“Rest Deeper” by Patti Butler

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Read:  Psalm 37 (Scriptures taken from the ESV).

This is more for me as I write this than for the reader…see I just left my daughter…I don’t know when or if I will see her again.  What do I do now?  My heart breaks, I grieve, I mourn, I wretch, I cry out to God … Why? She was once my princess, now she won’t speak to me.  She once said she admired me, now she wants nothing to do with me.  She has rejected me, who I am, and I am sure she feels I have done the same to her.  I have not, but she tells me that is how she feels.

Why???  All I know for sure is that Satan, the great deceiver, has lied to her heart and caused her to turn from God.  He will not allow truth to be spoken to her.  By doing so, not only has he sidetracked one of God’s children from living a glorious life committed to the King, he has distracted me from my calling and ministry.

See my husband and I just moved from our home in Kentucky to be church planting missionaries in the Bay Area of California.  This week, we are in a training program to prepare ourselves for the task ahead.  The training “happened” to be in the city where two of our children live.  We were looking forward to being with and enjoying them during our stay.  However … that is not what has happened.  At this moment, I am derailed … my husband wants to rush to my side, but that would derail him from training too … so I encourage him to remain and learn.  Am I right?  I don’t know?  I’m so confused.

All I know right now is that I am a child of the King, that He is my Father, my Protector, my Portion.  I must REST in Him.  I must abide in Him.  (V3-5)

See, when we are being used, when we are poured out for Jesus, Satan attacks!  He gathers his angels together for a full on assault.  (V12) This is especially true at the beginning, when we are still gathering up courage and strength to do the task at hand before we get started, before we can have any impact.

Has God asked you to do something hard?  Something outside your comfort zone?  Something that will make an impact for His Kingdom?  (V34)

Don’t be surprised when Satan comes after you…He only attacks those whom he considers a threat.  (V14 & 32)

Jesus was despised and rejected for his teaching.  He was crucified because he did not go along with what was considered “right” in his society.  As we stand for what is right, for what is true, for what is worthy, we must expect to be persecuted, to be rejected much like our Savior.  Why do we expect less, why should we anticipate easy roads ahead?  Only through suffering can we be made pure.  (V37)

Does this mean I am to grieve less over my daughter, over all my children … heavens NO!  It hurts, my heart is breaking … I feel in this moment I can never have any influence over any of my family ever again.   I am sad and heavy hearted.

“Rest Deeper” is all that comes to my heart in this moment.  His words to me are “Rest Deeper”… What do I do when I rest?  Is rest active, is it fixing the problem?  No, it is leaving it to my Father.  I must rest in Him and let Him fight the adversary.   (V7) Though I cannot fight this battle, I pray that someone else will come into my daughter’s life who will speak truth to her, whom she can hear truth from. I pray that God would protect her from her self-destruction.  I have no more influence over her life, but God does. I must rest in that knowledge.  He isn’t finished with me yet … nor is He finished with her.  (V39-40)

In the days that followed, relationship was restored.  My daughter reached out to me desiring reconciliation.  God is so good.  The lesson here is, while we are wounded by the darts of the Enemy, we are protected by the armor of the Lord, the Enemy cannot defeat us.   Additionally, our wounds may not be as “fatal” as we originally think.  Resting with our great Physician heals.  Picking our scabs as they begin to heal — which would be worrying over the issues and the unknown — makes the scars deeper and self-inflicts wounds.  As women, we often replay, rehash, worry ourselves over a conflict, making it much larger than it may actually be.  Scripture tells us in Phil 4:6-7 “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Many times we begin quoting this truth at “do not be anxious about anything”  however….we miss out on the first part, the main part…the BEST part….”The Lord is at Hand”…Wow!  That is powerful, THAT is the reason we should not be anxious, not because of my prayers and supplications.  We must focus on the first part and quote from the beginning of the sentence:  “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything”!  He is on my side and because of that, the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard my heart and mind, and at the end of the verse he reminds us again “in Christ Jesus”.  It’s His power not mine because my own is pretty much non-existent.  I can do nothing outside of Him including prayer, supplications and thanksgiving.

I covet your prayers for Brett and myself and our children.  Please pray for our strength in the midst of trials, for steadfastness in God’s word, and that God would protect and draw all of our children to Him quickly and defeat Satan’s hold on their lives.  Pray for us as we begin this work in the San Francisco Bay Area — that God would grant the increase of thousands of souls around the world through the seeds we are planting.

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Patti Butler and her husband Brett recently left the corporate and small business world to follow God’s mid-life call to leave her lifelong home of Kentucky to pursue Missional Church Planting in the Bay area of California.  They are a blended family with four adult children.  Patti has worn many hats during her life, Daughter, Wife, Mother, Stay at Home Mom, Working Mom, Single Mom, Step Mom, Teacher, Business Manager, Business Analyst, Ministry Assistant, Volunteer, Entrepreneur and Pastor’s Wife, but her most prized title is Child of the Most High King.

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“New Beginnings” by Melissa Hanley

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Have you ever been scared or apprehensive of a huge life change?  I have to admit, I was very scared of our huge life change 4 years ago.  Our family made the decision to move to another community and start over.  My husband decided to go and work our family business with his parents and we uprooted and faithfully followed in the direction that God was leading us even though it was very scary and uncomfortable.  Once we arrived it took several months before we started to make new friends and start building relationships with others.  It was a very lonely place for all of us.  I desperately wanted to feel like “me” again, to be happy, to have friends and to serve others utilizing my gifts.

Within about 6 months of being there, we started attending a church and met some friends (some that you readers may know as Hannah Reid 🙂 ).  We began to work together to start a Mom2Mom ministry to all women in the community.  It launched in October of 2011 and has grown to reach over 400 moms in our community to date!  Feeling a part of something is an obvious need amongst most women, especially Moms!  I am now getting to utilize my gifts in bringing in various speakers to encourage us all in this season of motherhood.  I enjoy numerous conversations over meals, playdates or exercising as I listen to women’s hearts.  God keeps opening doors for my husband and I to build relationships through our community group we host in our home, various school committee’s we’re a part of, golf league, YMCA membership and more.  I say all of this to encourage you to be brave when you feel scared, to have faith and believe that His plan is always better than your plan.  My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 which says “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.  I live by this verse each day knowing that this journey He is taking me on is an incredible gift!

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Melissa Hanley is a mother of 3 and wife to Patrick.  The Hanley’s currently live in Batesville, IN where they attend Community Church of Batesville and lead a community small group (Journey).  Melissa is a professional photographer and loves getting to build relationships with her clients while capturing special moments.  She is also Director of Mom2Mom Batesville.  This is a great passion of hers as she loves pouring her life into the lives of other mothers in Batesville.  She feels captivated by the opportunities that God gives her each day to show His love to those around her!