Thursday, October 27, 2016

In His Presence

Hi Gems! It’s been a while since I’ve written. I hope you are all doing well, I haven’t had a computer for some time and have missed sharing life with you.  
I’m currently in a study from 2nd Timothy.  Part of the lesson is talking about our Mentors. The homework was to write down both past and present mentors in our life. I have had many mentors, some are in Heaven, some I have never met (I listen to teaching on internet) and they don’t know they are my mentor. I’m like the creeper apprentice I guess. Some I have shared a part of my life with and some are active in my circle right now. I appreciate all of them but the one I want to talk about first is Fran Bozeman.  
I’m sure you have heard me talk about Fran in the past. She is in Heaven now and I miss her like crazy! 
Fran had quite the fan club. I first met her when I was pregnant with Nathanael so that would have been about 25 years ago. I was new to the whole Bible study thing and joined a church that had a women’s study during the week. I didn’t join to study the Bible I joined because I wasn’t used to being home during the day, I had always worked and I was bored and needed friends. Just keepin it real here. 
I picked the class I wanted to join and off I went. When I first arrived everyone met in the chapel for a small service before we broke off into our groups. There were women of all ages and I was happy because many of them were my age. I guess they were bored too. I was anxiously anticipating who  
would be my new friend. I scanned the room to find a target that I would shoot my smile at and hope my look of desperation didn’t scare them off. 
After we all settled down the leader of the group came in. She was an OLDER woman (probably a little older then I am right now) and as she walked up to the podium I remember thinking geeezzze I hope this old lady doesn’t talk all day cause I want to get to my small group. I have friends to make! 
Two minutes into Fran speaking I was captivated. She was the most amazing speaker I had ever heard. She  was a retired missionary who loved Jesus I had never heard anyone speak of Jesus like they knew him as a friend. She spoke of some of her travels and the things she had witnessed. I was hooked! I walked right up to her afterwards and told her she needed to be my friend. I went each week just to hear Fran speak. I couldn't wait to hear more about her fascinating life. 
I was a wreck of a believer when I first met Fran but she poured into me and walked me through some very tough times. She was the most humble and loving woman I had ever met. I loved our intimate conversations and the times I could ask her questions. I loved how she gave me guidance without any judgment and would pray over me. One day she looked me straight in the eye and said “Gena when you finally go to bed at night AND finally fall asleep your angel’s go whew.”  
I loved being IN her presence not just having her present.  
I want to break that down a bit. If Fran and I were both at the same church service and she was on one side of the auditorium and I on the other she was present but not in my presence. 
When I was at the study she was present but there was usually a line of women waiting to speak to her. Again she was present but not in my presence. 
If we were at the same social gathering it was a little better because she was present and I might get a few minutes with her but again I wasn’t alone in her presence. 
No joke, one time I was tired of waiting for my turn. I had tried to schedule a meeting with Fran for weeks and she was always so busy, I had no choice I had to take matters into my own hands. I showed up at her office and told her I NEEDED her to come outside with me. She did, ahhh Fran so trusting… I got her to get in my car and then I drove her to an empty baseball field parking lot not far from the church so I could have some alone time with her. I had pretty much kidnapped a missionary. We laughed about that many times over the years. 
Gems, there is nothing more precious than being in the presence of someone you love and they are just as happy to be there as you are. The truth is Fran let herself be kidnapped as she also needed some alone time with her crazy Gena friend.  
I always felt better after my time with Fran. I got a needed hug or word of advice that made my journey easier to bare. I felt loved and cared for and that gave me strength to keep moving forward. 
This of course got me to thinking about my sweet Jesus. We know God is omnipresent but is He always present. I used to say yes of course but I have found that is not the correct answer. Of course He is everywhere all the time but I mean that intimate time of KNOWING He is right there with you. 
We can go to church and hear a sermon about God but did we engage with Him? We can have a quiet time and read our Bible about Him but did we talk to Him? 
Do we enter into His presence?   
When I have my time alone with the Lord I pray, read my bible and sometimes play worship music. It’s not a formula and you don’t have to do it, it’s just what I do that helps me get focused and empty the thousands of thoughts in my head so I can have that one on one time. Like parking at an empty parking lot with Him so we have one another’s undivided attention. 
Last weekend I was having one of those times with Jesus. My friend Karen called, I don’t usually answer my phone during these times but she was visiting from Texas and I knew she would be leaving soon.  Karen offered to take me for a massage and facial. A fun girl’s time with the two of us and my youngest daughter Jessica. I had been wanting a facial for a while and it sounded really tempting but ya know what Gems I knew I was in the Lord’s presence that morning. There was no burning bush or audible voice I could just feel Him. We were hanging together and I didn’t want to give up a minute of it. I know how crazy my life can be and I’m not usually in an empty house so as much as I appreciated the generous offer I was going to hang out right where I was. 
Yes God is omnipresent but that presence doesn’t ignite my fire any more than being in the same building as Fran did. Does that make sense to you? 
My spirit is refueled after my time with the Holy Spirit. My love tank is filled after I hear how much Jesus loves me. I am at peace knowing that the creator of the world is the God I serve and this definitely helps me to keep moving forward and not be filled with fear of all the things I have no control over. 
If you haven’t done this in a while let the Lord kidnap you and go somewhere alone with Him.  If you're not sure what I'm talking about write me I would love to share more with you. If you don't know Jesus as your Savior just ask Him to take over your life and He will make Himself real to you. 
Do what you have to but don’t miss out on being there, In His Presence!