Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Returning to Center

This past year has been difficult, at best. As the one-year anniversary of John's death approached I found myself becoming quite anxiety-ridden. I was dreading it so badly! 

In fact, with much help from the enemy of my soul, I almost talked myself out of the trip to Arkansas.  We (my oldest daughter and her family and I) would be returning home on the actual day of. I had no idea how I would be on the days leading up to it, but God is good and faithful, and His leading is sure. He arranged things to ease my way and gave me the strength to do it...and it was THE BEST thing that could have happened. God met me there on that mountaintop in Northwest Arkansas. I got some rest, had a great time, and got a reset from the Lord Himself. 

John and I had been friends since childhood, but we didn't marry until 1988. By then, both of us, with children from previous relationships and much baggage, even as messed up as we were, had started moving towards the things of the Lord. 

We belonged to the Blue Springs Free Will Baptist Church and, it was there, that we, and our children, received a good foundation built on solid Biblical teaching. For the eight years that we attended there, we were taught the fundamental basics of Christian living and were challenged to pursue Biblical manhood and womanhood. We started homeschooling, as well, as we continued to seek God and pursue Him, His Word, and His ways as a family. 

With a solid foundation under our belt, we moved into deeper water than ever before when, at the Lord's leading in 1996, we moved to Liberal, Missouri, into ministry, and the greatest adventure of living by faith that we had ever experienced. 

We did great for the first several years. Then, at some point, we got sidetracked and off into a deep ditch of reformed theology that was not good, and it did much damage to us and our family. 

From there, in an attempt to get away from where we had been, we hopped as far as possible over on to the other side of the road, all the while doing everything we could do, to avoid going off into the deep ditch on that side.

And, please, don't misunderstand what I am trying so say. I'm not saying anything bad about people on either side. There are elements on both sides that are good, right, and Biblical, and there are many real-deal, born-again Christians on both sides, but there are also tares among wheat and misuses of fundamental beliefs on both sides and THAT is what we were always fighting to avoid.

Anyway, at this time, after an extremely difficult year of trying to find my way and place in life, I find myself emerging into a new season. At the family camp in Arkansas, I could, literally, feel myself returning to center. I realized that, not only as a widow, but as an aged woman (Titus 2), God still has a plan for me. I can choose to ignore God's plan and stay messed up like I have been, or I can choose to embrace God's plan and live it out on a daily basis.

Am I frighted? A little. Do I know what I'm doing? Not even a little bit! Do I still miss my husband? Of course, I do, but all the crying, fretting, and missing him in the world is not going to bring him back. So, what do I do now? I get center of the road, bide my time, and carry out John and I's original vision in a way that would be pleasing and honoring to him. I embrace Biblical womanhood, pour myself into my children and grandchildren, do what I can with what resources I have, and stay committed to God's Word and the teachings therein. 

That's my plan. What that looks like, at this point, I cannot say, but, day by day, I will rebuild on the basic principles that John and I learned long, long ago and will keep moving forward as long as the Lord allows. 

Where are you in your walk with the Lord? Is there anything that I can pray with you about? If so, please, do not hesitate to contact me. 

Until next time...

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