Milestones

With the school year gearing up to begin on Friday, I can’t help but think back over the past two years I spent in the classroom.  Legally, I can’t go into details.  But I can say that those two years were filled with daily hardships.  Every morning I knew I was walking into a spiritual battle.  And every morning I had to be fully equipped in prayer and be rooted in Scripture as I walked into a tough situation.  I know without a doubt that the Lord had me there for a purpose.  Even while I was in it, I knew that the Lord picked me out for that job.  Most people would have walked away, but I knew I had to be a light before the students and hope that they would see how I reacted to situations and eventually glorify my Father in heaven.  Not a day went by that I didn’t cry out to the Lord for His help, His Spirit, His strength in my weaknesses.   I had a little wooden plaque on my desk with Nehemiah 8:10 on it, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  And at certain moments I would sit down and read it over and over and over.  The simple prayer “Jesus, I need you” constantly rose from my heart.

When we found out we were pregnant, we decided it was best for me to not go back this year.  And as I drove home on my last day of inservice in May, I simply wept.  And I couldn’t stop.  The Lord’s faithfulness and constant goodness in getting me through those two years overwhelmed me.  My faith stood firm in the Lord and my confidence in Him was not shaken despite all the ways the enemy tried.  God is always good and always faithful.  As I drove home that day, another milestone was reached.  One that points to the great, loving faithfulness of God.  One that will be added to the list of reminders of evidences of God’s grace in my life.  One that reminds me that the Lord has a purpose and a plan.

The Lord is good and faithful. 

That has been the theme of my life.

I love thinking about past milestones and remembering God’s faithful workings.

Things like:

-Getting my “you graduated from the wound center” certificate in 2008- As strange as it sounds, that was a glorious day for me.  After a year of intense physical pain following two surgeries and excruciating healing processes, I finally could say, “I’m healed!”  Sometimes healing comes in ways we don’t expect.  In my case that year, the healing took a whole lot longer than was expected.  But it was still healing nonetheless.

-Climbing Half Dome in 2009 for the second time – After an awfully hard year emotionally, this hike proved to be more of a spiritual testimony of joy and peace, strength and forgiveness for me than physical strength.  The Lord used that arduous hike to show me how much He walked me through over that year and that He never left me.

-Getting Spencer’s first paycheck from teaching last August – Somehow we made it through last summer financially.  And when that first paycheck came, all we could do was praise God for His provisions.  He faithfully provided for us when we didn’t know how we would make it.  (And He continues to provide in astounding ways that can only be attributed to Him.)

Those just show examples of physical, emotional, and financial milestones.  I could go on and on naming more milestones in my journey with the Lord.  But instead, ask me for my story sometime.  I’d love to tell you what the Lord has allowed me to walk through that has enabled me to have the perseverance and strength I have today.

The song “Never Once” by Matt Redman echoes my heart as I dwell on God’s faithfulness.  Listen to it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1bXG4WIesA

Soak in the lyrics:

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

May our lives be evidences of God’s grace and point people to Him.  Let us not find things to complain about or boast in ourselves, but testify that God is good and faithful.  This life is hard, but He remains true to His promises.  We are never alone.  Take time to look back over your life and see the many ways He was faithful.  May what the Lord has brought you through so far in this life fill you with gratitude, joy, peace, and a holy confidence in Him.

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