When WE get words, ideas, or insights, it is important to ask for when He wants them shared. SOmetimes, it is critical, because there are times when He wants to give us a personal one. It may NOT be meant for everyone else, and it is a special gift just from God. Our family that blogs has random titles come to us. Some are for books, movies, or simply titles of an entry. A family that prays together, definitely stay together. A family that blogs together, stays out of the SMOG together. 😉
I believe it was yesterday, that the LORD started speaking to me about this topic. I was reflecting on the story of Sarah and Abraham. Now, THIS is a story I love. As a kid, I thought I understood it. But, NOW there is a whole new level of understanding. Sarah and Abraham had a deep desire. Their desire was for children yes, but they also desired to please GOD. Abraham, just wanted to exist to please HIM, and did. Sarah was worn a bit, by the world. But, she did LOVE Him. There is no doubt about that.
Sarah was given so many promises. Even before she married Abraham, she was promised that the LORD would do much in her and through her. She was used to seeing things happen in front of her. She was not used to just accepting it, from the perspective of TRUST in God.
This is a profile of her from scripture.
Here is one of Abraham.
It is interesting to me, how much they compliment each other. Such Heavenly orchestration taking place, because HE loves so deeply for us all.
Now, I bring up this SARAH to also speak about our Sarah. She lived up to her name. This kid shined FaITH. She lived faith in a way that was like SARAH and ABRAHAM infused. It was and still IS inspiring to us.
So who is Sarah in me? Well, Sarah our daughter, in me, is the one who just loves to have fun. But, also, the greatest fun and JOY that can be acquired is through JESUS. She knew that, and she would tell everyone she knew. So, I am learning to do that too. His command is, “GO and tell the world, what you know.” It is an honor and a gift to do this through HIM. In Heaven our daughter Sarah, is called Sar AH. I really adore that. God sees her as a breath of fresh air. It is beautiful to see things through her eyes. But, I admit it is often a challenge too.
Sarah from scripture in me, is the one that has been taught to want proof of something. IT is the battle that wages within. Faith v/s proof. But, when WE have full and immovable and unstoppable faith, then when the enemy demands proof, WE can REST. Knowing that in time our GOD will provide everything that is needed, and HE alone is our vindicator. I would love to say that the taunting, teasing, and name calling stops, but it does not. Persecution, strange as it seems, is also a gift from God. It let’s us know HE is moving, and that WE are still on the right path.
When I got married, I was given the gift and responsibility of being the head of the house. Now, let me explain this part, because I did not want it. My husband David, was practically an atheist when we first got together. Deep within, HE was very against things of God. This was because HE was exposed to GOD in a pretty harsh way. He was brought up, pretty brow beaten by Christianity. So, because I was in a different place, and knew how to lead, I was a “temporary head.” I am glad I got to have that chance. Because, what I learned was, It is a HaRD job. It is impossible without GOD.
For years into the marriage, I kept trying to push my husband to step up and out. He took baby steps, and it was a HArD time. I cried out to GOD every single moment. His work was HIS God, and HE would indirectly bring HELL into our home. So, one day I sat down with him and explained, He had to be ALL in, or ALL out. It was around 2 years into our marriage. WE had to make this decision together. But, HE had to choose to agree with GOD, by faith. He began to see more of ABraham. I asked D one day, when he became a believer. He said, hard to say. He did say, if He had to pinpoint a time of change, he would say, when we married. I believe THAT is significant.
Because God gave us the GRacE to walk through this process, I have a great respect for the headship position. Unknowing to me, my husband was used to pray me through the challenges. I am going to be really REAL and RAW about something. For years, I loved my husband, but I was NOT in LOVE with him. I struggled with that, because I knew, somehow it was also related to how I was with God. It was NOT until our faith and endurance, as well as loyalty to GOd, was tested, that I and WE began to see just how much LOVE had been sown. It overrode any of the dischord. We both chose HIM and HIS ways, by faith then, and do so now united.
Once, WE took any focus off of us, and put it on JESUS and what HE wanted, WE started to see a BIG change. Now, mind you, this did not completely happen overnight. However, it did and does happen. My husband knows how to be quiet. Thank GOd for that, because when we married, I hated quiet. I was terrified of it. When Sarah Beth was little, I was so taunted about what could happen, that I battled accepting what GOD wanted to be, by FAITH. Because for a while we were unequally yoked, it was a constant surrender process. Even with us being equally yoked, surrender is still the BEST gift we can give to HIM. In our lives WE surrender everything and everyone daily.
