This week's blog is slightly out of the box to give a brief update of how the year has progressed thus far. Unexpectedly, quite a bit of time has been invested in 2 extended senior family members. Major health problems, home care needs, multiple hospital stays, nursing home transitions, hospice, emotional/spiritual support, and a funeral have been where God positioned me to serve these first many months of 2018. As each calendar month turned, I’ve gotten more and more entrenched. Therefore, I struggled with it; feeling often that it was taking me off course. The sacrifice was costing me in some significant ways. I often resorted to human reasoning through lack, which only produced fretting... more than I care to admit.
Often I’ve gotten silence from God in my fretting. Every once and awhile a reminder from the Spirit penetrates to remind me that He has called me to His service, so “end of argument”. But I have argued still; the clay quarreling with the potter. Useless and all in vain. He remained unmoved by my moments of distress. Instead He quieted me; and kept me on the course he has laid out for me. In it all, His goal is to form more of Christ in me.
Christ is comfortable with the lonely, the sick, people in pain, the broken, the oppressed. Me? Not so much. I like to control how much time those moments last. My natural reaction is to say when I am done and wriggle my way out. So, it has taken me out of my comfort zone to be in various medical facilities for family for the majority of day hours or nights, multiple times per week. This on top of speaking to over 120 patients a week in a part-time position and “hearing” them the way God wants me to hear the broken. And then ministering to a few people a week in prayer sessions. Add intercession for my monthly ministry partners and serving at my church and I’m tapped. Baptism by fire! This is all for me to follow the way of love, 1 Corinthians 14:1. He created the 7 day a week intensity so that I tune intently to the lonely, the anxious, the confused, the distressed, the abandoned, the lost, the dying.
He has intentionally been breaking my heart! Yes He does that! Pure oil is pressed out of the olive as fuel for God's fire. A seed falls to the ground and dies to produce many seeds.
The pressing is not fun. Tears have been flowing, to the point I’ve struggled with some depression and loneliness as the year has begun, all from carrying a small portion of the burden Christ carries fully for each one, i.e. all.
A couple times I’ve told God I just can’t take it, “I go from one depressing setting to another 7 days a week.” He whispers; “You’re stronger”. And while I don’t feel it in those moments, I have to admit He is right. His grace is sufficient; His power is made perfect in my weakness, 2 Corinthians 12:9. I’m sitting longer, caring more, feeling more, reaching more, listening more, praying for more, giving more, loving more. I take absolutely no credit. Remember, I've complained. Its Him doing the “more”. His more produces my “more” as His love reaches beyond my limited capacity and flows to others through me. Christ pouring out through an ordinary earthen vessel with His all surpassing power, 2 Corinthians 4:7-12. I just have had to keep saying “yes” to where He leads.
And I’ve been blessed! Some of my most satisfying moments so far this year have indeed been in the victory of Christ’s power! I’m thankful God let me help a family member find relief in a final distressing moment. I've only gotten to really know this family member in the last couple of years. For most of March, I was disturbed that he was suffering and confused. He kept fighting to get up and “go home”. He itched all over, hated lying on his back constantly, being immobile, always thirsty, feeling lonely in each medical setting which ended in a nursing home. Dementia combined with his learning disability made it difficult for him to understand why he had to stay where he was. He was unbelievably restless; and no one could calm him in final weeks. But in my last moment with him, God gave me a breakthrough. He let me be one of the last who comforted him. I was able to get him up off his back and help him sit with his feet touching on the floor. For the first time in a long time, he breathed a clear sigh of relief. He rested his head on my shoulder and kept it there for a nice long time. I just sat there quietly and held him. I felt privileged to hold him. It was a sacred gift given. He was finally peaceful. After awhile I was able to lie him back down, prop him on his side and see him totally at rest. Two days later he was gone.
In these beginning months of the year, instead of staying tuned to God, I’ve gone "off path" worrying about a loss of a supplemental income source that typically brings in a couple hundred dollars a month. I’ve been worried about a large tax bill due this week.
The tax bill has been paid in full, on time by a generous, unexpected gift! Plus some to make up for lost income! I don’t deserve it!
This is my prayer... "Why do I fret Lord? Why do I rail against you? Lord forgive me! You see and you know every need! Thank you for your goodness and mercy!"
All who call him their God can confidently say, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I lack nothing!" Psalm 23:1.
May you choose the way of love; even at great personal cost. He will abundantly provide according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus! Come before Him now and ask Him to mold you and shape you in LOVE. He never fails!
(Final note- I write this partially for those of you asking about a next event. I haven’t planned one because I haven’t had the bandwidth to do so. But will be praying now about one. Also know the ministry received its official 501(c)3 designation which the IRS pre-dated to 2016. You now have the ability to write donations directly to “Into the Waters” and send to PO Box 67131, Rochester, NY 14617. Online donation option to our local credit union coming very soon! So, if you see the Spirit at work in what you read on this blog and feel led to support me as a local prayer missionary, donations are greatly appreciated!)
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Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"