Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Year in Review

Today marks one year since the day that my entire world changed. One year ago, on September 10, 2008 I discovered some horrible stuff that resulted in my wife subsequently leaving my boys and I. If you know me then you know the story and I've shared my testimony, which include some of the details, on here in a two part blog (HERE & HERE).

So where am I now. To my surprise, I am doing really well. I had assumed that healing would be a LONG and dreadful process. At times it was very difficult, but God has done some amazing stuff in my heart, as well as my life. I am still married, but only because we are waiting for the court date later this month. The point of this post is not to pity party the past. I figured I'd share some of the stuff that God has revealed and taught me this past year. This list is not all inclusive, God has taught me some stuff that is just for me and will stay that way until God says so. So here it is:

1. Obedience is the axis on which everything in God spins. God requires our obedience in every part of our religion and relationship with Him. The ultimate expression of love (and spiritual maturity) is hearing God's word and obeying it. In John 14:15, Jesus says, "If you love me, obey my commandments." Pretty clear, right?

2. If you spend intentional, right intentioned and consistent time with God (everyday) He will direct your steps. If you actually dedicate time to God and talk to Him, get a load of this, He'll talk to you too. This conversation can only be realized through the real, committed, and spirit lead actions of prayer and study/meditation of His word (i.e. reading your Bible). When you actually start spending time and talk with Him, he will offer direction and guidance immediately. Truth and revelation come quicker also. That's one of the bonuses. Not with everything, but I've found I've had to wait far less lengths of time for God to reveal why something has happened and what I should have learned from it.

3. God still disciplines His people, even today. Proverbs 3:11-12 says, "
My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights." Not only does God still discipline, when you actively seek Him and are disobedient to His direction, He is quicker to issue that discipline. He is no longer satisfied with waiting for your obedience and allowing you to figure it out on your own. He loves you enough to offer that discipline immediately when needed, to get you back on the correct path. That's the flip side to the revelation and truth thing. He'll tell you what you needed to learn, but He's still gonna swat you.

4. Not everything that happens is part of God's plan. Bad stuff sometimes just happens. God is sovereign over everything, but He doesn't will EVERYTHING to happen. He does allow everything to happen, but the bad stuff is the result of a sinful world. Sometimes God will allow you to reap the consequences of YOUR actions, as a means to draw you back to Him. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope"

5. Some of the greatest learning takes place in the deepest valleys. At least for me it did. I really feel like God revealed the most when I was in those valleys. At the time they sucked - a lot - but I wouldn't trade them and what God revealed, for anything. Psalm 119:71 says, " It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees." God taught me a lot while I was broken. I'm still there from time to time (currently I'm in the middle of a valley - but I can appreciate it), and I find myself often looking for what God is trying to show me instead of sitting in self misery and pity.

6. I think the most important thing I learned is this: I love Jesus. Sounds simple, I know. But until I went through that crap a year ago, I only thought I knew my Savior. I knew about Him, but I had NO idea who He was. I am still far from knowing who He is. But I know two things, I love Him and He loves me. He reveals a little more of Him everyday that I'm willing to seek Him. He wants to show us all His glory, we just need to be willing to seek it and receive it. When I got a hold of the idea that relationship is so much different than religion, I was amazed. I wanted to understand it, to unpack it and look at it. But you can't, you have to spend time with Him. That is the only way you can build a relationship, time and talking. When I finally understood that and did it, oh my word how things changed.

Things are different now. God has done some amazing things in my life. I am completely a different person and can't wait to see what God has next. I know there was probably other stuff I wanted to add to this list tonight, but being that it's late and I could probably sit up all night and type, I'm gonna call this good for now. It captures the most important things, for the moment anyway.

Excited for the next year,