Confirmation, A Gift and A Story…

Yesterday was our Bible study Christmas party. The entire experience marked by the Holy Spirit and hearts completely devoted to God. I spent yesterday morning trying to assemble my blog post on the Holiday Tour of Homes at the Internet Cafe, ran behind and realized I was going to be about 40 minutes late to the party!

OH NO… So, I hit publish post and decided to edit later, rushed through getting dress – flinging outfits across the room like I was Joan Crawford or something. I put a few curls in my hair and secured it with a clip before hastily brushing on my make-up and scuttling out the door to the car.

I contemplated whether or not I wanted to make the stop at the grocery store to pick up a veggie tray, and turned into the Albertson’s parking lot to do just that. With tray in hand I rushed through the check out line only to find that the automated self-check stand would not take my crisp new ten dollar bill!
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ARGGGHHH!
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The lady from the courtesy counter came over and fiddled with the machine for what seemed like a decade before it finally ate the bill and regurgitated my change.

Back on the road I almost ran a red light in my haste, but hit the brakes before actually violating the intersection. Thank the LORD! I arrived, a good 45 minutes late, but in time for the main festivities – gift exchange!

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They took my gift and numbered it, handed me a bag to draw a number from and I moved around to find a seat near the living area of Kim’s house. I drew number 13. I saw they were distributing gift bags, so I picked up my own and a few others and began to circulate trying to find the rightful owners.
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When all bags were in place, Kim pointed out that sweet and gentle Nancy had gotten her own gift. Which might have suited Nancy fine. Neither Kim nor I thought Nancy should take home her own gift, so I traded with Nancy. She had drawn number 17.
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Nancy reluctantly handed over her bag and took mine. She was very concerned that I should have children to enjoy the “regift.”
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The Rules: Each person was supposed to bring a gift, could have been a regift, but a gift to exchange. The gift was to have a “word of encouragement” or Scripture included that could be related to the gift or not. After everyone was seated with their gifts in hand, Gaye (our leader) instructed us to open our gifts and then we would take turns reading out words of encouragement. I pulled the tissue off the top of my bag and found these two items:
I almost laughed out loud as I considered what these gifts represented. The book is one I’ve known about for years. I have been taught the principles of this book many times in my years of relationship with the Lord. I have even given out the word, “The Battle Belongs to God” three times this very week. Yet, I had never read the book. Better than that, I had never read or purchased a Joyce Meyer book ever! Funny how that happens.
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The game was bit harder to figure out. “Silly Word Games,” obviously a gift for the family… But, what could it mean.

Nancy wrote six Scripture references and a little note that said, Peace is the Word for you. She also underscored the message of the card, “Peace to you this season.”

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So as we made the rounds the revelation struck that the Lord had indeed orchestrated each and every gift to fit the person who received it right down to the Scripture and encouragement shared. Even our visitor, who received my gift, was touched and blessed by how God had given her was an exact and timely word for the season of life she is in.
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So what did it all mean to me… Everything Nancy included in the gift confirmed the last 1 1/2 years of my journey with God. From the change of churches, to the choice to begin ministering in my calling… to the very group where I was being so tremendously blessed. It all was a part of God’s beautiful plan to bring peace and joy back to my life in new and exciting ways.
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As I opened the card and flipped through my Bible perusing the Scriptures on peace printed inside… I realized the “Silly Word Games” represents two things… The way Scott and I facilitated blending our family together – we played board games and the “Silly” part was about how Joy had returned to our lives this year.
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The book is about understanding Spiritual Warfare better, which I believe we all could do. And, well, the Scriptures… They tell a story.
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Philippians 4:7 (NKJV) “And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
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Psalm 29:11 (NKJV) “The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”
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2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) “For the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
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Job 11:18-19 (NKJV with Amplified Emphasis) “And you would be secure because there is hope; Yes, you would dig around (search all about) you, and take your rest in safety. You would also lie down and no one would make you afraid; Yes, many would court your favor.” [NANCY said that she especially sensed the anointing of the Lord in the last three.]
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Psalm 91:4 (NKJV) “He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and your buckler.
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Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.”
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I shared the passage from Job with the group and I told them that I felt my entire year had been marked by Joy (the game) and that this particular season of my life was all about peace.
Confirmation from beginning to end – even with a gift my mother had given me a few weeks back. She couldn’t wait to deliver this beautiful porcelain sculpture doll with Joy and Peace written along the hem of the garment. I told my husband the other day that perfectly represented the year I have had with God.


But more so than all of that — the Scriptures truly represent the journey of Freedom I’ve been on since Justin died. I prayed Philippians 4:7 on the way to the hospital that day he was in the accident. He gave me supernatural strength and peace during those dark days leading up to his death and afterwards to get through the early days and weeks of grief.

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When fear reared its ugly head, God and His Holy Spirit made me sensitive to how I expressed my fear and the conviction made me tired of living that way. I have overcome fear, though I may still get anxious – the anxiety is not the standard, the peace of God is the standard and the anxiety comes and goes quickly these days.
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That fourth Scripture from Job is all wrapped in discovering my calling, moving into ministry and what’s been happening since that time. I dug in hard and searched out God on the process of grief and what it means to be free. I took my rest in Him and learned to be still and wait upon Him – He took away my fears and gave His peace and people seek my counsel and my influence these days more than I even recognize… Oh How Good Is He?
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Psalm 91:4 is all about God being our covering. The Lord really got ahold of me this year about how I refused to accept Scott where he is in his relationship with God, and so was acting in rebellion toward that husband-wife relationship that God ordained for us. Even when Scott is doing a bad job of being my covering, even when he doesn’t know he is supposed to be my covering… If I submit to him and allow God to be God… then I am covered and Scott is subject to God’s direction, authority and discipline. I cannot rest in safety if I am trying to “Holy Spirit” my husband in submissiont to my will. I must rest under God’s covering and know that He will take care of me and my family – even when my husband does not.
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That final verse from Hebrews is all about letting go of the material and living in God’s superabundant, overflow of Grace. He will never leave me or forsake me… He will never let harm come to me — it will always be for my good. I can trust Him because He is faithful who promised and He will do all He has said. OH, I do love Him so…
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Nancy spoke with me after the group and said that God showed her that I was a strong tower with a foundation built on Jesus, and that the peace has already come. She said, the tower is evidence of the victory but the Scriptures are to remind me of where I’ve been with Him when the battle rages again.
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I can receive that… Funny, she said that when she pulled out the cards there were three identical cards in the box but each had a different word on it “Love,” “Joy,” and “Peace.” She said she felt like she was supposed to include two cards with her gift, both Joy and Peace, but she dismissed the notion as nonsense since she did not know who her gift was for. She said, “I really should’ve given you that card.” Thanks, Nancy. You did well and God spoke mightily through you in so many ways! I’m so blessed to be in this particular season, and this particular place with a God who loves me so dog-gone much! My cup truly overflows. And, Nancy’s gift… #13 – It was just for her. Beautiful.

3 thoughts on “Confirmation, A Gift and A Story…

  1. Echoing in part some of my post today about fear. Anxiety isn’t my norm either but I will still get attacked now and then…What a wonderful time of exchanging gifts…even more exchanging hearts!

  2. Oh Michelle,

    What a powerful testimony. Gosh, I’m so glad you typed out each scripture that was given, I needed to read each and every one this morning.

    They ministered life and PEACE to my anxious, stressed out soul today. (Wild morning for me!)

    I’m so blessed things turned out so perfectly for you.

    Love your heart sister!

    PS Thanks for your help yesterday, I was hoping you would of won! Love you♄

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