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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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When the Handwriting is on the Wall

Posted by admin in October 9th, 2019
Published in Uncategorized

Corrie ten Boom wrote about a time that she was very sick and the doctors thought she was going to die. This was a few years after the war ended. A brother in Christ that she loved and respected came to her bedside and asked, “Corrie, is there any area in your life in which you are not obeying God?”

Corrie ten Boom. The woman had survived a prisoner of war camp, hung tightly to her faith even when her sister died there, boldly loved God with all of her heart and always encouraged the Body of Christ to do likewise—could she ever disobey God?

But there it was. Germany. God was calling Corrie to return to Germany and she did not want to go!

The Christian brother prayed with Corrie and she asked for forgiveness because delayed obedience is always disobedience. She confessed her sin to God and to this brother. They prayed together for healing and Corrie, as always, said yes to the Lord and yes to Germany. Within a few days she was back on her feet and heading to the one place in the world to which she had never wanted to return.

Not anything that dramatic has happened to me, but I am grateful for godly men and women who speak into my life and encourage me to walk in obedience. In May, I turned 60 and with a new eating and exercise regimen, I had managed to drop 40 pounds and easily walk 4 miles a day. I was ready for the new decade and ready to do whatever the Lord was calling me to do.

In May, I ministered with Daryl in Poland and as part of my birthday celebration, we tagged on a few days in Dubrovnik. I love affordable Croatia. It is one of my favorite places in the world. My best friends Anna and Daniel met us there and we explored the ancient city and walked an average of 7 miles each day. Part of the exploring was to hike the old city wall which included 1,023 steps. Without even realizing it, I pulled my Achilles tendon. It didn’t really hurt at first, but by the time we got home I knew it was a problem. I caught a cold on the return flight and after a few days home, I decided to go to the doctor. She prescribed an antibiotic—something I have taken once in 20 years. I’m not a fan of antibiotics and never take them. By the end of June, I was still struggling with the sore throat and my heel was worse. So, like any 21st century American, I googled “Achilles tendon.” Oddly, I discovered that antibiotics are dangerous to take when you are suffering from a pulled Achilles tendon. Antibiotics contribute to the breakdown of the tendon. WHAT?!? Yes. I felt so lucky!

So off to the podiatrist I went. Six weeks in a boot, demanding physical therapy, and no air travel for six months. All the lovely ministry trips I had planned for the fall; all of the wonderful productive events I was so eager to participate in—cancelled. My life became sitting on the sofa, eating, watching TV, complaining and whining. Forty plus pounds back on. No exercise. Defeated. Not what I was hoping for my new 6th decade.

Since we returned home from Lithuania more than four years ago, I felt the Lord prompting me to do something. Something very specific. But it is a lot of hard work and discipline and I just kept putting it off. Life got in the way too. Or should I say death? Daryl and I have lost 22 friends and family members since our return to the US in July of 2015. It’s been tough. I have applied to 25 jobs and interviewed for four. None of them hired me. So, when I turned 60, I decided to make my own way and do ministry with the contacts and connections I already had. Why not? I didn’t have to wait for the Lord to open those doors for me. I am a self-sufficient woman and I can make things happen. That’s what I was doing with all those plans and programs for fall. But God is good and He has never allowed me to knock down too many of His hurdles in my life. I’m grateful for His grace to always make sure I listen. Corrie ten Boom always said delayed obedience is disobedience. Each time I would cry out to God to free me from my gilded cage (our home in Lenexa) I was reminded of His calling to do one specific thing. The one thing I didn’t want to do. The one thing I just kept putting off for “another day.”

I am so grateful for men and women in my life who are not afraid to speak to me boldly and clearly. Marquita Miller-Joshua is such a person. She is a mighty woman of God and her faith is incredibly strong. She has scaled mountains of difficulties in her life to be a true overcomer in Christ Jesus. Maybe you’ve seen Marquita on TV? Yes. She’s a big deal. But more importantly, she is a servant of the Most High God. Marquita just got married recently. I wanted to invite her and her lovely husband to our home for dinner once they got back from their honeymoon. Marquita private messaged me this morning via Facebook telling me that my cell phone wasn’t working. It’s happened before. She said every time she called me it went directly into voicemail. I had not received a single voicemail from her and I hadn’t received a single text message. So, I called her! It was before 8 in the morning. She was already on the road. She is busy. She is popular. She is successful and she is a newlywed.

