I am not sure where to start as I have multiple things rolling around in my head. Surprise, Surprise! :)
Last night Joey and I read in Philippians 1. There was one verse that really stuck out to us. It was verse 12, But I want you to know, brethern, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. How powerful!! Everything that has happened to us has turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, and it will continue to do so. Not just Janie Beth's journey, but also our time here as we have had to rely solely on God while we wait for the place of service He has for us. He has taught us and molded us and revived us in ways that never could have been done had we not suffered. Ouch, there is that word no one likes to here. Suffer! We are just like little children who have to be disciplined. Do children learn what to do and get molded into "good" little children by being allowed to do whatever they want? Nope! Well, neither do we. If God didn't give me these times, then He wouldn't be able to use me for anything. I would be a dust covered, cracked piece of clay that sat in a corner looking hideous. It is during these times that He makes me a beautiful piece of clay that shines the Potter's hand when I am displayed. Just like someone who walks by a potter's shop and wants to know who made that beautiful piece in the window, others should look at me and wonder Who made her and got her through that.
Now, does the piece of clay have a say so in where it is displayed? It could, but it might want to be displayed in a crystal store where it would look hideous compared to other merchandise. Or it might want to be displayed in an auto parts store where it would shine way too brightly. Or it might want to be displayed in a home decor shop where it would blend in and not reach its potential. The potter knows the best place for the piece to be displayed. The place where it can reach its full potential and touch the most lives. I could tell God where I want Him to display me, but I may chose a place that looks pretty (like the crystal store), or a place where I think I will stand out and be noticed (like the auto parts store), or a place where I think I will fit right in (like the home decor shop). Would I be reaching God's potential for me there? Not if He didn't put me there. God is molding me to put me right where He can use me and further His gospel. Right where others will look at His workmanship and marvel at the Potter, not the piece of work!!
In Luke 9:57 a man tells Jesus "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." Jesus goes on to talk about those that want to go back and do one more thing before they follow. One wants to bury his father, and another wants to say goodbye. The caption above these verses is "The Cost of Discipleship." I was reading another blog that was about this topic and it really got me thinking. Am I really willing to leave it all for Christ? Am I willing to let go for the furtherance of the gospel? Am I willing to do more than just pay lip service to God?
These are hard questions for me to answer right now as we search for the place God wants us. I have gotten comfortable where we are. I finally have friends in the same place in life as me. My children have friends here. My baby girl is here. Can I really leave her and follow God? Am I willing to trust God that He will bring me the friends I need wherever we go? Do I trust that He is thinking of my children too? Could it be that my family has reached its fullest potential here and it is time for us to move on? Wow! What a thought! Can you reach your fullest potential somewhere? Yes, believe you can. That doesn't mean that you have to move far away to move on, but would you be willing?
Janie Beth has left a hole in my heart. There is a skit for youth where there is one person who has a hole in their stomach and they try to fill it with different things. Nothing will work until they try God. It is a God-sized hole. After leaving the cemetary today, we put up a pretty flag and some garden flowers, I was pondering if God could ever fill Janie Beth's hole because I will always love her and miss her. He can fill it with His grace. If He calls me to move away, then He will fill that hole with His grace. He will fill the holes that will form from leaving so many friends and family. Does that mean that they are gone? No way! It just means the relationships change. The old song about make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. God is calling me to let go and be willing to follow Him. That doesn't mean that I will really have to leave, but I should always be willing because it is about the furtherance of the gospel, not the furtherance of my selfish desires.
When I wrote down the verse from Luke on a notecard, the last few words didn't turn out very pretty and they are somewhat close together. I was going to write a new one, but I realized that it symbolized what it would look like for me to follow my Lord wherever He goes. I will stumble because some of my steps will be close together as I try follow. Some of my steps will be ugly because I know there will be some that I will take with the wrong attitude! But, if I allow my heart to be soft enough for God to mold He will change my attitude. Just like right now. I must allow my heart to be soft enough for God to mold it into a heart that is after His own heart and not my own. A heart that is willing to let go and follow God. He is faithful and He will pull me through the waters!!! Will the road God choses always be easy? Nope, but He promises to be with me!! Thank You, Abba.