As many of you know, 2011 was a year of tremendous transition for us – retiring from the Army, moving from Germany to Florida, career changes, school changes, searching for a new church, buying a house… etc. And now we are working our way through small southern town culture shock – Ha ha!
Today I was flipping back through my journal to see how God interacted with and encouraged me this past year. (You do keep a journal, right?!) I’ll start with the verse that become my theme for 2011, and then share a few others that became important as the months went by:
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. (Heb 11:8) Theme for 2011 – and I hung on to that verse for many, many months as we obeyed the retirement call but did not know where we were going!
And then the Lord continued to encourage and direct our paths with His word…
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut 31:8) What have I to fear when the Lord is with me?
And then I came across this devotional piece: “Your situation is filled with uncertainty and is very serious, but it is perfectly right… It is a platform from which God will display His almighty grace and power. He will not only deliver you but in doing so will impart a lesson you will never forget.” Streams in the Desert (3/1)
Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Gen 18:14) That was a good verse because getting a job was a major miracle, not to mention getting a bargain on our house too.
See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. (Ex 23:20-21) I’m still amazed that God was busy preparing a place for us…
Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.“ (Gen 31:3) That really was an amazing confirmation that going to Florida was a good thing.
Of course, I still struggled with fear and a rising sense of panic that things might not be so simple – and I latched onto this song:
Let The Waters Rise by Mikeschair
Don’t know where to begin, It’s like my world’s caving in, And I try but I can’t control my fear, Where do I go from here? Sometimes it’s so hard to pray, When You feel so far away, But I am willing to go, Where you want me to, God, I trust You
Chorus: There’s a raging sea, Right in front of me, Wants to pull me in, Bring me to my knees, So let the waters rise, If You want them to, I will follow You (3x)
I will swim in the deep, ‘Cuz You’ll be next to me, You’re in the eye of the storm, And the calm of the sea, You’re never out of reach, God, You know where I’ve been, You were there with me then, You were faithful before, You’ll be faithful again, I’m holding Your hand – Chorus
God Your love is enough, You will pull me through, I’m holding onto You, God Your love is enough, I will follow You, I will follow You – Chorus
God continued to remind me that He is good…
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Ps 84:11) Great verse, but I struggle with the challenge of being “blameless”… lots of confession and repentance, my need for God is so great!
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. (Lam 3:25-26) That’s my waiting verse – from back in 2002 when I was soooo impatient to get pregnant! I still haven’t really learned to wait… such impatience!
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. (Ps 116:7) That was verse of the year in 2006 – funny how often I have come back to it. More resting and waiting on God.
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me… For the revelation awaits an appointed time… Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Hab 2:1-3) Oh yea, more waiting.
Trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. (Deut 1:33) I am so glad the He had a plan for us!
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. (Prov 4:18) Wow, was that ever true! With every step forward the next step became clear. From this side of the “Jordan River” of retirement, I forget that we once stood staring across at an unknown land…
How much I have learned about the Lord this year – and how amazingly faithful He has been to provide for us! I am so grateful for His mercy and guidance. So whatever journey you’re on or crossroads you face – know that He has a plan, a good plan, and WAIT to hear from Him. He loves you! (And then write it down so you can look back and remember His faithfulness!!)