Friday, May 20, 2011


I love how God works!  It's like puzzle pieces coming in from all different directions, that on their own look oddly-shaped and out of place...until the moment when they all come together and the puzzle starts to make sense...a picture is starting to form.  Let me try to explain what I'm talkin' about -
There's a lot going on right now in our family, in our adoption journey, in my ministry/work at church.  And to top it all off, I've been in a "restless season" lately.  Which I have to say, for me, is not a bad thing.  I've learned over the years that in these seasons of restlessness, I hear and see God in incredible ways!

Two weeks ago, I was asked to lead the devotions for our staff meeting.  I had them start out by working on a few brain teasers - just as an illustration of how easy it is for us to get stuck in familiar patterns of thinking (which of course, is the reason that my 3rd grader is much better at brain teasers than I am).  So true in life as well - we get stuck in "our box" where things are comfortable and familiar.  You have to admit that, at times, familiarity can seem like a good old friend. However, what God has really been impressing on me lately is that I need to go beyond the familiar!  Familiarity can keep me from fully depending on Him.  It also can keep me from living the radical life He has for me (just as a side note, if you haven't yet read the book Radical - you really need to).  More than anything I want to live a radical, all-out life for Jesus Christ!

A few days after sharing the devotion with my fellow staff members, I happened to have a Saturday afternoon all to myself - JT was on a business trip and all our girls were out and about.  As I sat in our bedroom praying and reading God's word, God kept bringing a single word to my mind - Un-tie.  After about the 3rd time this word popped into my head, questions started coming...What does that mean?  What do you want me to un-tie from?  Are there things holding me back?  Is there sin in my life that I need to deal with?  I have to say that no real "answers" came and I left that time feeling a little bit frustrated because I didn't know what to do with this word - un-tie.

The next day was Sunday and in typical ministry-fashion, an extremely busy day!  Even though there were many things going on in our Children's Building, I felt the unmistakeable nudge from God to go down to our Main Worship Center for the service.  So I got sat down just as our Worship Pastor (filling in for our Lead Pastor for the day) started with the message taken from the 3rd chapter of Jonah.  Not far into his message, he came to the verse that says,  ..."Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh...".  He shared with us that the Greek word for went is translated as....loosen or UN-TIE.  What?!  I actually looked around me to see if everyone else had heard what he'd just said.  It was like one of those moments when everyone else was kind of blurry and it was like Pastor Greg, up on the stage, was looking right at me and the word U.N.T.I.E. came out sort of slow and exaggerated.  As God's message continued that day - some of the things that I need to un-tie from became clear.  And the thing is, they're not all necessarily bad things - just things that are holding me back from being fully obedient to what God has in store.
Here's the crazy thing...we don't yet know all that God has in store (although, God has definitely been "stirring" some things in our family). This is one of those times when we can only see the light right in front of our feet, but we know that as we walk obediently with God, He'll continue to light the path!

All this to say...we're praying like crazy!  Our family has decisions to make in the next months that seem scary and unfamiliar and out of the box - but we know that with God all things are possible.  We don't want to settle for a life that we can comfortably live in our own strength.  We want to live a life that is only possible by Christ living in us!