I Believe

I am the gentle gardener watering your visions in the night.

While editing my creativity book yesterday, I came across this paragraph I wrote several years ago:

“I awoke from a dream in which the Lord was counseling me about focus. He explained that the visions He had given me are like flowers in my garden. Some are to be contained and some transplanted into larger containers. However, some will climb over the garden wall in order to spread seeds in other places. All are to grow simultaneously.”

Irwindale Renaissance Faire

The words stunned me in light of unbridled fears of financial security that had trampled my serenity. Teachers in my school district brace for more forced furlough days that will take another significant chunk out of our paychecks. I found myself giving way to anxious thoughts: Will I have enough money to push my book projects forward? Will I have the funds to fulfill promises I’ve made to others?

Then in the middle of my angst, a scripture whooshed through my mind and lingered just long enough for me to scribble it down:

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I dare to believe thoughts of faith that mix with my mental musings and wash fear from my mind. The plans and purposes I have for you are not easily discernible. Look to the quarry from which you were cut. Look to Abraham your father and Sarah your mother. Let faith rise above the fear. Release promise to conquer the pain. Allow joy to replace your sorrow. In that day, you shall hear a voice behind you saying this is the way, walk in it.

I decide that whether these words are God breathed or merely human ramblings mixed with scriptures intended to self-comfort, they bode well with my soul, and so I accept them. In the midst of doubting whether my writing will one day truly grow like a vine up and over the wall of my life, I open my bible to a random page and read these words:

22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.[a]
23 With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.
24 But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed[b] limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
Genesis 49: 22-24

The words silence my mental chatter. I remember that God is the eternal spring, and I am but a sparrow for whom he cares.

I realize anew how faith begins with the realization that I cannot without Him. Oh sure, I may muster a whole lot of human effort but the accuracy with which I hit the mark of God’s will requires reliance on hearing and following that still small voice of God’s Spirit.

Faith grows from dependency upon a Power greater than I possess. The longer I follow the Good Shepherd, the more uncertain I am of the path before me.

My spiritual ears often grow dull from 21st century living. Yet faith picks me up again and again when I fail miserably at following. When I remember the women who set out to prepare Jesus’ body for burial on that Easter morn so long ago, once again, I believe.

This post is linked to Cheryl Smith’s The Simplify Journey.
The Simplify Journey

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About JoDee Luna

“I’m lost in a love affair with portrait painting!” JoDee Luna confesses. This author, artist, and educator describes herself as a creative eclectic due to her diverse history, multiple talents, and various career pursuits. She enjoys a host of creative expressions: mixed media, mask making, floral designing, photography, sculpture, and gardening. JoDee believes the creative process infuses her with the courage to try on new artistic identities, take inspired risks, and explore imaginative ideas. She seeks to share her insights with others through her book, Refrain from the Identical: Insight and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics and website by the same name, http://refrainfromtheidentical.com. Both provide helpful tips and inspiration for artistic multi-taskers, those who enjoy various forms of artistic expression.
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16 Responses to I Believe

  1. Pingback: I Believe (via JoDee Luna’s Blog) « Change is Never Ending

  2. Beautiful post, JoDee. I am spellbound with His intervention in your life and your recognition of His voice. May the flowers in your garden climb over the garden wall and spread seeds in many places.

    Your photos are perfect for your post, and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you…

    • JoDee Luna says:

      Carol, thank you for the affirmation. I often cringe before posting something so personal. I imagine others thinking, “Who does she think she is writing so presumptuously?” But then I remember that if anything good comes from my words, it is His doing. I can easily scrape off the egg on my face that remains.

  3. izziedarling says:

    JoDee – so beautiful – words and photos. I am still blown away but the fact that He considered me worth dying for. And you. And the sparrow. I love that you wrote “the longer I follow … the more uncertain the path before me”. Sister, I know where you are coming from. When I’m not in my Thomas’ mode, it’s rather exciting to be uncertain, isn’t it? Happy Easter, my friend.

    • JoDee Luna says:

      Izzie, I love that you love this post :). “… it’s rather exciting to be uncertain, isn’t it?” What a perfect perspective for me to mull over, the excitement of uncertainty. I’m also amazed that He died for me and that I met a blogging friend as wonderful as you. Happy Easter and may many more posts pass between us.

  4. As a woman, I like to know what is ahead as most women also wonder about tomorrow. Your random turning to a page (the page) in your Bible to discover a message direct for YOU is simply another proof of a caring Father who is protecting your vines and dreams. Such beautiful photos and words. You and your children are blessed. May the provision from above, reach you here on earth to supply all your needs and desires!

    • JoDee Luna says:

      Hazel, I accept your blessing in faith, “May the provision from above, reach you here on earth to supply all your needs and desires!” What a wonderful Easter gift! Thank you so much.

  5. Beautiful and extraordinarily timely encouragement. I’m all about uncertain paths and forging ahead on them anyway at this point in my life! Let’s go!

  6. Cheryl Smith says:

    I’m so blessed to read this, JoDee. To hear how God is speaking to you “randomly” and know that you’re listening. Hearing. Really attuned to His voice. And that “this is the way” passage? It’s an anchor passage for me. I wrote about it slightly more than three years ago and still cling to its Truth: http://www.culturesmithconsulting.com/2008/04/i-cried-today/

    • JoDee Luna says:

      Cheryl, how exciting to read that this is one of your anchor passages. I’m going to explore the link. I sure hope that I’m listening and hearing. I always want a sure thing but faith just doesn’t work like that. Maybe God knows I need more encouragement than most. I really liked the post you did in which you shared your free flow prayer/God speaking to you exchange. That is so often how it happens with me. Your post assured me that I’m not crazy but God does interact like this with us.

  7. L.L. Barkat says:

    These paths are lovely. I wonder if all our paths are lovely in some way, if we look to the side of the road or to the sky. 🙂

  8. slamdunk says:

    Home run with this post JoDee. Combatting worry with the reflections that has been an important part of your life for years is admirable. I like how so many of your posts are personal yet have such a universal application for us readers so many miles away.

    You and your family are in my prayers.

    • JoDee Luna says:

      slamdunk, your comment means so much to me because you are one of my blogging heros. Sometimes I fret over whether my posts are too personal so it is good to hear that the universal applications do come through my own reflections.

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