When God Chooses to Walk You Through Rather Then Remove the Obstacle


Need You Now by Plumb

Have you ever asked the Lord to change you? I have. I’ve asked him to remove things that were so innate in me; things that were at the very essence of me but caused problems in my relationships. It was a very hard time.

I have recently had to take another spin on that Merry-go-Round. Yet another aspect of what makes me, me was presented to me as fecal matter on a plate. I went to the Lord, fully submissive, begging him to remove it from me and make me different.  Although I was submissive, I wasn’t necessarily asking to be in His will. I was asking Him to make the difficult easier for me by changing me.  Although I thought the change I was submitting for was God pleasing, it was not.  Yes, I was seeking to me more like Christ. My plea was to be more loving and compassionate because my strong, sinewy love was not desirable. My compassion lined with a plan of action to help solve a presented problem was frowned upon. Because no one else valued what makes me, me, it must be against God’s word right? Wrong.

I thought because trustworthy people, whom I love, told me my personality make-up was poor was equivalent to the Lord saying “XARA! Pay attention to this!” but it wasn’t.  When he said no to changing me, that is when I could hear His words. My personality wasn’t the problem.  He did not make a mistake in assigning me my intricacies. He knew those same intracacies would cause conflict with others.  He has used, and still uses, those conflicts to foster my growth in Him. That is not to say that this particular DNA of dust that I am does not require refining or that it is not subject to God’s design. (For example, when I don’t want to submit to my husband, I still MUST submit to my husband). But it does mean that I am not ill fashioned and do not need to long for a changing in me of things innately me for the ease of life with others. I can and will trust that God will walk me through each conflict my personality may cause. I can and will trust that He will use it for His glory.  I totally submit to His leading. I can and will trust that He will convict me in any sin or offense I make.

This is not an easy road by any means. I have become accustomed to hearing verbal jabs at who I am. That is not to say that it is any less tiresome. They say to walk a mile in someones shoes is a valuable life lesson. This process of asking God to take something away from me and not having him do it (not unlike Paul) caused me to have a more meaningful understanding and genuine empathy for Christians who have homosexual attractions. There is truly a war within our members.


Much Faith Required

I am going to make this post quick.  Every Monday, I feel the pressure of not having had a post scheduled to go. I have several post I could write in my brain but I am unsure when it will make it to computer screen.

That being said, I have 58% power on my laptop so I have to write fast in order to get this post ready.

God has seriously given me another growth spurt in my prayer life.  I know faith is the key.  Faith is the only way to please God. I’ve not only exercised more faith, I have upped the ante on what to ask God for.  He still works miracles you know!  I am carrying one right now in my womb.  If that isn’t reason enough to ask for big things in life, I don’t know what is.

I can not go into detail right now about what I am asking God for but believe me, it is big! It takes a lot more to see a work performed in people’s hearts and transform minds than it is to make a prototype for a new invention.  That’s saying something because prototypes are HARD work!

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.  If I am seeking to make a change, I start when I start.  I don’t need a certain day or say I will start after a certain event.  What I am describing is not a New Year’s resolution.  It is a more spiritually mature way to approach God in faith with prayer.

I hope to blog more soon.

Let’s Do It Again

One of the hardest things God asks us to do is do get up and do it again. 

When the issues of life haven’t changed. When the same struggle that was there yesterday and the day before that and the day before that is still there unchanged. When you’ve cried again the day before when you swore the last time was the LAST time you were going to shed a tear over it. When it seems like your prayer life is just a matter of habit because the things you need changed have not. All of that is reason to rejoice.

As I am writing that, I am having a hard time believing it myself. I’ve been praying for people for years and when I see them or hear about them they seem worse now than before. Why should I be rejoicing? 

Because even if what you’ve been praying for hasn’t changed, you have. 

Growth in Christ means growing through something. The fact that you’ve continually taken those burdens to the Lord with great expectation from Him to change things means something. That you willfully submitted yourself to God over that thing day in and day out means something.  Not letting the the circumstance dictate your faith in God means something. 

