Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Waiting on Hopes and Prayers

A message that I sent to a dear friend the other day... Hopes:

There are a lot of times that I feel lonely... and I know that you do, too. Like, even with friends and God, there's this part of my heart that still longs for that one-on-one romance I was made to desire. And in my weakest moments, I start to miss having a boyfriend.

...but then God reminds me that he wants me to live a set-apart life. That he doesn't want me to be with just any guy. He had "the one" picked out for me before He even said "let there be light." And when I start to feel weak, I remember the person that I trust God is preparing for me:
  • A man that is totally lost in Christ, that has no greater desire than to live for Jesus and love and serve other people.
  • A man that can treat me like a princess, with honor and respect, cherishing me as a forgiven daughter of God.
  • A man that can lead me spiritually, will help to challenge and encourage me in my faith... that will be able to be, really, a leader for me.
  • One that I can rest in, trust, and believe that he will take care of me and treasure me.
When I remember this person, whom I pray for often, I compare him to past relationships, I can't help but think, "uh... nuh-uh. God saved me from that destructive relationship because He has more in store for me."

Not that I'm saying my future husband is going to be perfect... I mean heck, that wouldn't work! No perfect guy would fall for me! lol. But I trust that, even in his sinfulness, he will be embracing the desires of God and daily living in forgiveness.

A recent entry from my "Future Husband" prayer journal... Prayers:

I think about you often.
Not just in loneliness, but in expectation and wonder. It amazes me that God prepared us for each other even before He created the Earth by His voice. He has set you apart just for me. It amazes me that you are out there somewhere, living your life. It often feels like you will rise out of the dust of the earth and magically appear in my life... but I know that you are living right now... and at this time of night, probably sleeping!

I like to try and picture you as I pray.
Not what you look like, but what you are doing. My prayer sometimes is that you'll also be praying... praying for me. That God is using yo uas an intercessor in my life long before we are made aware of each other, and that you are already stepping up as a spiritual leader and warrior in my life. And I pray that you will think of me... not as a distraction from the Lord, but as a reminder that God has a beautiful love story planned ahead for us, and hopefully that will affect you in the present. May thoughts of me, the one you will dearly love, give you the motivation in your life to pursue God with even more fervor, and to guard your heart, your mind, and your body to save yourself for me.

As my favorite character, Mr. Darcy, says in Pride and Prejudice, "I love you... most ardently."
Leslie Joy

Monday, August 29, 2011

In Your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9)

"So then, it was not you who set me here, but God."
Genesis 45:8

        When we go through trials in life it can be easy to blame our circumstances. "People are evil, life sucks, life isn't fair..." and we hold on to grudges because we blame those people for our hard times.

        However, God is bigger than people. He is bigger than our circumstances. And often, He has us in a place of difficulty for His purposes, not to torture us. Like Joseph... he was hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, blamed for something he didn't do, thrown into jail, forgotten about for years... then God lifted him up.* Out of the ashes, out of the rubble. And Joseph was able to recognize that it wasn't his brothers' hatred towards him that got him there, but God's plan for Egypt and the surrounding countries!

"Dear brothers, and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed,  you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
James 1:2-4

*Check out Genesis chapters 37 and 39-41 for the full history of Joseph.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

At the Start

Nearly two months ago, I embarked on a journey to the Czech Republic with three other friends.

 The trip was incredible. I made some amazing friendships, was stretched beyond my boundaries, and even felt God tugging my heart into a new direction...

After thirteen hours of travel, we are finally just 20 minutes outside of Prague. Excitement bubbling up inside of me, I pull out my Bible and journal to prepare my heart for what lies ahead.

     I can't believe that I'm finally here again! Me, Lonnie, Laine and Deb. God, You are amazing. Your provision for us is incredible, truly only something You can do.
     God, may Your Spirit be with me right now. Grace me with Your presence, and help me to be aware of You with me always. Father, deal with my unbelief; help me to see You more clearly in these next few weeks than ever before. And Father, regardless of how I feel, I will praise Your Name, because You are worthy of all glory, honor, praise and power.
     I submit my will to Yours. I love You, my Father and my King. Be with me.
     Also, I ask that You will give me discernment and help me to not get distracted. Discernment to see what situations You don't want me in, and when You want me to step out. Give me tunnel vision for You; to be focused only on Your Will, and that which brings You glory...

While writing, our pilot announces to fasten our seatbelts, we'll be arriving in Prague shortly. As he says those words, I am hit with emotion like a bucket soaking me through and through... an emotion that can only be described as, "I'm home."

I am so excited!! We're really beginning our descent into Prague! My love country... I feel so at home here...

Out of nowhere, a prayer emerges onto my paper. Unpremeditated, I write,

Give me Your direction, my Love, if You desire more for me here.

Where did that come from?? Okay, God. I guess that's it. Show me if You want more for me here.