In the process of ALL these changes, my husband and I learned so much. We have been given schools of knowledge and wisdom through our time together. Life is surreal, it is most days like a dream for us. Some ask if it is a nightmare. Very rarely do WE endure the nightmare stage any longer, because JESUS has taught us to WAR through REST. There is a time for everything. Looking back on our past, is fascinating, because it is such a whirlwind, tornado, earthquake, and every other disaster rolled into one. Yet, the rainbows stand and WE look forward to the promises as WE dance in the storms. We thank GOD for the gifts a plenty all around us. Not one day passes, where WE don’t appreciate what was, is and will be.
John 1:12 ESV / 185 helpful votes
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Galatians 3:26 ESV / 114 helpful votes
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Romans 8:17-19 ESV / 63 helpful votes
And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
1 John 2:28-3:10 ESV / 51 helpful votes
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. …
1 Peter 2:10 ESV / 44 helpful votes
Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Romans 5:1-21 ESV / 32 helpful votes
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. …
Romans 8:28 ESV / 30 helpful votes
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:17 ESV / 27 helpful votes
And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 12:2 ESV / 23 helpful votes
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 5:8 ESV / 23 helpful votes
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Matthew 5:9 ESV / 20 helpful votes
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Galatians 3:28 ESV / 19 helpful votes
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
1 John 1:9 ESV / 15 helpful votes
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV / 13 helpful votes
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV / 13 helpful votes
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
Romans 8:16 ESV / 13 helpful votes
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
John 3:16 ESV / 12 helpful votes
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV / 11 helpful votes
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV / 10 helpful votes
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Ephesians 2:13 ESV / 10 helpful votes
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV / 10 helpful votes
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Romans 10:9-10 ESV / 10 helpful votes
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Matthew 6:1-34 ESV / 10 helpful votes
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. …
Psalm 119:1-176 ESV / 10 helpful votes
Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! …
1 Corinthians 12:1-31 ESV / 9 helpful votes
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; …
Acts 16:31 ESV / 9 helpful votes
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Through the STORMS, His faithfulness rains. That is the title of our daughter Ruby’s book. It is fitting to think about Sarah and Abraham. How they began, what they endured. Who is Sarah to you? Who is Abraham? I encourage you to seek the LORD, while HE can be found. Oh how HE LOVES us, and HE is faithful indeed.
22 days ago, I was led to write this entry prior. I need to be upfront and tell you, it was not an easy entry, and I knew it was unfinished. I prayed asking God when to finish it. I just kept waiting for HIS peace to rise up. But, every corner I was turning seemed to hold chaos, and craziness. Not to mention darkness, and deep discouragement. I would have people tell me how depressed I was. But, the truth is it was NOT depression.
What it was, was like a trip. Every dream would be darker and more complicated than the one before. For those who know about warfare, it was THAT and then some. But, last night my husband, being used and led by Jesus spoke something to me. He said, “Perhaps the point of all of this is to teach you that, even if you don’t feel the peace in the midst of the darkness, it is there. To show you how to be content in the chaos. ”
I am not sure where Jesus ended, and where David began. But, hearing the kindness in the words, really was healing to my soul. In scripture it speaks about nectar of the lips.( Proverbs 16:24 ) Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body. I had never had THIS experience in THIS way, with my spouse. Though, I have with Jesus, one on one before. Women, it takes courage to heal. Men, it takes courage to heal. THAT courage can ONLY come from JESUS. It is a gift that we are given, when we agree to do things GOd’s way. The next proverb after this one, speaks of a man’s ways. How, the ways of man lead to death. BUt, the ways of God lead to eternal life. There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
Something happened, when KINDNESS fell upon my spouse. I had experienced MANY times of darkness with him. But, NEVER had I been so showered by the SON in my spouse. It was like all of the sudden, the clouds parted and all I could see was the SON. Perhaps we need to have those times to draw into Jesus. Maybe it is even a good reminder that it takes a voyage through Hell to get to Heaven. Jesus did not escape this, nor shall we. Because of this ONE moment in time, I was able finally to SEE the fruit of the labor of almost 9 years. Constantly, praying for and with each other, and seeking GOD to remove the pain, was suddenly worth it. But, what WE did not understand was that PAIN is something that must be worked through.