It means you trust God. It means you have matured in Christ. It means you have grown to have a deeper relationship with Him. After all, isn’t that EXACTLY what He wants from us?

So don’t get caught up in the mundanenesswhen it seems that your prayer life isn’t having any affect. God is pleased when His children get up the next day ready to do it all over again with Him.

Trusting God Has Nought To Do With Time Part 2

Trusting God has nought to do with time.

Trusting God has nought to do with time.

continuing from part 1…

I prayed specifically for what I was fasting for two times a day, morning and night. My prayers changed a bit along the way as I became more aware of what I really wanted and got even more honest with the Lord about it.  I looked for God around every corner, around every 28th day of my menstrual cycle, around every interaction my husband had with others in his calling. I saw God’s breakthrough for someone we know. God told my husband their breakthrough was for them and it wasn’t ours.

“Nothing” happened.  “Nothing” means that nothing physical happened. We are still in the same place we have been for the past 8/9 years (I don’t want to count them anymore.  Counting the years comes with depressing thoughts).  Nothing I prayed about has come to pass in the seen but something did happen!

I know I was obedient to God and that speaks volumes to my heart and grows my relationship to God.  That is priceless!  Also, my testimony is that trusting has nothing to do with time. My friend, whose post started this whole thing, said her breakthrough came 3 days after her fast ended.  Well, its been more than 3 days after my fast ended and my hope and trust in God has increased even more. I can’t exactly explain why but I am more hopeful today then I have been before. I am more hopeful today then when we, my husband and I, first started out in this season of our lives. At the beginning of moving into this Ark, we had a six month plan. I was very hopeful in those six months. I was very hopeful in the first year.  After that, my hopefulness was in the negative for a very very long time. For the first time in forever (yes, that was a Frozen reference 🙂 ) I know, I feel, I understand that my hopefulness is wholly in the Lord. It is not in a job opportunity on the horizon, a new thing to try, or any other tangible reason.

Through this fast, I’ve learned that trusting God has NOTHING to do with time.  We serve a God that lives outside of time and space so how can I trust Him with time limits attached to my faith?  How can I truly trust Him when I have limitations aka “safe guards” against disappointment?

It is easy to read about Abraham and Sarah.  It’s easy to read about Joseph.  Their story begins and ends in the same book of the Bible.   But Abraham, Sara, and Joseph did not know when God’s fulfillment would happen in their lives.  God did not give them a date and time. It wasn’t until after 24 years that God told Abraham that he would have a son within the year.  Up until then, he was told he would have a son but wasn’t told when.  Poor Joseph was exalted and brought very low twice in his life before God raised him up permanently. He didn’t know when or how the dreams God gave him would come to pass.  Why did I think my life would be any different?

Trusting God has NOTHING to do with time!  That is what I learned. That is why I can, not just remain hopeful, but can excel in ever-increasing hope each and every day because I know God will take care of, provide for, and make a way for me (us).


Trusting God Has Nought To Do With Time Part 1

Turned down plate

Turned down plate

Back in March of this year, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that relief came when she fell on her face and told the Lord everything that was in her heart, going on in her head, and what her feelings were about it.  I, unbeknownst to me, was carrying a lot of emotional baggage and had not told the Lord any of it.  It wasn’t until I read her post that it occurred to me (duh) to get emotionally naked in front of the Lord. I know this but we all need gentle reminders from time to time lest we think our shoulders are big enough.

In May of this year, that same friend posted on Facebook that she fasted for the past 30 days and experienced a breakthrough.  She did not give specifics but it was exciting to hear her breakthrough report.  Around that time, I had been contemplating on wether or not I should fast about what was on my heart.

Fasting is a big deal to me.  Fasting non-food items isn’t nearly as hard as fasting food is.  I like food. I am a person who struggles with the truth that food does not make an event.  I rate a mall on how good the food court is. Food is a big deal to me.  It takes A LOT for me to fast.  It takes A WHOLE LOT for me to fast, yet, after reading her post, I got that all too familiar Holy Spirit tug that fasting is exactly what God wanted me to do.

