Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Choosing Joy ~ Still!

I began Tuesday working through some portions of Living a Life of Prayer. I also prayed through a Prayer Covenant. I loved the God-coincidence of the first verse in  Living a Life of Prayer,  to pray and meditate on, being  the very first one I assigned to Mentor Group 2013....
Ps 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." (NIV) 
I still haven't blogged about "paths" and all God has been illuminating....but I spent some time recommitting to stay on His path, as He revealed His path. I especially prayed,  "SHOW ME YOUR PATH."

Some of you know we are facing some unexpected challenges and opportunities for faith growth. I may share more of the growth later. I've started a blog post - but am  unsure how to write it with honesty and yet an eye to the privacy of others. I suspect that post is destined for the "unvarnished blog."

 It simply would NOT be a Gherkin move without some adventurous drama thrown in. ::snort::

 The home we've  had a written agreement to rent since March 3rd, was put on the market 4 weeks ago. To be clear no money had changed hands. We have been asking and waiting for a formal lease and instructions for transferring money. In any event, the home had a buyer  within 1 week.  There seems to be some hold up with closing the sale. We found out it was on the market yesterday.  Stunned. Disappointed at the lack of communication. Reeling as we consider options. Frustrated. More upset by the lack of options caused by the choices of others, than not living in the house. We always pray God puts us where we'll bless others and be blessed. He has a different location for us.  The chicken thing is a bit perplexing but great opportunity for growth and shepherding our son's heart. One thing I've learned is it's not my responsibility to "work out answers" for my child's prayers. God doesn't need my help.

Our options are severely limited by the choices made in the past month. Lack of forthright communication cost us the chance to fly free to San Francisco to look for a home at the start of rental season. We are confident Abba Father will lead us through this valley not of our choosing. Already two women living in the Beale area have offered to drive by homes when they saw we were once again looking at rentals.

I'm encouraged.  We CHOSE JOY! God is for us. He has never deserted us and won't begin now. He knows the right home for us to live in and our prayer has always been that He show it to us. He will. We individually chose to walk in forgiveness - we're all sinners who make bad choices - saved by grace.  Friends and family around the world are praying we discover the home God has hidden for us until it was needed - which would be now.  We had planned to have household goods delivered to the rental on 23 July. We leave for 2 weeks of wedding the start of August. We need to line up a home in that one week in July or we'll be trying to find a rental mid-August...not good timing. God knows.

Tuesday could easily be overshadowed by our housing situation.  HOWEVER - some great things happened.

The day began with a trip to the clinic for more fun and a play group with a precious group of five young moms, their kidlets and me.

We got our freezer and pantry completely cleaned out and the boys and I drove to Hachinohe to deliver the contents to an Assembly of God missionary family which has been in Japan 26 years.

I was able to share our heart to return to Japan.  Ron shared insight into our next season with us....some good information  to consider. Hard to believe we'll be making some drastic changes to our ministry in two short years.

In family circle we revisited the parable of the King and his two slaves (Matthew 18:23-35). We had discussed Monday night what forgiveness IS (surrendering it to God) and what it is NOT (absolution, amnesia). We talked about what happens to one if they refuse to forgive. We shared a few personal examples. We prayed and committed to be a family which walks in forgiveness. O*U*C*H* Jesus - not funny. ::snort::

Twenty-four hours later....we revisited the parable and our commitment as we sought to walk it out in a situation where we are "naturally" stinging. It was a precious night with the Gherkins....

We "ended" the night by looking at rentals online. ::snort::

 All went to bed.... I began hours of wrestling with my NASTY flesh.  I forgave....but oh I didn't want to. I finally went to bed at 0200 this morning. I was frustrated with myself for wrestling so hard when the rest of the house was sleeping.   What kind of an example IS this Mama?

I laid in bed and prayed, "You KNOW I need to hear from You about this."  In the stillness, I was reminded, when faced with horrendous consequences brought about by others, Jesus wrestled and then surrendered.

"Thank you, Father. Wrestling with the flesh is to be expected. Surrender is the norm of the new creature and eventually she comes out on top.  You know we want only Your will, Abba, but the way this all came about stings."

"When Jesus was faced with deception and purposeful betrayal (we aren't); He forgave."

