“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:6
Happy New Year all! My o my, has this year been full of firsts for me! We serve a God of firsts, a God who wants our first and a God who gives us firsts! Just like His first commandment says “You shall have no other Gods before me”, we must put God first and give our firsts in all we do.
So, we did something different this year, we gave God the first of our year so He will bless the rest of our year! I had calling on my heart to follow through with fasting and prayer, seeking discernment, direction and purpose from God. I didn’t make a list of “New Year’s Resolutions” like I do every year or start making a gazillion to-do list and must-accomplish list. I just stopped and said “this year I will give God my first and let him direct my steps.” Never, did I expect He would flood my life-like He has in the last 31 days. The process of the fast broke me down, broke my spirit, made me deal with things I never would have. God tested me, my endurance, my commitment, my devotion and my sanity. It was the worst best 21 days I have ever committed to.
I didn’t blog, I didn’t write, I just read, spent time in His word, prayed, cried, shouted, ignored, read, cried some more and fervently remained steadfast through prayer and devotion. The fast was the first I felt calling for, it was the first I held onto and the first I had accomplished completely. I had tried to fast before and just didn’t follow through for many reasons, lack of faith, no commitment, aggravation, hunger, etc.… This time was different though, in my brokenness, I realized it’s all about Him. Seeking Him first. Sadly, I have to admit, even though I was saying I put God first I really didn’t. Everything was in front of him, my hectic schedules, my obligations, my work, my infertility, my marriage, my friends, everything was taking precedence over God. I was breaking the first commandment. Thank God He gives us more grace.
I can change my infertility and expand my family. I can change my marriage and fix everything on my own, I can build our business and make it operational by myself, I can handle a ridiculous workload and continue being a workhorse with no problem. I can, I can, I can….by myself. L.o.L NOT! There is only so much God is going to allow me to control independently before He stops me in my tracks as a father should and brings me back to Him. It took me so long to realize this: all I have to do is put Him first. In my brokenness I realize that I have to shift my habitual mindset and begin to do many “firsts” as if I am in infancy without knowledge, although I am an adult with much “knowledge.” hah
“A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.” – Lysa Terkeurst
My soul has ached with sadness and underwhelming unhappiness. Disheveling, unaware, inadequate, uncomfortable and scary are all the things that come through my mind on a daily 24 hour period. Because for the first time, I am putting Him first, it’s like a whole new world. I am giving Him all this life I have and letting Him deal with the outcomes. God operates in the realm of impossible, quite frankly I have been feeling I was surrounded by nothing but impossible. The weight of that alone was dragging me down every day. Only he knows our past, present and future. He can see our whole timeline in one glimpse.
“so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:17
I want to become fearless. I want to be well equipped to enjoy and handle the mighty blessings I know are destined for me. Preparation and obedience show God I am ready for what He has in store for me. I realized my hands, life, head and heart have been far too full of worldly things to even make space for God to sit with me, bless me and spend time with me. Maturity definitely comes with age but wisdom comes from the truth of His word. That is peace, sitting on the truth of His word joyfully, no matter what storm in life you may be in. No matter what I am enduring my joy must come from Him.
“Put your outdoor work in order, and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” – Proverbs 24:27
So, although I am great at planning, preparation and making things work in order and align for successful outcomes, it’s a first for me to prepare with God’s direction for the order. God calls everything to be in order. Everything has to be done in order. When you were a baby, you wouldn’t have been able to walk before you crawled or as a teenager you wouldn’t have been able to drive before you took a class to learn and practiced. Preparation is key. A home built on a shaky foundation grumbles in the first strong winds. A home built on a strong foundation can weather any storm. So, instead of me taking money and throwing it into another round of IVF then praying for God’s blessing, I am going to Him first in prayer for direction on the order of steps He wants me to take on my infertility. Instead of me trying to manage a marriage with 2 people who have never been married before, I am going to Him first for discernment and direction putting Him first in our marriage. Going to Him first for direction and operational discernment for our business. Seeking Him first for the order in which He wants us to move forward.
So, this first of fasting and prayer has brought me many takeaways and has continued to fine-tune my ears even more to God’s voice. He has brought everything in the dark corners of my life to the surface so that I may put my work in order and overcome, heal and build my house strong for what the future may hold. Kids, successful marriage, successful business, family, faith, friends, leadership and me. Attacking these first, head on, for healing, reconciliation and restoration. Giving it all to Him.