Tag Archives: friends

The Pursuit and the Treasure

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that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3

Why am I ever surprised at how good God is? Don’t get me wrong, I rather like being surprised in my joy for Him. He is a treasure that will never be fully known or discovered. This in itself is a very good thing because it means He is vast (Psalm 145:3) and beyond me (and I can put my trust in this One who is greater than me.). This also means He is eager for us to know Him, and He reveals Himself constantly (Jeremiah 24:7; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12; Romans 1:20; 2 Timothy 3:16), giving us the opportunity to be stricken with sheer joy and wonder as we enhance our picture of God. He shows us hues of blues and purples contrasted with the brilliant oranges and yellows. May you have moments where you find yourself utterly broken and at a loss as to how to express your love and gratitude for Him because of your realization about some new treasure hidden in Christ. It brings me to tears just thinking about it. I could tarry here forever…

This is exactly where I found myself today. I love it when God brings to memory an area in my life that was so difficult in the past, that I prayed earnestly for, not knowing how it would pan out, and shows me how He brought me through it and into a more beautiful place than I could ever imagine for myself (and what blows my mind even further is the thought that this beautiful place in which I find myself now is nothing compared to what’s to come!). It’s just so hard when you’re in that difficult season to see past the trial and to trust the One who stands with you in it. I’ve been there and no doubt will be there again. I hate those times yet am grateful for them after they pass. I love the closeness I feel to Him in those seasons, even though it is often mingled with frustration and fear and doubt. I am quick to despair that the season will never end, giving up hope that my situation can even be helped. I find myself being a Little Faith One. It’s in those times that He swoops in with the gift of faith, helping me to trust in Him though everything says it doesn’t make sense to believe He will make it right.

But not today.

Let me fill you in on my treasure discovery. I am an introvert who masquerades as an extrovert but is supremely awkward at times because of my shyness (or else I’m self conscious that I’m awkward which makes me even more awkward? It’s a vicious cycle folks.). I have always felt like it was hard for me to make friends because of this. This is one reason why it was so hard for me to leave our home in Oklahoma to follow God in a new journey. You mean I have to make new friends? Start all over again? This fear nearly matches my crippling fear of having to sing in public, I kid you not. So I had to mentally prepare myself for the long haul. I knew that it would take me about 8-10 years to make friends again, and that meant I would just have to be patient. May I first say that my family members are definitely my closest friends and my Oklahoma friends were just a phone call away, so I have never been truly alone. But there’s something about having girlfriends that I can meet with, and their kids can play with my kids. It just brings joy on a whole different level. Fast forward to today. I’m sitting in my living room, surrounded by five amazing women and about 400 kids (okay so I exaggerate, but there were a lot of kids!), and it occurs to me that I have friends. Good friends. And this was His gift to me just because He’s good.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.  Psalm 84:11

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

Please hear me when I say that it is NOT true that I only find Him good when He gives me things that feel good to my little heart. He could have left me with no friends at all. But He didn’t. I found Him good even in those times when I felt like I’d never make any friends because I knew that He was near to me, well acquainted with my grief and need for friendship. I knew that He could satisfy any needs I had. He just happened to do that with friends this time. He doesn’t withhold good from us, and the “good” can come in many forms.

You wonder what exactly the treasure is that I found? It’s His goodness and His love that pursues me with such determination, making me aware that I am His treasured daughter. I wonder if He does it for His own joy? Does He not find joy in seeing His children relish in His love? Seeing them enjoy Him? How could you not love Him? You see, the treasure isn’t the gifts He gives, although I would argue that these friends are treasures! The treasure is always Him.

What treasures have you found in Christ? Are you even looking? He’s worth the pursuit! I love how Tozer so articulately writes about the depths of God:

To have found Him and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love. A.W. Tozer.

Watch as He outpursues you while you are in hot pursuit of Him! He just won’t be outdone.

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Craving Connection

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My oldest son is a social butterfly…in the manliest way of course. So when we told him months ago that we would be moving to Texas, we began to prepare him that he would be leaving his friends. Here he is reading with two of them.

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He actually took it pretty well and would often comment, “my friends sure are going to miss me.” 🙂 He wasn’t necessarily thinking of himself but of how his friends would feel once he was gone. Well, it hasn’t quite been a month yet, and we can see that moving has taken a toll on him. He continues to ask about his friends, and every person we meet in the park or at the last church we visited is a potential “friend.” He craves connection, and his little brother just isn’t cutting it.

I actually thought I would be the one feeling sad and lonely. In fact I was so concerned about it for so many days that I was throwing myself pity parties every day. It’s not that I didn’t think it would be hard on my kids, because I did think it would be difficult for them to adjust.

