What is your vision? Actually, the more important question to me is, “What is MY vision?” I had forgotten that I needed one even though I know the verse about the people perishing where there is no vision. That’s what was happening to me. I lost vision. What is my mission, my goal, my calling, my assignment, if you will?

{Oh wow. I’m doing a Lord Of The Rings trilogy today and just put in the first disc. The music is so soothing.}

Ok. My mission. My vision. First, I want to share something with you that was said to me in Spring 2004. I was hurt. I was broken. I was feeling unloved by my husband. I was feeling unloved by this great big God that I serve. I was sitting in the back row of my church with my arms crossed. The man up front said, “Would the  young lady in the back row with her arms crossed come up here please?” Um, I quickly uncrossed my arms and looked around like I was just caught with my hand in the cookie jar. This is what he said:

Too many tears and too many self-accusations. You are my daughter. I have called you, says the Lord, and how dare you speak of my daughter in an unholy way. I have loved you, says the Lord, and to me you are lovely. So hear the word of the Lord, You’re mine. I have chosen you. I’ve taken that what was unclean, that was born unclean, and I have salvaged you and cleaned you up and know. I want you to go home tonight and look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful. You are chosen of God. That self condemnation will no longer be part of your life. If you will do this and remember what has been said, self condemnation will begin to march away from you and you will begin to have confidence in the Lord. Your ways are not My ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts. My thoughts are not what you think. I don’t think like you do. So when you begin that self condemnation path, remember I am not going down that path with you for I have put my Life in you and I long to it see have full reign in your life. What did he say?I give you beauty for ashes and the oil for joy for mourning and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  I want to go get that scripture and I want you to put it up in your house. Put it on your mirror if you have to so you can read it every morning. A garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and dance your little feet off for the Lord for I have loved you. I have loved you! says the Lord.

I don’t know if I can explain to you what that word means to me even after all these years. I remember being very excited and feeling very loved after I sat down. When I heard it the other day, Tuesday, in fact. I cried. It was the day after I posted my journal entry. I want you to know, I’ve never felt completely defeated. Just sad. Sometimes terribly sad. I cried when I listened to the tape of this. I felt loved. I remembered that I do have to be careful about what I think about myself and remember who I am in Him. I am His. I am Chosen. I am Royalty. (So are you, by the way.) I am Loved and Beloved.

As I was listening and typing it down I began to remember who He called me to be. I find it strange that I had even forgotten, but this world is so distracting and I’m easily distracted. (You probably got that from my last post!) HaHa! For example I just got distracted by the desire to wash my face, brush my teeth, find my slippers, then I came back here and watched the scene of Gandalf and Saroman on my other computer that I’ve set up near this one so I can type and watch at the same time. Then I went on to read a blog about being unequally yoked. Wished I knew about that earlier in my marriage. I still have much to learn.

Ok. Where was I?

Vision. Mission. Assignment. Oh yeah.

First of all, I am called to be a woman of God. We know all the verses that tell us of how we are to be as women and wives. Proverbs 31 lays it all out for us. Then there is Titus 2, 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Peter 3, and others I can’t immediately recall. I have often looked at Proverbs 31 as a measuring stick of all the ways I have failed. I’m pretty sure that’s not how I’m supposed to use that. There are many things I have forgotten. I have forgotten to walk soberly and vigilantly. I have forgotten to armor up as in Ephesians 6:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:10-18, New King James Version)

So, I am Woman of God. A Warrior. An Athlete running a race. Both athletes and warriors train. They don’t just sit around hoping they’ll be good someday. They practice. They study. They don’t just read, write, or think about it; they do it.

I don’t know what I am called to do in my marriage. Kelly and I have been separated for nearly 2 years and are not officially divorced. I don’t want to talk much about my failed marriage here because it isn’t just about me. It is about Kelly, too, and I don’t want to bring him shame or dishonor. I have talked about how I have forgiven him, but I didn’t talk about the many ways I have hurt him. I have hurt him deeply. I didn’t respect him and I was quick to judge. I didn’t know what that did to a man until another man began to explain it to me. Unlike his own father, he has maintained relationship with our children, for that I will be forever grateful.

My children, oh yes, my children. These little people that have brought me more joy and sadness than I could have ever imagined. I distinctly remember times during my pregnancy with Christopher when I was entirely overwhelmed and humbled by the fact that Jesus was giving me a child even though he knows the deepest darkest parts of my heart. When Christopher was born I stared at him and told him of how the Lord knew him before time began and still, I was chosen to be his mother. How humbling, that I, a broken and motherless young woman would be chosen for such a task. I am not good. Yet, here I stand. A mother to four who need the grace of Jesus just like I do. You know, we want so much for our children to be spared from pain and to have a happy childhood. I don’t think those two are exclusive, by the way. My mission with my children is to raise them up to lovers and servants of God. To serve because they love. To choose this walk, to choose this battle, to fight even though it will not be easy.

I realized that every choice I make needs to line up with this vision. My children are only in my home for a short while. There is a lot of pain dwelling in my home right now, but I am waiting for the oil of joy to be poured out upon us. My children are not close. Hurt words are slung about far too often. I have some ideas on how to help us bond, but that will be for another post. The choices I make must line up with this vision for my children. Therefore, I have decided to not go forth with the idea of nursing school. I know it would be good money, but that is not my primary concern. The actual nursing school would take me away from my children for far too many hours than I am comfortable with. Dusty is entering the most troubling years of her life. Those middle school years can be horrendous. She is my primary concern at this time. She needs so very much from me and I need to give it to her. These years will be the years of redemption for her. I am sure of it.

I don’t know what to do to increase my income. That is a concern, but I will trust Him and I will seek Him.

I tend to look at the foggy big picture and say to Him, “Yeah God, that’s cool that I have a small picture of what you want from me or glimpse of what things will look like, but ummm, could I please see the big picture? I mean, you do want us to count the cost right? How can I count it if I don’t know what it is I’m looking at.” Guess what? I don’t get to see the whole picture and I’ve known that since I was 16. I get to see a small puzzle piece at a time. Over the past 2 decades I’ve gathered enough puzzle pieces that I have begun to see a picture, though I can’t tell you what that picture is. I know it is beautiful. It is beautiful because that He is the Creator of it.

Dear friends, please remind me of the His promises when I trip up and can only see the ground in front of me.