I am almost caught up with our journey to present day!! Today (in my opinion) I’m posting about the part of our journey where most of the biggest spiritual growth took place. It all started in Spring Training of 2009. My spiritual journey had hit a crossroads (yes another one and I am certain more to come). This is where I was finally being obedient to everything I knew to do to grow a stronger faith and relationship with Jesus. And still my faith wasn’t enough to calm my anxious heart. I was tired of “faking until I made it”. I was tired of saying I trust you Lord, but my actions didn’t match up to that trust. I was ready to have a faith that I read about in the Bible. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus talks about if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains.
For truly, I say to you, if you have the faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.
I was spending time in the Word daily, I was attending Bible studies, I was praying a ton, and I was attending church. Surely I had at least a mustard seed size faith, but I couldn’t move my emotions much less a mountain.
Because I already write way too much and my post can get crazy long I’m going to leave out all the details of our pity party as to why this spring training I was having such a hard time fighting my fear of what would happen in Brian’s career. Just know I had BIG reasons to be uneasy….two of the reasons are pictured below. Life worries are doubled when children are added to the equation.
This was the first time in his career that I was clinging to every one of his outings. I was reading every STAT and article trying to desperately figure out our fate. I really had never done that before and I never will again. All it did was steal my faith in Him away and put it into numbers. ***Side note*** If you are a wife or a mom who likes to read and watch all the STATS please know that I am not suggesting by any means that there is something wrong with that! My fault was my reasoning behind it. I was trusting “baseball standards” more than Him. I forgot that He is bigger than our circumstances and that nothing will stop Him from putting us where He needs us to be! Although I knew this I was missing something because I couldn’t feel it.
One morning I was bringing Brian to the stadium and there was a man on the radio sharing his story. I really don’t even remember his story. It was just one thing he said that stuck with me. He said ” I chose God’s perspective over my own daily”. (If you read my blog post called “The Power of Perspective” some of this may sound familiar)
But the thing is I had attended many studies and heard plenty of church sermons about having a Godly perspective. This wasn’t the first time I heard this concept. And every time I would leave those events thinking that yes a Godly perspective is great, but how does that happen? Do we just flip a switch in our thinking and our vision is clear? If so I was missing the switch!!!
That morning was different. I was desperate enough to truly grasp it when he said it. I love those moments when you know you just heard exactly what you were suppose to hear. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. As soon as I returned to the apartment I wrote down a simple prayer that I felt was put on my heart. And I prayed (still pray) that prayer every morning before my feet even touch the ground out of bed. The prayer was:
God please give me your eyes so I can see what you need me to see, give me your ears so I can hear what you need me to hear, give me your heart so I can feel what you need to feel, and please give me your mouth so my words don’t sin against you.
I finally stopped asking for what I wanted or thought we needed. I just wanted to trust and see it through His eyes! Slowly He started to be bigger than my fear again!
Long story short that spring…Brian was the last one cut on the very last day because of a trade they made at the last minute. But my peace still remained knowing there was a bigger reason! Right after the birth of our son Brian was called up in May and remained in the big leagues for the next three years. It was such a huge blessing for him to have three great consistent years! And we have so many great memories through those years, BUT I want to just fast forward to last season. That is when my “Godly Perspective” was put to the test!!!
Now that Brian had this experience under his belt we felt by baseball standards he had earned himself some sort of security for the next season. WELL once again bubble busted!!! He was now considered kinda of old and pricey for the role he plays out of the bullpen. Now… I think his role is the most important..hahaha…but for some reason the front office staff doesn’t quiet see it that way.
This time around it was such a battle of our flesh against our faith because we weren’t asking for miracles or special favors. This time we felt like Brian worked his tail off and deserved his way. WOW!!! How quickly our pride destroys us?!?! I was reading a book at the time and came across this “Don’t ever pray for what you think you deserve because you never want what you truly deserve.” That is such a hard thing to swallow in our world today. By world standards we learn if you work hard and earn something then your deserve to reap every benefit. We were broken and humbled so many times through last season. It was a tough one especially when we didn’t even know we needed another humbling lesson through his career. I had started to think the career part was finally getting easy. And God was using our children and parenthood to humble us now. LOL!!! That is a whole other blog in itself.