I told the Lord that this was His fast and He had to direct me on what to fast and how long to fast because I would do a “quick” 30-day no cheese fast or something.  I am a cheese eater.  I can eat a 8oz block of cheese in a day. No joke. So, fasting cheese would be sacrificial but I wasn’t sure if it would be effective if I just fasted to fast with a ‘there, I did it’ attitude.

When God said that my fast was to fast sweets for six months, I almost said, “Never mind!  Something is wrong with my spiritual antenna! My bad!  I’ll just wait it out for You to do what You are going to do in Your time.  A sister can’t give up her sweets now. No way!”

This was back in June. June 12 to be specific.  Six months from June 12 is December 12.  I had to make it through the Summer (ice cream), Fall (baking season begins), my birthday (birthday cake), Thanksgiving (the high holy day of sweet consumption), and the beginning of December (the start of Christmas cookie making and eating).

Every time I was tempted, every time I began to turn my thinking away from fasting to something more familiar, like dieting, I told/reminded myself, and prayed the same to God, that I wanted from Him more than I wanted any sweet.  I was taught that when you fasted, every time you are tempted by that very thing you are fasting, to pray about whatever you are fasting for.  Well, my list was a bit lengthy.  I found praying that I wanted from God more than I wanted any sweet was just as effective and heart pouring. God knew the fullness of that declaration.

There is more to this story and it will continue on the next published post.  Until then, if you have reached your end, I encourage you to fast. It is not humanly desirable to fast (do-without, deny self) but it is spiritually necessary. I pray God use my testimony to tell you.

Some Things Are God-Sized

Have you ever been burdened down, knew you were burdened down, received good advice on how to rid yourself of said burden but still couldn’t shake it? That was me…up until today.

I’ve heard it said that some things are God-sized. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that ALL things are God sized.

Several people close to me, both family and friends, have been dealing with some pretty life halting stuff. What is life halting stuff? Police being called on your spouse, reoccurring chronic illness, and discovering your children need more help then you can give. These are a few things that not only change your entire day but can halt your entire routine for weeks at a time. All life halting things begin with a moment but have numerous ripples across your days.

I have been praying for those experiencing life halting events. I tend to feel the pain of others more than my own cross. I did not realize how much it was eating away at me. I received good advice on how to rid myself of the extra weight. My husband tried to help. He told me that I needed to release them from my thoughts and let God do what He is going to do. It was very good advice because all but one person was living in rebellion to God. All the talking in the world would not cause them to change because they were not wiling to accept responsibility in the first place. Yet, I was still bothered by their predicaments.

It wasn’t a verse. It wasn’t a song. It was something our Pastor said during the sermon today. “I am unable to save Couple C, Person A, and person D. Their predicaments are God sized designed for Him to intervene.” I’m not inadequate. That is not why I can’t intervene. I can’t intervene because that is not what God’s purpose is for me in their situation.

I had been carrying this burden, knowing it was heavy but not knowing how to put it down. All the right words from my husband could not have done what God’s word did today. God has used my husband NUMEROUS to give me a word from Him but in this, I needed to sit at the Master’s feet alone and feed directly from His hand. You never know how heavy burdened you were until you experience the weightlessness of Christ.

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Lying To God

Have you ever lied to the Lord?

I can only imagine how dumb that question sounds.  I mean who would really ever say they  lied to God?

It is only now that I have come to the end of my self (again) that I had to admit that I lied to God, and held on to that lie, for four years.

A lie is a lie is a lie, however, I want to explain how I lied to God.  I didn’t come out and say a falsehood that I knew to be false at the start.  Think of  the writing that is right before the end of an important document that you must sign which says something to the effect of, “to the best of your knowledge you know the previous information to be true”? That is how I spoke to the Lord. To the best of my knowledge, I believed what I told him four years ago.

Recently, I had to accept that things weren’t going my way and, despite my very best planning and efforts, nothing has changed.  At this realization, I was gently prodded to revisit the prayer I prayed in earnest four years ago.  It was only then that I realized I had lied.  At the time, I was not aware of the depths of my soul in that  area.

