Friday, July 25, 2008

By Faith Joy...

"I Found Joy in a BIG God" Part Twenty-One

How does one begin to wrap up a lifetime of longings fulfilled? Although this will be the final writing in this series, it is only the beginning of a new chapter that God is writing in my life.

If you have been following this journey from the beginning you saw how I was welcomed home with the visual testimony proclaiming God’s goodness written across my garage doors. The perfect exclamation mark!



I spent the Monday morning I arrived home with my friend Carol who had been such a part of this journey with me. Outside of my husband and son she was the first to hear all my God-stories. Excitement has punctuated each re-telling. I earnestly pray that the Lord will never, NEVER let me forget one second of this journey. I pray that with each remembrance the feeling will only grow stronger, propelling me forward and energizing my walk with the Lord.

There are those who know truth and there are those who know The Truth. Some spend life learning, others living. I’ve spent years studying His Word. Seminars are great, but God desires surrender. More than research He wants response. More than intellect He longs for intimacy. Fear took a step of faith. It was a big step into the arms of a BIG God.

Where are you in your walk with God? Just earlier this year my heart was longing for an over-the-top God story. I was disappointed with choices I had made that had allowed my life to be too safe. I wanted the courage to free-fall and know His arms would catch me. I wanted Him to step into my life, not quietly, but loudly. I wanted God to do something so amazingly miraculous that there would be no other explanation and no denying Him. Instead of longing for the experiences of others, I wanted a fresh taste of God. The God who parted waters, turned water into wine, resurrected life, slayed giants. I didn’t want to read about others adventures I wanted to write my own. Not a fiction tale of the seemingly impossible, but a legacy of truth to pass on to my family that would offer hope when trials come. Like Peter, I ‘walked on water’ to be with Jesus.

Now I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to be satisfied with lesser things. I want to walk paths that are so far beyond my abilities that I will fail without God’s intervention. Safety is over-rated. Could this new lifestyle bring difficulties? Yes. It will demand the intentional choosing of truth over feeling. I’ve heard Truths heartbeat. It’s unchanging and unconditional. It beats for me and it beats for you.

By faith many before me have walked this road. Since the recording of God’s Word their stories have been written to offer hope and encouragement as generation after generation have come to a moment of decision. Even as Christ followers we can sadly be living apart from Christ, resting in our own strength and capabilities. Decide today to jump into faith and then please send me your God-story.

By faith, Joy, when she was called to obey by going to “She Speaks” where she would experience God’s surpassing goodness, went, not knowing exactly what God would have in store. By faith she booked a flight and traveled to a foreign land, dwelling with Lorie, Elaine, Melissa, Holly, Lysa, Renee, Lynn, Kelley, Susan, Zoe, Charlene, Cheri and other fellow heirs of the same promise, for she was looking for God. By faith Joy, when she was tested by an uncertain flight, offered up her fears. She considered that God was able to watch over her coming and going both now and forevermore. By faith she chose to endure the uncertainties rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of momentary contentment and security. By faith the walls of captivity fell down after she abandoned her fears under the shadow of His cross.

And what more can I say? For time will fail me if I told of all the ways God has sustained my life moment by moment. All along His hand has guided. Therefore, I will now lay aside every encumbrance and the anxiety that so easily entangles me, and run with endurance the race before me, fixing my eyes on Jesus, that author and perfecter of my faith.

I ask you now to consider Him.

By faith what is God asking of you today? God wants to write a Bible story of your life.

By faith___________......

Fill in the blank with your name and then share your story. I found Joy in a BIG God and you can too!



Blessings, hugs, love and prayers to you all.

14 comments:

Leah said...

How absolutely beautiful!! I love the take off on Hebrews 11. What a great idea!! It sounds like She Speaks really spoke to you and the Lord penetrated your spirit in a new and fresh way!! Praise Him!!

Hope you have a blessed weekend!!

Leah

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

There's been a breakthrough, friend, in my faith journey in the last 24 hours. Not in anything external, but in everything internal. Through bringing me to the outer edges of myself, God has lifted a burden I've been carrying far too long. I'm too tired to carry it any longer.

This happened once before, nine years ago, when I came to the "end of myself" in the matter of infertility. I laid it all down, and...well...the rest, they say, is history. But that's my story, and this is yours, and I for one feel so privileged to walk it with you.

