So last week, I ended my post talking about how I decided to take my maternity leave and really focus on my relationship with the Lord, my family & myself. One of the things I really felt like God was asking me to do to begin this process was something I didn't want to do, but really felt necessary. I stepped down from my "quad." I love these ladies very much and I love meeting with them, but I really felt like God telling me to take some time to really work on me, to step down from something that was in my comfort zone. It doesn't make a lot of sense, because I love being with those ladies, but I really felt like God was telling me to take a break. So...I did and like I said...it was hard, but now I sort of know why. I haven't had to depend on those ladies to keep me accountable in my walk with the Lord.
I was once a self feeder, meaning no one had to tell me to spend time with the Lord daily, I just did it...because as Christians, that's how we grow in our walk with Chris. But...when I began my teaching career my time with the Lord became less consistent and I didn't open God's word on a daily basis. Because of that, I flew by the seat of my pants...meaning, I would lean on God when days were hard at school and that was it. It got me through, but that's not how it's supposed to be. This is why I feel like many areas of my life I once excelled at went down hill...the belief in myself diminished, my leadership skills went to crap, and my walk with Jesus...in my words, "was a HOT mess!" (That's for you Patience :) ) My life was "a HOT mess."
I can honestly say now, that taking my maternity leave and starting this process to allow the Lord to "work on me" has been the best time in my life. I kind of consider the past 8 week as a "boot camp" for me. Sounds kinda crazy, but I have allowed the Lord to work on many areas of my life during this time. I'm by no means "all better" and living a perfect life...but goodness gracious, I feel like myself again. Like the Magan I know God is calling me to be, I haven't felt like this in probably 4 years. It's like I began depleting as a person, the person God has called me to be & this past summer was the peak of the awfulness...now, I feel like I'm climbing the mountain again.
I feel like I need to list out the things God has changed in me over the past 8 weeks...can you bare with me? I won't be able to do it all in this post...but I'll give it a start.
I don't know that I-->
1. I've finally started depending on him daily...for the 1st time in about 4 years. You know...I've walked the walk for most of my life. Surrendering it all back in 2007 when I learned what it was like to live in a daily relationship...but somewhere in the past 4 years, I forgot how important this is. I seriously do not let my feet hit the ground in the mornings without thanking God for another day and surrendering my day to him. The bible says we need to take up our cross daily, and we cannot live the life we are called to live as Christians without doing so.
2. I'm still working on this and it'll be a change come next week when I go back to work...but I'm finally really digging into God's word and studying it daily. Not just having a little quite time and being done...but being a student of God's word. When I left my "quad" back in September, I had full intentions of just not doing anything in terms of a study group. I really just thought I was leaving to spend some time with Jesus on my own and I have...I've learned to depend on myself all over again, without friends asking me if I'd done my study. I've been sitting down to journal & read God's word. Asking him to show me what he has for me daily. But, after Benjamin was born felt like God was telling me to join a ladies bible study at Journey on Tuesday nights. The group was already 5 weeks into studying Joshua & Ephesians (which is what I'd just spent the past 7 months studying with my girls), but I really felt like I was supposed to go. So, I went and I've been going for 8 weeks now. I'm studying God's word in a different sense though. I'm not using this study as my quiet time. I'm having my personal time with God everyday, but I'm learning to balance this study...like school work, except I want to do it. It's not really deep, it's pretty surface level but that's why I like it. When we finish, I will have finished tearing apart 2 books of the bible.
This group has been good for me as well, in the sense that I'm not leading and there's no pressure to share. I've been allowing God to transform me, get me back on track. I love my quad ladies and I miss my time with them, but God has allowed this time for me to get back to relying on myself to have time with him. I know that sounds weird...but remember, I said I wasn't happy with who I was, so I haven't had to wear a mask. No "Magan the Journey staff girl" or "Magan, our friend" or "Magan, the working mama." I've just been me and have gone some weeks just listening to what others share about what the Lord has taught them. I've also met a lot of ladies, which is another stretch for me. I'm not always one to step out and carry on a conversation with just anyone...I used to be, but over the past few years I've become more of an introvert. I don't like being an introvert, but not being happy with yourself will do that to a person.
I mentioned leadership earlier in my post...I love to lead and I've been asking God for quite sometime to reveal to me what he has for me in this sense. I feel like a lot of my leadership skills have been damaged as a result of the past 4 years. I would really love to lead some kind of young women's group at Journey, but I'm not sure exactly what that looks like. Taking this time to focus on who God is calling me to be is helping me to learn to just wait on God and just be obidient one step at a time.
I know that transitioning back into work is going to be a challenge for all 4 of us in my family. But I know one thing...I must learn to juggle these lessons that I've learned over the past 2 months. My relationship with the Lord must be first and foremost or I won't be a good wife, mom, friend or assistant to Paul and Lisa.
I think that's it for tonight friends...I know it's a lot to read. Thanks for bearing with me...more to come tomorrow or Tuesday. :)