Friday, January 17, 2014

Take Refuge in Me

"What are we doing here Lord?" I cried out to God with tears...

It was the beginning of December and we had just gotten home from the DTS outreach we were leading.  We were tired. No, exhausted to be exact - on every level.  

Our girls were sick, and we had a big task looming over us - painting our whole house and moving all our possesions out of storage and into our new living space.  You see, we are new residents to a YWAM ministry called the Refuge House.  

Feeling overwhelmed I was flooded with emotions...
I suddenly missed my cozy home at the Lighthouse Community Center, with everything organized and in it's place.

I missed my missionary friends/neighbors living on-base there, the green grass and trees on the Lighthouse grounds, the lovely view of the mountains behind the hillside of slum homes, and most of all I missed the community - the beautiful children and families we know and love living in the slum.

I missed the familiar, the comfortable, and the predictable.  

I missed my comfort zone.

I missed the place, where I feel most at home here in Brazil, which was was my home for a total of five happy years. (Felipe lived there for almost a total of 10 years!)

I missed the ministry that kept me in Brazil in the first place and has dramatically impacted my own personal life, and the way I live and see the world.

I missed this special place that was such a huge part of our lives, the place that will forever be a key part of our stories as missionaries, as a couple, and a family.

As I felt broken and a swarm of emotions before God, I began to doubt our decision to move away from the Lighthouse.  
Have you ever doubted a decision that you know was completely 100% God led, but yet it does not "feel" so good when reality hits?
Well, that is exactly where I was at.

I asked the Lord, "Why are we here at the Refuge House?" 
I confessed that I really needed Him to speak to my heart.  I needed a word for our new season.

You see, we are in such a completely different season right now.  We have officially entered into an "in-between season" and it feels quite strange to be honest.  We have this exciting dream for the future that we are beginning to work towards, but we still have 2 years in Belo Horizonte as we prepare for our dream. It is to come, but is not yet.

So, "Bloom where you are planted" -right?
"Live fully in the now, not in the future."  

These are two phrases that keep running through my head. I want to live with purpose and "in the now" during this awkward in-between time.  I don't want to live with my mind in the future, but live today exactly where the Lord has me.

So, on this rainy day in December, as the drops fell from the sky, my tears also fell...  

As I poured out my heart before the Lord, I began to sense His presence and great love.  He is such a good and faithful Father. I spent some time just being still in the Lord's presence and reading His precious Word.  He led me to the Psalms where my eyes were drawn to previously underlined texts and suddenly the word "refuge" began jumping off the page at me. I knew God was speaking.

These words resonated with my heart and the place where I was...

Find rest, O my soul in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.

~ Psalm 62:5-8 ~

I sensed God speaking a special word,
 "Take refuge in Me."

I knew this was a word for me, for that specific moment, but also I felt God was answering my question about His purpose for our new season.  
God is calling me to take constant refuge in Him.

As I have been reflecting on the word "refuge," I stumbled across a blog online with a study about taking refuge in the Lord. This passage spoke to my heart on the subject.

God is calling me to find refuge in Him alone.
I am to hide myself in Him, seek to know Him more, and in this place, listen to Him speak to my heart in new ways.  The future and our dream will demand much work.  We will likely face many challenges and storms as we prepare and pursue to serve the Lord, but we are to continually hide away in Him and take refuge in Him every step of the way. This must be our priority.  

Every step of the way...

Even as I am processing this through writing, I see that I have been seeing this new season all wrong. I have been looking at it from a very practical standpoint, but God wants to use this time to prepare us spiritually as well.  We are to make Him our refuge and in this place of relationship and intimacy with Him, He will give us all we need.

It's a call once again to Himself. 
 He is always inviting and lovingly calling us.
Such a faithful, merciful, and relational God we have.  He cares more about being in a relationship with us than we can even fathom.

I decided to share this on our blog because this word has greatly comforted and encouraged my heart.  I wanted to document it here and proclaim that I want to live this.  By His grace alone, I want to daily purpose to take refuge in God.  May this declaration also serve as a kind of accountability and commitment to Him.

You may be wondering if I still miss the Lighthouse Community Center, our life there and the precious people from the slum, and yes, I most certainly do!  But, I look forward now. I choose to embrace this new season living in the Refuge House and accept this call from the Lord to take refuge in Him alone.
It's all for Him!  
All for His glory and kingdom! 

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
~Psalm 33:8~

Photo Credit: Kelly van den Brink

1 comment:

  1. In some ways, I feel as if I'm in the same place- in a state of "limbo" and "in between" seasons. Thank you Laura, you write beautifully and I needed to hear/read this.