Saturday, December 03, 2005

A hope and a future...a destiny?

Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ {thoughts can also be translated as 'plans'}

So said the Lord to me shortly before my high school graduation, one of the worst experiences in my life. Since then, whenever I have grown discouraged or in some way have gone astray...God has almost literally thrown this verse back in my face "Hello - girl - I haven't forgotten" so to speak. This time, He did it differently and my mind went back to the verse on its own.

To some degree, I have misinterpreted recent events - for example, I haven't lost my bestest friend like I thought I had. And I've allowed Man's opinion to outwiegh God's. Like I just told a friend, one of my biggest flaws in an almost instantious jumping to the wrong panicky conclusion - I don't do it on purpose! but I can't seem to change this either. And so I've gotten to the point of discouragement where I was literally wrapping myself into a numb coccoon. Given up. Lord, just take me home so I don't have to face this miserable world anymore.

Everything had shattered - is shattered. Everything I ever thought God had ever said to me regarding those plans He says He has, just shattered. That's how it looks to me and honestly still looks. When I listened to a tape of a sermon from a few weeks ago - regarding destiny - my response was one of anger, to the point of tears {it's a good thing no one else was one the bus with me, they'd have thought I'd completely lost it!}

"Destiny?" I thought. "I have no destiny. It's a lie, all a lie. I'm never going to be anyone or do anything of lasting affect. I'm nobody..." Etc. All the way home, almost 20 minutes worth of thoughts of this vein.

And then I picked up one of my books at home to read in an effort to make myself number, a Christian fantasy novel called "The Shadow Within" by Karen Hancock. And I found myself hit between the eyes as I found my Pastor's sermon there. I almost threw the book across the room.

The main character was basically in an underground church meeting and here were the words that hit mo so hard:

"They {{powers&principalities from Ephesians 6}} will hide in the shadows and the darkness, hoping you will forget they exist. Hoping you will focus on the pawns they send against you, instead. They will seek to wear you down, to fill you with fear, to get you to doubt your ability, your destiny, your very place in the Light.
"They will seek to keep you from using your power that is your heritage and rely instead on human power......
"You have a destiny. Do you know what it is? Are you willing to embrace it? Lay down your very life in its service? Or will you let your enemy hold you back with fears and illusions, keep you from trusting him whom you should trust above all others? He knows exactly what he is doing in your life, and he has everything under control. You know that, but do you believe it? Will you go forward in the direction he has led you and rest in the knowledge that he'll see you through it? Or will you back away?"

I could have screamed when I read that. AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

And then later - as the main character is facing one of those nasty beasts that are prevalent in fansty fiction - God tells him to drop all his weapons and to just trust him. OF course our hero balks. Who wouldn't---you're standing in fron tof a fantastic beast with sharp teeth and claws and Gos wants you to do what? Drop your manmade weapons?? To face the enemy - with nothing.......And God says to him......"And that is the only way you'll walk through the door of your destiny, my son. You must trust me completely, no matter what sight tells you. Put aside your own ideas and plans and let me do as I wish with you."

Clay in the potter's hand.

Again I say - AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Perhaps all is not lost after all. Even though it feels it.

I know this was long, but it was something I thought important enought to share with y'all.


M. C. Pearson said...

Wow. Boy Satan likes to lie to us and tell us we are worthless. Yep. We are at war with the principalities of Darkness. Have you read 'A Purpose Driven Life?' It really helps put life into perspective. We ARE here for a reason.

Cliff said...

Ciera, let me tell you something. When I got saved at that nice young age of about 7 or so, I had a thought in my head that I wanted to be a "minister" as I said back then. When I got a bit older, I abandoned the idea to pursue a career in journalism, and I pursued that wholeheartedly until I graduated High School. However, I felt that God wanted me to go to Elim Bible Institute first. I planned to go one year and then go on to another college to pursue journalism. While I was there, God turned me upside down, and He changed a lot of things about me. On this side of Elim, I defenitely am not the same person that went in. While I was there, God told me that I had not been called to journalism, but to pastoral ministry. Well, God has taken me down a very unusual road of preparation for that since then. One would think that God would've had me finish out the next years at Elim, and go right into the ministry. However, I have instead gotten married, had children, and gotten close to someone who is already a Pastor so that I can see what it's really like. Now, I am the Head of Children's Ministries at my church. In a sense, I am in the pastoral ministry. I am doing some of the work of pastoring children. With some of the conversations that I have had with Pastor Chris, I believe that my calling is more specific than God first mentioned. I believe that I am called to be a Children's Pastor. Now, it's been almost ten years since God spoke to me about my calling, and I still have not fully attained to it. However, there were many times that I couldn't see the reason that God had me where I was. I said to my wife more then once, "I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels here." All the time though, God said that I was right where He wanted me. Now, I see the why to some of the questions that I had before about where God had me. I still don't see it all though. However, because He has been faithful, I know that there is a purpose for it all. My encouragement to you is this; He's got you right where He wants you. Trust Him.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Excellent points there, Ciera. You write a fine post there.

Ciera said...

M.C. - Yeah, Satan's been telling some whoppers...unfortunately he's been using the ones I trusted the most so it's been hard trying to sort the lies from the rest, u know. I started "Purpose Driven Life"...but...{blushing}....I never finished it. It still sits on my shelf.

Cliff - I've walked beside someone in leadership. And I've seen what her peers have done to her. Right now - I want nothing to do with leadership. It makes me sick to hear the offending party preach while praying about how we don't have time for offenses and hurt feelings. He is 100% right...but we've been short on time since the originial Christmas and Easter and I think we all use that as an excuse to justify hurting people with our bad behavior.

Jean-Luc ~ Now if I can just hang onto those points and not revert backwards!

Rob said...

Mmm, that's a favorite verse of mine too, ciera. It can be hard to "buy" it sometimes, especially when we don't see evidence of our effect on the world around us.

Hang in there.

Cliff said...

Ciera, I see your response about leadership, but that was just part of my testimony if you would. It wasn't the point. The point was that for much of the last ten years, I couldn't understand why God had me where I was. It didn't look like I was heading toward my calling. However, with the results that I have seen over the years, I now see that I wasn't really "spinning my wheels" like I used to say. Instead, I was actually learning something about myself and how I relate to my Lord. I was learning to trust Him. I was learning that He knows what He's doing even though I might not have a clue. My point is that just like God kept me right where He wanted me, so He is also doing for you.

Ciera said...

Cliff - - - you have to understand that for several years now, I have thought myself called to be in leadership. Right now - I don't want it.

Ciera said...

Cliff-I do get what you're saying though.