A little irony in us fighting against what the world standards was telling us is that Brian and I had chosen a family scripture years ago. We chose a scripture that we wanted to build our family around. And here it was slapping us in the face over and over.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Instead of praying that prayer that I had wrote down in the mornings, I felt like I was praying it every five seconds. My vision was blurred big time. I couldn’t understand why we had to go through this again? And I was right back to trying to understand His plan. Why is it that we never question it when things are exactly how we want, but the minute something goes wrong we are shaken to the core? I wanted to gracefully go whenever He lead us. And actually this time around I understood it was for a bigger reason, but I was not going without kicking and screaming inside.
As hard as it was some days, I spent a lot of time in the Bible. I searched His words for answers like my life depended on it. And maybe at the time my life didn’t depend on it, but my peace sure did. I didn’t want Brian and the kids to get the short end of the stick because I couldn’t get my act together. I spent tons of time asking for forgiveness for my weak faith and bad attitude. I had some very tired knees last season!
To be honest it took some time for His perspective to come back BUT it did and bigger than ever! It was just like one of my favorite songs says “I was blind, but now I see”. It was as if my circumstances didn’t even cross my mind anymore and all I could see was all the tiny little blessings that happen all day that life issues seem to steal away from us.
Brian was called up and this time around my heart had been changed so much that being there felt undeserved. Crazy right??!! I mean make up my mind already LOL!! Instead of feeling like everything we were going through was a punishment it started to feel like a huge learning curve leading us to way better things. And the past three years were feeling like just incredible blessings instead of something Brian earned.
There were so many super neat things that God made clear to us last year and I wish I wasn’t so concerned about boring all of you to death because I would share every little blessing along the way. But there is one day that stands out to me. And it made such a huge impact on me I wanted to share it with you. I hope I can paint the picture so that you too can see a small slice of what I experienced that day.
Brian was going to be playing against the Rockies in Denver after the All-Star break so we decided to fly home and let the kids stay with our parents while we went to Denver for the weekend. Some how I was always pregnant or with newborns and always missed the Denver trips. So I was excited to see a new place and a weekend alone with Brian! The night we flew in he was off so we walked to have dinner. If you have ever been to downtown Denver you know that it is filled with homeless people. This made me over the top excited!!! Living in Miami for three years made me fall in love with homeless people. I know to some that may seem crazy especially if you live in a small town where you never experience even seeing them. But I have learned that nine out of ten times those homeless people bless me! So to be honest I am doing out of selfish joy most of the time. Nothing like finding some real perspective by having a conversation with a homeless person who is sharing scripture with you and is content with whatever food and shelter the Lord gives them day to day.
Brian could see my wheels turning. He loves that I have a heart for them, but he loves me more and it scares him because he thinks I put myself in unsafe situations with them. He has really come around though. Instead of barely cracking the window to throw food to them, he actually will roll the window all the way down now! LOLLL!!! So to respect our date night I decided to just keep walking, but I knew exactly what I was doing the next day when he left to go to the stadium. 😉 He was getting ready to head out and he saw me filling my bag with waters and food to hand out. He knew my plan. I reassured him I woulnd’t do anything stupid. Also if you ever been to Denver you know that is probably the safest place to approach the homeless. The streets are beautiful and have built in benches and checker games. They even have built in pianos and tons of water fountains up and down the main streets. It’s like Disney World for the homeless. Not to mention hundreds of people walking at all times so you are never alone. I didn’t feel unsafe at all! The only problem I came across was that these homeless people really didn’t need my goodies. There was a place a couple of blocks away that feed them…hahaha!!! At least I tried and they kindly declined my waters, but happily took my snacks.
