I first gave my life to the LORD on Thursday 27 June, 1985. My pastor and missionary Dad recorded the moment in his diary, explaining that his four-year-old daughter wept from her conviction of sin and asked the LORD to make His home in her heart. This now 37-year old has known the faithfulness of a God who keeps His promises to His children in a profound way.
Pouring out the anointing of His Spirit upon me in the presence of my enemy, God brought this former Prodigal of more than twenty years home. The Word spoken into and over me by my parents did not return void. Now, Christ is not just restoring and redeeming what was stolen from me and my family, but He is also revealing the steadfastness of His character in my unfaithfulness and sin.
He is unveiling eternity in my heart: the heart of Jesus inside me that He has sealed by His Holy Spirit unto new life. He is teaching me to return and rest in Him by speaking aloud the Word He gifts me and rejoicing in its fulfillment before I even see it. I am confident that I will yet see every single one of His Promises fulfilled in my life and the lives of those I am praying for.
For this is the exquisite beauty of God’s gift to us, His children. Our Heavenly Father invites us to participate in the unveiling of eternity before our very eyes through the Word of our testimony. A testimony that declares the faithfulness of our God in and before unfaithful man. This is how He draws not just us, but many more unto glory as the Word He sends out returns fulfilled.
This is what led me to my decision to lay down my personal blog. I have sensed God asking me to stop looking back, to fully release the past and embrace the new. I have allowed myself to sink back into the quicksand of bitterness, by dwelling on past hurts. It is time to move forward in surrender.
Luke 12:32-33 New Living Translation (NLT)
32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.
I am so thankful for the Word I know many around me (online and offline) have quietly been speaking out in faith and prayer over my life. God has been laying His Word before me so beautifully each day. He has been affirming me in His gentleness, compassion, and kindness. This is a love like rain and gentle showers I haven't known since I was a little girl. A love that is so different than the idol I began to fear as a preteen, caged by trauma and sin.
Deuteronomy 32:2 New Living Translation (NLT)
2 Let my teaching fall on you like rain;
let my speech settle like dew.
Let my words fall like rain on tender grass,
like gentle showers on young plants.
I now know God only took me back into similar situations of hurt and wounding that I experienced as a child to allow me to come to know more of who HE is. He has asked me to release the shame that as a little girl I held so tightly to, as my deserved lot for my repented sins in thought and deed. For He has freed me from the cage of trauma and sin to embrace His love and grace. Even in the wind and waves I still face, He longs for me to recognize the miracle of His protection of my soul. He has never ever let HIS girl go, not for one single moment.
His call to me is to not just recognize the joy of His Presence but to walk into it - to rejoice in it. And His way is a way of forgiveness and surrender, a way of straining forward into Him, my Word of Life and the joy before me.
He is inviting me to continue the legacy of my praying mother, who has been cheering me on alive and made whole in the cloud of witnesses since 2014, and to join my Dad in proclaiming the hope and joy of the Good News no matter what valley comes my way.
So, I have taken my blog joyofthespiritwithin.wordpress.com offline and look forward to opening my new online home at the start of 2019. I am taking the remainder of this year to slow, listen and savor. I want to honor my God's call not to neglect the beautiful family He has given me to serve and shower in His love.
I am excited to choose (my One Word in 2015) life, behold (One Word 2016) the goodness of God in the land of the living, delight in (One Word 2017) the Truth and take joy in (One Word 2018) my hope and salvation - in a God who does not utter even one syllable in vain.
Isaiah 43: 16 - 21 MSG
This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then can’t get up;
they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
—the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me.
Enjoy this beautiful song: You Say by Lauren Daigle
~ Meet Anna Smit ~
Anna lives in the Netherlands with her Dutch husband and their two girls (5 and 8). In September 2017, she opened www.belovedprodigal.com, which she now supports in prayer and in practical ways from behind the scenes, as needed.
The next 6 months Anna is taking a break from blogging, having closed down her own personal blog, to savor the quiet with her family and to spend more time in prayer. She is also preparing something new God has placed on her heart to open in 2019.