Ok....WOW....where to start. This chapter is about the Kingdom of Me (Kay Warren explains how selfish she has been over the years about different things)
If I am totally honest with myself, God and all of you then I will say that this was a very difficult chapter to read. I tend to want things to be about Me (you can ask Brian if you doubt that....smile). As many of you know, we have been in a little bit of a limbo stage a good part of the last four years of our lives (what am I saying....most of our lives together). When I say limbo, I really mean WAITING!!!
Oh, how I LOATHE waiting!!!! Just a little background on us (Brian and I). We started dating when we were around 13 years old and so we, of course, had a lot of waiting before we could car date (16 years old). Then we had a long time to wait until we could get married. Brian is a year younger than me and while all my other friends were getting married I was still WAITING on that day. I would cry about not being able to get married and my Mom would leave me these little sticky notes on the mirror in the bathroom that said Isaiah 40:31. That darn sticky note showed up on my clothes, shoes, in my car, on my backpack, basically every place I looked.
Brian went away to college for two years (more WAITING) and then we finally were married after almost 8 years of dating. We were both full time college students struggling to make it financially so we used credit cards and student loans to make ends meet (not smart, I recommend it to NO ONE). I graduated college and started working full time while Brian decided to pursue a Doctorate degree......You got it......MORE WAITING for Alice to have some sort of financial security. Not long after Brian graduated we were able to have our first child. Four months after Mili was born we moved many miles away from the only home I had ever known for Brian to do a Post-Doctoral Fellowship which usually last anywhere from 1-3 years. You guessed it....ours would, of course, be three years because Alice wants financial stability with a house someday.
All of this background to say.....I totally understand Kay's comments about feeling as if God is some how showing favoritism to others over ME. We were still on the road to a PhD when most of my friends owned their own house with two cars and CHILDREN (my heart's BIG desire) to play in their back yard.
Since Christmas we have known that there was a possibility to get a job back home in Arkansas. We have been again....WAITING.....for answers on that for many months. Brian was recently offered the job and we are ecstatic about the opportunities for our little family of four (forgot to mention that God also blessed us with another daughter, Sadie 8 months ago).
To be honest, I have bellyached and complained more than I should have about our WAITING games. It is when we decided to be OKAY with WAITING when we started seeing the good in it. God has so graciously provided for us in EVERY stage of our lives. He IS a God of many BLESSINGS to us even though we don't deserve any of it.
I can do nothing about the time I have wasted complaining to God and others about how much I hate waiting, but I can start NOW to make a difference. My problem with doing this is that I too want the things I do for Christ in MY timing. God is teaching me through many thing (many listed above) that it is ALL in HIS timing.
As I went to the Christian bookstore to purchase books for our life group on Saturday, God gave me some, what I like to call "NEON moments". You know, those moments that are a little scary because they are so clear. I went to the bookstore to pick up the books and spend a little bit of time by myself (no kids in tow). As I looked at one shelf there was a bookmark that said, "Be still and know that I am God." I smiled and walked on. Then as I got closer to the counter to check out. There was a plaque that said, "Be still and know that I am God." I said, "Okay, God...I get it!" Then as I laid the books on the counter I looked up at the wall and another three plaques on the wall said.....guess what??? " Be still and know that I am God." Then on Sunday morning Pastor Bryan sang a song that had "Be still and know that I am God" in the chorus. I was a blubbering mess by the time the song ended and I was trying to tell God that I totally GET IT, but God knows me best and knows I have a hard time waiting, even with service to Him so He must think He has to SCREAM it to me. As if that was not enough, Pastor Tim's message hit home with just his outline (not to mention what came in between) 1. Don't expect the opposition to make your life as a Christian easy (I have unfortunately had Christan friends try to make my efforts to serve more difficult at times by saying that I am too involved or trying to save the world...I thought that was what we were put here to do?). 2. When you get the chance to speak up for your Lord, you have to make the most of it (powerful.....it may be the only time). 3. If you remember the resurrection of Jesus your courage will overwhelm your fears (I SO needed to hear this).
Another "God Moment" this week was while taking a bath (by myself, with no worries about the kids....I have a great husband that lets me do this), I noticed the drop from the faucet. It was almost as if God said, "Alice, BE the DROP". You all know what a drop in water does.....the ripple affect. As I watched the drop, the ripple extended the entire bathtub and all I could think of was how one tiny drop did ALL that. I began to cry (surprise...I cry about everything) and after I had a short talk with God...surrendering myself to HIS service again (it is a daily thing for me) the faucet stopped dripping.....hmmmmm??!!
If you ever feel like YOU can't do anything for Christ.....just BE the DROP!!! (or the ripples....it takes both to get the job done). Angel, thanks for being the DROP and I hope to be part of the ripples in this ministry. Take a look at the Red Letters Campaign if you want to get involved with something.
All of this writing to say that God has blessed us with this new job and financially he is answering our prayer to pay off debt and be more financially able to help others. We still have a long way to go to be free from financial restraints but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it makes me incredibly excited about the possibilities in ministry in our future (adopting being number one on my list).
I want to live a disturbed life for Christ, see and do all that Christ wants me to!!!
Hugs and Kisses!!!