Thursday, July 17, 2008

Freedom's Calling

"I Found Joy in a BIG God" Part Fifteen

If you didn't read yesterdays post, please scroll down and read below before continuing here.

Beneath the shadow of the cross I placed my list of fears and doubts. I didn't want to be just going through motions. I wanted to be free once and for all. This couldn't just be a walk to the front for momentary reprieve, but a sincere surrender and letting go.

As I turned to walk back to my seat, the P31 Speaker Team was standing at the front handing out verse cards to each lady who came forward. These cards had received much prayer, believing that God would orchestrate each pairing of scripture verse and recipient. I saw my friend Melissa close by, so headed in her direction. As I got within a couple of feet of her, Rachel Olsen stepped forward and handed me a card.

Now, you must understand, I have nothing against Rachel. I'm sure she's a lovely gal; I have just never had any contact with her. I had wanted to receive my verse from a friend, so I have to admit, I experienced a moment of disappointment. Melissa saw me however, grabbed me into a hug and I walked back to my seat.

I sat down almost too nervous to look at the promise I held in my hands. What if it had no particular significance? Yet, it must be God's choice. Look at how He had interfered with my plans and arranged my receiving it. I practically had this card thrust into my hands - it wasn't of my choosing. (For the record, I still carry the verse I received in 2005 in my wallet. I pray P31 never stops doing this - God makes it new and personal every year.)

The lighting was dim, but I was able to read the words I held in shaking hands. It was from Jeremiah 29. "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you" declares the Lord..."

I stopped reading right there for a moment, thanking the Lord for this beautiful promise. Beginning in January of this year I had worked through a Bible study by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, "Seeking Him". More than anything I want to know God. Not just know about Him, but really KNOW Him. I want an intimate friendship with Him. I want Him to be the very air I breathe. I want to experience Him as my all in all. What a precious verse this was to me.

I glanced back at the card and continued reading. "...and will bring you back from captivity." My breath caught in my throat. Tears swelled in my eyes. My friend Lorie leaned over and inquired about my verse. With awe I said, "Lorie, God is going to bring me back from captivity".

I have been bound by shackles of fear and doubt for too long. The prison doors are going to open. Chains are going to be released. I had laid my burdens down and God was promising to unlock restraints that have kept me from experiencing the freedom for which He had already given His only Son to secure. My life has been nullifying the work already accomplished by Jesus on a hill called Golgotha. I have been living deprived of the effectiveness of the cross and denying its power. Christ's last words - "It is finished" resounded through my soul. My bondage is self-imposed, as freedom is mine in Christ.

In awe I read those words again. God is going to bring me back from captivity. This was the exact promise I needed to hear. Again God had spoken. Across thousands of miles He had placed me here at this moment to receive His Word. As I listened closely, my heart heard freedom calling. I recognized it immediately, because it truly had been there all along.

I went to sleep that night so full. I was content and at peace. God had spoken so profoundly to me. But, as the saying goes, "You ain't seen nothing yet"!

Be sure to check back again tomorrow. Believe it or not, it will get even better!!!

The Wonder Of Your Cross

The wonder of your cross shall be our meditation
To gather in that shadow when the sun went down
To weep with those who thought that you were leaving,
You were leaving, Jesus
The humble King who never wore an earthly crown.

To steal away at night when they took down your body.
With love and tears to leave You in a borrowed grave
To go with Mary to the place they laid You,
Where they laid You, Jesus
And in the morning find the stone was rolled away

The cross, O the wonderful cross
What Glory, what victory, I've found
I'll come to the wonderful cross
And my whole life I lay down

Were heaven's praises silent in those hours of darkness?
Your Holy Spirit brooding round that empty throne?
Until the declaration "He is Risen", You are risen, Jesus,
"He is not dead, behold He lives for evermore".

The cross, O the wonderful cross
What Glory, what victory, I've found
I'll come to the wonderful cross
And my whole life I lay down

Copyright © 2004 Integrity's Hosanna! Music.

**I would appreciate your prayers today as I have a Dr's appointment at 10:00am. I have been coping with continual abdominal pain all week. Friends are suggesting either gallbladder or ulcer. Please pray whatever needs to be found, will be found. I'm sure today will just start a series of tests. Thanks. Love to you all.**

**Update: Well, I was right, further tests will follow. I went straight over to the blood clinic for different tests, and I'm scheduled for an ultrasound this coming Tuesday, 11am, out of town. (My Dr's receptionist, who is also a personal friend, thinks the clinic at this other site is much more thorough. It's nice to have friends in high places...and of course God is controlling it all.) Can't eat or drink from midnight Monday until after the tests that morning. I'll keep you posted, and thank you to all of you who posted comments or sent e-mails. Love y'all!**

12 comments:

Marilyn said...

Joy,
As soon as I finished reading your post I stopped and prayed for you. I'm sure many, many others have by now also.
And I just can't imagine how your She Speaks story can get better and better each day. But it does!

Let us know what the doctor says!

Love and prayers,
Marilyn in Mississippi

tiggerdaisy said...

My prayers for you have been prayed! :)

I am truly enjoying reading the chronicles of your journey at She Speaks, which as it turns out, is comprised of much more than the three day weekend conference! It's as if your whole life is being poured out onto these pages. What a blessing it is to be able to read them!

Prayers and blessings,
Rebecca

hkudla said...

Joy,
I am praying now.
God, through whatever goes on today at the Dr's, please hold Joy close in Your hands, so close that she will feel You physically holding and supporting her. Help her to remember Your verse for her... Freedom from captivity. Give her strength and peace, no matter the outcome of the tests. God continue to bless her and her ministry through her writing and sharing and transparency.
AMEN!
I love you,
Heather

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Another great post. How wonderful. I love that verse in Jer. 29. I've not memorized it to full but I believe it is right after Jer. 29:11.

Cliff hanger, you. Smiles.

Runner Mom said...

I have tears in my eyes as I just finished your blog. Oh, Joy! God is SO good! I just need to give you a hug!!!So...a hug from SC is on it's way in the verse of Proverbs 17:17.

I will be praying for you, my sweet little friend!

Love ya,
Susan

Sita said...

God is yet there...down to the finest detail..may you see Him clearly and therefore know His love for you..
Love Sita
PS...you continue to tell my story...but I am not yet free..have a way to go...

Renee Swope said...

I've been praying and will continue to pray as you wait for tests next week. Isn't it just like God to give you the opportunity to walk in peace as you wait with faith that your BIG GOD can give you JOY in the in between. I pray that you would set this aside and enjoy each moment that stretches between now and then. I pray that your pain will subside and that you can get lots of rest this weekend. I'll keep praying friend.

Again, I love reading these posts!!!

Hugs,
Renee

Amy L Brooke said...

I will be praying for you. Thanks for sharing!

Leah said...

Joy,

I will be praying for you. Please do let us know what transpires. These posts are so refreshing and encouraging. Thanks for taking the time to do them.

Leah

Kelley said...

OH Joy,
Your story just gets better and better! I will definitely pray for you and these tests, be sure to let me know if there is anything more specific. Meanwhile, have a wonderful weekend and I can't wait to hear what happens next!

Love,
Kelley

Yolanda said...

Praying!

I love how scripture speaks to each one of us, right where we need it to!

God is SO awesome and so good!

Love to you,
Yolanda

Robin said...

Joy, I'm working on uploading your post for Blog Nosh, and I'm doing a little catching up in the process. Oh, how PRECIOUS you are! Your words speak light and life; they encourage greatly.

I'll be praying for you, too.

{{hugs}}