Today is April 8, 2010, three months to the day that Julia went to be with Jesus. I acknowledge that fact, and I also acknowledge that I miss her terribly. But tonight I’m not focusing on my or my family and friend’s loss. No, tonight I want to focus on all that we have gained, all that we have to be thankful for. Because when I look around I see the goodness of God and all of His blessings everywhere. Someone told me, and I think I remember who it was, but it really doesn’t matter, that more of Julia’s prayers would be answered in the next six months to a year than would have ever been answered if she were here. I look around and watch all that God is doing and I truly believe that. There are many things in my family that Julia and I were praying about that I am seeing breakthrough in right now. There is more work, but still I am encouraged.
I am so thankful for My daughters love for me and for each other. Jennifer and Lisa both have so much of their mother in them, and I believe I see it beginning to come out in ways that would not have happened before. When there is a vacuum something will fill it. That is a law in the natural and in the spiritual. Lisa and Jennifer are realizing that they have strength that they didn’t know that they had. I am thankful for Sean and Hernan as I see them as good dads to their girls. Dad’s are so important in providing identity, provision and protection especially to girls. Their girls know that they love them very much and that is a very good thing. Adair, Meleah, Anna and Julia will really miss their Nanna as they grow up. Especially Adair and Meleah since they had more time with her. But Nana’s prayers will be answered and they will be fine young women and all will reach their destiny. I love to spend time with them and get to know them all better. Yes, God is doing a good thing with my family, and even in the midst of tragedy and grief His love is greater.
I am so blessed to have good friends who love me and won’t take no for an answer when I just want to be alone. I started to name them, but the list would be to long, and I might leave someone out. You know who you are, and I love each of you dearly. Julia loved you, and I see her in each of you, especially you girls. We had good times, but the good news is that we are still having good times. I am excited to see all that we are going to get to do together. I’m looking forward to bike rides, times at the beach and the lake. I’m looking forward to dinners out in the cool of the evening and Mexican food. I’m looking forward to a good glass of wine, of a cold beer at the beach. Life is about relationships, and I am so blessed to have so many friends. Probably I have Julia to thank for that, but I’ll take you all anyway. You have me whether you want me or not.
I am so thankful to have my church family at RiverStone. My pastors are such a blessing, and our long history makes things feel so good and at home. I see answered prayers every time I go to church. I see more of His presence each Sunday and I am blessed and excited to see all that He is going to do. I am praying right now to have Him show me where He wants me to plug in and help. There is much to be done if we want to truly have an impact in transforming our community. I am especially thankful for the sozo team. You have been like a second family to me. Julia loved each of you, and we see such potential and destiny in each of your lives. Working you this past year has been such a blessing. Your spirit excites me. Our cell group is exciting. It’s exciting to see each of you grow in the prophetic and begin to step out. Truly we are developing a prophetic culture as we press into more of Him, and are willing to risk.
I am so thankful that I read “When Heaven Invades Earth” and began to study and learn about the goodness of God. I don’t think that I would have survived this if my theology hadn’t shifted so much in the past four years. I’m so thankful to Bethel Redding and all its leaders. I have learned so much from Bill and Beni Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Danny and Sheri Silk, Donna DeSilvia, Teresa Liebsher. I could go on and on. They have impacted my life and ministry beyond belief. When Julia and I went out to Redding together the first time, it was like coming home. This was what we had been looking for all our lives. It was the culture, the culture of Honor, and the culture of Revival that drew us, and still draws me.
I am thankful to Steve and Lindy for planting Bethel Atlanta. I’m thankful for Scott and Lacy, Steve and Tracy and all the others for being willing to leave Redding to come to Atlanta to help with Bethel Atlanta and help start the school. I am so thankful for my new family at BSSM. You guys and girls have challenged me and pushed me farther into the things of God this year than I would have ever gone by myself. You love and caring for me in my time of need has been overwhelming. I could come into class feeling a little down, but I couldn’t sty there. Truly Papa knew I was going to need you and that is why I signed up for the school when everyone was wondering why. He knew, and I am thankful I followed His lead. I am so looking forward to next year and all that He is going to do.
So, as I look back on these three months, I can truly say God is Good, and He is in a Good Mood. His goodness is everlasting. All we have to do is stop and look around. Yes, I love Julia, and I miss her, but I know that God has so much more for me. I know that she is up there with Him cheering us all on. The future is exciting and the more of God is waiting. We all have to commit to pressing into Him and stepping into our destiny.