“What are you doing right now?” she asked. “Right now?” I questioned her. “Well, right now I am sitting my big rump on the sofa doing what I do every-single-day…NOTHING!” She listened kindly to my whining about my plans, the ankle, the physical therapy, how sad my life had become and all the woes and sorrows I could think of.

Then it happened. BOOM! Like lightning and thunder the Spirit of God came upon Marquita and she started speaking to me—I felt the electricity coming through the phone.

“WRITE!”, she said. “Write. That is what God is calling you to do. Wait on Him, let Him download all the things He wants you to write about and then get organized. Write blogs. Write articles. Write books. You are supposed to be writing and that’s why He has your ankle in a boot.”

She was 100% correct. In fact, one day a few weeks ago when I was mourning and grieving my loser life, I closed my eyes in lament and one word flashed across my mind’s eye “WRITE.” It was in script, like a handwritten message. I ignored it because writing is hard. It is complicated. It takes discipline and a whole lot of alone time. Isolation. Focus. And for me, facing my worst fear—failure.

Marquita got it right though. And I am grateful that she spoke it into my life. She gave me a starting point. “Sit down with your hands on the keyboard and let it flow.”

Whenever I see a famous brother or sister in Christ who train wrecks in a very public way, I always wonder, what roadblocks and obstacles did that person knock down to get to their place of destruction? I believe that when God calls us, calls me, to do something, He makes a way for me to do it. Even if I don’t want to, He is kind enough to get my attention. Through road signs, flashing lights, and lovely Marquita Miller, I finally yielded to the message. I am writing. And quite honestly, it feels good. Whenever we obey, God lets us sense His good pleasure. What is God calling you to do today? What is that thing that you are not too enthusiastic about doing? Fear, anxiety, frustration, and good old-fashioned laziness might be standing in your way. But like Corrie always said, “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” I’m writing. Thank you Marquita. Peace.

7 users Responded In This Post

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51232. Lana E said,
October 10th, 2019 at 8:02 am

What an encouraging word. So glad Marquita was able to let the holy spirit work through her. Just when we need it…He gives us hope.

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51267. druvengad said,
October 10th, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Good afternoon, Terri! It has been so long since I contacted you–I hope you still remember me. Just a note to tell you that I so appreciated your most recent blog–When the handwriting is on the wall. You are able to express in such a succint manner that thoughts that ramble through my mind on a daily basis. I am like you, as I love Corrie ten Boom and her deep and valued thoughts. I am retired now but still looking for ways to keep active with the “work at hand.” I hope and pray God will speak to me, also, in such dramatic ways. Kind regards–to Daryl (the other Darrrell) as well. Blessings!

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51307. Jhester19 said,
October 10th, 2019 at 7:01 pm

Every time your name pops in my email I get excited. Your story inspired me years ago when I was terrified to move to Azerbaijan….a big white girl from Oklahoma certainly stands out in a city with ZERO foreigners. God was gracious and our time was a gift.

A new season is upon us; we now minister stateside among Arab Muslims. God spoke to me clearly the other day about what He wants me to do. He asked me to host a retreat for women I know serving in full time missions here in the states. Then, offer it again for women when I go back to Azer. in the Spring. At first, I was excited. I started dreaming about it. Then, fear and anxiety hit. I started to question “what if I suck? What if I fail?” Also, it’s a lot of work, do I have time for this….yata yata. I bet you get me.
You’re email today with this blog was like a gentle nudge from Jesus telling me to not be disobedient to what He is asking me yo do. Thank you!! I’m eager to read more from your heart and what Jesus has to say through you.

Kind regards,
Jennie

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51370. admin said,
October 11th, 2019 at 6:19 am

Jennie your words here really encouraged my heart. Thank you! I will be praying for the retreat(s). I know you will be blessing to all those women. Bless you sister! Grateful!

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51371. admin said,
October 11th, 2019 at 6:21 am

My OTHER brother Darrell!! I could NEVER forget you!! Thanks for your kind words about this post. I appreciate them. I am praying and standing with you Darrell. I know God has something amazing planned for this next chapter in your life. Daryl sends warmest regards. Blessings brother!!

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51372. admin said,
October 11th, 2019 at 6:22 am

It’s true. I really admire your walk with God Lana! Your obedience to the Lord is a tremendous blessing to all who know you. Truly!

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51546. annajane said,
October 12th, 2019 at 7:23 am

What an excellent reminder for me, thanks Aunt T. Corrie had a brilliant way of boiling it all down to simple, undeniable truth. And I thank the Lord for lovely people like Marquita!

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