So I think it's past time for me to share at least some of what the Lord has been teaching me the last few weeks. He is just so unbelievable GOOD! I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'll begin with Dallas...
Like I've said before, I went to Dallas to see Caroline for a fun single girls weekend. But the Lord had bigger things planned. For those of you who haven't been checking out Caroline's blog (and why the heck haven't you been?!?!), here are some of the pics from that weekend...
Caroline met me at the airport and we went out for an early dinner to eat and really share our life stories with one another.
We spent some time at this GINORMOUS flea market (which to me wasn't really a flea market....it was more like some really awesome out door vendors with just about anything you could ever want!). I bought a picture that has Psalm 46:10 on it. I'd been looking for that verse for my bathroom for FOREVER and got a GREAT deal on it. Lugging it back to Kansas City proved to be more difficult than I thought. Anyway, Caroline was in love with this...umm...interesting? painting and jumped (literally) for joy when they knocked the price down for her. :-)
We spent Saturday, July 3 at her town's 4th of July celebration. We weren't sure what to expect since Caroline had never been before. It may have been just a little bit of a red neck celebration, but it was fun regardless!! I almost missed the fireworks thanks to the line to the bathroom! Made it back just in time!!
So that's what the pictures tell you. What the pictures don't tell you is the time we had just talking - talking about our lives, our pasts, our relationship with the Lord. HE has been moving like crazy in my life for the last eight months and He really used this trip to see Caroline to show me just how much He loves me and how much He has planned for me. I would love so much to share the details of what He taught me (through Caroline...God bless her!), but it really is meant to be between the two of us. What I do know now is that I have a CONFIDENT hope for my future because of what He taught me in Dallas. I love Him so!
And what is so great about the God I serve is that He didn't stop there! I got home and have really been working on the sustained obedience Kelly Minter talked about in her Ruth study. I made a place for my Bible Study and quiet times. It's still a work in progress, but I absolutely adore my new space.
I have a nightly date with my Savior. I don't want my lack of obedience or readiness to get in the way of Him moving in a mighty way in my life. So I readied my life for Him. And He showed up.
If you remember one of my first posts was about how at 28 I am starting a new chapter. My pastor taught one Sunday that in the Bible the number 7 is the number of completion and the number 8 is the number of new beginnings. At the end of my 27th year, I was heartbroken, alone and completely devastated. Can I tell you how relieved I was when the Lord told me that He was going to begin a NEW chapter in my life for 28?! And because my God is true to His word, He has done just that.
I absolutely adore reading anything about being NEW. So you can imagine that when I opened up to Week 4, Day 2 of our Ruth study and saw that the subtitle was "A New Day" I was jumping for joy!! I love when the Lord writes something just for me! And this was just for me!!
This day was talking about Naomi sending Ruth to the threshing room floor to meet Boaz. Naomi gave her very specific instructions, one of which was to change her clothes. While we don't know exactly what Ruth was wearing or exactly what she changed in to, it was likely that Ruth was still in her clothes of mourning for her dead husband. Naomi was telling Ruth to take off her clothes of mourning! Kelly says "...we have known a time when God asked us to take off our clothes of mourning, clinging, grasping, wishing, hoping, striving, even praying for something....and move forward." 1 Samuel 16:1 says "How long will you mourn for Saul when I have rejected him?" And then the Lord said to me, "How long will you mourn for Matthew when I have rejected him? How long will you mourn over your singleness?" Good question, Lord. Good question.
Kelly goes on to say (can I just retype this entire day's lesson?!?), "When we're wrapped in garments of mourning, we're unavailable for whatever else God has for us. In a sense, we take ourselves out of the game. Though we can't be certain what Ruth had on, we know her NEW dress signaled a change, a readiness, an availability to Boaz and to God for the possibility of something NEW.....My simple hope is when God has held us, healed us, and lifted our heads, that we'd be ready to move forward with Him; and though our hearts may always ache, we won't stay in our mourning clothes forever."
I LOVE THE WORD!! Isaiah 43:18-19 says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a NEW thing! See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert!" And He's right.....He has already begun a NEW thing in me! He's Creating a pathway through my wilderness and a river in my desert.
I will not dwell on the past. I will not mourn any longer. He has held me, healed me and lifted my head to Him. My heart is full. Jesus, I love you.
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