The Search

I was just about to sit down for the evening to relax and catch some mindless TV when I remembered the empty spot in my wallet.  I was missing a credit card.  I had noticed it when I was shopping earlier that day.  Oh, I need to find that!

The search began with all the obvious places—wallet, pocketbook, pants pockets, coat pockets, the floor of the car.  And then I went to every unsuspecting place, just in case.  It was all to no avail.  I could not find that card and this search was rapidly becoming my sole focus.   I went back and searched again.  My mind went back over my day.  The questions were endless.  What did I do?  Where could it be?   What if I can’t find it?

In a few minutes I realized there was no doubt about it; the search for the missing credit card was accelerating in more ways than one.  My mind raced about the possibilities of what could go wrong if that card was in the wrong person’s hands.  My heart pounded as peace quickly gave way to the urgency to find that card and anxiety threatened.  What was strange to me in the midst of all this was that there was also a quietness in my spirit that seemed to hold complete panic at bay.   I can’t explain it, but it was real to me.

The time was slipping away and tomorrow had much for me to accomplish.  I needed that card, but I needed my sleep.  I prayed one last prayer:  Dear Lord, lead me to that little piece of plastic.  Guide me to the place that hides my credit card.  And may I sleep well in your loving arms tonight.  Amazingly, I slept.  Somehow I knew I would find that card.

It was not yet dawn, but I was aware a new day was about to burst forth in all its grandeur.  Equally as quickly, the missing credit card took control of my thoughts again.  I was just about to jump out of bed and resume my search when something inside me, that quietness in my spirit, bid me to be still and draw near.

My heart and mind suddenly arrived at a whole new place—not the hiding place of the credit card, but a place where my Abba Father had treasures of truth ready for me to discover.  This time there were different questions, ones that challenged the reality of my faith and commitment.

Have I ever looked for Jesus with such intensity as I did that credit card?

Have I ever searched for Him hour upon hour, just simply wanting to find Him?

Have I ever missed Him so deeply that I refused to give up the search no matter what?

Have I ever trusted Him completely to the place of sleep, knowing, in the absence of evidence, I would find Him trustworthy?

I did not want to answer these questions.  Yet the answers were there, down in the depths of my own soul.  I knew the truth.  The Holy Spirit’s gentle conviction led me to a place of deeper desire for Him.  Honesty in the presence of my Savior made fresh my longing to seek Him daily and continually.

I still needed to find that credit card, but the challenge to trust God fully brought that strange peace to the forefront.  I remained calm, having learned an even greater truth in this mishap of the missing credit card.

Do you see God drawing you towards Himself in the everyday occurrences in your day?  He desires to know us intimately.  God had ordained this search!  A search for some little piece of plastic was used to captivate my heart.  What about you?  I challenge you as I challenge myself to come up with your own questions and be willing to search within for your honest answers.  Search for Scriptures that bring comfort and direction to your own God-orchestrated search.   YOU WILL FIND HIM!!

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By the way I found my credit card immediately after this powerful time with the Lord!  I had changed purses 2 days before.  As I passed my closet I recalled that fact.  I took the former pocketbook out and there was the credit card in “a safe place.”  Ready to be found!

*Magnifying Glass by James Cottell from the Noun Project

Tripping Through the Trash Bags!!! SPLAT!!

No, not Tip Toeing through The Tulips!! Tripping through the trash bags!!

It was just a quick stop to drop off a few groceries for a friend then, head home. This evening was our family Christmas dinner that I was so looking forward to. All was well with more wonderful family and friend times ahead. It was Christmas week!

With my hands full I was welcomed into a small unlit hall, with two large unnoticed trash bags on the floor! Not Good! Before I knew it I was into those trash bags with both feet. I gained momentum as I desperately struggled to get untangled to no avail. SPLAT! There I was sprawled out on my friend’s kitchen floor. As I landed I hit the floor full force and I do mean full force! Groceries were scattered everywhere and shock consumed every inch of my being.

Hours later in the Emergency Room after every available test and x-ray, I did avoid the mammogram experience!! Now it was time to meet the Emergency Room doctor and get the verdict. “You have amazingly good health in all areas HOWEVER you do have a broken right knee cap. It is a pretty serious break across the center of your knee cap. Ouch!!

