“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Mirick and I moved here to Atlanta last year and knew no one! We did not know what the move would bring, and of course I came kicking and screaming! Once we got here, I decided to trust that this was where God wanted us to be. I remember sitting with our children praying for godly brothers and sisters in Christ. I have come to give a praise report of the kind of people that God has surrounded us with: On Sunday, I was approached by a dear friend, which informed me that she and several others wanted to sponsor Rosa (our oldest daughter) for violin lesson through the end of the year. I broke down in tears of joy! For, one God knew that violin lessons for Rosa was a desire of my heart; and secondly, that these individuals would respond to God in such obedience.
Rosa use to take violin lessons for years in South Carolina, but once we moved here we could not afford them. I was praying about this and saddened that God gave her this gift and she could no longer take the lessons. She has such a passion for playing the violin. Though in the middle of all of our financial turmoil I do feel that God is escorting us through this storm (our season). I feel His presence in my life unlike ever before! From an earthly perspective many would see this as a very dreadful time in The Grant Family. However, I see God showering His love, His compassion, His strength, and His grace on my family. We are truly being covered and carried by God, (1Peter 5:6-7) says “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I must tell you that we are living through these verses.
I must say that I am continuously in awe of what God continues to do in our lives. This is all I have time for but, will leave with a passage that God has had me camping out in.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalms 37:3-5)
This season will pass! I know that God has our best interest at heart. He will show His infinite power through this time so help us become the people He wants us to be!
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in His way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. (Psalm 37:23-25)
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. (Psalm 37:29)
Talk about strength in times of trouble! God is so amazing!!!!! He has been my strength in these times of trouble for my family. I’ve come to give praises to His name! On the 1st of September I posted the financial trouble that my family is presently experiencing (due to our own disobedience). However, God through His mercy and grace have been providing for our circumstance and giving us open doors to repent and turn away from our dreadful sin of not tithing consistently or being good stewards. He has brought finances our way and godly financial counseling. It is our heart to honor God in every area of our lives, and to some it may come easy, but it has been difficult for us. Thank God He knows our heart and our true desires, as the Psalmist says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Mirick and I have never known where to start to be better stewards or how to be committed to tithing faithfully, or how to put together a spending plan and live by it. We have never been on one accord when it came to our finances, and while we were at odds we were destroying our family. We functioned out of our own ignorance and that certainly did not bring honor to God!
So, like I said here we are again…..We lost our home last year to foreclosure through living well above our means, never for a minute thinking about our testimony and what God desires for us financially. Then returning here again facing eviction! This has been the best learning experience for Mirick and I. We are able to TALK about where we have gone wrong, how we have sinned against God, and seek guidance to live according to His word! Powerful!!!!! Especially for us, we took our eyes off of each others faults, and playing the blame game and really focused in on God; seeking His direction through His word and the purpose of this trial. I must tell you that through this He has been faithful in providing the funds needed to catch up the rent, wisdom to look for another (less expensive) place and peace to still go one without falling apart and arguing about the what if’s.
For me, a year ago I would have abandoned my post and gone out to find a job, to band-aid our situation. Or, I would have been on the phone with my extended family coming up with the money and blaming Mirick for our circumstances. After all, they have rescued us so many other times for our own self destruction and defiance to God. Not this time! Me and my man are walking through this together as God desires us to do, and living out biblical leaving and cleaving according to Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” Huge!!!Huge!!!Huge!!! concept for Mirick and I, this was a big area of struggle for the both of us. Praise the Lord!
At the same time, God is giving me a view of my own heart and desires. He is guiding me to understand that the very things I do desire He placed in my heart. However, He is showing me how to determine the true depth of my desires. God is giving me signs to go through doors that He has opened for me some time ago, but I never walked through out of fear! And, of course we know that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7)
God is surrounding us with godly brothers and sisters in Christ. I remember sitting at our table last year with the kids praying that through our move God would bring to our lives those who love the Lord, not just hearers of the word but doers (James 1:22). He is answering that prayer daily, and these individuals have been blessing us in many ways. Each and every person brings wisdom, guidance and a hint of their own lives to glorify our Father in Heaven. They share their unconditional love for Christ, never coming or expecting anything, they are not judgmental and they rebuke and reprove in love!
I am constantly amazed by what is taking place in our lives, at a time many would considered to be a dark time. I am excited to see exactly how this all turns out and of course All of it will be to the Glory Of God!
