Have you ever gazed up into the sky to see a cloud formation that you could swear looks like a frog or your favorite animal? If you haven't, I encourage you to go stare at the sky (during the day) till you see something. A long time ago, I was the leader of a girls ministry that was similar to Girl Scouts. I'll never forget the lesson that had us to go outside and cloud gaze. It was such a fun time with the girls, which most of them remember vividly to this day.
This afternoon I was alone because my husband had to work the late shift at work. I did a few things around home and then couldn't take it anymore and had to get outside. I grabbed my knitting, my cell and headed out the door. My van stopped just inside the parking lot of our local recreation park. I decided I'd go enjoy some time on the swings. Originally I had planned on knitting while I swang, but when I got there I felt like God was urging me to spend some time alone with Him. So I found the 'perfect' swing, which coincidentally was the one that squeaked the loudest, and began to swing my legs and pull that swing higher and higher.
For a little while, I watched a young family play frisbee on the baseball field. I laughed at the thoughts of the teen boys asking who "that girl" was as I walked by. Sometimes it's nice not to be called ma'am. ;-) But then a set of birds flew by and the skyline caught my attention. I began breathing in that fresh mountain air and noticed that it wouldn't be long before the sun would be well below the mountains that surrounded me. For a brief second, I felt like someone was watching me from behind. I turned my head in an attempt to see if someone was around me, but didn't see anyone. As I looked back forward, the sky got my attention; more specifically the clouds got my attention.
There in a large cloud formation was something that looked like my beloved childhood dog, Ginger. But this Ginger had wings ! LOL. I chuckled outloud and told God, "Very funny!". Then I heard very clearly, "I care enough to want to make you laugh and to see you smile.". It's amazing what happens when you spend time with God and don't expect anything. You just come with an open heart and mind. I didn't come with any specific requests and I wasn't seeking answers. It was all just about spending time with my Father alone in the park this evening.
God's been teaching me some amazing things this week. I began reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I'm part of a book club that's reading this book right now. What an amazing book it is! I'm taking my time, absorbing it's words and letting God teach me through it. There's a few online videos in the first chapter that the author directs you to watch. After watching the last one, I just felt impressed to let my Wednesday night girls class watch it. The video is mainly focused on a call to salvation, but it's not the typical salvation video. The video helps you to think about your relationship with God, how amazing this life really is, and how no one leads an ordinary life. It explains some of the main principles of the Bible and God's love for us.
After the girls watched the video, I could tell that God was working on hearts and we discussed a few things. I felt God's leading, so I gave the girls a challenge for this week. Their challenge was to take a few minutes out this week (especially during a hard moment), go outside or to their bedroom window, pick something to focus on (a bird, a tree knot, etc.), tell God their need for Him, and wait. I challenged them to allow God to show up and let them feel His presence. I went on to explain that I couldn't tell them what they'd feel, but for me when I ask God to do this, I feel like a little girl climbing up into my daddy's lap like I did when I was a kid.
All of a sudden, I noticed tears running down the cheeks of one of my girls. I paused for a moment and asked God to take over. I walked over slowly to the crying girl and comforted her. I'm not sure what I said, but soon another girl was crying. Before I got around the room to her, tears started forming in another's eyes. It kept on like this till the whole room of girls was crying. As much it pained me to see them crying, I knew that God was definitely in our midst and He was working on their little hearts. God was using this time to allow them to open up and let some feelings out. I went around to each one of them and just let whatever God wanted to come out of me. I held them as they shared things and cried some more. The girls began to love on each other too. I really saw God in that room.
All this time, I've been asking for God to show me where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. But I had it all wrong, I didn't need to be the one to show up, it was Him who needed to be allowed to show up. I still can't pinpoint what was different about this particular night, but all I know is that God was the only thing that mattered in those moments; moments that flew by so quickly. Wow what a blessing it was to be a part of it all!
I believe that God opened up this time with the girls to draw me closer to Him. I can't do anything without Him. I've been so concerned lately with discipline issues and finding the right curriculum for these girls. But I now realized that God can cure any discipline issue I'll ever have with them. The problems and issues that surround these girls are greater than I knew and God alone is their answer. I simply just need to point them in the right direction and to encourage them along the way. This past week has put a passion and a love in me that I haven't felt in a long time.
Thank you Abba for showing me Your grace and mercy. Thank you for wanting to see me smile. Thank you for the girls you've placed in my care. Thank you for allowing me to see Your glory. Thank you for helping my girls to let their feelings, fears, and tears flow out. I pray that I would ever seek You in the difficult and the good times. Blessed be Your Name. A Name Above All.