I hope you will pray for us and this vision as we walk this mountainous winding road to where God is taking us. It is exciting and scary and it leaves us all face down with not a self-sufficient bone in our bodies.
Fear was my first recognizable emotion. I have always said that the first thing you think about when you wake up is where your heart is. This morning before I could even form a thought I felt fear. The reason for it is an embarrassing one—at least it is for a Christian. I was remembering my bank account balance that had fallen sharply yesterday. My first waking thought was about money. But then, so quickly Jesus was there, with his presence, with his calm hand, Jesus. My second emotion was relief and my third was embarrassment. How quickly I forget that my provision is not in my bank account.
Jesus is doing a work in my life and it is really uncomfortable. That is the God’s honest truth.
I want the work, I ask for the work, I seek His will and I want to be in the center of it because I know that is the only way I will live in the peace and passion and with the purpose that he made me for. But WOW! is some of this stuff hard.
I am good at repeating pithy sayings like “we will never know that God is all we need until God is all we have” and “let go and let God” but in reality I have never been anywhere close to living a life in which all I have is God. I have stuff. I have people. I have education. I have a bank account. As much as I do not want to admit that those things give me security. They do. The work that God is doing in me now is one of surrender. He is doing it in many ways and only one of them is money. He is also creating real situations in my life where my brain cannot solve the problem, my people cannot rescue and the bank account is no help. Little by little he is giving me the gift of total dependence or at least reducing my self-sufficiency.
If you have followed the Lily Claire story you know that when I began making the bags I wanted to utilize a sewing school for abused and abandoned girls in India to do the sewing.
That was a part of where it seemed the Lord was leading. The obstacles to that path were enormous. The sewing school was and is a part time endeavor. It does not have access to commercial quality machines. It utilizes volunteer instructors and it does not operate year around due to the fact that there is no air or heat in the school and the classes are discontinued during portions of the year when the heat or cold become too much. So that idea was abandoned and the bags have been produced in Dallas with high quality wool imported from Germany.
Recently it seems that the Lord is moving me again to that original plan to have the bags made by people—wherever they may be—who are not professionals but those in need of help to lift themselves from difficult economic circumstances. There are many small businesses and ministries around the globe that offer training and skills. They often make products that are then sold to support their ministry. But few of them are commercial quality manufacturers that are equipped with the skills and resources to make high-end goods for sale in the United States. But who says they cannot become that?
That is the question I am asking now and praying about. I see the size of the mountain that needs to be climbed to make that a reality and I see that I do not know how to begin to tackle that mountain. So when I say God is giving me the gift of total dependence I truly mean total.
If this is “miraculous work “is to happen it will have to be “His Ministry and His provision” and those exact words are what the Lord spoke to my dear friend Diana when she prayed about Lily Claire. We are listening and watching and we are asking for pray-ers.
This is the vision of Lily Claire—we sell beautiful products, we manufacture our products in places that provide work and skills for those who desperately need them, we help other businesses work through the obstacles of using these same resources for their own needs and when we make a profit—it goes back—back to charities, back to ministries—back to those who need it.