Tag Archives: patience

Seeds

So maybe you aren’t a gardener like me, but you are the master gardener (for lack of better words) of your own life. You choose the seeds to plant in your garden. You decide whether to water, fertilize or plant in a sunny area. However, in the end it is God that brings the harvest. He says “a man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7

You want a new life? You want things to change? Then change it, by planting different seeds. Start making different choices and your life will begin to transform.

One good decision after another, results in a good life. One bad decision after another, makes for a bad life. I find it funny when I get a call from a Girl who’s life has fallen apart and she doesn’t understand what transpired. Hmm…let’s take a look at your life, “Oh, you’ve been getting drunk on a regular basis, you’re living with your boyfriend even though you both claim to be Christians, the two of you fight all the time, you’re miserable, insecure and wonder what happened?”

I’ll tell ya what happened. One bad choice after another landed you in this miserable situation you now find yourself in. Sorry, I know the truth hurts, but it also has the ability to set you free as well.

My life used to be an absolute mess too, but then I heard that God could change my life. I thought He would just say the word and my life would change, as if to wave the magic wand and presto, but that never happened. My life actually got worse. It took years before I finally realized that God wanted me to participate in the process of my life transformation. He wanted me to take responsibility for my own actions and start making healthy choices, by using His power to pull it off.

I realized that I had a ton of little opportunities all throughout the day, so I started making good choices and doing the right thing even though no one was watching. Being a “bad girl-gone good” was very difficult, but once I made a habit of making healthy choices, I began to see the desired results and the healthy habit became easier to maintain.

The Bible says “He that is faithful in the small will be faithful in much.” Luke 16:10

For the last year, I’ve been planting seeds with very little growth, so it seemed. I’ve worked so hard, diligently doing things that are outside of my gifting and experience as I’ve tried to get this ministry off the ground. Here’s me keeping it real…I was uncomfortable, anxious, and had bouts of disbelief while waiting for results and not seeing them right away. It made me question whether I had what it took to accomplish what I knew God had called me to do.

Those fears and insecurities came from not being able to see instant results. The results were coming, but I couldn’t see them. Besides do I really want results that happen quickly, only to die just as quick as they came or do I want results that last a lifetime? The latter of course. It has taken patience and trust on my part to not give up and keep going and I’m so glad I did, because it’s finally happening. What if I would have given up?

A few months ago things started to change…I started meeting like-minded women in my area with a heart for Jesus and doing His work. Then over the last few weeks things have really started to pick up. People are approaching me who want to help get this ball rolling, donations are beginning to come in and a couple of churches and other ministries have expressed a desire to partner with Purely His.

I say all of this to encourage those of you who have been working really hard with little to no results, planting seeds with no visible harvest to speak of. Please keep planting those good seeds, because they are taking root, deep roots that will be strong during the storms that are sure to come. Those plants will begin to shoot up before you know it and the harvest will be plentiful! You may even have to hire people to help you reap. I also challenge those of you who’s lives are in turmoil…start making different, healthier choices. You won’t regret it.

I understand that others choices affect our lives negatively too, but we can’t use them as an excuse. We are responsible for the way we choose to respond and what seeds we choose to plant.

God will not be mocked. Plant good seeds = good life. Plant bad seeds = bad life.

 

Worth the Wait

I was in rehab when I made the commitment to wait for marriage before having sex again. I went public by confessing to those around me “I’m going to stay celibate the whole time I’m in here, but as soon as I get out of here I’ve got to get married right away, so I don’t backslide, besides it’ll only be a year from now.” What I thought would only be a year, ended up being almost seven years. Needless to say, I learned how to wait well. It was so important to me to experience living in God’s perfect will for my life, verses settling for part of it, like I did previously. Waiting to meet my husband was THE longest and most difficult lesson on waiting that I’ve endured so far and let me tell you-he was WORTH THE WAIT. My husband is the most awesome man I have ever had the privilege of meeting and I waited a long time for him. Meeting him didn’t end my lessons on waiting though, oh no. Due to our long distance relationship we waited weeks at a time to see each other, we also waited to have sex until our wedding night, and then to top it off we waited until six months after getting married to live together.

I don’t know about you, but I hate waiting. However, I do love the fruit that waiting has produced in me, especially in learning how to love the way God designed it. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and it always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

You may not FEEL patient in a love relationship or waiting for it, but love is not just a feeling, it’s an action. I didn’t feel patient while waiting, but I demonstrated patience by waiting. If you’re currently in a dating relationship that has become sexual, let me challenge you to start demonstrating true love for one another by waiting until you’re married to have sex again.  If one or both of you is unwilling to wait, you need to ask yourself if what you have is true love, or simply lust. Despite falling into temptation, it’s not too late to finish strong and show each other that you are both WORTH THE WAIT!

