Thursday, 2 February 2017

Walking it out...

It's been almost two weeks since I left all I knew to go where the LORD has called us.  My days have been up and down.  At times I have wondered oh no what have I done, I could be here for two years or more.  But my time is in His hands.  I have shed many tears missing...



my neighbourhood

my church community

everything I knew

the normalcy of my life as I knew it  

This card hangs on our fridge to remind me of what is true.

There are many things in life that we grieve, it's not just the loss of a loved one.  All through life there are losses that we must face and experience.  It is a passage, not a place to stay and I have to remind myself that when the tears come, it's not weakness or's love that brings on those tears.  You can only grieve what you have loved and lost. 

My second night here I had an awful dream.  My husband and I were driving somewhere and suddenly he grabbed his chest, he was having a heart attack.  Fear and panic set in and I said to him, no, you can't leave me, you can't leave me!  Yet at the same time these words came to my mind as well, no, God is my ROCK, He is my ROCK, no matter what.

And it's true, He is my ROCK.  He doesn't call me here and leave me, He is with me.  It is He who guides my steps.  At times those steps will be filled with joy, other times sadness and pain. This journey, this life I live is a mixture of both joy and sorrow, you can't have one without the other.  

I said to my husband the other day that when it comes time to leave this place...when God calls us back, I want to have the same feelings of sadness as when I left my home to come here.  I want my heart to have rooted here in this community. 

The other morning I was reading Hebrews 13: 20 - 21, beautiful verses that speak God's love.  "Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  

Jesus...that GREAT SHEPHERD, those words jumped out at me. He is my GREAT SHEPHERD...your GREAT SHEPHERD and the GREAT SHEPHERD of the men here at the Village of Hope.  He is the One who can refresh my soul.  The One who can guide me along the right path.  Even when I walk through the darkest of valleys, I need not fear for He is with me.

And so I know I'll be alright here because I can trust that He has led my husband and I here.  Life is different but He is here and it is good.   Most week nights my husband and I eat with the men, one of them works in the kitchen and makes the meals. And I think that's pretty cool, I feel blessed to be a part of their lives, even if it's only a small part.  I pray that each one of them who walks onto this property will know that Jesus wants to be their GREAT SHEPHERD.

Things to be thankful for...

3068.  Encouraging call from a man at church
3069. A day at home
3070. Dinner and fellowship with my family
3071. Visit and tea with a friend
3072. Gift from my sister-in-law and family...pepper grinder :-) 
3073. Homemade muffins from Kierra for our trip
3074. Peaceful morning at home on my last day
3075. Beautiful card from mom
3076. Heart felt goodbyes
3077. Prayer from friends, vehicle issues resolved 
3078. Safely at our new home

3079. A vase of flowers and groceries at our new home...settling in
3080. Beautiful surroundings
3081. Saw two foxes this morning
3082. Nice chat with Jocelyne
3083. Meeting the guys at the Village of Hope
3084. Quiet night with my husband
3085. God is my ROCK
3086. Church service at the Village
3087. Meeting new people
3088. A new day
3089. Fox running across the yard
3090. Bright morning sunshine
3091. Good meeting
3092. Dinner with the guys
3093. Chat with Charissa
3094. Working in the office
3095. Good chat with Matt
3096. Matt loves learning
3097. Everything encased in ice

An ice storm came through the Village of Hope last Tuesday and the next morning everything was encased in ice.  The slender birch trees were bent over, many the tops touching the ground.  It was a picture of many of the men who come to the Village, weighed down by wrong choices, brokenness and shame - bent but not fully broken.  I am reminded of Matthew 11: 28 - 30; "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  As these men face the tough choices it takes to follow Jesus, believe His truths and walk in His ways, they will be like the birches, the ice slowly falling from their branches, freed to stand tall.

3098. God's hand in the mens lives
3099. Meeting some kids at the Village
3100. Video chat with Will, Amy and Lily
3101. Seeing Lily's beautiful smile
3102. Video chat with Charissa
3103. Input from Matt
3104. My husband
3105. Warm sunshine on my face
3106. Euchre with the guys
3107. Call from Matt, his kindness
3108. Visit with Evan, Kara and April
3109. Our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep
3110. My husband's care for my heart
3111. Games night with the guys
3112. Facetime with Will, Amy and Lily
3113. Jocelyne over for a visit
3114. Took a couple short hikes

3115. Knitting
3116. Good nights sleep
3117. Church service
3118. Getting to know new people
3119. Walk in the sunshine
3120. Talk with mom
3121. A call with friends
3122. Productive day with Erica
3123. Watching the guys floor hockey game
3124. A good day
3125. Beautiful, sunny winter's day
3126. Video call with Amy & Lily
3127. Walk on a super cold sunny morning
3128. Sunshine glistening on frost covered trees

3129. Quiet day at home
3130. Delicious dinner at Frank and Linda's
3131. Gorgeous winter morning
3132. Sun glistening on the snow

3133. God working through people to accomplish His purposes
3134. Visit with Kara and April

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