I think I had been walking for about an hour with my very heavy water filled bag when I walked upon my “GOD MOMENT”. If you have ever had one you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I heard the prettiest music being played. I continued to walk up the street towards it and it was a homeless girl playing the piano and singing. I was across the sidewalk from her so I was facing her back. It was as if the sun was breaking through the tall buildings just enough to beam down only on her. I don’t even know what songs she was singing, but it was the prettiest thing I had ever seen or heard. I stood there in awe! I probably wasn’t there for long but it was if time stood still and I could only hear her. I remember thinking “how did she get here? what lead her to this?” I think anyone with musical talent is just gifted from God. I am not!!! In fact I am pretty sure that the people in front of me at church are not crying because the Holy Spirit is moving them, it’s because I’m singing my heart out behind them. So I just couldn’t understand how something so beautiful was wrapped up in what looked like such a hard life. Then my thoughts went to wondering why no one else was as mesmerized as I was. Were they not hearing this?
Then two cute girls that were probably around my age walked right by me. One of them stop and said, “wow I have never seen that before”. I got so excited because I thought finally someone else is seeing it too! But as soon as I could think that she said probably the most cruel thing she could have said about the girl playing the piano.:( My heart hurt! And as soon as she said it I looked over to the homeless girl. She was totally right. She wasn’t lying, but until she said it I never noticed the girls outward appearance. That cute girl just stole my God moment right out from underneath me. I wasn’t sad for the homeless girl. I was sad that these two cute girls just missed out on something so beautiful.
Now if you didn’t already think I was just a little crazy or weird prepare yourself. The girls walked off and I grabbed my bag and prayer stalked them for two blocks. I’m completely cracking up while I type this!!! Yes I totally followed them and prayed for them and me. I am not in the business of pray stalking I promise! But if you ever see me and want to pray stalk me please do because I can never have enough. All joking aside… I wasn’t praying for them because I was judging them. I was praying for them and me because I am 100% sure that I have had way more days in my life that I would have seen exactly what they saw. And I pretty sure I have plenty more of those days to come unless I a line myself with Him daily. I prayed that I wouldn’t be blind to those moments. Something so simple impacted me so much and made me think wow how many times do moments like that happen around all of us and we let silly life get in the way!
After I prayed for all of us 😉 I turned to go tell that girl that I saw God through her that day. What if she didn’t even know God? And I wanted to bless her for blessing me. And she wasn’t there :(!!! I still can see that day so clear in my head and I often pray for a girl whose face I never even saw.
I feel like this experience is just a slice of what God can show us when we take the spotlight off ourselves long enough to see His bigger picture. It reminds me of a scripture that I love. And I’m not sure if I have ever shared it in a previous post or not but it is Zechariah 4:6.
Not by power, nor by might, but by my spirit. Zechariah 4:6
He doesn’t need you to find your own peace or strength in ever circumstance. He doesn’t need you to fully understand why. He just needs you to admit you need His help and then get out of His way so that He can give you what He knows you need.
What I am hoping that some of you will grasp from this part of our journey is that His perspective may not change your circumstances BUT it will change YOU!!! It will allow you to better understand how you fit into His big puzzle instead of us trying to fit Him into ours. And that is when I believe we find true freedom in this crazy world!
So now that I have shared with you how I try to keep my emotions balanced while riding a crazy up and down ride you might assume that I am always joyful filled with unmeasurable peace. NOT!!!! I am a constant working progress that feels so blessed that He continues to put up with me. But the good news about my failures and weaknesses is that I am confident He will continue to give me plenty of lessons to blog about! If any of you out there feel lead to share a post with us please do! This girl needs a learning curve break 😉
My prayer for today:
Lord, help us to never miss all the moments of small blessings you give us! Help us to see the small blessings sometimes are more powerful than the big ones. Help us to keep our eyes on things above so that our vision is always clear!
Because I’m missing my hubby like crazy I am posting a pic from last season that I love. On Father’s Day last year the minor league team that Brian was playing for allowed our kids to throw the first pitch out to him! It was such a sweet memory. And although through this blog post I expressed how hard it was last season, in reality it was just testing of faith. We had a blast there and meant so many amazing people. In fact if you were to read my journal from last year you would have thought I was the happiest most thankful person alive. I was trying my best to rid myself of an ungrateful heart by writing everything I was thankful for every morning in my journal. It worked!