Dear friends, SUMite, Gillian Russell Meisner, concludes her story about her experiences at the Intentional Life conference we held in Texas in April of 2013. For part one, click here, for part two, click here. Thank you, Gill, for sharing this amazing and inspiring journey with us! Part 3: Moving Forward by Gillian Russell Meisner
Flying home I was really tired, and a little bit sad, and it would have been so easy to just let myself come crashing down...but I had said no, I'm not going to live that way anymore—"I will live in FREEDOM!! Right now, going back home is Your will and in it I will rejoice!"
It was a much quieter trip, and I had lots of time to think. It began to hit me just how much time I have spent striving! I really had been trying way too hard! Jesus tells us, His yoke is EASY! His burden, is light!!! Trusting God, staying close in His arms: letting go, in that place of complete trust is so easy! And Lynn had spoken freedom to me just to enjoy my kids again. I had gotten so caught up in all the other aspects of parenting and trying to bring obedience out in them, I had forgotten how to just enjoy their company.
Back home I could see a major change in myself. Of course over the next few weeks I had to figure out how to integrate this new outlook of freedom into my life, but already I was catching thoughts and surrendering when I never could before. I had really been plagued by negativity and now I can catch myself thinking like that and take those thoughts captive to Christ. But the biggest thing is the freedom from stress.
I feel like this HUGE weight has been lifted.
I used to spend a lot of time and energy worrying about how to fix things: kids not obeying or cleaning up etc…the schedule not working – and I’d have to stop and fix it, right now! Now it’s ok, because I’m learning that all these things will work out eventually, in God's time. And the mess and clutter in the house, I can let go even more, because I know my heart is more important than any tidy rooms... And I really live differently now.
I still typically make a plan for the day, but WITH Him, and I just let Him work out my days. If He gives me lots of energy I make lots of time for work and activities with my kids in between prayer. If I'm really tired I try to rest in Him and take it easy myself and with the kids. And if it changes half way through then I go with His plan. I also really try not to make decisions myself anymore, even in areas where I do have control. Ideally, I try to take my own desires of it and let God speak through my circumstances and through others.
Last summer we decided to move from our first little home. I knew I wanted the house that God had for us, so while I gave input in what I liked and didn't, I really left the final decision up to DH and his friend who would be renting from us, trusting God to lead us all to the place where He wanted us. The house they both picked in the end wasn't my favorite at the time, but it has turned out to be the perfect fit for us and I know we are exactly where we are meant to be.
I still struggle with trying to take control in small situations, conversations, frustrations etc, but stepping out of the driver’s seat of my life and letting God take over has brought freedom and an abundance of blessings for me and for my family that I wouldn't trade for the world. I know this freedom is nothing I could ever do. I could never break those chains, so I have no reason to boast. It is entirely His grace!!!!
I know this freedom is nothing short of the power of Christ, who lives in me.
The other change I see is with my oldest. I noticed the day he came home, that something was different about my five year old. He just seemed so different, that I asked him straight out if he met Jesus while I was away, and he said yes! He said Jesus was there at the end of Nanny’s bed, and Nanny was asleep, but he was awake. His hair was black and his clothes were brown and white… He told me, "Jesus said if I be bad, then I don’t get candy."
Seriously, I just love how God works because back home I actually felt relaxed enough to let them have candy/treats– especially because they were being so good! Meanwhile God had told that to my son he'd get candy if he was good, and then He put on my heart that it was ok for me to give them some!! God is too funny. :) And my son seems different, he is so much more obedient. It’s like he’s made up his mind now that HE wants to obey, and there is also a fresh enthusiasm to his faith (which was really only mine before). He is so excited for Jesus.
We were singing the rise up song from the Easter flash mob and he was dancing around. I played the Newsboys song, God's Not Dead a few times around them, and then one night he was just screaming it over and over! ‘God’s not dead, He’s surely alive!’ It was so funny :)
God is good. He is in control. And if we put all our trust in Him He will take us on the most amazing adventures! It is my great hope that my story will encourage you to step out and trust God more. He really does have every little thing under control. :)