Now to chart a “fix it Plan”! I had never heard the word “immobilized” in a sentence with my name. The choice was mine “immobilize” your leg and send you home and tomorrow morning, find a surgeon of your choice OR be admitted for surgery in the morning. The idea of hobbling around town “Immobilized”, whatever that meant looking, for a surgeon was less than appealing!! “I’m checking in and going the surgery route.” Decision made!

That word “immobilized” kept rolling around in my head, “immobilized”. I was being readied for my trip to my room. Just a little breath prayer – one of those that just bubbles up and there it is on your lips!

“Lord, I don’t know what “Immobilize your leg” means but it sure sounds better than surgery. Could your favor rest on me, could my leg be immobilized”? And off to my room, we went. I was all settled in and readied for the night. “No food, No water, rest well the surgeon will be in around 7 tomorrow morning” came the words from across the already darkened room. Once again “Lord Jesus could your favor rest on me for this thing called “immobilized” Amen. My usual words from Psalm 143:8 were my final words as sleep came swiftly.

Promptly at 7 am, I met Dr. Greene for the first time. I had prayed about “the who and how” of this surgery thing so I was so affirmed this was a God thing when we connected and I had such all-consuming peace. The diagnosis was confirmed, a broken right knee cap. He left to go study the Xrays with the promise to return to explain his surgery plans… It was about ten minutes when he came through the door addressing the nurse who was ready to take me to surgery. “Could you possibly get this young lady – is he talking about me!!? – some breakfast she must be starving.” By then he was standing at the foot of my bed. “You are very fortunate. Everything is in position as it should be so we are going to be able to “immobilize” your leg and I’ll see you in a month!!”

I was in AWE. My mind – my body – and every part of my being was aware of my Abba Father’s presence. He had heard my prayers, the desires of my heart and His favor was resting on me. In my empty room my joy welled up in tears, so very humbling. I could not deny His love, His care, and His promises kept all pouring down from above. Glory! Glory!

I would find out what “immobilized” meant first hand! I would have a full leg brace from ankle to hip held together with multiple black velcro straps. No way to wear slacks over this so it was leggings under it! Yikes – interesting look! There would be a walker then a cane, no showers, a hairdresser for shampooing and a whole team of nurses, therapists, and a nursing assistant several times a week. Oh yes, no going home right away. I spend two very special weeks in my daughter’s home. My other children joined her in providing constant love and care. The full meaning of “immobilized” took on a life of its own as days became weeks and weeks became 2 months and then a full physical therapy program swung into action!! That may be over next week!! Yippee!!

From the doctor’s announcement that my leg was to be “immobilized” I realized at the depth of my soul, this journey with Jesus was appointed for me. He would be my constant companion. I would never be alone not even for a minute. He would never leave or forsake me. We were in this together and He was not in any way “Immobilized”! We shared wonderful very private intimate times together as I grew closer and closer to the heart of my Jesus. Only by His grace and mercy will the desire of my heart for Him, to be glorified, become reality.

“You, my Father God have made Isaiah 45:2-3 come alive for me, all over again! Mountains have been leveled, Bronze gates have been broken down and iron rods have been cut through. You have slowly been shining your light on ‘the treasures hidden in the darkness of this situation and the riches of this secret place. I have a new excitement and enthusiasm for the days ahead.” I continue to search for my Jesus, not wanting to miss a single thing that He has wrapped up in this experience I’ve called “Tripping through the Trash Bags!” After all His purpose in all this is summed up in Isaiah 45:3b “that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name”. Yes, He is calling me, calling me, by name and He is calling you, calling you by name too! May we follow well in the path called healing and hope for the days ahead and for the fullness of His Glory!

JUST IN CASE YOU NEED TO KNOW THE DEFINITION:
Definition: Immobilize: to make immobile, immovable, fix in place, to prevent the use, activity or movement of, – to prevent, restrict normal movement in the body, limb.!!

When I began to hear a gentle voice…

I’m not sure how long ago it was when I began to hear a gentle voice encouraging me to step out in faith.  “What you are doing is ministry.  Follow me”!  Accepting that fact , faithfully praying, taking steps to move forward,  consulting with friends, developing a website , and battling with myself to make a wholehearted commitment to that call on my life filled months.  Those days, in the words of a woman, were the long months of pregnancy that eventually birthed IN HIS EMBRACE!  Reflecting on my life continues to best be expressed as living In His Embrace.

