Flourish

Just over six years ago, we made the decision to make the short move from laid-back, hippie town Austin to the serious and business-like town of Dallas.  We knew God was stirring something inside of us for several months and that change was on the horizon. We just weren’t sure exactly what the change was going to look like; until, our Pastor’s shared with us their vision of moving to Dallas to start a church.  Once we heard the news, I knew in my spirit this was the change. My husband and I always knew God had called us to play a larger role in helping my parents. My mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over 25 years ago and God placed it on our hearts to play a more active role in her life and in my dad’s with her care. God was calling us to Dallas to not only play an active role in my parents lives, but also to be a part of the Shoreline City Church launch team. 

Making the decision to move to Dallas was the easiest part of the whole process. Actually, getting here was a different story.

We faced a few challenging obstacles; from not being able to sell our house in Austin, to living with parents in a small townhome with our six dogs (Yes, we have 6 dogs!) and then moving into my brother and sister- in- law’s house with their four kids. Then, there was the job situation. My husband went from one interview to the next, but still no job.  Our car broke down and we had our belongings stolen out of our storage unit.  It felt like it was one thing after another.  Hit after Hit. Before we could get on our feet again, another punch would come sending us back down.

In Psalm 92:13 it says, “Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”

I believe because we were PLANTED in church, we continued to flourish despite the circumstances around us. We had amazing Pastors, mentors, and leadership who poured life into us during those trying times.  They prayed for us, sent us scriptures and cheered us on when we wanted to give up. BECAUSE we were planted – we had a community of believers who stood by us when we didn’t think we could stand anymore.

Being planted in the church does not mean you won’t still have tough times; but because you are rooted – even when the drought and heat comes you will still flourish

When you go back through scripture, you see time and time again that God performs miracles when we continue with the posture of living with outstretched arms. In Exodus 14, the Lord told Moses to STRETCH out his hand and he caused the sea to split.

In Exodus 17:11 we read; “When Moses held up his hand Israel prevailed”.  As long as his hands were raised they continued to win the battle.  When Moses couldn’t hold his hands up anymore –Aaron and Hur stood on either side of him and held his hands up for him. 

This scripture should be a depiction of the church and community of believers around you! They are the Aaron and Hur’s in your lives. When you are weak and feel like you can’t go on – they are the ones who are going to be there to pour life, strength, and love you until the battle is won!

Then in the New Testament, we read about the ultimate sacrifice, Christ with arms outstretched on the cross bore our sins so we might be saved.  There is something powerful about taking on the posture of arms stretched out.  This is the posture of surrender.  Letting go of what is in our hands and stretching them towards Him.  It is only then that God can do a miracle in our lives, careers, marriages, finances, and health.

Even when my husband and I went through these trials and others, we never took on the posture of defeat.  We never stopped going to church, nor did we blame God.  If anything we did the opposite.  It made our roots grow deeper. We stayed in the church.  We served anywhere and anyway we could.  We took on the posture of hands extended and a life surrendered.  We didn’t hold tightly on to the things we were losing. We didn’t have jobs, but with hands extended we gave it to God and He provided. When our furniture and material things were stolen, instead of holding tightly on to what we had left – we lifted our hands and gave it to God. When finances got tight, we lifted our hands open to God with what we had left and continued to tithe and give. We don’t give because we are “good” but we give because HE IS GOOD. Despite our circumstances, God is still a good god.

I want to encourage you to fully commit – to be fully planted in every season of your life.  Our lives are a testimony of being planted in God’s house and living with outstretched arms.  A good friend said to me yesterday; “Quality of the Soil determines the Quantity of the Harvest!” What soil are you going to allow your roots to grow in?

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Lauren Clark

Silver & Gold Holiday Beauty Bash benefiting Gather Her

FREE

'Tis the season for all things that sparkle! Grab your girl tribe, fancy up, and gather 'round at Cotone for a fun evening of beauty and fashion benefiting Gather Her / Created Woman, a non-profit that empowers women to be who they are created to be.

 

Sip, shop and get pampered all in one place! 

*Free Mini Makeovers using Jentri Quinn Makeup + Skin

*Complimentary Braid Bar

*Raffle Prizes (get one free ticket when you RSVP now!)

*Light Bites & Cocktails / Wine

*Holiday Music provided by DJ Anupi

*Candy Bar

*Complimentary Chair massages by Teresa with Roots and Remedy

*Receive a special discount on regularly priced clothing and makeup when you RSVP now and mention this invite! Excludes consignment.