First On My Mind… Second On My List

 

I found myself in a situation where I wanted and really needed to spend some time with God. But I also had a LOT of cleaning to do. We had cooked a big meal the night before and I got the basic stuff done but just wanted to sit and relax afterward. So, that left me with a good mess the next day. I also had laundry to wash and bathrooms to clean…

I decided to set a timer knowing that a race against the clock would hurry my pace along. Then, when the timer went off, I would take the time to get into my alone time with God. I felt a little guilty because, even though He was first on my mind, He was second on my list…

I worked as fast as I could and made good progress, but when the timer went off, I still had a lot to do because you know, one thing leads to another! It seems to be the story of my life and it wasn’t any different on this day. But I really wanted to sit and pray, read and worship…then I had a sense that the Lord spoke to me. It was just a whisper that resounded inside me and I knew it wasn’t my thought. I knew it was Him.  He said.

“I can talk to you while you do the dishes.”

Wow! Ok…that seemed simple enough, so why hadn’t I thought of it? My mind wandered to all the times that a friend sat across from me as I finished the dishes and how easy that kind of conversation can be. I knew He was telling me that He wanted to do the same.

“Ok then. That’s what we’ll do.” I thought as I turned on some favorite music and turned my attention to Him in the same way I would turn it to a good friend sitting there. It wasn’t long before I was experiencing His presence as I talked to Him and put my focus on what He might want to say to me.

I do believe it’s very important to have alone time set aside to pray and hear God-time that is just for Him with undivided attention. But He also knows we have to tend to the “affairs of life”. What I learned on this day (and other days-He has to keep reminding me!) is that there are times we can do both. He just wants to be with us.

Am I the only one who has such a tendency to compartmentalize my time with God? What would happen to all of my relationships if I treated them this way? They would surely suffer. And isn’t this supposed to be a relationship that I’m having with my Heavenly Father? Of course!

It must have been a similar dilemma that Martha found herself in when Jesus came to visit her home and she complained to Him that her sister, Mary, wasn’t helping, leaving her to do everything alone. (Luke 10:38-42) The scripture says she was DISTRACTED with much serving.

Maybe that’s because serving wasn’t really what she was supposed to be doing at that particular time. When we are distracted, it means our attention is really supposed to be focused on something different than what we are focused on.

We can be distracted by good things, but even a good thing at an inappropriate time can be a wrong thing, simply because it represents a priority that is out of order. Jesus was there to visit with her, not to wait while she cleaned the bathroom, checked her email, cleaned her oven, mowed the lawn….

I believe it was a similar case in this situation and it was the reason Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen what was better; something of higher priority. There would be time for cooking and cleaning later, because, even though Jesus was first on Martha’s mind, He was second on her list.

What about you?Have you ever found this to be true in your own life?

 Do you struggle with similar things?

 

If so, what changes have you made? 

 

I want to hear from you! (Please comment below)

 


When You Don’t Know What To Do…Be Still

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I need you to know something about me, and chances are, you will relate. While driving, I would rather go 10 minutes out of my way than to sit still in traffic. It just doesn’t seem right to be stuck on a piece of pavement that promises quick arrival and was intended for advancement. So, in an effort to feel like I’m making progress, I will take the first exit I see just so I can MOVE! I have taken detours that I later realized took me further away than I thought it would, but at least I was moving… I was going to find a way around that mess. But, in my experience, one of two things usually happens; my arrival is later than those who just stayed with it back on the “slow road” or, my efforts get derailed somehow and I end up right back on the road I was originally on, only to find that this time, I’m further behind than if I had just stayed the course to begin with. But rather than learning my lesson, I’m guilty of the whole “rinse and repeat” scenario, thinking that somehow, THIS time will be different. Isn’t that the definition of insanity???

As human beings, we are inclined to follow the path of least resistance. It just so happens that this seemingly easier path often takes us the long way around, leaving us with feelings of frustration and condemnation, especially when we see others beating us to the same destination we are trying to reach. So why do we do it? Why do we fall for the same trick every time?

