Just have to share this. I'm sure those that really know me, know that I've been a bit off the track with being a Christian. I've been slipping off and on for a few weeks now. I've only been a "part time Christian." It finally hit me full on Friday morning!
It all started with getting more and more frustrated with the way things were going at the grand kids house. I ended up trying to keep up with two households and taking care of the kids. Recently I began to realize--Thank You Lord!--that I was expecting my daughter and her fiance to live the way I expected them to. I was praying about it, but not wholeheartedly trusting Him to take care of it. Believe me, it doesn't work that way. Our Pastor has talked on this so many times, but it never sunk in until now.
I hated the way they were living, the way the kids were being taken care of, I just did not like the situation period. The kids complained as well. They were not happy. I would try talking to our daughter and she would get upset with me and make excuses. I was tired of hearing them. Boy some mom huh? So I pushed myself to keep it all up, and then get mad cuz it would go right back to the way it was during their days off.
Then all of a sudden all the health issues come into play and I am not able to take care of them. Then I was frustrated. Now what was going to happen to those kids. Spent time crying about it, praying about it, again, not whole heartedly. I thought I was, but looking back, not a chance.
Then one day the Lord spoke to me and said, "Why are you fretting so. Just trust in Me. Haven't you realized that yet? I'm trying to get your attention to make you realize, you can't and don't have to do it all. You need to rely on Me. You need to trust in Me." Wow! What was I doing? I knew all that, but I was letting the enemy lead me and didn't realize that. I was wanting to believe in the Lord, but instead was doing so half heartedly. I still worried even though I said I placed the problem in His hands. (shaking head in shame).
So the on again off again went on. Tried to keep myself busy and most of the worry had gone away. I knew I had to let it go, as it was affecting my health. What good was I to anyone if I was always down with headache or feeling ill, etc?
Then came Friday morning. Oh Thank You Lord for Your precious timing and waking up! I decided I wanted to listen to worship music while riding the bike. Now mind you, I haven't picked up my i-pod in some time. Pretty sad. Well it needed to be charged. So I hooked it up, and then the thought of Michael W. Smith came to mind. So I looked up his music. A New Hallelujah is one of my favorites. Talk about picking up ones spirits. So I listened to that a couple of times, then decided to listen to all of his tunes. I had no idea how many good ones he has, and some just lifted me, so I purchased some of them. I was just praising, worshipping, praying, talking to Him and my spirits were so lifted. That whole day I felt like I was dancing. It felt soooo good to be filled again. Something was changing inside me. I felt God working in me. Yes!!!
The next day we had the grand kids. It was a wonderful day. So filled with happiness and love. The children felt it as well and were happy campers! I read the Bible, and I mean really read it--more on that soon. I was just so filled. Hubby called me while I was dropping off the kids and told me to get to the church right away, don't worry about how you look. I was like no way. He said yes, it's okay. I said no it isn't. I'm all sweaty and stinky. He says it's okay, just come as you are, hurry, Benny Perez is speaking. I said he'll be there tomorrow, I'll hear him then. Hubby was upset, but said okay.
Sunday, I got up feeling great. Went to the Bible and decided on a Bible plan. I'm reading Matthew, Genesis, Psalms and Proverbs. One chapter at a time. But this time, I'm READING it. My problem in the past--and Pastor talked about this before, but it never sunk in--I felt like I had to read it, and had to read it in a year. I'm a slow reader, so I started reading it, but not taking it in. I was frustrated as I was not holding it all in. Duh! So now, I'm reading it slowly, listening to what it is saying, and taking notes. I'm not just reading and highlighting trying to get through it. If I read it in a year, okay, if not, no big deal. The important thing is, I'm reading it and learning from it. Yeah!!! Sad isn't it with how some like myself take so long to wake up to this very fact?
