I am a Sword Survivor!

Jeremiah 31:Thus says the Lord:“The people who survived the sword
    found grace in the wilderness;

I have always loved this scripture. It always reminded me that you can survive the bad things in life and find favor and peace in the wilderness that the sword causes you to run to.

I didn’t realize until today though, as I was continuing my reading in Jeremiah, that this was prophetic of the future for the people of God but also going to be very prophetic for my own life. I am a sword survivor.

I’ve had several battles in my life but no matter what I went through, my faith carried me through the wilderness times. Having grace during those times didn’t mean I was always going to be happy but I knew that God was with me. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned in the wildernesses of our lives if we’re willing to learn them.

My biggest battle happened 4 years ago when I faced a crisis in my marriage and ministry. I ran away from that sword and landed at a very wonderful friends house for 10 days. God was building me up, loving me through it  and promising me I was going to rise above my circumstances. Last blog I talked about the exile I have been in. The exile is the same as the wilderness. In that battle my marriage was saved but not my ministries.

The Lord opened the door for us to move to the country.  I love it and don’t want to leave it, it has been a place of healing, peace and solitude but it has also been a place of loneliness. Because we are so far away, it makes it hard to get involved in ministry. We tried to get involved with one ministry but the Lord showed me that my vision wasn’t the same and I had to step aside but I didn’t quit supporting it. It’s so important to allow God to grow you, where you have been planted whether or not it feels comfortable. We are now looking for a home that is closer to both our church and kids because the door has opened for us to both jump in!

The Lord has loved me and remains faithful to the promises He has given me even though I am still waiting to see the fruit of those promises.

Jeremiah 31: 4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim: ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’”

God was promising to take the people back home, to their land. And He has promises these same things to me. The verse that really jumped out was “the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. I felt like for years I have planted but have not got to experience the fruit I have been able to produce. I believe the Lord was telling this is about to change and that I will now bear and experience it. This is just so exciting for me!!!

Day three of my 21 Day Fast has been a little uncomfortable. Not the hunger but my stomach has hurt a little and I have felt nauseated but I have pressed forward. I’ve been a little grumpy with the dogs today and their wanting to go outside every ok what seems like every 5 minutes.  I know how amazing fasts are and am already on the receiving end of God’s presence and speaking to me. Come on day 4!

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Exile Doesn’t Mean Quit!

No matter where we are in life, we should never stop building, planting, and praying especially when God removes us from one place and takes us to another.

Day one of my church’s 21 day fast was pretty easy. It got a little tough at night as the hunger headache came on and I was really wanting something solid. I also had insomnia and didn’t fall asleep til after 3 am. But the trade off was/is definitely worth it and that is hearing from God in His word.

Right now I am reading in the book of Jeremiah.  In Chapter 29 God sent His people into exile for 70 years. He sent them from Jerusalem into Babylon. Exile means a prolonged, usually enforced absence from one’s home or country; banishment. (Dictionary.com) or  people that have to leave their own land, often for a long time. (Easy English Bible Dictionary)The false prophets were telling them not to worry that they would return soon. But God was telling them to build houses and live in them, plant gardens, marry and have children. Then He told them to pray for the land they were living in.

I have felt that exile in my own life the last 4 years. I am happy to say though that I have never quit. I  have kept and still keep trying to build and plant seeds where God had me living both physically and spiritually. I know that sometimes God has to move us from one place to teach us new things but He also replaces us to teach other’s new things. Although it hasn’t been comfortable and not all that I have wanted, I have had to learn to be content.

God is true to His promises and even though at times I have felt like I must have imagined them, He has been busy making it even far better then I could have dreamed. I think I am beginning to see a little glimpse into His plan. He will return me back to the places He has removed me in a spiritual sense.

When God told His people to pray He added, vs 7 “…..for in it’s welfare you will find your welfare.” No matter where God has us planted, no matter how painful it might feel, no matter if it’s totally different, we need to pray for peace. What we pray for others will fall back on us. We inherit the rewards of those who are rewarded through our prayers.

God promised them He would visit them and He would fulfill his promise. He will do the same for me and for you. It may not look the way it did when He removed you but it will be better, new, and restored.

God has been having me look above and below the promises he has given me in scripture in the past and tying it together for me in brand new, exciting ways. I didn’t even realize until I got to verse 11 that He was tying in my scripture for 2017:

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

DESTINY!