4 a.m. Knows All My Secrets
When I go to bed I turn all my concerns over to God and go right to sleep. BUT, if I have to get up, usually around 4:am, I have insomnia. All of my burdens come alive!
For months I woke up at 4:am thinking about how my mom and I were at different churches. My family sat together for years but this had changed when my brother and I felt God calling our families elsewhere. We made the decision when God asked me, "Are you going to choose your mother over me?" Wow! I know we are not to put other things or people before Him but my mother? Matthew 10: 37, "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” I tell Him I love Him more than my family but showing Him was something else!
My mother had told me she would not be joining us but gave us her blessing. Within a few months she told me numerous times that it was obvious we had done the right thing for our family. The blessings of being obedient were evident in our trip to the Holy Land, making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, our SS class, becoming part of the ministry team and the list goes on! Looking back I know the biggest blessing was SHOWING God that I love Him more than my mother. It was painful but it was a great privilege! He knew my pain and I believe He gave me double for my trouble. Isaiah 61: 7, "Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever."
While I knew and believed all of this it did not matter, in the dark, at 4:am. All I could think about was not worshiping with my mother. I never talked to her about it because this is a personal decision, her decision. At night, I could hear the words someone had said to me, "you can't leave Jill - your mom is here." Matthew 11: 28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I was burdened. Finally, I would thank God for taking care of the situation and giving me peace. 1 Thessalonians 5: 18, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Then God's peace would come over me and I would fall back to sleep.
After about a year, God gave me a peace about the situation. Philippians 4: 7, '...and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." I was still sad but I would have to accept it. He asked me to be obedient and I was. Now trust. Isaiah 55: 8-9, "’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.’"
About a month ago, my Mom said God was starting to show her that she was to make a change. When she finally asked God for direction, He showed her. It is easy not to ask God for direction when we really don’t want the answer. He may take us out of our comfort zones. Mom made sure she told me that she was not coming to my church for her children! I was thrilled! What could be better? In God’s timing, Mom came on her own obedience to God. This answer to my prayer was better than anything I could have imagined. Mom joined last week and is already very involved making many new friends and reconnecting with old friends! And she had thought it would be hard to make friends at her age!!!
Mom and I discussed me writing this blog for my church so I had to ask her one question. Why my church? She gave me a list but none had to do with her children. She said the first Sunday she visited she never stopped smiling during the singing. It was so worshipful that it reminded her of being on The Walk To Emmaus -a spiritual retreat. The first Sunday School class she attended was so warm and inviting that it felt right. The Sunday after she joined strangers would come up to her and mention her name, “Honey” or talk about her working in the kitchen at camp. She could not believe how they had listened to our pastor when he introduced her! She said, “it just feels right and I know this is where God wants me.”
My niece and nephew have both told me, “I’m so glad Honey is with us!” Me too! And God worked it out perfectly while I stayed out of the way! Why am I always so amazed?! God remains faithful beyond belief! He always gives us so much more than we can imagine? To God be the glory, great things He has done! Psalm 95: 2, "Let us come before him with thanksgiving and sing joyful songs of praise." And now we can do it together!