Blessings in Waiting—UPDATE

Wow! I’m completely blown away. It’s been quite a while since I’ve made a post over here on Blessings in Waiting. A lot has happened since then. I didn’t bother to update you because I assumed that no one actually read this blog anymore since I wasn’t updating regularly anymore. But I was so wrong. I decided to check the stats just out of the blue tonight and was completely shocked to see people still finding their way to my story and the challenges that God walked me through. As I read some of the old posts, I was encouraged by seeing the ways that God provided for me and held my hand through the trial. I’ll start by giving you all a quick update.

For those of you who regularly followed ‘Christy’, you know that Blessings in Waiting was started when God saw fit to move me and separate me from the man who I was sure was going to be my future husband. It was kinda like I was in survival mode. It was either trust God or wither up and die. So I trusted God. I didn’t do it perfectly. I went to college for a year. During that year I let sin fester. I didn’t have much of a godly support system and wasn’t able to attend a thriving church (the college required me to attend a service on campus on Sunday and required me to work at a work station every other Sunday.) From the work station I was assigned to and the traditional classroom setting I was in, my health also rapidly deteriorated. At the end of my second semester I had to move back home due to my health and lack of funds. My dad had gotten a job back in Arkansas and so my family moved back there which meant that Rich and I were sort of reunited. That didn’t mean that our relationship was immediately great again though. My parents weren’t on board and things were hard. After God doing some big things in their hearts, my heart, and Rich’s heart, Rich and I are now married. We’ve been enjoying wedded bliss for 9 months now. 🙂 God has been unbelievably good to us. He’s redeemed two broken people and put us together to do life. He provides for us around every corner. He provided Rich an amazing job opportunity. He’s offered redemption and reconciliation between Rich, myself, and my parents, and He continues to provide and do big things for us.

If you’re interested in continuing to keep up with the Rich and Christy story you can follow us over on Jaycox Party of Two. (No more pseudonyms) Over there I do monthly marriage updates, stories of struggles with illness, random thoughts, and just whatever happens to be going on in my head. I hope you’ll check it out! Thanks for sharing in my journey. My prayer is that some part of what God is doing in my life can be used as encouragement in your own life. He’s a good God.

Thanks again for all your support!!

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Refreshment for the Soul

Do you ever have those days when you just need an extra time with the Lord? Those times when all of your circumstances just begin to overwhelm your soul- when your heart is craving an intimate connection with the Savior? That’s how today’s been for me. Ive been running on short prayers and long days, rushed time with my King and long hours with difficult people. So, between studying for finals, I pulled out my Bible for some precious time with my God.

I camped out in Psalm 136:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:

His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,

His love endures forever.

who by his understanding made the heavens,

His love endures forever.

who spread out the earth upon the waters,

His love endures forever.

who made the great lights—

His love endures forever.

the sun to govern the day,

His love endures forever.

the moon and stars to govern the night;

His love endures forever.

to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt

His love endures forever.

and brought Israel out from among them

His love endures forever.

with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;

His love endures forever.

to him who divided the Red Sea asunder

His love endures forever.

and brought Israel through the midst of it,

His love endures forever.

but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;

His love endures forever.

to him who led his people through the wilderness;

His love endures forever.

to him who struck down great kings,

His love endures forever.

and killed mighty kings—

His love endures forever.

Sihon king of the Amorites

His love endures forever.

and Og king of Bashan—

His love endures forever.

and gave their land as an inheritance,

His love endures forever.

an inheritance to his servant Israel.

His love endures forever.

He remembered us in our low estate

His love endures forever.

and freed us from our enemies.

His love endures forever.

He gives food to every creature.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.

His love endures forever.

 As I read through the passage, I could almost tangibly feel my soul being soothed by the Words about my Creator. The very same God Who created World, Who parted the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptians, looks upon ME! He saw ME in my sin. He saw my heart that was against Him and because of His great love that endures forever, He freed me from that sin. He provides for me and He loves me.

In a world that’s constantly moving and changing, it’s hard for our human minds to comprehend a God that doesn’t change. But that is indeed the God we serve. The God that the Psalmist was praising, is the exact same God who is holding my heart in His hands. The God who comforted the early Christians is the same God who is providing rest for my soul.

