Every change brings a shift – smaller or bigger

DSC09795I’m packing boxes and thinking. These are not boxes of my own this time, but for other people to send their stuff after them. This work is very familiar. During my life we have moved countless times before kids and with them. I have also helped people to move, wrapping their stuff into boxes, packing their furniture and move them from one place to another. I have helped some churches to move. I have been part of founding them. And not just physically but also on the paper. And I have also been the one to shut them down. I should probably run a business like this by now. But I don’t and probably won’t.

Every move shifts something in our lives. Something will always end with the move. And something new will start. Even if you don’t move too far from the place you are living. It just happens. With the move, some doors will close and others will open. These boxes I’m packing now indicates a total shift for me. Everything shifted by our move and by these boxes. It feels like my ‘old’ life ended and my ‘new’ life started. For most of the people around me it all looks the same. But it isn’t. Everything has shifted even though the location changed only 4 kilometers. It all shifted in the realm not seen.

One friend used to say ‘to really see you have to change your position sometimes’. I thought I knew what it meant, but now I at least know more than I used to know. My eyes have opened totally and what I’m seeing is Life before me. Just few months ago, all I was focused on was everything else than Jesus. I thought it was all about Jesus, but now I realize it was still about ministry, me, my destiny, my call and my future. My focus and my effort were for all that. I didn’t see it and my intention was to serve God.

Truth is that all that comes before God is an idol. If it’s a program or ministry or what do I get from this or how this will open the door for me or is this going to take me into my future, it’s an idol. Behind those thoughts is me, not God. If I put all my trust on Him and I really live in Him trusting that He will do  all good for me because I love Him, I don’t have to worry about my future, my destiny, my tomorrow. Those all are in Him and under His control.

The more I’m packing, the more I’m getting free. Yes, I’m having tears in my eyes on some days. The last season was full of great things and experiences. It was full of many things I had dreamed about. It had a hope of the open door in it. And especially it had a friendship I never thought I would lose. I do go through emotions, but that’s human side of me. Alongside of my sad emotions I have joy and peace. I know I’m exactly where I suppose to be. I’m in the right place and in this right place I know God is with me. I don’t have anything to show to anybody. I was part of the ministry. I was a leader. I was a teacher. I was a chair man. That’s all gone and I am not that anymore. Any of it. But there is freedom to be me. Those things used to define me. I tried so hard to be all that and more feeling always I wasn’t quite enough to be any of them. Not that it was said to me. It was this internal feeling inside of me, which forced me to try more and to strive. Now I have to learn to be me. I have to find what means to walk through every day life without any props to prove anything to anybody. I know it’s very good place to be, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Yet, it’s actually the best place to be with the Lord. And there is freedom to meet new people. And let them know me, not me as a minister, as a leader or as anything else. I see richness in it. It’s not always clear and sunny, but I see Life.

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On the other day one friend said to me. “I see how you are growing as a leader.” Those words hit me a little bit later when I was thinking something else. She knows my situation and she wasn’t saying it at all to make me feel good. She knows I’m not a leader of anything right now. But what she said to me was about my nature. It was something greater than I have heard in awhile. And it did make me smile. God is doing His work in me and for that I don’t need anything else than Him.

Some thought for today. If there is change going on your life, just know God is there with you. Trust Him and don’t be afraid. I keep hearing “go with the flow”. And I believe it’s for you as well as it is for me now.

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Reality – my life isn’t perfect

I haven’t been writing in English lately. I have focused on writing in Finnish and if you can read it, you will find it here.

images-47For the last six or seven months in my life, there have been many ups and downs. I have to say, it’s been mostly downs for me. I hit rock bottom in my personal life last spring. Unfortunately it stopped me right in my tracks. Day by day, I lost myself in guilt and discouragement. But what the enemy means for evil, God will turn for good. It doesn’t mean I won’t go through rough times. It means that I’m not alone when I go through them. When I am going through these times, which voice will I listen to? Do I listen to all the lies of the enemy or to the word of Truth from the Lord? Unfortunately, I did listen to lies. I did let my emotion take over. 