"Show me your ways Oh Lord, teach me your paths.... Yes, Jesus I DO want to walk in your ways and you walked in forgiveness and total surrendered obedience to Father God. Help me."

We had planned a road trip sit in a toilet surrounded by fake things worked out it seems appropriate. ::snort:: I realized I was far too tired to be driving 2 - 3 hours away and back. I called Mandy and confessed, "It took me five hours to wrestle my flesh into surrender and I'm too tired to responsibly drive on a road trip."  She and her friend will go today and I'll go later with the kids - maybe next week.

Mandy reminded me play group (which I missed much of due to needing to be at the clinic)discussed Jacob who wrestled with God. She encouraged me it was o.k. to wrestle...but to walk out the surrender.

The kids told me to take a nap and as I drifted off I read an email from my mentor. She shared, "E.  Stanley Jones said  he allowed himself one hour to be upset, then he moved on." You know I WISH I was mature enough, holy enough to have surrendered in one hour. I could be sitting in a toilet if I had. I take comfort in the fact that E. Stanley Jones recognized this wrestling with the flesh, emotions and will.

I am thrilled to see our children reached this spot before me. Truthfully, I'm amazed it only took five hours to reach a place of the not to distant past it would have taken weeks, months, years....God is good.

If we shared anything with you which was out of line (and I can't think of anything) I ask your forgiveness. We are praying only God's very best for our former-almost-landlord and his family. Yes, I wish we had known the house was on the market weeks ago so we would have more options - but God loves to have us where He is our only option. He is our provision. He will get us out of this predicament. We are looking for that home which He has hidden for us until this time.

And the chickens, garden, room to roam...doesn't really fit the picture of prepping for missionary work to a crowded country does it? ::snort::

{Editor note: I totally realize my situation is NOTHING compared to Jesus' but I'm not God either. If you love us, please do not post nasty comments. They needed to sell for their family - we get that - we're stinging. We covet your prayers.}

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Kathy in WA said...

Wonderful blog, De'Etta! Thank you for sharing some of the story, your heart, and as always, how God is moving and working in your life.

Excited to hear where He places your family next.

Linda said...

Praying for your peach and the best possible solution to this dilemma.

Janette said...

I will be praying you find the house God chooses for you.
All I can think of for the other family is that God moved them as well- whether financially or spiritually. They must not have trusted enough to let you in on the family decision. The reality is that a large house being sold in this market is amazing. God must have some amazing plans for both families.
Trusting The Lord is what military people do best. He will provide.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

YES - God has amazing plans for both families. We aren't at all bitter than they made the decision to sell their home. We understand the stress of owning two homes...not workable for most military families of our rank.

I'm eagerly watching for where God is moving us. Thanks for your understanding.

Ev said...

Appreciate your transparency. I realized some situations I wrestle with on & off continually - 1 hour, even 5 hours, should be enough to surrender. Praying the home owners sell to the right people at the right time. May you be blessed with the "perfect" place at the right time. Remember Lazarus - even when Jesus appears to be 4 days late He is still on time. Blessings on you & your family as you walk through this.

Sarah T said...

De'Etta I am so thankful that you are willing to be transparent! I don't get to read your post all the time but this morning I felt impressed too. I have been wrestling and then struggeling with that I was wrestling instead of just accepting. Your words and the encouragement of others has encouraged me. Thank you.
On the homefront, God has got this, our house in Hawaii was just what we needed. It even set empty from the time we left Japan for DH's heart surgery until we returned to Tripler and in the midst of the craziness of the last two years God has blessed us so much with where we are! I know He will do the same for you cause God doesn't play favorites!
Don't discount the chickens and such yet. God hears the prayers of our children and we in our adult wisdome think we can see better. Excited to see what, when and where God takes you all next.

Anonymous said...

Sis & Family:

Aren't you glad "God has our backs"? PTL for your sensitivity to the Lord. PTL you all know HE is always working things out in a perfect way. LOVE the comment your friend made about Lazarus! PTL for that fact! You know we pray for you and we'll just add a home for you back to the list. :):) Looking forward to see what God is doing for you all at this time.


love/prayers - dad/mom t.