It's very rare that I actually discuss my faith on this blog. Faith and Religious Beliefs have always been something that I find very personal and I try not to bring it up too much in my writing. Growing up, I knew very few Christians who actually lived a Christian life - for example, I had an Aunt who constantly preached the Bible 24/7 but who was committing adultery with her boss. Many times I'm reminded of Matthew 6:1 that states "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people in order to be noticed by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."
If you have been reading my blog since the first of this year, however, you'll recall that I picked a word to represent what goal I wanted to achieve for 2015. (If not, you can read that post here) The word I selected was Prayer - something I knew that I needed to strive to work on as it was something I did not put priority on. That's not to say I do not pray; however, more often than not, I find that I pray only when I want to ask God's assistance on a matter pressing on my heart. It's very rare that I come to God in prayer with no other goal than to strengthen my relationship with him. My goal for 2015 was to change that but until just the other night, I once again put it off. I don't know if it's because it's hard to humble yourself before another, or because I know that there are many mistakes I have made in my life that I know one day I will have to answer for and will only be able to hang my head in shame with no answer as to "why" but only "I'm sorry". Maybe both.. But for whatever reason, most of 2015 went by with this goal completely unfulfilled - until last Friday.
Friday night I stopped procrastinating. I humbled myself before the Lord and I had my first heartfelt conversation with him. I'd like to say I prayed without asking for anything but that would be a lie. But this time I prayed for the ability to develop a better relationship with him, for the tools to help develop my personal faith and to help me to be a better Christian, and to help me remember to converse with him much more regularly. I went to bed that night knowing I had finally crossed the mental barrier that I had put up for many years.
I did NOT expect to receive an answer to my prayers as quickly as they were delivered.
The next day, I received a package containing an upcoming review item, a homeschool planner. When I requested to be on this particular review, I was expecting exactly what it said - a planner to help me organize my homeschool day. You know what I'm talking about - basically a calendar book with places to chart assignments, attendance, field trips, ect.
When I opened it that night, I flipped through it but didn't read any of the pages. Sunday it sat basically untouched. Tonight, however, I picked it up to really examine it in order to familiarize myself with it before I begin actually marking it up.
After examining it, I knew that I had in my hands the exact tool I had prayed for.
I wasn't expecting areas to plan weekly for my own spiritual education. I wasn't expecting a place to journal how God has touched my life each week, or to plan ahead of time to schedule time with God's Word, or even more so, a place to outline my prayer needs each week. This planner goes from my just planning my kid's homeschool day but also is set up to do exactly what I prayed for - a tool to help me develop my own personal relationship with the Lord.
I'm not planning on putting any of this in my review, as it comes back to Matthew 6:1 and I feel that including it in my review would seem saccharine. By the time I publish that particular review, this will be buried under several other postings. But there was NO way I could not share with others how amazing it is to know that my prayers were heard and how he provided me with such an amazing opportunity to build my relationship with him.
There have been so many times I know that He has had a hand in my life, that Christ has indeed carried me through the worst times in my life. Even when I turned my back on the truth, I know he was waiting patiently, knowing that it was only temporary. After all, Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you...". But knowing and seeing it in your own life is a totally different situation.
I have been so blessed in my life, even with all the pain and troubles I have experienced.
I often joke that if I wrote an autobiography, it would most likely be listed as fiction as nobody would believe so much could happen to one person. I am the daughter of a schitzophrenic drug and alcohol addicted mother. an alcoholic pedophile father whom I just recently discovered is also a 4 time over bigamist. I am divorced from my first husband after years of infidelity (on both sides) and many, many mistakes on both our parts.
I am also a mother of three wonderful kids whom might give me grey hairs and cause me to shed tears on a regular basis. But even with those tears, I wouldn't trade their smiles and hugs for anything in the world. I have a wonderful husband who treats me with respect and love after 16 years of being unloved. My house is never clean but I have a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back.
I am, indeed blessed. And even more so knowing that my voice was heard and my prayers answered.
God Is Good.