Journal entry October 21, 2018

“"I know the plans I have for you," announces the Lord. "I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-13‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

About 10 years ago I would have never asked God to teach me to love him or to teach me to have a real relationship with Him. I didn't know how to do that. I thought the way that I lived was just fine. I thought the way I believed was just fine.

When I look back at the years I spent living for myself and then eventually in suffering with both Jason’s illnesses, I think of myself as a young, wandering, ignorant youth. When I came upon this difficult time in my life, my husband’s illnesses, it was like I became an apprentice and learned everyday new and difficult things. Everyday I got up and repeated them over and over again. I had no choice but to be faced with learning a new way of life. I prayed everyday for our situation to change, for it to be removed and to go back to a normal, comfortable life but there was no answer from God. I didn’t know it then but I was learning a new way of life. The repetition of calling out to God, praying constantly, searching for scripture to find out who this God really was, was forming a habit. It was teaching me new skills for a new life that I would use later. It was almost like I was being refined.

Kind of like salt.

After being mined, it’s not perfect. It’s not ready for its purpose. Salt goes through a multi-step process to remove contaminants, foreign matter, and less-than-ideal crystals. After all that, leaving only the purest, cleanest and brightest colored Ancient Ocean Himalayan Pink Salt available, leaving intact the rich mineral content for which it's loved and prized. (Some words taken from the Saltworks website)

I was learning to call out to God. I was learning to depend on His strength and not my own. I was learning to speak to God and to wait for His answer. And while I waited I was learning to look for Him with all of my heart. Daily I was so eager to hear from my master. And when I found Him, I heard from Him and it was like discovering a treasure.

Thank you Heavenly Father for giving me those apprenticeship years of learning. They were not easy but I treasure them because I found you. Thank you Lord for giving me a purpose in life; to take those years and turn them around to further your kingdom.

“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. ‭‭

Isaiah‬ ‭58:8-9‬ ‭NIV

———>> I used to meditate on these two verses during those difficult times when Jason was ill. They never made sense to me then but I knew they were meant especially for me and the time I was going through.