We’re now on Facebook
As you know we’ve been doing a bit of moving around here at GodsFunnel.com and have finally found our resting place. We have decided to keep our original blog spot here on WordPress and have added the link to facebook for those that would rather keep up that way. Thanks for the likes and encouragement! Hopefully we can be just as encouraging to you guys as well!
I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I hadn’t felt a release to write. A lot has happened in the last (almost) 40 days. We have been close to running out of gas, low on funds, we have seen relationships restored, people brought back to God, healings, and also a lot of quiet prayer time, as if we have been out in the wilderness. But regardless of our circumstances, we have realized that God will come through even if its not the way we think He should or in the way we are “believing” for. God is a God of the miraculous and we have testimonies of things we have seen God do, so I can’t deny this, but He is also one that pursues our hearts. God wants our motives pure and a relationship with each of us. So as I asked what I should share. And rather than share all the stories in detail, I have felt as if God wanted me to share my heart and what I have been challenged with.
As we pulled into South Carolina, we had just been though a huge trial. We were very low on gas and almost out of money. We had been seeking the Father and learning about grace and faith and how the two were tied together. We were believing for the miraculous, God to fill the tank with gas and the needle to just jump. But when that didn’t happen in that way, we were a little shook up and needless to say doubt, questions, etc began to flood our hearts. But through a series of events, God provided in great ways. As we pulled into our destination in South Carolina, we began looking inward and asking God to reveal to us what was going on. He showed us that this journey is again about REST. He exposed our hearts in how when something didn’t happen the way WE expected, doubt flew to the surface. This trial exposed some hidden doubt I didn’t realize was there, but God did. He wants more than anything to see us sanctified as we go, because this is sometimes the only way the “guck” comes to the surface, but we have to be willing to let God show us what that “guck” is so we can let Him take it from us. But God showed us how He did provide. This taught me a lot. Because I started to see that true “faith” IS “Rest”. I relax because I know the father and regardless of our circumstances and what it looks like, He will come through. I “let go”.
So after all of this, God told us to WAIT. Someone offered to pay for a months stay here in South Carolina and so we took that as confirmation to WAIT. This is where we have been. God has done some amazing things and we have made some wonderful new friends that have kids and travel too. We have been having fun, campfires, clamming, riding bikes, talking to people from various parts of the world, but most importantly, we have had some wonderful quiet times with the Lord. But at times, it feels as if He has been silent. This silence makes me anxious, because of the feeling I need to be “doing”. But it is about REST. One night, I was praying, because I just felt like I was reading the bible searching for something, but I didn’t know what that something was or what to even look at. So I put the bible down and just said, “God, you have been teaching us a lot about grace, faith, and rest, but something is missing.” The next thing I heard was “humbleness”. Wow, a light bulb went on in my head. I began finding all the scriptures on being humble, meekness, and lowering ourselves. Rather than “teach” on this, I encourage any of you as God leads to look these scriptures up and see what God shows you. The more we get ourselves out of the way, the more God can flow through us. Less of us, MORE of Him…This is faith, totally put our life and all we do, in Him. You see, I thought I “had faith”, I thought if I believe enough, or say all the right things then things will happen. But what I am finding is it really is relational. Its trusting him even through the trials, because it exposes our weaknesses so He can remove them. Before, if a trial came, I questioned my “faith”. Now I see my hidden pride, weaknesses, and as He takes them away, we become transformed and our hearts purified. Its beautiful.
So, we leave on November 26th, and where too, I don’t know yet. But I know God will direct us and continue to transform us which will reflect into those we meet. I am excited!
First Few Weeks
Well, we left home on October 2, 2012. Two weeks prior, we were going for a walk and talking about what to do next. We had everything empty. Visitors had left, so now what? As we walked I just said, lets go! October 1, lets leave. Joe said OK. I said, wait a minute, shouldn’t we pray first? Shouldn’t we each seek God and see if we come up with the same day? LOL. Joe said no, you spoke and I believe it was the Spirit. We are going. You see, God promises that He will give us the desires of our heart. What I have come to learn is that as we seek the father our desires become His. He places the desire in us. Its learning to trust this. We could have spent the next few days praying and waiting and wanting confirmation and there isn’t anything wrong with this, but at some point we need to move. We need to trust the desires he has placed in us and let Him lead.
