Friday, March 22, 2013

from the archives: Lessons in Alaska

Wednesday, October 13, 2010...
When they saw the courage of Peter and John 
and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, 
they were astonished and they took note 
that these men had been with Jesus. 
Acts 4:13
Yesterday, I received a phone call from a friend whom I met in Alaska earlier this year.  She was at Native New Life and thought of me, so she called and left me a message during the service so I could hear the singing taking place.  What a sweet thing to do for me.  It moved me to tears to hear the singing and to know she'd do this just for me. 
I've been missing Alaksa alot lately.  Having had a reunion of sorts here in GA last week at our mission conference with people I have come to know and love and serve with in Alaska, it took me back again in my heart and mind.  Add that to my phone call last night and well, you find yourself reading about my time in Alaska with GraceWorks for this week's walk to remember.
Alaska ("Wow! '08") was life changing.  Coming to Alaska, my life revolved around my kids, my husband, and my youth leader responsibilities.  They defined who I was.  On Tuesday, day 4 of our 10 day trip...I fell apart. I was homesick and missing my boys so much. It had been our first day at the Boys & Girls Club...and all those kids hugging on me and wanting to be near me.  One little girl even called me Mom (and continued to do so all week). Satan tried to get me down and told me that I had no right to be here hugging on these kids when my two were left at home. This was all taking place as we were making dinner. I left the kitchen in tears and called home. It didn't help. I knew I had to get alone and pray. The doors to the big sanctuary at Muldoon Baptist Church had been left unlocked to my surprise, so I went and flat out laid myself at the altar sobbing. I told God everything (good thing he can understand blubbering while sobbing).  All of a sudden I heard His voice asking me, "Do you love me more than these?" and I saw my two boys' faces. Then I saw Scott's face. Then I saw the word "leadership". I sobbingly answered yes and His reply was so real, so simple. "Feed my sheep." The three things I missed the most had to be put in perspective. God called me to AK to feed His sheep and I now knew it.
I rose up changed.
Do you know, the very next morning at the Alaska Food Bank I was able to share Jesus with a young Jewish boy volunteering there.  Teaching the Bible lesson each day at the club was such a joy after that...God's presence was so totally evident.  Probably more evident because I had my priorities straight for the first time in a long time.
God taught me in that moment that I am to love Him first and give Him my firstfruit.  My first and foremost title is "Daughter of the King".  He loves me more than anyone.  He desires my attention more than anyone.  He deserves my love and attention more than anyone.  I cannot be for others what they need until I am with God and get what I need from time spent with Him in His Word and in prayer.

 
It's a struggle to remain in Him and His strength.  Satan does what He can to distract me and keep me busy so that I forget Whose I am.  The best thing I will ever do is spend time with Jesus.  I want to reflect His goodness and mercy to those around me so that when others see me, they are seeing Him.        

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