Tuesday, April 29, 2008

painting pictures of egypt

this past weekend was an incredible weekend and time with the Lord and with my friend marissa. marissa is the type of friend that is rare and we talked this weekend about how we believe we will be friends for the rest of our lives. there is just something about a friendship where you are bonded together not just by memories and fun times but your bond is from a common love and desire to know Jesus more and encourage the other person to do the same. she is one of those friends who knows me deeply and still loves me completely (thank you, Jesus!); she has lived me with on a couple different occasions so she has been subjected to my cranky post-nap moods and not so talkative morning moods. while we don't get to see each other as often as we would like, our times together are valuable and are very sweet.

anyway, back to the weekend...we attended the going beyond conference at hickory grove and can i just tell you how amazing it was to go in and sit down...not to work or be responsible for anything? my goal and desire for this past weekend was to be fed; i wanted to intentionally take some time for myself. i can tell you for sure that marissa and i are beyond thankful that we were able to sit under the teaching of priscilla shirer and more than that...overwhelmed beyond measure to have heard from the Lord in such a clear and personal way.

the theme of the weekend (and the name of the conference) was going beyond...going beyond in your relationship with God and following Him to the "next level." priscilla taught about the children of israel and their journey to the promised land. while the journey to step out and leave egypt and travel through the wilderness to the promised land was not easy and for sure was not always pleasant, it was a necessary and worthwhile journey. as i sat in the sanctuary and clearly heard the Lord speaking to me and i knew He was also speaking directly to marissa's heart, i constantly thought about the lyrics to a sara groves song, painting pictures of egypt. we know from Scripture that there were times the israelites longed for the past because it was predictable...it was familiar. sometimes the journey God calls us toward looks scary and uncertain and difficult...sometimes it's easier to stay in egypt, to stay where it's familiar and comfortable but if we stay in egypt, we miss the blessing of walking through the wilderness with God AND we miss the life He has planned for us in the promised land.

while the Lord spoke to marissa and i in different ways, we both walked away knowing that if we are going to follow Him completely, there will be times when we have to pack up and leave egypt....stepping out in faith that His plans and His ways are always the best. i certainly don't want to be someone who makes choices based on what is comfortable and familiar; i want to be radically obedient in my walk with the Lord...following Him at all costs.

if you're reading this, will you take a moment and pray for marissa? God is calling her to pack up and leave "egypt" without any clear direction at this moment and while she knows she can wholeheartedly trust Him, it is scary stepping out into the unknown.
i am certain that the Lord is about to take marissa on a journey like never before and i am excited to see how He is going to work and where He is going to take her.

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Valarie said...

GIRL! I had never heard that song before and land sakes I LOVE IT!! May even post it too!! (I'll be sure and give you props! haha) This past weekend was amazing and I just love how the Lord divided his Word 1000 times to us!!

Have a great week and thanks again for the chute!!! WOOHOOOOO!

Melissa said...

Precious that you are praying for your friend! And asking others to do so!! You know, the Lord is more than amazing and I will never really understand how He can do what He did last weekend. I guess that is why HE is God and I am not? Yea, that's probably it.

Love you! Praying for you! Saw all MANNER of Bride's magazines at the grocery today and really wanted to buy them all for you!! YEA! SOOO excited for you!