• Jill Jarrell Newsome

My Father's Approval

Recently I woke up smiling! I was in a room with Pastor Barry and Mark, who I work with. We were all laughing and I am not sure where we were but we all had our arms around each other. It was me, Pastor Barry, my Dad and Mark, in that order, and we were all laughing so hard! We were having such a good time - the way I remember Dad and I having fun at church. It was so wonderful and so real that I wanted to go back to sleep and continue the dream! I told Mike immediately! I wept, tears of joy, as I told Pastor Barry why I thought I had that dream. I can close my eyes and see my Daddy's smile - something he did a lot!


I dream a lot and I usually remember my dreams and most of the time I can figure out why I dreamed something. Mom and I had been at church, right before shelter in place, and she had tears in her eyes and I asked, "are you ok?" She smiled through her tears and said, "I was just thinking how Charles would love this church!" I told her I felt that way the first Sunday I visited. Then we talked about how Dad would have loved Pastor Barry and Mark. Mom said she could see them "carrying on" (southern for having fun and being silly). Also, the night before my dream Mike mentioned something about Mark and Barry and I replied, "Mark and Barry are my buddies." I have known that Dad would be so happy here but it was so fun to see the four of us laughing together. Four friends doing life together! Maybe not on this earth but for eternity! It seems children never outgrow wanting their father's approval.


When I made the decision to move to my present church it was after a lot of thought and prayer. Some people were upset with me. But Galatians 1: 10, "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." I was told I could not leave because my mother was not leaving. I would think, don't they know that is why I have stayed? But God said to me, "Are you choosing your mother over me?" This was my cross to bear. This was between God and I and I had to pick God. Little did I know, it almost seems silly now, that God would bless my obedience by sending my mother over - on her own nudge! "Not because of her children" as she will tell you and she reminded me I better include in this!


I will forever believe God was testing my heart. Would I stay comfortable or would I trust Him? 1 Thessalonians 2: 4, "But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts." When God is calling you, you can run but you cannot hide. I was in a rut that kept me from following God's will. It is hard to change how we have always done something. I was being burdened but I wanted to stay in my comfort zone because I had always done it that way. Good thing the disciples didn't do that! I prayed for wisdom and clarity to know what I was to do. All I knew was that God was redirecting my path and I would have to trust Him! Proverbs 3: 5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." I was hungry for more and felt God wanted more from me. Matthew 5: 6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled." God has proven Himself faithful beyond belief! And I am being "filled!"


I know my earthly father would approve of our decisions and be proud of me for following God's call and I love that. But what is most important is that I be obedient to my Heavenly Father whether all men agree or not. Matthew 6: 33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." I feel He has "added" so many blessings to my life and helped me grow by leaps and bounds. Little did I know He was calling me, equipping me and preparing me for His purpose....all because I chose Him! Thanks be to God!


During this season when we are keeping "social distance" maybe it is time to be still and listen. What message does God have for you? Is God calling for your obedience?

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