Browsing Category: Strongholds

Lessons from a Schnauzer!

dscf1621If you happen to think you have things figured out enough in your life and that you and God are on the same page but for some reason you keep going round the mountain, give me a moment of your time to tell you my story. 

I went through this huge test–simply put–because I always think I know what’s best for me! However, that can come with some troubles, and I am ashamed to admit it, because surely by now I should know better (not fun to admit I’m am a slow learner.)  But I am going to risk some vulnerability because I have a feeling that I am not alone! Maybe you have a decision you are getting ready to make that could change the direction of your life. It could involve a serious relationship, a financial investment or job opportunity. Whatever it is let me urge you to read this somewhat humorous lesson and ponder its implications before you cautiously proceed. 

Determination! That’s me ever since I can remember. I have always been and still am a very investigative sort. Yes, that can be a great attribute when channeled in the ‘right’ direction. How else would we ever know that there are (for example) planets that are part of a ‘solar system’ and that we (planet Earth) belong to one of them? Unfortunately, in my life it has become a stronghold that has gotten me into lots of trouble and this spirit of independence has plagued me even as a more ‘mature’ Christian. You see when I get something in my mind, I am not easily deterred. One might just reason it away saying I lack common sense at times. But what I really need to have is a plan before taking action and remember how vital it is to have a witness of agreement with two or more to help discern whether or not I am really hearing from God.

You would certainly think that a few hard lessons would reign in this young lass who stepped out into some pretty bizarre situations. Like running away from home at 13 and again at 15 (not to return.) My younger years were strange years and I grew up rather quickly. Yes, I was rather impulsive.

Gratefully, I became a Christian at the age of 30 and God began His deep work in me as I have learned to surrender the many areas of my will with its baggage and consequences (and the deep pain in my heart) to the Lord.  I am learning that as it says in John 15:5 “I am the vine, You are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” And this is where I want to begin, now that you have some background.

Let me begin by honestly saying that I really am beginning to like who God is creating me to be. “Lord, please keep me teachable so I don’t quit growing!” I also add that there is a whole lot of refining to be done. As with all of us, I am in process and will be until Christ calls me home. So most of the time I really do appreciate what God is teaching me and doing in my life. Now here’s where I will reveal one of my strongholds to you–I still like to call the shots and think I know what is best for me. I forget Whose I am and Who knows best!

My husband and I now have a this dog who was a darling little puppy that I totally obsessed over until I got her. You see, after having to put down our sweet old “Chelsey” dog of 13 some years ago, and then putting down our inherited Sheltie (acquired from Jerry’s dad when he went home,) it was then time to get what I wanted and thought would be best for us to have. I have wanted a Schnauzer for a long time! So for two months after the Sheltie was gone I searched online high and low and researching as I went, for our Schnauzer. They are great dogs, smart, sturdy, healthy and cut too! My husband decided that he didn’t want any more pets (we also have a Siamese cat) insisting that when these were gone there would be no more. Yours truly persisted to convince him that we really should “try one on for size” assuming that he would just fall in love with her. I did pray about it, a lot. But let me confess, I did not wait on the Lord and like I always do, took matters into my own hands. Yes, Kimberly knows best. In July we acquired our first standard Schnauzer. A scrawny 3.5 month-old black female from Canada (Manitoba to be exact.) I even had her name all picked out before hand, Elsa, a good German name for a good German dog, and it means ‘God is my oath’.

So you ask “What’s the point?” Let me tell you how God has and continues to use this little dog to teach me some stuff! I have learned some vital stats about ‘Kimberly’, like don’t make me wait and don’t tell me no! And I have had to pay the price for my resistance to learn. Old Frank Sinatra may have sung the song but I keep living it out, ‘doing it my way’.

She is pretty cute don’t you think?

Our little Elsa is a smart little Fraulein and she really learns quickly the fun things. But…there is a very stubborn and determined side to her and as smart as she is she came with a few issues.

