Friday, May 29, 2009

Conversations with God

Sunday at church, at the end of the worship set, I was praying about what was on my heart, which included bringing some desires forward. We had been singing about God being enough, or something along those lines, when I prayed, "Lord, I know you are enough, but it would be really nice to have ___." Then our worship leader began to pray - "Thank you for being a God who says yes..." That was odd; not a common prayer. Was God telling me yes? It sure felt that way. So, I was thinking later, if God is telling me yes, that often comes with action from me (I'm getting it!), so what do I need to do? I'm not going to share what the answer was here, but it lead to one of those conversations with God that happen when the Lord speaks for me to do something out of my comfort zone.

If you were to listen to just my side of the conversation it would go something like this:
I could do this, but what about ___ ? ... oh yeah, I guess that's true. but what about ___ ? ... hmm, yeah I know that too. Then there's this complication.... I know, I know. guess I know what I need to do here.

Then God's side of the conversation:
(Insert string of appropriate Bible verses/ideas based on verses here) Some common ones: Matthew 6 "I will provide" ... Isaiah 55 "My ways are beyond your ways" ... "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5

I find it amusing how common this conversation is. and although one might think that I should stop second guessing, I find comfort in these conversations. First, it reminds me how important that verse is in Psalms about hiding the Word in your heart and makes me grateful for growing up in a family and church where God's Word was valued. Secondly, I can recall the conversation and find assurance that God is behind this idea and is there to support me during those times when I or someone else question my actions.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

God never stops teaching

This has been an interesting week. Saturday was my first training day for fostering and Sunday I was an emotional mess. By Wednesday I had gathered my thoughts and had enough time and conversations to process everything and see more clearly. I wrote about Saturday’s training on my foster blog and in doing such God revealed a new lesson he has for me. Since then my mind has continued to process and it seems God has quite a set of lessons.

Here they are in no particular order:

Lesson #1: Community. When I decided to be a foster parent I knew that I would need support from my friends and family, but I had no idea how much. Already I have been asking friends for prayer and support. It is a very humbling thing to do. I also knew that I would need God, but I wasn’t putting these together. God told me that he is part of the community/network of support that I need, interwoven into it and head of it. I need to get back into daily devotional time. I don’t know how I will make it without my ‘daily bread’ to give me strength.

Lesson #2: Love. This is a continuation of what God has been teaching me. Now the challenge will be to love the parents of the foster children. It has been easy to be appalled at people, but difficult to feel love. I couldn’t express it appropriately in words Sunday, but God has called me as a follower of Jesus to love the birth parents. I was struggling with how to view them, and this week God has shown me that it is through His eyes. These people are broken and hurting and in need of God’s love and prayer.

Lesson #3: Identity in Christ. I thought I had this down. Really I did. Guess I shouldn’t be so proud. There are many things that people find their identity in, but I have been content and confident with my identity as a child of God for years. This last fall I was faced with the possibly of not being able to continue my masters program, but I knew that whatever the outcome it didn’t change who I was. I was excited to face a test of my identity and feel like I passed. But one thing I have never faced is the parent role. I have prided myself in my ability to care for children and have expected to be a mom since I was a little girl, so I can see how this could be an area where I might struggle with who I am. In thinking through the foster situation, my role became confusing. I am not the child’s mother, but I will be acting as a mom and feeling love towards the child like a mom. But the child will (probably) have a mom; so I wondered: “what does that make me?” God’s response: my child. Guess I am not done learning that lesson in finding my identity in Christ.

So if you are reading this, please pray for me. Pray that I will find my strength in God and take time out each day for Him. Pray that when I need help, I won’t be too proud to ask for it. Pray that God will help me to see the birth parents as people in need of love and that He will give me words when I have to talk to the children about these complex relationships. Pray that I will not lose sight of who I am in Christ. Thank you, God bless!!!