Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's Not About You

When Joel asked me to be a part of his final service at Faith Lutheran I was happy to do so.  I am a writer more than a speaker so I wrote out my three page talk about his 35 years of ministry.  Anyone who knows me knows I love talking about my cowboy preacher.  In my eyes he is an amazing man of faith and family and does "life" so well!  I was also going to do a blessing at the end of the service and I asked God to speak to me through images and words as He normally does. Very rapidly I was given several images like a video of Joel's life.  I could hardly keep up while writing it all down.  I added the blessing at the end of what God wanted me to share with Joel, but as time went on I struggled with sharing this with the congregation and with our family.  I have been getting pictures and images for others when I pray for them for about 3 years, but I had not told many people about it.  I was worried about what they would think, if they would even believe it, or how it would come across.  A little of that needing approval/performance stronghold that needs to go!

At 4:30am on the morning of the recognition, I was wide awake and stewing over this.  I decided I would not share it because I was not comfortable, but I prayed about it and asked God what He thought.  I heard....."It is not about you.  It is not about Joel.  It is about Me." 

So, I turned on the light and began scribbling down the words that would make sure it ended with the focus on God, not on me and not on Joel.  I told God I would be obedient no matter what others thought, and I finally felt a peace come over me. 

God calls us to be obedient.  He does not care if it is a risk we don't want to take, He does not care if we look foolish or are misunderstood, He cares that we are obedient.  We all need to do as He has asked and leave the rest up to Him. 

It is why we are going to Gold Canyon.  I have been hoping that God would reveal to us His plan and purpose for moving us into the desert, but so far all we have heard is, " go and I will reveal my plan after you are there".  Gulp.  Okay, then.  You see, we have always moved with a purpose....in the Air Force and in the ministry.  Everything was all laid out for us ahead of time, even our housing!  Not so now.

God is calling us to a specific area in of all places,  Phoenix AZ!!  Why Gold Canyon?  No real clue.  We did like it when we were there.  We loved the dry warm weather.  I do have a sister and BIL who are there a few months of the year, and we have friends there.  But we felt called there.  Joel has had several amazing and unbelievable dreams about our future in Gold Canyon, and God has fulfilled a fleece I laid out for Him about moving there.   We have asked God to slam the doors if we are wrong, but so far, we are moving forward believing we are to go ~~which brings me to the most recent action we have taken.

Yesterday we started the process to get our passports.  We have not had one since traveling to the Philippines in 1974 so we needed to get a new one.  Where do we plan to go? We don't know.  We have just felt God tell us more than once to get a passport, so we are being obedient. 

Sometimes God tests us to see if we will be obedient.  Sometimes our obedience is like practicing for what is coming.  Always it is for our best.  It is not about us, it is about Him, but in His grace we are always blessed in the process. 

So today I am telling myself that my goals in life, our dreams, our hopes, our plans ~~~I am telling myself that our lives are really all about Jesus and it is an amazing ride when we step into the fullness of what He has called us to do.  I am remembering what God whispered to me that early morning...."It is not about you.  It is not about Joel.  It is about Me."  I am remembering that in it being about Him we find peace and purpose. 


NanaNor's said...

Dear Renee, This is so exciting to hear about-you know I consider you somewhat as a mentor to me, although I've never expressed it. As I read how the Lord has given you visions and dreams, I cry out-Yes Lord I want them too. Especially when praying for others. We have three couples we know who are outside of Phoenix-one is in Chandler, another north of Phoenix and yet another who will winter below Mesa-near Tuscon. We are considering going next winter to see them, if we do, I will contact you and see if we can meet in person. I'd love that. I so cherish your prayers dear one. Can't wait to see where the Lord takes you, besides Gold Canyon.
Hugs and Prayers tonight.

Anonymous said...

I particularly enjoyed this blog. I related to the part about speaking at a funeral. I had a friend who was killed with a hammer by his son-in-law, and I was asked to speak at his funeral. His family sat big eyed like they were lost in a horror show. I spoke only on the good the victim had done in life and gave not press to the evil done. A distant niece of my friend asked for my notes from my talk. Thanks for the blog.

Anita Johnson said...

You and Joel are in my prayers as you seek to do God's will.