Friday, July 11, 2008

His Peace for the Journey

"I Found Joy in a BIG God" Part Nine

I'm about to embark on the most exceptional task. I am going to try and pen the impossible. Knowing this day has been approaching I have tried several times to gather my thoughts, but I come here now - blank page before me. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's that I have too much. My heart is so full and I wonder where and how to begin.

One night while visiting my friend Renee's blog, I read a comment that called me to linger in a moment of sacred wonder. Renee was writing a series of posts on the Woman at the Well, and this author had written, "His thirst led Him there. Her thirst kept Him there." I just loved that! I wanted to "meet" the gal who penned such stirring expression. I took what would become the first of many visits to holy ground.

That was March 10th. On March 17th this very new acquaintance sent me an untitled e-mail. It read, "Joy...Have you thought about attending the She Speaks/She Writes conference in June?...Think about it..."

Little did she know I had been doing nothing but thinking about it. For over a month I had seriously been praying, searching, seeking, waiting, wanting God to write across the sky or in the sand His direction for me. I wanted to open my Bible and read a verse I had never seen before: "Joy, thou shalt go forth, to a land you know not of, and attend the She Speaks Conference in June." I remember writing a blog post in my confusion - "Delay, Denial, Don't Know!" There were so many unknowns. Couple the unfamiliar with my fear of flying and the fact that the conference hotel was already fully booked and it seemed too much for this very timid little "Much Afraid".

Three and half hours after receiving this message I was in the middle of pouring my heart of indecision out on the computer to my friend Holly, when another message arrived in my Inbox. Without even a salutation her words began, "If you decide you want to can room with me...I'll be praying that the Lord directs your path." She assured me that I would know what to do and ended with these words, "Maybe you already do."

I replied to her e-mail, still seeking God's direction. Wondering, was God clearly guiding and providing for all my needs, but I was responding like the man of whom the story is told who is sitting on the roof of his home while flood waters rise around him. The man has prayed for God to rescue him. A helicopter flies overhead and offers to air-lift him, but he replies that he is waiting for God. A boat drives by, willingly offering to row him to shore, but again, he is waiting on God. The man finally dies. When he arrives in heaven he inquires of the Lord. "Why didn't you answer my prayer?" God responds: "Who do you think sent the boat and the helicopter?"

Was I being just like this man? Was God making His way very obvious, but fear was blinding my eyes and my heart. I mean, this was huge! A gal I had only 'met' seven days prior through our blogs, was inviting me to join her in North Carolina and offer lodging when it was so difficult to locate.

As Paul Harvey says, "Now you know the rest of the story". God had opened up this gals heart to love and accept me, sight unseen. He had called her to extend His invitation and she obeyed. She offered me more than a hotel room. She embraced me in love and gave me room in her heart.

Elaine, you are the best! You have faithfully continued to speak hope over my life. From the moment we met, it was like we had always been friends. Your writings call me to a deeper and closer walk with my Lord and Savior. Visiting your blog is like curling up with a good book, knowing my heart will be changed before I walk away and I will have seen Jesus in a fresh new way. Your words are a symphony of praise to God. You have the act of making a beautiful melody that my heart longs to sing. You share with conviction and authenticity. I savor each chord. Delight in every harmony. I sit back filled, knowing I have been with the Great Conductor Himself.

A visit to Elaine's blog should not be rushed...cannot be rushed. She is a new generation of Oswald Chambers and her posts require lingering and pondering. I need time. They deserve time. She pours out her heart and soul. Each writing must leave her completely spent as she withholds nothing, but allows the King of Kings to move her hand, from His heart, and like Solomon of old, unearth treasures in darkness. With the palette of the written word, she paints lasting pictures on the canvas of my heart, creating a priceless masterpiece of truth. She has discovered that the sacred resides within the ordinary and she draws me to a deeper longing for the holy. Her writing invites me to pick up my own paintbrush and add the finishing touches to this piece of art with my own personal response. I can't walk away from the gift of her words without surrendering my life anew to the God who longs to paint His story over my life.

Elaine, you bring pleasure to God. I know He smiles when He looks at you. You have a heart filled with passion for the Lord. You have traveled many roads and He has given you His peace for the journey.

I love you my friend. And so, I echo back to you, your writing led me to your blog, your friendship will forever cause me to stay.

Hugs and prayers,


grey like snuffie said...

Don't have time to read your post today, as a friend is on her way--- but I wanted to pass this on to you. I read this in a devotional this morning and you came to my mind.

"You are Mine. Once I have set on you My stamp and seal of ownership all My Hosts throng to serve and protect you. Remember that you are a daughter of the King. Try to picture a bodyguard of My servitors in the Unseen waiting, longing, efficient, to do all that is necessary for your well-being. Feel this as you go through the day. Feel this and all is well."

tiggerdaisy said...

Oh, Joy. You are a masterful writer and a wonderful encourager! I simply cannot wait each day to read the next installment of your She Speaks journey. You have so much love and appreciation for God and His servants that you share it for all the world to see. What a wonderful testimony to Him!

Prayers and Blessins,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I am speechless. Rarely does this happen (as you know...). I think I will sit back and absorb your affirmation. It's always been hard for me to receive such kindness, but it is ever so important.

You humble me with your words.

Thank you for scripting, what is perhaps, the most beautiful tribute I've ever been given. I mean that.

As I told you at the conference, I would have missed a great deal had I not met you. Your friendship, alone, was worth my trip.

Let's do it again next year.


Cheri Bunch said...

There is so much in this! Thank you for posting it. I will keep some these words in my heart forever. You are such a JOY to me!
I thank my Jesus for you!
Love you,

Marilyn said...

You are so right Joy....a trip to Elaine's blog can NOT be rushed! She is definitely a very unusually gifted writer with a vast cache of expressive words to choose from. You painted her picture well today!

God bless you!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

That's beautiful, Joy. I'm felt such "rest" (for lack of better word right now) in reading your Big God posts. The Lord's presence has been so strong in your path and it is such a pleasure to read.

I totally understand and totally know how it feels to wonder if God has sent the boat and the helicopter or if I'm watching for the wrong sign. I was refreshing to hear you speak of that and know that others struggle with indecision and wondering what signs are God and what signs are ones we create.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Just as good the second time around. I really should frame this somewhere:)