Thursday, May 13, 2010

Waiting Rooms

It's been a while since I blogged here. It's really mostly because I've been going through a lot of difficult trials lately and from the start, I wanted this blog to be about the good things in my life. Keep it positive, I thought...don't bring it out here. I was waiting for the right opportunity to arise to let me know it was time to blog. Oh, before I forget, the picture above is Jesus as drawn by Moira (6) at school last week.

Since I last wrote, I have sadly withdrawn from the mission team heading for Kenya in July. I don't want to get bogged down with the details of how that all came about. Suffice it to say that the whole experience leading up to my decision to withdraw was fraught with about as much turmoil as one could imagine. A huge spiritual battle was waging in my head. It was not good. What was amazing through this experience, however, was that the spiritual battle was not at all about whether my faith was in question or whether I believed in God or not. Quite the contrary. It was a battle over what the Godly decision should be. I was caught in this whirlwind of emotions over what I was supposed to do. I was absolutely convicted of the fact that I was meant to go on this trip. I still believe that. The decision to not go on the trip was very painful for me. I was faced with much opposition from others who, in my view, were not trusting in my faith in God over my decision to GO. I prayed and agonized over it, but eventually made the decision to not go. I still feel very unsettled about that decision. I have decided after going through this that I must not let my convictions to wither away. I felt called to go to Kenya. While I am not doing that now, I simply cannot say that I'm not doing anything until one day I can go there. I intend to look for local opportunities to serve. I could go on for hours about this topic, but know that I thank those of you who supported me very much. It is much appreciated and know that I look forward to finding those opportunities to serve in the community while I await the "acceptable" time to reach out to those in need through global missions.

I'm going to brag on Seacoast again!

In the midst of the emotional turmoil, our church has been in a very interesting series they call "Arrested". We're walking through Acts. It began around Acts 20 and we're gone through Acts 25 so far. Each message has really spoken to me. Essentially we've been learning through Paul's journey about what we would be willing to be arrested for - what it means to be ready and focused to follow God. I felt comforted by the fact that my ability to follow God is where my success lies - not in what someone else's definition of success means for me. While I struggle with the events leading up to my decision to withdraw from the mission trip, I feel like I did everything I could to answer a call from God. I feel like I let Him down (as well as myself), I know that I can still use this situation for a Godly purpose by trying to find ways of serving others. And so I wait.

This past weekend, Pastor Geoff Surratt delivered the message. It really was what I truly needed to hear in this season of my life. He talked about "Waiting Rooms". Think about Paul on his journey. He was in prison (one of his "waiting rooms" in his life) for two years. What did he do with his time while imprisoned? How did he utilize that time? Think about our lives. What the message said to me was that in reality, all of life is a "waiting room". We are here on Earth for such a short time in the overall scheme of thing. It's what's on the other side awaiting us that we are living for. This, here, now is our waiting room.

As I said earlier, I chose to wait a while before blogging because of what was going on in my life. I wanted to maintain the positive spirit of this blog. Before even hearing Pastor Geoff's message, without even realizing it, I'd put myself in a waiting room. I've reflected on a lot over the past week since the message and really thought about how everything in life is a waiting room. How have I bided my time in those waiting rooms? I could do as he suggested and worry, stress and complain - if I really wanted to make my time miserable. How many of us do that?? I know I have!

I thought about so many areas of my life where I'm in a waiting room - with family, missions, finances, etc. So much of what I'm going through in live involves waiting. I'm trying to take what I learned from this message and apply it to my waiting rooms - to make better use of the time spent in these waiting rooms by worshiping God, prayer, spending time in the Word in order to grow spiritually, and to look around me and to use the gifts I've been given in the community by serving others. I find in the past week, I've been able to step back a bit from each of my waiting rooms, recognize them for being "waiting rooms", and to be thankful that I've been given the opportunity to grow in the time I've been given to spend in them. After all, as Pastor Geoff said, "Your waiting room may be your destination."

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything." Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever i have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty." Philippians 4:11-14 (NLT)

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