Friday, November 7, 2014

A Christmas devotional

Have you ever been shaken to the core? 2 years ago my family and I were living a very happy comfortable life in beautiful Santa Cruz CA. We lived in a comfy house a few blocks from the beach, my two oldest kids were happy in school and their activities, our youngest was only 2 months old. We had no family that lived near us but we had close friends that felt like family. My husband was currently working as the interim pastor at our church that we had been serving in full time ministry at for the past 4 years. The church was going through a bit of a crossroads so in our hearts we knew the possibility of God calling us on to a new place was there but we were comfortable with our lives so we often would push those feelings aside. So imagine our devastation the day we got word that our church had made the decision to let us go. It was a shock, a punch in the gut that left me shaking my fist at God. In the moment I was shaken to the core. My head was spinning with doubt and worry... How were we going to support our family? Where were we going to live? What would we tell the kids? As a mom my heart broke most of all for my children. I knew they would have to leave the only place they had ever known as home and leave their friends and change schools, possibly more than once. All I ever wanted for my kids was stability and I felt that slipping through my fingers. All these thoughts and more consumed me and I found myself laying awake one night crying out to God and saying “Don’t you know I have plans? Don’t you know the desires of my heart?  How could you do this to me?” and in that moment a heard a still small voice say “Yes, I know….but my plans are better than your plans and my ways are better than your ways.” I am reminded of Mathew 16:24 that says “For all those who want to find me they must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me” To deny myself in that moment meant that I had to give all my plans, hopes and dreams over to God and surrender to him and that was scary, terrifying actually!! but in my brokenness and fear I made the choice to surrender to the God that I knew to be faithful.  I can say now, two years since that night, that my family and I are in the best place we have ever been in our lives. God has proven to be faithful time and time again and has showered us with blessings beyond measure. We feel we are doing the most authentic ministry of our career and we have peace that passes understanding, our children are happy and our family is fulfilled in areas we have never been before. Yes, serving God takes sacrifice but with God there really is no sacrifice because God turns faithfulness into blessings for those he loves. What are you holding onto this holiday season?  Would you consider letting go of your plans and trust God to start giving you the best gifts of your life?

* Brandon and Kendra are Chi Alpha Campus Pastors at San Diego State University. Their mission is to develop the spiritual life and abilities of the students they work with in relation to God, to each other and to the world at large. Chi Alpha Campus ministries is a movement of 27,000 college students on 300+ campuses across America and many sister organizations around the globe. Chi Alpha's mission is reconciling students to Christ transforming the university, market place, and the world. *

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