Overall, we are gaining a clearer perspective of God. We are understanding that this experience is not some judgment for disobedience, but discipline for disobedience. It is like when my parents spanked me when I disobeyed them. It is sort of the same but to a greater degree. And Hebrews 12:7-11 explains it so well “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” I believe that were there is no chastening, there is no love. I am thankful that God loves us not to let us continue in the path of destruction we have been on, destroying our lives and bringing our children up in the same way. Praise Him, for not leaving us to ourselves!
There is no place I would rather be right now but in the middle of this storm with The Living God, building character in our family, and at the same time preparing us for His service. He knows how it all will go from beginning to end and we decided that we will trust him. Is going through this storm hard? Yes! But Jeremiah 29:11 helps us remember that God is sovereign! And that we a are like clay in the potters hand. (Jeremiah 18:1-6)
So, with that I say- “Use me Father, shape me, mold me into what you would have me to be!” I want to be a living testimony. Through it all I will praise Your Holy Name.
What a day! The Grant family is facing eviction. Seems like we have been here before I think God is seriously saying something here. At first, I figured He was saying something to Mirick, but now I am convinced that what is going on through this valley experience is for me. Though we have been around this mountain before, there is a difference……I feel His presence. As, Dr. Stanley has begun taking us through the 30 Life Principles every week I feel each message has been prepared especially for me. About a month ago I woke up remembering something I heard in a dream “Be still and know that I am God”. I did not know what that was all about, Be still? Well, there was nothing going on in our lives and things seemed really good, as far as I could see. So, on with life I continued, never mentioning the words to anyone. Well, periodically Mirick picks up some movies for us from the church library, and to my surprise he brought this dvd title “Be Still And Know That I am God”. Weird? Maybe for some, but not for me… I was like okay God, what is this all about? I began to wonder if something tragic was about to happen in our lives, would we be losing one of our children? Would we be losing one of our parents? What? Well, how silly of me to try to guess the thoughts of God! But I tried, none the least!
Shortly after, Mirick cut his hand at work and needed surgery. This brought him home with me and the kids for a couple of weeks. I blogged about our experience and how God provided for us through the experience. Remember, I said I asked God what He wanted me to learn from this experience? Well, I thought I knew…….but there was more to come! In fact I remember at that time feeling like WOW! was that easy to go through. Wrong!!!!!!!! Because here came the true test, and the true revelation. God did show me through Mirick’s time at home many areas that we had grown in together.
But Now! Right now! He is saying much more to me about the heart of things. My own sinful heart. In the past few weeks My Heavenly Father has been revealing to me my pride in many areas of my life, my self reliance or reliance on man, lack of accepting my True Identity, and the importance of relying on God as my resource. My husband is an awesome man! He is the one God chose for me and I love him! Me in my ignorance often times look to him for things that only God can provide. I look to Mirick as the source, and at the same time neglecting the fact that God is the only source. I get irritated with Mirick for our financial situation or lack of finances, and how to me we never have what we need, or what I think we need! Mirick is such a hard worker and a great father to our children; he is always willing to do whatever it takes for me and our children. I love that about him. However, I am always looking for ways for him to improve (playing the role of the Holy Spirit in his life and full of PRIDE in my own!) Ugh! Who do I really think I am? I thought if he would only tithe, and get another job we wouldn’t have these problems! Things would be better for us, for me, no more worrying etc., etc., etc. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Is what my loving Heavenly Father said…..
A series of things have taken place and I have been writing down the scriptures, and the messages. Psalm 119:104-105 says that “Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”So I knew that God’s word is where I needed to begin! That is exactly what I did, I have traveled many places over these weeks with God from Hosea 2:14-20 to Hosea 10:12 which spoke volumes about my desires and whether not they lined up with God’s desires for me and my family. It covered a multitude of areas in my life where fallow ground needed to broken up and I needed to seek the Lord. I can’t begin to find the words to tell you of the awesome journey He has taken me on! I sit here with His peace and His strength to type this testimony before my 2:30 appointment that will determine our immediate living situation.
Then, this past weekend God drove home many points that He had been outlining for me. One verse comes to mind- Psalm 37:25 “I have been young and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” He is right here in the mist, and He cares, and either way it is all apart of His plan. So, yes we are reaping what we sow, but I still will Praise the Lord! Through all of this I have learned more about the very character of God and seeing Him for who He is and me for who I really am. I thank Him for knowing my heart and my anxieties; to Him I can not lie. I thank Him for His grace and mercy, for helping me see that I am sinful man and I always fall short and that I need Him. He is the only source.