  • Coming off the farm, everything about city living scares her. (I should have named her Skiddles and when she first came through the door of the house, the cat greeted us as she always does and little Elsa freaked and poop literally went everywhere!)
  • She had a horrible case of round worm–yuck–that we had to deal with including diarrhea issues for several months and that was no pleasure to clean up! (Two doses of medicine took care of that and we were good to go although the vet blamed the kennel rearing–how would I know?)
  • We got her at 3.5 months which gave her head start in nurturing her strong will not to mention that the housebreaking took forever (we finally made headway at 7.5 months and they are supposed to be EASY to train!)
  • This little dog has a strong will that runs competitive with mine.

Argh–what have I done? Now I haven’t painted a very nice picture have I. So please, don’t get me wrong, she has her delightful moments and can be a lot of fun. It is just that there are a few hurdles we are going to have to jump through before it is all said and done. 

 So what’s all the fuss anyway? First of all, I forgot the time involved with a puppy. For a time and a season I have had to give up some pretty precious time that God and I spend together. I must say that that has been the biggest adjustment for me. Especially our first three months together. I have missed my time to write, read and study or do the little extra things around the house and I so look forward to once again being able to have time back. My mornings and evenings have involved puppy sitting while I try to read my Bible in between disciplining her for snatching the newspaper or pillow when I’m not looking. I know, this is all very typical puppy stuff.
I am also concerned that I am getting old and cranky! A few frustrating times of training–the experts always say don’t push it if you’re frustrated–have given way to some harsh reactions on my part. I hate that! And have had to cry out to God for forgiveness and mercy for being so harsh. I don’t want to ruin her sweet spirit and cause her to be afraid of me. That has been very hard for me to deal with. Who wants to think of themselves as a harsh disciplinarian? Firm and loving, that is the way.

As I conclude this I have realized that things are definitely getting better. (As she learns and I learn.) But for a time I thought what have I done, and am I going to regret once again demanding my own way and going ahead of God? The thoughts have come and gone regarding what we could have had if I had waited for God’s best. Like when the vet says his Schnauzer was house broken in short of two weeks at under two months old! Or will she ever get that “stay” is for her good and so is “come”. With all the deer in our yard I wonder what would happen to her the day she decides while off the leash, to chase one. Will I ever see her again? I know by heart the verses in Proverbs 3:5,6 that say,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

But I forget the rest of the story when I read verse :7

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.”

Ouch, the Proverbs can really make the tough calls! Old Solomon was in tune to his maker! So when will Kimberly realize that God, Abba, knows what’s best for His girl and that it is so much better to wait than to regret? His best is always for our best even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time or that is is just taking too long?

I pray that as God has redeemed the jump-start girl once again He alone can bring beauty from ashes. Our Elsa is learning and is now grown up. She has matured into a tremendous companion to me and my husband. The ride is slowing just a bit and as you can see I even have some time to do a bit of writing these days, yeah!

Well, if you can identify with my plight, let’s pray and ask God to give us what is ultimately His very best and nothing less and the courage and patience to wait on the Lord. Let’s pray

Pappa, once again I jumped ahead of You and You have gently reminded me that Father knows best! I really do want to give You my strong will and I also want to give You that part of me that thinks I know what is best for me. You know how impatient I can be when I don’t get my way. Just let me learn this time as I surrender. Thank you for your word in Isaiah 40:31 that says we really do gain great strength from waiting upon You. Mounting up with wings like eagles, running and not becoming weary and walking without fainting. What a promise awaits those who are willing to hold on for Your best. I want that and I am so tired of the learning curve as I traipse around the mountain again and again in this area. Please deliver me and give me the courage to stand fast as I wait on You, in Your powerful Name, Amen!

It’s the Right Thing to Do!

I recently received a revelation dealing with relationships. More specifically in dealing with relationships between believers. I am pretty certain that we all have been in the situation where we have either had an injustice done to us by a brother or sister-in-the Lord or we see these things being done to another. I don’t know about you but my first reaction is “how could they, and they call themselves Christians.” Honestly, like it or not we have all been on either side of the situation.

