I haven't updated my blog, even though I promised to keep you all updated with class, church, and Africa...so I decided I better get on the ball and do it! :)
Class with WHM has been intense. If I am being honest, we have experienced some of the most intense spiritual warfare that we have ever faced over these last couple of months. God is stripping away so many things, and being so exposed and raw is scarey and frustrating. The last couple of weeks I have felt like I am walking around in a fog.
Once again I am going to quote our workbook, because it says it better than I ever could.
"When we think about sanctification, we need to keep a number of things in mind. First and foremost, it is God who sanctifies us. The holy Spirit alone has the amazing power to transform our heart, conquer our idols, and cause us to delight in Jesus. We are not however, passive in this process; we are called to live by repentant faith, humbling believing and receiving the good news. Daily we are to live out the gospel and love others. Every day we need to appropriate the righteousness and forgiveness that is ours through Christ. Each day we are to live out of God's delight in us. As we live by repentant faith, we will have a decreasing confidence in ourselves, and an increasing confidence in the Holy spirit to transform our lives. As we grow, we become more aware of sinful capabilities and expressions of our hearts, while also becoming more aware of the great capability of the Holy Spirit to help us." (Sonship, WHM)
I am still working through all this. I think in my mind before I always lived by the expression "God helps those who help themselves" or that "God expected me to do my part." And I suppose in a way that last one is true...god does have a part for me. It is just not what I have thought all these years. I have been living like the "foolish Galatians" - I believed in Christ for salvation, but have been trying to work out my sanctification through my own righteous acts. In some ways I do feel foolish even admitting this - I have been a Christian for several years, a pastor's wife for 13, and even on the missions field (isn't that where they send the "holy" people?) ;) However, I am just starting to grasp this! And I feel like in it I have lost the part of me that I am most familiar with. I feel lost and vulnerable.
I am so thankful that God will not leave me here. I know that even if I hate the way I am feeling now, it is an answer to my prayer to "show me the iniquities of my heart." (I will admit, I have been tempted to stop praying this prayer! But my desire to know God more eventually overtakes, even if all my motives are not pure.)
So that is where I am at with all that. Feeling like a little child just starting to grasp it all over again.
In the middle of this growth life continues to happen (isn't it funny how that happens?)
The church is still here...we are not sure what the future holds. We have some ideas that we are excited about praying through and looking at more closely. As they develop I will update you for prayer! For now I would ask that you pray that we find where God is moving and hop on board instead of trying to do our own thing,as we have so often done. We have enough left in this body for one more good fight - we want to make it worth the battle.
We started school with the younger two boys this week. Many of you know that reading (and teaching reading) has been a struggle for Andrew. I was honestly dreading teaching both him and RJ. But it has been such a wonderful surprise! Andrew picked up a book and read like an old pro! And RJ is anxious to learn to read, so we are off to a good start. I have been enjoying these two smart, tender-hearted and comical little men that God gave me!
And Africa...well, we leave in less than a month. We have shots done and plane tickets bought. I am excited to meet the amazing missionaries there and see if this is the equation that God has us involved in for the future. But I am admittedly nervous too! I am struggling with how much of this is lack of faith and how much is lack of knowing how to do this! :) We are still over $1,000 short of what we absolutely need for your trip. There is no way we can do this on our own...our savings is almost depleted. Please pray with us for this...both for funding, but also for whatever it is that God wants to grow in me through this!Thank you for taking time to read this and for your love and encouragement to us! Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my mom's death. I miss her terribly - but not anymore yesterday than I usually do. I miss her in the little things...baking bread and making a piece of peanut butter toast; playing foursquare; watching Little House on the Prarie and crying; catching myself "twiddling" my hair; when my Voice of the Martyrs magazine comes (she loved this ministry!) But God has been and continues to show his love to me in this healing, and I am most grateful for friends like you who bring comfort! God bless!!!