As you read this I am likely on my way to Salt Lake City. I grew up there. My daughter and I are attending an anniversary party. We plan to visit our childhood friends and celebrate their parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. We will laugh our heads off sharing the many stories of our crazy childhood antics.
Most of you know I LOVE stories. There will be tales of when I started a fire in my backyard. My daughter loves this one. “Mom, I can’t even believe you did that.”
To me, I still don’t understand why my mom became so upset. My logic was perfect to my nine-year-old mind. I had a hotdog and needed to cook it. Besides I planned to share it with the ten other kids watching. Perfect sense to me.
Ahem, yep, I think I was in a bit of trouble over that one.
We floated down the ditch behind our home, played hide-in-seek in the cherry orchard, and ate so many cherries we threw up pink later that night. We caught toads, competed against each other in hopscotch like it was an Olympic event and captured and jarred every peculiar and ghastly looking insect within a three mile radius of the house and I am a girl….. We also played Barbies for hours on end walked on home-made stilts up and down the street from morning to night.
If you hear hilarity and all manner of belly laughing off in the distance this weekend, you can bet it’s me having the time of my life reminiscing with the family friends whom I love dearly.
So I have a question for you. Can you hear the joy in my words?
My joy has returned and it’s not because of the weekend I’m anticipating.
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
I have known this passage since I was a child. I would sing these words in Sunday School but here I am at age 50 and am experiencing the truth of these words in a very real way for the first time.
I want to be transparent and say that the setback with my marriage and my husband’s faith journey knocked my faith around. (read the story here)
So many of you wrote to me and prayed and wrote some more. THANK YOU. That is what I have done for you when you were weak and I will continue to do as long as I have breath. But, I have now passed through that valley and this is what the Lord has asked of me.
He means “everything.” My journey with God is about surrender.
A year ago, I surrendered many things during our prolonged unemployment. When God spoke to me and said, “Lynn if I call you to surrender all your ministry work and return to the corporate world, would you do it?”
I absolutely pitched a fit. I went into the church office where I work and whined to my friend, Pam, every day for two weeks. Poor Dineen, I whined to her also. But, after that I said, “Lord, I surrender.” I meant it and was planning to start to look for work.
Shortly after that my husband gained full-time employment. But, the Lord wanted to know that I was WILLING to give up the ministry He gave me.
This past month has been about surrender of a dream of my husband becoming an enthusiastic partner in faith.
I gave it to Jesus.
I won’t stop praying for his salvation as God has not called me to cease but I have accepted that it’s a possibility that I will walk my faith walk alone for the rest of my life.
Looking at this future, the Lord has given me peace. He has returned my joy. His strength is my joy. I am living this passage for the first time.
And, no one is more surprised than I am.
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126.3
Have a blessed weekend. I hope to share some stories and photos and all manner of silliness on Monday. Be blessed, Lynn