Friday, October 15, 2010

More than Enough

I was convicted about my doubt and disbelief last night.

Jan Reynolds, one of the ladies who works with me in CEPS, has been in the hospital for the past week with heart troubles. After surgery, a stroke, and coding once, she is still fighting for life. They found a bloodclot and determined that her heart is beyond repair. They are now planning to run tests to see if she qualifies for a heart translant. She has to stay hospitalized until she either gets a new heart or... something else happens.

Everyone in my office is sad and concerned for her. She's a wonderful lady who works constantly and is a HUGE part of our operations here in Continuing Ed. As the news keeps getting worse and worse, more people are saying, "All we can do is pray."

I have been praying for her and have asked everyone I can think of to pray for her as well. Last night in my Bible Study we prayed for her as a group. Again and again the phrase all we can do is pray ran through my mind. I realized I was looking at it as a very disheartening thing. There is nothing left that we can do to help her in our own power. At this point only God can help her. When we say this, we're usually implying that there is very little hope left. I went to bed last night, praying silently and feeling sad.

As the phrase went through my mind again, I feel like God really showed me something. I was not fully believing in the power of prayer. I was looking at it as a desperate last attempt to do something. But the fact is, all we can ever really do is pray. I mean, we can try to do things in our own power, but it's up to God to make things happen and we need His strength and wisdom to figure out the best things to do in situations. God is so much stronger and more powerful than any of our feeble attempts at fixing anything could ever be. So, prayer is always the best thing we can do. And it's not something we should go into with discouraged and downtrodden hearts. We should turn to God will joy and hope and ask him to help us, knowing that He cares for us and He will help!

So, as we're all praying for Jan--and I hope you'll join me--I hope we all remember that God loves us and that NOTHING is impossible in the name of Jesus! Prayer is not a last resort, prayer should be first! Because if we really believe all the wonderful things we say about our God, well shouldn't we be extremely confident in His power to heal and save? Prayer is not hopeless, prayer is the answer. God can and WILL move in our lives! If all we can do is pray, then we must believe that that is more than enough.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Joys of Autumn!

I'm loving this fabulous fall weather! I feel bad for Scott having to ride to work in the mornings on a motorcycle in 45 degree weather...but aside from that point, this weather is fantastic! I know I usually don't blog about the weather. I usually wait until God puts something on my heart to write about. But today I'm just overflowing with happiness as I'm taking in the change in weather, and I just had to write about it. Don't worry--it involves God, too! :)

Fall brings me a mix of emotions. Mostly I feel alive again when the weather starts turning and the temperature starts slowly dropping. I'm a weaker version of myself in the summer. The heat is so stifling. I hide out indoors, avoiding the suffocating heat, the sweat, and the bugs (namely--gnats and mosquitos). But as soon as autumn starts coming around the corner, I want to take walks, ride in the car with the windows down, dance around and sing happy songs! My body just prefers this type of weather.

The first fall breeze takes me places emotionally as well. This year I was overcome with feelings of new love as I remembered the excitement of 3 years ago...constantly messaging with Scott on facebook, incessantly texting, staying up talking until 5 am, walking around campus listening to Better than Ezra and Jason Mraz and thinking about how I am falling hopelessly in love. Now as I drive down the road with the windows down or walk through campus, my heart flutters and my pulse quickens and I swear my stomach feels a little nervous--it's like my skin remembers falling in love with Scott and relates it to the coolness of the air. I'm loving every second of that feeling! I hope I never forget what that felt like. (This is a Better than Ezra song that I listened to over and over. I also severely overplayed the Wicked Soundtrack)

Fall also brings reminds me of new love because it was last fall that I fell in love with Jesus. I had recently withdrawn from the Masters in Teaching program at GSU after deciding that teaching wasn't what I really wanted to do with my life. Because I had been student teaching, I didn't have another job. That meant after leaving that program, I was not only not in school, but I was unemployed as well. I had a LOT of free time on my hands for about 3 months. Parts of it was nice, like sleeping in and doing things at my pace and having time for errands and chores. Other parts were not so nice, like feeling useless and like I wasn't contributing enough. But the best part of it was that I had enough free time to really sit down and focus on God. I had wanted to set aside 30 minutes of God-time a day for a long time, but always claimed to be too busy. I had never really read much of the Bible, aside from Genesis and snippets of the NT. I had prayed lots of times, but never for more than a minute or so at once. So, I took the time to sit down with worship music playing softly in the background. I started with a prayer, then dove into the Word. I first studied Ephesians. There was no real reason for it. I just happened upon a verse from that book and decided to study it more. I would read a little and pray about it, think about it, and journal about it. It actually took me a week to get through Ephesians (it's not a long book) because I studied it so intently. By the time I was done, I understood and knew God like never before. I finally understood the glory of the Gospel! And that's when I was saved. While I don't have much free time at all this time around, I'm still reminded of that feeling of being newly saved, of figuring out how to live with my new heart, and of feeling true unconditional love for the first time ever.

Autumn just fills me with joy! It reminds me of how God turned my life around, first by bringing me and Scott together, which really changed my life, and secondly by saving me and opening my eyes to His love. I'll never be the same! Now with each cool breeze and breath of sweet, crisp air, I come alive. My body awakens from the summer long sluggishness, and all my senses are reminded of falling in love. Thank you, God for this fabulous season!
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