A Lesson in Waiting

Standing in the parking lot of the “Victory Outreach” women’s home in Battle Ground, Washington, my mentor told me…“I want to challenge you to stay here for thirty days and then ask the Lord how long He wants you to stay after that.” At least she didn’t ask me to complete the entire one-year program. Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so naturally I accepted. I took that 30-day challenge to appease concerned loved-ones and because I was confident I could survive a month in rehab. In my heart however, I believed I was incapable of completing the program and remaining clean once I left, even though that was truly my desire.

In order to cope with my new surroundings, I told myself the lie that I was different than the other women in there, that I was somehow better than them. I told myself I was stronger than the addiction. My empty confidence was apparent to the other women in rehab, who mocked me when I bragged to them I would be sitting at home on day #31…and I wondered why they didn’t like me???

My days in rehab were packed with four Bible studies a day, an hour of prayer time, and three church services a week. I quickly found myself forced to feel all the feelings I had avoided for years…insecurity, fear, rage, hopelessness, rejection, failure, deep sadness and physical pain, just to name a few.  I could no longer disassociate my emotions from my physical body as I had done for so many years as a means of emotional survival.

About two weeks into my stay, during one of our early morning prayer sessions, I became extremely anxious and wanted to leave again. I paced back and forth commanding God to help me. I told Him, “God you know me, I’m about to leave this place. I can’t slow down. When I’m in Bible study, I can’t wait for lunch, when I’m at lunch I can’t wait for the next Bible study. You better slow me down before I split this place!”

Fast forward: two days later I was really craving a cigarette (that I couldn’t have) and the only thing that seemed to calm my anxiety at the time was to go for a walk, so I approached my case manager and asked her to take me on a walk outside (since I wasn’t allowed to leave the building unsupervised). She replied “I’ll have to take you later Sister, just go back to your room.” I insisted, “You don’t understand, I am freaking out, I need to walk.” She repeated her previous answer, so I took matters into my own hands and walked out the door. I couldn’t wait for her to make time for me, because I wasn’t good at waiting, most addicts aren’t. I found some small boulders on the property and began jumping from one to another like a little kid, but not with the grace of a mountain goat. I missed the third one, fell and broke my ankle.

Two women rushed out to carry me to the car with my foot dangling from my leg. Driving to the emergency room I was in the back seat and the Lord said “Now be still and know that I am God.” I could imagine the smirk on His face as He said it too. I started cracking up, because I knew it was His answer to my prayer just days before.

The surgeon inserted a metal plate and eight screws in my ankle that day and put me on bed rest for ten days. That was THE worst punishment for me, my anxiety was going through the roof because I was now forced to be still and wait as I healed. As a drug addict, I wasn’t good at waiting. I wanted it yesterday, not even immediately was soon enough.

My prescribed bed rest was about to come to an end when I received an urgent call from the surgeon who told me I needed to come in for another x-ray on my ankle. The x-ray indicated that I needed another surgery and they just “coincidentally” scheduled it on… yep, you guessed it…day #30.

I sat in the hallway waiting for my ride to the hospital AGAIN.  With my ankle elevated and a frustrated look on my face, I thought to myself, “I’m supposed to be going home tomorrow. I’m never getting out of this place and “The Girls” are going to make fun of me even more now.” As I sat there anticipating the ridicule to come, my pastor’s wife and my director approached me. “Well, well Michelle it looks like the Lord is having you stay longer than you thought? This reminds me of what a shepherd would sometimes do to control a rebellious little lamb back in Jesus’ day…In order to save that wandering little lamb from itself and its predators, the shepherd would lovingly break the lamb’s leg and carry it on his shoulders until it healed. The only time he would set the lamb down was to eat and go to the bathroom. Most people would think that once the lamb was healed it might run as far away from the shepherd as it could, but on the contrary that lamb when set down stayed close to the shepherd and never left his side.”

That became my story.

As the two ladies walked away the Lord spoke to me and said “Michelle you’re not going to run away from this place, you’re not even going to walk away.”

In the four and a half months I was on crutches waiting to be healed I grew so close to the Shepherd and decided to give my whole life to Him and I have never left His side since. I committed to stay there until the Lord released me, which was a total of eighteen months, definitely longer than I originally committed to. I guess those girls were right after all.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4