“For I know the plans I have for you declared the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11
Am I there yet? Am I living the plan that God has for my life? How do I know whether or not I have “ made it” to the plan that God has for my life?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has asked this question. I wish I could tell you I had an answer to the secret equation that equals success - that formula that lets you know you are living out the life God has for you - but unfortunately, I don’t. I do know that I get tired - tired of the waiting for the next big thing, the next big thing that signifies I’m one step closer to the “plan”.
The closer I get to Christ, the more I realize His plan is entirely different than my own. My plan is made up of moments - graduation, marriage, kids, etc. His plan includes me growing closer to Him, leading others to Him, loving others through Him and serving for Him. His plan is perfect and His love never failing. “It is in Christ we find who we are and what we are living for.” So, I’m going to lean into His plan for my life and work on being patient in the waiting.
⁃ Navi Pauley
What will it look like?
What will it be like?
When my world turns out like You planned.
When will I get there? Feels like I'm nowhere.
My dreams are like dust in my hair.
But I, I know.
That this is the waiting.
I anxiously wait.
'Cause I hold on to love that will never let go.
And in these times that my patience is tested,
Won't You remind me that I'm not home?
Here in the waiting.
The waiting. The waiting.
- Jamie Grace
“Be still and know that I am with you.” - Psalm 46:10
This week has been rough, like really rough. It’s not been any one big thing, but rather 15 million little things. Between work and feeling like I’m not good enough, to the mountains to do at home, to my puppy, Izzy, knocking over my first homemade meal of the week, I am exhausted, frustrated and fed up.
This is not the first or even the five hundredth time I’ve battled this stuff and I’m sure you guys can relate to the the struggle of this crazy thing we call life.
What I’ve been working on is my reaction to certain situations. When I am questioned or criticized or challenged or even just tired, what do I do? To be honest, I usually run. Or get angry. Or pout. Or on the really big ones, I do all of the above. Anything I can possibly do to let God know I am NOT a fan of the situation I’m in.
The reminder that I have to give myself daily is... I AM NOT ALONE.
God is there in my moments of anger, frustration, impatience, or weakness. I don’t have to handle this on my own. Faith is trusting God even when you don’t understand His plan.
So this week I’m going to trust that God has a plan bigger than me. And, I’m going to let God do His job because I’m finding I’m extremely under qualified!
I ask You: "How many times will You pick me up,
When I keep on letting You down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?"
And You answer: " My child, I love you.
And as long as you're seeking My face,
You'll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace."
- from "Grace" by Laura Story
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:26, ESV
It’s hard to believe two years have passed since I’ve written anything for this blog. So much has changed in these last two years.
My husband resigned as pastor of the church where we had served the Lord for nearly 20 years. The last years were difficult, challenging and painful. My husband is not the type of man who quits anything; so stepping away from the pastorate was a hard decision to make. In fact, he struggled with the decision for over 5 years. Unless you’ve been there, it was tougher than most can imagine. An incredibly huge change!
When a decision like that is made in one area of your life, it always affects other areas. Your friends change. People who had been part of your life for so long are no longer there. A few friends remain, but you lose many. Sometimes, people are hurt by your decisions and so they just stay away. You lose touch with others simply because your paths just don’t cross anymore. This brings hard, emotional changes!
We no longer live in the house where we raised our five older children. With the decision to leave the ministry, our finances changed as well. We decided to rent out our beloved old home and moved into a smaller apartment to reduce our cost of living. Space changes!
In an attempt to provide for our family while we wait to see what God has planned for our future, my husband started a construction company. Another change! Guess who does all the office work? Yes, me! An even different change.
We also had to find a new place to worship. We were blessed to find a church about 45 minutes away that has sound biblical teaching. It is still hard to integrate into a new church family, though. This was an enormous change for me!!
A very pleasant change happened in September of 2017. Our little Jude had open heart surgery to repair his heart defect. This has brought happy health changes for him.
So everything changed. Some changes were welcomed and others I didn’t like. In the midst of the changes and chaos, I would often seek out songs to help calm my mind and refresh my spirit. One of the songs was “Trust in You”, sung by Lauren Daigle.
Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see
I try to win this war
I confess, my hands are weary, I need Your rest
Mighty warrior, king of the fight
No matter what I face You're by my side.
We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.
- 2 Cor. 3:18, HCSB
What is the glory of the Lord? It's one of those Christianese phrases we say a lot, but what is it? What is Paul talking about in the above verse?
Let's jump back to the Old Testament, to Exodus 33 & 34. Here Moses asked the Lord to teach him God's ways (33:13). Then a few verses later, Moses asked to see the Lord's glory. The Lord responds by telling him to get in a rock crevice and that Moses would be allowed to see the trailing edge of the Lord's glory.
In chapter 34, the event is described for us. The Lord told Moses to prepare two stones and go up to Mt. Sinai in the morning. Moses did what he was asked and the Lord passed in front of him (34:6). As the Lord passed, He listed some of His attributes: Yahweh is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and truth...but will not leave the guilty unpunished. So, the Lord directly tied His glory to Who He was and is - to His attributes. His attributes are His glory.
Immediately, Moses bowed down and worshipped. This is the first time the Scriptures say that Moses worshipped. He had seen a burning bush, had been given a huge task by God to lead out a captive nation, had taken on the leader of a major world power at the time, had brought plagues to that powerful nation, had seen an army drown in the Red Sea, had participated in the celebration following that event, had seen God work miracles to keep the Israelites fed and watered in a desert, but this is the first time he worshipped! The end result of this encounter with the Lord is that Moses' face was somehow changed. He had to wear a veil over his face so people wouldn't be frightened.
Paul refers to this event in 2 Corinthians 3, stating that with unveiled faces, we look at the glory of the Lord as we would look at a mirror and we are changed - transformed - just as Moses' face was transformed when he looked at the Lord's glory.
This truth really challenges me. Am I busy serving the Lord, even singing His praises, but not truly worshipping Him? Have I been changed by my encounter with the Lord? Do others see a difference in my countenance, my appearance because of this transformation? Do I reflect (as a mirror) the Lord's glory, being compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, rich in love but always speaking truth and not going along with sin?
If not, why not?
Let Your glory fill this place, Hallelujah.
Let Your glory fill this place even now.
Do a work in each heart, let it show on each face
Let Your glory fill this place.
- Geraldine Turner
My name is Lynn Pauley. I'm just a normal woman, with normal struggles. Any success I've found comes from following the Scriptures. I'll update this blog as time and inspiration permit.