Isaac and I have been going through a whirlwind storm this summer and just now we’re starting to see the leaves fall and settle. I can see peace, I can feel it, I can hear it.
I have been reading Wild and Free this past month and now, more than ever, I can see that God is showing me to live fearlessly. Shoot, I even signed up for my first women’s bible study CALLED “Live Fearlessly” I mean… what are the chances that a bible study… with that title… this coming month…is happening? It’s God. There are so many signs pointing to Him I can’t help but laugh and smile when I come across them daily. Last week I was asking Isaac if he had heard Lauren Daigle explain her song “ Come Alive (Dry Bones) ” which is about God breathing life into dry bones and just hearing Lauren (and Michael) talk about it gave me goosebumps. Today as I was reading Wild and Free, I came across something that pertained to what Isaac and I have been talking about recently (job-wise) so I took a picture of my book and sent it to him. I hadn’t even finished reading the page because I was so excited for him to see it so as I clicked “send” I glanced at the bottom and there were the words “Lauren Daigle” and “Come Alive”
Isaac and I don’t know what our life looks like tomorrow, next week, a month from now, a year from now, but we have ideas of what it’ll look like 40 years from now. But this, our life, cannot happen without God. CANNOT.
God is breathing life into our dry bones and showing us to put Him above ALL and to have Him as the center of our marriage. We thought we could do it all on our own, without God, and this is not who we were created to be! A marriage conference for 2017 has been on our hearts these last couple of weeks. I have a list of reasons why we can’t go and they all have a common reason… fear. I have been living my life in fear since I was about 13 and God is breaking those chains now. I’m 24. One right after the other, in ways you wouldn’t imagine. I never handed over my fears to him until just recently. Again, I always thought I could do it on my own, I thought I was in control of my life. But there is freedom in knowing that He is in control and that Christ died for that freedom.
In this season, among many things, we are contemplating jobs and where to live. In Wild and Free It’s neat to read the words Hayley Morgan wrote about depending on God’s provision for her family. I have always looked to God with “my part” of our family income. I have had a small shop for 5 years or so and there’s no way it would have ever been possible without God. At one point I was getting enough money each month to pay for our car and I was selling headbands. HEADBANDS! I was brand new at this whole “shop thing” and I was reaching customers I had never thought possible. It was all God (Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights… James 1:17 NIV)
I’ve continued to lean on him throughout my business opportunities but I’ve noticed that with our main income (Isaac’s job) we both have not put it into God’s control. We tithe and we see it come back into our account in the CRAZIEST ways, but that was as far as we let ourselves go. We have yet to release the holds that the world has on us over making money because we’re fearful. Fearful of not making enough to pay our house, our second vehicle, feeding our family.. the list is never ending.
I’ve also found myself numb to thinking about our REAL problems and replaced that with wanting material things. I’ve always liked the idea of living the simple life but I’ve left it in the back of my mind thinking that it just isn’t possible. Living in freedom, it’s not possible. Or I’m left circling thoughts of “What would everyone think? Would my dad, sisters, cousins, friends accept this lifestyle? Do I need that acceptance in the first place? Am I putting their views above my husband? Above God?”
I have tied myself down with ideas from Pinterest, Instagram photos, Fixer Upper episodes.. Telling myself I need pretty things in my home, surrounding my home, so I can stand to be there all day. In between thoughts of feeling so blessed to be there raising our babies. I’ve felt so torn. Seeing Gods truth and believing lies of the enemy. Lies that make me think of problems with the house rather than focusing on raising babies that God blessed me with.
There are even days when I think “Sure I don’t have money for this weeks groceries but I DO have money for this new Anthropologie duvet that just went on sale for $400!” and as crazy as that sounds, it happens. All. The. Time.
There are days when I need my house to be spotless so I won’t feel judged when visitors come by. I find myself constantly apologizing for our house being lived in. And days when I’m just too tired to clean so I make sure my daughter doesn’t take out any toys or anything at all. This is so wrong! I have begun to teach her ways of entrapment. I am taking joy away from her life.
I have yet to come alive and have been so caught up in creating my own little world that I haven’t seen the world God created. The beautiful oceans, mountains, animals, flowers… any adventure at all. I felt as though I was never going to see these things because I was TOO FEARFUL anyway so I never bothered to pursue it. Adventure scares me. Being outside is out of my comfort zone. I don’t like to be dirty, I don’t like insects, I don’t like the wind. Growing up in the mountains, I was never like this!!
I played soccer for 14 years, I could take a tackle and get back up. I could get smashed in the face and run back onto the field. My mom taught me to look fear in the eye and overcome it. She taught me to fight for the ball rather than let the other player knock me down in the process. She taught me to bring down an air ball and control it when I would too often duck and dart. She was teaching me to stand my ground and push back when other girls would try to push me over. She helped me to overcome my fears. Just as I see God doing in my life right now. I played soccer until my senior year of High School. I got my very first job and I let the fears of that consume me to where I could no longer focus on my favorite sport. I tried to juggle both and one summer day around 7 am, a couple of hours before work started, I found myself with a mouth full of dirt and my body on the grass. I was so nervous for work I started to get nervous playing soccer and a freshman was able to take advantage of that. Her head was in the game, mine was too busy thinking of my fears. I don’t actually know what had happened but I will always remember the girls reaction. She got in my face, laughed, turned around and kept playing. In that moment I told myself I no longer wanted to play soccer. I was SO angry because I wasn’t playing how I normally play and I couldn’t figure out why. So much so that I quit altogether. But looking back, I know what is was. Fear. It can consume you in every thing you do.
Instead of looking fear in the eye like my mom had spent so many years teaching me, I ran to what I thought was comfortable. To what I thought was safe. But what I was really doing was hiding in darkness. I created a hiding place indoors where I thought I would be protected. It’s been 6 years since that day and I’m still doing this!!
A few days ago a local news article was plastered to my phone screen. Words I can’t even begin to type out. A horrific act of evil that made me want to crawl further down into a hole and never leave my house again. But Isaac told me that even my home, a hole I’ve dug, is unsafe without God. And I know this to be true!! Jesus is our hiding place! We CAN run to safety! We CAN come alive.
Today, as I turned the pages of Wild and Free something else sat right in front of me. Titled “When we prefer captivity” and it was exactly what I needed to read.
I know that this is what God is showing me and my family. Psalm 126: 4 says “Restore our fortunes, LORD, like streams in the Negev.” God may not bring it in ways that we would expect but, we can become flowing streams through Jesus Christ, our dry bones can come alive. A seed must die in the ground to become something else. I believe that God is bringing me and my family closer to Him for His glory and we have been dying to ourselves to become who He created us to be. He has taken us out of this pit we have dug, this desolate land we’ve been living in, a seed that has been planted but never sprouted.. and he is making us new. He is bringing us light and water so we can bloom and grow. Heliotropic flowers turn their blooms to the sun, and that is how we must be!