I’ll tell you why; it’s because we’ve been conned into thinking that movement = achievement. We just want to be in motion. Because then, we can feel like we are helping the process along; that we are making things happen. But why do we have such a hard time with just being still? Why are we so compelled to always have noise around us, to always be in motion, to always be doing something? Why can’t we just sit in a waiting room and…wait? Why do we crave “white noise”? You know, the noise that we often need to drown out the deafening silence so we can go to sleep at night. For some people it’s the noise a fan makes, or maybe music. For others, TV noise in the background; white noise.  But heaven forbid we should lay there quietly in the darkness, where not only our bodies, but also our minds have to be still… Having said that, please don’t think that I’m saying something is always wrong if we need some of those familiar sounds to drift off. I’m simply saying that some people are very uncomfortable with silence. Therefore, they look for distractions to drown it out… it’s just one more way to “keep moving”.

In thinking of all of this, I realized that the noise of movement silences the inner voice, but stillness amplifies it. We don’t want to have to hear that inner voice because sometimes it reminds us of everything we haven’t accomplished, our lack of achievement, past mistakes and how someone else is always doing just a little better than we are. So we set out to get up once again and move, because remember?…movement = achievement… so why haven’t we “achieved”?

There is a scripture in Exodus 14:14 I’m reminded of. In this scripture, Moses is talking to the Israelites before God parted the Red Sea for them. He told them, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (NIV version) They griped and complained, but by the time it was all over, they witnessed a great miracle, performed on their behalf that day as they walked across the Red Sea on dry ground as God held back the waters and delivered them from the 400 years of slavery they had been in. Even so, they ended up turning an 11 day journey into a 40 year camping trip…I mean come on! 11 days vs. 40 years…now that’s a detour.

We often get anxious about circumstances and situations that arise in our lives. Because we don’t know what to do, or because we think we have all of the answers, we often bypass the whole “being still” process. As we gripe and complain, we don’t think we have time to hear from God, so we rush off toward the next detour or exit that promises relief. Ironically, we find ourselves going the long way around our situation or we find that God brings us full circle, right back to where we started.

He says, “Be still and know that I am God.” We are to stand still and see the salvation only He can bring into our lives. When we choose His ways of stillness in the times we find ourselves just wanting to run, we will find that more is accomplished by Him in the quiet place than in all of our motions of movement. God will always do things in such a way that He will get the praise and the credit for it. He does it this way, so that when other people see Him at work in us and for us, it will give them hope that He can and will do the same for them.

I would like to hear how you struggle with being still. Please leave your comments below. 


Black and White, Darkness and Light

white cross on black backgroundI have a question for you…What was God’s intent for giving the Law, or as it’s more commonly referred to, the Ten Commandments? Before you answer, really think about it. It’s not uncommon for people to answer incorrectly. Many people think God gave these laws as our list of “rules” to live by. But actually, the opposite is true. The Law was given, not because God ever expected that we could keep it, but to show us that we can’t keep it because we are sinful.

Look at Romans 3:19-20,
19 “Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.”

You might be wondering if you read that right; you did. That last sentence means that the whole reason the law was given was to make us conscience and aware of our sin. It was because God wanted the Israelites, and ultimately all people, to come face to face with the fact that they had a  sin problem. The Law/ Ten Commandments were given to provide a big glaring contrast between our sin and His holiness.
..
Here’s an example.
I remember when I was in elementary school (3rd grade to be exact). I had a piece of black construction paper and I had decided to write something on it. Equipped with my pencil, I began to write. But the writing didn’t show up on that black paper because my pencil and the paper were so similar in color. It almost looked like I hadn’t written anything.

I remember pulling out a white sheet of paper and drawing on it with my white crayon and what do you know?! It didn’t show up much either! I had a realization that day about the importance of contrast. (My mind has always been lightning fast, I tell you…) and it made an impression on me. That’s the kind of impression God wanted to make on us. Until that day, I never really had a need to use a white crayon. I didn’t know how much i needed  a white crayon. That is until I needed to make a mark on that black piece of paper. It’s in the same way that we can go through life, not knowing how much we need Jesus, until we encounter a moment of darkness that compels us to look for the light.

That day I learned about contrast and how it’s created with “black and white, darkness and light”. This is exactly the kind of contrast God was providing when He gave the Ten Commandments.

