So I've shared a lot of the activities that we did in England. I shared with you the experiences that we had. But one thing that I haven't specifically shared is what happened in my spirit while I was there. I know that God speaks to me everyday - sometimes in small ways and sometimes in big ways but this trip was definitely a time when God reached deep into my soul with His love in a life changing way.
You know, the pace of my life here in Texas is pretty intense. Working full-time and longing to still show as much love as I have to my husband and children while juggling all the details that a life like this requires......well....intense is truly the best word I can use to describe it. Before leaving for England I was functioning on the fumes of overdrive. I just kept the vision of England before me.....just get on the plane......just get us to the point to get on that plane......then we can all crash.....well, not CRASH......but.....rest greatly or relax?? You know what I mean.
I was so relieved to finally have some uninterrupted time with God. I was equipped with my bible, my worship CD's, my journal. Ready to hear from God. But honestly, I struggled focusing when I read my bible, I struggled focusing on the lyrics of worship music, and I'd fall asleep writing in my journal. I think it really took me 2 full weeks to "come down" so to speak from the intensity of my Texas world. I HAD to rest, HAD to sit, HAD to sleep.......and I didn't realize it until I was there in England. But God knew. He knew I needed time to rest before I could absorb new things, before I could really work through the experiences of the past 6 months - Chris' surgery, pressure sores, infections, Patrick's death, my grandmother's death, working full-time away from my husband and children, and very little extra time one-on-one time with God. (Not that God's time should fit into my "extra" slot, but the things that He filled my days with just didn't allow for quiet, alone time with Him).
Before I left for England I truly felt like I was holding myself together by a thread. I knew that God was the one actually holding me together, but I knew that I was on a very thin thread.....I honestly don't know how I got to work each day and how we got everything we needed on the plane!
Two weeks ago while we were still in England I read these verses in Ecclesiastes:
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.........A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones......A time to tear and a time to mend...."
Now that I'm home from England I can see that from February through mid-June it was a time where God "scattered my stones", where God allowed me to "be torn". My heart broke, my mind hurt, my body felt weak and tired, the pressure was too much. But HE went before me to prepare a time in England, a time of 8 weeks away from the "pressure" of regular life.......God prepared a time to gather my stones, a time to mend my heart, my mind, my soul, my spirit, my body. Much of my alone time in England, when I truly was away from all other people, I spent in tears to my God - tears of fatigue, tears of the unknown, tears of grief from the recent experiences, tears of relief, tears of rest. It was in these tears the my God allowed me to heal. And He provided 3 separate people in the last week of my visit to speak His encouragement to me. They spoke of who Jesus is, the POWER of His Name, the PROVISION, the PEACE, the KING, the NAME above all names. They prayed with me for freedom in my spirit, freedom to truly be who I am, freedom to express myself fully to God, and they prayed against fear that would hinder me........really what GOD has done is given me HOPE. HOPE in HIM. HOPE in HIS ability. HOPE in HIS power. HOPE in HIS provision. HOPE in HIS strength. I was scattered so that HE could put me together again and so that I would KNOW that it was HIM who did it. HE is the one who has saved me. HE is the one who has given me time to mend. And HE is the one who has done the mending.
So I DO stand here with ARMS OPEN WIDE singing GLORY AND HONOR AND PRAISE to the LIVING GOD. I can do nothing else. Thank you Lord.