Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moving On

"Arise and depart. This is not your place of rest." Micah 2:10

For five years I had been discontent. We were struggling spiritually at the church we were attending at the time. I kept praying that the Lord would make it clear if we were to go or stay, but as of yet the confidence in that clarity hadn't come. Friends were giving advice. Family were offering guidance. We were waiting on the Lord. In the waiting I was throwing myself into activity and heavily involved in many areas of ministry.

I was tired of the not knowing and the indecision. I was pleading with the Lord to speak. I wanted to put this decision behind us and move on, if not in physical location, in heart and mind. That Friday morning I opened my Bible and discovered I'd be reading in Micah. Immediately a thought came to me. I'm ashamed to voice it, but it's what ran through my mind. "Oh...Micah...well, I guess I'll be waiting until tomorrow to hear from You." The audacity to think that God could not speak to me through any part of His Word. I believe He showed up big that morning just to prove to me that ALL of His Word is living and active.

I was reading along, not paying too much attention to what I was reading, when suddenly Micah 2:10 jumped off the page. "Arise and depart. This is not your place of rest." What? are telling us it's time to leave.

That very day I was leading a Women's Day at our church. I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday. The event ran smoothly and all went well. The Lord was honoured and hearts were changed. As the guest speaker was packing up and getting ready to drive home she came over to me and said, "Joy, you've seemed a little distracted today. Is everything OK?"

Sitting down in the front pew of the church I shared with her a journey our family had been travelling for awhile and the verse the Lord had spoken to me earlier in the day. Her response was the confirmation I needed. She also encouraged me that we would be leaving on such a 'high', not in anger or frustration, but because the Lord had said, now is the time.

That Sunday was our final service in that church. We knew that if we stayed any longer we'd be in direct disobedience to God's directive. We invited two of our Pastor's over for tea and shared with them how God was calling us to move on. They prayed God's blessing over us as we left and we parted with hugs and tears.

Although I never doubt that God called us to change churches at that time, I do often still wonder why He has placed us where we are now. The teaching is incredible. I am most certainly going deeper with the Lord and applying His Word like I never have done in the past. Yet, I desperately miss my friends. As a newly married couple, my husband and I had been in a small group at our previous church for over ten years and to this day those friends are our 'gold' friends.

God moved us physically. We moved to a new town and a new church fellowship. More recently I heard the call to move again. This time it was an emotional and mental move. Forgetting those things that are behind, God has called me to arise and depart and not rest in the negative or be held prisoner of the past. I'm letting go of regrets, failures and mistakes. I'm leaving behind expectations, people pleasing and a closet full of masks. I'm looking ahead and moving on.

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Danielle said...

Ah, that is a hard thing to go through. And it's so like our natural mind to limit God without really thinking that we are. Been there, done that!!

I love coming to your blog each and everyday... you are so real in everything you say and share.

Thank you!

Lori said...

Looking ahead and moving on! You my friend are right where God wants you to be! Thank you for expressing yourself so openly!

"When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!"

Love ya,
Lori - AZ

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Don't even know what to write here...

Movin' on has been the theme of my heart for most of my life. It seems as if God is always moving the "pegs" for me; I think this part of his grand plan to keep me looking toward that better country. I think he means for us to be tent-dwellers. The gift of peace comes in knowing when to move with him and when to stay put. Regardless of our steps, he is our rest.

We carry him with us wherever we go.

And then ... to go and surprise me by putting my favorite "boys" at the end, well, that's just down right almost-American. Love the song so much... "life has been patiently waiting for me."

Let's keep moving friend. Love you.


~Grace and Peace said...

I love coming to your blog - much like visiting with a good friend, sitting around and sharing.

Thank you for being open about what the Lord is doing in your life.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...'ll never know how much I can identify with this right now.....whew.

Deb said...

I love this post and this verse from Micah.

You did a wonderful job in making this verse relevant.

"God has called me to arise and depart and not rest in the negative or be held prisoner of the past. I'm letting go of regrets, failures, and mistakes. I'm leaving behind expectations, people pleasing, and a closet full of masks."

Me too, Sister!