Monday, August 23, 2010

Farewells and Faith Building

Summer goes too fast. Now I have one married off, one having gone off to college and stayed gone for 2 years (only coming here to visit), one moving off to college on Friday, and the last two are both in high school. I just wish summer had lasted a little bit longer.

I know I am going to be a terrible empty nester. I love noise. I love the busy, crazy holidays when everyone is home and the house is messy. But the house is silent now. I find that I cannot just sit and be productive in the silence. I have to have the TV on or the radio, something to make noise in the background. I miss my babies. I wish I had loved on them a little more and yelled at them a little less.

One thing that this summer has produced is me being back at home and a renewed spiritual life. Work and school distracted me so that I had forgotten who I was. God reminded me over the summer and has proven Himself faithful once again. In spite of the rebellious, sinful nature that I tend to nurture when out of touch with Him. He has been there waiting for me to get over my stupidity and turn back to Him. At first I felt dead and like I could not reach Him. But lately I've been noticing that some very small, almost unthought prayers have been answered.

We have been needing a roof for years. It was bad. We were losing shingles. But we figured the roof was old and that the ins. company wouldn't cover it. I started jokingly praying that we would get enough of a windstorm to take the roof off, but not so much that it would damage people or contents. Well we started getting roofers stopping by the house and telling us that we had wind damage to the roof and that we could get insurance to pay for it. We weren't sure OUR insurance would pay much of anything and we were positive that they wouldn't cover it all. Shane came home from work one day in the middle of a typical Tennessee thunderstorm, complete with the gusty winds, to see every shingle on the front of the house standing straight up. By the end of the month we had a check in hand from the insurance company for the downpayment and instructions for turning in the paperwork at the end of the job to get the rest. They were going to cover it all and the age was not even taken into was storm damage. Plus, during the floods in May, the roof had leaked and caused some minor damage to the bathroom upstairs. Kilz and paint will take care of it, but the insurance company gave us enough that if we do that work ourselves, we can upgrade to the architectual shingles and get a ridge vent! We will still have money left over! To top it all off, we had gotten gutters with the helmet on them years ago becuase we have so many trees. The insurance company is paying to have the company take them down and put them back on. The gutter company said they would clean them while they are down. So, except for having the exterior painted, our house is getting a facelift!

I had been joking-not really even believing God heard me on that prayer! I can hear Him laughing with delight as we got our surprise. Just like a father on Christmas day watching his children opening their presents.

As much as I wanted to remember them all, I have forgotten some of the smaller ones, but just a couple of days ago, Shane was running late for work and was really worried that his boss might get mad. I silently and quickly said a prayer asking that she be detained somehow and not see him come in late. Shane got to work before her! She was later than he was!

On a more serious note. Back in May, I had begun to really think about my friend in the Congo and his family, and the dangers they face there. I had recently read about how rape gangs were common in many of the African countries and the corrupt governments were powerless to stop them if not directly involved! I began to earnestly and specifically pray for his YOUNG daughter's and his wife's safety. He wrote me earlier this month about a thwarted attempt by a family member to rape his 11 year-old daughter (please pray for this family's safety with me)! I had to praise God for that one. I know He laid it on my heart to pray for them in advance of this trauma so that the enemy could be defeated. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

I have to add to this that the wedding that we were so afraid we wouldn't be able to afford, was paid for and everything that had me so worried leading up to it, fell perfectly in place-right down to the perfect weather! I don't think that one was for me though. That was for the couple that was MEANT to be together and had waited their whole lives for that moment. It was a beautiful union that deserved a beautiful day. I think God rewards the wait:)

My faith has grown by leaps and bounds as I have seen one prayer after another answered. I no longer feel like my prayers are hitting the ceiling and my focus during prayer time is stronger. I am more aware of what I am saying instead of just mumbling the same thing over and over again. God has stirred my soul-another answer to prayer.

So now for my questioning loved one. I pray for you the same. That God will reveal Himself to you and that Jesus will reveal Himself as One and the Same. I cannot make you believe, but I gave you to God from the beginning, and I know He is big enough to hold onto what is His. No, He won't force you, but He will woo you and I know from experience that His love is impossible to resist by those who have known it. I put you in His hands. I will love you no matter what. But know that it would break my heart to think I would not spend eternity with you in heaven. May God be with you.
I trust Him.