Recently the Lord has been reminding me of lessons that I thought I had already learned...and in His sweet kindness is so gracious and patient to teach me again. As I look over my time in the Coast Guard, I see that in that first year right out of boot camp, the Lord really taught me deep lessons in "JOY". I struggled when I first arrived at my boat (as you can see if you go back and read earlier posts from 2009), but the Lord stayed by my side. Even as I was swamped with my first set of quals that I needed to work on, feeling homesick once again, and not really liking where I was...the Lord showed me that it did not matter what I was doing but what really mattered was who I was doing it for.
he Lord has placed me here on this earth to glorify His name and s everything I do in life is for this ultimate purpose. I learned those early days in the Coast Guard that if I am going to paint a wall then I am going to do it for the Lord and because I am doing it for Him I can do it with a smile and joy. God taught my heart joy amidst circumstances that were far from what I would have wanted them to be.
And now as I come to my last year in the Coast Guard, I believe that the Lord is bringing this lesson back to the forefront. He is reminding me to not just endure my last year in the Coast Guard here in Eastport, but to use it as a way to point to Him by being joyful even when I am studying, washing the boats, standing radio watch, etc.
So here is my game plan so to speak(-:
Rejoice and be filled with thanksgiving!
-When I first wake up in the morning, I am going to spend those first few moments thanking the Lord for the new day before me and praise Him for who He is.
-When I go to work I am going to give thanks to God for the new opportunity to shine the light of the Gospel in a dark place.
-At work I am going to study hard and look for was to learn more and more.
-At work I am going to look for ways to show mercy and kindness and not to gossip and destroy people with my words.
-When I am skyping with my wonderful fiance Fidele, and the Internet connection is terrible and all I wan to do is cry, I will rejoice and thank the Lord that He has blessed me with such a good, wonderful man who is waiting faithfully for me to be His wife and who is giving up sleep and trying to skype with me even though it is not working.
-When I feel lonely and homesick, I will thank the Lord for the wonderful friends He has given me here in Eastport and the wonderful church family I have.
Those are just some starters...I find that once you give yourself to rejoicing that it is hard to find a place to stop. The Lord is so good and kind to us and the things that I can stop and thank Him for are endless. His mercies are new every morning! His faithfulness is beyond my comprehension! He is my glorious strength! And my steadfast peace that calms my raging soul. He is always with me so I will not give in to the struggles and worries that weigh upon my soul. The Almighty God is my refuge so I will not fear, but I will trust in Him.
So today I am learning to rekindle the joy that once was burning and alive in my heart. I thank the Lord that He can relight that fire in me and make it even more alive and bright than before. I pray that the joy of the Lord fills me now and transforms me to be about His work and to glorify His name here in Eastport, Maine.