Hello sweet friends. I have missed chatting and sharing with you recently. My current life trials and struggles have been trying, yet I know my Father has gone before me and prepared a pathway for His plans. The recent events of losing a biological father and a precious sister have left me with a layered mountain of emotions along with memories of the dark valley lasting five years which began in 2013 when my brother passed.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Those difficult years produced a ministry-Refining! God knew the process I needed to endure to produce a great work in me and through me. He made sure the world would see this ministry as a reflection of His glory and that I could not take credit for any of it. The only part I played was humbling surrendering to His authority and giving up control over my life.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
Being refined hurts! Yes, it burns every life dimension. It molds you into something beyond your imagination. And–it doesn’t happen overnight. The days, weeks, and years are grueling. There are times when the overwhelming burdens feel like a life-sucking, unbearable weight you cannot endure. Yet, the Lord promises He is with you and He will carry the load for you.
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:3
God knows the exact precision of time in the fire. (Don’t I wish I knew His timeframe!) Although we all wish for this to be a once in a lifetime occurrence, the refining process can happen often. The ebb and flow of the Father’s purification requires great faith in His miraculous outcome. Frankly, it is a personal choice. A decision no matter the pain and cost to remain under His authority.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 Timothy 3:1
Let me share a story with you from the following source: http://www.ribessj.org/the_silver_refiner.pdf
GOD SITS AS A SILVER REFINER AND PURIFIER
A Bible lover was puzzled by this Bible statement. He called a silversmith and made an
appointment with him to watch him at work. He didn’t mention anything about the reason
for his interest, beyond his curiosity about the process of refining Silver.
As the silversmith, was at his work, he kept holding a piece of silver over the fire and let
it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle,
of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
For a while, our man thought why God should hold us in such a hot spot; then, he
remember again Malachi’s verse that says: ‘God sits as a refiner and purifier of silver,
and asked the silversmith whether it was required that he sat there in front of the fire all
The man answered yes and added: “Not only I have to sit here holding the silver in my
hands , but I have to keep my eyes on the silver all the time it is in the fire, until is
fully purified, If the silver were to be left a moment too long in the flames, it would be
Our Bible lover was silent for a moment. Then, he asked the silversmith, “How do you
know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled and answered, ‘”Oh, that’s easy –when
I see my image reflected in it”
(Adapted from a story of unknown authorship)
Lessons from the story:
* In moments of trial. God holds you in his hands and intently looks at you.
* When you feel the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eyes on you.
* He keeps watching you until He sees His image reflected in you.
SO, in this season I will cling fast to the fact that God is embracing me from head to toe and intentionally looking upon me as His daughter He loves dearly. When the grief hits, the earthly dealings overwhelm, and there seems to be no end to the mess left behind, I will see God all around me. He sees me and knows my pain. His loving gaze upon my life will fill me with His joy and He will give me strength beyond compare. I will continue to draw close to Him as He shapes me into His image. The Lord has BIG PLANS for His ministry through all of this. I cannot wait to see what is yet to come. But for now—I must endure the flames and understand the purpose of this trial.
Our family would love your prayers during our days ahead. Please know you each play a large role in our grief process and we are extremely grateful for you. If you would like to add to the memorial of my sister, Shawn Colleen Welborn, we would request a donation to be made to the American Cancer Society or your local Breast Cancer Center in her honor.
Big Hugs, lots of Love, and sincere Prayers…until we meet again.
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.