He was presenting all requirements necessary to ever be considered worthy of having any kind of relationship with Him, because He is not just perfect, He is holy and holiness is His standard. So where does that leave us? If that were the end of the story, we would be left without hope. But actually, it leaves us with a choice…

There are some people who look at the high standard of the Law and they think they can do it, they can muscle their way into being a good person, that they can succeed at earning God’s approval through meeting the requirements, not breaking the rules and jumping through all the hoops. (These are usually the mean people who stay grumpy all the time ;)…) But something happens, the Law works just as God intended it to…they wake up one day and realize how exhausted they are and what a failure they are. At this point they do one of two things; in their disillusionment, they will give up and walk away and say things like, “I believe in God, but that religion stuff just didn’t work for me.” or “I used to be really involved in church but…..” or “I tried that, but I just can’t be a good person.” These are things someone says when have crashed and burned in spite of all their efforts.

If that describes you at all, I want to tell you what the better response is, instead of giving up and walking away when you realize you can’t do it, just admit it. Admit that you can’t keep all the rules and jump through those hoops. Surrender your life along with all your failures to Jesus.

This is the only requirement for having a relationship with God, not perfection because perfection is impossible.

So even though God knew we could never accomplish this perfection on our own, He gave the Holy law, which when held up next to us, would provide the contrast that was necessary for us to become aware of how sinful and hopeless we are when compared to Him and His holiness. The law was given to us to expose our need for a Savior. If it were possible to keep the law, then it would be possible to “earn” our salvation. But since this isn’t the case, He sent Jesus to do it in our place, so that if we would surrender our life to Him by faith, that HIS righteousness would be credited to us. This is what it means to be In Him…In Christ https://tracihaney.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/in-him-in-christ/

The law was never intended to be used as a tool of condemnation, but instead, it is a perfect standard that exposes our sin and as a result, leaves us reaching for Jesus. If you don’t know Him, but you would like to, or, if you know Him but are going through a difficult time in your life, I would like to invite you to reach for Jesus today. (You can go here if you would like to know more about giving your life to Jesus.)  https://tracihaney.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/the-sooner-the-better/

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (trusting in Jesus)—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works (adherence to the law), so that no one can boast.


Stuck In The Doldrums

Calm on the waters, the whole ocean stills

No waves of destruction, tell me your will.

I’m stuck in Your waters, send wind and I’ll come

My heart beats for more, beats like a drum

 

Peace be still, rebuking the storm,

The winds surely listen, You speak they perform

My spirit is yearning, desire for more

I’m stuck in the doldrums; bring me to Your shore.

 

Can’t move on my own, my breath can’t fill sails.

Blow holy God, Your life making gales

I know You are moving, though the sea remains still

I float on deep waters; I’m stuck in the doldrums.

 

Speak now to me, I’m in between lands

I’m alone with a lion; He’s holding my hand

Speak now to me, I await your command

Although it’s abrasive, I long for the sand.

 

By Kyle Haney

 

My son wrote this poem a couple of weeks ago after being awakened by the sound of high winds in the middle of the night. I had also heard it whistling through the trees that night. I’m used to waking up to a good Texas thunderstorm at certain times of the year, but not to the sound of wind. The next morning, we were talking about it and he told me that as he laid there, listening to it, a word ran through his mind; “doldrums”. He asked if I knew what it meant.

I’ve heard the word before, but didn’t really have an exact definition for it so he explained; it’s a nautical term that describes the absence of wind. When sailors get caught “in the doldrums”, they can be stranded for days, weeks and even months at a time because there is no wind to propel them toward land. Can you imagine??? Just being…. no motion, no wind. You’re just …there.

Most of us are familiar with the easy and peaceful silence of being with someone we’re very familiar and comfortable with. On the flip side though is that awkward and uncomfortable silence that happens when we’re with someone and we have NO IDEA about what to say. That kind of silence has the potential to be painful.

 Isn’t life like that sometimes? Don’t we all go through times when we feel like there seems to be nothing happening and we have NO IDEA about what to say or do? I’m not talking about boredom and I’m not talking about that peaceful easiness. I’m not even talking about the kind of stillness you crave after you’ve had a crazy hectic day or week. No, I’m talking about feeling irrevocably stuck, no matter how hard you paddle or how much you kick or how much you huff and puff, you simply cannot propel yourself from your current location or position in life.

