Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Side By Side

I have been struggling off and on with balancing my life to where all the things/people in my life have enough attention to be satisfied.  I compromised and spread myself so thin, that if I were a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you would never know there was peanut butter on the bread!

The more I did, the less I actually accomplished, and the more miserable I tended to become.  I was a ministry junky!  I love the high of being in the presence of God, seeking His face, experiencing the mighty move of God, and being a part of what He is doing.  And that’s not wrong. 

It is in falling flat on my face and realizing one important key that was missing.  

I remember a story my parents told me a long time ago.  I’m sure so many parents have a story similar to this one so don’t judge.  However, my parents were children’s evangelists when I was young.  We traveled to a new church every week to reach kids for Christ and not only lead them to salvation but also the fullness of a life in Christ, which includes the infilling of the Holy Spirit!  One evening, after a crusade, they were preparing to leave and go out with the pastors of the church.  I was very young and had fallen asleep under a pew.  The lights turned off and I was still asleep.  They left and I was still asleep.  Still high from an awesome move of God, they went on to dinner without me!  (I know what you’re thinking… HOW COULD THEY?  I know, right?!?!)  They did finally realize they were missing half of their children (I only have one sister) and they came back for me.

In the past few weeks, God brought this story back to memory.  I have being experiencing some awesome things in my life and watching God work great and mighty things.  None of them are wrong!  BUT, there is something missing.  I looked to my right and to my left, and I could feel something missing!  My husband!

In my pursuit of great things, I had left him in the dust.  In going and going and going, I had edged him right out of my schedule.  It’s funny because I used to think of relationships as meters, like a parking meter, that needed to be fed periodically so you don’t get a ticket.  In fact I was going to write about “Feeding the Meters in Your Life”.  God lovingly reminded me that if we only feed the meter in order to keep our car parked without a ticket, we are stuck in the same spot, going nowhere and paying dearly for it! 

I was miserable, even in my joy, because I was constantly thinking about him and how much time I had before I had to pay the meter again!

Joe and Mary, Christmas 2013
This is a key revelation for me…  If you aren’t walking side by side with your spouse in what God has called you to do, it will always bring strife and anxiety.  Even if it is part of what God called you to do, and God is moving greatly, if it is not done together, it will become a point of contention in the marriage.  If one is called, both are called because “two became one” (Gen. 2:24).  That means I cannot leave his side and in turn, he cannot leave mine.  We have to be in complete agreement in order to move forward.  This past week, I have made a vow that I will never again leave his side.  Not in the literal sense, but in the spiritual one.  I will never again try to go ahead of him.  I will be by his side, every step of the way.

This lesson is a hard lesson to learn as I am right in the middle of surrendering to God’s will in this area of my life.  However, I am finding love and fulfillment in trusting God.  “How is that”, you might ask?  Well, first, I am not pushing or pulling my husband faster than God can lead him.  As wives, it is so important to support and help our husbands.  That means allowing him to be led by the Holy Spirit, which is not us, so that we can walk together in the call that God has on our lives.  There are a lot of women trying to fill the position of Holy Spirit in our husbands’ lives. We think that because we have a word from God that we can be the leader but that simply cannot be.  How can the hand say to the head, “I have a hold of the message so now I will lead?  Come down from there and submit to me now. I’m going to be the leader!”  If we are truly acting as the body of Christ that means that we stay in the position God has assigned which means that our husband is the head of the house.  He is the leader.  We walk together or not at all.

Second, that means that we have to be of once accord.  How do we stay in agreement?  Both of us must submit to God.  I can’t resent him for what God has him doing in his half of the marriage, and he can’t resent me for what God has me doing on my half of the whole.  As we both submit to God in our lives, and in our marriage, we walk in agreement.  This is strengthened by praying together, praying for each other, and seeking God’s will for the kingdom, not for our own comfort, convenience, and personal gain.  That will divide us quickly!  It’s not about us!  It’s about Jesus and His Kingdom in our lives and on this earth!

Finally, we like to use a very wise tool to help keep our lives in order.  This tool was discovered quite a few years ago and referred by a dear friend of mine.  Every 6 – 8 months or so, we try to re-evaluate where we are and where God is leading us.  This is a free resource from Michael Hyatt called, Creating Your Personal Life Plan.  I can’t begin to tell you how this has helped us set priorities in our life and make sure that we are not only surviving but thriving.  It doesn’t promise that you won’t have difficult times or circumstances arise, but having a plan and a solid foundation on Jesus Christ will get you through even the toughest times.  The flexibility to say “No” to some things in order to maintain our priorities has been one of the most freeing sensations.  I strongly recommend this e-book to anyone wanting to follow the call of God on their lives while maintaining balance and keeping first things first!  You can find out more about Creating Your Personal Life Plan at www.michaelhyatt.com/creating-your-life-plan.  It is free so check it out!

God bless you as you continue to seek Him.  I encourage you to not give up or be discouraged.  Just because you have to stop for a passing train, doesn’t mean the journey is over.  It just means you get to turn up the music and relax for a few minutes before continuing your journey!