Since my album, Canyons and Cathedrals, was released last fall, my life has literally turned upside down! For some time, my husband and I have felt a tugging on our hearts to serve the Lord in a different capacity than we had previously know, and a desire to prepare in a more intentional way for whatever or wherever He would lead. We had ties to a small church in Oregon with an outstanding discipleship program and felt the Lord calling us in that direction.
So last October, we left the ranch that had been our home of 6 years. The home where our two children had been born, where we had good friends, our beloved desert, and the small church where I lead worship every week. We were leaving the comforts of an entire lifestyle for the unknown.
After spending a month on the road visiting family, we arrived in Oregon. Immediately the testing began! The promised job we were relying on fell through. The funds we had for housing was no longer an option. Two days after our arrival we hit a deer and needed car repairs. As soon as we found a place to live, our truck broke down requiring major repair work. We exchanged dry desert air for relentless, pouring rain that left our tools, tack, and any other valuables we own practically destroyed. We miss the sun, open desert, the sagebrush. We miss the horses, cows, and distance from town. We feel completely uncomfortable and totally out of place. Everything about our new life is strange and different.
But we had come for spiritual nourishment and training. To love God and walk wherever He would lead, no matter the cost — to love God above all and to be obedient to His calling. We had come here to have the freedom we never had working on a ranch: to be able to give our time, finances, and hearts on a deeper level. So one morning after we had been talking about going back to the desert, to a ranch where my husband could actually make a living, I heard a voice say to my heart, “Do you love Me more than your circumstances?” Ah, surrender. He doesn’t need our sacrifices. He doesn’t need our money. He doesn’t want us to be miserable. He wants our hearts. It is when we lose ourselves that we find true life and happiness and joy. We can rest securely in His love. We can always trust in His leading.
“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5 AMP
And so, through all the changes and challenges we are facing, He is ever worthy of our worship — worthy of our hearts, and I bow before Him in surrender of all that I am and all that I have. He is God and there is no other.