Our LIves As We Follow Jesus
3.14.22 Our Lives as We Follow Jesus
First, we have to come to belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God as He is described in the New Testament. Secondly, we have to allow Christ to direct our days and our lives through the voice of the Indwelling Spirit of God that resides within us. We start with baby steps, learning to listen for His voice which is softer than any thoughts in our minds—the “still small voice” of God described in 1 Kings 19:12. As we learn how to give in to His small suggestions like taking a different way home or telling us how to respond to this person, or what to do for that one, gradually we come to larger and larger requests from the Holy Spirit. In my own journey I called this the 10,000 surrenders! That’s what it seemed like to me. And as I practiced the small surrenders to this interruption or that inconvenience that I hadn’t planned on, I came eventually to the big one in my life: my husband’s, Hank’s, bout with lymphoma and his death.
What I heard God say to me as his cancer came back raging was this: “If I can just hold all possible outcomes equally, well, then…” As I had surrendered on tons of small things, I could surrender to this suggestion. As soon as I was able to, I experienced a flooding of faith in me until I felt like I was standing on the rock, Jesus Christ Himself. For the next two and a half months I was so supported myself, that I was able to support my husband, our adult kids, and our friends through this passage. As time wore on, I kept thinking about the possible outcomes being fewer, but still I wasn’t focusing on his dying, even as we called in hospice.
About 10 days later Hank died; his service was a few days after that. As soon as our kids went home, I fell into the grief, but I never resented his death nor was I angry at God for it. It was a huge surrender, but I went through it pretty easily as the Lord was supporting me through the whole passage.
Over the next few years, I finished the spiritual direction training that I had had to suspend during his illness. And the Lord led me to a whole new, and totally unexpected purpose in my life. Not only was I a spiritual director, but I also became a blog writer and then author whose sole focus was on this: how do I, how do we live the life following Jesus. Surrender is a huge ingredient of our loving God. And so is gratitude for our lives here on earth in this beautiful setting, for our family and friends who accompany us throughout our lives, for the grace and blessings and leading that God bestows on us, and for so much more. As we continue to follow His “still small voice,” we find that our burdens become lighter and lighter. As God heals us of all the pain and suffering we’ve been through, we are freer and freer. As we come to the purpose for our lives, we experience so much joy and peace, because we are finally doing what we were designed to do by God at our creation.
All the fruit of the Spirit come to be expressed in us, as God heals the burdens in our lives. We are love peace, joy, patience, kind, good, faithful, and humble(self-controlled)(Galatians 5:22-23). We simply pass on all that God has given us as we come closer and closer to union with Him. We begin to live in the Kingdom of God here on earth and relax as the world’s hold on us just vanishes. We still live in the world, but we are no longer of this world. We live solely in God’s arms, in the kingdom, in love and forgiveness.