“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.” Psalms 84:11-12
The last two Sundays, at different churches, we sang the same song. I felt like God was speaking to me personally through the words and this verse came to mind. The words are very simple: I surrender all to you, everything I give to you, withholding nothing, withholding nothing. Now God was speaking this to me I think because I have been withholding from him. I have thought about this blog post for a while and I just could not write many positives, so I delayed. God has spoke to me this past week that it is OK to be real and transparent with him, because he already knows, and with you so that you know how to best pray. So…..here it goes, withholding nothing….well maybe some or this could get really long. 🙂
This transition to Kenya has been rewarding but hard to say the least. We have all struggled greatly leaving yet another home and a great support network. Transition is not meant to be easy and I get that, but it just seemed like things were piling up almost to the point of being comical. One example is that we had three different plumbers in one week and still had leaks. Not only does nothing in the house match, (which is growing on me), but nothing is level. This makes it very challenging to hang curtains or pictures. The two brand new chest of drawers we bought both have a drawer that does not work. Finding friends for adults is hard enough, but asking your boys to leave friends again and finding no boy community yet after 6 weeks is heartbreaking to this mama. You get the point….. and these are just a few examples. I told you, withholding nothing.
As I have been praying through how to best handle some of these situations and trying to talk to the boys on how to handle their struggles, allowing them to see that Doug and I also struggle, I felt God telling me that we have this wonderful network across the globe, that sometimes, to be honest, I feel like I should only share the good, some of the bad, and none of the ugly to. Sometimes in our walk, the ugly is inevitable in order to be made into something better. Read that again. Sometimes in our walk, the ugly is inevitable in order to be made into something better. The ugly is not always a punishment, but a refinement. The ugly makes us more dependent on the only one that can make it good. The ugly brings us closer to Jesus, the one who turns ashes to beauty.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things to be grateful for in this journey. Those things have kept us sane in the midst. We are happy and humbled still that God has chosen to use us here in Kenya. One of the best blessings is that my parents were able to come and spend a month with us. I absolutely loved having them here during this transition time and how they helped us turn this house into a home. They helped us laugh when in fact we wanted to cry and they helped the kids transition better too. We have also had friends from Jinja come visit. We have met some really great people here in Kitale and work for Doug, though busy, has been great. It has been a blessing to pour into the lives of three new workers in our compound and get to know some of their families.
I guess in my spirit, I love to count blessings and that is a good thing, but God is showing me that it is OK to bring it all, lay it down, withholding nothing, and wait for his mercies that are new each day. He is showing me that it is also OK, as a mom, wife, and even missionary, to withhold nothing from the prayer warriors he has chosen to surround us with. I know that some of our followers read this blog just to keep up and see our adventures and that is great, but I know that a lot of readers truly go to battle for us in the hard times and that is why today God is telling me to withhold nothing. We need your prayers. The struggle is real, the reality is hard some days, but God….. but GOD, in his word, promises to us that he will withhold nothing from those whose walk is blameless. Now my walk will never be blameless until I meet Jesus, but his promises are true to those who believe and live for him and I claim that promise that as I withhold nothing, God will also withhold nothing.
Before we left Jinja, a pastor quoted his wife, who happens to be a good friend and I wrote it down because I loved it. “Lord, whatever you bring, I will receive; wherever you put me, it will be good.” This is my prayer for my family. I am writing it for the Prayer wall in our house. I want this time of transition to teach me, Doug, and the kids through us that God’s will, no matter what, who, or where is set before you, it will be good. Only HE has the power to do that. When we withhold nothing and surrender to God, God withholds nothing and in his perfect time blessings abundantly will flow. I claim the promise that as I have shared some tough times that God will prick some of your hearts to pray for some of our prayer points, standing with our family for His glory.