My girls and I just returned from a trip to Kansas. It was a quickly planned trip after I discovered that my Daddy was in the hospital and not doing well.
The time was bittersweet. But God has once again used my time with family to teach me some new things about myself and to remind me of how very blessed my life has been.
Here are a few of the things that I am learning...
1. Ainsley will not remember meeting her Grandfather. But the pictures that we were able to capture are priceless. I will never regret the effort, the time or the money it took to make this possible.
Don't always wait for the best possible moments in life.
Make the most of the time you have been given, because it is fleeting.
2. I am a people pleaser. God has been working in my heart to help me let go of these tendencies and to seek to please Him alone. But I realized on this trip that it is easy for me to take on the shame and guilt associated with not pleasing others. Knowing that someone is displeased with me is one of my biggest struggles. This time around, I prayed harder then I have ever prayed about these things. I prayed that I would seek to see myself the way that Jesus sees me (no condemnation!). I prayed that I would be sensitive to others, but that I wouldn't "wear" the guilt of not doing or saying things the way others would like me to do or say them.
I will disappoint others. This is reality.
But rather than wearing the guilt, I will choose to see myself the way Jesus sees me!
3. Time spent with my sister is always precious. It amazes me that we can laugh until we cry over very silly things, yet we have the deepest conversations about the Word of God. It is a sweet thing to be understood and my sister "gets" me. I don't have to prove myself with her. She accepts that I am a work in progress and shares my passion for God.
When you don't have to worry about whether you are too much or not enough,
you know you have been blessed indeed!
4. My Daddy continues to struggle with many health issues. Looking in his eyes and knowing that he doesn't know who I am is one of the most difficult things I have had to go through in this life. And yet, God has been so very good to me! I am fully able to say not my will, but yours be done and trust God with His perfect plan. I see this same trust in my sisters and in my Mama and I know that it can only be God at work in our lives to accomplish this in us. I am in awe of His goodness!
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness." (Lam. 3:21-23)
5. As I listened to the sermon on Sunday, preached by a pastor friend, I was encouraged by the timeliness of the message. He preached from 1 Corinthians 7 and emphasized verse 17- "each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them." There is a great emphasis in our Christian culture to do radical things for God, but many times this leaves us feeling disillusioned. Is our life worth anything if we aren't doing amazing things? Of course it is! Simply put, we need to live in a way that is faithful to the calling that God has placed on our lives.
My one word for the year is "faithful".
This sermon was a sweet reminder to keep my focus.
I do not need to live out someone else's calling. Neither do you!
6. We said our goodbyes and prepared to fly home- not knowing the difficulty that awaited us. We had a layover in Detroit and as we approached the city, our pilot announced that the airport had been temporarily shut down due to thunderstorms. We spent an hour in a holding pattern, flying in circles. It was torturous! I have said before that I feel like my life is in a holding pattern, but what I didn't realize is how truly awful meaningless waiting is.
I have learned not to say that my life is in a holding pattern!
There is nothing meaningless about raising my babies.
It has purpose and worth and while I will still look forward to how God wants to use my life,
I will never again bemoan my current situation without remembering circling Detroit!
Thank you, Lord for perspective!
I know that life will continue to be bittersweet, but I pray that I would always be learning what God would have me learn!