Before I continue, I want to put in a disclaimer. As I was laying in bed last night the Lord prompted me to do so because some of you are going to react negatively to this…I am not referencing people who have issues with being abusive, neglectful, or controlling. I do address the issue of confronting one caught in sin later. I am saying that all of us at some time or another have either mistreated or observed one who has mistreated or taken advantage of a brother or sister-in-the-Lord. If you want to discuss this further with me please feel free to email me personally. I do understand!

It really takes a person that is mature in their walk to respond correctly–in love and with grace–to a situation like this. Most of the time we begin to rally the troops, spread the scenario around like jam so it gets good and sticky and makes the offender out to be a horrible person. Even though they really aren’t horrible but have treated another horribly.

You have to love when the Holy Spirit does a number on you as you enter into the battle zone and suddenly you are heavily impressed upon to see the error of the way you are thinking and responding toward an offender. (I will call the person an offender simply because they mistreated another brother or sister-in-the-Lord.)  In a particular situation, my first reaction was to stir the pot of gossip…do you know what so-and-so just did…I can’t believe they treated _______ like that!

Don’t we typically think that Christians wouldn’t treat each other that way? Come on, that es a wrong assumption. Let’s face it, we all walk in the flesh from time to time but the bottom line is we shouldn’t. Here is a passage of Scripture that hits this on the mark:

Galatians 5:13-16

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

And the fruit of the Spirit is, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…It is so easy to ignore some of the fruit, “longsuffering”, “kindness” and especially (for me that is) “self-control”. If we believe our instruction manual, it rather looks as though we have an obligation to one another, don’t you think?

Let’s go to an interesting story in the Old Testament where we see Noah enjoying the fruit of his labor, from his vineyard.

Genesis 9:20-24

Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him.

At this point Noah has done something foolish and been found out by his youngest son Ham. Ham then goes and make issue of it with his brothers Shem and Japheth. But they, instead of embarrassing their father, chose to cover his nakedness. As a cross reference to verse 21 we read in Proverbs 20:1 that “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.” The two brothers were looking out for their father’s reputation and they wouldn’t even look upon him in his embarrassing state.

Let me ask you, have you done foolishly as a believer? There are many scenarios in my mind that I can replay that I sure wish weren’t there. Times where I opened my mouth and inserted my foot and wished I could take back what was said. You see, if we love God and love others then we need to take this new command and live it out, first with our brothers and sisters. In our own eyes we might look better, we might be a better “Christian” or maybe we are the somebody that really needs to set that person straight! This from Proverbs really speaks loudly to me

Proverbs 6:16-19 (ESV) “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers”.

Now I can hear someone say wait a minute. Are you saying that we don’t expose their sin? There is a mandate on how to handle that. In Matthew 18 it talks directly of confronting one caught in sin. But before I go there I better be sure that the log is out of my eye and my motives are only out of love and for the betterment of my brother or sister.

I wonder what happens when a non-believer witnesses the correct response to the outrageous behaviour of another beleiver? I would like to think they see one who loves God and loves others. Not bringing shame to the offender and not being antagonistic or a false witness. Although, I confess that this is still not easy stuff to appropriate! For the worldly way and our natural tendency is self-motivated but the Christlike way is selfless. The world says to expose, embarrass and sling the insults because it makes us appear better and they the fool. Christ’s way is just the opposite, we do not damage the reputation of our brother or sister.

So I’m certain I won’t pass every test that comes along in this area. But, when I do act correctly and look out for the well-being of a brother or sister-in-the Lord, as obnoxious as they can be, I have peace with myself and God.  And interestingly enough even with that offensive person.

Father God, these aren’t easy lessons to learn but this is a battle I want to win for Christ’s sake. I ask for wisdom and discernment to quicken immediately within me so I can see when I am headed in the wrong direction with my thinking. When I feel like I have every right to be angry at someone for whatever reason, let me hear Your still small voice speak “not I, but Christ..” We are not in this to win battles but to win others to Christ and to exhibit Christ’s love in all kinds of situations in life. How else will they know we are different? Like the old song says, “they will know we are Christians by our love…” Thank you for teaching me these hard lessons and giving me the heart’s desire to love You and love others. I surrender once again my right for Your will. In the powerful, life-changing name of Jesus!

