Since my last post was about the upcoming year, I thought my next post should be about the lessons learned in 2012. God has taught me so much in the past year but I’ll try to give you the short list.
1. His Ways Are Not My Ways
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV)
Wow, have I learned this lesson the hard way this year. I have also “kicked against the goads” in the process. Admitting that the ways I thought my life should be were not God’s plans for me was a difficult realization to come to over the past few months. I started 2012 as a working mom and finished the year as a stay at home mom. As much as I love our daughter, I loved my job as well. 13 years ago God called me into the ministry and I have loved almost every minute of it. When He took me out of it; I was devastated. But, God has also taught me that just because a “pause” in our life comes about doesn’t mean that God’s calling has been suspended completely. I know that God has a plan for my life and my ministry; I don’t know what it is and as hard as it is to be patient I need to remember that God does things in His time, in His way and for His glory. Resting in that promise during this time of waiting is so much easier than kicking against it.
2. Motherhood is a High Calling
As much as I would like to say that I believed that statement before the past few months, deep down inside I know I didn’t really believe it at a heart level. And, I’ll admit it’s still a struggle for me to believe it some days. When you are wiping noses (and other places) and cooking and making lunches and disciplining and doing the 10th load of laundry and answering “why?” for the 500th time; it’s hard to remember that as a mom you’re not performing a menial day job, you are fulfilling God’s calling. As moms, we get to minister and lead the next generation while they are still young and under our influence. What an amazing calling! I still have so much to learn in this area but I am excited to see how God is going to teach me as we add another blessing to our family this spring.
“Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:1-4)
3. Grief is a Difficult Path
Up until this past year, I’ve pretty much spent 32 years of my life not having to learn this lesson. And then it all hit like a lead balloon. Between my husband losing his father and me losing my stepfather unexpectedly (not to mention the grief experienced as I transitioned out of the work world), it’s been a hard road for our family this year. Not only have we both had to go through the grief process separately and as a couple; we’ve also had to explain death and heaven and the loss of two grandfathers to our almost 3 year old daughter. But, I’ve also learned that no matter how deep the pit we are in; God is always there to comfort us and to bring us up out of it. He also uses these periods of grief and experiences of His comfort to prepare us to be a comfort for others. My prayer is that I will take that calling seriously.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 ESV)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV)
All for His glory!