The past month and a half has seemed to have passed by quickly. This weekend Kevin and I head down to Miami (we have been in central Florida visiting my - Leah's - family since Dec. 18th). Our visit to Spain was a great encouragement to us both, and a time of continued confirmation that God is indeed leading us on this journey.
One of the lessons God has been teaching me is that of surrendering every area of my life to him and allowing his spirit, rather than a spirit of fear to direct my steps. As our life has changed pace and context going to Spain and being here in Florida, God has revealed how often I make decisions that are influenced more by core fears rather than by him. He has brought me to a place where my life is incredibly simplified, and in the simplification process (no job, no home to care for, being in a new community, new church etc.) many of my basic struggles in my life and faith have really come to light. Kevin and I have had a lot of time to really focus on our marriage and the journey on which God is leading us.
2 Timothy 1:7-9 says "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life -- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time...."
I am reminded that everything we are is in him, through him and by him. As a first child one of my core instincts is to be a people pleaser. But as we embark upon the path to which God has called us as a couple I am finding that our life choices don't always make sense to all people, even some who are fellow believers, and others who are not. This verse reminds me that the call God has given us is not based on me, but on him and that it is him alone I am to fear and to live to please.
Another big challenge is that of raising and living on support. I have always been an independent person and everything around me dictates that I need to provide for myself, not be a burden to others. But for at least this season in our lives God has brought us to depend completely on him and all of you. This can be a fearful thing all by itself. But once again I am brought back to the truth that I am living the life I am because of God's purpose and grace. I do not need to be afraid, God will provide. As God provides he has also given me a chance to give back. He has called all his people to live with open hands as he has opened his hands and made us heirs to his riches. God has been opening my eyes lately to see what are the resources he has given us, both monetarily and other ones, that I can give up and give back.
I am praying for you all that this year, with all of the challenges and joys it has in store, will be one where you live in the freedom of God's love and providence, and just as you freely receive his grace you are able to impart that grace to others.
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
P.S. One of the greatest parts of being with my family this past month was being here for the birth of my nephew, Jack Harper. My sister Katie and her husband Brian had their first child December 30th. He's a cutie!
My sister Katie and Jack