Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You choose...

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” ~Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT) 

Choices, choices...a word that has been coming up more and more frequently as 2014 came to a close and 2015 is in full swing. I remember using the phrase, "Make good choices." or "Think, are you making a good choice?" in my classroom very often this last school year. In saying that to a child, it gives them the feeling and knowledge that they are in control at that moment and they are. They are in control of making a good or bad decision and it gives them time to stop and think before they proceed. 

Isaiah 30:21 states, "If you go the wrong way—to the right or to the left—you will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the right way. You should go this way.”"
Isn't it just something that the Lord speaks that way to us too? He is our Teacher and our Father so why wouldn't He speak to us like a parent/teacher speaks to their kids.  I actually do think that it is pretty funny when the Lord whispers to me, "Laryssa, are you making a good choice right now?" Then I must pause and think about it all the while being floored that HE has given me a choice. He guides us but think about that....HE gave us the right to choose! On top of that, He douses us with grace no matter what decision we make.

Google defines choice as, "an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities." We walk through our day not realizing that every step we take, getting out of bed in the morning, speaking kindly to others, and even a warm smile is the option to select and/or make a decision. The spectrum of choices is extremely broad and can range from washing your hands to skydiving.

The above verse talks about choosing life and what that looks like in a relationship with out Father God.  Choosing life has not been easy in this season, however I try to do it daily and it has brought such a peace about life circumstances and a new found joy in every trial and tribulation I face.  I look at the world around me and see so much misery and pain, this is not what we are called to.  1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." We are His chosen people, called out of darkness into the light. He chose us and we should choose Him and choose life!

I am pretty passionate about this subject right now and it gets me all fired up so sorry, not sorry about all my exclamation points and capital letters!!! Everyone has a story, everyone has had traumatic and awful experiences in their lives.  It's not about who has it worse or who has suffered the most, its about CHOOSING HAPPINESS in the face of adversity! This is what Deuteronomy 30:19-20 is referring to.

Now, I know I have made plenty of bad choices in my life. Some big ones I wish I could go back and change but that is not going to happen. However, I have come to learn that the Heart of the Father is grace, love, and redemption. I use to think that He was so angry at me and was going to punish me horribly for these choices but the great news is...that is not His heart!  He has redeemed some choices I have made and I can't begin to tell you that I still can't comprehend His love for me. He does use everything for good and now I am using these redeemed choices to speak to others and watch their healing begin. What an honor!

I began questioning my decision to move to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan....why did I give up the beach for the Arctic, why am I so far away from family and friends with my mom's sudden health issues, why did my best friend go to be with the Lord at such a young age???? God's answer to me was, "Because I gave you a choice Laryssa." I look back and realize, He opened every door for me to come here and closed all the other doors down south. He has allowed these things so I could learn, so I could grow, so I can be a light in the darkness. 

So today I choose to love the snow and its magnificent beauty. I choose to use my best friend's legacy and story as part of my testimony. I choose to hope that my mother will fully recover and if not I choose to believe that God is still using the situation to bring Him glory. I choose joy, because His joy is my strength. I want to encourage you all to choose life because He has called you out of darkness and to walk in His marvelous light. Remember that you are never alone, He is always with you.

"Let us choose for ourselves what is right; Let us know among ourselves what is good." ~
Job 34:4 (NASB)

Let's Pray:
Papa God, "You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough." (Psalm 30:11-12). Thank you for blessing and entrusting me with choice, as well as calling me out of the darkness and bringing me into the light. Please help me to continue to know that you love me unconditionally no matter what choice I make. If I fall, please help me get back up and dust myself off and continue on this life path of living in Your light and Your love. Continue to speak to me in that still small voice, and guide me when I am making choices. Through the good and the bad, I choose to love You and trust You in all things. 
In Your Name,

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