Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When things aren't what they appear



I begin every day on my knees.  No, I don't have a hard time getting out of bed and no, I am not looking for my slippers.  I am doing battle.

Over the years, I have come to believe that life is one battle after another.  Some battles are physical, like cancer or a traumatic injury, but most battles are spiritual.  The wars I wage daily are not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities.

When I was a little girl I worshiped the God of my Fathers.  When I grew older, God called MY name.  No longer did I see God through my fathers eyes, but as MY own Savior and the Rock of my Salvation.  But, when God called my name, it was just the beginning of the journey, not the destination.

As a baby Christian, God carried me through each day.  He led me gently beside still waters and ministered to  my soul.  He gave me an excitement and a passion for His word.  As I matured, things got tougher.  He began to teach  me His ways and I learned that His ways are often not my ways.

When Sir Knight and I decided to leave the Seattle area and move to the Idaho Outback, we found the perfect property.  It was everything we had ever wanted.  It was a log home on 50 acres at the end of a dead end road.  It had two ponds, a 50 gallon per minute well, a barn and views that just wouldn't quit.  It was literally picture perfect.  I prayed over that house.  I knew it was ours.  We were meant to raise our family there.  We put earnest money down, used our house in Seattle to secure financing and were well on our way to our dream life.  We packed up all of our worldly possessions, rented our Seattle house, put all of our things in storage and moved in with my folks, just until we signed the papers.  Three days before Christmas, the "dream house" was to become our reality.  We drove to Seattle to sign the papers and wham - the financing fell through.  Just like that, our dream evaporated.

We ended up in a dumpy rental (across from a drug house) for about six months and finally ended up buying a house in a town just north of Coeur d'Alene.  It met none of the criteria we had wanted in a house, and to tell you the truth, I have no idea why we bought it, but we did.  It was a life-changing event.  The house itself was nothing special, but God knew what He was doing when He put us there.  He was changing the course of not just our lives, but our childrens' lives and many lives of those around us.  It was in this house that God called Sir Knight's name.  It was in this house that I quit work and stayed home with my children.  It was in this house that I began homeschooling, homesteading and seeking to become a Proverbs 31 woman.  It was in this house that I learned to love my husband and my children.

What originally had been a tragedy became one of our greatest blessings.  God knew that our "dream house" would have financially bled us dry.  He knew that I would have had to keep working to afford it.  He knew that He was going to call Sir Knight and that the people that he would use were not near our "dream house" but were near this house that met none of "our" criteria.  God knew.

Years later, when Master Hand Grenade was in the NICU and the doctor told us to say goodbye to our 8 day old son, my newly Christian husband thanked God for the days we had had with our precious child.  He thanked Him and gave our tiny son back into the hands of a loving God.  The God who sees the beginning from the end, knew that we needed the people he surrounded us with in our "not dream home" to pray and to lead and to hold us up.  God did not take Master Hand Grenade that day, but instead gave him the gift of life, and us the gift of faith.  God had a perfect plan.

When our beautiful daughter Chase was born still, God surrounded us with His servants that had walked this walk before we did.  He carried us through the valley of the shadow of death and gave us a glimpse of eternal life.  Many years later, he gave us the privilege of walking through the valley with our dear friends.  What seemed to be a tragedy was indeed a great blessing.  It allowed us to minister to other children of God and show them His great mercy and faithfulness.

So many things in our life don't go the way we think they should.  Disappointment follows disappointment.  Generators break down, animals die, cars break, jobs are lost and children are sick, but through it all, God is faithful.

I'm sorry to say that I don't trust God easily.  I fight.  I yell.  I cry.  But over and over, God gently says "Trust Me, I've got your six.  I will fight the fights.  The battle is mine."

And so, I start my days on my knees.  I praise on my knees.  I weep on my knees.  I plead on my knees.  And over and over again, God reminds me that "things aren't what they appear".

18 comments:

  1. Beautifully written, Enola Gay. "His ways are not are ways." We only see the here and now, not the big picture. Sometimes we understand why things happen as they do years after the fact; sometimes never in this lifetime. But God sees the whole picture, and our trust has to be in Him. Thank you for sharing these moments in the journey of your life with us.

    Pam in Tennessee

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  2. Enola Gay, this time I had to wipe the tears from my eyes before I could begin to type a comment. You are so very open and honest,
    reading your blog is like peeking in on a private scene. I feel like a voyeur, but I can't turn away. Actually, I don't want to turn away because I learn so much about myself when I read about your life.

    We are on different paths, but the goal is the same. I, too, have a hard time giving over control of my life to God. My faith is at times very weak and that's when I get myself into trouble. God is patient with me, so He has always guided me back on track. Through His grace and His wisdom, I was led to your blog.
    And your blog has helped me see more clearly.

