New School, New Class…and Old Experiences

Well, I started back to school today at a new school and a new class, which is about the essentials needed for ministry.

The essentials include hearing your call and discovering your gifts, values, past experiences while seeking God’s purpose and vision for your life.  Then, we will move onto learning how to perform weddings, funerals, worship services, and other duties of a minister along with administrative stuff and issues within a ministry.  Sounds like an exciting class and I can’t wait to learn more about the essentials of ministry.  After all, I do want to eventually marry people, perform weddings, and other events.

Yet, what has been my most exciting part of this is learning about my past experiences – both the good and the pad.  Using a tool on , I created a timeline of my life from the moment of birth to present time.  The timeline has included good people who have encouraged me like friends, family, colleagues, and even mentors.  Even the bad people are listed like the neighbor who took advantage of me or the ex husband who left me wounded and scarred.  There are the good stuff about my life like being actively involved with school, church, work, and friends while also listing bad stuff like divorce, losing my son, and even abuse.  Yet, as I did this, I wondered, what did I learn from this timeline?

Well, I learned that I can endure quite a bit and that God has given me the strength to get through the rough patches of life.  The good stuff shows that I’ve had supported people along the way like my husband, my in-laws, great friends and church people, and even pets that have cheered me along.  Above all, I have had God there with me as I endured the bad and celebrated the good.  How did this happen?  Through a desire to know and praise Him as He gives me the strength to endure.

After all, Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV) reads:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,  so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

In conclusion, what does your past experiences tell you about you?  What have you endured and do you see a theme throughout your life’s journeys?

Taking Back the Night and Overcoming the Fear

On this day, at approximately 6 o’clock at night, on October 30, 1986, I was walking home from school after an evening of drama practice.  I do not remember which play it was; however, an event occurred that changed my life forever as I began to fear this date for the last 28 years.  A kid younger but bigger than me decided he wanted me and was playing it a bit rough.  He and his buddies had followed me home a few days prior and had harassed me but now this kid became bolder as he came at me in the dark.

I was able to keep moving and lead him towards a lighted apartment complex where I screamed my loudest and hardest.  That scared the kid and he took off into the dark so I ran home, afraid that he was following me home.  The police were called and soon the kid was arrested since he lived just a few houses down from me.  Sadly, a few days later, his father was in a car accident in the neighborhood and the kid was charged by was on probation for a while.  I never knew what fully happened to him.  Prayerfully, he got the help he needed and is no longer terrorizing people.  My parents went on with their lives as I continued to live in fear.

At that time, I was part of the Washington State Patrol Explorers group and had an event on Halloween, the next day.  I tried not to be afraid as I sat in the dark and monitored the parking lot; however, after the event, I was afraid especially since my parents were late in picking me up.  Not until they arrived, was I able to finally breathe again.  After that event, I was afraid to walk alone though I still continued to do so because I could not let fear rule my life; however, I would remain fearful as October 30th approached and I wondered if I would ever feel safe on that again as some of the fear lessened over the years.

tonight. I went to the church in preparation of its Light the Night, or October 31st event.  We had to walk around the church and pray for this event so I did for the first two laps on my own.  It was dark and I wondered “should I be afraid?”  As I prayed and walked, I blessed God for protecting me and being at my side as I overcame the fear.  The enemy can no longer control my emotions on October 30 – I have taken this night back from him and have given it to God.

After all, God is the God of peace and with Him at our side, who should we fear?  We need to put our trust in Him and not live in fear.  Though it can be tough to put our trust in Him especially tonight as I fear for my husband’s health as we hear more reports from tests.  I want to stay in with him and just live my life in fear and yet I am reminded that God is in control and I have nothing to fear so I stepped out in faith, this night that changed my life so many years ago, and took control of the fear as I let God work in me to bring perfect peace.

What fears are you holding back from fulfilling your purpose or journey?  Whatever it is, seek God and ask Him to give you peace and remind the enemy, that he has no control over you and you are taking back whatever he robbed you of.

And to any woman who has lived this type of fear for only a short time or most of your life, like I have, I am praying for you…

Life and Storms

So, this week has been a week of trials and some good.  You often wonder why God tests you to the point of feeling as if you are going to break as you wonder if how much you should continue to have faith in Him.

The trials have included worries about finances as we wonder if our finances will be blessed.  My husband’s health as even tonight he may have had a TIA.  We had tests down this week and wait for the results.  Yet I worry as these TIA episodes are occuring more frequently in the last few months.  Then, his care while starting a new class.

As I start this new class, the webpage for my class does not want to cooperate – it is the only webpage on my computer not working so I was told it was my connection.  Yet, wanting to fix it on my own (and not listening to helpdesk), I decided to do a system restore and see if something was causing the problem.  Taking too long, I stopped the program and managed to crash my computer.  Yep…the computer that has all my important stuff on it and what I use for school  – crashed and burn. After much hair pulling, I found a way to back up all important documents and restored everything through a clean sweep and restore of my computer.

More panic came as I remembered all the software was still packed away along with any registration numbers, etc. for such software.  So, last night was spent worrying about all that needed to be done to find and reload the software.  Thus, this morning was spent climbing over snow tires and other boxes in our storage in search of software.  Managed to walk away with a few scratches and near falls but I survived the adventure and found what I needed quickly.  I was able to restore most of my laptop though there are a few things that need figuring out like how to restore my spare monitor.

These trials and storms remind me that I have a weakness that does not always call on the Lord in prayer.  I must admit I need to do more of it and not go into panic mode.  I need to rely on God more during these storms as my husband, even with not him not feeling well, prayed in the background.

Furthermore, as I fought the depression, I saw these words from a bible study called Girls with Swords by Lisa Bevere:

“Don’t allow the surrounding pressure to depress you or oppress you.  Don’t allow the enemy to cause you to imagine it is an invitation to a beating.  The pressure from all sides is part of a divine plan to mold and fashion you into someone with substance and depth.  You will come out of this womb of tempering, drawing a breath of strength.”

Yes, even during these storms and trials, I need to remind myself that God does have a plan for us and that I need Him and I will not allow the enemy to drag me into depression or fits of panic since I am a warrior daughter of the most high King and He will help me through these storms and out of the “shadow of death” or depression.

In conclusion, as I write this blog and study God’s word, I am feeling that peace and know that God is in control with our finances, my husband’s health, and even when a computer crashes.  Yet, now as I finish this blog, I was tested again and failed when I thought the blog had disappeared.

I won’t end with a question but with a reminder that we will fail at times even during a test yet we still need to focus on Him and submit to God and His will.