The Journey Begins…

 

It’s been a lengthy process….this growing up in God, and in myself.It’s not an easy thing to learn how to walk on water with the Lord.

But worth it.

Some days I was strong and walked right beside my Lord….my feet didn’t even get damp. 

Other days, I’d wake up and there was Jesus simply handing me a snorkel before my feet ever touched the carpet, not to mention any water.

 

There are still difficult days, hey….Satan couldn’t get his jollys if he couldn’t give me difficult days.  So the thing is….when he attacks, who ya gonna call?

Ya know what I’m sayin? 

 

Though I’m getting better at it all the time…..I still cry out to my God, my Heavenly Papa as I am fond of calling Him….”Help me, Papa!”  And He comes to my rescue.  Him, and the angels He has guarding me, 24/7.  Whether just my feet get wet, or on a really bad day when I get soaked to the bone, He is there to lift me back up and hold onto me by my right hand.  Always.  No questions asked.  He is there.

He is willing.

He can save.

He alone can keep me courageously striding atop the waves with Him…..with ease.

This water-walking thing is pretty groovy, you should give it a try.

Several months ago, or was it years……already?  God called me to ‘stand’ for the spiritual healing of my prodigal husband (myself included…more on that later), and for the restoration of our One-Flesh Covenant Marriage.

At first, I was confused.  I thought, well ok Lord.  Whatever.  Then I’d balk.  I’d get tired of waiting, and frustrated with not knowing what was going on ‘on the other side of the mountain”, and I’d give up.  Then, He would call me back.  No matter how hard and stubbornly I tried, I could not get away from the Lords call on my life.  When I wandered off course, and I did this a lot…..much to my chagrin, He always….without fail…..steered me back on course. 

Finally, with the heart-wrenching tears of one who has finally given it all up to Him who knows best, I surrendered my will to His.  It was my choice….but He made it very clear what He wanted me to do, and for me, or any of us, to do otherwise, is not a really bright move…..so I learned how to eagerly say, “Yes Lord.  Yes Lord.  Yes Lord”……and we were off and running on this whole growing-up-in-Jesus thing.  What a journey, that continues to this very day, this very moment.

Thank you, Lord for loving me enough to correct me, and keep me walking in Your way….which is perfect.  After all, Father does know best! 

This is an account of my journey.  I’ll try to get it in chronological order, but whew….not sure I’ll be able to do that.  I’ll include all my moments with my, indeed our, Sovereign Creator: God.  Think about that for a second, He who created all things…ALL…and continues to graciously allow things to continue, allows us to come before His throne and talk with Him.  Crawl up on His lap, and pour out our hearts to Him.  And it’s ok with Him.  This is the Creator here, people.  But because those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and have asked for forgiveness for sin and therefore are now His children…..He has given permission for us to boldly approach Him in all things.  No matter, how big, or small, our lives and every detail of who and what we are……is important to Him.  He loves being a very good Daddy, and His kids are very important to Him.  Wrap your mind, indeed your heart around that concept……….and begin to really live the abundant life He has promised those who belong to Him; those whose names are written in the Lambs Book of Life.  Amazing.  Die to self, live for Him…..and you will know what true freedom is.  What true grace is.  What true mercy is.  And you will know, up close and personal…..the Sovereign God of all creation.  The Alpha and the Omega.  All powerful.  Ever present.  All knowing.  One and only God.  And WE can come before Him and pour out our hearts, our fears, hurts, feelings, confusion….lay it all at His feet…..and He will take care of it all.  Love Him, walk humbly with Him, trust Him.  He will show you the way. 

 

Thank you, Jesus.

Now, let the journey begin.

This section happened fairly recently.  I had bought a couple books from Rejoice Marriage Ministries, started by a wonderful couple, Bob and Charlyne Steinkamp.  Married.  Divorced.  Him: a Prodigal Husband.  She: a Stander. 

And….God.  All three of them, all dukin’ it out together.  Guess who wins.

So I finished reading “Prodigals Do Come Home” (yes, even those prodigals who have remarried, basically legalizing their adultery) and at the end of this informative and inspiring labor of love is a declaration page:  “I Choose To Stand For My Marriage.”

