Monday, February 10, 2014

This is a repost of a blog I did for Ashley Lagunas when I was in a hard season. It is so funny how many months later, this is still applicable. 

This weeks Article on La Entrada I am featuring someone who inspires me! Writer Alaina Henderson shares Part 1 of a Part 2 Article on re-routing your life. Her life is an inspiration to me. Her words bring life and encouragement to my season, that I am on the right road, as bumpy and hard at times it can be, its the only road for me. Enjoy!

Alaina Henderson writes...

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost

The well-known poem “The Road not Taken” speaks of the dilemma so many of us face not just once in our life, but regularly. One road seems perfectly paved for us, beckoning us forward. The other, looks as if it should have a giant "BRIDGE OUT" sign in front of it. Sometimes, we don't really have a choice. Circumstances out of our control have placed us on one or the other. Keep in mind, I am not using this metaphor in regards to salvation. This is about life, the hard decisions we must make as believers, and the difficult seasons we may go through.

Many of us tend to hang tightly on to the idea of the heroic Jesus, trusting that He will pull us out of the thorns and overgrowth of life and place us on a clear path. After all, being a Christian is supposed to make life easier, right? In reality, however, Jesus doesn't always pull us out. Sometimes the most heroic and loving thing He does is let us struggle through it. What we can be confident in, is that we aren't alone. He pulls us along through the overgrowth for His Glory. I have to fix my eyes not on my circumstances, but Him who endured it all. The best road to take is seldom the easiest. We see this time and time again in the life of the prophet, Elijah. Here we go:

The stage is set in 1 Kings chapter 16. King Ahab has been leading the people of Israel into more heinous acts than any of the kings before him. Baal worship, human sacrifice, Asherah poles. You name it, he did it. In chapter 17, Elijah enters the picture saying, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” And so, Elijah brought Gods discipline down even at the cost of his own well-being. 

God, being super awesome, then led Elijah to a hidden brook where he would be dependent upon the Lord and a few ravens to bring him food. This story is so rich! Honestly, God could have ordered the ravens to feed Elijah anywhere. He specifically chose a location that would keep Elijah hidden away, resting, and dependent upon Him. There are so many times in our life when we are in the midst of a drought and we refuse to realize how much we actually need God. We push through the desert and go about living our lives as we wish, never giving Him a second thought until we are completely empty, broken, and dry.

Side note: As I did some research on the subject, I thought it was interesting that God used ravens, an animal considered unclean, to feed Elijah. God can honestly use anything, even things we perceive as inferior, to bring encouragement and nourishment. Even we, in our broken state, can be used for some good. Spurgeon said it best, "But see, too, how possible it is for us to carry bread and meat to God’s servants, and do, some good things for his church, and yet be ravens still!" 

Elijah rested there for some time, drinking from the brook and eating out of God’s hand. It wasn’t until the brook was completely dried up that God told him to move on. Can you imagine drinking from a drying brook? I wonder if there was conflict in Elijah’s heart. Do I take things into my own hands and look for somewhere else that will quench my thirst or do I trust that God will care for me? In my own life, I am an addict to change. I’m always itching for the future, eager to move on to something else. The moment I sense difficulty and my “brook drying up,” I seek out a new brook. If we were to embrace the painful waiting period, what qualities would that bring out in us? Long-suffering, patience, trust, faith, perseverance, endurance, and of course, a greater dependence on God. So often we ask God for these qualities and yet refuse to experience discomfort to gain them.

After Elijah’s beloved brook dried up, God led him to be cared for by a starving widow and her dying son. This guy can never catch a break! How will the Ravens feed him, the drying brook nourish him, and a starving widow care for him? Through an act of faith on her part, God provided for all of them for somewhere around three years. With the ravens, Elijah was alone with God. Now, God specifically brought Elijah into a place of fellowship where he would rest, be encouraged, and yet still be fully dependent on Him. Is it possible that God was preparing Elijah these three years for the infamous mountain top incident in the following chapters? (I'm not going to spoil the story, go look it up ;) )

When you find yourselves on the overgrown path or in a drought, God may be asking you to be dependent upon Him. Which to be honest, is extremely uncomfortable. Yet, with time, we realize there is nothing more comfortable or beautiful. He may be letting us go through this season to prepare us for our mountain top. Personally, I've been encouraged tremendously by Elijah's story and by focusing on the reality of Jesus' sacrifice, His strength to endure it for me, and His willingness to take the hardest road so I wouldn't have to walk through this life alone. As for Elijah, things are about to get really good, then awful, then really good again (I’d say fantastic actually). 

