This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

The one where I step out of the boat

>> Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In one of my earlier posts I alluded to a leap of faith God required of me before allowing me to stay home with my boys. This is that story (in case you don't already know it).

The entire time I was pregnant with Elijah, I had intended to go back to work. Not because I wanted to, but because it never even crossed my mind that we could afford for me to stay home. Once he was born, however, I realized I could not take my perfect, precious baby and drop him off anywhere that wouldn't understand just how perfect and precious he was. I didn't want my son to be anywhere that he was just another baby. He deserved to be where he was THE baby. So I started to pray. I had 6 weeks left of my maternity leave and I wanted God to give Mark a new job in that 6 weeks that would allow me to afford to stay home. So I continued to pray. And I asked friends and family to pray. But nothing was happening. I felt so sure that I was supposed to stay home, but since God wasn't providing in the way I thought he should, I wondered if my own desires were clouding my judgement. Did I feel sure I was supposed to stay home because I wanted to, or because God wanted me to?

So I broke down. And I begged God to give me clarity. Time was growing short and I wanted a burning bush to pop up and tell me what to do. I cried out to him and ask that he give me direction and help me to accept whatever direction that was.

And God spoke.

He really did. Not audibly, but to my heart. I was convinced of it at the time, and knowing what I know now, I know I was right. God said "If you are going to have faith, have faith!" It was at that point that I realized I wasn't trusting God at all. He had been telling me to quit my job and have faith, but I refused. I wanted him to provide first, then I would obey. That's not faith, people. So I quit my job. At the time I quit my job, Mark was making $20 LESS a month than what our bills were. I'm just talking bills. Not groceries, diapers, gas, life....just bills.

My first confirmation that Jesus was waiting for me on the waves outside of the boat was when I called my boss' wife. I was working for a wonderful Christian dentist at the time. I called Cheryl to tell her that I wasn't going to be returning from my maternity leave. She said she already knew. She told me that she had felt strongly that that was going to be the case and she was so happy for me. God had not only been speaking to me, he'd been preparing my boss' heart for this decision!

My second confirmation that Jesus was waiting on the waves outside the boat came a little unconventionally. It happened that evening when I got into my car. I was still reeling from the decision that I had made and God knew I needed some comfort. So he sent me a song. I turned on the car and a song was just starting. It wasn't half over. It didn't start after a commercial. I turned on the car and the song began. At the time I had never heard this song before (this was a couple of years ago, remember), and I listened to the words and wept as I sat in my car. The song was 'The Voice of Truth' by Casting Crowns. I'm sure a lot of you know this song and know how powerful it is, but in case you don't....I'm going to include the lyrics.

The Voice of Truth
Oh, what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is, and he's holding out his hand
But the waves are calling out my name
And the laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again, boy
You'll never win, you'll never win
But the Voice of Truth
Tells me a different story
The Voice of Truth
Says "Do not be afraid"
The Voice of Truth
Says "This is for my glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe
The Voice of Truth
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand
But the giant's calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"
But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them lookin' down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
So this has turned into a super long post already. There is so much more to the story, obviously, since we can now not only afford to pay our bills but we now have two children we are buying diapers for. Some of it was God providing us with more money. Some of it was God requiring us to live with "less" (in this case less is definitely more).
Hopefully someday I will tell some more of the story. The last couple of years are covered in God's fingerprints as he has provided for us in very creative ways. But for now I just hope this part of the story helps you to step out of your boat. He's waiting for you there.
Matthew 14:24-33
The boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."


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