My prayer went something like this (full testimony to be told sooner rather than later Lord willing), “Lord, I trust You with my desire to crochet and I fully submit it to You for You to use it for Your glory”. When, only to discover four years later, what I really meant was, “Lord, I want my desire to crochet professionally to be fulfilled.  I want it to be done in Your time frame as long as Your time frame matches or at the very least, does not exceed my estimated time frame”.  Have you ever prayed something like that?

You are to be honest with the Lord, completely honest, because that is what He desires from us.  No hidden motives.  Besides, there no point in being deceitful with One who is omniscient.

I could have, should have, been completely honest with the Lord then but I made assumptions on what I thought He would do for me instead of asking what I wanted Him to do for me.   I was earnest in my prayer but I assumed God would do what I desired and my prayer was, more or less, a formality. Though we may forget, God doesn’t and we may be put to the test to see if the words we uttered in prayer are true in our heart.

Praise God for drawing me with his gentle cords and bands of love (Hosea 11:4) to be honest with Him and my desire to “crochet” professionally.

Hmm.  Seems to me that I wasn’t lying to God…I was lying to myself.

Praise God for drawing me with his gentle cords and bands of love (Hosea 11:4) to be honest with Him and my desire to “crochet” professionally.

And Now, I’m Ready (Right Now I Am Not Sure If This Is A Statement Or A Question)

To clarify, this is the third blog of the week.  I wrote the first two Thursday evening.  The one you are currently reading is (was?) written Sunday afternoon.

To bring you up to speed: I was depressed all of Friday. I was in an unshakable funk.  I took a nap out of sheer hopelessness.  I couldn’t  fix my situation so I slept. I didn’t even go to Zumba Friday night and you know that NEVER happens. I felt so oppressed.  I finally felt lifted from that oppressive state very late into the evening.  I felt so much better that I was hopping there was a 10PM Zumba class I could take 🙂 Only after I felt better did I realize I was involved in spiritual warfare.  I don’t know how I missed the clues. I think at some point in the funk I must have realized it but was to overcome by the feelings of helplessness to fight.

I had plans Saturday which was a blessed distraction.  Nevertheless, helplessness crept back in that evening.  Today is Sunday, and I flip-flopped between feelings of excitement about the future (namely Saturday) and the helpless feelings of today.

When we were both home from church, my husband asked me what I thought of him going into ministry full-time. (I am not going to dive deep into this here.  It very well may come out over time but the how and where-did-that-come-from explanations will not be given in this post.)  I told my husband I had no idea.  What I didn’t tell him was that all I had on my mind was how God was/is going to get us up out of this house and having more children.

He had an afternoon appointment and after he left for that I had a chance to pray.  In prayer I realized my fear. I’ve heard stories of pastors getting shafted with pay and churches  working the pastor and his family to death while making sure they stay broke.  I didn’t want to be in that position.  Yes, I want to live for God fully.  Yes, I want to serve Him with my life.  I do that now.  Anyone can.  You work where God calls you to where ever it may be; the courtroom, the ER, your home, an office, a cockpit. Christians have many professions but I was deathly afraid of being financially dependent on God through God’s people.

When I realized that in prayer, I confessed it immediately and released it to Christ.

I trust God with all my needs because He said He would supply them all (Philippians 4:19).  The wants is a harder thing to trust Him with because they aren’t needs. There is no guarantee that those will be met. Even though the lack of a want may feel like a need, it is not a need.

I trust God with having more children (four more to be exact), having my own home, having a pantry, having a pantry stocked with food, being able to afford to take my children to Chick Fil A on the fly without having to $acrifice in another area, and other deep soul-yearning wants.

I trust God with my $18 lip gloss, $200+ bags, $64 eye cream, $25/5 draws, among other material wants.  He’s allowed me to have these things over the years in the ark and I entrust Him with them for the future as well.

