New Dreams for a New Season
I sat there in shock! It was several years ago during a Covenant Midwinter Pastor’s Conference Life Mapping session led by Pete Scazzero (Emotionally Healthy Church), I realizedthat between my husband Bill’s job disruptions due to company buyouts, and my Father’s job transitions, my life had been affected 9 times since I was 13 years old—an average of every 3 ½ years.
When you consider the agony of receiving the news of a company buyout, waiting for it to happen, anticipating the layoff, looking for new work, and then the transition of starting the new job, that left Bill and I with about one year of stability between each buyout event. Needless to say, it had detrimental effects on our marriage.
Breaking Through my Agreements
I realized during that kairos moment, (when God breaks through) at the conference, that we had made agreements with our circumstances by laughingly calling Bill the “Industry Killer.” That’s because many of the industries he worked in would disappear with the buyout.
What we didn’t realize then was that we were making an agreement with job disruption as a consistent pattern in our lives.
I know better now.
That day at the Life Mapping session, I broke agreement with job disruption and unemployment by saying, “This is never going to happen to us again.”
I eventually came to the decision to pray for four things for Bill: Influence, Impact, Favor and Finances!
So, what happened?
Bill is living the reality of Influence, Impact, Favor and Finances!
Now, instead of being laid off, he is recruited by companies, despite the fact that he has passed the age where people are often more challenged to find new jobs.
Bill starts his new job as an insurance broker next week. He will be working for an international company who is seeking to make a presence in the US. It’s an exciting new position. As the different leaders at the company met with him, more focused on getting him to be interested in the company than interviewing him. They kept saying over and over, “Bill, you are the best in the industry.”
The exciting news for our marriage is that after 8 years of weekly commuting, he will be able to sleep at home 7 nights a week. We don’t have to be apart during the week any longer!
Brené Brown wrote a book called “The Gift of Imperfection.” The most impactful chapter in it for me was about fearing disappointment.
She describes….”For years, my fear of something terrible happening to my children actually prevented me from fully embracing joy and gratitude. Every time I came too close to softening into sheer joyfulness about my children and how much I love them, I’d picture something terrible happening; I’d picture losing everything in a flash. I realized my ‘too good to be true’ was totally related to fear, scarcity and vulnerability.” (p. 81)
I’ve thought about that a lot because as I listen to God’s beloved children, I hear so much guarding against disappointment, fear, and scarcity.
It’s almost as if we’ve become so fearful of hoping for good gifts in our life that we agree to destructive events in our lives. You name it: illness, job disruption, relational brokenness.
But, I wonder, what kind of a testimony does this give people about how good God is?
Agreeing with God
The more I’ve agreed that God is a loving father who wants to bless his kids, the more I’ve seen God bless our lives.
When I teach this at the Reclaim Identity Retreats, there is always at least one person who fervently pushes back.
Many ask, “Why would God bless us when there is so much suffering in the world?”
I don’t have the full answer to that question, but I do know that we aren’t living the life we were created to live.
We were meant to live in Paradise in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve consistently experienced God’s goodness.
That is until Adam and Eve began to judge God….believing he didn’t have their best at heart.
That’s our challenge too.
Do we believe God wants our best and is consistently working to bring it about?
Our continual challenge is not to let our earthly experience become our belief system.
Instead, when our belief system is based on God in his character, the Scripture and his promises to us, it shifts everything.
But, the same lie the serpent told Adam and Eve: “God is holding out on you. He doesn’t have your best at heart,” continually taunts us, seeking to draw us in.
All I can say is that as I’ve learned to subject my experiences to the scrutiny of God’s character and word, our lives have gotten better. Our bodies are healthier, our marriage is happier, Reclaim Ministries is thriving, and Bill’s career is at a high point.
Anticipating a New Season
My husband and I are in Hawaii right now. Tomorrow starts a new season for us. Most people call it April Fool’s Day, but my friend Robert, did some research. He discovered the true meaning of April 1st is “New in Faith—Awakened!”
The corresponding Scripture is Ezekiel 37:14 which says:
“I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”
God has heard our (Bill and I) heart’s desire to no longer have him commute. He has answered our prayer with an exciting new opportunity which has brought him home to his “own land.”
After 33 years of marriage, we are celebrating our new season by renewing our wedding vows tomorrow, on April 1st! Watch for pictures to come and stories of how God moves within our dreams for his new season for us.
What about your Agreements?
Where do you long to believe God is good and wants to bless you?
Where are you experiencing something different than blessing?
Ask your loving father to show you any agreements you may have unwittingly made, and then break them. Replace them with a truth from Scripture as your agreement.
And, then live the season of new beginnings….I’d love to hear your stories so I can celebrate with you.
Update 4/1/2015: What an amazing day in Hawaii. Thanks to all our friends and family for your well wishes.