I had one of those times today that you just can't get anywhere else but in the True Church of Jesus Christ. I daresay it would be hard to duplicate in The States because people don't come and go as often as they do in this group of ladies. Being an ex-pat somewhere had put a fine point for me on who I need to spend my time with and the type of people really worth spending it. This is so true of these dear Christian Sisters. The group represents what is so holy and pure about The Bride of Christ. Our fellowship is wholesome and uplifting. Our prayers for each other change lives and have eternal repercussions. Not that they don't in the States - and there is something to be said about long-standing groups of believers who study together. But knowing you only have so long to be with a group makes you real close real fast - The Holy Spirit does that.
Today was not my last day in the group - but since I'm nearing the end, they combined it with the last day of another ex-pat who is going home to Canada - dear Michael-Anne. It was totally unexpected and I was totally unworthy of it. They stood us up in front of the room and told us all about ourselves - what they liked and how we had blessed and encouraged them. And if you've never experienced it - well, it is awesome and humbling at the same time. I count myself blessed to be in their midst - never, never would I have expected this and it was incredible.
I also shared a story with them that prior I had only told 2 other people - my beloved Gindi and Lynn. 2+ years ago, I was in the car after a particularly difficult dinner, nay day, with my husband and children. Dave had Natalie and Sophia was with me. She was still very little then and prone to falling asleep in the car. It was close to bath/bedtime so I needed her not to do that. So, I turned the A/C up high, turned on all the lights in the car and turned the music up loud. She stayed awake! :)
While all this cacophony was going on - I was crying out to The Lord how badly my husband treated me and how he did not make any effort to honor me as he should, biblically speaking. It was a rough day but I took it to Him - hoping He would fix my husband so I would no longer have to endure this torment. (Such a drama queen - I know!!)
Well - at the risk of you thinking I am nuts too - I want to tell you that I heard, above all the noise of A/C, radio and, most importantly, myself - was a loud voice. And it said to me "I WILL HONOR YOU." It was crazy. I couldn't believe it and it has taken me a long time to process it. I can now see how Moses was stunned when he first saw the burning bush. I can tell you it's the only time The Lord has done that - most of the time He speaks like He does to most believers - in my heart and through His Word.
It was distinctly powerful - you could say a male voice but that didn't matter. He was telling me to look to Him and only Him for my fulfillment and affirmation of who I am. What mattered was that I shut up and listened. What mattered is that I just kept hearing it and hear it still- I will honor you...I will honor you. The Lord had LOUDLY written His Word on my heart - it wasn't a new concept but I had to hear it for The Lord to bring me back to the right place, with the right heart.
Through my study I have reaffirmed this promise/concept many times. It isn't just a promise for me - it's for all believers - bereft wives or anyone who is being persecuted. But I believe The Lord needed me to hear it from Him at that moment because it is biblical. And it changed me forever.
I carry that close to my heart - whether Dave and I are challenged by each other, or by the girls or even someone outside the home. I remember my honor comes not from my own works, the world or even people I love. It comes from my close relationship with Jesus Christ and I only get it because He chooses to give it to me. It's a gift just like salvation and confirms The King of Kings does honor His friends and family.
So I got a glimpse of that honoring today. What a great cloud of witnesses to bring such encouragement as a time like this!! Walking back into the unknown of "Home" and all God has for us. It reaffirmed my purpose and the message He not only gave me - but toothers that need to hear it. He likes to work like that I think - in totally unexpected yet glorious ways.
Maybe you need to hear that today. Maybe life just really seems to stink right now or you are facing a mountain you can't or don't want to climb. Maybe you just need an atta-boy because you work hard - for yourself and The Kingdom. Wherever you are - please look to Him to give it to you. Look into His Word and ask Him to show you just how much He loves you and waits to honor you. It won't just happen for us when we get our crowns in Heaven - it can happen in living an abundant life for Christ right here on Earth. Right here, right now. That's what John 10:10 is all about.
I will be forever grateful for His wisdom in placing me in the care of these wonderful, sweet Sisters-in-Christ. And I know it won't be the last time I see them. Even if it's neither again here on Earth - we will get to dance like there is no tomorrow together and praise The Almighty God together! What a great time that will be!!!