Pleasing God or Man…Where do You Stand?

I want to look at a couple of things that can really impact my effectiveness for Christ.  

  • If I am tuning in to what God’s will is for my life, then I am going to have to know His voice and respond in obedience when He calls.
  • By getting to know and recognize His voice I should be able to detect when the enemy comes along to pull me off track.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

John 10:27

Am I willing to forego pleasing men to be in the will of my Father? 

There are times it seems that so many things pull and vie for my attention and all I really want to do is what my Father has called me to do.  But, there is this voice over here that says how good I might be at that task or asking me if I could serve on this committee; and there was that burning desire in my heart to take up that cause so near and dear to me.  Oh, there are so many things that are calling my name. But then there are also the negative voices that say you are crazy if you think that you can do that or go there, or you are so unqualified to be even thinking of doing that job. But, I just want to please my Father. 

God can call us to do some pretty out-of-the-box things that people sometimes do not see as ‘God’ things. How would you respond to a friend who decides to move to the inner city to minister with a group of like-minded folks who see the lost and hopeless as another facet of God’s treasure? I don’t just mean a two week stint, I mean until further notice thiswill be the residency of that friend and his/her family? You might respond by saying that they are just too radical and throw all the ‘what if’s’ at them.  Would you try to convince them that they should not be thinking of doing such a crazy thing after all consider your family? And you might fire right off with whether they were really certain that it was God’s voice that they were responding to, right? These do seem to be pretty valid questions! 

I absolutely love when I run into or hear of someone who is so sold out and convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are doing just what God has called them to do, radical or not.These are people who care about one thing and that is being obedient to their God-calling! The coolest part of this is that amazing things can happen when we are obedient to our calling. 

The flip side of this is when we succumb to the nay-sayers that keep us from taking that step forward instead consider man’s opinion over God’s calling, even if we know we are capable. On the other hand, you may appear to be totally unqualified according to man’s standards and yet God calls you in spite of your lack of qualifications and you do something you never imagined that you could do. 

This happened to me a few years ago when our church lost our worship arts director.  She was a gem that the Lord brought to us to usher in contemporary worship. Our church decided to hold two services, one traditional and one contemporary. Her husband, after three years with us was called to serve at a different church and we were left without our worship arts director.  She had asked me several times if I were interested but I just never believed I was qualified. I have minimal musical training but I love to worship. That was all I had to go on. After much persuasion and prayer I finally succumbed to the request and really gave it my best for a year. Friends, emotionally, it was one of the most difficult years I have ever had, I believe, primarily, because I allowed the varying comments of too many to cause me to doubt that I was doing what I was called to do. This affected the team, who lost confidence in me and began to resist my direction. It was a horrendous year emotionally and I have often wondered if I became too concerned with making the team members happy, or did I just not belong in that position? After all I was only there until someone came on board who was a ‘true’ director? I prayed and sought the Lord big time! I love the element that worship brings to the Sunday service and I love to worship, and I so wanted this to work out of my worshiper’s heart, but I leaned more on people’s varied opinions instead of my Father’s direction. I remember screaming out loud one morning, “Lord, I just want to please You!”  Well, circumstances at home would present a difficult summer ahead and I resigned the position after a year to be available to my mother who spends the summer with us. God knew I would not have the time required for the job and that I would be needed at home and frankly, it was a huge relief! 

At the radio station where I work, we run into so many opinions from our listeners and music is the subject that causes the most dissension. Some years back, we had a difficult time when we clearly felt the Lord was calling us to change our music emphasis to primarily praise and worship. We were headed for a top 40 Inspo format and three of us distinctly heard the calling from the Lord to open the music format up to praise and worship. Yes, it was different and yes, most stations were not going in that direction. Our calling was to raise a canopy of praise over northern Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario. We were called to help usher in the presence of the Lord in a very hardened and dark region. We definitely ruffled feathers and  it would have been much easier to try to flex to fit the opinion of many listeners. But the risk in compromise is that you lose sight of your calling for the ministry and what it is that God wants to do. We have to remember our focus, our calling, our purpose and that God, the creator of the universe, has positioned us to accomplish His purposes and His voice is really the voice we need to be listening to, not the opinions of hundreds of people who may or may not know what that calling is. Yes, it is difficult and people can be hurt or upset if when we do not consider their opinions. 