My emotions and feelings felt like quick sand. There was no firm foundation underneath my feet. The more I moved, the deeper I sank. The more I appeared to be drowning, the more I focused on myself and my own situation. Life seemed impossible. I simply do anything to help myself. Yet, I tried so hard that it was killing me.

We have everything we need in Christ, yet we are human and many times we react as human beings do. In my past, I tried to be the perfect woman, wife, and mother in a religious way. I had to be up, positive, and always victorious, regardless of what I felt inside of me. I didn’t feel free to be myself, to show my real feelings and doubts. I was hiding behind that perfect facade and people around me didn’t really know me and what I was going through. I have to say I didn’t really know myself.

My perfect facade broke down and I couldn’t hide anymore. I had to be real and admit that my life wasn’t perfect as I wanted to believe. I faced the reality of my humanness. I am not created to be perfect. During those months of pain I became Me, not anybody else.

Up to this day, life is not always easy, but I have to say I’m grateful for all I have walked through and will continue to walk through. I am grateful to God that He opened my eyes to see my reality, clearly. I’m also grateful that I have friends, not many, who stuck with me. They have encouraged me, listened to me and challenged me to keep walking each new day. More coming……

Where is your Faith?

faith 2“Where is your faith?”  That is the question I hear the Lord asking me today. How easy it is to have faith in Him when all goes well and we are blessed and things go smoothly. But when something hits us, do we still trust Him and have our faith in Him?

What hit us (and mainly me) yesterday was that we were coming home from the cabin where we just spent couple days with family enjoying and resting and having great time together. On the way back home our car just totally broke and it didn’t turn on anymore. We had to call one guy to trail us home and our car straight to the car service. They said it may take a week before they have time to take it in and it may be that it’s not even worth to fix anymore.

This all hit me very much. Not so much because of the car, but because this car represented many things for me. There are times when I feel we are losing more than gaining. So knowing that all this thought process wouldn’t lead me anywhere I chose to go before the Lord and lean on Him. I know God loves me and accepts me. I know He can handle me being me and with Him I don’t have to put up facade which shows just the best of me. I know He knows me better than I do. So with my feelings I went before Him and I asked “Why?”. Did He tell me all details why this happened? Did He explain how I should grow in this? Did He give me a reason? Did He tell me how this will mature me? No. He simply asked, “Where is your faith? Do you trust Me?”

Rather than answering back “Yes” I asked, “Do I?” I’m on this journey where I have realized that I so rarely know who I really am and what’s really in my heart. I like to put up this facade which shows I get this all right. I like people seeing me quite perfect. And so often as a human I don’t like to admit my mistakes and my feelings. I’m still learning that it’s always better let God reveal my heart rather than pretend I know what’s in there.

So after my question He gently revealed that in my heart I was trusting more what I saw than what I didn’t see. He also revealed why this was so big hit for me. As I said before it wasn’t about a car as much as about everything in my life. While I was sitting and waiting this guy to come to trail us I felt enemy was laughing at me and pointing at me with saying “So you still think you will be able to travel and will be able to fulfill your call when you are facing situations like this one after another?” I know God has a call upon my life as well as He does upon your life. But so many times circumstances and situations in our lives are speaking other language than we hear God speaking. When God speaks about our destiny we often see how much reality in our life contradicts with His words and thoughts about us. Questions is “Where is your faith?” Do we believe what God says or what we see? Where do I put my trust in? The more I was listening the Lord the more I realized the only way to go is to put my faith in Him and know that He, Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of my faith. I so love this verse

Hebrew 12:1-2     1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The more He revealed Himself, the more I realized that He is all I need. When I am putting my trust in Him and having my faith in Him, it doesn’t matter what I am or what I am facing or lacking. The truth is that He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do. So in Him there is no lack. And in Him I will have all I need. Do I trust that? Or do I trust more my feelings which tells me all lacks in my life?

I choose to trust God. And if it takes all this to really stay in Faith then it’s worth it.  I know people say God doesn’t give us hard times. It doesn’t really matters if He does or not. Because what ever I face in my life I know He is with me and I am with Him. That is the only thing, which really matters.

This journey will continue.