Updated: Jan 7, 2020
By Rachel Larkin
God's Brave Women - Rachel's Story
Pain shot down my leg as I left my parents’ home on my morning walk. After a week of bed rest from another slipped disc in my back, I was keen to breathe and move. Home schooling paused while healing took place.
As I crossed the road, I took in a large breath, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” I released the air in one long exhale, “I shall not want.” I desperately needed my morning walk and talk with my Father. As I struggled to set any sort of pace, my mind was crazy with where to start. Tears welled up, stinging my eyes. I pulled my cap down further as I passed peering neighbours.
“Father, I don’t know what to do now. Life is such a mess. How did it get like this?”
My three sons, still sleeping in my parents’ garage, had no idea of the full extent of my worries. My husband, thousands of my miles away overseas, was trying to prepare a better life for us. His serious car accident in my sisters’ uninsured car resulted in an expensive court settlement and major car repairs, wiping out our entire savings.
Mining in Australia was the promised saviour to our failed business, but the current downturn meant jobs were drying up. The good news of finally securing a mining job was quickly squashed two days on the site when the company was declared bankrupted. Planes were rushed into the desert picking up the hundreds of miners and taking them back to their families in Perth. We only had enough money for the plane home to New Zealand.
“What now Father? He arrives tomorrow. What can I do?”
Pain spasmed across my lower back. I stopped and stretched. I hadn’t been able to stop the tears flowing. I felt like a mess. I was seeking for answers that didn’t seem to be there. I had always been the one in control, knowing what my next step will be. But now, nothing was controllable.
“Father, please show me what my next step is. What on earth can I do to bring an end to all of this? We have run out of options. We’re homeless and now jobless. You say in your Word that you withhold no good thing. Shelter for my family is a good thing, jobs are a good thing. I pray that you release these good things into our hands. I need wisdom. What is my next step? What can I do?”
Rachel, I want you to seek first my kingdom and all these things will be added to you.
“Okay Father, what does that mean? What does that look like?”
Rachel, give thanks in all circumstances for that is my will.
I stopped and started rubbing my back. Looking up, I gazed out over the water, my eyes skimming the estuary. Give thanks. While I am waiting for issues to be sorted out, while I am trusting God, I could be thanking and praising Him.
"While I am waiting for issues to be sorted out, while I am trusting God, I could be thanking and praising Him."
I felt a shift in my spirit.
A change in the atmosphere. I realised that every day I spend praising Him and living from His presence is a day closer to a decision and clarity.
So, I started right there, on that crisp spring September morning. I started to pour out thanksgiving to my Father. And the next morning. And then the next morning. It was hard to start, with my mind tied up in worry knots. But as I continued my thanksgiving walks, the knots untied themselves and a peace relaxed the rough edges of my mind.
Our situation didn’t change immediately, but faith and hope started to bubble up from within me. Months later, we both gained employment and moved out of my parents’ home into our own home, praise God! Our problems didn’t dissolve overnight, but I was living from a state of peace rather than turmoil. By thanking God daily, I was bravely placing my hand into His, while He walked us through it all.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
"By thanking God daily, I was bravely placing my hand into His, while He walked us through it all. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."
*** Do you need ideas on how to connect to the power of thanksgiving? Download your free copy of Rachel's "21 Prayers of Thanksgiving: Transform Your Prayer Life by Giving Thanks".
Brave Woman Manifesto
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Rachel Larkin is an author, speaker, chartered accountant and home-school mum. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and their three young adult sons. She is the author of Simple Prayer: The Guide for Ordinary People Seeking the Extraordinary. Rachel has a passion to see believers growing in faith and prayer, as well as developing their potential for Jesus. She writes @www.rachellarkin.com and would love to connect more with you on Facebook and Instagram.