This has been a week of light and shadows. Sunday night my small group and I warred in the Spirit for some things going on in my family. It was one of those facedown-on-the-floor-snotting-and-leaving-a-puddle-of-tears, kind of nights. I believe that much was accomplished that we cannot see.
Monday was a new day. I defended my thesis proposal. I was thoroughly edified, encouraged, and humbled (in a good way) by my thesis committee who collectively told me that my thesis, when completed, not only should be published, but will be. I have been dreaming of publishing from the time I was a kid, but to hear people that I admire, respect, and have been molded by, use those words to describe my own writing...priceless. It was a good gift from the Father.
Tuesday I found out that a friend I've had since elementary school committed suicide. I can't even begin to describe the breadth of emotions I've had since then. I haven't seen this friend since high school (so nearly 10 years) but since we grew up together and I was familiar with his personality...happy, peaceful, always smiling...I've just been in shock. I'm grieving for his family who do not understand and were hit with something like this completely unaware.
Wednesday Dwayne and I ran into a financial wall. We're wandering around bruised and beaten trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces and build the wall better than before. There is so much spiritual attack in this area in both of our lives. The enemy has whispered lies: failure, burden, worthlessness, doubt, confusion, fear...
Wednesday I saw the elbow doctor. The bone is healing. I don't have to go back to see him. Praise!
Thursday morning I went to my dear friend/anointed massage therapist for an overdue massage. We prayed and worshipped the entire time and it was such a beautiful time of physical, spiritual, and emotional rejuvenation. The Lord really gave her discernment to pray for specific situations in my family's lives and I know God is moving to bring about His perfect plan.
Thursday night I talked with one of my hostesses from a recent jewelry show. I have been really convicted to take prayer requests from the guests at my shows. My hostess asked me to pray for her peace and comfort because she was dealing with something really hard. So I have prayed for her a lot this week. Thursday night she told me that God answered our prayers and that she had peace about the situation. She told me though that it was so bad before that she couldn't eat and had actually contemplated suicide. I was just amazed that God had allowed me be part of praying for her considering the attack she was under. I really saw Him move spiritually in my business in a big way and I know He wants to use this to minister to people's spiritual needs as well as their physical. I really had a moment of gratitude and humility before the Lord.
Today (Friday) I helped my parents with their garage sale. Dwayne and I got into a bit of an argument this afternoon about the work situation and what to do. The enemy is so trying to cause devisiveness. I prayed with Dwayne and warred for him and our family. For the first time I prayed that God would move right then in someone's heart and show that person Dwayne's face, his gifts and talents, and that they would know they are supposed to hire him. I'm asking God to take Dwayne to a place where he is valued in word and deed and where he can provide for our family well. He needs that affirmation in his life. He has been so beaten down by the enemy at every turn and I just grieve for him. Pray with me for him if you will. Pray for us!
And I'll end on a good note. I was getting the kids ready for bed the other night and we were talking about how God speaks to us. I was sharing with the kids that sometimes God speaks to me through pictures in my mind and sometimes He speaks through His Word, like Isaiah or the Psalms. Cayle said that his Psalm is Psalm 27. I thought that was cool because I knew he didn't really know what the Psalm was, and off-hand neither did I. After I tucked them in I went and looked it up:
A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God.
A Psalm of David.
1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
2When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
4One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.
5For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
6And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
8When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You,
"Your face, O LORD, I shall seek."
9Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the LORD will take me up.
11Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.
12Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.
I'll let you put this puzzle together: 1) Cayle's name in Hebrew means "faithful, bold, courageous." 2) Beside my Bible I had already written the word "courage." 3)This is the third time that this chapter has come up since January and I believed after the second time that this was a "season" chapter for me, meant to encourage and lift my head. :)
Tonight as I was tucking the kids in we talked more about this concept of God speaking through His Word. I read to Cayle his scripture. As I was reading I was also thinking about Alaya, that God would reveal to me a scripture for her. I heard Him say Psalm 101.
The Psalmist's Profession of Uprightness.
A Psalm of David.
1I will sing of lovingkindness and justice,
To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.
2I will give heed to the blameless way
When will You come to me?
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.
3I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not fasten its grip on me.
4A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will know no evil.
5Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy;
No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.
6My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.
7He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.
8Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land,
So as to cut off from the city of the LORD all those who do iniquity.
Puzzle #2: Alaya's name means "praise God" in Hebrew. She came out of the womb singing. (Her cries sounded like singing.) She sings throughout the day, some known songs, but many made-up ones, in a beautiful soprano voice. And she dances. She sings herself to sleep. She's living out what she was created to do.
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies at the gate" (Psalm 127:3-5).
I am amazed by Him. I see so clearly (and imagine you can too) the tit for tat kind of warfare that has gone on this week, but I'm so grateful that my Redeemer lives and that the Power of His Blood casts out all fear and brings peace. Jesus is Victorious; my Hope, my Song. In Him I will choose to rest.