I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
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The theme of my day in a nutshell is “late.” I woke-up at 2PM…I remember waking for a few minutes around 11am, but I was feeling so bad, I fell right back asleep. I ate lunch around 3pm, the entire family ate dinner around 6:45pm (nobody was hungry…I think I threw everyone off!) now I'm up late with an above normal amount of energy. Annoying. I hate being so out of wack. Really missing any since of normal.
We found out yesterday that our landlord has decided to raise the rent. Our lease ends the end of April and we agreed that we needed to move on. We lived in this amazing house just minutes away from church for almost 2 years…but it is a rental. Steve has already been looking at a permanent housing solution being that houses have finally fallen into our budget range. I told him he now has a deadline. Steve is REALLY enjoying this…I HATE it! I think I used to enjoy it, but all the different choices confuses me way too much. We agreed he would start house hunting with the realtor and if he found something that he thought I'd like, then we would troop out together and make a decision. It's weird deciding to move out without knowing where you are going.
I've been focused on this verse a LOT lately…
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. (Matthew 16:24, 25 NLT)
This was in my devotional reading sometime this past week and with all of the insanity…those little “ifs” in our family's life right now, it just hit really close to home. On Monday I officially start plan B of treatment, complete with radiation on Monday. IF the tumor reacts well to this treatment, we will continue on this course. IF it doesn't, then my team will be looking for a better place for me to go for further treatment options (and just like you are thinking, there are more ifs there too). Steve is waiting to hear back from UCF regarding IF he was accepted into the nursing program that starts in June. IF he gets in, he will graduate 15 months later with a nursing degree. IF UCF is full, then I don't think we have really even wanted to think down that road yet. IF we find a house to move to, we should have a smooth transition IF the paperwork and closing can be completed on time. IF not and IF we don't find that right house…well, there will be temporary alternative plans.
Oh the fun “ifs” in life. You do realize the word “if” is smack dab in the middle of the word “life” right? God knew we were going to have these moments of uncertainty. For me, it's the lack of control over the situation. All of these situations are out of my control. I can't make my tumor shrink. I can't get Steve into UCF and I can't make a house open up in a great location in our price range. I really think I can sometimes. Sometimes I think if I do exactly what the doctors say, or if I call UCF on Steve's behalf and rationalize with the nursing department or if I find that perfect realtor then I can control the outcome. Truth is, I haven't done any of these things completely and none would help me gain an inch of control over my insane life.
But God wants control…but He wants our entire life.
Sometimes I really bite my lip letting go of things so precious to me and put them into Gods hands because I've seen things disappear before. I've seen money we had set aside for a vacation put in Gods hands for ministry…sometimes not even having that outcome I had in mind. I've spent time away from my family investing in people that I lose in the end. I've spent time trying to follow Gods lead to do creative trips with my kids to return and go “Really? I'm not doing that again.” There's a slight hesitation to say “Okay God, I'm putting my entire life in Your hands.”
Back in August, the day before I met with my doctor that started this entire health saga, I wrote in my prayer journal asking God to “show me what faith really looks like and the patience to see Your face.” And if once wasn't enough, I wrote it twice, underlining it the second time. I re-read this a few weeks ago. It took me off guard. I remembered writing it and wanting it, but had I known then what I know now, would I write it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. With suffering and trials comes the most amazing, intimate closeness one can ever experience with God. My journey has included SO many people…all which have helped me gain patience, learn what faith looks like and yes, I've seen His face through theirs.
The point I'm getting at here is that I'm trying to lay my entire life down, all of the IFs included and let God take full control. I say “trying” because it's a continual process, everyday giving my life over to Him again (more of a reminder for me than it is to Him). Im excited yet terrified at the same time. It's a very interesting place to be…truly living by faith and really not seeing where your next step will land. It's not for everyone, but it's where I believe God is calling me right now.
God calls us to lay down our life before He can truly use our faith. The verse I shared is just a few verses prior to when Jesus makes this statement (to the same disciples that the first statement was to):
“You don't have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (Matthew 17:20 NLT)
I've been hanging on to this mustard seed for months and boy, I've seen it move in unexpected ways…but no mountains…those huge walls in your life that requires God to intervene. Perhaps I hadn't given up all of my “ifs” yet…or maybe the timing wasn't quite right.
I have a feeling Gods gonna be moving…ever felt like something big was about to happen? I'm there. It most likely will not be in the way I would like or have done it, but then again that shows I'm not in control.
HE ain't done yet.
Lay it down and put that mustard seed to work…there's more than just one mountain that needs moving!
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Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a wife to Steve and a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!