I read it, liked it, filled in the blanks.  Here it is:

     Lord Jesus, on this 2 day of July, 2011, I choose to make a commitment before God that I will stand in covenant with You for the healing of my marriage.  I recognize that this commitment may take all of the energy that I possess, and that ridicule and persecution may attempt to steal my commitment to this stand; but I also believe and now state that: “He Who is in me, is greater than he who is in the world.”

     I choose to love unconditionally my husband whose name is Terry Butterfield, and with whom I voluntarily entered into marriage on the 16th day of March, 1974.  I know as it states in Malachi 2:14 that I entered into a covenant relationship at that time.  I choose to stand upon that covenant, as witnessed by You, O Lord, and I am believing You for the restoration and healing of this marriage.

 

   As a child of Yours, having received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I know that I can stand on all of Your promises from Your eternal Word, the Holy Bible.  Therefore, today I affirm to the world and to satan, our adversary, that I am standing on my covenant with Almighty God and with my spouse, Terry Butterfield, for the complete resurrection of our marriage.  I base my stand upon Jeremiah 32:38-39 which says: “And they shall be My people, and I will be their God: and I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them.”

Signed:  Barbara Butterfield

Dated: July 2, 2011 

That was on July 2, 2011………… and on July 3rd  the floodgates appeared to open once again and God began to speak loud and clear, and often!  This surprised me at first, because I’d been crying out to Him for about 2 months (about as long as I’d had the book)…..that I needed to hear from Him. 

Now we all know that there are times when the Lord is silent…..frustrating to say the least.  But…yes…there are times when He backs off and watches to see if we’re going to trip, and just how badly.  It’s like when you’re learning how to ride a two-wheeler and your Dad, jogging faithfully along behind you, holding onto the bikes seat, slowly lets go, when he believes you’re doing well enough to try an unannounced solo effort.  You may do ok, at first, because you believe your faithful daddy is still right there behind you, still holding on.  Until.  Until you happen to glance behind and see your Dad standing there…smiling, but he’s a good 25 ft away! 

And then you fall over.

Of course, immediately he springs into action, and runs up to you, picks you up, brushes the dirt off your knees, gives you a big hug and tells you that you did a really good job and then encourages you to try again.

It’s really no different with our Heavenly Father. 

I really needed to hear from Him, and He was being very quiet.  Disturbingly quiet.  So, I kept on reading His Word, kept on praying, kept on seeking His face, and on July 3rd, the day after I signed my Standers pledge, He said…I think something like, “Well finally…” and then we got started communicating again, in a big way.  Like never before, so I think things are heating up on the ‘other side of the mountain’ and this is just more preparation for what the Lord has in store. 

Read on!  It gets exciting!

Called by Him to stand:

“The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”  I Thess. 5:24

Confidence by standing firm in the One who proclaims “I AM”:

Called by Him to stand….firm:

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us — whatever we ask — we know  that we have what we asked of Him.”  I Jn. 5:14-15

Praise your name, Heavenly Father. 

Confidence is a good thing.  : )

“This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 

Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”  I Jn. 5:4b-5

Below is a chronological account of what God spoke to me over the next few weeks.  It was amazing and wonderful!

7/03/2011:

Crying out to God in prayer, in tears…..seeking His face and direction.

To stand or not to stand, that was the question.  The Bible, as always, sitting next to my rocking chair….armed and ready for any attack by the one who would see us sink and never rise again.  The one who would prefer that we take the worlds way out of our problems, the easy way.  Well, again, I heard that quiet voice within me….”Pick it up.”  This happens all the time.  I’ve learned to not procrastinate when God speaks His own thoughts into my heart.  And He showed me:

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”  Heb. 10:23

I read that, and more tears came to my eyes, I looked at Him (for He usually sits in the nice rocker across from me.  “You did it again,” I smiled, He is always keeping me on track, even though at times, I feel tossed to and fro.  And my Lord replied, “You needed it.”  Indeed I did.  Thank you, Lord.

And then:

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”  Heb. 10:35

I stopped reading at that point.  Why?  I don’t know, for it wasn’t the end of the verse and its unlike me to not read the entire verse.  What I was to learn was that the remainder of that verse was to be shown to me at a later date, in the coming week. 

