Mark 9:23…”Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
BELIEVE [bih-leev]

verb (used without object), believed, believing.
1. to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.
My “One Word” going into 2016 is BELIEVE. Believe that God is good, all the time. Believe that He is faithful. Believe that when I seek Him I will find Him. Believe that I can have everything the Bible says I can have. Believe that I am all that He says I am. And most of all, believe that He keeps His promises, and all His promises are YES and AMEN!

In December 2013 I felt the presence of God change my life. He came to me in a very dark place and I cried out to Him unsure if He was listening; unsure if He cared…and when I did, I knew that He saved me. He gave me joy that I had never known before. My circumstances hadn’t changed but my heart did. I knew that I knew that I knew…and I was able to give and receive joy, peace and love like I never had before. It was right around the time of my 48th Birthday. The Lord had been wooing me for about a year but I wasn’t really convinced of His love yet. He had even healed me of terribly painful arthritis in my knees and thumbs. My knees were a gradual healing over a couple of weeks and have reached about 80-90% improvement. They only cause me trouble when I have to stand or sit for extended periods. My thumbs were an instant, miraculous healing and I have had no further pain there. So now, I was pretty sure He was trying to get my attention and it was working!

One night that month the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night and He gave me a word. It was “Obedience”. I heard Him as clearly as if He were speaking audibly. He said someday I would have my heart’s desire to be married but first I needed to learn some things. Since that time I have been learning about what it means to be obedient to the word of God as well as being obedient to what He is doing in my life and what He is asking of me.

When God asks you to do something it is always accompanied by peace, joy and love. So, I started learning about Him. I was listening to sermons on podcasts 8 hours a day while at work. At that time, I was doing online QA nursing in an office cubicle but I was hearing the word preached and it was changing my life! I was learning His ways of communicating and learning His word. Coming from a Catholic background, I never knew I needed to be saved. I always believed in Jesus. I knew He died for me…but I had never truly surrendered to Him. And I had given up on going to church and trying to “be good”. But within the next month I had joined Gateway Church, a non-denominational church close to my home. I started taking Freedom classes and Equip classes. I started tithing there and volunteering. It was incredible the changes that started taking place in my life! The call to obedience is a call to surrender. I surrendered my will to the will of my Father in Heaven. I chose to include Him in my daily thoughts, prayers and actions.

My first real act of obedience came when I knew He was calling me to let go of some things I’d been carrying around with me for years…literally, my whole life. I had so much stuff in storage bins, I just kept moving them from place to place. I needed to let go of all of it. Scraps of paper, notes, letters, cards, little momentos…It was like He was saying all that stuff from the past was holding me back. He was saying, ” you can’t move forward as long as you keep holding on to the past.” It became very clear to me that I couldn’t even look at this stuff any more. I wasn’t supposed to go through it or anything. I just needed to be rid of it. I took tubs and boxes down to the dumpster at my apartment and just tossed them in. GONE! DONE! I don’t know if I ever would have done it, but He had already spoke to my heart about letting a friend from church move in with me too and there wasn’t room in the spare closet if I didn’t let it all go.

It was a few months later that I felt Him moving me again. After talking with my sister one night I felt like He was calling me to move in with her and her family to help out with the kids. Her and her husband were working long hours and even with the help of their live-in nanny (AuPair) there just wasn’t enough help for the hours they needed. I had also been having some financial issues due to some career moves that paid a lot less than I had been accustomed to in the past. So it was a win/win. I also knew He was calling me to be a blessing to my family in a way that would reflect the love of Christ. Pastor Robert Morris began preaching his sermon series “Bless A Life” in January 2015 which was confirmation to me that the Lord was calling me to do just that!  I was reminded that in 2010, when I first moved to be closer to them my life was under a different influence…But that’s a story for another time.

At this time, my friend and new roommate needed back surgery. She was going to need help afterwards and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to help her but her mother would. After much prayer, I felt the Lord leading me to give all of my furniture and most of my household items to them and let them take over my apartment. I kept my clothes, a bed, my computer, some wall hangings, my Christmas decorations and a few small kitchen items (crock pot, coffee maker and grinder, magic bullet, a skillet and a sauce pan) just in case I had to leave my sister’s and needed to stay in a hotel or something (lol!) but I left it otherwise fully furnished with all the essentials. I had such peace in that act of obedience that it could only be from God.

The enemy likes to come around now and then and try to tell me that was a crazy idea…and who, at my age, would get rid of almost everything they owned? But the peace that fills my heart knowing that I am following Him still abounds…so I don’t listen to the negativity…I press on.

I turned 50 on December 27, 2015. I am choosing to BELIEVE that He is still preparing me for my husband and preparing my husband for me. At the fabulous age of 50, my jubilee year, I believe the Lord is leading me to my destiny and I am following.

God is moving me again. What I keep hearing Him say is that it has never been about the paycheck. I’ve chased a paycheck my whole life and still struggled. In this new season He is teaching me to rely solely on Him. I resigned my current position as an OR nurse and have committed to a year of service in the Mission Corps of a crisis pregnancy home in the US.

I BELIEVE the Lord has many things He wants to share with me through this journey.

I BELIEVE He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I BELIEVE that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

Mark 9:24
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!””