Perhaps you’re where I’m at. Rushing around, squeezing time for God in where you can, but your soul is longing for more. Im reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We are invited to find our rest in Him. We don’t have to do this crazy thing called life all on our own. If your soul is thirsty and aching for refreshment, run to the Savior, the Giver of life and Lover of your soul.

-Christy

“Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart…”

Good Sunday morning to you all.

I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying your Lord’s day.

My roommate and I haven’t left our dorm yet (I don’t feel good and didn’t go to church, and my roommate over slept and missed it.) and are sitting here with just a lamp on watching the snow fall outside. Yep, that’s right. I said snow. And while I hate the cold and snow, as long as I don’t have to be outside taking part in it, it’s actually rather cozy.

As a matter of fact, the snow falling outside reminded me of a passage in Isaiah

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

In the same way that the snow and rain fall and provide the earth nutrients, so does God’s Word, when memorized and hid in our hearts provide nutrients and accomplishes it’s God given purpose.

As a child, my parents emphasized the importance of Scripture memory. We had this little comb bound book that had each letter of the alphabet and verse that corresponded with that letter. My mom used to always bring that book with us in the car when we went to run errands. It was brother’s before it was mine, so some of the pages were ripping out and think that it was even missing a few letters, but my mom would work on each of those verses with me until I could say them back to her. None of the verses were extremely long or hard, but even to this day some of the verse I memorized as a small child are still locked away in my heart.

“Do all things without murmurings or disputing.” Philippians 2:14

“Thy Word have in hid my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“Even a child is known by his doings whether his work be pure and rather it be right.” Proverbs 20:11

“What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee.” Psalm 56:3

Those are just a handful of the verses that I memorized as a child that still pop back into my head on a somewhat regular basis.
I wish I was still as persistent about Scripture memory as I was when I was child. I can just think about all of the verses that God has for me when im struggling that I miss, because I don’t have them tucked away in my head.

I want to encourage you to get to memorizing Scripture. Im not saying that you should go out and memorize 100 verses each week, or even 1 verse each week, but I am saying that it is extremely beneficial to memorize God’s Word. I try to pick out 1 verse each week and work on memorizing it. Now, I don’t sit down and read it a million times. I typically just write it on a couple of index cards and leave one my desk, stick one to my refrigerator, put one in my book- bag, and one in my locker at work. That way the verse I staring my face all week. No, I probably don’t have it word for word memorized at the end of the week, but what happens is that I get familiar with and when a situation arises that the verse applies to, it come to my mind. It helps to keep my thoughts focused on God all day, instead of just in the morning or right before bed when I do my devotions.

God’s Word is powerful, it changes lives, and I want to make sure that my life is one that God can shape and mold into a useful, godly woman for His Kingdom.

Today’s Blessing:

The snow and its reminders of God’s Sovereignty and goodness

-Christy

“If There Was Any Other Way”

The other day one of my friends sent me this song. “If There Was Any Other Way” by Zane and Donna King
Take a read through those lyrics-

“When the sins of a brother led the soldiers to the Savior,
Where Jesus was praying in the garden that night.
He prayed, “God if there’s another way, would you take this cup from me?”
And from the darkness around Him, He could hear His father cry.

“If there was any other way then to face the cross alone,
I would send down every angel, to carry you on home.
I know it’s hard to hold on, when the skys so dark and grey;
But you can trust Me for the sunrise. There isn’t any other way.”

Sometimes life brings more questions than it ever brings us answers.
And we wish away the pain, ‘cause it feels so hard to bear;
But if we could just remember that the end is not the end,
And we never have to walk a valley without our Father there.

And He says,
If there was any other way, than to face a cross alone
I would send down every angel, to carry you on home.
I know it’s hard to hold on, when the sky’s so dark and grey;
But you can trust me for the sunrise, there isn’t any other way.

I know it’s hard to hold on, when the sky’s so dark and grey;
But you can trust me for the sunrise, there isn’t any other way.
I will be there in your sunrise, there isn’t any other way.

I have listened to this song at least 100 times by now. It is easily my favorite song. I LOVE IT! The lyrics have been such a blessing to me and I whenever the thoughts of giving up or walking away cross my mind I sing it to myself. At the end, when it says, “You can trust me for the sunrise” it takes my thoughts back to a couple of verses I memorized as a child.

