When Your World Feels Torn Apart – God Sees Above and Beyond Your Now

Today, April 3 2012, the Dallas Metroplex experienced the touchdown of numerous tornadoes that caused damage to countless homes, cars and more…

Watching the news, I can’t really imagine what it must be like for those people who either emerged from or came home to a house that looked nothing like it had the day before… But I have experienced times in my life when I felt as if my entire world was torn apart…

I’m reflecting on some of these times in my life tonight, and whether you’re someone facing the loss of physical property like these tornado victims, or something else… The loss of a relationship or of a job… I pray that this post gives you perspective and hope that God sees ABOVE AND BEYOND YOUR NOW… This is an invitation to come up with Him, to come and see how He sees… There is peace and joy awaiting you in His presence, in His perspective…

My wife and I are facing some things in our near future that are “attempting” to cause us fear, doubt, confusion and misunderstanding… But I have decided to not allow it… I’ve decided to lead my wife in faith… Nobody else controls our destiny, nobody else controls our emotions and nobody else holds our future… Our destiny, emotions and future belong to the Prince of Peace alone, Jesus Christ…

So let me share a few stories with you… some of the most desperate and down times of my life… Times that I now look back upon with an understanding that they were actually doorways into new adventures that I would never have otherwise had… Times that I am now thankful and grateful for… Even relieved that they happened…

To tell the first story I need to take you all the way back to the year 2000… I had just graduated from bible school in December of 1999. I spent the next months working as many as 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week saving money and preparing to move to Lakeland, FL. I had been in a long-distance relationship for a number of years, a relationship that I felt could only progress if I made a major move. I had already been to Lakeland during that time, even had lined up a roommate and an apartment. I had saved enough money to last me a few months and even had a potential job lined up. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe I was actually about to do this ha ha…

Then, about 3-4 weeks before I was about to leave, I received a call from the girl that I was in this relationship with. She began to tell me that she didn’t feel that the timing for me to come was right. She told me that a woman in her church had told her that I was not the “right one” for her. Initially, during this first conversation, I was not really worried. I honestly thought this would blow over in less than a week. So I ended the conversation without really thinking much had changed. I didn’t take this seriously. I told her I would talk to her in a week to see where she was at, fully expecting her to have moved on from this minor block in the road… But the next weekend came, and after talking to her, nothing had changed and I was two weeks away from the moving date…

This time things were different for me… My emotions really took over and I remember doing what I often did, I went for a walk with the Lord. I can remember this walk SO SPECIFICALLY… I was confused, I didn’t understand. I was upset. I had been planning this for almost a year. I had spent time, money and effort setting up for this move. I literally thought that I would eventually marry this girl, I mean, why would I move all the way to Florida otherwise…?

The lowest point that night I can remember was when I crumpled to the ground in the middle of this field that I was walking in at 11pm at night, weeping before God… Not just crying, but slobber running out of my mouth, lying on the ground in pain weeping from a depth inside that I still can remember… And God was there! I felt abandoned by her… I felt abandoned by my plans… But MY FATHER was there, and He knew right where I was… AND HE KNEW RIGHT WHERE I WAS GOING EVEN THOUGH ALL I COULD SEE THAT NIGHT, THROUGH THE DARKNESS OF THE EVENING, WAS A BROKEN HOPE…

I wanted to paint a vivid picture of my despair, because it was very real to me in that moment… But also because it gives me more reason to rejoice as I explain what occurred in my life over the course of the next two months…

When it finally sank in that I was not moving to Florida, I realized… I need to figure out what to do with my life… This was not just a visit to Florida… This was a year of planning, planning for the next major season of my life and now it was gone… All Gone! Now What God… That was my prayer… And HE began to roll it out for me, as if He had it planned all along… He did…

I remember going to two of my best friends at that time (and no matter what happened after this season of my life with these guys, I will always remember them being there for me at this time of my life) These friends of mine were beginning a ministry in Fort Worth, TX on the campus of Texas Christian University. The first thing they did was invite me to join them in this ministry endeavor, an invitation that I accepted. The next thing they did was offer me a place to live as one of the guys was looking for a roommate anyways, so I moved into his apartment with him in Fort Worth. They even paid me a small monthly salary as a part of the ministry that covered almost all of my half of the monthly rent in our apartment… The job that I was actually going to leave ended up graciously transferring to an office they had in Fort Worth, so I had an instant job over there as well. This all occurred within the first few weeks after I learned that my life path had changed… But wait, it gets better…

About a month after we started I was ministering in the prophetic during one of the college ministry meetings, and as I glanced out into the crowd, I saw one of the most beautiful smiles I had ever seen in my life. To make a long story short, within a few months after seeing this girls smile, I knew that she was going to be my wife… That’s the story of the first time I ever saw my wife, Ann-Marie… What an exciting year and a half after that as I got to know my future wife and then married her June 15, 2002… 1 3/4 years after the time I laid on the ground in a field weeping before God… but guess what… that night… God saw June 15, 2002…

I can remember looking back at my life, about 6 months after that devastating August night in 2000. I remember the moment I realized that God really had it all lined up for me in Fort Worth… He had a job lined up for His Son, a ministry, great friends and a gorgeous wife… Wow!

I could have wept over the closed door… But thank God I got back up and moved on to what was waiting for me…

The second story I want to share has to do with one of the most desperate times I’ve even felt as it related to provision and employment…

I was strangely, simultaneously in a mix between one of my most favorite things in the world and one of the most disruptive times I’ve experienced in life… I was on a plane to Hawaii one week after I had been told I would be laid off from my job by months end.

