by Stephanie Martinez
Let the New Year begin.
I am fully aware that the New Year in the rest of the world is January 1st,but not for us, and not for this country. God’s timing could not be more perfect in getting us here. As we begin on this journey, day 4 to be exact, everything seems to be lining up. The rest of the country is celebrating, is on holiday, and it is allowing us to not only experience something incredible, but to also ease into our time here.
Rest has been a big thing that God has been teaching us about. And we are firm believers that to gain an anointing in an area, to be able to pass that blessing on to others, you must first experience it, go through it, overcome it, etc. for yourself.
So what have we learned about rest? Let’s start from our last week in the States. Two weeks ago, we said goodbye to our little house in Santa Rosa. We packed up and drove to Shawn’s mom’s house in central CA. Looking forward, it seemed like this was going to be a time to enter into rest before we went and “preached” the same. It turned out to not be that simple. Yes, we rested; however, any parent of a baby can tell you that you are rarely fully rested. I was naivegoing into this week. What I pictured was laying around, eating a ton, doing nothing at all except the occasional hike or drive to cute historical towns. All of these things took place… but with a baby. So, my job never really stopped. Nursing, napping, changing, bathing, playing, again and again.
I am not complaining as it may seem. I am simply painting a picture. Because what I learned was so much deeper than simply taking time to be lazy. God showed me something.
God showed me that rest is love.
In Hebrews 4, it talks about entering into His rest, which is the Promised Land, which is His dwelling place. This is the place where He dwells. So when we enter in, we are joining the triune God, which includes the Holy Spirit. God is love. And the fruits of the Spirit are love: peace, patience, etc. In short, when we are loving, we are resting.
As I love my son, I am joining God in His Promised Land. As we love people, we enter His dwelling place. To me, this looks like practicing the fruits of the Spirit. Being patient with my family, choosing peace over stress, being gentle with my words.
I am grateful for learning this before coming to Thailand.
Even though we have only been here a few days, there is so much to share. But the main thing on my heart is to share a testimony of healing.
The day before we left, Elijah came down with a pretty high fever. We drove to San Francisco (about 3 hours from where we were), arrived at the hotel where my stepmom works, met up with family and went out to lunch. By this point, Elijah was not doing well and we went back to the hotel and rested. Any plan we thought we had to walk around thecity was thwarted, as we attempted to have Elijah sleep as much as possible. Hours later, there was a knock on the door and in walked a handful of our friends to surprise us and send us off. This ended up being a sweet time of prayer for us as a family and for healing for Elijah. That night, we boarded our plane and our sweet son slept for a huge chunk of the flight. By the time we got to Thailand, there was not a single sign that Elijah had ever been sick. He was fully healed!