Psalm 30:5b weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

So when Im getting ready for bed and my thoughts wander to how much I miss Rich and being able to talk to him, I remember that I’m just more upset because im tired. I give it to God and rest in Him. When Im rested in the morning things wont look so dim.
That verse goes along with the other passage that the song brings to mind.

Lamentations 3:22-26 “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”

When I have those negative and tear producing thoughts, this passage reminds me that the Lord’s compassion never fails. He is faithful, and each day He gives me more than enough to get through the day. With each sunrise He gives more than enough grace.

Today’s Blessings:

The amazing song by Zane and Donna King that has spoken to my heart just when I needed it.

The great friend that showed the song to me in the first place.

The sunrise and its reminders of the Lord’s mercies and faithfulness.

-Christy

I Will Still Praise Him

I don’t even know where to start. My mind is one big jumble and the only way I know to sort everything out is to just start typing and hope that something that might make sense comes out of all of this.

It’s been approximately one year since I began this journey. “What is this journey?” you ask. Well, this blogging adventure, falling in love with and leaving Rich, moving back to my hometown and not having any sense of belonging, if I keep going, you might think that im throwing myself a pity party, and believe me, I wish that I could do just that. Everything inside of me wants to just quit! Everything inside of me wants to sit down in the middle of the road and refuse to keep pressing on. Every part of me feels like I’ve gotten the bad end of the stick of nearly everything. I want to throw my hands in the air and walk away. Many well meaning and wonderful people have told me, “Christy, I understand the hurt you are going through.” No! No! You don’t understand. You cant understand. If I’ve been so wrong about my relationship with Rich, what else have I been so wrong about? How many of my prayers have I misinterpreted the answer of? How many times have I been wrong about what I thought God was showing me and wanting me to do?! All of the choices I’ve made in the last year, I guess they mean nothing.

So now I’m at college. Im at a school where I thought the Lord wanted me, and believe me, if I didn’t think He wanted me here, I would not have chosen to go here. I feel very much alone in my desire to have Christ be my single purpose. Sure, there are plenty of people here who claim to be Christians. They show up to the various “Christian” events here on campus, but as soon as they step outside of the door of the “Christian” event, you wouldn’t have any idea that they even considered Christ to be a part of their lives. It is as if they are trying to compartmentalize their Christianity. I don’t know about you, but my Jesus is WAY too big to put in a little box and worship Him when it’s convenient for me. I want Him to saturate all of my actions and thoughts.

It’s that thought there, that keeps me from giving up. Because I long for Christ to saturate every part of me, that also includes my relationships. My parents have explained in part why they dislike Rich as much as they do. I honestly do not see what they see. I’ve tried and prayed to see it, but I don’t. I don’t understand it. I know that he is not perfect. Im not trying to pretend that he is perfect, but I just don’t understand why they dislike him as much as they do. Now, they would probably tell you that they don’t not like him, they just don’t like the idea of him with me. Im not here to determine whether or not that is the case, but I do know that I am trapped in the middle. I’ve thought for a long time that my choice was between my parents and Rich. For a long time both my dad and Rich denied that that was the choice placed in front of me, but eventually I got them to admit it. They were both forcing me to make a decision: A decision between the two men who I love and respect the most. Between the two men who I know would strive to protect me over anything. Between the two men who make me feel like a princess.

After I fought so hard to finally convince them they were leaving me with a choice, I struggled with who I would choose. The “good girl” who I had grown up being, told me to choose my dad. The other part of me wanted to choose Rich. I went back and forth, back and forth, until finally I realized that there was a third option that I had forgotten about.
Christ.

He was the option that I had overlooked. It really wasn’t about choosing between my dad and Rich. It was about choosing Christ.

I still don’t understand my dad’s dislike of Rich.

I still don’t understand why I was even allowed to meet Rich and then develop this amazing relationship with Him.

I will never understand why Rich has been willing to even hang on to our relationship this long. It would have been so much easier for him to just walk away.

So now im getting rid of the idea of choosing between the two of them. Yes, I still love them both so very much, but the Lord has allowed me to realize that it does not matter which one of them is right or wrong, for they are both mere men. Neither one of them, no matter how great they are, can satisfy the longing that Christ has put in my heart for Him.

It’s not about choosing my dad.

