Focus on the Season

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I’m in a new season right now. I’m believing for great changes, but, as I posted last, it’s a process. I’m certain that God has many promises he has not yet fulfilled through me, and that he has created me with giftings that I can use to be creative and bless others. I know my season includes being quiet, listening and waiting on the Lord to specifically have the right word at the right time with the right heart. I know my giftings include encouragement, mercy, and hospitality. These have been fallow the past few years in my struggles with cancer and depression and illness, but, they are still there. As Pastor Stone always said, and it says somewhere in the book, that ‘God’s Gifts are Irrevocable.” A lot of problems occur because when I don’t have things flowing out from me, there’s nothing able to flow in. I have a picture in my mind of some standing water that’s gotten muddy and there have been dead leaves falling in it, and maybe some algae growing. That’s not supposed to be the way my gifts operate. The way I have had prophetically been spoken of is that the well that the enemy stopped up by making it muddy and filled with rocks and nasty water will be opened up so that I can overflow in blessing to others. I think that one of the reasons that I’ve had so many difficult battles in my life is that my heart has always wanted to be used to minister. Misguided or off-course, it’s always the intent and desire of my heart that I’ve had all along; that I would show fruit in my life that could be used to bless others and glorify God.

In looking back so far, I can’t point to any particular season and say it had a lot of fruit and that has been a frustration to me. I have had times where I knew God was using my feeble efforts and I knew it wasn’t because of me, maybe more likely in spite of me. But just as I came and lay my small offering before the Lord, he was able to do miracles with it. I also know that I may only be seeing the backside of the tapestry, partly finished, with all my knots and threads that are uneven and mismatched. I won’t see the completion until my race is finished. I hope that I will show myself approved by his Grace. Thank God that his mercies are ‘new every morning’. I love the recent song by Matthew West that talks about wishing and getting over it to move on into “Day 1 of the Rest of My Life”. Please, I hope that I don’t sound overly spiritual or holy. I’m certainly not. I have a lot of things that are in my head that haven’t made it out of the muddiness and down into my heart. The difference is that right now, I am choosing to believe and live in faith – after all, faith is what we have before things are seen. I will continue to hope and pray.

My list of accomplishments has been short – probably because of a lot of stubbornness against authority. I felt, from a young age, that I had to take care of myself or no one else would. That was before I met Jesus but I carried it on past my salvation. I know I mixed Him up with my natural father, and then had 9 years of a legalistic, judgmental and at times hypocritical church background. I know so many were hurt during the 80’s by what happened at the church where I accepted Jesus as my savior. I also had so many experiences that left me in no doubt that God was real and Jesus truly loved me. I just didn’t think he liked me very well because of my bad decisions. I left the church when I went to college and experienced the ‘distancing’ of many who I had loved and admired and knew as friends. I know, now, that I certainly wasn’t any better off on my own and others also had old scars from that time, too. By the end of my 6 years of isolation, I’d made a big mess of my life, but my friend Ron brought me down the Romans Road and I gave the mess back to Jesus. I keep doing that every time I think of it, because I still have a heavy handed tendency to take the reins of my will back, even when I think I’m submitting to His will.

In any case, I’m certain only of his love for me and that he planned me, knowing my every decision and every hearts’ cry and fear and pain and loss. He also knew my joys and enthusiasm, my spontaneity and impulsiveness that makes life so very interesting (at least if you are living in my head.) The name, Jill, means youthful heart, and I think I’ll always have it. Like Peter Pan, who never wanted to grow up, I believe there is always another adventure, place to go, people to meet, and I’m ready to go follow Aslan Further Up and Further In.  I’ve been tenacious, at least I’m told that I am. Perhaps it’s just that I don’t know any better. But, I do like to think of myself as young at heart. Ya Gotta Live my mom and Auntie Mame used to say.

Lets be honest here, I didn’t mind growing up in some ways – I certainly wouldn’t want to go back. But… I think that there will always be in me a child-like wonder in enjoying things that other people might think of as silly or simple. Escaping in my imagination has long been a…well…an escape, but, it also gave me a ton of ideas and thoughts that I just love bouncing against each other.

A friend of mine recently gave me an assignment that I believe was from the Lord to help. Instead of thinking of so many things to share, perhaps I can focus on praying for the ‘one’  thing that will minister and help the most. My ADD and child-like quality of excitement about ideas makes it difficult to focus, so I find I struggle to express myself and end up using too many words. I need to be like an arrow sent out with my words, so that I can hit the mark that my Lord has for me as a target.

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