Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Covered in His Dust

"I Found Joy in a BIG God" Part Seven

Several years ago I purchased a little book that would forever have major impact on my life. It wasn't long after acquiring this little gem that I was seated at a Women's Conference, waiting with eager anticipation, for the author who penned those treasured words to walk out on the platform and share her heart. I was so excited; my stomach was doing crazy little flip flops. The Coordinator of the event appeared and began introducing the speaker. With hands clasped in my lap, I sat straighter, not wanting to miss my first glance at the gal who God had used to so inspire my heart.

My spirit soared from her very first 'Hello' and I was held captive as she began opening up the book of her life and sharing with all who were gathered there that day. I clung on to every word as I heard of God's mercy, grace, forgiveness, acceptance and unconditional love. She was an ordinary woman - yes, but being used by an extraordinary God in extraordinary ways. The pages of her story were filled with doubt, confusion, heartache, pain, loss, surrender, joy, faith and obedience. Oh yes, obedience. Full. Complete. Radical.

At the conclusion of this Conference the Lord planted a dream seed in my heart. For years I watered it with prayer and committed this dream to God. On February 2, 2008 it would become a reality. This very author was going to be speaking at my church. Booked well in advance, for a year she was prayed for daily. Once a week I would meet with the Events Coordinator and we would lift her name, her family, and her traveling companion before His throne of grace. This endeavor was bathed in prayer and God touched many ladies through His faithful messenger. Little did I know that God had orchestrated our paths to cross again that day for reasons beyond what I could have imagined.

Sitting at my computer late one evening this past March, her name suddenly appeared in my "Inbox". Caught completely by surprise, I opened her message. From her salutation to her closing remarks, my heart was wrapped in love. She was offering me an invitation, a word of encouragement, reminding me to trust the Lord, calling me to overcome fear. She was sharing what had been impressed on her heart concerning me - and knowing her past track record with God, I didn't doubt for a moment its accuracy. Her message closed with prayer and the promise of continued prayers.

I'll never forget how my hand remained poised on that computer "mouse", holding on for dear life as literally every part of my body was shaking. This was more than a friend's e-mail. It was a call to face my giant and begin journeying a road from fear to faith. Her message ushered in a sleepless night of wrestling with God. To hold on to the familiar or abandon it all for the sake of His call.



Lysa, how do I begin to thank you? Words are inadequate. I pray that for a brief moment, God will let you listen to my heart. It swells with so much gratitude to God and to you for your continual, selfless expressions of His kindness - not just to me - but to so many others. Your life is a reflection of Christ. You follow so closely in His footsteps that you are continually shrouded in His dust. It's a beautiful covering that speaks of your intimacy with the God of the universe who loves and delights in you.

I don't know where God will lead me next, but because of the journey I recently embraced, I know I can trust Him. Thank you for saying 'yes' to God. Your obedience called me to a deeper level and a higher plane - both spiritually and physically. :o)

I know you enjoyed the game show, "Let's Make a Deal", but you're the "Real Deal" my friend. Completely genuine. The Lord has given you many gifts, yet you remain humble and authentic. You inspire others to slip into sandals and walk the trails that God has blazed before us, reminding us that His footprints are trustworthy to follow. Your total dependence on God is such an example to me. Your complete surrender calls me to join you in reckless abandon.

Thank you from the depths of my heart for reaching out to me. I marvel at 'why'. Me, a shy, insecure, quiet, often overlooked, unchosen, 'passed by' gal - but through your actions God said, "Not this time - today I paused for you."

May He continue to use you to hand deliver His 'pauses' to seeking souls who need to see the reality of Jesus lived out in your life. You live for His glory. May you take a moment to rest today and listen as He pauses over your life and whispers, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Love, Hugs and continued prayers,
Joy


13 comments:

tiggerdaisy said...

Wow! It just gets better and better with each story you tell. What a sweet, thoughtful and encouraging message to Lysa. I know there are many out there who feel like you do--praise God you put it into words!

God Bless you, Joy!

Prayers and Blessings,
Rebecca

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Joy,
I saw your comment over at Lysa's and decided to visit for the first time.

What a lovely post about how the Lord has used Lisa to touch your heart...all our hearts.

At She Speaks, I found the women of Proverbs 31 Ministries to be genuine, humble and willing to share their hearts and lives. And really, that's what it's all about.

Cheri Bunch said...

Dear Sweet Joy~
I have just made a visit to your blog to catch up. You have a beautiful testimony! I am sure that it is impacting so many! You love so deeply from your heart and your ability to express it is God-given. I continue to celebrate your victory. It seems it was so much more than a victory! It was fellowship! Such a beautiful story! Thank you for continuing the story! I will be back again!
Many blessings! Love you, Cheri

Runner Mom said...

You have such a gift for writing, my sweet friend! I just loved your post! Each addition, as Rebecca said, is filling our hearts.

My husband has been in Canada all week--he's at the airport right now. It made me smile and think of you :).
Love ya,
Susan

Melissa said...

Joy,

What a beautiful post honoring Lysa. I love the title "Covered in His Dust" and I couldn't agree with you more. Lysa shines a very bright light to everyone she meets and that is the Light of Christ.

I know that she was also blessed by your attendance at She Speaks and was dedicated to praying you all the way there.

Bless You Sweetie!
Melissa

Kelley said...

Hi Joy,
I was so excited to see that you had commented on my blog the other day! It is wonderful to have you back, I have missed you!

These last few posts were really touching. One of the positives about the computer is that it allows us to be in fellowship with one another no matter where we live! I enjoyed meeting you so much (although I have no idea why you would need a "food accountability partner" as tiny as you are!) and I just LOVE the note and tote bag you gave me! I am praying that God will bring us together in person again soon but until then I am thankful that you are my beautiful accountability partner!!

Love and Hugs,
Kelley

Marilyn said...

Wonderful story! My favorite part was where you said "through your actions God said, 'Not this time - today I paused for you.' " I love that!

Keep up the great writing!

Marilyn

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Wow. That was a beautiful post of what God has done for you and a wonderful tribute to Lysa.

I'm enjoying this series of posts.
Love,
Paula

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Joy! He was in Stratford--90 miles west of Toronto (I think). Where are you?? He's inflight now, and we've had some nasty weather here! His connector was in Memphis. Prayer time :).
Love ya!
Susan

hkudla said...

Joy,
I just loved this post. It was so beautiful.
Lysa has touched so many of our lives. The way she speaks out on her blog, and been so open about who she is, has given me the courage to do the same.
I love your willingness to share as well. Thank you for your comments on my blog tonight. I can't tell you how much your encouragement to keep writing means to me.
I have one new post up now, and another one on the way... i got hit by the writing bug tonight.

Love you so much,
Heather

Digging for Pearls said...

This was beautiful Joy! You definitely have a way with words.

Blessings,
Pearls

Renee Swope said...

I agree girl with all these comments. You are so gifted with encouragement. Truly, I have never read such beautiful tributes. Thanks for your gifts of love to each of us. It's means so much.

We love you Joy!

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Wow, Joy I am honored and humbled by your kind words.

You have no idea how deeply you have touched my heart.

Thank you.

You are a beautiful woman and an amazing writer.

I consider it a "joy" to know you.