Follow the Leader

By: Krystal Woods

A lesson of submission and obedience

Prayer Journal Entries

January 11, 2010

I am anxious and scared. Your Word says that I shouldn’t be and that I am to give you everything in prayer, petition and with thanksgiving. So I am… Abba, please save us from this nightmare.

January 12, 2010

Thank you for bringing us so far. My heart is heavy but I feel your peace. I know that I can trust You. Please show us your will. Open or close doors to match your will for us. We want you to be glorified. I wonder what this will all turn out like. Please prepare us for what is coming, be it good or bad.

January 15, 2010

I can feel in my spirit that I am giving up and I am depressed. I am very sad and I need to give these emotions to you. Help me to do this, my heart is heavy, Abba. The hounds are so close I can feel their breath; make this corner into a room.

January 21, 2010

It actually causes me physical pain at the thought of losing our home and house. It feels as though I have been sucker punched. I give this whole mess to you and I am anxious to see how things work out.

October 25, 2011

Waiting… it is so difficult. I just want to know what is going to happen to us. I know you are preparing a place for us. I thank you for that.

August 1, 2012

We got the foreclosure papers today and our now waiting on your hand. Thank you for bringing us this far and we BLESS your name. Let our lives be a living sacrifice  and testimony to bring you glory.  I pray for your mercy, provision and will. You are so good to me; you have changed my heart and I love you Lord! I am excited to see what you do.

February 26, 2013

You have made my lot secure and boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing– Psalm 16:2. Nothing in my life is as important as my relationship with you, Jesus. Help me to show my love for you and your love for me, to others today. – February 26, 2013

April 2, 2013

Tomorrow, Ed is supposed to sign the rental agreement for the house in Brogue; if this is not your will please let this not happen.

April 6, 2013

I know I need to believe that you are going to work all things for good in this but I just can’t yet, please forgive me. I am consumed with disappointment; just devastated and I need you to help me! Show me something that will help me. And Lord, please bless us through this obedience to follow you, teach me to use the grace you have given me to get through this. – April 6, 2013

April 8, 2013

Jesus! You have helped me so much. I am on board with the move to the Brogue house and I am feeling excited for the next adventure. Please give me a love for this move.

May 10, 2013

A word from God on the new house: It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. Isaiah 4:6

May 15, 2013

Thank you for loving me and meeting me here each time I reach out to you. Your love never fails and your faithfulness abounds. Praise you, Lord!

June 17, 2013

So we are here! In Brogue! What’s next? Feeling sad about the other house being empty and definitely homesick. We are all feeling overwhelmed with what needs to happen here in the house. Please order our day and our tasks. Help us to be good parents while we work and help us to be efficient. We are here for no other reason other than we believe you called us here. Please use us mightily for your name’s glory.

When the economy tanked in 2008, Ed lost his own trucking business and our finances took a turn for the worst! He quickly got a driving job with UPS but the work was part-time and the pay just starting out with UPS was not enough to carry our family of 5. I was working full-time though, and even though we had a 50% loss of income with Ed’s business folding up, my salary was enough to help us make our mortgage payments… until early 2009 when I was laid-off due to my company downsizing from the economy’s steady decline. Things were so overwhelmingly dark and frightening; it is hard to look your children in the face and know that you cannot get out of this situation and that things are going to change for us all. Then debt collectors and the mortgage company began calling around the clock. We began to get notices about the electric being turned off and we could no longer afford to buy propane for the furnace to heat the house, so we put a woodstove in the basement and cut a hole in the first floor of our house just above the woodstove so that the heat could rise up in an attempt to keep us warm. We did this for 2 winters. It was cold.

We held our own as long as we could, trying to avoid bankruptcy and foreclosure; Ed was working at UPS full-time now but the pay was nowhere near what we needed to keep up with our bills. Even though we tried to get a loan modification, so we could keep our house, we were repeatedly denied due to the mortgage company not being one that allowed loan modifications. We sold our vehicles, tractor, furniture, and everything that we could to make ends meet for as long as possible. We took odd jobs and got rid of cable, cut coupons… did without everything we could to try and make that mortgage payment for that house! That house… that house! It was our “dream house” and we loved living there. It was in the same area Ed and I grew up in and both sets of our parents were in the same area. It was a beautiful house and one that we both had hoped to raise our kids in. But that was not to be.