For some strange and wonderfully mysterious reason, God has decided to include a chapter in my book called "joy" and one in yours called "elaine." I'm so glad that he did.

We serve an amazing, God! The beauty of his love for each one of us is that it reaches down in his own unique and special ways to speak to the deepest needs of our hearts. Across countries, and continents, and seas, and county lines.

He is massive, and yet he is infinitely and exactly the personal God we need for him to be.

Thanks for your love and prayers. They have gone far and been answered in ways you cannot imagine. Thank you, Father, for your saint Joy, and for including her in the great Hall of faith, alongside the saints of old and the saints of now.

love u my friend!

peace~elaine

tiggerdaisy said...

What a beautiful ending to a remarkable chapter in your story of finding Joy in a BIG God! I can't wait to follow the journey with you as you unfold the chapters one by one.

Prayers and blessings, my sweet friend. God is indeed good!

Rebecca

Yolanda said...

Joy,

THIS IS THE GREAT COMMISSION....tell the world of what He has done for you and what He can do for them. PRAISE HIS NAME!

About 6 to 9 months ago, I added in my own bible

Hebrews 11:41 By faith, Yolanda......

BECAUSE SISTER, GOD IS WRITING MY STORY!! Girlfriend, I am expecting and anticipating, how about you?

Love you Sweetie!

Yolanda

Sita said...

Joy, I see the butterfly from Elaines' blog here..and how beautiful she is to me..I marvel at God's glory in you and your words...be blessed..
Sita

Marilyn said...

I hate to come to the end of your She Speaks series! It's been so very thrilling! Through it I, too, have hopes of someday having my faith become larger than my fear!

Looking forward to seeing what else God has in store for you!

Marilyn in MS

Catherine said...

Carol's sign was BEAUTIFUL!! When she emailed me the pics Sunday evening it gave me goosebumps! What a wonderful friend!!

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. So many amazing things that God did in such a variety of circumstances...and you gave HIM glory through all!

You are a treasured friend and inspiration. Love you!

Runner Mom said...

The tears in my eyes make it hard to type!!! Joy, it was a true "joy" to get to meet you at She Speaks!! You are just precious! I loved this post. It spoke to me in so many ways.

I think you hit several nails on the head! I keep a little notebook of Bible verses that speak to me--scripture that I need to memorize! I am also filling it with quotes that speak to my heart. You, my friend, write with such passion and wisdom...whenver you publish a book, I want an autographed copy! I have written down some of your thoughts so that I can have them at my fingertips :). God is using you in an amazing way. I love you for your obedience and your faith walk--oops, faith run!!

Love you,
Susan

JMBMOMMY said...

Enjoyed reading about your journey. What a Great God we get to enjoy!

Chef Diane said...

Joy,
I have just joined your blog. I love your writing and can feel the love for the Lord in you heart.
Keep writing and spread it,
Diane

Lynn Cowell said...

Joy,
Your post totally lined up with my quiet time today. After reading of some of His miracles in John 6, I asked for a miracle in my life. Just like you said; a God-story that was so big - something I could never create so that others would look and see "That could only be God".

Thank you for sharing your story! I can't wait to one day share mine with you!

God's continued favor on your life,
Lynn

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Joy!! You've been tagged!! Pleae visit my blog asap!! Thanks so much!!
Hugs,
Susan

Cheri Bunch said...

Dear Joy~
You have written what my own heart has been praying for some time now! I am going to print this and refer to it again and again! This is a GRAND FINALE! And yet I have a big feeling that it is just the beginning of something brand new!
I am one who has been guilty of hiding in a comfort zone instead of the shadow of His wing. I love your cry out to Him for a story. Even more I love His response. He loves to give us a testimony.
I am so thankful that I got to hear it and see some of it!

Your testimony has made a difference in my life. Isn't that the plan He has for our testimonies to be a way to strengthen His Bride?

Joy, words are not adequately expressing my heart! I treasure this! Thank you for sharing!!!!!

Blessings,
Cheri

Renee Swope said...

LOVED your "ending" to this part of God's story. I do pray to see many of these words in a book one day. You capture His heart so beautifully!

Love you friend. I am going to read through your posts to see if you have test results back yet. Praying for you!

Love ya!
Renee