Several years ago, when we first started attending our church in Ashburn, VA, it was Zach’s transparent, passionate heart for the glory of Christ and gospel-drenched lyrics that reminded again and again of what I know to be true of God’s power, love, faithfulness when I saw not only Chris’s health getting worse from the MS but also experienced the death living in a fallen world brings. It was often Zach’s music that God used, as it were, to hold my face in His hands, look into my eyes and say, “I am your God, your strength and your shield. Trust in Me and I will help you. Let your heart exalt in Me and let your song rejoice in Me.” (based on Psalm 28:7)
When I thought of the title for this entry, I was reminded of Zach’s song by the same name, and would like to share the lyrics with you. If you would like to listen to a little of the song, go to this link: The Mystery of Your Love by Zach Jones (I highly recommend downloading it!)
The Mystery of Your Love
When I was a stranger
You took me in
When I was an outcast
You called me friend
When I was a rebel
You bled for me
And when I was a leper
You made me clean
Oh the mystery of Your love
The mystery of Your love
The mystery of Your love
Fills me with wonder
When my heart was darkness
You gave me light
When my eyes were blinded
You gave me sight
When I warred against You
You conquered me
You took me as Your prisoner
And made me free
~Copyright, Zach Jones, 2005
Lord, how amazing is Your magnificent, mysterious love!
Thank you, for praying for me and the children that we would trust in His ways and rejoice in His love!
“How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings…for with Thee are the fountain of life; in Thy light we see light.” ~Psalm 36:7, 9a