So, the date was set. October 1. We had some things to tie up. We needed to get some paper work and we were promised we would receive it by the week before we left. However, this did not happen. We made a phone call on Friday, knowing we were leaving Monday. They didn’t send it out so we had to go into the office on Monday. Then we had to make an appointment to get the bearings packed in the camper. This appointment couldn’t be made till Tuesday. So, at this point I have a choice to make, get upset and question my ability to hear God because the date was now October 2 or trust and walk to see what God was going to do.
On Monday, we went in to get our paperwork. As we shared our story with the ladies, a secretary came and replaced another one while we were talking. As we left, the lady said, “so you are going into ministry”. Her eyes welled up and she shared how she had lost 2 sons in the last 2 years and just got this job to get out of the house. We encouraged and prayed with her. As we left we realized THIS was why we didn’t leave on the 1st. We need to begin to trust our hearts and if God needs us for something else, He will orchestrate it.
The next day we got our bearings packed and away we went. On the road, full of anticipation. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any expectations. Here we are Lord, Use us. Thoughts of our house finally selling, talking to people everywhere we went, healings, God moving and people coming to the Lord. Who hoo…This is “ministry”, right? Ha Ha Man do I have a lot to learn. We have been to Columbus, Ohio, Kittanning, PA, and Washington DC in the last 2 weeks. We have shared with a few and encouraged friends, but not a lot of outward ministry as many of you may be reading for. I have attempted to start conversations only to have doors shut and conversations change direction. I begin to feel anxious as if I have something to prove to those following us especially because there are those who will say they would do this or that differently, but God keeps reminding me that is not about that. I cannot open peoples hearts and force people to believe what I believe. This is not ministry, nor what this journey is about. It is about resting in Him and allowing Him to precede me. As long as I am seeking Him opportunities will arise, just as they did when we went to sign the papers. We are willing and we are available, but the minute I try to make this something about me or “ministry” is the minute I begin to take matters into my own hands. I am realizing this journey is about reaching people with the Love of the Father, but it is also about ourselves and bringing us to a new level of REST, PEACE, and TRUE dependence on the father. Because when the plank is removed from our eyes, we can truly help remove the speck in others.
Waiting is one of the hardest things to do even when you know something wonderful is around the corner. It has now been 2 months since we were blessed with this camper and started getting rid of what we had. We visited my family and when we returned the home was empty and we decided to go ahead and list the home with a realtor. We were so ready to go. However, God still had plans for us here. A family who didn’t have a place to live came and stayed in our empty home. “Ah, so this is why the home didn’t sell…” God is funny… we think we have our plans laid out and boom, he knows the needs of someone else and needs you to help. I couldn’t help but laugh. They stayed for about a month and they just left yesterday. Through this visit, I learned a lot. I saw how my life and my desires were truly being laid down for another. This exposed a lot within me. I saw my selfishness, my lack of trust at times in the Lord, but also how I was OK with not knowing what was coming next and the fun and freedom of seeing God at work without my “agenda” and knowing He was leading it.
Then, I had to go to the bank and we pulled into the drive thru…BUT…the new truck didn’t fit. So, I had to back it up and go around and park to go in. I was slightly annoyed (let’s just be honest here). Parked the car, left Joe and the kids, and went in. I started talking to the teller and the next thing I knew God was just moving. He encouraged her and we had an amazing conversation. And the coolest part was everything just flowed. As I think about the journey to come, there are times I get a little anxious knowing people are going to have expectations as they follow our journey. I begin to think, “What am I going to say?”….”How will I know who to talk to?”….”Can I mess up?” But this encounter was a huge encouragement to me, that we interact with people everywhere we go. And I just knew what to say and it just flowed. The Lord is with us wherever we go and if we are truly seeking Him, we can be at rest knowing He will direct our paths, even when it seems a little inconvenient.