It’s not about choosing Rich

It’s about choosing Christ. It’s about making Him the longing of my heart. It’s about giving Him free reign in my life to do whatever He chooses. It’s about making everything else in my life come second to Him. That’s the choice that I should be making.

So in conclusion, No, I still don’t have everything all figured out. I still have no idea Why? Why me? Why now? Why here?
I still don’t know. But that’s okay. It’s okay for me not to know why. After all, Im pretty sure I want my God to know a few things that
I don’t know.

What if God never tells me why?

What if I reach the end of my life and all of this stuff still doesn’t make any sense? Then that’s okay, because I believe that God has an eternal purpose in every circumstance that He allows me to go through.

Last week Pastor Alan from my church back home said this, which has become my anthem this week.
“I will not go back. I will not stand still, but I will praise Him.”

Why my soul, are you downcast? Why so disquieted within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

Slow Down and Love (327)

I spend so much of my life looking ahead to the next year, the next month, the next week, the next day, the next hour- always rushing, always trying to get from one place to another in the least number of steps, in the quickest way possible. Many times I’ve been praised for my ability to make a process as efficient as possible, but this ‘over efficiency’, this rushing around and skipping steps can be deadly to a life of prayer and a life focused on God and others. So today, as I have much to do and lots to accomplish, I’m going to slow down. I’m going to take a deep breath and spend some time with my Jesus. I’m going to let His words wash over me and take away the tendency to rush. I’m going to pray for the Lord to open my eyes to others and see beyond the fake smiles pasted on the faces of the girls in my dorm and see the hurt and need for friendship and love. I am going to pray for courage to actively seek out and love those girls, (even the ones that run down the hall screaming at random hours of the day).

Even in the midst of the craziness of school and work and everything that goes with it, my desire is to fall more in love with Jesus. I don’t want to be one of those ‘surface level’ ‘American Dream’ kind of Christians. I want to be different. I want every decision I make, every thought I think, everything that I do, to be changed because of my God’s love for me.

Today’s Blessings:

Last night I was invited to hang out with some girls for a movie night. I didn’t know what to expect, but decided that it might be fun. It was probably one of the best nights I’ve had since moving to campus. There wasn’t gossip or drama talk, just sweet girls who love Jesus and love each other! I am so thankful that they invited me to go along with them and thankful for the new friends that I made.

I have absolutely no major plans today!! Im excited to get to work on homework, do laundry, watch some movies…oh, and eat food that isn’t good for me.

-Christy

Blessings-317

Just so ya’ll know, Im choosing writing to you rather than working on homework right now, so…that obviously means that I care and definitely miss writing to you all.

Im taking a wonderful class this semester called, Christian Worldview. Going into it I was expecting it to be incredibly boring, but I have been pleasantly surprised. We just finished reading through the book of Genesis. There wasn’t a whole lot of information that I hadn’t heard before, but it was really exciting to get to read through the stories of my childhood in a fast forward manner. What I’d like to talk about today, is something that stuck out to me from the lecture. We were discussing the Covenant that God made with

Abraham in Genesis 12.

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

The covenant had three parts:
1. A Promise of Offspring (great nation)
2. Land
3. Blessing (to the nations)

My professor then went on to give a definition of the word “Blessing”. Seeing as the word blessing is found in the title of my blog, I was interested to see how he would define it.

Blessing- Ways that God shows that He is with you and for you.

I love that definition! That’s exactly what blessings are. They are the little ways that God shows that He is actively involved in our lives. It’s the little reminders in our day to day life that remind us that we aren’t left alone to face the day. Maybe the blessings you experienced today were big things like news of healing or seeing God provide financially. But perhaps you didn’t receive any good news today, maybe you received just the opposite- News that seems drear and depressing. What makes God’s blessings so great is that they don’t always have to come in the form of joyous news. Sometimes the blessings that God gives come in the little things. For instance, Today it was cool enough for my roommate and I to open our window. This means, that as we are studying we can listen to the birds singing on the tree branches and listen as the wind blows through the court yard. The sun rays dancing across my desk bring to mind the fact that God created a world for us to enjoy. We are surrounded by beauty on a daily basis and it is all a gift from God. A blessing. A reminder that we don’t have to face this world on our own.

“If God is for us, who can be against us.” Romans 8:31

Today’s Blessings:

The sunlight shining in through my window.

The lovely fall weather

Some time I was able to carve out to blog today.

Christy