I don’t know what the future holds.  I have no idea how or what God is going to do Saturday in the Lee household but I am expectant.  Now I’m getting excited!

When It Rains, It Pours!

I’ve heard the saying, “Things always happen in three’s.”  I don’t put stock in that.  For one thing, I would live in fear each and every time something unpleasant happened, waiting for the other two events to manifest itself.  I can, however, attest to having moments in life when unpleasant things happen in succession.

Recently, I began to be in fervent prayer for a desire of my heart (and it’s a doosey.  It’s no small order.  It’s a Red Sea experience.  If it is God’s will and it comes into fruition, I will gladly spill the beans.  Until then, just know I am in prayer about something major.).  Since then, I have received several prayer request for major life circumstances.  It became overwhelming.  I received two heavy requests for prayer back to back in the same day.

I was bothered that I couldn’t let the weight of the requests go.  I was carrying the load of the requests instead of submitting them to God.  I hurt for those involved but I also hurt because I thought I couldn’t possibly pray for anything I desired with such hard experiences occurring to others I know.

I’ve mentioned before that prayer does not come easy for me.  Some people are gifted at being a prayer warrior.  I don’t have it.  I pray.  I pray to the Lord everyday but I don’t have the prayer life that I desire to.  I want to come to the Lord at a set time everyday even when nothing major is going on in life.  That is how you build a relationship with others and that is a part of getting to know Christ as well.  However, that particular area of my spiritual walk is less than stellar.

Given my particular infantile prayer life, for me, my definition of fervent prayer is praying for something in particular at least once each day.  That is big time prayer for me.  When I heard of these other prayer requests, I thought I had to stop praying for my desires and focus on praying for others.  That is when God reminded me, while I was in prayer praying for the other requests, that He is big enough to handle everything!  No request is too hard, too much, too tough, too easy, too insignificant, or too large for Him to handle.

It seems like a basic principle but even basic principles require gentle reminders.

Updates & Feedback

In two previous posts, I said I would write an update as things progressed.  Well, here it is.

In my Awesomeness post, I wrote about how my prayer life sucks.  Thankfully, it has gotten much better.  I had to pray about praying.  It is amazing how long the distance is from where you are to getting on your knees.  I have been getting up to pray pretty regularly for the past two weeks.  As soon as my eyes pop open, as long as it’s after 6AM, I get up and go to my designated prayer spot and pray.  It has gotten easier to do with each passing day.  My day feels better after I spend time with the Master.  It is so comforting and I feel like I am really building my relationship with Christ this way.  It feels like when you first get to know someone and you go to lunch or meet up with them on a regular basis.  You get to know that person better with each communication.  That is what it feels like when I meet God in prayer.  I now look forward to it instead of dreading it because it is so early.

In my Communication post, I mentioned a problem I saw with one of my bonus children thinking that they could not come to us with their feelings.  I had a chance to address this a few weeks ago.  Honestly, I feel like I forced the conversation.  I was so anxious to ask if my child thought that they could not come to us that I didn’t try to test the conversational waters with test questions before diving into my main concern.  My child said that they did not feel like they couldn’t come to us with their feelings.  I asked if their were any feelings that they were nervous about sharing with us and they said no.  (What a relief!)  It turns out that my probative questions turned into a dialog between us and they told me that they don’t share their feelings very easily with anyone.  I had mixed feelings about that.  One one hand, I was relived that they treat both households the same and that we were not singled out as the ones they could not express their feelings to.  On the other hand, I now see we have to help my child learn to express their feelings and not keep them bottled up inside.

On another note, to anyone who is reading this, would you mind leaving a comment about how my writing is?  I want to make sure that I am writing clearly and concisely.  As I am sure you have clearly seen, I don’t remember all the rules of grammar and I am sure I have butchered the rules on punctuation.  Does that bother you?  Please let me know.  Brian has an MLA handbook that I can refer to if need be.  My writing style will still be the same.  It will be what the Lord leads me to write or what He allows me to write about myself but I can fix any grammatical issues that you see.  Thank you for your input!