    Sometimes I try so hard to do things my way (even while He is guiding me in His way) that I have to laugh out loud at my arrogance and folly. He sees how everything fits together, I don't. He has Google Earth Elite, I have only Google Earth Basic. My view is limited and fuzzy, His is clear and broad. So the question remains, why do I continue to try to do things my way? There must be a reason for it, but only He knows because I sure don't.

    Another very moving and thought-provoking topic. Thank you so much for it.

    NoCal Gal

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  3. 1 Timothy 6:12
    Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

    Battle on Sister!

    -Big Daddy Andy

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  4. I needed this today and I will need it again tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. It's the thing I must remember; start each day on my knees.

    Thank you for the blessing.

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  5. Once, when my daughters were small, they asked to go play in the water outside. They had on swimsuits already. They had the water toys in hand. I told them no, it was chilly outside. I knew that when they got wet outside when it was chilly they always ran fevers later.
    Oh, how they railed. Oh how they fussed. This is what they wanted. This is what I should give them. I offered them other passtimes, but they would have none of it. If they couldn't play in the water they would pout and look forlorn! I stood my ground. I'd rather look at forlorn little girls than sick little girls. After several hours they began to forget that they were forlorn, and I gave them cookies. Days later, the weather was stunning and they played in the water.
    God is like this. We want what we want but he knows what we need. He lets us rail and weep. He lets us pout and look forlorn. When we learn the lesson, and give up on the pouting, he gives us wonderful cookies (blessings). Because he loves us, even when we fuss.

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  6. Beautifully written and just what I needed to read today. And isn't that just always the way with the Lord.

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  7. Someone who views life like I do--as a war, as battles to be fought! I cannot tell you how much criticism I've taken for that. I consider myself a warrior of God. Moms are raising Righteous Reinforcements. It is the nature of life, but we must chose whom we serve each and every time. "Not my will, but thine..."

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  8. Enola, what a beautiful post. Thank you so very much for sharing your heart.
    Lisa

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  9. Thank you for this! Years ago I was at a very low point in life. I was alone and with little chance, I believed, of finding someone to share life with, to love and marry and raise a family. In my lowest moment I found an isolated spot in some woods and finally, desperately, let go of my fears and heartbreak. I prayed and and thanked God for the many blessings I had to be thankful for. I managed to whisper aloud, "Father you know my heart and you know also my desire to marry and have a family. But if it is your will for me to be single, I will be the best man I can be." After that prayer I wiped my eyes and stood. I felt better and actually seemed as if a heavy load had been lifted from me. About a week later I received a small birthday gift from my former fiance in the mail. As I was driving home from school on a November afternoon, I am a teacher, I heard a voice telling me to go thank my former fiance for the gift. She too was a teacher and taught not far off of my road home. I shrugged it off as I was glad to be going home earlier than usual. I was coaching high school football and our season had ended and that meant no more long practices and meetings. I was glad to be going straight home for the first time in months. Again I heard the voice telling me to go and thank my former fiance. I shrugged it off again. When the voice told me a third time to go, I turned my truck around, by this time I had passed the intersection which would take me to her school. I drove on to her school and I went to her classroom. As I stepped toward the door, a woman was coming out and we practically ran into each other. I looked at her and a powerful feeling washed over me. At that moment I knew why I was directed to go thank my former fiance. The woman I nearly walked into was my former fiance's teacher assistant, and within a little over a year became my wife. God answered my prayer with a miracle. The following year God gave me another miracle, a daughter. Even now it seems almost a fairy tale or too good to be true, but it happened. I know the Truth. God is with us alswys.

    Please forgive me for writing so much but your story was so powerful that I felt I had to share mine.

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  10. Save the Canning JarsSeptember 8, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Thanks for including a bit about Chase. I too had a daughter stillborn...a little porker weighing in at 9 lbs. 3 oz. She had the cord around her neck 5 times. We were planning a home birth (shame on me...a maternal child health R.N.) but she passed away quietly on my due date before I ever went in to labor...so quietly that I did not figure it out for another 16 hours. No one had to "break the news" and tell me because God let me know first.

    I had all night to cry to God, to question WHY, to ask "Now what?" and "How do I go on?" And little by little, I learned that He is faithful.
    Then I only saw dimly, now I see clearer, but soon I will see fully.

    As a nurse, there were times I would take care of a mom with an unhappy outcome (happy for the infant however). I would long to take all the parents sadness for them because I knew how to grieve. Why I believed myself to be an expert at crying to God! But even if I could have taken their pain and grieved for them, I would have ROBBED them of a closer walk with God.

    Your story is that of a woman who has learned to cast ALL her cares upon the Lord because He cares for you...and for each one of us.

    We are precious in His sight.

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  11. Once again I am moved to the point of tears by your writing. Thank you Enola, you truly are a light.

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  12. Thanks. Thanks so much. You have encouraged a family today. Jennifer

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  13. AHHHhhhhhhh....men.

    What a comfort.

    Thank you.

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  14. Beautiful post, sister.
    Thank you

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  15. Yup, all you can say to that is Amen...

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