I have really been in a season of healing and I am thankful! God orchestrated more than I ever could have realized when He asked me to lay down my Isaac several weeks ago. I had no way of knowing how His timing and plan was unfolding in my life!
I have learned a lot of lessons the past few weeks, probably more than I can put into words.
I know I have been rather cryptic about my Isaac, but at the time I couldn’t make it public. What happened was this: The Lord asked my husband and I to visit another church. I agreed to do it before I had time to weigh what I was doing. (I believe the Lord allowed me to agree quickly because I would have never agreed if I had weighed the cost.) You see, for most of our marriage we attended my husband’s home church, which became my church as well. Oh the lessons I learned about what NOT to do in leadership, oy vey … I made mistakes, learned some tough lessons, and walked away with a lot of hurt. On the other hand, I loved some great people and learned more about the Lord through crying out to Him.
During all of those years (I think around 15) I wanted to be in a much freer atmosphere. Finally, when our daughter was born — God opened a door for us to leave and we landed in a non-denominational, charismatic church. It was a gift to me. It is not a predominantly white church, but blended like a beautiful tapestry of every race and nation (which I LOVE).
LAY DOWN YOUR ISAAC ON THE ALTAR
Have you ever noticed how God often brings things full circle in your life? Well, for me — I was required to lay down ALL control and trust God (and I had to trust my husband to lead). This was being asked of someone who at the time had a very wounded heart and honestly only trusted a hand full of heart-friends that had been through the fire with me. Now God was asking me to lay down my dream of attending a free atmosphere and return to a more traditional one.
The full circle was this. The church we were visiting consisted of many dear people we once did life with at our “home” church we left 7 years ago. It literally felt like we had stepped back in time. It was surreal. Perhaps for my own healing, I had to face some old demons and wounds.
Meanwhile, we were in contact with our senior pastors — asking for their prayers and guidance. They were shocked (as was I) by God’s sudden request. They didn’t want us to leave (nor did we), but we had to see why God called us to step back.
During this three week time of truly seeking God, I had my comfy little foundation shaken. All control had slipped through my fingers (though I held onto my Isaac with white knuckles) and my fate was no longer in my hands. I can’t tell you what that does to someone with a lot of wounds. It literally rocked my world. But see, God had a plan that I could have never imagined!
While all of this was going on, I was praying with a friend for a greater level of freedom. And since all of this insecurity and stuff started to manifest (that I honestly didn’t even know existed until God exposed it), we were able to attack with prayer. It was also during this time that I wrote letters to each person who had ever hurt me. I highly recommend doing this if you have wounds in your heart. I started each letter: _______, you hurt me when …. and I poured out my hurt. I ended each letter: But I forgive you. I choose to forgive you and move forward with my life. Afterwards, I BURNED THEM. See, though I had always willed to forgive — I still had the hurt buried deep within my heart. This was just one more gift God gave me during this time of surrender. Another level of freedom!
Two Sundays passed and though I loved the people at this church God asked us to visit, I longed for home. I longed for my Isaac, but I was resigned to the fact that it was out of my control. I realized that I could have easily manipulated my husband to sway his decision since he continued to ask my opinion, but I kept my mouth shut. I turned over all control so that it was 100% his choice.
It was difficult to be quiet and not sway my husband’s decision, but I feared God and I knew my husband had to lead.
Monday night after praying with a dear friend, I walked into our home to find my handsome husband looking peaceful. He said, “I think I have made a decision.” I froze in my tracks. Much to my joyous surprise, he believed we needed to go back home to our church. I was almost hesitant to get too excited. Was this really happening? My sweet Baptist-raised southern husband was given the chance to return to our community, but chose to return to a church that reflects the nations? I could hardly believe it!
GOD PROVIDED A RAM
God didn’t consume my sacrifice, but He did do a lot of surgery on my heart during that time. And I am thankful! I believe He did wondrous things in my husband as well.
Now, to explain my picture at the top of this post. My friend saw a vision of a crown I was wearing (because remember, we women are daughters of the King). She found this picture and sent it to me. She saw diamonds and hearts.
Interesting TIDBIT: Most natural diamonds are formed at high temperature and pressure at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 120 mi) in the Earth’s mantle. (Wikipedia)
Ah, this was definitely 3 weeks of intense spiritual pressure! It seemed to have lasted a few months since every day was like an emotional roller coaster!
I didn’t even realize the depth of healing until I was emailing our senior pastor after the decision had been made. I felt such an unguarded, open love in my heart for him. Wow, what was that?!?!? I had forgotten what it felt like to love with my whole heart. It has been so broken over the years, I couldn’t completely love and trust. But now … full love. I wept as I confessed my love and thanked him for allowing me to come to him for guidance. You see, from the first time I joined a prayer team I took on the role as protector where pastors are concerned (because frankly, sheep bite and often manipulate and misuse pastors). But this time, I leaned on our pastors for direction.
I met with a dear friend yesterday who hasn’t seen me since this process started. She said she saw God’s light pouring from my eyes and an innocent trust unlike she had ever seen before. HEALING!
As I have always said on this blog, there is healing in the Name of Jesus. Emotional, physical, spiritual … He is our Deliverer, Redeemer, Savior, and Friend.
The lyrics to that old hymn Trust and Obey just came to my thoughts:
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His word, what a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
If we hadn’t obeyed the Lord and trusted that He was calling us to step back, none of this healing would have taken place. What a lesson to trust God — even when what He is asking MAKES NO SENSE to us.
Thank you for sticking with this long post. What God has done for me, He will do for you. Be encouraged! There is healing to be found!
I am linking with Laurie, this month’s host for for Thankful Thursday. Please click on the button below to visit her today: