Happy New Year! Randy and I are in California for a few days celebrating the blessings from 2016, but also looking forward to what 2017 has in store. As most of you know, leaving California in 2014 was one of the hardest things we had done, after living here for almost 4 years. Those four years turned out to be one of the biggest and best blessings of our 20 years together. Our hearts felt at home here as God placed so many wonderful folks in our lives. We struggled so much as we drove out of town back in Feb of 2014, knowing that God had revealed to us that our time here was done, but still fighting with Him about putting our wants before His will. Each time we came back here to visit, the old desires of wanting to live here would surface and it made it hard to leave the place which we had come to love so much. As we both fought what we knew was God’s plan, we began to converse with each other thinking, “God would want us to be happy wouldn’t He?” Why would He ask us to live someplace other than where we want to? But as we both know, our hearts were not in a surrendered position to hear and obey His will. We did move back to Dallas for two years and discovered that just like the old tv show, Father Knows Best, truly our Heavenly Father does know best. We had two years to spend with our kids who lived there and was blessed to be there for our granddaughter to be born. It was great to be around old friends who had mentored both Randy and I and who we loved dearly. We both had lots of resentment in our hearts because of Randy having to retire and needed some healing to take place. We both learned that until we gave God our surrender and forgave some of the circumstances, we would never find the peace which God has promised. After two years of filling up on Tex-Mex, and finally surrendering our will to His, we knew that our time in Texas was behind us and moved forward (not only phisically but emotionally) to Arizona to live near our daughter who drew the short stick of being the one who would help us as we grew older (well, he might grow older, but I have decided that I am going to stay 66, just not in any shape to get older. I think I probably should have taken better care of myself and done more exercise and eaten healthier foods had I planned to really grow old).
We have now been in our new home in Arizona and love not only our new home, but our community and new friends. We are only 6 hours away from people here in California so it is so handy to drive out here to visit and some have driven to Phoenix and visited us.
As we have been back in town here in Pasadena for 4 days the old struggles have surfaced, as they always did. Yes, I got teary eyed after going back to the nail salon that I always went to. Of course I had to wipe my eyes at church yesterday as we sat there and remembered all the wonderful Sundays of getting to come and worship with people we adored. We have eaten our way through the places we loved to go and stayed with friends that always treat us like family. I havent’ got to the point yet that I can drive by our house here. So fortunately, since our street gets roped off for the floats to line up, it is impossible to drive by today (just when I think I’m truly strong enough to see our house without crying), but Randy knowing I needed some extra comfort, drove me to Dots’Cupcakes and bought me a dozen mini cupcakes. Ok, life is good again. What I have learned this past year are seveal things.
Knowing God’s will isn’t what brings about peace and comfort, but knowing and OBEYING God’s will. It has been hard some days to actually do that. All along when I knew what HE was asking, I fought with His will or listening to what I thought was best. When I surrender, it makes even the new places good.
I John 2:17 “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
It is really not the location that makes us comfortable and full of purpose, it is the people that God plants in our lives which give us so much pleasure and purpose.
Proverbs 21:30-31 “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed againt the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”
That each new place (or season) which God takes us through is for our benefit and for His Glory. That faith grows when we confess our weaknesses and realize that only in Him will I feel complete and fulfill my purpose.
Isaiah 40:29″ The Lord gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Because of His great love for me, I can trust Him to complete His perfect will in me and know that He will give me the desires of my heart as long as I am praying His will be done.
Isa 26:3-4″ You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”
Will I ever get to move back to California? Only the Lord knows the answer to that. What I want to learn more of in 2017 is to truly lean on Him and trust that His way is perfect, whether I live in California or New York. What I need to do is to lean into Him and trust that He knows what is best for me and to know that He loves me; that walking in His will takes us into adventures which we never dreamed would end up some of our best blessings.
Isa 43:19 “Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; Do you not see it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
May 2017 be a year of Jubilee as we all remember to “let go and let God” be our guide!
Happy New Years! My prayer is to learn to say “yes” to Him before I know the question!