Tuesday, May 01, 2007
a new section of my timeline
History was a subject I hated with a passion. Especially when I had to memorize a time line. My teacher would hand out a blank time line where the students had to fill in the blanks. My Senior year in High School was one of those years where I had a History Final Exam I was dreading and as soon as the exam started, I knew why I had been dreading it so much! On my desk, for my final exam was a BLANK time line. Oh how I hated those kids that filled them out within five minutes and got to leave! Not me. I took my time because I did not want to see that horrible time line ever again. I was not about to come back for a re-take! So usually I was the last to leave. In case you are wondering, I did pass the final exam. Not too sure what the final grade was. The only thing I cared about was passing and I did.

I've written about my own time line many times on this blog and on my old blog, Far More Than Rubies. I truly believe with all of my heart that we all have our very own personal time line of our walk with Christ. I can write out my time line pretty well. I can tell you all about it and share with you the key moments in my life when God was working. Mine started at five years old when I accepted Christ as my Savior. Things were happening in my life back then that were painful, it's on my time line. Another major section of my time line was when my grandfather died, it's there too. My Dad becoming an alcoholic, it's there. The horrible, horrible things I experienced as a child, it's ALL there. Then my parents divorce and so on and so on. I have written about those details in previous blogs so I won't do it again today. But something that all of the things on my time line have in common is this. Every single growth spurt I have experienced in the Lord has involved pain. Every one of them! I truly believe with all of my heart that the times we grow the most and the times we truly learn to trust Jesus with our lives is when we are struggling.

Right now I can see my time line clear as day and there is a new section. It says, "Austin". There are some major things I am struggling with right now and I am not sure if I have ever, in my life, wrestled with God this much. Thankfully, I know that it is okay to wrestle. I find comfort in knowing that I am allowed to ask "why?" and I am allowed to wonder "what on earth have we just done?"! I'm allowed to miss my friends and take my time making news ones here. I am allowed to be cautious, I am allowed to set boundaries because right now I am not sure why we are here. Today I don't want to be here. I want to go back to my old house, to my old friends, and I even want Jeremy to have his old job. I want my huge shade tree in my front yard, I want my flagstone patio, I want my Dad a mile away and I want to be able to see my Mom whenever I want to see her and I want to grill out with my in-laws and watch the Maverick's game tonight with my Father-in-law! I want to stay at home during the week and not have any responsibilities except for my family because that's a lot in itself! I don't want to network, I don't want to build relationships, I don't want to plant a church. But thank God, that is my flesh and not my spirit. For I know that the spirit inside of me wants to do the TOTAL opposite of what my flesh wants to do. Hey, at least I have that much figured out! I know that this is a growth spurt. Struggling, wrestling, battling the mind, ALL equals growth spurt.

The Holy Spirit has been reminding me all day long that my flesh is kicking my butt right now. My mind is listening to the flesh way more than to the spirit. But this is where I can change HISTORY! This time in my life does not have to go down as a gut wrenching one. It can go down as a powerful one where I trusted Christ, trusted others, loved others and more. I am reminded of a scripture that I learned back in Sunday School as a little girl. In fact, this is one of the first scriptures Josiah memorized and still quotes when he is afraid to sleep in his own bed. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I know myself well enough by now to know when I am doing things on my own. If I am not walking in the spirit, I operate in fear and when I operate in fear, I tend to choose FLIGHT in the whole fight or flight scenario. Did I have doubts about our decision last week? No. Do I this week? Yes. Will I act on this and start freaking out? No. Would I have acted on it in the past and freaked out and begged Jeremy to take me back to Dallas? Yes. Thankfully the Lord has been doing a lot of stuff over the past two years that I know there are some things he is wanting me to see through. My flesh is not willing and I don't think it ever will be. Nothing bad has happened, I'm just feeling a little fickle and I know that when I am fickle and I am fearful. The two go hand in hand! I know God has called me to ministry, I know that. I know that I desire to work with women and teach them how to find victory over their past, I know that. Is that going to be here? I don't know and I don't know if that is what I want here or not. I don't know why God has me here. Actually I don't see it at all. I see why my husband is here and for the first time ever I feel like doing nothing but sitting back and letting him take the lead. In fact, that is the only way I am going to do this. I will not do it any other way. When I see him take risks, step out, become vulnerable, I will follow. Right now I just want to follow what God is wanting me to do and I think He is wanting me to serve Jeremy before I serve anyone else. For me, that's the hardest person to serve.

So here I am again. I am at a new place on the time line. The things going on in our world right now will be documented. Every single decision George W. Bush makes will be in the History books. I love him but his stubbornness will be documented and it won't be something people rave about. The same goes for me. I want to "get" what God is trying to teach me. I DO NOT want to re-take the exam!

I'm getting ready to paint our house. I can't stand white walls. First I thought about doing my living room in a slate blue and chocolate brown again. Quickly I changed my mind. I want something new! This house will be different from my old. New colors, new style, new decor and new attitudes. It's a lot of work to paint a house and it's a lot of work to change this person that I am sometimes. But it sure is worth it! For I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me!

James 1: 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. 9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. 10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. 11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. 12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him

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  posted at 2:41 PM

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Kelly Ann said...

I am SO glad we got to talk on the phone today! We have to do it more often...we have much more to catch up on!! :)

Your talk on timelines made me remember our Ladies Retreat last year. Our speaker made us take some solitude time and chart our timelines. She called it the "Stars & Scars" exercise. We took an hour and wrote down anything we wanted to on our timelines. We then came back together to discuss. The interesting thing she explained is that all the "Stars" (good things, accomplishments, things we are proud of) revealed our struggles and weaknesses whereas our "Scars" (bad times, hard stints in our marriages, abuse, etc) revealed our strengths, our values, our core beliefs...they made us who we are today. It just seemed so opposite! The Lord really used that exercise to reveal parts of my heart that He needed to get a hold of.

I will continue to pray that the Lord will reveal why you are in Austin. What your place is. How He will use you. I will pray that you will be able to be YOU for His glory. He brought you guys there for a reason and in His perfect timing it will be revealed.

I miss you madly & love you deeply!!
Kelly Ann

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Brenda said...

(((hugs))) Loving Father, Thank You for Amanda and for her passionate heart for You. Thank You for this new timeline in her life and the work You are doing in her heart and life there. You are more than amazing! Hold her close to You and keep giving her victory in Your name! In Jesus' name, Amen

At 4:03 PM, Blogger V. said...

keep reading .... James 1:25

25But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

That is SO true! There is more growth in the valleys than on the mountaintops. I need to be more thankful during the hard times.

I think that is a great idea to paint your house in a new way.

Continuing to pray for you, friend.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing this. I know it is about you... but God is using your situation to also minister to me. I have the same flight tendency... in fact, last night a friend / neighbor was unkind to my daughter and today I wanted to move!! I lost sleep due to rage in my flesh, and this morning God reminded me that He is in control... turn it all over to Him. Don't fear and run, but stand in faith. The verse I claimed all day was Phil. 4:13. I can manage anything because He is in control. So to see that in your post truly ministered to me. He is truly waiting for us to turn to Him instead of turning away in doubt and frustration. Thanks SO much for being honest and transparent. I look forward to re-reading this post and allowing it to encourage me.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Gwen said...

You go girl! Great post...as always full of honesty!

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Dee said...

i agree!!! we can't experience growth if things are easy -- we must struggle to appreciate and to learn and grow! glad to hear that you know it is OK to ask why and to "argue" with God... you won't win.. but in your questioning you will receive answers!

I love you!!


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