Strangely enough, that kind of sounds like the description of a temper tantrum…classic response from someone who isn’t getting their way J (it’s not just for kids!) These are the times when you wonder if you’ll ever get to that…“place” in your life…You know, the place where all the stars will align and everything will just fall into place…I don’t know where or what that is for you, but you do.

My point is not that it’s wrong to have dreams and goals. But it gets really difficult during the waiting and the stillness and the silence…why? Because it feels really uncomfortable! Right? I think the reason is because we feel like there’s some kind of expiration date on our dream. Kind of like the “best if used by…” stamp on the milk in your refrigerator. If it goes past that date, then it’s spoiled and gets thrown out. Not so with the vision or dream in your heart. God put it there, and according to Habakukk, it will happen in His timing.

I love this passage of scripture.

 Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. 4“Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.

Habakukk 2:2-4

It’s during these times though that we have a choice; we can have our temper tantrum and find that it won’t make even a little bit of a difference, or we can choose to believe God, knowing that He is the only one who can breathe life into the sails of our situation; trusting that He has promised to fulfill what He has placed in our hearts at the appointed time.

Don’t get distracted. Don’t look at others and make comparisons between their progress and yours. Don’t get distracted by the stillness and quiet when it seems that nothing is going on because it is possible to find contentment in the here and now.

We aren’t in a race to beat the clock or the person running next to us…the milk isn’t about to spoil! As the saying goes, “enjoy the journey”, because right now…today is your destination! When it comes down to it, that dream; that pinnacle you’re looking toward will only serve as another bump in the road…and then it will be back to life as usual.

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith…  Hebrews 12:2

 Tell me about your thoughts. Do you feel, or have you ever felt “stuck in the doldrums? Please comment in the section below.

Traci


It Was Up To Me

Several years back, I wrote a poem inspired by Joyce Meyer‘s testimony. I remember thinking about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her own biological father and how it went on for 14 years. I thought about how difficult it had to have been to forgive him…what an insurmountable impossibility in a person’s life; and yet, she chose to forgive, believing God would give her the strength to move past her feelings and thoughts and hurts and scars.

In a previous post, I mentioned how God led me to greener pastures than I could have ever found on my own. I believe that when people surrender and choose to forgive, it lends itself to the enjoyment of a fulfilling life. On the other hand, unforgiveness paves the way for bitterness and hatred and an existence that becomes dependent on tearing others down with criticism and judgement; blind to the fact that they are the ones who are harsh and judgemental and hateful.

Wagging fingers can become so pointed toward others and “what they did to me…” that they are completely unaware of the three fingers aimed straight back toward their own hate filled hearts. Then, it’s only a matter of time before they themselves become someone else’s perpetrator; and the cycle continues…

Forgiveness is the only remedy that ends the cycle and perpetuates healing.

Here is my poem…

It Was Up To Me

There’s a strength required to just let go,

That will allow the real me to show.

I can live happy and free.

All along,…it was up to me.

Feels so good to look you in the eye

And really mean “I love you” when we wave goodbye;

To feel strong and empowered by extending mercy

Instead of the resentment and pain in the midst of controversy.

I don’t know who I was trying to kid,

When I pointed my finger at all that you did.

I have faults and failings and sins of my own,

But I can’t go back. What’s done is done.

For so long I sat as your judge and jury

As I feasted on my rage and fury,

But as I sit here, I am stunned…

As I discover that I too, am the guilty one!

I’m reminded of a long time ago

When you asked for forgiveness…but I just wouldn’t let it go.

I was blinded and weak and refused to see

That the choice was mine because…it was up to me.

 Traci Haney – 8/17/07

Praying that today, you don’t let the temptation of holding unforgiveness keep you from the greener pastures God has waiting for you.

Comment below and tell me how unforgiveness has affected your life, or how you’ve found the “strength required to just let go.”

Traci


The Sooner The Better

I was in the house alone and turned on some worship music to listen to as I was in the kitchen cleaning. My thoughts were also occupied with the dread of having to come upstairs and finish painting the last wall in my office. If only that gallon of paint could have just gone a little further, it would have been completed the day I had done all the other painting. I even remember having the amusing thought that day, “Jesus blessed the food to feed the multitudes…I wonder if He would bless this paint so I can finish with just one gallon of paint.”

