A Change is Coming

My sweet and lovely friend, Joanne, asked me yesterday, “Are you ready for all the questions?” I replied, “I don’t really know, but it’s time to share.” In fact, I don’t know how much I will share–every detail or just the highlights.  I’m praying that it will be just what it should be.

So I left off with me last March at women’s retreat hearing (in my spirit) from God, “A change is coming,” And then I saw three pictures, as in a slideshow…also in my spirit or my mind even.  Here is what I saw:

I saw a picture of Chris, a picture of our Noah and the Texas A&M emblem.

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And I said aloud, “Hmmm, what does this mean?”  I began to wonder if a dream of Chris’, that he had LONG AGO shared with me, was about to take place.  He has always wanted to go back and teach engineering at Texas A&M.  He has a unique perspective that I think would be quite valuable to these students.  And his work ethic is incomparable. I believe that modeled life is taught life.  I believe that Chris would be a splendid professor.

I also thought of Noah–would he want to go to Texas A&M?  Would the fact that Chris worked there make paying for college easier for us?

I simply did not (and still do not) know.

Then I thought, already accepting this leading as a fact, I am going to miss Colorado SO MUCH.  I love it here.  I love her people.  This has been home to us–and we have become a part of Colorado, as much as Colorado has become a part of us.

So I went to communion.  And I cried–tears of joy and sorrow mixed.  I knew that God had met with me in that place in Buena Vista, Colorado–with a story that came completely out of left field.  That blessed, wonderful place.  I also knew that I wouldn’t be back next year.

I knew that this season had come to a close, no looking back.

So I came home that Sunday night, and I can well picture it.  I am sitting in the den with the computer on my lap (it often is–though never on Sundays anymore), trying to catch up on work I had missed, being gone for a long weekend. Chris was there. Noah was there–he was a sophomore at the time. Our PAIS missionaries were there–we had two young, college-aged men, who lived with us last year: Johannes is from Germany and Jamie is from the Philippines.

I began to share what I saw–only what I saw and none of what I thought.  Chris said, “Hmmm.”  That was all.  Just “Hmmm.”

Noah said, again without me sharing what I supposed, “What if I don’t want to go to A&M?  What if I want to go to the School of Mines?”

I replied, “Noah, I don’t know exactly what the pictures mean.  But this I do know. Go where you feel led to go.  I am asking you to pray about where you should go–beginning now. You are an important part of this story.”Jo said, “Wow!  That is awesome!” And Jamie, too, said, “Wow!”

I think one of the PAIS boys also asked, “When?”  I remember that I replied, “I don’t know.  But I think it might be next fall.  It could even be two years.”

At which point Noah said, “You mean I won’t be here for my senior year?”  And I responded, “Son, I really don’t know.  But God does.  And HE started this conversation.  So He will show us what and when and how.  Be praying, all of you, okay?”

So at this point, I had done my part.  I passed it over to Chris now.  It was in Chris’ hands to pray and figure out just what this meant.  Maybe I’ll see if he will write out the next leg of this journey since then…I will see what he says!  And there is so much more that has unfolded since then–much confirming that we are to go back to Bryan/College Station and even some more details that have me SO EXCITED.  So stay tuned!

Joyfully,

Holly

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God is Near

Before I continue the story, I have another story…Tuesday evening my Chris was at his work computer that lives here at home (for those snowy days when he works from home), and our daughter Kylie had logged into her facebook on his computer.  So he logged out and went to log into his account–or so he thought.  But no! He logged into MY account and reactivated it. Later that evening I was checking on Kylie’s facebook on my computer (yay!  the new one! with a touch screen!  I love it!!!) using Chris’ account.  And I saw my picture in a friends’ list.  I clicked on it–so surprised! And there was my account ending on September 30, 2013.  What to do?  What to do?  I left a message to everyone, telling what happened.

And I prayed overnight about it.  I felt God say, do what you want–everything is permissible, but not always beneficial. But I also felt God prompt me to share this next story with everyone there, who may not know I have a blog and who might need encouragement on the road they may be on.  So I caved. I did what I said I would not do.  Ah, human nature! But the readership here on ye olde blog went from 80 to about 350…so mybe God really IS telling this story in a wider circle and for a purpose!

Now honestly, the next day, I saw that you can now actually DELETE the account.  And I truly wish that I had been able to do that a year ago (and not just deactivate it).  But then I also felt a tinge of joy at having re-connected with so many dear ones.  I feel like it is TIME to be back on Facebook now.  And I asked my Chris to hold me accountable in it by asking me the hard questions.  So…that is that.  Now back to the story…

God is Near

I went to a lonely place at the retreat–a place where for twenty minutes I could be alone with God and not only hear from Him, but I needed to know He was near.  I even took a picture to mark this spot, for it would indeed be a part of the story I’m telling you.

Now twenty minutes is really not a long time. But that twenty minutes would change the course of my life and the life of my family.

I began in the Word.  This year, I am reading through the Bible (as I have done for many, many years now) in the New English Translation.  As I have said before, I really love it.  I love how it says God has LOYAL LOVE towards us.  In a time when loyalty is a rarity, I need to know that God’s love for me is unwavering and secure.  And it is!

