It’s been a while since I have written. Without going into great detail, I want to fill you in on life and then get to the good stuff. First, Matt and I are doing great! God has been faithful to me and to Matt and has brought us great healing and deeper intimacy in our relationship. I never wanted to leave Matt but we were only hurting one another and that had to stop. God is a God of restoration and He was restoring us even before we parted for a short season. I’m a grateful daughter of the King of Kings and I testify that He is faithful! Second, there has been a door opened to restoration with my immediate birth family that I could have never fathomed. I have prayed over that for so long that it seemed impossible, but we serve a God of “all things are possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23). Third, we are going to be grandparents!! I am so excited to announce that Caylee and James are having our first grandbaby due in October (it was nearly a honeymoon baby!). We are so excited for them and they are going to be incredible parents. We have had the opportunity to get to know James more in the last year and he is such a neat man and will be a great dad! Fourth, there are storms in everyone’s life and we are no exception. We are not in communication with two of our kids but we love them and we pray for them consistently and ask God for healing in those relationships. If you feel led to pray for us in this, we would greatly appreciate that. I’m learning that though things may look and feel desperate or painful, that is not the end of the story so hold on and watch God work.
This morning I was studying in 1 Peter 1, I am going through this book with a women’s weekly Bible study group. I love that we get to dive deeper into the Word of God and we can do that freely in our country with one another. This group of women has become very special to me and to my walk with God. Listening to each of them share what God has shown them in their individual study, listening to their testimonies, has grown my walk and taken it to a new level. I wondered if I would ever find a group of women who wanted to be transparent and dive deep, I should have known that when I was ready for it God would have it there for me. It’s tough to understand His timing but I try and remember that His ways are above my ways and His thoughts are above my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). Todays verses led me to another book in the Bible, James. That is the verse I am referring to in my title and I wanted to share what God showed me today.
James 1:22, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves”
Though I’ve read this reference verse many times, today it stopped me in my tracks. I began to talk with God about the benefit of not only listening to His Word, but actually following it. Isn’t it just like a human, but especially me, to ask God “what’s in it for me?”. I tend to think about myself more than I wish I did. He didn’t scold me for wanting to know what was in it for me, that’s how kind He is to me when I ask Him to explain Himself. (lol) He speaks to me in pictures or movie reels and that is what He did today. He took me back into places and times in my life when if I’d known His words and what the right thing was to do, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and pain. I recall as a child hearing adults tell me that the answer to every question was in the Bible. I also recall rolling my eyes when they would say that and think to myself, “whatever, it does not tell me if I should eat a hot dog or a hamburger” or something that was silly like that. I didn’t realize then that everything really is answered though not always directly. Many times it is the essence of something that the Bible will answer. For instance, “treat your body as a temple because it is” (paraphrased 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). So, maybe neither a hot dog or a hamburger? “Like a temple” means do our best to keep it in good condition by exercising, making good eating choices, and getting plenty of rest. All of which is tough!
This verse in James tells me that His way is the best way and in following it, I will have the best life that I can have amidst the chaos of this world. He knows all things, so my feelings about things may be false but His Word is not. If I want a good life, less of the internal war, following God’s Word is the wisest thing to do. I do not like pain. Yes, I am aware that we will all face pain in our bodies and in our souls in life, but I would like to avoid it as much as possible. What this verse says to me is that if I will do the things the Bible tells me, I will be able to avoid pain that I cause myself. It is easier said than done, but it is still true. My prayer today for me is that God would quicken my Spirit to follow what I know is in obedience to Him so that I can avoid pain that is avoidable. The best news that I have found in the Bible to let me know that is exactly what God is doing in me every day is Philipians 2:13, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”. I have definitely not arrived, but I trust God and I know that He is working all things together for my good because I love Him and I AM called according to His purpose for me (Romans 8:28).
It’s good to be back writing. It was a dry season and I wanted to get clear with God what I want to share about my life and what is just for Him and me. I love sharing my story and I pray that God uses it to help someone find Him and find healing in Him. My name, Chandra, means “reflector of light” and that is who I was created to be. I’ve had to find healing to continue to share. I am Victorious in Christ and I am no longer a victim. I will continue to light the lamps of all who I have the privilege of sharing my story with, and my God will lighten their darkness.