Since all of this began I have been on a journey that I never saw coming!  Isn’t that just like our Lord keeping secrets and plans for us in the depth of His heart and then reveals them at just the perfect time.  He knows me the best of all and He knows if He showed me in advance what His plans and purposes were for me I would run in the opposite direction as fast as my little legs could carry me shouting all the way “I can’t do that!”  I’ve been there more often than I care to admit! I can so identify with Moses as He tried convincing God He had chosen the wrong person.  Ever been there?

It was around this time two years ago that God began to give me little glimpses of what He had in store for me.  MOVE!  You can’t be serious.  Leave my home that I shared with my dear husband and all that was precious to us and follow you. That was exactly what God was asking me to do follow Him to a completely new place. To be honest with you I was frozen in fear with a million questions all beginning with “how”.  I knew this much that the answers to all my questions were in the Bible.  Many verses took on new meaning for me as each day I moved toward the reality of moving.  Isaiah 45: 2-3 was my daily cry to the Lord that gave me incredible peace, comfort and assurance that He and I were in this together.

I will go before you, Cyrus, (Linda) and

level the mountains.  I will smash down gates of bronze

and cut through bars of Iron.

And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness –

secret riches.

I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the

God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

I did not know what the mountains were that He would level, I did not know what the bronze gates were that needed smashing and I did not know what the Iron rods were that needed to be cut through.  I simply believed that He could do all that and more!  Each day I lay down before Him, in “the Circle” of His love. I stood on that truth believing Him more each day. My role was to rely on Him, to trust in Him, and to follow Him one step at a time.  Never taking my eyes off Jesus, I was learning to fully appreciate and enjoy the wonder of HIS EMBRACE.

So here I am today, eighteen months later, in my new home, enjoying the blessings that are enriching my life and realizing that the words of Isaiah 45:3 are now living truth for me.  He has revealed many of the treasures that He had hidden, the ones He calls ‘secret riches’.  And all of this, He has done that “I may know that He is the Lord, the God of Israel, the very one who calls me by name.”

Thank you for listening to my heart!  I’m trusting, that this little ‘snippet’ of my life has blessed you and encouraged you to follow well in the journey He has prepared for you.  Our God is good, All the Time!

IN HIS EMBRACE….all my days

“In His Embrace” is so much more than the name for the ministry that God is entrusting to my care!  In recent months I have been reflecting on my life with new eyes to behold Him and a renewed desire to see Him in those times gone by.

Oh, what a life and what an amazing Father God!  I have come to realize that every one of those days found me IN HIS EMBRACE no matter how high the mountaintop or how deep the valley.  No matter the times when I walked away and did life “my way” He continued to hold me IN HIS EMBRACE. No matter the times when life fell apart with the death of all my family before I was 31, or the despair of divorce or the tragedy of an automobile accident He continued to hold me IN HIS EMBRACE. My God is true, beyond my comprehension, to His promise to never leave me or forsake me. Yes, IN HIS EMBRACE is so much more than a name for this ministry it is the very truth of my life!

The passion of my life beyond my Jesus and His word is women. My heart is for women to accept Jesus as their personal savior and to grow to love and serve Him with all of their lives.  That same desire to love and serve Him is the cry of my own heart.  By the grace of God alone I stand ready to share the truth of His word in teaching and the wonder of His presence in my life experiences in speaking. This is truly a God sized assignment and in Him I place my trust.  I go back to verses that so often have been His guiding light for my life. Isaiah 43:18-19:

“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.

Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth;

Will you not be aware of it?  I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,

And rivers in the desert.”

He is beginning a new thing in my life and I surely do not want to miss a single piece of that!  This is all so exciting even though his word promises wilderness and deserts! I know that whatever the future holds I will be secure IN HIS EMBRACE.

Very soon this web page will be up and running by the grace of God and some very precious and talented friends!  I am so grateful for each one and for those that have continued to encourage me to follow God to this new place.  I have to say at times I am completely intimidated by the whole idea of a ministry and speaking and teaching.  I know when I see the task ahead as impossible it most often assures me that indeed this is God’s thing for me…too big for me just right for Him!

Thank you for reading this and for your interest in IN HIS EMBRACE.  I would be so blessed if you would pray for me as I go forward.  Who knows, we may just meet up in the near future!