For now, this is where I leave you. If you are currently on the overgrown path wondering what you got yourself into, be encouraged. You are not alone and the Father is going to bring about great things in you and use you for even mightier things, if you lean on Him. If you are standing at the crossroads, be warned. The life of a Christian is not what most make it out to be. It was not designed to give you a free ticket to heaven and a white picket fence. It is full of pain and suffering. But it offers comfort, joy, peace, and the most adventurous, abundant life you could ever ask for. As William Wallace puts it, “Every man dies, but not every man really lives.” Are you part of the living?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Breathe. Rest. Pause.

"What people need to realize is that life comes in seasons. It can't be springtime year-round. We need to expect the coming season and be ready for it."

So, I'm getting ready. Again. Sometimes I feel as if God pushes the reset button on my life. Ouch, try again. Everytime he has to push it (usually because of mistakes made), I am renewed. That exhilirating feeling of a fresh start is quickly followed by knots in my stomach because frankly, I have no idea what i'm doing. I feel as though I am wandering around with my eyes shut making decisions as if I know what step to take next. How am I supposed to know the next step when I can't even see an inch in front of me?

Thank God He knows what He's doing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seven months later, and the lesson finally sinks in. How quickly can one get pulled into the depths by something (or someone) disguised in sheep's clothing. I am so grateful that I am no longer in the position to wear that yoke, and I pray for the one who fills it. Although it may have destroyed me, I am so thankful for what the Lord did. He loves me enough to pull me out of the pit. Only when one experiences true brokenness can one be rebuilt into His image. Praise the Lord for restoration!

Monday, September 12, 2011

"A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying--to others and to yourself." -Mr. Dostoevsky

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Oh Hello.
This time I have an excuse for the neglect, dear blog. I recently ventured on a trip to Indonesia, once again, through S.E.N.D. Ministries. Being one of the team leaders (shout out to Mark Thompson), I was responsible for the team blog. You can read about our trip here. Or, if you rather watch our update video, please enjoy it here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello again my dear friends. I don't know where to begin. Welcome to the chaos my own inconsistency has caused in this world of "blogging." In this past month and a half, God has rocked my world to say the very least. I have been standing on an unstable cliff side, terrified of falling, with closed eyes,wishing I was anywhere but on that edge. Or perhaps I've stepped out of my boat and began my walk on the changing waters. I prayed for the cliff side to be turned into a plain, for the water to become solid ground. Yet I chose that cliff, the cliff was just not ready to support me. I stood in a position that took faith to reach, yet my faith was too weak to sustain me. Fear rose up from the depths, the cliff side crumbled, and I began to sink. But being as faithful and gracious as our Lord is, He caught me in his wind. He reached out in compassion and pulled me to meet His face. And in that encounter, is where you meet me now. Staring boldly into the eyes of my Creator, seeing everything He sees for me.

At that, I would like to share with you what that next step is going to be. As you know, I am leading a team to Indonesia this summer for approx. three weeks. The Lord has been pouring out vision and divine appointments, now all we need is a team and the finances to go! But that is not the main reason I am writing you. I am writing to announce that upon my return to the states, I will begin the process of moving out to Decatur,Texas indefinitely alongside my sister Ashley and her husband Beto to serve the community,the church, and my family. My home church, Central Fellowship, has graciously offered my the position as their "in house missionary" and will continue to support me financially. There, I will be filling various needs as the Lords leads. As of now, I will be conducting all of the short-term missions under the covering of S.E.N.D. ministries, assisting in directing the Children's ministry, aiding the birth of a Christian coffee shop, organizing music events for said coffee shop, assisting in worship, and lifting up the arms of those involved in the youth ministry. God has equipped me in the last few seasons in so many different ways. I have been in a sponge-like state, soaking in all the experience and lessons put in front of me. Now, I am entering into a season of out pour. The Lord has asked me to take on the role of Joshua as he stood on the front lines, laying his life down first for the people around him. Not in a physical sense, but in a spiritual one.

So that is where you meet me, what His eyes have shown me. I am terrified and ecstatic simultaneously. Praise the Lord for finally reuniting my family! Pray that I may walk boldly in my calling and not begin to sink once again.


Copyright 2010 Je m'appelle Alaina.

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