7/7/2011:

“By the way that he came, he will return.”  Is. 37:34

“…I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.”  Is. 38:5b

“This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what He has promised.”  Is. 38:7

This time was a 1-2-3 punch.  Referencing prior verse Is. 37:34, and knowing that assurance always follows obedience, He led me to this series of verses, speaking to me with His unfailing love.  The Lord was not only letting me know that He was indeed bringing Terry home, but also confirming how  he would be coming (by road, car/bus.)  And this harkens back to another verse, He showed me a couple years ago, about a ‘highway and a road’, but that’s another post.  ; )

7/10/2011:

“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels.  Remember the former things, those of long ago;  I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.   I make known the end from the  beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”  Is. 46: 8 – 10

He is God.  We are not.  Period.  Better to realize that on your own, than have Him help you ‘get a clue’.

Then:

“What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.”  Is. 46:11b

Then:

“I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed.”  Is. 46:13

Undated: July, 2011….from TheEphesianMarriage (restoration) website, additional confirmation to stand:

“You are here because you are among the called out ones.  God is speaking to you loud and very clear (indeed, He is.) He has called you to die to your rights to yourself daily; to lay down your life for the eternal life of your prodigal Husband.  He has called you to take up your cross and follow Him. To be holy because He is Holy. Yours may be a long journey or a short one.  But you will know that it is God Who has called you by name because the desire He has placed within you will not let you rest.  (Man, tell me about it.)  By the power of the Holy Spirit and through the Blood of His Son, you are His witness and the instrument He will use to bring sanctification and healing to your home — because you are His.”

Amen, and amen!

7/13/2011:

Crying out to God in prayer for our healing and reconciliation to our God, and to each other. 

“Restore us again, O God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us.  Will you be angry with us forever?  Will you prolong your anger through all generations?  Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?  Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.”  Ps. 85:4-7

Then:

“Surely His salvation is near.”  Ps. 85:9a

7/16/2011:

“For in just a very little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.  But my righteous one will live by faith.  And if [she] shrink back, I will not be pleased with [her].”  Heb. 10:37b, 38

This was the remainder of the aforementioned verse, as well as the next verse, that I was not made privy to on 7/3/2011.  This time, in response to prayer, He is letting me know that it won’t be long now, and I’m to hang on in faith, because that pleases Him.  Amen, and Amen, Lord.

7/20/2011:

“This is what the Lord says — the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:  Concerning things to come…”  Is. 45:11

 The following was an answer to prayer when I pointedly asked the Lord:  “Where is Terry spiritually right now?”

“I will raise up him in my righteousness; I will make all his ways straight.”  Is. 45:13 

Now, mind you, I do not go searching for just the right verse and then say “Ah-ha!”  No.  9 times out of 10, God directs me right to the right place in the Bible and points His thoughts out to me.  It’s enough to give ya shivers, ya know what I’m sayin?  Hallelujah, Jesus!

 7/21/2011:

 

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love.”  Ps/ 107:31

 

This message was spoken to me by the Lord in answer to prayer about Standing.  The Lord spoke to me that if He can have unfailing love for me, then I should be able to have unfailing love for Terry.  Because, as we know, love never fails. 

7/25/2011:

“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth….may you ever be captivated by her love.

“Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?  Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?  For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths.  The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him and the cords of his sin hold him fast.  He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.”  Prov. 5:18-23

7/27/2011:

Spoken to me immediately following a deeply heart-felt prayer for our restoration:  “Build up, build up, prepare the road!  Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”  Is. 57: 14

“…revive the heart of the contrite.  I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry.”  Is. 57: 15c, and Is. 57:16

“I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways.  I have seen  his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel (meaning: us…His children.)  Peace, peace, to those far and near, says the Lord.  ‘And I will heal them’.”  Is. 57:17-19

Amen, Lord.  Ok, so here’s the first post.  More coming soon.  The Journey with Jesus for Our Reconcilation to Him, and Restoration of Our Family, and Resurrection of Our Marriage…….continues.

What a journey it has been.  Walking with Jesus along the path that He alone has shown to me (the way He has for me He showed my in a dream, more on that later.)  His arm about my shoulders.  Remember the old hymn, “He walks with me, and He talks with me….”

Yes Lord. 

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