It is the greatest TRAP that there is. PAIN, is a catalyst and a close kin to DEATH. Remember surrendered anything can be made beautiful by the LOVE of GOd. BUt, unsurrendered, and worshipped, PAIN only brings the enemy gain. I say this to share something more. I spoke about Sarah our daughter, and I did not speak about Sarah my mother.
I had a very interesting relationship with my mother. IT was almost as if we were part of each other. According to science, we very much were. I wanted and craved mom’s approval, attention, support and anything she could give me. I looked to my mom as God, in a sense, because I lived in such fear of everything. The reason why is, because it was what I knew. SO, when GOD at an early age began introducing me to faith, it was foreign to me. Yet, IT was like a piece of me that was missing.
So, when my mom went home to Heaven in 2000, I died with her. The child I was, the pain I had buried, died with her. But, God kept me here. I did NOT know why. I did NOT want to be here on earth. In fact, the pain cut so deep, that I was promiscuous, I cut myself, I lived in a prison of PAIN. I indirectly, while preaching GOD served the devil. Why? Because that darkness had become a comfort to me. I was trapped, and yet felt found. But, my heart and my feelings were so mixed up. The only thing I knew that was REAL is that somehow GOd would use every ounce of hurt, pain, and gut wrenching agony for a purpose. I always knew, even in the darkness that Jesus was my saving light.
I lived, in a sense in my mother’s shadow. Much like a preacher’s child, I was a teacher’s child. Everyone knew and knows my family. Especially, in my home town, we were well known, and had an image to uphold. I don’t believe it was a conscious choice, it was more a subconscious training, about not airing dirty laundry. I was the kid, who at a very young age would get consumed by sadness. But, the sadness was never my own. Even when things happened to me, it really was never about me. Yet, everywhere I turned, I was told I was selfish. I kept trying to make everyone happy. I wanted everyone to just get along. My mother did everything she could to be a good mom to me. I needed a lot of LOVE, and I did not understand that ONLY God could give it to me.
In some ways I have become Sarah’s daughter. I have her wit at times, and her smile. I see my body going through changes I recall with her. My mom gave me everything she had, and then there was nothing left. I am grateful for her sacrifices, and I feel sad for what was lost, and at times what has been left behind. But, I do believe that giving these thoughts, feelings, and even memories over to God is a gift to HIM. He wants ALL of us. I have such a strong desire for all of my family to really KNOW God. Not just as a name, or a word, but as a REAL live gift and treasure. I tried for years to carry on what mom started in the family. For years I felt I had failed. As I watched pain after pain come and go, I would question GOd asking why is this happening? I would say, “You promised SO much more.”
What I would hear is this, “MY GRACE is sufficient and my power is made perfect in your weakness.” So, I gift all of it, once again back over to the cross. I give freely all of my relatives, friends, and enemies to HIM. Because, it is no longer a burden I can bear. I choose THIS day to be Sarah’s daughter, and Vernon’s daughter, but also to know that they are not my only parents. That before I look to them, or anyone else for guidance, I must seek the FACE of my KING. I must seek the hand of GOD to hold me, when I can’t feel it, but when I know it.
There is a time and season for everything. Each day, the past must die, but what was GOOD must live. What is GOD must thrive. There is a balm in gilead, and HIS name is JESUS. Who is Sarah to me? Who is Sarah in me? I hope that it is the part of me that clings to FAITH. The part of me that even when I am lying there dying, knows there is a purpose and a plan far beyond me. That somehow and someway, healing will not just trickle, but will FLOW as HIS Love envelops the ashes, and transforms them into something that is of HEAVEN and NOT Hell anymore.
I bring this to you LORD, and I thank you for ALWAYS being exactly what I need, when I need it, and ALWAYS believing in me, even when I cannot connect on this earth. I thank you JESUS, for always keeping your word and promises. You might not always be obvious to others, but I can safely say it has BECOME and IS becoming obvious to me. I give you my heart, my soul, my life. I thank you for giving me life. In Jesus Holy name. Amen
In His Grace and Glory,
E and Fam
29 Jan 2015