Boot Camp

When last wrote, I talked about moving into the next phase of My Love Dare with God: Living My Love Dare with God...here we go..

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress,    my God, in whom I trust.’  For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence..” Psalm 91:1-3 (ESV)

Allow those words to sink in  a bit…refuge – fortress – deliverer

I’ve known for some time 40 days of developing a deeper relationship with God was, for the most part, an outline of sorts – still an essential, integral part the journey; but a critical part..a connection with my heart and in my spirit, wasn’t there yet.

The real work was only beginning – taking the concepts introduced in the initial 40 days and putting them into practice – application is always a critical step of development.

My initial confrontation/realization came  last Fall —  my life was changing dramatically and the chain reaction was much more than I could have imagined.  The range of emotions seemed almost too much to bear at times.  I went from certainty to uncertainty  to greater uncertainty day after day.  I felt more alone than I had in a long, long time.  I would soon learn the loneliness I felt had nothing to do with a man – it was about me attempting to venture down a path without completely trusting  God as my guide.

At the time I wrote this entry, I believed I was planning to marry and embark on a new journey.  But the plans were falling apart.  In the blink of an eye, the wedding moved from 60 days away to an undetermined date.  I went from my future husband moving to Texas  to me moving away.  I went from transitioning away from the life I’d known with the help of a partner to feelings of abandonment – on my own to sell  a 30yr old home in need of much repair, moving away from a full-time corp career, being near family and friends, and most of all, remaining in close proximity to my daughter.   In other words, moving from my comfort zone to something unknown.

I was now being thrust into a position where all of the “things” I cherished would be stripped away and I would be responsible for the execution – no one here to physically push me forward.

It had to be intentional surrender and I was in a tailspin of emotions.

I felt abandoned by the man I trusted as a future partner and it was excrutiatingly painful – I kept thinking to myself, “I could do this if he were here.”

You see, even  though God provided great revelation in the 40 day Love Dare, the principles were still theorectical – I had no life application (yet!) and my old tendancies readily moved into play.

I found myself trusting a man…loving a man…an imperfect human more than God.  My instincts weren’t honed yet to look to God first and foremost for my motivation, strength, and support.

You see, God had shown me what was necessary to really take my walk deeeper two years before…

08/04/09: For God to effectively use me, He has to take me completely out of my comfort zone…that way I will be forced to lean on Him.

What does this mean to me? BIG change.

Interesting…I hadn’t read that note since I wrote it 2+ years earlier.  Am I  willing to embrace what God has ahead even if I don’t have a grasp on what the picture looks like?  No one else can do this for me – someone pushing me through won’t achieve God’s objective.

This leg of my journey is intended to be bonding time with God – much like the initial bonding between parent and infant.  In spite of past experiences, in spite of past perceived successes, this is a time of trials where establishing complete trust and dependence on God is critical – and no human can provide the incentive or fuel.

And so, God is providing me with opportunities to trust Him and depend on Him in every single facet of my life – to take refuge in Him when weathering the storms of life changes….

    • Relationships: uncertainty will inevitably create strain – can I trust God to manage it all?
    • Career: it’s not the career I love, but the confidence I have gained – will I surrender so God can redefine my sense of self-worth?
    • Possessions: I must de-clutter my life – voluntary purging of the past is essential for me to be fully available to God

I’m sure there’s so much more I haven’t recognized yet, but it is overwhelmingly apparent I’m not just moving into a new phase – I’m in boot camp to serve the Most High!

©  Celeta’s Journey & My Love Dare with God, 2012. All rights reserved.

Buckle Up!

For the past few months, I’ve been writing the real personal stuff and posting…well, surface thoughts…it’s time to dig in, folks…

It’s been an incredibley bumpy ride…Hebrews 12:11 in action! 

While much of what I will share in the coming weeks may prove a bit painful to share, the joy far outweighs any discomfort – my prayer is it can serve as a message of how good our God is to see us through each and every trial.

My first entry was a synopsis of a message by Joyce Meyer on Discipline & Self-Control…obviously I had no clue what God was about to do in my life!

She talked about Peaceable Fruit – a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God

11For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

     12So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees,” Hebrews 12:11-12 (AMP)

When God pushes us out of our comfort zones, it’s to deal with issues (yes, even those we thought we’d dealt with) – it’s His way of saying He’s not going to put up with it anymore!

Hebrews 12:12 is basically says: instead of walking around all “woe is me” – shake yourself off, stand up straight, and be thankful God is willing to help me grow.

Wow!  Isn’t that so true? Discipline rarely, if ever, feels good!  What I didn’t realize at the time? I was embarking on Phase II of My Love Dare with God: Living My Love Dare with God

 

Covenant Relationships

Analytical by nature, I’m constantly attempting to put puzzle pieces together – yes, even when I don’t have all the pieces! God was so good to reveal a bigger part of His picture this week.  His covenant relationship with me.  A bond He longs for me to fully embrace. 

Enter the Love Dare – yes, perhaps an unconventional approach to developing a stronger relationship with God, but when I step back and consider the pieces…the conventional use of the Love Dare is between a couple – husband and wife – it’s goal to strengthen the covenant bond of marriage.   God is simply using the Love Dare as a tool for me – taking the concept of a relationship between man and woman a step further – with Him – to strengthen my understanding of His covenant relationship with me.

The focus of each Love Dare is basically how love impacts every facet of our lives – and how different life and relationships can be when viewed through eyes of love – through the eyes of God. 

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

This verse is not speaking of the world’s definition of love – it speaks of God’s definition of love – two very different meanings!  For me, to know love is to know God – to know God is to know His Word. 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Cor 13:4-7 

And so, the Love Dare touches on these attributes of God and how they are revealed in our lives.  I know I’m only scratching the surface – I know have so much to learn! And that’s what this process is all about – learning more about Him – one devoted day at a time.