Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Letting go and Choosing JOY

Since coming home from Ethiopia, I have not been "normal." For almost 5 days I slept, cried, got angry, got sick, cried again, and slept some more. I was in some kind of jet-lag/depression/sickness coma and it was horrible. I could not function. Sunday came and I could feel the fog lifting and although I cried during most of the worship time at church, I knew that the LORD was there and He was going to bring me out of it. I could almost hear Him saying to me over and over "even though you might not understand all of this, I am here with you and I have a purpose in all of this. Will you praise me and choose JOY even when it's hard? You need to understand that I am in control. Not you. So let go and trust that N and M are my children first and I have an amazing plan for their lives that I will reveal in MY perfect timing. I AM GOD AND I AM IN CONTROL." 

I knew then that I had a choice to make.

I could keep on living in that fog of uncertainty and doubt and depression or I could choose to trust HIM and choose JOY. No matter what the circumstance.

I know... if you've been reading this blog for awhile you know that I have had to learn this lesson before. Several times. In fact it's pretty much the story of my life. And it's also what strengthens our faith when we allow the Lord to teach us and shape us along the way.

I heard a quote last night from the teacher in our Bible study and it really pricked me.

He said, "The opposite of faith is not doubt. It's control." 


How many times do I SAY I have faith, and yet am trying to control my situation at the same time? That is not faith. I think this is a lesson I will need to be taught over and over all my life, but I hope that each time I learn to trust Him, the muscle of faith will be strengthened and it will get easier and easier to walk through life without feeling the need to control it all. HE IS GOD AND HE IS IN CONTROL. And He LOVES our children with a far deeper love than we ever could. 

Yesterday morning I got up early (a first since we've been home) and started catching up in my daily Bible reading plan. It had been several weeks since I had done the reading, but I just picked up where I had left off in Revelation and was amazed at what God had saved for me- on this first day of choosing JOY.

"I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." Revelation 3:8

He was reminding me, who had little power, to just take a LOOK at all that had happened so far- all that HE had done- and to remember that HE is the one that opened that door and that NO ONE can shut it. He wanted me to stop focusing on all that hadn't happened yet and to start rejoicing in all that HAD.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

And so that is just what I am going to do. With HIS help of course.

Because the reality is that our 5 days in Ethiopia were AMAZING. They were some of the best days of our lives. We spent 5 days with the most incredible kids I have ever met. We laughed and ran and played. We built friendships that we hope to have for a lifetime. We had an Easter we will never ever forget. N and M finally were told of our love for them. And our Jensen was completely changed forever by his experience there.

The next few posts will be reflecting on those 5 days. It is one of the ways that I think God wants me to share about our time and process the trip, while at the same time choosing JOY.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
   and speak, O Israel,
 "My way is hidden from the LORD,
   and my right is disregarded by my God"?

Have you not known? Have you not heard? 
The LORD is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
   his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
   and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
   and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
   they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:27-31


Kim said...

Story of my life, too. I need to choose faith and JOY more often, too! Katie Davis' last few blog posts have REALLY inspired me to remember that it is His will and NOT mine... and to be joyous and thankful.

Praying for your family.

Rebekah said...

Oh Candice, if only I could explain how much God wanted me to read this today. Thank you!
I have been praying that Your N & M will come home more quickly than anyone could have imagine. That God will move mountains! Also, that He will protect their hearts and minds and continue to give them hope. Lots of love to you all! Can't wait to read about your trip!

Higgenbottom said...

First off, I love your blog layout, it's beautiful. Secondly, you're not alone. Faith is a muscle that needs to get used everyday. Some days are more tough than the others. I'm glad you're seeking scripture and praying, the Lord will more than meet with you. Lastly, I posted a worship song just earlier this morning that my boyfriend wrote and I think it will really speak to you!

Jessica said...

I always learn so much when I read your blog. This too is my lesson-choosing joy and giving up control. I've been letting my moods be controlled by email inbox instead of surrendering it all and living in joy.

Can't wait for your next 5 posts.

Whitney and Daniel Bunker said...

Amen friend, I am learning the same lessons. I am thankful for friends that can carry each others burdens!

Love- Whitney

emily hope said...

praying for your faith & trust in Him to continue being strengthened, Candice! and that you will be enabled by His Spirit to daily choose joy :) thank you for sharing the lessons He is teaching you.

Sunnymama said...

Thank you Lord for letting Candice write these words today. I needed it so much. Thank you Candice for continuing to write so beautifully!

candice said...

Thank you sweet friends! You never fail to encourage and uplift me with each comment. I know that the Lord wanted me to share what He was teaching me for a reason!

Erin Moore said...

I wish I didn't know EXACTLY how you feel, but I do. So thankful that we have a loving Father who doesn't grow weary.

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