So why is it so…hard to move in God’s direction? Most of us want to be loved and accepted and I do not know anyone who likes rejection, but if you are doing what you are called to do you very likely will take some heat for choosing to please God instead of man. But, how precious are the words of our Father as we read of the parable of the servants who tended to their master’s business while he was off in another country!

Matthew 25: 20-21  “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

Father, I love You so much and I truly want to ‘dance’ for You and serve You with all my heart.  But sometimes I hear voices that cause me to second guess whether I am doing the right thing.I am asking that You help me to know You more and to recognize Your voice when You call me to do Your will. I so want to hear you say well done, Kimberly; you have served Me well…enter into the joy of your Lord!”  Your word says in Proverbs 16:7 that “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”  The rewards for walking in obedience to Your calling are well worth the difficulty that can come when we are a God pleaser!  Thank you for giving me the courage to press on for Christ’ sake and in His name!

A Sacrifice of Praise

“I really don’t want to go there!”

“What’s to praise in this situation?”

“You’ve got to be kidding; worship when I feel the way I do?”

Have you ever been at that place where you were devastated by a situation, at the height of frustration and wondering how will you ever get turned around from thinking there is no hope, and will the end of a situation ever come? I don’t know about you, but I don’t like conflict and I don’t like when things get messy because I can’t see the way out while being in the thick of it.

When I’m frustrated and put out, my first response has been to build a wall and gather my defenses. But God has shown me over the past few years that it is out of my insecurities that I respond that way when hurt or devastated. After all, who wants to admit that “I” am wrong when it’s easier to say “they” are wrong? I don’t want to admit that I am insecure.Nyborg  0037

God began to gently show me a few things about myself a few years back that He has used to teach me and grow me up a bit. But I had to get to that place where I was willing to look inwardly at the messy stuff in my heart. When we give ourselves over to His redeeming work, He then has permission to start messing with and exposing things that are deficits and have taken up residence for far too long in our hearts.

Worship has been a tremendous tool that God has used in my life over the past several years. As I would draw closer to Him with the desire to get to know Him more, I began to see myself for who I really was. As I pulled in closer to God, I saw His majesty and my yucky, messy self–just like that passage I love in Isaiah 6 where Isaiah gets the vision of God seated on the throne. Isaiah saw how unclean and sinful he really was.

Isaiah 6:5 (The Message paraphrase) reads, “I said, ‘Doom! It’s Doomsday! I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted–blasphemous even!  And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I’ve looked God in the face! The King!’”

It was a rude awakening, for sure, and that gentle revealing helped me see that the root of insecurity came from not really understanding the holiness of the God I chose to serve or my identity in Jesus Christ. You cannot walk a certain way if you do not understand or know that way. Those were some tough realizations. But then I began to sense a shift taking place in my heart as I saw myself for who I really was and then understood that Christ came to change all of the old into the new. We can have a whole lot of knowledge but never apply it.  A lot of good that does! I could see how I had become one of those weak women that Timothy talks about in 2 Timothy 3:7 “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” To put it mildly, I didn’t like what I saw but was now ready to do something about it.

Sacrifice –– it is a big word with a meaning that is sometimes glossed over. It is the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable. So is it possible that relinquishing my old behavior in exchange for His peace could be seen as my sacrifice of praise? Would I be willing to lay down my old self and offer up that praise offering, even my old, comfortable self?

Hebrews 13:15 says “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”

Is there anything stirring within your heart that needs a readjustment? If you sense discontentment then it is time to draw near to the heart of the Perfect One who will show you what needs to be offered up in exchange for something so much better!

