Craig and I have prayed for YEARS and YEARS that Christ would use our family for HIS glory and HIS kingdom. Of course, we didn't know what that looked like - but now we find ourselves living a life that is much different from the one we pictured when we got married almost 14 years ago (Sept 30, 1995 was the big day). I realize now that when we opened our hearts to God's calling and said 'yes' to homeschooling our children and we said 'yes' to various leadership roles at church and most recently when we said 'yes' to adopting --- we put a big ol' bullseye on our family. Satan doesn't like many of the decisions we have made (good) and he is letting us know it. But as I sit here typing this morning I resolve myself to NOT let satan steal our joy, kill the vision that God has given us or destroy our fortitude. Discouragement has reared it's ugly head numerous times over the past week or so - but God has graciously provided scriptures, words of encouragement and friends to speak His words to me.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Cor 4:7-9
"If the Lord delights in a man's way, He makes his steps firm; through he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His right hand." Psalm 37:23-24
"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
"The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of deer, He enables me to go on the heights." Habakkuk 3:19
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
"I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:7-8
"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
I Chronicles 28:20
"Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you."
Not surprisingly, God knew exactly what I would need this year and He started providing back in January. A dear friend asked me to join her in memorizing one verse a week for the entire year, Word a Week. This has been the single greatest thing I have done in a long time to grow my walk with Christ. God has placed these scriptures strategically throughout my year and they have encouraged and strengthened me when I have needed it the most. I see now that back in January, when I didn't know we would say 'yes' to adoption and I didn't know how discouraged I would feel on this day, Sept 22 - HE knew and HE has been providing love, encouragement, and His balm of soothing words for 38 weeks.