We are in a strange stage of life right now. All of my worldly “securities”, besides a place to sleep, are gone. No Job, No income, No knowing where we will be tomorrow, No comprehension of the future, etc. This is enough to make any of us “freak out”…but to be honest, God has moved me into such a place of peace that I cannot truly explain. Almost like a child that has to truly depend on their parents for all their needs. We have removed all outside securities and distractions so we have no choice but to depend on the Father and amazingly I am OK with this. For once in my life, I am not in control and I have to say it’s kind of nice. The pressure is off and it really is in Gods hands. So many times in my life I have said, “Well, it’s in Gods Hands.” Yet I would continue to toil and do everything I could to make things “happen”. I would say it was God, but then I would still wonder if it was God or if it was the 100 phone calls I made (well maybe not 100 but you get my point). So now, we sit in the drive way, house empty AGAIN, wondering what He is going to do next. Do we leave before we sell the house? Or do we live in the driveway because we still have things to do here? Only God knows and we will continue to pray and seek Him. Its exciting to see how He will show up next.
An Empty House
Well, the home is 95% empty. The camper is loaded and the home is officially on the market. And now we wait. The funny thing is that even though we are waiting, God continues to bring amazing people into our lives for encouragement. We have met several new friends who have encouraged us and it’s been wild to hear the stories and hearts of people.
Six months ago, if someone had told me we would be getting rid of all we own including our house to go and share how crazy in love with everyone the Father is, I would have said Ok, but deep down, I loved my home, and how can we live without all the toys (grown-up and kid)? Our home was perfect for us. Lots of space, lots of memories, and God, can’t you just use us here in Nicholasville? We are settled, why up root us all?
However, over the next few months God began to show me that it is all just stuff. He started separating me from the home and the stuff. But my mind was on all our financial obligations (See how often money creeps in and distracts?). So we began selling things/giving things away. God brought some amazing people around that I never would have met, had we not been giving things away. But the crazy part was, I had no attachment to things. I began to see that the things we filled our home with and “had to have” held no value. Not just in Gods eyes, but even to this world. God began opening my eyes to what we had been seeking and its true value and what we have been spending our time doing. My eyes began to open. We work so hard, finding jobs, spend hours away from our families so we can “provide”. We sacrifice sleep, long hours, time missed with our children and spouses….all so we can get that bigger house (which by the way, means more time cleaning and keeping up after), a new car, buy an xbox or computer, get the largest TV, get those toys the kids want, you name it. Then once we have it, then what? We run after the next thing. The kids want a different toy and so do we. Filling our home with toys and stuff that we think will satisfy but never really does. We place such a financial burden and stress on ourselves.
As we have downsized I have felt a freedom I really cannot explain. I have realized what we really need to live and have fun and it’s not much. We have more time as a family and more time with the Lord. I wouldn’t say our life has really slowed down, because He continues to bring new people into our lives and do great things, as well as show us what it truly means to live for others.
Through this process so far, God has revealed so many secret distractions in my life that have taken priority over Him. It’s been cleansing and very powerful. I saw things that I didn’t think were a big deal to me or to my walk with the Lord. However, as these items left my home and my life, my heart exposed my true desire for those things and the distraction they really held in my life. It’s been both fun and challenging. I look forward to what lies ahead!!
The wifes walk :)
So I wanted to share whats been going on from the wifes perspectve because t seems like most ministries are done by men and sometimes its nice to hear the other side 🙂
So, a little background on me. I am a very logical, think things through, engineer. I have always had a plan for everything. I set goals and went after them. I enjoy organizing events and being IN CONTROL. I like to be in the “know” with whats going on and for some reason I always like to share MY ideas and opinions even if they weren’t asked for…(something God is still working on me with). Maybe some of you can relate, maybe not 🙂
Ever since Joe and I married back in 2003, I have been in control of our finances. When Joe started his own business, I still handled that side of it. Why? Because it was my way of holding some control over the business and making sure we had money to live on (I am just being honest with you all). If money was tight, I would nag Joe. Ask when the next job was, if we didnt’ have anything, I would hint around that He needed to be out selling. But Joe always said God is our provider. My response is, yes he is, BUT YOU need to get the word out there about your business. So in other words, I was looking to Joe and NOT God. The arguments, stress, frustrations, were all because I couldn’t rest in knowing the Father God as my provider and would take care of us.
