Happy New Year!
My word(s) for this year: SACRIFICE, trust, give, serve, love.
My hope for the year: Live in Freedom. Live Free. Live the restored life God has given me. Live it out.
I fell asleep before midnight last night. I was tired...not just physically tired, but also emotionally and mentally and spiritually. I woke up this morning...the grass in my back yard is covered in white frost. The limbs of the trees so still...the tips frozen. I sensed the quietness of the Lord and just wanted to melt in to it and stay there. I knew soon my kids would wake up and the noise of the day would start. I wondered if all of the things swirling around in my head and heart would disappear and my life would resume as normal...or would I begin to live a life of sacrifice....trust...giving...serving...and love. I have to honestly say that I felt disappointed with some of my year...how I handled things...the choices I made...the words I used...the plans I didn't follow through with...the way I have run my family....But I also know that God is a God who restores and redeems. He offers hope to those who are willing to receive it. He offers joy to those who are willing to embrace it. He offers love to everyone...we must allow it.
I fell in to some old ways of thinking and behaving in 2012. And I began to believe the lies and the familiar thoughts and behaviors...I began to see them as the only way...and then God -he spoke to my heart last week. .He said "Do not go back to Egypt when you have walked the road to Israel." And I opened my bible and the pages fell to the book of Isaiah. I read Isaiah 30 "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: 'Only in returning to me and resting in my will you be saved" (v15) "So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help." (v18)
And then I read this verse..."What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting in their horses, chariots and charioteers." (Isaiah 31:1) Sometimes it is hard to put words to the revelation that God gives...but all month I spent bashing myself, reliving the past, eating food to comfort myself, stuffing my fast, then fasting, then doing it again, thinking of my life and feeling I wasted it....speaking hateful words over myself and choosing to live there. I trusted in the ways of the world...wanting people to approve me...wanting food to comfort me..wanting others to define me, And then God says "Do not go back to Egypt when you have walked the road to Israel." God brought me out of Egypt. I journeyed to freedom. I walked a hard road to restoration and I sometimes choose to turn around and go back to the old. But God reminds me that He brought me to Israel for a purpose. When I go back to "Egypt for help" I go back to a life a sorrow. That is what "awaits" me there. That is what I found. Sorrow. Pain. Disappointment. Instead of going back there to live...I get to share how I moved out of there...Out of Egypt. I do not live there anymore. When I start to turn around and go back I remember "Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left." (Isaiah 20:21)
And what awaits me in the promised land?
Hope. Life. Love. Comfort from the Father. Peace.
I have often talked about the people who walked for 40 years...seeing miracles, getting daily manna, praising God and then falling right back in to their old ways...wanting to go back to Egypt because that is what seemed "easier" for them. I often thought how I would never have done that. But here I am. And this is why God wrote those words for us to read...so we would see that Israel is the promised land and Egypt is a place of slavery. He showed us how even though they saw the miracles with their own eyes that they still tried to go back. He showed us how He was faithful and provided through the journey and that moving forward to the promised land is what God has planned for all of us. God didn't place his words for us to read for nothing...He gave us them so that we could live FREE.
This year I will LIVE FREE...as I sacrifice, trust, give, serve, and love.
Will you LIVE FREE with me?
How can I pray for you today?
Blessings as alwaysF,