February 2, 2011

End of the Journey

Well at least the end of this part of my journey...
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.
~Jeremiah 29:11

One of the most beautiful verses for the hurting and fearful.  Yet we often cut it short without reading the rest of the passage:

Then you will call upon me and come and pray
to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me 
and find me with your whole heart.
Jeremiah 29:12~13

I needed to know that He had a plan for my life and this crazy curvy road I travel.  I clung to that verse with all that I had.  But it took a little longer for me to follow through with the second part of the passage.  When I finally decided to put down the boxing gloves and pray, my heart was released.  It took time.  I had to not only pray, but I had to seek.  And wait.

Verse 13 didn't promise that our finances would be fluid again.  It didn't promise new shoes or easy living.  It told me that I would find Him with my whole heart.

Hmmm... maybe that was part of the problem.  I had not given him all of my heart.  There were areas that I still wanted  to hold on to; to argue about the "why" and why-nots."  

The Rubber Meets the Road:
As it turns out, it wasn't about finances.  It wasn't about hunting accidents or pride.  It was about how God was mapping out my journey.  You see, even though I started this journey without packing, He had some souvenirs for me.   
1.  My marriage is stronger 
2. I expect less from myself and others
3. My parents and in-laws have experienced the joy of giving us gifts that we truly appreciate
4. My children are not spoiled.  Okay, maybe a little.  :)
5. I see the world in a completely different light.  
6. I have had the privilege of ministering to others in ways I would have never imagined. 
7. The generosity of others has floored me.  Not only in action and deed, but also in words of encouragement.  

YOU have been a part of my journey.  You have blessed me.  
Here are some of the words of wisdom you have shared since I started this little series:

God is good. And sometimes, until we get a little desperate, we don't see just how good He is. ~Kay

The one thing I hope comes out of this is that we can set an example to others that you don't have to have what everyone else has - which I've come to learn is a lot of debt.  ~Laura

Isn't it crazy how easily we can make our circumstances big and God small? ~Joy

What a relief when we seek Christ and his goodness above the approval of man or material things! ~Sara

Insecurity can shake your world in ways you could never imagine. That is where we have to remember God is our rock. It really isn't about us... it is all about the molding and shaping God is doing in our lives. ~Kellie

in God's eyes, there is no "big" and "little" -- that it's ALL important to Him.  ~TZ

Traveling light really does make a difference. ~ Richella

See?  I am surrounded by wise, caring women.  Thank you for sharing the road with me.  Thank you for opening your hearts by sharing your wisdom, experiences, and personal journeys.

Even though our roads may have bumps, turns and unexpected detours, it is a privilege to journey through life with you.


Richella said...

Gretchen. I've been looking forward to this post.

Isn't it amazing that, for every twist and turn in our journeys, we can choose to cling that much more closely to God? But you're right: we have to choose. We have to cling. We have to wait.

So many times I've chosen not to cling, and I've suffered the consequences. I love to read about the times when others have learned to cling and reaped the benefits of it. I'm so glad you're a clinger! :)

Thank you for sharing your traveling story. I love your list of souvenirs!

Mom said...

As a parent, it is so tempting to "rescue", yet I know that God is your Father who rescues you and doesn't want us to get in the way.
You have been such a blessing all along this journey and a joy to me all of your life. I love you!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful journey. Thank you for sharing and being so honest about your frustrations and the beauty of the blessings God has shared with you and your family.

Jeremiah 29:13 is one of my favorite verses. I think I like more than the popular one, it reminds me to keep my entire heart focused. I actually did a morning devotion at a womens retreat last year based on this verse. Good stuff. Makes me smile.

Anonymous said...

"even though I started this journey without packing, He had some souvenirs for me." -- i absolutely LOVE that line!! (can i steal that, too??) ;)

jer. 29:11 is a fav. of mine, but thank you for the encouragement to remember & apply verses 12 & 13!

the privilege to journey through life w/ you is mine, gretchen. i'm really looking fwd to when i can journey with you in person again.

thanks again for sharing,

Laura said...

Thank you for opening the door of your journey and bringing to light things I haven't realized by what God has shown you. Great scriptures to cling to. I'm reminded to continually thank Him for these journeys because through them He shows me what He promises, which is to take care of us. I wouldn't appreciate His provisions nearly enough unless I was truly depending on Him. God Bless!

Kellie said...

As someone who has gone through a journey... different from yours, yet similar, I completely understand the souvenirs God gave you in your suitcase. I have lived what you have gone through and while the journey was hard I am SO THANKFUL for it, because without it I would not have learned what the Lord wanted me to learn. I felt like your "souvenirs" were my own.

Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...

Ah yes, I have some of those same souvenirs on my shelves. And they're useful to boot. Thanks for sharing, the downs and the ups -- kind of relates to my post today :)