Over the years, I started seeing how God really would come through for us in a pinch. God began to grow my faith. I would see it happen, praise the father, then go right back to worrying. I was happy when money was in the bank and a mess when it wasn’t.
But we began ministering on the streets together. We would go out and just ask people if we could pray with them. We would sometimes get clues of who we were looking for and we would find them and pray. We started seeing how many ideas we had from reading the scripture, when put into practice, gave us a different result and when we got back into the Word, God would show us how it aligned with His Word but had been hidden from us. But in the end, it was all about Love. Showing people His love for them and that He does care about each of us.
The business did very well last year. But our biggest joy and fulfillment came from ministering and talking to people everywhere we went. In January of this year, the business STOPPED. No phone calls, no quotes, nothing. Joe would go door to door at businesses and no responses. For the first time in 9 years, absolutely nothing. I would get upset with Joe and with God. My faith would waiver, is this real? But as I looked within, I could see that all my frustration revealed a very large amount of doubt toward God. I could say all the right things, but when the pressure was on, my peace and rest was too. You see God is a jealous God and truly wants us to be completely reliant on Him alone. When our peace is gone, we need to look within and ask Why? This will reveal the condition of our heart.
So after a couple months of asking God what to do and still no calls, (however, our bills continued to get paid, somehow) Joe says to me, we put all this effort into our business. We toil,we spend day and night working for the world, chasing finances to live the american dream. Then, IF we have time after dinner and bed,we go and do Gods work. Sure we minister sometimes on the job, but who are we serving? God tells us we can’t have two masters. We can’t serve God and Mammon. So, I think we just need to start ministering full time and trust God to provide. I see it all through scripture. Instead of working for ourselves,let just work for God. Joe tells me He thinks its time for us to get our “ice cream truck”.
I had been seeking God and my heart really wanted to do this, but my mind and logic of this was screaming in my head that this was crazy. I began to really pray more and seek the scriptures because I truly believe in the unity and power between a husband and a wife. I also agree in a woman supporting her husband, but I also believe there is a unity of the Spirit. So if this is what God was calling us to, then my spirit needed to have rest and peace with this decision because Joe and I are one and are meant to minister as one. But I still had trust issues.
I remember one night laying in bed and I asked God to speak to me and give me something so I would know this is the right decision. I rolled over and right before I fell asleep I heard God speak to my heart and say “NO, I won’t give you anything” He asked me if I believed Joe was seeking Him. I did. God told me He wanted me to trust Joe. So he wasn’t going to give me a sign or tell me anything, because he wanted me to learn submission to Joe and to trust him. This honestly took me a little time to digest. This meant I wasn’t going to be in-control. That I wasn’t going to be in “the know”. I had to trust.
Well, I have been. This journey so far this year has been just that. Learning to truly trust and find a place of peace and rest in the Father. A few weeks later, Joe and I truly felt a desire to start selling/giving things away. So we started with some of the bigger things we didn’t use much. As they sold, I began to question again.God,what are we doing? Is this really what you want? What happens if it all sells and we have nothing? As I read the bible, just knew in my heart this was the right thing. But how are we going to afford an RV and pay off debt? TRUST! So we continued to walk in obedience selling things. I became at total peace and rest knowing God was handling it. That there wasn’t anything I could do to make any of this dream happen, but if it was what He wanted, t would happen. A week later, we were given the truck and camper (you can read about those if you haven’t already on the other posts). So now, I just walk, day by day. My ideas and plans have been laid down and I can say that I have found a peace and rest. The home is on the market and God will sell it when its time. All I know is that by this house not selling yet, we have met some incredible people. We have shared Jesus with many and God has kindled a new desire for a relationship with Him in the hearts of some. So the ministry has started and we haven’t left our driveway 🙂