Awake for a long time, it’s now 4:27 a.m. Scenes from life and how it has changed so much in the past year.
I revisit those days spent in Cambodia with a misty eyes and longing heart. Even though we traveled to Bolivia as well last year, spending a heart stirring week in “Kids Crusades” and the team ministering to the teens from the local school in the village every day–my mind still pushes to the forefront what my eyes witnessed in Cambodia.
I noticed smiles on faces that I would think had no reason to smile. My perspective is tainted by the vision I’ve had these 50+ years.
But then I remember seeing smiles on faces that I thought surely had nothing to smile about—but they did. They had love and joy that was unaffected by the circumstance in which they lived.
And I found myself examining my own reasons to smile when my life was at it’s very darkest.
I remember praying for years for a miracle that I envisioned being witness to–and then the holiest of moments happened. And He allowed me to be there!
I know you are wondering where “there” is and exactly what I saw.
Her testimony is all hers, but I can share my side:
For months I have once again struggled in the “hormone” area. (Trying to go it alone–unmedicated–after the HRT I was using became difficult to get from the manufacturer. I don’t mind being frank with you about it, hoping that it will help another struggling soul (I will blog more on that later on the “hormone link at the top of the page).
The month of this miracle was February. We celebrated with purple this and purple that, sweet memories of a precious sister–who made her trip home in 2008. We talk of her often. In the beginning, it helped with the healing. Now, on the other side of this, 5 years later, it seems quite natural for her name to come up. Her memory is something we would never put away–God blessed our lives with our sister, Wanda and we will always cherish those gifts of years.
As we neared the weekend we had planned to celebrate her birthday, a weekend for just us girls at the beach, was on the calendar. Had been for months. We had been looking forward to this, the two young moms of our family had made arrangements for the kids–and the older of us girls were making the food plans, discussing what to bring and what we would do. Wanda always loved the “food plans”. No bigger than a minute, you would actually think she rarely ate.
Back to the weekend (sorry–I do tend to take you the long way around).
Decisions made, Aimee and I both had voiced our weariness in body and mind from all the day-to-day operations of ministry/work/family/life/etc. You can tell I had that out of order when I typed it, and out of order at the time of living it. The order seemed to change up from week to week, depending on what was going on in our lives.
As we drove to work one morning, we talked on the phone, both missing Wanda, both tired of something, and as Aimee mentioned that her daughter, Valaree wanted us to attend her church that Sunday of the retreat, I confess to a feeling of “but I just wanna rest”…. (Don’t judge me:) )
I told her I couldn’t speak for either of my girls, knowing one would have more of a difficulty than the other. As the week played out, both girls of mine gladly said they would be able to join my niece and were excited about the prospect. I, on the other hand, confess to the feeling of “tiredness” that I could not shake. (Don’t be a judgin’ here either)
It was not just spiritual. It was not just hormonal. Nor was it all physical. It was a combination of the mix, with probably a few things I couldn’t name thrown in! But those three were a definite.
Some people think if you’re in ministry, you can’t possibly get spiritually tired. Well, maybe there are those that don’t, but I was. I felt every part of my life was tired. I’m not making “name it claim it confessions”, I’m just being honest with you this morning. I think you deserve to know, especially if you have been struggling with similar feelings.
I knew in my heart there would be another day where energy and enthusiasm would return, I was simply waiting on it to get here. 🙂
The forecast promised storms. I did not care. I was ready to hunker down and be with the girl folk of our family.
The forecast did not lie. It stormed! Thunder rolled, lightening flashed, roads flooded–we did what we came to do though. We got out there and shopped where we wanted to shop–and spent hours in one of our favorite stores and then enjoyed a leisurely supper at “Red Robin” (Yuuum)…
Our devotion time was precious–as it has always been, and God ordered and set it all up, from who would be the early risers–and the conversation and song that ensued to the gadding about that day.
Every detail He tended. I smile now even remembering the fun–and the tiredness seemed to ease away.
The Lord let me know very quick that HE had a plan–and I was going to be blessed by His plan if I would just relax and realize HE was in charge. No matter what storms came–HIS work would not be hindered.
As the morning for church opened up, we hurriedly made our preparations to vacate the premises.
My spirit told me “today is special”. My flesh argued that I was “tired” and a leisurely day of reading the Word, singing a few songs together, as we had done in times past, would be much more beneficial.
I’m chuckling now to myself. I do remember Holy Ghost prayer meetings on Sunday mornings when we had a Sister’s Retreat–and God met us in powerful and unprecedented ways. But then I have to remember–EACH and EVERY retreat has been different. No duplications.
Isn’t it funny, how our nature is to duplicate what we’ve already experienced if it was good. Surely there couldn’t be a “better”….
Oh, “we” of little faith.
As we were driving to Refuge Assembly of God that morning, there was detour along the way due to a flooded road. We were in a caravan–with Valaree leading, me driving mother and Aimee, and Tiffany and her daughter bringing up the rear in her van.
Valaree was thinking about what we were each driving, the two lead vehicles were higher sitting SUV’s, while the van sat low to the ground. She knew the van would not make it through the water ahead–so she detoured us.
With none of us having ever visited the church before, and the area completely new to us, I would have never known had she not called and told us “we were detouring because of Tiffany” that morning.
The very minute she said that, my spirit jumped inside me.
Sometimes detours are necessary for one individual–and if things aren’t traveling YOUR way today, please offer grace. Remember that it’s not always about you….or me. Actually, as a servant of the Lord, it will always be about those HE directs us to serve.
This has actually turned into a LONG blog–which I didn’t really intend, but as I was telling, I just thought I’d let you spend most of that weekend with us! 😉
We arrived safely and as we walked up, Pastor Danny Davis met us with hearty handshakes, laughter and a very welcoming spirit. Without going into the details of the service, let me just stop and say, it was NOT business as usual.
God continued on with ordering and setting the day out in HIS plan and fashion.
The special speaker did not get to speak. The LORD brought the message that morning through the voice of the pastor–and I could honestly tell you –I saw a visible change, as well as “felt” it when the Holy Spirit began to move.
The pastor even commented on the difference that morning. God moved in the house and His Spirit was felt, acknowledged, and welcomed by all.
That morning, The Lord gave me a front row seat as He brought His daughter back home.
As a mother of a prodigal, there is nothing in this life sweeter than to witness her “rebirth”.
Her birth was wonderful–but the birthing of her “new life” was extraordinary.
Words fail me at this point. It was one of those, “you had to have been there” days. We rejoiced all the way home.
If you actually stayed with the whole story and have arrived at these closing remarks, congratulations and THANK YOU. It matters to me that you read my heart today!
Possibly you have encountered such a joy, or perhaps you are the parent of a prodigal that you have prayed for and feel there’s not much hope…can I tell you something?
Please keep praying.
Your prodigal has a day...set and ordered by The Lord.
If you think it will happen “one particular” way, please give up your idea to Him and let Him do the orchestrating of the music of that life. HE has written the most beautiful score to be heard–and only He knows when it will be played.
Our day came quite unexpected in some ways, but then totally expected in others. I mean, what better way to end a Sister’s Retreat than with the salvation of a dear daughter, sister, mom, all rolled into one precious child of the King. He knew where she would be that weekend. He had her travel plans down to the smallest detail.
Take heart parents. Keep praying. Your prodigal is still being watched by an Almighty Eye.
There may be a detour ahead.
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