From my journal, December 22, 2004:
Preprinted at the top of the page were the following words:
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart”. Psalm 34:18
“In our despair we cannot find the words to pray. God understands and meets us in our silence.”
My handwritten words responded:
Lord, I hope you have understood my silence. It’s so much easier to fill my mind with anything but reality. My mind won’t stay on anything important very long. And You are important. You have answers for me. Maybe I don’t even want them, afraid of what they’ll be. Afraid of the future, no matter what it is. You reminded me today that I could ask for what I need. I don’t need to rely solely on other’s prayers for me. So I asked – for memories of them to fill my heart and mind. I also ask for wisdom and help me wait for Your direction before I make decisions. Thank you. I love you.
Decisions. There were so many to make. Even though God had promised to give me clear directions (see my last post), I struggled to know what to do next and how to know what to do.
Just a few days after the above journal entry, I was sitting on the couch in my mom’s house reading the Bible. (My husband, J. L., had designed a Bible reading plan that our church was doing together. I committed to follow it, more out of a desire to feel close to J. and keep my commitment to him, than a desire to please the Lord. It kept me in God’s Word though, no matter why I did it!)
I was reading that day in I Corinthians 7. There Paul is discussing with the Gentiles about how they didn’t have to become circumcised like the Jews in order to be pleasing to the Lord. He repeats in that chapter three separate times that the people are to “remain in the situation you were in when you were called.” I was astounded. God used this chapter to tell me three times to go back to the situation I was in when I was called. As clear as a blue sky on a bright sunshine day, I knew that J. and I had been called to Miami, Oklahoma four years before. It was as if God was saying, “Stay there. That’s where I called you. Don’t let the circumstances change the calling.”
I can’t even begin to tell you how relieving it was to hear God indicate that I was still called. I had felt called into the ministry as a pastor’s wife. Now that the pastor was gone, I was feeling like my calling was gone. These words from the Lord gave me hope that someday I would know my own calling. And these words told me where I was to live. I began to plan to go back home to Miami, even though that meant I would go alone.