Last week I shared with you in “Step Out to Find Out” that I would be stepping out to speak to a group of ladies this week. Right after I shared my blog on Thursday, my family received a letter in the mail on Friday that would change MY plans. Here’s the story.
Over a month ago, one of my beautiful besties reached out and asked if I would be interested in speaking with the Refresh bible study group back at my church in Mansfield. One group meets on Tuesday nights at 7p and the other on Wednesday mornings at 11a. They have been studying, “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope. My heart was so eager to go and be there with this beautiful group of women. I had grown in deep relationship with many of them. I immediately checked my calendar to see if I was available. I was shocked to find that one of the biggest days of my calendar year as a Registrar was scheduled for that Tuesday night…Kindergarten Round-up. I clearly could not miss registering the upcoming Kinder babies. It had been on the calendar for quiet a long time and was not something I could reschedule as it was district wide. Instead of declining I still said yes to Wednesday morning. I had hurdled one obstacle. Nothing was going to hold me back!
I scheduled the day off with my Principal and was still making plans to go. Never mind the fact that Kindergarten Round-up was from 5p to 6:30p and I would not even be able to get on the road to travel until at least 7:30p. Mansfield is 5 hours away from Boerne. That would put me getting in really late, but it wasn’t going to stop me. I was determined to speak and see sweet faces that I have been missing.
Fast forward to this past Friday, Ryan sent me a picture of a letter we had gotten in the mail as I was away from home. Our Lexi had been selected as an “Outstanding Student” for Boerne Middle School North. This is a very big honor as a teacher selects a student at the end of each nine weeks to recognize them for their hard work and strong character. They recognize each of the students selected at a nice breakfast and present them with a certificate. I know what an honor it is because our Catherine received this award after the first nine weeks of school. Our babies are shining in their new community and it overjoys my heart. The breakfast was scheduled for guess when…Wednesday morning at 7:45a…another obstacle. This one got my attention. I could not miss my baby receiving her award. How was I going to be at two places at one time? Why was this happening? The Lord and I had a real conversation this time. You see the whole time I have been communing with Him throughout this process, but I was the one talking. I was telling God my plans and hoping He would go along with them. I never took the time in this situation to listen.
All along, there was an obstacle. Sometimes we have obstacles that we are meant to hurdle and get over, but sometimes the obstacles are there for our protection. I have a dream of reaching and speaking others with the gospel. This is not hidden from our Lord. He knows our dreams and when the timing is right He will tell us to come. I love how intimate and true He is. Look at what I heard Him say to me through my devotion this week:
“I LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE, not for what you do. Many voices vie for control of your mind, especially when you sit in silence. You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not. Ask My Spirit to give you discernment. Many of My children run around in circles, trying to obey the various voices directing their lives. This results in fragmented, frustrating patterns of living. Do NOT fall into this trap. Walk closely with Me each moment, listening for My directives and enjoying My Companionship. Refuse to let other voices tie you up in knots. My sheep know My voice and follow Me whenever I lead.”
“When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:4
Isn’t that beautiful. Even if the very first sentence was all the devotion said it is enough! “I LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE, not for what you do.” We don’t have to perform for Him. We can simply rest in who we are. Sometimes we can get so busy in doing that we stop doing the most important thing…LISTENING to His voice. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to take a step without Him. I am grateful that He put the obstacles in my path to get my attention and what an amazing obstacle it was. I loved watching Lexi receive her award. It was a priceless moment.
It’s not often that we actually get to see what it is that God is protecting us from, but this time He allowed me to see. The WINTER storm that hit Texas last night would have kept me from traveling home. Ice and snow are not a recipe for safe travels on I-35 for five hours.
Aren’t we so glad that our God knows the future. He’s the only one that does and He knows how to orchestrate our steps to protect us. I love this verse in Proverbs 16:9:
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (NIV)
I love the NLT version as well:
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (NLT)
This experience really opened my eyes. I really wanted to see some sweet faces and hug some necks. I really wanted to go and share how the Lord has changed me and for the better and how each and everyone of the ladies can stand confident in who they are, as daughter’s of the one true KING, as they are never more secure as they are right now. He has all of us in the palm of His hands! Instead God said, “Not right now Gennie, the time is not right. I need you to support your Lexi and be there to welcome the new families to Kendall. I placed these obstacles in your way to protect you from what only I can see.” See what happens when we stop talking and we start listening. We see a faithful Heavenly Daddy that looks out for our best interest. He isn’t concerned about what we do for Him as much as He is about our relationship with Him. We have to yield and surrender our ways in order to be able to listen and hear from Him. We can rest in Him alone.
So when was the last time you stopped to listen for His voice? Have you been guilty like me of doing all of the talking and telling Him how things are going to go. He is always patient to listen, but there is so much MORE waiting for us to learn and grow if we will actually stop and listen. I encourage you this week to carve out some time for just you and Him. Get alone in a quiet place, away from the busyness and noise. Don’t take anything with you, not even your bible, just YOU! Often times I will even get in a position of lowering myself, so I am in constant reminder of my position before Him. Start talking to him like He’s your best friend because He is. Tell Him what is heavy on your heart and then wait and be silent. He will speak in the quiet crevices of your heart and there may be tears that come when you hear His sweet voice. Let the tears fall. He is there to help you catch them. Sometimes He affirms us and says yes, sometimes it’s no. There is so much more to the Yes and No. Don’t stop listening to soon. There may be so much more He wants to say. Some of the best times I have had with Him have been when I just rested in His presence and I let Him hold me and love me while I just cried. There is nothing sweeter. For you guys out there reading, this is for you too. You don’t have to be Super Man before Him. You are His little boy that he adores. He sees you working so hard and planning for the best for your family, but sometimes all of the working and toiling leaves you tired and feeling helpless. Remember what I heard this week…I love you for who you are, not for what you do. He really does love us so well!
Father, thank you for placing my obstacles in my path. I am so sorry I was so stubborn and tried to make my way around the obstacles that you placed to protect me. Thank you for helping me to stop talking and start listening. I am so grateful for your unending and unfailing love for us Lord. Lord, I pray that you would minister to the many that will read these words. That you would help them to get a glimpse of the faithful daddy that you are and that you really do have our best interest at heart. You know our plans and dreams and yet you will order our steps. Thank you Father! We want to be in step with you. Thank you for Jesus and the steps you lead him to take for our sake. Help those reading to see that those steps leading Christ to the cross were part of your plan to save all of your broken children and bring us back into relationship with you. Help us to walk in relationship with you and to bring honor and glory to your precious name! Amen