Sarah Parham

The prize!

Oh dear friends, a few bits of news from around these parts.  First, I had an article published over at Mentoring Moments for Christian Women this past Monday.  It was called My Right Now Dream.  Check it out if you’d like.

And for the second bit of news, in complete contrast to everything I wrote about in that post, I am resuming my seminary classes in about two and a half weeks!  I just got a phone call that I’ve received a full scholarship to get me to the end of my degree, which I started 8 years and 3 kids ago!  I am approaching a time where I need to complete the degree or my credits will expire.  So, two weeks before classes begin, I have been awarded a full-scholarship and am enrolling in classes.  This is one of those things that doesn’t make sense even to me, but seeing God’s hand in it, I am moving (completely terrified, like shaking in my boots…umm, houseshoes…) forward.  But hey, the good news, I will finish my degree in my p.j.s (online).

I want to share with you my heart for a minute.  When I stopped taking classes five years ago, with the birth of my first born impending, I imagined it to be a break, not a break-up with education. Three years after I made that decision, I further stepped back from myself for the sake of my children by giving up my dream job in ministry to be with my children more.  And when my third born took us all unaware, I was sure that I’d never be able to go back to who I once was.  I won’t say that I have regretted those decisions, but I have questioned them often.  I can easily see all that I have gained for my family, my children especially.  But I feared the cost.

Being perfectly honest, I’ve had to fight the enemy in my mind hard core.  He has been telling me that I am no longer a minister, and no longer fit for ministry.  He has used scripture against me: “Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” ”  Luke 9:62.  And I know none of this is true.  I know that titles don’t make me a minister, and now I can see that God has only been further training me for ministry in my time at home.  But you can see how Satan could easily use this scripture to put me on my head.

At the beginning of 2014, I sensed God giving me a scripture to go along with my word: fun.  The scripture was from Psalm 126.

Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.

Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

And today, I get to share with you the fulfillment of this promise.  In many ways, you reading this blog is the fulfillment of the promise.  Writing has been a shaky dream of mine as a means of fulfilling my call to ministry.  It has been such a fragile dream, I’ve been unwilling to try and see it get dashed.  But in 2014, I decided to sow my tears, and now I am reaping joy!  Joy unspeakable!  (And complete terror if I’m being really honest. haha).

And with an abrupt change in subject, on to the things I had already written to share with you today.

And can I say, these words sound so very different to me now than they did just a few hours ago when I wrote them.  God knew how He would reveal Himself, the true prize, to me today. Thank you Jesus.
And love to you, my readers.

 

Ok, so we’ve agreed that life is a marathon, not a sprint.  And to review:

How do you finish a marathon?
Crowd cheer:  “Endurance!”

Now, what comes at the end of a race?
Crowd cheer:  “A prize!”
My husband:  “A beer!”

Hebrews promises:

A harvest of righteousness and peace
to those who are trained by it.

“It” being the discipline of the Lord; this marathon we often find ourselves in.  God promises us a harvest.  Not just a meal, a harvest!  Enough to get us through whatever winter may come.

Why righteousness and peace?  Because that is what you get when you are fully submitted to God.  You get right-relatedness to Him, and from that you get a peace that passes all understanding.  It is not a peace that comes from knowing the outcome.  It is a peace that comes from knowing God has never left you.  It’s way better than the candy I use to bribe my children to be good at the grocery!

A harvest of peace!  Who isn’t looking for that right now?  Endure to the end my friend.  Allow God to use your circumstances to train you.  The promise isn’t a good outcome in the eyes of the world.  It is so much better.  It is a closeness to God that assures you do not have to worry.  Ever.  Again.

That has been my prayer for this past year.  That I would be trained by this season of hardship.  I want the prize, that harvest of righteousness and peace.  And can I say, I see it springing from the ground already!  Praise the Lord!

Comments (6)

  1. ruth rider

    Sarah, I pray God’s goodness and love surrounds you as you move forward. Don’t hesitate. You are His anointed and I hope that you will keep us close so we can go with you through this amazing journey. I, for one, want to know how to pray for you: what you need, how you are feeling, etc. so this part of your life is a way for me to support you. God bless you, I know He has and He will.

    Reply
  2. Liliane

    Hi Sarah.

    I am so happy for you that your program worked out! I am really encouraged by your thoughts/ reflections : ) I like what you said about how awesome the harvest of peace is.. and it does not compare to anything on earth (like candy lol )

    Reply
    1. Sarah Parham (Post author)

      Hi Liliane! It’s so good to “hear your voice”!! Hope you are well!

      Reply
  3. Donna Lambert

    Sarah we were elated when your mom told us and she was giddy with excitement. we are so proud of you and overjoyed for your next chapter.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Parham (Post author)

      Thank you! Being in this stage of life I want to put a quote in here from Frozen about being somewhere between elated and gassy…somewhere in that zone…haha. I’ve certainly gotten a lot of support on this decision, my sweet mom included! Thank you for your kind words as well!

      Reply
  4. Debra

    I rejoiced with you father when he told me the good news but it hit me today that I did not rejoice with YOU! We are both so proud of you, the good mom, mentor, sister, friend, and best of all to your dad, daughter that you have become and are still becoming. When I consider wise counsel, I think of you. Congratulations getting back in the road to fulfilling your dreams!

    Reply

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