Phase 1: Leaving
August 2020 seems like yesterday. That was the day my family and I started this journey toward achieving my Master's Degree. My life was full of uncertainties. My family was entering a time of refinement, and God was beginning to put us on a brand-new journey. What I have learned in this two-year time space, I have learned firsthand five things about GOD.
God has a plan for me. (and you.)
God is with me. (and you.)
God will make a way.
God isn't surprised by death.
God gives our dreams their wings.
I can tell you that many times on this journey, I have wanted to cry, give up, curl up in a ball and watch this dream fly right on. Julia Roberts said on the TODAY Show the other morning, " And sometimes I've just said to my kids, 'So today me as a mom, well can we just take that off the board because I blew it.'" I feel this statement 100%. I guess I could even say, "I have failed as a wife on some days." I know God has a plan, and he has been with me each step. I know he makes provisions for my family daily, and he paves the way. Lastly, no dream could ever come to life without his will because I don't want anything outside his will.
Phase 1: Leaving
The last 11 months have come with their hardships. He was separating us from our typical day-to-day into a very different new normal. We have gone from being self-sufficient to relying on GOD daily. As I type these words, my heart continues to ache from missing my own home and my family. The lesson in this phase was " Leaving."
Leaving a comfortable life, a life of contentment, and no worries because the almighty dollar was carrying us through. Lysa TerKeurst wrote the book, "What Happens When Women Walk In Faith." Leaving is the first phase in stepping out and seeing what happens when you walk by faith. My life was broken. I had never devoted my life to God and his purpose. I was not intentional with my quiet time or with my actions. I did not have servant's heart. I had my time, success, and all things I wanted when I wanted them. I lived in a beautiful home but let God fall by the wayside. The leaving phase was a time of preparation for what laid ahead. God gave me time to see him moving and expecting change, not just a tiny change but a significant change. When I aligned my perspectives with God, I knew he had a purpose for leaving. Leaving. Leaving. Leaving.
The act of leaving is to go away.
Elijah left the familiarity to go to the brook to rely on God and endured many long days. God always provided for him, and I am thankful he has for my family daily. Leaving is when God takes you and sets you apart. He puts you on a journey to discover a relationship with him you have never known. For me, Leaving was an ugly, crying daily mess. I questioned God daily, with "Why"???? Why did you take every comfort I had, bring me to Arkansas, and make me start my career again? My emotions ranged daily from being mad at the world to mad that my husband couldn't just solve all our financial problems in a day. I was hurt and grieving. I grieved the loss of my grandmother in June. I thought working myself to death was the solution. WRONG... I arrived beside her 6 hours before she took her last breath, leaving this earth to go to her Heavenly home. Leaving has broken my heart, but it has also helped me to see that even when God takes you to a place of the unknown, he is still there holding me, wiping my tears away, telling me to lean into my husband and less about anyone else. Leaving is ugly, but there is beauty in the making.
To finish Leaving, I will tell you about today.
Today, God allowed me to comfort a friend and her to comfort me. She and I are in a new chapter, and Leaving is something we have both experienced recently. Yet, God gave us friendship and understanding that we both need to lean on him in the leaving phase.
As I leave you tonight, I want to challenge you. Suppose you are going through leaving the phase. Lean into expecting God to show up remarkably in his perfect timing. Lean into his word, and see he is right there every step you take.