“You Are God Alone”

Several of my friends have asked me about how I am feeling about the military moving us to North Dakota. They are just checking in to see how I am doing with the idea because my original facebook post (after I got the news) looked something like this: “I AM NOT HAPPY!!!” I should probably mention that my reaction has nothing to do with the people of ND; who I assume are great 🙂 My reaction was due to the fact that we will be nowhere near any family on either side and also because I HATE cold weather.

I will be leaving the subtropical beautiful island of Okinawa for snow and ice and cold…Burrrrrr!

Kendal on top of castle ruins overlooking the ocean.

Okuma   

Southeast Botanical Gardens

Over the past two weeks I have felt a wave of bad emotions including anger, frustration, discontent, annoyance, etc. But I have also felt a wave of good emotions including: trust, hope, comfort, etc. I am sure that all of these good emotions have come from the Holy Spirit. I have completely decided to put my trust in God about this move. I cannot see past the horizon to know what is in store for my family but I can take comfort in knowing that God is ultimately in control. If he places us in ND then I believe that there is a reason. Maybe it is so we can be a blessing to someone. Maybe it is so we can receive a blessing. I don’t know. But I do know that God does and he will take care of  me and my family. Even so; I will truly miss Okinawa and my friends that will forever be apart of my family.

And for more confirmation; our worship leader choose a beautiful song for us to sing at church this coming Sunday. As I sang it tonight during our worship team practice; I really paid attention to the words. It confirmed in my heart that I needed to fully trust in my God’s plan for my life. Listen to it if you have time.  P.S: Clark, you can trust that God will replace those of us who are leaving the worship team too. You might even get replacements that aren’t as OCD as I am and who actually sing loud enough for you 🙂

*****

You Are God Alone

By: Phillips, Craig, & Dean

You are not a god
Created by human hands
You are not a god
Dependent on any mortal man
You are not a god
In need of anything we can give
By Your plan; that’s just the way it is

Chorus:
You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
Your are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

You’re the only God
Whose power none can contend
You’re the only God
Whose name and praise will never end
You’re the only God
Who’s worthy of everything we can give
You are God; And that’s just the way it is

Repeat Chorus

Bridge:
Unchangeable
Unshakable
Unstoppable
That’s what You are

Repeat Chorus

Repeat Bridge

*****

Revolving Around The Military

When living in a military community; you become accustomed to saying goodbye to good friends on a regular basis. Unfortunately; that’s just the way military life is.  Families are typically stationed in one place for 2-4 years. Then they are transfered to another location. Because of this; military wives tend to be a little more vulnerable so that friendships can built quicker (I am not saying this is true of all military wives; this has just been what I have noticed). Hugs, tears, and promises of staying in touch are all present when you say goodbye to someone who has been your family. One good thing about military moves is that they create a network of friends world wide. For instance, I know that if I ever get stationed in Germany, England, Japan, and several states in the US, that I would have a friend (or friends) there. Another plus is that even if you are not stationed at a particular place; you still may have the opportunity of visiting friends. Last summer when I when I went back to the states to visit family in Delaware, Iowa, & Michigan; I also had the privilege of visiting close friends in Virginia. I had met these friends here in Okinawa and they just happened to be stationed a few hours away from my family in Delaware!

With our PCS time on the horizon; we have had several people ask the typical questions that go along with that:

  • “Where are you going next?”
  • “When are you leaving?”
  • “When will you visit family?”
  • etc…

The answers to all of them are “We don’t know yet.” Unfortunately, that is another downside to military life. We have to wait patiently for them to tell us where they are sending us and on what timetable. It can be easy for us to get anxious about the unknown. One of our friends thought that they were going one place but when they got orders it was to a completely different place. Another friend didn’t actually get orders until a few weeks before they had to move. And another friend just got orders to one of the places that she was hoping for. Even though we know we are leaving this summer; we can’t actually plan anything until we get orders because everything that we have to do to prepare for moving revolves around them (and if you know anything about me; you know that I like to plan ahead). Regardless of where the military sends us and when; I have to keep my trust in God and know that he has a plan. God already knows what I don’t know. Ultimately we will be where he wants us to be.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

[And for those of you who are not military but live in other countries like Canada & Australia; I know I have friends there too :)]


But I’m RIGHT!

I love it when God uses two (or more) sources, in a short amount of time, to enforce His message to me…

Today at church; our pastor continued his series “A Disciple’s Journey” and titled today’s sermon “In Vulnerability.” He spoke about how we all want to be right and don’t like to be wrong; which causes a lot of arguments. Jesus is God and so He is always right. Even so, he remained silent while standing on trial before the Sanhedrin in Matthew 26:57-68 being questioned and mocked. When he did answer; he spoke with humility accepting that he would still be mocked and scorned.

Our pastor spoke of an Asian concept (we live in Japan) called “Saving Face.” Basically, people often do not admit their short comings or admit that they are wrong because they do not want to be shamed. We do not want to be wrong because that would make us vulnerable.

Our pastor closed his sermon with the following thought: “When we are willing to trust God; we are willing to be vulnerable because victory comes through defeat.”

Today after church; I was preparing for my weekly Bible study on Anger that I facilitate. This week we will be watching Dr. S. M. Davis’ sermon called: “How To Help A Man With His Anger.”

In it he says that almost everyone has had to deal with someone who has a problem with anger. Then he says, Sometimes it happens when you are right and the other person is wrong. Christians are often in the greatest danger; not when they are wrong but when they are right. When you are right and someone else is wrong; it is much easier to become bitter. That is the reason that Jesus tells us to go the second mile or turn the other cheek.”

At the beginning of his message, Dr. Davis says, “It is too easy for us to get caught up in someone else’s actions that we forget the importance of our reactions. God isn’t going to judge me for someone else’s actions; he is going to judge me for my reaction and the actions that come from it.”

*****

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42

Over and over in working through my anger problems; I have come across the concept that people who always have to be right will always be in the midst of conflict. The following question is often asked: “Would you rather be right or be happy?” Yes, we all say that we want to be happy but most of us show in our actions that we want to be right. I can’t count the number of arguments that I have had over the years with my husband and many others because I insist that I am right and they are wrong. My husband often says to me something along the lines of “You would argue with me that the sky is green and the grass is blue!” He usually says that when I am arguing with him over something that isn’t really that important (where we should go to dinner or where we should park the car, etc.). Unfortunately, my husband and I will often argue like there is no tomorrow and it usually is because one or both of us feels like we are right. I often feel defeated or without hope because I don’t always see how our conflicts are being resolved or I feel our marriage is moving in the right direction far too slowly.

What I have been learning through the marriage and anger studies that I have been doing over the past year; is that I can’t put I time limit on God. As long as I let him; God will continue to mold me and change me into who he wants me to be. He will also continue to mold and change my husband. His plan may include “fixing” us on different schedules or timelines through different means. As much as I think that I know what my husband needs to do to change himself; I need to remember that God knows better than I. I need to focus on changing myself and work through my problems (as hard as that is).

Today my pastor quoted Oswald Chambers: “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us ‘go.’ The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success.”

Bottom line is that I need to trust that God knows what he is doing in my life and in my marriage.

I will leave you with the following quote from Dr. Davis (in his sermon “What Impatience Does”):

“Patience is accepting a difficult situation

without giving God a deadline to do something about it.”