I hear people say things all the time about how they wouldn’t want to make a big decision in life because of how it might affect their kids. I’ve heard people ask this about missionaries (“But what about your kids? How are they going to adjust to life in a foreign country?”), and now I’m asking myself, “how is this move affecting my kids?” I could easily go down the road of worry and try to plan and fix and coddle. But I’m thinking…no, not this time.

I’m seeing how God has made us to desire connection with others, and obviously with Himself. I’m remembering how God has taken care of me, and I’m trusting that He is going to take care of my kids. Sure, it’s going to hurt my mother heart to see my normally spunky, happy-go-lucky 5 year old a little down in the dumps, but He will give grace as needed even for my little person.

I know it won’t be easy all the time to maintain this perspective, but for today, I’m trusting, and I encourage you to do the same. If you’re dealing with loneliness, take it to Him. Ask Him for connection, first with Him, and then with others. He is all we need, but He’s so good that He gives us people to enjoy relationships with as well. He also gives us trials in which we can know that the end result is for our good. Take a chance. Trust Him. He’s worth it (and He’s got the connections to prove it).

Overwhelmed

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Okay, silly question. I’m sure everyone of you has felt overwhelmed. (If you cooked the Thanksgiving meal for the first time this year, I’m guessing you might have felt overwhelmed.)

I must admit I’ve been completely overwhelmed this past week, but it’s for reasons you might not expect.

  • A friend calls to ask if she can watch my kids so I can pack our things to move.
  • Our Sunday school class throws us a going away party.
  • They take the time to write notes of encouragement which are worth more than any amount of money.
  • They actually give us money to help with moving.
  • The girls bought me necklaces to remind me that no matter where I am, I am loved by some pretty special and amazing Oklahoma ladies. 🙂
  • Another friend calls to see if she can watch the boys over the weekend so I can pack while my husband is gone.
  • Sunday evening one of the girls from my class brings over meals so I can finish packing my kitchen.
  • Monday morning another one of the girls brings more meals to last until we move on Thursday.
  • Monday my dad comes to help finish things around the house that my husband would have done (except that he had to start working at his new job in Houston that day). He spent the whole day there.
  • Monday evening a group of people from my class come over to help move boxes and do some heavy lifting so I don’t have to (and because I can’t…being 5 months pregnant will do that to you…and who am I kidding, I’m a light weight anyway!)
  • Tuesday I get multiple calls, texts, and fb messages asking how people can help for loading day on Wednesday.
  • Tuesday evening my mom drove up to help that night and the next day. She’s incredibly amazing and can do everything (watch the kids, clean, pack, load…oh yeah).
  • Tuesday (LATE) evening my husband and his mom flew in from Houston and our SS teacher picked them up at the airport since he just happened to be in the City. My mother-in-law is also amazing and helped with pretty much everything. These ladies deserve medals.
  • Wednesday a neighbor (who is also part of our class) asks if she can watch my boys while we are loading everything onto the moving truck. THIS SAVED MY LIFE…and my kids’ lives…you get my drift? She watched them all day.
  • Wednesday morning at least 15 different people came through to help load up our things. And they were HAPPY to do it. Such servants…
  • When we realized that not everything would fit into the U-Haul, we called my dad who had already offered another trailer. He got it ready and brought it down in time to finish loading up everything that night. He also drove it ALL THE WAY to Houston that following Friday.
  • Wednesday night our SS teachers had made dinner for an army and let us join them so we didn’t have to worry about what to do for dinner. *Sigh* I love these people.
  • Because we had no beds or blankets, a church friend offered their home while they were away visiting family for Thanksgiving. (Is anyone crying with me yet? I just can’t even…)
  • We were somehow able to leave on Thursday (yes, Thanksgiving day) and the traffic was absolutely perfect (you know this is a miracle if you’ve ever driven through downtown Dallas people. a miracle.).
  • We arrived safely that evening and were welcomed by my husband’s family who also helped unload the truck into our storage unit the next day. (and his parents are letting us stay in their home until our home is built…which isn’t until the end of March!)
  • We got to have Thanksgiving dinner that night 🙂

My heart is full. And it is overwhelmed by the kindness of God and His people.

I didn’t list all of those things to make you think I’m someone great but to show you how truly GREAT our God is and how amazing His people are when they simply follow the voice of the Father. They were His hands and feet in the most literal sense. And just imagine countless other things they have done even before this week approached, not just for me, but for others.

I’m sure I’ll be overwhelmed in other ways in the coming weeks (like when my kids disappear in this massive home and I find them “cleaning” the toilet or “playing” in the hot tub or “decorating” grandma’s bathroom or…you get the picture). All I need to do is look back at how I have been overwhelmed by His goodness and just remember. He took care of me then, He’s going to care for me today. And the next day. And always.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1