God has been speaking Matthew 16 :25 into my heart the past few weeks.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
I have fought this verse tooth and nail since I was a kid. I have fought so hard against everything that I have gotten myself into more horrible situations. In my marriage, in my finances, in my health...everything. I believe that we are people who want to make things happen for ourselves. We want to fix things. We want to lead ourselves out of battle. We want to fight the battles with our own weapons. We want to be the hero. Or we think we are capable of being the hero.
I spent many years trying to manipulate my husband into something he wasn't ready to be or ready for. I spent many years spending money on things to fill an empty soul and then I would get mad at the world when I didn't have anything left to pay bills. I would eat my way into a coma and wonder why I couldn't shake my food addiction. I would turn to it every time I felt alone or scared and never give a moment in between craving and eating.
It wasn't until about 4 years ago that someone spoke something into my life that has changed me. A friend was listening to me talk really bad about my husband and his character and why he isn't this or why he doesn't do that...and she just looked at me and said..
who do you think YOU are?
Praise God for that friend.
my whole entire being has changed since that day. I began to look at my life as not my own. Perhaps there was a reason for all of this, all the bad and all the good. Perhaps I was fighting against my own story. Perhaps I was fighting battles when I didn't even look up to see that there was a whole entire war going on and if I would just turn my entire life over to Jesus and let him fight for me, I would be assured 100% of the victory.
It has been a BIG battle in my heart to turn my marriage over to Jesus. To let Jesus work on my husband while I sit and do nothing? It wasn't until a few days ago that I had a BIG revelation about submission to husband, submission to Christ...
Its for our benefit.
God gives a chain of command that frankly when I think about it hard enough, is a big relief. It means that God loves me so much that he doesn't want me to fight all the battles myself. He loves me so much that he assures me that if I am in a joyful accordance with my husband, he will work all things for my good, EVEN IF MY HUSBAND MAKES BAD CHOICES. And he has been faithful to make all things work for my good and along the way he has changed my ugly, prideful, arrogant heart into a soft, beautifully weak spirit who is now in constant awe and submission because it always is to my benefit. I see that now. I see how when we cry our way up to the altars on Sunday mornings...when we simply say God I am so tired of this I can not seem to walk one more step, he begins to move.
It just takes that one moment of submission in our hearts to allow God to move.
So I am sitting here in awe of how long it actually took for my art to reach the point it has. I started this whole thing because God said to. I painted stuff and sold stuff and cried every time I sold something. I treated my people with as much integrity and patience and grace as I had in me and decided that I wanted nothing to do with anything in this world if my God wasn't in it. If he didn't want it, I don't care how much money there was in it, I didn't want it.
So I just sat back and did nothing. And I felt that some people thought I was crazy. The business people. What do you mean you aren't seeking out opportunities to do guest posts and why aren't you paying for ads and why aren't you begging for followers. I didn't feel it was my journey. God didn't tell me to do it. I watched as people built shops and got opportunities and I just stayed in faith that God had a plan and if he asked me to participate, I would. But he just told me to keep painting. Keep making pretty things...
so that's where I am at. On the verge of a dream come true, opportunities have presented themselves and I did nothing for it but remain in faith and be obedient in the small things. Treating people well, speaking truth and love, tithing and honoring God with my first fruits. Trusting him when I saw disaster coming. Making a pact with Jesus that I would get out of the boat. I would go wherever and do whatever he wanted and do it his way because lets be honest, I only want to do it his way. I want my testimony to reach the most people so the good news can be shared, the good news of Gods unfailing love and hope and healing and I wanted to make sure I would be in a position to make the most money so I could give the most money. Its just my heart. I want to make a lot so I can give a lot. that's the truth.
I want to encourage someone today to remain in faith. To remain in the storm. To smile at the storm raging over your head and to crack a smile at Satan when he tells you its gonna get real real bad... I want to encourage someone to ask God to speak Matthew 16 :25 into their hearts in a new way. I want to encourage someone to let every single plan they have for themselves go and go on a very wild whirlwind adventure with Jesus that will be so incredible, it will be remarkable. it will be so wild and crazy that you wont be able to help lift your hands in worship. It will be so crazy good that you will not be able to even understand it.
I'm so glad I don't have to write my own story, it could never be this good.