Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.Psalm 139:16 The Message
Today I felt God wanted me to share a testimony of just how perfect His preparations are, to encourage you (and me) that whatever is happening now in our lives, is preparation for the future, for both us and who He is planning to bring into our lives.
Eleven years ago we moved from Sydney to Lake Macquarie, as directed by God. He planted us in a great church. I started attending the mums group and connected with some lovely mums. What a blessing they were to me in those early days of motherhood.
Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathising [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble). 1 Peter 3:8 AMP
There was one in particular, who had a husband from New Zealand, common ground for me, and who was a midwife. We travelled through the years of having young children. And then unbeknown to both of us, our lives were about to 'fall apart' for different reasons. She was to be the person who graciously alerted us to there being something very wrong with Victoria. Over the ensuing three years we both pressed into God and grew in our trust of Him as we prayed for restoration in our families.
My steps have held closely to Your paths [to the tracks of the One Who has gone on before]; my feet have not slipped. I have called upon You, O God, for You will hear me; incline Your ear to me and hear my speech. Psalm 17:5-6 AMP
Distance separated us as my friend and her family moved to New Zealand. Our communication was spasmodic, but we were in each other's prayers. I continually find it interesting how praying for and with someone knits people's hearts together.
Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. James 5:16 AMP
About three months ago my friend found out that one of her daughters was unwell. The week that she was to undergo major investigation in a hospital a few hours away from their home, just happened to be the week I was in New Zealand visiting my mum and dad. Without my normal family and other responsibilties I was able to speak and pray with my friend each day as they had tests and more tests and waited for results. Having been in a similar situation I could really empathise, knowing the pain of a mother's heart when your child is seriously ill.
God knew what support my friend would need that week and He had provided for it, in advance. Just as He had done for us all those years ago when He bought us to Lake Macquarie, planted us at Macquarie Life Church and connected me with this beautiful woman of God. He answered before we asked.
And it shall be that before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24 AMP
And now I have the privilege of standing with her in prayer for her daughter, using all that God has taught me, to support her and encourage her in this new journey.
For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. Ephesians 2:10 AMP
As I reflect on what God has done in this time, here are some of the key things he has taught me .....
1. Stay connected with the body of Christ in a local church.
2.And when in that body, don't isolate yourself, allow yourself to be vulnerable and make connection with people.
3. When the times of disappointment come, keep talking to God about it, keeping your spirit sweet allowing Him to minister to you.
4. Ask Him to show you what He wants to teach you.
5. Be open to what He wants you to do with what He has taught you.
6. Keep trusting that He has a plan and it is good.
Thank you Jesus that you don't leave us or forsake us, but that you do have a plan and it is good. Thank you that you do go before us. Thank you that you answer us before we ask. Please help us to keep trusting you no matter what. Thank you that you love us and are faithful always. Amen.