No Words . . . Just Jesus

DSCN2378bI’ve enjoyed having this past month’s prayer verse sitting by the sink in my kitchen. As I look out my window onto the beautiful fall colors, I’m reminded that “His mercies are pray-verse-2over all his works.” On Tuesday Morning, we were invited to pick up a new prayer verse for the month of November. For those of you who were not able to attend or who prefer to use the verse as a background on your phone, feel free to copy and download the picture on the right to your own files. 

To continue our focus on prayer, we are privileged to have one of our MUMs, Courtney Lockridge, share what prayer has meant in her own life. If you find yourself in the midst of a difficult time with no answers, I hope her message will speak to you today.

When I was asked to share about a time in my life where I’ve seen God answer prayer or reveal himself in prayer to me I had a terrible time narrowing it down.

I’ve been blessed with an amazing legacy of prayer/faith all the way back to my great grandparents, my grandma Jan Faris, and then through both of my own parents.

I think of the verse Psalm 145:4 when I reflect on my family’s prayer legacy. “Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.”  My grandma would tell amazing stories of the power of prayer in her life, like how my aunt’s enlarged heart was miraculously healed through the prayer and fasting. My mom taught my sisters and me to pray about everything, big and small, whether it was for my Dad at sea, or a robe for Whitney. Now I’m teaching my own kids about prayer and am blessed to see how their first reaction is to turn to prayer when I lose my purse or we hear an ambulance siren on the road and my 5 yr old says, “we better pray mom.

I know I’m now reaping the blessing of prayers by those in my life who have prayed for me faithfully for the last 35 years, and that’s not lost on me. If we truly understood the effectiveness of our prayers and the access we have to an all-powerful God, think what type of impact we could have on future generations of our own family that are yet to be born!

While prayer has been a constant in my life since before I was born, that’s not to say my prayer life and faith have never been challenged.

In the spring of 2010 a chain reaction of awful events ushered in the worst year of my life:

  • Our 8-year-old, growing business suddenly found itself with zero employees and 150+ demanding clients.
  • Circumstances dictated excessive work hours and time away from the kids.
  • Dave, my husband, quit his job to help me full time, and we began working together many long hours.
  • In July my Dad, who was just 55, died unexpectedly and suddenly.
  • My demanding job postponed my grieving process.
  • Strained family relationships caused extreme stress and anxiety.
  • I became cynical and negative which was not characteristic of me.
  • I suffered situational depression.

At this point my faith was put to test and I went into survival mode, only being able to pray “Jesus help me”  for days, then weeks, and even months on end.

During this time I continued to read the word but everything felt hallow and empty. I came up with a motto that I still write in cards to friends during hard times:

No words . . . just Jesus

Because I quickly learned that people had the best of intentions but:

No words . . . just Jesus.

A favorite verse during this time was 1 Cor. 13:12:

“Now we see but a poor reflection, as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully even as I am fully known.”

This verse wasn’t the “perfect church answer” to my difficulties, but gave me that one shred of hope that someday, not now, I would have a greater understanding.

Working with my spouse through all these trials put an unusual amount of strain on our marriage and there were days where I thought I was destined to be stuck in an unhappy marriage. Working at my dream job and owning my own company doing what I loved the most suddenly felt meaningless and unimportant. I felt like a disappointment, giving everyone–my kids, my clients, my employees, my husband–just 20% and never my best, which was a terrible feeling. I didn’t recognize myself and wondered if I would/could ever smile again and truly mean it.

Isaiah 45:3 says “I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel who summons you by name.”

Dave and I both knew God wanted more for our family. We also knew something really BIG was going to have to change. So our prayer became “God, reveal your will to us, bring peace and balance to our home.”

Within a few months of that prayer,

  • Dave was offered a job he loved, back in the field of construction.
  • After lots of prayer and consideration we felt God calling us to sell our company and clearly saw God’s blessing on this choice. He showed up in big ways and brought just the right buyer within the very first week, working every little detail out, and putting HIS stamp of approval upon the deal.
  • I was able to stay at home full time with my three kids, which was my heart’s desire.
  • The day we decided to sell the company I saw a double rainbow which was a special symbol for me after my dad died. This gave me reassurance and confidence in our decision.

Of course, now that I’m on the other side, I’m able to see God’s hand weaving every detail of this story together.

John Piper says,

“We look at life from the backside of the tapestry.  And most of the time, what we see is loose threads and tangled knots. But, occasionally, God’s light shines through the tapestry and we get a glimpse of the larger design with God weaving together the darks and lights of existence.”

Instead of praying for clarity now, my prayers have slowly evolved to “God, help me to TRUST you more.”

I’ll leave you to listen to my newest, favorite song “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle.

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