I will honestly say that I had not experienced anxiety like I was having ever before, nor have I since. There was such a fear of the unknown residing within me. Before I was made aware of my layoff, I had been invited by a new friend to minister with him at a conference in Hawaii (suffering for Jesus, I know…) The Lord even provided a plane ticket for me free of charge… At the time, I thought it quite amazing how I could be experiencing such favor and such anxiety at the same time in two different circumstances…

Now it happens to me all the time ha ha ha… Back to the story…

So I land in Hawaii, and it just so happened I had an entire day to myself before my friend arrived. I remember having a desire to visit Hawaii alone to just walk in solitude and to retreat, but the scenario I was in was not what I had pictured…

I just remember walking on the North Shore searching for the set of LOST and crying out to God. I later ended up near an area on the North Shore called shark’s cove, a great snorkel spot btw. I was walking along the ocean on the sidewalk when a mini van on the nearby road suddenly skidded to a halt. It grabbed my attention and I looked that way. For SOME REASON, the back door of this Astro Van had swung open and the driver pulled over to close the door… As I gazed towards the van, I was drawn to the Rainbow clad license plate which read RELAXO… RELAXO!!!

Let me first say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Hawaiian people and culture and I feel more like one of them than the German American that I am… To see this license plate in Hawaii came as no surprise at all… But the fact that I saw this particular plate out of all the cars on the island at that one moment, I KNEW it was a message from my Father… I began to just laugh out loud right there on the sidewalk that day and something changed in me that moment that has really lasted unto this day. My Father was saying to me, son… Relaxo.

It’s not always easy, but there is a PLACE of peace in the Father. I believe that what we practically deal with in our daily lives is the fact that the world and all its details tug at us to move out of this place of peace. We just need to realize that we have to continually move back into His arms if we ever get out of that place. It’s not always easy no, but it is available.

After I returned from this trip, I spent the rest of the month praying for what I would do next. This was back in December of 2005 or 6, I can’t even remember right now… At the beginning of January, a man walked up to me and handed me a check for one thousand dollars. This was part of the encouragement I needed to step out onto a path of faith, and to step into a new season…

Since that “layoff” I now refer to it as my PROMOTION… I, along with my wife, have travelled the four corners of our nation, literally, ministering in hundreds of churches… Travelled to many nations… Made life-time friends… And it’s been amazing and REALLY HARD ALL AT THE SAME TIME BUT I’VE LOVEd IT…

And what if… What if I wouldn’t have got laid off… What if I’d stayed on staff? I will never know… But what I Do Know is that I’ve lived soooo many of my dreams in the past 6-7 years since this PROMOTION. GLORY!!!

So as I look back over these two times in my life tonight, I am so encouraged. These were HOPELESS TIMES FOR ME. There really was no hope in the natural… But hope came anyways… Hope came from my Father… And He is still with me just as much today as he was as I laid in that field and as much as He was when we laughed together on the North Shore at that Astro Van license plate.

So where are WE now… My wife and I are facing some things, some changes… Some things that WE can’t control.

I couldn’t control the decision of that girl in Florida in 2000. I couldn’t control whether or not that church would keep me on staff. We cannot control some of the decisions that people are making that influence us right now… Whether they are right or wrong REALLY DOES NOT MATTER. If they are right, God’s in control… If they are wrong… God’s in control… The X factor is NOT THEM… IT’S THE FATHER GLORY GLORY GLORY

BUT WHAT I’VE LEARNED AND WHAT I ENJOY IS THAT NO MAN OR WOMAN HAS THE POWER TO CONTROL ME, MY WIFE OR OUR DESTINY as individuals and together. It’s in the hands of the Father… And what does He have that awaits us…? What I’ve learned is that it’s always better than what I’ve felt like I needed to hold on to… Haaaaa Haaaaaa

So these are just a few stories, just a few times in my life… I’ve had others… But I am getting older, wiser, and experienced… More than all of that, I’ve learned more about the character and nature of my Father. I’ve learned how to better rest in the storm surrounded boat that I’m in because Jesus is next to me… Did you ever stop to think that Jesus sleeping in the storm surrounded boat was an invitation… to do the same… ha ha

So what can turn a bleak announcement into excitement? Getting past the initial disappointment and MOVING ON TO THE NEXT APPOINTMENT…

ARE YOU DIS-APPOINTED… WELL MOVE ON AN GET YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT

I don’t believe God allows us to be disappointed without already having a next appointment for me… PEOPLE WILL DO THIS, BUT THANK GOD HE’S BETTER THAN US…

So I hope you are encouraged… I am… I’m ready to go on more walks with God again…

I’m ready to go hear His voice for the next thing for myself, my wife and our family…

I leave your with one of my favorite stories in the bible, when Elijah was at the brook and it dried up… He had to move on to the next place… The place of provision that he’d enjoyed ceased… If he would have moped, he would have died there… But he got up and he moved to the next place of provision… and guess what… He also saved the lives of that widow and her son… THE FATHER KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING… IT’S NOT ABOUT YOUR “BOSS” or anybody else… Just look to the Father and walk to the next place… Keep yourself moving… if nothing else, keep moving in prayer… keep seeking fellowship and encouragement from people who are in a season to do so for you…

We all feel like our worlds fall apart at times of our lives… But I trust, as Father has done so many times for me before, that He will rebuild with pieces old and new, something greater than you had before, something better that what you could have imagined, something better than if you’d simply held on to the past….

Talk to you next time…. Jason

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