20-20 Vision

NOTE from the Directors:
Friends, I am SO completely excited for what God is going to in and through you as you read the last blog of 2020. It was written by my sweet friend and prayer partner, Rebecca Wells. You may have noticed that we have taken a longer than usual break from blogging since the end of October and here's why.

Since the first week in November, I started personally training a new group of CK leaders, so that we can continue to meet the needs of the growing ministry. YOUR needs. Getting into groups. The truth is we have been overwhelmed and blessed by all of you who have decided to join us in our journey of finding the TRUTH of God's best for us in our marriages. That is not an easy or quick task. We love you all and want to help each and every one of you, but the burden is heavy and the workers are few.

That's where Rebecca steps in...

Rebecca is not only a sweet Southern stander, but she and I share something that neither of us can explain.....a "knowing" of when each other is in trouble, a willingness to reach out and a burden to pray for each other's families.

So, as I was overwhelmed and unable to get to all of my work, Rebecca knew it in the Spirit, stepped in and wrote a blog for me. She texted me, and humbly asked if what she wrote could be of help. After I wiped away the tears of joy and relief, I PHYSICALLY felt a BURDEN lift from my shoulders. My sister in Christ lifted my burden. I am forever grateful that the Lord put her in my life and that she was willing to take action.

I hope you are blessed by what God gave her to share with you today. I certainly was. I cried tears of joy as it ministered to me when I read it. Please leave us a comment on FB or Instagram to encourage Rebecca. She is truly ONE OF A KIND!

Wishing you a blessed New Year!
Deana
BY: Dr. Rebecca Wells
By now, I'm sure that most of you have seen the memes about this year soon to be one of hindsight; after all, hindsight is 20-20.  Anybody cringe a little bit when you hear that?  Maybe give an eye roll because you're just so over 2020, so over the pandemic, so over politics, so over family, marital, employment, financial issues...just so over it all?  Did you receive bad news this year?  Maybe you received good news?  A lot or a little of one or both?  Have you found yourself saying, "Why, Lord?" more often than usual during this year?  Are you now feeling fearful about what's to come in 2021 because of all that has happened in 2020?

In the midst of all the headlines, I found myself many times this year saying, "Lord, what in the world is going on!?" So many things that happened this year just made no sense at all, at least to me. But then I was reminded of a study we did as a church a few years ago called "The Story" by Randy Frazee. If you have not heard of this book, I highly recommend it. It has a companion study guide and sheds some light on the concept Jesus poses in the Lord's prayer when he says in Matthew 6:10, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." As Frazee (2016) reveals, two stories are going on at one time, the Lower and the Upper:

"There is the Lower Story. Humans live on earth and see things from a horizontal perspective. We don't know what is around the bend but must decide which way to go, where we will live, and how we will respond to what happens to us. We focus on getting through the day as best we can. We interpret why we think other people do what they do. We struggle to know why certain things happen and why other things don't happen. Then there is the Upper Story. This part is how the story is unfolding from God's perspective from above. Heaven is breaking into our world more than we recognize, and the story of God's seeking love, perpetual grace, and longing for a relationship with ordinary people is breathtaking" (p.7).

We live in the Lower Story, which feels very one-dimensional at times. We see all that goes on around us and all that happens to us, good and evil, and in our limited vision, we often have difficulty making heads or tails of life's circumstances.  They, at times, feel out of context.  But God is the ONLY One through Whom ALL context is made possible.  When we look for His Upper Story, we can gain insight, clarity, and a small, humble understanding of His perspective.

As I remembered this delineation between the Upper and Lower Stories, my question of what's going on became, "Lord, what are You doing!?" That is when some clarity about the events of 2020 came to me, and I had a tiny glimpse at the Upper Story that I want to share with you.

So, what did the Lord do in 2020? 

He allowed us to have some 20-20 vision, or as an ophthalmologist would say, "Perfect vision." 
This year was by no means perfect, but if every one of us prayerfully and thoughtfully looked back, we would see where God gave us clear sight (20-20 vision) for at least one thing in our lives. How many of us asked God to show us something happening on the other side of a mountain in our lives (pick your mountain), or we asked for answers about a health issue, or we asked for more Patience (haha!), or maybe we wanted to know what a loved one was really up to (eeek!).

