faith and not by sight.

I used to think that the most difficult decision I would have to make would be to decide on a college and a major, or perhaps what shoes I would be wearing today (haha), not paying any thought to the black fog that would be mysterious life.
 
Over the past year, my prayer life has strongly revolved around two key points: (1) That God would strategically place me where He wants me to be, especially in terms of school and job(s), and (2) Exodus 33:15, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring [me] up from here.” 
 
A.W. Tozer wrote, “Outside the will of God, there’s nothing I want. Inside the will of God, there’s nothing I fear.”  This has been a vital anthem to my spirit in this season of figuring out life as something other than a student.  It has so much to do with trust- trusting that the choices and places God calls me to are for His glory and my good, even when those choices and people and places don’t glitter and glow.  It’s easy to make decisions in our flesh about what choices seem right, seem good, seem logical.  But so often, God calls us to choose paths that are seemingly crazy to the logical mind. Build an ark. Find a way through the sea.  Take two years off. Take the job with the pay cut. Live in this neighborhood, or this city, or this country.
 
Because here’s the thing- at His core, God delights in turning ashes to beauty, turning the Valleys of Achor in our lives into Doors of Hope (read: Hosea 2:15).  He is enamored by opportunities to transform, to make whole, to make new.  How often do we own that same perspective? I know I often struggle to maintain it.  Looking at my piling bills, the traffic, the slow progress, etc- sometimes I forget to see beneath the dirt and malaise of day to day life to see the glimmer of change, the consistent, quiet breath of the Holy Spirit dancing about me, waiting oh so patiently for my attention, my full, undivided attention.
 
I have no clue who I’m writing this for (beyond God, obviously), but I know that I for one have felt the tension lately of the many opportunities and decisions that await at my doorstep, and I’ve felt the stirring of the Spirit over areas and opportunities that seem lackluster to the bare eye. So for those of you feeling like God has for some reason taken you into “boring” territory, or “dry” seasons, this is my battlecry along with you- look again. Look again, with your eyes on Him.  Sing out to the dry bones, to take life and arise. Because the beauty of grace and faith is not merely that we’re forgiven, but that we’re invited to participate in the act of redemption, in stewarding this supernatural gift of making things new, and whole, and full of His glory.
 
Press in for the full measure. And know that, at any moment, you lack NOTHING; the Father of lights gives good gifts, and you have to know and believe that any relationship or resource not currently in your life is for your best. If He is constantly fighting for our wholeness, we have to believe that this alone is His motivation behind His every choice to give and to take away. He’s an amazing Father of unfailing lovingkindness.

"And he said to Him, 'If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?'" Exodus 33:15-16

waiting for a sign.

Numbers 9: 15-23 "whenever the cloud ascended from the tent, the israelites would march. and the Israelites would camp wherever the cloud settled. " - Numbers 9:17

so often, life feels like a little more than a series of decisions: should i stay in school? should i find a job? should i change my major? do i need to find a spouse? so often, we look to God for some kind of clear answer telling us just what to do.

about a year ago i was given the opportunity to go back to haiti for the second time. I struggled with the decision to go because of funds and because of where my heart was.

now, one major thing you need for a mission trip is funds. for this trip i sent out a series of support letters and talked to numerous people to raise funds. eventually after sending x amount of letters funds came in. half was donations and half was what i worked for.

as i counted the funds to see if i had enough for my trip, it reminded me that God will provide and when He does and gives things for a purpose. I reviewed all the pros and cons and finally made a choice. i even left my job at the time because i felt God was leading me very clearly.

while wandering through the wilderness, the people of Israel knew when to move and when to stay put because God gave them a sign: if the cloud that covered the tabernacle stayed put, they were to do likewise; when the cloud moved, they were to move. In my situation I felt that the "cloud" had moved and that I should go to haiti.

but we don't always get a clear sign from God. there have been many times when I have prayed, sought the advice of friends and family, and waited for God to point us in the right direction, only to get ... nothing. for example, when I was trying to decide whether I should quit my job, i agonized for months and days with no sense of what God wanted me to do. where was our sign?

the truth is, God doesnt always move the clouds to show us which way to go. instead, God asks us to be faithful, to make choices with our lives that honor him. He asks us to get our priorities in order, to turn away from worldly standards of success and achievement and to bend our will to that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. and as we follow his example, walking in his ways, we begin to think more like him. Paul tells us in Romans 12:2: " Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

we will make our share of mistakes in life decisions. at times, we will undoubtedly go when we should stay and stay when we should go. but the promise that God gives us is that no matter where we go - to a new state, haiti, to a new job, to a new stage of family life - our God goes with us.

- Simon Souksanh

I am never good at blogs.

I have had a wordpress for about two years and only written a handful of blogs. Let's be honest, the probably all suck. Anyway... I want to start writing again and try to do it as much as I can. So why not start tonight. Over the past two years a lot of things have happened. To name a few:

- death of my grandmother. - new friends. - new church. - moved. - new relationships. - new job.

that's just a few. Luckily with all of that going on and all the bumps I have encountered..God has always been there for me.

this is just an update! I'll figure out something to write later. Ha!