Friday, April 4, 2008

Time In The Desert

I remember the day I received Julie's picture of the Blue Heron asking if we had any insight to the bird's significance. (See yesterday's post.) I immediately consulted my son, the animal expert, and he shared information about the bird's solidarity and uniqueness. Over the next few weeks it was both exciting and amazing to watch the Lord speak and reveal His plans and purposes for Julie's life and journey with Him. When I read her post it took me back to that time and confirmed how God speaks and how He has been speaking to me too.

You may have read in my bio that I have a heart for the abandoned children 'over the seas.' The past few years I have been praying and asking the Lord to use me to reach others and be a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves. In the beginning when I prayed I thought God would answer me with this 'booming' voice followed by a road map and clear instructions on which direction to go. I often became frustrated and could not understand why He was not speaking to me. He was speaking, I was just not paying attention. Then I thought that if I filled up my days with bible studies, prayer groups, church activities, . . . that I would have 'clear' direction like other spiritual people I interacted with. Again, He was speaking and this time I was too busy to listen. And then my life took a turn.

In April I traveled back to Romania, a dream come to true, to minister to the children and village people. My time there was eye-opening, heartbreaking, and confusing. Then I returned home not knowing what to do with all the emotions inside. In the meantime a childhood friend of mine and I started having some difficulty. Although there were apologizes and forgiveness, I felt in my heart it was time to walk away. The pain I carried with me was almost unbearable. Then summer came. Three months with little ones at home, friendships changing, long periods of lonliness, and inside I knew He was calling out to me.

I attended a conference alone during this emotionally trying time. It was my first time to the church sponsoring the weekend event so I was uncertain about what to expect. Well, God blew me away! To summarize, the speaker used a small willow tree as He spoke about God in our lives. First He began pruning it, gently, slowly. I could relate to that. We all need things pruned off our life like bad habits, negative thoughts, . . . Then He picked up a larger tool and whacked off the branches. I felt the tree and myself yell, "OUCH!" My friendship was one of those branches. Sometimes the things that are taken away hurt, I know my branch did. Then came the ax, I closed my eyes. The skinny little trunk was now in his hands. "Okay, enough!" I wanted to scream. He was still not done. He laid the the scrawny trunk on the floor, in the sun to dry out. "Ughhh!" I thought, but look, here he comes to pick it up. No, he came and turned the trunk over to dry out on the other side. My life, my body, was lying in the sun just like that tree trunk!

As Julie quoted from Hosea 2:14, "I'm going to allure her to the desert and speak tenderly to her." I was in the desert. He had allured me to the desert to speak to me, to spend time with me, to just be with me. And He wanted all of me. At times the desert was so hot and the only water that could be seen were the tears running down my face. Some days I found myself exhausted, falling to my knees wondering if I could withstand one more day. But it was there, in the desert, that I cried out to Him and said, "Lord, help me, save me! I feel so broken and shattered that I do not know what to do!" It was in the desert that I sat alone and listened. It was in the desert that I knelt and prayed. And it was in the desert that He taught me to rely on Him.

I cannot even remember the time coming out of the desert to where I am today. I can tell you that since then my life has focus - focus on Him, my family, and my purpose. So many things that consumed me before have been cut away. In my quest for direction the Lord heard my cry and led me His way, not mine. He knew what needed to be changed in me before His direction was to be revealed. Imagine that! And my prayer is slowly being answered in ways I never dreamed of.

Be Blessed, Kim

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