So you get the idea that my thoughts weren’t in some “holy” place as I moved around the kitchen, trying to reclaim order from its previous state of chaos.

Then, unexpectedly, my ear seemed to zero in on the lyrics of the song playing from iTunes at precisely the right second.

You were wounded for my sin and

You were bruised for all my shame

You were broken for my healing

Only by the cross I’m saved

                                                            -Darlene Zschech, Hillsong

As I listened to those words, I was sort of struck by how aware we Christians are about our sins and failures and shame and shortcomings. For a split second I wondered if it was normal or if we were getting a little carried away.

Immediately, another thought countered the first; how fortunate are those of us who have the privilege of having our eyes opened to the fact that without Jesus, we are hopeless; that only because of our awareness of our sins and failures and shame and shortcomings are we even afforded the opportunity to do something about it.

Standing there in the kitchen with only a few seconds between my earlier thoughts of a dirty kitchen and the dread of painting and this present awareness of being, well…basically, a wretch, my mind drifted backwards to a hospital stay in the summer of 2006.

I had been diagnosed with some rare form of renal failure or kidney failure. I was in stage 4, which means it was very progressed. The strange thing was, I had a few symptoms along the way, but none that seemed life threatening. In hindsight, I can see how the symptoms came on so gradually, that I really didn’t notice how tired I was or my loss of appetite.

I had lost some weight, which was obviously not going to kill me. My urine was discolored and I was tired. But I wasn’t so tired that it kept me from having a great time as I vacationed in Destin, FL a month earlier, riding Sea-Doos in the ocean with my husband and teenagers.

Don’t get me wrong, there were many times I remember thinking, “Something is wrong.” but my doctor couldn’t seem to figure it out. It ended up being a simple blood test for something completely unrelated, that revealed my kidneys were failing…and they were failing in a BIG way. By the time all the testing and biopsy was done, it was determined that I only had 26% kidney function and they weren’t giving me much hope to pull through.

Once I was admitted to the hospital, the nurses and other staff kept asking, “How do you feel? Are you ok? Are you in pain?” to which I always responded, “I’m fine…I feel fine. I’m not sick!” I was in denial about what was going on and couldn’t see it while I was going through it.

So, after being asked several times how I felt, my husband finally asked, “How is she supposed to be feeling?” The answer was a bit unsettling to say the least. The man said, “Well, we don’t really know. By the time most patients are diagnosed with what she has, it’s too late to do anything for them…they are usually bleeding out of their noses and mouths and on the verge of death…” Ummmm, alrighty then!  Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but it definitely put things in perspective!

The point is, a timely diagnosis is a blessing! The old cliché, “The sooner the better.” was definitely fitting in this situation. Did it scare the “you know what” out of me? Uh…YEAH! But there was still hope for me to live, because even though it looked bad, I still had a shot at life!

Guess what? We all have a diagnosis and it’s called sin and it’s killing us. But most people don’t want to hear that because, you know, it’s offensive! “Who do you think you are telling me I have a problem with sin…”  Yet most of us reach a place in our lives when we have the same vague inclination I had before my diagnosis; you know that nagging feeling that tells us “something is wrong.”

I don’t know what your existing “symptoms” are…maybe you just don’t have the peace and fulfillment you crave; just a general sense that something is missing. Maybe you’ve “got it all” but you still feel empty…or maybe you’ve just come to the place of wondering, “Is this all there is to life?” Every person’s realization of this comes in different ways with different circumstances. But rather than get to the heart of the matter, do you find that you just keep going, hoping you can fake it till you make it?

When a person gets a life threatening diagnosis from the doctor, they don’t get mad at the doctor. Most people will become submissive to the doctor’s plan with a willingness to do whatever he tells them with the hopes they can get better and although the memory of how scary it was is unpleasant, you can be thankful for the diagnosis that exposed the sickness. It’s only when you become aware of and acknowledge the sickness that you can move toward the cure.

I think it’s important to note that in the same way we are willing to listen and heed the words of a doctor with a deadly diagnosis, we need to be just as willing to listen and heed God’s word when He deals with us about sin, which is also a deadly diagnosis. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”

Let’s just say it’s God’s way of giving us a heads up that if we continue on, doing our own thing, our way, we will end up “bleeding out…on the verge of death”.

