This morning, I have been sitting here watching the Center Grove live stream, worshiping to The Stand (one of my favorites)… “But what can I say? What can I do? But offer this heart, o God, completely to You.” I feel free to worship this morning, letting go, sensing total need for surrender. Baby Joshua was born 4 days ago. I’m just amazed at God. The past few months have been a struggle. Some physical pain, emotional pain, selfishness, anger, frustration, stress, high blood pressure… all of the necessary things to put me in the place I needed to be. Home. It was time for me to let go but I refused to do it on my own. Life was all about me, and had been for a long time. I refused to let go of my pride… so God took care of it for me. Let me go back a little...

After going through some counseling about 2 years ago, God began to show me that He was truly calling me to Himself. Unsure of what that meant, I continued with life as it was. I felt closer to Him, but still I was unable to let go of Paula. For these 2 years, I have at times felt up and at times felt down. The down times became absolute misery, but then some circumstance would throw me on a whirlwind again to make me feel like life was okay. Those of you who read this blog have probably noticed it. Over the past 2 years, I have left writing for a while and come back for a while, with all good intentions to be consistent in writing what God has placed on my heart at any given time.

Satan has been hard on me, and this continued self-serving has brought me to a place where I realize just how weak I am in my own strength. Circumstances I will face in life are completely beyond my control (which is hard for someone who constantly struggles with the need to be in control). I guess this is where God has wanted me to get to, but it has been a journey full of self-inflicted pain. Spiritual warfare, yes, but a lot of the pain and misery has come from selfish choices. Sins of omission can be just as bad as sins of commission. My family has suffered tremendously, and I am thankful for a husband who has always patiently waited for me to become who he believes God has made me to be.

Our little Joshua, this precious little bundle of joy that God gave us as a “surprise” gift, has worked miracles in my heart. There is no way to explain how this event in our lives has changed me and continues to change me. Let’s just say God knows what He’s doing with EVERY circumstance in our lives. He is so real! His blessings are real, his discipline is real, the temptations in life are real. The only way to fight is to stay close to God. In His word… listening to His voice… crying out in desperation that He will control you. And if He is calling you to do something, all of the things you fight normally in your spiritual walk will become at least 10 times stronger! He’s been calling me for 2 years and I’ve been fighting HIM instead of TRUSTING Him to fight the battles that come at me. However, during this time, He has taught me a lot of lessons and has shown me what He is calling me to do. For that, I am thankful.

Most of our struggles come down to pride. If we admit it or not, we are our own worst enemies. A lot of the disagreements we have are over our individual preferences instead of what we claim as the “godly” way to do things. We would rather be right and preserve our security than to be humble and listen to what our brothers and sisters in Christ have to say. We would rather do it our own way than to really listen to how GOD wants us to do things. So, how are you doing with your pride? Are you trusting God to fight your battles or do you still believe (maybe even subconsciously) that you can live this life in your own strength? I’m finally where I know it is not possible to live the life that God has for me in my own strength. And I’m thankful that He has gotten me here… but I had to surrender. 

So I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned… in awe of the One who gave it all.
I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to You surrendered. All I am is Yours... 

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