"Call to me, and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."  - Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)

Did you call upon the Lord for something in 2020, or even in years prior? For some of us, He chose 2020 as the time to provide the answer. He never promised that we would like what it was that He wanted to show and tell, but He did promise that He would answer us.  Some answers were bad news, some were good news, but they were answers provided by our God, Who loves each of us so much! Maybe you got word that your prodigal is coming home, or your cancer is gone, or perhaps something else that was good news...Be sure to Praise God (and share that news to encourage others)!  Maybe you got a cancer diagnosis, perhaps a word of a non-covenant marriage, or maybe some other bad news...Well, at least now you know, and you and God can face this together...so Praise God (and share that news so you can be encouraged by the prayers of others)!
  
I can hear some of you saying, "Rebecca, God didn't give me an answer to what I called on Him to know…" My response is that yes, God still did answer you. He answers us with Yes, No, or Wait...whichever one, it's still an answer.  Maybe you were the recipient of a Wait answer from the Lord this year.  Trust me when I say there's a good reason that God may be having you wait on His answer. For example, I went for an entire year without knowing I was divorced (sounds stupid, right?); no matter who I called or where I went online to try to find out, God blocked me from the answer each time. This part of my testimony is a story for another time, but I can look back on that year and truly understand why God did not want to give me the answer in the midst of some health problems I was having. If you did not receive your answer this year, your 20-20 insight might just be that God wants to protect you from an answer you cannot know just yet...remember, His timing is always best!

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:9 (ESV)

So, Lord, what's the deal with all the bad news? His answer to me was straightforward. First, we spend too much time focusing on various forms of media instead of focusing on Him, which spreads fear like wildfires. Second, God was ready to bring things happening on a global scale into the Light.

"For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all." - Luke 8:17 (NLT)

This year we saw corruption, scandal, pure hatred, and just plain sin finally revealed in places we may or may not have suspected. We saw deep wounds finally being exposed, brought into Light and fresh air so God can ultimately help those wounds heal. For many of us, things brought into the Light were deeply personal, and for others, it was more of a shared experience.  Regardless, all these things happened and were brought into Light in God's timing.  Ripping off band aids is not a good feeling, but it inevitably becomes necessary so healing can take place.  If you were in the midst of a sin that got revealed, go to the Lord and repent, He loves you and wants all of you.  If you were on the receiving end of another's sin that got revealed, go to the Lord and pour out your pain and tears, let Him heal you with the balm of Gilead and the blood of Jesus, and ask Jesus to help you forgive the person.  No matter what the Lord brought into the Light for you this year, don't be afraid of what's to come; just trust Him.

"For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord." - Psalm 112:6-7 (ESV)

And then there's this pandemic that the world is still dealing with. There's a lot that any of us could say about COVID-19 and how our way of life has been impacted. Just remember there's an Upper Story here. I received only one word from the Lord about this pandemic, and it is "re-prioritize." This word will mean something different to everyone, but through the pandemic, God is trying to help us prioritize that which is most important to Him and what should be to us as well.  If you have not yet received the Lord's guidance in this area, but you've been feeling this longing that something has to give, I encourage you to seek the Lord about what He would have you prioritize as you move into the new year.

Please keep in mind that there is WAY MORE to the Upper Story of 2020 than what God has revealed to me, but for the purpose of this article, I hope this glimpse into the Lord's perspective will bring you peace and comfort regarding what has passed and hope for what the Lord has planned for the future.  Do NOT let the events of 2020 make you fearful for what's to come in 2021.  Remember, if you find yourself sinking in the Lower Story, look toward God for a glimpse at His Upper Story.  He is Faithful.

"But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one." - 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (ESV)

Jesus loves you, and so do I.

Rebecca Wells
Savannah, GA


"May the God of peace be with you all. Amen." - Romans 15:33

DR. REBECCA WELLS:
Rebecca is a native of Savannah, GA. In the early season of her stand for marriage restoration, God very clearly spoke to Rebecca that her earthly husband is coming home and in the meanwhile He (God) would be her husband. As she has honored her marriage covenant with the Lord, God has proven this promise to be true in all aspects of her life. She and Jesus even went to China together to bring home her amazing sons who were born there. Rebecca also earned her doctorate of education during this season of marriage interruption and has worked as an educator for 16 years. Rebecca and her sons enjoy going to church, watching superhero movies, and working with a local animal rescue by volunteering at animal adoption events and occasionally fostering cats and dogs. Rebecca loves serving as an advocate for adoption and marriage restoration and always eagerly looks for opportunities to encourage people in these areas.

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