Because of the abundant number of foreclosures at that time we lived in limbo for 3 years not knowing when or even if (we had hoped to buy it back from the bank on the day of foreclosure) we would have to move. But then while we still didn’t know for sure if we would have to move, Ed found a place for us to move to. He strongly felt the Lord calling us to Brogue, PA, even though he couldn’t even come up with a guess as to why? I mean, Brogue? We had always agreed that if we did end up moving we would stay in the same school district and area we already lived in. This move would take us out of the school district, even more than that, if would take us out of the state! I thought he had lost his mind! But there was no changing it! Believe me, I tried! He was insistent we go and visit the Brogue property, so we did. I knew right away the property wasn’t for us. It didn’t meet any of the requirements of a house I would want to live in, not one! And it was on a main road that had a ton of dangerous nonstop traffic! I said, “No way,” before we even walked inside and I knew I was being closed-minded and down right bratty, but I wasn’t going to move to Brogue!

This house in Brogue had plenty of bedrooms and space for us and we could even bring our dogs! The owner was offering us a great deal; one even better than people with perfect credit would get and we for sure didn’t have perfect credit! But I wasn’t having any of it! I began to build such a great resentment and anger towards my husband for thinking this was God’s will for us. Ed was very clear that this was where the Lord wanted to relocate us and my response to that was, “Jesus talks to me, too, and he didn’t say anything to me about Brogue!” And it’s true, Jesus didn’t say a word to me about Brogue… only Ed heard from Him in this situation and I was distraught over having to follow Ed’s lead and not have confirmation myself of this decision. This was Ed’s first attempt at really trying to lead our family in a direction that I was not in agreement with. I am a strong leader and Ed defaulted to my leadership often and this was a tough time for both of us since he was stepping out on his own and I was fighting him tooth and nail.

I share these ugly memories of our past, not because I’m proud of my strong stance of opposition, but rather the opposite. I regret how unwilling I was to being lead and how little faith I had in the Lord’s sovereignty. I regret how unwilling I was to follow the leader. I fought against the rightful authority over me and tried to undermine Ed’s lead and confidence that he was making the right decision. As wives, we have great power of influence and it is important to set up accountability in how we use it. It was a time of great pain but this time also produced beautiful fruit and faith-growing lessons, once I decided to be obedient to my husbands lead.

There were a couple of things that brought me back around. God was ever patient with me and used circumstances he knew I would respond to. I remember being so angry at Ed and the Lord for making us move to Brogue that I would grind my teeth at night and wake up with my jaw so locked that I couldn’t open my mouth. This was crazy and I knew it had to stop and that I had to let go and follow the leader! I prayed that the Lord would help me and he did! It wasn’t easy laying down my will and submitting but day by day, I would begin to adjust to the idea of moving to Brogue. And even though I wasn’t thrilled I began to pack boxes and make trips up to the Brogue house to drop things off and set things up. The Lord performed a miracle in my heart; I think those are the biggest miracles of them all. Changing a heart is the business of the Holy Spirit and He does this like no one else can. With a willing heart, He can change everything: feelings, attitudes, motives, actions. In this situation I even needed Him to teach me how to have a willing heart! The beauty of our God is that He helps us follow Him. He digs right into the ugly, the bitter, and the resentful and washes it with His blood that truly changes everything! He gives all those feelings and emotions a new identity; an identity that causes us to put down our will for HIS.

Another time, during this season, that the Lord helped me was when I was have inner battles with “when” to move. Technically, we could have stayed in our current house till we were kicked out, but Ed had already signed the papers and we had started paying for the house in Brogue. So at some point we were going to move. I wanted to wait till the last possible moment to move so I kept delaying the move date. One evening the Lord visited me, as He has been known to do from time to time, and he whispered over my shoulder, “You can stay here as long as you want, but your future is there!” Immediately, all the unrest was dissolved and replaced with resolve to move and to move quickly. If my future was in Brogue, then I had to get there! The Lord’s words were such a comfort to me because He was telling me that I could pick either option: move now or move later, and that He was still going to be with me and love me the same. But He was telling me that what He had for us wasn’t where we were but down the road…  in a different state… in a different town… in a different house. We moved 2 weeks after the Lord spoke to me about our future and He gave me a verse to help me along the way: See,  I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  Isaiah 43:19. I didn’t see this new thing right away but, do you remember those kids in the foster care system that captured our hearts and the reason why we started the foster/adoption process in the first place? Well guess what? They lived in a different state, in a different town, in a different house, right next door.

Then you will know I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. Isaiah 49:23 – Given to me by my dad on August 1, 2012 in regards to our housing situation.

For me, this experience lead to a more fully SURRENDERED heart and FAITH in the sovereignty of God and the authority He has put over me.

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