It only takes a glimpse of the Holy One to see yourself as you really are, desperately in need of a Savior. As I glance back at that time in my life, I can surely praise His name for allowing me to be uncovered to discover that I had to let go of who I was and embrace Christ in me, the hope of glory. The “new” that is growing in me helps me to see just how great He really is. With excitement I can sing, “To God be the glory, great things He has done.” (and continues to do!)

Identifying Blocked Goals in Our Life

Strongholds, although this word can be seen as a save place or refuge, it is also the opposite where a certain mindset is used to hold us captive and when used as in the latter a stronghold just might be preventing us from living the abundant life.

Let’s begin by thinking about blocked goals. You know, the times when we set our sights on something like marrying our high school sweetheart but then he ran off with your best friend.  Or maybe like me you always wanted to be a teacher, even as a little girl, but things got in the way and when you finally decided to go to college your husband said no (not to college but to traveling over 200 miles each day to attend classes.) And maybe your child had such a caring heart for others and you really saw them becoming a missionary someday but they got into trouble along the way and have yet to find their way back into the church body. These are things that can really take the wind out of our sails and cause some deep-seated resentment toward God or others. The story of my prodigal has served to teach me many lessons that have been extremely painful and even drove me to temporarily delve into unbelief and hopelessness. 

My youngest son was difficult from the get-go. By kindergarten he was already having problems on the bus and with all authority figures. It is a long story but to bring you up to speed and when I suffered the biggest disappointment was over six years ago now. While sitting in jail and under my influence, he opted to see if the judge would let him go to Teen Challenge, in hopes of getting the help he needed to get his life straightened out. The judge court ordered him there and we were holding our breath thinking that this is it, this kid is finally going to turn things around. Teen Challenge is a twelve-month plus program that I really do believe in because they have proven very successful at helping anyone who is ready to help themselves recover from whatever it is that got them in the program! My son pulled himself out after seven and a half months and it was just like I was socked in the gut. I just knew this was the answer for my guy and that it would bring him back to the Lord and I was devastated. I wanted to throw my arms in the air and tell God that I give up, that’s it and that he is hopelessly lost. I really hope to never revisit this place again. 

Let me say that pitfalls like the blocked goal described above can turn into your times of preparation!  It can be a time of tilling the hardened soil around the heart. In a Bible study that I did many years ago called “Trials, Don’t Resent them as Intruders” the author, Juanita Purcell said this and it has stuck with me:

“Faith does not grow on a smooth road without obstacles.  However, we must view trials as steppingstones—not stumbling blocks.  Each trial we pass through should help us climb a little higher and draw us closer to Christ.”

We all have dreams that have been soured. And my prodigal’s situation is a perfect example of obvious disappointment. It is situations like this that the enemy uses us to render us hopeless! When we are in a hopeless mode it can lead to depression and depression is many times anger turned inward, a blocked goal. The plan didn’t develop the way that I thought it should have or would have if only…He had taken the road I knew would bring healing to his wounded spirit. What I found though, was that this was a lesson for me. You see God wanted me to know Who was in charge. And it wasn’t me! 

I am very grateful for an amazing little group of people who I pray with almost every week and we have met for going on eleven years. They are my prayer partners and accountability group and I thank God for them often. They played a big role in helping me to get back to believing that God would make a way where there seems to be no way.  For a good couple of months it was like I was numb. With their tough love and words of encouragement I soon found myself back on the journey of faith. It is certainly easy to see how I could have continued on the downward spiral of unbelief and become very bitter and angry. I could have missed out on walking in my kingdom purpose. 

Faith is where I need to rest when it comes to my goals being prohibited. 

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJ)

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Do I trust God with the unknown?  Can I trust Him when circumstances take a different path than I anticipated?  Will I be able to admit that I am not in control and that there is Someone much greater and more trustworthy than I could ever be?  Who knows the beginning and the end and what is best? 

Father, I am so guilty of trying to step in and take charge but then so disappointed when my way didn’t quite turn out as I expected.  What I need to do is take a deep breath and then open the Word and look at the many times You were faithful to those whom You called Your own.  Faithful even when they didn’t deserve Your favor but Your judgement.  It is rock solid truth that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Right now I am choosing to trust in You.