I go to church and hear Benny Perez, a Pastor at a church--sad, but I don't remember the name of it now--in Las Vegas. Wow!!! Can this man preach! He is a powerful man of the Lord. I mean he had me feeling what he was saying. I could feel the Lord moving in powerful ways. I was amazed. I wish he could have kept talking for another hour or so. I was so bummed that I had not been there Sat. night. He went until a little after 8 pm that night when normally we are done at 6:30. Can you believe that!? I guess there was all kinds of healing going on. That will teach me to worry about how I look.
Last night, we had Ladies Night Out and Wendy Perez spoke. Oh my gosh! What a wonderful God heart she has. Talk about being moved. She opened my eyes to exactly what has been going wrong in me. Exactly what I needed to change. Praise God. So now I'm getting to the rest of the testimonial.
Wendy talked about Psalm 23. I've never thought of it this way, and struggled with it's real meaning and purpose. Granted I liked that Scripture, but never really fully understood it's meaning. It's talking about refraining our valley. This was on v. 3 He renews my strength. She made it so I "fully understood" that it's God and only God that can change things, make things happen, we need to go to Him on "all" things. He does everything in our lives. Now I knew this, but didn't hold on to it or use it. It finally dawned on me, I was trying to do things myself, allowing the enemy to make me think I was be lead by God, but I wasn't.
Then v. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Fear, what good is fear? I used to worry about every little thing. Talk about paranoid. Sometimes it was pathetic. But since coming into the Lord, much of that has gone by the way side, but some of it has stayed with me. Well fear is coming from the enemy. It's a waste of time. "The shadow" of death. The "shadow." Why be afraid of a shadow? It's just a shadow. A shadow can not hurt us. So why we are walking through our valleys, we should be walking normal, upright, with no fear. Don't walk in a crouched position, ready for something to jump out. Don't take steps back in fear. No, walk through that valley knowing that God is there leading us through it. That valley was put there for a reason.
If we have a lot going on, it's a valley you can get through with the Lord. If you have kids, are trying to cook, clean house etc. It's a valley you can get through. Lean on Him, let Him walk you through it. If you are dealing with an illness or helping a loved one deal with one, allow the Lord to walk you through that valley. We can not do it alone. We can not do it ourselves. And we certainly are not going to get anywhere allowing the enemy to take control.
The one thing she said that really hit home, "Don't Do, Just Be!" Just be with Jesus! Look to Jesus for renewal. Be led by Jesus. When you feel yourself just performing, you need to go to Jesus for renewal. Don't just get by. Don't let yourself believe you have to do it all. No, when we go to Jesus, He is there with open arms, ready to lead, ready to walk you through your valley. Rely on Jesus. Just BE with Jesus!
One last thing she talked about, the rod and the staff. The staff is for discipline. The rod is for support. Sisters are there for support to one another. Now mind you, this was a Lady's night out. She was talking to us women about what we needed to remember. We need to lean on one another for support, but Be with Jesus and help one another remember that.
Get in the Word every day. Do what ever you have to, to make it happen. Don't let the enemy allow you to make excuses, like I had been doing for so long. I always thought I didn't have enough time. Sad, sad, sad. Worship Him daily. Thank Him daily. Pray every day. Ask for a covering over your family and yourself, over the church and the Pastors. Read the Word, Worship, and Pray. Make sure you are in a good Bible based church and make sure you give, give, give, for God so loves a giver. Don't give boastfully, just give from the heart, whatever God places on your heart to give.
Thank you for sticking this out with me. I so wanted to share, as hopefully there are people out there that have not come to the Lord yet that will be moved by this. If there is anyone else out there struggling, I pray this helps them as well. I've always believed in the testimony of others as being a good support, as being a way to help one another. Sharing is one way to help others in need. God Bless you all! Love to you all! Have a wonderful, beautiful, blessed week!!!
1The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
2He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His names sake.
4 Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff--they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.
You know, for this first time, I really read this and fully understand it's meaning and can not for the life of me understand why I had a hard time with it before. Of course that's because I wasn't being led by Jesus. I was reading it in a totally different manner if that makes sense. I wasn't "hearing" the right words, in the right sequence. Praise God for His love and faithfulness. Amen!