So I opened my Bible app on my phone and began to read from Deuteronomy 12:20-28, and I will highlight what stood out to me:

When the Lord your God extends your borders as he said he would do and you say, “I want to eat meat just as I please,” you may do so as you wish. 21 If the place he chooses to locate his name is too far for you, you may slaughter any of your herd and flock he has given you just as I have stipulated; you may eat them in your villages just as you wish. 22 Like you eat the gazelle or ibex, so you may eat these; the ritually impure and pure alike may eat them. 23 However, by no means eat the blood, for the blood is life itself—you must not eat the life with the meat! 24 You must not eat it! You must pour it out on the ground like water. 25 You must not eat it so that it may go well with you and your children after you; you will be doing what is right in the Lord’s sight. 26 Only the holy things and votive offerings that belong to you, you must pick up and take to the place the Lord will choose. 27 You must offer your burnt offerings, both meat and blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; the blood of your other sacrifices you must pour out on his altar while you eat the meat. 28 Pay careful attention to all these things I am commanding you so that it may always go well with you and your children after you when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

Now here is my context and where my brain is…I am about to partake of communion when I go back to the worship hall with the others.  I am about to partake of what Jesus says, this is my blood, poured out for you, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  AND IT STRUCK ME!  There has been a change.  Old covenant–sacrifices of animals- eat the meat, don’t partake of the blood.  New covenant–do this in remembrance of me.  Remembrance of what?  Remembrance of Jesus’ blood poured out for the sins of many.  He is saying, this wine symbolizes my life.  Now partake of my life.  Let it be in you.  Partake of it and TELL– tell many that the life is in the blood.  And Jesus wants His life to be in you–lived out in and over and through you to set the captives free!

Five minutes has passed.  And I am thinking upon the fact that Jesus’ life is in me.  The life is in the blood!

So I thank Him.  I thank Him for the switch-around in my own life.  For I was on a path of destruction–and He came and intercepted my life.  And I have not ever been the same.

Then I begin to pour out my heart to Him–Lord, we (our family) are stuck.  We are in a place of needing to pay out so many things.  Things are breaking and needing replacement.  Kids need dental work….and they are growing up, needing so many things.  And there is no way I could work more.  I am barely keeping my head above water right now.  Lord, I am sinking.  Lord, I need you to come and make a difference on the pavement upon which we are walking.  Lord, please help.

Another five minutes has passed, as I poured out my heart to Him. And He spoke to my heart very clearly.

A change is coming.

Then I saw something, as a slide-show, THREE pictures.

…and I will pick up from here on Monday.

Please don’t miss it.  Happy and BLESSED weekend to you all.  And if you will?  Take time to acknowledge that God is near YOU, whether you feel it or not.  Pour out your heart to Him.  Let Him come and blow a fresh breath on your pavement today.  I love you all.  And I’m praying.

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Hearing from God

Hearing from GodSince I was a little girl, I began to hear from God.  Swinging on my swing set, I sang, prayed and listened.  It didn’t seem so out of the ordinary.  I never thought anyone else experienced anything other than the same as me.  In fact, for many years, I always believed that others heard from God like I do.  And some do!  And ALL can.  His voice really isn’t beyond us.  And often, we make it too hard.

Discerning HIS voice from other voices, yes, that part is hard.  It all comes down to–does this align fully with scripture? And it does not come down to–maybe I need the opinion of many others, too, like it’s a popular vote.  Sometimes others will agree and often, they will not.  On the pavement we have learned this very hard lesson….even now there are some, who do not agree with the steps we are taking.  We have been here before, and we understand.  We love them still, even when they don’t agree or get it.

Now I’m not trying to say that godly counsel is not what we need. We need godly counsel. Before we even make steps forward, I would recommend inviting a few trusted advisers into the circle–people who will pray, people who will ask the tough questions and people who love the Lord with all their heart and mind and soul and strength.  THESE are the ones, who get to say wait a minute, hold up the bus.

God is always trying to be heard.  The heavens declare His glory.  And He is near.  Very near.  He sees our struggles.  He sees our potential, as His very own beloved ones, and He sets us up to walk it out.

YET, we struggle with yielding our life to Him.

Once we yield, however, our lives are changed forever. For God is working in our lives.  And He wants us to yield to Him and His purposes.  It is a FOR US decision.

No matter what has happened in your life, nothing–I SAY NOTHING–can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus.  And in His love, He speaks. You can know…you only need to yield.

So our new journey began like this…

For many years now, I have led crafts at our (old) church’s women’s retreat.  Some years I have had help.  Some years it has been only me.  This past March, I was doing my part solo.  It is a burdensome task, but I LOVE doing it.  This particular year, I felt distinctly that God had something to show me, to say to me.  But first, I had MUCH to do… (putting on my Martha hat)

So I had prepared six “Pinterest” projects, for people from every part of the creative to non-creative spectrum.  Over and over, I hear–I don’t normally do crafts, but LOOK! I did this!  And they did it beautifully! Their smiles light up my heart.

The schedule goes like this…I arrive on Friday afternoon and unload our full Suburban.  People usually help me, which is great, since some of the materials are pretty heavy.  Then I lay everything out in the craft area that I can, but the actual set-up happens at the last minute before loads of people show up on Saturday. I have my mind open, but pretty full of to-do’s. And this year was no different.

This year, I also led a break-out session before the craft time on Saturday, so I was doubly loaded–but God was with me.  He aided me in getting it all done and helped me to attend to people individually, as they came. By craft time’s end, it is still not over.  For there are a dozen people at least, who missed it or need to come back on Saturday night.  So I leave it all out for them until about midnight.  At midnight, I pack it all up and leave it in its place for Sunday at noon, when I will pack it back into the Suburban.

So I go to sleep Saturday night with a relieved feeling of peace and a release that my part is done. (putting on my Mary hat now…)

Sunday morning arrives and I am excited!  It is time for me to just let down my hurried spirit and be still. We had twenty minutes that morning to go and spend with God. So I went to a lonely place.

I will share more later this week!  Tune in!

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