When You Leap!

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Feet planted, toes push close to the edge but not over. Knees bent, a slight bounce as my body sways first forward then back. Jump or no?  That is the question.

In April, my husband and I stuttered through conversations, one after another, that waited for the other to say “go.”

A series of God ordained events led us to the edge of a cliff. God spoke. We obeyed. 

Deep breath! “Jump!”

We made a leap. 

Long story shortened, we decided to place our 17 year old adopted son in a treatment facility for boys in hope that he would get specialized help needed to overcome some deep issues and unhealthy brain patterns. In truth, it was our last hope to save his life. (and we have a long history of suicide attempts, hospital visits and therapists to confirm what may sound like an overdramatized statement.)

The leap was in part the group home but  in full it was the price; a hefty sum ALL out of pocket. 

A recent summer day found me, mid-air, with wavering faith. Won’t ask for money, but friends made a point to do it for me by way of a You Caring Crowdfunding site. Pride made me resistant to the idea, but love of my friends made me cave.

“God, this is hard and humbling and somewhat embarrassing to accept money from people who I know struggle with their own finances. Forgive me, though, for not embracing what seems to be your will. If it is your will, then please let money come from those who won’t have to sacrifice to give.”

No more than 5 minutes passed after those words left my lips before an email popped up. I cried at every word. Here’s the nutshell version.

“Teresa, I have a trust account set aside for donations. Right now we are sending $2500. No need to thank me.  It’s from God and my parents, who left me the money.”

I sat stunned. Ecstatic at the evidence of God’s involvement yet a bit ashamed at my surprise of it.

Q: At what point in our decisions process should the possibility of success outweigh the possibility of defeat or humiliation or failure?

A: The moment God says “jump!”

Faith is to believe God’s faithfulness, provision and omnipotence will meet us at the same mid-air moment a skydiver pulls the cord and releases the parachute. Then and only then, does He take us higher and further than possible to imagine.

Psalm 3:4 “I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain.”

The Lord’s work began when our human effort ended.

On a more remarkable note, our son is thriving. His therapist wrote, “Good news! [Your son] continues to do very well! We are very proud of him. We have not had any issues of defiance, has been a GREAT leader and peer and has been very productive in therapy.”  

Six years of therapy and hospitals and our unconditional love could not do what this home has done in 4 months. 

God had a plan for healing that involved a leap of faith on our part. We are still hovering with wind below but are confident that God, who called us to jump, will be faithful to sustain us and complete what He started.

At what cliff do you find yourself paralyzed? Is God saying “jump?”
cliff-diving

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MY Yoke is Heavy!

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Weight!  So much gravity to responsibility. My teens and their life, literally, and future, their character and growth. My husband’s relief and support and this thing called marriage. The women and young ladies I serve who ache, are lost, hopeless or even simply eager to learn. The angst of my friends who battle giants. My own character development and faith walk. The hands on the street stretched out while the other holds a cardboard sign. Money, possibly, the heftiest of all burdens for many. I work, more hours than I rest, put have no income. Short list not all inclusive.

A lightened load I seek. God says, “then lay down what I never asked you to carry. I ask that you become like Me, not that you are Me.

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Battling Alone is Never His Plan

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The house was quiet and Dave and I drifted off to sleep with a plan to take the next morning slow and easy. A rare treat as our middle child had been on suicide watch for some time, causing shifts in our sleep habits. All three kids were at a church camp retreat. REM sleep had settled in when a sudden surge penetrated my body and shot me to a straight up position in bed while the words “in Jesus name” left my mouth loud enough to wake Dave.

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Seeker Friendly Tight Rope!

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DAY 15 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Upon entrance, hands reach out to greet them, offer announcements on paper and they bee-line to find a seat. Not to far forward, leaving chance for a quick escape and not in close proximity to strangers, after all it’s church, they might bite.

It’s for these visiting species that churches have created “seeker friendly” services. Services with no greeting time, way too awkward, performances rather than worship because, well, they don’t know the songs. Play music loudly, use words that aren’t overly spiritual and by no means should anyone look around while during prayer.

It’s the latter that I ponder.

Inspiring message stirs an unbelievers heart, music of God’s love penetrates the rough, doubting exterior, heart pounds, palms sweat and a desire rises in them to make a decision for Christ, alone.

All of heaven is poised to celebrate… yet the touchable, present and “in the flesh” believers that surround them are asked to pray with bowed heads and closed eyes. Hmmm…

Don’t Christ followers miss the opportunity to discover the newest members of their faith family all because we wouldn’t want them to feel weird?

Doesn’t that teach them from the very beginning, right out of the gates that take them from bondage of sin to freedom in Christ, to be “timid in spirit” and hide their faith?

I get that we don’t want to go all crazy and scare people off, but people come to church with knowledge that God is there, shouldn’t they experience Him in the fullness of His design, not ours?

Not a statement,  just a ruminating question.

Spread the burden, share the pain!

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images60XAAZJJStartled by the ring tone of dogs barking, signaling a text message on my phone, I quickly sat up from a deep sleep.  After trying to rub away the blurriness of my weary eyes, I managed to finally focus on the late night hour.  Immediately I knew something was wrong.  I read the text which confirmed my gut reaction.  A dear friend was asking for prayer for her sick and physically frail husband.

I wasn’t surprised by the message of her text, nor was I inconvenienced by the late hour at which the request came.  After all, missing an hour of sleep to pray was effortless compared to the countless hours they had spent battling at hospitals or treatment centers. This “spiritual giant” of a man has been an integral part of my own spiritual development, so of course I would respond to the request with great awareness and tearful pleas to heal him.  As I was praying, asking for the same healing, the same miraculous intervention as I had many times before, it hit me…

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