Saturday, April 3, 2010


When I was 10 years old, my Grandma gave us each journals for Christmas. I remember she was quite pleased that she had come up with a title for each one's book, and an accompanying verse. She felt like God had helped her with it.

As you can see, mine was titled "Janelle's Journey" and the verse was Numbers 10:29.
She told us we should write in it about the important things in our lives...
I have written some in mine, but I am thinking at this point, for me, the journal gift is more about God's words to me, than about what I might put in it's pages. What He puts in the pages of my life, my "journey", far out-weighs what I could ever jot down on these pages. (Same thing goes for this blog!)
At the age of 10, I had no clue as to what this verse meant. I thought it was clever of Grandma to come up with "Janelle's Journey, Path's Of Paula, etc.
So far this book only holds my account, written to Abe, of how God brought me to the place of being certain that he was the one for me to marry. At some point, while writing in it, it seemed very uncertain that our marriage would come about, due to the testings that were coming against our relationship. It was the first time in my life that I encountered the perplexing dichotomy, that most of Christian life is about. Namely, having faith, and having all on the altar at the same time. God is so faithful to continue perplexing us, to get us intrigued enough to inquire into things, to begin seeking. What is this impossible position we are called to live in? Believing... and yet not leaning to our own understanding...
When our wedding plans were in the making, I had a strong feeling that there was a verse that God would have be "our" verse, that we would use on our invitations. I have no memory of how I landed on this one, I just remember it felt right to me, and Abe felt the same way.
Psalm 37:5
I know this post is not the continued story of our recent trip... actually it is the prologue.
Key words being "journey" and "it"...
I'll never forget, at a real crossroads time in my life, how the Lord spoke to me through a book I was reading. Here is what I heard:
(The setting was the wedding in Cana and Mary instructing the servants...)
""Whatever He says to you, that do." No more, and no less.
Mine is the doing, when He says the word.
HIS, is the bringing to pass."
I will always remember how I felt when suddenly I recalled our wedding invitation verse.
This whole thought and way of living has been revolutionary for me. It has changed my outlook on almost everything, especially what being a Christian is about.

At another time, during another crisis, I was driving along with my girls and an Annie Herring CD was playing...
"It is the journey that we walk in, that makes us more like us, or more like Him."
What I walk in, that's what decides who I become like. It does not matter how anyone else is walking, or what they are choosing. It is a very empowering feeling to really get it, that no one stands between me and God. No one has the power (or authority) to bar the way. I am not stuck because of anyone else's choices. Saying yes to God in my own heart WILL make me more like Him.
At some point, I remembered the journal from Grandma, stuck away in my trunk.
I am blown away by it all.
I am learning... that it's not the destination that makes the journey worthwhile. Michael Card sings, "There is a joy in the journey. There's a light we can love on the way. There is a wonder and wildness to life, and freedom for those who obey"
As the journey becomes a thing of wonder and joy to me, the destination dims, only to discover that God delights in destining us. The "it's" along the way surpass our unnamed hopes. It is truly the Father's GOOD pleasure to give us the kingdom. Since He knows us better than we know ourselves, in fact formed us, is it any wonder that He can give us what we never even knew we needed?
I am in the midst of discovering that God is too big for me. I was made in His image. He was not made in mine. He is too lavish for my liking. I wonder if the problem is, such lavishness calls forth an adequate response.
I am glad we are called to walk humbly with Him. There isn't any other way.
This arrangement if full of tokens that remind me of God's faithfulness and His intimate knowlege of me... of how He can take a journey, that feels like pilgrim's progress, and turn it into a vacation.
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