January 26, 2012

Friday Randomness

Pardon the lack of bulletpoints.

SoldierMan came home from the field a day early. I'm very glad for that. In related news, I'll have a fun picture-filled puppy post soon. And I'm laying awake because I can't sleep and I can't stop thinking. First and foremost the verse from Proverbs is on my mind: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." I'm still reading/studying about the book of Proverbs and we haven't gotten that far yet. But that verse has been sticking in my head in relation to a specific area of my life. And so, I have been actively trying to trust in the Lord with all my heart and to acknowledge Him, at least privately, in this area. It's requiring me to walk by faith (not by sight) in a fresh way. It's funny, because the last few weeks, God has really shown up in my every day life in a very personal way. Like, I speak to Him about an area where I have a concern or just need help, and within hours, that need is met, help arrives. I would give an example but it would mean talking about others without their permission. But, say I tell God, "I'm so burnt out and feeling unappreciated regarding X, I just don't want to go on." A day later, someone out of the clear blue contacts me about X and expresses appreciation. They had no idea they were a direct answer to a prayer that God answered before I prayed it (when I look back on the timeline of events). It's been so wonderful and a balm to my soul, reminding me to trust in Him in other areas. 

It's been a long time since I've really spoken about the things of God on here. Much too long, really. I don't have an excuse, but I do have am explanation, and I hope I can make this make sense, even in a random post written in the middle of the night.

As you all know, we still haven't found a church. We've visited many throughout the last year, and I really didn't think it was going to be this challenging. But no matter where we've gone or how much we've *wanted* to like a place, it just wasn't where we were supposed to be. Yes, sometimes I wonder if we have set our standards too high. We visit one church and they basically sit around and pat each other's pet ministries on the backs. We visit another church that has great worship but leave out half the Gospel, the part that says you need it. We visit another church that actually offers an invitation to follow Christ, but the entire sermon is on the life of Helen Keller, not Jesus. We visit another church that has a high view of outreach but a low view of the Lord's Supper, allowing people to invite cursing upon themselves. We visit another church...and another...and another....and then here we are a year later wondering, where are we supposed to be? What are we doing wrong? And worrying, keenly aware of the stagnation that sets in when you aren't actively a part of a local body of believers. For months I've been praying that someone will just invite us to church somewhere, and in a year that hasn't happened. Unless you count Jehovah's Witnesses. Which I don't.

All that to say, meanwhile, I've been struggling. I won't speak for SoldierMan, but I know he has too. Without the accountability and the guidance as well as the opportunity to work with others, you get stale. You plateau. And it's so hard to fight that off, even as a couple. And so, many times I've found myself wanting to talk to someone or share on here, I see someone I know and love hurting and I know that what they need isn't more counseling or more sympathizing or more medication, what they need is a transforming relationship with Jesus...but how can I say that to someone when I am not even a really good example of that myself right now? Suppose I did share that with a friend, and they were receptive, where do I lead them? How can I try and tell someone that this is the most important part of a person's life and affects every other part and so if this part is off-kilter, everything else will be...when I don't even have a church? I don't even have that first duck in a row, let alone the rest of them. I'll be honest, and this isn't false modesty, but I have never felt more unworthy of testifying to the Truth in my life. And I've let it hold me back. I say this to my shame.

Maybe that is an excuse, but it's the truth.

So that's my random post for today. I have no conclusion. Only that all I can do is keep going, keep trusting, and hope that by being real and sharing this with all of you, maybe someone going through something similar will read this and be encouraged that they aren't alone. And to say that I'm going to fight being held back, particularly on here. But that's a post for another time.

Sorry for the typos. I did this on my phone and didn't get to proofread.

10 comments:

  1. Praying that you all find a church soon...one of the difficult parts of being a Christian, military family. You guys are rocks though. You'll make it!

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  2. My hubby is from El Paso and his whole family is still there... ill ask them where their church is. When i went the sermon was very convicting and i know for a fact they teach the Gospel. Not trying to fix it for you, just trying to give another option :)

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  3. Hang in there, sweetie. You will find what you're looking fro eventually.

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  4. I think sometimes we go through the drought to appreciate the water. I know it's not really helpful but I also know that you're being strengthened and when God wants you to have a church home again, He'll guide you there because you're open to it. You're even desperate for it which is something we don't really have back here...it's something I learned when we lived in Nashville and now we appreciate being home so much more.

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  5. Hang in there, JC! Praying that God will lead you where you need to be soon. And you know that He will do so without you having to sacrifice your "wish list". It took us 1 1/2 years to find our EP church family... We attend Mt. Hope Lutheran on McRae and Montwood, if you're interested. :)

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  6. I so hate that you haven't found a church yet. I know how hard "church shopping" can be, and also how it can affect your daily life. But it sounds like you're doing the best you can to combat the struggles. I don't think you should let your lack of a church family keep you from sharing the Truth in your life. I know, easy to say when I'm not in the same position, but I think maybe that's the enemy's way of keeping the Truth hidden. You don't feel worthy of speaking it in your life...and he wins. The truth is, church family or not, you ARE worthy of speaking/sharing the Truth because you're a child of God!

    I really, really hope you can find a church home soon. I know how hard it is. (Hugs)

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  7. I can relate to your church post. Finally after being here over 18 months we decided on one. It still isn't ideal but it works when it comes to the most important things. I just try to focus on that stuff and not worry about the other stuff and so far things have been good.

    It sure is hard to find a good place though.

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  8. Hopefully, you can find a church! Glad he's back home!

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  9. "Cricket" RennerMay 21, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Hi, I just happened to find your blog from a link somewhere. Anyway, if you are still looking for a church, you may want to consider Christ the King (it's a PCA church). Here's their web-site: http://www.ctkpca.com/. I have an Army friend and his wife who go there, I think. They were stationed up here in Alaska with me, and we went to an OPC church together. If you meet them, they are great folks: Tyson & Reanna are their names.

    In His service,
    Robert "Cricket" Renner

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  10. "Cricket" RennerMay 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Hi, I tried to post a comment a moment ago, and it looked like it didn't take. Anyway, if you still haven't found a church, you may consider Christ the King PCA (http://www.ctkpca.com/). A really great Army couple who went to our OPC church here in Alaska goes there, I'm pretty sure. Their names are Tyson & Reanna.

    In His service,
    Robert "Cricket" Renner

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