When Jesus is enough

At the beginning of 2021, my husband and I sat down with our children and made personal goals for the year. I remember these words “be more present” repeating over and over in my mind. As I listened to the words, I asked God for confirmation. The next several weeks were silent. As my relationship with Jesus grew, I began to understand His silence is intentional, He was going to reveal His plan for me in His timing.

As I continue to grow close to Jesus, I love His unconditional and unwavering love for me. I love His desire to have a relationship with me. I love that He wants all of me. I love that He wants to show me all the wonderful things He has created for me.

A few weeks after the words “be more present” came to me, my husband and I started talking about my role in our family. I worked full time as a cardiac nurse and the stress of working through COVID was wearing on me. I was upset, angry, and disappointed in our health care system. I struggled with my role as a wife and mother. I felt emotionally unavailable for those most important to me. My job took all of me and I had nothing left to give. My husband suggested that I quit work so I can “be more present” at home and with our family. My heart was ready.

I knew this was God, so I said, “Yes, Lord”.

“Peace, sweet peace as His gentle voice reaches out to me. Sweet Peace, holds me when I’m broken.” https://youtu.be/uW6xcmqfiY4 (lyrics from “Peace” by Bethel Music)

I turned in my notice at work and I prayed. I worshiped. I bowed down as I was still. One month later, I got a phone call that my ex-husband, the biological father of my oldest two children, my abuser, had passed away. I was unsure of how I was supposed to feel knowing the man who abused me for years and left scars that I still deal with today was dead. Even though were were without contact for the past 13 years, I still worried about how my oldest two would handle this news.

Would they feel like they never had closure?

Would they question our (mine and my husband, Brant’s) decision to keep them out of his life to keep them safe?

I was angry. Here again, he was causing pain and uncertainty in our life. How was I going to protect them?

I felt God wrapping His loving arms around me as He gently whispered, “Pray, worship Me, be still and let Me take care of this.”

I said, “Yes, Lord.”

My husband and I spent the next month, along with our family and friends, praying over Hunter and Kayla, asking Jesus to prepare their hearts for this news.

As we waited and prayed, I loved having this time with my sweet husband and amazing family and friends. The love and encouragement we received was a precious reminder of how much we need others and how we are not designed to walk alone in our trials. I began thanking Jesus over and over that He removed the distraction of my JOB so I could have this time to “be more present”. A month later we told the kids the news and Jesus met us there, holding us as we talked over everything.

Was this why God had asked me to “be more present”? Little did I know, there was more…

A few weeks after we settled in with the news about Hunter and Kayla’s biological father and worked through our feeling and emotions, I get a call from my sister that my mom was on her way to the hospital. She was having left sided weakness and we soon found out that she suffered a stroke. The MRI revealed a brain tumor. They started prepping her for surgery.

That same week I would drop my oldest off at college for the first time.

I remember leaving a piece of my heart in Knoxville, Tennessee and worrying about not being able to be near. To protect him. So many emotions were overwhelming me as I grieved my son leaving home at the same time worrying about the outcome of my mom’s health.

God says, “Give him to me.”

And I said, “Yes, Lord.”

After leaving my son to start his freshman year at UT Knoxville, I say my goodbyes to my husband and two daughters as I drove to NC to be with my mom. She was having surgery that day to remove the brain tumor.

Jesus again whispers, “Talk to me, worship me” as I made the two hour drive, alone.

And I said, “Yes, Lord.”

I got to the hospital, the tumor was successfully removed, but she was left with left sided paralysis. Her memory was also slowly slipping from dementia. Here is a woman who was left broken from her pasted and never experienced love growing up. She never knew how to love. She too grew up unwanted and unloved.

Jesus says to me, “Go serve her.

And I said, “Yes, Lord.”

As I bathed my mom and started washing her feet, I started thinking of the story where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.

I was reminded in that moment the power of forgiveness. Jesus says, “Love her, serve her.

And I said, “Yes, Lord.”

God is love. His love is perfect. God pursues us, even when we are not searching for Him.

I am reminded of a song by Rita Springer, “Defender”. The lyrics say:

“You go before I know, that You’ve gone to win my war, Your love becomes my greatest defense, It leads me to dry wilderness…And all I did was pray, all I did was worship, all I did was bow down, and all I did was stay still.”

The Bible tells us in the book of Philippians that a man named Paul was thrown into prison for preaching the Word of God. His response? He worshiped, he prayed, he bowed down, he stayed still.

The Bible tells us about a man named Job who lost everything. His family, his home, his livestock, all that he had here on earth was taken from him. His response? He worshiped, he prayed, he bowed down, he stayed still.

I love how Jesus chases after me, constantly pursuing me.

1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us. From the beginning in Eden, God’s love always pursued us and He continues to pursue us through the love of Jesus the Christ.

I love that Jesus leaves the 99 to rescue the one that is lost.

Matthew 18:13 Jesus says, “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, I assure you: He rejoices over that sheep more than the 99 that didn’t go astray.

I love that Jesus calls me His…

Jesus carried me through this valley. Jesus carried me through all the past valleys I have wondered in. “All I did was pray, all I did was bow down, all I did was worship, all I did was be still.” I don’t fear being in the valley anymore, because I know Jesus will meet me, carry me and lead me so my feet will not stumble (Proverbs 3:23). I get to experience Jesus in such a way that I would have never known if I had not walked through that valley. For that, I consider it great joy when I face trials and tribulations because I know that the testing of my faith is growing me and drawing me closer to Him (James 1:2).

My prayer for you today is that you can find the kind of peace only Jesus can bring. No matter what trial you are facing, worship, bow down, pray, be still and let Jesus come rescue you. He will meet you wherever you are. This is where you will find peace and realize: He is enough.

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