I LOVE to be STRETCHED!!!

This time last year, I was in a really bad place in every way imaginable.  That’s not an exaggeration.  I was so sick of change that I remember BEGGING God to bring BORING, MUNDANE, ORDINARY into our life.  Looking back at my journal from that period of time gives me plenty of proof.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t write so much detail into my notebooks… then other times it’s good to have those reminders.  Little did I know “back then” how much change was about to explode in front of my little brown eyes.  Little did I know how POWERFUL – more than Stretch Armstrong powerful – God was about to become in my life.  (Right now the song on the radio has lyrics of “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength… I don’t have to be strong enough…”  Thanks, God!!!)  Don’t you just LOVE how God gives you His “winks” throughout the day if you just look for them?  Again, I digress… ANYHOW… Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Yeah, right God.  Sure thing.  Whatever YOU say!

Now, I need to go on a side path here for just a moment but, no worries, I’ll get back to where I was originally going in a few.  Hang on.  This will make sense…

All of my life up until sometime in 2010, I had honestly believed that it was my purpose to be the “little United Nations” to the world.  Take care of everybody else.  Do for everybody else.  Forget about me.  Keep everybody HAPPY! HAPPY!! HAPPY!!!  (Maybe that is why I like Pharrell Williams’ song HAPPY so much.)  THEN… I… met… Gil.  OKay… I can’t go there right now.  The tears are starting.  So let’s go back onto the original path.  No.  Let’s stay here.  After he passed away, actually in the days leading up to “that” day… I became more & more scared.  Not about living life without him… do you realize how hard it is to type with tears running down your face and your glasses steaming and your nose running… beautiful visual there… BUT living life without my #1 cheerleader.  I thought that I would slip back into that old mindset where I heard all of the old tapes… “who do you think you are?” and “WHY do you want to do THAT?” and “you’re so stupid” and on and on and on…

This morning as I read the devotional from “My Utmost For His Highest” I had an epiphany.  I’m not really sure what that means… had an epiphany… but it sounds good here.  A light bulb moment.  God walked into the room and smacked me on the head!!!  All of a sudden I realized the seeds that Gil had planted in my head and they sprouted and then they took root in my heart and now they are growing me – I am being STRETCHED!!!  Did you ever notice how when you let go of SA’s arms that they slither back to their original length/shape/ordinariness…

Here is what spoke so loudly to me… “My misgivings arise from the fact that I search within to find how He will do what He says.  My doubts spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, I should bring them into the light and confess them openly – “Lord, I have had misgivings about You. I have not believed in Your abilities, but only my own. And I have not believed in Your almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.”

FINITE.  LOOK AT THAT WORD!!!

Suddenly… SUDDENLY… I realized that I have GROWN… I have been STRETCHED… beyond that inferiority stuff. Now wait. I’m not saying that I think that I am now “all that” cause I don’t. It’s just that I see how usable I am to God and how HE is using me. I see how He has been “working all things together for good and getting rid of the crap” … that’s the Giloria translation… the toxic stuff is melting away!

The past few weeks have been kinda sorta interesting. The stuff that I’m referring to would be funny if it was happening in the life of somebody else, to be honest here. I’ve had a guy tell me, “That’s why you need a husband.” Excuse me? I don’t NEED anybody other than God. The rest of it is real nice but REALLY?  I’ve been told, “You just need to move on.” too many times.  Hey.  God has the clock and the stopwatch in His hands, not me.  (Now they’re playing that song “GREATER”… greater is the One living inside of me than he who is living in the world!!!  I LOVE IT!)  Pardon me while I step out for a moment to do a little dancing around the room!  Care to join me???  Whoo Hoo… Yes!  GREATER is HE than meeee…

The voices of the world will keep us beaten down if we listen to them MORE than we listen to the voice of God. I was just thinking this morning about how much better I “feel” when I choose the radio remote over the t.v. remote in the mornings.  But that’s a subject for another day…

Dear God, thank YOU for making me the way you chose… the things that I hate but am learning to love because YOU had it all planned for YOUR purposes. Thank YOU for walking me through this valley and bringing me into YOUR son-shine.  Please help me to continue to seek YOU and to please YOU. Help me to prove to others that YOU really are who you say YOU are simply by being me. Forgive me for the times I forget YOU. The times I get so busy trying to figure out life that I kick YOU off to the side of the road. Thank you for the friends YOU chose for me and that they hold me accountable. Thank YOU for the redeeming grace offered to each and every one of us… In YOUR Holy and precious name… Amen.

p.s.  Thank YOU, Lord, for all of the changes – this is exciting!

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