Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Way Back Wednesday - Sailing to Seattle - Week Two

*This is a pre-written blog post from April 5, 2013 to look back on why we left Texas to live in Seattle.*

It was a Saturday, and we had just finished Pastor Mark’s sermon on planning. Me, being a “pusher,” took out a couple pens and pads and started to write down some questions. 

Questions like,

“What do you think you are supposed to do with your life?”

“What do you want to drive?”
“Where do you wanna be in 5 years?”
“How many kids do you want to have?”

Of course, these are all questions you ask while looking for your mate, since times had changed, opinions had changed, desires and vision had changed, it was time to get back on the same page.

Twenty minutes went by. We both finished scratching our thoughts, hearts, and vision down on our own yellow note pads. Time to share.

Here were some of our answers (Derek/Courtney):

“Where do you want to live?” California, Portland, Colorado. California, Portland, Seattle.

“What do you feel called to do?” Music & Minister. Music, Ministry, and Motherhood.

“How many kids do you want?” 1. 6.

WaitWhat? 1? 6?! That’s a big difference?!

My heart sank. I really wanted a big family. I’ve always wanted lots of babies to love, encourage, and teach. One…? Really Lord?

"Don’t you want to have a boy and a girl? I mean, who are they going to ride rollercoasters with? Creepers? Think about it, we’ll have an empty end at our dinner table…"
…my plea, as I process the fact that I’m probably not going to win this one. I immediately had to check my heart. What if Derek was really only willing to have one child? What if I was barren and couldn’t have any? What if I had to wait years and years for adoption, or worse, denied the ability to ever have the chance to raise children? Could I handle any of that in my “perfect world” paradigm?

As you can see some not so pleasant things were coming out of my heart and my mouth. Obviously some paranoia, a bit of selfish ambition, a little manipulation, and a whole lot of pride. All because I wasn’t about to get my made-to-order life the way I wanted it. Even at the cost of Derek’s.

Derek stopped and started to think about it, and mentioned what a joy it would really be to have a daughter and a son.

So he reconsidered and changed his answer, "1. 2." with a big smile. A sweet compromise. :) 

But my heart was still troubled!

Why did I want a big family if God was going to put me with a man that didn’t want one?

The week went by quickly and we didn’t talk much about our little pow-wow. Saturday we made a trip to our near-and-dear friends’ home, the Garcias! What a great bunch! We joined them for worship at their home church in Beaumont. We got there right in time for everything to start, so not much meet and greeting happened. During worship the Pastor (who has met Derek and I once a long time ago, and is said to be terrible with names) stopped the service and called out Derek and I requesting us to come up to the front for prayer. We had just left our second ministry which was a fresh wound. We were praying and seeking the Lord for our next step, and we were trying really hard to function as a team. We were excited and open for some corporate prayer. We just didn’t know it was going to happen like this.

The elders surrounded us.

I could hear the pastor begin to speak over and pray for Derek. Such kind, encouraging, and very relevant stuff.

A sweet lady came in front of me and began to pray. At first what she prayed was very general, and generic, which was much needed to calm and remind my heart of God’s unfailing love for me, but it was not what one would consider prophetic.

Until she began to speak to me directly in my face. “He sees you, He knows you. Be obedient when He tells you to not live in tomorrow…” (UM YEAH, the message He’s been teaching me for… all my life.) “Trust Him, He is your Father. And don’t worry about the babies, they will come.” (These people didn’t know me, and I’m kind of a big girl, how does she know I’m not pregnant now? I’m just saying, it wouldn’t be far fetched.) “Oh, my sweet girl, how many do you want, like six?!” WHAT!?!

Ugh! I just fell to the floor crying.

He heard me.

He really heard me, and He knows me!

That moment was so sweet to me. I didn’t care anymore whether or not God blessed us with six children or none. 

I didn’t receive this as “Oh, you are going to have six children, despite Derek.” No. I heard that as, “I love you, I hear you, and I know your desires, and I know what both of you can need.” What a great God we serve! I repented to Him, of all my expectations and standards I set that God had to fullfill. He was helping me see my idols. The ones I had made, and some unknowingly built shrines that I had been worshipping in my heart.

When I bow my life in submission to something or someone else other than Jesus, my face is away from Him, and my posture towards my idols forces my posture towards Him and His will. My back and my behind.
It would honestly be hard for me if I ever knew I would not have the chance to experience childbearing, but, I know that whatever the Lord allows me to go through, He has allowed. As hard as it may be to understand at the time, I have confidence that in any circumstance whether it be babies, bills, health, jobs, good, bad, or indifferent, He is in control. I certainly don’t mind that thought anymore! I forget it sometimes and get offended if I am worshipping another idol. Truly, I would much rather it be someone that knows everything, beginning to end. Not to mention the fact that He made everything which means He knows how it all works best. I would much rather He call the shots than me. I know what I can do in my own power, and it’s a honestly just a whole lot of hell and nothing that lasts.

Where are you?

Are you locked up in the expectations of your definition of a great life and success? Will your world crumble if you don’t work there, if you don’t marry him/her, if you don’t drive that, go to school there, become that size, have enough children or any at all?

This is idolitary, and we must repent.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face,
and the things of earth will go strangely dim,
in the Light of His glory and grace." 


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