But there’s another way…there’s a cure. So what is it? Roman’s 6:23 gives us the answer. It says, “For the wages of sin is death (diagnosis), but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (cure). (parenthesis mine)

Maybe you know all about Jesus and you believe in Him, but you’ve never made Him the Savior and Lord of your life. There is a difference between asking Him to be your Savior and allowing Him to be your Lord. Maybe you’ve attended church but you sense there is a disconnect between knowing about Him and really knowing Him personally. You may feel Him drawing you and asking you to surrender everything to Him as you read this.

Maybe you have given your life to Him in the past, but have become distracted and taken your focus off of Him as other things have taken priority over your relationship with Jesus. But whatever the case may be, if you feel God dealing with your heart to surrender everything to Him right now, then pray this with me.

           

“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”

 

As always, I welcome your comments. If you prayed that prayer or have questions, then please let me know in the comment section below :) 


Pride and Surrender

For so long, I wanted things to be about me and how I wanted things to go in my life. Granted, that is the human condition that is so common to us all. To sum up that attitude in one word…let’s use “Pride”. Pride says, “I got this!” to which I now say, “Whatever!” No, in the grand scheme of things, not even my own life is about me. But that’s not to say it isn’t significant, it just means that it is fitting into God’s plan and not my own.

I may agree with that now, but how did I get there? How do any of us get there? It’s called “surrender”…it’s not a popular word, I know; and the “getting there” can be quite uncomfortable, but this journey of surrender is one we must make many times, over and over as we are coming closer to Him.

You see, up until about 10 years ago, I thought I was going to be a singer/worship leader and everything that involved. Little did I know, that wasn’t God’s ultimate intention and purpose for my life. So in ignorance, I set about trying to make it happen. Let’s just say that God had His way of frustrating my plans. I am so thankful for that now. My pastor made a statement this past weekend that is fitting right here. He said,

“It’s better to not have something you want, than to have something you don’t want.”

Little by little, I began to see that I really had NO control over where my life was going and that God actually desired for me to lay down all I believed (at that time) that I was called to. I felt alone and forgotten by Him for several years where it seemed I had been shelved. Had I been shelved for a while? Yes. Had I been forgotten? Absolutely not.  Fast forward to the past 5 years. I’ve been going through a major shift; not in my basic doctrinal beliefs, but in the stretching that surrendering my own desires required of me. James 4:6 says,

“God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.”

As long as I held onto the idea that my service to God was supposed to match up to what thought, I was continuing in pride which meant God was continuing to “resist” me. Not in a forsaking kind of way, because He always loves us and promises to never leave us. (Hebrews 13:5) His resistance looks more like a mom with a child who is throwing a temper tantrum. It’s more of a way of saying, “Okay, when you’re done with your fit, we’ll talk.” Please tell me I’m not the only one who has thrown a fit with God…anyone else???

When I began to get worn out and began to obey, which requires humility, He began to give me grace and strength to do what He asked me to do.

As I review all of this, it’s plain to see that I had been on a mission to fit God into the story I was attempting to construct, thereby making Him “small” and containable. But make no mistake; nobody puts God in a corner! (you’ll only get that reference if you’re into 80’s pop culture)

I now realize that pride had caused me to become an idolater by magnifying the very thing I claimed God had called me to. But we know that isn’t how God works. Jesus said in Matthew 16:25,

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” 

Laying down my own agenda to make room for His allows me to walk in a greater level of peace and contentment as I am finally submitted to following Him instead of trying to spear head this whole expedition. I mean come on…I was never qualified or equipped to “lead” God anywhere. I’ve also found that He has led me to far greener pastures than I could have ever found on my own🙂

It’s a little comical when I look back and realize that although I absolutely LOVE serving on my worship team at church and I love to worship and sing and write music, I have NO desire to be a worship leader. I now see that it was God all along who was frustrating my plans and in the process, he was using every struggle to excise things in me that needed to go. I have to know now that all of it was always part of God’s plan because He doesn’t waste anything we go through, because it is all fitting into His plan; His story. Proverbs 19:21 states,

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

I want to tell you, you can trust that His purposes are good!

~Traci~

I would love to hear from you. Are there areas past or present that you sense God is asking you to surrender to Him?

Where are you in this process? 

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