But as I've had 6 months in this valley to think about things. I believe the Spirit has revealed things about my own heart that ultimately result in conviction of sin. *Now I just want to clarify my position on conviction. I hear so many people say, "We shouldn't live in condemnation.." and to that I say a hearty "AMEN!!!" But I believe there is a distinct differentiation between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation brings with it a sense of despair and hopelessness that says, "I'll never change." But conviction carries with it a realization of sin and the power of the gospel to overcome that sin. Conviction ultimately brings hope! Hope in Christ who conquered death. If He could do that then certainly He can help me overcome my sin* (Stepping down off soapbox...)
What are the things hidden within the moist, deep, dark recesses of my heart? Oh, things like discontentment, failure to trust that God will provide, failure to look to my husband, the desire to nag my husband, worry, the desire to "help God out" in providing for us...the list, I'm sure, goes on. Wow! So many things tucked away in such a tiny space. But isn't that the kindness of God to have sent His Spirit to remind us of what we have learned and to convict us of sin?
So now that I recognize these things are there and confess them to God, my inclination is to behave as though, "Well, mark those off the list; mission accomplished God. Let's bring us out of this valley now, okay?" But that may not be God's plan for us. Perhaps there are still some trust issues; God alone knows those things. What if John is umemployed for a very long time? We certainly wouldn't be the only believers in this position. I hope in 2008 that this turn around for us. I Am embracing this as a time of learning and dependence upon the Lord.