Thursday, January 7, 2016

As It So Often Goes ...

I'm all about picking One Word to focus on each year. I love having direction for my overwhelmed life.

In view of feeling overwhelmed, I felt impressed to choose the word "rest."  I was thinking about this mid-December in the midst of all the Christmas hub-bub and I thought, "What a lovely idea! I need rest so badly." Of course, in my mind I was envisioning extra naps and afternoons lazing by the lake.

As January 1 loomed closer, I began to have second thoughts. I actually avoid napping most of the time and feel panic if a day goes by that I have nothing productive to show for it.

Can rest and I really become best buds?

After praying about it, I still felt that rest should be my word and so I committed 2016 to be a year of rest.

I scheduled a week of vacation between Christmas and New Year's intending on relaxing and resting and gearing up for a great 2016.

As it so often goes, life had other plans.

My body wanted to rest, it really did. I know so, because I immediately had an attack of sinus. Sinus meds and I - we are not compatible. Oh, yes, the meds will often dry me up but a result of medication is that I operate as a Zombie ... for days! I had no energy to really do anything.

Just to be sure I kept quiet and unproductive, I had a flare-up of eczema on my hands which guaranteed I would do nothing.

So, I thought at least it was a blessing that this week was vacation. I was forced into resting but considering my personality, perhaps it was meant to be.

Enter the threat of flooding onto the scene.

As I may have written once or two hundred times, in 2011 our house was flooded.  I live between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and both of them raised to record flood-stage levels the last week of 2015.

Each day, the back water in the fields started creeping up to my house. By New Year's Day, the water was touching the back corner of the foundation of our house.

Have you seen the movie "War Room?" Do you remember the scene where Priscilla Shirer gets serious and goes outside to rebuke satan from trying to harm her marriage and home? 

The morning of January 1st, I was sitting at my desk feeling about as low as could be when I remembered something. I remembered words I had heard before:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
    and honored, and I love you,

Isaiah 43:1-4 ESV

Since I am a believer in Jesus Christ, I have been grafted into the Chosen People, the seed of Abraham, and I can claim this promise as my own.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt led to rebuke the enemy. I marched outside to the flood waters lapping at the bottom block of my foundation. I read the above scriptures out loud, emphasizing the part about the rivers not being able to overwhelm me. I told the floodwaters they can NOT get into my house so they might as well recede. I spoke in the authority of the name of Jesus.

But here is the important part: I let the enemy know that God was able to deliver me, I put my trust in Him, but even if He allowed me to be flooded again, I know I would come out the victor. I don't know how He would do it, but I would end up better than before. (After all, that is what the flood of 2011 taught me.)

I stood on Isaiah 43:2 "the rivers ... shall not overwhelm you," and Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Did the waters recede that day? No. Walking by faith is not an easy road by any means. You have to stand firm in your convictions.  The water actually rose until the first block on my house's foundation was covered.

Later that same day, my husband decided we should move everything two foot and under out of the house. (The 2011 flood gave us one foot of water in the house.) I wanted to argue we should stay but decided to be obedient and also to do all I could do and then trust.

We moved out for two days and then the river levels dropped so we moved back in. Hubs said, "We did all this for nothing," and I smiled.

So far, the year of rest has taught me even when I can't physically rest, I can rest in God's provision for me.

Mama’s Losin’ It

This post answers Writer's Workshop prompt #2. Did you pick a Word Of The Year for 2015? Share!  You can link your own post at Kat Bouska's blog, Mama's Losin' It.
I'm also going to link up at Grace and Truth because I can't think of a better place to share about standing on the Word.

You can link up with this amazing community of writers at any of the links below:

Satisfaction Through Christ

The Brown Tribe

Arabah Joy

A Divine Encounter

Sharing Redemption’s Stories


Angie Ballard said...

I love how you were able to redefine "rest" and make it work for you, even with such a rocky start. Rest is a hard one! Hang in there - I suspect this will be a wonderful year for you!!

ellen b. said...

Oh boy...glad your house didn't get flooded. I was wondering which of my blogging friends were surrounded by water! Love those verses! We've clung to them through many a trial.

betty said...

Glad you didn't get flooded, but great lesson learned of resting in God's provisions and remembering greater is he that is in us than the one in the world.


May said...

Beautifully written, Jerralea. I love that you recall those specific verses--just the ones you needed at just the right time. Hope things have dried up by now.

Jamie Miles said...

So thankful all is okay. That ws surely stressful.. Whew.

Mama Kat said...

Wow! Those pictures are something else! I'm so glad the waters finally receded! Rest is a wonderful word for 2016.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this so much! Thank you Jerralea for sharing with us. ♥

Jennifer Clarke said...

Lovely thoughts, Jerralea! I appreciate your heart of faith; your words reminded me of those spoken by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they faced the fiery furnace. They told the king that their God was able to deliver them, but if He did not, they still would not bow down. It's so important to claim God's promise, while at the same time realizing that He sometimes fulfills them in ways we don't expect. Thank you for sharing this with us at Grace & Truth!

Anonymous said...

It's funny how life has a way of making sure we do what we need, even if we won't initiate it ourselves. Hope things are dried up and you are feeling rested and rejuvenated!