At the beginning of the year I chose a word to focus on this year. That word is INTENTIONAL. I want to be intentional in what I do with my time and my activities. Webster defines INTENTIONAL as being: conscious, deliberate, intended, knowing, purposeful, purposive, set, voluntary, willed, willful.
And that is what I want to be this year.
One of the ways I want to intentional is in my daily Bible reading & prayer time. Which brings me to this morning's scripture and questions running through my mind. My scripture reading this morning was in Numbers 17:1 to 18:32 where the Lord tells Moses to have the heads of the tribes bring their rods w/their names written on them and the Lord selects Aaron's and Levi's rod and then talks to them about what they are to be doing. Then in my daily devotional of Guidepost the scripture was "Be still before the Lord..." Zechariah 2:13.
While reading in Numbers I thought to myself "how does the Lord speak to me?" Wishing I could have this one-on-one conversation with the Lord and have him directly speak to me like he did to Moses and so many in biblical times. And then I switched to my devotional and read from Zechariah to BE STILL and that got me to reflecting on how the Lord DOES speak to me, IF ONLY I WOULD BE STILL AND LISTEN! And then I thought about times past and a question that was asked of me more than once which was "where do you see God in "that situation" and "ask God to show you where he has been with you."
And what peace came to my heart when I would take the time to specifically talk to God and ask him to show me where he was at a given point in my life. I had much healing in my life from the physical & sexual abuse I had sustained in my growing up years. And so this morning as I was reading the question came to mind "do you talk to me Lord?" And then I remembered he talks to me through his word ~ remember to be still and listen for my words; they may come in thoughts or writings of others, in my memory of times past and through the words of others. I just need to be open to HEAR him.
One of ways the Lord so openly talks to me is through the sermon preparations that Pastor Charles send out each week to those involved in the service. When we hit the road with the carnival and then our move here to Texas I asked him to please keep me in the email list so I could use those notes as study guides. And then each week following the worship service I get a bulletin in the mail that includes the handout from that weeks sermon with more scriptures, questions, answers, etc...and so many times God has talked to me through those tools. And now the website for Northwood Alliance Church is up and running and sermons are posted to the website and I can listen to the sermon and while doing so use the sermon outline notes and the bulletin ~ I am so thankful for those tools as so many times I get little snippets from the Lord.
In closing I want to share one of the most specific ways the Lord has talked to me. And I do this to bring glory to God and how he shows his love to me. For a period of six months in my late teens I was sexually abused by my step-dad. Due to things he said to me I truly felt I had no where to go, no where to turn. In my mid-forties I was going through some horrific times with my emotional health and was in counseling with Pastor Charles & Marla. I was struggling with how could God allow my step-dad to abuse me, the pain was unbearable and I became very suicidal for a long period of time. I can remember begging Marla "where was God, I was so alone?" And so we spent time in prayer, asking that specific question and slowly I began to picture the Lord right there beside me and I saw how he had protected me ~ I never got pregnant during any of the sexual abuse encounters/rapes by my step-dad and I know that was the Lord being in control and being right there with me because those who know me well know that each time Ron & I even thought about getting pregnant I did. I have had 4 pregnancies and it was like each time the idea to have a child came up the next thing we knew I was pregnant. And so with much thankfulness in my heart I am so glad the Lord did not allow me to get pregnant thus I did not have to decide if I was to have an abortion - remember this was in the mid 70's and being young, single, pregnant and being pregnant by a black man would have been detrimental to my life. I am so thankful the Lord was with me during those difficult days. As well, the Lord has used that horrible time in my life to bring Glory to him and healing to others. I have had many opportunities to share my testimony of God's protection & healing with other women who have dealt with similar issues, to give them hope that even through the midst of horrific times God is there and He is with us. And what a wonderful thing that is to KNOW that God is ALWAYS with me, ALWAYS available for to speak with him and him to me. I have had complete healing from the horrible things that were done to me. I have not been suicidal or so emotionally torn apart since January 2009. God has blessed me with a healed heart and mind and given me so many wonderful days that outshine all the pain I had dealt with from the Fall of 1984 till January 2009. I am so thankful for the Lord being in my life, for the lives of those who he sent to guide me, pray with me, walk beside me during some rough and difficult times and make me whole again.
IF as you were reading this you have any questions or wa nt to talk further about this, please do not hesitate to give me a shout out. You can reach me at ali1257 AT gmail DOT com ~ just put the symbols in where the capped words are written OR drop me a comment with your contact info.
And remember, no matter our struggles, our pain, we are never alone and that God is always with you and I. May each of you reading this, whenever that is, have a truly blessed day.