Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hold Onto His Promises

Ever have one of those moments when you're husband calls and asks if you're sitting down? What runs through your mind? Did he get in a car accident? Get a promotion? Cheat on me? Yes, all those things ran through my mind in about 3 seconds when my husband called me last week on Monday morning and said, "are you sitting down?" Well no I wasn't, I had just gotten out of the shower, still in a towel, and definitely needed to sit down after what he told me.

For those of you who don't know my family or how we got to where we are, let me briefly share. My husband and I grew up in northern Indiana - and got married there in 2008. We moved from our hometowns, families, and friends in Indiana to the Phoenix area in Arizona in May 2010. We had just experienced a long, painful miscarriage and knew that God was calling us to a fresh start. Arizona had been on our heart for a while and when we decided to move, God put the pieces into place quickly. Within a week, my husband was granted a transfer with his job, our house was on the market, we knew where we were going to live, and I had put in my 2 week notice at work. We felt God's promise to move us to AZ was being fulfilled by the open doors He had placed before us. And we took a huge leap of faith, leaving behind everything we'd ever known.

Fast forward to June 2013... we've lived in Arizona for 3 years, had another miscarriage, made great friends, been a part of an amazing church, and finally had a beautiful son, Miles. We love the mountains, the constant sunshine, and active lifestyle. I had traveled home to Indiana in June with Miles to watch my little brother graduate high school. When I left to come back to AZ, something in my heart tugged at me - it was a little harder to leave home that time. I had said something to my husband briefly, but no nagging involved. See... I have always been open to moving back home to Indiana. But I was also okay living in Arizona too. My husband, however, was completely adamant that we were never leaving. He never wanted to go back to snow, rain, gloomy skies, old towns, or boring places. And no family members could ever change his mind about it.

Well last week as I stood listening my husband on the other end of the phone, I heard I never thought I would hear. He said for weeks he had felt God speaking to him about moving our family home to Indiana. Although he wanted to be very selfish and stay in the bright sun of Phoenix where there are a lot of opportunities, he knew that God was telling him it wasn't right for the future of our family. And he had to act on the command that was given to him. I listened to a man whose heart was open to God. And as I stood there shocked and full of questions, my husband said, "I know if God's putting this promise on my heart to bring us back home, he will make a way."

As I'm reading through Romans, I went back to chapter 4 and decided to read it in the Message Bible. I read this chapter before my husband shared what was on his heart. It's amazing how God prepares you for things you don't know will happen! The Message Bible says about God's promises (in context, his promise to Abraham),

"That famous promise that God gave Abraham - that he and his children would possess the earth - was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God's decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when we believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms, properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract. That's not a holy promise; that's a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise - and God's promise at that - you can't break it. This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, then simply embracing him and what he does. God's promise arrives as a pure gift."

God does not say, "Here is my should be neigotiate this?" He says, "Here is my promise." Period. No ifs, ands, or buts... no asking "God: if I do this, will you do this?" God's promises are not business deals. They are gifts! When God put it on our heart to move us as a family home to Indiana, we could have said, "God here's exactly where we want to be, and what job he wants to have.. oh and here's when we'd like to actually move." Nope... we chose to say, "If God's made us a promise to bring us home to our family, then he will open and close doors according to his plan." Let me tell you, it's not an easy prayer to pray. If we're gonna move, my selfish desires want to move at this time, to this place, with my husband at this job. But it's my privilege as God's child, not to negotiate, but to stand firm in my trust in Him and then just watch God work! God will make a way, he will show us his plan, and all he asks is that I trust him and follow him.

I'm holding onto his promises.

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