I felt uncertain – completely and totally unsure of where to start, what to do, and how to go about this. But I was ready to obey. I knew that in my weakness and ignorance, He could do a work that I never dreamed possible. He would make straight my paths before me…
And one year ago today our family gathered for our usual devotions. I don’t know what prompted my dad to take us to Deuteronomy 1. But even as I quickly skimmed over the chapter and we began to take turns reading, something incredible happened.
(From my journal… December 5th, 2013)
“Behold, the Lord your God has set the land before you: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your Fathers has said unto you; fear not, neither be discouraged…
How shall we go up? Our brothers have discouraged our hearts, saying, the people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven…
Then I said unto them, dread not, do not be afraid of them.
The Lord your God which goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Egypt, before your eyes.
And in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God bare you, as a man bears his son, in all the way that you went, until you came into this place.
Yet in this thing, you did not believe the Lord your God, who went in the way before you… to show you which way you should go.
And the Lord heard the voice of your words, and he was angry, and said,
Surely there shall not one of you men of this evil generation see that good land, which I swore to give unto your fathers.
Except for Caleb… he will see it, and to him will I give the land that he has trodden on, and to his children – because he has wholly followed the Lord.”
“Many people missed out on the promise, the land they had traveled 40 years to reach… because they were faint and fearful, and did not believe that God would protect them, and guide them.”
“Fear is believing that God is not big enough to provide, protect, deliver, heal, or handle whatever situation I am facing.”
“Because they did not trust God, and believe Him to be faithful, they got not the land.”
“Today I am choosing to step out in faith, as Abraham did, not knowing where He will take me. I choose to trust Him through the valley and the wilderness, even as He has promised to faithfully bring me at last to a mountaintop where I will see and understand. I choose to say yes, when all is uncertain and unknown – yet very certain and known by Him. I choose to delight in Him and His ways (by God’s grace), so that He may empower me, guide me, and lead me in wisdom, down a prosperous path. I choose to give him glory, praise, and honor due unto His name, for the great things that He will do. “
“I love you Father. Keep me in the center of your perfect will.”
That was the day that His perfect peace flooded my soul. The deep conviction and guilt that came over me as I saw that my fear and unbelief were not okay, were soon replaced with a repentant heart and a joyous desire to plunge every part of me into this new journey. My fears and littleness of faith – they were not justifiable. They were the subtle silent words of me saying “I don’t think that my God is big enough. I don’t trust Him fully to bring me into this and carry me through. I need to see the end results before I will step out on this journey. I don’t want to take risks or face challenges, or be vulnerable, or stumble when the going gets hard…”
And He is gracious. He is compassionate and faithful. He sees our weakness – my weakness – and knows that we are frail as dusts, as grass that soon withers beneath the heat of the sun. He is kind and loving. As David wrote in the psalms, “He leadeth me” and “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” He has stretched me, tested me, challenged me, taught me, and pulled me outside of my comfort bubble again and again and again. But always He has led me through – by His strength. When He asks me to be a leader, to be a servant, to be a faithful follower… He always makes a way.
I knew today, one year ago, that I would finish out the end of the year. With the close of 2013 and the dawning of a bright new year, I would be The Country Muffin – the part of me that had labored so hard to create new recipes, bake desserts, and serve people in restaurants, stores, and homes… would now spend those same hours studying, researching, learning, creating new products, meeting needs and sharing results, writing, building, and interacting with people.
But the future was still very unknown. There were no fears – those had been replaced with peace and joy. I knew that this was what I needed to do, what I wanted to do. But I had very little understanding of what steps to take, to grow. How can I move on from selling a few salves in my Etsy shop, to reaching people all over the world who need lasting answers – a better way?
And He was already at work. I did not see it then, but opportunities were already opening up before me that would “happen” in 1 month, 2 months, 12 months.
Wholesale… weddings… people who would recommend me to their patients and clients… local businesses that would support me and my products… people who would stand by me and offer their help, support, encouragement, advice, suggestions, feedback, wonderful product reviews… and so much more! 🙂
Part 5 will include a few fun highlights of the year in review… 🙂